Vegan

Redheads Writing in Cafes — I’m back on the front porch

When I started to write my novel Freaks and Grimm, I decided in the early stages, that it would be based in a small town. The town I grew up in is my inspiration, along with the house and neighbourhood I grew up in. Down the street from where I lived is a huge Victorian, with a wrap around porch, gable trim, and amazing stained glass. There was and still is, something about that house that is creepy. I have always believed it was filled with ghosts and because of this, the house has become a character in my novel.  There are a few other buildings in town that inspire me and I hope to get photos of them before I leave. I took some photos of the Victorian and had to be stealthy since there was some guy sitting on the front porch.

creepyhouse

Next time I come to my parents, I am going to bring my DSLR. I didn’t bring it this time since I was taking the bus and had to make decisions on what to I could actually carry. Next time I will bring just my tablet so I can also bring my camera. I need to document some of the creepiness here and get better photos of the crows. I’ve tried to capture them with my phone, but a zoom lens would be optimal. Also, they seem to sense when I’m trying to take a photo and fly away. Are crows really camera shy?

crows

I’m by nature a night owl. I begin to feel my artistic energy later on in the day and am always finding inspiration when the sun goes down. When you are in a small town… being a night owl just doesn’t work out since everything literally shuts down at 6 pm, with the exception of the 24-hour grocery store and the Tim Horton’s. Neither of these is appealing to me for places I want to write. My parents are early to bed, early to rise and I am worried that I will make too much noise and disturb their sleep and by 10 pm, I’m in my room watching YouTube videos. I’ve gotten so used to heading to bed at the witching hour, that I am really missing it. I’m also really missing my fella right now.

While I’m looking after my Mom, I’m also doing all of the cooking. This means, that all of their meals are Vegan. I wasn’t sure how this would sit with my father, but so far, I’ve had zero complaints. It may have been my famous chili or the tasty stir fry that has won them over. Tonight I am making my ‘are you sure there isn’t meat in this’ pasta sauce. I wonder if he will argue with me again on whether or not there is meat in the sauce. Mom is also realizing her diet needs to change and though she won’t go Vegan (yet), she is considering being Vegetarian. She is also cutting dairy out of her diet.

parents

Today I had four goals. So far… I’ve accomplished two of them.

  1. Write while on the deck. So far… no rain. — Doing that right now!
  2. Get a good picture of the crows and raven. — So far, no luck. They seem to be in hiding at the moment.
  3. Tell you to subscribe to my website at www.lizzieviolet.com so you get notified when I post. My latest series is Redheads Writing in Cafes. — DONE!
  4. Not burst into flames when I go outside. — The sun is still out. I’m still trying to not combust.

Until tomorrow…. Stay ghoulish.

/nb I couldn’t resist adding the photo of my Dad’s dog Flash. I love Beagles! Flash is spoiled and a dog filled with old man charm.

flash

Day 12 of the Raw Detox – Raw on a budget


Hello Day 12!

A few years ago, I was raw for 6 months.  During that time I made fancy raw dishes, bought pre-made raw products, dehydrated, bought books and spent hours on the web researching.  Because of this, I have a really good understanding of the raw food diet, what I need, what is and isn’t considered raw and so on.  I discovered what foods work best for me and which I don’t like (flax seeds, bleech).  I also discovered that if you aren’t mindful, it can become very expensive.  This time around I don’t have that luxury and have been discovering ways to do it poor girl or as a friend says poh gurl style.  These are a few things I realized can be done to keep it budget savvy and to keep you from getting bored.

