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 🙂
Hi everybody I hope you are all well. So this is my first time doing a recipe blog but I thought I’d do so for this brownie as it turned out so well and so light and fluffy and delicious.
I have made a few alterations to the original recipe and that’s what I’m giving you below.
The recipe is taken from The Vegan diet Recipe Book by Tony Weston and Yvonne Bishop.It is all Vegan and endorsed by the Vegan Society.
250 g wholemeal flour
300 ml almond milk
50ml coconut oil
4 tablespoons coca powder
250 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
50 g ready to eat prunes, stoned
50g dates, stoned
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
1. Line baking tin with baking paper/parchment and oil lightly. Preheat oven to 180 oC, Gas mark 4
2. Place 2 heaped tablespoons of the flour in a saucepan and mix in 250 ml of the almond milk. Cook, stirring constantly on a medium heat until thick. Then set aside to completely cool.
3. Combine the last 50g almond milk, oil and cocoa powder in a bowl and stir until smooth.
4. Transfer the cooled flour mixture to a food processor or liquidizer, add the sugar, salt, vanilla, prunes and dates and blend until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture and blend again.
5. Mix the remaining flour with the baking powder and the almonds, then add the prune mixture and blend again. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin and bake for 25-35 minutes, until firm to the touch.
6. Cut into slices and eat hot or cold.
Before I became Vegan I was paleo. This meant that I mainly ONLY ate meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, cheese, fish and honey.
Back then I had progressed through some stages, ethical shopping, wise spending, organic produce, organic meats, reducing waste etc. I also started to live by some of the other elements to Paleo which I enjoyed a lot. Even today I find some of them are important. Being barefoot more often, rolling around in dirt and acting like a kid again, getting adequate sleep and rest and working on your mind, meditating, yoga etc.
After a long time of eating mostly all meat I began to start to feel a little uneasy about what I was eating. I then even started to call myself a ‘considerate meat eater’ whatever that means? It was from then that I started looking for something. I don’t know what but I kept looking and I came across the Earthlings movie.
After watching this I changed overnight. I gutted the entire house out and started all over again as a 100% Vegan. I knew that I could not continue to do the things I was doing. After one day I went from enjoying meats (most of the time) to being absolutely repulsed by he idea of consuming it. I removed all products around the home with animal parts on or in them too.
Then it was so clear and I just didn’t understand how I never saw it before. There’s no such thing as a considerate meat eater. Organic or not. The animal just wants to live and when we kill them to eat them this can never be done humanely because we don’t need to eat animals to survive. In fact we can live much healthier longer lives being vegan.
For a while I began to wonder why everyone couldn’t see it. It was so obvious and I went on a mission trying to force this information onto others. I judged people and told them that they were wrong. I lost a lot of friends through this. Many of them good people. Many of them the same good person I was back then. I was a good person when I was a non Vegan and I’m a good person now I am Vegan. There is no distinction between the two. It’s just that I have been better informed now and taken action on what I have learnt.
I often see people posting extremely negative images and videos on Facebook. They go on to shout at the world of non Vegans and tell them to wake up. They tell them that they are wrong in doing what they are doing. They tell them they are bad people. They call them murderers, rapists, abusers and a whole myriad of negative things.
If anyone would have told me this as a non Vegan I would have pushed them away and not wanted anything to do with them. “how dare they speak to me like that. I am a good person with a good heart. I love animals too. I am not wasteful; I eat all my meat. They provide me with the things professionals tell me I ‘need’ to be healthy”.
I wonder how many people we can help spread our cause to if we use empathy and understanding and love and compassion the same way we do with animals? Since I changed my approach/attitude I have found many more people come into my life. I approach it now with love rather than hate and condemnation. I get more people asking me about Veganism than before.
“You’re always so positive and your Vegan. What made you become Vegan?” They say
“Now isn’t the time to discuss it” I reply
“oh go on”
“Oh very well then if YOU insist. What would YOU like to know exactly about Veganism and I’ll be happy to answer?”
