Due to my dismal posting lately, I’ve decided to do a weekly blog of things/food/books/thoughts that I’m loving at the moment. Just to touch base with you guys in a way that I don’t feel compelled to vomit everything I do and think onto the keyboard. Time is getting more and more precious lately and so I have to learn how to be more succinct when I have to. Here are some of my current favourite things:
1. Colouring-in. Yep, you heard right. I’ve got my mum, my godmother and numerous friends hooked on colouring-in and it’s all thanks to Andrea and her You Biscuit Colouring Poster. Studies have found that colouring-in is actually good for you and helps relieve stress (read here and here) so there is absolutely no need to feel weird about spending your evenings colouring-in. Add a glass of pinot noir into the mix if you’re worried about looking immature. And if you couldn’t give a kak, make that a glass of pink Nesquik and revel in playing with your inner child again.
2. Speaking of Nesquick and other milk-related stuff, I am in love with almond milk, and more specifically, the cocao-flavoured almond milk I bought from the Super Natural stall at the Morning Trade Market last weekend. There is honestly nothing like it. Also, since I no longer consume dairy products, finding a feta cheese substitute was number one on my list because man I was addicted to that stuff. (read this article if you want to know why cheese is so addictive – it’s literally like crack for the human brain). This macadamia nut cheese recipe on Wellness With Taryn’s blog has been an absolute lifesaver and has been the recipe I have dished out to newbie vegans with chronic cheese cravings the most. It really adds a cheesy flavour and comfort to any salad or stirfry and has the same crumbly consistency of feta cheese. I even crumble it on top of soup. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to dairy milk feta cheese, you must give it a whirl.
3. I’ve never been a little averse to a onesie in winter and I’m hundred percent investing in this navy blue hooded one with thumb loops (so David Beckham) from Tous Les Jours. It’s also that time of the year when my skin starts getting dry and I need to change from using product for normal skin to product for dry skin. I am still using and loving the locally made Tous Les Jours skincare products and I just love it – my skin feels so firm and looks so radiant and a stranger told me the other day that she thought I was twenty when initially meeting me, not thirty! (LOVE HER). I think a combination of eating a plant-based diet and using all-natural products on my skin is doing me pretty well. You can order this natural, made in the Midlands skincare range online here. Or you can enter the Tous Les Jours Facebook competition and stand the chance of wining a pair of their new winter jammies AND a skincare hamper. What have you got to lose? Entries close Wednesday noon.
4. My earth angel has moved! Colleen from Midlands House of Healing is setting up a beautiful off the grid home on Satori Farm Lodge (an eco-friendly lodge made out of hay bales – yes, you heard right. HAY BALES) and I am loving the amazing views on my journey through the Dargle Valley to see her. I’m set to stay over in a couple of weeks time to experience the full Satori experience, as well as one of Colleen’s amazing and restorative reiki massages – watch this space!
5. If you’ve read this blog for a long time (good on you for still sticking around!), you will remember that I used to practise quite a lot of yoga. Not fancy classes or anything, just yoga in my house on the mat in my living room. I first got into it when I was at high school and used to tag along with my mom to her classes (ah… my lovely mom, who was raw juicing and stretching and reiking way before everyone else) and then I got back into it in 2011/2012 through Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy. Over the last year or so, yoga has been pushed to the side due to the Bikini Body Guide and other life things, but lately my body/mind/soul has been screaming to return to stretching out the old limbs again. Che’s awesome yoga account on Instagram and her experiences at the Yoga London teachers training course has left me super inspired to do mine too. And this post by Freya has also left me excited to get back into it. The thing about yoga – she is always waiting for your return. I spent twenty minutes on my mat yesterday, just going through some basic poses like chair and bridge and warrior and my butt sure knows about it this morning! But man, did I have a good day afterwards and I can’t wait to get back on it today. Also, I really need a pretty new yoga mat. Please send any brand recommendations this way.
