Sunday, 23 September 2018

Vegan food haul from Sainsbury's

My go to supermarket is Tesco, partly due to proximity to where I live and partly due to product range and price. However and not sure you'll ever see someone more excited than me to visit Sainsbury's on occasion. I literally feel like a kid in a candy store when I go there because they have such a wonderful and I believe unrivalled range of great vegan products. However..... yes they are expensive and this little lot cost £60 (excluding the pack of shroomdogs which were AMAZING and a probiotic shot I had already snaffled before photographing, I also bought 3 jars of veganaise, and another urban noodles that aren't pictured)


So as we can see for £60 there isn't a whole lot of food and the other thing I would like to point out is that a lot of these items are novelty buys because we all know how excited us vegans get when things like ready meals we can eat come out! I very rarely eat ready meals and I am more on the healthy side of the spectrum than the junk but I do like to try these things.

Pudology millionaires puds, vegan food

One of the last things to really start showing up were ready made vegan desserts, the internet is full of recipes for fabulous vegan puddings and desserts but sometimes you don't have the time or can't be bothered to make something from scratch so items like these pudology millionaires puds are fantastic!

love your veg, katsu curry, vegan

As I already mentioned I don't often use ready meals but sometimes it's just nice to have something like this stashed in your fridge for when you get home and just can't be bothered with life, shove it in the microwave and jobs done! I also really love Katsu curry.

veganaise, vegan, vegan mayo

Veganaise is the best vegan mayonaise ever! This is why I bought 3 jars of this stuff because it's life! It tastes just like helmans and is just so good. If you miss potato salad or coleslaw then this is the stuff you need to mix through warm potatoes with chopped chives or spooned in with some prepackage coleslaw mix.


Is there anything more amazing than a hot cup of tea and some shortbread to dunk? I think not!
These amazing little morsels are accidentally vegan and boy am I happy they are. I bought some of these last Christmas because in my family growing up we always had biscuits and tea whilst opening our presents and more often than not it was shortbread, so at least I don't have to miss out. This year I may dip some in chocolate for a bit of added luxury.

I really enjoy making the odd sandwich and I love that there are now lots of options to have meat replacement sandwiches. I wanted to try some of the hickory smoked tofurky, and plan to have a roll loaded with lettuce, tomato, tofurky and mayo!

urban noodles, vegan

I spotted these noodle pots and got very excited when I realised they were vegan, they had 3 flavours, satay, pad thai and sweet and sour. I bought one of each of satay and pad thai and will probably take them to work with me for a lunch time treat. They are not super healthy but I am always about balance and eating healthy 80% of the time and having a little naughty treat every so often.

Violife Mediterranean block, by far my favourite cheese. I think I have said before I don't think it tastes anything like halloumi which is what it's based on, however I do think it tastes just like manchengo cheese which is so good. 


vegan chocolate, rhythm 108

I tried the Rhythm 108 chocolate range last year at Stylist Live and oh my they are amazing! If you miss chocolate bars then you should give these a try. Vegan chocolate is a bit slow to catch up with the growth of the rest of the movement, yes you can buy dark chocolate and yes there are dairy free versions of chocolate buttons and plain bars but there aren't readily accessible versions of things like twix, kitkat, crunchy, mars etc. So these little delights are starting to bridge that gap, yay!

vegan iced coffee, alpro, califia

Now I love me an iced coffee, and I used to enjoy drinking those little chilled starbucks coffee's you could pick up at the corner shops. Luckily Alpro came out with their caffe range a while back and let me tell you they are delicious! The caramel one is my personal fave but they also do hazelnut.
Califia is an American brand that I had my eye on and was quite jealous we didn't have them here in the UK, so when Sainsburys started stocking them I was very happy, they do a range of iced coffee drinks that are all really yummy.

Merchant gourmet, vegan, chestnut dip

I have always quite liked Merchant Gourmet for their pouches of rice, lentils and quinoa but I was surprised to see they have now branched out into dips. Some may say I'm obsessed with houmous and I do love any type of dip so I was sold when I spotted this chestnut and red pepper dip.

