Things I Love Thursday

My weekly dose of gratitude, because it’s always important to take some time to reflect on the things you are grateful for in life be they big or small.

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❤ Having big salads for lunch in my massive heart shaped bowls. This one was baby gem lettuce, tomatoes, yellow pepper, pickles, mashed avocado drizzled with lemon juice.

❤ Shopping at Lidl. So much fab food at such great prices. I got like a monthly big shop for 2 including some fresh produce for like £30! Dude!

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❤ My new blue hair! It just felt like time for a change. I had had pink hair for 5 years and felt like shaking things up a bit. I’m embracing my mermaid vibes fully. Plus now I can cosplay as Chloe from Life Is Strange and that’s awesome.

❤ Boots in Truro having a NYX counter! So happy! I’m going to have to go on a wee NYX shoppig spree at some point.

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❤ The weather being good enough to have beach days. Me and Jen went to the beach on Tuesday and had a great time. I even went swimming in the sea for the first time in years. Clearly the mermaid inspired hair is affecting me!

❤ Pokemon Go. I know everyone is obsessed with this and I am no different. I love wandering around the town the know so well and seeing Pokemon pop up before my eyes. Me and my friend Beth went on a great Pokemon catching adventure today and it was so nice to see other people out in the sun playing the game too.

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❤ My day trip to Truro with Shannon yesterday. We had a great time browsing the shops and had a freaking delicious lunch at Archie Browns.

❤ Being experimental with cooking again. As I type this I am waiting for some sweet potato to cool to I can make sweet potato and kidney bean burgers for tea. Om nom nom.

❤ This!!! My inner emo is screaming with excitement!

Toodles.

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My Veganniversary and My Top 5 Tips For New Vegans

Yesterday, the 10th of July 2016, marked one year of me being vegan. I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. Eating vegan and buying cruelty free products has become second nature to me. It’s just so much easier than I ever thought it could be. It’s also honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. I feel so much better physically and spiritually since cutting all of that crap out of my life. Not to mention the fact that I am helping save the animals and protect the environment in the process. Don’t ever think that one person can’t make a difference because that is far from the truth. So many of my friends have approached me and asked for tips on how to go vegan or simply how to eat a more plant based diet, a few of those people have now taken the leap into full veganism. So if that doesn’t prove that one person can make a difference then I don’t know what does.

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my tips and advice for going and staying vegan. This is by no means an exhaustive list but hey, it’s a start!

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1- The Internet is your best friend

This seems like a pretty obvious point to make but the internet has helped me so much with ideas and support. Joining Facebook groups has been a big help. What Fat Vegans Eat is great for foodie inspiration and Glo Vegan Hangout is such a friendly group to ask questions and share things. Youtube is another great source of foodie inspiration and support. Some of my favourite vegan channels are Cheap Lazy Vegan, The Vegan Corner and Supreme Banana. Blogs of course are also a great place to go for recipe ideas Oh She Glows is always a great go to, I also love The Vegan Stoner and a new favourite of mine is Jenny Mustard, a blog with yummy recipes and minimalist living if your into that sort of thing. The Vegan Womble is a great site to find out what products are vegan in various shops and Barnivore is an amazing search tool to find out what alcoholic beverages are vegan. And finally I will mention Happy Cow which is a website and app that tells you where the nearest vegan and vegetarian cafes are, super helpful especially if you are travelling.

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2- Adapt your favourite recipes and meals

You don’t have to give up all the things you love. Pretty much anything can be veganised. pizza, spaghetti bolognaise, cottage pie, cheesecake, macaroni cheese and even meringues! Either invest in a good vegan cookbook or search the internet, it’s literally all possible! Pro tip- if you want a nice simple recipe always remember to search “simple” or “easy” along with what you are searching for.

