The MaE Deli…a Vegans Dream…

If you’re a whole food lover then you might want to stick around for this one. Or even if you just love food. And we’re talking all food that’s vegan, gluten free, nutritious and god damn tasty.

Situated in the heart of London, in Seymour Place lies the one of three MaE Deli’s by deliciously Ella. With a beautiful interior you’ll feel right at home with their contrast of a modern vintage design, with worn wooden chairs and tables, a cute selection of cacti and some old-school books lying on the shelves. Not to mention the colourful food that will fill your stomach with a hug of content and leave you feeling energised and ready for absolutely anything.

Open from 8am to 9pm weekdays and 9am-9pm on weekends, the deli has you covered for anything. Pop in before 11am and discover the dreamiest of breakfasts. I picked up the acai bowel, with their homemade granola, coconut yoghurt and homemade almond butter along with peanut butter on toasted rye bread. Simply delicious. Grab yourself a coffee made with either coconut or brown rice milk. That’s right! No animals were harmed in the making of your breakfast or your coffee.

If you’re looking for something hearty, head in for some lunch or dinner and grab some beautifully cooked butterbean and cauliflower falafels, roasted sweet potato with coriander tahini, Tuscan bean stew served with brown rice and courgette and sweet potato stew. Just beautiful. For the full menu head to their website here.

If you’re looking for something to sweeten your taste buds you absolutely must try the fudge brownies or the blueberry muffin! Vegan and gluten free and to die for! 

So if you ever find yourself strolling through London, be sure to check in to the deli and you won’t be disappointed.

And Breathe…

Finding different ways to switch off and relax your body is important. It’s important to make time for yourself, and let your body relax. And what’s our favourite way to revitalise ourselves, and recharge? Sleeping. But when the stresses in our lives, and anxieties cause us to loose sleep, we can’t manage to face our days to the maximum because we’re just so tired and anxious. So what do I like to use to help me get a good nights sleep, and relax myself when I’m feeling anxious, that really do work?

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First up is one product I’ve written about before. The Deep Sleep Stress Less roller ball. I got my hands on this product around a year ago, and I’m still loving it. It’s a really great travel friendly product, which once applied to your pulse points, releases a cooling and calming oil onto your skin, which just oozes tranquility. I really like to carry this with me in my bag, just to help deal with those anxious moments. For a more in depth review, head over here.

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Next on the list is the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. I’ve had my beady eye on this product for a good while now, and after grabbing a small sample in the latest Marie Claire magazine, I was also able to get 20% off my order at This Works. I really like this product. When I get into bed, I like my routine to be smooth, and I want to be able to get really comfy in my nest. There’s nothing more agitating than not being comfy and not being able to sleep. So I spray this a couple of times onto my pillow, and on the top of my duvet. The super blend of lavender and camomile really help to relax me and ease me into a nice calming sleep. Definitely one to purchase if you’re an agitated sleeper.

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And lastly is one to definitely pair up with the Pillow Spray. The Deep Sleep Breathe In. This one is very similar to the Deep Sleep Stress Roller Ball. However, it comes in a longer white tube, and works really nicely with the Pillow Spray. It comes in a roller ball form again, and is recommended for your pulse points. The essential oils combined with the natural therapeutic ingredients of Lavender, Vetivert and Patchouli are really calming, and allow that extra pinch of anxiety melt away. I also like to use this on the go, because the tube feels more durable in my bag, I really find this helps when I’m out and about and I can feel my anxiety taking over. I just rub this on my neck and my wrists and breathe in the beautiful aromas, which really help to calm me and keep my anxiety levels to a minimum.

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So there are my natural products which help to keep my anxiety at bay, and allow me to get a good nights sleep. Which we all know is one of the biggest tips of beauty. If you are struggling with anxiety, I really would recommend these products to keep at your bedside or in your bag. And remember, to just take it easy. With me anxiety feels like everything is happening to quickly all at once. Take a breath, take each day slowly, and maybe give these a rub on your pulse points when you need to.

