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Everything posted by timetide

  1. For me, veganism has come to mean more than what I put in my mouth. Now I consciously abstain from all animal products (though I do have some leftover wool & leather from my pre-vegan days), though in certain very limited circumstances I sometimes don't investigate every aspect of the food I eat. (For example, I know that the bread and pasta I eat are vegan, but if someone makes an effort to prepare a vegan meal for me, I won't usually "grill" them about whether they checked to make sure the bread or pasta is vegan . . .) I have a friend who saw a film (can't remember which one) and became vegan the next day. He is now a very active animal rights activist. My switch to veganism was different. I gave it a try after being vegetarian for close to 20 years and then figuring out that dairy was causing some health issues for me. I've been vegan for over four years now. In the first year it was primarily for health reasons but over time it has become more an environmental and animal rights issues for me. I recognize that my own transition to veganism happened over time at my own pace. While I truly appreciate militant animal rights activism (because I think it voices an important argument that needs to be heard), it is not my nature, particularly at a personal level, to be confrontation with others about my choices. My friends and family all know I'm vegan and are very accommodating, but usually in public situations I will normally just say "No thank you" (without explanation) instead of "No thank you. I'm vegan." My bottom line is that every and any choice that reduces animal suffering is a good choice and a step in the right direction. Even in the brief time I've been vegan, I've seen a shift in public dialogue about veganism (though it does seem to be predominantly health-related). On days when I'm more pessimistic the pace of change seems glacial . . . I know this has been a bit of a ramble, but just felt like commenting.
  2. I agree with other posters that your tastes can change over time . . . but there are some sneaky ways to get good things like greens & veggies & fruits into your diet. Here's one of my favourite "treat" smoothies that doesn't taste at all like you're doing something good for your body: (1) Sun Warrior chocolate protein powder (2) Milk substitute of your choice (I use almond) (3) Frozen blueberries or fresh blueberries + ice (4) Banana (5) Handful (or more) of spinach. (Try it first with a small amount of spinach. I guarantee you won't even notice it's there!) I'm also a big fan of raw veggies with hummus!
  3. There are usually only 3-5 days a year when I won't ride. (Last year the winter was so warm and there was so little snow that I didn't miss any days.) You are right to be cautious around cars in the snow. I would ride in any amount of snow if there weren't cars in close proximity! But a big part of it is building up confidence and riding technique slowly in quieter areas before moving into heavier traffic. Also, I think some of the most dangerous times for a cyclist are when the roads are wet and it's just around freezing . . . it's very easy to be surprised by ice in that kind of weather. There are some simple tips to help in snowy/slippery conditions: don't make any sudden moves, especially turns and don't panic-brake if you can avoid it. Surprisingly I generally find drivers more considerate in winter weather. (I think partly they respect that we're out in the elements and they're protected and warm.) But there are still drivers who don't understand how to give cyclists enough space in inclement conditions. Anyway, those are some suggestions off the top of my head.
  4. Yep, Dreamqueen, that was probably me at FRESH. I'm often at the Bloor/Spadina location. I used to cycle competitively (road/TTs/crits & cyclocross) and still cycle all year round. Good luck with your feet!
  5. If you are using cycling shoes with cleats & pedals you can try cycling booties like the ones found on the bottom of this page: http://www.velotique.com/warmers.htm#Sugoi_Resistor_Waterproof_Socks. I would advise against doubling up socks particularly if your cycling shoes are already tight. This can restrict circulation and cause your feet to get even colder. I would advise not tightening your shoes quite as tight as you do in the summer and flex/clench your toes regularly while you're riding. (Your feet/toes don't move much at all when you're using cycling shoes and this makes them get cold faster.)
