Sunday, 18 September 2011

Types of vegetarianism - a confusing subject

Vegetarian – one who does not eat meat of any kind, this will include red meat, white meat, fish and fowl and pretty much anything that had a face, despite some popular beliefs. Though a vegetarian may still eat cheese and dairy products including milk and eggs, this would be known as ovo-lacto vegetarian. If the vegetarian ate eggs but not dairy along with their meat free diet they would be called an ovo-vegetarian, and if they ate dairy but no eggs the term would be lacto-vegetarian.

Demi vegetarian – otherwise known as semi vegetarian. This diet in simple terms would be high plant based with white meats instead of reds. White meats including chicken or turkey etc. and this diet will also include fish. This diet is obviously healthier than a diet high in red meats and is often used as a stepping stone on the road to vegetarianism and maybe even veganism. This diet does unfortunately enforce the misunderstanding that vegetarians eat fish.

Vegan – one who does not consume any form at all of animal foods or by-products of animal foods in their diet. This means no meat (including fish), no dairy products and no eggs, nor anything containing these. Vegans also do not eat honey. Some vegans will also be conscious of items in their everyday lives too, including clothing like wool and leather, make up that may be tested on animals and even cleaning products for the house. Although the term vegan refers only to the diet. There are also divisions or sub-divisions within veganism including Raw vegan, fruitarian, juicarian (or liquidarian) and even the most unthought-of, breatharian.
I hope I have helped to make this clearer.

Kyle Kendall
Veggie Power

“Fix your body before you go home.”

By Kirsty Turner 2008

It’s early in the morning and May Kaidee looks fabulous, as always. I’ve had two cups of coffee and am still sluggish from the weight of the bags under my eyes, but May sweeps into the room with skin glowing and eyes shining. Looking at May, you would hardly guess that she is one of the hardest working women in Bangkok. She greets me warmly and then we are off.

First, we’re off to meet and greet the students signed up for today’s cookery class. Each day, six lucky travelers learn how to create delicious Thai dishes under the supervision of May and her sister. Today’s students come from Israel, the USA, England and Korea. This is their first Thai cookery lesson and all are excited about the experience.

The first stop is the local supermarket, where May introduces the ingredients and explains how they are used. May tells me that she chooses the supermarket rather than the outdoor market because; “that way I can show the students how to find the ingredients in their own country.”

When the shopping is complete, May leads the students to the kitchen, which is located at the back of her restaurant on Samsen Road. The students cook in pairs using a special instruction sheet prepared by May.

May demonstrates how to use the equipment and blend the ingredients, then gives the students space to get creative in the kitchen. When they have finished, May tastes each dish and offers comments and tips.

The cookery class lasts four hours – from 9 am-1 pm – during which time the students cook 10 specially selected dishes which they then can devour. The chefs look happy as they sample their creations. “This is great,” a beaming English woman tells me. “The perfect souvenir.”

May came from Bangkok from her Isaan village of Si Sa Saket in 1988 to help her Aunt and Uncle in their vegetarian restaurant. May, who was just 16, was working on the farm when the fateful letter arrived. “They had to write a letter to ask for my help; there was no phone in the village.”

Like the other villagers, May was not originally vegetarian. “I used to eat everything,” she confesses. “Rats, dogs, crickets, worms; we ate whatever we found.”

But in Bangkok May soon found her waistband expanding and decided to change her diet. May converted to veganism and lot a lot of weight. Her diet, combined with teetotalism, is obviously the reason for May’s clear complexion and abundant energy. “In 16 years I haven’t needed to go to the hospital about my health,” she beams.

May decided she wanted to share her healthy philosophy and opened her own restaurant. It was difficult at first as there were problems with the police and Thai traditions. “Many Thai people don’t want to change their habits,” May sighs. “They think brown rice is animal food, they won’t try it.”

Luckily, May’s warmth and open spirit drew her friends to her, and they would often bring her extra plates, spoons and provisions. It wasn’t long before westerners had caught onto the wonders of May’s cuisine and she had a healthy ‘farang’ following.

In the last 20 years, May’s vision has expended considerably. She now has three restaurants, a website, a cookery book, classes, rooms for rent and soon her own TV show. May Kaidee TV, starting in about a month, will take the form of daily 1-2 minute episodes on the internet. “I have four new things coming soon,” May tells me with a grin. “New cookery book, new restaurant, New Year and new government.”

But May’s vision doesn’t stop there. Having already traveled all over the world to spread her message, May is jetting off to India next month to learn about Indian health techniques such as Ayurvedic medicine.

May’s idea is to create a complete detox centre where people can eat food organically grown at May’s farm, meditate, sing and dance. “I want to create week long home stay facilities so people can fix their body before they go home.”

Song and dance are very close to May’s heart. When the students have finished cooking, she teaches them traditional Thai dancing, which they perform before singing the sontam song.

May Kaidee provides the perfect eating experience, combined with her flare and love of Thai culture.

To find out more about May Kaidee and sample her delicious food, why not join her dinner party on December 23rd. the evening kicks off at 5pm with a lecture from an Indian doctor about healthy eating and a wellness consultation. Dinner will be at 7pm and afterwards there will be a show of traditional music and dancing as well as an exclusive showing of the May Kaidee life story DVD. Tickets are available from the restaurants located at 33 Samsen Road (next to Soi 1) and 1117/1 Tanao Road, behind Burger King at the end of Khaosan Road. Tickets cost just 99 baht. See you there.

Further Information:

Restaurants open 9 am- 11 pm daily

Tel: (66) 091373173  or 22817137

Eat Your Way Healthy

By Kirsty Turner - 10/05/07

With our ultra-busy modern lives, many of us feel we simply don’t have time to eat healthily. Instead we reach for the vitamin supplements, energy drinks and breakfast bars to provide the boost we need.

