Unconventional wisdoms interview, part 3 of 4: Patrick Sweeney

Patrick Sweeney Running Chicago marathon’s a noble achievement.

Running New York marathon in the same year, a life time achievement maybe…

Running both and the distance between the two?  

Patrick Sweeney reckons pretty much any of us can do this.  It’s just a matter of getting into the rhythm of things.

Me (M)- What are you up to tomorrow?

Patrick (P)- Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Chicago to meet with a friend “Barefoot Alex” then onto the Kenyan Embassy to meet some top Kenyan marathoners.  Alex and I’ll then pick up a torch and run from Chicago to New York and then run the New York Marathon.


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St Valentine’s chilli-chocolate hearts recipe! (Raw Vegan & Palm-oil free)

You will need:

  • heartsheart-shaped silicone moulds (recipe makes approx 24 chocs, so you can use two trays, or one and a regular ice cube tray)
  • A bain marie(or saucepan of hot water and heat-proof bowl) to melt cacao butter in
  • a balloon whisk

* ensure these are all washed and dry, as water can cause the ingredients to separate

  • 1 tsp organic chilli powder
  • 100g raw cacao butter
  • 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2-4  tbsp agave nectar
  • pinch of sea salt (helps to bring out the sweetness)


1. Place the pan with around ½ inch of water over a low heat.

2. Chop the raw cacao butter into small pieces and place in the heat-proof bowl

3. Place the bowl over the water and gently melt the cacao butter

4. Once cacao butter has melted, Add the remaining  ingredients to the bowl and mix well with the balloon whisk.  I      would add the sweetener and chilli sparingly and adjust to taste.  Remember the spiciness will increase on cooling, so don’t over do it :)

5. Melt the ingredients, blend well with the balloon whisk, tasting as you go :)

6. When all is melted, mix again and taste to ensure  you have the right level of sweetness.  Remove from heat.

7.  The consistency should be runny and smooth. Pour/ spoon the mix into the moulds.

8.  Leave in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or in the fridge for around 2 hours.

9. Once made, store in the fridge or freezer until ready to be enjoyed.

* Notes: if you don’t like spice, you could replace with vanilla, orange, or peppermint essences. You could also sprinkle the tops with nuts, seeds, spices, citrus peels or even add liquors such as orange or coffee.

If are making these bad boys for yourself, I recommend doing as I did, putting a bit of extra chilli in to limit your consumption to one at a time ;)

If you would like to read more about the issue of palm oil (which is in most commercial chocolates) please take a look here

Or here.

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Get Ready To Feel Ultra-Lazy: Interview with Vegan Ultra-Athlete, Tyler Tomasello (abridged version)

tylerQ: Hi Tyler, can you explain a bit about yourself, what you do and how you got here?

It’s hard sometimes for me to share the whole story, but I’ll give it a shot… After living a wild and surreal youth, battling with homelessness and drug abuse, I found myself at 19-years old with no direction or motivation.

I had a dream one night, and when I awoke the next morning I decided to leave North Carolina and move my life to Colorado.

My decision to pursue a snowboarding career/lifestyle was filled with highs and lows.  Following a bad crash on my board my doctor told me “no more concussions”.  It broke my heart to have to throttle back on a sport I loved so much, but it had to be done. (more…)

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Vegan and ‘cruelty-free’ products causing Orangutan extinction?

Palm+oil+labellingIf a key ingredient of vegan cheese is solidified vegetable oil (which could be palm oil) and raisins can also be coated in vegetable oil… Would vegans be better off eating organic dairy cheese, from a local farmer?

If you know the cows, or better, have your own, I would argue this is potentially more of a vegan option than funding companies which are in turn purchasing ‘conflict palm oil’ for use in their vegan and cruelty-free products.

The key is ‘locally sourced’.  If you are buying organic raisins, from grapes in the US, and they are coated with vegetable oil.  You will need to contact the company from whom you purchased them to ask where their oil came from.  If it is any kind of palm oil, it is leading to rainforest destruction and the extinction of many wild animals, along with their habitat, poor working conditions for labourers.  Not to mention soil and water pollution from pesticides and fertilizers.

Indonesians have been driven from their homes to make way for palm plantations.   Most of these plantations are not owned by Indonesians, but by foreigners, so the profits are taken out of the country. (more…)

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Super Simple Salad Dressing

grated-beetroot-and-carrot-salad1I think that part of the appeal of tomato ketchup is the combination of vinegar and sweetness… After all, so many people like it who don’t even like tomatoes.  You could maybe try combining blended tomatoes with the below dressing, but we like it just as it is :)

I love the following raw dressing, on everything!  My daughter often asks for ‘just dressing’!   But I give it to her to dip a sweet or white potato into, better for her and tastier than chips and ketchup ;)

I would serve it on a grated salad of carrots, beetroots, turnip, turnip greens (the leaves) and cabbage.  Or any lettuce salad served with Enchiladas. (more…)

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Vegan Superfood Porridge

imagesThis is a winter-warmer recipe for breakfast.  Oats are a good source of B vitamins and help combat winter blues.

Hemp is a good source of omega-3s for vegans, and hemp milk a great alternative to dairy as is the only vegan milk I have found that can be used in tea or coffee (without curdling).

  • I soak organic porridge oats in filtered water the night before.  This makes the texture creamier.
  • I use hemp milk, which I heat, the drain, rinse and add the oats.
  • I add a teaspoon and a half of ground, sprouted flax powder and a sprinkling of hemp seeds (after porridge has slightly cooled).
  • I then add either chopped strawberries, blueberries or banana.
  • I sometimes refrigerate leftovers and serve after school with some yoghurt.
  • Sprinkled dried fruit or carob powder (or cacao) for a treat :)


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