VSS eNewsletter 18 January 2013

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)
18 January 2013
In This Issue
Editor’s Note
VSS NEWS

VSS AGM Time Again!
 
Meat Less, Run More – The Sustainable Marathon
 
GENERAL NEWS

Antioxidant 123 - basics of smoothies for a high antioxidant diet
 
New Vegetarian Eateries – Vegetarian Era
 
Meat Under Fire for Causing Cancer, Death
 
Classes by Little Green Cafe
 
US Court Considers Whether Veganism is a Religion
 

While it is a time to feast and celebrate for many in Singapore over the next month, perhaps it is timely for us to remind ourselves that it is indeed possible to celebrate the festivities without causing any suffering or loss of life. Please consider taking a stand this Lunar New Year and refuse to consume any Shark's Fin Soup.
 
Gangasudhan,
Operations Coordinator


If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line here.
 
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Visit us at www.vss.sg
 

VSS members enjoy discounts at these fine restaurants and establishments.
 

VSS AGM Time Again!
It's that time of the year when old friends and new faces gather together to enjoy the company of friends with the same cause and plan for the future of the society. This year, we will be meeting up on 02 Mar 2013 from 3.30pm to 6.00pm at Kampung Senang Holistic Lifestyle Centre again, located at Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent #01-205. Similar to last year's event, our AGM will be followed by a delicious (complimentary) dinner spread from the Kampung Senang Kitchen. We hope that many of you can join us this year – whether you are an old friend or a 'new bird'. We need more voices in the mix with fresh ideas and eager passion, so do consider coming down and touching base with us. In addition, this year will likely be a milestone where our long-serving president, Dr George Jacobs, and other VSS Exco members hand over the reins to a new leader.
 
Do note that all existing members will be officially notified and invited to the AGM as required by the Registry of Societies. For more information and to register your attendance, please drop us an email at events@vss.sg.
 
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Meat Less, Run More – The Sustainable Marathon
This is an appeal from avid runner Kenny Lee to all running enthusiasts to join him in the Sundown Marathon on 01 Jun 2013 and run the race on behalf of all vegetarians. Kenny hopes to set up a fundraising page and generate funds for the VSS if enough likeminded individuals join him on this noble quest. Those interested can contact Kenny directly at Kny.Lee@gmail.com. To inspire you, we asked Kenny to share with us his story…
 
"It was 9am on a Saturday morning and I was reading the daily news feed on my PC while munching on a bowl of cereal. An advertisement on the side bar for the Standard Chartered Marathon caught my eye, and feeling a little juiced up by all the sugar from the cereal I texted my friend, Greg, to tell him we should run the full 42.1km marathon that December. With just 2 months to train, Greg replied with a pretty smug text message of:
 
"No problem, but are you sure you're up for it, being vegetarian and all"
 
I stared at his reply for a full minute before the full indignity of it hit me – not just to me but to the entire vegetarian community. 'How dare he', I thought to myself, and duly pushed the bowl of coco pops away, put on my running gear, and ran 40 km!
 
Well, not really… actually I ran a little less than 5km that day and felt like someone had surgically replaced my heart with a very angry Chihuahua. You see, at the point of texting Greg, I was admittedly super unfit and was probably a lowly 2 out of 10 on the fitness scale. Working 12 hours a day left with little time to exercise regularly and caused me to get really slack on my diet.
 
It is common for vegetarians to face disapproval to their diets.
 
"How can you be healthy when we don't get any protein in our diet?"
 
"What do you eat when you're outside?"
 
Or worse, "it's because you're vegetarian that you're tired all the time"
 
I would like to say that I'm tired all the time because I work too much for my own good. But it gets tiring after a while so I tend to just let such comments pass.
 
Also, while I hate to say it, there is a grain of truth to what people say about vegetarians – although there is an abundance of healthy plant foods, unless we are careful about what we eat and do, we can end up pretty unhealthy and unfit. So it made sense for me to do this marathon – if not for anything else but the bragging rights. Instead of talking back all the time, I wanted to let my actions speak.
 
The first step was to seriously change my eating habits and cut down on the refined carbohydrates, up my intake of fresh fruits and veggies and drink plenty of water. I had to plan my meals, which meant cooking from home as much as possible. This also meant I had to get home earlier and led to improved sleep and time to exercise in the mornings.
 
Of course, I had to say goodbye to my beloved coco-pops and all other sugary food because – despite what the commercials tell you – high sugar foods and caffeine don't do any good to your body. It has the same effect as putting rocket fuel in a car – it just doesn't work and you only burn yourself out. I found that I could run a lot longer after a fresh vegetable salad because of the slow and natural release of energy and I could still function normally for the rest of the day after.
 
