6 Easy Tips to Becoming Vegan

Are you thinking about becoming a vegetarian or a vegan? Are you wondering what that would entail and if you could do it, or want to do it? Here are 6 of my best tips for making it easier to become vegan.

TV1.  Start by watching these documentaries, or one of them, to understand what impact the meat and dairy industry has on the environment, our bodies and how the animals are treated.

And “The best speech you will ever hear” by Gary Yourofsky.
I have linked the titles to their corresponding trailer on YouTube. You can find some of them on Netflix, or free on YouTube.

How do you feel about veganism now?

plantmilksUPp2. Ok, milk. I did a test when I began being vegan.
I love lattes, that’s how I drink my coffee, and I love it, and need at least one a day. So if I was not able to find a milk substitute that I liked, then I was sort of screwed.
I changed to one of the favourite plant milks I had tried, Oatly’s oat milk especially for coffee, called ikaffe = incoffee, for one whole week. Then I made myself a cow milk latte and an oat milk latte and tried both.
The result was that they both tasted funny, the oat one tasted, not surprisingly slightly of oat, and the cow milk one had a weird metallic meaty taste.
I had no problem switching to plant milk after that.
It’s worth a try, right.

vegetables-knife-paprika-traffic-light-vegetable-40191
3.
 My third tip is, skip the meat/dairy substitutes to begin with. They won’t taste like “hotdog” or “parmesan”, not while the real taste is fresh in you mind. Go for the vegetables, grains and fruits.
Then after a while, you can try the substitutes and see if you like them for their own taste and not what they are trying to taste like.

Holy-Nut-vegan-treats-450x5504. Your favourite treats. Try to find a vegan alternative to your favourite treats.
There are lots of great vegan chocolate out there.
Cookies, Oreos are vegan in some countries.
Vegan ice cream is usually just as good as other prepackaged ice cream.
Chips often have milk powder on them, but if you go for a “rustic” kind they are usually good, and Pringles have a “vegan” sign on their vegan chips. Yay Pringles!
Nuts and seeds are tasty and so are fruit, but never, ever let anyone tell you that fruit is candy! It’s not, its fruit! But try nice cream, its fruit and yummy!
If you can’t find anything good in you local grocery store, try searching on the internet. I have heard that iHearb is good, but I have never ordered from there myself.

Becoming Vegan

5. Find a community of fellow vegans, whether it’s on Facebook,  Instagram or any other place you feel comfortable, dare I say it, maybe not even a virtual one! A place to swap recipes and get motivated. Maybe someone has found the most gorgeous vegan ice-cream in you area, you would want to know about that right! And the same for knowing about that totally disgusting power bar popping up in the shops.

apples6. Ha, you thought I would stop at five! No, I have Aspergers I don’t like fives. 😀
Important tip number six is; be prepared, have a nut bar or a pice of fruit with you, because you might just find yourself hungry and in a place without vegan options.
Not to say It has to be hard eating out. You can use you vegan community to help you find great eating spots almost everywhere.

Oh, quick tips:

  • you are going to eat a lot of bananas
  • no, you are not going to die from protein deficiency
  • b12 is a good idea
  • learn to read on the back of Everything
  • Why not do some vegan cross stitch, download for free herekrosstitsh

I sincerely hope this helps you who want to go vegan and make the rest of you think about it. 🙂
Love to everyone, even the animals!


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Sweden meets Terror with Love

Should I write about this horrible thing that happened in Stockholm this Friday?
A city I lived in for eight years and know very well. I have walked that street many times, I have been just inside that shop-window that the truck crashed into. One of my favourite cafés is on Drotninggatan where the truck drove.drottninggatan-jpg

I read today that one of the casualties was 11 years old. She walked that street every day from school to the subway.
The authorities were extremely meticulous when identifying the dead and injured so her parents didn’t know if she was just missing or if it was worse, until Sunday.

The Swedish people met terror with love.polis-nalle-jpg

I am immensely proud of my fellow swedes! Since the subway and busses stopped running and the city was closed, lots of people had to walk home. The hashtag #openstockholm was created where people invited the affected to their homes if they were stranded or felt unsafe, and others helped drive people home.

The Royal Family and the Prime Minister showed their respect with flowers at the site.

This Saturday people were leaving flowers for the people involved, and also to the police to honour their work.
Police Car With flowers

And today, Sunday, there was a huge manifestation of love, where thousands of people came to support each other and feel united.DRkkdMg7RyL1f7AAkP_TcePRXVM

I wonder if I am one of those people who freezes in the face of danger or takes action. I will never know until it happens, hopefully I will never know.

