Hello again, finally! :D

As I predicted in my last post, due to the busy-ness of my new job (which is going very well), things have been a bit quiet on the blog front recently!

So I’m back to do a few little updates while I can 🙂

The first thing I wanted to mention is that I found a really good vegan vitamin D supplement in Holland and Barrett this week. As the weather is starting to get colder and darker, I think it is very important for everybody (particularly British people who don’t get out enough!) to make sure they get vit D. This one is derived from mushrooms, and I got two bottles on a good price deal:

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Secondly, there has been good news for people of Bath; a completely new vegan eatery has opened in the city centre, called Chapel Arts Cafe! I haven’t had the chance to eat there yet, as they are in the process of adjusting their opening hours, but I am looking forward to going there some time after 1st October, when they will be open in the evenings 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to mention something that happened on social media last week, which was a strange mixture of positive and negative for me:

A well-known Facebook page, called Vice, posted an article about the jobs that would be lost if the world went vegan overnight. The funny thing was, that the top comments (including mine – see screenshots below) were the pro-vegan ones! There were lots of people pointing out the overall importance and benefits of veganism, and the fact that change is necessary, even if some people do have to transfer their skills to cruelty-free jobs.

Somebody very intelligently pointed out that, if everybody followed that same logic as the article, no positive changes or progress would ever happen because of the jobs that would be lost or altered. For example, crime would be encouraged because otherwise police officers would be out of work, or disease would not be fought because lots of medical staff and researchers would no longer be needed. It was a very flawed and short-sighted article.

Anyway, what was positive was that my comment ended up getting over a hundred more “like” and “love” reactions than the article itself. Considering that it was not on a vegan page, I found this very encouraging and surprising. Obviously, there were plenty of hate comments and arguments that I had to debunk, as well as trolls, but overall I was very pleasantly taken-aback by the support, and I had lots of lovely replies too. My follow-up replies, where I was debunking some stuff people said, got lots of likes as well. Maybe the world is changing after all…!

Here are the screenshots of my comment (I have chopped off my profile info at the top):

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I do find social media very overwhelming, and a lot of what I see makes my very angry and upset, so I have made various steps to reduce my social media usage from now on; it is also important to look after my own mental health, as well as being an activist for positive change 🙂

I will be back when I can! Ciao for now 😀

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Frustration, food, and finds!

Lots to write about this time, so brace yourselves 😀

Firstly, a couple of cool things I forgot to mention earlier:

Linda McCartney pulled-pork style burgers are now vegan! This was a big victory, as the only ingredient preventing them from being vegan before was a bit of honey, and lots of people were contacting the company asking for it to be replaced/taken out. Just a few weeks later, it was!

Vegeburgers from Schwarz Bros are vegan too (and very nice), so that’s a useful option to have with chips after a night out 🙂

I’ve had a bit of a tough time this week as, on Sunday night, I happened to tune into a programme called “Oink: Man Loves Pig” which contained a lot of upsetting and frustrating moments, including slaughterhouse footage and people being massive hypocrites… Basically, I had a bit of a vent on facebook, because it was late and I had nobody to talk to in real life, and had immediate backlash from several “friends” who were getting defensive because I had the audacity to remind them that animals are killed. 😦

Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on it here because, as I’ve said in the past, I want to keep this blog a positive place. If you want to see any of my rants, they’re more likely to be on the Thoughts, FAQ & Mythbusting page!

But I saw this meme and it cheered me up immensely:

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HAHAHA 😀

Right, on to food.

This was lovely roast my mum made, using Fry’s steak-style pie:

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Sainsbury’s has had another addition to its freefrom chilled section – mac and cheese!!!!!! Which is delicious! I was never a huge fan of mac and cheese as I tended to find it a bit samey and heavy, but this was lovely with a bit of salad:

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And lastly (notice the improved quality picture, with Jacob’s phone), our favourite roast at The Green Rocket:

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One final thing: I don’t write about cosmetics as often as food BUT I have to mention Superdrug as they are fab at labelling all their own-brand products, most of which are vegan. I will also be getting a new supply of make-up when their B. range is back in my nearest store. (Their e.l.f. range is also vegan!)

This salted caramel shower and bath soak smells AMAZING! 10/10 would recommend. Unless you hate sweet things. Or showers. Or baths.

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Chocolate Sunday!

