Very Vegan- What’s It All About?

 

Here at Portlebay we are particularly proud of our vegan products, and understand the importance of these in a world where veganism is a increasingly popular lifestyle choice.  Currently three out of our six flavours are vegan friendly, these being the delicious Chilli & Lime,  Sweet & Salty and Lightly Sea Salted. Unfortunately some of our wonderful popcorn relies on ingredients such as milk (our seasonal flavours; Cinnamon swirl 1st October- 31st March and Lemon Sherbet 1st April-30th September) and bacon (in  our Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup), however even these flavours are carefully hand-popped using completely natural ingredients and as always no palm oil!

For those of you who are completely new to the vegan world, veganism can be defined as the decision to abstain from the use of animal products and the belief in excluding all forms of exploitation or harm to animals for the use of food, clothing or any other purpose.

People choose to become vegan for many different reasons including dieting, compassion, health and environmental reasons. We decided to interview some young and vibrant vegans who go by the names of Elena, Imogen, Emmy and Naomi, to learn a bit more about the world of veganism and how it affects them on a day-to-day basis.

Each of these four lovely ladies are at a different stage of their vegan journey and are happy to give us a little insight into their vegan lives:

Emmy– A year and a half into the journey!

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Elena– One month into the journey!

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Imogen- 6 months into the journey!

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Naomi- 10 months into the journey!

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1. What Are The Main Struggles You Face With Being Vegan? 

Naomi: Definitely the lack of choices when going out to eat!

Elena: I’d say sometimes helping people understand why I’ve made this choice is difficult, particularly with older generations.

Imogen: Alcohol is a huge struggle. A lot are filtered through fish bladders, so finding vegan ones at the bar is difficult unless your vegan alcohol knowledge is faultless. Also, I hate how products can be marketed as vegan just as an excuse for it to be priced ridiculously.

Emmy: The main struggles I face being vegan is to know what’s vegan when you travel, especially abroad. Many places don’t cater for vegans, or don’t make it easy to identify which products are vegan or not. But I think many places in the UK are becoming increasingly better at this, and you can find some vegan options both from the shop ‘on the go’, or in restaurants. Also, I find it really annoying how almost all product have some sort of milk-powder or dried egg, even though there shouldn’t be a reason for it.

2. What Do You Tend To Look For With Vegan Friendly Products? 

Imogen: I look for fresh ingredients that are written in plain English (not chemistry compounds), no preservatives or artificial additives, it being organic is a bonus, it has to be dairy-free of course, and depending on the product I might see if it’s recyclable and what the brand’s ethics are, oh and the protein content.

Elena: Ingredients that I recognise and aren’t just full of loads of long weird chemical compound sounding names are a must. Otherwise I feel I’m back to square one. And yeah, it has to be macro-nutrient. The fact that Portlebay use natural ingredients as well as being vegan is a great bonus to me!

Emmy:  I look for ingredients and nutritional value in vegan products, and try to avoid stuff which has palm oil, high levels of saturated fats and sugar. I also try to find food with high protein levels, and fewer ingredients.

3. What Made You Decide to Become Vegan?  

Elena: I disagree with the meat and dairy industries ethically, the meat industry is one of the biggest contributors to the planet’s pollution problem, I don’t believe humans need animal-based products and in fact believe they are detrimental to our health. I just want to eat food that I know is good for me and leaves me feeling guilt free. This is a recent decision for me so I’m still learning and am transitioning my products and clothes slowly.

Imogen: environmental reasons, ethical reasons of course, so many of our British farm animals and homeless cats and dogs are put down it makes me so angry! Also, weight management and religious reasons too (the Hindu holy book, The Bhagavad Gita, states to not harm any living things which is interpreted by some Hindus as going vegan whilst others opt for vegetarianism). I also feel so much more energised on a vegan diet. I just like making sure what I put in my body is healthy and wholesome it makes all the difference mentally too.

Naomi: You guys put that perfectly, I’m literally exactly the same!

Emmy: I became vegetarian first for environmental reasons, but then got more engaged with ethical and animal welfare arguments, as well as the health benefits of a vegan diet.

4.What Do You Wish People That Aren’t Vegan Knew About The Vegan Lifestyle? 

