Do They Read It ??

So I’m sat at my computer mulling over ideas for the content of this week’s blog, when I am distracted by the sound question marksof my wife, trying to translate Peppa Pigisms from our young daughter in the other room.
I was a split second away from calling out to here and asking if she had any ideas for what I could write about this week, when I stopped myself as I found myself wondering if she ever read the blog.
Having known and worked with many creative types over the years, I know that many feel a sense of pride and happiness when a loved one expresses an interest in what you have created. It makes sense when you think about it, if you love someone, it’s only natural to get the good endorphins when you discover that they’ve been reading your blog or listening to your music without any prompting.
Though I don’t think of myself as a writer and I’m doing this blog for the good of BODO, rather than any desire to see my words or ideas on the World Wide Web, I found myself slipping into that mindset, when wondering if my misses was actually bothered enough to read what I wrote on here! The serious thought lingered in my head for about a minute or so, but then the mischief-maker in me marched into the situation with full fanfare!
I briefly entertained the idea of going on a wind-up in the blog, leaving little subtle digs and jokes that I know would have her raising her eyebrows in a quizzical fashion if she read them! I thought I might throw the odd insult about lame cooking (not true by the way) to see if I could get her to take the bait and bite! Thankfully it didn’t take me too long to realise that this would be a really bad idea!!
Then I came to a sensible conclusion, my wife probably does not read my blog. This isn’t because she doesn’t care, but more because enough of her life and our time together has been taken over by the sheer amount of hours (including anti-social ones) that I put into BODO. As she is fully aware that the main reason for the blog is the company, I can’t imagine she’d want to spend the precious five minutes that she gets to herself away from her work, my work and our young daughter, reading about stuff that she has more than likely already heard from me!
If on the odd chance that she does read it though, I’m very sure I’ll find out after this post!

Not All Vegan Cheese Is Created Equal

Continuing on from last week’s blog post where I discussed my intention to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan, I confessed that the hardest thing for me when making the transition was having to say goodbye to cheese and cakes!
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to these things, because these days there are vegan alternatives to most dairy products, the trouble is that with many of these, the use of the word “alternative” is a tenuous connection at best! I’ve tried some vegan cheeses that taste more like Pritt Stick than any cheese I’ve ever tasted! I’ve also tried some vegan cakes that are about as appetizing as eating an old shoe.

Not exactly what I fancied in my sandwich

Not exactly what I fancied in my sandwich

That being said, there are lots of great alternatives out there, it’s just about finding the right ones! Thankfully we have the internet to come to our aid and if we are lucky, don’t end up having to try every single brand on the market until we find the one that will satisfy the cravings of our inner cheese and cake monsters!
So we need not go it alone, there are dozens of really useful websites out there that are just packed full of information, not just on the best alternatives for your favourite dairy products, but also with lots of incredible recipes for vegan meals and snacks. I do feel sorry for those who attempted to go vegan prior to the days of the internet though, as I’m sure they tirelessly munched through their fair share of stale sock cheese and bland cakes before discovering the good stuff!
So many non-vegans think that all vegan folk ever eat are boring old salads, but that really isn’t the case! Personally, I like a good salad and if you know what to put in them, they can make great meals, but that isn’t the point, there is sooo much more that is on the menu if you know where to look! In just a few weeks of attempting to go vegan, I’ve discovered so many great websites with loads of fantastic recipes and advice leading you in the right direction!
Special occasions need not suffer either, as when searching back in November for a birthday cake for my wife’s surprise party, I discovered several patisseries that will specifically create vegan cakes of the elaborate and grandiose designs that you could find in the dairy variety!

