The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Subscription Review

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Subscription Review

Who doesn’t love cruelty free beauty finds? This is my first ever cruelty free and vegan beauty subscription box review, and most definitely won’t be the last.

What is The Cruelty Free Beauty Box?

They are a 100% cruelty free & vegan company which send boxes to your house full of beauty goodies.  All brands that they work with have to be Vegan as well as Cruelty free, which ticks off all my boxes! I was kindly gifted this from a family member for my birthday, so every 2 month’s for 6 months I will receive a box. I’ll receive three boxes in total, over a 6 month period and I have no clue what will be inside which is so exciting! On top of that, anything I fall in love with I can re-purchase from the site.

https://www.thecrueltyfreebeautybox.co.uk/

How Much Does The Box Cost?

There are three different type of subscription boxes, so it really depends on the size of the box and duration of how long you wanted to take the box for. They have 3 box sizes:

  • Mini box: 3 – 6 products
  • Original Box: 5-8 Products
  • Deluxe Box: 7-12 Products

I was kindly gifted the original box. If you want to see the full breakdown of pricing, follow this link.

What was Included in this Cruelty Free Beauty Box

What wasn’t include is the question? As well as having lot’s of beauty products, there was even one of my favourite vegan chocolate brands, some nuts and a hairbrush! Please find full list below:

Apologies for the amateur video, it was my first ever video on Instagram and I had no clue what I was doing!

Balade en Provence – Solid Night Cream

How in my 31 years, had I not invested in a night cream? I’ve always had fairly decent skin, she says whilst touching wood, so I never felt like there was any value from a cream whilst sleeping! Occasionally I would use my day moisturiser as a night moisturiser, if my skin felt drier than usual in the colder months.

When I opened the box, I was a little confused as it looked like soap. All you need to do is, glide the bar over your face and the warmth from your skin will melt the bar. Then use your fingers to massage the product into your face, as you would any night cream. I can hands down say, this is one of my favourite products in the box. I honestly wake up with soft, hydrated skin and I LOVE it.

100% will be re-purchasing.

The Salt Parlour – Bath & Body Oil

This bath & body oil, can be used whilst bathing as well as after a shower on your skin. It is recommended to use whilst in the shower, as the floor can get VERY slippery. This oil was super hydrating and I loved it. It smelt great too.

Would I re-purchase? Is it worth £17? I’m not 100% sold, as there are so many oils in the market for a lot cheaper. It’s definitely a nice treat to be gifted, as you can tell it’s a more luxurious body oil, but I’m not sure if I can justify that price personally.

PITT BALM – Deodorant Balm

I was most sceptical about this product when opening up the cruelty free beauty box as I’ve never ever rubbed on deodorant. I found the concept so strange and it took me a few weeks to get my head around it. Once I had used it for a few weeks, I then found the concept of spraying on deodorant odd. It’s crazy how your mind set can change so quickly. These deodorants are made up only 7 natural ingredients, which makes them free from any harmful ingredients. This product is also waste free, you can refill the carton at hot spots around the UK. 

I did enjoy using this product, and I would re-purchase. On the flip side to that, I am keen to see others in the market too as natural deodorant is a new concept for me.

LONDON Copyright – Eyeshadow in Sundown

I absolutely loved this eyeshadow colour, it’s the perfect burnt orange shade with a matte finish. I love neutral colours and make up, so this was the ideal shade for my skin tone. I’ve used this as an eyeshadow as well as a pop of colour on my cheeks.

Would I re-purcahse? Yes I would, and I’m keen to try other shades.

cruelty free box

Ben & Anna –  Sensitive Toothpaste

I’ve never really purchased sensitive toothpaste, I’m always the girl that looks for the most whitening ones. I found this toothpaste very neutral on my teeth, not abrasive at all. It was mint flavoured, however I could have done with a more ‘minty’ taste. It comes with a cute little spatula to apply the toothpaste onto your toothbrush. They do have others in the range, such as the whitening one which I will most likely try next.

Would I re-purchase? I wouldn’t repurchase this sensitive one, as it doesn’t leave me with that fresh feeling after brushing my teeth. Would I try their whitening one? Absolutely!

Lue by Jean Seo – Fade

This product claims to treat dark spots and discoloration on skin to diminish the effects of scars, acne, sun damage, and aging. I have to admit, I have pretty clear skin so I’ve only recently started using it in the last couple of weeks. I do feel a slight tingle when I apply it, which makes me think it must be having some sort impact on my skin. It’s too early for me to say whether this product is effective and I will come back to update my review in the coming months.

Moo Free – Cinder Toffee

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This toffee chocolate was delicious! I’ve had Moo free chocolates before and I absolutely love their range of chocolates. A few of my favourites include sea salt & Caramel and the original.

Would I re-purchase? For definite!

