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Kiss the Ground: a review

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I just watched the Netflix documentary Kiss the Ground, and figured I’d share some thoughts on it while it’s still fresh. If you’ve watched it, it would be great to hear if it’s inspired you in any way. If you haven’t watched it, the ideas I’ll share here are worth a quick read anyway (I hope!). The theme of the film …

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Diabetes, insulin resistance & diet

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Following my first post about Carbs vs Fats, I’m looking into insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. I always thought of diabetes as an irreversible illness where you’d have to take injections every day for the rest of your life. But I’ve learnt a bit more and the great news is, that’s not true. First, some basics: What is insulin? Insulin …

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Collagen on a vegan diet

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A star of the beauty industry and the subject of recent bone both trends, collagen has become all the rage as a ‘must-have’ part of a supplementing regime to ensure strong nails, shiny hair, youthful skin. But is it necessary to supplement it? You might have realised that it’s not something that folks on a plant-based diet typically supplement, for the simple reason that …

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Milk those plants

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Milk. If I had known the lengths to which the dairy industry goes to convince us that we can’t live without it, the rebel in me would definitely have sought out alternatives sooner. Soy milk was the first ‘milk substitute’ I learnt about—and it’s still my favourite option: it’s high in protein, has a low environmental footprint compared to other …

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The Daily Dozen Challenge

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The most helpful guide for a healthy diet that I’ve ever come across, hands-down, is called the Daily Dozen Challenge. It’s created by Dr Michael Greger (founder of NutritionFacts.org), from having researched the special benefits of different plant-food groups. It’s all very well to say that it’s best to eat a whole food plant-based diet, but different foods have very different benefits that are often not shared …

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Aquafaba: the best vegan egg substitute

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I get a lot of blank stares when I mention this ingredient, which is understandable: it’s quite a recent discovery by a French food blogger in 2014. This revelation was transformative for the vegan culinary scene, opening up a world of possibilities: suddenly, the elusive meringue was achievable, along with chocolate mousse, macarons, nougat, ice cream and marshmallows. What is it? It’s …

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Cooking from books, the old-school way

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I love a good cookbook. Paging through a book of beautiful food photos is half the pleasure, and knowing all the potential that your shelf of cookbooks holds for delicious treats is a little bit exciting! Like most millennials, I only really started using the internet for *literally everything* as an adult. I was a bit of a bookworm growing …

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13 ways to eat more beans

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I’ve talked about how important it is to eat beans (or other legumes) every day: they’re a super important source of protein, fibre, iron and many other good things. But when we’re not used to the idea of eating beans regularly, our imagination might not stretch much further than emptying a can of beans into a bowl. We forget that there are hundreds of …

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Carbs vs Fats

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When it comes to dieters and health trendsters, carbs and fats have had avid fans and haters alike, thanks to a very polarised portrayal in the media. As such, we’ve seen both extremes, with low-fat diets minimising fat and oil intake, and low-carb diets minimising all carb-rich foods. Low-fat diets have been around for ages, based on the premise that …

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Fun facts about nuts & seeds

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You know how health blogs always harp on about the benefits of nuts and seeds? Well this one is no exception. Indeed, plenty of nutritional studies (including rigorous interventional trials) have found that regular consumption of nuts and seeds significantly reduces the risk of lifestyle diseases and premature death overall. And despite their high calorie-density, they are causally linked to …

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Who gets to use the word ‘meat’?

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I saw a comment on a social media thread recently where someone expressed confusion at the term ‘vegan meat’—as though it was an oxymoron. He’s not an outlier: probably most people around the world refer to meat as animal flesh. But it’s not the only meaning for the word, as you’ll see. And it’s definitely not the only word that’s …

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The golden spice you should be eating daily

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Turmeric’s been trending on health blogs recently, and with good reason. Curcumin, the pigment that makes turmeric yellow, has been shown in countless studies to be a powerful anti-inflammatory compound, and has actually been used medicinally for thousands of years. Why do we care so much about anti-inflammatory foods? Well, because chronic inflammation (typically caused by our food choices) leads to chronic disease. …

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Supplements on a plant-based diet

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Over the years, I’ve come across folks who feel that taking a supplement is somehow unnatural, and that there should be a way to get 100 percent of your nutrition from natural sources like whole plant foods. It’s a nice idea, but the reality is that the world we live in doesn’t allow for this. Mechanised food systems that are built for production …

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Tips for eating out (or ordering in)

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Avoiding animal products when you’re cooking at home is relatively straightforward, once you’ve got the hang of reading ingredients while shopping, and you’ve got your vegan shopping list favourites. Eating out (or ordering in) is a different ball-game though. If there’s a 100% plant-based eatery you can order from, that’s definitely the easiest! Apps like HappyCow or abillionveg make finding these places a breeze. …

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How to prepare tofu

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Want to know how to prepare tofu? You’re in the right place. I was once at a swanky wedding where the bridal couple had insisted on having a vegan reception dinner (kudos!) much to the parents’ disapproval. What was served up? A big block of tofu with some sauce poured over, and a side of steamed broccoli. Hahahaha. I guess the chef …

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Protein intake on a plant-based diet

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“Where do you get your protein?” is of course one of the most-asked questions about a plant-based diet—largely thanks to the meat industry that for decades has sold us the message that we must eat animals to get the protein we need. (Also thanks to the more recent hype around high-protein diets—which are poorly supported by scientific research.) While the term ‘complete protein’ …

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How to make food taste good

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Whether you’re part-time or full-time plant-based, tasty food should be a priority. After all, it’s the most immediate pleasure that brings us back to eating regularly. But we’ve got to find that fine balance, limiting unhealthy foods and focussing on an abundance of whole, plant-based foods. So if we can get healthy food tasting good, we get the best of both worlds, right? I’ve …

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Choosing plant milk for your coffee

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Coffee lovers, this one’s for you. When I first cut out cow’s milk one of my major difficulties was my milky coffees (instant coffee, student budget ya know), which got me through long lectures and late study nights. I was so used to the soft taste of cow’s milk to offset the strong coffee flavour. At the time, the only vegan …

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Vegan baking substitution guide

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I’m going to share a secret with you. The best way to create great vegan recipes is to take your favourite non-vegan ones, the ones that were handed down from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents… and swap out the animal-based ingredients for vegan alternatives. Most of the time you can get away with straightforward swaps (e.g. cow’s milk can pretty much …

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How to substitute eggs in baking

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Oh, eggs. The baking ingredient with the most complex and interesting properties: no wonder pastry chefs everywhere rely on them for their beautiful creations. But fear not, vegan culinary geniuses have cracked the secrets*. The trick is to understand why chicken’s eggs play such a big role in baking, and then to find egg substitutes that best mimic the most important …