Friday, 7 July 2017

Booja-Booja Summer Ice Cream Party

Ice cream is by far one of my favourite desserts, and I'm assuming it's the same for most other people. Pretty much everyone I know loves delving into a tub of Ben & Jerry's and it's a necessity for when you're going through any sort of bad situation (break ups in films always seem to involve ice cream, right?). However, what happens when you want a more nutritious and dairy-free option? Luckily, Booja-Booja are around to save the day! Their luxurious frozen desserts are made with cashew nuts and are sweetened with either agave syrup or coconut nectar so they're perfect for those who are avoiding dairy and who want a dessert free from refined sugars. They're organic, full of healthy fats (great for your skin, yay!) and are pretty much indistinguishable from their dairy counterparts when it comes to taste and texture. I've been a fan of their vegan ice cream for years so when they invited me to take part in their Summer Ice Cream Party I jumped at the chance!


Monday, 19 June 2017

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Milkshake

I don't often crave non-vegan food anymore but I have to admit that recently, with the arrival of warmer weather, I've wanted nothing more than to treat myself to an ice cold vanilla milkshake. Luckily, they can be quite easily made at home (and veganised!), with just a couple of ingredients - dairy-free ice cream, dairy-free milk and any other extras you want! I served mine with date syrup, vegan marshmallows and some strawberries because #health amirite? 


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Vegan Chocolate Pancake Recipe (New & Improved!)

In the four or so years since I first went vegan, I can count the number of weeks I've gone without eating a stack of pancakes on one hand. I really wish I was joking when I say this, but I'm not! The pancake life has well and truly ensnared me.

When I first went vegan I admit that I was still in the thralls of an eating disorder, but instead of restricting food in general (i.e. anorexia) I was now restricting my diet to only eating what I deemed to be 'healthy' or 'clean' foods (i.e. orthorexia). Refined sugar was a no-go, flour wasn't on the table unless it was gluten-free and fit into my idea of what was 'nutritious', and cocoa powder was the evil adversary of my beloved cacao powder. Luckily, I've now fully recovered from that disordered way of eating and I happily eat processed food and refined sugar pretty much every day, as well as takeaways a couple of times a month. No one's died, I haven't gained any weight (and who cares if I have, I'm cute either way) and I'm honestly happier than I've ever been. There is a point to all this rambling, I promise.

So, I was looking back through all my old recipes and wondering when I ever had the time/energy to come up with so many (being an adult is hard, guys), and noticed that a lot of my old pancake recipes are full of expensive, hard to find and also slightly pointless ingredients. I've been making my pancakes a bit differently in recent months, and to be honest they're so much better now.

I've learned a few things in my quest to create the perfect vegan pancake:

  • 'real' (refined etc etc, blah blah) flour is way easier to use and cook with than buckwheat or rice flour, and it has a much better texture
  • cocoa powder is tastier than cacao powder, sorry babes
  • please use sugar, don't deprive your gorgeous lil' body of the good stuff

Hope you enjoy the recipes, my lovelies! Do let me know what you think of it and if you have any opinions on the whole orthorexia deal. It sucks to have an obsession with food dictate every part of your life, but it's good to get people talking about it so we can all try and help each other!


Saturday, 27 May 2017

5 Super Simple Vegan Breakfasts

I don't know about you, but I totally agree with the notion that breakfast is the most important meal; having a delicious breakfast accompanied by a big mug of coffee is by far my favourite part of the day, and I definitely notice a drop in energy later on if I don't eat a large enough meal or if I skip it entirely. It does get kind of boring eating the same thing every day though, especially if you're vegan and can't eat a number of the more popular breakfast choices anyway, so I thought I'd put together a list of super tasty (and really easy to make!) ideas for you all so you don't get stuck. Of course there are plenty of other options but this is a good starting point for beginners or people who don't have a lot of time on their hands in the morning!


