Eating Vegan in Gran Canaria

Hola Amigos,

Alongside the beauty and lifestyle content I write, one of the main purposes of this blog is to make veganism as accessible, convenient and enjoyable as possible. Here in the UK, I have definitely taken for granted just how many vegan options are available on a budget that I forgot to account for what it would be like, as a vegan, outside of the country. This was only realised once I had travelled to Gran Canaria where fresh produce was both limited and expensive which proved challenging. However, if you are thinking of travelling there sometime soon, please do not let this put you off as I have compiled (in this post!) a list of tips and meal ideas that will hopefully provide some insight to eating vegan abroad.

 

Gran Canaria-3

 

Canarian Potatoes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If it hasn’t already been mentioned elsewhere, Canarian Potatoes are your best option for a local delicacy that is both vegan and very accessible. These are boiled salted potatoes covered in mojo sauce, which consists of pepper, vinegar and spices. These can be found in all sorts of restaurants which means, as long as these are scattered around the island, you can never go hungry. These can be made further budget friendly by buying the sauce (around €2) and potatoes (€1.30 per KG) separately to cook at your accommodation.

Where to find: 19 Holes (Maspalomas), Roca Verde Restaurant (Playa Del Ingles)

Great World – Chinese Restraunt in Playa Del Ingles

19249958_10213739668145610_1326992539_o

Gran Canaria is not a vegan/vegetarian-friendly country. In fact, trying to explain dietary restrictions is almost pointless, if not impossible to be completely understood. Because of this, eating out should be thought over carefully. Using the HappyCow website, I thankfully discovered Great World which offers some fantastic Chinese Vegan options which follow closely to the Whole-Foods diet. My personal favourite was this vegetable chow-mein style dish, and this came with both a sweet and spicy sauce for dipping (which I believe is courtesy with most main dishes). I had to come back twice because it really was delicious.

Side note: For two people with two mains, a side of rice, 2 beers and a vegetable spring roll, this came to €21 euros.

 

Eating on Excursions

IMG_7593

For this post I can only really speak for my one excursion, which was a dolphin tour in the Puerto Rico area of Gran Canaria. Here, we were promised an all inclusive buffet and free drinks. This was somewhat mis sold as there really wasn’t much selection to be called a ‘buffet’ as we were handed plates with spanish omelate and salad. Snacks included watermelon, bananas and apples. Although this may not be what you want to hear, considering the prices of these products outside of the boat, I ensured it was me who was eating said salad and fruit. Take advantage of eating a full meal beforehand.

Eating In

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Starches were the main consistency of every meal because not only are they some of the cheapest products worldwide, but they are the most satisfying in ensuring you stay fuller for longer. Side effect: Great diet food also!

Breakfast: Jumbo Oats (€1-2) with Soya Milk and Banana. There are a tonne of banana plantations in Gran Canaria and I found, contrary to bananas in the UK, the bananas were much sweeter. These are optional of course but definitely helped transform an otherwise plain breakfast.

Lunch/Dinner: When I wasn’t making my own version of Canarian potatoes, I was making the most of the Pasta based dishes. One night it was purely tomato pasta, which although sounds boring, was such a nice treat. On another night, I found a soya-based bolognese (€2) which was added to pasta with an additional side of broccoli (€2.30) for a vitamin boost.

 

 If you have any questions regarding eating in Gran Canaria, I am more than happy to help.  Safe travels.

Love,

lea-x

 

Valentines outfit!

Hello again!

Since Valentines day is quickly approaching, I thought I would release a bunch of Valentines related posts to suit the occasion. You can expect a Vegan What I eat in a Day (Valentines day edition, of course), so if you are interested in how you can make plant-based choices whilst eating all the cake in the world, definitely keep in touch by hitting the follow button!

One of my favourite things about this holiday is that it allows me to go all out with my outfit and makeup – that’s probably one of the most ‘basic’ things I’ve said today, but that’s because I don’t get of the house out much (#thirdyearstudentproblems).

Today is also just one of those days. So here I am, on a Friday afternoon, not doing my coursework and posing in a nice dress.

New Look // 19.99

IMG_6058.JPG

This is, without a doubt,  a boob popping dress, which is one of the things that drew me in. I love an outfit that can make going bra-less appear sophisticated but I just really hate wearing bra’s anyway, so this really is a winning situation for me.  The only downfall is that I do find myself ‘falling’ out of this dress, so this is going to require some tape to keep the material firmly fixed and public appropriate.

