Monday, 30 May 2011

Supermarket Sweep

Being a herbivore on the cheap!

I'm a bit of a bargain hunter, and I'm always checking Holland and Barrett for any reduced items they may have- for example I recently found milk-choc style easter eggs (125g) reduced to £1.99 and soya free cheezly on offer at £1.68, plus I love when they do buy-one- get- one half price. Other ways I get cheap vegan treats are via the Animal Aid special offers section- Viva sale section- and Alternative stores sale section-

However 'special' vegan foods are generally not that cheap so it's often better to go with a diet that's largely pulses, grains, veggies, fruits and nuts. It pays to shop around as each supermarket has it's pluses and downsides. I love food shopping!

I only discovered Aldi recently thinking it would be the same as lidl- it's not, it's so much better! One of the great things they do is good prices on fruit and veg: (warning, meat on that page too) watch out they're not spanish cucumbers though! The six 39p items change each week, meaning it's easy to have variety. Last week I really enjoyed the green beans but this week I'm looking forward to the radishes in salad!

A couple of other great finds recently have been the Granovita vegan pates (vegetable, olive and mushroom):

at 59p rather than the £1.29 charged in H&B. Also the humous is quite good, but I prefer sainsburys basic stuff. The spicy crisps at £1 are not bad and the tinned kidney beans at 18p are amazing!


Probably my favourite of the supermarkets, I generally pick up some of their 'no frills' garlic bread, humous

and tortillas (I could dip their humous into tortillas all day) , as well as their 59p soya milk which is fortified with vitamins B12 and D2. Also last time I got a bunch of leafy green pre washed salads reduced to 25p because of their BBE. I love my salads, and I'm a bit lazy with washing lettuce so that was great. I also got some jammy dodgers 2 for £1. I like their basics vegetable burgers which are £1 for 4 jazzed up with vegan mayo and tomato relish:

If You're Feeling a Bit Frilly:
Other great finds at Sainsburys which weren't exactly bargains include 2 for £3 cartons of smoothies, vegan naan (the Be Good to Yourself 6 small ones for £1.29) and chocolate bars:

For 79p each as well as a box of chocolate caramels for £2.99. Oh and swedish glace ice cream for £2.99. Also Cauldron have just brought out a new 'chickpea and sweet potato' roast which we had for dinner tonight and it was yum. They also recently had Pure spread for £1:


This is the bf's favourite and the closest to our house. I don't find them particularly great, as their soya milk is expensive, but I have found bargain marzipan and chocolate there before. More generally they do a garlic flatbread for £1 something which is great for a pizza base, and they tend to have Original Source shower gel for £1. They also have a good price on flaxseed at the free from section. I love their dark chocolate spread which is £1, and Linda McCartney sausages are £1 too.

A Less Smart Price

Asda do a good vegan wine for about £6 which is organic and fairtrade:

And Dairy Free Fudge for £2.99 in the free from section. They also sell nice apple and blackcurrant pies.


I haven't been to Tesco in a while... can't really think of anything specific except they also do swedish glace. Oh and their value soya milk is well priced, fortified and organic. I think they had the best price for vegan parmesan, but it might have been Asda.


Have been known to do Redwoods Vegi Deli slices for £1:
Meat Free Sage and Onion slices

I also love their dark chocolate chip cookies which were in the £1 region.


Good for Linda McCartney sausages and mince, and sometimes have Birds Eye vegetable fingers for £1:

As well as 5 Ruffle bars for £1:

and last but not least...


This place can be an unexpected treasure trove, with 19p Pink Panther wafers and £1 cherry and flaxseed cereal and jammy dodgers.

Ok there were probably hundreds and hundreds more things, what's everyone else's favourite supermarket bargains and luxuries?


I read his poetry about how vegetarians are cruel to vegetables as a child and didn't realise until recently that he's a long-term vegan himself!

Benjamin Zephaniah recently advocated veganism in a vegan soc video, but here's a slightly older vid from 1994- love the cheesy 90s vibe!:

Freakin' awesome :D and featuring Safeway, ahh nostalgia! Great poetry too.


And he hated the foxhunting season."

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


I've wanted to do a post about vegan make-up for ages, I don't know what was stopping me. Maybe it was that unrelenting need to post about chocolate. Anyway, having been a vegan for over a year now, I have had a chance to use quite a lot of different vegan make-up. The main brands I use are Beauty without Cruelty, Urban Decay, Bare Faced Beauty and Barry M.

The only liquid vegan foundation I have used is by BWC. I have heard unconfirmed rumours that MAC is vegan, and think Urban Decay foundation may be, but otherwise don't know any other brands. I got a lot of it cheap at the Animal Aid online shop, but they seem to be phasing out the cheap stuff and replacing it with a £12 variety... It's not that good to be honest, I get a lot of spots after wearing it and even the lightest shade is a tad too orange. However I can't afford MAC or UD atm but I might ask for some for my birthday.