(Pun very much intended)

Happy Easter folks! (If you celebrate it, or at least have some chocolate!) 😀

I have to say that I do find Easter, like most traditional celebrations, very strange if they involve animal products; for example, a lot of people eat lamb at Easter. In other words, they are celebrating the start of new life by eating a new life 😦 And of course all the dairy chocolate which meant that babies had to be separated from their mothers…

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Human hypocrisy at its finest :/

Anyway, we have been enjoying some treats today! Here are some examples of vegan Easter treats you can easily find in the shops: Asda freefrom caramel crispy squares, Poppets, Choices egg, Celtic egg, vegan sweets and freefrom cookies, all from Sainsbury’s 🙂 Omnomnom…

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Also, I wanted to mention a lovely lunch I had with my uni friends recently at Beyond the Kale. Their roasted veg wrap was absolutely delicious, accompanied by an energising juice and spiced wedges, with a strawberry cheesecake for dessert:

Cake and other things

Yo! It’s been a while again; I’ve been very busy with uni recently. I have quite a few exciting things going on at the moment: doing marketing for our summer exhibition in London, having an interview at Bristol Old Vic (fingers crossed!!), and preparing for assessments…

Anyway, it was Jacob’s 25th birthday on Tuesday, and I made him a cake:

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I made this using Betty Crocker devil’s food cake mix, icing, and choc chips from Lidl. For the first time, I used chia seeds as an egg replacer (having suddenly realised I’d run out of Orgran). It’s very simple: for every egg, you combine 1tbsp of chia seeds and 3tbsp of water, and leave for a few minutes to form a jelly 🙂 It went down a treat with our omni friends at the birthday gathering!

Here are a couple of other things:

I finally got around to having hash browns again – fun was had! 🙂

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I put pesto and “cheese” mushrooms ON TOP of burgers!!!!

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I think that, as well as showing some of the yumminess we’ve been having, these photos effectively show my incompetence as a food photographer…

Anyway…

It’s nice to be able to write positive things on here. I’ve actually had a pretty frustrating morning, as last night I commented on an Earth Hour facebook post, basically saying how we should be caring for our planet all the time, not just for an hour, and that switching the lights off it like putting a plaster on a broken arm if you still eat animal products. You can imaging the ignorant backlash I received which I saw first thing this morning… :/

It was a combination of people saying that eating meat has nothing to do with climate change, and calling me a “Debbie Downer” for pointing out these facts. Generally I am a pretty positive person, but it’s sometimes difficult when you are reminded about how in denial, and how mollycoddled, most of the human race is. The frustrating thing is that most people would probably go vegan if they were to actually bother to find out some info and stop burying their heads in the sand.

But, sadly, most people are deliberately ignorant.

And lazy.

And stupid.

We just have to have hope that veganism will soon be so mainstream that people will have no choice other than to see its positive impact, and how easy it is, and how natural it is for humans! Come on 2017, do us proud!! 🙂

It’s my first veganniversary!

Today, I am celebrating my one-year veganniversary!! This time last year, I was walking from uni into town and made the decision to go fully vegan. I was feeling slightly nervous, but simultaneously very excited and relieved of the hypocrisy which had been a massive weight on my shoulders whilst I had been a meat-eater and a vegetarian 🙂

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Since that day, I have learned to cook all my favourite meals (and discovered how to cook many additional ones), eaten at loads of delicious vegan-friendly restaurants, and continued to educate myself about the benefits of veganism, and have become quite a little activist! I post about vegan matters on social media and talk about it with my friends, despite the occasional defensive backlash I receive. A few of my friends have gone vegan recently as well, and it’s such a lovely, rewarding thing to hear, especially when they contact me personally for advice 🙂

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I also have saved a huge stash of thought-provoking memes, hence the use of many of them right now! 😀

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I can honestly say that the hardest part of being vegan is the prejudice you get from some meat-eaters (and even some veggies!). There is nothing hard about veganism itself at all, and the positive feeling you get every time you eat a meal or wear clothes which have no death or suffering in, is the best feeling ever 🙂

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I am so hopeful that 2017 will continue to make veganism mainstream, and that in a short time, being vegan will be as normal as being vegetarian is already. After all, a few years ago, veggies were receiving the same prejudice that vegans do at the moment!

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Racism, sexism and homophobia have already been eradicated in everyday life, and speciesism is the next target. What gives humans the right to deliberately take the lives of 58 BILLION animals every single year, when there is simply no need to, and it is so detrimental to our wellbeing and the environment?! At the moment, livestock animals are literally born to die. A baby animal is born because, in the near future, some human wants to eat it. This simply wrong, disrespectful and immoral.

Going vegan was the best decision I have ever made, and I am looking forward to celebrating many many more “veganniversaries” in the future 😀

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Other festive bits :)

Hello again so soon!

I wanted to share a few more food, drinks and thoughts from the past week which were separate to Christmas day itself 🙂

This soft cheese spread and breadsticks from Sainsbury’s tastes just like nice Dairylea dunkers! 😀

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Lovely hot chocolate made with Sainsbury’s hot chocolate powder (which is marked vegan on the back), plant milk of your choice, Soyatoo squirty cream and vegan marshmallows from Holland & Barrett (cute puppy mug optional):

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Mulled cider from Lidl:

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Sainsbury’s now do a freefrom vegan vegetable lasagne! The beschamel sauce tastes exactly like one made with dairy:

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A favourite snack of mine – sliced tomato and avocado on seeded bread with vegan butter and hummous or pesto 🙂

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And, finally, this was delicious – I made a stir fry using Fry’s chicken-style strips, tenderstem broccoli, peppers and a Sainsbury’s satay cooking sauce 🙂 Most of their sauces are marked vegan on the back; there’s loads of choice!

