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Becoming Vegan

EIGHT years ago when I decided to become vegan, I was the only vegan I knew.

In fact I hadn’t even met a vegan! My aunty was vegetarian for six years, but that was back in her ‘uni days’ and so it was described as some sort of hippy phase.

I remember making the decision and friends actually betting on when I would crack! (My friend Rachel bet me twenty quid I would break by a week – a lot to a 17 year old!)

Well here I am, unbroken, unwavering, and gladly friends with a more vegans than ever before.

It got me thinking though, when I first began there was no ‘Fry’s Chicken Nuggets’ available at my local Tesco’s – you had to make do, find your own recipes and pray to god you could make Tofu taste like anything other than just tofu!

A lot of discussions on WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook and everywhere else about vegans – seems to be talking to VEGANS. Preaching to the converted if you wish.

So I thought for anyone you know out there who is thinking about being vegan, or anyone who wants to become one, here are some handy links.

After all, this is what we’re all here to do right?

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Vegan Friendly Finds – Holidays!

The other day I was talking to my South African housemates and they were urging me to go on Safari in the country.

“You’d love it” they said, “The animals are so close, and they live in the wild.”

I have to admit I was intrigued, however after a quick bit of research (including a great Louis Theroux Documentary – here) I found that most of these ‘wild life parks’ or ‘game reserves’ actually made their money from hunting.

Of course there are a few exceptions to this rule, but I found communication slow and even the ‘eco-friendly’ websites didn’t have sufficient information on the animal welfare and upkeep of the ‘sanctuary’.

On my travels I did however find a few websites that can help fellow vegans looking for a guilt-free escape and so I thought I’d share them – I haven’t been on any of these holidays (yet!) but if like me you are just looking for some inspiration and somewhere to add to your wanderlust list, check these pages out.

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Vegan Friendly Finds – Vegan Christmas Treats

If this is your first xmas as a vegan, don’t panic! You can have an amazing and super filling time and feel good about yourself.

Vegans aren’t always Gwyneth Paltrow thin and thanks to the growing number of #accidentlyvegan things, sweet treats and Christmas goodies are now more accessible than ever before.

He’s a quick list of the junk food things you can stock-up on before Christmas crazy shopping fever hits, so when baby its cold outside, you can stay in and get fat watching black and white movies 🙂

  • Diet Coke
  • Dr Pepper
  • Corona Beer
  • Co-op Prosecco (labelled Vegan)
  • M&S white/ red wine (labelled vegan)
  • Mr Kipling apple and blackberry pies
  • Tesco value apple crumble (88p!)
  • Skittles
  • Ooredoo’s
  • Golden Ooredoo’s
  • Hobnobs/ dark choc chip Hobnobs
  • Lotus spread – crunchy is best
  • Betty Crocker Choc Fudge Spread (AMAZING on cakes, toast, anything!)
  • Fry’s chicken strips
  • Bisto gravy
  • Cashew nuts
  • Mrs Crimbles Dutch Apple Cake
  • Choices Vegan Fudge
  • Co-op Jelly
  • Jammie Dodgers
  • Alpro custard
  • Nakd salted caramel bites
  • Nature Valley Bars – Maple Syrup

And soooooooooo much more. This is just a tiny view into the sugar filled world available to you!

Don’t forget you can also bake your way to satisfaction – good baking vegan blog here: http://www.veganricha.com/category/dessert

If I’ve missed anything that needs to be on this list out – let me know ❤

 

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Vegan Friendly Finds – Fashion Brands

 

I just thought I’d pop this up here as I know lots of people struggle in finding vegan clothing.

I’m very much on the fence when it comes to fashion. I don’t wear leather, wool or anything that I know comes from or would harm an animal.

Equally I don’t shop solely in ethical vegan clothes shops – because they are usually CRAZY expensive.

Saying that I’m always looking for a good winter coat (even though I currently live in the desert – but I’m ginger so a green long winter coat is perfection for me) and I noticed a few of the shops in these links have things such as ‘vegan wool’ which I need to have in my life. SNNUUGGGLLLLYYY!

