Tag Archives: personal

I Am Worth It Too.

16 Mar

The question of the year: Am I Worth It?

Raw vegan 7 years, cooked vegan 1 year, vegetarian 6 years. I am Buddhist. I didn’t want to kill any animals in order to live but my body was struggling. I aged quickly towards the end of my vegan years.

I introduced meats back into my diet in May 2017 and have felt better. My skin is not dry anymore, my eczema is almost none existent, my wrinkles have subsided, I sleep better, my gut is healthier, the atmosphere at home is lighter (i.e. I’m less uptight and more easy going and relaxed), I have gained a lot of muscles, my son doesn’t need his asthma medication anymore… I could go on. I wonder how I can eat animals and still be Buddhist. All I can come up with is this: I say thank you to the animal for dying in order to feed me and keep me healthy. I keep in mind that the Dalai Lama also eats meat. It is ok. I remind myself that I am worth it too.

Edited on 14th June 2018. I wrote the paragraph above as I embarked on my Carnivore journey. I have largely eaten only from the animal kingdom since the 1st of March 2018. What started as a one month experiment has now continued into a new way of eating for me. I love how it makes me feel. I have also found my niche in creating Animal-Based Skin Care and Soaps. Another amazing discovery: we slashed our Vegan food budget by HALF. 

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Just in case you see me at the grocery store…

29 Apr

We have made a decision to look into other sources of protein for our family’s health.

What have I been up to?

Raw Cultured Butter

Raw Cottage Cheese

Raw Greek Yoghurt and Whey

Sourdough Breads

Homemade Mayo with Raw Eggs

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Local Fish

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Bone Broths

And making bone meal to give back to the earth.

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Whole30

We are resetting our bodies this month. No sugar. No alcohol. No grains. No legumes. No dairy. No additives. No artificial anything. No junk.

After that…

Who knows? We have been researching extensively on different variations of the Paleo/Keto diet, but most specifically the work of Tim Noaks and The Banting Diet. Once we figure it out, then I can refocus on what Mama in the Kitchen will be all about. Till then… thank you for your kindness and patience as we figure it all out.

My Family Loves Eating Vegan at Home Again!

19 Aug

Trying to bring up Vegan kids is tough when family and friends are not. My adventurous and curious son loves to try different foods and I allow him to do this outside our home.  I certainly don’t want him to rebel by forcing him to eat ONLY VEGAN foods when we are with loved ones who don’t follow a Whole-Food Plant-Based diet. Likewise, I prefer that he question my diet choice and come to his own conclusion about what is best for him. That said, I want to make sure that our Vegan food at home is as enticing and delicious as other foods he has explored. Ditto for my husband.

Over this past Summer, I made a conscious decision to transition from RAW (I was high RAW for  over seven years!) to COOKED Vegan. My family had grown tired of RAW Vegan a few years ago, which led to their seeking out a more Omnivore diet outside our home. Maybe I had pushed the RAW agenda too far? Nevertheless, I have discovered that my own switch to COOKED food has had positive impacts on my family’s diet.

  1. My passion for cooking in my kitchen has been reignited. Researching what I’m going to cook next is entertaining, exciting and part of my weekly meal planning. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and this is rewarding because my family loves my food again.
  2. My family is asking to eat out LESS.
  3. They are asking to eat DAIRY, EGGS, and MEAT LESS. So, we are back to mostly Vegan meals at home.
  4. Our meals seem more gratifying and satiating in that they are snacking in between meals LESS, which means less processed foods.
  5. They are eating more vegetables now than when they were prepared RAW.
  6. They are even REQUESTING certain VEGAN meals MORE!
  7. By cooking wonderful Vegan foods at home, I am less a food police but more a creator of a Vegan movement in my own home. The conscious action to feed my family healthy whole-food plant-based meals creates educational and gastronomical opportunities for my family.

Some of the foods I recently made for my family are pictured here: vegan hot dogs, balsamic strawberries with aquafaba whipped cream, okonomiyaki, loaded nachos, potato cauliflower curry, chickpea broccoli burrito, lentil meatball sub, sweet potato chickpea tagine, cinnamon sugar doughnut, enchiladas, pan de sal, Chinese green beans, black bean burgers, vegan croissants, vegan creamsicles, aquafaba meringues, freshly picked raspberries.

My Recent Successes

  • My son wanted my Homemade Vegan Hot Dogs on Homemade Whole Wheat Buns with Easy Coleslaw and Baked Fries THREE times in a row! And this was a few days after he took one bite of a mainstream meat hot dog served at a party and didn’t like it. So, this was an amazing response from him.
  • A recent acquired bad habit, he now shuns any vegetables served for dinner and cries, “NOOOOOoooooo” but he happily devoured his full share of my Eat-Your-Beans Bibimbap. YES!
  • After seeing a thali for the first time, my son was excited to eat Potato Cauliflower Curry and exclaimed that this is his fave curry ever!
  • Tonight, I made a Sweet Potato Chickpea Tagine and served it in a traditional tagine. This Moroccan fare was new for my son and he loved it. He finished a huge bowl of tagine with couscous. After dinner, he confided in me that couscous, chickpea and olives together make a perfect combination.
  • Of course, like most kids, my son loves the Vegan treats I make on the weekends. Last week at bedtime, he said, “Mama. I’m so excited for tomorrow!” “Why?” I asked. “I can’t wait to eat the doughnuts tomorrow!” He’s so much like me: we are already planning and looking forward to our next meal.