I have also tried powder foundation/ mineral make up from Bare Faced Beauty

Mini Foundation
I have only tried the testers as again £14.00 is too much for me to spend if I don't know if I will like it. With these the problem I have had is that the ones I have tried have been too white, and it kind of shows up 'powdery' on my skin and bits of it rub off making my face look red and patchy :(. Which is a shame as I wanted to like it. It also gives me bad skin afterwards.


I have much more luck with this than foundation. My favourite is a pallet my good friend got me (her blog is These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends if you want to check it out :) ) by Urban Decay:

The box itself is stunning with lots of animals and the slogan 'We don't test on animals- why would anyone?' And the shades are a mix of neutral and a bit more glittery for a night out.

I also like BareFacedBeauty mineral eyeshadows.

Mineral Eye Shadow


I love my eyeliner. It's weird because I'm very funny about eyes (I hate when people pull them down and hate to watch someone putting their contacts in... eeee) and I used to hate having eyeliner or mascara anywhere near them. But now if I'm putting on make up, I'll put on eyeliner. My eyes feel bare without it. The BWC eyeliner is ok but a bit 'hard' and can almost hurt to put on:

I love the Urban Decay one but have the opposite problem- the pencil part is so soft it breaks off when I try to sharpen it! And the wood part is really hard so it ends up all jaggy and I'm scared of poking my eye. I probably should get a special eyeliner sharpener rather than using an old blunt one from school :P


I have only ever used BWC and it's fine by me:


I don't really wear lipstick, although I have tried a couple of BWCs and they didn't suit me. I love Barry M's lipglosses though:

And thus concludes my vegan make up collection. Does anybody use anything different? Any recommendations? My birthday is coming up and I'm keen to try something new :)


I wanted a model because this post was about make-up and I've had an actor, politician, musician and athlete so far. Some sources say Kate Moss is vegan but it seems doubtful as she advertises Rimmel (tests on animals) and has been seen to wear fur, although she did date Jamie Hince from the Kills who definitely is vegan. Anyway I realised that besides Kate Moss, I couldn't think of any models. Although there is a former model and now activist who has had a pretty bad press but who is behind some of the yummiest ready to eat vegan foods I've ever had- redwoods-

Heather Mills may not have always been on the right side of public opinion, but having had a look at what she's used her fame for, such as being a goodwill ambassador for work to combat land mines as well as encouraging healthy eating Plus no matter what anyone says I will love her forever for Redwoods <3


Albert Einstein, physicist, 1921 Nobel Prize recipient:
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Vegan Characters

A few years ago I didn't even know what a vegan was... now the word is more commonly used and vegan characters appear more and more frequently. The unfortunate thing is that we're not always represented well- the stereotypes appear to be either total hippies or completely uptight. There are some good portrayals out there too though... but even they have their stereotypes, (which may actually be truths) as I'll point out. Here's a round-up of some, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly :P

The Good

1. Mac- Veronica Mars

Cindy 'Mac' MacKenzie is a computer genius and sidekick to the show's title character. She gets her fair share of difficulties, having been switched at birth and her boyfriend turning out to be a rapist and mass murderer and all. The position re her being vegan is mentioned here: "In her second appearance, the season 1 episode 'Silence of the Lamb,' Mac's mom asks Veronica if she's vegan, like Mac. This fact is sadly later forgotten in season 3 when Veronica and Mac go undercover to infiltrate an animal rights group." However they make up for this by giving her a vegan boyfriend, one of the animal rights activists (who are trying to save a caged monkey subjected to experimentation and due to be killed).


2. Ezra Turner- Seven Pounds

Will Smith seems to jump to the conclusion he is vegan because he is 'not much of a meat eater' but apparently the character is vegan. Woody Harrelson the actor is vegan so that may have something to do with it. A piano playing, mild- mannered, blind, vegan meat salesman, Ezra is a 'good guy' and therefore one of the people to receive a donation in the film.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Calm and Compassionate

3. Peggy and Newt- Year of the Dog

Newt (Peter Sarsgaard) is an SPCA volunteer who tries to make sure animals destined for euthanasia get adopted out. Peggy (Molly Shannon), who loses her beloved dog Pencil and gains a new companion in King Shepherd dog Valentine becomes exposed to animal rights and veganism, and becomes vegan, through Newt. I haven't seen it but Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive plot summary:

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Animal Lover

4. Practically everyone- Bold Native

A film about animal activism (particularly liberation) I haven't seen Bold Native but it sounds interesting: "Charlie Cranehill, an animal liberator wanted for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action as his estranged CEO father tries to find him before the FBI does."
Diana Agron who plays Quinn in Glee and is a vegetarian who has done work for PETA features in the film.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Activist

5. Rachel Berry- Glee

We all know about this after Jesse threw eggs on her. Lea Michele, who plays Rachel, is also vegan. I wasn't sure whether her being vegan in this is good or bad, but it's not really portrayed negatively and her character, while annoying, is generally likeable.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Uptight and Self Involved

6. Jennifer Bowie- River City

On BBC soap River City, there was a vegan character named Jennifer. Kind, idealistic and a closet lesbian (until she came out- see below).