Lush Lovin…

Recently I’ve taken the decision to be kinder to myself. Give myself more time to relax, focus on me, and we all know what means. Bath time. I’m a big lover for Lush. I love their ethics, their products, and most importantly, the smell of the shop as you walk in. Lush.

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So I’ve found myself buying more of their products recently, and really taking the time to appreciate what they’re doing for my body. I was able to get my hands on The Comforter, with thanks to my kind Sister who treated me. This guy is just so nice. It comes as a big bar that you can break off into pieces, which you can then run under the tap for your bath and you’re pretty much in a bubble blanket of heaven. With heavenly calm aromas, it leaves the water a nice pink colour which you can soak in and cleanse your body and mind. Definitely the ultimate bath product.

I then picked up some bath oils, which just smelt delicious. The Melting Marshmallow Moment (left picture) is sweet and smooth. With ingredients like almonds, to hydrate the hair and skin, from virgin coconut oil to really sooth and moisturise the body, this oil will melt away your troubles as you melt into the goodness. I also picked up the You’ve Been Mangoed. This guy is just full of rich fruity mango and avocado butter, lemon grass and lime oils, which really help to liberate your senses and give you that extra dose of energy you’ve been missing. I loved this product!

Since going Vegan, I’ve been slowly turning my make up and beauty products into Vegan ones. I then thought about shampoo and conditioner and I’ve been on the hunt for something that’s going to wash my hair, and leave it feeling clean and full of life. I came across the 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner bar, Godiva. This fella takes me back to Vietnam, with the beautiful scent of Jasmine and the different oils and butters which help to condition the hair. It leaves my hair feeling so fresh, soft and clean, and smelling so so good.

Next up is the Dream Cream Hand and Body Lotion. This stuff is just lovely. It’s so soothing and rich, that I feel I’m having a big hug when I apply it. It’s great for dry skin, which I have on my hands due to the cold weather. The ingredients are so dreamy, with oat milk to help moisturise the skin, calming chamomile and organic cocoa butter that soothes and calms the skin. Just perfect. And it also smells heavenly. But we knew that was always going to be the case with Lush.

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The Vegan Files…6 Months In…

I can’t quite believe that it was 6 months ago I decided to cut out all animal products from my diet and become a Vegan. Where on earth has that gone?!

So how are things? For me now, being a Vegan is just who I am. At first I remember it felt like this crazy diet I had started, or weird phase where I’d be thinking ‘okay day 4 I can do this’ to then counting the weeks, and feeling sad when I couldn’t have a caramel shortbread that I used to love so much at work. But now, it’s just my lifestyle. I don’t head to the chocolate isle anymore, and if I do I go for oreos [oh me oh my thank you oreos]. Checking packets of products for their ingredients is second nature also, and it’s helped me look at what other ingredients are in food that we eat which has proven to be quite interesting. So that’s the biggest thing for me. I’ve actually gone this far not consuming anything from an animal. It’s not something really to be proud of because I believe it should be that way anyway, but I am because it has been pretty difficult.

The hardest aspect of this I would say has been finding the motivation to actually get up and research new meals and ideas and actually make them. I often find myself making a tasty meal and then when I actually sit down to eat it I’m not that hungry anymore. But I have been loving experimenting different ideas with breakfast which I live for. Especially porridge made with almond milk and infused with peanut butter, or acai bowels [DAYUM].

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As for little sweet cravings that won’t go away, try pure dark chocolate, the higher percentage the coco rating the better, topped with some peanut butter. Or just fruit. Especially strawberries and blueberries, they instantly satisfy me if I’m craving something sweet. Places to eat? Five guys do a veggie burger that’s purely just vegetables in a bun. A lot of places do pizza and nine times out of ten their dough will be vegan too, and just order no cheese. Pizza Express do lovely pizza’s which can easily be made vegan. Bill’s Restaurant is a personal favourite, and they have a good range of vegan food there, or dishes which can be made vegan. Nando’s believe it or not do a great Quinoa salad which includes sweet potato, sunflower seeds, avocados etc. I get this every time I go to Nando’s and just swap the feta for some hummus. YoSushi is also great for Vegans. They have lots of great plates on their menu and they highlight dishes which are vegan. And of course, if I happen to be in a city wandering, I will almost always go to Pret. How can I not? Their range of vegan foods is great. So healthy, natural and tasty. And their soya lattes are great too.

