Friday, November 16, 2007

VeganMOFO-Education systems and it's evil evil ways

Attending university has forced me rather violently to see the many ways in which our education system force-feeds us an awful food relationship. From the first day that "hot lunches" were brought into my grade 3 class room, Mc-Donald's burgers, Pizza and Subs on Thursday.

Poor food, prepared in advance reheated and chemically treated served up as the only option from an early age. I remember being watched by teachers, there to insure everyone ate their food. Choke it down, and I don't want anymore was not acceptable, because growing boys and girls needed their "nutrients".

On-wards to school cafeterias who's healthy special consisted of fat sausages on white buns and a salad. Ice berg lettuce and greasy fries, and it's no wonder people developed negative relationships with food. Being forced to eat the same things day in and out, nothing is ever really cooked. It's heated and torn from its packaging.

Thinking back to the way in which food was present in the education system it really shouldn't be that surprising when in High School confused students genuinely inquired about turkey and fish not being part of my diet. (They actually had no idea turkey was meat) Honestly thought, when would a kid from the suburb raised on fast food, boxed KD and cafe food witness the growth of a tomato? Pick a carrot from the ground and eat it? Watch a slaughter? Have any part in the creation of their own food?

University is not much better, the food is given an air of variety by implying a rotational menu and offering vegan "food" stations consisting of goey veggies and grains covered in thick sauce. It's a real wonder and miracle people move on to have such profound relationships with food at all. I find myself day in and day out losing the desire to eat, because really what is there? Eating has becoming the same chore it was back in elementary, with a stern teacher standing over demanding that you eat everything down to the last bite. Eating is a necessity, but with dismal options and pre-cut, re-washed, re-heated, day-old slop... who wants to?

It's gotten to the point that even going out to eat, with real food has become tedious. I need to eat but the desire and bond is gone. I'm afraid someday I will stop looking forward to having a kitchen or being able to cook again. It's funny how much effort is put into the appearance of health and wellness or aesthetics of these campus wide food establishments, always telling you to eat a healthy variety, 3 meals a day, while doing nothing to provide you with those options.

In many ways I feel extremely bad for all those children who will grow up without a vegetable garden, seeing carrots as grainy orange sticks that come from plastic bags that taste like chemicals. Because really everyone deserves to feel the love and joy that comes from growing, cooking and creating something to fuel your body. something good and tasty, to take pride in and enjoy. Far too many are denied that joy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vegan MOFO-Food Diary

I'm getting sick and it's raining, so I'm going trying to fend it off with good food.

Breakfast: Half WW bagel with PB, Orange slices and honeydew melon wedges, chocolate soymilk, water via the cafeteria (ick)
Lunch: WW Penne with Mushroom and tomato sauce with some brussle sprouts from the cafe, more water.
Then to Coburg for some real food:
Tomato Balsamic soup
Vegan Cookie
Soy Mint Mocha

Study Time Snacks:
Vanilla Soy late
Samosa with Pineapple Chutney
Strawberry Italian soda

Dinner: Pasta salad with peppers

Monday, November 12, 2007


It really is a miraculous thing. The smells, taste, sensations and emotions brought about by food are some of the most powerful. Everyone can remember the elation feeling of your favorite treat as a child, or how a warm cup of soup or hot cocoa can lift your spirits and warm your core.

At the end of a hard day many people go home and indulge in a sweet of some sort, or a salty delight. Favorite dishes can remind us of simpler and easier times in our lives or simply lift our moods out of a horrible day. Food can cure our many wounds, fight off colds and flues, help heal a broken heart, keep us focus or simply provide a relaxing escape.