You see how I kept them in control there? It makes them feel important and listened to. It makes them want to engage with you. Then it’s very important to address these issues with love and great care. There’s a need to explain things in simple terms nicely without ever telling them that what they are doing is wrong. Just state the facts and allow them themselves to discuss with themselves in their own heads about what is right and wrong. Often times they will come up with the idea themselves. As soon as you begin to tell them they are wrong directly you will almost immediately lose them and they will become defensive. This is normal it happens to all of us when we feel that we are being attacked. Very few people are good at dealing with these kinds of attacks on their personal choices and beliefs and so it’s best to avoid them. Let them decide for themselves.
For those who believe that animal abusers should be killed why do you believe this? No person is born bad. You can look to any child to notice this. People become a product of the society in which they are born into. Even look at people like Two Gun Crowley who went on a 3 month killing spree in New York 1931. When they finally caught him he had a note inside his jacket saying “Under my coat is a weary heart a kind one-one that would do nobody harm”. People don’t need more hate and anger and condemnation. What they need is love and compassion and empathy and education. We have it wrong at the moment. When someone commits a crime they are put in jail and the key is thrown away and not found again for a very long time. What happens to this person? They are then released back into the same environment that got them there in the first place. The system thinks that if they put people in jail they’ll do their time and not want to go back in jail again and thus not commit another crime? This doesn’t work. They need rehabilitation. They need caring for, they need to get better. They need to learn better coping mechanisms. They need people to love them and support them. We need to expect great things from them not bad things.
I believe everyone has the ability to change. Though to change, a person must be given a chance. Nobody is beyond help if they are shown the right attention to grow into the better person they deserve to be. The better person the world deserves them to be.
On a final note I think it’s important to remember one of those key benefits to why we became Vegan. To show compassion to all living animals. As Vegans we often look to animals and feel nothing but absolute love and compassion for them. You feel it like a light inside your heart. It makes you feel content, at peace and majorly in love. We even do this to animals that eat other animals. Humans are animals too. If we can not extend our love and compassion accordingly how can we truly be vegan? Being Vegan should be much more than just caring for animals and not eating them and supporting change. It should be about spreading love to every single living thing in life. When you do this you find that much change can happen. You’ll find new people coming into your life and more of those in your life looking for answers. Be there for them as a friend. Listen to them attentively with empathy and without judgement.
It’s time to find love and happiness in your lives rather than focusing on all the bad that is happening in the world. If you feel there’s still more you need to know then make a list and research these ASAP and then you must switch off and put aside. Listen to the important things but do not let them affect your positive attitude. Make the choice to live your days in happiness. It is as simple as making the choice. Live it and breath it.
I love you all my dear friends. Stay strong, stay happy.
I am very old now. I am beginning to approach my hundredth birthday. I feel myself becoming more and more peaceful with every single breath that I take. I feel no pain, no worry or fear. I know that I am close to passing over. I know my time in this physical body is coming to a close and that a new chapter is to begin for me. I’m sat here on my swinging chair outside my glorious home within the tropics. In front of me I see a smorgasbord of trees carrying juicy fresh organic oranges, lemons, limes, nectarines, bananas and figs and more beyond that. I see a sprawling ground full of exotic vegetables just waiting to be picked and eaten over the coming days. Beyond these I see the sun coming down over the horizon as it makes it’s way to meet the end of the oceans. The sky turns orange just as it has done 36, 250 times and more since I came into this wonderful world. I’m thinking about the amazing life in which I have had.
