Tag Archives: vegan

Climate of change

I keep meaning to write a blog relating to my fitness journey – I mean honestly I just keep meaning to write anything at all. So this is going to be a little bit of an odd approach but please bear with me…

I was walking to work, thinking about how I am trying to be as waste free as possible, and this led me to thinking, wouldn’t be awesome if places like Lush gave you the opportunity to refill instead of having to buy another bottle, jar, pot. Specifically I was thinking about their face masks.

Now, this led me to think about how things have changed, exercises was where this thought led. These days, going to the gym is normal. How many people do you know that don’t have some sort of fitness schedule, either classes, or the gym, maybe its cycling, running. We have all realised that with our lifestyle changes, and the ease of access to quick fix food.. we need to look after our bodies. Indeed, my mother would probably be the first to point out that it is better to do this as a preventative measure.

So … this brings be around to the title. You are getting 2 for the price of one with this – climate change. We have been blissfully, or willfully ignoring what is painfully obvious. Plastic is everywhere, and it is killing the planet. In Germany, for as long as I remember, recycling is standard, taking back bottles, normal, reusing bags…. you get me? But we are all so immune to what happens to the plastic we throw away. We are all so blind to the fact that it isn’t somleone elses problem, that having 2 bins instead of one is not actually such an issue.

The plain fact is that we have gotten so used to everything being ..easy. The point for me that I realise the level of reliance on convince is when StarBucks opened a drive through locally. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to spend time in a cafe, chatting with a friend and enjoying cake. But StarBucks (and all the other coffee shops it seemingly spawned) created the take away coffee in a way that was previously unseen.

Now I am not ANTI starbucks as such, I even spend money in their cafe’s – now i am not sure if it is because I don’t drink coffee, but a lot of the attraction is lost on me. I mean, surely you can wait to get to your destination to have a coffee if you aren’t going to stick around? But also, think about the amount of waste this generates. This alone, I mean if we are going after straws… take away coffee with it has so many elements, the cup, the lip, the stirrer, and i could go on. But does any of this get recycled? Because if you are on the go, and so desperate for a coffee fix, are you going to be able to dispose of it properly or are you going to dump it in the nearest bin?

There are so many elements to recycling, why we need to do more, but it feels as if we are doing less, but lets stay with fast food – not long ago, we would bring in lunch and maybe have a treat on a Friday and go get something locally. Now, it is normal to pick someone on our way in, say a coffee. At lunch, go to SubWay, Greggs etc and for our way home? Why not pick up pizza or a burger. This is not only extremely wasteful but how much more additional packaging is needed? Even if you go pick up lunch in a store, a prepacked sandwich, a drink, it is all packaging that isn’t needed. And let us now forget how expensive this is.

Honestly like most things, exercise, recycling, climate change, cutting meat, it isn’t about a grand gesture that seems difficult, insurmountable, and your brain breaks figuring out where to begin. It is about small gestures, don’t have that coffee, use a paper or metal straw, cut down meat to a day or 2 a week, try getting off the bus stop early, try working out with a friend. I am not preaching, it is merely personal experience. So many people come accross as … all or nothing. A gym instructor at a previous gym once told me that if i wasn’t in the gym at least 4 times a week, why bother. If you are not completely over hauling your diet, why bother, if you are not sorting and washing every recyclable… why bother. Well the answer is that, collectively small changes amount to big changes and if everyone made a couple of adjustments it would really make a difference.

The V word…

Vagina, vixen, vaccination, vinyl….. I won’t go on.

What i would like to talk about Vegan products. Disclaimer: I am not vegan.

I have a number of vegan friends, and the reason for their diet is varied, it can be down to health, going ‘free from’, not liking meat, animal rights and everything inbetween.

Now this isn’t the first time that I have spoken about being Vegan – and i was of a mind to write this in January when we were all having the benefits of joining in on Veganuary but you know, life happens!

One of the things that I came accross and that seems to garner a lot of backlash, is Holland & Barrett’s Veganuary campaign. The idea was that you could be a vegan part time. Either you chose to go down the cruelty free makeup route (there is a difference between vegan and cruelty free) or you are vegan only when you are at home. There were a lot of other examples, like I said, an entire advertising campaign was designed around this idea that you could be ‘Vegan: your way’. This seemed especially abhorrent to be people, on both sides of the fence.

