Category Archives: BEING VEG(ETARI)AN

Vegetarian Relapse

To my disappointment, I have relapsed to being a vegetarian. And it’s not because I miss dairy foods, it’s because I’m getting tired of preparing both vegetarian and vegan food at the same time (I cater vegetarian lunches and I eat only vegan, well used to, argh). I’m kind of frustrated with myself because I usually never back out from a challenge, and I was so sure that I can transition smoothly but it I really didn’t.

 

But my problem now isn’t really much that I’m a vegetarian again, because I can easily resolve that by finding more accessible vegan food and just buy it instead of making everything myself. My problem is with people who gloat and say that why be a vegan anyway. It just irritates me to anger and tears. As I have said a million times, I have no problem with meat eating; I consider it as a part of life. I understand that there are parts of the world where there are no alternatives and animals need to be consumed for the sake of survival. Or those small farmers have to farm and sell animals because that is their livelihood. Those things to me are pretty clear, people who don’t have better choices have that right. But to say in my face that it’s stupid to believe that animal abuse and exploitation should not be a real concern, then I just want to kick someone’s ass.

This is my fucking problem with following blind authority, wrong sense of grand self-entitlement, mass ignorant morons who have no capacity of opening their minds to what they can learn. Look, I’m not saying eating meat is evil or that people who eat meat are bad. I’m also not saying that I’m a better human being by trying to be a vegan. I’m saying that if you say animals are there and are just meant to be eaten, it makes you a self-entitled asshole who needs to be eaten by a lion so you can realize what the food chain really is.

If you think that what you eat are not exploited animals served to you by the greedy industrialized food industry then you are both ignorant and lazy. Open your freaking eyes and see that not only are the animals are exploited but also the farmers (you know, human beings) are exploited too. Why is it that people just can’t get their head out of their asses and think of anyone but themselves. The planet is not yours to destroy, and so are the things on it! And if you can’t sympathize to think that way, then you can already justify the mass murdering calamities happening to people as just nature’s revenge. Hey, it just so happens that typhoons, flood and hurricanes are earth’s way to kill off pests, so deal with it.
Sometimes I feel that it is so much easier to say I’m doing this for my health and nothing else, that way I don’t have to replay my monologue about animal abuse and the food industry. Sometimes I feel hopeless explaining things to those who won’t listen despite them asking the questions. To think that I’ve already had practice talking about atheism, I thought talking about veganism would be an easier transition but it turns out it’s not. Because people who don’t care, simply just don’t care. You cannot open the eyes of people who are asleep and who stay asleep towards what is already in front of them.

 

I guess I can give up trying to speak about these things, but that makes these morons win. To that I will refuse to stop because that will warrant more ignorance. If people stop talking about it, chances are, people will think it’s not real and not true. I am not preaching though, although I think it sounds as if I am. I’m just trying to spread the information. I think what people need to understand it that what I say is not to feel about yourself, I am not attacking anyone and what they do. I am raising these concerns and the idea of veganism to people because I think it will be useful to anyone willing to lend an ear because it might change your life. For now, I will go on explaining myself repetitively about it in the hopes of finding a friend who will understand or someone I can help change.

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The Conflict of Being Veg(etari)an

I wanted to be a vegan for several reasons, I wanted to be more health conscious, I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint, I wanted to remove myself from being directly a factor in animal abuse due to my eating habits and I wanted to learn that I am capable of extreme discipline. It was simple, no animals, no animal products. That was it, and it had been easy then, but now, I feel myself getting confused with what being a vegan is all about.

I started being a vegetarian 4 months ago, I’ve always wanted to do it so I finally did it for real. I did feel that it was going to be a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t build the courage and the passion to commit. After some time I felt that it wasn’t too big of an effort since I make my own food every day and I rarely go out and eat. Also, it provided me with a small source of alternative income so great, I never looked back. Then about two weeks ago, I started to realize that hey, I can push it a little further, so I decided to become a vegan. And now, I feel like everything is complicated.

I think vegan is more than just getting rid of animal products in your diet, it’s more of becoming aware of what is happening with the environment and people (which is a lot by the way) and now I am confused. It’s not that I don’t believe that being vegan takes an effect, and that’s because in my teeny tiny small way, I do think it can still make a small difference. But right now, I feel myself getting caught in a hurricane that I cannot handle because of things that I read about how to be vegan. I know that I don’t have to follow certain guidelines and you don’t need a manual to being a vegan, but now, it’s dawning on me that calling myself vegan isn’t the best thing to associate myself with.

