Tofu Burgers

I love vegetarian food and I enjoy eating tofu burgers. Pre Covid19 I went out for Tofu burgers a lot. But you can make your own at home.

A tofu burger has no meat in there so it is perfect for Meatless Monday

Image courtesy of Vegan Crunk

You do everything the same as a normal burger except you grill the tofu. You use extra firm tofu and you grill this. According to Threemanycooks, “Wrap tofu in paper toweling or a clean tea towel and place on a plate. Place a second plate on top and weight to drain additional liquid, about 10 minutes”

Instead of tomato sauce you can use sweet chilli sauce. I like the ones from the Asian grocery shops as they are authentic.

All the vegetables and the bun is the same as a normal one.


Brain and gut microbiota

Many of us are right now experiencing mental health due to the changes in our life. Our lifestyles and what we eat and do matter for our gut health. Too many of us lead sedentary lifestyles and thus we are stressed and it leads to unhealthy gut microbiome.

The brain and the gut are connected via the nervous system. The gut-brain axis is the communication system between the brain and the gut. According to Healthline, your gut contains 500 million neurons that are connected to your brain via the nervous system. The Vargus nerve is the single connection between the gut and the brain and it sends signals both ways, just like a road.

What you eat matters

Diet plays an important role in our brain and gut health. What you eat matters as food is mood. The brain and the gut are also connected via neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals made in the brain that control your thoughts and emotions. You need to change your diet and keep it long term. The Western diet is made up of processed foods and refined grains. If we eat those foods all the time, we become depressed, anxious and very unhappy. You need lots of fiber. We need about 31 grams of fiber per day and about 1 in 2 Australians meet the requirement. We should be aiming for 2 serves of fruit and 5 of vegetables per day. But not many people meet that requirement.

Serotonin is the happy chemical that is produced in the gut. It tells the brain when you are happy.

Short-chain fatty acids

“Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are fatty acids with fewer than six carbon atoms. Derived from intestinal microbial fermentation of indigestible foods, SCFAs are the main energy source of colonocytes, making them crucial to gastrointestinal health” (Wikipedia, 2020)

Some ways in which you can help the gut microbiota be healthy

  • Eat slowly and don’t scoff of shove food into your mouth at dinnertime. Learn to eat mindfully. Often we tend to eat really fast when we are in a rush. Hence we get indigestion and other digestive problems
  • Include vegetables and whole grains with your meal. We should have about 48g of grains per day. Now for most people that is six serves. It can include oats, brown rice, wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta, brown pasta etc.
  • Make sure that you get plenty of time outside each day. We should get about 1-2 hours of sunshine most days for Vitamin D
  • Do have a good night’s sleep as that helps to protect the brain. We should get about 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

The social dilemma

The Social Dilemma is on Netflix and it is a compelling documentary about social media and its deep dark secrets

How much is social media wrecking our lives? Google and Facebook have few people but yet they bring in billions! They sell their user’s info. Advertisers pay for the products u use. And they are competing for your attention. How much time can they get you to spend? AI has been discussed here as well as the algorithm and your goals are different than the advertisers.

False information makes the company money. Facebook has trillion of this misinformation online. There are a lot of conspiracy theorists online

Resurrection is talked about here.

They talk about how the mind works. The psychology of how people think and how to make technology persuasive. And how to make people use the product. An unconscious habit. Eg the slaw machine in the casino.

Prototyping eg your friend tagged you in a photo. When you tag people in photos it generates advertising and hacking activity on Facebook. People can hack into your account. All these strangers are recommended by Facebook to be your friend. This is why it’s important to ask your friend’s permission before you tag them. If they tagged you, you can always remove the tag.

Emojis are another way to growth hacking. Get people to get more friends in as many days

Manipulation is another way of getting users to look at ads and respond

Vulnerability is exploited here. We cant tell whats true and what’s not. Addiction is important here. People are addicted to these things. I couldn’t get off my phone. A lot of people fall prey to these things and dings. I’m addicted to Instagram and before the 14-day iso, I used to do it a lot. I used to be addicted to it a lot

Social media is a drug. We can talk about dopamine here. It takes away a kid’s self-worth and identity. We were not evolved around what 10000 people think. It is a fake popularity. It forces you to think that I need it back. We cant eat at the dinner table without it

There has been a lot of depression and anxiety for teen girls and suicide.

