I was at a meal last night.They were all sat round laughing and smiling and it felt good. I felt at home. I tucked into my vegan meal as Chris shared around carved roasted beef slices. Freshly sliced from the cow. The person sat next to me sniggered as she looked at my meal.
“You should get some of this in ya mate. Eating all that crap you need meat!”
Everybody else began laughing. They started to make comments of their own. Another friend began to bounce the meat around on her plate going
“moooooooooooo mooooooo splat”.
I tightened my fist and slammed it hard on the table, rattling everything sat ontop of it. There was a deep silence and faces of shock looked upon me. I stormed over to Chris in anger. He was still holding the knife. I lifted his hand up and pointed the blade directly at my heart.
“Go on guys do it. Kill me, stick that knife right here RIGHT NOW and cut into my heart so that I die! Then you can eat me! I am meat just the same as that cow you are eating there.”
Faces staring and everyone in shock.
“DO IT NOW!” I screamed
“Can’t you see? That…” as I pointed to the roasted cow…
“That is no different from me, from you, or any of us. The sooner you realise this, the better! I for one will NEVER be joining any of you for meals again.”
Then I walked out the building in mind that I would never return.
I woke up from this dream shortly after. I never knew the people in my dream but they were good friend IN the dream, at least up until the end anyway. Thought I’d share. Maybe some of you could use this. I know many of you have to put up with this crap time and time again. Although I generally advocate spreading our cause with love and compassion to all live (including humans), I would not allow myself to be attacked like this.
Tag Archives: veganism
I was at a meal last night.They were all sat round laughing and smiling and it felt good. I felt at home. I tucked into my vegan meal as Chris shared around carved roasted beef slices. Freshly sliced from the cow. The person sat next to me sniggered as she looked at my meal.
I had been looking forward to this race for a while. I did the Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon last year too. Last year and I completed 13.6 miles in 1:58:12.
The few days prior to the race I had been seriously carbing myself up with lots of raw vegan fresh fruits and vegetables. I believe lately that this type of eating is dramatically helping with my previous injuries, which have now completely gone after nearly a year, and recovery. Look at Wednesday 1st July 2015 for example. Only 3 days before the Half Marathon I ran 30 Miles. I got home and ate 1kg of cherries (which are great for inflammation), had an ice bath and when I got out of the bath I felt great. The next day I felt as if I had never even ran the day before… let alone 30 miles. I was gobsmacked.
On the morning I ate 4 bananas and 175g of dates about 2.5 hours before the run. I also had 75 cl water.
Aaaaaanyway. So me and my husband Philip met my friend Steve at Northfield Train station and set out to Birmingham New St where we would meet Thom, and get a connecting trail service to Wolverhampton where the run starts.
Here is a picture of Philip who can’t go five minutes without a coffee and Steve looking a bit sleepy as well.
Here’s a pic of Steve kindly helping Philip set up the Garmin 310XT I let him use on race day to keep an eye on his average and actual current pace.
When we got to Nw St station we were all over the place with the typical switching platforms. They switched platforms one minute before the train was due to leave. Though they switched it to a platform in which they had closed off the escalators. I have seen this a lot lately. I’m not sorry if someone from the station reads this but I think you need to start using your brains. That station is supposed to be an upcoming better and mega big modern station. At the moment it’s a pile of wank! Get it sorted please. What a mess! Finally we found ourselves on the right platform after a massive detour. We found a table seat to sit at and Thom found us on the train and sat with us… Yay the group together.
We nattered about expected times etc and helped settle our nerves a bit as we watched others already running down the canal, as we took the train parallel to it. This race is done in waves which is good for those wanting faster times I guess. 😀
Here we all are. Finally made it after almost following another runner who was obviously going the wrong way to the start line lol. Aren’t we a sexy bunch of runners? Gotta be the plants! 😀 Philip decided to do a bit of a meditation before we set out on the course.