I also got two flavours of moorish dip as well because a girl can never have too much dip. I haven't had the chance to try this brand yet so am looking forward to having some with carrot and celery.

ugo vegan pasta, vegan

I used to love buying fresh pasta at the supermarket for a speedy dinner, sometimes I still go down the aisle to look at them and shed a tear for all the lovely pasta I can no longer have. However Ugo have a vegan ravioli stuffed with pumpkin and sage, how perfect is that flavour combo for the upcoming season?

Linda McCartney meatballs are one of the items I have never tried. So I got some to either use to do spaghetti and meatballs or to make a meatball sub..... time will tell what I decide to do with those.

Smoked Tofu is the best kind of tofu! Really I just like anything smoked, but I do really enjoy the tofoo brand and love it straight out of the pack.

edamame thai spiced dip, vegan

Lastly, this dip.... words cannot express how bloody tasty it is. Just give me a spoon and leave me alone with this dip. I love those little peppers on the top and usually they are gone within seconds of me opening the tub. 


I hope you enjoyed this post and it gave you some inspiration, let me know what your favourite vegan products are in the comments.



Sunday, 16 September 2018

Vegan Coffee Protein Shake

coffee protein, vegan shake, vegan protein powder,



Slowly but surely I have been working my way through lots of vegan protein powders and have some firm favourites now that I will do a separate post on.

I thought I would do a quick post about making a protein coffee shake which is really yummy and sets you up for the day. It's lovely and filling, packed with protein and healthy carbs and is only 216 calories, and best of all takes under 2 minutes to make!

Ingredients

1 medium banana (about 90-100g)
200ml of unsweetened almond milk (I use almond breeze or alpro roasted)
32g of Missfits coffee protein powder

pop it all in a blender and whizz until smooth and frothy.

vegan coffee shake, protein shake, protein smoothie


You could modify this and just make it an iced protein coffee if you would rather by leaving out the banana and blending the protein with ice, I might even be inclined to add a shot of cooled espresso as well.

vegan coffee protein smoothie

Keep an eye out for my round up of the best (and worst) vegan protein powders, they are expensive so it will hopefully save you from wasting your money on the ones that taste terrible.

Don't forget to follow me on instagram where I post loads of photos of vegan food!

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Why I drink lemon water in the morning and you should too

The benefits of drinking lemon water daily have been documented lots of times and you've probably seen that it has health benefits, but did you know just how many? 



As much as I am addicted to a cup of tea in the morning I really try and drink a big glass of water, especially with some fresh lemon before I have anything else, here are some of the reasons why. 

Source of vitamin C

Lemons are high in Vitamin C which has quite a few health benefits including helping to lower blood pressure, boosts your immune system and is an antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from free radical damage.

Helps with digestion

Drinking hot water with lemon first thing in the morning is said to help stimulate the digestive system due to the atomic structure of lemon juice being similar to that of your digestive juices, therefore it tricks the liver into producing more bile which keeps food moving through your gastrointestinal tract smoothly. I actually quite like hot water with lemon and ginger so don't find this too much of a chore.

Helps keep your skin more youthful

Vitamin C encourages your body to produce collagen which is an important part of youthful skin helping to keep your skin plump and ward off wrinkles, most of us are in a constant battle to keep wrinkles at bay so what better reason is there to down a glass of lemon water? A study recently published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people who consumed more vitamin C were at less risk of wrinkles and dry skin.

Boosts energy

Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning is beneficial for your body because after sleeping through the night the tissues in your body are dehydrated, lemon water hydrates and oxygenates your body providing you with an energy boost that is far better for you than coffee. This doesn't mean I am not a fan of coffee, because trust me I am. Just make sure you get the water in first, to re-hydrate and then have some good coffee about an hour after your water, because coffee if you buy decent stuff also has health benefits.

Helps prevent kidney stones

Lemon contains citric acid which may help prevent the build-up of calcium kidney stones, and no one wants to get those!



With all these worthwhile reasons for a simple glass of lemon water, why wouldn't you?

Thanks for reading guys! Don't forget to follow my blog and check me out on social media to keep up to date.