We need to learn how to live with these devices. The son went without technology for a week. On the third day, he looked at the phone and released he’s being scammed. He takes it back to bed as the information algorithm. We went without it for 14 days

Politics is talked about here and discourse happens. The boy went to a protest and goes to a protest

We need regulation and law to protect everyone on social media. The companies can sell stuff but human rights need to be looked after

We can change the way these products are designed and how we make the world better. How can we make it better? The way social media is designed is not going in a flash. But we can learn to live with it. And we can learn not to be on it all the time.


High cholesterol

Too many us have diets which are high in cholesterol. High cholesterol is in things like butter, cream, deep fried foods and saturated fats. It is very common in Australia and other parts of the world to have this issue.

We also don’t exercise enough each day. We are too sedentary.

Your body needs cholesterol for many functions like a healthy heart. But it doesn’t need a lot. Your body can quite readily make its own.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is the fatty acid that you need to perform most functions in the body. There are two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol (that is all your good omega three fats) and the bad cholesterol (this is your from processed foods and trans fats).

What happens if you have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol happens when someone gets 3.6 mnol/L in their cholesterol levels. Sometimes its genetics that cause the high levels, but most of the time its our lifestyle (being overweight)

You could:

  • Have fatty liver disease
  • Have pulmonary disease
  • Heart and organ failure
  • Put on weight around the lungs and the heart

To avoid high cholesterol

  • Limit your servings of processed foods to just treat foods
  • Have meat no more than three times a week
  • Eat more fiber. The more fiber you eat the fuller you’ll get and it also helps to get rid of the bad waste in your body
  • Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. It is said to help lower cholesterol levels
  • Exercise. You should aim to get in 150-300 mins of vigorous activity a week. And for muscle building, you should include two strength sessions in a week
  • Be happy. Having too much stress is not good for you

NB: if you have high cholesterol, you should go and see your doctor and don’t wait.


Making pancakes

This recipe is part of our Live Below the line Challenge

Photo by Ash on Pexels.com

This recipe uses ingredients in the basics box and you can add jam and butter or lemon and sugar like they do at the Big umbrella. This is an easy recipe for a Sunday morning breakfast. We used the recipe from food.com.

But what if you’re up for an extra challenge? Then try this!

The Pancake Parlour is doing this home iso challenge where you have to buy their stuff and make the best looking stack of pancakes and the picture that is the best one wins a $100 voucher from the Pancake Parlour. Every month they give that voucher to one lucky winner. This competition is only for Australian residents and you can enter here. But you have to buy one of their products and it needs to be featured on your Instagram.

So if you’re down on a bit of money and luck you can try this challenge.


Rest and why its important

We talk about rest and why having that rest day is important!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We lead super busy lives and without rest we get burned out. We also lose muscle. We start the week off quite good. Well in my case I start Monday off feeling a bit drained from Sunday’s run and then at the end of the week I feel quite good. I laze around a bit on Saturday too to avoid burnout.

Our lives are full of outside noise. By outside noise we mean the stressors outside. Whether that is going to the gym or work. When we go to the gym too much it can mean hormonal imbalance or a really bad night’s sleep. Our body is still stressed from what happened during the day. Our bodies need time to relax before we go to sleep.

Before the Coronavirus and the shutdowns we used to run and go to the gym. And sometimes our runs are not as good as our body has not properly recovered from the day before.

But during the times of the Coronavirus we have to back off a bit. And that got us thinking about our future and how we would tackle the gym sessions once gym reopened again. We like the slower pace of life. The slower pace of life means no hormonal imbalances and less stress. It also means getting a good night’s sleep. It also means better runs as I’m much more relaxed and refreshed.

Do something that you like. Go and make yourself that cuppa.


Why donating to the Salvos this year is important

We have set up online donation page at everydayhero.

This year more than ever the Salvos are busy with the fallout of the Coronavirus and bushfires. Even though the bushfires are long gone, people need money to rebuild their lives. Due to the Coronavirus things are becoming more and more expensive and harder to come by.

We get money from the Government but its not much so people are forced to go on welfare if they lose their jobs. We have seen an influx of those that have become homeless and had to turn to services like the Salvos. The Salvos provide food and water for people and other services. But they can’t run without your help. They also have an op shop for people that need items.

