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Check out my new Facebook page!

This year I’ve committed to go big or go home with my blog, so I’ve launched a FB site to help me align it all.

I’ll be doing giveaways, reviews and more in 2016 so please pop over and give me a like.

http://www.facebook.com/veganfriendlyfinds

Plus I promise more #VFF blog posts on a regular basis. 🙂

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Vegan Friendly Find – Jordans Truly Fruity Muesli

Let me start this by saying I’m not great at mornings.

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They say there are two types of people. The ones who set one alarm, and those who set five. I set six and press snooze on each.

I’m grumpy and lazy, and truth be told would make it illegal to go to work before mid-day if I could. I would much rather work at night, and as a ginger it’s not like I’d miss the sun or anything!

Anyway! The point of this rambling is to say that I’m not the type of person who gets up at 6.30am to make a fresh fruit smoothie, or prepare a raw breakfast. I enjoy them immensely, and have respect for anyone who does… but I just don’t have the time or enthusiasm to do this.

Toast is always an easy breakfast option – especially with a bit of Vitalite vegan butter spread on, but if you’re trying to be healthy, or if (like me) you were trying to find enough energy to get through your first Ramadan in the Middle East! (You can’t eat during the days!) then you need something that will keep you full, and give you energy.

Hence why I started my hunt for the best muesli in town, and today’s vegan friendly find is – Jordan’s Truly Fruity Muesli.

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I don’t like to diss brands (unless they’re full of animal products!) but I tried several of the ‘top-end’ muesli products during this period – Including the really expensive ‘Dorset’ variety – and found them bland with stupidly small portions per box.

The other problem I found is as Muesli is seen as a ‘healthier’ breakfast cereal, companies shy away from adding too much sugar – and instead chuck in loads of honey!

Obviously some brands – or types – won’t have honey in. But for me, I found Jordans Truly Fruity Muesli the best value for money, the tastiest, and with the most fruit.

Jordans Truly Fruity Muesli is (as their marketing people say) tasty wholegrain cereal flakes with diced papaya, pineapple chunks and diced mango, for folk who like to start the day off feeling a little fruity.

Ingredients:
British Wholegrain Cereals (65%) (Barley Flakes, Wheat Flakes, Oat Flakes, Toasted Wheat Flakes), Dried Fruit (35%) (Sultanas, Raisins, Dried Diced Papaya (Papaya, Cane Sugar, Lime Juice), Dried Pineapple Chunks (Pineapple, Cane Sugar, Pineapple Juice, Citric Acid), Dried Diced Mango (Mango, Cane Sugar, Pineapple Juice, Citric Acid)), Chopped Almonds (0.3%).

All in all good times for vegans – as the website says they use raw cane sugar, and although this cereal doesn’t use palm oil, the company use 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in products that do. Woop woop! (More here – https://www.jordanscereals.co.uk/faq)

I eat these with lashings of cold vanilla soy milk and find it’s the only thing that keeps me full till lunch.

Plus the little dried fruits make you feel like you’re eating something naughty, not nice!

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UNFRIENDLY VEGAN FIND – Subway Veggie Patty

Sometimes these are going to pop up – as I’m learning along with you guys.

Today’s Unfriendly Vegan Find – Subway Veggie Patties

 

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When I was a University Student and fairly new to Veganism, I visited my local Subway and inquired what was OK for me to eat.

The guy and girl behind the counter seemed really knowledgeable and told me what breads had dairy in them and what to avoid

They then told me that the product – Veggie Patty was suitable for vegans, as its held together with rice and oil, not dairy.

Looking back I was stupid and naive and should have gone back and checked this online, but I didn’t, and I continued to eat them.

When researching for my latest post about vegan chain options I was in the middle of writing how fabulous it is to have ‘an option’ at Subway and not just a vegetable sandwich when I stumbled across the ingredients.

Sure enough, they contain egg.

To be honest with you I feel really stupid and pretty sick. I mean how ridiculous of me not to check it? I check everything else in my life!

So yes. Lesson learnt. Subway Veggie Patties – Unfriendly Vegan Find.

