Eating Vegan for a year!

Hello everyone! Guess what? I’ve been eating vegan for a year now. A year and a month to be more precise. Wow. Time flies by quickly doesn’t it?

To be honest, I don’t feel much different compared to a year ago. I look the same and I feel the same. I still get tired and dive straight to bed after a long day, and I still get aches after doing a tough circuit training session. Toons

Considering that I’ve consciously cut all animal and animal products, I still have a very good appetite … Maybe even too much? What can I say, I like to eat. Which is probably a reason why I haven’t been losing that much weight.

Eating plant based the past year makes me see that there are a lot of food for me to eat. I don’t really feel like I’m losing out by eating plant based. At home, I like to make quick and easy meals like pasta, and grilled vegetables that doesn’t take much time and effort to cook. Vegan Diet


And even when I’m outside, there are more and more restaurants that provide vegan options. It’s even easier now with sites like Happy Cow and Vegan Quo Vadis and I’ve discovered a number of wonderful places that I’d love to visit again.

(Ma Va’ is probably one of my favourite vegan joints in Rome)

As you can see, everything is as it was before…

Oh wait, now that I think about it, I think there are changes. For the past year, I’ve been going to the farmer’s market more. 2 – 3 times a week. Our organic waste basket gets filled up a lot faster than usual and needs to be emptied frequently. Fresh produce at Nuovo Mercato Testaccio

And then, I do my business very regularly. Even sometimes twice a day thanks to my always snacking on tangerines during this Winter. I can’t imagine how there are some people who can’t do it for a week. That doesn’t sound very comfortable.

I wish I could say that my face is glowing, that I have a six pack, and that my hair is super swishy now but the important thing is that get my daily nutrient requirements. According to the blood test I did a couple of months ago, everything looks still in the normal range. Vegan Diet

I still believe that eating vegan is better and healthier for us -it reduces the risk of certain cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and others. And I really am against in a world full of technology, there are still people who don’t have enough to eat – even in advanced countries. Going vegan uses less resources which can potentially feed them.

Truth be told, there are days when I still think of fried fish, ayam masak merah and other comfort food that I ate back in Singapore. And I wonder how it’ll be like when I get back to Singapore and how my family is going to take it. That’s probably my biggest challenge yet.


What on earth do I cook for Christmas?

It’s just a few days till Christmas. You really can’t miss it. It’s evident everywhere. When you leave your house, all your neighbours would have a wreath on their door. There are fairy lights on buildings, trees decorated with baubles and decorations and wherever you go to, people would almost always greet you with an “Auguri!” or a “Buon Natale!”.

While the sight is beautiful to see, but on the other hand, traffic is horrible these days. The streets are full of cars – be it the highway, or the regular roads. What would take me half an hour to commute, would take at least an additional 15 minutes more. I don’t understand why, especially for the path with no shops or commercial centres in it’s radius.

Cart and I don’t usually spend Christmas in Rome. Around this time, we’d normally spend time with my family and friends back in Singapore. I’ve never grown up celebrating Christmas, but no matter, I enjoy spending time with my extended family … mostly to eat good food.

What to say if someone wishes you Merry Christmas and you are not Christian

Although this time round, I’m a little confused at what to make for Christmas. Usually for Christmas in Italy, it is a tradition here to serve a lot of seafood like smoked salmon and tuna. And since this will be my first time spending Christmas on a plant based diet, it’s perplexing me. What on earth do I cook? Soy fish?

I want to help my in laws so that they are not encumbered in cooking diverse meals. But on the other hand, I don’t really know much festive vegan dishes. christmas

Argh. Such a headache. In the end I think I’ll just cook stuff that /I/ like to eat. Problem solved.

Happy Christmas everyone! Have a lovely weekend with your loved ones and eat lots of food!

11 months on a vegan diet

It’s been about 11 months since I’ve consciously eliminated animal products in my diet – no eggs, no milk, no meat and whatnots. So far so good. It’s been an easy transition since Cart’s vegetarian so we don’t clash too much when it comes to mealtimes at home. Toon! Vegan Diet

These past months, I don’t really feel as if I’ve missed out on anything. There are such a variety of things to eat here – you can see the different types of product being sold as the seasons change. There are days though, when I do think about fried fish with rice and soy sauce, a comfort food that I used to eat back when I was living in Singapore. Vegan Diet

(One of the nice thing about living in Rome is that fresh produce is easily accessible)

Nevertheless, it’s starting to be second nature to me, I feel like I’ve been eating normally, like what you can see from my instagram stories. Sometimes, I think I even eat even too much. I used to be clueless at what to prepare, so to make things easier, I make a weekly food timetable which gives me an idea of what to cook. I don’t always follow it, but planning meals has made it less of a headache so far. Vegan Diet

(Arrabbiata is something that we make often because it’s good to eat, and fast to cook)

I’ve given away or consumed (last January) all the non vegan items that I have, save for the fish keropok which was the last thing that Mak Oteh gave me. I feel a little conflicted as I don’t want to discard it so I’ll keep it for now, I guess for sentimental reasons.