Our wave was at 10:30 so we all checked our bags in to be taken to the finish line, queued for the toilets, checked if their high energy drinks where Vegan (and they were), and nattered by the start line waiting to be called. A guy who had a Cancer Research top on came and chatted with me a while. He was a nice guy. He talked about how he was doing weight training and realised that it was all just vanity and he really wanted to make a difference. He wanted to run for charity and help a “good” cause. I thought that was so nice of him. Although he can be making better choices…. I’m not going to judge him and tell him about his mistakes just before his first ever half marathon. He took a very keen interest in my Veganism you see, he didn’t judge me or anything but was really curious and asked about how long I’d done it, my energy levels, running, ethical reasons. I decided I would give him just enough basic details to hopefully research it further at home and then maybe find out about Cancer Research too and switch to something else.
So we were called to the start line for briefing at 10:15. They discussed the typical rules of a race, keep hydrated and what to do if injured or pulling out etc. Then we went through a gap in the wall on the little dock to the canal. Here a guy called your number when you got to the front of the queue. You stepped over a black line mat on the ground and your timing chip began… as did my Garmin watch, naturally. I also started listening to a chillout compressed half hour Linkin Park Track. I wanted to listen to their full heavy album to get me going. To my surprise though my iPhone for some reason has removed it when I plugged it into the PC the day before.
I was now running. Steve was by me and we were going out pretty fast. In fact we wanted about an 8:20 minute mile average and this first mile was done in 7:38. About a mile in I called to Steve “hey if we keep this sort of pace up we will be making it in a killer time! We obviously both felt very strong at the time. I think about mile 2 I asked how his knee was after he injured it 3 days before and it was feeling fine. He had a knee support pad on and I don’t think he even KNEEded it in the end 😉 Shortly after that I went on a little as I was feeling comfortable and I saw a geezer with a backpack on who looked like an ultra runner. I thought about keeping up with his pace as it looked like the kind of pace I’d have liked to complete the race in. I was behind this guy for a few miles just tailing him. Eventually I overtook him.
Mile 3 and it was the first check point. I went for a water and no high energy drink this time. I don’t normally hydrate until 45-60 minutes but with the land I was covering at this pace and the hot sun shining down on me I started hydrating early!
I had now changed my music over to a Chillstep track I had on there. I have just got into Chillstep. It’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL music to run to. If you search “chillstep” into Youtube you will find loads of tracks over an hour long you can just play and enjoy!
Although the music is beautiful, any music can be a distraction on race day. I turned the music right down to level 1 so I could hardly hear it but could hear nature around me as I wove in and out and round the snaking towpath.
About mile 4 I started to slow down a bit. The sun was belting down on my bare head. I wish I’d kept my headsweats hat and not put in my bag. Hey ho what’s passed is passed and I know for future reference now.
By mile 5 I was down to 8:18 minute miles, but still on target easily for an average 8:20 minute mile race overall.
I had noticed that around mile 4 or 5 we had started to catch up with some people from the earlier waves. This was nice as it gave me plenty of opportunity to spur people on.
I knew my pace was slowing so I started meditating right away. The first thing I do when I begin a meditation while running is to remind my body to relax. I make sure my shoulders and back are both relaxed. I make sure my arms are swinging nicely with lose fists swinging back and forth gently at a 90o angle at the elbow. I make sure my chin is up and I’m looking ahead at the ground in the distance, not right under in front of my feet. I check in with my breath and try to get a bit of rhythm to it. Next I begin the counting. I step with my left foot and then my right and count 1 on my right step. I step with my left foot again and then my right and I count 2 with my right step. Every other right step I count 3,4,5 all the way up to 20. As soon a I hit 20 I start again at 1. I do this over and over and over until I’m lost in trance.
Next checkpoint, mile 6, excellent! This time It’s a water and a high energy drink and on I go! 1,2,3,4,5……20,1,2,3,4,5……..20…… I was now lost again in counting when I heard one of my favourite parts of my music come on. I turned it up full blast and got lost in the euphoria of awesome music and awesome running in an awesome atmosphere. As the track switched to a new one, I turned it back down and started to focus on the counting again. I notice I had slowed to about 8:30 minute miles and I felt that I needed to slow down further, and give myself a bit of a respite should I wish to complete in good form at a good pace.