Good4u – Veggie Protein Shots

I loved this small pack of BBQ nuts, great just before or after a workout or even as a 3pm pick me up snack.

Would I re-purchase? Yes!

Bamboo Massage Hairbrush

I wasn’t expecting there to be a product in the box that I could keep for life, so this was a lovely surprise. I couldn’t seem to find this product on the website anymore, however there are number of bamboo hairbrushes in the market. The brush claims to promote hair growth by massaging your scalp for a few minutes a day to the roots. I personally haven’t seen any difference, however I haven’t used it every day. Also, my hair grows at a speedy rate, so to track if it’s growing at a faster rate is difficult! I do love this brush and use it pretty often, even just to massage your head it’s a nice sensation.

Would I re-purchase? Well, I guess I don’t need to as this brush is for life hopefully. Would I recommend others to buy? Yes I would.

Why Should I Invest in The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Subscription?

I’ve only recently started only buying from brands that are cruelty free, so this subscription box has massively helped me find brands that I had not heard of previously. I was struggling to find brands that were ethical, vegan and cruelty free. I had no idea where to start, and manufacturers of beauty products can put almost anything they like on their packaging, which makes it increasingly difficult. By supporting this company, you are speaking up for those that are voiceless as well as strengthening the voice that tells companies that testing on animal is NOT acceptable.

Why Everyone Needs To Be Buying Only Cruelty Free:

  • Animal testing is cruel.
  • Animal testing may not even work.
  • There are thousands of safe proven cosmetic ingredients.
  • So many brands are already cruelty free.
  • Cruelty Free Products have less non-toxic chemicals.

Above are just a few of the reasons why everyone should switch to cruelty free living. If you want to see the full blog post on the reasons to only buy cruelty free, click here.

There are a number of cruelty free and vegan beauty boxes in the market. Comment below and let me know if you’ve tried this company or any others. Would love to hear from all my lovely readers! 🙂

Also, make sure you check out my Instagram where I post all things vegan and cruelty free every single day!

Ami x

Can A Vegan Live With a Non Vegan? The Ultimate Guide

Can A Vegan Live With a Non Vegan? The Ultimate Guide

Whether you transitioned to a vegan diet, whilst living with your partner or you’ve always been vegan, here’s my ultimate guide on how to live with a non vegan.

Personally, I transitioned to a vegan diet whilst living with my husband. This is probably the hardest adjustment as previously we used to eat and cook meat together. Now, I don’t cook any meat because it’s against what I believe in. Of course, the ultimate best scenario is that both you and your partner are vegan and you live happily ever after.

Whether you’re in the same situation as me or not, I’ve outlined all the scenarios below:

  • From day one you’ve been vegan since you’ve met your partner & you’re now moving in together.
  • Since moving in with your partner, you’ve transitioned to a vegan lifestyle.
  • You have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle since dating your partner, but you are now moving in together.
  • You’re both vegan, living together and cooking the best vegan dishes. You’re only here out of curiosity so carry on reading.

Communication Is Everything

Communication is incredibly important when you transition to a vegan diet. It’s so important that your other half understands why you have transitioned to a vegan diet. Everyone has their own reasons to transition to a vegan diet, whether that’s for animals, environment or your personal health. Make sure you discuss your reasons. As well as you speaking about your whys, your partner needs to be in the best situation to really take all the information in. Don’t try have this conversation, whilst you’re both in the middle of doing other tasks. Take that time to sit down, so they understand why exactly you’ve made this transition.

They may not agree with your view point, however as your partner they need to respect your viewpoint. I’m lucky, as my husband saw the good in me turning to a vegan diet. He does embrace it and I love him for that! It wasn’t ‘abnormal,’ to him as his sister has been a vegan for a number of years. Although he hasn’t converted, he completely understands why I made the transition.

You Need To Establish a System

What are you OK and not OK with? Do you mind meat being eaten in the house? Will your partner be willing to eat vegan meals? Will they expect you to cook their meat? Would you be OK with that if they do? Will they replace some simple substitutes like milk? Are they willing to give vegan food a try or are they adamant to stick to their meat?

You need to work out a system and what you are willing to do and not do. Again, going back to communication this needs to be communicated back to your partner so they understand.

Be Respectful of Each Other

Whether you were vegan before you were living together or you transitioned to a vegan diet, it’s so important to respect each other. Just because you’re not 100% aligned in the ways that you live, you chose to be with that person for a reason and don’t ever forget that. If you ever feel as if you’re being mocked for being vegan, talk about it as it’s the only way you’ll get through it together.

Will You Cook A Non Vegan Meal?

Personally, I haven’t cooked eggs or meat since I transitioned to a vegan diet as the concept feels like it’s against my ‘religion.’ I chose to transition to a vegan diet firstly for the animals and health, but also just as importantly the environment. For these reasons, how could I be fine with cooking meat and eggs? It’s entirely up to you what you decide in regards to cooking. If you are purely transitioning to a vegan diet for personal health reasons, then you may not have any issues cooking meat. It all goes back to the WHY.