Everything is evil. That’s basically what I can understand about what I have read. (And of course, not all vegans are like that but it does feel like it). The things I have read make people seem so closed minded about how to live a fairly normal life in a world that’s not in the Middle Ages. They seem to radiate this aura of hate when they should be representing a culture of love for everything. I mean, in my opinion if people can choose to be kind to animals, they can choose to be nicer to other people, but doesn’t really seem to resonate. It seems more like, a small mob trying to take down everyone who doesn’t belong to their group. And I know they raise issues that are relevant and should be addressed but they do it in a way that will turn off people from listening. They create this bubble where you have to go inside and forget everything else and forget that there are also other problems that should be addressed. Yes, our society is fucked up and the way we do things are fucked up, but that is the real world and you need to address the issues with solutions that can be done in the real world. In a perfect world we can make all the problems disappear but the perfect world is different from everyone’s perspective. We each have our own way and opinion about things and although one opinion is more valid in the other, you can’t punch the person who’s wrong until they are bleeding until they agree with you. I know tolerance is not a key but arrogance isn’t either. It’s like the same thing with me being atheism, yes, evidence is key. But if someone can let you be and respects everyone else, why are they considered threats to what you believe.

Right now, I am confused, I don’t know about being a vegan. Because there are a lot of things on my mind that conflict what it means to be a vegan. Like for example animal testing, yes, it is exploitation of animals, but sometimes what about advancing science? What about learning from them too? What about studying their behaviors? But maybe the problem now is corruption rather progress, but again, in our world, it goes hand in hand. I honestly don’t know where to draw the line. And I feel awful that I cannot define it. Am I a vegan or not? Or I think the more valid question is do I want to be a vegan or not. Maybe I’ll just say, yeah, I don’t eat meat, I don’t eat dairy, and it’s because I want to reduce my carbon footprint and want to stop animal abuse. It’s not as short as just simply saying vegan but it’s definitely more clear.

Now I truly understand what one of my idols talked about, George Carlin declared on one of his specials that he refuses to be part of anything. And right now, that feels very true. I don’t want to be labeled anything, sure it would be nice to be associated with the nice things attached to whatever you are labeled but it seems so wrong when the bad things are also attached to you. Now I know that I am not the person who values the opinion of others very much, but I do care about what I stand for. I do care what I spend my time in, and I do care what I tell people. I do care that when people talk to me about being a vegan (or being an atheist) I give them the correct information that they could understand so that they will understand and not judge. They may or may not accept what I am saying but what matters to me is that what I talk about is true. I am not a preacher but a mere messenger who wants an informed environment so that people can make the choice for themselves. Opinions don’t have to be shoved down your throat, instead, information should be free for those who seek it and those who seek what is out there can know what is and can make their own minds about it.

Goodbye Cheese – I will miss you FOREVER – Turning Vegan

It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve transitioned to becoming a vegetarian and though I still love the smell of cooking meat, I have to say that I don’t want to choose to turn back. And as I am not a person who chooses to give up, I eventually plan to turn vegan maybe in a year or two. I gave myself that much time to transition from vegetarian to vegan because I was thinking the shock may be too severe on my end. I had no familiarity with a plant based diet and I am extremely dependent on dairy. But the truth is; I’m just scared to miss cheese. I know it’s such a stupid thing to be sad about but I’m really finding it difficult to turn vegan due to its limitations, in terms of dairy that is. But now, after a quick visit to the PETA website, I finally convinced myself that I can become a vegan.

 

I honestly have no idea where to start. I am so used to cooking with no limitations that I’m flying blind in terms of the vegan world. I know there are a lot of alternatives out there and I know I will find them eventually, but I’m really hoping that the journey doesn’t bring me down. I guess I just have to remind myself every day why I am doing this and who I am doing for and I’m pretty sure that will carry me through. I still have a lot of research to do which I am excited about. Educating myself about food is such a good thing that it’s the good part of the transition. I love finding out what’s good in food and what should be versus what is and the gap is a nice thing to close.

 

I am enormously grateful for vegans who share their recipes online; because without them, I’ll probably eat salads for the rest of my life. This guidance definitely provides comfort for people like me who are just starting out. I’m hoping the transition will not be devastating in any way but I’ll reserve that judgment when I get there 🙂

Pepper and Onion Quesadilla

This food exemplifies the idea that good food doesn’t need to be complicated. This is a simple recipe but universally loved by my officemates and since a lot of them are asking how I make it, I’m writing it down. I usually don’t do measurements and just cook by senses but people can’t read my thoughts so I have to do this. Also, this recipe also shows the reason why it’s so hard for me to transition to veganism, I LOVE CHEESE L

 

This recipes spouses three of my favorite food philosophies, (1) food is not complicated, (2) vegetarian food is awesome and not at all yuckie and (3) EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH CHEESE.