IMG_6056.JPG

Another thing I love about this dress is that it is so universal. Since I  put on weight last year, I have been self-concious about my tummy which literally looks invisible in these pictures because the material just flows so nicely over it. Though at the same time, the tie at the waist  provides a nice eye-drawing detail that flatters your curves. All-in-all, three course meal food-baby approved.

Let me know what your plans are for this Valentines day!

lea-x

What I Eat in a Day: WSLF Vegan!

Breakfast

15995654_10212111319517912_1929860359_n

This isn’t exactly Whole Starch as Bran Flakes are a processed cereal, although considering all the other sugary cereals available, this comes a lot closer to a “healthy breakfast”. Since I really struggle to enjoy eating oats, I opt for a Bran flakes topped with banana and a drizzle of Soya Light milk. This satiates me fairly well.

 

Lunch

16130133_10212148950938674_389105822_o

Most days I either have university or work and despite their being a decent range of vegan options in the dining areas, they’re not oil free or WSLF for that matter. So I have started to bring in my own lunches consisted of baby potatoes, sriracha sauce and a salad.  Usually I would top the potatoes with sweetcorn but as they are considered a starchy vegetable, I’m trying to further my weight loss by sticking to the guidelines of a 50-50 ratio to starch and vegetables.

 

Dinner

15991585_10158066144430182_862513203_o

Today I made this delicious Teryaki rice dish. My whole starch consisted of wholegrain rice, which come in  frozen microwavable packs, so they’re super quick to make. They’re also oil free! I then topped with cooked broccoli, sliced peppers and spring onions with a drizzle of teriyaki sauce and chilli flakes. Super easy dinner.

 

WSLF Progress:

It appears I have lost a rough 3lb since I have started eating this way which is amazing considering I do not feel as though I am restricting myself in any way: I still occasionally drink alcohol and eat at restaurants, all the while  not once stepping foot in the gym. My bloating is also a lot less profound as it was eating a fruit based diet and I find myself satiated for longer without crazy energy spikes and drops. I will continue to update my progress throughout the next coming months.

Love,

lea-x

 

I’m no longer Vegan?

Hello Bloggers, It’s been a while.

I have something to admit, I’m changing my diet. When I first turned to veganism, I adopted a more fruit based diet (I’m talking grapes for breakfast and watermelon for days)  which was heavily influenced by the promises of weight-loss by Freeleethebananagirl. Even though I will be changing my diet, I have a lot to be thankful for; my energy levels soared, my immunity to colds, virus’s and general illnesses had dramatically raised, and i did wake up looking pretty bomb. However, a year on this fruit-based diet and despite the exercise I had done, I just wasn’t losing any of 2015’s Christmas weight. Furthermore, I felt constantly hungry and to curb that, I felt the constant need to eat, which makes sense as to why I have put on so much weight which feels foreign to my frame.

I can’t completely blame this diet though, I was also eating a lot of (Vegan) pizzas, burritos, cakes and cheeses, which is completely natural coming to an entirely new lifestyle where there is much to be discovered. It was my birthday a few days ago and i ordered this monster chocolate black forest from Clemies Vegan cakes. Now that it has been demolished, I’m ready to change!

Recently I found WSLF (Whole Starch Low Fat) advocated by Mr & Mrs Vegan on Youtube. Similar to Mcdougals plan, the general  outline consists of fuelling your body with whole, natural starches which will keep you satiated for a longer time due to the fact they are complex carbohydrates. Half of your plate (Or really, unlimited) should be full of nutritious vegetables, legumes, beans, with only (limited) portions of fruit throughout the day. This way of eating, no processed foods, oils, refined sugars are key to not only losing weight, but plays key into meeting all your nutritional needs. While I can’t really provide the best scientific knowledge in my own words, I can point in the direction of their Facebook Page which is filled with success stories and their Youtube videos which provide more information, backed up by science, if that is what you are looking for.

 

They do recommend WSLF as a 30 day challenge, and as it is Veganuary there is no better way to get introduced to quick weight-loss for those new years resolutions. I personally will not be using WSLF as a “diet fad” but a foundation for my diet this year mainly because it is much more convenient to me in terms of budget and my satiation levels. I’m currently on day 2 so it’s still early days for me to comment on any  bodily changes. I will update this page at a later date to check in my progress.

