Being Dairy-Free and Osteoporosis

Last week the National Osteoporosis Society released the results of a survey showing a fifth of under-25s are cutting out or reducing dairy in their diet. The articles I saw in the press seemed to leap to the sensational (Huffington PostBBC News).

These articles didn’t seem to mention dairy-free milks or calcium set tofu as a source of calcium which I think seems quite peculiar as I don’t know anybody who follows a dairy free diet (vegan or otherwise) who doesn’t replace dairy, with dairy-free alternatives. (This leads the sceptic in me to think the dairy industry is pushing an agenda.)

The NOS contacted the Vegan Society as they wanted to set the record straight and offered to feature a quote from the society on their website (see their full response here).

“The charity has informed us that some media reports exaggerate the findings, making it sound like dairy is the only source of calcium and failing to note the alternative sources that can be easily obtained on a vegan diet, such as calcium-fortified plant milk and soya yoghurt, and calcium-set tofu. Other sources include kale, pak choi, okra, spring greens, dried figs, chia seeds and almonds.

“Damage to the environment and animal welfare concerns are likely to lead people to make the decision to avoid dairy products. We encourage those curious about vegan diets to visit The Vegan Society’s website which has extensive information and research on all aspects of plant-based nutrition.

“Since The Vegan Society was founded over 70 years ago, millions of people around the world have been following a vegan diet and enjoying its health benefits.

“Any diet, vegan or non-vegan, could be lacking in nutrients if they are not adequately planned. It is the position of the British Dietetics Association, the largest association of food and nutrition professionals in the UK, that ‘well-planned plant-based, vegan-friendly diets can be devised to support healthy living at every age and life-stage’.

Countries that have the highest consumption of dairy products have the highest rates of osteoporosis, there are various theories for the reasons why (which I’ll let you research at your leisure). Humans are the only species that consume milk past weaning and we have only being doing it for a relatively short amount of time (10,000 years) in terms of our evolution.

Every diet should be planned to ensure you aren’t suffering from deficiencies of any nutrients and if you are worried about any vitamin deficiencies you can speak to your doctor about getting tested for it.

Lastly I just wanted to leave you this graphic of dairy free sources of calcium.

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Plumes x

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Being Dairy-Free and Osteoporosis

Veganuary 2017 – Initial Survey Results

If you don’t know what Veganuary is where have you been?!

Veganuary is a campaign to get people to try veganism for one month during January and offer lots of support through their website. By asking people to do this at the same time a community of participants springs up which can help eachother while they are at similar points in their journeys.

Every year Veganuary survey their participants a month after the end of January and again  in 6 months to see how they are getting on and the results of the first survey for 2017 are in!

In 2017 there were around 50,000 participants, up from 23,000 in 2016 and of those over 8,000 replied to the survey (making it statistically significant).

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The stats above are fantastic. Just to think how many fewer animals were eaten is amazing and it goes to show that people may have found it easier than theyou thought it would be.

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I think you have to contextualise the stats in the picture above as many people try to be healthier anyway in January after the excess of the holiday season. Also it is easy to be a junk food vegan so going vegan doesn’t automatically mean you are going to be healthier. However it is great that the respondents feel healthier for going vegan. I also maintain that veganism contributes to my spiritual and mental wellbeing as I know my actions are aligned with my values and beliefs.

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This is the best stat! Even those who have decided not to stay vegan, I’m sure they will reduce their animal product consumption and will have introduced some new foods into their diets. It will be interesting to see at the 6 month survey how many people have managed this!

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From the stats in the bottom left of this infogram people intend to seriously decrease their use of animal products which is great for their individual health, the animals and the planet.

99% would recommend taking part in Veganuary to others! Let’s see what next year brings!

Did you take part in Veganuary? Did you find it easy or difficult? Are you staying vegan? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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Veganuary 2017 – Initial Survey Results

Round up of the week’s food 160911

I’ve still been feeling under the weather this week. I’ve been very tired and had anxiety issues so I am going to see my doctor.

My Husband and I have been discussing how we can make small changes that will help our mental health. I think we are ok at planning our main meals but we definitely snack too much. I also buy the majority of my lunches out at work and I don’t have a regular breakfast routine. So hopefully we can save some money as well improving our health.

I swim most weeks and walk almost everywhere. I did do the Couch 2 5k a few months ago but felt it hard going in the heat of the summer and have let it slide so I hope to pick it up again as we get into autumn. I did feel it helped with my mental health and general wellbeing and I need to keep it up.