From small beginning of limitations set by others and set by myself I have come far. The memories of the abuse from family I suffered as a child. I remember always being told I would never be anyone and I would never go anywhere. My life was a waste of time I should never have been born, that I was an accident. I remember the fists in my face, being strangled my by collar while thrown out of rooms and being beaten in the chest by his foot while curled in a ball on the ground. I remember the memories of those who bullied me through school. I was a victim and played easy target to them. I remember the self-harm I can still see the cuts on my arms. I can sometimes still taste the metallic taste of medications in which I overdosed on. I’m also remembering my shaky start to adulthood. Oh how I have been ‘rich’ and been poor but always remained poor. Remember that being rich goes beyond what is in your wallet. I’m remembering the times of drug use as a means to escape. The times of smoking and drinking, feeding my body with poisons, perhaps because I didn’t feel that this body of mine deserved to be treated well. The times I allowed my thoughts to overtake my happiness. Yes the first quarter of my life was a difficult one. Though I’m not the only one. I remember all this but the pain is such a distant emotion. It’s just as though the printer has almost ran out of ink. Actually I think it might have. All I sense from my past is gratitude. For without all the trying times in my life I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t have grown how I have grown and I wouldn’t be able to help others the way I have. I’m thankful for all the experiences I have had in life both good and bad.
Since then on my life changed. Disbelief was taken away, limitations erased. I learned better coping mechanisms. I found the positive in the negative. I noticed steps back and decided not to dwell on them but move forward, I’d began to find my way and my achievements have been plentiful. One of the most important being my ability to live in balance with joy and happiness, regardless of any mental health issues I had when I was younger. I have learnt to be inspired, motivated and positive throughout my life. Even greater I have been able to pass this onto others as my full time mission.
I have mastered the Spanish language and am living in a Spanish speaking country. Here I have been working in harmony with nature and my surround with the food I eat and energy I use.
I have had a successful and inspiring running career. I have ran across vast distances. I have covered hundreds and thousands of miles across national trails throughout different lands. Always on a journey, inspiring myself, motivating myself moving my body, and most importantly, my mind forward with every single step that I took. I have continued to blog about this in some way or another through my life though the methods have changed somewhat since the ‘blogging’ days. I’m not quite sure what they call it now. This has just as importantly brought inspiration to others which has been my life’s work.
I have achieved almost everything I had hoped for. I think that achieving everything that we ever wanted in life is a fallacy. To have achieved everything is to stop being inspired, stop being motivated to stop learning more, to stop loving and creating and living. Love, joy, happiness, peace, fulfillment knows no boundaries and I will continue to build on all those things I already have a great deal of and feel a great deal of now. Right through these last days of my life. The world is a vast place with infinite things that we can do out there and learn out there, and within ourselves. I know for sure I won’t have completed all my goals when I pass. For one I have just started to rebuild on my knowledge of quantum physics and I do not expect to learn all that I’d hoped to within my last few days. I do it though because it fascinates me. So yes I know I will have goals that I have not achieved and I am happy with that so long as I am happy with WHO I currently am, and I am.
The first quarter of my life was difficult but my my my how I have made up for it with the rest of my life. All the earlier difficulties were there to help build my strength to have the amazing life which I have had.
Philip is my life and soul and he has been with me right up until this day. We have had trying times the two of us. We have not always enjoyed the same things. Sometimes we wondered if we were suited to each other we spoke about how we both imagined doing the things we loved most as individuals, together, laughing and smiling. Though there are many things that fascinate my husband which do not fascinate me. We spoke to each other about the things we do love and our dreams and we created dreams together and achieved those with support for one another and love. People believe love is lost when the spark has gone. Love isn’t a spark between two people that’s an infatuation which turns into something much deeper, something that was never achieved with anyone else I ever met. He has been my lover and he has been my best friend, and a little piece of his spirit will be with mine when I leave this world, just as it is now. We are both very old now and very happy. Living our final days together in peace.
I have found the diversity in the people I have met very interesting and rewarding. So many people don’t give themselves enough credit but luckily they can find it within themselves. It’s always been there, they just need to find it, accept that they deserve to feel that way and have those things and make the choice. People who have come to me for life coaching who thought their lives where in ruins have come out with some of the most inspiring and profound things I ever thought was possible. They were just simply beyond my wildest dreams. I have seen 100s of people and every single one of them enriched my life with my guidance to enrich theirs. We are capable of so much more than we know. The great riches in life are not just for a select few but can be achieved for anybody. This has enriched both my life and theirs and allowed me to better my service by sharing their wisdom along with mine to the next person. This has been pretty powerful stuff.
