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Bringing Vegan into Vogue

Benjamin Zephaniah The power of words

Under pressure An undercover activist speaks out

There’s no taste like home

y p p a H es i d bo

Homemade classics

After the party

Enchilada power bowl with spicy tofu p.15

Alcohol–free drinks

Also in this issue... January 2017| issue 22 | £4.25

The Vegan Nigerian p.34

A special friendship p.114

Sweet cherry p.46

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Welcome Welcome to the January issue of Vegan Life. This time of year is often seen as a catalyst for new beginnings – casting off the excess of the festive season, and starting a new calendar period. One of the most exciting things about January in the last few years, has been watching the swelling ranks of people choosing to take part in Veganuary, giving veganism a go. If you’re someone who has picked up this magazine as part of a decision to cut out animal products, hopefully you are starting to enjoy the amazing benefits a vegan lifestyle can bring. There are lots of features, recipes, and news in this issue aimed at making veganism as accessible as possible. Speaking of Veganuary, Clea Grady (the charity’s inspiring marketing manager) has written a piece for this issue. Clea talks about her own long journey from veggie to vegan – and shares some theories on how kindness is the best way to spread the vegan word.

Meet the Team Published by Prime Impact Events & Media Park House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester, Essex CO6 2NS T: 01787 224040 | F: 01787 223535 info@veganlifemag.com|veganlifemag.com Editor Maria Chiorando maria@veganlifemag.com Designed by Laura Slater laura.slater@primeimpact.co.uk

One thing we’ve all noticed about the New Year, is the number of people trying to sell fad diets, telling you the ‘quickest way to lose weight’ and putting too much emphasis on conventional ideas about body size (saying thinner = better). We decided to go against the grain a little in this issue, and look at how we can create happy bodies, rather than obsess about thinner ones. As a society, we should embrace everyone, and that includes embracing and being kind to yourself. Registered nutritionist Laura Thomas PhD talks about body positivity, and we share some easy desk–based yoga exercises as relief for those office–bound aches and pains.

Art Director Emily Saunders emily@primeimpact.co.uk

I am really excited to share a profile piece of writer, actor, and all–round vegan great Benjamin Zephaniah. His life story is fascinating – you can read about how he went from prison to turning down an OBE (as well as what his favourite vegan food is). Another exciting feature we’re introducing in this issue is a column by brilliant comic Jake Yapp. I have seen Jake performing stand–up. His hilarious routine left me crying tears of laughter. Now he’s sharing some of his witticisms, as well as his favourite recipes, in a monthly column.

Advertising Sales Charlotte Grant 44 (0)1787 224040 charlotte@primeimpact.co.uk

Here at the Vegan Life offices we’ve been extra busy in the build–up to January as this month sees the inaugural Vegan Life Live show at London’s Alexandra Palace. There’ll be loads of exciting things going on at the show, including lots of tasty vegan food to try, a vegan cinema with some fantastic films, guest speakers, and more. We hope to see you there! Enjoy the issue – as well as a positive start to the New Year.

@VeganLife_Mag

thoughts along the vegan way Recipe and image from fullofplants.com @fullofplants on Facebook and Instagram

Managing Director Julie Saunders julie@primeimpact.co.uk

Editorial Assistant Hannah Whitlam 44 (0)1787 224040 hannah.whitlam@primeimpact.co.uk Subscriptions and Back Issues Hannah Allen 44 (0)1787 224040 hannah.allen@primeimpact.co.uk Promotions and Blogger Community Jane Lambert 44 (0)1787 224040 jane@primeimpact.co.uk Marketing and Press Hannah Irons 44 (0)1787 224040 hannah@primeimpact.co.uk Licensing Bruce Sawford 44 (0)1280 860185 Bruce@BruceSawfordLicensing.com

Maria Chiorando Editor facebook.com/veganlifemagazine

Publishing Director Keith Coomber keith@primeimpact.co.uk

“We will love and respect only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught or allowed to experience.” ~ Baba Dioum

Accounts Yolande Arnold 44 (0)1787 224040 accounts@primeimpact.co.uk The publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the appearance or non–publication of any advertisement. Information about products and services featured within the editorial content does not imply endorsement by Vegan Life magazine. Every effort is made to ensure that all advertising is derived from reputable sources. Vegan Life magazine cannot, however, accept responsibility for transactions between readers and advertisers. The paper in this magazine originates from timber that is sourced from responsibly managed forests, according to strict environmental, social and economic standards. The manufacturing mill has both FSC and PEFC certification, and also ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditation.

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contents ON THE COVER

74 Benjamin Zephaniah Power of words 86 Under pressure The psychological toll of working undercover 62 There’s no taste like home Serve up some homemade classics 94 After the party Oliver Coningham dips into the world of alcohol-free drinks 52 Happy bodies Laura Thomas, PhD, RNutr, debunks the myths behind fad diets

Special Features

RECIPES

15 On the cover Filling, loaded with plant protein, and packed with flavour 20 From never to forever vegan Delicious meals to tempt everyone 28 Tasty tomatoes Use top produce for the best rustic flavour 30 Veg on wheels Make the most of your weekly veg box 36 You’ve got kale Use this staple ingredient to create some delicious dishes 42 Gabriela’s signature dish Nourish yourself with this delicious and vibrant cacao chia pudding 44 Banana drama A classic childhood favourite 46 Sweet cherry Impress with this show stopper 50 The perfect pair Turn this delicious fruit into something spectacular

8 Vegan news All the latest stories

60 You’re not vegan, are you? Comedian Jake Yapp shares his favourite vegan recipes with us

32 Short-snouted seahorse in focus We shine a spotlight on this rare sea creature

68 Utterly nutterly Fuel up with these nutty treats

40 Meet the chef We catch up with Gabriela Lerner

72 Vegan kitchen We bring you some super simple recipes using cupboard staples

66 Do you have S.A.D?

76 Chili bowl Warm your bones with this classic winter dish

How vegan food and supplements can help prevent this winter illness

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82 Life changing snacks Beautifully simple snacks made for sharing

38 The vegan student Thrifty tips and tricks for vegans on a budget

90 Soup kitchen Try these cosy, warming dishes

64 Plant power Athlete Ross Edgley tells us about why he’s giving Veganuary a go

92 Super sushi A protein–packed dish

70 Fast and furious Paul Freestone reviews the latest fast food exposé

96 Strawberry delight A healthier, vegan take on a classic pop tart

78 Vegan Brighton We bring you the best of its vegan scene

102 A taste of India Try these delicious regional dishes

84 A parent’s tale Charlotte Meyer Zu Natrup balances motherhood and veganism

Vegan Inspiration

108 Pure shores Rachel Kerry soaks up some sunshine in Ibiza

24 State of kind Clea Grady explains why being nice can help spread veganism

Resources

34 The Vegan Nigerian Sylvia Smith talks to a foodie blogger, writer and chef

6 Vegan diary Unmissable events

97 Setting the vegan record straight Victoria Eisermann talks about her cruelty–free life

16 Vegan planet Vegan news from around the world

100 Exposing the truth about fox hunting The Hunt Investigation Team’s ground breaking work 104 Under the skin How one artist spreads her message through tattoos 114 Saved from exploitation A special friendship saved these cows

Lifestyle, Health and Nutrition 23 Julie’s vegan finds Vegan Life’s publisher takes to the shops

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18 Dear FGV Top blogger and Vegan Life agony uncle Fat Gay Vegan 48 Subscribe to Vegan Life magazine 80 Vegan myths We tackle some of the biggest misconceptions around veganism 93 Eat and drink – vegan style Bartellas, Kent 98 The accidental vegan A selection of products that are vegan by chance 111 Vegan pages

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diary

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January 1 Veganuary

The first of January sees the beginning of Veganuary, which invites those who are not yet vegan to eat delicious, healthy food, save lives and help the environment. Veganuary’s great resource of recipes, health and nutrition tips, and lots of other useful stuff will help guide you through. More information can be found at the website. veganuary.com

January 6

Raw Vegan Potluck, Melbourne

This event invites people to whip–up their favourite raw vegan dish, and bring it along to the vegan potluck located at Unity Church, Harbour City Blvd. Attendees will be able to try the range of vegan recipes on offer and share their ideas with like–minded people. Cost for the event is $3 and organisers encourage people to bring along their own re– usable plates and utensils. eventful.com/melbourne

January 7–8 Vegan Life Live

Held at Alexandra Palace, London, we invite you to embrace plant–based living with this two–day event. Showcasing a wealth of information for both newbie vegans and veterans alike, attendees can expect a variety of vendors, delicious food and drink, a bespoke vegan cinema, plus lots of workshops. Visit the website for ticket options. veganlifelive.com

January 14–15

January 15

This two–day festival celebrates the joys of plant– based eating with delicious food samples, cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs, plant–based nutrition and a whole host of fun activities and exhibitors. Doors to the Sedona Performing Arts Centre open at 9am. healthyworldsedona.com

Visit the Admiral Cheng Ho, Melbourne at 10.30am to mingle and meet with fellow vegans for a cruelty–free brunch. Tuck in to organic ingredients, artisan coffee and homemade cakes in a cool, laid back environment. Food prices vary. meetup.com/melbourne–vegan

Sedona VegFest

Vegan Brunch, Australia

January 21

January 21

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Central Manchester Vegan Fair

In partnership with Viva! and hosted by the Northern Vegan Festival, this fair will provide a great day out for the whole family. From 10am–6pm at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, visitors can browse a variety of stalls, indulge in free vegan food tastings, and sit in on cookery demos and talks. Entry is 50p. northernveganfestival.com

January 28

Yorkshire Animal Free Festival

Organised by Farplace Animal Rescue, this is the first vegan festival to come to Dewsbury. Taking place at the Town Hall from 10.30am, guests will be invited to listen to informative talks and browse a variety of stalls. Those attending will also be able to feast on delicious vegan hotdogs. VIP tickets cost £10 and grant early entry to the event. Standard tickets are £2, under 16s free. yorkshireanimalfreefestival.com

Ongoing... 6

Leicester Vegetarian and Vegan Group

Red, grey, or even white, what’s your favourite colour of squirrel? This national day reminds people to enjoy these nut-burying, scampering animals respectfully and with consideration. Why not visit your local park and spot some squirrels? daysoftheyear.com

January 28–29

Tulum Vegan Fest, Mexico

A festival where anyone and everyone – from curious omnivores to long–time vegans – can enjoy delicious vegan food, find helpful information on protecting animals, the environment, and your health. Explore the vegan food court; listen to live music and join in with yoga classes, there is something for everyone at this event. The festival is being held at the Papaya Playa retreat. Tickets can be purchased via the website. tulumveganfest.com

On the first Thursday of every month Leicester vegans meet at the Quaker Meeting House for an evening of fun. The monthly event features guest speakers, food samples, discussions and recipe suggestions. The meeting begins at 7.30pm. leicesterquaker.org.uk


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vegan news Bite–sized updates on all things vegan from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sports, animal advocacy and more. Got news to share with us? Get in touch!

Scottish hunting law ‘unfit for purpose’

An animal charity is calling on the Scottish government to implement recommendations made by Lord Bonomy in a review of hunting as a matter of urgency. The review was announced on Boxing Day last year, traditionally the busiest day on the hunting calendar. Announcing the review the minister said: “The aim of this review is to ensure current legislation is providing the necessary level of protection for foxes and other wild mammals, while at the same time allowing effective and humane control of these animals where needed.” The Bonomy review estimates that 20 per cent of foxes disturbed by Scottish hunts are killed by packs of hounds. That would equate to approximately 160 foxes killed in this way every year. Charity OneKind says the Scottish legislation is ‘fundamentally flawed.’ OneKind director Harry Huyton said: “Police Scotland told the review that the present law is ‘unworkable’ and that ‘the exemptions provide opportunities for exploitation by those who continually and deliberately offend’. Now both these views have been echoed by Lord Bonomy. If the SNP want to stay true to their promise of strengthening the Act and banning fox hunting, they need to urgently implement recommendations made today by Lord Bonomy and give Scotland an Act that simply bans fox hunting. No ifs, no buts. It needs to be a crime to hunt foxes with dogs.”

Pigs can be optimistic or pessimistic, study shows

‘Badgers’ urge MP Harriett to oppose the cull

Wildlife protection campaigners, including several dressed as badgers, held a protest outside Worcester Cricket Club, where MP Harriett Baldwin was attending the West Worcestershire Conservative annual dinner. Holding banners and placards, the demonstrators called on the MP to oppose the cull and save badgers. Ronald Lee, communications officer for Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies, whose members took part in the protest, said: “The majority of people in this country, including most of Harriett Baldwin’s constituents, are opposed to the badger cull and we want her to listen to them, as well as to ourselves.” Thousands of badgers have been shot in various parts of the south of England in the last three years, and it is believed killing them in other areas will commence this year, including Worcestershire. Ronald added: “The government states that the reason for the badger cull is to prevent the spread of TB in cattle, but there is a very large amount of evidence that shows badger culling will be ineffective in doing this and could well make the problem worse.”

Continuing research about pig intelligence finds capacity for long–term human–like personality traits. A study published in scientific journal The Royal Society has found that pigs make optimistic and pessimistic decisions, much like humans, based on their moods. Researchers tested 36 domestic pigs, some of whom were given roomy, comfortable living space with extra layers of deep straw. Their nature was tested by offering the pigs two food bowls – one containing sweet treats and the other containing coffee beans – placed in varying locations within their environments. Over the course of several weeks, researchers observed how all of the pigs responded when they encountered a treat (sweets) as opposed to a deterrent (coffee). Dr Lisa Collins, from the University of Lincoln, and colleagues wrote: “Reactive pigs in the less enriched environment were more pessimistic and those in the more enriched environment more optimistic. These results suggest that judgment in non–human animals is similar to humans, incorporating aspects of stable personality traits and more transient mood states.”

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Go Vegan World campaign a success

Beyond Skin debuts new vegan luxury hi–top trainers

Following the ‘Go Vegan World’ billboard campaign across Birmingham, 69 per cent of voters said they would either go vegan or consider going vegan. The award– winning advertising campaign launched with great success in Birmingham and Wolverhampton last year. Thought–provoking adverts appeared throughout the city centre on taxis, the Walsall digital billboard on the M6, video screens at New St, and the Bullring shopping centre. “The public has been extremely receptive to the campaign” says campaign manager, Sandra Higgins. “People have been taking the free vegan guides, and asking questions about how to go vegan. We can only hope this kind of campaign will move us closer to a vegan world. If we swapped places with the animals we use, we would understand that a vegan world can’t happen soon enough.”

Award–winning footwear brand Beyond Skin has launched a collection of brand new show–stopping vegan hi–tops. The trainers are available in two shimmering metallic Italian woven fabrics – bold gold or subtle pewter – and lined in deep purple twill. These trainers are handmade in Spain using 100 per cent animal–free materials. The shoes retail at £89 with free worldwide delivery and are available to purchase on the Beyond Skin website.

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Animals being poached in ‘horrific numbers’

The number of exotic animals being poached is a ‘crisis which needs to be tackled’, according to Prince William. The prince, who has been previously photographed hunting and shooting in the UK, claims there is ‘much to be proud of’ when it comes to efforts to halt illegal poaching, but believes the ‘brutality’ of poachers and crime gangs is still escalating. He would like to see a total ban on the ivory trade. “China has already signalled a total ban, the USA has instituted one, and other nations, including the United Kingdom, are considering it,” he told a conference on illegal wildlife trade in Hanoi. “We know now what previous generations did not – ivory treated as a commodity is the fuel of extinction. Ivory is not something to be desired and when removed from an elephant it is not beautiful. So, the question is: why are we still trading it? We need governments to send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent.”

UK golden eagle population soaring

Wind farms are putting UK bats at risk

Hundreds of bats are being killed by wind turbines in the UK each month, possibly because they are lured in by insects flying around the blades, according to scientists at the University of Exeter. Using sniffer dogs, the scientists studied 29 wind farms, and found that 194 bats were killed a month. Some of the bats will have been eaten by scavengers, or may have flown outside the search area; as a result researchers said the number is probably higher. Dr Fiona Mathews of Exeter University, lead author of the research that was published in the journal Current Biology, said: “There are effective ways to prevent bat deaths. Unfortunately we have found that assessments conducted when wind farms are being planned are very poor at identifying whether a site is likely to be risky. This means that appropriate action is not taken to protect bats.” As well as improving pre–construction surveys, the authors conclude that assessments should be carried out after wind farms have been built, while better approaches should be developed to reduce the chances of collisions – such as re–positioning the turbine blades out of the wind at night during periods in the year when bats are most active.

Puerto Rican animal sheltering professionals to receive humane training

Hundreds of Puerto Rican animal shelter and rescue professionals will receive free training and resources from The Humane Society of the United States [HSUS] in a holistic, community–focused approach to animal welfare. The symposium begins year three of the Humane Puerto Rico program. Experts from The HSUS will present information on how to influence state and local pet–related policy; progressive strategies in adoptions, community outreach and shelter management and the power of collaboration. Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico director for The HSUS, said: “We are thrilled that over 200 shelter professionals and volunteers will be provided tools to manage animal overpopulation in Puerto Rico, focusing on lifesaving programs and the power of collaboration.” The HSUS will be conducting an additional training event in February 2017. The HSUS is also implementing the Sister Shelter Project, a mentorship program connecting Puerto Rican animal welfare organisations with a mainland U.S. shelter that will act as a partner and guide.

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Golden eagles are out of danger for the first time since national surveys began, after a count found there are now more than 500 breeding pairs in Scotland. Figures show the golden eagle, regarded by many as Scotland’s national bird, is recovering to historic levels with the population growing by 15 per cent over the last decade. Conservationists have welcomed the results of the national golden eagle survey that shows numbers have increased to 508 pairs from 442 in the last survey in 2003. Duncan Orr–Ewing, head of species and land management at RSPB Scotland said: “The sight of a golden eagle soaring in the sky above is an awe– inspiring part of our natural heritage, and this increase in numbers is great news. Increased monitoring and satellite tagging of eagles, as well as stronger sanctions against wildlife crime may be serving as effective deterrents against illegal activity, therefore helping their population to increase.”


Collection of exotic animals discovered living in appalling conditions at Nevada home

Authorities in Nevada were investigating a possible case of cruelty when they discovered a collection of miserable and abused exotic animals living in unacceptable conditions. Nye County Sheriff’s Office [NCSO] deputies and Nevada Division of Wildlife officers found several lions, tigers, and an illegal species of fox at the house, according to Fox 5 Vegas. Smaller animals were found locked in bedrooms with urine and faeces on the walls and floors. Eight Canadian Siberian lynx hybrid cats were found locked in rooms with horrific air quality. In cages outside were two African lionesses and an African lion, a Bengal tiger, and a black panther. With the sole exception of the fennec fox, all animals at the home were, incredibly, being held legally. The NCSO said its deputies and animal control officers are continuing their investigation and working on placing the animals at a USDA–approved sanctuary.

New ‘right–wing’ coalition sees politicians team up against animal research An unlikely coalition has been created to fight to end federal funding for research involving dogs and other animals. White Coat Waste – which is made up of fiscal conservatives and liberal activists – is based in Washington, D.C. The group was founded in 2013 (though only recently became active) by Anthony Bellotti, a former Republican strategist. According to the group: “We’re a new coalition of Republicans, Democrats, liberty lovers and animal lovers who all agree: taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay over $12 billion for wasteful, cruel and unnecessary experiments on animals. Our campaign was founded by Anthony Bellotti, who personally witnessed and participated in taxpayer–funded animal experiments as a teenager.” Tom Holder, the director of Speaking of Research, an international organisation that supports the use of animals in scientific labs, says: “I can’t think of any right–wing groups that have taken on animal research before. It’s a new way to crowbar off policymakers who might not otherwise support efforts to end the use of animals in research.”

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‘Bandit birds’ back for winter

Hundreds of waxwing birds have arrived in the UK. These exotic–looking birds with black bandit masks fly from the forests of north east Europe in winter. In some years large numbers arrive on the east coast in search of their favourite food, red berries. These events are known as ‘irruptions’ and occur in years when there are too many waxwings and not enough berries. Waxwings are reddish–brown birds around the size of starlings, and are easily identified by their impressive crests and the sealing–wax red wingtips from which they get their name. They typically descend on rowan trees or hawthorn bushes in supermarket car parks, trilling to one another with their ‘sleigh bell’ like calls. RSPB waxwing enthusiast Jamie Wyver said: “If you see a flock of birds hungrily working their way through a tree full of berries take a closer look: you may be lucky enough to see these beautiful visitors from the far north. Waxwings aren’t shy and are generally comfortable around people, so you can usually get amazing views of them as they feed.”

Winter ‘worst time’ for animal neglect

The winter months are the worst time of year for domestic animals, according to welfare charity the RSPCA, which receives on average one call every four minutes about animal neglect. From animals left without shelter or adequate food and water, to those left with painful untreated injuries or illnesses, statistics show that from October 2015 to January 2016, 45,176 calls were made to the RSPCA about animals suffering due to neglect. This works out at 15 calls every single hour, not to mention the huge number of other calls the charity receives on top of this relating to other issues like abandonment and deliberate acts of cruelty. RSPCA superintendent Simon Osborne said: “It’s a sad fact that every day at work throughout the year can be tough for our inspectors and animal welfare and collection officers, but winter really does come with its own challenges and issues. In fact, we expect to take in somewhere in the region of 19,000 animals this winter alone. Issues such as animals not being provided with a suitable environment to shelter from the harsh weather, and not being given enough food and water to keep them healthy despite the cold and damp, are common complaints made to us.”

Cows ‘beaten, branded, and shocked’ for leather shoes and bags

Animal rights charity Peta has released a video exposé featuring investigative footage from the non–governmental organisation Repórter Brasil, of eight Brazilian cattle ranches supplying JBS S.A. – the world’s largest beef producer and leather processor. The footage reveals that cows are branded on the face with no pain relief, and electroshocked before their throats are slit and they are skinned to produce the leather used to make shoes, belts, handbags, and other accessories for Adidas, Clarks, Skechers, and other brands. Brazilian minister of agriculture Col Eumar Roberto Novacki has been asked to investigate the cattle farms for allegedly violating the Brazilian constitution, which forbids cruelty to animals. “For every leather shoe, bag, or belt, gentle cows were beaten, branded, shocked, and skinned,” says Peta managing director Ingrid Newkirk. “Peta is calling on consumers to make kind choices concerning their clothing and other purchases and to leave animals’ skins out of it.” JBS produces 10 million hides annually through its 26 factories scattered across three continents. In addition to clothing and accessories, its leather has also been linked to car interiors for Jaguar, Volkswagen, Toyota, Volvo, and other major car brands worldwide.

Specialist food company releases vegan ‘shellac’ coating A specialist ingredient company has released a vegan alternative to shellac. Thew Arnott, which has its head office in Surrey, develops and manufactures ‘coating systems’ – these products range from coatings for sweets and confectionary, to pharmaceutical items. The barrier coating uses zein – a type of protein found in maize which is then extracted by physical rather than chemical means – as its main ingredient. As a result, zein is completely natural, odourless, tasteless and edible, making it ideal for many encapsulation, coating and adhesive applications. Unlike shellac, which is produced by the lac beetle, the new coating is completely animal free; this means that manufacturers are able to label relevant confectionery and pharmaceutical products such as pills as vegan–friendly. Zein is also gluten–free, sugar–free and available in non–GM versions. And when used in food, the coating is classed as an ingredient rather than an additive so enabling manufacturers to make a whole range of clean label declarations.

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Outcry over dead animal ‘art exhibition’

A macabre exhibition featuring dead animals has provoked anger and disgust among art lovers, human rights activists, and animal supporters. The exhibition at the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, called Jan Fabre: Knight of Despair, Warrior of Beauty, features effigies of dead animals. Pieces include ‘protest of the homeless cats’. Visitors took to social media to express their disgust, with one museum–goer writing on Facebook: “To say that I was shocked is to say nothing really. We have hit rock bottom. How can such a world–class museum allow this exhibition to take place?!” [sic] Some Twitter users called for the museum’s director to be fired, using the hastag #pozorermitazhu (“shame on the Hermitage”). Curator Dmitry Ozerkov said the museum stands by its decision to display the works and that the exhibition will not be removed. Artist Jan Fabre said: “An effigy made from animals hanging on hooks is really a protest against the consumerist relationship of humans towards animals.” Fabre says the animals used in the exhibition had been ‘found dead on the streets’.

