Food shop day…!

We’ve had a super busy week (with Bette’s multiple birthday celebrations), so it’s been some time since I did an actual shop.

I wrote a menu planner and made an extensive shopping list, as I always do. I’m very anal about my shopping lists.

After visiting Holland and Barrett for my protein powder, B12 supplements, Bette’s multivitamins and some nooch, etc. We headed to three other supermarkets: Morrisons for the bulk of our shopping, Aldi for avocados and vegan chocolate (It’s on offer this week) and finally Sainsburys for bread and juice, etc.

It is definitely more expensive to shop vegan, as they know they have you by the short and curlies and as such whack you with silly prices….but….the selection of produce is gorgeous. You almost feel happier and healthier just looking at it.

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Anyone with a keen eye will spot two non vegan foods (they contain milk) but you’ve got to remember I’m the only vegan in this household. My wife is almost vegan and my daughter is a vegetarian. So…considering they eat vegan with me as a general rule. I think it’s a pretty impressive shopping trolley. 

I’m enjoying the last few days off my annual leave, before returning to work on Friday.

I’m suffering terribly from hay fever, which is entirely new for me. It’s so bad though that my eyes are swelling and my face is breaking out. Pain is awful, I’ve tried natural remedies and over the counter…but it’s looking like I’ll need something from the doctor.

Hope you have a lovely night, whatever you’re doing.

Beauty is pain….but it doesn’t have to be!

I am vain. It’s a sin of mine. I’m well aware of it and I happily own it.

When I say I’m vain, I mean it in the sense that I care about my appearance. I’m unduly concerned with being seen without looking ‘presentable’.

I am the kind of person who will not go out the house without my make up on….but hate looking ‘made up’. My hair must be washed every day (I know…I know…It’s not good for it) and styled, even though my style is to look like I haven’t done it at all! 🤣 My clothes must be ironed to perfection (which I never do, btw. That’s my lovely wife’s job!) and if a mark is visible (even if you’d need a microscope to see it) then I can’t cope. I don’t know why these things bother me, they just do.

My vanity does not extend to what people think of me. I truly don’t care about people’s opinion of me, without sounding like an arse. What I mean is, I am who I am. I try to treat people with respect and how I’d like to be treated myself. Some people like me, some people don’t….and that’s ok. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. I know this and I’m comfortable with it.

But…back to my original post. Beauty is pain?? Is it? I mean, yes…some people do crazy shit to themselves in the pursuit of beauty, but the most pain in the beauty industry is surely at the hands of the companies (and countries) who insist on animal testing?

Did you know that an estimated 100’000-200’000 animals die just for cosmetics every year??

Dogs, cats and monkeys are never used for cosmetic testing (why of course not…you couldn’t stand back and let poor Ben or Felix be abused like that!) but 100’000-200’000 rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and hamsters are fair game to be tortured for nothing more than our vanity every year! Doesn’t that make you want to weep?

(Btw….the wee dogs, cats and monkeys don’t get off. They are used for testing chemicals).

Just in case you have a Walt Disney type scenario going on in your head right now, where wee happy rabbits are being bathed in shampoos before being dried and lovingly pampered. All whilst attentive scientists are checking through their gorgeous little coats for signs of mild irritation.

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Let me just give you a horrible reality check…and this is grim.

Typical cosmetic testing (for things such as lipstick, shampoo and hair dye) involves animals having skin and eye irritation tests. Yup…they literally drip these substances in their wee eyes, over and over again, whilst looking for signs of irritation. They shave parts of their fur and do the same on their skin.

It’s also not uncommon for oral studies, where they force feed these animals products  (sometimes over weeks or months) and look for signs of general illness…cancers…birth defects…etc.

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When you call it ‘testing’ you can get away with murder!

And then…you have the lethal dose tests. Where they basically give these animals stupid amounts of the product orally and see at what point it will cause death!

Deep fucking joy….eh?

Makes you want to rush out and purchase some beauty products, right?