Naomi:  People always assume it’s really expensive and you don’t get your ‘protein’ when actually there is so much more protein in beans, nuts and vegetables than there is in meat. A lot of people don’t realise the cruelty that happens behind closed doors especially in the dairy industry, I had no idea until I actually properly researched it! I feel like if everyone knew what meat and dairy products were actually made from and the process in which they are made a lot more people would become vegan, also people just don’t hear about the possible side effects of eating meat such as cancers, bowel problems and weight gain.

Elena: It doesn’t have to be some massive deal when you decide to be vegan and with a bit of research it’s not too difficult!

Imogen:  I wish people knew that it’s not hard to transition when you realise what you were taking wasn’t yours to begin with! So many places are now expanding their vegan range so it’s not as hard to find alternatives. It took me five attempts to become vegan but you get there in the end! Also, nutrients are easy to find in non-meat sources. Omega 3, commonly known for residing in cod liver, is actually in a whole range of things like Chia Seeds for example.

Emmy:  I wish people knew that it is not hard to get enough protein, and it doesn’t need to be more expensive to eat a vegan diet. Also, I wish people understood that when you truly believe in the reasons why one has chosen to become vegan, it’s not hard to avoid animal products.

5. How Has Being Vegan Affected Your Overall Lifestyle? 

Imogen: I’ve been looking after myself better as a result, going to the gym more because I feel great and energised and I am always coming up with new meals in the kitchen now. When I go out for food I am always discovering new flavours and I love that. I’m a little greener now too! Recycling more, growing fruits and veggies, being wary of our declining bee population and that sort of thing.

Naomi: I was vegetarian for four years and then became vegan in September 2018 and have lost over a stone! I also have less spots, my hair is way less greasy, I feel more energised and mentally I’m so much happier as well- so there are just loads of health benefits!

Elena:  I feel more lean already, I feel excited to carry on discovering new foods and am more mindful about what I put into my body and the way my actions affect the environment.

Emmy:  I’ve become more interested in nutrition, changed my cooking habits and experiment more with different ingredients. I probably have become much more aware of environmental sustainability, and may end up preaching ethical consumerism unintentionally at times. Other than that I wouldn’t say it has changed my lifestyle.

6. What Advice Would You Offer To Anyone Wanting To Convert To Vegan? 

Imogen: Listen to your body – you don’t need to go cold turkey vegan right away! Start by reducing meat and dairy and then eliminate over time, I found my body was initially not coping with the sudden change too well so that’s why it took five attempts for me! You shouldn’t do it just because its deemed an Instagram trend, do it for you and never stop educating yourself, get in the kitchen more and browse the web! There are so many vegan recipes out there to begin transitioning!

Elena:  Just don’t be too harsh on yourself, if you slip up just learn from it and don’t quit. Also don’t do it for anyone but yourself, consider it a self investment.

Emmy:  My best advice would probably be to educate oneself about the impacts of animal products on your health and the environment. Watch a few documentaries, read some articles and get familiar with your own reasons for changing your eating habits. Also, I’ve got lots of inspiration from vegan Instagram accounts as well. And lastly, not to be to hard on oneself. As I don’t think everyone has to be vegan for the world to become a better place, as long as everyone raises their awareness of issues related to animal products, and cut down their consumption of these.

Naomi:  My advice would be that any change is going to help, especially for the environment, even cutting down slowly, for instance, having one less meal with meat in a week and slowly making it less and less. Or have a list of companies that test on animals so you know that what you’re buying is cruelty free! Also just experiment with different food especially alternatives like milk, I had to try loads until I found one that I actually like!

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So, we hope this discussion of the vegan world has answered a few questions and maybe even made you consider your life-style choices. We, for one, can’t wait to tuck into one of our delicious vegan friendly flavours!
For more information about veganism visit: https://www.vegansociety.com/

How To Plan A Trip with €1000

The wonderful blog Call Me Boujee, belongs to the very, very charming Kel. Kel created the blog as a place to detail her ‘travels, struggles and mumbles’. Here is a typical post that can be found on ‘Call Me Boujee’ written by Kel- How to plan a trip with €1000.

Hello, friends!

Since I started my blog a few months ago, I have been pleasantly surprised to receive a few questions from some of my lovely readers.

