My one year Veganiversary

On 1st September 2015, I became vegan. Having been a vegetarian for twelve years or so, it was the logical next step. If I’m honest, I wish I’d done it sooner. I don’t know why I waited so long, especially as my reason for being vegetarian was animal cruelty and there’s no real difference between how the dairy and meat industry treats their animals.

So, what’s changed? Well, I can now speed read a list of ingredients as if my life depends on it. You’d be surprised how many products have milk, egg or some other animal derived product in. Just this week I found that the satsumas I bought from Waitrose had shellac on them. Why would you do that?! It’s kind of scary when you look into it. I have to plan my meals and cook a lot more (though Phil does most of the cooking, so that’s not really an issue!) I can’t rely on picking something up at school for lunch or just stop in a supermarket to buy some sandwiches. While supermarkets are making great leaps in providing vegan food and options every day, there is still a long way to go. Eating a plant based diet is the way forward, and it’s not just about animal rights. It’s best for our bodies and our planet. Don’t just take my word for it, take a look at the Food Choices trailer (full documentary available on Netflix right now.)

I honestly thought when I became vegan, and would be eating so many vegetables, that I’d lose a ton of weight and look the picture of health. Well, I’m still waiting for that to happen! I’m eating loads of veg, kind of have to, but there is so much junk food available that I’m still about the same kind of weight. There are lots of products on the market that are ‘accidentally vegan’ and have no animal products in them, but there are also a lot of vegan chocolate and cakes and crisps to be had. And I’ve had a lot! My favourites are the Jokerz and Twilight Go Max Go bars, which I usually get from Vegan Town. Round Ups are another favourite and they’re bloomin’ epic. The first vegan chocolate I had was the mighty Vego bar. There are also lots of wine, cider and gin that’s sfv, not that I’m a big drinker, but it’s worth knowing about it. We shop at Ocado and their vegan shop is really useful. They often have offers on their vegan products, including the wine, which is when I usually stock up. I do eat more veg, both in regularity and variety and despite the junk, my diet is healthier than it’s every been. Recently, I’ve been thinking about how much junk food I eat and the impact that will have on the environment and animals, as a consequence. I recently read an interesting article in Vegan Life about palm oil and it is a hugely controversial ingredient in lots of items, not just food. There’s no doubt that it is very difficult to avoid it, if you buy processed foods. So I’m going to try and limit how much I consume and try to reduce my reliance on processed stuff as much as possible.

I’m often asked what’s the hardest thing about being vegan. Once you get past the horror of the fact that everyone else is still continuing to use and abuse animals, it’s not really difficult at all, though you do have to be prepared that people will become nutritional experts around you and demand you explain just exactly where you get your protein from every. damn. time. You’re simply just changing your consuming habits. The thing I’m most sad about is wool because I love jumpers and all things knitted, but the way most of the fashion industry treats its animals is horrific so it’s a no brainer to give that up.

I try not to shove my beliefs in peoples faces, so I decided to set up a Pinterest veganism board, which is where I put all the comments about veganism I agree with! I also changed my vegetarian food board to a vegan food board and while I don’t do much cooking, it’s always nice to see what healthy and delicious food I *could* be eating! If you’re interested in having a go, then there’s more information over on the Vegan Society website. Why not take the 30 day pledge?

Penryn to Flushing dogwalk

Our little break in Cornwall feels like it was months ago, such is the pace of life at the moment. While we were there, we decided on having brunch at the Muddy Beach restaurant in Penryn and Phil found a nice little walk for us to do beforehand, that we can do more of another time. We didn’t do the whole Penryn to Flushing walk, but we did a good chunk of it. The bit we did was okay, though I’m thinking we didn’t get to the best bit. Plus I’ve heard that Flushing is quite dog friendly so am keen to explore it next time.

Penryn to Flushing dogwalkPenryn dogwalkPenryn cemetryPenryn cemetry door

To get to the walk, you have to walk along the main road. You take a sneaky little path just before the church to head down to the coast path. You then walk along, under the cover of trees, catching glimpses of the estuary. It’s a little bit like a secret world! After a while you head out from the trees to walk along at the bottom of a field, which had an electric fence. I always worry about walking Poppy next to these, not that she’s ever hurt herself on them, but I’m not a fan. This bit doesn’t last for long, until you can head down onto the river bed and get to walk among the reeds if the tide is out. That’s where we turned round and headed back, as we’d planned to have brunch at Muddy Beach. And we weren’t disappointed!

Muddy Beach vegan breakfast

We had visited Muddy Beach years ago in it’s previous incarnation as Miss Peapod’s. Phil did a bit of a google to check out their vegan offerings and dog friendly potential. They have plenty of outside seating, which is perfect for dogs, but they also have a section inside which is the perfect area for dogs. Not only do they offer a veggie breakfast, but they also did a vegan breakfast, which was delicious. It was hearty, healthy and satisfying. While I was ordering, I also noticed that they had a vegan cake on offer, along with the regular fair and one or two non-dairy milks. We will definitely be going back there next time we’re in Penryn.

