Do the Hokè Pokè (Bowl).

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Namaste,

I hope that you all gave last week’s blog post, Feminice or Feminazi a read and somehow internalised the writing into a cognisance of sorts. Have you noticed how gender roles are so rigid? How we are so conditioned into these roles that they don’t seem to be anything but natural?

Gender discourse, specifically of a feminist nature, is always controversial. Last week’s blog post did cause slight dissension but that makes me realise that this is why many of these issues exist to begin with. We are all entitled to our own opinions, our own degree of consciousness and as such; our presence within the world and what we would like to do with it, will differ. While this makes us all unique, unfortunately, it means issues like discrimination, bigotry and prejudice, and their subsequent controversy are inevitable.

The purpose of this blog is for me to project my hopes onto some kind of platform. My hope is to promote an ethical, clean, responsible and sustainable way of being. A conscious culture.

With that being said, I hope for this post to be of a lighter nature. Less about the disputation and more about the delish.

I by no means fancy myself as a chef, but that is the beauty of the recipe below. If I can make it, you can make it!

This vegan pokè bowl packs flavour and protein and is guilt free in more ways than one:

  • No animals were harmed in the making of this meal.
  • It is actually healthy!

 

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Let’s Begin!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Block of tofu (Must be extra firm as you want your tofu to be crispy)
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Carrots
  • Roasted seaweed (I used the wasabi flavoured but whichever you prefer).
  • Brown rice (This can be substituted for any grain, like quinoa, or if you would like a carb free meal, just add extra veg!)
  • Frozen edamame
  • Sesame seeds (I used a mixture of black and white but either will do)Spring onion
  • Pickled ginger
  • Soy sauce (Tamari if gluten free)
  • Sesame oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave
  • Sriracha
  • Dry white wine
  • Rice vinegar
  • Tomato Paste

 

Method

If you would like to add a carbohydrate to your pokè bowl, begin by boiling your grain of choice.

Then, slice your tofu into small cubes (I sliced my block of tofu into 4×3 pieces)

Heat two tablespoons of sesame oil in a pan over medium to high heat. Once the oil begins to “crackle” place your tofu into the pan.

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You want the tofu to become golden, which means cooking for about 5 minutes on each side. In the meantime, make the sauce which will pack the punch (vegan protein makes you strong too!)

 

Mix:

  • 2 tablespoons of soya sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons of Sriracha (less if you don’t enjoy spicy food)
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar

 

While your tofu is going for gold, begin to chop your vegetables. Think small and neat! Set aside.

 

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Once the tofu is brown on both sides, add your sauce to the pan.

 

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Eventually, the sauce will reduce to a sticky consistency and you will be left with a sweet and sticky crispy tofu!

Set aside and steam your edamame (I bought mine still in the shell.)

I didn’t have a steamer, so I used a nifty trick and placed the edamame in a sieve and balanced it over a pot of boiling water.

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While your edamame are steaming, place about a tablespoon of sesame seeds in a dry pan (1 tablespoon per bowl, so increase if you are making more than one.) Shake the pan every 30 seconds or so until the seeds begin to toast, they will begin to go a little golden. This takes about 3 minutes on low heat.

 

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In between, you can begin with your easy dressing which will be drizzled over the final product:

  • 2 tablespoons of soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Sriracha (again, less if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoon of agave nectar

You are now ready to prepare your pokè bowl, this is the fun part! Put your creative side to good use to add a whole new dimension of eating mindfully.

I like to place my ingredients in their own separate sections around the bowl. Your grain can be your base with your vegetables, edamame and crispy tofu arranged in segments above it.

Then, sprinkle your toasted sesame seeds and chopped spring onion on top, tear the roasted seaweed into rough squares and sprinkle like glitter!

Add some pickled ginger as a garnish for freshness.

Lastly, drizzle your dressing over your pokè bowl.

Photograph, Instagram and enjoy!

 

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If food makes you as happy as it makes me, you are in for elation!

Until next time,

Shari

Photo credit goes to the amazing Ricky Want @wantricky

 

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Femi-nice or Femi-nazi?

 

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Namaste,

This morning I was reading an article in the September 18th issue of the Time magazine- Firsts: Women Who are Changing the World.

 Nothing makes me happier than reading about women who have not only broken through the glass ceiling but soared way beyond it. These women are proving that things are changing and that women are now given the opportunity to make and remake the world. We are allowed to have an influence.

But, while reading this article, I couldn’t ignore the prissy little voice at the back of my head saying “Would there ever be a feature titled “Men who are changing the world”?”

There are many men who are doing amazing things in the development of our world for the advantage of different genders, sexualities, cultures and so on. However, I couldn’t help but to think that the fact that there was such a feature to begin with, proves that inequalities of the genders still exist. Women are acknowledged for making their mark because it’s rarity makes it worthy of praise.