 

So anyway, recipe below serves 6 people. Cook time is around 25 minutes.

 

Ingredients

  • 6 wheat tortillas
  • 2 red bell peppers (cut into strips)
  • 2 green bell peppers (cut into strips)
  • 2 white onions (cut into strips)
  • 2 tbsp musvovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese (as much as you want but as healthy as possible :D)

 

Directions

  1. In medium heat, cover bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add onions. Sautee onions until they are slightly translucent. Add in the bell peppers, cook for about 5 minutes until the peppers become tender but still firm and not mushy. Add in sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside because this is the filling for the quesadilla.
  2. Cover the entire tortilla with grated cheese, make sure to spread evenly to that you that it wont be salty in some parts. Add the onions and peppers evenly to the tortilla. Cover with another thin layer of cheese. Top with another tortilla.
  3. Toast quesadilla for about 1 to 2 minutes to melt the cheese inside and toast the tortilla.
  4. You can serve it with hot salsa or sour cream if you like J

 

I don’t have any picture of this dish because I often forget to take pictures of the food I make (please forgive me for not providing any references to how it should look afterwards).

 

Hope you like this recipe. Enjoy cooking and happy eating!

Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookies

I have browsed the internet for cookie recipes hoping that I’ll find one that I can make. And after some time, I tweeked some and found my own version of all the accumulated help from all the generous people on the internet. And it’s a big hit with my friends, so to give back, I’m sharing my own version of an oatmeal choco chip cookie.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups quick cook oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup choco chip cookies

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 160 C.
  2. Whisk together sugar and melted butter, making sure that all lumps in the muscovado are gone.
  3. Add in vanilla and egg. Mix well.
  4. Add in oats, floud, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. Scoop into cookie sheet into rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart. (Make sure the consistency is right, the cookies should be balls rather than wet puddles). Put the choco chips individually to each cookie (I know this is too much work but see my Useful things I’ve learned from baking so far part II and you’ll realize why I make this effort rather than just mixing the choco chips in with the dough)
  6. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure not to overbake.

 

This is the final cookie! :)

This is the final cookie! 🙂

Hope you enjoy this recipe! Any suggestions or comments are welcome to improve this recipe. Enjoy baking and eating. 🙂

Banana Bread Recipe

Since I’m still a vegetarian, I’m taking advantage of the fact that I can still eat dairy (although, I’m trying to mitigate that by buying organics). And eating dairy involves a lot of pastries so I’m digging my hands into baking. And so far I’ve got a banana bread and choco chip oatmeal cookie recipe being perfected. So far my banana bread has been loved by my colleagues so I’m posting the recipe so that anyone can try to make it too!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (room temperature)
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 160 C.
  2. Mix sugar and butter (make sure butter is soft enough so you can mix the sugar in easily). Once well mixed, add eggs on at a time.
  3. On a separate bowl, chop and mash bananas until chunky. Add in milk and cinnamon.
  4. Add bananas to sugar and butter mixture.
  5. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to sugar to wet mixture until flour is mixed in. Consistency of batter should be thick and smooth and not runny.
  6. Bake at 160 C for 45minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

 

This is how it looks like when its done! :)

This is how it looks like when its done! 🙂

 

Hope you like this recipe. Enjoy baking and eating! 🙂

Useful things I’ve learned from Baking (SO FAR)

As I am not a baker or a pastry maker and I was always scared to venture into baking because they always say that it is a precise science and that you have to follow things exactly and I’m just not that kind of a cook. I like to eyeball measurements and usually just go by taste and not by recipe. So I was very hesitant to try it out.

 

But since I did buy a new stove that has an oven, it was really just a matter of time before I sink my teeth into it. I haven’t tried anything complicated yet, but so far I’ve tried banana bread and cookies and they came out ok, so I’ll definitely try out the more difficult things like cakes and muffins next week.

 

But as novice, I did pick out some notes with what the things that I’ve tried already. And I think it will be useful to those people who have no experience and no expectations whatsoever to baking but want to try it.

