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On December 21st, the day me and Bob returned from our around the world trip we decided to adopt a vegetarian/vegan diet, or, rather in the time leading up to our return date we gradually grew more familiar with the idea and chose our return date to start as it would be convenient to do with the fridge empty and most animal products used up before we left on our trip!

The reason for the whole idea is that while in Thailand we spent three weeks eating very little meat as we were living out of backpacks and going from hotel to hotel, and no dairy as it is CRAZY expensive over there… We were already expecting this as we spent some time in Thailand in 2017 as well but it surprised both of us – and we didn’t realize until close to the end of our time in Thailand – that we hadn’t had any “gut-issues” for the entire time we were there… We ate a ton of stuff, home made pancakes, way too many coconuts, smoothies, fifteen billion pineapples, bananas, crackers, cookies (cheapest thing at 7/11…. ya gotta do whatcha gotta do), jackfruit, more coconuts, rice and vegetables, vegetables and rice, nuts, veggie soups, noodles etc. We consumed almost no dairy, almost no meat products and exactly zero cheese until about our last day when I couldn’t take it anymore and NEEDED to buy some.¬† ūüôĄ

Bob has had some issues with bloating, gas, feeling uncomfortable and so have i. It surprised us that we felt so different, and it was just so OBVIOUS (in a non-scientific way) that we decided to try going veg when we came home. The decision was cemented by research on cholesterol, heart issues, (for him) and reading and learning more about the ugly side of the animal industry. (for me)

It’s been kind of a long time coming for me. I’ve never been a huge meat eater, it started around the time that I moved out at age 19, grocery shopping for meat is.. bleh, it’s expensive! And sort of continued from there. It’s never hugely appealed to me, I’d love a nice steak once every half year… or a salmon bagel every few months and at home we would mostly eat chicken or turkey once or twice a week tops. Over the years I gradually ate less and less beef and pork, while still indulging in copious amounts of bacon… I still love bacon, it’s so delicious! What is not delicious however is the industry behind it or the cholesterol deposits in my galbladder causing gallstones.

As of today, we are vegetarian-almost-vegan, we have not consumed or purchased meat or any animal products and byproducts since December 21… Actually since the morning of December 20th as Dec 21st was spent flying and eating fruit. Heh! We still have some cheese around the house, which is probably my biggest downfall… I LOVE cheese, I am Dutch, i grew up on that delicious salty creamy goodness!

Bob is having a pretty easy time of it, the only “problem” being that we are needing to learn how to cook new things, use spices, new recipes… and being HUNGRY and eating A LOT of vegetables. I’m a volume eater so I don’t exactly mind that. ūüė≥

Anywho, is this a recipe blog? Who cares! One of our first forrays into more homecooked stuff without animal products were the above crackers, with a few modifications. They were great!

Original recipe can be found here

 THE SESAME CRACKERS

  • 3/4¬†cups¬†whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup white flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder for fluff
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup toasted¬†sesame seeds
  • 5¬†tablespoons¬†extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil – cut into flour like butter
  • 4 to 5¬†tablespoons¬†water, as needed

Roll it out, pizza slice into squares, triangles… whatever you fancy and bake 15 – 20 at 350 (if your cast iron pan is hot, about 15 is spot on).

Please share with me your vegan recipes! I need more food.

 

The following is a guest post from Beating Broke, a frugaler at heart, as part of the Yakezie blog swap #10. This swaps’ topic du jour is “The Best Go Green Method to Save Money”. You can see my first-ever guest post as part of the blog swap over at Beating Broke today!

If I’m going to whole-heartedly jump on board with a green movement or alternative method of doing something, it’s gotta be frugal. I’m not going to spend a whole bunch of money above what I usually would just to save a few carbon credits. Composting toilets? Not a chance. I’ve got to pay that sewer bill anyways, so I’ll keep my fancy schmancy flushing toilet.

No, one of the biggest green money savers, for a frugaler like me, is the good ol’ two-wheeler. A bike. There are probably far better ways to go green, but few will save you money like a bike. How, you ask? Let’s start with the simplest, and most obvious, way. If you’re riding your bike everywhere, you’re likely not driving your car everywhere. You’ll instantly save a ton of money on gas. Tack on a few saved oil changes and other maintenance costs to the car, and you’ll probably pay for the bike in a few months!

It doesn’t end there though. You’ll increase your health, saving hundreds, even thousands, in health care costs. You’ll lose weight, and eat less, saving money on food. Then, there’s the green benefits! You won’t be putting as many of those nasty carbon emissions up into the air. Less oil changes, tire changes, and other maintenance mean a lessened impact on the environment.

Try and get any of those benefits from your composting toilet!

Even if you don’t ride your bike everywhere, riding it for enjoyment and as a recreation can still be good for your health and your pocketbook. If you really want to get full impact out of your bike, put a baseball card in the spokes and it’ll sound like a motorcycle! Now you feel like a kid again too! The benefits are endless!

I would NEVER be doing all of this crazy money mumble jumble if I didn’t get to have some fun. I gotta say, December through March were TIGHT. I paid of a nice chunk of debt, I hoarded cash like crazy but then it was time to let loose a little.

My neat little budget program YNAB tells me I spent money on a new bike and about half a new wardrobe, badly needed as I realized when I started sorting out my summer & winter stuff, but back to the bike:

I met a great guy through work recently who reminded me once again how badly I’ve wanted a bike. I really want to be able to throw it on the back of the car and check out the awesome scenery around here. I love nature and all things of beauty, I’ve wanted a bike for years but with moving away in 2006, then moving home and going through a lot of crazy stuff (ending a relationship, buying a house, going broke) … it’s only now that my life is settling that that desire has popped up again.

I had my eye on a Schwinn Hydra (a hybrid bike) when I discovered a women’s bike in my parents shed that belonged to one of my siblings. Go figure. Turns out that bike is actually a really decent bike, a 2004 Gary Fisher in metallic blue & silver.

Advance

Yeah, she’s a bit older, not the newest model in the line-up obviously but I got her for a great deal ($120 beans to be precise) and had it tuned up at a local bike-shop. I could have done some of this myself but since it’s been so long since I’ve touched a bike I left this one to the pros, especially since it was covered in about 6 years worth of dust.

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After a thorough cleaning, new brakes, grips, new saddle and some air in the tires the bike came out like new and she rides beautifully. I can’t wait to get some good use out of it! It’s not the bike I wanted, being used to the plain, old style European bikes I was really hoping to get on a hybrid instead of a mountain bike but after the tune-up I am very happy with the suspension and the way it rides. Awesome! I haven’t rode much yet but that will change as the weather keeps improving.

So, what have you splurged on lately? I definitely have to tighten the belt again, hehe…. I let loose there for a bit…