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Teen wins Peta award for innovative vegan app

Our

lives

Ayush Sanghavi, a 14 year old student from Buckinghamshire, has earned a compassionate teen award for his hard work and commitment to helping animals. In a bid to help people make animal–friendly choices by finding vegan alternatives to meat and dairy foods, Ayush created a pioneering mobile app called Vegan Alternatives. The app allows users to select a food type and then offers a list of delicious cruelty–free alternatives to choose from. It also features recipes, a ‘why go vegan?’ page and the prices of different products – all available offline. “Ayush’s clever app will make it easier than ever for people to choose cruelty–free foods”, says Peta UK director Elisa Allen. “His compassion and determination to create a better world for animals is a wonderful example for other teens – and adults – to follow.” Along with having created this helpful app, Ayush also led an assembly attended by 400 of his peers on the cruelty of animal testing.

Publisher Keith Coomber reflects on being part of this vibrant community...

One of the last vegan events I got involved with last year was a huge animal rights march in central London. I have obviously been to marches and demos before – climate change, and the Essex Pig Save among others, so I was keen to add myself to this march, showing solidarity for the animals who are suffering. The turnout was excellent – estimates of the numbers varied, but activists filled the streets, stopping traffic, and bringing attention to the vegan cause. I believe there is a spectrum of activism. When a great chef persuades someone to give veganism a go because they see how tasty the food is, that is its own form of activism. When you see someone bearing witness to pigs before they are slaughtered, that is also activism. As is chalktivsm, lobbying, or, in my opinion, any of the things vegans do that help animals. That’s the great thing about this movement. It is filled with a whole range of different people, from different backgrounds, with different skills, talents, and approaches. I’d like to see the vegan community embrace this diversity as it continues to grow, and welcome as many people as possible to this wonderful lifestyle. Marching with my fellow vegans, it felt positive to engage with so many like–minded people, and it was certainly inspiring to speak to a number of people there. I’m looking forward to another year of vegan progress, filled with as many people as possible, and as much activism as possible. Some people said 2016 was the year of the vegan – let’s hope this year tops it.

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Beluga whale death raises fresh calls to end cetacean captivity

Animal charity Born Free is fighting to save cetaceans (large sea animals) from captivity. The campaign follows the recent death of female beluga, Qila, at Vancouver Aquarium. The facility is already making plans to expand its show stadium and beluga tank, with capacity to hold eight performing whales. Vancouver Aquarium also plans to build breeding and petting pools. However, to date, 10 cetaceans have been born at the aquarium (five belugas, three orcas, two dolphins) and none of them survived beyond infancy. Only Qila survived, enduring 21 years of imprisonment. Following her death, she leaves behind only her mother, Aurora, as the last surviving beluga in the show tank. Following Qila’s death, Aurora already shows the symptoms that preceded the mysterious death; with loss of appetite, inflammation, and abdominal discomfort. The charity has written to the Vancouver Aquarium’ Board to request that Aurora is the last beluga whale at the facility.


on the cover Filling, loaded with plant protein, and packed with flavour

Enchilada Power Bowl with Spicy Tofu Serves 4 Per serving: Calories 381 | Fat 6.3g | Fibre 18g Carbohydrates 62.8g | Sugar 10g | Protein: 21.9g Lentils, rice and beans • 95g (½ cup) brown rice • 100g (½ cup) green lentils • 585ml (2 ½ cups) water • 1 x 425g (15oz) can black beans Tofu marinade • 200g (7oz) firm tofu • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tbsp soy sauce, or tamari • 1 tsp chilli powder • 1 tbsp almond butter Enchilada sauce • 1 onion, finely sliced • 1 garlic clove, chopped • 340g (1 ½ cups) tomato sauce • 1 tsp chilli powder (2 if you like it more spicy) • ¼ tsp cumin • 1 tsp oregano • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast • ½ tsp salt • 2 avocados (optional but recommended) • 2 tsp oil 1.

Prepare the lentils, rice and beans: add the lentils, brown rice and water to a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. 2. Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to the rice and lentils. Set aside and cover to keep warm. 3. To prepare the enchilada sauce: heat 2 tsp of oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft and golden brown. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. 4. Add the tomato sauce, spices, apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, and salt to the saucepan, and whisk until combined. Cook for another 5 minutes. 5. Add the rice, lentils, and black beans to the enchilada sauce, and mix until everything is well– coated with the sauce. 6. To prepare the tofu, whisk together all the marinade ingredients until combined. 7. Drain the tofu very well. Line a plate with paper towel, place the tofu on top, add another layer of paper towel and place something heavy on top. Press the tofu for 5–10 minutes. Cut it into cubes and add it to the sauce. Stir to coat and let marinate for at least 20 minutes. 8. Heat some oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring frequently until the tofu is light brown. Remove from heat and set aside. 9. To serve, divide the enchilada mixture into 4 bowls, top with half an avocado (sliced or cubed) and tofu. Top with fresh parsley and serve. 10. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe and image from fullofplants.com @fullofplants on Facebook and Instagram

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vegan planet Vegan news from around the world

USA: ADI applauds congressmen’s bill to end wild animal circus suffering Reps Ryan Costello and Raul Grijalva have been applauded by Animal Defenders International [ADI] for their introduction of the Travelling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act which will see an end to the use of wild and exotic animals in travelling shows across the US. The congressmen have concluded that ending wild animal use is the only practical approach to deal with the public safety issues, and inspection and oversight problems repeatedly cited by the Office of the Inspector General. ADI has been honoured to provide evidence and assistance on the bill, which is expected to receive widespread public support. A recent poll has revealed that two thirds of Americans are troubled by the use of animals in travelling shows. Rep. Grijalva said: “The captivity of exotic animals has proven over the years to be torturous to some of the most majestic creatures on Earth, and downright dangerous for the people who come to see them. It is imperative that we meet the call to end this practice once and for all.”

Vietnam: World governments commit to ending the illegal wildlife trade Representatives from 42 countries attended a conference on the illegal wildlife trade in Hanoi, Vietnam signed a statement committing to do its part to end the supply and demand of illegally traded wildlife. Humane Society International [HSI] is urging the signatories to follow through on their promises, and implement meaningful protections to save wildlife being decimated by poaching and the trade in their parts. Teresa Telecky, PhD, director of the wildlife department for HSI, said: “The statement demonstrates high–level government commitment to stamping out poaching and illegal wildlife trade. We urge the governments to dedicate the resources and other tools needed to turn these commitments into action.” The Hanoi statement was the conclusion of the conference.

Argentina: Judge rules to free Cecilia, the chimpanzee from Mendoza Zoo A chimpanzee will be freed from a zoo after a judge ruled that animals have the right to live in their natural habitat. Cecilia the chimpanzee, who has been living in an isolated enclosure in an Argentine zoo for years, will be rehomed to an ape sanctuary in Brazil. The Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights [AFADA] filed the case of Cecilia to the court in Mendoza, arguing her confinement without companionship was unlawful, and had a detrimental impact on her health. AFADA director Pedro Terrados Pozas said: “This is a landmark judgement, in which a judge has accepted for the first time in world judicial history the immediate transfer to our sanctuary in Brazil, and with arguments supporting our struggle, to consider the rights of apes.” It’s the second time Mendoza Zoo has been in the spotlight for its treatment of animals. In July, Arturo, dubbed ‘the world’s saddest polar bear’, died in the zoo due to a ‘blood circulation imbalance’.

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China: Leading food delivery app halts dog meat sale Online Chinese retailer Ele.me has removed food containing dog meat and a number of other wildlife products from its platform. The Shanghai–based start–up said that it has terminated 294 merchants selling dog meat products and removed 7,733 dishes containing dog meat from its mobile app. “The reality is there are no quarantine and slaughter standards for dogs in the country, and the majority of dog meat on the market is untraceable,” the company said in a statement. It plans to take down food containing shark fins, bear paws and bear bile soon. Cat meat, snake meat and other foods will also be removed. Irene Feng, cat and dog welfare director at Animals Asia said: “Ele.me’s announcement is excellent news for animal lovers all over the country. Clearly, the company can see that there is no future in consuming dog meat or wildlife products in China.”

Australia: Policy changes set to destroy Koala habitats According to a briefing paper written by the National Parks Association of New South Wales, three separate policies planned for implementation are set to destroy the remaining habitats of koala bears.“The NSW government is completely failing to conserve and protect koala habitats,” the report says. “Koalas can lay claim to be the most poorly managed species in eastern Australia at present – which is hugely disappointing in light of their beloved status. “The report finds the habitats of the declining koala populations are being threatened on public land by plans to renew agreements allowing the logging of native forests, and by a failure of the local government protections to identify more koala habitats as they are intended. According to WWF, just one of the changes in the sweeping reforms could result in 2.2 million hectares of koala habitat deforestation. With the Regional Forest Agreements poised to be renewed, and NSW set to pass relaxed land clearing laws The National Parks Association said NSW has a decision to make.

17


dear

FGV

Top blogger and Vegan Life agony uncle Fat Gay Vegan offers his words of wisdom, encyclopaedic plant–based knowledge, and trademark wit. Got a problem? Write to maria@veganlifemag.com

Q

Dear FGV, After my vegan friends encouraged me to watch some behind the scenes footage, I pretty much turned vegan overnight. I’ve stripped my diet of all animal products and thrown out any items that aren’t certified vegan and may have been tested on animals. In an ideal world, I would love to replace all items in my life that exploit animals, including wool and leather. However, I am not currently in the position to replace all of my shoes, boots, and jumpers. Of course when my current items are completely worn, I will purchase faux alternatives. In the meantime, can I still refer to myself as vegan even though I am wearing leather shoes? Thanks, Sally

A

Dear Sally, There are two things you need to concern yourself with in regards to calling yourself a vegan.

First of all, you need to decide if you want to refer to yourself as a vegan. If the answer is yes, congratulations, you are a vegan. Next up? Being vegan is about reducing your involvement with systems that harm animals as much as you are physically and financially able. Pretty simple advice on veganism, right? Do it if you want, and do it whenever you are able. You’ve made a commitment to reducing your participation in the exploitation of non– human animals. You have pledged to never purchase clothing or accessories made from animals. You don’t eat anything derived from animals. Sounds to me as though you are right on top of this vegan thing. If you cannot afford to buy vegan shoes, keep on doing what you are doing. Got a wool sweater? If you are cold this winter and you have no other option, wearing it to stay warm does not make you non–vegan. It makes you a sensible dresser. Winter is the worst! Sally, I’ve never met anybody more vegan than you. You are so incredibly vegan, it would be strange not to call yourself a vegan. You are the walking and talking embodiment of veganism. Thank you for everything you do for non–human animals!

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Q

Dear FGV, I need your help. My partner and I have been vegan for 13 years, so naturally our six year old son has never consumed meat, and happily follows a plant–based diet. As a huge animal lover he both agrees and understands why we choose to be vegan. However, my mother and father have never been happy with this, and regularly voice their worries. As far as they are concerned, children need meat and dairy in order to be healthy. My partner and I are due to go away for the night soon and my parents have asked if they can look after our son. In the past, he has only ever visited them with us in tow, and I’m afraid my mother will have no idea what to feed him and possibly force him to consume animal products. I don’t want to stop my son spending time with his grandparents as they adore him. So how can I make my parents realise that the food I am giving my child is providing him with the healthiest and best possible start in life and not depriving him in any way? Thanks, Mary

A

Dear Mary, The number one piece of advice I give in this column is often the one piece people often don’t want to hear. You need to talk! Plain and simple advice, but surely the best tool we have for getting heard and respected. I think you should talk with your parents and I also think your son should talk to his grandparents. Let’s start with you. Open up to your parents and let them know you are feeling anxious about your son staying overnight. This is going to be a tough subject to tackle without causing upset, so tread carefully, and choose words delicately. Be straightforward and honest. Tell them that your son staying overnight means he will only be eating plant–based food. If they are resistant, gently reaffirm that this is your choice and your son’s choice and it is not a discussion. You are letting them know, not asking their opinion. Once your parents have been told, it can be time to get your son involved. Ask your son to explain why he only eats vegan food to you and your parents. This doesn’t have to be a dramatic undertaking. Casually drop it into a group conversation and ask your son to let his grandparents know he wants to only eat vegan food when he visits. He will most definitely let them know what he wants. Your son has his own ideas of what he wants to eat and once he explains his situation, your parents are going to be hard pressed to do anything other than respect his wishes.

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From never to Forever vegan Delicious meals to tempt everyone

Per 100g: 124

6.9g

1.7g

1.7g

0.3g

2.7g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Recipes from Recipe from But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!: 125 Recipes to Win Everyone Over Š Kristy Turner, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com. Photography by Chris Miller

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Beer-Marinated Portobello Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa Makes 8 •

360ml (1 ½ cups) vegan pale or blonde ale (Ground Breaker Brewing IPA No. 5 and Brunehaut Bio Blonde are both vegan and gluten–free) • Juice of 1 lime • 1 tsp ground cumin • ½ tsp garlic powder • 4 Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills scraped, cut into 2 ½ cm slices • Sunflower oil, for cooking • 6 to 8 corn tortillas (or small flour tortillas) Avocado–Corn Salsa • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and diced • 140g (1 cup) corn kernels (fresh or thawed frozen) • 50g (1 cup) chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) • 135g (½ cup) chopped red onion • 2 tbsp lime juice • 1 tbsp chopped jalapeños • Salt to taste, optional 1.

2. 3.

4.

5.

Combine the beer, lime juice, cumin, and garlic powder in a shallow baking dish. Add the Portobello strips and toss to fully coat. Marinate for 30 minutes, moving the strips around every 10 minutes. While the Portobello strips are marinating, make the salsa: combine all the ingredients in a bowl, cover, and chill until ready to use. Heat a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add a couple of teaspoons of oil and tilt the pan around to evenly coat the bottom. Add about half of the Portobello strips and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning every few minutes, until tender and slightly charred, and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer the strips to a plate or bowl and cover with aluminium foil. Add another couple of teaspoons of oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining strips. Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat (or just clean the pan you cooked the Portobello strips in and reuse it). Cook the tortillas for 30 to 60 seconds on each side, placing them on a plate and covering with aluminium foil when they’re done. To serve, place a few Portobello strips in a tortilla and top with the avocado–corn salsa. Leftovers will keep in the fridge in separate airtight containers for up to 4 days.

Per 100g:

175

4.6g

0.1g

12.6g

3.9g

14.0g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Maple-Miso Tempeh Cutlets • • • • • • • • 1. 2.

3.

Serves 4

225g (2 packages or blocks) tempeh – this can be purchased in most health food shops 60ml (¼ cup) low–sodium vegetable broth 60ml (¼ cup) liquid aminos (or gluten–free tamari) 60ml (¼ cup) maple syrup 2 tsp white soy miso (or chickpea miso) 1 tsp dried sage 1 tsp dried thyme Salt and black pepper to taste Chop each tempeh block in half horizontally, then chop each half diagonally so you have eight triangles. Fill a large shallow saucepan with a couple of inches of water and fit with a steamer basket. Place the tempeh triangles in the steamer basket and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Steam the tempeh for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the triangles once halfway through. Remove the steamer basket from the pan (keep the tempeh in the basket) and set aside. Dump the water from the saucepan. Combine the vegetable broth, liquid aminos, maple syrup, miso, sage, and thyme in the pan and stir to mix. Add the tempeh triangles and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Let the tempeh simmer in the sauce for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping them once halfway through, until the sauce is absorbed and starts to caramelise. Remove from the heat and add salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

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French Onion Soup

Serves 6

• 4 tbsp vegan butter (soya–free if necessary) • 6 medium yellow onions, halved and very thinly sliced • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves • 2 bay leaves • 235ml (1 cup) vegan dry white wine • 2 tbsp oat flour (certified gluten–free if necessary) • 2L low–sodium vegetable broth • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional • Salt and black pepper to taste • 1 vegan baguette, sliced (gluten–free if necessary) • Smoked gouda cheese sauce (recipe below) • Chopped fresh parsley, optional Smoked Gouda cheese sauce • 75g (½ cup) raw cashews, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour and drained, water reserved • 5 to 6 tbsp preserved soaking water • 2 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast • ½ tsp white soy miso (or chickpea miso) • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornflour 1.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every so often,

Recipes from Recipe from But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!: 125 Recipes to Win Everyone Over © Kristy Turner, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com. Photography by Chris Miller

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2.

3.

4.

until browned and caramelised. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the oat flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour is no longer visible, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until thickened. Add the nutritional yeast (if using), salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Whilst the soup is simmering, prepare the cheese sauce. Combine the cashews, 60ml (¼ cup) of the reserved soaking water, the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and miso in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add up to 160ml (⅔ cup) water. Add the arrowroot powder or cornflour. Transfer the cheese to a small pot and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes, until it’s thickened but still drips slowly off a spoon. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Preheat the grill. Arrange six small ovenproof bowls or ramekins on a baking tray. Pour the soup into the bowls. Place 1 or 2 baguette slices on top of the soup. Spoon the cheese sauce over the bread. Place the baking tray with the bowls under the grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley (if using). Serve immediately. Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Per 100g: 175

6.5g

1.7g

3.7g

1.2g

6.4g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


Khadi Amla Herbal Shampoo

Khadi Alma Shampoo transforms limp and lifeless hair to glossy and full of body. It’s an award–winning shampoo, it was awarded silver in the Free From Skincare Awards 2016. khadihair.co.uk

Soapnuts Women’s Skincare Trio Gift Box

Kalettes

Hodmedod’s Organic British Wholegrain Quinoa

This award-winning quinoa is especially delicious, nutty and light. It’s easy to cook from scratch in just 15 minutes and perfect for salads, as a side dish, in soups or for baking. hodmedods.co.uk

Now December has been and gone, you’re probably sick of sprouts, so it’s a good time to try kalettes. This vegan hybrid blends sprouts and kale. Tasty in pasta, simply steamed as a side dish, or roasted with sea salt and olive oil, these tiny veg are very versatile. kalettes.com

This set from Living Naturally is a great gift for anyone wanting to make the switch to green beauty. The gift box contains a multi-tasking beauty balm, lip balm and deodorant. soapnuts.co.uk

vegan finds Publisher Julie takes to the shops to bring you her favourite vegan finds. Send information about new products to vegannews@primeimpact.co.uk Seed and Bean 80% and 100% bars

This premium chocolate company has added two new vegan bars to its range – the 80% and 100% cocoa bars. Using beans from Ecuador, the company works closely with local farmer families, so its chocolate is ethical as well as delicious. seedandbean.co.uk

Organic Baobab Powder

PandaVita baobab powder is a 100 per cent natural and organic superfood from the fruit of the African Baobab Tree. It helps bring out your natural vibrancy, improve your mood, and increase energy levels. pandavita.com

Myprotein Active Women Vegan Blend

Another good post-gym product, this protein powder mixes easily into a shake, and tastes good too (we especially like the apple caramel flavour). myprotein.com

Fit Kit Post Exercise Shower Gel

Packed with peppermint oil (which is scientifically proven to reduce muscle discomfort) this Peta–approved cooling gel is perfect for tired muscles, easing aches and pains after a workout. It smells great too. Available from Amazon.

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STATE OF KIND Veganuary’s Clea Grady explains why being nice can help spread veganism

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W

hen I was 12, I decided to become a vegetarian. That decision was a fairly simple one. I loved animals. I’d always lived with animals. As soon as I realised what was on my plate (and was old enough to make my voice truly heard) I decided to stop eating them. By the time I was 16, being vegetarian was very much a part of my identity. I wore hippy skirts, I hennaed my hair, I couldn’t walk past a butcher’s shop without shouting ‘meat is murder’, and I went on protests. One particular protest from around this time sticks in my mind. It was against shark fin soup, and we ran around China Town in London chanting: “Shark fin soup, bloody barbaric.” We stormed into restaurants, shouting into people’s faces and sticking anti shark–fin stickers all over the windows.

“I did not know the truth about the egg industry, or the dairy industry. And the truth shocked me to my very core.” Within an hour or so we were chucked into the back of a police van. In the back of the van with me and my friends were three older guys – probably only early to mid–twenties, but old enough for it to be noticeable. They were vegans. I don’t remember exactly what they said. It certainly wasn’t anything that made me stop and think. But I do remember how they made me feel. They ranted at us for being veggies and were massively intimidating, especially in that small space, and given the fact they were all male and we were young girls. When we were let out of the van with a warning, it was not the police we ran from, giggling in relief. Many years later, at the age of 34, I was still veggie, still wearing leather. Despite being vegetarian for most of my life, for 22 of my 34 years, I still thought that leather was a by–product of the meat industry, and I wasn’t doing anything wrong in wearing it. In fact, I probably thought that in some way it honours the animal who was killed. I don’t have children but I am very active when it comes to rescuing animals. I have five of my own, and regularly volunteer to help find homes for other abused dogs, and I’m the ‘go–to’ person in my friendship group if someone wants to adopt an animal. I am very vocal about animal rescue, and about my love of animals in general. And yet I was not vegan. Facebook was about to change all that. I clicked on a post about something called ‘Veganuary’, and I signed up to go vegan for January 2014. When I told my husband, his response was ‘why do you want to do that?’. In truth, I had three vegan friends at this point and something within me was beginning to feel a bit like a fraud. I found myself feeling embarrassed around them for being vegetarian, but I wasn’t entirely sure why. Not that any of them had ever said a negative word. In fact, they remain to this day three of the least judgemental and most kind people I know. And they have most definitely been influencers in my life. So, January 2014, I went vegan, along with 3,000 other people in the world – participants in the first Veganuary. Before this, I did not know

the truth about the egg industry, or the dairy industry. And the truth shocked me to my very core. I had gone vegetarian for the animals, but for 22 years I had (however unwittingly) been actively contributing to the systematic torture and suffering of animals. It broke my heart. I felt small, isolated and confused. But after that initial grief, and subsequent anger, I was engulfed by a huge sense of relief. Literally, ‘thank god!’. Finally, I was being true to the person I really was…am. But how had I got to this point in my life without knowing the truth? I wasn’t someone who thought of herself as uninformed. I was politically aware, a feminist, had studied for a degree, considered myself a conscious consumer, and was passionate about animals. How had I not known? I decided then and there I could no longer work in the world of corporate marketing, where I had been for all of my twenties and thirties so far. I tracked down the people behind Veganuary and I told them that I wanted to come and work with them to change the world. As fate would have it, they happened to live in exactly the same city as me – not London or San Francisco as I expected, but York in north Yorkshire. And, after meeting up, I joined the team at the beginning of April 2014, only two months after going vegan because of their campaign. Veganuary’s ethos is one of kindness, non–judgement, acceptance and applauding the small steps to encourage people to make bigger ones. I often think how different my life might have been if those guys in the back of the police van had inspired me to make a change, rather than attacked me. Now I’m not putting the responsibility of what I put in my mouth or wear on my body on anyone else. I’m big enough to take that one on the chin. But I am very passionate about us all, as individual vegans, being influencers within our social circles and outside in the wider world. And I think we all need to be very mindful of how we felt before we went vegan.

“New vegans are hauled over the coals for not being ‘vegan enough’ rather than being congratulated for trying to change for the better.” I say this because, as the person responsible for the social media output for Veganuary and an active person online, I frequently witness damaging behaviour by other vegans. And I think we are doing a huge injustice to the animals that we’re hoping to protect. Vegetarians are attacked as being hypocrites when most, like me only three years ago, have no idea of what actually goes on. New vegans are hauled over the coals for not being ‘vegan enough’ rather than being congratulated for trying to change for the better. And meat eaters are condemned as nasty and evil. I really feel that this has to stop. We’ve got to stop being the guys in the back of the van. There’s a school of thought known as the ‘broken windows’ theory. This theory argues that crime is the inevitable result of disorder. If a

> 25


window is broken in a building and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no–one cares and no–one is in charge. Soon, more windows will be broken and an atmosphere of ‘anything goes’ starts to spread – i.e. more broken windows equal higher rates of crime. This is an epidemic theory of crime – crime is contagious. This was put to the test in New York City in the mid–80s, when a criminologist argued that the city’s high crime rate was linked to the crime on the subway trains, and that crime was linked to the graffiti on the trains themselves. Many people thought this was crazy, especially when the decision was made to pull any train that had been graffiti’d off the tracks, and only put back into service when the graffiti had been removed. “But people will just graffiti them again!” And they did. Initially, anyway.

“One of the things that people comment on most about Veganuary is how safe they feel in our online community.” Because when people realised that the graffiti was continuously getting cleaned off, they started to get bored. And gradually the graffiti stopped almost completely. This ‘Graffiti Task Force’ operated in New York until 1990, and during that time the crime rate on New York’s subways fell dramatically. So much so, the same theory was applied to the rest of the city, and guess what? Crime fell there too. I think that social media is like a subway train. One nasty comment leads to another, and to another, and before you know it, a comment thread has descended into outright war. One of the things that people comment on most about Veganuary is how safe they feel in our online community. And our online community is essential for us, as it’s the most cost–effective way for us to reach as many non–vegans as possible – many of whom have no community that they can rely on (or are aware of) in real life. So our online community is vital when it comes to saving animals’ lives.

