Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Meals During Pregnancy

 I've been pretty rubbish at blogging about what I've been eating during my pregnancy so far. There are a couple of reasons for this, the main one being that I spent about the first 16 weeks in and out of hospital and not eating much at all. Hyperemesis, is not pleasurable. I however turned out to be one of the lucky ones and recovered from this - many people suffer throughout their pregnancy. For more information have a look here.

It took me a little while after that to get my appetite back and actually WANT to eat food. With all that baby in there sometimes smaller 'snack meals' more often are better than a large one. Here are some ideas on what I've been having;

  • Porridge with dried fruit and nuts (almonds are great for calcium)
  • Whole meal toast with Omega enriched vegan margarine and sliced avocado 
  • Various amounts of dates, nuts, omega enriched seed mixes
  • Plenty of enriched soya products - soya milk, yoghurts etc
  • Fresh fruit salads
  • Plenty of calcium & protein enriched tofu products - used on pizzas, with pasta, as a snack, in tofu scramble - you could even use silken tofu in a milkshake if you liked
  • Grains - brown rice with seitan based curries, brown pasta with tomato sauce
  • Baked potatoes - a really simple one but good for you. I eat mine with baked beans and a bit of omega oil drizzled on top
  • Hummus and falafal - in pittas or ciabatta with lots of salad and tomatoes
  • Chickpea and avocado salads
  • Lentil based soups with whole meal bread
  • 'Nooch' sauce based meals such as mac n cheese (fortified nutritional yeast is rich in B12)
  • Popcorn with sprinkled nutritional yeast topping



That's obviously not a complete list, but I hope it gives you some idea as to the things I've been trying to incorporate into my diet. Nobody is perfect - ideally I'd like to get a bit more fruit and vegetables in there somewhere. I've also been taking a vegan prenatal vitamin made by Deva at the recommendation of my midwife.


 This is a table (from Viva!) showing what and how much a pregnant vegan should be aiming to eat each day;


For more information on nutrient requirements you can download a PDF of Viva!'s 'Mother and Baby Guide' here.

 If anybody else has great meal or snack ideas I'd love to hear them :)


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Riot Girrrl

 So I just finished reading 'Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution'. It's a pretty awesome book about the history of Riot Girrrl - or at least one history of it. It went on to be so many different things to different people all over the world. It brought back some pretty cool teenage memories too *scrolls through iPod to Bikini Kill & Heavens To Betsey*. 

So I came to the riot Girrrl thing a bit too late I guess, it had really started to die off by 2000 but that didn't stop my friends and I trying to write fanzines in our baby doll dresses and platform Mary Jane's. Our fanzines never made it out of our small group of friends but my teenage self would have thought these pictures were pretty cool. (note: I realise this post has nothing to do with veganism and is a nostalgic bit of self indulgence - normal service will be resumed soon)


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Manic Panic

 So about 6 or 7 years ago I was always changing my hair colour - but since then I'd been pretty boring and stuck with black. I'd been thinking about a change for sometime but was really unsure on what to go for. I always used to use Manic Panic - all their hair colours and bleach kits are vegan friendly and they give good results too.

 This time I went for 'Infra- Red' and I got exactly the result I had in mind. I'd really recommend using the 'Amplified' version if they do it in the shade you are after as the results are slightly better and do last that little bit longer.



Saturday, 21 January 2012

Warehouse Cafe Pudding


 So I was delighted when I visited earlier in the week to discover they've changed the menu again. I had the delight to try this - was fantastic.

Carrot & Spice (v option / nuts! / nut free option)

Cinnamon carrot cake, cream cheese Ice cream, orange sauce and walnut praline. £5

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Barry M 'Wink'

On a quick trip to stock up on make up yesterday at Superdrug I noticed this. A quick check on the Barry M website confirmed it is vegan ( I love how they label vegan products online ). 
It's like liquid eyeliner but in 'marker pen' form. I've always loved the 50's/ 60's winged eyeliner look but found it hard to get even - well no more! This is fabulous and made it super quick/ easy! They are £4.59 and come in black.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Soap Nuts

So after getting a free sample a few months ago in my Mama Pack I at first put these to one side assuming I'd never try them out. One day I ran out of washing liquid and gave them a go - really glad I did :) I brought a 1KG bag from Salveo and have been using them ever since. 
They leave your washing clean and with a neutral smell - I'm hoping these will be good for washing nappies too when the time comes. If I want to add some scent I've been adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to the fabric softener draw. 
I've seen some bad reviews for these regarding a musty smell but I've not had this experience at all, I'd really recommend them. Freebies from Mama Packs are awesome :)

Hot Lunch

Since the arrival of my new lunch items I've found the hot food bowl to be the most useful. If you follow the instructions and preheat with boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes before filling with your hot food it works great. I pack my lunch at around 7:30 in the morning and by lunchtime it was still hot. I've been using it for soups and porridge mostly but I'm sure there is plenty more. 
Even though this picture shows off the Lunchbots more than the lunch - yesterday's was lentil soup and wholemeal bread. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Back To Work Lunch

So I promised to share my lunches with you, and here is my first of the year. Decided to keep it simple so it's just a wholemeal bread salad/ pate sandwich cut with a star cutter and faux ham/ cream cheese roll ups with cut little food picks. The silicon food cup is to add dipping sauce in the morning before I go.