Anyway, there are concerned people who have been telling me that my diet isn’t safe and that I’m not getting enough proteins and other nutrients. While I know that protein isn’t an issue because foods like beans and legumes are rich in them. Nevertheless, I did a blood test to make sure that I’m not lacking in any important nutrition. And here is my reading : Vegan Diet

Everything looks intact. My iron level looks normal. My vitamin B12 level looks normal. My folic acid level looks normal. Even my protein level, is still in the normal range. In the end, my food consumption hasn’t been of a hindrance at all.

I go about my daily life regularly, and as you know, I take cross fit and aquagym and physically I don’t feel like I’m weaker compared to last year. There really hasn’t been any hangups, and so with that, I like to continue. Come January, it’ll be a full year for me! Goruck Urban Ops Padua

(Me and Marco after our Goruck event in Padova)

I wonder how it’ll be like when I’m back in Singapore though. We might be flying in somewhere in June or July or August. It shouldn’t be an issue when eating outside, although in my experience, there are a number of ethnic food operators who don’t understand the concept of vegetarianism (much less veganism).  And I haven’t really told my family yet.

This will be interesting.

Delicious food by the beach

What I thought was to be a lazy day, Cart decided out of the blue at noon to have lunch out for Ferragosto – this is a Catholic holiday and you’ll find almost everything closed and everyone on vacation. beach time

Everything apart from eating establishments. As you know, I’m on a vegan diet since January so I was at a loss of where to go – normally people in Rome would go to the beach and have seafood. Luckily I had the happy cow app on my phone  and I could quickly check out a place to eat. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

The restaurant that we went to is called Pinzimonio which is in Fiumicino. Most people would know the area as an airport, but there are plenty of good restaurants here.

We reached there at about 2 pm, which is actually starting to be late for lunch, but we managed to get a table anyway. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

The dining area looks like a typical Italian trattoria and there were a number of families already there having their lunch. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

Pinzimonio isn’t a vegan restaurant, but they are vegan friendly and there are ample food in the menu to satisfy any vegan. Being a holiday though, we were given a fixed menu.

For starters we had Polpette di Melanzane. Hummus di fagioli, caponata e filo di scarola. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

I loved everything on the plate. Even if you’re a carnivore, you’ll find them delicious too – the eggplant fritters were soft and packed a tasty punch. The caponata, a favourite southern Italian dish made of summer vegetables was delightful – sweet, sour and hearty. And the filo pastry filled with endives … While I don’t normally like bitter vegetables, it was actually lovely.

And then we had trofie with pesto di pomondorini secchi e mandorle Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

I’m not sure how the chef made this, as pesto calls for basil and pecorino and parmigiano cheese. Instead, almonds were used. This was quite good nevertheless – the saltiness of the nuts and the fresh basil made it taste close to the real thing.

Then we had pasta integrale con zucchine, peperoni, olive e noce Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

Cart doesn’t like whole wheat pasta, saying that they taste ‘too healthy’. I don’t mind them so much, especially when they are accompanied by a good sauce. Eating them together with roasted bell peppers, zucchini, olives and walnut, it actually went well together.

I was already very stuffed at this point of time, but we were given a plate of parmigiana di melanzana. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

The original version was a big favourite of mine before changing my diet – made mostly of eggplants and parmigiana and pecorino cheese, I used to get them whenever I see it in a restaurant.

This particular version tasted very close to the real one, with the meaty-ish eggplants and the sourness of the tomatoes but with the saltiness and cheesiness of the walnuts instead of cheese.

And to end our lunch, we had a bowl of sorbetto made of yellow peaches and plums. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

This was so refreshing and sweet on such a warm day. I’m looking forward to getting my own blender so I could recreate tasty treats like this one!

All in all, I enjoyed everything I ate and I had a very happy tummy. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

The restaurant happened to be really near the beach and it turned out to be a beautiful day out so we decided to go for a little walk to burn off a bit of calories. Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

It wasn’t too hot out and I was regretting a little that I didn’t bring my swimming costume along with me. There were quite a number of people at the beach already – sitting on the sand, swimming, playing games… Ferragosto Fiumicino Lunch Vegan Italy Rome

While Cart and I walked next to them and played … you guessed it, Pokemon Go and Ingress 😀

Ristorante Pinzimonio
Via Formoso, 95

How I spent my birthday

As you know, I levelled up to a new level last Monday! Initially, I wanted to invite some friends over to my place but being August, the weather was already much too hot and I’m much too lazy to clean and cook and receiving guests.

Nevertheless, I was already in the mood for buying a gift for myself and have decided on getting a new wallet. While I still like my old one because it was a present, it was getting a little bit worn …

I refuse to spend a lot of money so I went to Ex Novo, my favourite “pre-loved” shop which I discovered some years ago during an event. They usually sell second hand items, but every now and then they’d have never been used stocks. Maybe I’ll blog about this place in the future.