I recently went undercover on a pig farm with the rest of the Veganuary team. And I’m still trying to process what I witnessed there. I thought the animals needed us before, but by god they need us more than ever. We get to go home, we get to live. All they do is suffer. We need to make sure that we work as effectively as possible, as quickly as we can, because they are stuck in eternal horror. Animals are not saved by fighting online with other vegans. People are not changed by being attacked. Be the vegan you wish you’d been stuck in the back of a van with before you were vegan.

What is Veganuary? Veganuary is a charity that encourages people to try veganism for the month of January, and then supports them (and anyone else interested in veganism) all year round. Since my vegan month in January 2014, over 40,000 people have taken part. As a charity, Veganuary is dedicated to changing public attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and enjoyable as possible. It has had an incredible degree of success in a very short time and is changing lives all over the world.

But our safe community is not an accident. Far from it. Just like the subway graffiti, we have a strict zero tolerance policy on nastiness on our online pages, groups, and profiles. And boy, that takes some policing. But that’s OK, because the results are starting to show. But before I tell you about those, I want to let you in on a little secret, and I’m afraid it’s a bit of a dirty one. The main people we have to police in our online communities are not the trolls, they’re not the fox–hunters, or the steak–eaters, or the children of dairy farmers.

Veganuary’s founders, Jane and Matthew, knew that month– long pledges were not unusual, but felt that it could be done differently, and perhaps more successfully, by focusing on the month of January; a time for resolutions and new beginnings. After last year’s Veganuary, 81 per cent of people said that they were intending to maintain the changes they’d made during the month. When we surveyed them again six months later in August, 63 per cent confirmed they now identified as vegan.

They’re the vegans.

And in really cool news, 79 per cent said they were planning on eating vegan in the future. When asked if they had inspired anyone else to go vegan since becoming vegan themselves, 63 per cent of our August survey respondents confirmed that they had inspired at least one other person to go vegan. Kindness is contagious.

“Animals are not saved by fighting online with other vegans. People are not changed by being attacked.” And I cannot tell you how disappointed it makes me, when time I could be spending helping someone who currently eats animals to become vegan, is wasted on vegans who are actively being nasty.

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As vegans, as activists, everything that we put online needs to be considered – in fact scrap that, everything we put online, everything we say, needs to be kind. And for people who consider themselves compassionate, I don’t think is too much of a tall order.

For Veganuary 2017, we decided to launch one of our most exciting projects yet – running at least 2,000 posters on the tubes during December. The number of posters made this the biggest vegan campaign ever featured on the London Underground and it was all crowdfunded.


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tasty tomatoes Use top produce for the best rustic flavour

Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil • • • • • • •

200g (1 cup) of farro 1 box of Cirio cherry tomatoes 1 tbsp pickled capers 1 carrot 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 5 basil leaves Salt and pepper

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Serves 4

Soak the farro in cold water overnight. Drain it and boil in salted water for about 45 minutes along with the carrot, cut into slices. Drain this and let it all cool. Chop the capers and put them in a large bowl, adding the tomatoes with their juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and add the boiled farro with the carrots. Mix for about 10 minutes and serve warm in winter or cool in summer, with a few leaves of chopped basil.

Per 100g:

Recipes and images from cirio1856.co.uk

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209

7.7g

1.0g

2.5g

0.2g

3.6g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


Peperonata Per 100g:

• • • • • • •

Serves 4

57

3.5g

0.5g

4.2g

0.0g

1.0g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

4 tbsp olive oil 2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 bay leaves 4 red peppers, core removed and thinly sliced 2 yellow peppers, core removed and thinly sliced 400g can (2 cups) Cirio tomato fillets

1.

2.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and bay leaves and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peppers to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the Cirio tomato fillets and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

French Beans with Tomato Sauce Per 100g:

• • • • •

1.

46

2.2g

0.3g

2.7g

0.4g

1.4g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 400g can (2 cups) Cirio plum tomatoes, chopped 400g (2 ⅔ cups) French beans, trimmed

2.

First make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes.

Serves 4–6

Add the Cirio plum tomatoes and stir. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. While the sauce is simmering, cook the beans in a large pan of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Drain and tip into the tomato sauce. Stir and serve with a drizzle of olive oil. This dish improves in flavour over time, so try and make it the night before. Serve hot or cold.

Pearl Barley Soup with Tomato and Parsley Serves 4 Per 100g:

• • • • • • • • • • • 1.

134

2.7g

0.3g

2.9g

0.5g

2.9g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

250g (1 ¼ cup) of pearl barley 1 onion, chopped 1 celery stick, chopped 2 carrots, chopped Handful of dried basil Handful of dried oregano 400g (2 cups) of Cirio’s La Classica Passata Extra virgin olive oil 300ml (1 ¼ cups) of vegetable stock Parsley to taste Salt and pepper to taste Add some oil to a saucepan and cook the chopped onion, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables have become golden-brown.

2. 3.

4. 5.

When the vegetables have browned, add the pearl barley and stir for 1 minute. Next begin pouring the vegetable stock very slowly, stirring at the same time until fully absorbed. Keep adding stock as required. When no more stock is required and the mixture is nice and thick, add Cirio’s La Classica Passata, oregano and basil and cook until barley is tender (20 minutes). Use more stock if required. Adjust the liquid level of your soup by adding more stock if you require it to be a thinner consistency. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle over parsley and season with salt and pepper.

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G E V on s l e e h w Jacqueline Meldrum inspires you to make the most of your weekly veg box

I

t’s the start of a new year. I wonder if you made any resolutions? I don’t bother, I know I’m better waiting a week or two to start anything new if I want it to last. In the quiet days after Hogmanay I take time to flick through cookbooks and magazines, jotting down ideas in a notebook of things to do and recipes to try and I always spend some time filling in a new calendar with what’s in season each month as well as important dates. This month I’m pulling ideas together for blood oranges, carrots, potatoes, salsify, Savoy cabbage and spring onions.

Blood Oranges I love blood oranges, there’s just something special about the flavour and how decadent they look. Add segments of them to a winter salad with salad leaves, roast beetroot and carrots, a scattering of pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of balsamic dressing. You can also make candied blood orange slices. Make a syrup with half sugar to water and gently simmer slices of orange for about an hour, move to a baking tray to cool, then dip in melted dark chocolate.

Carrots You can’t beat a good carrot and coriander soup, but it needs some spices as well as fresh coriander. Start with a base of onion, garlic, and fresh ginger. Cook in olive oil until soft, then add chopped carrots. Sprinkle in some ground cumin, add vegetable stock, and let it simmer for half an hour. Whizz until smooth, then add the fresh coriander, salt and pepper. You can also boost your vitamin levels with a carrot, orange and ginger smoothie.

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Potatoes Hasselback potatoes make a nice change from boiled or baked potatoes. Cut thin slices through a potato (don’t cut all the way through) until it looks a bit like a stripy hedgehog. Brush with garlic spread (dairy–free spread and crushed garlic), then bake at 220°C until crispy. It usually takes a little over an hour. Another idea is to roll little balls of garlic mash in panko breadcrumbs, then bake them until crisp. Kids love these little potato balls.

Salsify If you get something that looks like sticks in your vegbox, it is probably salsify. Rinse and peel your salsify, then cut into finger length sticks. Pop them into water with lemon juice to prevent discolouring, then cook in a hot wok with a little oil for a few minutes. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 30–40 minutes at 200°C. Serve as a tasty side.

Savoy Cabbage You think I’m going to say soup, don’t you? Well it’s good in soup, but it also makes good crisps and I’m rather partial to vegetable crisps. Remove the ribs from the cabbage leaves and cut into quarters, then whisk up some rapeseed oil with crushed garlic, some nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Pop the cabbage into a bowl and rub with the dressing. Yes, it needs to be massaged like kale, as it can be a little tough. Pop the cabbage onto an ovenproof tray and bake for 10–12 minutes at 200°C until crisp. Serve with salsa or ketchup.

Spring Onions Mix dairy–free cream cheese with finely chopped spring onions, chives and parsley then season with salt and pepper for a tasty topping for crackers or a baked potato. Spring onions are good in dumplings too. Fill wonton wrappers with a mixture of silken tofu, wilted spinach, finely sliced spring onions, fresh coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Fold into parcels and gently fry until golden, then serve with a soy or sweet chilli dressing.


Lightly Spiced Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup Serves 6 – 8 A creamy soup with the sweetness of carrots and sweet potatoes, balanced with the warmth of spices. Easy to make, tasty and nutritious. Serve with crusty bread for a comforting winter lunch. • • • • • • •

1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 kg (2 ¼lb) sweet potatoes, chopped 500g (17 ½oz) carrots, chopped 3 tsp cumin 2 tsp dried coriander

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Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large pot until soft. Add the carrots and sweet potato and cook gently for a few minutes, then add the spices and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add the herbs and blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper Sprinkle over fresh coriander and enjoy.

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1 tsp chilli powder (optional) A handful of fresh coriander (cilantro) 1 ½ litres (50 ½fl oz) vegetable stock (4 stock cubes) A good grinding of salt and pepper

Recipe and image from Jacqueline’s blog at tinnedtomatoes.com

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Short-snouted seahorse IN FOCUS

We shine a spotlight on this rare sea creature

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ith a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey, a pouch like a kangaroo and the ability to grow camouflaging weed–like appendages on their bodies, seahorses are one of the most unusual and mysterious fish in the ocean. Belonging to the Syngnathidae family, the short–snouted seahorse (hippocampus hippocampus) is one of two seahorse species currently residing in the British Isles. Reaching up to 15cm in height, these rare fish are mainly found on the South coast in shallow weedy areas such as eel grass beds. These poor swimmers rely entirely on their dorsal fin beating at 30–70 times per second to propel them along as well as their pectoral fins which control steering and turning. With protective body armour that many marine animals find bony and indigestible, an adult seahorse is rarely predated upon. As a result these mythical–like sea creatures can live for up to five years in the wild.

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According to Emily Williams, campaign officer at Marine Conservation Society, the major continuing threat to short–snouted seahorses and one of the reasons for their decline is habitat degradation and disturbance through human activities such as coastal developments and the effect of fishing gear. She said: “As it is a shallow coastal species it is extremely susceptible to these activities. H. hippocampus, like other small coastal fish, is also threatened by pollution from shore side run–off and ships.” The short–snouted seahorse is also under threat of extinction due to the rise of domestication, the gift trade, and its believed medicinal properties. After years of lobbying and research by the Seahorse Trust, seahorses in the UK are now classified as vulnerable and are protected as a named species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). The short–snouted seahorse has a prehensile tail. This allows them to grip onto eel grass and other weeds and prevents them from being washed away by strong currents and waves. Seahorses are the only creature where the male has a true reversed pregnancy. Just like a chameleon these intelligent seahorses can change colour to suit their mood and the habitat they live in. Neil Garrick–Maidment [managing director of The Seahorse Trust] said: “All seahorse species never stop growing but they do slow down. The largest seahorse in the world was found in Poole harbour and was a whopping 34cm in length from the top of the head to the end of the tail.”

According to Neil Garrick–Maidment, “Considering their size, seahorses have an impressive appetite and will scoff on average 65–70 full grown shrimp per day.” Despite having no teeth, the seahorse is a formidable predator, and will suck in shrimps from up to two inches away using a sophisticated siphon like system through their snout and gills. This is so powerful the shrimp disintegrate as they are sucked in. Seahorse fry (babies) consume a staggering 3,000 pieces of plankton per day.

Short–snouted seahorses have excellent eyesight and unlike human eyes they can move their eyes independently which means they can look forwards and backwards at the same time.

• Differentiating between male and female seahorses is fairly easy. All males have a pronounced brood pouch and females do not. • According to Neil Garrick–Maidment a pair of seahorses will stay bonded throughout the breeding season. He said: “The female uses her ovipositor (a sort of tubular egg depositing organ) to pop hundreds of eggs into the male’s brood pouch. As the male sinks to the seabed he self–fertilises the eggs within the pouch where they will be nurtured and fed through the equivalent of a placenta.” Seahorse babies will remain inside the male from 14 days to four weeks before the long process of giving birth commences where labour can last for 12 hours. Both males and females reach sexual maturity at six months of age. This means that by six months, they are ready to mate and have babies of their own. Emily Williams said: “Unfortunately, less than one in a thousand babies will survive long enough to become an adult due to a high volume of predators and the fact they are left to fend for themselves from birth and not nurtured by either parent.”


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Images: Richard Duebel

The Vegan Nigerian Sylvia Smith talks to a foodie blogger, writer and chef

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t is not unusual to hear Nigerians say that a meal is not complete without the meat,” says Tomi Makanjuola. This makes Tomi – in her own words, ‘an unusual Nigerian’ – she is vegan and hasn’t had any meat or fish for over three and a half years. “You will likely have to face one or two strange stares and questioning glances at social events and gatherings once people find out that you are vegan.” But that has done nothing to stem her enthusiasm for this way of life, despite being the sole member of her family to have turned away from animal products. Tomi became vegan during her penultimate year at Oxford University.  Prior to that, having grown up in a Nigerian household, she ate everything. In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, meat makes up a large part of most meals and is considered a sign of wealth. As a youngster Tomi never could have imagined choosing a vegan lifestyle. In fact, at the time, she considered it strange. Even today, there are very few Nigerian vegans and Tomi knows them all, and is even in touch with those who question her lifestyle change.

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“Through interactions on my blog and social media platforms, I have observed that many are genuinely fascinated by the concept, if a little baffled and adamant that they could never adopt the lifestyle for themselves,” she says. At the moment, she is still the only vegan in not just her immediate, but her whole extended family. So how did Tomi come to be that rare and quirky thing – a Nigerian vegetarian? “I initially gave up meat for health reasons,” Tomi explains. “Instinctively, I wanted to see if I could improve my energy levels as I was feeling sluggish all the time and my overall health wasn’t brilliant.” This was while she was a student and may have been part of a youthful rebellion against the established order. By giving up meat she noticed a significant difference almost immediately. “My skin cleared up and I lost a little excess weight.” It was also around that time that she began to make a connection in terms of animal cruelty (particularly factory farming practices) and the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. “Something clicked for me,” she says. “Now I couldn’t imagine going back.”


According to Tomi, all that is required to make most traditional Nigerian meals vegan, is simply to eliminate the side serving of meat or eggs. “In my opinion, Nigerian vegan food deserves recognition because of the complex flavour profiles and interesting cooking techniques involved, all of which dispel the common myth that vegan food is boring or bland,” she says. Veganism has entered Tomi’s life in other ways than eliminating meat and dairy from her diet. “I started selling vegan treats and cakes to the public at local markets and festivals in 2014 after graduating from university,” she says. A year or so after moving to London, she started her pop–up restaurant project. The initial pop–up in April 2016 has led Tomi to feel confident enough to experiment. “It was the right time to branch out and introduce people to the type of food that I am so passionate about. My hope is that more and more people in the Nigerian community see how easy it is to incorporate healthier, plant–based meals into their diet,” she says. Tomi predicts that more Africans will attend her soirees in the future. “The responses from the pop–ups have been encouraging so far.”

“One of Tomi’s long term goals is to develop a product line – a range of Nigerian–inspired snacks such as plantain chips, cakes and fritters – that would be made available in supermarkets.” On a quiet Monday night I went to eat at Tomi’s pop up in a west London venue. An eclectic crowd of 20 turned up to enjoy a four course meal that was at once familiar in taste and yet a little bit different. A small glass of a pink liquid had a hard to analyse delicious taste. In fact it was a blend of pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice and a dash of sugar for sweetness. The starter particularly caught my attention with its contrasting sweet and savoury flavours. Tomi had stuffed cabbage rolls with sweet potato and mixed vegetables. The filling had white–fleshed sweet potatoes and carrots cooked two ways – oven roasted and mashed, broad beans and fresh parsley, curry powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper. The sauce was made using a blend of red bell pepper, vine tomatoes, red onions, chopped peanuts and peanut paste. All the complex flavours were balanced by a simple salad. Tomi always gives thanks to her family. Her parents in particular have been active in her vegan business. “My father, with his background in business consultancy, has given me countless tips and advice, and

Images: Richard Duebel

Tomi became not just a vegan but also something of an African pioneering activist. “When I started my blog, The Vegan Nigerian, it was an attempt to prove that flavourful Nigerian meals could still be prepared and enjoyed even while following the vegan lifestyle,” she confirms. Nigerian cuisine is naturally rich in plant foods – from rice to yam to sweet potatoes, plantain, cassava, beans, and many more wonderful vegetables. Lots of popular Nigerian dishes like yam pottage, ewa goyin and jollof rice can easily become vegan dishes.

helped me to think through and start to develop a comprehensive business plan, “she explains. ”My mother, who was very enterprising during the years she raised us (she once ran her own catering business in Lagos, Nigeria), regularly helps me out on an operational level.” She helped Tomi with the food prep for the pop–up at the South Bank’s major African event, Africa Utopia. Although boosted by her parents’ unfailing support, vegan cooking is not a full–time enterprise for them – or for Tomi yet. “I have a part–time job as a chef at a company called The Detox Kitchen while trying to build my business on the side. My goal is to be a full–time entrepreneur, and be able to sustain myself through that,” Tomi explains. “I am a big believer in turning gifts and passions into a way of making a living.” One of Tomi’s long term goals is to develop a product line – a range of Nigerian–inspired snacks such as plantain chips, cakes and fritters – that would be made available in supermarkets. She also wants to get into food publishing and create cookbooks based on her recipes and Nigerian vegan cuisine in general. At the Monday night event diners were a balanced mix of Nigerians and non–Nigerians. “My pop–up brand seems to be doing the job of attracting audiences from both the largely Caucasian and Asian vegan community and the Nigerian (and other African countries) vegan and non–vegan community.” While building a business is upmost in her mind, the health benefits of being a vegan are undeniable, and Tomi is eager to emphasise the knock–on effect. “My energy has improved so that I am now more motivated to exercise, and this has been great for my general sense of well–being and mental clarity. I’ve noticed that I only get colds once or twice a year, and my recovery time is a lot quicker,” she notes. If you eat out, it is far easier to be vegan here in the UK than in Nigeria. There are new vegan restaurants opening all the time, while there is only one vegan restaurant in the whole of Nigeria – in the capital Lagos. It’s called Veggie Victory. But most Nigerians eat at home and despite high blood pressure caused by cholesterol being a major health risk among well–heeled Africans, encouragement is needed to help them break the meat habit. And Tomi’s final words? “Nigeria is blessed in terms of the fresh and organic plant foods, all of which can be whipped up into delicious vegan meals. But the desire and motivation has to be there. Another reason why it may be easier here is that, from a cultural perspective, people are increasingly more accepting of the vegan lifestyle in the UK, while Nigeria still has a long way to go on that front.” Tomi’s website is vegannigerian.com.

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you’ve got kale Use this staple ingredient to create some delicious dishes

Recipes and images from Kale: Kristen Beddard (Apple Press, ÂŁ14.99) Out now.

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Kale and Shiitake Pot Sticker Dumplings Makes 20–25 dumplings • • • • • • • • •

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115g (½ cup) kale, washed, de-stemmed and shredded 1 tbsp salt Groundnut or sunflower oil, for frying 175g (2 ¹∕³ cups) shiitake mushrooms, diced 1 spring onion, thinly sliced 2 tsp fresh ginger root, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tbsp black rice wine vinegar 2 tsp dark soy sauce

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1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp cornflour 1 tsp baking powder 20–25 gyoza wrappers (or see recipe below to make your own) • 85ml (¹∕³ cup) water • Salt and freshly ground black pepper Dipping sauce • 3 tbsp light soya sauce • 1 tbsp black rice wine vinegar • 2–3 tsp chilli oil • Pinch of sugar

To make your own wrappers, sift 155g (1 ½ cups) plain flour into a large bowl. Slowly pour in 60ml (¼ cup) warm water, mixing it into the flour with a fork or some chopsticks until you have a thick dough. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead it for 5–8 minutes until it’s smooth – try not to add more flour but keep kneading until it comes together. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave for 20 minutes while you make the dumpling filling. Turn the dough out and knead again for 5 minutes until smooth. Shape into a log around 2 ½ cm (1 in) wide. Slice 20 rounds off the log. Use a rolling pin to roll each round into a pancake about 7 ½–10 cm (3–4 in) wide. Once they’re rolled out, put them on a tray and cover with a clean damp cloth so they don’t dry out as you fill and seal them. For the filling, place the kale in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and toss a couple of times to coat it. Put a plate on top of the kale to weigh it down and leave it in the sink to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Warm a little groundnut or sunflower oil in a frying pan. Add the shiitake mushrooms and fry over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until they’re a little browned and any excess liquid has cooked off. Add the kale to the pan. Cook and stir for 3–4 minutes until the kale has wilted a little. Put the mushrooms and kale into a sieve and press with the back of a spoon to squeeze out any excess water. Transfer the mushrooms and kale to a bowl and then season with a good sized pinch of salt and pepper. Stir the spring onion, ginger, garlic, black rice wine vinegar, soya sauce, sesame oil, cornflour and baking powder into the mushrooms and kale. Give everything a really good stir to mix it all together. If using, take one gyoza wrapper and cradle it in the palm of your hand. Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the middle of it. Fold the wrapper skin over so the edges are lined up and pinch the right hand corner together. Use your right index finger to push a fold into the top (left) side of the wrapper and then pinch the pleat closed with the bottom (right) side of the wrapper. Repeat until you have crimped the top of the dumpling together and have a crescent-shaped dumpling (if you’re left handed, just start from the left). Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling. Warm a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat until it’s very hot. Add 1–2 tablespoon of groundnut or sunflower oil to the pan and add the dumplings. (If your pan isn’t large enough, cook them in batches). Turn the heat down and fry the dumplings for 2–3 minutes until they’re golden on the bottom. Add the water to the frying pan, put on the lid and simmer for 10–12 minutes until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are cooked all the way through. Stir the dipping sauce ingredients together and pour them into a bowl. Serve with the hot dumplings.

Per 100g:

131

5.8g

1.1g

3.6g

0.1g

4.2g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Kale, Black Beans and Chipotle Cashew Cream Serves 4 • • • • • • • •

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4 sweet potatoes Vegetable oil, if desired 1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion ¼ tsp salt 2 garlic cloves, minced 450g (2 cups) cavolo nero (kale), washed, de-stemmed and cut into thin ribbons 175 g (2 7∕8 cups) cooked black beans

175g (1 ¹∕8 cups) sweetcorn kernels, thawed if frozen Chipotle cashew cream • 175g (1 ¹∕8 cups) raw cashew nuts • 240ml (1 cup) water • 1 tinned chipotle pepper in adobo • 2 garlic cloves • Juice of 1 lime • ½ tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). To make the chipotle cashew cream, place the cashews in a food processor or liquidizer with the water, chipotle pepper, garlic, lime juice and salt. Blend for about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until perfectly smooth and creamy. If you’re using a regular blender and any small bits of cashew remain, strain through a fine-mesh sieve if desired. Scrub the sweet potatoes and dry them thoroughly. Poke some holes in various places with the tines of a fork. If you want the skins to crisp a bit, rub lightly all over with vegetable oil. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking tray and bake for 45–75 minutes, depending on size,until tender throughout. Heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add the onion and salt and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring from time to time, until soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until wilted and tender. Stir in the beans and sweetcorn and continue to cook for about 2 minutes more, until heated through. To serve, open each sweet potato, spoon on some of the kale mixture and drizzle with chipotle cream.

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Thrifty tips and tricks for vegans on a budget

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aybe you’re feeling the pinch after a festive period full of overindulgence, or maybe you’ve a New Years’ resolution to save up for that summer holiday in the sun. Either way, we could all do with saving a few pennies where we can, and this edition of the Vegan Student is all about helping you to reduce food waste and save money by making the best use of your leftovers. I’ve gone through a few of the foods that I find end up in leftovers, with some top tips for using them up in creative ways. Rice It’s the question on every home cook’s lips: how much rice do I cook? I personally nearly always get it wrong and end up with a ton of leftover rice. According to the Food Standards Agency, cooked rice is good to reheat up to 24 hours later, as long as it has been kept in the fridge. Try the following idea to use up your leftover rice, or see the recipe to the right. • Almond milk rice pudding – this makes a great breakfast for curing a hangover. For every 225g (1 cup) of rice, use 700ml (3 cups) of almond milk. Add the milk and rice to a pan along with a cinnamon stick, ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and some vegan sweetener to taste, and cook for 5–10 minutes. Stir in a dash of non–dairy cream (if you’re feeling cheeky) and serve topped with fresh or frozen berries. Pasta To use up leftover cooked pasta, try making a pasta bake the following day. Mix the pasta with chopped cooked carrot and sweet potato, fresh spinach, frozen peas and a jar of tomato sauce, then add to a baking dish and top with grated vegan cheese. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until bubbling.

