Thursday, February 28, 2013

Review: The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you would know that I have taken up ayurvedic traits in my diet. So, I was delighted when I was kindly sent a sample copy of The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen to review, and I have to say that I am impressed by what I have read so far.

Talya Lutzker is a professional Ayurvedic practitioner and Nutrition counselor as well, so you know all the information in the book comes with good authority. She decided to create an ayurvedic book with a difference, that one difference being that all the recipes are vegan! (Just in case that didn't have the impact I desired, most ayurvedic diets are big on dairy, which hasn't made it very vegan-friendly).

Beautiful photos to really inspire you

It's a little bit more than just a cookbook. The book opens with a brief introduction to ayurveda, including general dietary requirements. No cold drinks, no late meals... among others. Then, comes a brief chapter on taste, or rasa (in Sanskrit), which I found really interesting. Who knew that taste could be so complex and even be connected to emotions! An example she gives is that eating sweet foods may make you happy... assuming you like sweet foods of course.

But the biggest selling point would probably be the way the recipes are presented (see below). All the recipes have a dosha section that tell you if it increases, or helps to settle a dosha. It makes searching for recipes for your dosha that much easier, and it's also quite interesting to see what other dosha diets are like. If you would like to learn more about doshas, you can read my previous post about it.

A sample page from the Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen (click to enlarge)

Perhaps the only downside to this recipe book is that the recipes are fairly complex and time-consuming. If like me, you live alone, work full-time, and have to basically eat the same meal over the next 2 days for lunch and dinner, then it may be something to try on the weekend. If you have the time though, there is nothing better than crafting a healthy meal for your family.

If you are vegan or lactose-intolerant and are wanting to try ayurveda, then this is definitely the book for you. I am very fond of my dairy though, so the recipes in this book will probably just be the occasional alternative.

Pros: Great easy-to-understand information about the ayurvedic diet, beautiful pictures, and easy to locate dosha information for every recipe
Cons: Recipes require a lot of ingredients (some that may not be easily accessible), most are time-consuming recipes, so not suitable for the busy!

RRP: USD$9.99 (Kindle store) or AUD$18.88 (the Book Depository)

To tie the knot or not?

Just give me a second to get over my self-satisfaction of coming up with a title that featured two words that sound phonetically identical but are spelt differently.

I think that second went when I typed that elaborately long sentence!


Back on topic. I just read an article on Marie Claire that said 55% of Australians do not want to get married.  The article questions if marriage is still relevant (in fact that is the title of the article, fancy that!). This is a topic close to my own heart because I recently had the following conversation with a family member (no points for guessing which family member it probably is).

Mystery Family Member: So, has The BF indicated his intentions to you?
Me: Whatever on earth do you mean?
MFM: Well, his plans for the future... settling down...
Me: I don't know, we've joked about it sometimes but that's about it...
MFM: How long have you guys been together?
Me: Two years and a bit... why?
MFM: You know, I read somewhere (dramatic pause)... that if the man hasn't proposed after one year, he will probably not propose ever... 

I was half tempted to send that article link to her when I read it, because I always get slightly miffed when someone just assumes that your life's greatest goal is to get hitched. Anyway, personal predicaments aside, I just thought this would be an interesting can of worms to open.

Couples are getting married much later into courtship. Some after 5 years, others 10 years even. Some couples, potentially most couples, may never ever meet a celebrant. The marriage scene has changed quite a bit though... culturally with increasing divorce rates marring the sanctity of marriage (only 33% in Australia in 2002 according to the ABS, but still pretty high), society tending towards more liberated religious views, and the fact that legally, you could have the same rights as a married couple just by living together for 6 months.

So, where is the incentive to get married then?

I'm not an Insitution of Marriage basher... I would like to get married. Some day. Definitely not right now when I'm trying to get my finances in check, and not just after 2 years. And call me crazy, but I still feel like I'm too young. I feel like I'm too young to start a family. Maybe in the next 5 years or so, but definitely not now. And aside from the encounter with MFM, I really haven't felt any pressure. Sure, some Facebook photos and updates have popped up about white dresses and little bubs, but for the most part, most of my friends remain unmarried.

What do you think? If you're happily married (and have been so for awhile), would you do it again?
This question just brings to mind a conversation my high school teacher had with her daughter while we were out for coffee. She said that if she could do it all over again, she would never get married. Anddd conversation at the table immediately got slightly awkward for the poor student at the table...

If you're single/in a domestic partnership, do you want to get married? Or is marriage something you're writing off the cards?

/edit Just read this post by Whitney, and it echoes everything I want to say.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Last week, my computer got sent for some repairs so I was computerless, and in a way, internetless for a week. I could access the internet from my phone but it was so much hassle I preferred not to.

Shall I just call that brief period a moment of self-discovery?

I've mentioned a few times that I have an internet addiction. You may have thought it was a joke, but I truly do have an internet addiction, I spend almost all my waking hours on the internet, doing God only knows what. I took that time off from the computer to be my time off the internet.

That was when I had an epiphany.

I've always complained about how hard it is to head offline. But really, it's as hard as hitting the off button on my computer.

So, for an indefinite amount of time, that's what I'll be doing. Pulling the plug.

I'm not going to quit cold turkey, or take myself offline from the world forever... I'm not some kind of crazy extremist :P I do like to keep in contact with friends and I still love to reddit. It's really the only thing that's stopping me from becoming a full-blown hermit.

As a result, this blog will be unattended for awhile... while I pick up more offline hobbies, and attend to them a little more. I have some HP Lovecraft that needs attention, and I'm only up to book 3 of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and I would like to finish that in my lifetime. The series, I mean.

So, there. I guess this is goodbye for now.