 

love,

lea-x

Primark & Misguided Haul, Youtube, and UPDATE

So last Monday I had surgery. Since then, it has been a very painful recovery and I have often  been questioning myself on why I went ahead with it in the first place, despite reading up online discussions on forums that specifically said “Childbirth was easier”. Its not all doom and gloom though, I am grateful to the strong pain medication I was perscribed that sent me to sleep hours at a time which I guess, in some sense, speeded up the healing time. Still, it has been pretty shitty.

More than anything, the timing has been the worst part because my boyfriend had planned to be out of the country for most of October working on film shoots, which meant I was left home alone. Thankfully my parents came home and helped me with tasks I didn’t want to do (washing the pots). A friend of mine also helped take me around town to pick up more pain medication, which I took advantage of, and ended up shopping my own weight in clothes. It is hard being stuck in the house alone. The only other thing I could look forward to is my weekly grocery delivery, which by the way, I bought some Vegan Wensleydale-style cheese and it is SO good.  If you’re wanting to become vegan or just looking for ways to cut out meat and dairy, I definitely recommend the new line that Sainsburies have recently added. The hype is real!

14632634_10211099420821077_2046517587_o

Since I’m not quiet recovered enough for uni yet and I haven’t updated this page for a while, I really felt the need to make a video on my recent splurges. This is something I have been wanting to try out for a long time, even though I don’t have the equipment to make the high quality content I really want,  but this is just the start. Please let me know if this is something that you enjoy and are willing to support. My channel will be similar to my blog, a focus on Veganism, health, beauty, fashion; all of that jazz.

Thank you so much for being a great reader and a fabulous supporter. I wish you all a fantastic weekend!

lea-x

Revolution Palette: Fortune Favours the Brave

Hello my lovelies, I hope you are having a wonderful day so far. As per usual, I have treated myself to a little eyeshadow palette. I’m going through a stage where I have fallen in love with eyeshadows all over again and trying to venture out of my routinely brown smokey eye, hence why this blog is so focussed on makeup at the moment. Next week will be a slight shift however where I will be posting a budget Vegan grocery haul for all you students out there who are just going to uni for the first time, so definitely follow if that’s something you are wanting to see.

img_5769

Back on topic, the palette I’m currently obsessed with is the Revolution “Fortune Favours The Brave” which was just under the £10 Mark accessible in Superdrug. While Revolution can not say they are Vegan, they have confirmed that they do not test on animals and neither do their third parties – which is great news for those who do not buy into animal cruelty.

img_5772The main reason why I chose this palette is because the shades are so versatile and wearable. I’m not usually one for bright colours on my lid, but right now I’m up for experimentation and I find this selection of 30 shades allows me to do that without being too daring. I also love how these shades are so smokey and romantic in theme, with plenty of pigmented gold and pink shimmering shades, matte nudes and gorgeous marbled shadows too, allowing me to go from day to night. It also helps theres a huge mirror: theres nothing worse than a palette without a mirror!

img_5778

 I highly recommend this palette, especially for those on a budget like me.

Let me know if you have any favourite beauty buys this month!

Love,

lea-x

Vegan Beauty favourites: Kylie LipKit Dupes!

I’ve had a crazy few weeks lately, consisting of 9am starts and 11pm finishes, all thanks to my new job, meetings, birthdays, travelling and Pokémon GO in the moments between those. It’s all very reminiscent of what I’d imagine a Sex and The City lifestyle would be like, except without the glamour and definitely without the money. After all, I am just a student.

All in all, it’s been a little bit of a blur not having a moment to myself, I figured I’d celebrate this morning by dragging my aching limbs to Boots and grabbing a few lipsticks to replace the ones I lost on a boat party in Sunny Beach, #worthit. I also have a few other favourites from this month that I’d love to share with you, especially if you are looking for some inexpensive cruelty-free products that have been tried, tested and loved by me.

 

Sleek “Matte Me” lip cream: £4.99

14075140_10210571271017662_256196239_o

While I was impressed with the Revlon Ultra HD matte lip cream before I inevitably lost it (I used shade “Devotion”) a lot of the other shades are more pink/red based, which I feel overpopulate the high street. I’ve been trying to look for shades similar to the ever-so-popular Kylie Jenner lip kits but on a budget, so when I came across the Sleek “Matte me” lip cream, a brand I hold so highly in my heart after trying their eye shadow palettes many years ago, I knew instantly they would be a winner. I was so impressed with the pigmentation after swatching them on my hand I practically threw away every other lipstick in my hand. At £4.99 – what a steal. A few hours and a bit of scrubbing later, the colours won’t budge, which makes this perfect for those like me who find their lipstick disappears quicker than when they last reapplied. I only chose “Birthday Suit”, which is a nude shade and “Velvet slipper”, a deep plum, but I’m ready to go back for more.