Swedes Meet Terror With LoveHaving Aspergers is hard in a situation like this. I have trouble shielding myself from these sad horrible feelings, and it is leaving me exhausted. I can’t watch a news show about it, feel sad and then move on. It sits with me and fester. Its doing no one any good.
But in the shadow of this terrible event I feel only love towards my fellow human beings, and grief for those affected.

 

I guess I had to write about it.


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New to the Bullet Journal

New to Bullet JournalingI’m new to this bullet journaling thing. Its called an Analog system for a digital age.

“The Bullet Journal is an analog system designed to track the past, organise the present and plan for the future”
-Ryder Carrol, the inventor of the Bullet journal.

All you need is a notebook and a pen, thought lots of people tap into their creative side and decorate with drawings, stickers, color coding and washi-tape. If you search Pinterest or Instagram you will find droves of creative or efficient bullet journals.

It’s not just a fancy notebook, it is an actual system to make your life easier and more manageable, I, as everyone else talking about the Bullet Journal, recommend that you go visit bulletjournal.com and watch the video and read a little bit about it. It’s very accessible and nicely explained.

One of the big points is that you start with a blank notebook and a pen and create a journal/calendar that suits just your needs, and also is adaptable if you want changes over time.

I had this very nice Rhodia lined notebook lying around doing no good. I got it with my also very nice Lamy neon coral fountain pen. They recommend, loosely, a dotted notebook, but really you can use anything you like, there are even notebooks made for the bullet journal to buy. My material side really wants one of those, but lets see if I stick to his or not first, also the rhodia is lovely.
See on the above picture that I have the elastic on the diagonal when it is really supposed to go vertical, that is a neat trick to get a place to stick your pen, smart right.

Bullet Journal10A title page, to see at a glance what it is or what year this book records. I’m planning for the future here. 😉 (I have a consistent tendency to give up on things like this after a few weeks, but Im hoping)

Bullet Journal9And a page for “belongs to” and a plea to contact me if someone finds the book on its own.

Bullet Journal8Here is my index, Innehållsförteckning in Swedish, and this you ad to as you fill your pages, you don’t have to number the whole book at once, just number as you go. I saved the next spread for the index too. The postcard on the left, I got ages ago from IKEA and it adds a bit of color and hides the scribbles from when I used the book before. Thats a good tip by the way; if you mess upp, cover it with a sticker or something. Its not supposed to be perfect.

Bullet Journal7The key is an integral part of the system and you can use it religiously or barely at all, whatever suits you, I went with the original system plus some color coding stickers, the monkey sticker represents the funny encouraging stickers I put on days I workout. 🙂
I recommend you research this if you are going to start your own bullet journal, to see which system appeals to you.
Oh, and the journal is in swinglish or svengelska, a mix between Swedish and English, since that comes most natural to me.

Here we have the “future log”, a compact calendar for the whole year, where you can write down birthdays, big important things, or things that will appear in a future monthly spread.

Then we have a few “collections” this is a very optional part, do it if you like or if there is something you want to track over the year. I have Books I have read, Social Media Tracker (not finished), Weight over time, and a page to jot down blog ideas. You can ofcours ad these in whenever and wherever you get inspired.
Bullet Journal1This is a monthly spread, I started now in April so I made the april spread of course. On the left side is all the days of the month with a letter for what day of the week it is, and above there is a tiny square calendar, if I prefer that visual overview, I don’t know yet.
On the right side are a few things I am tracking daily during the month, exercise, walks, cleaning and things like that. And lastly a place for notes. There are so many ideas out there on monthly and daily spreads, so just choose one you think you might like, and you can change it for next month if you find something better.

Bullet Journal2Lastly, for now, I made a weekly spread of this week. Here, also there are so many ways to do this, so research and find one you like, you can be as creative or as efficient as you like.
Monday through Friday are on the left, the giant giraffe sticker signifies that I took a Pilates class that day. Sunday and Saturday are on the right with a place for any notes for the week and some mood faces below, I will probably experiment a lot with the weekly layout. Some people want a whole page per day, but I just don’t have that much to do, so this is fine for me. 🙂


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Through Sweden, With Spring

Since I feel a bit like crap, but contented crap, if there is such a thing, after hosting a fabulous birthday party for 15 people I love very much, as an aspie and introvert, that is a bit draining and I have mostly been sleeping since, I will share some of the pictures I took (mostly from the car) on our recent trip to Stockholm. Even though you can just barely see the spring arriving, it’s still beautiful.

Lovely weather on the way home there. Obviously these are non edited pictures taken with an Iphone, but still. I love to live in a country where there are lots of open spaces, countryside, fields, lakes, animals and forests.