But doctors and nutritionists have always maintained that a regular intake of fresh fruit and vegetables is the best way to prevent disease and infection. Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. As we go through life, there are so many illnesses that could have been prevented with better nutrition. For example, research has proven that getting the proper level of antioxidants into our bloodstream will reduce the risk of cancer. Here’s a quick guide to nature’s own health remedies.

  • Garlic is great for warding off colds and flu – as well as unsuitable suitors. It can protect the body against heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and deep vein thrombosis. Studies have shown that if you eat garlic on a regular basis it can reduce cholesterol by about ten percent. Just put a crushed clove in with your cookery two or three times a week and you’ll soon feel the benefits.

  • Carrots are famous for helping you see in the dark. This is because they reduce eye disease such as cataracts and muscular degeneration. Carrots are brilliant for alleviating all sorts of conditions. They are also known for their anti-anaemic, healing, diuretic and sedative properties.

  • Mangoes contain a natural antidepressant and help protect our eyesight as we age. If you eat a mango a day there is no need to take a diuretic as mangoes provide a much tastier (and cheaper) alternative. Green mangoes help in the formation of new blood cells and increases body resistance against anaemia,

cholera, dysentery and tuberculosis. This amazing fruit is also very affective in combating diabetes. Simply soak a handful of fresh mango leaves overnight and drain the water in the morning. Eat these leaves every morning and you should notice marked effects.

  • Soya beans contain phytoestrogens that are believed to help protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. These versatile beans come in many different forms such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and even a delicious and healthy alternative to meat.

  • Banana-like plantains are believed to help thicken the stomach lining and protect against ulcers. They can also protect against a variety of cancers. Plantains have long been considered by herbalists to be a useful remedy for coughs, wounds, inflamed skin or dermatitis, and insect bites. Bruised or crushed leaves can be applied to treat insect bites and stings, eczema and small wounds or cuts.
  • Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, which reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Its high vitamin c, folic acid and potassium contents also aid healthy hearts and circulation.

  • Eating a slice of pineapple before a meal is an effective natural remedy for preventing indigestion. Far tastier than chalky tablets.

  • Okra can reduce heart disease. The slimy vegetable can also reduce the risk of cancer. Raw okra is extremely helpful for people who suffer with inflammation of the intestines. Okra also encourages the secreting of digestive juices, which is soothing to the colon, bladder and kidneys.

  • Almonds and other nuts have shown effective results in preventing forms of cancer, and it is also believed they may help prevent colon cancer. Eating peanuts on a regular basis has long been known to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

  • Forget expensive face creams, the oils in peanuts serve to keep you face young and supple. If fact, many face creams actually contain oils from peanuts.

As you can see, eating a few extra portions of fruit and vegetables a week could make a big difference to your health. If time is a real issue, why not invest in a juice maker. A breakfast shake made from nutritious fruits and vegetables could boost your health and leave your skin glowing.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Reasons for becoming vegetarian and vegan

Reasons for becoming vegetarian and vegan.

There are four main reasons that  I can find; moral grounds, health and fitness, economics and religion. Let’s begin with moral grounds. Should we be killing all these animals just so we can eat the flesh of other beings? I mean there is so much evidence now to show there really is no need for meat in our diets to reach a healthy state, but we will go more into this later. There is already enough suffering on this planet without the rearing and slaughtering of countless animals right? Many people think so as the ever climbing percentages of vegetarians and vegans show. Just because we may be smarter and stronger than these animals does this give us the right to torture, abuse and slaughter? When it is done to other humans it is not tolerated so why can we put other earthlings through this day by day as if it is meant to be this way? I personally feel so passionate and strongly about this subject I could go on forever so let us move onto reason  number two – health and fitness. The amount of evidence available now showing how much healthier you can be without consuming meat or animal products is overwhelming. You only need look at The Gerson Therapy or The Tree of Life to see this. The Gerson Therapy is curing cancers using only nutrition and The Tree of Life is curing diabetes using only nutrition with amazing results in every area, so if we can undo these ‘incurable diseases’ using only animal free plant based nutrition could we not just avoid these diseases completely by living on this diet in the first place? Of course we can! It is that simple. “Without any doubt at all the vegetarian and vegan diet is an all-round more superior diet than one based on animal foods “ – Stonebridge associated colleges. This brings me to my third reason – economics. For a start to obtain 1kg of meat protein from a bull it is estimated you will need to feed the bull 10-14kg of vegetable protein, now however you choose to look at this it does not make any sense, especially as not only is one piece of land needed to produce the animals food but also another for its pasture and if this doesn’t seem enough of a waste already when we could be using the land to feed ourselves we have to put in the price of vet bills and drugs too including the constant use of steroids, hormones and antibiotics. On top of this we also face many problems such as BSE (mad cows disease), foot and mouth and many more resulting in the government/tax payer bailing out the farmer, all leading to a method of food production that is unproductive and not to mention very expensive. The forth reason for being vegetarian or vegan is religion. Many eastern and western people have a meat free diet as part of their religious beliefs.

Whatever the reason for giving up meat and/or animal products the others will nearly always be adopted at a later point and for this I would like to use myself as the perfect example: I gave up meat for health reasons as it was obvious to myself that I would be much healthier without it in my life, I instantly became a ‘loose’ vegan in which I would not eat or drink milk or dairy products but still ate some products containing dairy. A little while into this new lifestyle I was shown the suffering of animals used for the production of meat and dairy and the economic damage because it, I instantly became a strict vegan and have never looked back. I am now as proud to not be a part of this suffering as I am to be a healthy and fit young man.
Kyle Kendall