The Walk: The part of the walk we did was okay, some bits were much better than others. As the tide was out, we were able to walk down on the coast and Poppy loved walking among the reeds. Next time we go there, I’d like to walk the whole way to Flushing, as it’s not far. The walk through the cemetery was quite creepy! Make sure you wear good walking boots!
Cost: Completely free, unless you’re paying for parking.
Car Park: We parked at Exchequer Quay car park and paid £3.20 for three hours, which was plenty of time.
Refreshments: Muddy Beach restaurant is well worth a visit. It has plenty of seating, both inside and out, and has a special dog friendly area.
Toilets: There are some public loos in the car park.

TV Recommendations – October

The last few months have been terribly busy. Fortunately, there’s been plenty on TV to help me relax and switch off. It’s been an interesting few months in tv land, with the devastating news that GBBO will never be the same again; the sadness that Nashville has been cancelled and as yet, not picked up by another TV company (though I’m hoping that I’ve simply just missed out on some fantastic news here) and the great news that a one off series of The Gilmore Girls will appear on Netflix later this month. In the meantime, I’ve been watching some pretty decent TV.

october tv recommendations

[The Fall – BBC Two || Fear the Walking Dead – iTunes

|| Poldark – BBC One || Marco Polo – Netflix]

I was eagerly awaiting the third and final series of The Fall. It’s one of the more dark and disturbing crime dramas I’ve seen but it is also one of the most gripping. Gillian Anderson is fantastic as Stella, who is calm and collected in the face of what can only be described as pure evil. While the start of this final series took a slower pace, it was still gripping enough, right up until the explosive final episode. If you missed the first two series, you won’t regret catching up on them.

While I am a huge Walking Dead fan, I also enjoy the spin off series, Fear the Walking Dead. While it’s not as good as the original, it’s still pretty good and certainly fills the gap between seasons. However, this series took a long time to get going. There was a point when I was kind of hoping everyone would get eaten by walkers, just so that something was happening. It did pick up about half way through and the action continued all the way to the end. I’m looking forward to the next season, I just hope it doesn’t take so long to get going again.

It’s no secret that Cornwall is my favourite place to go and this is partly why I love Poldark. I did get behind on watching it this time, so downloaded most of the episodes to my iPad and took it on holiday to Cornwall with us. Again, this was another series that seemed to go quite slowly to begin with but it has picked up recently with everything going on! Almost every character has got something major going on, whether it’s to do with mines or marriage, it’s a busy series.

Watching Marco Polo was not my choice. Phil wanted to watch it, and I was work most evenings, it doesn’t really matter what’s on. While I was (very) skeptical at first, it definitely grew on me, very quickly. We binge watched both series in a short space of time. It has a Vikings feel about it, so how historically accurate it is, I don’t know! But it’s worth a watch if you’re short of something.

The Cornish Vegan, Truro

Despite having visited Cornwall a number of times, I had never been to Truro. Since the opening of The Cornish Vegan, we had a reason to visit this time. We had a bit of a mooch about Truro beforehand. Phil wanted to go to a vinyl shop and I wanted to have a wander around. We had a look in a few shops, there’s a great mix of high street and independent shops in Truro, and we picked up a few things for the house.

Truro Truro Cathedral

I had seen people talking about The Cornish Vegan on Twitter and it was recommended by a number of vegans online so I was desperate to go there. I wasn’t disappointed. There was loads of choice and it all looked delicious. The people on the table next to us had lasagne and a salad, which I was tempted by, but in the end I opted for the BBQ Jackfruit, as I’d never had jackfruit before.

The Cornish Vegan BBQ jackfruit The Cornish vegan brownie

The jackfruit was delicious. The BBQ sauce, which is made by the restaurant was really tasty and it made for an excellent burger. The coleslaw was light, fresh and crispy too. Service was excellent and Poppy was made welcome too, by getting her own bowl of water and as many vegan dog treats as she could eat, which turned out to be quite a few! I really wanted a brownie with some ice cream, but by this time, Poppy made it clear that she was ready to leave so I got a brownie to go. It was immense! It was the best vegan brownie I’ve had since becoming vegan. If you go to The Cornish Vegan, get one!

Poppydog in Lush

I can’t blame Poppy. She had been an absolute star while we shopped and mooched about. She was able to come into most shops with us, including Lush, where she got a lot of attention! It’s so great to be able to take her into shops and cafes, even if she does want to eat everything in there!

We’ll definitely be going back to The Cornish Vegan next time we’re in the area. I’d love to sample one of their Sunday roasts as they look epic!