 

From baking banana bread

  1. Most recipes are in F and my oven setting is C. I burnt my first ever banana bread thinking that 375F was 375 C on my oven since there were only numbers and there were no indication whether it was F or C.
  2. Banana bread and carrot cake are different things. I thought of using the same recipe for banana bread to make carrot cake by simple substituting carrot to banana but it didn’t turn out well.
  3. It’s better to mix by hand. It’s a good exercise and you won’t overmix your batter. I bought a handheld blender that had a whisk attachment that I used to make my banana bread batter but it didn’t work well. I overmixed the batter and though it did rise better, the texture became dry and crumbly.
  4. I think vanilla doesn’t contribute much to taste. I ran out of vanilla extract when baking a batch of banana bread and decided not to put some in and it still turned out fine.

 

From baking cookies

  1. Make sure that your batter (is that what you call it or dough? not sure, haven’t been baking that long) is not runny. It should be stiff enough that you can move it in one piece in the cookie sheet. If it’s too runny, it will fall flat while cooking and will turn too crispy and probably burn. May sure you can make balls gewwy balls out of your dough so that they can make good cookies. When my dough turns out to liquid, I add more flour to make a better consistency, not sure if this is how people do it, this is just my fix it for that problem for the moment.
  2. If you want chewy cookies, melt the butter and cook the cookies only until they firm up. Once the cookie becomes firm and you can lift the side with your thumb, leave it in for only 2 minutes and you can already take them out. Don’t wait until the bottom becomes dark brown because that would make crispy rather than chewy cookies.

 

I know this really isn’t much and I’m not an expert but I hope this becomes helpful to anyone who would be able to use it. They are helpful notes to me so I hope it can help somebody else. 🙂

Vegetarian BBQ Burgers

Since I started eating vegetarian and have encouraged a lot of people to do the same, I made an initiative to make vegetarian lunches for my friends. But since not all everyone who are interested are within my reach, I’m posting some of my recipes online so that everyone can get a hand in eating yummy vegetarian food!

 

Here is one of my favorite newly-found vegetarian dishes, Vegetarian BBQ Burgers. This recipe is a bit of a hodge podge of things that I found online that could work and a lot of the food that I like. I tried making vegetarian burgers because I love burgers and was missing the savory taste that it brought.

 

It does take some time to make but I promise that it will be worth it.

 

Ingredients

Patties

1 pack black beans

1 large carrot (grated)

1 large white onion (grated)

1 block tofu

6 tbsp flour dissolved in ½ cup water

Salt and pepper

 

BBQ Sauce

6 medium tomatoes (diced)

2 red peppers (diced)

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp of muscovado sugar

4 bay leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

Half handful basil leaf (minced)

Salt and pepper

 

Burger

Cheese bits

Wheat buns

Lettuce

 

Directions

 Patties: Boil black beans until tender then drain and set aside. (Tip: Let the water coil first before adding the beans, water will heat faster on its own rather than with something else. Also while boiling the beans, grate the carrot and onion on a large mixing bowl. Add the black beans once it’s cool enough to touch after boiling. Mash beans with your hands until it’s chunky, add in tofu and mash together with the bean mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in dissolved flour before frying.

 

BBQ Sauce: Sautee onion until translucent then add in garlic and pepper. Stir every once in a while, once pepper is tender, add in tomatoes, bay leaves, basil and muscovado. This will cook for about 1 to 1.5 hours. Should stir every 10 to 15 minutes to make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom and you don’t burn your sauce. Add salt and pepper depending on taste.

 

Burger: Put some olive oil in the pan, just enough to coat the bottom. With the patty mixture, create a ball in your hands then put it in the pan. (It’s best to put just to 2 or 3 in a pan at the same time so your patties will cook faster and you can flip them better) Press down to make the shape of the patty even so it will cook evenly. Cook one side until its brown, this will probably take about 4 minutes. Then flip it to cook the other side. Once patties are done, put in buns, add some lettuce and top with the bbq sauce and cheese.

Veggie Burger

I hope you try this recipe and let me know if you love it too! Any suggestions to make the recipe better is very welcome. 🙂

5 Reasons Why Being a Vegetarian is Awesome

It’s been a little over 2 months since I decided to transition from being a meat eater to a non-meat eater and I can feel the difference. I know a lot of people are still skeptical or think it’s too hard but in my opinion, you just need the right motivation and run with it. So in order to illustrate how I’ve benefited from being a vegetarian, I’ll list down five effects that I’ve noticed since I’ve started to become a vegetarian.