In the last few times that I have been to the Hamodava cafe there has been a steady increase in people. The amount of homeless people that are out on the street is beyond belief. By day we are confronted by these people and we want to give money but can’t. We do give food and sometimes stop to talk to them.

But you can make a difference though by donating to our thing online. Every little thing that you give counts.


International Womens day

International Women’s day is on the 8th of March and we celebrate it here in Melbourne. International women’s day recognises that we are all equal and we deserve equality. We deserve fair pay and close the gender gap. Men are paid twice as much as we are for the same jobs that we do.

This day is also about recognising achievement from the lovely women who volunteer for Foodbank and other charities. We all deserve equality even if we are in high paying positions or started our own firms.

I first heard about International Women’s day at RMIT Student Union via the Womyn’s department. Ever since then it has been celebrated all over the world. This year’s International Women’s day is all about the no diet day. Usually on Women’s day we enjoy chocolate cake and sweets. Today I enjoyed a bombolini doughnut and coffee. And for lunch I had a lentil burger.

Over the past year we have made a few small achievements. One of them is getting lots of followers and the other one is signing up for a business plan and more people found us. This year we aim to show the disabled people that they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it. For example teaching RPM can be hard but its all worth it.

This girl can do anything if she put her mind to it. This girl can also learn to love her body not hate it.


Our January Events

Here’s a roundup of our January events. And boy it was busy this month.

The opening of Summertime Social

Summertime Social is a new pop up place in Russell st rooftop where the carpark is and where the Big Umbrella is. Here they had $6 cocktails, beer and wine all weekend. Patrons enjoyed free games and doughnuts. I didn’t have the doughnuts because it was too hot for them and the icing had melted.

But what I did enjoy was the strawberry gin ice cream and the chips. Oh and they are a cashless system.

They are around until the end of March.

South Melbourne Night Market Opening night

South Melbourne Market has a summertime night market which is always crowded from 5pm-8pm. The market is outside the 96 tram stop which makes it super easy to get to from the city.

There were so many food trucks and almost all the shops were open. Food was priced between $10-$20 for mains. Dessert was $7-$8. You can buy drinks at the discount shop as they stayed open at this time.

The only downside is that some of the Asian shops close way early and the kitchen at Yo Sushi was closed. If the kitchen at Yo Sushi was to close so early they should consider closing up shop at 4pm.

Bubble tea festival

This festival was held on the weekend of Chinese New year in Melbourne Central. This was a really popular festival with really long queues at the bubble tea shops in Melbourne Central. You had to purchase one bubble tea and you’ll get one token. You can exchange that one token at the Bubble mart until their items have run out for the day.

The Queensbridge Chinese New year festival

This was not as great as last year. I went there on opening night and there were no free samples of sauce to take home. The only food samples was the Malaysian meat pieces. There was no dragon dancing and very limited food stalls.

Australian Open at Federation Square

This was free to attend and many tennis fans enjoy coming here. A ticket at the tennis itself cost $50 and they don’t give away many freebies. Here we got some hair gel and an eye mask to take home. People brought their own lunches and drinks in.

We enjoyed watching the tennis on the big screen and cheering on our favourite players. It was a sunny day and sunscreen was provided. There was free coffee at the Lavazza stand.


Why eating refined sugar is bad for you

We write this for Febfast in which you can give up added sugars

We eat lots of refined sugar each day. We have them in our breakfast cereals, cakes, sauces and everything in between.

What is refined sugar?

Refined sugar is the sugar that you find which are added to things. It’s the processed sugar such as your white sugar and some brown sugars. It is added to cakes and sugary drinks and things. All the things with added sugar in them is just empty calories.

In the short term it can cause lots of energy crashes and for some people it can keep them awake at night.

Why is this bad for you?

  • Eating too much sugar over time damages your teeth and gums
  • Eating too much sugar causes weight gain.
  • Eating too much sugar causes some diseases, such as heart diseases
  • It can cause hormonal imbalance and can increase PMS symptoms
  • It has been linked to acne
  • There has been a higher link of depression in adults

In short you can have them as a treat, but not as an everyday food. A treat is ok once in a while.