I have been meaning to post about the christmas swap since, well, christmas... but i keep forgetting to take photographs... and it's so dark this winter (and has also been super rainy and gray) that the photo taking opportunities are slim. But finally I have taken a picture! so here goes....
The lovely Lakota organised a swap and I got paired with Sooz from last biscuit whose blog I hadn't read before (now it is a firm favourite) and who I had quite a lot in common - books, sewing and veganism to name just three. Sooz sent me these....
isn't that great?
A book, a brooch, some totally wonderful glasses and a crocheted shawl!
I loved all of these things so much!
I struggled a little with buying things for Sooz as I was trying to stick with a snowflake blue and white theme... and couldn't find quite what I wanted... you can see what I got her here as I also forgot to take photos before I sent them! argh, I was not on form in December.
thank you sooz!! and Lakota for organising the swap!
I've wanted to try umeboshi plums since i read a novel called suite scarlett by Maureen Johnson, as a character in that eats them ( i think it's that one anyway...)
Later I read more about them in Alicia Silverstone's book A Kind Life, and she also writes about them here
(the photo above is also from her website).So I was determined to try them... thwarted only by the fact that they are really expensive...so I kind of forgot about them for a while.
but you know how i've got this great husband who buys me treats? he got me some umeboshi plums. they are amazing in a strange way. they are really sour and salty and pickled. they are meant to be good for your digestion or if you have a hangover or if you've indulged in too much sugar. They taste really strong so if you cook with them you may only need to use half a plum... and you can just mix them with rice, or eat with a cup of green tea (i have done a lot of research about this by asking a japanese friend on facebook), so far i've just had them on their own and they are strange and sort of wonderful.
um, i don't want to be a sugar-free bore... bert has had enough of listening to it, and luckily there's a sugar addicts anonymous support group on facebook.... so I won't go on about it too much here....
after three days of a headache and not being able to concentrate with no sugar...
i have come through and am a better person for it.
For most of the Christmas holidays it has been raining. every single day.
This rain (and having a cold) has meant that I haven't been out too much recently. It's been nice doing nothing at home.
Today I woke up and I felt better! even my blocked ear was starting to pop, and... it wasn't raining anymore! it was sunny!! it felt like a new start.
I went for a walk in the park and also went grocery shopping to pick up some fresh food.
For january I am giving up alcohol (i'm not a huge drinker, but I do like a glass of wine...) and am also (inspired by Elisabeth) giving up sugar and just generally trying to eat more healthy foods and fresh foods.
I kind of thought I'd be fine with giving up sugar as I don't have a particualarly sweet tooth and as I'm vegan anyway don't really have much in the way of chocolate and sweet things. I do love to bake though and have made quite a few vegan cakes recently.
but. sugar is in EVERYTHING!! even my usual soya milk, in ketchup, in lots of the meat replacement foods, in my vegan mayo (i didn't see that one coming) and just a million other things. so am sure I am eating quite a bit of sugar without even realising it.
so today was the first day sans sugar. i started my day with my usual tea with milk (but ykno, not the yummy milk but the unsweetend one), and brown toast with olive oil and tomatoes for breakfast.
for lunch i had some baked kale chips (with nutritional yeast flakes, salt and olive oil) and a wholewehat bagel with a homemade lentil and chestnut pate.
it's after 3pm now and i'm feeling ever so sleepy - am not sure if this is sugar withdrawal or just general sleepiness....
will let you know how it goes. am planning on doing it for a month and then to continue it I feel like it.
here's how to make the lentil and chestnut pate.
fry a red onion until soft and then add some chopped chestnuts.
add smoked paprika, dried sage and nuritional yeast flakes.
boil red lentils and a chopped sweet potato until cooked and then add them to the mix.