Tuesday, 30 January 2018

My 5 go to vegan snacks

When you get the munchies that feeling can totally take over the logical side of your brain, we have all been there when you felt a tiny hunger pang and before you knew it you had eaten an entire share bag of crisps and a giant chocolate bar.... or is that just me?

Finding healthy snacks that taste great is tough when all you really want is all the sugar and all the salt! There are new healthy snacks popping up on the market every day, but they are not all nice and certainly not all cheap!

Here are my 5 favourite snacks.

Nakd Bars


These have been around for some time now and frequently have new flavours, they are all natural made just from fruit and nuts but taste amazing. They have a base of dates and cashews which put off one of my date hating friends until I insisted you can't really taste them, she's now a convert and really likes Nakd bars.
They have loads of flavours, my favourites are lemon drizzle, bakewell tart, peanut delight and pecan pie.

Vegan snack, nakd bar, healthy snack, fruit bar


Coconut Bites


I discovered these at Boots a couple of weeks ago and you can also get them from Ocado and I am totally smitten with them. I have eaten so many packs since then because they are totally delicious! I am obsessed with the coconut and sesame flavour, perfect amounts of coconut with a subtle hint coming from the black sesame seeds. The pack is 140 calories and I find they curb my snack craving and are quite filling.

coconut bites, healthy snacks vegan snacks




Hippeas


If you haven't given these a try yet then you really should! Made out of puffed chickpeas rather than potato they are a healthier alternative to wotsits. They come in a variety of flavours and I'm yet to try any I don't like. Ocado have a huge range of flavours of them, Boots stock them as do Holland and Barrett (uber expensive in H&B though!)

hippeas, vegan snacks, healthy crisps




Graze boxes


They have a huge range of lovely snacks. Not the cheapest and not all flavours are vegan so watch out, but they are really yummy. I love any of the smoked or BBQ ones, the one pictured is a combination of pumpkin seeds, almonds and dried broad beans and they were really good. Unless you live under a rock you'll know you can order them online and have them sent to your workplace which is pretty handy, who doesn't love a snack drawer at work?

graze box, vegan snacks, healthy


Vego Bar


This one isn't so much of a snack as it is a treat. But hey, we can't be good all the time right? These are an indulgent treat, its a vegan milk chocolate and hazelnut bar. It melts really easily so be careful of you might end up covered in chocolate, it's really rich and smooth and totally not for sharing ;)
I pop into my local Holland and Barrett for these, you can get them online from various places now but watch out for the price. They should be around the £1.99 mark, anymore and you're being ripped off.

vego bar, vegan chocolate, vegan snacks,


What are your favourite vegan snacks? I'm always happy to eat new things, and don't like to miss out on something good. Let me know in the comments if there's something I should try. If you fancy reading about when I first went vegan, here's the post I wrote.

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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

The easiest way to save £39 from your coffee

Small changes make a big difference. I am by no means perfect, there is so much more I could do to help the environment but the society we live in makes it very hard for the average consumer to do the right thing, and most people are blissfully unaware of the damage that is caused by something like their weekly shop. The abundance of plastic that the western world use to package their food is crazy and then we absent mindedly throw it away without a thought to where it goes.
To solve the issue would take a worldwide contribution, which I don’t see happening any time soon, however if we were all to make some small changes to our everyday habits then collectively it would have a huge impact. Sometimes I struggle with the realisation that I am just one person in this big world so anything I do can’t change all the bad that is happening and I feel overwhelmed; then I think that for everything I am doing to help is all part of the bigger picture if there are more people like me doing it as well. The more I mention things to my friends and family the more I see them making small changes as well, so I may be just one person but my actions and efforts are making a difference.

reusable starbucks cup, reduce waste, save money on coffee, zero waste



Half a million takeaway cups litter Britain's streets every day



A few months ago I bought myself a reusable takeaway cup after learning that the paper cups we get from coffee shops aren’t recyclable due to the waterproof coating. There are some shocking statistics of how many cups are used per year in the UK alone, and most of them make their way to landfill. Our love of takeaway coffee means that we waste an average of 2.5 billion paper cups per year, that’s a number that I struggle to comprehend. Because of the waterproof layer inside the cup that stops your latte ending up in your lap, only 1 in every 400 cups is actually recycled and half a million of those cups end up on the streets of Britain every day!