Would You Share Cutlery and Utensils With Your Non Vegan Partner?

Me and my husband share everything in the kitchen including pots and pans, however I have spoken to other vegans which would not be OK with sharing. Personally, as long as it is 100% cleaned, I don’t mind sharing a pan that has previously had meat on it. If you want separate utensils, make sure that you can clearly establish which set is yours, like having a different colour or size.

Do You Need To Re-Organise The Kitchen?

Are you ok with sharing fridge and shelf space? Even if you are, it may be easier for you to have specific shelves in the fridge and cupboard space in the kitchen. How about keeping meat on a shelf at the top and keeping the rest open to vegetables and anything else you may have in your fridge. Any vegans worst nightmare is getting processed meats leaking on their vegetables, so even if you don’t mind sharing shelf space it would be worth separating vegan and non vegan items.

Surprise Them With a Vegan Meal

Sometimes, the easiest way to convert a non vegan is through their stomach. Have you tried cooking them your favourite vegan meal? Even if it doesn’t mean they convert, at least they can appreciate the great foods that vegans can and do eat. I truly believe that anything non vegans can do, vegans can do with a conscious mind! There are so many meat alternatives, so go start swapping out meat alternatives and see if they notice. Ok, that does sound like trickery and I’m not telling you to deceive your partner but it may be a fun little experiment! By your partner eating delicious vegan food, it may inspire them to incorporate more vegan items into their diet. If you need some help with vegan recipes, go buy this book below – It is honestly incredible!

How About Sharing Some Vegan Sides?

At dinner time, why don’t you make your vegan main whilst they make their meat main and share sides. Make all the sides vegan, which is super easy. You could share a large bowl of salad, even creamy mac and cheese or how about falafel? By incorporating vegan sides, into meal time it makes both your lives easier rather than both having to cooking separate sides.

How Do We Go About Food Shopping?

Do you buy your food together? Are you OK with your money going towards meat products? There is actually no right or wrong answer to how you go about this specific situation. Personally, I’m married and we buy our food from one bank account and it doesn’t bother me that some money goes towards meat. However, I can understand why it may upset some so you need to determine what you will and won’t accept. This could mean that you have separate budgets for food. Again, you need to work out a system that works for the both of you.

vegan and non vegan couple

How About Eating Out Together as a Vegan and Non Vegan Couple?

As a vegan and non-vegan couple, you can still enjoy going out to eat. Depending where you are in the World, most restaurants will have vegan options. It’s important to make sure that you check a menu before you do go out to eat, as it will give you a bit of stress relief before going. I do tend to call ahead of time, as sometimes a restaurant may not be very clear on their menu whether some items are actually vegan. A number of dishes can be made vegan, even if not specified on the menu. If you other half does want to go to a restaurant, where there are limited/no vegan options, sorry to say it but they may need to find another friend/family member to go with. Unless, of course you’re OK with watching them eat, which would never be me!

Don’t Pressure Them to Change

Pressuring someone to change, when they have no intention to will only frustrate you as well as them more than anything. I personally wouldn’t want anyone to think they can tell me what to eat, so why should I tell someone else what to eat? It’s important that they respect your view point, but demanding them to change is unfair as it is for them to demand you to eat meat again.

Time & Patience Is Key

Vegans I find are generally patient people, but it can be easy to get frustrated in specific situations. Having to explain yourself again and again is never fun. At the end of the day you will either be OK with living with a non vegan or you won’t. Adjustments will take time for the both of you and as long as your communicating, you will definitely get through this together.

I hope you liked this blog, this is one that is close to my heart being married to a non vegan. Let me know how you find living with a non vegan partner and any advice you can offer in the comments below.

Ami x

Pinatex? Pineapple Leather? The Ultimate Guide!

Pinatex? Pineapple Leather? The Ultimate Guide!

Pinatex? PinaWHO? Ever heard of pineapple leather? The ultimate guide to sustainable and cruelty free vegan leather.

What Is Pineapple Leather?

Honestly, I had never heard of pineapple leather, also known as Pinatex until very recently. If someone had told me, their shoes were made of pineapples, I may have laughed thinking it was some weird joke that I really didn’t understand! How can such a sweet, delicious fruit be made into clothing? Well it isn’t the actual sweet part of the fruit, pineapple leather is made from the leaves which makes a lot more sense!

Upon research, I’ve learnt so much about about how pineapple can be used in ways other than just cooking. Just to give you some background, Pinatex was developed over many years of research and development by Dr. Carmen Hijosa. Carmen saw that the use of pineapple leaf fibre which is typically an agricultural waste product, provided the opportunity to build an industry for developing farming communities, with only slight environmental impact.

How was Pineapple Leather Discovered?