That being said, there are fresh hot-out-of-the-oven Vegan Cookies and I just devoured one, and all is well. So in honor of VeganMofo, Yourself, This post, or just because you want one Go out and eat a fresh vegan cookie and feel the joy. If your the giving type share some with friends and be merry.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Food diary for today.
Breakfast: Glass of water, medium caramel soy latte and poppy seed bagel with peanut butter.
Lunch: Hummus and veggie sandwhich on whole Wheat toasted bread, large mint latter water.
Dinner: Vegan Pizza at the Wooden Monkey, Thin crust sun dried tomatoes and marinated mushrooms with moza follow your heart shredded. Desert was the Tofu-Crem Chocolate pie and I had a natural cola with lemon and lime wedges. Very good.
Snacks: A samosa and another soy iced mocha while we went to the post office

Morning LatteI ate half my sandwich before I thought to take a photo, sorry again web came poor quality.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Marginally food related

So the long weekend coming up, everyone I know is leaving for home. So as usually this weekend is a planned homework attack, and attempt dorm clean. That being said, I've been itching to go out with people or socialize, as I posted about going to the Vegan Anniversary at the Wooden Monkey was awesome. And I realized that I kinda like going out with friends, or maybe just going out period.

So I'm thinking I may take myself out to diner, I know this post kinda digresses from the food but she's got food in her heart. I was thinking about writing a little bit about the joys and pleasures of eating out, a sit down meal etc and the taboo's attached to 'going it alone'. So this weekend, homework and ppk-mail-athon/ppk birthday gift shop attack aside I'm going to take my old busted camera and photo graph a single girl exploring food and dining alone in the city.

That's right, I am taking myself out to diner and weird stares be damned. I have yet to decide, but I may venture off sans book as well. Because really a healthy and fun relationship with food should be just that, regardless of who your with or your serving size. This girl can vote, walk herself home at night, and she'll be damned if she can't eat alone at some sit down place.

Depending on cash-flow I may venture to the Wooden Monkey again and try to capture the feel of the place, and maybe try a new hot-vegan-spot to keep you all in the know. Wish me luck and keep up your fooding adventures!

VeganMoFo -- and why I am lame and such at posting

So, I'm sure I've covered this in at least every single one of my blogs, but here it is again. I'm pretty lazy when it comes to blogging, and pretty bad at remember when I have stuff to do, plus I'm with the school degree of doom and all. So yeah, bad slacking vegan blogger.

On to food, with all my recent studies I have been going to a local Cafe Called Coburg Cafe. She's pretty sweet, organic brews of tea and coffee, and surprisingly vegan friendly, if you in the area A) say hi to me you twits!<3 and B) come by here. Because supporting local small business guys is always best, especially when their this cool and open late for studying students like myself.

What to love?
  1. The have Soy Milk, Organic Soy Milk and can make any drink to your soy-a-rific liking.
  2. They don't Charge Extra for Soy. Hear that you corporate giants! Small business, we pay for your soy.
  3. The have Vegan Samosas, with forking Pineapple chutney. Simply orgasmic
  4. They Offer Daily Drink Specials (Different each day, specials on holidays and random days they feel like it) Which are ultra cheap, sweet, and fun. Halloween had Jack-o-Lantern Lattes and Candy Apple ones.
  5. Soup of The Day, Often (and in my experience in the past 3 months, always) Vegan. Fresh Hot Vegan soup that is different each and every day, and oh so yummy.
  6. They also do Salads, I had pasta tonight and it was pretty Good. they also have a bean salad and then the un-vegan greek.
  7. Organic, Local, Small business that I've mentioned before but come-on, these are some perks.
  8. Free Wi-Fi. Who likes Wi-Fi? We like Wi-Fi.
  9. They also feature local artist works, offer free reading material including not limited to (Papers, The Coast, Animal Times, Flying Cow, The Source, Coffee News and Dr. Goose)
  10. They have a great friendly staff, who don't mind answering all your trillion questions about ingredients and often give you heads ups on when the samosa stock is low, or the soup wasn't as nice. <3
This place also plays decent music all day. Local stuff too, sometimes it's a little indie or hipster but normally they bring it home with some decent ska/punk tunes of heart filled joy. Oh. And did I mention they sometimes have vegan cookies? That's right. Giant. Vegan.Cookies. They get their own stand and display too, and the heat them for you.

So for local, cheap, student friendly cafe-hang-outs. I suggest giving Coburg a stop by and who knows you may run into me.

