Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Product Review Swedish Glace Ice Cream

That’s Swedish Glace off my shopping list as well known animal torturers Unilever buy the company.


Finding an ice cream type dessert that's dairy free for anyone who suffers from lactose intolerance or who is a vegan, can be tricky.

Note - although this is very like ice cream and tastes like ice cream, it is labelled as a 'rich dessert.' Only a product containing milk can be called ice cream.

I was delighted therefore to come across this amazing product in my local Holland and Barrett store.

At first glance, when you look at the packaging Swedish Glace just looks like normal ice cream. Scouring the label, I found that it was completely dairy free and contained no egg.

It's also cholestrol and gluten free, so perfect for those watching their cholestrol and who are gluten intolerant. And there's no genetically modified ingredients either, so this is a wholesome treat.

If you fancy trying a different flavour, it also comes in smooth vanilla, juicy raspberry and wild blueberry.

On first taste, this does taste like ice cream. Very chocolately ice cream. But the more you eat the more it tastes like a very rich mousse. Not that this is a nad thing. This is a very chocolatey product and its no surprise to see that crushed cocoa beans are added to the product.

One of the other good things about this product is that there is no aftertaste. After eating it you feel wonderfully refreshed.  

I would recommend Swedish Glace to anyone who is vegan or gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant. It tastes fantastic and is a welcome addition to any larder.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Free vegetarian book to download

I was delighted to find this free to download 16-page booklet called Go Vegetarian on the Asutralian Vegetarian Society website.

This is an ideal read if you are considering going veggie or simply want to check that you eating the right things.

The site also has a forum if you fancy chatting to other vegetarians and wannbe veggies in Oz.

I'll be updating my blog with details of any other lovely vegetarian freebies I can find.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Milk replacer tips

When I stopped drinking milk (for health reasons and because of the horror that goes on in the dairy industry), there were two things I missed most of all -

1. Cereal. I loved cereal and ate it all the time.
2. Tea. In Scotland where I live, we are a nation of tea lovers. We drink it all the time even although there seems to be a Starbucks on every corner.

Then I made two discoveries. Firstly, that I could replace milk in my cereal with soya (soy) milk. I tried all the different varities: sweetened, unsweetened and various flavours. I also tried rice milk, oat milk and almond milk. To be honest, I didn't like them much.

Then I discovered Provamel's banana flavoured soya milk and thought, 'Mmm, now this I like.' So, I've been having that in my cereal ever since.

You may find your tastes are different, but there should be one non-dairy milk that you like.

My latest discovery is SoyGo coffee creamer, which you can buy either in a carton or in sachets to carry around with you. One box contains 25 sachets. I bought it from the VIVA online shop, but you may be able to find it in a health store.

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the best milk replacer I have used. Tea tastes like tea and if you take away the fact that you need to really stir your tea or coffee to ensure this dissolves, then I have to give it a well earned 9 out of 10.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Let’s talk about vitamin B12

Victim B12, or cobalamin as it’s also called, is very important to keep your body functioning. All of the B vitamins, including B12, help to convert food into fuel in the human body. In other words, they give you energy.

Not having enough B12 can cause something called pernicious anaemia, also known as B12 deficiency.  

What else does B12 do?
It helps the brain and nervous system to function normally. B12 also has a vital role in the formation of blood and the metabolism of every single cell of the body.

How do I know if I have a B12 deficiency?
Here’s a list of symptoms -
  1. You may feel tired and lethargic all of the time.
  2. You may get headaches
  3. You may have a reduced appetite.
  4. You may suffer from palpitations (feel your heart thump in your chest)
  5. You may have a sore throat or tongue
  6. You may also suffer from nerve damage. This is called B12 neuropathy and it may affect your movement and sensation, especially in your legs. You may get some numbness and tingling in your toes and fingers.
  7. You may look jaundiced (have a yellow tinge to your skin and around your eyes).
  8. You may get confused and forgetful.
  9. You may feel depressed.
  10. You may also suffer from diarrhoea.
FACT - There is also evidence that people suffering from Alzheimer’s are deficient in B12

Note – as these symptoms apply to many different ailments, you need to see your doctor about a diagnosis. You also may not have all of the symptoms.