On Monday we started with a vegetable stir fry. I like this at the beginning of the week to get a good injection of veg.

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On Tuesday I went to a supper club hosted at Black Cat Cafe by vegan clothing brand Ethics and Antics with my Sister-in-law. I did feel really tired on Tuesday and could have easily gone home to my bed but we had prepaid and I was glad I went. We paid £35 each for a three course surprise menu with a goody bag.

The goody bag was laid out on our place settings when we came in and I was impressed by what we were given, including two full size drinks, two snack bars, crisps, chocolate, superfood powders and some discount vouchers.

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For starter we had a raw pad thai. This was really fresh and the peanut sauce was great.

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For main we had a sweet potato lentil dhal with rice, kale, roasted chickpeas and half an avocado. The curry was quite mild but tasty and filling. I wasn’t quite sure what the avocado added to the dish and thought it could have presented better.

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For dessert we were served a chia pudding. This was nice and light after the curry although I usually see chia pudding as a breakfast rather that an dessert!

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I did enjoy the food but if I had seen the menu before I don’t think it’s something I would have left at. I do like a supper club and I think it’s a great way to try new food.

On Wednesday I had a Linda McCartney quarter pounder with sweet potato fries and salad. I didn’t really have much appetite so hadn’t eaten much in the day but I did enjoy this.

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On Thursday we had a simple pasta dish with aubergine pesto and veg.

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We were cat sitting on Saturday so on Friday we decided to get a takeaway so we take the leftovers and wouldn’t have to cook while we were there. I had vegetable noodles and sea spice beancurd (my favourite!) Unfortunately it took nearly an hour and a half to get to us so I had well and truly stuck in before I thought to take a photo!

I’m looking forward to making soups and stews in the autumn and winter and feeling really nourished by vegetables.

Hope you have a good week.

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160911

Round up of the week’s food 160904

Can’t believe it’s September! Autumn is my favourite season, I think due in part to it being when I met and married my Husband. I’m looking forward to lots of stuffed squashes and stews in the coming months!

I haven’t been feeling too well this week but I’ve still had some great food.

On Monday we had a simple stir fry which has become a weekly staple in my house, I think it’s an easy way to get a decent amount of veg!

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On Tuesday I was very ill and had to come home from work, I managed some plain spaghetti for dinner. On Wednesday I stayed at home and had some salad for lunch. My Mum made me dinner and it was stir fry again, this time with some tofu from the Asian supermarket.

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On Thursday I was still after simple food so had gnocchi with a dairy free pesto, this was ready in under 10 mins and was really tasty!

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On Friday I was up for something more adventurous but still tired so we decided to get a takeaway. I had aubergine with potatoes, chickpea masala and lentils with spinach. I love getting a few vegetable dishes and this lasted me for dinner on Saturday as well and tea on Sunday!

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On Saturday I went to Primrose Hill in London for Pup Aid a charity dog show against puppy farming. I also helped on  the SaveABulls stall, a campaign set up by Sister-in-law and her veterinary nurse colleagues against the Breed Specific Legislation aspects of the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) which I wrote about previously here. We had a great day, I saw loads of lovely dogs, did a bit of celeb spotting (!) and spoke to lots of people about Breed Specific Legislation. We had three exempted dogs who had been deemed pit bull “types” on the stand, giving a great example of how lovable and friendly these dogs can be.

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My Brother and I went to the top of the hill and had a lovely look down at the event and across the London skyline.

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We took a break and walked down the canal to Camden for lunch. I stopped at Club Mexicana at Kerb food market. I’ve tried their jackfruit burrito before so I went for their to-fish tacos which were lush. I thought they might be a bit messy to eat but I managed it quite well!

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Hopefully I’ll continue to recover this week and get a bit more energy!

Have a good week!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160904

Round up of the week’s food 160828

I haven’t taken as many food pics this week so this post will be a little shorter than usual.

On Monday I used up my other pizza base I had bought for this olive and mushroom pizza.

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On Wednesday I went round my Grandparents with my Brother. My Grandma made me a salad with a side of peanut butter and crackers and we ate put in the garden.

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On Thursday I went swimming with Mum, we had a lovely salad with some nut luncheon from Holland and Barrett. The ingredients are only peanuts, water and salt. I thought it would taste too peanutty but it was really mild.