Why do these bastards do this? I hear you ask. Because, they can! Almost always companies have a choice whether to test on animals or not. The main reason they chose to do it is because they want to use ‘new’ ingredients and they can’t get the product on sale without safety data.

The thing is, if these companies just used the thousands of ingredients already out there, or actually invested in the progression of non animal testing, they’d never need to test on animals again. Of course, some want to sell their products in China…and in China a cosmetic item can only be sold if there has been animal testing!

Fear not…it’s not all doom and gloom. There are cruelty free companies out there! Honestly….there are….and their products are good. Very good . I’ve been using them for years!

And what’s more, with people making more ethical choices, the demand for cruelty free is increasing and more companies are changing their stance on testing.

So, I’ve been using cruelty free for a long time and as such I’ve got quite a product range that works for me. But if you’re deciding to start this journey…don’t expect it to happen overnight and don’t just throw everything out and start again (or else it was all for nought). Instead, identify what you don’t want to use and when it’s finished…replace with better choices.

My routine goes a little something like this.

For washing I use a soap. I avoid SLS (as I’ve explained before) so the soap I buy does not have any nasties or animal products in it.

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Soul Tree is an independent brand that I like. She makes gorgeous bars with amazing scents. They don’t last long, but they’re so worth it.

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This is my favourite. Emerald City. Smells amazing. Looks amazing. Nothing died for it!

Fear not…if you don’t fancy soap, or can’t find something like this, all of super drug’s own brand is cruelty free….and many of the products are suitable for vegans. They even label it as such!

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Sadly, their cheaper body wash has SLS in it and chemicals/parabens which I strive to avoid. But, we buy these when going away/swimming, because I can cope with losing a product that cost me a pound!

For shampoo I normally use whatever I find in TK Maxx that ticks all my boxes. Shampoo and conditioner without SLS, parabens and animal products, that is a cruelty free brand are hard to find and expensive. But I’ve found a new one that I’m going try.

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I’ve only used it once….so can’t give an accurate review yet. But it smells AMAAAZZZING!!!

Perfume. I love perfume. But…it’s tough finding cruelty free stuff. I tend to use Liz Earle (I know she’s now sold out to Avon who aren’t cruelty free. But I buy from some parent companies, because to be honest if I didn’t I’d never be able to buy anything. That’s a totally different blog post!) or I use Eden perfume. Eden replicate almost any branded perfume you want. They’re product range is phenomenal and they smell almost identical . I also love the Lush oil perfume.

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My ‘Stella’ Eden perfume and my deodorant.

I use Salt of the Earth deodorant. I love it. Smell is gorgeous, it’s natural and it lasts all day. You do smell a bit ‘hippie’ though, but I don’t mind that! 😁

For face wash and pampering I use Liz Earle. None of her products contain animal derivatives and it’s cruelty free. Elemis is another favourite of mine. Same principles as Liz Earle. Both more expensive brands, but last for ages and work wonders on your skin.

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This is one of my all time favourite products 😍

Make up you need to check carefully. Many brands are owned by parent companies, so if this is something you’re not comfortable with you’ll need to research closely.

I tend to use Gosh for most of my make up. It’s a good price point and I like it!

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I use some Tarte (who has now been bought by a Japanese brand who test on animals!), bare minerals, urban decay and wunderbrow (which I couldn’t live without btw!)

It’s a constant battle to remain ethical with your beauty. Companies change hands all the time and although I’m mostly ok with parent companies…it does depend on who the parent company is and how high my moral high horse is on that day!

It’s an even bigger head fuck when you start moderating your household items! Eco-eggs are a godsend, that’s all I’ll say about that!!!

I hope I haven’t freaked you out too much with the animal testing stuff, but I do think it’s important to know that these awful things do happen. I personally don’t think anything should be tortured full stop, but for a lipstick or a shampoo?? That kind of evil is beyond me. I think we should all be striving to avoid beauty products that have been tested on animals. With so much choice, surely it’s a no brainer to go for the cruelty free brands?