The rest of my lunch is made up of walnuts and dried fruit to snack on, a tub of chocolate granola for breakfast and a thermos of soya milk for the granola/ drinking. I'll also add an item of fresh fruit in the morning.

At the moment I'm using a Lunchbots Uno and Pico for my main lunch containers. The pink tub is a breakfast to go by Sistema (used without the milk container as I've found it leaks), Miffy drink sized Thermos and a Built NYC lunch tote.
Hopefully I'll get a little more creative than this as the weeks go on, but not bad for a last minute first attempt.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Books for Pregnancy

As you may have gathered I'm currently pregnant. I've not really any friends that have had children, let alone vegan ones so decided right away I should be doing some reading on diet during pregnancy. I might be wrong but there isn't that many books on the topic out there so i've read whatever I could get my hands on. The above book from The Vegan Society is the best I have read so far. It does perhaps assume you don't know much about vegan nutrition but I think this is a positive - at least it covers all bases. There are sections that range from pre conception to early childhood and I've found the information and sample pregnancy menu invaluable. 

The 'Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book' was very informative and covers a lot of bases regarding vitamins and nutrition. It's certainly worth reading - I'm not sure if it was just the style of writing or that I felt it was a little on the information overload side but I didn't get on as well with this book. 
This one is a little harder to get your hands on, it's currently unavailable on Amazon but I managed to grab a second hand copy. It's worth reading, has a nice attitude and tone - as well as nutrition information.

Another good (and affordable!) one, more of a booklet than a book but filled with good nutritional advice.

The NHS has a website with some advice, although personally I didn't find it all that useful - but great it exists all the same.

The Viva! website has several pages on nutrition and is very informative - especially good if you want some good advice but don't want to spash out on buying books. 

Another quick thing to mention - vitamins. After looking around for a while I found this one made by Deva. I had to order them from the Internet but I checked them out with my midwife would said they looked fine to be taking (she also advised me as a vegan I should take a vitamin daily throughout). I can't comment on if any of the books or advice meet 'official' advice (not sure there is any), but this is just an example of what I've found useful. 

Favourite Things from 2011

XXL Pez Dispenser @ Selfridges 

Cat & The Cream Cupcake @ Wholefoods London

'I Love Vegan Junk Food' mug @ SSOV

Hello Kitty Pasta Shapes @ Waitrose

 Cheesecakes @ The One Earth Shop, Birmingham

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Vegan Lunch Box: A Review

So after looking at this book several times and dismissing it I finally took the plunge and brought a copy. Also being the owner of a Kindle I had previously brought the 'Around the World' version of this book and promptly returned it - it doesn't work well in electronic format.
It is aimed at children - this may be a little obvious but I feel it's worth stating. It is however easily translatable and I've already had loads of ideas for lunches from this book. As to the 'recipes' - most are not really recipes as much as ideas and I never seem to make things true to their instructions :/
I used to be a fan of the Vegan Lunch Box blog, however she seems to rarely use it now and in one of her last blog posts mentions she isn't vegan anymore.
I'm glad I brought this book - I'd give it about 3 stars. Full of lovely ideas but more pictures and a few more 'adult friendly' recipes would have balanced it out nicely. 

I'd also seen these previously mentioned on the blog but it looks like they we given away- Lunchbots. The To Go Ware tiffins which seem to feature regularly seem pretty hard to get hold of in the UK.
It seems anybody that knows me may also know I have a bit of a fetish for lunch items. I own lots of Miffy and Hello Kitty bento items as well as a Ms Bento and various tiffin style lunch boxes as well. As awesome as bento boxes are, they are just not very big so sadly do not get much use. The Ms Bento is very good - for those of you not in the know it is a Thermos style food jar with three containers that stack inside (one for miso soup, one for rice and one for wet food). However I've been looking for some nice containers I can use inside my Built NY lunch tote that fit nicely and save me using plastic wrap. I've yet to try them out yet but they seem to be nice quality. The Uno is big enough for one sandwich and the Pico is split into two halves and will be useful for snack items such as nuts and grapes. I'm also still awaiting an Eco version which looks perfect for salads and an insulated food bowl in pink. Once I've used them a while and made up some lunches I'll share them :D

Vegan Crochet

So crochet is a longtime hobby of mine which I've not given much attention to since I left uni in 2010. I don't do new year's resolutions ( and besides I got back on the crochet bandwagon pre Christmas ) but I'm determined to be more creative this year. 

I'm currently working on a few things - above is one of the many circles in progress of the Twinkie Chan cookie scarf I'm making. Her book is pretty cool  although I'm not sure how vegan the 'Bacon and Eggs' scarf is :/ 

Above - one of the many bows I'm planning to make. Since I always found vegan yarn selection quite limiting I'm pleased to have discovered soya fibre. It has a nice smooth feel to it and you can see the difference ( top picture acrylic and bottom is the soya ). 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all :) I've had a fantastic year and hope you all have too. Here's just a few photos from mine.