 1. The most obvious reason is losing weight. I’ve lost almost 15lbs since I changed my lifestyle. I didn’t change my eating habits though, I still had snacks in between 3 main meals and I barely exercised. I still ate chips and sodas but had no fast food. And the best thing about this is I gradually lost the weight, it wasn’t just one big leap. I think I lost about 2lbs a week at the start then slowly losing 1lb a week the second month. I know losing weight isn’t really my main goal but it really is a big incentive.

 2. Makes you eat less. I noticed that ever since I started eating less meat, I eat less. This meant that I don’t stuff my face until I could no longer breathe but I generally just finish what I packed for lunch and I’m already full. Now, my eating habits are better because I usually stop when I feel that my tummy is already full and stop thinking about eating more.

 3. Sleep better. Sleeping has been a huge problem with me because I’ve had insomnia before. And I couldn’t believe that being vegetarian could help with my sleeping patterns. This is because ever since I stopped eating meat, I slept better. Maybe it’s partly because I don’t eat a huge meal before I go to bed so my body doesn’t need to spend so much energy digesting food while I slept. Also, this feels great in the morning because I usually felt tired when waking up before but now I can literally jump out of bed with no problems.

 4. You feel lighter. It doesn’t literally mean to feel lighter, but you feel physically better. Like you’re not bloated or tired and very energetic. Most people think that being a vegetarian makes you weak because you don’t eat meat but it really doesn’t. So long as you make sure that you eat the right kind of veggies to make sure that you are not missing any essential nutrients, you can be as strong as any meat-eater.

 5. Makes you calmer. Before I started the transition, I made some research regarding the benefits of being a vegetarian and it supposedly makes you calmer. I don’t know if this is true but I do feel that somehow becoming a vegetarian is a form of meditation, hence it helps you think more before you act. I say this because for example, with all the food available to me, I can just stop what I’m trying to accomplish and give in to the temptation. But now, it usually takes me a while to decide whether or not I eat something. I take my time in considering everything else before I make the choice. And that to me is proof that it does make you calmer since I am an extremely impulsive person.

 So there it is, I do hope that this would help people understand vegetarianism more and stop acting aggressive towards it. I really do think that with enough understanding, people may enjoy this lifestyle for the philosophy behind it and feel that it’s just a personal choice and not an attack towards meat eaters. I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂 Please leave any comments in the comment box below.

Juice Fast for 4 days

I am currently transitioning to becoming a vegetarian. As I’ve said on my last post, since I’ve already weaned myself off of meat, I’ll be doing a juice fast this holy week. I am a not a doctor or a dietician or a nutritionist so please don’t mistake what I say as medical advice.

As I did my research, fasting is a good way to help the body take all the junk out. Turns out, most of the time, the body is too busy with just digesting food that it becomes too preoccupied to do anything else. To address that, some people fast (as I would do for 4 days from Thursday to Sunday). I’m not doing it to lose weight; I’m doing it to give my body a break from all the eating I’ve done. This is actually my first fast so there might be glitches on what I’ll do.

I’ll only be consuming juice for four straight days, no solid foods, just liquids. This may seem like it’s a hunger strike but from what I’ve read in related articles, fasting isn’t starving, but of course not to be taken lightly. Taking juice only is still like taking food because you still drink the nutrients from the fruits and veggies that you eat, only without the fiber.

In order for me the fast to not be monotonous, I’ve set my menu for four days are as follows:

**These recipes are from juicerecipes.com

  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Breakfast Fresh Start Breast Cancer Awareness Juice Adios Coffee Morning Glory
Lunch Better than a Salad Orange Broccoli Martha Stewart’s Green Juice Orange Broccoli
Snack Coconut water Summer Melon Coconut water Summer Melon
Dinner Beginner Green The Man With The Golden Juice Better than a Salad Lemon Essence

 

 Important things to remember (from what I’ve read):

  1. You can drink as much juice as you want but you have to consume AT LEAST 1 to 2 liters of green juice (veggie juice).
  2. Don’t drink too much fruit juice as they are high in sugar.
  3. Juice then drink. Refrain from making juice ahead of time as it oxidizes.
  4. No coffee and no dairy.
  5. Don’t eat solid food, this will trigger your body to digest food rendering the fast useless.
  6. Don’t blend, juice. Blenders do not remove fiber.
  7. After the fast, you can only eat light meals. Don’t strain your digestive system right away because this will do more harm than good.

 Will definitely update everyone as to how it goes 🙂