This all started back in the 1990, when Dr Carmen Hijosa was consulting on the leather export trade.

“Shocked at the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning she realised this could not continue, but knew that PVC alternatives were not the solution. She was driven to research a sustainable alternative. Inspired by the abundance of natural resources, including the use of plant fibres in traditional weaving such as the delicate Barong Tagalog garments, Carmen sought to create a new, non-woven textile that could be commercially produced, provide positive social and economic impact and maintain a low environmental footprint throughout its life cycle.”Ananas Anam

How Is Pineapple Leather Made?

Piñatex is created by binding the long fibres from pineapple leaves together to create a non-woven substrate. These leaves are normally left to rot after fruit is harvested, but Pinatex repurposes them to make leather. The leaves from the pineapple are cut up first as well as layered, before they go through the industrialization process. Pinatex can be dyed any colour and has a weirdly close resemblance to animal leather.

Is Pinatex Biodegradeable?

Pinatex unfortunately isn’t 100% biodegradable, as it is petroleum based, however Aananas-Anam are working on it. On the flip side to that, Pinatex  is created from pineapple leaves that are the byproduct of existing agriculture. Their use also creates an additional income stream for farming communities.

Why Should We Use Leather Alternatives?

pinatex pineapple leather

There are a number of reasons why consumers and companies are trying to find alternatives to leather. The one that first springs to mind is animal suffering for their skin. However, as well as leather posing an ethical issue, it does also cause an environmental one. The process that stops animal skin from rotting to turn it into leather, means that huge amounts of toxic chemicals are used. These toxic chemicals generally end up in water supplies as well as soil.

In comparison to real leather, Piñatex is a cruelty-free and sustainable option.

What Can Be Made From Pinatex?

Over the years, Pinatex has gained huge popularity. Not only is Pinatex used in clothing, you’ll find it in shoes, watches, accessories and even home furnishings! YES, I said home furnishings. I can’t wait to see what else Pinatex will be used for in the future. Here’s just a few brands that are using Pinatex:

  • H&M – They have launched their conscious exclusive collection, which has introduced the use of Pinatex in their clothing. They have also launched two other materials, which they’ve never used before. One of them being Bloom foam which is a flexible foam that comes from algae biomass. The second is Orange Fibre, which is a silk like fabric that comes from citrus juice by products.
  • Votch – This is a London based vegan friendly watch company. They have a range of watches, where the straps are fully constructed from Pinatex.
  • Tamasine Osher Design – London based artisan furniture company that creates one-off and limited edition bold pieces. They have created an incredible spider chair, which is made from Pinatex.
  • Hugo Boss – This German Luxury Fashion Brand have designed a vegan shoe range, which are made from Pinatex and they are 100% vegan. They come in a number of colours, go check out the range.

It’s amazing that there are so many vegan alternatives in the age that we live in, and I’m determined to try them all out! If you want to understand a bit more about vegan fashion, go check out this blog.

Let me know in the comments below your favourite vegan leather..

Ami x

Delicious Vegan Egg Muffins Recipe

Delicious Vegan Egg Muffins Recipe

Vegan and need a quick, easy & savoury breakfast or snack during the day? Look no further! These vegan egg muffins will satisfy your cravings and they’re also super delicious.

What Are Vegan Egg Muffins?

Before I turned vegan, I used to make egg muffins and pack them with vegetables which were high in protein and tasted great. When I transitioned to a vegan diet, I needed a replacement to satisfy my cravings! Initially, I started replacing them with my tofu scramble. However, when I needed a quick snack throughout the day there were times when I just wanted to pick something out the fridge already made. After much practicing and trying out a number of recipes, I’ve made up my own. This delicious and pretty easy recipe, creates a mouthwatering muffin and it is packed full of nutritional vegetables. It’s entirely up to you, whether you eat them whilst they are hot or cold, they’ll taste amazing either way!

These vegan egg muffins are SO filling too, you only need a few of these to fill you up for hours.

vegan muffins

How Can I Add Protein to My Vegan Muffins?

I love stuffing these little muffins with protein hits. My personal favourites to add to these vegan muffins are spinach and broccoli. Chickpea flour has surprisingly a high content of protein as far as protein in flours get, which is what I’ve used in this recipe. It’s so important to get protein in your diet in every meal and if you need some help along the way, go check out my article on why do vegans need protein?

Why Should I Make These Vegan Egg Muffins?

  • Hearty & Filling
  • Delicious
  • High in Protein
  • Packed with nutrition
  • Perfect Breakfast or Snack throughout the day

Can You Freeze These Vegan Egg Muffins?

Absolutely! As mentioned earlier, you can enjoy these hot or cold. They are so easy to store and I strongly believe that tofu tastes so much better when it has been frozen. Cook a batch on Sunday, pop them in the freezer and enjoy them throughout the week. To defrost them, heat them in the microwave until they are warm. This will take about a minute or so in the microwave.