I’m sure most of you know this, and don’t listen to the people who clearly don’t know that vegan means no eggs too. But I thought I would pop this up, just in case any of you like me have been told they are suitable for vegans.

We can but hope that Subway will one day modify this recipe so that we can enjoy it too!

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Vegan Friendly Restaurant Options

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find post ponders – What to eat when you’re eating out?

I give the five top and bottom Vegan Friendly Find restaurant options.

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Ok so we’ve all been there – the family/friends/partner/work take you out for a meal and then comes the embarrassment…. You can’t eat ANYTHING.

You try to explain to a waitress; no meat, no dairy, no fish, no eggs – but most of the time a worried looking chef appears and tells you there’s nothing he can do – apart from, oh yes – a side of chips/ French fries.

I know that this is the sign of a bad restaurant, as it shows their food is pre-prepared and probably frozen, but what do you do? After all, you’re the awkward one. You can’t demand to leave and take people to a vegan restaurant!

Imagine the look on your bosses face as his steamed beans arrive! – No bonus for you this year!

So after seven – nearly eight (woop!) years of experience eating in restaurants this is my top five nationality/types of restaurants to go to.

Top 5

1) Mexican is king – seriously, fajitas, guacamole, refried beans, fresh salad – if in doubt, Mexican it out.

2) Indian is the next best bet. Lots of Indian food such as Biryani and Jalfrezi won’t have any dairy in their recipe. Just make sure you ask for NO Ghee and No Paneer and you’re good to go! 9/10 the poppadoms are vegan too! – Plus if you convince your table to get Rottis and not a Naans to split, you can enjoy those too!

3) Italian is your friend – Penne pasta, tomato sauce, pizza without cheese, bruschetta and olives! *droooool*

4) Middle eastern – falafel, hummus, Thani, lemon dressed salad, stuffed vines leaves, Baba Ghanoush – the choices are endless, you can live like a king on M.E food. Trust me, I live here!

5) Spanish – LONG LIVE TAPAS. When you can get over the alarming amount of fish, you tend to find a lot of choices on a tapas menu. Lots of fresh salad, roasted vegetables in tomato sauces and of course – patatas bravas – effectively they’re posh square chips – but still lush.

Top five WORST restaurants to go to:

1)French – butter, butter and more butter. Plus they find a way to put meat in everything! – “Hey can I eat this onion soup?” …. “No it’s made with beef”.

2) American – I know not all American restaurants are the same, but my experience is pretty darn bad, TGFI’s, Applebees, American type ‘diners’ … either there’s limited veg options, or if there are, you can’t really trust that the part of the grill used to cook ‘vegan’ options, hasn’t had a slab of steak on it seconds before.

3) Kebab houses – Its late, you’re drunk, your friends are walking into a brightly coloured room, with what looks to be a spinning elephants leg being carved. Go home my friend. There is nothing in here for you. Even the deep fat fryer oil has been tainted with chicken nuggets at some point in the last 15 minutes!

4) English – I hate to say it, but it’s true! – Mashed potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, rhubarb crumble – they’re all made from animally goodness, or lard. Yuck.

5) Greek – I know Greece has healthy and vegan friendly options, as it falls along the same lines as the Middle Eastern route (sorry to offend people!) but you can’t order a plain salad, or vegetable sandwich or pizza without it being covered in Feta! ENOUGH WITH THE FETA GREECE!

On a foot note – I think I should really put Thai food as number 5, as they add fish sauce to EVERYTHING. But I’ve had too many near Feta experiences to let this one go!

As it’s my 25th birthday very soon, I’ll be heading out and sampling yummy food, and aim to post the top five Vegan Friendly Find chain-restaurant menu options soon!

Let me know what your favourite eating out options are!

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Outspoken Vegans – Help or Hindrance?

This is a subject I’ve been debating for a very long time, and I think it a subject most vegans deal with on a daily basis.

When should you stay quiet and when should you stand up?

I’m not talking about if you see animal abuse for example, you should always report or speak out against this. I’m talking about on the daily conversation you might have with people when explaining why you don’t want cheese on your pizza, or why you need to know the ingredients that go into the unlabelled bagel.

I for one shy away from confrontation with meat eaters.

