Sunday, October 28, 2012

Trigger Finger - a natural vegan cure

I have been suffering from trigger finger for a few months. What is trigger finger you may ask? At least that's what I thought when someone mentioned it to me. My middle finger of my left hand locks, and is painful. When I force it to release, with some effort, it shoots out, hence the name 'trigger finger'.
It has been getting slowly more painful. I researched the Internet, and found a heap of remedies / advice, the main medical one being a steroid injection into the affected digit  - ouch! A few places mentioned Evening Primrose Oil and Vitamin B6, and this seemed the least invasive remedy, and readily available. Finding a vegan Evening Primrose Oil wasn't as easy as I thought. Eventually I found some EPO vegecaps on the HealthSpan website. So I ordered some EPO and vegan B6. Healthspan sell lots of vegan suitable supplements, but unfortunately, you have to trawl through the ones you want, looking at the listing for the 'suitable for vegans' listing, more time consuming than I would like, but hey-ho, got what I wanted.
Now for the million dollar question - do they work? well, yes, they do. When I take one of each, a day, I notice that my finger is less painful, and although still locks, not nearly as much. On the days I forget to take to supplements, I certainly notice, after a few days, the pain increases, as a not so gentle reminder, that I haven't taken them. I'm hoping that by taking them regularly the symptoms will disappear, in time.
Just a word - I believe the trigger finger is caused (for me) by increase use of computers, well that's not going to change in the foreseeable future, better stock up on those supplements.

Vegan wine, nice choice at Sainsbury's

Now, I'm all for that sumptious bottle of locally made, organic, vegan wine, bought at a local health food store, or market. Perfect. But occassionally, I don't have that luxury. sometimes, after a long, hard, day at work, I just want to pop to my local shop and get a bottle of wine that I know is suitable for vegans. Convenient, affordable, and palatable.
I'm lucky (?) enough to live near a Sainsbury's local store, so when finishing work, after a late shift, popped in and scoured the wine. I wanted red wine, seems to be my preference lately. I usually opt for category 'C' being middle of the range, in sweetness, as I'm no connoisseur  on wine, so I take no chances! I found these two bottles of red wine, labelled suitable for vegetarians and vegans, each under a fiver, job done! I did not drink them all at one (honestly). I spread them out over a week or so, enjoying the odd glass, in the evening. In terms of taste, they were both acceptable, both tasted a little sharp on first sip, but nicely mellowed as the wine level lowered. The Claret was the cheapest, at about £3.50 (I think), it was on offer. An acceptable red wine, that was easy to drink, fruity, suprisingly rich tasting. The other, the Merlot, was softer on first tasting, and slightly smoother than the Claret. Sweet and fruity, and again easy to drink. Both measured up as affordable, available, and palatable. And being labelled vegan makes buying so much easier, so thanks to Sainsbury's for that.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vegan cupcakes - new finds for decoration.

When I make cupcakes, I use my favourite cupcake book " Vegan cupcakes Take over the World". Their basic vanilla cupcake, or chocolate cupcake recipe works every time, and is easy to follow. The cupcakes are a little too sweet for me, so I need to try adjusting the sugar to taste, also the topping seems like a very large amount, so I tend to half the ingredients suggested for the topping.
While browsing the baking section of my local Wilkinson and The Range stores, I came across some cake decorating foodstuff that were labelled 'vegan'. I always have to try things labelled vegan, it seems like my duty, that if a company has gone to the effort to make and label vegan products, I can at least try them! So, there they were, amongst non-vegan items: Sprinkles labelled vegan, and colouring labelled vegan. Not all the products were vegan suitable, so my choices were limited, but here are the ones I bought:
Kylie and Georgina's Cake Sprinkles
and PME food colouring.
Both labelled 'vegan'.

The resulting cupcakes. Hmmmm, maybe 'yellow' was not the right colour for these, but they were tasty, and looked adorable.
PME do a whole range of colours, and it's easy to pick out the vegan suitable colours as they are labelled vegan.
Perfect excuse to make cupcakes, and I can't wait for my next 'find' to try out some more decorations!