How Should I Cook Them?

I know it seems obvious, but when I look out for recipes I always wonder where abouts in the oven should be they placed. Am I the only one? I do feel like this needs to included as part of recipes, as putting it too low will mean they need to cook for longer whereas putting them too high might mean they burn or the top half only gets cooked. These muffins do not need turning over, so to ensure they are cooked through they do need to be put on the middle shelf of your oven.

And here it is..

Delicious Vegan Eggs Muffin Recipe

Vegan and need a quick, easy & savoury breakfast or snack during the day? Look no further! These vegan egg muffins will satisfy your cravings and they're also super delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: veganblog, veganbreakfast, veganeggmuffins, veganeggs, veganmuffins, vegansnacks

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Chickpea Powder
  • 4 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ cup Almond milk (or any non dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • cup Water
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Vegetables for The Filling

  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 cup Chopped Broccoli

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, almond milk and water until well combined.
  • Add in all the seasonings and mix well. (Mustard, spices, baking powder & olive oil.)
  • Let sit and rest for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Finely slice and dice the red peppers & broccoli. Sautee for about 5 – 10 minutes on a medium heat on a pan on the hob.
  • Divide the sauteed veggies evenly between muffin tins.
  • Then do the same for the chickpea flour mixture. Pour to about ¾ of the muffin tray as they will rise slightly during cooking. Make sure you mix and stir the veggies and chickpea mixture in the muffin tray.
  • Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes in preheated oven at 180°C.  Check if they are cooked with a toothpick, by inserting and making sure it comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for at least 5-10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen edges and remove muffins from the muffin tray. Serve immediately and enjoy!

I really hope you enjoyed this recipe. Let me know if you tried these muffins in the comments below and how you found them.

Enjoy..

Ami x

What Is Vegan Clothing?

What Is Vegan Clothing?

This article will help you understand what vegan clothing is and how to identify whether the clothing you are buying is vegan.

When you decide to turn vegan, you first transition to a vegan diet generally. If you’re anything like myself, you’ve also looked into sustainable living which includes cruelty free beauty, sustainable fashion and zero waste living. It’s pretty simple when cutting out meat and dairy, however it’s not so clear cut when it comes to vegan clothing. I’m here to make it that one step easier!

So, What Exactly Is Vegan Clothing then?

In short, vegan clothing is keeping animals off your body and out of your closet. Over time, more and more of us are ditching wool, fur and leather in the hope of finding just as great cruelty free alternatives. There are vegan clothing brands which are always coming up, which use innovative materials as well as existing materials to create cruelty free clothing.

Why Should I Care About Whether My Clothing Is Vegan?

Until very recently, I didn’t question what materials went into my clothing. The only things that I cared about was whether they looked great and fitted my body well. I never questioned the harm to the animals that went into the clothing I wore. Most production which involves animals is so cruel. Sadly, companies most the time care about creating products fast, rather than ethics.

What Should Vegans Not Be Wearing?

It’s crazy when I researched into vegan clothing and found out how many pieces of clothing actually contain animal materials. In my head, prior to research I only really thought of leather, snake skin and fur as non vegan products.

Here are some more to look out for:

  • Silk (Comes from Silkworms)
  • Angora (Rabbit Fur)
  • Suede (Comes from a number of animal skins)
  • Down (Feathers which are used in a number of winter jackets for warmth)
  • Cashmere (Goats hair)

Does buying Second Hand Clothing Make My Clothing Vegan?

No, as second hand clothes can also have animal products within them. Buying second hand is touching on buying more sustainably rather than vegan. You should be especially careful of vintage clothing as using animal trims and details were very common in the past. The older your clothing is, the more likely it is to be made from animals.

What Exactly Can Vegans Wear?

First of all, the best material has to be cotton as it is so readily available for vegans. Majority of clothing products have been made from cotton. Other Vegan fibers include:

  • Linen
  • Polyster
  • Lycra
  • Spandex
  • Bamboo
  • Pvc
  • Nylon
  • Cork
  • Acrylic
  • Denim

Of course, this does involve you looking at the label and checking the exact material included in clothes. There are number of sustainable and vegan brands out there. Let me know if you want a list in the comments below and I’ll write another blog for you all. A few of my favourite vegan brands include Beyond Skin, Ruby Moon and Stella McCartney.

My personal aim is to shop sustainably as well as vegan. If you’re unsure about what sustainable fashion is, go check out my latest blog which explains the three pillars of sustainable fashion.

Ami x

Coronavirus Lockdown Boosts Number of Rare Sea Turtles

Coronavirus Lockdown Boosts Number of Rare Sea Turtles

The largest number of rare leatherback sea turtles nests have been found on beaches in Thailand left deserted due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

When looking back at Coronavirus, has there been any positive news that has come out of this deadly pandemic? Well, yes you can argue that not all is gloom and doom! It’s becoming clear that animals and nature are reaping some benefits, as a result of people around the World practicing social distancing and staying indoors. Beaches are abandoned, businesses are closed and nature is getting its time to rightfully restore itself.

