Thursday, 28 April 2011

Tips for a drunk vegan (eating isn't cheating!)

A frequent bugbear of longer-standing vegans hanging out in unmoderated online spaces is the new-ish vegan who posts about how they wound up eating cheese (or 'worse') when drunk. Now, it is annoying when someone does this (especially repeatedly) then asks for sympathy - dude, unless someone tricked you into eating it, you are not the victim here! On the other hand, I've often thought that getting too harsh might put a newbie off trying again to stay vegan. If someone tries again, makes a few mistakes in their first year or so then stays vegan their whole life, it's better than being perfect for a couple of months then burning out and becoming an ex-vegan. They may be like me and become an ex-ex-vegan, but that has its own problems. And it is my ex-ex-vegan phase that I'm drawing from here - during that phase, I did occasionally get drunk and eat cheese, usually pizza. I didn't need my hand held, I did (as it turned out) need my hayfever meds due to mild throat swelling - yeah that improves a hangover no end - but I did come up with a practical strategy for not doing that anymore. So here goes:

Drink with vegans (mine's a Sam Smith's wheatbeer if you're offering) - then the temptation won't be there.
Drink with non-vegans who respect your veganism - then the only problem is your willpower not peer pressure.
Eat properly before you go out - something with fat and carbs to absorb the booze.
If you're going to a house party, take vegan pizza. Vegan pizza is always a good thing. Make sure there's enough in case other people eat it too. (there's a high chance they will!) Couscous and rice salads are also good alcohol absorbers.
Hang out in pubs where you can get something to eat, even if it is just chips or plain crisps. This will put something fatty and carby into the liquid contents of your stomach.
Eventually, your brain will reset itself into thinking non-vegan stuff isn't food. This takes longer than one evening, hence the tips.

Bottoms up... ;)

PS yes I am posting about booze before I have breakfast. Your point is?

Monday, 25 April 2011

Iron Vegan #1 - masala chickpeas

So the other day I alluded to feeling a bit run-down. Given recent events in the vegan blogosphere I wouldn't blame you for suspecting that was a lead-up to an ex-vegan epic of meatgasms and frantic scrabbling for why veganism was suddenly teh evul despite everything I've said before. Sadly for the ex-vegan contingent who seem to be actively recruiting, that isn't the case. What I actually did was a) wake up with leg cramps, which are a sign of low iron (I always get them during that speshul female time, but not usually in the rest of the month) and b) take a tablet*, google vegan sources of iron to refresh my memory on what foods would be good, and make a concerted effort to cook and eat those foods. Anyway, here's today's lunch - this was for two with minimal seconds when served with couscous:

8 tomatoes, cut into 8ths.
1 normal tin chickpeas
6 blocks of frozen spinach
black onion seeds, fennel seeds
garam masala, cumin, mint

Heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, add and briefly fry the seeds. Add the tomatoes. Put the spinach in the microwave (6 minutes), add the chickpeas and the ground spices. When the microwave chimes, take the spinach out, pull it apart a bit or cut with scissors and add to the mix. Leave to stand for a while - at least the time it takes to get couscous or rice sorted.

*Yes, I take supplements. I don't see this as letting the side down - I've known many meat-eaters who do the same, especially women taking iron.

Friday, 22 April 2011


I haven't posted many photos lately, due to issues with my internet connection (bandwidth disappears twice as fast as it used to without uploading pictures!) and with the amount of time I currently have for posting. However, when I do post pictures of food, they are generally ones I have taken of the food I eat, mostly homemade with a few bought products thrown in for good measure. Some look great, some look a bit less great - there's a limit to how beautiful a pan full of lentils can look, however much the person taking the photo might be drooling. ;) All, however, are vegan. If I have to qualify that, I'll say that I'm usually pretty good at censoring my other half's jar of honey out of the photo, but apologise in advance if it does ever sneak in. Pictures of food pertain to the food mentioned in the post. I don't use stock photos. (believe me, you do not want to look at my attempts at making stock, the last lot turned GREY, how gross is that?) So there is no risk here of meat being passed off as vegan food, and I would prefer that everyone extend that courtesy. Having said that, VegNews have at least apologised and promised not to do it again, so this is probably the last you'll hear from me on the subject!

And now a question for anyone still reading - what are your favourite vegan foods when you're feeling low and want a little more energy? I'm coming to the conclusion that I can't overdose on plain chocolate *every* time I have one of those days...