Monday, 22 May 2017

Pretty & Affordable Cruelty-Free Accessories for Spring/Summer

Hello lovelies, today I want to talk about one of my favourite things - fashion (cruelty-free and vegan, obvs)! As the days get warmer, my wardrobe's colour palette is less grey and burgundy, and more pink and white. Okay, so I admit that grey may still feature in there. No shame. 

As my clothes transition into lighter colours, so do my accessories. Gone are my black ankle boots and dark coloured handbags (until autumn, at least) and in come the sandals and everything pink. Not even joking, I have three pale pink bags right now (two of which feature in this post!) and I have no idea why.

When I first went vegan I had to get rid of some of my favourite shoes and accessories, and I found it so difficult to find good quality replacements that didn't cost too much money. Whilst I do have some bags and shoes that are slightly more expensive (Matt & Nat handbags, for example), the majority of my collection are from high street brands such as ASOS, Topshop and Zara. I'm also lucky enough to work somewhere that stocks one of my favourite accessory companies, Katie Loxton, so I can easily pick up cruelty-free bags and purses at reasonable prices!

I've put together a few things that I've purchased in the last few months, so you can see where I shop for vegan and cruelty-free accessories; I apologise in advance for the amount of pink items, I just can't help myself.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Introducing Food Love Stories by Tesco & a Vegan BBQ 'Shroom Buns Recipe

When I first went vegan almost four years ago, it wasn't a particularly easy feat to try and find exciting and delicious food that was readily available. I wasn't the best of cooks so tended to shy away from complicated looking recipes, and stuck to the same old meals time and time again. 

However, in the years I've been vegan, I've noticed that companies (especially supermarkets) have been recognising and catering for free-from diets more and more. One such company is Tesco, who not only have a wonderful free-from range of ready made food, but also support vegan customers by providing tasty and simple plant-based recipes to try at home. They've recently started their 'Food Love Stories, brought to you by Tesco' campaign which features an amazing recipe for vegan BBQ 'Shroom Buns by chef Derek Sarno; I tried this recipe out myself and let me tell you guys, it is insanely good! My boyfriend and I devoured the buns in an embarrassingly short amount of time, not gonna lie. Not only do they taste great but they're also nutritious and filling, so are the perfect dinner if you can't be bothered with a long and arduous cooking session! 


Sunday, 14 May 2017

24 Hours with Arbonne Skincare & Nutrition

Hey everyone, hope you're all having a lovely and relaxing weekend!

As a vegan who is very much into health and beauty products, I'm always on the lookout for new cruelty-free skincare and make up to try. I know from personal experience that when you first go vegan it can be quite difficult (and can get kind of expensive!) to find products that are not only kind to animals but also kind to your skin, which is why I love sharing my finds with you guys - if I can help you cut down on the time and expense of trying products that don't work then that's brilliant!

One of my favourite companies which I've recently discovered is definitely Arbonne; Arbonne is a 100% vegan skincare. make up and nutrition company (certified by the Vegan Society in the UK, yay!) which uses natural and nourishing ingredients and has a huge focus on wellness. 

As I'm an avid make up and skincare fan, when I was contacted and asked to participate in a campaign for Arbonne I was obviously super excited and said yes straight away! Some of the products weren't very suitable for my skin (I look about 12 so I don't think I need to use anti-aging products!) so I recruited my lovely mum to help me try them out; we had a fabulous pampering session in my living room which was only marred by my boyfriend laughing at us whilst I vigorously dabbed my mother's face with a beauty blender covered in CC cream. The cheek of him!


Saturday, 6 May 2017

Vegan Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Oh my goodness, you guys - I can’t even begin to describe to you how addictive these cookies are! The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner and when you put them both into a cookie then it creates the ultimate snack or dessert. I used dark chocolate to make these (most dark chocolate is vegan but make sure you check beforehand!) because it’s cheaper and easier to source than other vegan chocolate but you can use whatever type you wish!


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Beyond Skin x World Animal Protection UK

Hello lovelies! It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted anything - things have been pretty hectic recently and I haven't really had time to create any new recipes or write product reviews. Life just gets in the way sometimes and that's okay!

