Scalloped Potatoes au Gratin

I really didn’t know what I was doing when I decided to tackle a potato au gratin in a vegan style. I don’t think I’ve ever tried the conventional version of this! I guess I just tried to make something delicious, which looks like the conventional dish and doesn’t necessarily taste like it as I really do not know what the conventional dish tastes like.

In the usual fashion, I will give you some of the health benefits or nutritional information on some of thie ingredients. In this case, potatoes, the main ingredient. A medium-sized potato contains quite a good amount of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin B-6 (pyridoxamine).

Vitamin C, the most popular vitamin, boosts the body’s immunity against diseases, promotes iron absorption increases and protects the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Magnesium and Potassium are the stress minimising minerals. They minimise both stress and anxiety levels by calming the nervous system. Thereby aiding in better sleep and lowering a high blood pressure. Potassium also boosts the rate at which the body burns calories.

Iron promotes the production of haemoglobin and myoglobin which, in turn, aid in both muscle function and brain health by carrying oxygen  through to the cells in the body. It also aids in decreasing levels of fatigue and frequency of headaches by preventing and decreasing the severity of iron-deficiency anaemia.

Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxamine) is a more important vitamin than people realise. Similar to vitamin C, vitamin B-6 creates antibodies which support the immune system thereby protecting the body from harmful bacteria and diseases. It also is excelled at aiding the metabolisation of nutrients in the food consumed. In the same way as iron, vitamin B-6 aids in the transportation of oxygen through the body thereby reducing and preventing anaemia (vitamin-deficient anaemia). This, in turn, reduces PMS and the severity of cramps. Vitamin B-6 also aids in the maintenance and balance of hormones which in turn minimises or prevents emotional disorders. Lastly, vitamin B-6 helps treat skin ailments such as dandruff, acne, dry skin, psoriases, eczema and maintain the health of the skin and scalp.

Here’s the recipe to my scalloped potato au gratin:

Bon Appétit!

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Curry Soup with Rice Cakes

I developed this recipe during one of my “Experiment Recipe” stories on Instagram. It was an expirement with an excellent result. This has got to be one of my favourite soups now!

It contains a bunch of vegetables full of vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin, sulfur-containing compounds, sodium, niacin, flavonoids, fibre, folic acid and antioxidant polyphenols.

Iron aids in the metabolisation of proteins and production of haemoglobin and myoglobin which carry oxygen through the body aiding in both muscle function and brain health. It also prevents, and is essential in the treatment of iron-deficiency anaemia thereby decreasing levels of fatigue and weakness and reducing the intensity and frequency of headaches.

Magnesium and Potassium aids in minimising stress and anxiety levels by calming the nervous system. This also results in better sleep and relief from high blood pressure. Potassium has also been found to aid in the increase of muscle strength and the rate at which the body burns calories/converts food to energy.

Vitamin A, the eye vitamin, aids in the maintenance of a good level of vision and eye health. One stalk of leek (approximately 89g) contains 29%, of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A for a person on a 2,000 calorie diet while a medium-sized carrot contains 203% of the daily recommended amount. Beta-carotene, which vitamin A is derived from in carrots, is said to slow the ageing process, reduce some health issues associated with diabetes and improve lung function

Vitamin C  increases the amount of iron absorbed from the food we eat, boosts the body’s immunity and provide protection from damaging effects of free radicals.

B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folic acid and thiamin aid in the maintenance of the nervous system and red blood cells. The B-complex vitamins found in leeks aid in the balancing of homocysteine which in turn aids in the maintenance of heart health.

Flavonoids such as kaempferol, anthocyanins, dihydroflaonols and isorhamnetin  found in leeks and onions, have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, they enhance heart health, support neurological health and improve insulin resistance thereby protecting against diabetes and lowering blood glucose levels for diabetics.

Fibre, such as calcium pectate, which is found in carrots may lower blood cholesterol and reduce the amount of bad cholestrol in the blood. Also, fibre, alongside liquids, such as water, aid in the regulation of bowel movements.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe to my curry soup:

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Family Acceptance

When I went vegetarian, no one in my family could understand it. They were (and 99% still are) huge meat eaters and all they seemed to know was that meat was the healthiest thing to eat. Every day at the dinner table, someone would joke around about vegetarianism or pick on me till the point that I saw it as bullying and I actually dreaded eating with family. I did not find one bit of what they had to say funny or appropriate. I did not and still do not like when people in my family try to convince me to eat meat and most of all, I do not like it when they try to coerce me into eating a dairy product or they slip dairy into things they give to me. All I want is for everyone in my family to accept how I choose to eat, especially as I am in my 20s (and stopped eating meat as a preteen).

Most vegans and vegetarians, unfortunately, have to go through this – the disapproval of their family, the scrutiny when eating around family (not when they cook for themselves), et cetera. It is rather heartbreaking, although those on the outside can’t seem to tell.

I can’t give you any advice that will suddenly make everything okay, sadly. However, I will advise you to be true to who you are, to try to enlighten your family and help them understand your decision. Sometimes, that does not help in any way, but it is still good to do. Just remember that being a militant vegan and vocally judging everything your family eats is only going to push them further away from you and make it harder for them to accept your decision.

Why did you go vegetarian/vegan?

I initially went vegetarian because I hate the taste of meat as mentioned on the About page. I moved towards a vegan lifestyle after I developed a dairy allergy and it got worse and more painful the older I got. This is a different reason from that of most plant-based eaters. Most people give up animal products due to a yearning to make a change, not just for their health, but for that of animals and the planet. I find that compassion to be such a beautiful reason to give up animal products. However, sadly, many people don’t see it that way.

It is important to let your family know why you made such a drastic change, whether they believe it or not. If you chose to change your lifestyle for one of the common reasons, you are at an advantage as there are resources out there to help you with explaining your decision to your family. You can show them movies such as What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Food Matters, Hungry for Change and Cowspiracy. You can ask them to read books such as The China Study, and The China Study Expanded. These resources can help you get your points across better and can help your family form an emotional connection with your decision. However, unfortunately, this does not always help.

What can you say to support your new lifestyle?

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