Monthly Archives: March 2016

Zizzi Review // Italian Vegan Food

This week Zizzi, the Italian chain restaurant, launched a vegan menu. Pre vegan days I loved Italian pizza. It is so much better to have a non greasy thin crust pizza. So to hear that they came up with a vegan cheese pizza delighted me!

I went on Saturday at 12.45 pm to the Lincoln restaurant. The main menu does contain all the vegan options, which was great, but I asked for the vegan menu.

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It is a huge step which makes it so much easier for us vegans when eating out. Hopefully other restaurants will take note. The number of vegans in the UK is growing thanks to documentaries such as Cowspiracy.

I ate a lot. I was stuffed afterwards as I had three courses! Just to write a blog post about it… I swear!

The starter was shared. We had vegan garlic bread and it was delicious and a huge portion.

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For the main course I had vegan margherita with spinach. I wish I had asked for double spinach because for an extra 80p it was not a lot! I did not fancy any of the other toppings. The cheese was light and creamy and really tasty. It was more liquid-y than I expected but good nonetheless.

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After letting my food go down a little I opted for the strawberry sorbet gelato and Carl had the coconut and mango swirl. It was so tasty!

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I will 100% definitely be going again in a couple of weeks. Service was excellent, food was yummy and so was my date ;).

‘Nutritionists Say ‘Baffling’ Official Guidance To Halve Dairy Food Intake Puts Public Health At Risk,’ // My Thoughts As A Vegan

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‘Government’s official advisory body on diet, says reducing milk and cheese is vital to cut obesity.’

This is what I’ve woken up to this morning and I am furious of the media for opposing this idea. The post on the Telegraph website titled, ‘Nutritionists say ‘baffling’ official guidance to halve dairy food intake puts public health at risk,’ is indeed baffling me.

As a vegan, I am happy that it is being suggested that people eat less dairy products as this equals healthier people, less environmental impact and most importantly, less animal suffering. The dairy industry is cruel. I did not even know anything about this when I was a vegetarian but now thanks to the internet and documentaries, things have begun to change.

However, how the media is portraying this news is not in a positive light. Dairy products are full of saturated fat and are bad for the heart. My resting heart rate has gone down considerably since quitting dairy and I feel a lot less out of breath without increasing the amount of exercise I do.  Drinking another mammals milk is not good for you. We are weaned at a young age from drinking our own mother’s milk just to be switched to milk that is meant for growing calves. We no longer need it and we definitely do not need it from another animal.

It says, ‘The move was heavily criticised by nutritionists, MPs and the dairy industry, who accused PHE of putting public health at risk with its “baffling” advice.’ Of course the dairy industry are going to have a huge problem with this. This is business for them. They make their money by promoting a diet that includes dairy. It is cringe worthy that the Telegraph even wrote the dairy industry in there. Surely anyone could see the reasons why they would say that.

The article then says,’They say the new guidance does not provide for enough calcium or iodine in people’s diet, essential for healthy bones and brain development.’ The average British adult does not eat five portions of fruit or day so probably relies on these vitamins. Eating a healthy vegan diet full of nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables, fruit and just good whole foods will ensure that we have plenty of nutrients (need to take a supplement or have fortified foods for B12 – found in soil) and reduce obesity and all the risks that come along with it – diabetes, heart disease, cancer and many more. The idea that we need milk to get calcium is a myth. You can find out more about this by watching Forks Over Knives which I have linked below, but basically osteoporosis is most commonly found in countries where animal products are most consumed. Animal products are acidic on the body which makes bones leach out calcium, depleting levels. Milk also decreases iron absorption in the body – many omnivores and vegetarians are iron deficient because of this. I was anaemic several times as an omnivore and vegetarian because I was eating a lot of yoghurt and milk so not absorbing iron properly.

Plant based iodine sources include baked potatoes, seaweed, fortified iodised salt, Himalayan crystal salt, dried prunes, navy beans, bananas, canned corn, cranberries, green beans, white bread and many many more so that argument is also invalid.