Today I wanted to share some exciting news with you all; I recently wrote a blog post about some of my favourite vegan fashion companies, one of which was the wonderful Beyond Skin. Beyond Skin are a certified vegan brand who create the most gorgeous footwear which is stylish as well as being cruelty-free. They're currently in the process of launching their new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection (which is insanely beautiful!), including a collaboration with World Animal Protection UK. They've designed two styles exclusively for World Animal Protection to support their 'Wildlife Not Entertainers' campaign which helps end the use of animals in tourism, such as tigers being used as tourist photo props. 10% from each sale of the shoes goes to World Animal Protection, which is amazing and such a good cause to get behind - I don't know about you but being able to help animals and donating to charity whilst buying new shoes is a dream come true for me!

The shoes themselves are absolutely stunning and are made with the highest quality material - and of course, no animals are harmed in the process! Definitely head over to Beyond Skin if you're looking for luxury vegan footwear, and make sure you check out their fabulous new collaboration while you're at it.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or given a free product in exchange for this blog post, I just wanted to spread the word about a wonderful cause! As usual, all opinions are my own.


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Three Fabulous Vegan Fashion Brands You'll Adore

Fashion has always been something that's excited me, and especially so over the last few years. I tend to opt for clothing and accessories that are slightly 'quirky' and my colour palette ranges from pitch black to baby pink (recently I've also been obsessed with mustard and burgundy which aren't the easiest colours to find in the middle of summer, unfortunately!). However, when I went vegan, my once-loved pieces suddenly made me feel extremely uncomfortable. My trusty Dr Martens now had a sinister sentiment behind them and all I could see when I looked at my favourite lilac leather satchel was the life of a beautiful animal, cruelly snatched away just so I could have a pretty bag. I felt sick and selfish every time I looked at all my leather, wool and suede clothes and shoes (although I wasn't purchasing any more animal-derived products, which was a start), so one day I decided to just get rid of them and start looking for conscious and cruelty-free alternatives. Going vegan meant it became a bit harder to find good quality, fashionable clothing, shoes and accessories, but I'd never in a million years change my lifestyle; why should an intelligent, sentient and caring animal be murdered simply for my (and everyone else's) enjoyment? Luckily, vegan fashion brands are becoming more and more mainstream, and eco-friendly clothing isn't the same as it was 30 years ago. It's not all hemp fabric and hippy sandals anymore (although those are totally cool and I'd definitely wear them myself!); you can now buy gorgeous and affordable cruelty-free fashion pieces which - get this - are actually up to date with current trends! Getting the hang of checking labels is difficult if you've just switched to a vegan lifestyle and aren't used to it, so to help you along your way I thought I'd share three of my favourite conscious fashion companies with you all. They're all 100% vegan so you can purchase whatever you like from them without having to double check the details!

Matt & Nat Lawrence Backpack in Petal, Matt & Nat Chubby Wallet in Mist, Beyond Skin Misty Faux Sheepskin Boots in Camel

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Healthy Vegan Blueberry & Banana Flapjacks

Flapjacks have always been one of my favourite snacks and they were the very first thing I learned to bake as a child. The process of making them was very therapeutic; melting the butter and syrup in the saucepan, mixing in the oats, eating the leftover mixture in the bowl and on the spoon, and, of course, tasting the finished product! However, the flapjacks I made all those years ago weren't exactly what you'd call healthy, so I thought I'd have a slight throwback to my childhood and try and create a flapjack recipe that was as similar in method and taste as possible - the only difference being that these flapjacks are plant-based and are full of nutritious ingredients! Oats are the base of the recipe - they're full of complex carbohydrates and fibre, meaning they'll give you long-lasting energy and they'll keep your digestive system happy too! The bananas and date syrup are used to sweeten the recipe, so there's no need to use any unrefined sugar, and the coconut oil helps everything stick together while providing healthy fats. The result is a treat which is sweet and crumbly, bursting with juicy blueberries and finished off with a hint of banana. Believe me when I say that they're definitely my new favourite snack! 