Shit! Does this make me a feminazi? Why can’t I just be proud to read about these advancements in gender equality?

Of course I am proud, I am simply acknowledging that there are still plenty glass ceilings waiting to be shattered. Actually, plenty glass ceilings that shouldn’t exist in the first place (but that’s a story for another day!)

Being called a feminist is loaded with negative connotations to the point where it becomes an insult. A person who is labeled as a feminist can be equated to a radical extremist; a terrorist. Dare I say, a femin-nazi?!

The term femi-nazi has recently begun to circulate in the mainstream media. This term compares a woman (or man’s!) efforts to fight for gender equality to that of the Nazi regime. Ultimately, comparing the fight for the rights of gender equality and democracy to genocide. The genocide of 11 million people.

WHAT.

Now, we have to mention those girls who refuse to wear bras because it’s a consumerist expectations of a male market. The women who refuse to shave their legs because the razor was initially marketed for men until there was an opportunity to use women to further extend their target market. The women who believe that makeup is merely to aesthetically please the male gaze and therefore do not apply it. The list goes on….

Everybody is placed on a different continuum on the scale of radicalisation and we have to admire and praise everybody who fights for the progression of our world in whichever way they believe will be the most effective.

All I am saying is, there is a way to be a femi-nice! A high heel, lipstick wearing diva, whose actions are directly linked to striving for an equal society, for herself and for her ‘sisters’.

In Chimamanda Mgazi Adichie’s We Should all be Feminists, she quotes , “The higher you go, the fewer women there are.”

Until this pattern breaks, those numbers are doomed to shake.

How can we change this pattern?

I believe that parenting, and the ways in which we are conditioned into being, based on our gender, sets the tone for this imbalance.

At birth, before we are even able to open our eyes, the doctor peeks between our legs and with that, our social destiny is determined. From then on, the boys are swaddled in blue blankets and the girls in pink blankets and so it begins….

From then, we are conditioned to perform a very specific masculinity or femininity based on our sex. Men are expected to epitomise strength. Their manliness forces them to fear vulnerability and cowardice.

Women? In some sense, we have to cater to this fear. The more that men need to prove their masculinity and strength, the more subordinate us women are forced to become.

“We grow up to be women who are taught to silence ourselves and not say what we really feel and mean” (Adichie) ,to cater to this fear; to maintain this masculinity.

Women are taught that compromise is “just what we do.” (Adichie)

The inequality between the genders begins to translate into competition between women. Women learn that we have to compete for the attention of men.

The result? A gender that can really do with some lovin’!

To again quote Andiche,  What if we were to stop internalising and unlearn these gender expectations and base leadership on innovation, creativity and ambition? While in the days of the caveman, the strongest (biologically, the male) would undeniably be the leader, as the survival of the followers was based on his strength. Today, strength is not what makes leaders, and the qualities that do make leaders are exclusive to the hormones that one possesses.

As women, let’s start small by loving each other. By proving that there is no need to compete. Let’s be female- loving rather than male -hating. We don’t need to be ungroomed extremists to be heard.  Just conscious (seeing a theme here?)

Let’s be proud to fight for our gender. For ourselves,  for our sisters and for one day, our daughters.

“Let’s worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.” (Melissa Marchonna, digital marketer for the New York Jets)

Better yet, let’s shatter them to the point of non-existence (while still wearing your favourite pairs of heels).

If you’re as proud as me, you can have a look into buying from the #FeministTeeProject. (Shout out to my supportive boyfriend for buying me a sweatshirt!) R100,00 from the sale of every tee goes to The Frida Hartley Shelter for Women.

 

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Available at: http://www.tshirtsforchange.co.za/

 

Feminist
http://www.tshirtsforchange.co.za/

 

Lastly, please check out my feminist crush Chimamanda Mgazi Adichie’s Ted Talk: We Should all be Feminist. If I didn’t convince you, I’m confident that she will 😉

 

 

Until next Monday,

Shari

Conscious Couture

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Namaste,

In my last post, I had promised that the purpose of this blog was not only to create a stream of conscious thought but also to encourage the lifestyle that is congruent with this new way of thinking.

Enter,

Fashion!

I will admit it, there is a misconception (which I once fell prey to myself) that an ethical lifestyle meets a very specific aesthetic. Without making any presumptions of what this aesthetic may be perceived as in various minds, I am pretty confident that the high heel wearing, makeup manic, eyebrow shaping, flamboyage fanatic, glamorous mademoiselle doesn’t make an appearance.

In the world of the media and the subsequent extreme consciousness which it manifests, we are constantly inundated with images of the aesthetic of the ‘ideal’ style icon.

Does she endorse this ethical lifestyle?

Maybe, maybe not, but who is to say that she couldn’t?