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sauce or tamari, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, ½ teaspoon scriacha and 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and stir in a minute before serving. Add your leftover veg to a soup or stew, such as a simple warming winter stew made with extra virgin olive oil, onion, carrots, celery, and pearl barley. Try folding your leftover veg into a quesadilla, along with your favourite vegan cheese and some guacamole. Or make a beany filling for burritos– sauté tomatoes, garlic and kale in a little water before adding black beans, your leftover veg and some smoked paprika and cooking for 5 minutes. Great served in a burrito along with rice, guacamole, salsa, and hot sauce. For a quick, simple and healthy lunch, reheat the veggies in a microwave, then mix with cooked couscous or quinoa and some tomato paste. Top with houmous, or make a simple tahini sauce by stirring together a 1:1 ratio of tahini and water, a dash of lemon juice and some black pepper. Leftover Brussels sprouts? Try making a yummy warm salad by frying up the brussels with some shallots. Stir in the zest of a lemon and some pomegranate seeds, along with a dressing made with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon molasses. Top with crushed pistachios or pumpkin seeds, if you’re feeling fancy.

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Thai-style Sweet Corn Fritters These are a favourite in my house.

Potatoes Try frying–up leftover potatoes into an Indian–inspired curried potato dish. Either cut your potato into small cubes, or use leftover mash. Fry onions, garlic and ginger in a little oil, then add the potato along with curry powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and turmeric to taste, and fry until golden brown. To make sag aloo, stir in a large quantity of spinach just before serving (frozen spinach is the most economical to use, just defrost it before adding it to the potato by cooking down in a little water).

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4 tbsp gluten–free flour 3 tbsp cornstarch 115ml (½ cup) soya milk ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper 265g (1 ½ cups) fresh or frozen sweet corn, blanched and drained

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Cooked vegetables e.g. carrots, peas, broccoli… Someone didn’t eat their veggies at the table? No problem! The possibilities for using them up are endless: • Try slipping the veg into a stir–fry along with sugar snap peas, red pepper and tofu cubes. If you have leftover rice, you can throw that in too. Make a dressing by mixing together 2 tablespoons soy

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Combine the flour, cornstarch, soya milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Heat the oil over a high heat in a non-stick frying pan. Add ladles of the batter (which should be quite thick) with a large spoon to the pan and shape into patties about 10cm in width. Fry until golden on both sides. Delicious served sandwiched in leaves of iceberg lettuce with hot sauce.

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250g (1 cup) cooked white rice 1 small bunch coriander, finely chopped 1 red chilli, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 3-4 tbsp sesame oil, for frying


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Meet the chef Gabriela Lerner

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abriela Lerner is passionate about raw food for a very good reason. The foodie has used the power of fruit and veggies to help control some health issues, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and hypoglycaemia* for over 20 years. 

Before discovering the benefits of raw, Gabriela’s husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer (he is now in his fourth cancer–free year). The pair embarked upon a learning journey, hoping to ease his symptoms with nutrition. The changes they made were gradual – the key, Gabriela believes, to making them sustainable. As Gabriela learned more about nutrition, she realised that learning never stops. Nutritional knowledge changes and new information always becomes available. As a result, she describes herself as a ‘life–long nutrition and wellness learner’. She shares her experiences and knowledge through retreats.

“A raw food retreat gives you the opportunity to do all the relaxing and revitalising.” Why are retreats a good idea? Retreats are a great idea because they give you so much more than a holiday. When people go on holiday, they often over–indulge on the wrong foods, often put on weight, drink too much alcohol, and perhaps even go to bed too late. This may be fun, but doesn’t re–set and re–charge your batteries. A raw food retreat gives you the opportunity to do all the relaxing and revitalising, it feeds you the healthiest food, you will learn a thing or two about yourself and how to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. You may also get to meet amazing, like–minded people, who don’t need convincing that eating vegan is a good idea. What can people expect at your retreats? My new retreats in 2017 come under the title Raw Love Awakening. I take my guests to stunning locations that give them a bit of luxury but with a feeling of ‘being at home’, so they can really relax and enjoy themselves. The food will be 100 per cent raw vegan, although in the winter months there will be warming or warmed foods available. Raw Love Awakening Retreats will also include a form of exercise, usually yoga, spiritual practice in the form of meditation, as well as group coaching sessions to help people understand their blocks to living a healthy lifestyle. This includes what makes it difficult for them, and how can they overcome these blocks. There will be one or two workshops focusing on how to integrate high vibrational raw foods. Above all, however, the retreats are about discovering love in all areas of life, learning how to be deeply involved with life, which is so much more meaningful than just having a ‘good day’, and about making lifelong friends. What would you suggest are good first steps for getting into raw foods? Start with a green juice or smoothie and really keep it on the ‘green’ side, rather than on the sweet fruit side. A large glass (400–500ml) of green drink in the morning will reduce your need for coffee to keep you going and will instead create sustainable energy until lunch time. What are your favourite raw food meals? I do love a really well made raw pizza which brings together a beautiful seed crust, with lovely fresh vegetables and raw nut cheese. But actually on a more regular basis I am a great salad lover. I know people always say ‘there’s more to raw food than a salad’. But when you have been eating raw for a while, your need for fancy foods becomes less and honestly...anybody who thinks salads are boring just doesn’t know how to make a good one. *This article does not provide medical advice. If you have any health concerns, please visit your GP.

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Gabriela’S SIGNATURE DISH Nourish yourself with this delicious and vibrant cacao chia pudding

Chia Pudding Serves 1 Chia pudding is a wonderful nourishing and filling breakfast. With the added pumpkin and hemp seeds, this breakfast is rich in protein, minerals and essential omega 3 and 6 oils. Maca powder, a Peruvian root, provides vitamin B, C, and E, as well as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids. Maca powder is known to balance hormones and to increase energy. If you’re new to maca, start with only half a teaspoon and gradually build up to use more. • • • • • • • • •

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1 tbsp chia seeds 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds 125ml (½ cup) water 60ml (¼ cup) nut milk 1 tbsp raw cacao powder 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds 1 tbsp maca powder (optional) 1 tsp ground or freshly grated turmeric 1-2 tbsp linseed, ground

Soak the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds in the 125ml (½ cup) water overnight. Stir a couple of times in the first 10 minutes of soaking to distribute the chia seeds evenly. In the morning add all the other ingredients into the pudding and stir well. Serve with cashew yoghurt, soaked chopped nuts or fresh fruit.

From Gabriela Lerner Food Heroes available on Amazon or from radiantonraw.co.uk.

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TOP TIP • To make a warm chia pudding you don’t need to soak it overnight, but instead mix all ingredients in the morning with hot (not boiling) water and leave for 15 minutes.


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Banana drama A classic childhood favourite

Banana ‘Milkshake’ Makes 1–2 servings • • • • • • 1.

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1 ½ inch piece of vanilla beanpod, split lengthwise 2 frozen bananas 4 fresh bananas 2 dates, pitted 235ml (1 cup) coconut water ¹∕8 tsp cinnamon (optional) Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod and place them in a blender. Save the exterior of the vanilla bean pod for use blended into a smoothie or dessert. (Note that a high–speed blender will be necessary to break it down thoroughly). Place the remaining ingredients in the blender; blend until smooth and drink up.

Recipe and image from Anthony Williams, Medical Medium Life Changing Foods, Hay House UK, £22.99.

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Per 100g:

73

0.2g

0.1g

14.6g

0.1g

0.9g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


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Sweet Cherry Impress with this show stopper

Spiced Cherry IceCream Bombe • 200g (1 cup) cherries, halved and stoned • 4 tbsp crème de cassis liqueur • 100g (½ cup) sugar • 50ml (¼ cup) water • 1 stick of cinnamon Ice-cream • 220ml (1 cup) Oatly Chilled Oat drink, chilled • 500 ml (2 cups) Oatly Chilled Creamy Oat • 150g (¾ cup) caster sugar • 1 tsp vanilla extract 1.

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First, you need to marinate the cherries, so in a medium saucepan heat the water, sugar, cinnamon stick and cassis, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the liquid up to just below boiling point and take off the heat. Add the cherries and leave to cool, then chill. The longer you leave the cherries in the syrup, the better their flavour will be, but you can use them as soon as they are thoroughly chilled. While the cherries are chilling, you need to make the ice-cream. In a large bowl, stir the sugar into the Oatly oat drink until it dissolves. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice-cream machine and churn for 50 minutes. In the meantime line a 1 litre (2 pint) pudding basin or freezer proof bowl with 2 layers of cling film, leaving enough hanging over the edges to fold back over the pudding. After churning the ice-cream for 50 minutes, it should be nearly set, but a little loose. Lift half the cherries out of their syrup and fold gently into the icecream until they are evenly distributed. Spoon or pour the mixture into the lined basin, smooth the top and fold over the edges of the cling film. Freeze the bombe for at least 3 hours or overnight. To serve, dip the bombe into a bowl of warm water briefly to release it from the basin, being careful not to allow any water to get inside the bombe. Peel back the edges of the cling film. Turn the bombe, still in its basin, upside down onto a serving plate with a rim. Lift off the basin and peel away the cling film. Pour the chilled cherries in syrup (remove the cinnamon stick first) over the top of the bombe and then cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

TOP TIP If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, pour the ice-cream mixture into a lidded plastic box and freeze. Take the ice-cream out every hour and stir, whisk or whizz in the blender to break up the larger ice crystals. Return to the box and repeat until the ice-cream is almost completely set, and follow from 6 onwards. This recipe was made using Oatly Oat Drink. For more delicious recipes and further information about the Oatly way of life, visit facebook.com/oatlyab Per 100g:

171

6.6g

4.0g

25.3g

0.1g

2.1g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


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The perfect pair Turn this delicious fruit into something spectacular

Recipe and image from fullofplants.com @fullofplants on Facebook and Instagram

50

Per 100g:

249

14.7g

5.1g

19.5g

0.1g

5.6g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


No-Bake Chocolate Pear Tart Crust • 225g (1 ½ cup) cashews (or almonds, peanuts, etc) • 130g (¾ cup) pitted dates • ½ tsp vanilla extract Chocolate ganache • 200g (1 cup) dark chocolate chips • 235ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk • 1 tbsp almond butter Pears • 4 medium pears • 3 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tbsp coconut oil • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional) Toppings • Vegan vanilla ice–cream • Chopped nuts • Maple or vegan chocolate syrup

1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Prepare the crust: lightly grease an 8-inch pie pan and cover the bottom with baking paper. You can also use a springform pan. Place the cashews, dates and vanilla extract in a food processor and pulse until a fine crumble forms and sticks together. Press the crust mixture into the pie or springform pan. You can use a glass to flatten the crust. Refrigerate while preparing the filling and pears. To make the chocolate ganache: place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl, set aside. Place the almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot almond milk over chocolate chips, cover the bowl with a plate and let stand until the chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the almond butter and whisk well until well combined and smooth. Let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Pour the chocolate ganache into the centre of the nut crust. Place in the fridge to set for at least one hour. Prepare your pears: peel the pears, core them and cut into ¼-inch slices. Heat the maple syrup and coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pear slices and toss until they are coated with the maple syrup, add cinnamon (if using). Cook until the pear slices soften and begin to brown. Shake the frying pan from time to time to make sure the slices are not sticking to the bottom. Remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Arrange the pear slices in concentric circles over the chocolate ganache. Lightly brush them with some maple syrup to add a glossy finish. Place in the fridge until completely cool. Top with chopped nuts, ice-cream, maple syrup or chocolate syrup. The tart will keep for about 3 days in the fridge.

Baked Pears and Walnuts Per 100g:

148

9.4g

2.3g

11.4g

0.1g

2.5g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

• • • • •

2 pears 2 tsp cinnamon (to taste) 3 tsp maple syrup 3 tbsp walnuts Coconut or soya cream to serve (optional)

1. 2. 3.

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Cut your pears in half and scoop out the seeds. Fill the hole with walnuts and drizzle some maple syrup over each half. Sprinkle some cinnamon over each one and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake your pears for about 25 minutes. Serve with your choice of vegan cream.

4. 5. 6.

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52


Happy HAPPY BODIES - THE bodies ANTI FAD TOOLKIT Laura Thomas, PhD, RNutr, debunks the myths behind fad diets

E

very January we are inundated with new cookbooks, detoxes, and diets promising to make you thin and beautiful. Diet culture is so deeply entrenched in our society, that we sort of just go along with it, signing up for new gym memberships and doing juice cleanses because ‘that’s what you do’. But fad diets and quick fixes have one fatal flaw – they’re cheap tricks that don’t teach you the lifelong skills needed to be healthy. We all generally have a sense of what a healthy diet looks like – lots of whole plant–based foods (including a little of what you fancy) – it’s putting it into practice that’s more challenging. As a registered nutritionist, I’ve developed a toolkit I use with clients to help them ditch diets and fads for good. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ here and I’m giving you a brief intro into each of these tools. It’s up to you to figure out which ones resonate with you and where you want to do more research.

“Intuitive eating is all about ditching the diet ‘rules’ you think you should be following and instead giving yourself permission to eat what you like, when you like.” If you’re struggling to find balance after the festive period, please don’t waste your money on regimes that will only make you miserable. Talk to a registered nutritionist or dietitian about how they can help you make positive and lasting changes without starving yourself. (See below for my contact details). Intuitive Eating Intuitive eating is all about ditching the diet ‘rules’ you think you should be following, and instead giving yourself permission to eat what you like, when you like. Sounds almost counterintuitive doesn’t it? And that’s the point; we’re conditioned to think that foods are either bad or good. And the reality is they’re just food. Food is fuel, food is nourishment. Fact. We need food and we need to neutralise our judgements around food. When we give ourselves the permission to scratch that ‘vegan hot sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice–cream’ itch, instead of deeming it ‘bad’, we actually overall create more balance in our diet, and peace in our brains. Restriction creates anxiety around food and can actually lead to more overeating in the long run. You might have experienced >

53


this yourself – you’ve stuck to a diet similar in number of calories to that of a toddler’s all day, then something goes wrong at work or you get in an argument with your significant other [SO] and blow all your ‘good’ work on a tube of Pringles and a whole jar of peanut butter. You are literally eating your emotions so you throw yourself a pity party and end up feeling pretty awful. Eating intuitively means recognising that these feelings don’t belong to the food but are a symptom of something else. Maybe you aren’t happy in your job, for example? Or your SO needs to pull their weight. Listen to what your head is trying to tell you. Give yourself permission to eat what you want. It may sound scary to relinquish control, but chances are that if you were allowed to eat your favourite food all day every day, you’d get sick of it pretty quickly, and start to crave something green. Although it’s a simple concept, it can be hard to navigate – it’s worth talking to a registered nutritionist or dietitian about helping you to implement intuitive eating. Mindful Eating Most of the time when we eat we’re super distracted – watching TV, at our desks, on the run. When we do this our brain doesn’t really register what or how much we’re eating, and whether or not we even like the food. Mindful eating is about slowing down, paying attention, and most of all enjoying what you’re eating. This is a technique I use a lot with my clients and I get them to start with a simple meditation. Here’s what to do; grab a choc that’s all

54

wrapped up in shiny foil. Take yourself into a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed and sit comfortably. Look at the chocolate you’re holding in your hand. Appreciate the shiny foil, begin to anticipate the taste of the chocolate, feel the texture of the foil and the markings on the chocolate, really soak it in.

“Being body positive doesn’t mean that you have to give up on losing some weight or your fitness goals – it just means that loving yourself isn’t contingent on reaching those goals.” Now slowly peel back the foil, look at the deep, rich colour, and smooth texture of the chocolate. Hold it up to your face and fill your nose up with the aroma. Notice your taste buds going into overdrive. Think about how the chocolate will taste as it melts on your tongue. Now, take a bite. Thoroughly notice and enjoy the different textures and sensations in your mouth. One of two things will happen; either this will be the best piece of chocolate you have ever eaten or you’ll realise that you’re not that into dark chocolate after all. Obviously you can’t do this with all food and meals, but think about incorporating


elements of mindfulness into your day – even just eating without distractions is a good place to start. This will increase the pleasure you’re getting from what you’re eating (try it with a piece of fruit, I promise it will be the best piece of fruit you’ve ever eaten) and help you stop mindlessly shovelling in snacks you don’t even really want or enjoy. Chrononutrition You know that old saying, ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper’? Well, turns out it’s a real thing. Researchers are showing that by ignoring this sage advice, we could be putting ourselves at risk of several metabolic conditions, like type 2 diabetes and unhealthy weight gain. Research of shift workers confirms that by not eating in–line with our body clock, we cause our bodies to get confused – a bit like jet lag. What I typically see with my clients is a pattern of skipping breakfast (and just grabbing a coffee), a light lunch – soup or a salad – and then eating everything under the sun for dinner. And this is the exact opposite of the way our bodies work. Our metabolism is highest in the morning and slows down at night. If we skip breakfast, or eat late at night, our body becomes disconnected from its natural clock – or circadian rhythm if you want to get fancy. This can result in confused hunger and satiety signals, insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels, weight gain, and increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Try eating a big breakfast, moderate lunch, and smaller dinner. You can have snacks if you get hungry in the evening. Try avoiding caffeine after early afternoon as this can cause circadian misalignment too, as will blue light from your TV, computer, or ‘device’. Trying to eat at similar times every day will also help, and might event prevent cravings later in the day. Body Positivity Body positivity is built around the concept of loving yourself unconditionally – not when you reach a certain weight or fit into a particular clothes size. It’s about feeling good in the body you have and treating it with love and kindness. The idea is that by loving your body as it is, you can learn to be happier and more peaceful in the here and now. It’s a lifelong process – but here are a few things you can do right now to start being more body positive. 1.

When you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself – ask yourself if you’d say that to a friend. If the answer is no, turn it around and say something kind instead; learn to be your own friend.

2.

Likewise, notice if you’re saying negative things about other people’s bodies. The more positive we are about other people, especially their bodies, the more we learn to appreciate our own bodies.

3.

Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about yourself, try coming up with one or two things every day that you LOVE about yourself.

4.

Remember that your weight is just a number and it doesn’t measure your self worth and it doesn’t say anything about who you are as a person. Focus on the qualities that make you a badass; maybe you have a special talent or you’re a great parent/friend/partner. Maybe you’re the person who brings other people together.

5.

If someone pays you a compliment – don’t defer – just say thank you. Only then will you actually start to believe in them.

6.

Follow a wide variety of different body positive Instagram accounts – my favourite is @bodiposipanda – you can also listen to my interview with BodyPosiPanda on my podcast – search Don’t Salt My Game on iTunes.

Being body positive doesn’t mean that you have to give up on losing some weight or your fitness goals – it just means that loving yourself isn’t contingent on reaching those goals. Laura Thomas is a registered nutritionist and host of Don’t Salt My Game podcast on iTunes. You can follow Laura @laurathomasphd on Twitter and Instagram. You can contact her directly hello@laurathomasphd or visit her website laurathomasphd.co.uk – where she’s happy to give you more personal guidance.

55


Happ bodiesy

HAPPY BODIES – Some Moves These easy moves are a treat for desk-bound workers

S

tarving yourself on a fad diet or juice fast isn’t going to make your body happy – but these gentle exercises by yoga expert Meg Jackson should definitely soothe your aching muscles.

1

It’s a sad fact of modern life that many of us spend hours every day stuck behind a desk, leading to aching backs, tight shoulders, grinding teeth and more. According to Meg: “The bad news is yoga can’t stop Jenny from accounts shrieking at you about invoices, persuade Sam to stop eating lunch which smells like dead badger at his desk, or get David to remember that the person who empties the photocopier of paper should fill it up, dammit…but the good news is if you can do a couple of these moves at your desk throughout the day, you may find yourself feeling less achy, less stressed, and less inclined to beat anyone to death with a hole punch. “Remember to do these moves gently – you won’t be warmed up so focus on your breathing, with balanced inhales and exhales. Stop if you feel pain or extreme discomfort. Also, if you’re using a chair which has wheels, ensure it’s not going to unexpectedly roll across the floor. This may end in much hilarity for your colleagues (depending on how nice they are), but an awkward trip to A&E for you.”

56

Nice Neck Release Place your left hand on your left shoulder, fingers pointing towards your neck. Place the right hand over the top of your head so that the fingertips reach just behind the top of your left ear. Inhale, and on the exhale gently pull down with your left hand so that you encourage the shoulder down and away from your ear. At the same time, use the right hand to lengthen the side of the neck even more by very gently pulling the head over towards the right. Stay here for a couple of breaths before repeating on the other side. Nice, right?


2

Stretch it Out A simple one but a delicious one! Stand up, and cross your left leg over your right. Stand equally on both feet. (If this makes you wobble, you can also leave your legs uncrossed). Inhale and lift your left palm up to the ceiling, keeping the left shoulder down and away from your ear. Hold your left wrist with your right hand. Inhale – get lovely and long, then exhale and arch to the right. Try not to collapse down through the right side – imagine both sides of your torso keeping lovely and long. Ground down evenly through both feet. Stay here, breathing evenly, for as long as you like. Now do the other side so that you’re not all wonky.

Happy Hips Bring your bum to the edge of your chair. With your right foot flat on the floor, bend your left knee and lift it up towards your chest. Flex your left foot, and carefully place the knobbly bit of your left ankle on the top of your right knee. Keep your hand on the left knee to support it. Inhale, and sit up as tall as you can. On an exhale see if you can allow the left knee to drop down towards the floor. If it’s comfortable to sit here, and if your shin is parallel to the floor you can take a gentle forward fold to add a bit more ‘ooomph’ to the release. Stay here for as many breaths as feel good, and don’t forget to do the other side.

3

4

Folding not filing Put your bum on the edge of the chair and place feet flat on the floor, wider than hip width apart. Inhale – lift and lengthen your spine. On an exhale, fold from your hips and take your hands to the floor in between your feet. Inhale once more to get even more length in your spine, then fold down between your knees. If your hands won’t reach to the floor, you can place them on some books, or rest them on your shins. To juice it up a bit and throw in a shoulder release too, interlace your hands behind you with straight arms, and take the hands up and behind your head. Stay here for as many breaths as feel good. Come up slowly on an inhale. If anyone is giving you a strange look, smile sweetly at them before going down again, just to confuse them.

Meg Jackson is founder of Real Life Yoga – a movement to get people to bring a little (or a lot) of yoga into their real lives. Find out more at reallifeyoga.net

57


Happ bodiesy

HAPPY BODIES – THE HAPPY MIND Karen Farhat offers her unique perspective on the mind-body connection

J

ust because it’s New Year doesn’t mean we have to obsess over impossible new challenges. While ambition is good, at this time of year there is an overwhelming temptation to adopt unrealistic resolutions and set impossible goals, that can often only lead to failure. Maybe we shouldn’t make such a big deal out of the New Year; there is certainly a case to say the more we give our challenges weight and importance, the more they will weigh on us. I believe there is a child in each one of us that doesn’t like to be told what to do, certainly not by our ‘preaching mind’. Our mind sets rules and regulations on us, while the ‘childish’ body just wants to rebel against everything, even against rebelling. Does that sound familiar? I think it’s best to treat the New Year like any other day, and definitely not like a Monday – for some reason, whenever we want to start a new task, mission, or purpose, we say: “OK, we’ll start on Monday.” No– one really wants to start something new on the weekend. Who starts dieting on a weekend, for example? And it just doesn’t feel right to start a project on Wednesday. So we always push it to Monday. I think of a New Year as a series of Mondays – maybe it begins with remembering that the school week starts on a Monday, triggering our childhood impulses. It sometimes seems we spend half of our lives waiting to achieve something in the future. Spiritual teacher and writer Eckhart Tolle once said: “Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. The present moment is life itself.” So, go with the flow. Let’s not force ourselves to do something about which we are not yet convinced. Instead of putting sanctions on our being, let’s focus on our well–being. Take baby steps. Realise that whatever we are doing, we’re doing it for ourselves, our own selves. Let’s ‘try’ to focus on: • Appreciating ourselves. • Feeling grateful for the little things in our lives. • Loving ourselves, because by truly loving ourselves, we’ll start to take care of our bodies.

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• •

Releasing the constant expectations and accepting whatever comes. Embracing change, because every single thing in the universe depends on movement in one form or another; our bodies function both internally and externally because of movement.

