For all of December 2019 i have been on a vegan diet. I was at the VA in Columbus Ohio for a check up when I was told my blood pressure was high, my A1C is still a bit high as well. I plan to continue the vegan diet through out this year and will have a new set of tests done to compare the results. So in 12 months ill have some sort of results about what a year of veganism can do for your health. I had already cut out most beef and pork well before the blood test and had reduced cheese and non yogurt dairy to the occasional ice cream and plain yogurt back in the summer of 2019. So my blood test numbers from November 2019 already reflect some dietary changes toward vegetarianism.

So far the first month of veganism has not left me feeling especially deprived. i have had a couple of meat substitute meals over the month, like a beyond burger, but in general have not missed meat at all. I am mostly eating lots of fresh veg, toast with out butter, fruits, muesli with oatley milk and beans and rice. Dal has become a staple with other India style dishes like channa massala and alho gobi. Recently the Rimi started carrying a vegan schnitzel which is pretty good with some mashed potatoes and garlic green beans. I have lost a kilo this last month and have 19kg to go still. The second part of the plan is to get into the gym more often.

One interesting side effect of the vegan diet has been my joint pain from arthritis has been considerably reduced. Normally during the late fall and winter months i am in constant pain with my left knee and experience a feeling that my knee is unstable and about to collapse pretty much with any step up or down, making disembarking from a bus or traveling up or down stairs especially fright inducing, add some ice and snow and I am ready to pack a bag and run off to the tropics. however this year my knee is feeling much better. At first i was ready to attribute this to psychosomatic influence, after all many people report less joint inflammation after switching to a vegan diet. However its been a month with these results and as the temperature dropped even farther my knee did start giving me the winter time ache but it is not nearly so bad as in the past. Knees like mine are not supposed to get better with surgery, maybe knee replacement is still in my future but for now the diet seems to be helping.

Fuck 2019

So 2019 is gone and 2020 is here. I have to say i am not optimistic about 2020 but hopefully it will be better than 2019. I lost my life savings in 2019, well really the end of 2018 but i spent the whole year beating myself up over the decisions that led to that loss. 94000 USD gone, cheated out of my money by my then wife. Well I guess on the plus side i can not possibly lose that much money in 2020. The lesson here is that if you are living in the past because of some mistakes you made then you are not living in the present and this is a miserable place to be. My present has been pretty great, I traveled quit a bit, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, and California, but i was reliving that mistake of losing all of my money and not really loving and living in the moment. I walked Camino with friends, spent a week in Florence with my dad and siblings and a beautiful week on the beech in Greece and a fun filled week on the California coast. I landed a great job in Estonia and have a wonderful sweet girlfriend and have not been enjoying those bits of my life as well as I should have either. So that’s it, let us never speak of 2019 again. Good bye. Let’s go 2020 I am ready.

Making Kimchi the easy way.

Kimchi is delicious and healthy, but buying it in a shop can be expensive if you can find it at all. Fortunately it is super easy to make.

For this batch i am using Napa cabbages, Carrots, Parsnips, White Onion, the shop had no green ones, garlic, dried chilis, sea salt and ginger.

That is it. All you need.

Wash everything really well, including your fermentation container. I am using a plastic tub I bought at the local Rimi.

Chop up the cabbage into bite size pieces. I discard the outermost leaves. Place them a hand full at a time into a large cooking pot, sprinkle in some salt, repeat until all the cabbage is chopped and in the container that you will use for salting the cabbage.

Then knead the cabbage with your hands to get the salt nicely mixed in with the pieces. Do not push to hard we want to be able to rinse the salt out afterward. Add just a bit of water and find some way to push down on the cabbage and salt. This will draw some of the moisture out of the cabbage leaves. I am not even sure if this is neccesary but it is how i learned to make it. One of these days ill try to make a batch and just lightly salt and rinse the cabbage and see what happens. So anyway… let the cabbage, salt and water mixture sit for about 30 minutes under some weight, i used a plate and a water pitcher to provide some pressure on top of the mixture. I mix it up again at this point and place it back under the weight for at least another 30 minutes, you should notice more water in the container.

While the cabbage is curing in the salt, chop up your other veggies. You will notice that my list of ingredients does not include fish sauce as i prefer to make vegan kimchi and while i enjoy the fish sauce flavor not everyone can share in my delicious creation if i use it. Also the diversity of veggies that can go into a kimchi is large, if it is crunchy and slice-able into bite size chunks you can put it in the Kimchi. Also you will see from the photos that i am using a red curry paste that i bought at the local Rimi. This is because i do not have access to Korean red chili paste. I add the extra peppers for spice. You could certainly use some other pepper source, but the red curry paste works well its just not as spicy as i would like it to be.

Anyway after chopping everything and waiting for a while for the cabbage to sit in the brine, its time to rinse off the cabbage really well, we do not want our kimchi to be to salty, rinse rinse rinse. I fill the container with water and use my hands to mix it about with the cabbage. Pour off the water and repeat, after a couple of rinses you can taste the cabbage to see if it is only a tiny bit salty. If so we are ready mix it all together. I put it all in a big cooking pot and mix it with a big spoon. Once that is done pack it into the fermentation container, pack it down good and tight. It is a good idea to add a little bit of water at this point if there does not seem to be enough liquid in the mix.

Seal it up, stick it on top of the fridge and wait 24 hours. after 24 hours you will likely need to start burping the container, gas will build up inside and you need to let it out otherwise the lid might blow off. If the lid does blow off just clean it up and stick it back on the container. After 5 to 7 days stick it in the fridge.

After a day or so in the fridge i like to transfer the goods to clean sterilized jars. I use old pickle jars, jam jars, what ever you have. just watch them real well, boil water and fill them and the lids and then your ready to fill them with kimchi and share it with your friends.

Stupid Democrats

looking at the field of candidates for 2020: Why is it impossible for dems to put up a decent candidate? I dont mean a decent person, lots of those poeple are likely decent people. But none of them are going to beat Trump in 2020 and unless Trump gives Putin a blow job on the desk in the oval office republicans wont impeach him. Even then they might just say well Clinton did and the Dems didnt vote to impeach him so….
He democrats please step out of the race if you are an identity politics person. We need a strong soliciast candidate that will rally the youth and minorities. Someone that is not already sold out to the party. Someone that doesnt owe anything to you. We are going to loose again and by 2024 the democracy will be dead.

this will be a photo post

there are some photos here, I like to travel so I might want to post some photos some time. these are not mine. I stole them from a website with free stock photos. I do love beaches and the sea. well lets see what it looks like when I publish it.

First and Foremost

This is the first post. I am testing out the wordpress post editing tool as an author user. Hopefully this works. I likely need to watch some youtube videos on how to make a blog.