MARKETING.

This is the main offender which stands in the way.

Chanel, Dolce and Gabanna, Burberry, Saint Laurent and so on, are undoubtedly the spawn of haut couture and with that, sell the perception of aristocracy and haut monde. But, not only do the items these fashion houses produce come at an exorbitant monetary price, they also pose a great ethical expense on our conscience.

After research for many years on how to fit into this world without the ethical expense, I would like to chat about Pinatex- Vegan leather.

Admittedly, I often find myself swooning over the couture leather handbags and shoes in department stores and high fashion magazine spreads but I have found an alternative which satiates the swoon.

Pinatex is an innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile. Except, rather than the tears behind the textile, it is pineapples! This textile is made from the fibre of pineapple leaves. (Annas-Anam.com)

If you like pina coladas…

Not only am I about to blow your mind by these deliciously guilt free fashion choices, I am going to show you that they can be the perfect alternative to items which constantly bombard our ” I need that to be chic” receptors.

 

The TOTE

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Celine Tote

Price:$2673

Textile: Calf Skin and Lamb Skin

 

Your alternative: 

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Alexandra K 1.5 Blackberry

Price:$344

Textile: Pineapple!

 

The BACKPACK

 

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Mulberry Backpack

Price: $1,295

Material: Cow Leather

 

Your alternative:

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Maniwala Banwa Pinatex Backpack

Price: $450

Material: Pineapple!

 

The CLUTCH

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Pierre Balmain Studded Clutch (Vintage)

Price: $575

Material: Cow Leather

 

Your Alternative

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Taikka Ananas + Clutch

Price: $95

Material: Pineapple!

 

The CHUNKY HEEL

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Raye

Price: $197

Material: Suede Upper with Leather Sole

 

Your Alternative

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Nae Vegan Clau Sandals

Price: $113

Material: Pineapple!

 

The CHELSEA BOOT

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Saint Laurent

Price: $995

Material: 100% cow leather

 

Your Alternative

Meet LAHAY:

 

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Material: Pineapple and Waste

 

Unfortunately, Lahay’s beautiful products are yet to be available on the market.

But with our help, we can change that!

Check out this video to see what LAHAY is all about:

 

If you like what you see, have a look at their Kickstarter page and lets get these boots kicking on our feet!

LAHAY Kickstarter

I hope that this post has been helpful in offering some high fashion and ethical alternatives to those highly converted fashion items which tend to sneak into our consciousness more often than we’d hope!

 

Just a pineapple for your thoughts….

 

Shari

 

 

Welcome!

 

 

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Namaste,

While I admit that I have chosen a somewhat cliché, maverick-esque greeting, allow me to redeem myself. I believe, the significance of this greeting amounts to the essence of this blog. While Namaste can be defined as “I bow to the divine within you”, the significance of acknowledging that we are one of the same consciousness, recognising an other on a conscious level, beyond the external, truly is the epitome of a conscious culture.

A quick introduction-

My name is Shari. I am currently undertaking my masters degree in Media Studies. Being in my fifth year of studies of the media, I have found that with each year I have found myself falling deeper and deeper into a very specific kind of consciousness, one that can be likened to a dark mass which continues to gape with the circulation of my thoughts. Why does the media excavate such a dark mass? Unfortunately, there is a great bunch of reporting which resists the greater grain of our inner most consciousness. Deep down, we all have values which may vary culturally or religiously, but I do believe that these values all have one thing in common: humanity.

We are constantly confronted with a contention, from war, to intolerance of various races, sexualities, cultures and so on, these issues all conflict with our values to a certain degree. Once we confront this contention, we have two options- either to dwell and sink further into this dark mass, or through consciously living, allow for our conscious thoughts and actions to create a culture which harvests into some kind of radiation from this space.

Positive thinking leads to positive outcomes.

The aim of this blog is to create a stream of conscious thought- a conscious way of being. A conscious culture. The bystander effect is a phenomenon which affects us all to some degree. Hoping that the next person will take the action you wish to see is merely passivity. A passive culture creates a stagnant society, one that is stuck in its old, often intolerant ways.

It is unrealistic to write a blog which encourages its readers to become militant activists, but together, lets take this one small step at a time. Beginning with the way our minds are habitually wired.

It’s about being a conscious consumer, a conscious audience, a conscious member of society.

While this introductory blog post may give the impression of an intense, perhaps “preachy” nature. My aim in creating a conscious culture begins with suggesting lifestyle choices.

While certain posts may be of a more thought provoking nature, majority of these posts will be more light-hearted. In a sense, giving some practical guidance to accompany this new awareness. Not only to think consciously, but to DO consciously.

You can expect some recipe ideas, ethical shopping guides and exercises to encourage this way of being.

I look forward to this mindful metamorphosis,

Shari