Return of Rare Leatherback Turtles

With beaches across the world cleared of people and their waste, rare leatherback turtles which were here for millions of years before humans appear to be making a comeback. These rare leatherback turtles have not been seen in decades and now they have been found nesting on beaches in both Florida as well as Thailand.

Are Sea Turtles Endangered Species?

Sea turtles are some of the most endangered species, seriously threatened by human activities. Nearly every single species of sea turtles are deemed as endangered. Sadly, there are a number of ways that humans are contributing to the decline in sea turtles. Few of these include:

  • Sea turtles are often slaughtered for their meat for food, skin and shells. We went to Bora Bora last last year and were saddened to find out that this was the case in most of the French Polynesia. There are of course laws to try regulate it, but unfortunately it still happens undercover.
  • A number of sea turtles get entangled in fishing gear which is left in the ocean.
  • Sea turtles are also victims to habitat destruction and pollution.
  • Last, but not least it is sickening to think that some humans take fun out of torturing animals!

Link Between Coronavirus and Return of Rare Leatherback Sea Turtles

It can of course, never be guaranteed that there is a link between Coronavirus and the return of these rare sea turtles. However, it is extremely likely that it is closely linked due to the desertion of beaches across the World.

“This is a very good sign for us because many areas for spawning have been destroyed by humans,” Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, the director of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre, said of the 11 nests they found. These nests hadn’t been seen for the previous five years.

“If we compare to the year before, we didn’t have this many spawn, because turtles have a high risk of getting killed by fishing gear and humans disturbing the beach,” Mr Kittiwatanawong added.

Wild Animals Roam in Cities under Coronavirus Lockdown

With at least half of the world’s population currently on lockdown, wild animals are roaming freely in cities which are usually full of people. Here’s just one example below at Kruger National Park.

In South Africa, a group of lions napped on an empty road in Kruger National Park that was left deserted. The park closed the area at the end of March, due to the pandemic.

It’s great to witness nature and wildlife being restored, amidst this Coronavirus pandemic. If you like this post, go check out my blog post on the link between Coronavirus and the impact it has had on the meat industry.

Let me know, if you are aware of any other positive impacts that Coronavirus has had in the comment section below.

Ami x

Easy Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Easy Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This vegan stuffed peppers recipe is so easy, delicious and versatile. You can use any protein or bean source in these peppers, as well as any grain.

About this Vegan Stuffed Peppers recipe

These stuffed peppers are of course vegan but also gluten free. They are so hearty and hit all the right flavours for me personally. Oh and let’s not forget, they are a delicious way to a get your one in five a day in one tasty meal. These stuffed peppers can be served as a main dish alongside guacamole and salsa or even as a starter or side dish. In this recipe, I mentioned using red peppers, however you can use green , red or yellow. Just bear in mind, these peppers don’t all taste the same. I prefer red peppers as they are sweeter in comparison to green peppers.

Can I Adjust the Spice Levels?

Absolutely, you can add more spices and chilli to this recipe, which is what I normally do however not everyone has as much love for spice as me. For the sake of this recipe, I kept it on the moderate side.

Prefer a Smoky Flavour for These Vegan Stuffed Peppers?

Whilst the quiona mix is cooking, I love grilling the peppers to give it a smokier taste. You can do this heating the grill on medium – high heat and grilling the covered peppers for about 10 minutes. You will need to turn the peppers around whilst they are being grilled to ensure they have gained a nice colour on all sides. It is worth noting, that grilling the peppers can make it a little more difficult to stuff after being grilled.

vegan stuffed peppers

Can I use Alternative Ingredients to Stuff these Peppers?

The great thing about this recipe, it is SO versatile! You can use any grain, I prefer quinoa however you can use rice, cous cous, bulgar wheat – whatever you have at home and they will still taste delicious!

Also, instead of black beans you can use any other beans or protein source such as lentils! Feel free to also add some vegan cheese to this recipe at the end of cooking to make it even creamier. Here it is:

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

This vegan stuffed peppers recipe is so easy, delicious and versatile.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten Free & Vegan
Keyword: deliciousrecipes, easyrecipes, stuffedpeppers, veganrecipes, veganstuffedpeppers
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 Red Peppers
  • 1 cup Quinoa / Any other Grain
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock
  • ½ cup Salsa
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Black beans /Kidney Beans

Instructions

  • Cook the quinoa by adding quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bringing to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed. (About 25 mins)
  • Preheat oven to 190°C and grease a baking dish.
  • Add cooked quinoa and all other ingredients to a bowl and mix. Cut all peppers in half.
  • Stuff halved peppers with the mixture, until the peppers are full.
  • Bake for 40 mins, until peppers are soft and start to go golden.
  • Serve with topping, such as extra salsa or avocado! Enjoy.