Exercises for positivity in body and mind 1. Write in a gratefulness journal. List three things you are grateful about at the end of each day, no matter how small, from appreciating a flower to being grateful for receiving a positive health report. 2. Affirmations are very important, firm reminders to repeat before we sleep and when we wake up, such as: ‘I am beautiful and perfect,’ ‘I am full of happiness and love,’ and ‘I embrace life fully’. 3. Before you do anything – before you eat, speak, or move – try to take a couple of seconds and inhale and exhale with presence. Then try to decide what is the best thing to eat, say, or move. 4. If something bothers you about a person or incident, or if you feel any aspect of your life is stuck, write about it, in detail, on paper. Then tear up and burn the paper, releasing the negative energy from your body and mind. 5. Free yourself. Always remember: you are free and there is hope. Don’t feel stuck in your mind. You can record yourself talking about an issue and then listen to it many times. Over time, it will cease to have the same effect. Then, reward yourself for your release.

Karen Farhat is the founder of Body Mind Consultancy (BMC) which offers an abundant selection of bespoke healing modalities including: transpersonal counselling, relaxation response , science of mind, heartmath intelligence, dream analysis, spiritual astrology and much more via its branches in London and Beirut as well as personalised online sessions accessible anywhere (bodymindconsultancy.co.uk)


59


, n a g ve

You’re not Are you? Comedian Jake Yapp shares his favourite vegan recipes with us

J

ake Yapp is a writer and comedian who went from vegetarian to vegan in 2011. Since then, he has discovered the unbridled joy of veganism (no, honest), but tempers his zeal with an understanding that it can be a strange, mystifying, and even worrying concept for some. Not to mention weird. This series of recipes is designed to give hope to new vegans, encouragement to would–be vegans, and an option other than hummus for relatives of vegans who aren’t sure what to cook. Each recipe comes with a handy ‘vegan level’ rating, from beginner level 1 (chips) to advanced level 5 (tempeh).

Creamy Sweetcorn Chowder Vegan level: 1 | Serves: Twoish This is a hearty, comforting soup, and is really quick and easy to make for when you want a hit of warmth, or if you’ve suddenly agreed to supply a magazine with a new recipe every month and the first deadline is in four hours. Obviously I am not remotely writing from experience. I’ll do something posher next time, I promise. • • • • • 1.

2. 3.

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495g (3 cups) frozen sweetcorn 470ml (2 cups) water 2 tbsp marigold organic vegetable stock powder 4-6 heaped tbsp dried coconut milk powder, depending on how creamy you want it to be Finely chopped chilli (optional) Boil the water and add the sweetcorn. Bring back to a boil, add the vegetable stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes. With a stick blender (or liquidiser, but that is just adding to the washing up) blend the sweetcorn thoroughly until it’s reasonably smooth. Add the coconut milk powder and blend again. Serve with crusty bread, and finely chopped chillis or a few spots of your favourite hot sauce. This has some Thai connotations - and if you like a spicier twist, try adding a couple of teaspoonfuls of green curry paste to taste. Or dried lemongrass powder. (And, confession time, I am usually a bit more generous with the coconut milk powder, until I’m basically eating coconut cream with a sweetcorn garnish).

Jake says: “If you’re vegan and you haven’t yet discovered the myriad delights to be extracted from dried coconut milk powder, then, well…you’re in for a good time. I prefer it to the canned variety, because you can control its consistency – from a slightly decadent milk for your breakfast cereal, to a glorious, thick, glopping luxury for puddings. Be careful what you buy, though – some of the most popular brands are bulked out, depressingly, with cows’ milk powder. It’s one of those ingredients it’s worth spending the money on, too – I buy it a kilo at a time and it lasts for months. I once bought some cheap stuff, though, and it was like trying to cook with sawdust.”


61


there’s no taste like home Serve up some homemade classics

TOP TIP You may have leftover dressing and cheese. The dressing and cheese will both keep for up to 2 weeks in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Per 100g:

62

200

11.9g

2.2g

2.3g

0.4g

7.9g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Recipes and images reprinted from Homestyle Vegan by Amber St. Peter with the permission of Page Street Publishing Co.


Caesar Salad With Homemade Dill Croutons Serves 6 •

2 medium bunches romaine lettuce 600g (8 cups), chopped • 1 medium bunch Lacinato kale 200g (3 cups) stems removed, chopped • 50g (1 cup) thinly sliced spring onions Dressing • 75g (½ cup) raw cashews • 240ml (1 cup) hot water • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tsp Dijon mustard • 3 cloves garlic • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast • ½ tsp salt • ½ tsp pepper • 60ml (¼ cup) water Dill croutons • 300g (6 cups) cubed stale sourdough bread (2 ½ cm cubes) • 3 tbsp olive oil • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill • ½ tsp salt • ¼ tsp pepper Vegan parmesan • 150g (1 cup) raw cashews • 30g (¼ cup) nutritional yeast • ¾ tsp salt • ¼ tsp garlic powder 1. 2. 3.

4.

5.

6.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Place the chopped greens and spring onions in a large salad bowl and set aside in the fridge to chill. To make the dressing, soak the raw cashews in the hot water for at least 30 minutes. Drain the water off and pour the cashews into a food processor or high–speed blender. Pour in the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and water and blend on high speed until the mixture becomes creamy. Pour the dressing into a small bowl and place it in the fridge to chill with the greens. To make the croutons, spread the stale bread cubes over the lined baking tray and drizzle evenly with the olive oil. Toss the cubes to evenly coat them in the oil, then sprinkle the fresh dill, salt and pepper over the top. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside to cool. While the croutons bake, prepare the vegan parmesan by combining the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes a fine meal. To prepare the Caesar salad, pull the greens from the fridge and drizzle with the dressing. You don’t need to use it all, your choice. Use two spoons or a set of tongs to toss the greens evenly in the dressing. Sprinkle the croutons and parmesan cheese generously over the top and serve immediately.

Per 100g:

179

3.1g

0.3g

2.1g

0.6g

5.9g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Potato Leek Crostini

Serves 6–8

• • • • • • • • • • •

1 sourdough or French bread baguette, sliced 2 ½ cm thick 1400ml (6 cups) water 475g (2 cups) red potatoes cut into 2 ½ cm cubes 2 medium leeks, ends trimmed 2 cloves garlic 115g (½ cup) vegan mayo 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 2 tsp lemon juice 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper

1.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spread the bread slices on the baking tray and bake for 10 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re golden and crisp. Set aside to cool. In a medium–size saucepan, combine the water and cubed red potatoes. Bring to a low boil for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork–tender. Drain the water and set aside. Thinly slice the leeks and mince the garlic. Set aside. In a medium–size mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, fresh dill, salt and pepper. Add in the leeks, garlic and cooled potatoes and toss to evenly coat them in the sauce mixture. Scoop the mixture onto the slices of baguette and top with a sprinkle of fresh dill. Serve and enjoy.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

TOP TIP

You can easily make the potato leek mixture ahead and just use when you’re ready. I would not recommend baking the slices of baguette until you’re ready to eat them or they’ll get too hard. 63


vegan fitness

PLANT POWER Extreme athlete Ross Edgley tells us about why he’s giving Veganuary a go

P

ulling a Mini for 26.2 miles, running 1,000 miles barefoot, and climbing a rope until he’d scaled the equivalent height of Mount Everest are just some of the endurance challenges self– confessed ‘strange sportsman’ Ross Edgley has undertaken over the last year – raising lots of money for charities along the way. He has over a decade’s experience in the sporting world, representing his country in water polo, as well as studying the academics of sport, graduating from the respected Loughborough University School of Sport and Exercise Science, gaining first class honours for his dissertation on strength, stamina, and adaptations to various training protocols. He has now applied this practical and academic experience to become a strength and conditioning coach (based at the English Institute of Sport). It’s fair to say Ross is at the top of his game when it comes to sport and sports nutrition. Now, supported by charity Veganuary, the athletic enthusiast will be powering his adventures purely with plants as he gives veganism a shot this month. “I think a plant–based diet is athletic by its very nature,” he tells Vegan Life. “2010 research published by the American College of Sports Medicine stated that ‘diets high in unrefined plant foods are associated with beneficial effects on overall health, lifespan, immune function and cardiovascular health’. It also said ‘whether a vegetarian or vegan diet is beneficial for athletic performance has not yet been defined’. It’s my

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hope my newly invented sport, the tree–athlon, will help define these potential benefits.” Ah yes, the tree–athlon. If you’re scratching your head wondering what this is, you’re not alone. It’s the totally unique challenge Ross invented to test his sporting and nutritional theories. It involves doing an Olympic length triathlon – while carrying a 100lb tree. Now getting into the science of it, how can he break down the challenge to test how well a plant–based diet can support athletic performance? Ross says: “It’s important to note the success (or failure) of the tree– athlon will be determined long before I attach the tree to myself and head into the water. This is because all endurance sports require an understanding of bioenergetics. This is the study of the transformation of energy (calories from food) in living organisms, and whilst an impressive lung capacity and a brilliant lactic threshold (the point at which your muscles ‘burn’ and ‘fatigue’) will help, it counts for very little when you’re not meeting your calorie requirements and/or you’re eating a poor fuel (calorie) source that’s low in nutrients. A vegan diet can help with both of these things. “Generally speaking, our food is becoming more calorie–dense and less nutrient–dense. Our meals are now fast and our metabolisms are slow. As a result, The New England Journal of Medicine has identified a


new kind of obesity that’s coupled with malnutrition. It sounds like a contradiction, but people are eating more yet not getting the vital minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and enzymes they need to fight off disease. “Taking teachings from the vegan diet’s philosophy can help.” Ross says this is because – generally speaking – vegan diets are often higher in phytochemicals, fibre, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, folic acid and minerals that are all too often overlooked. They’re also often lower in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. Ross says: “This is why most vegan athletes I know never count calories. No, they count nutrients and embrace a way of life that scientists at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center have long said could be of benefit when tackling weight issues. Attacking the obesity epidemic will involve giving up many old ideas that have not been productive. A calorie is a calorie might be a good place to start’. “You could argue adopting a more nutrient–dense diet could improve our immune system and prevent us from overtraining too. This is based on research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that wanted to determine the impact different carbohydrate choices had on a person’s immune system and more specifically their cytokine concentration. Cytokines are basically responsible for carrying signals between the cells of the immune system. They’re believed to be critical to preventing the body becoming sick and over–trained from too much exercise. Now whilst the intricacies of the human immune system are incredibly complex (and need more than one interview to explain) it has been found that a high intake of vegetables may reduce inflammatory processes and improve the immune system as indicated by their positive effect on cytokines. “To put it all more simply, a vegan diet could help you train harder and longer and not get ill – an athletic, muscular physique is a bi–product.” So how does he plan to fuel himself through the tree–athlon? “How many calories does a tree– athlon burn?” Ross says.“This is going to be difficult to predict, but let me talk you through the theory. An Olympic–distance triathlon consists of a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride and finally a 10km run (for dessert). If you complete that in the average three hours and nine minutes you might burn between 1,960 calories (for smaller triathletes) and 3,000 calories (for larger triathletes). But then there’s me and my tree. When you add a 100lb log (45kg) to my 210lb (95kg), 5ft 9” frame it means I will be standing on the start line weighing 310lb (140kg). Not so bad when the log floats, but the run and bike will be a lot less fun. “All things considered, when it comes to my calories, I think I’ll be classed as one of the XXXL triathletes. This is because studies show whether you’re running, walking or crawling, once you add weight of any kind your energy (calorie) demands become elevated. All things considered, my final caloric expenditure could be anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000. Considering I’ve committed to a vegan diet that’s a lot of vegan snacks that are high in carbohydrates and fats, like chia seeds fused with granola and nut butters.” Looking to the future, Ross sees exciting things happening: “2017 is set to be crazy,” he says. “Last year has basically made a lot of the sports science community stand–up and take note. A lot of people were asking how it was possible, so going into 2017 we have some amazing experts and facilities who will hook me up to machines and test me, analysing how you fuse strength, stamina and work capacity. I also hope we objectively uncover and break a lot of myths around vegan diets too.” Clea Grady, Veganuary’s marketing manager, says: “We’re very excited that Ross is taking part. There are many fantastic vegan athletes busting the ‘all vegans are weak’ myth, but it’s a misconception that has firmly taken hold so anything we can do to further blow it apart has got to be a good thing. And I’m pretty confident that Ross is the man to do just that. Anyone who decides that an Olympic–distance triathlon is improved by carrying a tree (Ross completed the world’s first ‘tree–athlon’ in November) can hardly be regarded as weak. The other cool thing about Ross is how closely he monitors nutrition and its effects. In fact, discovering the impact of plant foods on athletic performance is his main motivation for trying vegan. We’ll be tracking and reporting his progress via social media and a dedicated blog series on Veganuary.com. It’s a must–read for anyone interested in plant–based health and fitness.”

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DO YOU HAVE S.A.D.? Pharmacist Kevin Leivers discusses how vegan food and supplements can help prevent this winter illness

J

anuary is officially the saddest month of the year, when overindulgence combines with the lack of sunlight and warmth to create a perfect storm on body and mind. However, this dip in mood and energy starts well before the New Year.

How many people have S.A.D.? For about 21 per cent of the UK population, some of the symptoms of S.A.D. cause discomfort and a noticeable change in mood. This is called ‘sub–syndromal S.A.D.’ or ‘winter blues’.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, because scientific research into functional nutrition is providing welcome relief for the millions of sufferers of this condition. Go back 20 years, and the concept of mind/body medicine was dismissed by mainstream practitioners. Fast forward to the present day and the majority of professionals accept that mindfulness and meditation can have significant health benefits for cardiovascular and mental health. Similar attitudes have slowed the introduction of new food–based approaches to maintaining good health and treating disease, including those for S.A.D. or seasonal affective disorder.

For a further eight per cent, S.A.D. is a much more serious illness which can prevent normal daily function without appropriate treatment.

What is S.A.D.? S.A.D. is a depressive illness caused by shortened daylight hours and a lack of sunlight.

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What are the symptoms of S.A.D.? • a persistent low mood • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities • irritability • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight


What Causes S.A.D.? One theory holds that the increased hours of darkness disrupt the brain chemicals that affect mood, such as serotonin and melatonin. Some experts believe reduced sunlight causes vitamin D deficiencies – but whether that translates into depression is not entirely clear. There have been conflicting studies on whether there’s a causal connection between low vitamin D levels and depression. While light therapy appears to be one of the most effective treatments for S.A.D., what you eat can also play a role in alleviating its symptoms. Of course, as with any medical issue, talk with your doctor about treatments if you’re dealing with any kind of depression. How can S.A.D. be treated? The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that S.A.D. should be treated in the same way as other types of depression. The symptoms of S.A.D. can be improved through a combination of different techniques including light therapy, psychosocial treatments including cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling, and lastly, antidepressants. However, there are many steps you can take yourself, including regularly exercising and consuming a healthy, balanced diet (which is generally the case for vegans). Vegan Foods and supplements for S.A.D. symptoms ‘Superfood’ Supplements – saffron and turmeric Recent clinical research in Spain and Australia has shown that 30mg a day of 3.5 per cent strength saffron can help psychological balance, nervousness, and improve sleep patterns. Saffrosun is the only vegan–friendly supplement available that contains 3.5 per cent strength of saffron along with vitamins B6, B12 and D3. There is also a significant amount of research supporting the benefits of turmeric for balancing mood. You should take a daily supplement of turmeric high in curcuminoids (95 per cent, minimum 350mg), that also contains black pepper extract which significantly improves absorption. (I recommend Natruflex, from The Naked Pharmacy, with 95 per cent turmeric and black pepper). Vitamin supplements Modern lifestyles and farming practices are contributing to significant deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals. Research at the University of Surrey has shown that over 50 per cent of the population has insufficient intake of vitamin D, so choosing the most effective version, vitamin D3, in a supplement, can have significant health benefits. Low levels of some B vitamins are associated with depression. Vitamin B12 is one of the most important of these and can be obtained from taking a good quality vitamin B complex supplement. Vegan–friendly non–dairy milks and cereals are also generally fortified with vitamin B12. Foods rich in omega 3 Omega–3–fatty acids have been found to influence mood and help with symptoms of depression. They also help maintain healthy levels of serotonin and another brain chemical, dopamine. High levels of omega–3 fatty acids are found in flax seeds, walnuts, hemp, chia and seaweed. Foods rich in folic acid Folic acid can boost mood by helping the body create serotonin. High amounts of folic acid can be found in leafy greens, sunflower seeds, oranges, oats, lentils and beans. Dark green, leafy veggies such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and spinach are also high in folate, a B vitamin that can help depression by raising the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Tyrosine rich foods The NHS recommends 50g of protein daily for adults. Vegan proteins contain important amino acids such as tyrosine which can positively affect the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Foods high in tyrosine include adzuki beans and raw oats.

If you are concerned about your health, please visit your GP. This article is not intended as a substitute for medical advice.

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utterly nutterly Fuel up with these nutty treats

Avocado, Almond Butter and Spiced Sunflower Seeds Toast Makes 2 slices • • • • • • •

2 tbsp sunflower seeds ¼ tsp paprika ¼ tsp ground cumin Pinch of sea salt 2 slices of multigrain bread 4 tbsp almond butter 1 ripe avocado

1.

Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the paprika, cumin and sea salt and toast for a further minute. Meanwhile, toast the bread and spread with almond butter while still warm. Peel and thinly slice the avocado. Lay the avocado on the toast and sprinkle with the seeds.

2.

Recipes from Pip & Nut The Nut Butter Cookbook by Pippa Murray (Quadrille, £15) Photography by Adrian Lawrence

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Per 100g:

269

16.2g

3.6g

2.0g

0.7g

8.5g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


Vegan Almond Fudge Per 100g:

Makes 21 cubes

635

53.6g

20.1g

9.7g

0.9g

21.0g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

• • • • •

A little vegetable oil, for greasing 50g (1 ¾ oz) coconut oil 3 ½ tbsp maple syrup ¼ tsp sea salt 350g (1 ½ cups) almond butter

1.

Lightly grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin and line with baking paper so it overhangs the long sides. Melt the coconut oil, maple syrup and salt in a small saucepan over a low heat. Spoon the almond butter into a large mixing bowl, then slowly pour in the melted ingredients, stirring as you go. Keep stirring until completely smooth and combined. Don’t worry – at this stage it will be quite runny. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the tin, uncovered, on a flat surface in the freezer and freeze for at least 1 hour, or until solid. Take out the freezer and, using the edges of the baking paper, pull the whole slab out of the tin. Cut the slab into 21 cubes (lengthways into 3, then across into 7) then place in an airtight container and store in the freezer. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

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FAST AND FURIOUS Paul Freestone reviews the latest fast food exposé

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ast year, the Labour Party banned fast food giant McDonalds from having a promotional stand at its annual conference, losing £30,000 worth of sponsorship as a result. This prompted David Cameron – who was prime minister at the time – to praise the burger outlet during Prime Minister’s Questions. He said: “They are one of Britain's biggest employers. No wonder Labour MPs are in despair. Frankly, I'm lovin' it." While the company may provide employment, a recently published book - Fast Food: The Good, The Bad & The Hungry - highlights how low pay, poor working conditions and persistent anti-union activity have been crucial to the financial success of the global junk food business. I doubt the ex-prime minister (or his replacement) have ever had the slightest interest in how McDonalds treats its workers, or what it's like to exist on minimum pay and zero hour contracts. And while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took a stand against the company by removing it from the conference, some of his own MPs were furious. In 2001 a detailed and shocking expose of the junk food business in the USA was a surprise bestseller. Within a few years of being published, Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal is Doing to the World sold over 1.5 million copies. It’s been translated into 15 languages, and a documentary (of the same title)

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was released in 2006. However, despite the popularity and influence of Fast Food Nation nothing much has changed in the last 15 years. In fact, the growth and universal impact of the junk food business has expanded into almost every corner of the planet. Fast food is synonymous with junk food because the vast majority of the items sold by this industry are burgers, fries and chicken nuggets. McDonalds bosses will claim they also sell 'healthy options', but the introduction of tiny bags of chopped fruit is a typically cynical tactic.

"It's now estimated that there are one million fast food outlets across the world." It's now estimated that there are one million fast food outlets across the world, and these locations include numerous hospitals in the UK and the USA. The American author of this new book writes: "The single most influential culinary trend of our time is fast food. It has changed eating, and created a model that works everywhere." He also states that: "The main purpose of this book is to examine controversies


related to the fast food industry." Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of those; the poor nutritional quality of the food itself; the disastrous consequences for human health; the explicit and dedicated marketing to children; the highly exploited workers; and the endless slaughter of billions of animals. There are numerous facts and figures, but Fast Food: The Good, The Bad & The Hungry is much more than just a compilation of disturbing statistics. It's a timely reminder of what's happening in this pernicious industry, and despite the frequently grim subject matter it's a really good read. Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation revealed that a single burger was a minced concoction using bits of meat from over 100 different carcasses. That's clearly out of date as the new book claims the following: "Today, a fast food burger may contain meat from 1,000 cows that have been raised in five different countries."

"Today, a fast food burger may contain meat from 1,000 cows that have been raised in five different countries." This greatly increases the risk of nasty bacterial infections. The USDA [United States Dept of Agriculture] estimates that contaminated meat causes ‘70 per cent of all food borne illnesses in the USA’. Fast Food also highlights other dodgy practices including antibiotic-laced animal feed. About 70 per cent of the total antibiotics now used in the USA are given to pigs, chickens and cattle. This is done routinely (in the absence of any disease) as the antibiotics act as a growth promoter. Other dubious cost cutting procedures can really hit the headlines, and via the internet 'go viral'. An example of this is ‘pink slime’. Officially referred to as LFTB (lean, finely textured beef) this became better known as 'pink slime'. It allowed 'trimmings' to be liquefied, and produced a cheap ingredient that could be added to hamburgers without infringing the claim that it was ‘100 per cent beef’. By 2009, 70 per cent of all ground beef in the USA contained 'pink slime'. In April 2011 Jamie Oliver exposed 'pink slime' in an edition of his American TV series Food Revolution. (He actually referred to it as ‘s***’, although the word was bleeped out). By January 2012 all the chains had quietly stopped using it, but despite all the media uproar and extensive internet coverage fast food sales didn't suffer. The junk food/fast food industry looks like an unstoppable global monster that gobbles up precious resources, creates environmental havoc and spreads unhealthy lifestyles. In 2014, 79 per cent of all US restaurant sales occurred in fast food chains. In the UK 90 per cent of parents take their kids to burger outlets. McDonalds UK alone serves more than 2 million customers daily. Even in France, supposedly a bastion of fine dining, it's now reported that in 2013 fast food accounted for 54 per cent of total restaurant sales. The power and influence of the marketing and advertising via the fast food industry is staggering. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 'Happy Meal' in 1993, McDonalds launched a promotion that included a 'Teenie Beanie Baby' toy. This campaign is considered one of the most successful in the history of advertising. It increased sales of 'Happy Meals' from 10 million to 100 million per month. In 2010 US junk food chains spent $580 million in worldwide marketing to children under 12. This produced sales of 1.2 billion 'Happy Meals' in the US alone. Hardly surprising that 25 per cent of the total vegetables consumed by American kids are in the form of french fries. Also, a 2013 study concluded that 69 per cent of fast food ads aimed at kids mentioned toy giveaways. It's a genuinely startling fact (within a book that contains many) that at 1.2 billion annually, McDonalds is the largest distributor of toys in the world. Perhaps the government should consider forcing McDonalds to replace the free toy in every 'Happy Meal' with a copy of this excellent book?

Fast Food: The Good, The Bad & The Hungry. Andrew F. Smith. Reaktion Books. 224pp. Paperback. £9.95.

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kitchen

We bring you some super simple recipes using cupboard staples

Baked Sweet Potato Chips • • • • 1. 2. 3.

2 large sweet potatoes 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp sea salt (extra for serving) Lime to serve

4.

Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice your sweet potatoes. In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt.

6.

5.

Place the sweet potato slices on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the chips over and bake for another 10 minutes. Take the chips out as they start to brown. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with lime wedges.

Per 100g:

72

129

5.0g

0.8g

5.2g

1.2g

1.1g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Focus on

Sweet potato


Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry Serves 6 • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 large sweet potatoes, cubed 395g (1 ¾ cups) chopped tinned tomatoes 1 tin of chickpeas 280g (1 ¼ cup) fresh spinach, chopped 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 1–2 tsp rapeseed oil 2 tbsp curry powder 1 tbsp cumin 1 tsp cinnamon 115ml (½ cup) water Unsalted peanuts to garnish Basmati rice to serve

1.