Making The Transition From Vegetarian to Vegan

Last week in my post about New Year’s Resolutions and whether setting them helped me to achieve the positiveVegan change I wanted to see in my own life, I mentioned that one of my goals was to make the transition from vegetarianism to veganism.
For me, going from a meat-eater to a vegetarian was a transition I made quite easily. I had been a vegetarian for many years, until I was advised by my GP that I was somewhat deficient in iron and that I should probably start eating meat again. Upon my doctor’s advice, I started eating meat again, but it was never something I felt I couldn’t live without and certainly did not consume it in large amounts. A few years ago, feeling in better health again, I made the transition back to vegetarianism.
In the middle of last year, my wife decided to try veganism. She made this change for several reasons, partly it was to see if it improved her own digestive health, as she had long suffered with stomach upsets and the like. Her other reasoning came from compassion towards the animals that produce dairy, eggs and the like as after doing research on the conditions in which they were kept, she felt that she could no longer justify consuming animal produce and that it was almost as cruel as eating meat.
A few months ago, I decided to try and join her, for much the same reasons. As a couple, I find it is easier to make this kind of lifestyle choice if you are both on board. I know it is definitely harder to resist gorging on chocolate cake if someone isn’t yamming it down right in front of you with a big stupid grin on their face!
At the moment, I am doing quite well, but I have not taken the path of complete abstinence. I have cut a whole lot of animal produce out of my diet, but still find myself tempted with the odd cheese sandwich and of course cakes!!
Of course the final goal is that I cut animal produce completely out, but I don’t feel that forcing myself to cut it out completely is the right way to go, as that is more likely to lead to total relapse and perhaps a cop out! It’s different for everybody I guess, some people find it easier to make this kind of lifestyle change by cutting something completely out, but I don’t think that method would work for me!

New Year’s Resolutions – Do They Actually Work?

This year I set myself a little challenge, I know so many of us set ourselves New Year’s Resolutions and then flamboyantly succeed in failing to implement them. For me, the jury is still out on the whole thing – I don’t think you have to wait until the coming of a particular date in the calendar to start making positive changes in your life, this should be something that we should feel able to do as and when the feeling takes us. But I do agree that some people feel more motivated and able to stick to goals and ambitions with the help of the January 1st milestone as a predetermined marker for the change they want to see in their lives.
I don’t always set myself New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I decided to give it a go and see how I fared with sticking to them and rolling out some important changes.
As February comes in with a fanfare (I can safely say that January is everyone’s least favourite month, especially those of us who have to do tax returns) I thought I would analyse how successful I had been at implementing the New Year’s Resolutions I decided upon last month.

The resolutions I set myself were:
• To improve my mental & concentration skills
• To spend more time with people that matter
• To make the transition from vegetarian to vegan
• To reduce my buying of material goods
• To meet more like minded people who have interests with social and charitable enterprises.

Cheese Sandwiches - a temptation I must resist

Cheese Sandwiches – a temptation I must resist

With regards to expanding my mental capacity and improving my concentration skills, I feel I have made good progress, I have carried out some research and looked at a number of different techniques that help people with dyslexia and poor concentration skills to hone their abilities and I can already feel the difference this has had.
I have been a vegetarian on and off for several years and after reading and hearing of the detrimental effects of many animal products on the human body as well as the terrible conditions that the animals that this produce comes from have to suffer, I decided to try being a vegan. I am slowly getting there, however cake and cheese are my biggest downfalls at present!!
I have never been an overly materialistic person, so reducing the amount of material goods I purchase, was never going to be the most challenging of tasks, however I still aim to limit it as much as possible and feel that setting it as a goal has proved a useful tool!
Meeting like-minded people has always been something I have enjoyed, I think of myself as quite a social character and expanding my associate base is always something that has been important to me. Since making a conscious effort to do so for the good of BODO though, I can already see a remarkable improvement!
Last but not least – spending time with those that matter! One of the downsides of running your own business is that you don’t get to leave work at the door, like many other people. I have often been guilty of neglecting friends and family because of work commitments and though I am probably still somewhat guilty of that, I am making a conscious effort to be there for the important things!!
So I guess you could say that setting New Year’s Resolutions has had a positive impact on my life and I’m pretty sure that I will set myself some new goals next year too!