Check point 3 at 9 miles creeped up on me, and I took 2 waters. 1.5 to drink and 0.5 over head. Which left me feeling like I’d drank sea water as I carried on running. I had reduced my counting now to 8. I learned that as your focus becomes less then you can count less numbers over and over and over and increase them as your focus becomes stronger. I wouldn’t go over 100 though. There were a lot of people from earlier waves at this point who were walking. It’s understandable. There isn’t much shade on this route and the sun was belting down on us all, while we were all trying to push ourselves as much as we could to that finish line. It was an honour to be able to try and push people on. Calling to people to keep up the good work, and reminding them “you got this” and “not far now”.
As I approached mile 10 Steve come up to me. He ran by my side for a few moments as he called “Come on Scotty you are faster than this”. I told him I got too cocky and set out too quickly so was preserving some energy for the end. He went on ahead. This spurred me on a bit to trail behind him a while. I called to him “Go Steve Go Go Go! Show us Vegans proud! WOOOOOOOOOOO”, I must admit I was a little hyped. I was just so happy at that moment. The finish line wasn’t far off, people out here doing the same thing on their weekends off, the sun, the nature, the beautiful green and birds and canal. Also because Steve was limping about like mad a few days before. I was so worried his knee injury was going to hamper his day today, but it didn’t. I kept praying he’d be ok and now here he was charging forward relentlessly, making excellent time on his race!.
Steve got a bit ahead for a while. We past the last checkpoint at mile 12 where I got 2 water. Necked em back and made a final push for it. Funnily enough mile 13 was my slowest at 9:05 minute miles. I did manage to creep back up closer to Steve though. There were 2 girls inbetween us who were from a previous wave. I overtook them. We were so close to the finish line. I saw Steve and I knew if I kept going at this pace (7:10) I’d catch up and we could run through the finish together both wearing our Vegan Runners tops. I knew the commentator would perhaps call our finish and we could show people Vegans can do this shit too! As I got closer Steve turned and saw me approaching. He thought I was going to overtake him, and I certainly didn’t have the energy to explain my idea to him. He looked shocked and he turned and made one final dash for it and over the finish line. I came in 7 seconds later 🙂 I was 249th place which put me just inside the top quarter of 1000 entrants. My final time was 1:52:16 which is a great improvement on 1:58:12. Also it was a slightly shorter distance at 13.4 rather than 13.6 due to changed route.
Here’s a group of me Steve and Ian Mackenzie at the finish. Well done on your time of 1:38:25 Ian.
Well done to fellow Vegan Runner Mike Tomkins who came 22nd and had an awesome time of 1:27:46. Well done to him getting it doing in that heat and that time 😀
I did my usual stretching routine and then we headed to baggage reclaim and got our goody bags. We then went back to the finish line to wait for Philip and Thom. We also tucked into 4 big bags of Satsumas nom nom nom. These were soooooo refreshing.
Philip has been commuting to work and back running for a few months now. He hasn’t really done much long running but gave it a good go. This was his first half marathon and he wanted to complete it in about 2 hours 30 mins . He came through in 2 hours 32 mins. Fantastic job Philip well done. I was sooo proud of him.
Shortly after that Thom came through too. I was really surprised with Thom. Not that I didn’t think he could do it but that he hadn’t done ANY training hardly. He did a 8 miler with me about 2 months ago and one other run since then. He used to run a lot and his previous PB was 1:52 I think (correct me if I’m wrong). I know that doing this today is going to have such a positive impact on him. I know it’s going to give him so much drive to get out there and train again and get fit. There’s no way he will leave this gap between his PB and this run. Which is excellent. Just the inspiration he needs. Anyway to have completed at all given the circumstances shows his mental strength and how AWESOME plant based diets are 😀
We all chatted a while and baked in the sun eating satsumas and then sharing the 2 large punnets of strawberries that Thom brought with him too mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . Steve left a bit earlier as I think he wanted to take buses rather than the trains. We then made our way up the canal path and through the ICC back to New St station.
For recovery when I got home the first thing I did was have a bath filled with cold water and a bag of ice cubes. This works wonders for the next day. I also had another 700 grams of strawberries and 250 grams of delicious raspberries. The next day? I’m feeling fine and ready to continue training next week as normal 😀
I would highly recommend this event, it’s well organised and a wonderful route. They have also taken off a big hill and off road section, so the whole thing is now on towpaths and really flat. There’s just a few bridges to cross over towards the end, and a loooooong tunnel to go through, but nothing major to stop you getting a decent time on a flat. This was my second year and I’m hoping to do it again next year if it doesn’t interfere with potential of doing Race to the Stones instead.