It was around early November when we eventually registered for the run and we had only 1 month left to train. By this time, I was pretty comfortable with a 10km morning run before work. I would supplement that with a slow 20km to 30km jog on Saturdays and Sundays. But I realized that I tend to 'bonk' (runners' term for complete and utter exhaustion) at 30km every time, and couldn't help but get intimidated and worry that Greg might be proven right.
 
This was my first marathon, and I truly believe nothing prepares you for the first. For those who have not attempted a marathon before and are curious what it's like, a marathon is like running across Singapore, from Boon Lay to Pasir Ris, or running about a 100 times around the stadium track – that amounts to a lot of kilometres.
 
But I reminded myself that I had something to prove, not just for myself, but for other vegetarians too. As corny as it sounds, I made a silent promise that I would finish this race if only to prove that vegetarians are healthy and strong. I wanted to take this message to a wider audience as well so I registered for the 'Run for Good' programme with VSS as the beneficiary. We managed to raise a very modest $210 in the month leading up to the event, with very limited exposure.
 
But this support was enough for me to push through the final 10km on race day – after completing 20km in about 2.5 hours and overtaking Greg, the 10am sun at the 30 km mark, saw me 'bonk' and slow down to a hip-twisting power walk. With a dead MP3 player and no more trail mix in my pouch, I was just about ready to give up. Then, remembering what I was doing this for, and not wanting to let down my fellow vegetarians, I pulled a long gulp of water from the drinks station, took a deep breath, and ran the rest of the way to finish at 5.5 hours.
 
I have continued my running regime over the last two months to prepare for the sundown marathon, and am confident of doing a lot better this time. But more importantly and urgently, I appeal to all vegetarians in the community to join me in this cause, whether it is to run or to just contribute ideas. Stay strong!"
 
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Antioxidant 123 - basics of smoothies for a high antioxidant diet
Antioxidants in natural foods protect against cell damage and strengthen our immune system to fight against aging and the diseases we fear most – cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Besides, a high antioxidant diet also helps optimise our performance and saves the Earth.
 
This fun and highly informative hands-on seminar aims to empower you to better health. Know and taste 6 smoothie recipes [fruity, green and nut-milkshakes] that are nutrient dense and antioxidant rich. In addition, you'll learn:
 
1. nutrition facts from experts and high antioxidants ingredients
2. what depletes antioxidant levels
3. preparation techniques and combination tips
4. how you can raise your antioxidant level easily, affordably and tastily
 
Conducted by the Senior Executive of Education and Outreach at Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation, Yeow (Loh Yeow Nguan) has developed talks and educational programmes for schools and has conducted numerous workshops for many institutions and private companies. He is also a former triathelete with a carotenoid antioxidant score of 85,000, which is testimony to how healthy his diet has been.
 
02 Feb 2013, 1:15pm to 4:30pm
Kampung Senang HLC – Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent #01-205
Fee: $40 per person (usual $60)
Class size is limited to 40 participants and those interested are advised to register early by making a bank transfer to DBS current account 106-900562-0. Please email finance@kampungsenang.org with the transaction reference number or call 6749 8509 to confirm the registration.
 
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New Vegetarian Eateries – Vegetarian Era
A new series of outlets under the name of Vegetarian Era has opened across Singapore – namely, in Eunos, Ang Mo Kio and Hougang, selling unique vegan food. The Hungry Ang Mo has reviewed all 3 and says "the food is amazing! It is an injustice that so many vegans/vegetarians are still not aware of these stalls"
 
Blk 122 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, HP: 96109123 (7.00am – 2.30pm)
Blk 805 Hougang Central, HP: 96109123 (10.00am – 9.00pm)
Blk 7, Eunos Crescent, HP: 96109123 (7.00am – 10.00pm)
 
You can read The Hungry Ang Mo's reviews at http://www.hungryangmo.com/2012/09/vegetarian-era-ang-mo-kio.html
 
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Meat Under Fire for Causing Cancer, Death
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, animal rights and plant-based diets, recently installed a giant Chicago billboard that reads, "Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer." What they really mean is processed meats have been linked to colorectal cancer, but Susan Levin, nutrition education director at PCRM, said a recent study found that 39 percent of Americans don't even know what the colon (the last part of the digestive tract) is. The blunt statement makes it easier for laypeople to understand medical jargon that is intended for health professionals, not the average US citizen.
 

Read the full story at http://abcnews.go.com/Health/chicago-hot-dogs-butt-cancer-billboard-highlights-colon/story?id=15920567
 

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Classes by Little Green Cafe

Chef Shalu is offering a new line-up of classes to usher in the Lunar New Year.
 