 

Overall the application was pretty slick, the cream application allows for a one coat coverage which is all thats needed with it’s pigmentation. I don’t see this having any problem regarding to lasting wear as it took me 2-3 layers of rough cleansing to get it off my lips, so eat away!

Sasy n Savy: Skincare

14114112_10210571280897909_1977552410_o

All this traveling has really taken it out on my stress levels and so in turn, I’ve been eating a lot of junk. This has taken it out of my skin, which can get very dry and flaky, so having this Sasy n Savy travel kit by my side has been pretty useful.

A bit of background information for those who don’t know about this brand, Sasy n Savy are an Australian brand who offer an extensive range of 100% natural products that are high in vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients vital for healthy skin growth. They are exactly the type of products that would make your skin-care obsessed gran so proud. They are also  cruelty free making them VEGAN. Celebrations all round. Find out more here.

14087332_10210571271817682_264869765_o

This pack covers all of the essentials; a cleanser, toner, masque, and daily moisturiser. The first thing I noticed was just how gentle it felt on my skin, perfect for sensitive skin types like mine that can be aggravated through deep cleansing and heavy exfoliating. The deep rose scent made the routine feel a little more luxurious and calming, which after a long day was a nice way to unwind.

The absolute cherry on the top however was the peppermint moisturiser (Skin firming Creme), not only did it smell incredible and revitalising for the Monday starts but unlike many other moisturises for dry skin types, it’s lightweight and non-greasy, leaving me with glowing skin instead of oily. This won’t be a problem to use before applying makeup as it settles into the skin quiet nicely. As somebody who struggles to find a decent moisturiser that does this, it was a nice surprise. Now if only I could stop stroking my face…

Charlotte Tilbury

As a media student, it’s my job and my source of fun to appreciate all aspects of marketing, including new technology and advertising. It’s always interesting to see something new come to the table, especially with the launch of Charlotte Tilburys Scent of Dream Eau De Parfume. While I haven’t personally tested this for myself, Tilbury herself aimed to make a “fleurotic” scent that is a first of its kind, using psycho-active notes that work similar to animal pheromones, to make its user a core attraction of any room. She wants women to feel empowered, desired and emit an aura that is almost “hypnotising” using this scent. (Read the full interview at http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Charlotte-Tilbury-New-Fragrance-Makeup-2016-42211411#photo-42211411 )

8a51df0e18326fd103abdab3074a96fb

Obviously, we can take all that with a pinch of salt but what got me intrigued was the marketing side of things. I must admit I was a little taken-back initially by how strange the advertisement was but a little research helped go a long way in making me realise how ground breaking this was for the future of marketing. The ad campaign is unique in the way that it has been given a virtual reality spin, which users can experience using a host of VR headsets (Samsung gear and Google cardboard) to experience a multi-sensory, out of this world experience. At the forefront of this video is Kate Moss, an enigma herself, taking you through wormholes of the galaxy, truly mesmerising, just how Charlotte intended her first perfume to be. You can catch a glimpse on YouTube here, however it’s full effect is better reached by visiting Charlotte’s Beauty Boudoir in Covent Garden and Selfridges W1 from 18th August. Could this be setting us up for a new spin on advertising? What do you guys think of this style?

 

 

Let me know!

Love,

cropped-screen-shot-2016-02-18-at-09-48-31.png

 

A Vegan Subscription Box!? Review

Aloha buddies!

I have a serious appreciation for subscription snack-boxes. Getting food in the mail is as much excitement as my life gets sometimes which is why when I came across a Vegan subscription box service called Earlybird, I felt compelled to throw away yet more of my money on food  to support cruelty-free industries and to get more yummy goodness in my tummy.

Before I move on, Earlybird are not solely a Vegan company, upon online registering you can select you’re dietary preferences ( “Vegan”, “Vegetarian”, “Can eat anything”) as well as having the choice to eliminate gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts and soya. This versatility is great for  anybody, but especially for people like me who are vegan but also have a nut allergy, because theres literally no fuss of having to hunt foods down in the supermarket or feel like I’m hassling staff in restaurants. I choose my dietary preferences and my snack surprise will arrive when expected. Also, all snacks are without refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavours or colours and nutritionist approved, which means you know the food you’re eating is great for you as part of a healthy lifestyle.