Another thing that’s interesting is how life just continues to go on and on. The hills and mountains continue to sit there almost never moving through their existence. The wind continues to blow through everything that is passes. The trees continue to grow as tall as buildings. The birds continue to chirp their beautiful songs. As I come towards the end of my life I see all new life around me coming into existence every day. I sit and I think of all the trivia that I allowed into my life once upon a time. All those silly things that I allowed to get on top of how I felt and thought about myself, other people and the rest of the world. I may be old and I may be wise, but overall I am only a tiny fragment of something much greater, the great cycle of life, and all that which is beyond the beyond of the universe and our minds. What an amazing world.
I had lost who I was when I was younger I think most people get lost at some point in their life. I think they do as they believe they should. They do what they are told to do and never question for many years why they are doing it. They never question whether it’s what they want to do. Even more scary many people know they are not happy every day and decide to not take action. Does it make them happy? Do they love what they do? Do they love who they are with? Then they find themselves lost. They look in the mirror and don’t see the true reflection of who they should be and want to be. They don’t see the reflection of who they are inside. They are the reflection of the person the system tells them to be. They are living by that system as ‘individuals’ and are also limiting themselves greatly by self-limitations and limitations imposed on them over the years by family and friends. I think the best thing anyone could ever do in life is to become lost for a length of time in which to go back to basics and discover who you really are inside. What makes YOU happy? What do YOU want? Sometimes when our lives have taken control of us, we are sad, depressed, lonely and lost and we don’t know what we want or what makes us happy. Sometimes we feel nothing makes us happy. Think as you did as a child what made you happy then? What did you dream? Through being lost and experiencing all those emotions that go with it we have a chance to find ourselves. It may take time but stay lost and you will find a way. Much like I did all those years ago.
Now I am much older and looking back on my life and I love the person I have become. I love the person I became a long time ago. I am proud of the work I have done and the world I have created around me. I am proud of the people I have helped. Through sheer stubbornness to not accept that “that is life get over it” I have managed to find who I am and what I want to do in life. I discovered how to make a living in doing what I love best. I have maintained good health through eating good nutritious healthy foods that I have mainly grown myself right here at home. I have eaten well and still been treated. Fruit are the best treats in life. I have taken up exercise most of my life and even now toward the end of my life I enjoy the occasional walk through the forest or to meditate on the beach. I have shown love and compassion to all those who have come into my life. Well the most of it anyway. Those that I have had disagreements or fights with in my younger life I have apologized to upon further contact and settled our differences. Some of those have become close friends to this day. Others we have agreed to disagree and wished each other all the luck and happiness in the world for the future, both separating with smiles, love and peace for one another.
I wouldn’t change a thing. I have set out to achieve all the things that I held most dear to my heart to help me to be successful and wealthy and have a rich life. I have done all I can to help other people to do the same. I have done all I can to help other animals and life around me. I have spared their lives by making the choice to not eat animals nor use any products in which they need, or to use them for my own entertainment for men to profit from. I have helped any animal I could help at that current time. I have become guardian for several animals over my life, in need of a home. I am very content with the way my life has gone.
The most important wisdom and advice I would like pass on to others at this stage in my life, would be to get lost and find yourself! It doesn’t matter how long it takes to find yourself but do so. When you do then live and breathe it with every inch of your being. You may need to make changes, you may need to let go of some of the things or even people in your life… and that’s ok. Everything will be ok.
When the heavens have come to me and it is my time.I shall close my eyes, I shall smile, I shall allow the light to enter my body and lift my soul, my spirit and the true essence of me from my body. I shall look forward to the amazing journey ahead of me to come.
Behind me I will leave my love for every single one of you.