Driving through swedenThe winter is so hard, so dark and so depressing this far north, but that makes the coming of spring so much bigger and such a huge miracle! The first tussilago = coltsfoot flowers along the roadsides are truly a thing to marvel about, to take pictures of and carefully pick one or two, but leave most for others to see. And then spring sort of slowly explode, plant by plant. I have so many spring-flowering plants in my garden because of this, lilac, rhododendron, and daffodils to name a few, spring is my favourite season, f**k the hay feever!


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Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake

Vegan Chocolate CakeI love baking, a bit to much, because someone has to eat it all. But since I became vegan I had to redo or find new recipes to fill in the gaps of old favourites.
I have a good vanilla sponge cake covered, but for my birthday, today when this is published 🙂 , I wanted chocolate! Yum!

The best base for my chocolate cake that I found was a “depression” or “crazy” cake, which I tweaked a bit to fit my needs.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Its called a depression cake because it was invented by crafty housewives during the depression in the United States when there was no eggs, butter or milk, instead it uses vinegar and baking soda to make the batter rise.

Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake

I aded a shot of espresso and a generous amount of vanilla.

Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake

The frosting was tricky. I tried ganache, turns out I’m not that fond of ganache. I didn’t want a buttercream, or a chocolate buttercream. So I turned to an old favourite again and made it vegan.
Its the frosting for a Swedish classic cake called “kärleksmums” roughly translated, with the help from my Swedish vegan friends, Loveyums!

Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake
Kärleksmums – Loveyums

Its a chocolate cake you make a big batch of in a pan, drizzle this lovely chocolate/coffee icing on, and then sprinkle it with shaved coconut. The icing is the best part.
Its served in squares with traditional strong Swedish coffee, if you can see through it, its not coffee.

Its always a good idea to line your cake pan with parchment paper.

I made two separate cakes and layered them with frosting in the middle. And I artistically chose to just ad coconut to the edges.

Vegan Chocolate Cake, with Coffee Frosting

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 40 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Perfect for a birthday cake or when you just need that chocolate kick.


I made two of these cakes to get the double layer cake I made here, the frosting recipe was enough for the whole thing, but if you want a lot of frosting or be really sure you wont run out, make a double batch. Then it serves at least 15.

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp pure ground vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 shot of espresso plus water to make 1 cup
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Directions

  1. Set oven to 350F or 175C.
  2. Butter and line you baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the cake ingredients together, sift the flower if you feel like it, and spread/pour the batter in an about 28 cm baking pan.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Let cool before frosting and decorating.

Coffee Frosting

  • 60 g vegan butter
  • 5 tbsp strong coffee, start with four, and ad the fifth if needed
  • 6 dl confectioners sugar, adjust to get the consistency you want
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pure ground vanilla powder

Decoration

  • shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Melt vegan butter.
  2. Mix with the rest of the frosting ingredients.
  3. Spread between the layers, if you are doing layers, and on the cooled cake.
  4. Decorate with shaved coconut in any way you want, let your creativity loose!


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Hand Knit Socks

HandknitsocksI am a knitter. I’m sure of it. I can knit a pair of socks without a pattern at hand and I know the exact way to knit the perfect sock for both me and my husband, what about that I never successfully have managed a sweater, socks count!

This pair was for my nephew’s birthday, they are knitted in Friday Studios Ice Dyed yarn. Friday Studios was my own yarn dyeing company, until I dismantled it because it was taking too much out of me to run and I wanted to go back to being the jewellery artist I am supposed/want to be. I made up the pattern as I went.

You can se more of my yarns and what people have knitted out of it on the knitting community Ravelry here.

socks5

I did toe up socks, knitted both at the same time on circular needles, one from each end of the yarn ball. I started with Judy’s magic cast on and then just increased to 60 st per sock.

socks6

I wanted a bit of interest on the sock, partly for me, entertaining me while knitting and partly for the finished result. I chose to do this pinstripe effect by lifting four stitches, evenly distributed, on the foot part and eight on the leg part. I let the lifted stitches travel for three rounds so they are quite long and visible.

socks3

The heel is a Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist, which I love to do, so simple (when you have memorised it) and it fits great too. I didn’t want to interrupt the yarn so a “knit as you go” heel was preferred.

socks2

When the cuff was approaching I did two rounds of garter stitch, increasing four stitches per sock on the last round. Then I knitted seven rounds of stockinette, one of garter for the turning and seven rounds of stockinette again before I turned the hem over and picked up stitches on the backside and did a three needle bind of. I like this sort of cuff, as long as you make sure its loose enough, if you don’t make it too long it doesn’t really have to have any “holding the sock up” effect at all and can be quite loose and just decorative.

I hope you knit socks too, it´s a great gift and just the right size project to not get to bored along the way. Happy Knitting!


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