1. Chinatown!  The picture above, was my weekly trek to Toronto’s Chinatown.  This food will all last me for a week.  I still have veggies and some fruit left over from last Saturday’s trek.  In that pile of food above is: baby bok choy, kale, romaine lettuce, garlic, cucumber, peaches, pears, apples, tangellos, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and banana’s and they cost me, wait for it… $19.03. I did a bit of grocery store research and that same pile of food would have cost me approx $27 at No Frills and almost $35 at Loblaws.
2. Change it up! One of my main entrees is salad.  It is soooooo very easy to get sick of it.  Guess what, there are a million kinds of salad and a good portion of them don’t have lettuce.  One of my favourite salad bases is baby bok choy.  Damn delicious, you can also use kale or sprouts, sprouted beans, cabbage, cucumber, mixed veggies and the list goes on.  Another trick if the majority of your salads have lettuce as the base, change the other ingredients or dressing each time.  My favourite dressings are Lemon Tahini (1 lemon juiced, 3 tablespoons Tahini and water/a large jar of Tahini will last a really long time), Miso (miso and water), and Apple Cider Vinegar (apple cider vinegar, olive oil and sweetner (I use raw agave, but it is very expensive)).
3. Stick to the basics! In the last few years, the raw diet movement has become monumental.  Thankfully people are becoming more and more aware of their health and the environment and are making a change.  Preparing raw food is a lot of work and not everyone has 1-2 hours each day to slice and dice.  The food industry and retail consumerism has caught on to this as well.  There are a million different products out there to help save time, such as pre-made sauces, dressings, breads, dehydrated products, desserts and snacks.  All very expensive as well.  Last time I was raw, I invested in a dehydrator and did a majority of all that myself, though I will admit, I got sucked in with all the raw nut butter and other so called ‘staples’.  Fresh is better.
4. Prepare ahead!  Every night before I go to bed I prepare everything I am going to eat the next day.  This way I only have to prep stuff once a day and if I have all my food ready, I won’t CHEAT and go buy a bag of crap.  As I said above, there is a lot of prep and I know if I do it once a day rather than several times a day I am more efficient and it doesn’t feel like that much work.
5. Learn to spout!  There is a tonne of protein and vitamins in sprouts AND you can grow them yourself in a matter of a couple days.  All you need is a couple sterilized jars, some door mesh, a few elastics and a place to put the jars to drain while sprouting.  I have included a link to a video on the very simple steps for sprouting.  This video is brilliant and shows how easy it is and how few seeds you need to fill a jar.

6. Do it for your health! As I said in an earlier post, I’m not doing this for the weight loss, though it is a desirable side affect.  Prior to starting this I was feeling gross, since starting that feeling has gone away, clothes are fitting better and there is very noticeable health change.  This journey is about becoming healthy!
7. Know your limits!  I know mine.  I remember when I was 100% raw for 6 months,  I had cravings for cooked food all the time.  A combination of that, a huge stress that happened in my life at the time and a knee injury, I stopped being raw.  I love cooked food too much to be 100% raw and after the detox will stick to a 75% raw diet.  What I will be changing this time is the cooked food, must be made by me the majority of the time and be all natural ingredients, no more junk food.  There are a few processed products I will continue to use, only because they do have healthy benefits.  Because I know my limits and don’t want to fail this detox, I am allowing myself a cooked food day every 5th day, BUT the cooked food has to be homemade and all natural.  Yesterdays cooked meal was a big bowl of miso noodle soup with broccoli and tofu.

8. Fresh Juice and Smoothies!  Drink both or if you don’t have a juicer, smoothies are amazing. In the picture above is a 20 year old juicer that gets used almost daily.  My favourite combination is carrot, apple, pear, beet and ginger.  The juice I made today is missing the beet.  I couldn’t find any in Chinatown.  I never can, I don’t know what they have against beets!  Another favourite is strawberry, banana, spinach smoothie.  There is a store in Chinatown that sells huge bags of baby spinach for $3!  I meant to grab some so I could do smoothies this week, but forgot.  That will be on next weeks list.

I do have a confession to make though.  I am having a really hard time giving something up.  My best friend coffee.  I tried to go cold turkey a couple times and ended up with a massive headache.  This morning was the worst.  I had to fast for blood work and and yowsah!  I caved and had coffee. The problem is part habitual and partly addiction.  This weekend I am weaning myself off, so Monday I have a fresh start, coffee free. I won’t be giving it up permanently, nor wine, just till the end of the detox so I can achieve the full benefits from it.

