Texture

I couldn’t eat this
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but I could eat this.

I couldn’t eat this

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but I could eat this.
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Varying the texture of vegetables is how I’m able to eat enough calories.

A carrot is never just a carrot.
Eaten whole, sliced up, diced up or juiced up it all tastes differently.

So when dressings and accompanying vegetables come into play the taste combinations can become deliciously endless.

That’s how I can easily slip down 1.5 kg of carrots, a head of cauliflower, 5 courgettes or a couple of sweet potatoes. I get out my mod cons and vary up the texture.

I would no more find bowlfuls of uncut vegetables palatable than my omnivore friends are likely to but somehow that is what they all think my meal times look like.

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A Raw Vegan Rants Again

She put my bananas in the fridge.

She put my bananas in the fridge!

She put my bananas in the fridge!

I have repeated this sentence often but it still makes no sense to me. I am still as confused today as I was 6 weeks ago when I returned to work following the long Easter weekend and found that my desk was bare.

The 14 ripening bananas that I had left on my desk 5 days before were gone.

The 14 bananas, that were going to form the entirety of my breakfast, lunch and mid-morning snack, were gone.

I moved over to the kitchen area and looked atop the fridge and on the side counter, no bananas. I opened up the cupboards under the counter, no bananas. I checked the bin, no bananas.

‘Has anyone seen a bag of bananas?’ I asked the office.

‘Oh, you mean the ones in the fridge.’ Someone replied casually.

‘No, I mean, the ones I left on my desk.’

But I was beginning to see where this might be headed.

I walked back over to the fridge. I squatted down and I opened the door. My face fell.

There they sat on the third shelf as yellow as they were on Thursday not a brown spot on them.

Not only was I foodless for the day but I wouldn’t ever be able to eat those bananas. I have never known a fruit or veg to recover and ripen well after such extensive cold exposure.

I was fuming.

WHO PUTS UNRIPE BANANAS IN THE FRIDGE?

More to the point, who puts other people’s unripe bananas in the fridge?

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Not the headscarf diaries

 

May was going to be the month of the headscarf.

I just didn’t want to deal with my hair.

I had grown very tired and frustrated with weekly washing and styling. And I was struggling to find the 3-4 hours it often took to undo, wash and style my hair.

The time expenditure seemed ridiculous considering I did nothing more adventurous with my hair than granny plaits and a braid out on wash day.

The plan was to wear a headscarf all day, every day, in May and thus extend the time between wash days.

I did my homework on YouTube. I practised and produced some shit, some mediocre and some fabulous results; I was ready-ish for the challenge.

But as always the best laid plans …

Instead of head scarfing I’ve ended up with mini-braids:

I was binge watching Spooks one Sunday evening (5 days before May), and I was gradually overcome by a whim to plait my hair.

It was 5pm when I started and 11pm when I finished.

I was very pleased with the results. And 3.5 weeks later I’m still pleased with the results. I can wash my hair in 10 mins!

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These plaits are probably medium sized by other standards, but mini-braids for me, as they are as small as I’m willing to go – thoughts of the undoing process are never far from my mind. And they are not entirely regular and symmetrical because I gave up trying to do the grid method. I couldn’t get the angles to see well enough in the mirror and my hair wasn’t stretched and detangled enough to do intricate parting, following a wash the day before. So for the top half of my head I just let the hair part where it wanted to.  I keep it in a bun during the day, head scarfing at night and moisturising every two days.  I’ve washed my hair three times since I put the braids in – [The frequency was primarily led by the need to relieve my itching scalp (long standing issue), which I now realise was caused by oiling my scalp with tree oil which wasn’t diluted enough] – and they are still holding up.  I’m planning to ride this mini-braid wave as long as I can.

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Shrinkage and Stretched Hair Illustrated

Shrinkage is just one of those certainties that comes along with afro hair.

But I haven’t done full shrinkage since I was a fool child washing my hair like the woman in the Timotei ads. Oh yes! There is no joy to rival the experience of detangling one’s hair after using a sulphate shampoo whilst overzealously massaging the roots in a circular motion.

So I wash my hair in plaits or twists to minimise the impact of shrinkage. But sometimes I feel a little bit curious about just how much my hair will shrink, so I undo a plait and let it be (below left). And sometimes if I’m feeling reckless still, I’ll undo all the plaits and admire briefly (below middle) before I quickly, quickly section it off and plait it up.

IMG_1604 i took it down wet

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Shrinkage

So whilst I have an afro I almost never wear it that way. My hair is stretched all of the time. Here it is 5 days post wash (below left and middle) with shea butter, aloe gel and an argan oil mix. The picture below on the right is the result of stretching my hair with TMS, shea butter and no heat.

I didn’t think I’d ever put TMS near my hair.  But less than a year after I discovered it and decided it wasn’t a product for me, I’ve used it twice.

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Stretched

Mostly this is because my hair has grown (time line below). Despite my judicious trimming of my hair every wash day, it has managed to retain some length and that growth, modest though it is, has meant an exponential increase in the time I spend pre-pooing, washing and styling my hair.  And there are just more tangles to deal with.  My desperate search for a good leave-in led me down the TMS path. But that is a story for another day.

 

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April 2014

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Jan 2015

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Feb 2015

 Time Line