Veganuary

When I became vegan I did it gradually cutting out/replacing products a few at a time until I was completely vegan. I used lots of online resources to help me on my journey and found support from groups on Facebook, vegan tweeters and through the London Vegan Meetup Group.

One resource I would have found very useful (but hadn’t launched yet) is the Veganuary Site. Veganuary is a campaign that encourages people to try veganism for one month in January.

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If you’ve been thinking about reducing the amount of meat or dairy you eat, veganuary is a great place to start. Lots of vegan and veggie restaurants run discounts during January and you can get help and support from fellow participants.

The team have also been running some advertising on the London Underground, I haven’t seen it in person as I don’t think I’ve used it since its been up.

As I work as an analyst I love stats and my fave bit about veganuary is after when they release of the figures of participants and demographics that took part that year. The campaign has been running since 2013 and each year the numbers have grown considerably. The percentages also look pretty high as to how many people consider remaining vegan after the month and they re-survey at 6 months to see how they’ve got on.

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The Vegan Society also run a similar 30 day pledge and offer lots of content and support. I used to volunteer as a mentor to pledgers to offer support and answer queries until the society changed the way they did the campaign, withdrawing this facility. Now I reach out to people on twitter encouraging those who have signed up to veganuary or are considering it.

Even if veganism seems too far to you consider going vegetarian or reducing the amount of meat you eat for one month and see how you feel afterwards. Or if it’s not for you please take a look at the website to see the reasons people consider veganism in order to understand and support the vegans in your life!

You never know!

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If you do want to give it a go I am happy to help anyway I can. You can leave a comment on the blog or tweet/instagram me @plumesworld on both.

Plumes x

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Veganuary

4 Years Vegan!

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Tomorrow I celebrate 4 years since turning vegan, and it is truly a celebration!

If you want to read about how came to veganism see my post My Journey to Veganism.

I can’t believe it’s been four whole years, I feel so much better for making that choice and aligning my actions to my principles. Recently I have been speaking to more vegan-curious folk and I’m happy that by sharing my experiences and knowledge I’ve gained and I can help them on their own personal journeys.

A common answer to the question “Do you regret anything about becoming vegan?” is “I only regret I didn’t do it sooner!” in my four years of veganism I have seen the options and general attitudes towards veganism come on leaps and bounds and it is only getting easier to make the switch to cruelty free living.

To recognise the impact my four years of veganism has had I went to Vegan Calculator and these are my results –

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It truly puts into perspective what a vegan lifestyle can achieve.

I couldn’t do this alone and I’m thankful for the support and positively I’ve received from my family, friends and work colleagues. I also am eternally grateful to my virtual vegan family on Twitter and instagram sharing great food, answers to queries and spreading the vegan love!

I’m always happy to answer questions about vegan living and if I don’t know I’ll try to direct to somewhere that will have the answer! So either contact me on here or Twitter/instagram @plumesworld

Plumes x

4 Years Vegan!

Anti Austerity March

Today I attended The March for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education organised by The People’s Assembly. It was widely reported on in the press (which makes a change!) in The GuardianThe IndependentThe Evening StandardITV News and Sky News among many others.

I thought I’d show you some of my pictures. I marched with my union, Unite.

I loved seeing all the banners of the different chapters of the unions. They told so many stories! The drummers were amazing, I couldn’t post a video here but have done so on Twitter and instagram if you want to check it out (@plumesworld on both). It culminated at Trafalgar square and that’s where I appreciated how many people were actually there! I also found it quite emotional as my Dad loved a good anti government (i.e. Tory!) march, he belonged to the PCS union, and I was quite sad that I never marched with him.

 

Plumes x

Anti Austerity March

Happy Christmas!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas day spent doing what you enjoy whether it be with loved ones or volunteering to help others. I spent the day with my Husband, my Brother and my Sister-in-Law. We had been invited to a larger family gathering but I think I preferred it just the four of us as it was only two weeks since Dad passed away (and I’d already ordered a turkey for the boys!)

We had lunch at one as I was more excited about evening tea this year so wanted people to get peckish again! I’ll tell you more about the individual items in my weekly round up but here’s a couple of photos of what we had.

My Sister-in-Law made this delightful chestnut soup, which was a great way to start the meal as it wasn’t too heavy. I made croutons with my homemade bread as again you don’t want to be full before the main event!

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For the vegan main I made mushroom nut roast in pastry. We also had vbites bacon wrapped sausages and stuffing balls which I’d put granose sausage mix in. I also made my own cranberry sauce.

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We were too stuffed for pudding and by the time our food had gone down it was time for tea! Here’s my vegan spread.

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Another couple of hours later after playing games and quizzes and watching a bit of TV we were ready for dessert. None of us are big Christmas  pudding fans so on the suggestion of my Brother I made these individual maple pecan pies. The boys had ice cream with theirs, I went for soya cream and my Sister-in-Law had both! (Why not?! It is Christmas after all!)

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My Brother and Sister-in-Law took a box of food home. My Sister-in-Law does outstanding work as a vet nurse at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Victoria. She’s working boxing day so will take in a buffet box of all the bits she snaffled! I also have my Mum and her partner coming over for lunch today so none of it will be wasted!

