Vegan for more than 10 years and still alive

The best thing about having all our belongings back is that I’ve got all my cookbooks again. I’m not that good at just making recipes up and I also like flipping through cookbooks for inspiration. We had visitors over last Sunday and so I really needed some inspiration. I ended up making four vegan dishes: Moroccan Chickpeas, Chewy Indonesian Rice, Revive-Dorf Salad, and Honey & Soy Tofu Steaks. They were all delicious and I think our visitors enjoyed them too as they went back for seconds and thirds.

Here’s what we ate:

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These are all recipes from The Revive Cafe Cookbook. It’s a cafe in Auckland (which we never actually went to) but their cookbook is fantastic. I’ve shared a recipe from this book once before, the Vegan blueberry and cashew cheesecake.

Having visitors over and cooking yummy dishes is a great way to share vegan food with other people and dispel the myth that you need to eat meat to eat well. I should do it more often.

Every year I have a blood test to test for diabetes. It’s called the HbA1c and it gives an indication of blood sugar levels over the previous three months. This is because I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Daniel and I’m at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. I didn’t have it with Elizabeth which is unusual because it tends to be something that gets worse with age. But I changed my diet during my pregnancy with Daniel as a result of this diagnosis and completely gave up orange juice and other sugary drinks. I’ve never been someone who consumes fizzy drinks but I used to like the odd gin and tonic. I haven’t had one for 8 years now.

My HbA1c test result was 34 which is within the normal range of 20-42. I was quite pleased because last year it was 39 and lower is better. Perhaps it’s all the cycling on Busby I’ve been doing? I’m running less here than I was in Auckland but I’ve got stronger muscles in my thighs now from peddling a bakfiets with two children, uphill. Strength training is supposedly good for managing blood sugar levels. This is because lifting weights develops white muscles which help to lower blood glucose, according to this study –

http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/21363-lift-weights-to-lower-blood-sugar-white-muscle-helps-keep-blood-glucose-levels-under-control

My iron levels are 21.2 which is on the low side of normal and not surprising given that I don’t consume red meat or take regular supplements. My B12 is 561 which is great and my folate is >24 which is very high because I eat plants rich in folate like beans and lentils. So despite everyone telling me when I first went vegan about 10 years ago that I’d get ill and die (ok, I exaggerate a bit), I’m in very good health.