Peel and cube your sweet potatoes and steam for about 15 minutes (or boil). Meanwhile heat 1–2 tsp of rapeseed oil over medium heat and sauté the onions for 2–3 minutes until soft. Add the curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon, and stir. Add the tomatoes and the chickpeas. Stir to combine. Add 115ml (½ cup) water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Next add the spinach until completely wilted and mixed in. Add the cooked sweet potatoes and stir, simmer for another 5 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with peanuts. This dish is best served with basmati rice.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Per 100g:

Sweet potato facts • Famous scientist, George Washington Carver, developed 118 products from sweet potatoes including glue for postage stamps and starch for sizing cotton fabrics. •

Sweet potatoes are roots, compared to regular potatoes which are tubers (underground stems).

Per 100g:

74

1.6g

0.2g

3.3g

0.1g

2.7g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. They have been consumed since prehistoric times as evidenced by sweet potato relics dating back 10,000 years that have been discovered in Peruvian caves. Source: whfoods.com | sweetpotatoes.com

215

5.3g

0.6g

12.5g

0.8g

4.6g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Sweet Potato Muffins • • • • • • • • • •

375g (2 ½ cups) sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed) 180ml (¾ cup) almond milk 225g (1 ½ cups) whole wheat flour 35g (¼ cup) chopped almonds 35g (¼ cup) chopped pecans 3 tsp baking powder 1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground vanilla 100g (½ cup) brown sugar or coconut sugar 1 pinch salt

1.

Boil the sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan until tender. Drain and add to a food processor with the almond milk and blend until smooth. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the vanilla, the cinnamon, and the salt. Next add the sweet potato mixture and stir until combined. Gently fold your chopped almonds and pecans into the sweet potato batter. Bake at 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

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POWER OF WORDS Karin Ridgers chats to vegan wordsmith Benjamin Zephaniah

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he west doesn’t understand the principles of Tai Chi – it’s gentle, however it is a fighting martial art too.” Poet, writer, actor, and vegan advocate Benjamin Zephaniah is talking about martial arts, but he could be talking about himself; there is a gentle way about how he spreads his vegan message – he says he doesn’t ‘ram veganism down people’s throats’, but his journey to literary success has been a fight. Battling against all odds, he has managed to share his words and ideas with millions. The Birmingham native didn’t enjoy typically auspicious beginnings: his formal education came to an abrupt end when he was, in his own words, ‘kicked out’ of school aged 13 – an unlikely start for someone who has been awarded a number of honorary doctorates. He then attended an approved school – a place for children who were considered to be trouble–makers. Some had committed criminal offences. As the only black child, Benjamin felt outcast and isolated, so he sought out the company of animals, specifically cats. His bond with animals was a rare positive influence in his early life, he has described them as his ‘only friends’ at this point. “I was an angry black guy at 13,” he says. After spending time in a school where abuse was rife, and his many fellow pupils were violent, several years later he eventually got caught up in riots himself, starting

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one after a friend was accused of a criminal offence. Police arrested all the young black men.

“He has been unwaveringly committed to veganism for decades, and is a good cook in his own right.” A spell in prison followed. He has credited prison with ‘giving him time to think’, but believes the system needs reform, and should provide education. His prison experience was devoid of any education at all, of any reading – there was no library. Performing his poetry to one of the prison guards gave him hope, and pushed him towards pursuing writing as a career. It was time to make a change, he’d known he wanted to be a poet since he was a child: he made the decision when he was eight, his first performance was in a church, aged 10. “I am going to do something with words” he told himself, so aged 22 he headed to London, where he finally started to make good on his


ambition to write poetry. “I was in a club trying to chat up a girl,” he says, “and I told her I was a poet to try and impress her. She seemed to think that was cool, but then she walked off. She ended up on stage, where she invited me to perform. This led to another gig, putting me in front of influential people. I was lucky to have creative types in the audience like Rick Mayall, Alexei Sayle, French and Saunders, Ben Elton. They were all in the scene and came to see me.” His success continued, making documentaries, writing and performing, creating music, reaching more and more people. Much of Benjamin’s success lies in his performance: he has been open about hating the ‘dead image academia and the establishment had given poetry’. His poetry comes to life on stage when he performs it. People who never picked up books could experience this work on television. Others could see him live, as he toured the entire world, visiting everywhere, especially places where the oral tradition is strong. His work became so popular that in November 2003, he was offered a New Year’s honour – an OBE. He rejected it outright. Writing about it, he said: “Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word ‘empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised…I am profoundly anti–empire.” Despite this unorthodox move, he has been accused of ‘selling out’, saying: “Writers and artists who see themselves as working outside the establishment are constantly being accused of selling out as soon as they have any kind of success. I’ve been called a sell–out for selling too many books, for writing books for children, for performing at the Royal Albert Hall, for going on Desert Island Discs, and for appearing on the Parkinson show. But I want to reach as many people as possible without compromising the content of my work.” In fact, he doesn’t compromise in any area of his life – he has been unwaveringly committed to veganism for decades, and is a good cook in his own right. His favourite food is Jamaican– inspired, he mentions ackee and callaloo as favourites, and one of his signature dishes is a pudding called cornmeal porridge. He says: “The trick is to keep stirring as you add the soya milk, sprinkle in the cornmeal flour and add nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla extract.” On the whole, he eats a healthy diet (including a daily breakfast of banana) but occasionally makes himself a bowl of chips. Living in rural Lancashire, he has started growing his own veg, something he wants to do more of. Having been asked what he eats many times, he wrote a poem, ‘vegan delight’ listing some of the meals he enjoys (Cocoa an rye toast/I tek dem on tour/Drinking cool maubi/Meks me feel sweet/What was dat question now?/What do we eat?). He also doesn’t compromise being fit and strong: he focuses on strengthening exercises, press ups, martial arts and boxing and then gradually slows it down to Tai Chi. His daily exercise regime takes between one and a half to two hours. Physical ability is hugely important to him, though he is philosophical about this too. He says: “I do a form of Kung Fu called Wing Chun where you gain power and strength being relaxed. With Wing Chun you never meet force with force. In fact I feel it is a reflection of politics – ‘they have an army so we are getting a bigger army’. It isn’t the answer.”

Benjamin Zephaniah’s new music album ‘Revolutionary Minds’ will be released in the spring, and he will be touring with his band throughout the summer. Karin Ridgers is the director of Veggie Vision TV. Find out more at veggievision.tv.

“This planet is for everyone, borders are for no one. It’s all about freedom.” Benjamin Zephaniah 75


Chili bowl Warm your bones with this classic winter dish

Vegan Chili

Serves 4

• • • • • • •

1 medium onion 2 garlic cloves 1 and ½ sweet potatoes 2 yellow peppers 2 medium carrots ½ red chilli 400g tin (2 ¹∕8 cups) kidney beans • 240g (1 5∕8 cups) drained weight tin of sweet corn • 400g (2 cups) tin chopped tomatoes • 1 tbsp of olive oil • ½ tsp cumin • ½ tsp cayenne pepper • 350ml (1 ½ cups) water Guacamole • 2 ripe avocados • 2–3 red onions • Juice of ½ lime • 1 sprig of fresh coriander (cilantro)

1.

Finely chop the onions and fry in olive oil on a stove top pan on medium heat until translucent. 2. Add the water to the pan. 3. Cut the carrots and sweet potatoes into small chunks and add these to the pan. 4. Dice the chilli and yellow peppers and add to the pan. 5. Lastly, add in the chopped tomatoes, garlic and kidney beans, add the cumin and pepper and stir well. 6. Reduce the heat to a low setting and cover the pot with a lid. Leave it to simmer for about 30 mins, then add the drained sweet corn. 7. Leave for a further 5 mins and then serve with wild grain rice, tortilla chips and guacamole. 8. Make the guacamole: after you add the corn to the chili, make a start on the guacamole. 9. Peel and cut the avocados and add to a small mixing bowl. Mash them up with a fork. 10. Finely chop the red onions and add to the bowl with the avocados. 11. Next, squeeze in the lime juice. 12. Lastly, finely chop the fresh coriander and mix well.

Recipe and image from Michaella Mazzoni michaellaskitchen.com Per 100g:

76

87

4.2g

0.9g

3.0g

0.1g

2.4g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


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Wish you were here..

Image: Adam Bronkhosr

t

n o t h g i r B n Vega Every issue we visit a new area – and bring you the best of its vegan scene

B

righton and Hove is famous for being a vibrant and bustling city by the sea. The area is known for being creative, alternative, and diverse – and an increasingly important aspect of that is its booming vegan scene. Should you find yourself among the tiny lanes, on the beautiful seafront, or further out of town, there will almost always be a cute spot to pick up some delicious food. The city attracts over 8 million visitors every year, thanks to the beach, the cultural and music scenes, and its reputation as the unofficial gay capital of the UK due to its large LGBTQ community. Brighton has been designated as the country’s ‘happiest place to live’ in a number of casual polls, with residents claiming the work–life balance, the scenery, and the culture as the city’s biggest plus points.

V Bites Café You may well have tried some of V Bites’ 70 products (including fishless fingers and a number of vegan cold cuts) from your local health food shop. Brand owner Heather Mills also runs a number of cafés, one of which can be found in the heart of Brighton. V Bites

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isn’t about fine dining, it’s about tasty, hearty, quick food – choose from pizza, burgers, hot dogs, wraps, jacket potatoes, and other café classics. Breakfast is also on offer – the full English is a very tasty and filling option. You can pick from a number of soft drinks (including smoothies, coffee, and cold drinks) as well as a small wine and beer list. With reasonable prices and a good location, V Bites café is a really nice place to grab a quick and filling bite. vbites.com

Purezza The UK’s first plant–based pizzeria is well worth a visit. It has an extensive menu that includes pizza (obviously), and special sourdough pizzas, as well as calzone, raw


bowls, and smoothies. There’s a huge range of toppings, from delicious veg to seitan salami and pesto. You can even get a four ‘cheese’ pizza, slathered in coconut, soya, cashew, and macadamia nut cheeses. The cheese used on the other pizzas is made from rice, and is very tasty. We recommend trying the stuffed crust (be warned, you might not be able to finish it in one sitting, but the staff will box it up so you can take it away). You can also pick up coffee, a range of desserts, wine, and beer. purezza.co.uk

“Brighton has been designated as the country’s ‘happiest place to live’ in a number of casual polls, with residents claiming the work–life balance, the scenery, and the culture as the city’s biggest plus points.” Boho Gelato While not an exclusively vegan outlet, this quirky gelateria (which has two outlets in the city) always has a number of both vegan sorbets and ice–creams on offer. Flavours change daily, and previous vegan options have included peanut butter chocolate, rose chocolate, strawberry, mint and black pepper, and blood orange and chilli. Boho Gelato, which has won a clutch of awards, makes its gelato on–site daily. bohogelato.co.uk

Rootcandi Head away from the seafront to find this unique gem. Chef Reuben Waller has spent years working in Michelin–starred restaurants, and now serves a tapas–style menu, making Rootcandi unlike any other eatery in the city, as Brighton’s only vegan tapas bar. The menu is divided into set sections (based on global cuisine) comprising different plates. You can pick a set of dishes, or mix and match from across the menu. Rootcandi also serves some delicious bread dishes, including a gluten–free sourdough topped with a broad bean, mint, and cashew pâté. You can enjoy afternoon tea too. rootcandi.co.uk

Loving Hut This chain restaurant offers a truly enormous selection of dishes from crispy veggie duck, to vegetable tofu and noodles, ‘hot dog’ and chips, burgers, salads, and puddings. At the weekend, you can even buy Mr Whippy–style ice–cream – a hugely popular option. The company behind Loving Hut is extremely experienced when it comes to vegan food – and it shows. Most of the dishes are tasty, but the crispy veggie

duck deserves a special mention. It’s worth noting Loving Hut will be shut on Tuesdays throughout the winter. brighton.lovinghut.co.uk

Food for Friends Describing itself as ‘Brighton’s original veggie restaurant’, Food for Friends in the South Lanes is an award–winning vegetarian eatery, serving a number of seasonal vegan dishes. According to the business, Food for Friend’s ethos is about ‘tasty, affordable and honest cooking’ using local, fresh produce. Presentation is beautiful – as much care is put into composing the look of the plates as it is with flavour. Dishes include sweet tofu pockets, satay tempeh skewers, mushrooms three ways, and vegan Sunday lunch. There is a kid’s menu on offer (which also has a good number of vegan options) as well as a varied dessert menu. foodforfriends.com

A few things to do in Brighton •

Fancy yourself as a bit of a culture vulture? Why not check out the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, said to house ‘one of the most important and eclectic collections outside national institutions. Dynamic and innovative galleries – including fashion and style, 20th century art and design, and fine art – feature exciting interactive displays appealing to all ages’. You might also enjoy the Old Police Cells Museum (you need to book ahead). Footie fans may like the Albion Museum, Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

If you’d like a short trip out of the city, you could jump on a bus to the Sussex countryside and the South Downs National Park. Sussex is home to the largest number of vineyards in the country. Visiting vineyards makes for a great day out – you can enjoy a tipple or two as well.

If literally seeing the sights is more your thing, there are a few things to look out for: Brighton’s famously pebbly Beach is popular any time of year (just remember to wrap up warm during the winter). The Lanes and North Laines offer lots of lifestyle, jewellery, and vintage shops – excellent for browsing. If looking at architecture is something you enjoy, then there’s plenty here to keep you entertained. The Royal Pavillion is a real treat. According to Visit Brighton: “The Royal Pavilion houses furniture and works of art including original pieces lent by HM The Queen and a magnificent display of Regency silver–gilt. The Royal Pavilion Tearoom, with its fabulous balcony, overlooks the Pavilion gardens, which have also been returned to their original Regency splendour.” You can also enjoy the local Georgian buildings.

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Myth 12:

BUT VEGANS ONLY EAT GRASS We take some of the biggest lies and misconceptions around veganism and tackle them head on

F

ood isn’t the only element of veganism, but it is a really big part of it. When people are considering adopting a vegan lifestyle one of the first things they will think about is what they are going to eat. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what vegans actually eat, with ‘grass and nothing else’ being a common accusation. When you consider a lot of typical cuisine, it’s no wonder people can sometimes struggle to get their head around just what vegans do eat. After all, if you think about a common British meal – say, roast meat with animal fat–roasted potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and honey– glazed veggies – once you take away the animal–based products, nothing is left. But the vegan–curious may be heartened to know it is possible to recreate this meal entirely. You could eat seitan, with oil– roasted potatoes, vegan Yorkshires, and agave–glazed veggies – it’s all very easy once you have a little bit of know–how.

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alongside their existing offerings, and to see more choices when it comes to plant–based milks and other products, in the shops. There’s lots of support for newbie vegans and the vegan–curious. Charities like Peta, Viva! and Veganuary (among others) offer lots of info about where to shop, and what to eat. And of course the magazine you’re reading right now offers a wealth of recipes, information, and vegan support too.

“Lots of vegan foods are very healthy, but there are also great vegan pies, pastries, sweets and cakes, so you can eat junk food galore if you do so wish!”

The funny thing is, there are over 20,000 edible plants in the world, and only a handful of animals we eat, and a few of their secretions. Using these delicious plants, we can create an almost infinite number of different foods, encompassing all the macro nutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates) we need, as well as a rich variety of vitamins and minerals. So as you can see, the vegan diet is not limited at all.

Veganuary is a charity which encourages people to try veganism for the month of January (as well as supporting them through it). According to Veganuary: “As well as fruit and vegetables, a vegan diet includes bread, legumes, chocolate, whole grains (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, oats etc…), fortified dairy substitutes, nuts and seeds, fats, and sugar.

The issue therefore, is possibly more about discovering these food alternatives, as well as widening your food horizons. It’s good to see more and more restaurants starting to embrace vegan menus

“Lots of vegan foods are very healthy, but there are also great vegan pies, pastries, sweets and cakes, so you can eat junk food galore if you do so wish!”


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Life-changing snacks Beautifully simple snacks made for sharing

Herb-Battered Root Vegetable Fries Makes 3–4 servings •

Per 100g:

118

10.6g

2.5g

1.7g

0.1g

1.3g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Salsa Avocado Boats • • • • • • • • • •

• • • •

Makes 2–4 servings

2 avocados 300g (1½ cup) diced tomato 150g (1 cup) diced cucumber 25g (¼ cup) diced onion 15g (¼ cup) minced coriander (cilantro) 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1 lime, juiced 20g (¹∕8 cup) minced jalapeño ¹∕8 tsp sea salt ¹∕8 tsp cayenne (optional)

1.

2.

3. 1. 2.

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1350g (9 cups) assorted root vegetables (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and celery root) 2 tbsp coconut oil 1 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped 1 tbsp each finely minced sage, oregano, rosemary, and thyme

Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Scoop the salsa into the centre of each avocado half and serve.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Peel and slice the root vegetables into ‘fries.’ Transfer the vegetable fries to a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil the fries for 5 to 7 minutes, until just cooked through but not soft. (Watch carefully so as not to overcook). Drain the water. Add the coconut oil, sea salt, garlic, and herbs to the fries and stir briefly. Cover the pot and shake vigorously until the fries are well mixed with their edges slightly mashed. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the fries on the tray so none are overlapping. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove when the edges turn golden and crispy.


Per 100g:

85

2.5g

1.4g

5.4g

0.1g

1.8g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Recipes and images from Anthony Williams, Medical Medium Life Changing Foods, Hay House UK, ÂŁ22.99.

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A PARENT’S TALE Brit in Germany Charlotte Meyer Zu Natrup balances motherhood and veganism

ne thing you certainly find out, when you become a parent (let alone a vegan one), is who your friends actually are. This is true on a personal level. You find certain individuals promise get–togethers, but are put off by your inability to eat in certain restaurants, to make consistent eye contact when talking due to watching where junior will run to next, or to finish most sentences completely. However, this is also true on a broader level when dealing with the general public.

“I used to be part of this crowd of eye– rolling and tutting people who valued the peace of reading a good book on a flight. In fact, I still do.” Recently, I had the dubious pleasure of escorting my two little ones back to one of their home countries to attend a wedding. It was a bewildering and intense experience, involving very little sleep. There were also many tears, the collection of enough luggage for our family to potentially single–handedly fill the plane, (most of which we distributed and lost as we travelled), and some major moments of delight, catching up with relatives and watching the little ones don their wedding outfits. The last part of the journey was a flight I took, under a great deal of perturbation, with them alone. I understand what goes through peoples’ heads when they arrive at their departure gate and find that there will be a baby or young children on the flight. Mostly it involves rolling of eyes or exchanging glances with travel companions, and hoping their seat is far, far away from the children in question. Indeed, the other end of the plane could not be far enough. I know, because before I had my children, I used to be part of this crowd of eye–rolling and tutting people who valued the peace of reading a good book on a flight. In fact, I still do.

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I don’t understand, however, what goes through people’s heads in that same situation when they walk past a parent or carer on the bus to the plane who is clearly struggling. When they notice that said carer is holding one child (who is possibly of the right size to be called a toddler, yet who is not old enough to walk by himself), two bags spilling baby–related articles, and another toddler who is refusing to walk and must be carried, and who frankly, due to size of the plane, and newness of the situation, is clearly a flight risk, but then doesn’t offer to lend a hand. I understand that having children and taking on the joys and inconveniences of this responsibility was my choice and I am the last one to push these duties onto another person. However, it is not an hour’s babysitting so that I can curl my hair or paint my nails in front of an episode of Gilmore Girls that is required here, but just enough support from fellow homo–sapiens to stop a tiny, vulnerable creature from running away from her mother and into an unknown smorgasbord of danger on the runway. I was, then, trying to negotiate a quasimodo–like walk to the plane, dragging one bag with my foot, holding the toddler close to one leg, and contemplating rolling the younger one in front of me in order to stop the pain caused by


carrying him at the awkward angle that ensured he couldn’t stick his pretend plastic boat in my ear hole. It then struck me that not only were there ridiculously few paid flight attendants around to help, but that there are very few people in the early years of childbearing who are true friends. Those who are real friends are often the ones who can least afford to be so. I know this because a gentle voice behind me offered to take my daughter’s hand. I turned to see a lady with a zimmer frame, someone without limbs free to support any of my baggage or extra bodies, but who clearly wanted to do so. What I did learn from this situation, however, is that among the vast majority of our species there are a few people who are nice enough to delay their arrival a while so they could help an overtired toddler collect 35 tiny plastic coins which had come loose from her toy and rolled all over the floor of the plane (I admit, not the best choice of in flight entertainment for a toddler, but it seemed like a good idea at the time). And enough good people who would stop and help a tired mother pack her nappy bag and hold her baby whilst she put on her coat and retrieved her passport from the depths of her bag. I also learnt the weak do eventually triumph. The crowd of travellers who had been in such a hurry to leave the plane and find a space on the return bus had to wait longer than if they had stopped to help us. They had to wait for us to arrive, because the captain of the plane, who also needed a lift on the bus, had taken a shine to my eldest and let her sit in the cockpit, pose in his hat for a photo and then, because her mother was once again trying to carry her bags and keep her ears free of plastic boats, kindly carried her down the steps to the bus himself.

SWEET

RY BER W STRA

OUTONS TH CR I W D SALA

I always try to ensure my vegan children get enough iron. This recipe provides a bright colour (I always find the colour of food to be so important) and the vitamin C of the strawberries helps to absorb the iron in the pumpernickel bread. That said, strawberries can be replaced by other attractive fruits: pomegranate can go down well, or satsumas or any other fruit of your choice. You can bake other whole grain breads in the syrup, but pumpernickel bread has a lovely chewy texture. My eldest refers to it as chocolate pudding. I have yet to correct her.

• • • • • •

5 slices of bread (I like vegan pumpernickel, but any kind works) A punnet of fresh strawberries 100ml (½ cup) of mint tea 3 tbsp agave syrup ½ fresh vanilla pod, or a small splash of vanilla extract 2 tbsp melted vegan margarine (or flavourless oil)

1. 2.

Cut the bread into small ‘crouton’ shapes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). In the meantime, mix together the mint tea, agave, and vanilla. Heat gently until it becomes a syrup, then leave to cool down. Brush the croutons with the melted margarine/oil, and the syrup. Bake for 10 minutes. Cut your strawberries, and cover with the remaining syrup. Garnish with the sweet croutons.

3. 4.

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UNDER PRESSURE A well-known activist talks about the psychological toll of working undercover

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L

ouise Wallis is an important figure in the animal rights world: a former president of The Vegan Society, she founded World Vegan Day. Now Louise runs Karamel – a vegan dining and performance space in north London (famous for its delicious roasts). In the 90s, Louise spent time working undercover with lab animals, eventually publishing the results of her work in the mainstream media, exposing horrific practices to the wider community. She shares details of that time – and how the work affected her. You were vegan by the time you were 18. Veganism is still not part of the mainstream, but would have been even more ‘unusual’ when you made the change. What inspired you to go vegan? Do you think there are certain personality traits – independent thinking and determination for example – that made it possible for you to choose and stick with this path? I’ve always felt close to animals and considered them friends. I went vegan in 1983 at 18. I’d been veggie for a couple of months when I joined my local animal rights group in Southampton, and met my first boyfriend. We often joined forces with another group in Portsmouth that had a lot of vegan members. Some of them even ran a vegan shop called Time For Change, a truly radical move at a time when people could barely get their heads around vegetarianism. They intrigued me, and I enjoyed hanging out with them. Then I read a Vegan Society leaflet which explained veganism clearly and simply. In that instant, I realised that vegetarianism was a cop out, and still supported the very industries I wanted to put out of business. So I decided to go vegan, with my boyfriend. We were both living at home at the time, so we booked ourselves a self–catering holiday in Jersey, where we taught ourselves to cook vegan. It was a very sweet and romantic time. I’m not sure if my personality type played a part – it’s an interesting question. I guess I can be quite stubborn. Once I’d read that leaflet, I couldn’t un–know what I’d learnt about dairy and egg production. To me, they weren’t food anymore – just products of immense cruelty and suffering. I’d have gagged if I’d tried to eat them.