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Naive and idealistic

The Bad

7. Jesse- The Simpsons

A 'level 5' vegan, Jesse doesn't eat anything that casts a shadow: I laughed a lot- the Simpsons make fun of everyone and I wouldn't expect vegans to be an exception! But I couldn't exactly put him in the 'good' category.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Extreme, poser, hippy

8. Marla- The Cut

The Cut is an online (although it was briefly shown on TV) teen drama on the BBC. It's very cheesy! A bit like Hollyoaks but with more cheese (vegan cheeze, sure!). Marla is a spoilt rich girl with a background of eating disorders and self harm. She runs every day and is vegan. She gets a mention in the 'bad' category because her eating disorder is impliedly linked to the veganism and her dad offers her cereal at one point and she goes 'Dad! I can't eat cereal. I don't drink milk!' Then has some soya milk shortly afterwards. Also by series 3 she gives it up.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Health-freak with eating disorder links, Give up easily

9. Todd Ingram- Scott Pilgrim Vs the World

One of the evil ex boyfriends, he gets super powers from being vegan. I can't believe they broadcast that to the world, it's supposed to be a secret ;). He has his powers taken away by the vegan police for drinking a non-soya latte. Firmly tongue in cheek, I think this is funny, but I suppose overall portrayal of vegans is bad.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = A cult!

The Ugly

10. Beth- John Tucker Must Die

One of John Tucker's many (well, 3) girlfriends, she's introduced as a vegan activist and the insinuation immediately afterwards is that vegan girls are promiscuous! I've not heard that one before. Again, I liked the film and thought it was funny, but veganism wasn't exactly portrayed well!

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Promiscuous!


I've already highlighted two in this blog post, but I'm in an eye candy mood, and since I've already had an actor, a politician and a musician, I thought it was time for an athlete :)

I'm sorry, did it get a bit hotter in this blog?

This shamelessly posted topless photo is of Canadian triathlete Brendan Brazier. He is the world authority on plant-based sports nutrition having written a book on it called "The Thrive Diet". Apparently there's something called the 'ultramarathon' and according to Wikipedia "During his professional athletic career, Brazier won two Canadian 50 km Ultramarathon Championships (2003,[2] 2006,[3]) and was regarded as one of Canada’s top endurance athletes and among the world’s best ultramarathoners."

Here he talks about how veganism can help with health/ sports/ athletics and the environment:


"Their plan, as diabolical and as implausible as it may sound, was to convince everyone that the milk from another species, designed to be consumed by its newly-born offspring, was a sensible thing for adult human beings to drink." Brendan Brazier, speaking about the Dairy Industry.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Firstly, a disclaimer. I somehow accidentally ended up following my own blog. I will defollow when I work out how to do so, but just in case anyone thinks I did it to make myself look cooler, like, hey, I have 11 followers, not 10! :P

It's that exam time, and I'm recovering from a cold, and I think study stress plus lazing about all day plus having a cold is making me overeat. Today alone I have had a large fruit smoothie, two slices of toast with pure marg, a fruit bowl, 2 chocolate truffles (the indulgent but calorific Booja Booja flamb├ęd banana kind) a huge bowl of 2 veg sausages, cheezy mash , carrots and swede, 3 digestives with chocolate spread, a glass of vanilla rice milk, a cup of tea, 2 plums, and then dinner of stir fry, noodles and a spring roll. This seems like rather a lot, but every hour or so I get hungry! I'm sure it's because of the cold, because I wasn't so hungry before then!

Being exam time, I need to study some more so I have time to watch the Apprentice but I thought I'd pop in since it had been a while. I now have two holidays lined up, and the chance to sample the vegan cuisine of two new countries- I'm going to Bremen, Germany, in June for three days for my mum's big birthday (I'll not say how old she is, just in case, but it's a biggie so I'm sure you can guess!) and have already checked Happy Cow and found 3 veg restaurants. I'll do a post about how it was when I get back! I'm also going to Dublin for 2 days in August to meet up with my flatmate from France who I haven't seen in nearly a year and I've missed a lot! :) She doesn't live in Dublin, she's from Austria, but she'll be in Dublin with friends so I decided to get cheap flights and meet up with them.

Here are some photos of food I've made recently (but before exam time and before I had a cold), since I never put any of my (usually not very photogenic) creations up on here. Nothing like all the other foodie bloggers post, sadly:
Stir Fry with noodles and vegan chicken-style pieces
Chocolate cake I made for my Dad's Birthday
Pizza Kirsti-style with a spicy tomato and pepper sauce and heaps of rocket and parmazano (vegan parmesan)
Chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream (swedish glace)

Gosh I'm starting to feel hungry again!

Famous vegan of the post:

I decided to go for a food-themed Famous vegan today, but healthy food:

Fiona Apple is an amazing singer, I've liked her music for about 4 years, since I picked up two of her CDs in a boxset for £5 at FOPP. I only found out she was vegan very recently, and didn't realise she was as well known as she is. I don't know a huge amount about her other than I love her music, but here's an interview where she talks about herself and mentions her love of animals and veganism:

Quote of the Post:

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.
—Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist (1828–1910)

Well, I'd better go get a wee bit more studying in, then I'll have to get my sugar fix!! Oh, Alan Sugar that is ;)