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As for other things, such as make up…I’m slowly starting to introduce beauty products that are animal friendly into my stash. With having so much make up and beauty products, and few pennies, it’s difficult to instantly cut all of that out. So my next goal throughout the next 6 months is to cut out any products that are not animal friendly, and learn and research into brands which are strictly non animal testing.If you have any recommendations that would be great too!

So that’s pretty much where I’m at at the moment.

Acne…The Do’s and Dont’s…

Spots. The little shits that will take over your face, and take away any self confidence you had and leave you feeling ugly. We’ve all been there at some point haven’t we? We’ve all had that spot that’s been brewing for days, only to make itself known at the most inappropriate time, in the most inappropriate place, with the most inappropriate appearance. I mean come on… Having Mount Etna on your face isn’t really ideal is it? I mean she’s probably really nice, but not today thank you. Not any day. Especially the day I forget to put my concealer into my make up bag…

And then there’s the times when the spots get out of control. They come in what feel like their thousands, and invade parts of your face like they’ve declared some sort of war. Then it may get all civil, and you’ve got different armies from different areas of your face trying to invade each other. It’s not cool is it?

In all seriousness however, there are tips which can help. I know when I had severe acne, I lost all confidence when it came to my face. It go to a point that I’d skip college and hide away in my room for weeks until I realised it was on me to sort this shit out. I did go to the doctors which is one step I would recommend if it gets too much. I got put on tablets which lasted a good half a year or so which really changed my complexion. But this isn’t a post about getting some pills to sort your skin out. Not only did they help, but I had to find ways to keep my skin in check after finishing my course of antibiotics, and to never have to go back on them again. So, after a way too long introduction, let me share with you some tips which have really helped my skin. Please note that I still don’t have the best skin, I have scars from my acne, and I still do get blemishes and spots. But it’s nothing compared to what I used to have. You can trust me on that.

BRUSHES.

We all have our beautiful pots filled with delightful brushes that help us to apply our make up nice and evenly. But tell me, how often do you actually wash those beauties? Washing my make up brushes seriously is one of the most soul destroying chores I have to do when it comes to make up. It isn’t fair, I know. BUT if you want to limit the amount of bacteria spreading around your face, and clogging up your pores [MMMM, gross but true] then you need to ensure you’re washing your make up brushes regularly. I’d say at least once a week.

FOUNDATION.

If you’ve been up to date with the posts, then you will know I am a fan of a certain foundation. The Revlon Colour Stay. The coverage of this foundation really helped me with my acne. Honestly, it covered every single spot, and paired with a good primer it stayed on my skin throughout the day. It covered any redness and made it hard for people to believe that I actually had any issues with my skin when I wore it. Honestly, I love this so much that even now I can’t part with it. It’s also so good to cover acne scarring too.

SKIN ROUTINE.

Since going through different stages with my skin, it’s given me the opportunity to really take the time and effort into looking after it. It gives me the motivation to have myself a nice skin routine morning and night, with the occasional slip up if I’m feeling lazy…But the majority of the time I am putting effort into keeping up with it. I’d really recommend products that don’t have that much in them. Look for natural recognisable ingredients, which you think would be gentle on the skin, for example, fruits are really good for the skin, and not ingredients that sound something like you used to make in your old chemistry class at school… I also learnt that if your spots are sore and aggravated anyway, go for extremely gentle products and try to limit exfoliating those areas to once a week or so, because I found exfoliating can make them slightly worse and even more sore.