“It was nerve–wracking working undercover and very easy to get paranoid, but in reality the last thing on your colleagues’ minds is that you might be a spy.”

research laboratories for seven months. Five months at Smith Kline Beecham’s Toxicology Unit in Essex, and then two months at St Bartholomew’s Medical School in central London. Trainees are not required to do experiments, as you need a Home Office licence for that. The role was to look after the animals – to feed them, clean out their cages, and maintain records, which I knew I could handle. Do you feel working in these environments took a toll on you psychologically? If so, how? Yes, it was tough knowing that I couldn’t protect or rescue the animals I met, for the sake of the investigation. I had to keep reminding myself of the long–term goal. I started out in the rodent unit, where I saw routine mutilations like baby mice having toes cut off (as a means of identification). Unfortunately it was a sterile building – meaning staff had to change into special clothes every time they entered – and I’d never be able to smuggle in a camera. So I requested a transfer to the dog unit, which was eventually granted. There I was given 24 male beagles to look after. A mixed blessing. I was relieved to be in a less stringent situation where I could take photos and film, but it was impossible not to get attached. They were so sweet and gentle (one of the reasons beagles are used for experiments). I made friends with most, but others were terrified, and would cower in the corner. This really upset me. I daydreamed constantly, hatching up daring escape plans and rescues. Had I come up with a workable one, I might even have gone through with it – however mad that sounds – just to get them out of there. But of course the place was too secure – security fences, cameras, alarms etc. I couldn’t take it anymore, so decided to move on to another laboratory: St Bartholomew’s Medical School. What was the result of working undercover, in terms of what your investigations achieved? My investigation ended abruptly and unexpectedly when I was called into the manager’s office one morning and sacked. I’d been rumbled – most likely as a result of a police tip–off. (Years later I discovered that the flat I’d moved into when working undercover had been the base of an undercover cop. How bizarre is that?). But after seven months it was actually a relief. I took all the photos, film footage, and info straight to the National Anti–Vivisection Society [NAVS], where I’d worked as a campaigns officer. We spent several months collating the information and then launched a report at a press conference, where it made national news. NAVS also launched a national campaign called Vivisection in Britain, as well as a second campaign called Free the Beagles, aiming to re–home the ones I’d looked after. Tragically SmithKline Beecham refused to release the 24 dogs and killed them. >

Can you tell me a little bit about what inspired you to start working undercover? I was inspired after seeing an undercover investigation in the national news. My friend Sarah Kite had got a job at a notorious contract testing laboratory called Huntingdon Life Sciences, and her photos of beagle dogs were all over the front pages. This was the first I knew of it! I thought: “Wow, what a powerful way to show people what’s going on behind closed doors.” To me, it seemed the single most effective thing you could do to show the public the reality of animals’ lives. Sarah set a great example. So a few months later, when I saw a trainee animal technician job advertised in my local newspaper, I knew I had to go for it. What undercover jobs did you do, and for how long? I worked as a trainee animal technician in two separate animal

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It can’t be easy working undercover – did you feel nervous about your cover getting blown? Was it hard to maintain your composure under pressure? Yes it was nerve–wracking working undercover and very easy to get paranoid, but in reality, the last thing on your colleagues’ minds is that you might be a spy. But I did take some precautions – I’d bring my own sandwiches to work (a common practice) deliberately using fake ham and cheeze. Black coffee isn’t that unusual, thankfully! Sometimes my colleagues would even joke about animal rights activists, these were some of the most surreal moments. The secrecy was hard. I could only tell a couple of people what I was up to, and one of these was my boyfriend, so it was very lonely at times. I wrote a diary every day, it became like a friend really and kept me sane.

“I am very proud of working undercover, and it is something that people seem to consider heroic although I don’t think of it, or myself, in that way.” Did you ever feel like you had to do anything you were uncomfortable with? No. I was clear from day one that my role was a witness, and that I would *never* participate, no matter what happened. Being a trainee this was generally fine, but one incident stays with me. I used to attend a day–release animal technology course once a week, which got me out of the lab and gave me an insight into the theory that trainees are taught. One afternoon the tutor presented us with several rats and explained we would be learning how to ‘euthanise’ them by ‘cervical dislocation’ (a euphemism for breaking their necks). We watched as he killed one in front of us, by pressing a pencil down hard on the rat’s neck and then sharply pulling its tail. When we were asked to have a go. I said: “No, I don’t feel ready yet.” This was accepted. I think it’s probably quite common for trainees to feel ‘squeamish’ – at least at first, before they become desensitised. So it was ok for me to say no, without that arousing any suspicion. I know my refusal made no difference to that rat – who was killed anyway by someone else – but it certainly made a difference to me, to my mental health, which would have suffered had I felt forced to do this. Did you ever come into contact with Bob Lambert (an infamous undercover police officer who posed as an animal rights activist, and fathered a child with another activist)? If so, did you have any suspicions about him? I may have done, as my friends certainly did, but I can’t honestly remember. I did encounter another undercover policeman, John Dines, when he was posing as the boyfriend of my friend Helen Steel. When I happened to mention I was looking for a flat, he suggested I move into the one he was vacating (to move in with Helen). This was on Burgoyne Road, just off Green Lanes in north London. So I did. And then was horrified, years later, when I found out his true identity. To this day I still wonder if the flat was bugged and being monitored. I suspect it was, and shudder every time I think of it. I also think this is how I got the sack from my undercover investigation. Do you see your undercover time as your biggest ‘success’ when it comes to your work for animals? If not, what do you see as your proudest accomplishment?

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I am very proud of working undercover, and it is something that people seem to consider heroic although I don’t think of it, or myself, in that way. I did it because of the impact it has – evidence that cannot be denied. And I continue to encourage others to go undercover, especially as there are now many animal advocacy organisations looking for people who are willing to work undercover, for a day or two, or longer periods of time. It is so worthwhile and they can support you while you do it. I would say my biggest – and by this I mean lasting – ‘success’ is World Vegan Day which I founded in 1994 when I was president of The Vegan Society. It was a small idea that’s become a global phenomenon. It’s truly astonishing to see the momentum it’s gathered in 22 years, and of course it can only grow, until one day, we won’t need it anymore. People rave about the food at Karamel – do you see presenting veganism in this positive (and delicious) way as a form of activism? Absolutely. This is the front line for positive change. We are normalising veganism by helping people realise that at the end of the day vegan food is just food – and damn tasty too. So what’s the problem? Many non–vegans come to Karamel for gigs and events, so if they want to eat, they have to eat vegan food. So they do and then realise, hey this isn’t so bad after all. It removes the stigma and the weirdness attached to veganism. We hope it plants a little seed that will one day bear fruit. That’s our strategy in a nutshell – the Sunday roast being our weapon of choice. What are your plans for the future in terms of animal advocacy? I would like to write a book – most likely a memoir. I was very inspired by Jasmin Singer’s memoir Always Too Much And Never Enough, which has a partly vegan theme. Jasmin is co–director of the animal advocacy organisation Our Hen House, and recently started working for a fantastic magazine in the US. Reading her story has convinced me to tell mine. Now I just need to find the time.


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soup kitchen Try these cosy, warming dishes

Many Greens Soup Serves 4 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1. 2.

3.

4.

90

940g (4 cups) vegan miso broth 75g (½ cup) raw cashews 1 tbsp olive oil 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped 235g (1 ¹∕³ cup) broccoli, stem peeled and finely chopped, florets chopped small (about 4 cups) 150g (1 cup) fresh or frozen peas 1350g (6 cups) mixed dark baby greens, like spinach, arugula, and kale 15g (½ cup) packed chopped parsley 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice Sea salt and ground black pepper Fresh chives for serving (optional) Thinly sliced radishes for serving (optional) In a blender, combine the broth and cashews, and process until smooth. Set aside momentarily. Warm the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the leeks, and sauté for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally to soften. Mix in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the blended cashew–miso broth, thyme, broccoli, and peas, and bring to a simmer over medium–high heat. Partially cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and reduce the heat to medium–low. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and tender. Uncover and add the baby greens and parsley. Stirring constantly,cook for no more than 1 minute longer, just long enough to wilt the greens. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the mixture to the blender. Add the lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Blend until very smooth–this may take a moment. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with fresh chives and radish slices, if desired.

Per 100g: 42

1.3g

0.2g

2.0g

0.4g

3.2g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Recipes and images from Superfood Soups by Julie Morris, published by Sterling (£14.99, available fromthegmcgroup.com)


Curried Apple and Butternut Squash Soup Serves 6 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 1.

2. 3.

1 tbsp coconut oil 1 white onion, diced 1 large sweet apple (such as Fuji), diced 1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger root 560g (4 cups) butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into 1–inch dice (about 5 cups) 940g (4 cups) vegan miso broth 1 tbsp vegan Thai red curry paste 1 tbsp dulse flakes 40g (¼ cup) dried goji berries 1 tsp ground turmeric 2 tbsp fresh lime juice 160ml (⅔ cup) canned coconut milk, plus extra for garnish Salt and pepper (optional) ½ sweet apple, shaved thin, for garnish Warm the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the apple and ginger, and cook 1 minute longer. Add the butternut squash, broth, curry paste, dulse flakes, goji berries, turmeric, and lime juice and mix well. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until the squash is very soft. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender. Puree until very smooth, and then pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining soup mixture, and return the batches to the soup pot. Stir in coconut milk and gently warm over low heat for 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired. To serve, ladle into bowls, drizzle with a little extra coconut milk, and garnish with a few apple shavings.

Per 100g:

76

4.1g

3.2g

4.8g

0.2g

1.3g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Cumin Beet Soup Per 100g:

109

8.6g

7.4g

4.4g

0.7g

1.6g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Serves 6

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

450g (3 cups) beets (about 3–4 medium), trimmed and scrubbed 1 tbsp coconut oil ½ tsp cumin seeds 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 large yellow onion, diced 1 tbsp maca powder ½ tsp ground turmeric ¼ tsp chili powder ½ tsp sea salt 470ml (2 cups) water 380ml (13½ fl oz) coconut milk, divided 2 tsp dulse flakes 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice Ground sumac, for garnish (optional) Beet sprouts, for garnish (optional)

1.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Wrap the beets individually in aluminium foil, and place them on a baking tray. Roast the beets for 60–90 minutes, or until they’re very soft. Remove the beets from the oven and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle. Peel away and discard the beet skins, and chop the beets into dice. Set aside. Warm the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and lightly toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3–4 minutes. Add the maca, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in 350ml (12 oz) coconut milk and simmer for 1 minute to warm. Transfer the soup to a blender, and add the dulse flakes and lemon juice. Puree until smooth – be sure to blend very thoroughly for an evenly silky texture. Serve warm, drizzled with remaining coconut milk, a sprinkle of sumac, and beet sprouts for garnish.

2.

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Super Sushi A protein–packed dish

Superfood Quinoa And Avocado Sushi With Miso Salad

Serves 2

452 calories | 60g carbohydrates | 18g fat | 16g protein • • • • • • • • • • •

100g (2 cups) carrot 120g (⅔ cup) quinoa Juice of ½ lime 1 avocado 2 baby cucumbers 2 tbsp sweet white miso paste 2 tbsp tamari 2 tsp black sesame seeds 2 x nori sheets 80g (½ cup) radishes Two pairs of chopsticks

1.

Boil a kettle. Rinse the quinoa and place in a saucepan with 300ml (1 ¼ cup) boiling water and a pinch of sea salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and grate the carrot. Peel and de–stone the avocado and slice thinly. Cut one cucumber into thin batons.

2.

Recipe and image from mindfulchef.com

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3.

Drain the quinoa and stir through half of the sweet miso paste and half of the black sesame seeds. Spoon the quinoa onto a plate to cool for 5 minutes. 4. Meanwhile, to prepare the salad; in a bowl, mix the rest of the miso paste with the lime juice and the remaining sesame seeds. 5. Using a peeler, slice the remaining cucumber into thin strips (or use a julienne peeler or spiraliser). Finely slice the radishes. 6. Add the radishes and cucumber to the sauce and stir to coat. 7. Place a nori sheet on a clean chopping board, shiny side down. 8. Spread half of the quinoa in a thin layer to the edges of the nori, leaving a 2cm gap at the top of the nori sheet. 9. Place half of the avocado, cucumber batons and carrot across the middle of the quinoa width–ways. Roll up the sushi from the bottom up, ensuring the vegetables are tightly packed in. Slice the sushi roll into 8 pieces. Repeat with the remaining nori and quinoa, avocado, cucumber and carrot. 10. Put the sushi rolls on a plate alongside the cucumber and radish miso salad. Place the tamari in a bowl or small dish for dipping the sushi in.


eat and drink - Vegan style Bartellas – Meopham Kent

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eopham is a picturesque village in Kent. It is known for being Europe’s longest village (at seven miles/11 km in length). With its listed buildings, cricket green, and charming public houses, it is a quintessentially British area, a charming place to while away some hours. After eating at Bartellas, I can also attest that Meopham is a very good place to find vegan food. Perhaps unexpectedly, this bustling village restaurant offers a full (and very appealing) plant–based menu. According to our waiter, overwhelming demand from vegan diners was the catalyst behind its introduction. It’s worth mentioning the vegan menu is printed separately from the standard one, so you should ask to see it. The restaurant itself has a really pleasant family–dining vibe – it’s contemporary, smart, and well–presented. There is a large space for dining, as well as a cosy area near the bar with a roaring fire – perfect for a pre–meal drink. The food is described as ‘Mediterranean–inspired’ and with the exception of a few dishes, this is certainly true for the vegan menu. For starters, you can take your pick of risotto, soup, or a couple of salads. The tomato and basil soup makes a deliciously light opening course, with a nice depth of flavour. A dash of the good olive oil on every table enhances the plate. The avocado and pomegranate salad with raspberry dressing is excellent: this is actually quite a hearty salad, with lots of peppery rocket, chunks of perfectly ripe avocado, and tasty jewel–like pomegranate seeds, as well as red pepper, cucumber, and paper–thin slivers of red onion. The flavours all match very well, without any overwhelming the other.

There’s a really comprehensive range of plant–based mains, from smoked macaroni and cheese with jalapeños, to chargrilled tofu, pizza, and different types of curry. The vegan mac and cheese is a must–try dish. Even though it was on the vegan menu, I felt I had to double–check with the waiter just to make sure it was in fact suitable for vegans (which it is). The macaroni are cooked to perfection, deliciously al–dente. The ‘cheese sauce’ is light, not too dense or rich, but incredibly flavourful. The jalapeños add just enough heat without being burning or overwhelming. Definitely a dish worth enjoying again and again. There is also a decent selection of side dishes – chunky chips, garlic bread, rocket and mixed salads, spinach, and sweet potato chips. The chips are fried to perfection, and the salads are simple but tasty. Mains portions are fairly hearty, so you may not want sides. The dessert menu also offers some tasty vegan options, including a sorbet, strawberries in rich fruit sauce with sugar–frosted jellies, and poached pears with passion fruit and mango salsa. After two really generous courses, it’s nice to see some lighter fruit–based options, and it’s hard to go wrong with a sorbet – the perfect palate cleanser. The service at Bartellas is friendly and efficient. All our questions were answered patiently. When it comes to drinks, sparkling and still water are on the house. While there is a wine list, this is not yet suitable for vegans, though there are many ‘mocktails’ and spirits free from animal products.

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AFTER THE PARTY Oliver Coningham dips into the world of alcohol-free drinks

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ith the festive period now over, most of us are booked into mince pies anonymous, after overindulging in one too many of Caffè Nero’s vegan Christmas treat. It seems as though this previous year has been one of the best for vegan– friendly products. From Zizzi’s vegan menu featuring its own non– dairy ‘mozzarisella’ to Pret a Manger’s very merry Christmas lunch baguette. Vegan cheese lovers were overwhelmed with the new range of free–from cheeses in Sainsbury’s, while Oatly ended the year with some truly innovative products: a tub of crème fraîche and a carton of vanilla custard. It’s fair to say 2016 will be remembered for many reasons (some of which we would rather forget), but it has definitely not been a year where Great Britain’s 500,000–plus vegans went hungry. The turn of the year has traditionally been a favourable time for making changes to our lifestyles, especially when it comes to diet. Veganuary, a global charity launched in 2014 that encourages people to try veganism for January, has seen an increase in participants year on year. Of those who took part in January 2016, a staggering 63 per cent now identify themselves as vegans.

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“It has definitely not been a year where Great Britain’s 500,000–plus vegans went hungry.” After the extravagances of Christmas, especially when it comes to alcohol, there will be a large number of those who choose to abstain from alcoholic drinks throughout January. We’re featuring a range of vegan–friendly beverages that will help you start 2017 with a clear head. From low–alcohol ciders to fermented drinks made with green tea, it should never be about giving something up or missing out, but instead discovering a new range of experiences and tastes to enjoy. You can find out more information on The Fork and Carrot website: forkandcarrot.com


Alkoholfrei (<0.5%) – Erdinger RRP £1.29 for 500ml (Tesco) Erdinger has been brewing its wheat beer in the Bavarian town of Erding since 1886. Every single pint of beer from Erdinger is always brewed in this picturesque German town. Erdinger Alkoholfrei is a unique isotonic recovery drink that has become popular with many athletes. It has only 125 kcal per 500ml bottle, and is made exclusively from natural ingredients. It also contains vitamin B12 and folic acid. Serve in a tall glass to allow space for the expansive white head – Alkoholfrei certainly looks the part. Its full–bodied taste remains interesting and refreshing with notes of wheat and corn. There’s a strong bitterness that lingers throughout the mouth.

Erdinger beers are brewed strictly according to the Bavarian Purity Law and exclusively contain those ingredients that are listed on the label.

Blue (<0.5%) – Beck’s RRP £3.50 for 6 x 275ml (ASDA) Beck’s Blue is one of the most well–known and widely available alcohol–free beers. The green bottles with their metallic silver labels can easily be found in the fridges of most pubs and bars. It has become one of the go–to beers for those who wish to abstain from alcohol, whether for health reasons, or being the nominated driver for the evening. Beck’s Blue pours and looks like beer; dark yellow in the glass with plenty of carbonation. The aroma is distinctly ‘beery’ without there being any distinguishing characteristics to note. Not dissimilar to the original 4.8% ABV beer, the taste is reasonably bitter, but with a thinner mouthfeel.

Most of the beers and ciders produced by AB In Bev are suitable for vegans. The exceptions are Stella Artois Cidre Apple which contains a colouring, and its cask ales.

Sainsbury’s Low Alcohol Cider (0.9%) – Sainsbury’s RRP £1.10 for 500ml (Sainsbury’s) There are very few low alcohol ciders available, with much emphasis placed on beer. Sainsbury’s offering looks authentic when placed near to other ciders on the shelves, and not only is it less than 1% ABV, but is also clearly marked as vegan. Pouring a light orange colour, Sainsbury’s Low Alcohol Cider has an aroma similar to traditional farmhouse cider; slightly oaky with plenty of fresh apples. The taste is surprisingly similar too, and reminiscent of the low alcohol French ciders that quench the thirst throughout the summer. Sweet ripe apples at first lead to a medium dry finish with hints of oak from its maturation in wooden vats.

Sainsbury’s own brand drinks are clearly labelled when suitable for vegans.

Tesco Finest Alcohol Free Chenin Blanc Sparkling (<0.5%) – Tesco RRP £2.75 for 75cl (Tesco) In spring this year, Tesco launched a small range of alcohol–free wines that were touted as a light alternative to the real thing without lacking any of the flavours. The bottles of sparkling Chenin Blanc and Pinotage Blush are packaged to impress. Clear glass allows the green–tinged white and vibrant pink to stand out. Designed to rival prosecco, Tesco Finest Alcohol Free Chenin Blanc has both a similar flavour and appearance to the popular celebratory drink. To achieve the low alcohol content, it has been fermented during the normal wine making process, but the process is stopped prior to the point of the wine becoming alcoholic.

Suitable for vegans.

Shloer White Grape, Raspberry & Cranberry – Shloer RRP £1.90 for 750ml (Sainsbury’s) Shloer has long been the alcohol–free drink of choice for picnics and parties. Tall 750ml bottles are illustrated with the key ingredients. Clear glass allows the colourful liquid to stand out on the shelf. Created by Professor Jules Shloer of Switzerland nearly 80 years ago, all Shloer products are free from preservatives, artificial colours, sweeteners and flavourings. Containing an elegant blend of white grape, red grape, raspberry and cranberry juices, this refreshing drink is perfect after the excesses of the festive period. The flavours are wonderfully harmonious together with the raspberry and cranberry giving a slight tanginess.

Shloer is suitable for vegans.

Original – Equinox Kombucha RRP £1.85 for 275ml (Independent Health Food Stores) Equinox Kombucha is a healthy alternative to sparkling soft drinks. Raw, organic and unpasteurised, it’s full of naturally occurring vitamins, acids and beneficial bacteria. Kombucha is a fermented drink made from green tea, cane sugar, and a live culture that grows on top of the beverage as it ferments. It is fermented with the finest organic chun mee green tea, chosen for its antioxidant properties. Original Kombucha was awarded two out of three stars in the prestigious Great Taste Award this year, where less than 900 of the 10,000 entries achieved this status.

Equinox Kombucha is certified organic and contains no animal–derived ingredients.

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Strawberry delight A healthier, vegan take on a classic pop tart

Strawberry Basil Hand Pies

Makes 6

• 210g (1 heaping cup) sliced fresh or frozen strawberries • 1 tbsp water (only if using fresh berries) • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil • 1 tsp sugar • 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) • 260g (2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour • ¹∕8 tsp salt • 150g (⅔ cup) cold vegan butter • 2 to 4 tbsp ice water Vanilla glaze • 6 tbsp icing (powdered) sugar • ¼ tsp vanilla extract • 1 to 3 tsp unsweetened almond milk 1. 2.

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. To make the hand pies, place the strawberries, water (only if using fresh berries), basil, sugar and cornflour in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and smashing down the fruit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3.

4.

5.

6. 7. 8.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a fork or pastry cutter until small crumbs form. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture about 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon, until dough begins to form. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a disc. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large, 6mm (¼ inch) thick rectangle. Use a sheet of cling film over the dough to prevent cracking as you roll it out, if needed. Cut the rectangle into 12 equal squares (or rectangles) and move half of them to the lined baking sheet. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the 6 remaining squares, leaving about ¼ inch (6 mm) of space around the edges. Using your finger, dab a bit of water around the edges to help seal them. Top each square with its matching other half, pressing around the edges with a fork to seal them. Use a toothpick to poke a few small holes in the top, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. While they cook, prepare the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar, vanilla and unsweetened almond milk. When the hand pies are finished, let them cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before topping with the glaze.

TOP TIP You can sub in any berries you prefer here, and if basil isn’t for you, go ahead and leave it out. Per 100g:

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316

16.7g

5.6g

11.3g

0.5g

4.8g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Recipe and image reprinted from Homestyle Vegan by Amber St. Peter with the permission of Page Street Publishing Co.


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Setting the record straight Victoria Eisermann, former model, co–founder of K–9 Angels charity, and radio host, talks about her cruelty–free life

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t’s always somewhat of a relief when the party season is over – it’s been a blast, but January is a great time for some much needed rest and reflection. At this time of year, many people will be starting their vegan journey, their minds crammed with questions. Maybe you’re wondering whether vegans know how to party? Sometimes it can be tempting to avoid get–togethers – it can feel too upsetting or isolating to watch others tuck in to turkey, ham, and all manner of assorted cruelty in the name of ‘peace on Earth’ and ‘love to all’. As for being a vegan at a party; in my experience that often means a plate of crudités and a tub of hummus (if you’re lucky). But you’ll be relieved to know it doesn’t have to be this way – as proved by an event I laid on myself to celebrate the fifth anniversary of my charity K–9 Angels. Did the 120 guests – many of whom were omnivores – enjoy the vegan hospitality?

“Everyone can be vegan so let’s show them that by being vegan you don’t lose anything you only gain.” As a co–founder of K–9 Angels, and having been a vegan for the last 12 years, I find it quite hypocritical and something of a double–standard when other animal welfare charities have celebrations but the food they serve is meat. Surely this defeats the object of what they are campaigning for? Peace should be for all animals, not just a few. The K–9 Angels VIP party was hosted at a plush central London hotel. We had a world–renowned vegan DJ, as well as wine flowing, piles of plant–based pizza, and the most ornate and beautiful cake I have ever seen – all animal–friendly too. Both white and red wines from Vintage Roots were enjoyed by our guests. Non–vegan wines traditionally contain fining agents including casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg white), gelatine (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are known as processing aids. So as well as being delicious, our wine didn’t contain

any nasties or bottled cruelty to animals. Now there’s something we can all drink to. We soaked up the alcohol with the best party food – vegan pizza from Pizza Express, piled high with dairy–free cheese and fresh vegetables. We didn’t hear anyone ask ‘where’s the meat’? In fact guests raved about the food. For me, the high point was cutting the cake – although it looked so beautiful it was almost a shame to eat it, with four tiers of elegant yellow–iced lace detail on white icing. Inside was the most delicious, moist chocolate sponge. This party was a great opportunity, not only to celebrate the charity and the lives saved by the work K–9 Angels does, but to showcase the amazing range of food and drink vegans can enjoy. I feel this is the way forward. We should never separate ourselves from the world. We want change, and that happens when we show people a better way of living, not by cutting ourselves off. Everyone can be vegan, so let’s show them that by being vegan you don’t lose anything, you only gain. I’ve had so many non–vegan friends message me saying they are excited about trying out veganism after attending our party. They have said they honestly didn’t believe vegan wine and food tasted so good. Rather than arguing with meat–eating friends or colleagues, why not hold a vegan afternoon tea or nibbles, or a lunch, and show them that the only thing that is different about being vegan is there isn’t any cruelty involved. You’re not missing out on any tasty food, in fact…vegan tastes even better. You can read Victoria’s cruelty–free blog at victoriaeisermann.com.