How is B12 deficiency diagnosed?
The levels of the vitamin in your body can be measured using a blood test.

Why would anyone be deficient in B12?
  1. Because their diet doesn’t include enough B12. Note – it’s a myth that just vegetarians and vegans can be deficient in B12.
  2. Because their body can’t absorb B12 properly. This means that no matter how much B12 containing foods they have in their diet, they will be deficient. In their case they need medications to help them absorb B12. To determine whether your body can absorb B12, a simple blood test is needed.
  3. They take anti-acids like which stop the body absorbing B12.
How is B12 deficiency treated?
If lack of B12 in your diet is the problem then you will be asked to change your diet to include foods with B12. You may be referred to a dietician or asked to take B12 supplements.

If your body lacks the ability to absorb B12 properly, medication will be needed as you may have pernicious anaemia whereby the body is unable to absorb enough B12 into the gastro gastro-intestinal tract.

Do vegetarians need to worry about B12 intake?
Vegetarians who don’t eat eggs or dairy should follow the same advice given to vegans. Namely that they eat B12 fortified foods and take supplements.

What are the best sources of B12 for vegans?
  1. Supplements – The Vegan Society recommends that vegans all take supplements, as well as fortified foods.
  2. Many cereals are fortified with B12.
  3. Many soya (soy), rice and oat milks may also have B12 added
  4. B12 can also be found in energy drinks
  5. Yeast flakes that are fortified with B12 can be used in soups, stews and toppings.

Note – none of the advice given in this piece is any substitute for proper medical and dietary advice.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

There's something fishy about soft drinks

It may sound crazy, but if you’re avoiding consuming animal by products, you may also have to avoid some soft drinks. Because some soft drinks that are NOT suitable for vegetarians (and vegans)

Some drinks contain colorants that use animal products, like cochineal, which gives drinks a reddish and pinkish colour.

For example, Fanta used to be on the not suitable for vegetarians list because it may have contained traces of fish gelatin (gelatine). Nice eh? Now that’s changed and Fanta is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

If you want to see what other Coca-Cola drinks are not veggie friendly, see their list. 

The great news for those who love Scotland's unofficial national drink, is that Barrs Irn Bru is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Thanks to David Scott for getting that info.

For those who like to ride the bull, drink Red Bull the good news is that the Taurine is synthetic and is manufactured in a lab. It doesn't come from the stomach bile of animals. Don't believe me? Here it is in black and white - the Taurine in Red Bull

If you're unsure whether a drink is animal free, many manufacturers have vegetarian and vegan lists - if you can find them on the sites that is!

Note – I will be adding lists of things that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as soon as I find them.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ways to make the world a better place today

It's daunting, isn't it when you see all the bad things happening in the world whether it's to people or animals and you feel helpless, that there is nothing we can do. But, the good news is that we can all change the world and we can start today.

Here are some tips -

1. Whenever you see something you don't like, complain about it, tell your friends. Blog about it, put it on Facebook, Tweet it. Let as many people know as you possibly can. Complain to the company concerned.
Example - Someone informed me that Amazon.com were selling fox tails, so I contacted them about it using this online form.

2. Buy products that carry the Leaping Bunny logo. That way you are helping to bring about the end of animal testing.

3. Do you know that neighbour or work colleague you've never spoken to or just said hi to? Try and have a conversation with them. Make them smile. Even better make them laugh. Loneliness is a terrible thing and you may be the only person they speak to that day.

4.Ditch the KFC. The company hasn't been dubbed Kentucky Fried Cruelty without good reason.

5. Do something nice for someone. Buy your mum some chocolates (dairy free as chocolate containing milk comes from the cruel dairy cow industry) or get you dad a DVD of his favourite show. Get your partner something you know they will like. Help create a world where we show the ones we love that we love them and don't wait until it's too late.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Go Vegan with Ellen

TV star Ellen has set up her own website promoting going vegan. There's some good stuff on there like-

It's definitely worth a look and not just for vegans or vegetarians either.

Ellen isn't the only celebrity to try and spread the vegan word. Actress Alicia Silverstone also wrote The Kind Diet.