Monday, September 12, 2016

Coverting to Vegan, Cruelty Free Makeup Only

Disclaimer, for all of you vegan-haters before you start reading this post: I'm not vegan. I eat meat. Okay, now carry on.

For years, I've been using makeup which tests on animals, and I still am now. This means that, in order to make myself look a little prettier, animals have to suffer. If you really think hard about that, it's horrible, and I've been doing a lot of hard thinking lately. Now, I am not vegan, as I've said, or even vegetarian, however I strive to eat less meat and reduce the amount of cruelty little by little, since personally I don't feel I could go cold turkey straight away, and I believe that doing good is good enough for now, since if everybody were to do one 'good' thing, like using vegan makeup products only, the amount of cruelty in the world would be reduced by so much.

When I was growing up, I didn't really care about animals. They were just animals to me. Now I'm older, and I still can't say I feel a huge connection to animals and a lot of them freak me out, but I hate to think of any animal at all going through any kind of suffering. I could write a whole post on how I feel about using animals for food (constant debate in my mind anyway), but for now I'm focusing on the cosmetics industry.

The thought of giving up Velvet Teddy - the one lipstick I wear every single day and adore - is a little sad, but not really that sad. I'm absolutely certain that I will find another which will match up to it. The thing about makeup is that it's all pretty much the same. Of course, there are the bad products, and there are the amazing products, but aside from that, i feel like it's all so similar. I have my preferences, like being in love with L'Oreal products on a whole, but I've used products that are similar to those and noticed only a small difference. Further to that, nobody else even notices any difference, or even gives a damn. Literally, I go into uni without makeup some days, and nobody cares. Nobody even looks at me. And if they do, I don't care what they think.

It might be a little challenging to go for all vegan products since it seems there aren't many around, but I'm going to be posting about them on my blog. If it happens that I can't find a vegan version of a product I need, I will settle for cruelty free. There are quite a few cruelty free brands out there, such as Revolution, MUA, Real Techniques, Tanya Burr. I'm going to need to research further, but I've seen it around that they're cruelty free. Sadly, L'Oreal are not (though they claim to be) and I'll be sad to let go of L'Oreal, but I'm sure my life will continue on as before.

If you know of any amazing cruelty free / vegan products, please let me know! I'd love some recommendations. It feels a bit like starting again with beauty when I was figuring out the good brands and products, now I'm having to do it again but the vegan version.

Friday, September 02, 2016

James Martin's Turkey Tabbouleh With Lemon & Herbs

Guess who's back?! Yes, well done, it's me. This time I'm filled with a determination to keep my blog going! I think I've found my 'place' in the community & you'll soon see where that is after a few posts. I didn't feel that simply beauty blogging was being of much help or interest to people any more, so I'm moving into something that might.

ANYWAY! Enough about that, I can do a whole post in it later. Today's post is all about this AMAZING salad thing (it's called a tabbouleh but honestly I have no idea what that means as I am a mere human and not a chef). If you asked me if I liked salads a year ago I would've undoubtedly said no. Now, here I am, loving them. All it takes is about 10 gallons of coriander, a bit of lemon and a bunch of unexpected ingredients rather than the classic lettuce and cucumber combo. Yes, I am addicted to coriander and I'll own up to that now.

So this tabbouleh (erm, salad thing), has a very fresh taste with crunchy textures from nuts and seeds, as well as some squishiness from the apricots, and the meaty texture of turkey. Different textures in meals are always good to me, and somehow it makes it easier to eat. I find it difficult to eat things of one texture, depending on what it is, because I'll start to feel sick, so this is great for me. I feel like meals like this are a great way to get a bunch of different good things in your body because there's quite a few great ingredients in one place, and they actually taste nice. Much easier than munching on a stick of celery.

The Recipe:

150g Bulgur Wheat
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed & sliced
150g chopped pecans
100g chopped apricots
100g dried cranberries
80g pomegranate seeds
Juice 4 lemons
6tbsp Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil
8tbsp torn flat parsley
8tbsp chopped coriander
5tbsp chopped mint
1tbsp harissa paste
1tbsp clear honey
340g turkey breast fillet OR alternative eg tofu

The Method:

Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl with 700ml cold water. Cover and leave for 30 mins or overnight.

Add the spring onions, pecans, apricots, cranberries, pomegranate, lemon juice, 5tbsp oil and the herbs. Mix & season (I didn't season mine).

Mix the remaining oil & harissa paste in a bowl. Slice the turkey into 1cm strips & add to the bowl, mixing to coat. Stir-fry until cooked, mix in the honey & season (I didn't season).

Add the turkey to the salad & toss to combine.

You can have this salad warm or cold - I opted for warm.

My Modifications:

So I halved the recipe since I was only doing it for two of us. I find I'm not a fan of apricots but I did like the texture they added, so I simply put a few less in there since I didn't want them to be the main ingredient. I am obsessed with coriander, so I took away from the parsley and replace some of it with coriander instead. The pecans are pretty nice in it, so I think next time I might add a few more of those since the crunch is pretty nice. Perhaps a few more cranberries too since I didn't really notice them in it at all.

Vegan alternative?

I am not a vegan, however I strive to eat less meat. If we all cut out a little meat then we'd reduce animal cruelty by so much, so I would really recommend it. To be honest, the turkey didn't feel like a main part to this salad at all and I'd be completely happy to just go without out and not replace it. However, if you want a replacement, I'd suggest tofu (I've never tried this but I've seen my flatmate use it) with the harissa or some similarly spicy thing, or a fruit like pineapple or mango, which you could also add the harissa & honey to, or you could go for chilli and ginger instead (I absolutely love pineapple with ginger and chilli). If you have any other suggestions for something to replace the turkey, definitely leave them in the comments!

So, there's one of the recipes I've been a fan of lately! It was so so easy to do since all you have to do is chop up some ingredients and shove them all together. I really like recipes like this because they don't take long at all.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments! <3