Anyway, there was a wallet that caught my eye. It’s so gorgeous and colourful and a little bit eccentric like me. It’s a brand called Braccialini which is a brand you’d probably see if you’re in central Rome – the cute bags in the shapes of cars and houses.

It’s a steal at 30 euro, don’t you think?

I just hope that I can keep it in good shape for several years at least. You know that I’m not a dainty girl. But what I find interesting is when I went to pay, the clerk put in a couple of coins inside. I knew of the superstition that when giving a wallet as  gift for Italians but I see it done for friends, so having a shop do that for me was unexpected.

Ex Novo also happened to have a lot of new stock on branded clothes that day and I tried one for the fun of it. Lavand is a brand that I’ve never heard before, but the fabric felt light and soft  and it fitted me so well when I tried it on. It’ll be a shame not to get it. It’s a timeless dress that I’d wear again and again. Besides, it was 20 euro something.

(Do you like the rosebud I made for the bag? It’s easy to do!)

Anyway it was a lazy day, I didn’t have to work that day. Cart asked if there was any place in particular where we could have dinner at. I was happy to just eat veggie burgers but Cart was adamant for going to a nice place.  In the end, we went to Prati for dinner at a Vegan Restaurant called “Ma Va” which sounds quite tongue in cheek to me, almost vulgar like.

I’m familiar with this area as I passed by here often to go to my former job.  It’s not too far away from the stadium. Riding your scooter here during Spring is something quite romantic, but that could just be me.

The restaurant is interesting as it cooks traditional Roman dishes but vegan. I’ve never had the chance of eating a number of traditional Roman food so, it was an interesting experience.

The place looks cosy and definitely looks like any other Roman Trattoria. It was almost empty when we arrived at 8.30 but slowly filled up as the evening progressed.

The hosts were extremely polite and a few minutes after we’ve seated, gave us some gazpacho con anguria as a starter. It was refreshing. light and not overly sweet with the watermelon.

It was really good.

As an antipasto, I chose the tempura di verdure miste con composta di cipolle e maionese di zafferano.

I thought it was a little bit on the salty side, but besides that, it was cooked well. The vegetables were crunchy and delicious especially when paired with the sweetness of the onion sauce which I’m a huge fan of.

Cart had the antipasto mediterraneo.

There is caponata, hummus and tabouleh which I liked the best among the three.

We both skipped the mains – neither Cart and I felt like eating pasta so we went on to the secondo. I liked the idea of something cooked in coconut milk, so I had the spezzatino di soia al latte di cocco.

Oh, this was good and mildly reminded me of rendang which I used to eat back in Singapore.

Cart had the seitan alla vaccinara.

In the original dish, ox tail would have been used but it’s replaced with seitan here – it’s very soft, I suppose to emulate the hours of the ox tail stewing in tomato sauce. I really like the sourish, sweetish sauce by the way, which was delightful.

I enjoyed everything we ate that evening and to end the meal on a sweet note, I had the Torta cioccolata e pera while Cart had strudel con albicoca e crema di vaniglia as dessert.

I would have preferred something softer like a sponge cake, but they were both quite decadent. Plus, a birthday with no cake doesn’t seem very birthday-ly.

I had a lovely evening, with really good food, with the company of a sweet man. I feel attractive and I feel very blessed for the good things that has happened to me this year and I hope for many more to come.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes and thank you so much for supporting and accompanying me all these years in this humble little blog. Have a lovely day ahead! 😀

Ma Va’? Ristorante Vegano
Via Euclide Turba, 6/8

Vegan Strawberry Cake

Stawberries are my favourite spring fruits. I could eat them by the bowls if I had my way. Have you ever had some with some lemon juice and sugar? Sounds so simple, but it’s so delicious.

Recently, I saw an event for a strawberry faire in Carchitti, which about 40 minutes drive from Rome. I was so looking forward to it. I planned to buy several punnets and make a cake from the recipe I read from my booklet. I even charged my batteries, my camera and formatted the SD card in case I wanted to do a video-log on a whim. Unfortunately, the weather was really bad and when we reached there it was raining and the worst part was, there were no more strawberries left to be sold! Imagine my disappointment. But I still wanted to make my cake, and in the end, when the weekly market was going on, I went to buy a punnet. And gave the recipe a try. The cake turned out to be quite acceptable – it didn’t last for more than 12 hours.

Vegan Strawberry cake (Recipe edited to my taste)

Ingredients :

  • 500 g cut strawberries
  • 300 g flour
  • 150 g cane sugar
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 200 g vegetable milk
  • 1 sachet baking powder
  • 4 tbs corn oil

Put 1/2 of the strawberries into a processor till you get a purée .

Grate a teaspoon worth of lemon zest and squeeze to get 3 teaspoon worth of lemon juice. Combine these to the strawberry purée and mix together with the powdered sugar. Leave it in the fridge to rest.

In a mixing bowl, mix the baking powder, the flour, the sugar, the vegetable milk, the rest of the strawberries and the corn oil.

Transfer the mix in an oiled cake pan and cook in the oven for 180 degree celcious for 40 minutes.

Serve with the strawberry sauce.

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