#vegan plantain and spinach #curry

We tried a new curry last night. You can get the recipe on the vegan society website.

I put tandoori spices in it rather than chilli and we really enjoyed it. It said for four but it lasted us one dinner and lunch for R.

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Its a #soup kind of day

Its cold, its wet, what more could you want than comforting soup and bread.

I made walnut spelt bread with doves flour and pea, butternut squash, carrot and red lentil soup:

Half a butternut squash
2 carrots
2 cups of frozen peas
1 cup red lentils
Enough vegetable stock to cover the veg.
Cook until soft and then blitz with a hand blender.

#timetotalk @timetochange

So around it comes again, time to talk day. As a youth worker, I deal with and talk about mental health issues all the time.

I am also open about my own mental health, having suffered five major depressive episodes in my life, and now, permanently on antidepressants.

Really, you are supposed to talk to people face to face today, but to talk in depth would feel too exposed for me, so here it is in a blog post.

The medication and my own self care, which includes prayer, mindfulness, healthy eating, regular dog walking and sleep (as much as a new mum ever gets) keeps me well.

But there in lies the thing.

I have found that talking about mental health, people tend to see it as “my thing” as in, they don’t mind me being passionate about the subject, and will listen to me talk about it… But that’s as far as it goes. People generally, I find, don’t really want to take action.

Secondly, people are great when you have a crisis. So five, nearly six years ago, when I was too depressed even to leave the house, people were very kind to me.

But when it comes to living with clinical depression, if you are well enough to work, and you look cheerful, people forget you have a chronic illness.

No one sees how much effort, how much energy it takes, just to be normal.

If I slip at all with my self care, particularly at this time of year (between December and March), I would become unwell.

And I see other people able to do so much in their lives and I think of all the things I could fit in my life if I were mentally strong enough… But I’m not.

Keeping the discipline of a balanced life is what keeps me well enough to work and to take care of my son properly.

Its so hard, actually. You don’t get medals for ordinary, even when it takes extraordinary effort to get there. People don’t realise that their starting point is my mid point.

So next time you see people being ordinary, remember, for some of us, that, in itself, is a daily achievement.

#veganuary day 25

Today, chipolte stew and cheesecake for afters.

We had lovely people round for dinner last night. They aren’t vegans, actually they raise sheep, but they like our food all the same.

I made the stew with mixed beans potatoes and a variety of veg:

And a bought sauce along with nutritional yeast, vegetable stock and tomato paste.

We ate it with extra roast potatoes, garlic naan and a salad of avocado, tomato and cucumber.

Then for afters we had cheesecake which was coconut cream and cashew nuts with an Oreo base, mango to decorate:

@channel4 and @weareveganuary

According to the channel 4 Instagram page, channel 4 “champions unheard voices” and “stands up for diversity”

Apparently that is, unless you are a vegan:

As such I, along with many others have complained to channel 4, because let’s face it, unless they unequivocally and publicly apologise, they are a bunch of complete hypocrites. Below is the complaint I sent via their website. I encourage you to do the same.

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to complain about a post (now removed) on your Instagram page. Apparently channel four thinks its okay to call vegans asswipes. I appreciate that in the public realm, it is perfectly acceptable to make jokes about other people and as vegan my friends do make jokes. However being called an asswipe is not funny. What it is, is school bully tactics to deride someone different to you. I am genuinely insulted and it being on Instagram, it doesn’t lessen the rudeness. I can’t imagine you would allow a news caster on channel four news to say such a thing. And to make matters worse, it appears nobody can be bothered to apologise. Would channel four be happy to call women asswipes? What about a particular religious group? Or perhaps a particular age or class demographic? If not, can I ask why as a vegan, who has chosen a particular lifestyle based on care for the environment and respect towards animals, I am a legitimate target?
I would not only appreciate a reply to my complaint, I would also like to see a genuine apology from channel four via your Instagram account.
Might I also suggest some education around kindness and respect for the employee who thought it was okay to post such an offensive picture and message.
Yours faithfully,
Karen Turnbull