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As it was pay day on Friday I treated myself to lunch from CookDaily in Shoreditch. I had “Le Garden” with tofu and vegetables in a garlicky sauce over brown rice and quinoa. I also got a coconut bubble tea with tapioca and lychee jelly from Milk Tea & Pearl.

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On Friday we went to my in-laws for the weekend and I had this lovely sausage casserole.

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On Sunday coming home we stopped at Yo! Sushi at Westfield Stratford for dinner. We on stalls at the conveyor belt, elbow to elbow with other diners so it was difficult to take photos. I had the tofu katsu curry, the tofu was the crunchiest I’ve ever had it. I also had the vegetable tempura which was also very crispy but a bit difficult to eat over such a small bowl. I also had a seaweed salad. They do 25% student discount (Sun – Thurs) and some restaurants do a Sunday offer of 10 plates for £20.

Hope you’ve had a good week.

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160828

Round up of the week’s food 160821

After watching the Olympics over the last two weeks I was sad to see it come to an end. But we do have the paralympics in September and hopefully Rio will put on a good games despite the cut backs.

On Monday I met my Sister-in-law at The Gallery Cafe for dinner and a catch up. If you have read my previous review I haven’t had great times there but thought I’d give it another chance. I wasn’t disappointed with my matcha latte this time and I enjoyed this giant burger with some gorgeous relish.

My work are trialling daily vegetarian options for lunch and are monitoring take up to see whether they’ll keep with it. On Tuesday I got this spicy bean burger and wedges for just £3, can’t really go wrong!

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On Tuesday evening I made spaghetti with aubergine pesto and vegetables. Such a quick easy dinner.

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On Wednesday I had lunch with a colleague at Bavarian Beerhouse. I’ve been a couple of times for drinks after work but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw they have started serving vegan options a couple of months ago. I went for the currywurst which was about £5 on the lunchtime menu. I don’t really drink beer but thought the soft drinks were quite expensive at £3.60! I enjoyed the meal and will definitely head back to try the other options.

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I went swimming with my Mum in the evening and had sausages again with beans, onion and sweet potato fries.

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On Thursday I made a pizza using a ready made pizza base, Bute Island’s Greek Style Sheese, olives and capers. The Greek Style Sheese is really flavourful and very close to feta in my opinion.

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On Friday I had a simple supper of jacket potato with houmous, olives and a bit more of that Sheese.

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On Saturday I made a lovely Indian meal. I made some tandoori tempeh using provamel coconut soya yogurt which I bought in Holland and Barrett. This is a yogurt with absolutely no sugar unlike alpro’s plain soya yogurt so is perfect for savoury dishes. I also made curried aubergine and green rice and bought a vegetable bhaji from Sainsburys.

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Yesterday I had leftovers while I binge watched Stranger Things. Let me know if you’ve seen it and what you think?

Hope you’ve had a good week!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160821

Review – Afternoon tea @ Terre a Terre

My cousin Katy and I enjoy spending time together in Brighton so when she said she had never been for a full afternoon tea we decided we must go for her birthday celebration and Terre a Terre hit the spot.

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I had visited before for dinner with my Husband in February for my own birthday which you can read about here.

We were seated in the front of restaurant rather than the main dining room so we could feel a little bit of a breeze on a very warm Sunday afternoon.

We both had the vegan afternoon tea, which started with the savoury plate.

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The Thai rice balls were definitely the most flavourful and not like anything I’ve tried before. I do love a good Chinese bun and this marinated tofu one did not disappoint!

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For our first dessert tier we had –

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I loved the sorbet, an unusual addition on an afternoon tea and the sweet dukka really set it off.

On tier two there was –

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The alcoholic milkshake was a lovely addition and Katy was really taken by the peanut caramel truffle.

Lastly we had –

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The scones were really nice, not dry at all – helped I assume by the tea soaking! The coconut cream tasted quite acidic to me, almost like coconut yogurt. We had this all washed down with some very fragrant Jasmine tea.

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The service was a little bit slow on getting our savoury course out but we did overhear our waiter complaining to the kitchen so we were assured this wasn’t standard. At £22 each I think this was great value for money. We had our taste buds tantalised and we were well and truly full by the time we left and managed to roll ourselves back up the hill to the train station!

I would definitely recommend this tea for any celebration or just a fab day out!

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Plumes x

Review – Afternoon tea @ Terre a Terre