If you’re planning on having a dinner party and want to have this as a side for guests, why not also try my falafel recipe to pair alongside.

I hope you like this recipe, let me know in the comments below if you tried it and how you found it.

Ami x

Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Egg Substitutes in Baking

Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Egg Substitutes in Baking

Here’s a guide to egg-free baking and the best vegan egg substitutes that you can use! Discover new ways to make your favourite baked goods with these vegan egg substitutes.

vegan egg subbstitute

Almost all traditional baking recipes have eggs in them, and of course eggs are not vegan. It was one of my BIG worries, whilst transitioning to a vegan diet, especially having such a big sweet tooth. How am I going to get my sweet fix without being able to use a core ingredient in most baking recipes? After extensive research, I’ve now found my favourite vegan egg substitutes for baking and desserts. First, let’s go back to basic and understand why most baking recipes include eggs.

What Is The Purpose of Eggs In Baking?

Eggs are an important building block in many food recipes, which is why it’s so important to find vegan substitutes. The yolks add flavour and emulsifying power to any batter as they are full of protein. The yolks of an egg will also help thicken up custards as an example. White of an egg can be used for a lift in desserts for example in a traditional sponge cake.

What Happens if you Bake a Cake Without Eggs?

If you bake a cake without eggs and don’t have a substitute, then you will lose an important structure-building component, so you may end up with a cake that is flat and dense yet falls apart easily.

This is why it so important to replace eggs in a recipe, rather than just remove them. You could argue that the elements egg brings to recipes is as important or even more than flour and chocolate.

Flax Seed Vegan Egg Substitute

Flax seed is one of the substitutes that I do use the most often. It is so easy to make, has great texture and adds more nutrition to your baked goods. Flax seeds are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids as well as fiber. The easiest way to make a ‘flax egg’ is to mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and then let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. The fats as well as moisture in this flax seed can have the same effect as an egg. They also create a delicious nutty taste when replacing with egg.

Applesauce Vegan Egg Substitute

Eggs have two purposes, serve as either a binder to hold a recipe together or as a leavening agent to help it rise. When using eggs as a binder, applesauce is an egg substitute. When using eggs as a leavening agent, applesauce is not an egg replacement. According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the applesauce-to-egg ratio is one egg to one-quarter cup applesauce in sweet desserts. You can also mix with a half a teaspoon of baking powder for a lighter texture.

Chia Seeds Vegan Egg Substitute

Similar to flaxseed, you can also use chia seeds to replace eggs in vegan baking. They have a great texture, equal to flaxseeds however they can change the colour of your baked goods as they are darker. To make a chia seed vegan egg substiture you need to mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 3 tablespoons water and let sit for 5 -10 minutes.

Banana Vegan Egg Substitute

If you do plan on using banana as a substitute, bear in mind your dessert will have a slightly banana flavour. Use a 1/4 cup of mashed banana (about half a banana) instead of one egg when baking. If you haven’t already, go check out my 3 ingredient banana oat cookie recipe which involves no eggs.

I hope these vegan egg substitutes for baking help you, comment below and let me if you’ve tried them or you have any others. Would love to hear from you guys!

Ami x

Mulberry Have Banned Exotic Skins In Future Collections

Mulberry Have Banned Exotic Skins In Future Collections

AMAZING NEWS! Mulberry has confirmed that it’s finally banned exotic skins from all of its future collections. Is the timing just coincidental with the Coronavirus Pandemic or is there a link between the exotic skin ban and the pandemic?

Mulberry is already fur free, which is great but exotic skins is where they really needed to make a change. Finally, it’s happening. The upcoming spring/summer collection marks the company’s departure from using exotic animal skins.  Advice from conservation experts have  warned that the exotic skin trade could increase the spread of COVID-19, hence the decision.

Mulberry Group sustainability manager, Rosie Wollacott, said: “[W]e have spent a lot of time determining and then continually reviewing our sustainability metrics and targets.

“At an early stage of this process, we decided not to use exotics in our collections, and this remains our position.”

Has the Pressure Mulberry have faced, impacted their decision?

As well as Canada Goose, Mulberry has also faced pressure from the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).They have pushed them to stop selling exotic skins and finally they are making a change. Whether or not, this change has come from PETA, the public or the pandemic it is hard to tell.

What is the link between Animal Skin and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

While the ethics behind using animal skins in fashion has become the center of attention in recent years, the use has come under further scrutiny in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus is widely believed to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has spread globally killing over 250,000! The intensive farming of exotic animals for both their flesh as well as their skin poses a similar risk of animal-to-human transmission of newly evolved viruses. Exotic-animal farms are breeding grounds for pathogens and increase the risk of future pandemics. Yikes! So yes the spread of Coronavirus would have had an impact on the decision that Mulberry have decided to make but let’s not forget about the animal suffering.