And these comment angers me the most, ‘Vegetable crops are harder for the body to digest than dairy food’ and ‘it’s simply not realistic to suggest people can get what they need from other food types.’ They are suggesting that it is more important to get our nutrients from dairy products. These nutrients are eaten by the animal from plants, processed inside of them and then we consume them. Surely it is better to get the nutrients from their natural source? How can they promote dairy products over vegetables? Everyone knows that vegetables are healthier than dairy products. I do not know about you but when I ate dairy products they would sit heavy in my stomach and take a while to digest but when I eat vegetables they get digested a lot quicker and my stomach feels so much better for it. My energy levels have shot up with the influx of fruit and vegetables – not how I felt when I was eating dairy. Many people suffer from lactose intolerance, IBS and other digestive disorders – they cannot digest dairy products properly but have no problems with plants that grow out of the ground.

“It is possible for vegans to get their calcium and other nutrients from other sources,” she said, “but it takes a lot of input from dieticians.” No, it just takes a little research, which is easy with the internet, and a little interest in your health.

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The media are well known for scaremongering. Yet the comments made in the article are what people actually believe as they have grown up being told by the dairy industry that you need to drink milk to get enough calcium. It makes people think that eating a plant based diet is not good for you when there is so much evidence that a plant based diet is the healthiest diet. Do not believe everything the media tells you. The nutritionists who have spoke are likely connected to the dairy industry and if you cannot figure out why that is a problem then you need to have a serious think!

Sources:

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/12204366/Nutritionists-say-baffling-official-guidance-to-halve-dairy-food-intake-puts-public-health-at-risk.html

“bembu.com/iodine-rich-foods

“www.theveganrd.com/2013/08/calcium-and-protein-and-bone-health-in-vegans.html

“Forks Over Knives documentary – watch online for free

Daily Struggles Of An INFP

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Do you relate to these?

  1. Clumsiness – “Ouch that hurts,” after banging into something for the third time that morning and, “Grrrr,” after dropping something for the tenth time that day. Always in my own head and not aware of my surroundings.
  2. Messiness at home – *Places plates and wrappers on table. Gets up to make a drink. Leaves items on table.* Always leaving mess around the house, almost oblivious to it and no intention of cleaning it up until I have to. Plus I never make the bed.
  3. Cleanliness at work – Always super organised at work. Always wondering why I cannot seem to be like this at home.
  4. Laziness – Never lazy at work. Often lazy at home. I mainly want to spend my time chilling out with the occasionally bursts of energy experienced by playing fetch with my dog.
  5. Motivation – I need to feel passionate about something to do something about it. Yoga, veganism, Myers Briggs, blogging – yes! Washing the dishes, hanging up the washing, hoovering, tidying – no! Procrastination is something I experience daily.
  6. Hermit syndrome – spending days off at home shutting out the world and then feeling depressed because soon I will have to get back to reality.
  7. Getting upset easily- OK, not a daily struggle but it can be when things get overwhelming and just ‘too much.’
  8. Thinking of something to say far too late and there being no point in saying it. Consequently, feeling unintelligent for not being a quick thinker.
  9. Anxiety – Feeling like the world is such a scary place but at the same time feeling like it is the most amazing beautiful thing.
  10. Emotional sponge – Absorbing everyone’s emotions around me. Negative people are so draining 😦
  11. Opinionated but I can never express how I feel clearly so generally do not bother but wish I could back myself up properly without saying ‘er’, ‘thingy’ and ‘you know what I mean.’
  12. Easily hurt – Pretending not to be hurt by something even though I am and will continue hurting for a long time. My mind will remember something that happened years ago, that I want to forget, and I will be taken right back.

Do you have any to share?

Vegan Chocolate Protein Milkshake

This is my own recipe after trial and error. This is my favourite version. It’s so sweet, thick and creamy. If you want it less thick then add less bananas or add more milk and if you want it smoother skip the chia seeds. I just wanted to make it really good for you. Dates could be added instead of a banana and instead of the maple syrup.

You’ll need:
300 ml Unsweetened almond milk
3 small or 2 large bananas
1 scoop of vegan protein powder (I use Perfect Fit Vanilla)
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup

Now all you need to do is add the wet ingredients to the blender, then the dry and blend it all up. Enjoy!!