  6. Does anybody have a good vegan wedding cake recipe (or resource)? Friends of mine are getting married in February. They are not vegan but want to have a vegan wedding cake to accommodate their vegan guests. The bride's mother will be making the cake and has a bit of experience with vegan baking (but not a lot). She's willing to do some experimentation. The bride's first choice is for a traditional "white" cake but she would also consider a carrot cake or something similar, though chocolate is definitely out. From my first round of exploration, it seems the traditional white cake can be a bit of a challenge to pull off with vegan ingredients. (I'm prepared to recommend the carrot cake if necessary . . . simply because I know it can be just as tasty with all-vegan ingredients and it would be great to have a "great-tasting cake!" not just a veganized approximation of a traditional cake that might not impress non-vegan guests.) I'd appreciate any links, ideas or comments. Thanks
  7. Mike Zigomanis isn't a star yet . . . but he's a vegan hockey player on the Toronto Marlies (of the American Hockey League), which is farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. He was featured in an article this weekend in one of the local papers (http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1080043--high-performance-herbivore). He's a relatively new vegan but has been inspired to pursue high-level athletics on a vegan diet by Brendan Brazier
  8. I've flown the Air Canada and/or Lufthansa combination quite frequently to Germany. (They are "partnered" Star Alliance airlines.). In terms of comfort, it really depends on the specific plane you get more than the airline, at least between Air Canada and Lufthansa. Lufthansa's fleet is generally newer and more comfortable, but Air Canada did some upgrades on the cabins in their older planes in 2008. As for vegan food . . . to be honest, I'd say it's pretty bad. It's more a diversion on a long flight than something enjoyable or filling. One benefit is that "special request" meals are served before everyone else. The vegetarian non-dairy option generally has NO protein. (Apparently food services think the only vegetarian protein option is cheese!) I always pack some Larabars (or equivalent) and/or some nuts as a protein source for the flight and the first few hours on the ground (until I find my local vegan source . . .). One improvement you will probably notice if you haven't flown for 8 years is in-flight entertainment. I think all Lufthansa and Air Canada overseas flights now have seat-back monitors and a large selection of movies, TV shows, etc. (so that each passenger can watch what they want, pause the player, etc.) Only the newest planes have power outlets and/or USB chargers. (I had these on maybe 1 of 4 of my last transatlantic flights.) Have a great trip . . . though if the weather continues, it may be colder there than here!
  9. I'm not sure . . . a few good cookie recipes is a good thing, but a whole book of good cookie recipes just sounds dangerous!
  10. I thought November 1st was the official day to start vitamin D supplementation in Toronto. (Okay, I admit that's just when I started . . . another Toronto guy.)
  11. This is a blatant plug for vegan cookie recipes at Post Punk Kitchen (http://www.theppk.com) . . . a site I'm in no way affiliated with, by the way . . . I've been vegan for just over a year and a half and was vegetarian for about 20 years before that. As a vegetarian, I used to do a lot of baking, especially around the holidays. I often gave gifts of baked goods or brought them to potlucks, etc. Since going vegan, I've done less baking (partly because I'm unfamiliar with it and partly because I'm eating more raw/healthy/unprocessed food in my diet), but this year I have three potluck events this weekend and decided to try three new cookie recipes from Post Punk Kitchen (and take a mix to all three events). Anyway, I tried Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. They are all relatively simple and GREAT! I think my favorite are the Chewy Chocolate Chocolate Chip (moist, chewy and brownie-like, but not too sweet), but they all are really good. The oatmeal ones are heartier and less sweet and the Mexican chocolate ones have a really nice spicey afterburn! Anyway, YEAH for vegan cookies!
  12. HELL YEAH!!!! As a former bike racer myself, I'm stoked!
  13. Hey man, I think we go to the same gym! Introduce yourself next time you see me . . . (Trainers, Bathurst/Bloor, right?)
  14. I'm from Toronto . . . a very vegan-friendly city from my experience. Welcome to the forum!
  15. Thanks for linking to this (and other posts by Jack Norris). I finally joined the 21st century and subscribed to his RSS feed (so I don't have to rely on you!)
  16. I found the first local organic honeydew melons at the market today on the way home from the gym! I also discovered my favorite hot weather green smoothie . . . spinach, cucumber, pear and lemon with lots of ice. And Friday is my "treat" day, when I pick up the best cookies in the world from my local vegan/Caribbean restaurant (One Love at Bathurst and Bloor in Toronto) . . . tasty, mildly spicey, bite-sized melt-in-your-mouth "thumbprint" cookies that have a dollop of apple "butter" on top, lovingly hand-made by Ikeila (one of the co-owners). Did I mention that food makes me happy?
