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.

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Pink Hair Don’t Care- Colourful Dyed Hair FAQ

People ask me about my hair alot. I mean I do kinda look like a My Little Pony so I can understand why. Maintaining colourful hair can be a tricky thing so I thought it would be a nice idea to write a post dedicated to my personal hair tips and tricks. All of these questions are ones I have been asked in the past but if there’s any you have that I don’t answer then leave them in the comments and I will get back to you.

What is your natural hair colour?

Naturally I have incredibly dark brown hair with the slightest tinge of auburn. I have to bleach my hair first in order to attain the colour I want.

What bleach do you use and how often do you bleach your hair?

I used to get my roots bleached at the hair dressers when I could afford it and would 100% recommend you do this if you can afford it, especially if this is your first experience with bleach. However now I am a student and don’t have a job any more I can’t afford to do this so I use Live Colour XXL Max Blonde 00B (which is for dark hair, 00A is for lighter hair). I find this easy to apply, it’s pretty cheap and it does the job. I also love the conditioner they provide in the box, it leaves my hair feeling soften than it was before I bleached it! I tend to wait until my roots are pretty long before I bleach them because it takes a while to do. I have been known to wait 6 months between bleaches because I don’t mind rocking my roots however every 2 months would avoid that. The key is to not bleach bits that have already been bleached because that damages the hair. Another tip to keep bleached hair in good condition is to avoid heat as much as possible. Keep straightening and blow-drying to a minimum and use good conditioner.

What colour/brand of hair dye do you use?

I’ve only ever used Directions because it is available locally (and on Amazon if you don’t have a local retailer). Through the years I’ve used most of their colours however my favourite pink shade is Cerise. I’ve also mixed Rose Red with Carnation Pink to create a similar shade and have been know to dabble in Flamingo Pink. Cerise starts of really rich, almost purpley then fades to a lovely bright pink before going to a soft candyfloss shade. I like dyes that fade nicely because I actually hate dying my hair so like to leave as long as possibly (usually 2 months) between applications. I also love that you can combine the colours with conditioner to lighten the shade, I’ve experimented with this in the past when mixing colours and it works really well.

How do you maintain the colour?

Honestly my main tip is to not wash your hair that often. I know this isn’t feasible for everybody, I am lucky enough to have the sort of hair that only really needs washing once a week. However this tip can apply to anyone- if you wash your hair daily maybe try every other day or even once ever three days. It all helps. Trying to wash your hair with cooler water also helps maintain colour for longer. The care products you use will also effect the longevity of your colour but I will talk about that more in my next question. One tip I have tried in the past is to mix a tiny bit of the dye in with your conditioner so that every time you wash your hair you are slightly topping up the colour. This is effective but can be a little messy so I don’t bother any more.

What products do you use on your hair? 

I use Superdrug’s Revitalising Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Shampoo and Conditioner when washing my hair. My hair really likes it so I’ve been using the same stuff regularly for about a year now. It’s formulated especially for coloured hair so that’s always a good sign. It makes my hair super soft, smells amazing and is only £1.99 a bottle! Amazing products for the price. After washing my hair I always use Alterna Bamboo Colour Care UV Fade-Proof Fluide whilst it is still damp. This adds loads of shine and super smoothness to my hair. It may be a little pricey but trust me- a little goes a long way. I have had the same tube for at least a year. Occasionally I will give my hair a little treat and use Alterna Bamboo Colour Protection Deep Hydration Mask on my hair. I tend to use this if it’s been partially sunny and my hairs feeling a little dry, it perks it up perfectly. I keep meaning to try some on Lush’s hair treatments and masks too, I will let you know how that goes. Dry shampoo is your friend to help perk hair up between washes without fading the colour. I usually use the Batiste Dry Shampoo in Blush because it’s easy to get hold of and smells lovely. I am planning on trying the new Colab range as well after I smelt one my sister had and was blown away.

I hope this has answered some questions for you. Feel free to leave any more questions or any of your own tips in the comments section. Oh, if you hadn’t already guessed all of the hair accessories worn in the selfies are from Crown and Glory.

Toodles.