reusable cups, black midi dress, pretty little thing, eco friendly, reduce waste,


The truth of the matter is that this issue is relatively easy to solve or at the very least reduce dramatically, and that comes in the form of reusable cups. You can pick them up on every highstreet, they aren’t hard to get hold of, nor are they expensive. I have a starbucks plastic cup that cost £1, yeah that’s right £1! It won’t last forever because it isn’t the toughest plastic out there but it looks just like a standard starbucks cup and the cardboard sleeves fit them just fine. They don’t leak and you can fit a small or medium sized coffee in them and best of all, all the big coffee chains offer a 25p discount on your coffee if you use your own cup. So invest in a £1 cup and in 4 coffee’s time it’s paid for itself, win win! 

Pret have recently doubled their discount from 25p to 50p which is great news and they offer some other great incentives in their stores too, like plenty of tasty vegan food options and their veggie pret stores have filtered water fountains so you can refill your bottle for free. https://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb/what-if-pret-stopped-selling-plastic-water-bottles

The government have been discussing bringing in a 25p levy on takeaway coffee which means if you don’t hurry up and invest in your own takeaway cup then a cup of coffee could soon cost you an extra 25p per time. If that’s not a big enough incentive then I don’t know what it. In fact if you buy around 3 coffee's per week then that's a saving of £39 per year just for using your own cup!


There are some really cute travel cups out there so there really isn’t a reason not to invest in one, my favourite one at the moment is my flamingo cup by Sara Millen, how insanely adorable is it? There's a whole flamingo range but that's for a different time so be still my beating heart. 

flamingo cup, travel mug, eco friendly, save money on coffee


In case you were wondering, the lovely black midi dress I'm wearing is from Pretty Little Thing and was a total steal for only a tenner! If you're interested you can find it here.

Thanks for reading, I hope this article has opened your eyes to something you may not have been aware of. Let me know your thoughts on this topic.

If you liked this post and found it useful, don't forget to share it via social media. Thanks for all of your support.




* this post contains affiliate links

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Journey of Life

I have spent some time thinking about what makes me unhappy, but more importantly what I think will make me happy. I've spent lots of time researching happiness, what makes people happy and scientific studies into happiness, health and well-being.

I've learnt that food, exercise and people make the biggest impact on how happy individuals are. Luckily then all three of those are on my check-list for the next year as things to concentrate on.

This year I want to get my butt off the sofa way more and get out and be active. Doing more active things in my spare time with friends is going to be a goal, combining being social with exercise is good for your mental health and happiness, and less time spent on the sofa eating party rings means my jeans won't feel so tight! Win win.



Experiences is another big one for me, I feel like I've missed out on so much due to circumstances in my life but also because I've felt like I shouldn't be spending my money on non essential things because you never know what disaster is around the corner that you'll need the money for. This is a life lesson I've learnt through more than my fair share of problems, but it's also stopped me living. So although I have lived through and overcome a lot of hard times in my life, I've developed this metal restriction that makes it very hard for me to spend large amounts of money on anything other than necessities. Last year I was much better at trying to live in the moment rather than always putting everything off. I need to remind myself often that you only live once and you should collect memories not things.

happiness quote, depression, natural therapy,


At the beginning of last year I wrote a list of things that I wanted for 2017, I haven't looked at that list for a little while because I know I won't have made steps towards much that is on it. Until now that is, a new year means I have found a sense of power and drive within myself that I was lacking before. I have somehow found some courage to push forward, break my boundaries and try harder to achieve my dreams. I feel motivation to keep fighting forward, motivation to get up and do yoga in the morning and continue to eat the right type of food and the strength to avoid junk food. I'm hoping that the motivation will make way for habit, because I think that a habit to eat and live well, will keep me on the right path during moments when my motivation falters.

I need to stop looking back, because after all I'm not going that way. Shit things have happened, and there will probably be more that happen in the future, but I am here and I've made it this far without losing my mind (mostly) and I'm stronger than I often give myself credit for. I'm a survivor and I will make it through whatever is thrown at me and I have to remember that life is about progress not perfection.