Anorexia Vs Veganism // Guest Post

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I recently got in touch with Grace from veganhealthandwellbeing.com and asked her to write a guest post for my blog. I can’t speak for this disorder myself and found her introductory blog post interesting because it was not the first time I had heard of someone who is suffering from an eating disorder turning to veganism. Surely eating such a healthy diet (as healthy as you make it) is so helpful and a huge positive step in the right direction in beginning to recover from such a crippling disorder. Taking an interest in your health, physical and mental, is something that, sadly, not enough of us are doing. There are a few things that I found really interesting in this post as I am sure that you will to. So let me introduce you to Grace…

Many people question why I turned vegan and how it has helped me eat my way through recovery. How come all of a sudden you can eat without feeling guilty? That portion is huge, I thought you didn’t eat? You’re anorexia has obviously been cured now? I still feel guilty. I eat the amount that I know I need for my body. No my anorexia has not been cured, I am not recovered. These are perceptions that friends, acquaintances and even some family members have of me. Anorexia is a mental illness and people forget that. Why? Because they can only see how skinny someone is. But did you know that being skinny is only a symptom of anorexia? Anorexia is in the head. It’s our own mind turning on its self because anorexia has taken over. Just because someone with anorexia has gained weight and is managing to eat, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t kill them with guilt to do so. Some people in recovery address anorexia as another person. A girl more often than not. They say ‘she’ did to me or I blame ‘her’ for this. I don’t give it an identity. It’s a monster. A monster that I’m gradually destroying with the help of my therapists and dieticians. But that isn’t to say that turning vegan didn’t help me in my recovery. Turning vegan gave me confidence to confront a number of ‘fear’ foods. Fear foods are foods that anorexics are scared of, and oh wow did I have a big list of them. But after educating myself in the vegan lifestyle and the benefits of the amazing regime, it destroyed some of them ideas that I had about certain foods. Bananas for example. I was flipping terrified of them. Why? I don’t know. And now, im even still scared of them. I haven’t touched one in over a year now, otherwise I panic. But turning vegan is helping me to understand why these foods shouldn’t be scary. I haven’t yet broke down the banana barrier, but im dedicated to do so! Veganism is helping me to understand what our bodies need to be the healthiest version of ourselves that we can be. It’s helped to me understand food and it’s helped me to enjoy and LOVE food. Anorexia is no longer an option on this lifestyle because I know that everything I put into my body is not going to damage it, it’s only going to help it blossom.

When did I turn vegan? Well, in whole heart honesty, I could have labelled myself as a vegan 2 years ago when my anorexia started. I didn’t consume meat or any animal products when I turned to anorexia. But this was not because I wanted my body to be healthy, it was because I was trying to restrict my diet. I thought that I could live off jam and Ryvita crackers and live a happy healthy life. However, I have only labelled myself as a vegan for the past 5 months. Because in these past 5 months I’ve wanted to eat, I’ve wanted to be around food and cook with food. I haven’t been as scared of it. And that’s because I’ve had the mind-set of a vegan, aspiring for ultimate health. So technically, I’ve been a vegan for about 2 years but realistically I’ve been a vegan for 5 months. The period of time when I was in my toughest part of recovery was in the new year of 2015. I’m not going to get all sciencey of what happens in recovery, but one thing I will express to you is that you get HUNGRY. Very hungry!! I mean can you blame my body? I had starved myself for 2 years straight, of course I’m going to be hungry! But this is where it gets weird, and I experienced something that I never thought was a part of recovery… I Binged. I don’t just mean getting a couple of bags of crisps, a chocolate bar and a couple of biscuits. I was consuming whole loafs of bread, whole jars of chocolate spread and whole packets of crackers in the space of about 1 hour. And guess what? I was still hungry after that. I kept asking myself what was happening. I couldn’t stop myself. I don’t eat like this, I have anorexia. I can’t express how mentally draining and painful it is to fight with your body. My head was scared of all these foods. My head was telling me not to eat and that I’m letting myself down. I hated myself. Anorexia was winning. But my body needed food, and once I started eating I couldn’t stop. It felt like an episode of vampire diaries or one of the twilight films. Im sure you know what I mean. You know where the vampire starts sucking the blood from an innocent soul and just can’t stop to the verge of killing them. I was killing myself and my body bounced back and said no you need food. Embarrassment is all I felt. How could I have gone off track like this? I can’t put on weight. I’d run to my bedroom, go to sleep and shut the world out. I was filled with shame and worry. Anorexia was telling me how awful of a person I was because I ate some bread. CARBS! I ATE CARBS! That was a no-go in my anorexic mind. But the even more damaging thing is, this happened every morning and every night for about 3 months straight. Recovery isn’t just someone giving you a free pass to eat as much as unhealthy junk as you want to get your weight to a healthy state. It’s draining. It’s mentally and physically painful. Its hell, and I truly believe that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Days before I turned to veganism, I was at my breaking point. I hated life and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I’d lost a lot of my friends, I hated the way I looked and I felt as though I had failed myself. But something happened. I had an epiphany. I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to tell my boyfriend how much I loved him and I wanted to experience life with him. I wanted a future, I wanted a degree. I wanted a big English house in the countryside. I wanted to grow up and live my life. And that’s where I found this lifestyle. A lifestyle that made sense. It didn’t mean that I had to watch my calories, or stress over eating anything damaging to my body. It meant that I could enjoy food without restricting what I could or could not have. Has it cured my anorexia? No, I still feel guilty quite often. I still have to tell myself every day to carry on. But it’s helped. It’s given me my smile back and it’s given me energy. I have my life back, and that’s thanks to veganism.

