Mega Cat Studios x The Happy Vegan
Speedrunning and Quick Dinner Planning
Veganism and Speedruns.
“I don’t have time for this!” is often what we say when we get frustrated with something less important than what we are focusing on. From preparing food to doing chores, people often get overwhelmed and realize that it’ll take a lot of time to sort things out. While this may establish a tangential discussion about laziness and time management, it is good to remember that if one were to put their mind into careful consideration and planning it is possible to get things done quickly without sacrificing their well-being. You can have your cake and eat it, too! Whoever came up with that expression has probably never eaten a cake before. Because really, how do you eat cake if you don’t have it?
Sharon Gregory of The Happy Vegan shares in her article Tips for Quick Dinner Planning the things that can be done to establish a healthy eating routine without sacrificing too much time. There, she mentions several tips you can do to prepare for a lifestyle change, especially in the context if you’re experiencing health problems and illnesses.
In a way, this article also relates a similar concept in game culture - speedrunning. This is a game style in which players challenge themselves to finish a game as quickly as they can. While traditional methods of playing a game could lead to several hours, speedrunning leads to the discovery of many different ways in which players can exploit game design glitches and flaws to finishing them in a matter of minutes!
What if you could speedrun cooking? Won’t that be neat?
Save time and have good food, you really need both more than you think.
A Paradigm and Perspective Shift
Sharon Gregory says that a lifestyle change doesn’t have to be very difficult. For the time it takes you to cook a chicken, you can also spend it preparing a healthy meal. Simply, if you are spending the amount of time doing things differently, you would be guaranteed a different result.
This is why you should consider a perspective shift if you’re planning to do some changes in what you have been doing for a while.
In the context of speedrunning, gamers are challenged to see games differently and shift their perspective to playing the games features other than what game developers have designed them for. This leads to countless creative ways to complete a title aside from basically fast forwarding things to completion. This culture has established a growing community of gamers that find themselves challenged by this new mechanic as games of the past are journeyed once again to know every nook and cranny that can be accessed.
It’s basically a lifetime change for gamers.
Speedrunning Tips as Inspired by Sharon Gregory
Yes, we know, The Happy Vegan is a company that focuses on lifestyle changes to eating healthy food. However, in her article about quick meal planning, we can get a glimpse of some connections that upcoming (and maybe seasoned) speedrunners may be able to use during their gaming journey.
Tip 1: Prepare Snacks in Advance
In case Sharon doesn’t have the time for dinner, she always tries to have some fruits and veggies prepared in advance for a “quick snack”. While she mentions that sometimes a glass of water before dinner is enough to be satisfied to curb the hunger, it’s best to be prepared all the same.
Similarly, planning is the key when doing speedruns. Usually speedruns are made after the player has already finished the game at least once. They already know the ins and outs of the game and they plan on using it to their advantage. Much like in food, you already know which food you like and don’t. You prepare the ones you like so that you can have a happy and healthy meal; in speedruns, you know which shortcuts to take, what features to use to your advantage, and these make it faster the next time around.
Tip 2: Make a Double Batch for the Weekend
Sharon prepares a double batch of brown rice on a weekend. While this task is not difficult, it takes time. Time that you could be saving every single day of the week. Imagine cooking a double batch today so you won’t have to do it tomorrow, right? Plus you don’t have to rummage inside your fridge to think of what to eat today. Follow tip 1, plan, then prepare for the days ahead.
In speedrunning, finishing the game once already gives you familiarity and instinct. You already took note of multiple birds that could be hit with one stone. Since you already know what your path would be--much like the fact that you’ll be eating brown rice for the week--you can double up on what you need to survive and succeed.
Tip 3: Cut the Veggies as Soon as Possible
Aside from her advice of shifting a significant portion of your plate to veggies, Sharon recommends that you try to cut up your vegetables as soon as you bring them home and put them in your freezer. Veggies thaw quickly and this saves you some time when you’re preparing your food. And if you’re pressed for time, you can buy pre-cut vegetables at the store, too.
In a way, this tip could be translated to the whole process of which speedrun type you’re getting your head into. Essentially, whether you’re doing the Any% or Low% run, it’s best to know which one you are going to do so that you can set your mind in the right place and do the things you need to do while doing your speedrun.
It could also mean that you should cut your time as much as you can. Imagine again, having to cut your veggies for the next coming days, cleaning up, and throwing out parts you won’t eat? And then imagine having to do that only once a week, and you can just grab some and shoot them in a pan or blender when you need them? See the difference? In speedrunning, you can cut time for speedruns if you already explore everything the first time you play it. Don’t look for new stuff during your speedrun, it’ll only slow you down!
Tip 4: Prepare a Backup Meal
Her final tip is a little bit unusual compared to other timesaver guides to vegan cooking, Sharon shares that she prepares a backup meal in advance for later consumption by making an extra set of meals to freeze. This is good for those times that take you by surprise and you're less prepared than usual. Life is full of unforeseen circumstances and the one that you have prepared in advance could certainly save you some time scrambling to prepare for a meal that no one knows you weren't prepped for.
Same with speedrunners, they should be prepared for any events that can happen on speedruns. If you were to search on YouTube for a compilation video of the greatest speedrun fails caught on camera, you would see a lot of epic fails. If you are trying to dive into the speedrunning culture, you need to understand that you would not be playing a game once or twice, but rather way too many times than you would like to.
It is an endurance game that is filled with unforeseen challenges that bring you a step back or two, and that's the exciting part! If you try speedrunning once, you should definitely challenge yourself again. Try and try again until you achieve the top of the leaderboards or beat your personal best!
A Quick Observation
Establishing a healthy lifestyle and doing a successful speedrun requires the same type of state of mind and similar processes. As a person concerned with their health, you need to be able to make the right choices of what you put on your plate, an efficient way to prepare them, and prepare in advance for the next healthy meal. As a speedrunner in the kitchen, you need to familiarize yourself with the type of game that you’re playing, the type of completion goal you’re trying to run, and the kind of planning you need to make to explore every avenue that you can in finishing the game.
With this, we have successfully tied these two concepts together and discover that it’s not a matter of how they are different from each other but rather how they are alike. Food and games have been tied to each other in many ways, and this is just one of them.
So, if you have been intrigued by Sharon Gregory’s wise words about making the change to healthy and efficient meal changes, you can visit The Happy Vegan and read all about her vegan recipes and menu tips! Perhaps, you would be inspired by her journey from being a cancer survivor and how this shifted her perspectives to a healthier lifestyle.
If you're looking for some virtual gastronomic adventures, Bite the Bullet is your best bet!
Eat well and run fast!