Now there is an argument, for example, people not using a brand (Urban Decay, Body Shop) because they are owned by a company that isn’t vegan or still uses animal testing. But this argument for me, fails. SImply because these same people are still shopping in supermarkets that sell animal products, buying a latte in a coffee shop that serves 90% of their hot drinks with cows milk.

Like my previous blog, I would say that buying vegan/cruelty free products no matter where, sends a clear message to companies that this is something to invest in. Now like I have said, I am not vegan, but try my best to buy vegan as and where I can (to the point i rope the fiance into it by making him vegan meals). I don’t like meat, I don’t like the smell, texture, flavour. So for the longest time, I couldn’t understand why people would eat ‘fake meat’. I mean if you won’t want to eat meat, why would you want to eat something that reminds you of meat.

Well it is pretty simple. The meat industry is failing, the amount of stock needed to break even, let alone make a profit makes the farm a bad business model. We don’t have the space either, and with leaving the EU soon, farmers will be losing the EU subsidies that they have become reliant on. That is just the UK. Globally the population continues to rise, and we aren’t able to produce enough food.

So yes, the idea would be that we all become vegan, it would be great if we could help our planet, our selves, stem global warming, and be kinder. But lets be realistic, as anyone who had attempted to diet will tell you, the moment your restrict access to a certain food; the more you want it.

So what do we do? Well we start looking at alternatives, we start looking at like for like swaps, so that people won’t miss the animal by products. And you know what, I am all for it – I am here for the vegan cheese, the vegan pain au chocolate, for the vegan burgers. And I would honestly encourage you to try some. Even if you just do it for one meal. Pop into a super market ( I personally recommend M&S and their fab range) and grab a vegan meal. Sit down with friends or family (both) and see how you enjoy it. Because trust me, you will.

And every item sold, encourages the company to make more, try more, invest more. Which can only be a good thing.

OH MY GLITTER!

So, a little back story, I love makeup and a few years ago my path was brightened up when I cam accross a indie makeup company selling mineral eye shadows. I am an eyes girl specifically. I would come up with all sorts of combinations, blues with purples, pinks with greens, think peacock, then think of a box of over 100 colours to choose from. But around a year ago, I had a change in circumstance and I found myself starting to dress a lot more conservatively, including utilisation of my UD Naked 2 pallet. Now don’t get me wrong I do love UD but the pallet is safe. I was slowly being stifled, and became very unhappy. That is another blog post, but just to wind this up a little, I changed things up, I am a lot more happy. One thing that really was bothering me, despite all the makeup at my disposal, I had lost my mojo. Although, what I mean, is I lost my mojo for my day to day makeup. 

And not so so much of a secret, I am a glitter addict. As I have already said, I love to give small businesses a chance, and I especially love indie makeup companies. You see, there are some fantastic indie makeup companies out there, doing fun things with glitter, throwing rule books out of the window when it comes to colours and designs. But it can get expensive, when you take into considering exchange rates, postage and packing charges, and then custom charges it can become an expensive investment.

Et voila – the reason for this blog, I am pleased to introduce Oh My Glitter by Robyn – this is her Facebook page, Click Here

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I initially got sent a lucky dip eye shadow, a red which I was super pleased with as red is such a difficult colour to find. Now the eyeshadow is an unusual composition – It isn’t a loose powder, and it isn’t quite a dry pressed powder. It also isn’t waxy, in the same way that you will find the tattoo shadows. What they are is easy to use, beautiful to blend in a way that many traditional shadows are not, and really fun to apply. For example I apply the shadows equally with my fingers and a short tapered brush. They really are fun to experiment with. I placed an order after having so much fun with the first one for mermaid colours – that was my actual wording, and had some glitter shadows thrown in – this is the swatch of the second order :

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The shadow is really beautiful, you really only need a tiny amount, and it builds up fantastically, just keep blending it out until you have the coverage you wanted and then add layers until you get the required intensity. With the glitters now also available, you can layer up the base with a glitter which helps both pop. That said the glitters stand up all on their own – the above swatch is just one swipe. 