On to presents! I always feel lucky and touched by the thoughtful presents people give to me. The first one I opened was my Secret Santa from work. I think I am quite easy to buy for – some vegan treats and something owl shaped and I’m happy! I love these Divine Mint Thins as they use fairtrade cocoa and the farmers co-own the Divine Company. Also the famous mints you can only have after a certain time have butter fat in them so are a no go. (My husband quite likes this fact as when he buys himself a pack he know I can’t pinch any!) The candle is not only owl shaped but is green tea scented (the only thing I drink at work) and is made using soya wax. Soya is a lot more ecological than paraffin wax. I’ve even bought some granules myself to top up my candle holders.

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The second present I open early was from my late Father who had ordered my gifts already. I knew what these were as I asked for them. In a bid to be more ethical I want to compost my food waste. Unfortunately I have no outside space to use it in but will happily give it out to friends and family! As I prepped a lot of my food on Christmas Eve it was useful to have the pail and I put together the big bin this morning. The only downside to that is that it doesn’t have a bottom so I will have to be careful about moving it if I need to.

The other presents that I knew about were tickets to see Miss Saigon in January with my Mum, money for a hair treatment from my Husband, a voucher from my in-laws which I have used to order boots as my current ones fell apart when I last visited them and my skeleton handbag from my Nan. I love my current handbag which has cherry candle skulls in it (and so do lots of other people with all the compliments I get for it!) but I have loved it to death and the handles are about to fall off! I also asked my Brother and Sister-in-Law for some perfume from a wonderful company, Eden Perfumes, based in Brighton. They are completely cruelty free and base their perfumes on famous brands which aren’t so you can still have your favourite fragrances once you’re vegan! I went for the one based on Paco Rabanne Lady Million.

My Mum got me a few little presents to open, including a boots voucher, an owl backpack, some owl stickers and lovely little notebook. My Brother and Sister-in-Law also got me an owl photo frame and some vegan goodies, my Sister-in-Law and I both love Ruffles raspberry sweets whether its a bag or the bars, They also got my some raspberry golden crunch biscuits which I haven’t tried before and the amazing massive hazelnut bar which is Vego! If you haven’t tried this one yet you really must! My Grandparents got my some lovely soft towels and a bath mat. My Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law got me a beginner’s dressmaking book as I had mentioned as part of my strive for ethical living I wanted to make more of my own clothes and go on a course so I was really touched they’d remembered and got me this!

Lastly my Auntie always gets us a little something and this year we weren’t disappointed with our Christmas pudding doorstop! I’m not sure whether I can bare to put it away on twelfth night so it might be an all year feature!

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I saw a lot of lovely vegan meals on twitter and instagram yesterday, (remember I’m @plumesworld on both!) and I can’t wait to see people’s ethical and tasty presents!

Plumes x

 

Happy Christmas!

Round up of the week’s food 151115

Now if you can’t possibly wait for Sunday to find out about what I’ve been cooking and eating you can follow me on either instagram or twitter – username @plumesworld on both.

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Started off the week on a healthy (and artistic note!) this is coyo coconut yogurt with a sliced plum. I can only eat coyo with something like fruit, my favourite coconut yogurt is coco collaborative who also make some fabulous coconut frozen yogurts.

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On Tuesday I went to Pizza Express with my colleague Luke. As we are studying for our professional qualifications we are entitled to NUS cards (student discount) and Pizza Express offer 40% off on Monday and Tuesday. I went for the Bosco salad without mozzarella or honey and mustard dressing. I love the garlic mushrooms in this dish. Pizza Express do a completely vegan pizza – the pianta and if you take in a sealed pack of vegan cheese they will add it to your pizza!

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Tuesday night I was staying at my Dad’s so did this easy meal of Fry’s country pie with jacket potato and stir fried sprouts. If you’re not a fan of boiled sprouts like me, try them stir fried with leeks it will change your world!

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On Wednesday I went swimming with my Mum. She is omni but always cooks us a both a vegan meal when I come round for dinner. She had some vegan cheese to use up so she cooked this favourite of hers – melanzana parmigiana. This one included pesto between the layers of cheese and aubergine and I’ve told her she can definitely make this one again!

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On Thursday my sister-in-law Gemma came around to help me install a new light fitting in my snake’s vivarium so I made curry for us. This is a proper store cupboard favourite. The sag dhal used dried lentils and frozen spinach, the bombay aloo used tinned tomatoes and a potato that was on the turn and dried rice with frozen peas; I had loads left over to freeze for lunches.

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Sometimes I get bored with breakfasts and get into a rut. Kingsmill English muffins were on offer 2 packs for £1.20 so I had one with peanut butter and banana for breakfast on Friday.

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Lastly my Saturday night roast care of my father-in-law Joe, cranberry nut roast with roasted veg and spuds and I was so full I only managed one potato! I don’t know what’s happening to me!

Hope you enjoyed my round up and let me know what vegan meals you have been having!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 151115