WATER.

Honestly, this one I can’t stress enough. I know drinking water can be such a pain in the backside sometimes, but holy moly, I genuinely believe that drinking a good 1.5 to 3 litres a day saved my skin. It really does flush out all those dirty toxins in not only your skin but your body too. So it’s an all rounder really…But you will be living on the toilet…

DIET.

Another one that really is important. Sometimes acne can be caused through poor diet. If you’re not getting the right nutrients and taking in all those vital vitamins then your skin can suffer. Try to stay away or limit yourself from the fizzy drinks, high sugar and saturated fat foods and eat more natural foods and you’ll be on your way.

It does take time, and I know it can be frustrating, but honestly, it does get better. You may feel like you’re completely on your own, and you look at other people’s skin and envy how they can wear no make up and still look lovely and clear…But you aren’t alone in this civil war on your face. There are so many others in the same fight. And even when you feel like your piling on too much foundation to cover them all up, or you don’t even want to leave the house because of it, please remember that beauty isn’t all about having clear skin. As cliche as it goes, it really is underneath that truly matters. It’s the person that you are which is where the true beauty lies. Spots come and go, but you’ll always stay. Try and focus on that part.

 

The Vegan Files: 1 Month in…

Having been Vegetarian for a good few years now, and by vegetarian I mean no meat what so ever, that also includes fish…because some people still go to me ‘you still have fish though right?’ Back when in my first year of being veggie, I would have given them that lecture about how fish is also meat and that they are animals too, but now I just sigh or laugh it off with them. But inside, I’m secretly judging them for mistaking fish for not being meat…

Did I find going veggie hard? Not one bit. Honestly. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss some things in a sense, but nothing to get me to actually go ahead and make or eat something with meat. No way. And honestly, I can see myself living the rest of my days as a vegetarian at least. What made me start? Animals. Pure and simple. I didn’t really eat that much meat anyway, just really chicken and bacon. I wasn’t adventurous with food. In fact going vegetarian saved me in the ways of food. I remember counting calories like no tomorrow when I wasn’t vegetarian and watching more so what I ate and with that and other things I became obsessed. But since going vegetarian I’ve become healthier, and made healthier choices with food because I just had to.

But Animals were the real reason behind my lifestyle change. Personally, I just don’t believe in animals being used for our satisfaction that probably lasts for around 10 minutes depending on how quickly you eat your meaty meal. Please don’t take this as a preach for animal rights or anything like that, I hate feeling like I’m forcing my opinion onto others, and that it’s my way or the highway kinda thing it’s not like that. One thing that does make me chuckle when I’m eating around others, is how conscious some of them are towards me. I try not to make a big deal about me having a different diet through choice. I hate being that customer at the restaurant that makes picky changes to my meal, and not going to certain places because they don’t do much veggie options etc. But it’s kind of part of the deal now and I’ve learnt to cope with it, as annoying as it can be sometimes when they give me that look and walk off to the chef. Sorry! But people become very conscious of what they eat around me when they eat meat. Which is lovely because the majority of the time, it’s because they don’t want me to feel uncomfortable. But sometimes it’s like they’re saying sorry to me…Which is funny because I just think if you’re going to say sorry, it should be to the dead animal you’re currently tucking into…Too much? Which makes me wonder if people do consider going vegetarian because they’re aware that they’re eating animals that have been slaughtered, but maybe are too scared to try new things with food…?

But anyway, I’m supposed to be talking about how my first month of being Vegan is going. And in a nutshell, I’d say pretty well. In some ways, I can’t believe I’ve gone this far and not cracked! I knew it would be hard, and it has in some parts. Mostly when I’m in work, and I’m staring at the cakes filled with dreamy milk chocolate, oozing with ingredients which definitely aren’t vegan-friendly. Or when I’m going out for a meal and I have to be even pickier now, especially when 9 times out of 10 the vegetarian options focus their meals around cheese. Which is fine. But then you realise you don’t even like cheese. Not that cool. So in some places it’s like you get handed a plate of leaves, which again is cool if you like that kind of stuff, but come on! Give me something here that I can work with?! Where’s the falafel? Where’s the hummus or quinoa? Let me make it! But then you find places which are so vegan friendly you want to go round hugging everyone.