Summer around the reservoir marathon next 26th July 2015!
Thanks for reading.
Yesterday (1st July 2015) was the hottest July day on record in the UK at 36oC. I certainly could tell when we were out there running 30 miles!
On the last day of June my friend Steve said he was going to go for a long run along the canal towpaths from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon. That day I was supposed to be running 5.5 miles on my usual circular route.
I asked if he would mind if I came along and he said I was welcome. Due to the distance I mentioned that I’d likely do 8 or 9 miles then run back to make 16-18 miles I didn’t think 30 miles was a good idea 3 days before a half marathon race!… in the end though I did the whole thing.
We had arranged to meet at 9:05am by the Wast Hills Tunnel Entrance to the Towpath on the side that heads towards Birmingham City Centre. This was so I could set off at 9am. I did set off at 9am and I don’t know how I underestimated the distance as it took me longer than I thought. I was late and my first mile was done at a 7:45 minute mile pace lol. I certainly wouldn’t be carrying on at that pace for the next 29 miles!
Our plan was to go at about a 11 minute mile average and for the first 15 miles we where at a 10:20 minute mile average.
Obviously at this point I’d decided I was going to run the whole way. We stopped at about mile 13 in Hockley Heath and topped up with liquids. I remember wanting a Lucozade Sport Orange but noticed B6 in it and wasn’t sure if it was Vegan. It was only later asking my husband to check for me online I found out it was. At the time I just opted for old style Lucozade instead. I haven’t had that for years and when I sipped some outside I remember why. That stuff is nasty. I drank just about enough to stomach and get a sugar rush and threw the rest. VOM
After mile 15 we started to slow it down a bit and just enjoy the scenery and winding trail along side the canal. Occasionally passing over the odd bridge. We were lucky as much of the path is over run with trees which kept us a little cooler than being right out open in the sun. The sun was still sweltering though. We found it easier when running than walking. When running there was a bit of a breeze to cool us off lol. I checked the temperature on my phone which said it was 33oC.
As runners we all know what it’s like when you go out on a long run and can’t wait for the journey ahead. Then something, somewhere goes wrong! It’s always something that you would not have thought would go wrong. Sure the heat may slow us down, or my legs may be really heavy from lots of training lately, perhaps I wont fuel correctly and hit a wall or 2. Those weren’t the case. Annoyingly for Steve his knee copped out about half way. I was just as surprised as he was. This is the first time I have known Steve to get a problem like this on a run. I know he’s been contemplating what the reason behind it was since then. I wont go into too much more detail on that, as I’m sure he will be wanting to write about it in his own blog and not read it all on mine haha.
Amazingly though although he was limping from time to time, Steve continued to move forward the entire rest of the distance. He ran and he walked but he didn’t stop.
Around mile 18 we stopped at this little place in Wooten Wawden. They had craft, clothing and farm shops. We went to the farm shop to get more liquids and I also bought some crisps and 2 satsumas and on we went.
As the miles became less and less we were running a bit longer each time and finished the distance off on a run.
As we arrive Stratford Upon Avon we went to get some cash and then Holland and Barrett. I let myself down by getting 3 Veg Out Steakless Bakes and a Veg Out SOS sausage roll. As many of you know I’m trying to be raw vegan high carb low fat. My mind crave them after this run because that’s what I used to do after running 30 milers…. eat crap.
It wasn’t long before I realised my body was actually craving fruit. We took the bus most of the way back and stopped by Sainsbury’s. Steve’s partner met us there, and we all topped up with fruit and a big bag of ice cubes each. She was even kind enough to drive me home so that was very nice of her. It can’t be easy sitting in a car with 2 stinking guys who just ran 30 miles in that heat. Thank you 🙂
Well done Steve. I have done this distance a few times now and it’s taken me 6 or 7 to be “comfortable” with doing it. This I think was your second time running this kind of distance. Though limping a bit at the end you came through looking much better than I did on those first times!