One of these questions was how to plan a budget trip to the destination of choice. First of all, I am humbled that you read my blog and grateful that you take the time to ask me questions. I shall try not to let this get to my head. **too late**

When most people think of traveling, they are panicked by the humongous price tags that may come along with the decision to travel. Most people actually end up never traveling or not traveling enough because of these price tags. Maybe it’s African in me, but I do not think it’s fair to pay out of your nose to travel and experience nature and culture.

I  going to give you a few tips and tricks that will reduce your travel costs immensely, while still allowing you to have fun on your trip. I have personally traveled with a less than €750 budget twice, so I think I might be of particular help. It is risky, but sure, but what’s the fun in safe?

The most important thing you have to do when planning a trip for less than €1000 is chosen a country whose local currency is inferior to the currency you earn in. Life tends to be much cheaper in countries with inferior currencies so you will almost definitely enjoy a lot more luxury at a far cheaper cost.

Another thing you want to get out of the way is flights. I personally use jetcost.co.uk which I have found gives the cheapest prices on the world wide web so far.

 Accommodation

There are a number of options for accommodation when on a budget. My personal favorite is Airbnb which is abundant in choice and reasonably good self-catering Airbnb accommodations for €50 or less a night. A tiny tip for you here is to book much earlier than your intended trip, especially if you are traveling during peak times. Airbnb hosts tend to get a little pricey during peak seasons.

You can also look into backpackers, hostels, and camping depending on your personal style and preference.

Food

If you rent a self-catering accommodation, you will probably have a kitchen available to you. Cooking your own meals will cut the cost of your trip by at least 50% as restaurants in most holiday destinations are unjustifiably expensive. Again, if you go to a country with an inferior currency, meals will almost definitely be affordable even on a budget. If you travel to a considerably expensive country like Seychelles, you can pick up luxury food choice from the supermarkets and cook for yourself.

Transport

Hiring a car in anywhere in the world will set you back €30-50 per day so depending on how tight your budget is. You may choose to stick to the public bus system or even just hire a car for a few days where you need to travel far and use public transport for the nearby areas. Good itinerary planning skills are needed here.

Excursions

If on a budget, there is a good number of free and/or cheap things to see and enjoy in every country in the world. That is the best thing about keeping an open mind when budget traveling. You will see wonder where a normal person wouldn’t even take a second glance. Therefore, you do not have to pay out of your nose to experience and enjoy the world.

Things like hiking, ocean swimming, swimming pools, DIY snorkeling, museums and farmers markets are free or really cheap.

Ideas:

  • DIY snorkeling-Love snorkeling or just simply want to try it out, why not try a DIY snorkeling adventure. Tour guides would charge an arm and a leg to take you snorkeling when in actual truth you on your own near the shores. Bring your own snorkeling equipment in your suitcase and you will avoid the exorbitant prices of hiring on the Island.

Safety Tip: keep close to the shores and don’t venture out too far into the ocean.

  • Visit a museum- museums tend to be free or very cheap to get into. They are a brilliant way to learn more about the history and culture of the land without paying out of your nose.
  • Swimming pools- If you fancy a day at the pool, most hotels will charge a small fee for swimming in their pools. Why not grab your beach bag and head over to a hotel pool for some relaxation time?
  • Museums-Most museums around the world are free or extremely cheap to access. Museums are a great place to learn about the culture and history of the local area. They are informative, interactive and fun

Don’t forget to take out travel insurance before you travel. If you are traveling to a country with an inferior currency, chances are that health and medical services there are rather inferior too. It might be wise to take out travel insurance to cover you in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Let’s sum this all up, shall we?

Accommodation (7 days).

Double room €35 – 50 = €245 – 350

Restaurant

Luxury Supermarket groceries €180

Transport

Car hire €50 × 7 days €350

Miscellaneous insert your own figure.

In my opinion, €1000 is more than enough spending money for two as long as you budget and plan your trip well. So why not plan an adventure there for your next holiday? I promise you will not regret it.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to slide into my DMs. If you like this post and would like to see more, do follow me on my Instagram page (@thatboujeebabe) and on my blog (http:/callmeboujee.com)

We loved this piece by Kel and most certainly feel the need to jet away now! Also, here’s a cute snap of Kel and our popcorn!

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