To make your task a wee bit easier….here is a selection of brands to avoid if you’re wanting your lippy without the taint of blood and tears.

  • M.A.C
  • Olay
  • Avon
  • Garner
  • Bobbi Brown
  • Bourjois
  • ChapStick
  • Estee Lauder
  • L’Oreal
  • Maybelline
  • Pantene
  • Revlon
  • Rimmel London
  • Vaseline

And….should you wish to find out if your brand is in the good camp…

http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/ultimate-guide-to-cruelty-free-makeup/

I’ll leave it at this. I think you’ll all agree, this post has gone on long enough. If anything you’ve read here inspires you to go through your make up bag and vow to change one or two products for cruelty free…then fabulous!

We can all make a difference. Make some noise about this to people you know. Talk with your feet – if you don’t want to contribute to the cruelty, stop buying the brands that insist on doing it. Change can and will happen!

Time for sleep. Tomorrow we set off on our baby’s birthday trip…complete with a 22L capacity cool pack crammed full of vegan treats (just in case I find myself up shit creek without a paddle, so to speak.)

G’night. ✌

Day 20 Vegan.

That’s it. I’ve had enough! I’m throwing in the towel!

Only kidding!

I’m still loving this journey, even if I keep forgetting to take things for lunch like oatmilk and spread, so have to drink black builders tea (sounds racist. I’m sure I could punctuate this better, but I’m too tired. So, before you freak out. I mean tea with no milk!) and eat dry toast!

What I have noticed is that I am consuming far less calories per day than I did before eating vegan. I average about 1000-1200 per day now, most of which are made up of fruits, veg, pulses and a tiny amount of soya. I am also nowhere near as hungry as often and definitely crave different types of food.

That being said. Today marks the end of a long, stressful run at work and the beginning of 14 days of annual leave! Woooohooooooo!!!!

We had a emotional early evening at the vets, trying to decide what’s best for our little blind boy: Davey.

So, seeing as we hadn’t eaten since lunch and it was fast approaching 7pm when we got out of the vets, we opted for a VERY un-healthy McDonald’s.

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Tonight…the blog should be called ‘What Fat Vegans Eat!’. I had the spicy veggie delux without mayo (but, fear not…I had my egg free mayo in my pocket, because that’s how us mad vegans roll) with chips and a drink. Followed by a cuppa tea (I had my oatly in my other pocket! 🤣). And because Mcdonalds have ZERO vegan pudding choices, I was forced to watch a wee boy eat his chocolate muffin (like I was a Labrador); vicariously enjoying his dessert, whilst sipping said tea.

I’ll write a totally separate blog post about my wee Davey dog, but for now I need to get some sleep. We’re leaving on Sunday for a trip to Alton Towers (don’t worry, my hoose isn’t empty so don’t get any mad ideas about breaking in and stealing all my oatly barista and monkey nuts!!! The dogs are staying home with their Aunty to make sure all is well).

I’ll be packing the toiletries tomorrow, so I’ll have an opportunity to blog about some cruelty free options available on the high street.

Until then.

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I’m not sure eating one’s child is considered vegan? But…we think it’s funny!

Peace out! ✌❤

Day 14 Vegan

I can honestly say that this journey, over the last two weeks, has been pretty easy. I don’t know whether that’s because I’ve been a vegetarian for so many years, so really just cutting out dairy, eggs and honey additionally. Or…wether it’s purely down to the fact that I’m in the right head space. Who knows…!

Today I’ve been working, so the food is never too inspiring when I’m working. That being said…I had a yummy cheatin and avocado sandwich before work and some left over chickpea, tattie and spinach curry with wholemeal rice on my tea break.

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Cheatin rashers are by far my favourite ‘bacon’ substitute. They go crispy and even have wee bits of fat round the edge. FYI…they are cheaper in Morrisons than in Holland & Barrett.