A solid 9 outta 10 on this bitter vegan's scale.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Oh and because I haven't plugged this yet

Originally uploaded by bottleandball
Because I have yet to plug this event, The PPK came up with this little gem.
Go check us out on isa's blog, or

And Eat Vegan

5 Years of Veganism

Although this year was the lowest key of celebration I have had since that day, in a way it was nice. I didn't get to cook a big meal, have a party and see 50 friends. But The boys and I went out to the wooden Monkey and has a pretty decent time.

The food and atmosphere is amazing. Their napkins and take out containers are sugar fiber, natural moisturizer in the bathrooms and an extensively vegan friendly menu and great staff. We ended up with desert on the house because they accidentally droped john's pizza in the kitchen, and a drop in from a furry little friend. Not that either event bothered us in the least, after all second oldest building in halifax and mice are cute. Plus no contamination of food or anything.

It was great, I had japanese dumplings and umeboshi dipping sauce for starters, then a seitan sandwhich with roasties. Lemon Lime soda and the best tofu chocolate creme pie ever.
Our server was so nice, and I cannot believe it has taken me so long too stop by.

5 vegan thumbs up for this place and I will surely be heading back soon.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November is a very special month for me.

Not only was I born 19 years ago in this lovely month, but coincidentally it also marks one of the most important days in my life. Maybe when I was born again, but that sounded a little too cheesy/mushy or darn right dirty hippy. November (the 5th to be exact) marks the day that I made a huge lifestyle choice, that in some ways now defines who I am in the eyes of most people.

That's right, from that day forth I became "The Vegan". I've posted about my "becoming" story, and really there wasn't a lot to it. I was ignorant, uber hella ignorant. I could and often did eat multiple steaks at resturants and my parents would chaste me, saying it was unhealthy, I would have a heart attack before 20 and I would be even fatter (something I hear a lot and could have fucked up my food relationship from the start).

Looking back everything leading up to the decision seems like a giant (and kinda lame coincidence), I was home some reason or another zane was in the other TV room letting me watch both tv and have the computer (this never happens), I was watching much news because well I was lame and in grade 9. Half assedly working on a paper that was probably due the next day, when much news came on. I never watched much news, in fact I even tried to avoid watching it on September the 11th when there was real news on it. I kept saying I would grab the remote in a second, and I just so happened to pay attention long enough to see the upcoming story. It was called simple plan get's bloodied up and showed the band covered in blood. I'm not sure why, but I left it.. I wanted to know what that was all about.

So the program came on and it turns out the band was doing an anti fur add for someone called peta. Now I have always loved animals, and thought fur was a stupid idea and like most ignorant animals-are-teh-cutes-don't-wear-them-but-i-can-still-eat-them people I vocalized that fur was pretty fucked up. Back on track, segment ended and it gave a web site for more info. So in my eagerness to not write an essay off I went. and I searched the site for info on the add, turns out there was a video with the band and they ended up saying that the whole experience would be worth it if even one person stopped wearing fur, went veggie, did blah blah blah, or even if someone went Vegan, then it would be awesome. :laughter: but that's really unlikely, yeah, but it would be more than worth it.

Here's the part where my ignorance really shines, hmmm v-ee-gaa n? what's that. So I search the site again, it comes up with why someone would go vegan and what a vegan was. So I read. And read some more, soon I was learning all the horrible things that go on to produce meat, there were videos I didn't dare watch and after a while of reading I felt sick. Physically. That was that I thought, I'm now a vay-gun (and yeah I pronounced it wrong at first too). I had no idea what I was doing, or if it was healthy I thought it could possibly kill me to not eat this stuff anymore. But I also thought I'd cross to that bridge when I came to it, because I couldn't support any of this for another second and I didn't. Then I think I threw up.

And now as we approach November 5th I'm about to become a 5 year old vegan and not only have I survived but I've improved. My heath is finally good, my weight it down, and my relationship with food is slowly but surely becoming something healthy again. I have met great and amazing people, who share the same bond and beliefs as I do and I've managed to set a positive example and converted a 8 new vegans and a few veggies along the way. It may have been coincidental the way it happened, but I couldn't imagine my life if it hadn't. So in that case, I would like to think that I would have gotten hear eventual, if I'd survived through the bad times long enough this was where I would have ended up. And I wouldn't change it for the world.