I love it when these little successes happen because I know my son is learning that Vegan foods can be both healthy and delicious too.

As for my husband, he admitted to me that our meals are much better these days. He also says he’s happy if I’m happy doing all this extra work in the kitchen. I think the biggest plus for him is our grocery bills: they have gone down since I chose to eat cooked food again.

Around the World with My Family in the Comfort of My Vegan Kitchen

29 Jul

I love travelling the world through food in my family’s kitchen. Not only can I educate my son about healthier meal options, but also about different cultures and tastes from all over the world. Eating well becomes a joint family interest and experience as it creates meaningful meal time conversations.

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Tonight, we had a simple Indian Thali for dinner: poppadums, mango chutney, yoghurt, curry and rice.I wish I had cooked a Dal too, but I only had time to cook a Potato Cauliflower Curry in my Instant Pot. Nevertheless, my son LOVED the presentation in the thali. As soon as he arrived at the table, I could tell he was excited to see dinner laid out in a new way. He loves experimenting with food and exploring different tastes, whether he likes them or not. Sometimes, he won’t like a new taste at first and that’s ok: it’s all part of his gastronomic education. I have been cooking curry for a while but it is only tonight that my son declared the Potato Cauliflower Curry as his new favourite curry dish.

Other countries we have visited just these past ten days from the comfort of our own kitchen: China (Chinese Green Beans, Sweet and Sour Cauliflower, and Rice), France (Vegan Croissants and Pain au Chocolat), Korea (Vegan Beebimbap), Mexico (Veggie Loaded Nachos and Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas), Philippines (Pan de Sal), Japan (Okonomiyaki and Potato Tonkatsu Ramen), Africa (African Peanut Stew) and USA (BBQ Black Bean Burger).

What are your family’s favourite cuisines and cultures? What dishes do you love? We would love to hear from you!

Hand Eczema Under Control

16 May

Hands

Got hand eczema? Me too.

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This is what my hands have looked like everyday since I was a child: extremely dry and rough. I tried many moisturizers, lotions and products without improvement. My Chinese grandmother always shook her head as I held her hand. She would tell me that my dry hands told a future of a very hard life.

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In my recent years, this is what my hands looked like on bad days (though not the worst). Open wounds would appear especially when I used products in someone else’s house or in public places. Even if I looked at the ingredients on packaging, it was difficult to determine how exactly my skin would react. Fissures, like the one on my left pinky (above), are terribly painful. Just one use of a commercial hand soap and my rough skin would flare up and fissures would appear within hours. Unfortunately, it could take weeks to reverse the reaction.

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My son took this photo of my hands today. I don’t remember my hands ever being this smooth and soft before. What have I done differently? In the past few months, I have discovered how to create my own soaps. More importantly, I learned to make the mildest and gentlest soaps. No more rough and dry skin for me. No more fissures. I wish my grandmother could feel my hands as they are today. She would tell me that my soft hands tell a future of an easy life.

BYOS: Bring Your Own Soap

1 Sep

After years of traveling with eczema on my hands, I think I’ve finally found my solution: BYOS or Bring Your Own Soap. Not only are my homemade soaps biodegradable, but I know the exact ingredients that I used for each bar.

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I simply chop little pieces of soap before they get too hard, put them in a small container in my handbag, and I don’t have to worry about washing my hands with unknown chemicals that aggravate my eczema when I am out and about.

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These are the little jewels in my purse.

Forget Statins for Kids: Lower LDL with a Vegan Diet

16 Jun

Over the past year, our family has changed how we eat… yet again.

After our 7 year old Vegan decided to become an Omnivore, we discovered he had extremely high LDL. Several doctors we consulted suggested statins if he was unable to lower his cholesterol. Our goal was to decrease his LDL dramatically.

A Largely Vegetarian Diet Did Not Work

My first response was for him to go back to a Vegan diet but he argued that he wanted to try a largely Vegetarian diet with meat a couple times a month. After 6 months, his LDL stayed basically the same around the high 180s mg/dL.

Vegan Diet Is The Answer

I suggested switching back to a strict Vegan diet. He agreed. After another 6 months, his LDL decreased by 80 mg/dL. Although barely in the normal range, we were all ecstatic. More importantly, my son saw for himself the results of the Vegan diet.

Going Forward

So, what is my son doing these days?

Here is his basic daily health plan which I modified from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s recommendations for adults.

Health Plan

My son and I need to make sure he gets to write a check mark beside at least 7 things on this list a day: daily exercise, fresh air/time outdoors, at least 3 cups of fruit, at least 2 tablespoons of nuts/seeds/avocado, at least 1/4 cup of whole grains, at least 1 cup of steamed vegetables, at least 1 cup of raw veggies, at least 1/2 bowl of beans/tofu, and a minimum of 1 tablespoon of any sugar (this one is a difficult one!). He is allowed desserts only on the weekend. He is allowed any food of his choice when we do not eat at home, which is only a few times a month.

Is it doable? YES! Is he totally on board? YES!

He has another blood test in a couple of months and I will be sure to update you! In the meantime, Vegan is our way at home!