Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One more reason

If I wasn't already vegan for the animals I think reading The China Study would have turned me to veganism. I didn't realise there was so much research out there showing that a whole food, plant based diet is so beneficial to health (and how meat and dairy are connected to so many illnesses). It's unfortunate that drug companies and industries based on animal foods try to keep this information from being common knowledge. Even most doctors have very little background in nutrition and would rather push drugs (that don't actually seem to give that much hope) instead of encouraging a patient to change their diet. It seems ridiculous that there is a lot of research showing that a whole foods, plant based diet can actually reverse heart disease but doctors are unwilling to share (or don't even know) this information and instead a patient is prescribed drugs for their lifetime or surgery that may not be necessary if they changed their diet. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about the relationship between diet and disease (heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and autoimmune diseases).


The other night we went to Zac's sister's engagement party. It was held in their backyard, using their outdoor entertainment area. The weather ended up being surprisingly good and not really cold until later in the evening (and I made sure to dress really warmly expecting to freeze). An hour or so into the party, the MC got everyone's attention to make a speech. He rambled on for a few minutes and then his mobile rang. It was Lea (neither Lea or Jay were standing up front with him) letting him know to pass on the news that their wedding was about to begin! Huge surprise (although Lea filled me in on the secret about an hour earlier since I was one of the official photographers and she wanted me to know what to expect)! The ceremony was short and personal and Lea looked absolutely amazing (and Jay looked good too 8)) Funny cuz earlier I had thought it was weird that her hair was done so nicely for the backyard engagement party and Zac had thought the DJ in the corner of the yard was a bit overboard but as soon as we realised it was their wedding it all made sense. It was a really great night and I'm so happy for the two of them. Some of us we're almost a little disappointed that we won't be having another Barwon Heads wedding in November but this was the perfect way to do their wedding and I guess we could still go to Barwon Heads even if there isn't a wedding happening.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011


We had a LOT of rain last night and this morning. So much rain that it's off the graph and over the next graph. If you look at the chart to the left, rainfall is the bottom graph. It goes back to 0mm at 9am each day. Overnight we had 47.2mm of rain. The graph only goes to 20mm so the maximum is way above the top of the graph. Look where I put the red star. That's where 47mm is (close up below). I'm pretty sure that I was taught you can't just do that with a graph (put your figures on a totally different graph cuz that's where your graph needs to end).

I was very glad that the huge downpours we had this morning were on and off. It stopped just in time for me to leave to work and get there on time. Just as I arrived and moved my bike under cover another downpour started. One of the office staff had a similar experience on the bus-- it was pouring while she was on the bus and then it stopped when she got off to get on the tram. I should have taken Wombat to the creek this afternoon to see how full the creek is with all the water running off into it.

A bit of downpour (fortunately it kept stopping just before the growing puddle reached the door each time):

Thursday, April 07, 2011


I'm so proud of Wombat. I think she's finally starting to understand that other dogs aren't a threat. Yesterday we went down to the creek at the peak time for people to be walking their dogs. We saw a small dog coming towards us so we went on another part of the trail and ended up with another small dog coming towards us. There was a small grassy area next to the trail so I just pulled Wombat over and figured we'd keep walking towards them as far as we could and when she got stressed I would just do the usual stop and sit her and scratch her under her collar (ready to grab her by her collar if she lunges forward). When we got to the point where Wombat started stressing, we stopped and I went to sit her but she dropped into a laying down position (she's NEVER done that around another dog-- she's even awkard about doing it when we command her to do it at home). I just did my usual scratch her neck and praise her for laying. She just lay there until the dog was a bit past us and she had to jump up to turn and to be able to see that the other dog really was walking away and not planning an attack from behind. Today we were heading down to the creek a bit earlier hoping for less dogs. While we were on the oval before getting to the creek trail a dog started running up to us from the trail. I called to the woman to call her dog but she ignored me (twice). I figured I'd get Wombat ready for meeting the running dog. I looked down to grab Wombat's collar and she was already laying down! I scratched her and praised her while the dog came up to see if it could sniff her. The dog even went out of Wombat's sight while it sniffed my leg but Wombat stayed laying down. The dog then ran back to it's person (who had started calling it by this point). I gave Wombat lots of praise for her good behaviour (I really wished I'd brought the treat that I had intended on bringing in case we had this event happen). Laying down is supposed to be considered a submissive position. Even though she's not rolling over on her back to expose her belly, I'm sure even the low position she's in makes her a bit vulnerable so I'm hoping she's doing this because she's starting to realise other dogs aren't really a threat and she's now starting to attempt to meet or play with them. Hopefully she'll keep up these behaviours when meeting dogs.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

nuts and seeds

I've been making lots of raw crackers in the dehydrator lately. I make them based on this recipe. The first batch I did with the Italian seasonings used in the recipe. The next batch I divided up and did some with garlic, some with a bit of sea salt and some with some Old Bay Seasoning. The second batch I also mixed in some chia seeds with the flax seeds. I really like them all and I'm not sure which are my favourite. Yesterday I decided I wanted to make some different dips to use for crackers and veggies (I usually just make some variety of hummus or a lentil dip). I decided I wanted to veganize tzatziki. There doesn't seem to be any plain vegan yogurt in Australia (they are all vanilla) so I needed to find something else to use. I thought about vegan sour cream (which has kind of a plain yogurt taste but then decided some sort of cashew cream base would probably work the best). I googled it and right away came up with this recipe (scroll down to the end of the post for the tzatziki recipe). I used a little more garlic than in the recipe cuz we love garlic. The dip is amazing! The flax/chia seed crackers and dip make a perfect snack.