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Swizzels rainbow drops

Sacla’ char-grilled aubergine pesto

This sweet treat by Swizzels is often described as a retro British confectionery favourite. Comprising sugar–coated puffed maize and rice, these tasty, knobbly morsels come in an array of bright colours – including yellow, purple and orange.

Bursting with Italian flavour, this pesto will add authentic flavour to just about any dish. With a thicker consistency than some oily pesto alternatives, this offering tastes divine stirred into pasta and drizzled over roasted peppers.

Waitrose ham hock and English mustard crisps

Bursting with flavour, these hand–cooked crisps provide the right level of flavour intensity with an extremely crunchy bite. The smoky ham flavour blends perfectly with the sharp English mustard. The overall taste is subtle, and perfectly distributed throughout the entire bag.

the accidental vegan A selection of products that are vegan by chance rather than design

This page is all about top treat and snack food finds that just happen to be suitable for vegans. If any of these products say they may contain milk or other animal–derived substances, this is due to the item being made in the same factory as other food produce. All ingredients listings are subject to change.

Sainsbury’s fizzy fangs

If you’re a fan of sour, chewy, and sugary candies then these Sainsbury’s fangs are the sweets for you. Gelatine–free and made using only natural colours and flavours, there is no reason not to indulge in these sweets every now and then.

Have you found a brilliant accidentally vegan product? We want to know! Share it with us on Facebook (facebook.com/veganlifemagazine)

Glorious! Brazilian super grain soup

Full of zing, this Brazilian spiced soup is brimming with mixed grains and vegetables, coconut milk and a squeeze of lime. Gluten free, SFV, and high in fibre, one tub of this tasty soup is equal to two of your recommended five veggies a day.

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Instagram (@veganlife_mag) Twitter (@veganlife_mag) or you can send us an email or a letter: editor@veganlifemag.com The Accidental Vegan, Park House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester, Essex CO6 2NS


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EXPOSING THE TRUTH ABOUT FOX HUNTING Mike Kealy reports on The Hunt Investigation Team’s ground breaking work

T

he Hunt Investigation Team [HIT] was launched formally in June 2016 following our investigation into the activities of the South Herefordshire Hunt [SHH]. We filmed hunt staff bringing wild foxes to the hunt kennels and hunt personnel taking live fox cubs into the hound block to be killed, we believe, by being thrown live to the baying hounds in a medieval training ritual to prepare the hounds for the coming season. HIT is a small, specialist, highly–trained team. We are committed to exposing the truth about fox hunting and other cruel bloodsports. All HIT activists are vegan. A vegan cruelty–free lifestyle, and a shared respect for the rights of all animals, is the cornerstone and inspiration for all the work we do. Our investigation into the SHH began in March 2016. By May we had gathered enough evidence to suspect that live foxes were being removed from the wild and taken to the hunt kennels. HIT immediately dispatched a team to the kennels in the dead of night and discovered a young fox cub in a cage. At this stage, whilst alarmed, we believed the hunt was repopulating its territory.

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This is common practice and involves foxes being removed from areas where they are not tolerated (shooting estates for example), and into hunt territory to ensure a steady supply of foxes to hunt. We placed covert cameras in various locations at the kennels’ site. The team attended the kennels most nights for the following fortnight. More foxes were found on site (four in total) and the investigators regularly reviewed the footage from the cameras.

“We want to honour and dignify them in a ceremony that acknowledges and remembers their short tragic lives.” When disturbing footage was viewed of foxes being removed from the cage with a grasper, and being moved around the site, we contacted the police and RSPCA immediately. Legal advice was sought including the parameters for action needed by both organisations. The advice


was very clear, although the footage was of interest and disturbing, there wasn’t enough for them to act. We were advised to keep filming to ascertain exactly what was happening to the foxes. We placed more cameras into the site and in the early hours of 28/5/16 footage from the additional cameras revealed the brutal truth. Investigators were devastated and horrified to discover that two young cubs aged between six and 10 weeks had been taken that day into the hound block and, we believe, thrown alive to the pack of dogs. Further footage showed hunt personnel throwing the dead bodies of the foxes into a commercial waste bin on the site, next to the kennel block. At 02:00 hours that morning we spoke to the Special Operations Unit of the RSPCA and the police. Both decided there was now enough evidence to act. Haunted by the gruesome fate of these cubs, the HIT team returned to the site, and while a thunderstorm raging overhead, retrieved the broken bodies of the cubs from the waste bin. Their bodies were handed to the police, their mangled bodies, and the subsequent post–mortem results form a vital part of the evidence in the current police investigation. When legal proceedings finish, it is our intention to bury these little cubs. We want to honour and dignify them in a ceremony that acknowledges and remembers their short tragic lives. This will be open to all, the public, the media, the agencies involved in the case and the brave members of our team who not only bore witness, but brought to the attention of the world the plight of these fox cubs in a diligent and highly professional manner. The police and RSPCA raided the hunt kennels in the days following. Arrests were made and evidence seized. The criminal investigation is now being headed up by Hereford CID and further arrests have been made bringing the total to five. All suspects remain on police bail until February 2017. We expect serious charges, we expect convictions and custodial sentences for all involved. The South Herefordshire Hunt is currently suspended from all hunting activity, it has missed nearly four months of this season and may well miss the whole season. Both the Master of Foxhounds Association and the influential Baily’s Hunting Directory have removed the SHH from lists of hunting packs in the UK. Baily’s has gone further and has asked for the hunt to be disbanded completely. We know our investigation has devastated the wider hunting community, and believe that any prospect of a repeal of the 2004 Hunting Act has been set back for many years. The SHH is despised locally and nationally, it is hard to conceive of a person or organisation that would want to associate with this hunt. It is not unreasonable to imagine that the SHH, founded in 1869, could close completely as a result of our investigation and subsequent criminal case against it. HIT has grown since the story of the cubs broke on national media. We have received support and offers of help from some incredible people. We thank those people from the bottom of our hearts. We have been able to purchase high end surveillance equipment, we are committed to training and continual improvement in all aspects of surveillance techniques. We have also been contacted by numerous individuals from within the hunting community who have reported on malpractice, cruelty, or the internal affairs of specific hunts. We acknowledge your bravery. The story of the fox cubs has reached many people all over the world, our investigation is ground breaking. The scenes that we filmed have never been recorded and shown before in the UK as far as we are aware. This is testimony to the bravery, compassion and professionalism of the HIT investigators who live daily with the horrors that they witnessed at the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt. This is just the start for HIT. With your support, help and donations, we believe we can achieve similar and greater results. We are all volunteers, we work full–time, and have funded ourselves up to and during the SHH investigation. We are currently responding to numerous sources of intelligence about hunts breaking the law across the UK. We desperately need to directly employ two full– time investigators, who would be able to follow up on this intelligence and mount further investigations. Please help us by donating through our Go fund me page or via our Facebook Page. Thank you. huntinvestigationteam@gmail.com

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A taste of india Try these delicious regional dishes

Sautéed Watercress with Water Chestnuts • • • • • • • • • 1.

2.

3.

500g (2 ¼ cups) watercress, tough stalks removed 1 tbsp mustard oil ½ tsp nigella seeds ¼ tsp fennel seeds 2 garlic cloves, crushed 250g (1 ⅔ cups) canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced ¼ tsp ground turmeric ¼ tsp red chilli powder ½ tsp salt, or to taste Rinse the watercress, pat dry and set aside. Heat the mustard oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the nigella and fennel seeds and sauté until they crackle,then add the garlic and sauté briefly until light brown in colour. Add the water chestnuts and sauté for 1 minute, then stir in the turmeric and chilli powder. Add the watercress to the pan with the salt. Cook on a low heat for a minute, until the leaves just wilt. Serve immediately.

Recipes from Simple Indian by Atul Kochhar (Quadrille, £9.99) Photography by David Loftus

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Per 100g:

39

1.4g

0.3g

1.4g

0.2g

2.5g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein


Spiced Cauliflower, Carrots and Peas • • • • • • • • • • • • •

300g (1 cup) cauliflower, trimmed 100g (⅔ cup) shelled fresh or frozen peas Salt 100g (⅔ cup) carrots, diced 2 tbsp vegetable oil Pinch of asafoetida ½ tsp black mustard seeds 2 green chillies, slit lengthways ¼ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp red chilli powder ½ tsp ground turmeric 2 tbsp shredded coriander leaves

1.

Cut the cauliflower into small florets. If using fresh peas, blanch in boiling salted water for 3–4 minutes, then drain. Blanch the diced carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or kadhai. Add the asafoetida and mustard seeds, and sauté for a minute or two until the seeds splutter. Add the green chillies, cauliflower florets and ½ tsp salt. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower stems soften. Add the blanched (or frozen) peas, carrots and powdered spices. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender. Serve in warmed bowls, scattered with shredded coriander leaves and accompanied by Indian breads.

2. 3.

4.

Per 100g:

49

0.8g

0.2g

3.1g

0.2g

3.1g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

Coorgi vegetable puffs Per 100g:

197

7.3g

0.8g

1.5g

0.4g

4.5g

kcal

Fat

Saturates

Sugars

Salt

Protein

• 200g (2 cups) strong plain (all–purpose) flour • ½ tsp salt • 3 tbsp vegetable oil to deep–fry Stuffing • 250g (1 ¹∕8 cup) potato, peeled and quartered salt • 2 tbsp oil • ½ tsp cumin seeds • 6 curry leaves • 1 green chilli, finely chopped • 1 tbsp finely chopped root ginger • 100g (⅔ cup) carrots, peeled and grated • 50g (¹∕³ cup) French beans cut into short lengths • ½ tsp each ground coriander (cilantro), turmeric and cumin • ½ tsp red chilli powder • 100g (⅔ cup) shelled fresh peas 1. 2.

3.

4.

5.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, add 90ml water and mix until smooth. Knead in the oil to make a pliable dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. For the stuffing, par–boil the potato in salted water for 5–7 minutes; drain, cool slightly and grate. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the cumin seeds and curry leaves for 2 minutes. Add the chilli and ginger; sauté for 1 minute. Add the carrots and beans and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the powdered spices and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the potato and peas and cook for 5–8 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Check seasoning. Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll each piece to a round, 10cm in diameter. Put a generous spoonful of stuffing on one side of each round and moisten the dough edges with water. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges together to seal. Rest the pastries for 15 minutes. Heat the oil for deep–frying in a suitable pan to 170°C (335°F, gas mark 3). Deep–fry the samosas, a few at a time, for 3–5 minutes or until golden. Serve hot.

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under the skin How one artist spreads her message through tattoos

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fter becoming vegan in 2011, accomplished artist Marlaina Mortati shifted her artwork focus to vegan and animal rights themes, and made it her 2014 goal to seek a tattooing apprenticeship. Now two years on, Marlaina is working as a full time tattoo artist, etching passionate and detailed vegan based tattoos onto people all across America. Can you tell me all about your vegan journey and how this has influenced the art you have created? I became vegan five years ago while I was living in Kentucky of all places. I had quit my job working in an auto parts factory, and let’s just say I had a lot of time to watch Netflix, and hang out with my dogs. It started with (film) Food Inc., but it was truly Farm to Fridge that made me an instant vegan. In a tearful angry rage, I threw out all (and I mean ALL) of our groceries, and started from scratch that day. Obviously all the other documentaries followed and Earthlings pretty much sealed the deal. At this time in my life I had not been drawing except for the occasional pen doodle. Animal Rights and veganism became my new ‘muse’ so to speak. I was struggling with my anger at the world, and felt like more people should care, but didn’t. I wanted to create images that said exactly what I wanted to say, images that people would actually look at and not so easily ignore. I wanted the art to be beautiful, and at times painful, and to evoke any sort of feeling in the viewer. When I decided to pursue tattooing I knew I wanted to incorporate that ethos into my work. When I first sought my apprenticeship, my now mentor said he definitely knew I was a vegan when he saw my work. I guess it worked.

“I was always getting in trouble in class for drawing in the margins of my notebooks while simultaneously being complimented for the drawings I created.”

Your tattoos are incredible. Had you always wanted to get tattoos yourself? No, I was terrified of getting tattooed. It wasn’t until my sister and mother wanted to get family ‘The Giving Tree’ [a famous picture book] tattoos that I even thought about getting one. It became too real and I backed out. Once I got my first tattoo, I was enamoured with it, and started getting more. I even planned a vegan sleeve of liberated animals that is still to this day my favourite tattoo. Is tattooing similar to drawing and painting? I’ve tried my hand at some very technically challenging art mediums, especially having been into print–making and etching for so long, but tattooing is by far my most challenging medium. Not only are you working on a three–dimensional moving, living, breathing surface, the tool you are applying it with is heavy, awkward and vibrating. Oh, and it has to be perfect. At the end of the day, another person is walking out the door with that piece as a part of them forever. There’s definitely a different level of pressure if you are not successful. It makes the drawing process more important so the room for error is minimised. A lot of your art is based around animal rights. How do you come up with the ideas? Are they depicted from things you have witnessed? Some of the pieces are. I’ve been to several slaughterhouses and those events definitely leave a mark in your life. My most prominent example being a piece called Rastro. It depicts a slaughterhouse worker with a skinned dead goat draped over his shoulder. I was undercover at a small–scale ‘made to order’ slaughterhouse when I witnessed this, and every breath left my body. It was a brief glimpse into how real this is. >

Have you always wanted to be an artist? Did you draw as a child? I remember being obsessed with horses as a child, and I would sit at my riding stable, and sketch the horses who were out. It wasn’t until middle and high school that I really began to take my art seriously. I started to excel in my art classes and fall behind in more academic subjects. I was always getting in trouble in class for drawing in the margins of my notebooks, while simultaneously being complimented for the drawings I created. I even started getting my first commissions from other students at that time. I was/am very socially awkward, so this gave me a lot of confidence, and provided me with a way of communicating with my teachers and peers. During the last years of high school, I became an independent student, and spent more time drawing than doing schoolwork. I became very active in my local art community, spending most of my days volunteering at the Riverside Art Museum. I also started taking college level art courses at Riverside Community College where I became very interested in print–making. I ended up taking the course several times over. I was never happy working any of my retail–type jobs and spent a lot of time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. When I got my first tattoo, I instantly knew.

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I painted and drew it from memory with no references. The event was somewhat traumatising. That same day we took one piglet with us, she died on the truck before they could kill her, and she was one of the animals used for National Animal Rights Day a couple of years ago. I wanted to hold her for the ceremony but I was pushed to the back of the crowd.

“I’m not able to do a ton of ‘boots on the ground’ activism but I can send the message of animal rights without saying anything and I can reach a huge audience through social media.” Why do you think it’s so important to create art, particularly art pieces focusing on veganism and animal rights? I think creating and being creative is part of everyone’s daily life whether they know this or not. It touches our lives every day. From the clothes we wear, to the television we watch, art is everywhere. I think creating social justice art is incredibly important because it reaches an audience that may not otherwise look because there’s a certain element of beauty to it even in its ugliness. I look at it as my way of

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contributing to the movement, I’m not able to do a ton of ‘boots on the ground’ activism but I can send the message of animal rights without saying anything, and I can reach a huge audience through social media. I’m doing my part, though it may be small. When it comes to both tattooing equipment and art supplies, is it difficult to source cruelty–free paraphernalia? How do you ensure that tattoos are vegan–friendly? It’s actually much easier now for someone like me than it was five or 10 years ago. Most of the highest quality tattoo inks are vegan and they are readily available to everyone in the industry. Some things get a little trickier, like razors, ointment and aftercare products. I order my razors from veganessentials.com which is probably the most inconvenient of the products I use (which isn’t at all inconvenient really). Spirit Stencil and Stencil Stuff make great vegan stencil products, and Ink Eeze Green Glide Tattooing Ointment says right on the label that it’s vegan and not tested on animals. It’s a great time to be a vegan tattoo artist because companies are taking notice of the demand for these products and not only are they vegan, they are high quality products that even non–vegan tattoo artists would use. What is the message you hope to spread with your art pieces and tattoos? The most important thing to me is being able to incorporate my craft with my passion for animals, to share a compassionate viewpoint. I am so grateful I am able to meld the two and I am happy the community has embraced me. If nothing else, I want the vegan community to have


someone who understands them, and the movement, who is able to create meaningful and beautiful pieces for them.

I am also the founder of Animal Rights Media, a large Facebook page dedicated to educating the public and encouraging activism. I’ve been running that with the help of global activists for about five years now.

“If nothing else I want the vegan community to have someone who understands them.”

To see more of Marlaina’s work visit tattoosbymarlaina.wixsite.com/marlainamortatiart

Aside from art, are you involved with any other forms of activism? I have been involved with several events in the past including protests against SeaWorld (infamous for its killer whale ‘shows’) among others. My partner is a prominent animal rights activist and professional photographer. She is able to incorporate her activism with her craft. In fact, if you’ve seen protest photography from the LA area, chances are she has taken it. I do what I can to support her campaigns mostly due to the time constraints that come with working full–time. I’ve been involved mostly with her campaign against using chickens for Kapparot, which is a ritual chicken sacrifice that takes place every year during Yom Kippur. We are actively trying to encourage the small community that uses chickens to use coins for their atonement instead of sentient beings. It’s a rather daunting and political campaign.

Is your tattoo vegan? Animal–derived products to look out for: • • • • •

Glycerin: this is a common ink stabiliser used to make the ink easier to work with. Bone char: black ink, the most popular and widely used colour of all, is often made with bone char. Gelatine: made from animal hooves, gelatine is used as a binding agent and a frequent ink ingredient. Shellac: made from beetles, shellac is commonly used as a binding agent. Lanolin: this is a common ingredient in aftercare lotions and salves used during the tattooing process, as well in some after care products. Some say lanolin is also used in stencil paper. Beeswax and cod liver oil are also commonly used in aftercare lotions and salves.

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PURE SHORES Rachel Kerry soaks up some sunshine in Ibiza

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or many, Ibiza is synonymous with boozy, drug–fuelled nights spent in clubs, sleeping until midday, and dance music. But there’s more to this Balearic island than hedonism and hangovers. Ibiza is also known for its bohemian yoga scene, miles away from the riotous images we see portrayed on television. This combination of nights out and some serious chill time proved far too tempting to resist, so along with a (non–vegan) friend of mine, I booked a week’s stay. It was my first full week away as a vegan, so I had some concerns. Would it be easy to find food? Would I be able to explain what I did and didn’t eat? When away from home, I often find breakfast is the most difficult meal to cater. I enjoy eating something substantial in the morning, or having a smoothie. Luckily, I was able to do both. We’d booked into Hostal Juanita (Calle Juan de Austria, 17) which turned out to be a good choice – it was more lovely than any hostel I have ever stayed in. In addition, a delicious breakfast of cereal and soya milk, bread, tomatoes, fresh fruit and juice, coffee and a selection of teas was provided each day. When getting up for hostel breakfast was just too much, I was able to get freshly made smoothies from a range of places in the town, my favourite being La Bufalina (CalleVara de Rey, 13). If you were visiting Ibiza on a self–catering basis I have no doubt you could find plant–based milks. Ibiza town itself has three health food shops that I visited (Bio Shop, Natural 2 and Bio organic) and local Spar shops are dotted throughout.

cashew cheese. Other memorable suppers included a tofu salad and smoothie from La Bufalina, and a range of takeaway dishes from Bio Organic (Avenida de España, 11). These included my first Spanish ‘tortilla’– and it was definitely worth the wait. Generous slices of raw strawberry ‘cheesecake’ and glasses of vegan wine finished off the makeshift meal perfectly. We experienced Ibiza’s bohemian side when we went to the ‘Wake–Up Ibiza’ festival at Benimussa Park, San Antonio. This festival, full of yoga, healing, mediation and vegan food, was ironically held in an abandoned zoo. After a spiritual opening ceremony that left me with many questions and some body art, we needed a feed. Catering was provided by street food mobile caterers La Repulguetta (larepulguetta.com). I chose well – a veggie wrap with cashew cheese. My friend Sami devoured a beetroot burger with cashew cheese, a meal she still raves about. On the flip side of this is the beach resort of San Antonio where the young come to party. We decided to join them at Ocean Beach club, home of the pool party. We were expecting a day lounging by the pool, sipping over–priced drinks. We got the over–priced drinks but not the sun loungers, the pool area being more like a nightclub (but with less clothing). It was a good experience though, not least for the delicious vegan avocado sushi I ate.

“Everyone was very friendly, and were more than happy to accommodate me if I asked. It was heartening to see how readily available vegan food was.”

Ibiza town also proved to be fruitful in my search for the finest vegan delicacies: Bite Me (Carrer de Castelar, 22), is a beautifully quaint gift and home boutique in Ibiza town, where everything on sale is suitable for vegans. After spotting the soya milk I was carrying under my arm, Bite Me owner Sally identified me as vegan, and advised me about the plant–based hot spots I had to visit. She recommended Viv’s creamery (Calle del maestro Juan Mayans, 6) and Amorino (CalleLuís Tur i Palau) for ice–cream and sorbet – a tip that turned out to be a good one.

Lunch was far easier. Delicious produce including celery, tomatoes, hummus, nuts and seeds, made picnicking a pleasure – this was the food we took with us on our visit to the beautiful island of Formentera. Another delicious beach snack I discovered was seaweed from Bio Shop (Calle Juan de Austria, 20) which was conveniently located opposite our hostel. When we fancied something a little more substantial, we visited Beykebap (LuísTur i Palau, 6), a Turkish takeaway. Tasty hummus, pastry sticks, tabouleh, salad and falafel wraps were all clearly marked vegetarian; I just had to make some easy adjustments to make them vegan and the staff were more than happy to oblige. Everything was delicious.

My fears about finding food, and making myself understood had been unfounded: with minimal Spanish, and English, I was able to figure out what I could eat. Everyone was very friendly, and were more than happy to accommodate me if I asked. It was heartening to see how readily available vegan food was. Perhaps one day the island famous for its clubbing and yoga will also be renowned for its plant–based food.

Spending a little more, my favourite meal had to be vegetable paella at a port side café. When it came to evening meals, we tried a range of places, notably a raw vegan restaurant called ‘Out of Time’ (Jaime Iº, 2). We both left this beautifully decorated little place feeling well–fed after courgette spaghetti and lasagne, which were smothered in the most delicious

Vegan hot spots in San Antonio San Antonio may be known for its party strip but it also hosts a range of vegan–friendly places: • La Casita (AvenidaCala de Bou, 19) has an entire vegan section on the menu in summer season, but always vegan options throughout the year. • Skinny Kitchen is a healthy food chain that serves some vegan options and has two locations in San Antonio. • Bondi (Paseo de las Fuentes) also serves healthy/vegan options.

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To advertise here please contact Charlotte Grant: 01787 224040 charlotte@primeimpact.co.uk

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Saved from exploitation E

A special friendship saved these cows

very morning as she walked her dogs through a quiet residential neighbourhood in the Dominican Republic, Michaela Vais stopped at a vacant plot to greet two friendly cows. She said: “I remember seeing them for the first time, grazing on grass in the distance. From that day on I saw them almost every day and I’d always stop to pet them and show them affection. They were both very kind and not afraid of us (they even liked the dogs).”

“I was excited and I knew it was the right thing to do. We had to help these beautiful babies.” The encounters continued every day for two months, until Michaela heard news that the keeper of the cows was in desperate need of money, so unfortunately he would be selling them on. “I was so shocked when I heard this. I knew immediately that these two beautiful cows [who Michaela affectionately named Yolisa and Morena] would end up in a factory farm as working dairy cows or in the

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slaughterhouse. As a vegan since 2011 and an animal lover I felt sad and hopeless. I suffered many sleepless nights worrying about what would happen to them,” says Michaela. Witnessing her despair, Michaela’s boyfriend arranged to talk to the owner of the cows. “I remember he came home with a massive smile on his face and asked me what I thought about buying the two animals. I was excited and knew it was the right thing to do. We had to help these beautiful babies. I couldn’t let them end up as steak one day. “We spoke with the owner about the price and told him that we would bring the cows to our friend, who owns a large finca [a ranch]. He agreed and the cows were ours, as simple as that.” The next day Yolisa and Morena were transported to the ranch, a 30– minute drive from Michaela’s neighbourhood. Michaela regularly visits the cows at their new home which they share with another cow, two donkeys, many pigs, chickens and some turkeys. She said: “Both Yolisa and Morena are doing so well, and really enjoying their life. We saved them from experiencing any torture or exploitation, so they are happy. They were spared from what could have been a truly horrific life.”


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