 I was once very vocal about my beliefs in my younger years, but found that people didn’t like being preached at, or told why they shouldn’t eat at KFC, and so I learned to shut up.

Infact I now go red if the conversation arises, not out of embarrassment of what I belive in, but of the ultimate argument that is about to take place….

“So why are you vegan?’

*Insert non preachy, straight forward answer*

“Yeah but we’re carnivors, these are canine meat teeth/ there’s a natural order to things and we’re top of the food chain/ you’ll actually kill more animals if you don’t eat them due to overpopulation etc etc etc.”

No matter what you say, no matter how valid your argument, you will not win.  And what makes matters worse is that, due to the stereotypes portrayed in the media, it’s ok for people to literally shout their opinions at us, but when we shout back?… Hippies, brainwashed, tree huggers, extremist, weirdo… the list goes on.

Where did these stereotypes come from? Where did this preconceived notion of a hemp wearing ‘vegan’ happen? And how can we change this weak – complaining – overly sensitive caricature that the group has become, into something that demands the respect of the press?

I know one blog will not and cannot answer this, however I thought I we could start by looking at the current vegan celebrities, or to be more precise, the outspoken vegan celebrities.  

I’ve decided to look at four celebrities – Joaquin Phoenix, Ellen Degeneres, Morrissey and Pamela Anderson.

 

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Instantly I can see that this list comprises of two types of outspoken vegans, and most of us will fall into one of these camps, you’re either a – enlightener or engager.

Enlighteners – such as Morrissey or Joaquin are loud, unapologetic and unnerving on their stance of animal consumption.

From their carefully chosen vocabulary – Morrissey for example branding the White House’s annual turkey pardon as “Thankskilling” – to their actions – Joaquin’s disturbing ‘drowning’ video for PETAs – Go Vegan advert springs to mind!  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij3W0BetI60)

As the title suggests their aim is to enlighten people to their view. It might not be the most polite way, but it is direct.

Although these actions are brave in today’s PR focused world, and grab headlines, they sometimes draw negative press to the cause too, and I cant work out if the negative fallout is worth the exposure.

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 On the other hand – the engaging vegans have a completely different approach.

As their title suggests they engage the audience, and try to get people on their side through friendly and warm messaging.

Both Pamela and Ellen have published blogs, or books on their vegan lifestyle and both have posed on billboards as the poster children for the vegan lifestyle.

 This method is more friendly, more welcoming and more ‘female’ (or at least in my opinion).

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Its interesting that the men are shouty and violent with imagery, whilst the women pose naked with lettuce leaves or pose with pictures of animals. But gender stereotypes are a whole other issue we won’t get stared on!

I feel that engaging vegans are more likely to get people talking, and talking in a positive way. As unfortunately if you alienate your audience, they will not listen to you, so instead of showing a five minute movie on the death of a baby pig, talk about how a non-dairy diet like ‘oh my god’ improved your skin and made you lose 12 pounds! Wow!

It sounds like I’m arguing that this method is wrong, but it’s not. In fact I feel the oposite, by taking veganism to its core of what it can and will do for people, this will be more effective than guilt.

However, and this is a big HOWEVER, although engaging vegans are more likely to open a discussion with meat eaters. I truly feel its the enlighteners who – well – enlighten.

Nothing will make you want and more importantly STICK to a vegan lifestyle like hardcore messaging. Those images with blood and guts and pain. Thats what you’ll remember when you tuck into your bacon sandwhich, not the valid but vague reasoning of why Ellen decided to go vegan.

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But who’s right?…None of them are. The important thing is that people in the public eye are talking and publicising what is happening.

And just in case you think I’m being overly critical of the ‘engaging’ side, I want to point out an article that made me cringe with the backlash that this comment will have on us all….

Morrissey recently said:

  • “I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia [sic],” he replied. “They are both rape, violence, murder.”
  • “If I’m introduced to anyone who eats beings, I walk away. Imagine, for example, if you were in a nightclub and someone said to you ‘Hello, I enjoy bloodshed, throat-slitting and the destruction of life,’ well, I doubt if you’d want to exchange phone numbers.”
  • “If you believe in the abattoir then you would support Auschwitz. There’s no difference. People who would disagree with this statement have probably never been inside an abattoir.”