 
  22 Jan, 7-10pm: Indian cuisine
Everybody loves Indian food but its often daunting to re-create at home because of the sheer number of spices involved. Master the skills of cooking an authentic Indian meal from scratch.
 
Menu: Vegetable butter masala (Garden vegetables in a spiced, creamy tomato curry), Classic channa masala (Chick pea curry), Spiced potato cutlets w/coriander chutney
 
 
  24 Jan, 11am-2pm: Sri Lankan cuisine
If you haven't tried Sri Lankan food, take this opportunity to learn some spectacular homestyle dishes. Simple, flavourful and spicy curries with a twist.
 
Menu: Eggplant moju (Sweet and sour eggplant in spicy tamarind sauce), Okra in coconut curry, Tempered mushrooms, Coconut sambol
 
 
  26 Jan, 10am-1pm: Gourmet dinners
mpress your guests with a spectacular vegetarian dish, or enjoy a bit of fine-dining in your everyday meals. This class will teach you how to create thoughtful and creative vegetarian dishes.
 

Menu: Aubergine roulade with butter beans and homemade tomato sauce, Creamy mushroom & herb pate, Grilled feta and spinach polenta with rocket and roasted tomatoes
 
 
  26 Jan, 4-7pm: Indian cuisine
Everybody loves Indian food but its often daunting to re-create at home because of the sheer number of spices involved. Master the skills of cooking an authentic Indian meal from scratch.
 
Menu: Vegetable butter masala (Garden vegetables in a spiced, creamy tomato curry), Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in a creamy spinach gravy), Spiced potato cutlets w/coriander chutney, Mango, saffron and cinnamon lassi
 
 
  29 Jan, 7-10pm: 30-minute meals
This class is designed for busy, working professionals who would like to enjoy a tasty, home-cooked and nutritious meal at the end of the day. Mouth-watering but simple to prepare, these meals will take you from chopping board to plate in 30 minutes or less.
 
Menu: Easy vegetable paella, Curried couscous w/roasted cauliflower & peas, Flautas (pan-fried tortillas) w/roasted tomato salsa
 
 
  2 Feb, 10am-1pm: Vegan cuisine
Vegan cooking is an important subset of vegetarian cuisine. Learn how to substitute eggs and dairy in everyday cooking, so that you are able to create lighter, low-fat versions of classic dishes.
 
Menu: White chocolate banoffee mousse, Cream of chilled pea and cucumber soup, Savoury crepe stuffed with crispy vegetables and tofu
 
 
  6 Feb, 6:30-8pm: Vietnamese cuisine
Classic Vietnamese dishes with an emphasis on using the freshest herbs and vegetables. These dishes are light and tasty but full of flavour, perfect for our hot climate.
 
Menu: Fresh rice paper rolls w/mango & mint, Spicy tofu w/lemongrass & holy basil, Savoury crepe w/ nuoc cham (spicy dipping sauce)
 
 
  12 Feb, 2-5pm: Mastering Tofu
Tofu is often overlooked as most people don't know how to cook it in a flavourful way. Learn the basic techniques of using this highly versatile, protein-packed ingredient in a variety of cooking styles and discover some surprises about cooking with tofu.
 
Menu: Spicy scrambled tofu, Tofu & mushroom amok (Cambodian curry in banana leaf), Crispy silken tofu w/orange-ginger reduction
 
 
  14 Feb, 11am-2pm: Asian Salads
Salads don't have to be boring. Spice up your meal and add some colour with an exotic Asian-inspired salad. Using lots of fresh herbs and local spices, learn how to create salads which are highly nutritious, fun and tasty - a great entrée to any meal.
 
Menu: Thai pomelo salad w/coconut-tamarind dressing, Mango & avocado salad w/chilli-lime dressing, Gado-gado (Indonesian salad w/spicy peanut sauce)
 
 
 
All classes listed are priced at $75. To register, please email shalu@littlegreencafe.com.sg. Private classes can also be arranged on request – visit www.littlegreencafe.com.sg for more information.
 
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US Court Considers Whether Veganism is a Religion
The claim comes in the context of a religious accommodation claim brought by a customer service representative at a Cincinnati children's hospital. The plaintiff was fired after she refused to get a flu shot on the grounds that chicken eggs are used in preparation of flu vaccines and she was a vegan. Therefore, the plaintiff claimed, getting the shot would have violated her beliefs and the hospital was required to find a work-around to such beliefs rather than fire her. While the court allowed the plaintiff's claim that her veganism was a religion worthy of employment accommodation, it did not specifically rule veganism was a religion. Instead, it simply held it was a claim it was willing to consider and wouldn't dismiss the plaintiff's case just yet.
 

Read the full story at http://www.care2.com/causes/is-veganism-a-religion-court-considers-claim.html
 

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