No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Adventures in veganism

This week I'm on a raw food diet, not cause I need to lose weight; I'm only 8st after all, but because I've spent the last 2 weeks eating bacon and eggs and I think my arteries might like a break.  The flatmate and I are doing it together in an attempt to encourage each other, and as it's just a week, there's a clear aim in sight.

I was first introduced to raw food by my cousin Cindy, who took me to Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley when I was over in San Francisco for the first time.  What I find so odd about raw food is that I don't like any of the ingredients - tomatos, aubergines, avocados, nuts, legumes etc.  Not even in cooked food, and when highly processed.  I avoid most tomato based pasta sauces for example, or overload them with copious amounts of extra red onion to cover the taste.  And yes somehow in raw food dishes, the texture and flavours all come together to create something I love.  Half or more of my diet when I'm over in CA is raw food based, adn the culture there is so much more geared towards it than anywhere in the UK, with more farmers markets, selections of unprocessed and organic foodstuffs and a climate that encourages it.

I also love the way it forces me to confront foods I wouldn't otherwise go near, because I otherwise wouldn't like them, and every once in a while, this makes me reassess whether I do actually like that food or not.  And it makes you think about things differently.  The nature of the diet means you're forced to plan ahead, to think about what you'll make, and how you'll do it, and how to modify it.  Everything is fruit, veg and nuts.  I have to have breakfast every day this week, as otherwise my food intake is so low and so late that I'll get ill (not due to the diet per se, I just get ill if I don't have a certain amount of substance by a certain time in my day), and I never eat breakfast.  I love things that make you reevalute your perception of the world in little ways; its the same reason my facebook statuses hardly ever contain the verb 'to be'; its the same reason I love travelling, and anthropology, and languages, and religion.  They show you how even just something as simple as modifying what you eat on a daily basis can have a huge change in how you go about your life.

I was oddly productive today.  I got up at 0930, something which even uni can't compel me to do, went into town, got a haircut, came out of town, picked up some fruit for a breakfast smoothie on the shops down my road, and made a pineapple and coconut smoothie to see me through the day.  I had to throw away 1/3 of a stirfry left over from last night, which was a shame, but I figured I'd try and start the week properly, rather than eating it as breakfast and risking jinxing my efforts.  I had to head over to New Malden for 1300 to meet a client for work, but he was young and cute and an escort himself, so it was pretty enjoyable all round really.  And then with the earnings I was able to drop into Whole Foods on High Street Kensington on the way home to stock up on all the nuts, seeds, adzuki beans etc I would need for the week.  The bill was quite pricey, but that's cause I also bought £20 worth of ingredients to make a tapendage I had in Banff in December with - I haven't got round to recreating it yet and figured this week was as good an excuse as any, even if it did mean cheating slightly to buy anchovies, roasted artichoke hearts etc.  But the aim of the week is to eat healthy, rather than eat vegan, so it can be my treat at the weekend or something.  I had switched to my upbeat playlist, instead of my emo one, the sun was out, I was buying healthy; everything seemed to be pointing in my favour.

I even did my good deed for the day by chatting to the little old lady at the bus stop for 10 minutes whilst we waiting for our respective transportations to arrive.  She deplored the state of todays youth, how she had to watch out for muggings and such in this day and age but had her sturdy mean looking metal walking stick with which to fend off anyone.  (The fact I was carrying 2 stuffed full bags from Whole Foods, and had mentioned during the conversation I lived near the canal in Notting Hill probably excepted me from being considered of the commonplace ilk that makes up today's so deplored youth.)

At home, even after another smoothie and crashing out for 3 hours (again, not an issue of the diet, i've been doing this for the past few weeks, seemingly my blood sugar just cant keep me going past 1700 without a 3 hour nap each day at the moment), I was facing severe hunger pangs, but resisted having anything non-raw from my cupboard, and headed to sainsburys to buy other ingredients for the week.  Dinner then consisted of a salad made with rocket, courgette noodles, pine nuts, grated carrots, tamari, olive oil, garlic, red onion, balsamic vinegar, and passionfruit vinegar.  It was fucking nomalicious and reminded me just why I love the whole raw food thing.

In doing the raw food thing, I have however noticed, that my americanizations are coming back in fairly strongly.  It's 'groceries', 'the store' and 'trash' at the moment.  Probably because of a subconscious association with being in CA whenever I'm on a big raw food kick.  It doesn't help that my friend Patrick rang from Boston earlier either.  I apologize in advance for anyone who has to talk to me this week.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Vampy for breakfast after my 9am lab session, and it will be the first time I'm having to eat out raw in this country, so we'll see how well that goes.  I have plans for an oatmeal porridge smoothie thing before I go out anyway.  For the record, my plans for the rest of the week involve a gazpacho style tomato, red pepper and asparagus soup for tomorrow, a live lasange with courgette and cashews on wednesday, nutloaf on thursday, and live ravioli on friday.  I might try and make a raw food cake at the weekend.

In other news, one of the things I follow on twitter today posted a link to The Wishing Well.  For those unfamiliar with this concept, its a way of saying anonymously your thoughts about a certain person, and in this case, aimed at gays.

I always like these kind of things for some reason, sure they probably don't achieve much, but sometimes just saying something to a bunch of randomers who will never encouter the people in your life can be oddly theraputic.  And it's nice to see what kind of sentiments come across, and how different people respond to them.  I love the sense of both eternal hope and eternal despair projects like these can give people.  Some of the posts that particularly caught my eye are here here here here here here here and finally, there.

Mood:  Upbeat, but that's mostly compensatory as usual


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