  17. Vegan, animal-rights activist and former NHL player Georges Laraque has been named deputy leader of the Canadian Green Party: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/green-party-names-ex-nhl-tough-guy-as-deputy-leader/article1658684/.
  18. I think your photos are great . . . and as a fellow Torontonian who was at the Bike Block at Spadina and Bloor, I particularly appreciate the shot of the police officer searching the guy he randomly picked out of the crowd (apparently black t-shirts are a crime).
  19. Just for your information, the Toronto Star reports today that a Canadian member of parliament has introduced a bill to improve the transport conditions of animals on the way to the slaughterhouse: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/718437--should-livestock-on-way-to-slaughter-get-more-respect?bn=1
  20. Swimming can be great cardio. I competed internationally in swimming in my (long ago) youth, so I speak from some experience. Just a few quick observations: (1) When you start swimming, you will fatigue muscles, especially in upper back (lats!)and shoulders, in a new way. Initially you need to build up these muscles before you can start doing sustained cardio work. It may take four weeks or more before you feel you are really working your lungs in the pool. You might want to continue jogging regularly for cardio until you "feel" like you're getting cardio work in the pool. (2) Swimming is great for high-intensity interval training. (3) Swimming is great if you have certain injuries (for instance lower body chronic-use injuries from running) since it is not weight-bearing . . . but that is also one of its drawbacks. Somewhere you want to be including weight-bearing exercise in your routine. (4) If you are swimming in a chlorinated pool, take a long shower afterwards. Your skin and hair will thank you.
  21. There are a great set of videos about form here: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Press_Videos. I'm a big fan of Mark Rippetoe's approach and if I were in your position I would consider going back to square one . . . using a 5 X 5 approach (this is outlined on the same website if you're not familiar with it . . . but basically it's setting a beginning weight based on incremental increases until your form suffers or your speed slows, then you work to consisently add a small amount of weight each session instead of working immediately to failure). This might help to strengthen some of the stabilizing muscles in the lift . . . Whatever you think of this specific approach, I would vote for dropping back in weight, concentrating on form for a bit and then building up again. I particularly found the emphasis on moving the bar back (or thrusting your chest forward) after the bar passes your head (so there is a straight upward thrust from the floor through the spine) helpful. If you're not doing this, it could be one reason you're feeling fatigue first outside your shoulders. Though, of course, it's hard to give tips without actually seeing your form in real time.
  22. I'm on a bit of a vegan high after visiting the Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair (http://veg.ca/content/view/52/83/) at Harbourfront last weekend. It was really more a vegan food/product fair, since I noticed very few animal products overall (a few food stands with cheese, some bee products, etc.) It really made me grateful for the vegan community here . . . great vegan restaurants, a few raw food restaurants (LIVE . . . and now RAWlicious too), a great vegan bakery (Sweets from the Earth), TRUTH belts, a great vegan only grocery store (Panacea) and the Toronto Vegetarian Association itself (a great resource for books and the website has a really good restaurant & store directory). In a city where it's easy to remain anonymous, I was surprised how many people I knew by sight . . . friendly faces in the crowd that nodded hello. I even got to chat briefly with Brendan Brazier. His first book was instrumental in convincing me I could move from lacto-ovo vegetarian to vegan and still maintain athletic performance. I also booked my first trip to Germany this week since becoming vegan . . . and found great vegan resource pages for Hamburg (http://www.hamburg-vegan.de/) and Berlin (http://www.berlin-vegan.de/). Berlin even has a raw food gourmet restaurant! (La Mano Verde http://www.lamanoverde.de/). I'm even stoked now to try and bake a vegan version of my favorite German Christmas cookie (Lebkuchen). I think it won't actually be too hard, since the only animal product is honey. (The recipe I use calls for equal parts honey and dark molasses . . . The first attempt will be just trying dark molasses instead . . .) I think back to how things have changed in terms of "accessibility" since I became vegetarian 20 years ago . . . and it's heartening to see the same shift happening for veganism.
  23. I think as a fellow vegan you shouldn't be putting any eggs in your basket.
  24. Thanks, that's kind of what I was looking for . . . I also use VEGA and hemp protein, but was looking for some comprehensive/technical information.
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