Sunday, 19 June 2016

Vegetable Pasta with a Simple Tomato Sauce

Pasta is definitely one of my all-time favourite foods and I still can't believe there was a period in my life when I refused to eat it, as I now have it multiple times a week! You can create so many delicious meals with pasta, whether you're serving it with a simple tomato sauce or enjoying it with some dairy-free pesto. Pasta gets such a bad rep and is often seen as being the enemy of dieters and health nuts, but if you start off with a base of wholegrain pasta (whether it's wholewheat, brown rice or buckwheat), throw in some veggies and make a homemade sauce, then you'll actually end up with a tasty and nutritious meal! 

This vegetable pasta with a homemade tomato sauce is quick, cheap and easy to make and it's my go-to meal when I don't feel like cooking anything complicated. If you use wholewheat pasta you'll be getting a decent protein hit, but if you fancy bulking up this meal a little bit then you can mix in a can of lentils or beans before you serve it. If you miss having cheese on your pasta then nutritional yeast will do the trick - I add it to most of my savoury meals! 


Saturday, 11 June 2016

My Vegan, Cruelty-Free & Natural Skincare Routine (Pai Skincare & Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa System Review)

Today I want to share my skincare routine with you all - I don't talk about my skin that often on my blog or any of my social media accounts but I used to struggle pretty badly with eczema when I was a toddler and then again from the age of 13 - 20. It's only in the last year or so that my skin is actually behaving again and now, at age 21, I'm finally happy with it! Suffering from eczema was incredibly debilitating and I couldn't stand people seeing me when I was experiencing a flare up. Luckily it's all gone now and, even though that may be due to me getting older and my skin sorting itself out on its own, I do contribute a lot of my success to my diet (lots of plants and no dairy!), the amount of water I drink (at least 2 litres a day) and my skincare routine. I use products free from harsh ingredients, and facial oils which are amazing for hydrating your skin and giving it a natural glow.


Monday, 6 June 2016

Raw Vegan Lemon Cheesecake Squares (Sugar-Free)

Raw vegan cheesecake is definitely one of my favourite desserts - it's delicious and tastes super indulgent but has the added bonus of only containing nutritious ingredients such as dried fruit and nuts. Lemon was always my favourite cheesecake flavour so this recipe is a throwback to my childhood! It may not taste exactly the same as the original version but it's incredible all the same. These cheesecake squares are the perfect dessert to serve at a dinner party because they look and taste like you've spent a lot of time and effort making them but they're actually incredibly quick and simple to throw together. The filling is creamy with a hint of lemon and the base contains lemon zest so the flavour comes through beautifully.

I usually use maple syrup as a sweetener but even though it's natural and unrefined it still contains a lot of sugar which is where Natvia comes in! Natvia is a sweetener made with natural plant ingredients and absolutely no artificial nasties, so if you're watching your sugar intake then it's the perfect addition to snacks and desserts. If you don't want to use Natvia then you can definitely use any other sweetener (such as maple/rice syrup) and it'll still taste fab!


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

What's In My Make Up Bag? (Natural, Vegan & Cruelty-Free)

When I first went vegan, my only priority when it came to beauty products was that they had to be cruelty-free (i.e. not tested on animals) and made without any animal products. While these are still two of the main criteria I look for when it comes to what I put on my skin I'm now a lot more interested in 'natural' and organic skincare and make up. Now, I know the word 'natural' is extremely subjective and no two people will have the same definition of it so it's hard to know what it means when a product is marketed as being that - especially since companies can slap the all-natural label on any product they want because there aren't really any rules or regulations surrounding it. Also, nettles are natural but I'm not going to rub them all over my skin! So when I use the word 'natural' I mean free from 'nasties' with the majority of the ingredients being derived from plants to create a product that is, without a doubt, safe for your skin. There are a lot of companies out there who are 'greenwashing' so all I can say is do your research before you buy.