6. As you know, I became vegan because of Marmite, the orphan calf. Something clicked, the cogs in the wheel turned and I no longer wanted to consume or use animals for my own needs/greed/entertainment et cetra. You know the drill. It was a happy, easy choice and I was SO excited about it, but as time has gone on, I began to understand why everyone warned me that becoming vegan was going to be hard. It wasn’t because of the food or the eating out – it was purely because of the constant uphill battle with judgey judgers. Hells bells, there are some unforgiving people out there – both vegan and not. A lot of people who are drawn to becoming vegan or vegetarian are afraid to because of the “vegan police” as they have been dubbed. And these police are both vegan and non-vegan people – let’s clear that up, straight away. They sit like vultures, watching your every move, waiting for you to fuck up and accidentally eat a little piece of cheese or wear your old pre-change leather shoes and then they pounce on you with all the intent of a bloodthirsty predator. Some of my friends have quietly stopped eating meat but are scared to say anything for fear of the vegan police wrath. I was rather weary of them too. Until I read Mainstreet Vegan by Victoria Moran. This is one of the most informative books I have read so far on how to go about being vegan and I recommend it to anyone who has recently done so or is thinking of making the change. There are entire chapters on eating out as a vegan, on being an animal activist (or not), on which vitamins to take, which plant foods contain the most proteins, vitamins and nutrients and there are lovely recipes in there too. And there is a chapter on the vegan police. The bottom line is that if you are aware and conscious of what is going on around you; if you have opened your eyes up to the truth and you are trying your best to lead a compassionate, kind life and are making the best choices you can regarding your consumption of animal products – be gentle on yourself. Remember that you are going to screw up. We are all human. We all make mistakes. Please don’t judge others and most importantly don’t judge yourself. There are so many different ways to make a change and there are so many different kinds of vegans and vegetarians out there. You don’t need to label yourself and then walk on eggshells (lol) for the rest of your life. Fuck it – you have opened your eyes and are doing the best you can to make a change, which is more than can be said for some others.
Below is a great chart from an article I found here (you must go and read it) and although many members of the vegan police may turn their noses up at it, I firmly believe that any change is better than no change. So if you take a look at the chart below and decide that you could be one of these, then great! Damn the vegan police! Although I do still consider myself as an ethical vegan first and foremost (and would obviously love the whole world to be this way), I also started out slowly as a virtual vegan. For the first month, I used to occasionally eat eggs from our own free-range chickens. And you know what? Last week Andy wanted to make us his homemade pasta for dinner using one of our chicken’s eggs and I ate it. Guys, I was just so ecstatic that he wasn’t eating meat and that he was actually making me a veggie pasta with no cream, that I wasn’t going to turn down his offer for the sake of one cruelty-free, homegrown egg. It was my first egg in over two months and I more than likely won’t touch another one (knowingly) for many more months and I’m okay with that. A lot of my friends are Parisian Vegan (LOVE that name and God knows how hard it is to eat purely vegan when you’re out with friends, especially in South Africa) and Jamie Oliver could be described as a Weekday Vegan (he is now up to three meat-free days a week – how awesome?!). I would love for my husband to be a VB6 (Vegan Before 6) and hopefully he might just start heading that way after completing his meat-free week. Every little bit counts. So stop worrying and judging and start living life and loving yourself and other beings the best way that you can.
7. Kids kids kids. I have been unbelievably broody lately – I think largely to the following of this awesome new Instagram account called Happy Sleepy Folks (thanks Tamzin for the recommendation) which belongs to this twenty-two year old mama called Kristen Hedges who writes so well and has such a great outlook on life and motherhood (the post she wrote below is my favourite). I’m dying for a copy of her book, Something Like The Desert, and her blog and IG account (@happysleepyfolks) are just a dream to get lost in. And then Lauren’s post on whether she should produce sproglets or not has also struck a chord. When I wrote my reply to her in the comments section, I might have well been talking to myself. Let’s see what life has in store for us.
8. Although having a baby may just get in the way, or perhaps add to, the list of goals I have written out for myself. I didn’t do a new years resolutions list this year, because back in December I was stuck in limbo and really had no idea where my life was taking me. Things are a little clearer now and so this weekend, I sat down and write out some goals I’d like to achieve over the next year or so (no pressure). They’ve all got to do with bettering myself, improving my talents and setting into motion some business ideas I’ve had swirling around in my head for years… I’m so excited to get on it! For the first time, I have a clear vision of what I’d like to achieve in this lifetime and I can actually see the baby steps that I will need to take to get me there. And I know that the money will come, just as it should, because the universe is on my side and I’m following my heart. And if it doesn’t… then man, there will always be another way.
And on that corny note lovers, I hope you have a peaceful, loving and productive week.
Muchos love xxx
Yoga image by Freya at www.nishaantishu.com