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3- Find ready made alternatives

If you are super worried about giving up things like chicken nuggets, beef burgers, sausages, fish fingers etc then don’t worry! Fake meat products have come a long way in recent years and taste pretty damn close to the real thing just without the cruelty! These sorts or products are pretty widely available with lots of supermarkets even having their own brand versions, just make sure to check the ingredients for any sneaky egg or milk, yuck! Holland and Barrett is also a godsend for fake meat products. The same applies to cheese but I’ve written a whole post about that so I will link that for you here. These products can work out a little pricey and aren’t always the healthiest but they are great for when you are transitioning or for an occasional treat.

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4- Make use of your freezer 

You know I said the internet was your best friend? Well make way for another bestie in the form of your freezer! Making sure you always have some frozen mixed veg on hand is so helpful. It’s cheap, healthy and just as fresh as the… well… fresh stuff! Just chuck it into chillies, stews, pies or just boil or steam some up as a side dish. It’s a great stand by for when you don’t have anything fresh in the house. The same applies to frozen fruit, it’s perfect in smoothies, with cereals or over porridge and rice pudding. Freezing your own fruit and veggies is also something I do alot. Sometimes you just don’t use something up before it’s about to go off so just chop it up, stick it in a freezer bag and throw it in to freeze. This is also the ideal thing to do when your favourite fruits and veggies are on offer or if you get stuff when it’s reduced at the end of the day. Saving you money and time. Making big batches of things and freezing them is a well know time saver for busy people and of course this extends to busy vegan people. Make a big chilli or sauce or whatever and freeze it for later. Quick, simple, healthy, cheap and vegan what more could you want?

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5- Transition products over slowly

Cosmetics, lotions, clothes, toothpaste, washing up liquid- these things amongst others can sadly not be vegan. A quick google search on a product or brand should tell you if it’s vegan and cruelty free. If you own products that are not vegan then don’t panic! You don’t need to up and throw away everything you own. Transition slowly and in a way that works for you. Use up any cosmetics and household products that you have that may not be vegan then just replace them with vegan versions when they are finished. If you can afford to donate your leather shoes to a charity shop and buy yourself some new faux leather shoes then do so but if you can’t afford to then continue wearing them until they wear out or you an afford to replace them. The same applies to any wool or silk items you may own.

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Always remember that veganism isn’t about perfection- it’s about trying your best. The Vegan Society defines veganism as being “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” 

I’m working on a sort of vegan master post full of my favourite vegan brands, products, food, places etc. I’m not sure whether that’s going to be one massive post or a series or what yet so please let me know what you think in the comments. Also let me know if this list was helpful to you and feel free to share any of your own tips.

Toodles.

Quick Fix Tortilla Chips

I love food and I love cooking but sometimes I just want a quick fix. I really fancied crisps the other night but didn’t have any in the house and it was too late to go out so I got experimental! I decided to try and make tortilla chips with some tortilla wraps I had left over from lunch. Luckily they came out amazingly and were much healthier and dare I say tastier than shop brought ones. So I thought I would share the recipe with you!

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Ingredients 

  • Tortilla Wraps (I used plain white wheat wraps but any would do)
  • A splash of olive oil (about 1/4 of a teaspoon per wrap)
  • Seasoning of your choice (I’ve used bbq seasoning and just salt so far but you could use anything- chilli powder, curry powder, black pepper, Italian herbs- get creative

Method 

  • Preheat your oven to 170º C (340ºF)
  • Lightly brush olive oil over one side of your tortilla then flip it over and do the same on the other side
  • Take a pizza slicer or knife and slice the tortilla into roughly 8 triangular slices
  • Arrange the slices on a baking tray
  • Sprinkle your seasoning of choice over all the slices. Try to be as even as possible here so you don’t get one chip loaded with seasoning and then another with virtually none.
  • Place in the oven for 5 minutes
  • Flip the chips and sprinkle on more seasoning
  • Return to the oven for 5 more minutes
  • Take out of the oven and serve! You can either eat these straight from the oven or wait for them to cool to room temperature

You can do whatever you want with these tortilla chips. I had then with some fajita Heinz beans and mayola for lunch today but you could have them plain, dipped in salsa, covered in melty vegan cheese the options are endless!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you try it out.

Toodles.