Much like Nigella's kitchen queries I thought it would be good to open up the forum for some questions! I've been doing veg?*nism for over 10 years in varying levels but always obsessed with chemical/low toxicity living (which was what made me go vegan in the first place). If there's enough demand I will do this once a week! Either leave a question here or look out for the post on facebook and leave it there, or email me! I will endeavour to point you in the right direction and perhaps I'll learn something new along the way.
1. Soy products-good or bad for you, so much conflicting information.
*So* much conflicting information. I believe this question relates to the phytoestrogens (plant hormones) and the possible cancer causing/menopause wonder drug effects. Depending on what you read they are great! or bad! or not enough science! I think its easy as vegans to fall into the trap of eating a lot of soy. Soy is in SO MANY THINGS these days so it might be a good idea to do a soy audit on your diet and really see how much you're consuming. I believe in moderation in everything. Personally I err on the side of caution with soy as it makes me really gassy! I have rice milk and the only soy I eat is tofu which I may eat 3-4 times a week. A balanced diet with lots of colours is what I aim for!
2. Cooked vs raw foods?
Again moderation is key. I believe cooked foods aren't that bad for you nor do I believe following an all raw diet is the best either. But with everything with the right research and help you can be healthy on many different diets (and be increasing unhealthy eating 'healthy food'). I did the liver cleanse diet a while back and it promotes eating a half portion of your meal raw, so like a salad with dinner or an apple with your cereal. Raw food helps aid digestion and I did notice a more settled stomach when I was vigilant about my raw food intake. Since then I have been eating more raw vegies and fruit and have really noticed the difference in my health/skin etc. I believe most people aim for a 70/30 split of cooked vs raw. I think this is a sensible ratio (considering breads and grains in there etc). I will also strongly advocate organic fruit and veg, the difference in my health has been VERY noticeable since I started eating organic.
Raw foodism wikipedia
3. I'm trying to make red velvet cupcakes for valentines day, I've used beetroot powder to make it red, all it does is make the top of the cupcake red, but when you bite into it there's no red, it's the weirdest thing! I really don't want to use preservatives, but not sure how else I can pull off a red velvet. please help!
Food colouring BAD!!! Have you thought about using beetroot juice as a dye? Surely only a few drops would be needed? Just found this recipe that uses beets in the batter please let us know how you go!