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P.S. A nice thing happened to me a couple of evenings ago. I had a message from a college friend, completely out-of-the-blue, saying that she finds my vegan posts really inspiring and that she is going vegan in the new year 🙂 This was such a nice surprise – I love it when I hear that my friends are giving veganism a try!

Chwismasss!!

Hi folks! Hope everybody has had a brilliant festive day, whatever you decided to do! Jacob, my mum and I had a lovely Christmas day – I’ll give a brief run-through of what we ate and got up to 🙂

I cooked the Christmas breakfast and lunch: ‘pizza bagels’ for breakfast (tomato pasta sauce and Violife cheese on lightly toasted bagels!) and a full roast for lunch:

  • Fry’s soy and quinoa roast (perfect size for three people)
  • Cranberry & port sauce (Lidl)
  • Roast veg – potatoes, carrots and parsnips
  • Sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and peas
  • Gravy (Sainsbury’s own vegetarian gravy)
  • Onion and herb stuffing (Lidl)

It was so delicious!! Shameless high-five to me 😀 This was my first fully vegan Christmas, although last year I did cook a vegan lunch for me and Jacob as well (when I made a tofu loaf from scratch!)

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Also, I bought Jacob a bottle of Besos De Oro, which is a vegan cream liqueur very similar to Baileys. They are a brand new company, and apparently they were completely inundated with orders this year! Just shows the popularity of vegan products, and the loyalty of vegan customers – yay 🙂

Perfect accompaniment for watching a bit of Home Alone 😀

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In the afternoon, Jacob and I went up to visit his family. His mum, although she is a meat-eater herself, is always very accommodating and thoughtful and cooks us lovely vegan food and gives us vegan treats 🙂

Obviously it was quite a long time before we were able to eat another scrap, so in the meantime we opened presents, and fell asleep in front of the Doctor Who Christmas special (which seems to be becoming a tradition, as that is what happened last year as well!).

I got some lovely Lush products, and loads of chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, which I can’t wait to try! Then Jacob’s mum cooked us some bubble-and-squeak, using Linda McCartney sausages 🙂

We got home quite late, and I slept like a log! One of my favourite Christmases ever 😀

Lidl being annoying…

It’s not often that I do angry posts, but Lidl is really getting on my nerves at the moment…

Working there is a necessary evil for me at this present moment, because they are extremely accommodating of my uni needs, and pay a good wage. However, their meat adverts are blatantly stupid!

Their TV adverts are sadistic (and have apparently inadvertently turned a lot of people veggie or vegan!! 😀 ) and their posters in store are exactly the same :/ Take this one, for example, which was right next to where I was sitting on the checkout yesterday:

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“This is about as natural as you’ll ever get a turkey”

Yeah, because it’s completely natural for turkeys to be bred in huge numbers, fattened up by humans on farms (whether “free range” or otherwise), slaughtered long before their natural life expectancy, wrapped in plastic, and shipped to supermarkets where they are bought by humans in exchange for money… 😦

They are obviously trying to disarm meat-eaters who care about buying “free-range” or “humanely slaughtered” animals 😦 Well, I and many other vegans realised that those concepts are nonsense a long time ago! Stop trying to cover your back, Lidl!!

London fun and rushing around!

This Thursday and Friday, Jacob and I used a pair of free coach tickets to go to London again, where we had fun sightseeing, going up The Shard, and eating yummy things 🙂

On Thursday, we went to Tibits again, as we already know it is very nice there:

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The usual mixture of everything I can fit on my plate! 😀

And on Friday, we had a very simple breakfast of toast and jam, as it was provided at our hotel, then later on went to Hummus Bros, Yorica, and Zizzis (we had a voucher wooo!)

Hummus Bros and Yorica are practically next door to each other, on Wardour Street near Chinatown, and our friend was so determined to show them to us that we almost missed our View at the Shard booking, and our coach home!! I have written about both places on my Favourite shops & eateries page under the London subheading 🙂

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Pasta pomodoro at Zizzi
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A tub-full of deliciousness at Yorica!

I have not included a photo of our snack from Hummus Bros, as we suddenly realised we had five minutes before we needed to leave for The Shard, bundled our food into a bag and ended up eating its (rather squashed!) contents over three hundred metres in the air!

Good memes and good meals :D

Hi folks! It’s nearly time for me to go back to uni for third year (how did that get here so quickly?!) so I will be posting when I get the chance in between writing my dissertation and creating stupidly big paintings…

I am also continuing to write my FAQ & Thoughts page, which is a work-in-progress and a great outlet for me – feel free to have a read 🙂

For now, I will leave a couple of 100% accurate memes here, which have popped up on my Facebook recently…

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… and a (not particularly healthy, but delicious) comfort-food meal of Fry’s sausages, Lidl’s mushy peas, chips, ketchup, avocado and tomatoes, which also happened to be very colour co-ordinated! 😀

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