Please share your thoughts on this topic below. We would love to hear them. A massive thank you for Grace for writing this post. If you would like to see more of Grace you can follow her blog here and give her a warm welcome into the vegan blogging community! 

Resting Heart Rate Affected By Vegan Diet

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These screenshots were taken from my Fitbit app three days ago. I had not looked at my data for a while and I was shocked to see how such a huge change was seen in a few days. My heart rate has always been high but since a kid I ate yoghurt and cheese almost every day.

Here is what it looked like just before I changed my diet:

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It changed from day to day but very rarely went below 80. The next screenshot shows it beginning to lower after switching completely to a vegan diet:

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I do not recall the exact day I stopped eating milk and eggs and made the switch but it was late February. My resting heart rate has gone down!

As a vegetarian I feel like I ate more cheese, eggs and milk products to compensate for the meat I was not eating. My views have changed so much since then after being exposed to what humankind are conditioned to think. I was a vegetarian because I did not want any animals to be killed just so I could eat them. I had no idea that by consuming milk and eggs that I was contributing to the death and awful mistreatment of many animals. The dairy and egg industries are cruel. I thought leather was just a by product of cows. A huge amount of leather is produced in other countries where the conditions are atrocious. I read somewhere on line that China was even using dog skin to produce leather. Many people who eat meat would think this is wrong so why do they think that it is OK from a cow? It’s because we have been conditioned to think that it is normal. That animals are here for our purpose. This is so wrong in my opinion.

Let me get back to my point! So here are two more screenshots of my resting heart and the lowest it has been so far (67):

It is incredible. I am assuming it is the lack of fat and cholesterol in my blood that is allowing my heart to pump slower. I have not found out much about the technicalities but if you have any ideas please comment below.

Disclaimer: These are just my results and not an actual scientific study. I have the Fitbit Charge HR which takes a reading from my wrist so will not be as accurate as a chest strap.

 

Making Peace With Stress And Not Shutting Down // INFP Personal Growth

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It took me a while to really figure this one out. It’s takes a couple of days with a few things that cause me stress and a few more and I am completely overwhelmed. When I get like this my mind is clouded. I shut down and I don’t want to do anything. I see no point in doing anything other than lay in bed, eat a lot of food and watch Netflix. I always get past those few days. I somehow convince myself to take the steps necessary to get out of the phase of negative thinking and to get back to my usual self. I can only ever do it alone – it is what’s wrong with me not the world. I’m sensitive and sometimes that is really great and sometimes it really sucks.

I’m 25 and at an age where I have been an adult for long enough to understand what goes on. I analyse myself everyday and I think it’s about time that I spot the stressors in my life as soon as they come up and do something about them straight away instead of letting more build up. It’s unhealthy the way I’m living with myself. When I do that even the smallest things that I could normally move past give me hell and put me on mission  depression. But that does not make me feel good and I should do what feels good right?

So here I am making a pledge to the Internet to try harder, to live healthier and to do more of what makes me feel good.

I begin with a list, because I love lists, of a few general things that makes me feel good in no particular order:

Gratitude
Yoga
Love
Kindness
Nature
Introverting
Having fun with friends
Working out, i.e. doing something fun that doesn’t feel like working out!
Eating healthy
Playing with my dog
Going on adventures
Decorating
Dates (not the food, although…)
Having a clean and tidy house
Music

So when I feel the smallest amount of stress, instead of hibernating I am going to talk about it and then go and do something off this list.