The time in the end was 6 hours 50 minutes. I know without a shadow of a doubt that we could thrash that next time. This route we did is actually the same route as the JW 30 Mile Ultra which we are both doing in September. We did it back to front though. That time is going to be demolished on race day. We have discussed attempting it again before then too.
When I got home I filled the bath right away with cold water and sank myself into it waste deep, then poured in the ice cubes. REALLY cold but it felt really good and I knew that it would make me feel better the next day. After my bath I put the shower on cold. This felt warm in comparison to the leg bath so I could wash myself clean, but not rewarm my legs again.
To my surprise when I woke the next day I felt fantastic. It felt like I never even ran the day before and I’m soooo ready for my half marathon in 2 days time now.
I seriously believe that my high carb low fat raw vegan diet is helping with recovery. Also I think my HOKA trail sneakers are helping a great deal. I have the roadies version and they have helped keep ongoing injuries at bay and even given them a chance to recede. All other sneaks I have owned I have had an injury in some form or another every few weeks to months, which have kept me off running.
So on and up… half marathon on Saturday 4th July 🙂 That will be a doddle in comparison 😉
Peace and Love
I became vegan 10 months ago and only started to socialise over the last few months. There is a huge divide within the vegan community in the Birmingham area, and it’s really making me quite drained.
I am not here to take any sides with anyone, or any group. I am a vegan who loves not only animals but every person, regardless of what their beliefs, their actions, their behaviour or who they do or do not like etc. I love all life and I can not keep having my energy pulled down when I see so many other vegans fighting.
So with regret I have decided to pull myself from all Birmingham area Vegan groups.
I live in a world of love, care, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, peace, joy and happiness. That’s what I believe should be spread across the board and this includes to non vegans.
Over the last few months it has been suggested, who I should and shouldn’t speak to and support. I am good at switching off from these, but it’s taken it’s toll now, where I feel that I am in a corner. I am in a corner that I can’t get out of. I’m being asked to choose, and in doing so another party will condemn and judge me. Therefore I choose to step out.
I have met some wonderful people. Many of those people are directly involved with the things that are going on right now in this area. I have met people from both sides and they are absolutely wonderful people. I wish everyone the absolute best ever possible for their future. I hope one day a balance can be found and people can be reunited. We are so much better together rather than being separated, we can be so much stronger together. Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes terrible things happen… but should the whole community go to war over it?
I shall continue to support any vegan business I know of based upon what I know of that company. It’s especially important to think about all the other small vegan business that some of the larger companies help out. Without that help they’d be without a job and no way to feed their families. Also in not supporting vegan business I can’t see how new vegans can come to us so easily. That’s one the key important things to get as many people to become vegan as possible and help save animals from getting hurt. (of course people are animals too). There are some named companies I will no longer use but overall I’ll support most business.
Know that I love you all and I’m sorry my choice has come to this. Though I couldn’t see any other way.
Peace and love
Hey everyone I’m just writing you a quick blog as a warning about this product in the image Health Plus – Acidiphilus probiotic capsules.
As you can see below these are still below their best before date up until January 2016.
With probiotics you can normally tell if they are alive or not quite easily. All you need to do is put them into about 200 ml of milk or alternative milk and leave them somewhere with constant low heat (about 10oC-20oC is what I usually go for) for about 12-24 hours. By this point the milk should have thickened or at least started to. Sometimes it can take a little longer or be quicker depending on temperature. This means that the good bacteria is feeding on the milk and replicating itself, hence the thickening. It’s that bacteria that does your body good.
I tried 2 batches of this stuff and on both accounts the milk stayed exactly as it was. It was completely thin and watery. This means no good bacteria and no benefits at all from your tablets.
If you take probiotics in capsule or pill form I advise you to do this simple test and see if they are inert as it’s a common problem with tablet forms. There’s often no bacteria in there and if there is then it’s often dead. If you find you have this problem you can tell them the test you did and request a refund.
On the other hand if you still want the benefits of probiotics I can seriously recommend this technique I use here in my other blog. How to Make a Continuous Supply of Cultured Vegan Soya Yogurt.
Lots of love
How to Make a Continuous Supply of Cultured Vegan Soya Yogurt. Also Are Your Probiotic Tablets Inert?