13054904_10209465825942226_58575172_o

I don’t know why, but I always feel a little happier when I see my name embellished on things, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but I don’t think i’m the only one. Anyway, what I mean to say is that it’s a really nice touch, especially when the colour scheme is on point.

The first thing I noticed was heaps of dry fruit, which are my staple, but my eyes in particular wandered to Not an Aussi (dried Kiwi crisps)  and Cho-kale-et chips (Cacao, cinnamon and kale). Dried kiwi is rare to come by in the dried fruit section of supermarket and I had been hearing a lot about the benefits of cacao powder, so having these in my box we’re fantastic for allowing me to try new food. They tasted really delicious, although the Cacao took a little while to adapt my tastebuds to because it has a really sharp taste that can’t  really be compared to anything. Regardless it had an interesting detoxing effect on my body, if thats worth anything to you.

I do love my dry fruit but I found one major downfall to these fruit boxes: I hate coconut. I found that the Earlybird box incorporates a lot of coconut in their snack boxes, for example the coco- Cranberry (Cocounut bites). I did try the bites, and they have a great soft but crumbly texture for those who like the sound of that, but personally  it really isn’t my favourite and so I ended up wasting half of each snack box eating around it.

The second box contained my staples of dried fruit  again as well as  Shmokin’Peas, which remind me of my Graze box favourite BBQ Smokehouse Crunch, which were delicious, apart from the coconut of course. I also really appreciated seeing a  new food I hadn’t previously tried which was the Berry chia pud and I was really excited to try this. However, the one thing that was missing from this box was instructions on how to make the pudding and had to revisit the website to find the instructions, which I feel was a little unnecessary  for Snacks-on-the-go. This isn’t a deal breaker by no means, but I do hope Earlybird include instructions in physical copy just for ease of use. As for the taste, it turns out I also didn’t like it, probably because of the coconut flavouring, but the purple colour was beautiful and I really appreciate having tried a variety of new foods!

I also can not complain with having a new tea to try every week, which is unique to this snack subscription box. It was so beautifully packaged and of high quality, there are no complaints.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed trying out Earlybird snack boxes and having the ability to really make the boxes fit my dietary preferences, more so than you can do with other boxes such as Graze. The ever-changing colour schemes of each box was a beautiful feature of   personalisation and knowing they could be recycled was a reminder that not only was i doing my body good but the environment too.  I do wish snack boxes contained a little less coconut as well as instructions and a full list of ingredients in the box (instead of just online) but that is something I feel will be rectified in the near future. If you wish to try this box, I have a code and you can get your first box half price: Leann-1699

 

I hope you enjoyed this review!

lea-x

 

 

 

 

 

My Vegan Easter Feast!

Good evening, bloggers!

I hope you’ve been having a wonderful easter filled with chocolate and sugar – all the naughties that restrain us from having our ideal body. I just wanted to post a few snippets of what my easter entailed, especially now that I follow a plant-based diet to show, contrary to many beliefs, just how easy it was.

You can substitute  your average easter eggs for vegan chocolate, yes there are Vegan chocolate easter eggs too but I didn’t really want much chocolate this year, partly because being plant-based does not automatically mean they are healthy and I’m still aiming for weight loss! Instead my boyfriend decided to surprise me by joining my vegan adventure. We spent the day  day baking these delicious  chocolate orange  and strawberry cupcakes, I think they turned out great as you can see from my Instagram.  ( If you’re not following me, you totally should if you want to see my healthy  low fat meal plans/ daily life!)

 

Matthew decided on this recipe himself, creating what he calls a Moroccan-style pie, which was basically just Sweet potato and spicy vegetable mix under a layer of puff pastry. He followed this with a side of Broccoli and Edamame spiced with chilli flakes, garlic pepper and a slice of lime, but of course he add to add layers upon layers of cheese. I’ve been trying to wean him off it, but it’s just not happening. I’m just happy that it’s non-dairy, which who knew could taste so freaking amazing?

 

12899344_10209241488253924_645699757_o.jpg

As for a little beauty-related to keep things sweet, I just want to show you my current favourite nail polish and design. I’m incredibly lazy, so anything with a 60 seconds setting time is a must have. I especially like this pastel blue shade “Breakfast in Bed” which is very typical of Easter Sunday, don’t you think?

12899397_10209242149630458_206917453_o

I also just added a slight white design to add a little jazz but like I said , I’m lazy and not particularly skilled so this design is only on my left hand. I haven’t attempted the right because I refuse to make such an effort with little pay off, kudos to you if you can!

How did you spend Easter this year?

Best of Easter wishes!

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 09.48.31