There have been nights where I’ve craved some dairy milk chocolate, or some of mums left over christmas cake. But then I’ve just thought about why I’m doing this. Animals aren’t just used for meat. They’re hurt in other ways just so you can have the milk in your tea, or the egg in your lemon cake. Oooo lemon cake. Focus Charlotte. But in all seriousness, after reading different articles and books based around veganism, those thoughts instantly make not having that piece of dairy milk worth it. Plus, I love pure dark chocolate and soya milk in my tea. So who’s the real winner here?

What about the body benefits? Well, I do feel different in some ways. I’ve got more energy and I surprisingly don’t feel so overtired all the time like I have done a lot in the recent months. I feel lighter. Is that a thing? All bloating around my stomach is decreasing which is so nice, because I really struggled with bloating, so maybe cutting out dairy was very good step for me to make. I feel that I’ve maybe lost a little weight, but nothing majorly visible, just little places that I’ve noticed, and some clothes I’ve found are looser and actually fit now, which is a nice little confidence boost. My skin feels different. Smoother and hydrated. And CLEAR! Obviously, I get my breakouts when mother nature decides to make her monthly call. But for so long I’ve really struggled with my skin on my face. I’ve struggled with severe acne, and dryness and everything that could take away every inkling of your confidence away. I’ve got scars that obviously won’t leave but, since trying the vegan diet, I have noticed my skin clearing, and the spots aren’t anywhere near as bad as they were, and I can only put that down to eating so many greens and taking in so many different nutrients every day! Also with the help of drinking more water, and having a skin routine.

So on a whole, I am kind of loving it. I’m not saying I’m going to do this forever, but I’m going to give it a good go. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself because this is a big step, and it may lead to other lifestyle choices like how animals are used with make up and clothes etc. Which you know me, could be VERY difficult…Because I looooooove the make up…Here’s to month 2!

 

Quick and Easy Vegan Meal for One…

I’m going to be honest here, I’m not as healthy as I should be or have been. I used to exercise religiously 4-5 times a week, eat 3 square meals a day and eat healthy snacks in-between. Somehow, in the last year I’ve fallen off that slope and spiralled into skipping meals, snacking a lot but not substantially and not exercising as much as I should. After a lot of thought I’ve decided to give myself a kick up the backside, and make more effort into my health. I’ve always wanted to be a committed vegan, and after being a committed vegetarian for a few years now, why the hell not go the full hog? No puns intended on that one…

So, want to read about a super quick and super yummy meal that may happen to just be vegan?

This one is simple and I was surprised at how good I felt after having it. Yes, I’m now kicking myself that I hadn’t done this whole healthy eating again sooner, but the main thing is I’m doing it now right?

So all you shall need for this little beauty would be, a sweet potato, vegetables of your choice. I personally went for half a red pepper, some red onion, a clove of garlic, and some spinach and cucumber thrown in there two. Oh, and also some sexy salsa! Whilst the sweet potato cooks in the microwave…[told you it was a quickie] you might want to dice all of your veg and wack that into the frying pan. I didn’t use any oil or anything, but if you’re into that, you might want to wack that into the pan at this time too. After those vegetables start sizzlin’ I added some mild salsa into the mix to shake it up a little, whilst doing some salsa myself by the stove, but that step is optional… as well as adding some mixed herbs during each spin. Ding. My sweet potato is done, and so is my veg! Next step is to plate up, possibly add some pepper and a spinach leaf for garnish if you want to be fancy and enjoy.

It’s not much and I know that I’m no pro at cooking or anything, but it’s a start for me and I really enjoyed it. Go on you know you wanna try it, just look how pretty she looks…

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