Since I mentioned it above, here are some links to my current favourite websites that I recommend for anyone curious about or want to try a raw detox.

Websites:

http://rawified.blogspot.ca/
http://www.rawfoodrecipes.com/
http://www.welikeitraw.com/rawfood/raw-food-recipes.html
http://www.rawbc.org/raw_recipes.html

Girl Bands… Boy Bands and Vegan Thanks Ghouling

Have you looked outside yet… it’s stunning! The entire weekend will be and after two months of suffering from depression, I’m FINALLY feeling like my evil, naughty ole self.  It took a visit with my parents, realizations about the kind of people I want in my life and the love of a couple human Kitty Kats to finally snap me out of it.  Actually, the love of a couple human Kitty Kats who never judge, love life and hell… I’m doing it… saying it…. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!’

A bunch of amazing stuff has happened this week and a few not so amazing.  The awesome, Nuit Blanche, TT with Kat performing, and I’m now helping out with a festival project that makes me grin’n ear to ear happy!  One of my lovely Kitty Kat’s, Kat, is part of the Love & Obsession Theatre Festival.  She introduced me to the organizer and I’m now helping out with promotion. Kat will be remounting A Depper Kind Of Love and that alone makes me smile!  I’ve also been working my arse off on a column idea I have and will hopefully be submitting it soon for consideration, have met some absolutely amazing people over the last 2 weeks and made some great connections.  Things are really looking up again!  Aside from the couple things that happened in the last few days, things that caused me unnecessary stress, the dark clouds have lifted.  It all comes down to wishing people would think before they speak or text.  Words can be painful and once said or texted, can’t be undone, no matter how sincere the apology.  I’m like an elephant and remember those words.  I’m trying not to dwell and will hopefully turn the negative into the positive.  Sometimes walking away from people and situations is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Now onto girl bands.  Tonight I’m heading out for a girls night.  Though still stink ass broke, I can’t hide in my apartment.  I need to be out and participating in life.  Enjoying it, eating it up!  It was brought to my attention, that tonight, I will be hanging with Kat, Cathy and Cathy….  Joking I started coming up with band names… this had everyone else… coming up with band names.  Kat and the Cathy’s all have musical talent and if I’d get off my arse and re-learn the guitar… well…. For now, we will just go out, drink our faces off and drool over boys.  Maybe we will come up with a song about going out, drinking and drooling over boys… Oh dear… I really do feel the beginnings of a Girl Band…

Tomorrow’s gonna hurt…but really, who cares.  It’s Vegan Thanks Ghouling and I get to see some of my favourite Ghouls and my Dealing!  Tofurkey, Halloween and Booze all go hand in hand with what tomorrow stands for.

Ok.. back to it.  I have work to do… pies to bake!

A little obession of mine

I have a couple things I am passionately obsessed about, silent movies, classic horror, zombies, everything 1920’s, vintage cookbooks and vegan online cooking sites.  I was perusing my friend Lara Christine Mansfield’s Facebook yesterday.  She has become the queen of finding amazing recipes (both vegan and raw) and had The Messy Cook posted as her most recent find.

I LOVE THIS SITE!

It has recipes, articles, info about restaurants and travel (please note it is a UK based Ezine), and a tab for the creators personal blog.

And you can sign up for the newsletter either requesting Vegetarian recipes or Vegan recipes.  Even if you aren’t a Veghead, you will love this site!

A few other of my favourite links:

http://www.theppk.com/
http://vegweb.com/
http://fatfreevegan.com/
http://veganplanet.blogspot.com/
http://shmooedfood.blogspot.com/
http://www.youtube.com/user/VeganBlackMetalChef

I have a bajillion more and will add them as I find them again…