Animal Suffering Calls For Change

There are so many exotic skins, one of the main ones being alligator. Alligators are kept in decaying water inside dark sheds before their necks are split open and metal rods are shoved into their heads in an attempt to scramble their brains, often while they’re fully conscious. Watch the below video, to witness the harsh reality of what these animals have to go through.

I think it’s really important to not forget, that these animals suffer tremendously for that handbag that you ‘NEED.’ Can you live with that on your conscious?

Are Mulberry the First to Ban Exotic Skins?

No, Mulberry is not the first and will definitely not be the last. Mulberry’s decision to stop using exotic skins sees it joining a number of big names. These include Chanel, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and others. Earlier this year, Paul Smith have announced that they will be banning all use of skins in their future collections.

In all honesty, before I turned vegan I was gifted/purchased a number of Mulberry bags. I never really questioned where they came from and I was blissfully unaware. I now face a dilemma. Should I keep them? I can’t reverse the impact of animal suffering. They’re also super expensive, not that money is more important than the life of an animal though!

What would you do, if you were me? Comment below and let me know!

Ami x

5 Vegan Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System

5 Vegan Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System

Our immune system is so important for our survival. If we didn’t have an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and so much more. For this reason, it is vital to keep our immune system strong and here are 5 vegan foods that boost and strenghten your immune system.

Miso

Miso means ‘fermented beans’ in Japanese. Since miso is fermented, it is high in beneficial enzymes and supports immunity with its natural probiotics. It’s also so rich in antioxidants. In Japan, a number of people begin their day with a bowl of miso soup which is great for digestion and helps energise the body.

Garlic

I pretty much eat garlic every day in my dinner and before you start to wonder, no i’m not trying to scare away any vampires!

As well as hot chilies being a staple in most my dishes, garlic also is a top contender. I love the taste it brings to a dish, but not only the taste. Garlic is the queen of antibiotic, anti fungal, and antiviral foods. It has been advised, if you really want to get the most out of garlic consume it raw. Don’t fancy eating raw garlic, you could just try incorporating more garlic into your regular diet. If you don’t mind having it raw but couldn’t eat a large chunk of it you can add raw, crushed garlic to a salad dressing as an example, and this would avoid any cooking.

Mushrooms

Anyone that’s been following my Instagram a while, will have seen that I use mushrooms a lot in my cooking! Whether that’s in my tofu scramble or in a stir fry, it’s one ingredient I always have in my fridge. There are so many types of mushrooms, however unfortunately the ones I use in my cooking most days (closed cup mushrooms) are not the best for the immune system. The top three I would recommend are shiitake, chaga and reishi.

  • Shiitake mushrooms are a well known superfood. They have a number of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are necessary to fuel our bodily functions. Shiitake is an excellent choice of mushroom to boost immune system due to its high nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, niacin, and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids.
  • Chaga Mushrooms – This mushroom has the HIGHEST amount of antioxidants and melanin of any substance on planet EARTH (gram for gram). They also have a high amount of zinc, which further supports immune function. If that’s not enough of a reason to have chaga mushrooms, I don’t know what is!
  • Reishi Mushrooms – They are used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. People also take reishi mushroom for health conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Apart from shittake mushrooms, you’re going to struggle to find these in your regular supermarket. I’d highly recommend this supplement which contains all 3 and more:

Tumeric

Turmeric has been a staple of Indian cuisine for at least 4,000 years and you’ll find it incorporated in a number of dishes. There’s always so much talk about turmeric, being super healthy for you. I even have tumeric teas at home. But is it as great as it has been made to look, in terms of health benefits? Well yes, curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. One study theorized that turmeric can moderate the immune system. It can even help those with autoimmune disorders. As well as helping with your immune system, there are studies which support that it can also help prevent cancer, inflammation and even depression. Load up on turmeric in your dishes, or you can even take a turmeric supplement which you can buy from Amazon here.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are so versatile and can be used in a number of dishes from savoury meals to sweet dishes. They are amazing for your body because they’re packed full of antioxidants and vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps keep the skin healthy and as it is our largest organ, having healthy skin can be one way of helping fight off infection to your body and immune system.  Sweet potato is also a good source of carotenoids which also help your immune system.

What Other Ways Can I Strengthen my Immune System?

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Try to minimise stress – Easier said than done, I know!
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • Wash your hands frequently and no I don’t mean only during this COVID-19 pandemic. Washing your hands frequently, helps to avoid infections in general.

With this global COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to keep your immune system strong. I’m not saying by keeping it high, that you won’t catch it because it is seriously contagious! You may have a better chance of surviving it as morbid as that sounds, with a strengthened immune system. Stay safe everyone!

Let me know how you keep your immune system strong in the comments below.

Ami x