I cannot tell you how much fun with the eye shadows over the last week – up to and including using the normal blue and blue glitter as lip stick 🙂 

So if like me, you love supporting indie makeup brands, supporting small businesses… oh and did I forget to mention that the makeup is cruelty free and vegan? Please go check Robyn out – her facebook page is featured earlier in the blog. There are so many options – not only the colours, her basic and glitter shadows – but she does sample/tester posts and pallets. There is talk of doing subscription boxes as well. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. If you do try out her makeup out – please let me know what you think!

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I totally need Poison Apple in my next order! It looks gorgeous! 

 

Frankly Organic

So … organic food. It is something I was taught about when I was in primary school. I assumed that everyone was. And for some reason it stuck. I try to buy organic as and when I can. Luckily it has become more main stream as time goes on, and you can buy more products which are organic. 

However, there seems to be a misconception as to what Organic means, and people have high expectations. I have heard time and again complaints about the taste, that it doesn’t taste magic ( i am paraphrasing a little) and so there isn’t a strong enough compulsion to change from the usual fare. 

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Super food selection for health diet in porcelain bowls over distressed wooden background.

There is a lot of conversation about sustainability, animal wellfare, free from diets, much more encouragement on clean living, healthy eating, trying to avoid processed sugars. There are many reasons that people review their eating habits, it can be to become more healthy, because of illness, allergies, because you are aware of the environment.

Now, I have been nominally vegetarian since i was a teenager. I just don’t like the taste of most meat, it doesn’t appeal to me. So while I do, very occasionally eat meat, it is so little and often, it is easier to stick with being vegetarian. But I have also developed a animal milk allergy. Not to be confused with a lactose intolerance. I managed to get this far in life before succumbing. So it means I can’t eat cheese. It also makes it awkward as 90% of the time, if you say vegetarian, you get offered a cheese dish. 

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But I am going off track, just wanted to give a little background on myself – i have an appalling diet, I drink most of calories so if ever there was a candidate for cutting down on processed sugar, you are looking at her. However, the fact remains, many of us are developing bad habits with regard to good, and our taste buds are dulled. I love carrots, raw. I can eat them by the basket. Our shops sell the same food year around, fruit and veg is no longer seasonal. But this has the knock on effect of food becoming, to me tasteless. I much prefer a carrot from my garden. It tastes of something other than water. 

But what else is the knock on effect of such intensive farming? Well the way it was taught to me, all those years ago, is through the cycle of life, and pesticides. You see, to make sure the farmers get the best crop yield, they started using pesticides to discourage pests eating or damaging their crops. Now the consequence is two fold – one is that the bug eats a pesticide covered plant. It in turn is eaten by a bird. Bird is poisoned and dies. Dead bird is eaten by a larger predator, and so on up the food chain. The more begs eaten, the more birds dying…. but then also look at what happens to the chemicals, where do they go? Well into our water. It runs off when it rains, it turns up in our rivers, and again both we and other animals come into contact with the poisoned water. It isn’t so much that the water is caustic at first touch, it is the cumulative effect. Yes, this is simplified, but that is what stuck. It is about more than just the taste of the product.

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What does organic farming actually mean? Organic farming is different, when it comes to animal’s they are free range, and reared without the routine use of antibiotics, drugs and wormer. Organic farms use far less pesticides, and activity create havens for bees, birds and butterflies. Organic farms work closely with the environment and natural resources to protect healthy soil and clean water, as well as working hard to reduce green house gas emissions. If that isn’t enough, organic food allows you to know exactly what is in the food you are putting in your mouth.

So, please follow any diet you need or require, be it meat free, dairy free, gluten free, if you are cutting out sugar, carbs, adding in more fruit and veg – consider putting more organic into your basket. It isn’t about the taste, it is about so much more!

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If you want to read more – Click Here for the Soil Association website which has much more information and helpful links. Please note that although I have concentrated on food, because that it where I hear more complaints, there is plenty of other organic produce. It is worth keeping an eye out when shopping 🙂