Thursday, 15 February 2018

Vegan/Vegetarian Survival Guide

Well I've completed almost a month now of vegetarianism. So ironic considering last year at this sort of time I attended a vegan fair at Alexandra Palace, courtesy of Jacob's friend we had free entry. His dad is heavily involved in The Vegan society. So why is it ironic I hear you ask? Well I wasn't vegan back then. Sure, it interested me as a concept but STEAK. That stopped me. Until one day...
I had a turkey wrap on the way back from drinking half a bottle of wine with my friend, I gave in to my cravings. The next day, I regretted it, having to leave work and throw up in the nearest Nero (sorry Nero). So yes, after that I was done with meat.

I love the phrase 'the more you know, the more you grow' with vegetarian stuff this applies heavily. The more you know about meat production, the more you know about eggs, how milk is full of pus, etc etc. This helps me stick with not eating meat/dairy products/eggs every day.

I'm already dairy intolerant, no cheese milk etc sob, but eggs were a big one. I love baking cakes and desserts and eggs have always been a big part of that. I ended up trying an egg replacement, there's quite an expensive one from Holland & Barett, Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg £7.99 that works beautifully. Or I recommend trying cafaba (the watery substance that comes with chickpeas) and whipping it up like an egg white. As for chocolate, just spend that extra £1 to get a nice quality dark chocolate (they come in all yummy flavours y'know).

Right on to should ideally use no animal testing products. I use Sukin cleaner, scrub, moisturiser and a random organic eye cream. Then coconut oil and cocoa butter for when I need a hair mask. I like Green People, they do decent shower gels that don't irritate my sensitive skin. This was always an issue for me, a fair amount of brands from somewhere like Boots would give me an allergic reaction- flare up in a rash etc.

Makeup is a tricky one for me, again sensitivity I've always used a Bare Minerals liquid light coverage foundation. I mix and match the rest of my supplies. To be honest, my estee lauder touche eclat might not be vegan friendly. Their parent company probably tests on animals. I didn't consider this before asking it as a gift for xmas sooo next time I buy an under-eye concealer/highlighter I'll be researching more what a decent organic makeup brand is.

Clothing need to be more vigilant with where you shop. Ideally, double checking 'faux fur' is sourced not from an animal. A few brands recently were selling 'faux fur' and it turned out to be rabbit. Why god why? Even before I stopped eating meat I'd be unimpressed if I was sold fake fur and it turned out to be a poor dead bunny.

My friend said 'Jazz you've got to love the animals before you learn to love and accept yourself' before I turned to vege. I found it patronising at the time but now I think it's quite heart felt. I find every day I'm happy and content with life. I've found a balance between mania and depression and I feel (however crazy this might sound) my diet and lifestyle change has helped with this. I used to feel so slug-ish after eating a big heavy meat meal. My brain didn't feel like it worked as fast as it does now. I've never been more inspired in my work. I've never been more inspired to excercise and keep in shape b/c I care about myself now I guess.

Anyway a few more food-y things to get you on track,
I recommend trying....

1) Kale!
2) Seaweed (buying dried and then baking it in the oven makes amazing crisps!)
3) Sweet potato fries with honey and mustard
4) Spinach (good for iron! build ya muscles and help your womanly time of the month)
5) Apple cider vinegar (I've always loved this stuff, put a cap full in a glass of water or use in salad dressings)
6) Depending on whether you're vegetarian or vegan (I define mine vegetarian as I eat honey and bee pollen) get yourself some good local honey. un-processed or the Honeycomb one is great. If you're syrup or some sort of natural plant alternative. I can't not eat honey I feel, it contains so many super-food ingridients and being ill I'm concious I need as much goodness as I can get.
7) avocados
8) flaxseed/linseed (I enjoy flaxseed tea for my omega 3 boost)
9) GF bread/baguettes
11) Purified water (I live in London so it's more of an issue of the taste inner city water yuck)
12) CHEESE. Violife do a nice parmesan replacement and H&B stock a good round soft cheese.
13) SNACKS...
Right to start with I love Hippeas from h&b. So yummy, low calorie & high in protein. Nuts are a good one but pricey if like me you needed a pot of mixed nuts a day cause you have a high energy job.
Anyway that's probably enough info right now for you to digest.

BOOKS are also important. I find they help me learn. More in depth than I probably would without it. Gardening wise too you don't have to care about plants to want to learn about herbs! You might not be able to keep a plant alive but you can use herbal medicine in your cooking. How to grow simple herbs is eaaaasssyy. Also botany is often all emcompassing like with natural skincare. All of these things link in I find. My love for gardening and food is evolving every day with what I learn, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.

Now I know what you're thinking. All of this 'vital' stuff costs big ££££. Not really, I have a very small budget right now as I'm unable to work. I manage it it's just some weeks I won't have the superfoods powder /other more luxury items like icecream, chocolate etc. You really notice the different changing these habits. My partner would vouch for this, my mood, my appearance/skin (less blemishes) have vastly improved.

Please also note NONE of this is sponsored. The brands I've mentioned I've researched and tried and tested and approve of myself and buy with my own moula...
All photos taken by me and copyright Hivenn.