 

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Forgot a photo of dinner. So…snapped one last minute. NHS plate and all 🤣. I’m into Irn Bru just now, btw.

In other news…my car has been fixed (apparently) so looking forward to driving that worry free! I’ll no doubt be posting tomorrow saying it’s broken again.

Home now. Brought mini me a gobstopper, which has STAINED her face blue. God only knows how long that’ll take to wash off. Bought myself a wee something whilst in the shop….

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😂😂😂 never go sweetie shopping when you’re hungry!

For anyone who isn’t aware. Fry’s is vegan! I almost pee’d my pants with excitement when I found this out. But even better than this…Raspberry Ruffles are vegan. Life literally doesn’t get better than this!

Quick cuppa, then bed. Got to work again tomorrow. What a bloody cheek this is…being a grown up and being expected to work for a living!

Let’s talk about CSP. Let’s talk about oats in tea. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…

Day 12 vegan!

To me, being a vegan is about much more than diet. In fact, what I eat is only a tiny little part of this entire lifestyle for me.

For years, despite identifying as a vegetarian rather than vegan, I have made ethical choices. For example, I have not used products containing sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) for what seems like forever (I also avoid parabens). SLS is actually a form of palm oil, in case you didn’t know, and the deforestation that is taking place in order to expand palm oil plantations is having catastrophic effects on the indigenous wildlife population – the most documented of which being the orangutans. It has been estimated that orangutans could be extinct in as little as ten years! Imagine that?? An entire species wiped out. Never to be seen again. And, for what?? For a globally traded cheap vegetable oil! An oil found in almost everything you touch in a store – cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate, crisps. It’s found in lipstick, toothpaste, soaps, cosmetics, detergents. The stuff is everywhere. Don’t believe me, take a wee look at the ingredient list of the next twenty things you pick up in the supermarket!

The fight is endless. But….it is important to remember that every little step counts.

It goes without saying, we do not purchase anything that is tested on animals and refuse to purchase from companies who sell in China, as by law in China cosmetics MUST be tested on animals. You begin with a tiny idea, to live more compassionately…it grows arms and legs, and before you know it you’ve turned into the mad woman at work that folk laugh at for their crazy quirks.

When I fell pregnant I knew I would not contribute to the land fill situation, so I purchased cloth nappies (That’s a totally separate blog post!) and I’m proud to say that Bette did not wear disposable nappies. We used cloth wipes, and washed everything with an eco-egg, instead of chemical powder/liquid.

So, as is the way, it was only a matter of time before I began questioning my own monthly contribution to land fill. And from this…came my exploration into cloth sanitary products (CSP) and the amazing mooncup. I think it’s important, as a woman, to talk about menstruation and ethical/environmentally friendly ways of managing ‘women’s trouble’. Let’s face it – it’s still very much a hush hush topic socially.

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Two of my CSP products. They’re available in almost any colour or material.

I am very open about my mooncup use and although people laugh at me, I do think most people are interested in all things alternative. I have nothing but positive things to say about them – for me, they reduce period pain, decrease my length of period and give me peace of mind (as you hardly ever get a ‘leak’). If anyone has considered buying one, but hasn’t taken the plunge (haha…get it?) yet…I say go for it. You’ll not regret it!! CSP is also an amazing product, but for me they are only used overnight, as a backup to the cup. That being said..they are super pretty and are readily available (you can request your own custom designs) on the internet!

Anyway, enough from me for one night. I cannot end a blog post without a mention of food. Today has been a nice plant based day, without even a hint of soya. Everything has been freshly prepared, which always makes you feel better.

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Chickpeas, potatoes, frozen peas and spinach curry. Served with wholemeal rice and a seeded pitta. ❤

Question – why is oatly barista so hard to find? It’s like hen’s teeth! I literally went round EVERY supermarket in Stirling today, to no avail.

I’m heading to bed now – my one and only day off tomorrow, which means it is going to be.BUSY!

N’night. 🙂