So yes. Obvs things like Linda McCartney make an appearance but also a few cool little American online places that have trendy shoes and bags I might just order. Then I can be a cool kid.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/shopping/best-vegan-fashion-brands-for-shoes-bags-and-accessories/

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Vegan Friendly Find – Skittles are back!

YYYYYYYAAAAAYYYYYYY! Now we can taste the rainbow.

Right! Skittles were always vegan in America, but not the UK because they contained – E120 cochineal.

But now it’s been removed from UK packs! 🙂

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Note: The Wrigley’s Website still lists E120 as an ingredient but it is no longer listed on a back of the packet and it says “Suitable for Vegetarians” :

So – just check your pack for E120 and if it doesn’t have it you should be good to go.

Also – for those like me who don’t like to eat non sustainable Palm Oil.

  • What is Wrigley’s policy on sourcing palm oil?

    Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, deals only with those suppliers who have respect for the environment. Wrigley is committed to working with all stakeholders to make progress towards more sustainable production. We support the environment and the sustainable production of palm oil.

    Currently, we only use palm oil suppliers that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and our aim is to move to 100% RSPO certified palm oil, originating from sustainable sources by 2015.

    The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a non-profit association, works to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through cooperation within the supply chain and open dialogue between its stakeholders. More information on the RSPO can be found at www.rspo.org.

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Vegan Friendly Find – Jus Roll Pastry

I’m a lazy cook. I’m not making pastry… and now you don’t have to either!

Jus-roll pastry is Vegan!

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Here’s what it says on their website: http://www.jusrol.co.uk/askjanet.aspx

Which products are suitable for Vegans?
All Jus-Rol Ingredient Pastry is suitable for vegans except our All Butter and Sweet Shortcrust products which contain butter.

That means a whole world of tarts, puffs, pies and party treats have just become a whole lot easier!

The only issue I can find is one that Jus Roll contains Palm Oil – HOWEVER they claim to use sustainable Palm Oil in cooperation with the RSPO (http://www.rspo.org/) this seems like a go to me – but I couldn’t help notice a tweet that made me think the RSPO might just be a marketing front:

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(https://twitter.com/maryrayner/status/315492905823379456)

Either way it’s up to you guys – the product is vegan 100% – it’s just the ethics behind it might not be so ethical.

Let me know if you know whether the RSPO is doing good work or not – then I can get baking too!

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Mentos!

I can only apologies at how long it’s been since I last posted on here – but to be fair I have been very busy trying to save three lovely stray dogs in the Middle East! (More about that later!) So you can’t be to mad!

Last time I posted I promised to put my Top 5 chain restaurants and believe me, I have been eating out A LOT (I blame all of you for the weight gain of course!) So I will post that up soon.

But for today to ease us all back into this blogging malarkey – something simple, sweet and classic.

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is Mentos!

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It’s hard to find a readily available sweet that you can just pick up and munch on, so these are a god send! (Especially to anyone with low blood sugar or as a snack at the cinema)

Plus! As I use Lush Vegan Toothy Tabs instead of traditional Toothpaste so I’m always paranoid I have smelly breath, so pop a packet of mint in your bag and you’re good to go!

From my research – The flavoured mentos (mixed fruit) have sugar, glucose syrup, hydrogenated coconut oil, gellan gum, dextrin, natural and artificial flavor, gum arabic, and coloring inside/outside of it. (All Vegan friendly)

Mint mentos have almost the same ingredients except it has corn starch in it.

As per norm – the sugar used is from an unknown source – Some of you might be ok with this, others not. The choice is yours people! I will email and ask, but they don’t tend to get back to me in any rush.

I’ve been warned that some Mentos contain beeswax from different countries , so watch your labels!

Mentos say “The wax in the Mentos products which are imported and distributed by Stuart Alexander & Co. is carnauba wax which is derived from the palm tree.

We are not able to answer questions for Mentos products which do not state that they are imported and distributed by our company.”

Happy munching!