So I thought I’d make a post today about making a continuous supply of cultured soya yogurt that is vegan. I had friends around for dinner last night and they were asking me about it. As we all know probiotics are excellent for the gut and digestion. I wanted to be getting a good supply of probiotics in my body. It can be one of those things easy to miss out of our diets and yet just as important as all the other elements to a healthy balanced diet. You can take tablets but during my practice to make this cultured yogurt I found several of the vegan probiotic tablets we had at home were inert. This means there didn’t appear to be any living bacteria in them at all! Please watch out for this. You can simply test them by putting one of your tablets in a little milk over night and if it’s thickening the next day then you have a good tablet. If not then you want to go get a refund!
In this batch I’ll be using Alpro Simply Plain Yogurt. Make sure it says “with live cultures” otherwise this wont work. This yogurt contains the beneficial bacteria S. thermophilus. I’ll be showing you how you can use just one tub of this yogurt and then make a continuous supply of it using only soya milk. This would likely work with other milks too though I have had great success with organic Soya milk.
This yogurt is great for all sorts of things. I recommend having it raw on cereals or with fruit and berries so you can put them little good guys in there to good use in your guts!. If you aren’t really eating anything that day that you could use some in, then you can always just simply eat 2 tablespoons a day on its own.
1. Take 400 ml of organic soya milk and add to a low to medium heat and heat up until it’s just bubbling but not boiling. This cleans the milk. Once heated leave to become only very slightly warm to one side.
2. Boil water and pour into a container like a jar, jug (with lid) or similar to what I used below. This is to clean the container. Then pour out the liquid and let dry upside down so nothing can get in it.
3. Pour the milk into the container.
4. Take 2 healthy tablespoons of yogurt and mix it into the slightly warmed mix and stir this well so it’s mixed in.
5. Place the receptacle in a place where there is a constant very low heat. Anything too hot will kill the bacteria we want. An airing cupboard or similar will work well. You can also wrap it in a teatowel. Leave this for 12-24 hours until it has thickened. It can take a little longer sometimes if it’s too cold because the bacteria becomes less active.
6. Place in fridge and use within 5 days but keep at least 2 tablespoons for next batch!
NEXT BATCH! – I recommend on day 3-4 to start a new batch. You now do this with 2 tablespoons of your own made yogurt 😛 As you can see you can just keep maintaining this system. You may find your yogurt to be less sweet and a bit more sour. This is fine. One of the main ingredients of alpro yogurt is sugar whereas each time you make a batch there’s less refined sugars in there.
If your batch doesn’t work then try again. This is very easy to make but you might want to try a few times until you get it right. You’ll save a lot of money in the long run.
Always mix well before eating. Sometimes you’ll get clear liquid at the bottom. This is fine just mix well and it’s ready to eat.
Almost a year ago I started a new hair treatment. I always suffered badly from dandruff. I remember when I used to let my hair grow a bit then shave it off my entire scalp was just covered in white flakes. I have been lucky to have blonde thick hair so it’s not been as noticeable. When I wear a black top though you could always see my shoulders covered in the stuff.
Back then I used to use medicated shampoo that was expensive, cruel to animals (wasn’t vegan then) and it was always hit and miss as to whether it would work or not.
Then one day started a new type of shampoo that has worked wonderfully. I haven’t suffered dandruff since. Even better is that this stuff is completely Vegan, cruelty free and extremely ethical!
For the first few weeks I thought my hair was getting worse. My scalp became oily and strandy. Then after 4-6 weeks I noticed the benefits of my new treatment and have kept these ever since.
Now it’s important to not use other products in your hair for this to work at it’s full effect. Otherwise your hair will never get used to one type of treatment and may become dull? (a specialist may confirm this….).
So what is my special ingredient then? What is it I have been using this last year that will stop me having to fuss over dandruff any more? It’s just one simple ingredient. This ingredient isn’t difficult to come by. It’s plentiful in most places. You will normally have this right at home right now.
The special ingredient I use for my hair is water. Nothing else just water. My hair is clean, it’s shiny and doesn’t have dandruff. I have allowed my hair to repair and use it’s own natural oils to grow. Those oils are there for a reason. Now use them 🙂