I hope that you are finding some inspiration to work on some areas of your life you are unhappy with, and keep following your own journey to happiness. Lets make this year the best yet.




Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Are Original Source unethical?

A couple of months ago I did a post about transitioning to cruelty free cosmetics and wrote about how much I like Original Source shower gels. They are clearly labelled as vegan and come in a huge amount of fragrances suitable for men and women so they seemed to me like a good choice, however someone posted a comment saying they are unethical because they use micro plastics in their products.


Original source ethical? Vegan shower gel



Micro plastics quite often come in the form of those annoying little plastic balls you'll find in your cosmetics that claim to exfoliate but really do nothing other than fill our oceans with little bits of plastic that marine life ingest and often die of as a result. I haven't personally bought any of the exfoliating gels from Original Source but was surprised by the accusation that a company that labels its products as vegan would use micro plastics, so I decided to look into it.

Original Source are labelled as vegan which means we can rest assured that they do not test on animals and contain no animal products, the exfoliating versions of their shower gels use natural elements for their abrasive qualities such as fine nut shell.
Original Source contain 100% natural fragrance and scrubs, so there are no micro plastics lurking in their products. I looked into the ethical rating of the brand and found they actually are rated pretty well, they mostly lose marks for the failings of their parent company Cussons which is quite sad. Under the umbrella of an ethical company they would rate very highly. But nether the less Original Source are still a fabulous cruelty free brand and have values that align with my own so I will continue buying their shower gels and supporting them.

I hope this post has cleared up any worries you may have had about these products and given you faith to get behind this brand.

Check out Original Source

* information source : http://www.thegoodshoppingguide.com/original-source-shower-gel-ethical-review/

Thanks for reading, don't for get to follow me on Twitter

Monday, 15 January 2018

5 vegan products you need this veganuary

vegan food, veganuary,



If you're taking part in veganuary this year then congratulations you're half way through your first month of plant based eating. You have already saved an average of 8,422 gallons of water, 420 sq ft of forest and 280 lbs of co2 and that's amazing! I know that changing your eating habits can be challenging so here are 5 things you need in your life this veganuary.

soya cream, veganuary, plant based


Alpro soya cream


If you love anything that comes in a creamy sauce then you need this little gem in your fridge. Mix it with tomato puree and chopped up sundried tomato to make an awesome speedy sauce for pasta. Throw it in a pan with ground almonds and spices to make a korma sauce, or pour it into risotto to make it rich and decadent.

nutritional yeast, veganuary, b12, plant based


Nutritional Yeast


This is a must for many vegans, people worry they aren't getting enough B12 when on a plant based diet so these little flakes can be added to loads of dishes to keep your intake up. It's easy to find at Holland and Barrett or Grape Tree and adds a lovely cheesy flavour to food. I love disolving it into some soya cream to make a cheesy sauce for mushrooms that can then be piled onto some sourdough toast to make an awesome breakfast or lunch. Nutritional yeast also tastes great mixed through mash potato.

vegan chicken, soya chunks, veganuary,


Marks and Spencer soya chunks


These are the best chicken replacement in my opinion, I use these in any recipe that calls for diced chicken and they taste great. From curries to fajitas they work a treat, they also make a pretty good chicken sandwich if you don't want straight up veggies all the time.


dairy free pesto, veganuary, plant based


Pesto


If you can't be bothered to make your own, which let's be honest must be most people or else sacla would have a massive dent in their sales. Pesto is a great staple to keep on hand to make a speedy pasta dish, but it also tastes amazing mixed through oven roasted veggies (especially sprouts ) or stirred into mashed potatoes.


Cadburys hot chocolate, vegan, veganuary


Cadburys hot chocolate


You might not have realised that Cadbury hot chocolate powder doesn't contain dairy, just don't pick up the instant variety by mistake as this does have milk powder in it. Straight up old fashioned hot chocolate added to your favourite plant based milk means you don't have to miss out on this quintessential winter drink.

Good luck with the rest of Veganuary, and I hope you have discovered some great products. You're doing something great for your health and the environment and there are so many people on social media willing to lend a hand if you need help or advice so don't be afraid to ask.

Thanks for reading!
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