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Vegan & Gluten-Free Vanilla Protein Pancakes

As a vegan, the question "where do you get your protein?" is one of the most common and frustrating things you'll hear. If you're eating a whole foods plant-based diet that's full of abundance in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds then you'll hit your protein needs with very little effort (as long as you're eating enough food!). However, depending on your goals, you might want to add a bit of extra protein into your diet; a good quality vegan protein powder is a fab way to do this because it's super easy to add to meals you'd be eating anyway such as oatmeal, waffles, smoothies, banana ice cream and pancakes. I love having a scoop of protein powder with my breakfast as I find it keeps me full and satisfied and gives me lots of energy to power through my day. This protein pancake recipe is a Sunday brunch favourite and it's boyfriend-approved too!


Monday, 9 May 2016

Vegan & Gluten-Free Vanilla Protein Waffles with Poached Apple

I feel like I'm just posting breakfast recipes at the moment - that will change soon though, I promise! Have no fear, I've got a couple of kitchen experiments in mind so stay tuned for how those turn out. Anyway, this week's recipe is for vanilla protein waffles, a delicious vegan and gluten-free breakfast that not only tastes good but is super nutritious and full of ingredients that will give you energy all morning. I usually have my waffles served with lots of berries, nut butter and syrup (maple, rice or date syrup are the best - leave the bees alone and avoid honey!) but yesterday I decided to go a bit crazy and have poached apple. The result? A plate of pure breakfast joy. Very sweet apples such as Pink Lady apples are best for this as you don't need to use any additional sweeteners. I'm a bit of a picky eater when it comes to apples and only ever have the Pink Lady variety anyway so I've always got a ridiculous amount of them lying around - poaching them to add to breakfast dishes is actually a great way to use them up! Of course you don't have to have the apple with your waffles if you're running a bit low on time or simply can't be bothered (this is usually the case for me) but it's highly recommended, trust me.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Raw Vegan Berry Chocolate Cheesecake

This raw cheesecake has got to be one of my favourite ever recipes! The combination of chocolate and berries is just heavenly and it's so aesthetically pleasing too. For the filling I used frozen berries plus a scoop of Organic Berry Complex powder from Neal's Yard Remedies. I'm absolutely in love with this powder and I really recommend it but if you don't fancy buying it then you can just use a tablespoon of any other berry powder (such as acai), or you can leave it out altogether - the cheesecake will still taste fab and have heaps of nutritional benefits!

If you have stubborn family members or friends who refuse to eat vegan food then this is the perfect dessert to serve - let them try it before you tell them it's raw and vegan though! As well as being delicious, this cheesecake is also one of the most nourishing treats you could have - it's full of healthy fats and protein which will help make your nails strong, your skin glow and your hair shine. What more could you want?


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vegan Cinnamon-Raisin Oat Pancakes

Oat pancakes are one of my favourite things at the moment, mainly because they're so cheap to make (especially if you use rolled oats as opposed to shop-bought oat flour). The flavour of oat flour is much more mellow than buckwheat flour so this recipe is a good starting point for someone who is used to traditional pancakes. I've made regular oat pancakes and chocolate oat pancakes (recipe coming soon!) but this cinnamon-raisin version is by far my favourite. The banana in this recipe gives the pancakes plenty of sweetness but I love adding coconut sugar too because I have a huge sweet tooth and adore the extra dimension of flavour it adds! You can substitute the coconut sugar for the same amount of liquid sweetener or other type of sugar; alternatively you can use stevia to taste or just leave out all additional sweeteners completely. 


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Vegan & Gluten-Free Chocolate Waffles

Hello lovelies - long time no blog post! I've taken a lot of time away from this blog to focus on my work and personal life and, in all honesty, I'm not sure if I'll be getting back into posting regularly. However, I noticed that I haven't shared a recipe for waffles yet which is basically a crime because I've been eating them so often recently! Ever since I got a waffle maker a few months ago they've become a staple in my diet. Luckily I've found a way to make them vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free so I can enjoy them safe in the knowledge that they're cruelty-free and they won't hurt my sensitive stomach. It also helps that they taste amazing and are pretty awesome for your body too! I like adding protein powder to mine to keep me going all morning but that's definitely optional.

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