Enough said really.

As you can imagine the press went mad and so did the comments on the websites, social media and news. His views echo how many of us feel, and equally are the polar opposite of others, but by putting it out there, in the press, its now going to be found by every anti- vegan troll on the internet. And unfortunately, although I applaud and respect Morrissey and this shocking allegiance to animals, I cant help but think to non vegans this is all a little bit lost in translation

The same applies for Joaquin’s heartfelt voice over for the docu-movie ‘Earthings’. Which, not only makes you want rip out your own heart then vomit on it at the heartlessness of the human race, but also makes you want to punch Joaquin, after the seventeenth image of a cows throat being slit in two minutes.

 

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 However you want to look at them, these celebrities are creating a dialogue between meat eaters and non meat eaters, and are exposing the industry for what is truly is – barbaric. So whether it’s with a suggestive smile, a warm embrace or an all out attack on your senses it’s all good.

What do you think?

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Kellogg’s

*UPDATE – Since writing this post it has come to my attention Frosties contain animal derived Vitamin D. Please find below a list of vegan Kellogg’s products. Obviously mistakes do happen and sources can be unreliable – I apologise for the info and hope you forgive me!*

I’m suddenly excited to wake up in the morning!

But before we begin, I need to confess something – This post, was a different post five minutes ago.

It’s not because I’m fickle or couldn’t think of anything to say…. Its because I didn’t trust the information I was being given, and you shouldn’t either.

My post was going to be about –
Kellogg’s Unfrosted Poptarts – Strawberry

Several blogs – including PETA- have said its vegan friendly, and certainly – on the surface the unfrosted flavours look to be ok.

However the more I looked into the ingredients, the more I disliked.

Basically, it comes down to this – nowhere on their website do Kellogg’s say that unfrosted Poptarts are vegan, or even vegetarian. Although the ingredients look OK at first glance, and the allergy information doesn’t state animal, when going through it bit by bit I found a few ingredients I just couldn’t look over; Pyridoxine hydrochloride & Thiamine hydrochloride for eg. Although they could be from plant. I think they’re from eggs. Infact I’m pretty sure that at least three other ingredients in the recipe are derived from animals (e numbers ect) but you think they’re not because PETA and other sources have told us so.

So wheres the evidence? Wheres the letter from Kellogg’s saying it is? Nowhere. And thats why the blog has changed.

If you have any information I don’t have on Poptarts – please let me know!

*Deep breath* …. And let’s begin…

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is – Kellogg’s Cereals:

There are a few that are vegan and here are a couple of them.
A couple of Special K also don’t have vitamin D.

 

Also, when I was researching Betty Crocker products for my last post I found out that General Foods, (the people who own BC) had caved into public pressure and are now using sustainable and responsible sourced Palm Oil. (YAY!) So I thought to myself…. I wonder what other companies do this? And low and behold….

The Guardian reported HERE:

“The food giant Kellogg’s has caved in to public pressure and agreed to buy palm oil only from suppliers who can prove that they actively protect rainforests and peatlands and respect human rights.

The move, which follows intense pressure from consumer groups around the world, is expected to improve the survival chances of highly endangered animals like the Sumatran tiger and the orangutan in southeast Asia, as well as provide some protection for indigenous peoples in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Latin America and west Africa who depend on tropical rainforests for a living.

At least 30,000 square miles of tropical forest has been cut down in the past 20 years to supply the burgeoning global food industry with cheap palm oil to make packaged foods, ice cream and snacks. The deforestation has led to illegal land grabs, forest fires and social conflict in communities which depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. The heavy loss of peatlands has also contributed significantly to the increase in climate change emissions.”

In a statement, Kellogg’s said that it will require its suppliers to “protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon content, and peatland of any depth. Suppliers will also be required to protect human and community rights.”

“While palm oil is a very small percentage of our total ingredients, as a socially responsible company, concerns about the sustainable production of palm oil are clearly on our radar screen,” said chief sustainability officer Celeste Clark.”