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Vegan Christmas

Coming into Christmas, and being a vegan, makes food choices that little bit harder, especially when there are Christmas gatherings and we tend to do a lot of ‘…that’s okay I’ll bring something that I can eat..’ when accepting invitations.

I’ve created a little list of some of my favourite places to shop, my favourite recipes and some books I love for this time of the year.

When it comes to shopping for foods for Christmas ALWASY check out your local supermarket first. See what exactly it is you want to feast on and go from there. Just remember, you don’t have to be traditional. There are items like Tofurky, that everyone goes crazy over each year. Just remember most vegan ‘meats’ are processed, so be careful in your choices.  I’ve tried the Tofurky Roast in the past and it’s neither here not there for me, doesn’t taste like anything other than a vegan meat.

If you are cashed up and money is no issue for you I would suggest visiting The Cruelty Free Shop and grab some items from them, you can order online or visit them instore. They have a huge array of items and they sometimes offer discounts too. I shop with them once or twice a year- the last two years being on Vegan Day Out so I can get somewhat of a deal.

Another great place to shop online is iHerbiHerb, although of course you wont be able to get anything fresh or frozen as it comes from the USA. But I highly recommend at least taking a look through for all their vegan goodies, treats and supplements.

Some books I recommend are Vegan Christmas which has a tonne of recipes for the festive season. Vegan Cookbook by Cinzia Trenchi is very good too.

I do find looking at recipes online it much more convenient and lets me honest, just plain easy so some of my favourite websites to find recipes I need I’ve listed below.

Jamie Oliver

BBC Good Food

Taste

The Vegan Woman

Where do you like to get your vegan Christmas ideas from or do you make them up yourself?

Do you come from a vegan family?

Or like me, are the only one amongst the meat eaters?

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ShowPo

Coming into the festive season there are so many parties and events to attend and so many opportunities to dress up and embrace the fancy.

The thing I find hard about finding outfits for special events is not selecting that perfect outfit but finding time to actually look at what outfits are available. It’s especially hard to get to the shops during opening hours when weekends as the only time that suits and then I’m way too tired or too busy to want to go and try outfits on.

I discovered Showpo recently, and sorry if I’m late to the party but I am just wowed! I think this will be my go-to online shopping site from now on. Not only does Showpo cater for event clothing, gorgeous dresses and sparkly edits but all the accessories for every outfit, bags, sunnies, shoes; plus make up, super cute drinking glasses, sleepwear and bedding.

The postage is fair with free express postage offered with a minimum spend and it truely is express shipping with my dress and lippy arriving within 48 hours. And if there’s an issue with the sizing or the product then no issue, the delivery bag serves as a return satchel too! Easy Peasy!

Here are some of my favourite items from ShowPo plus the super cute dress I ordered from them.

What items do you like to buy online?
Clothing or homewares?
Do you do your supermarket shopping online?

 

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies are fun for any event throughout the year.

I love making them, especially for Halloween and for Christmas.

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Cookie Recipe:

120g butter
120g sugar
1 egg
2 cups (250g) flour, sifted
1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Place butter and sugar into a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Add egg and mix well.
Sift in flour and add milk.
Mix to form a dough.
Roll out on a floured surface and using Christmas cookie cutters, cut into shapes.
Bake for 20 minutes.

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Royal Icing:
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
1 eggwhite
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Lightly whisk eggwhite and lemon juice together in a bowl. Gradually add icing sugar, whisking until smooth and combined. When the cookies are cooled begin to ice them, mix some colours into your icing and create designs and patterns upon your cookies.

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Weekend Markets

Saturday and Sunday have been great weather-wise, although today has been a bit stormy and windy. We got some amazing thunder and lightning at about 10am this morning which was unexpected but awesome, and the wind has not stopped all day.

This morning we visited the Old Bus Depot Markets, which we have been to a couple of time before, this was a special Christmas Market event though. If you’re a tourist to Canberra or just visiting for the weekend I wouldn’t bother with this market, it is extremely small and not much there and not has much changed on the other two occasions I have visited. Parking is atrocious and I am not sure if it’s because they’re all at the market or they’re all at the Glass Works next door.

The market itself has the standard stalls, bare in mind this is not a fresh produce market, more people’s arts and crafts, so cushions and clothing and artwork. There are food stalls there so there’s no issues if you get hungry, even if you’re a vegan there will be choice too.

After the Bus Depot we went to the Hartley Hall Markets, which too is quite a basic market, but this one is spread over a couple of fields and is larger than the other market but still lacks goods. Again there is a handful, maybe of fresh produce and then pretty much just crafts and garden goods, some food stalls and your standard homemade jams, preserves and teas.

The downfall to the Hall market is that it is outside in the elements whereas the Old Bus Depot market is undercover, which is the main reason we went there first.

 

On Saturday Wee Man and I went to the Living Green Twilight Festival, which we had visited a couple of months back only to discover that we needed only about 20 minutes to visit each stall from start to end. I think the drive from Harrison to Albert Hall took longer than what we spent at the festival. Disappointed this visit, a second hand vegan book stall with books still ridiculously priced at $27 plus a handful of vegan food stalls, unfortunately none of which were gluten free, and then the usual charity stalls and then a handful of accidental vegan pop ups such as a juice bar. Was such a waste of our Saturday afternoon, and I just hope that a bunch of stalls were running late or planning to arrive in the evening, coz I would have been pretty annoyed if what we were there for was it and nothing else.

 

Anyway, thanks for reading my complaints and Happy Sunday!

Simply,

Natalie Laura

 

I need to also find a good fruit and veggie market in Canberra.

Any recommendations?

I’ve visited the Belconnen Market once and the Fyshwick Market too, are these the best I’m gonna get?

 

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Red Hill Supa Express

If you’re one to watch my Instagram stories you will have seen my delight in opening my gift boxes of goodies from Red Hill SupaExpress.

Red Hill is located  in Canberra, sorry Melbournians not our Red Hill, and is a one stop shop for all your healthy eating needs. There is an array of vegan, gluten free, dairy free and other health foods.  There are also items to help you live plastic free too, and help reduce our plastic waste.

Not only do Red Hill SupaExpress stock all the brands you know but items from the Canberra region and surrounds.

Even if you’re not vegan, gluten free of have any intolerances you’ll still be able to head in and grab your roast chicken, gourmet cheeses, breads, milks, deli items and of course fruit and vegetables. You can even grab some alcohol or even an ice cream.

Red Hill SupaExpress is located at Duyfken Place, Canberra and they are open 7:00am to 8:30pm Monday to Sunday.

Healthy Body, Healthy Life

Most of you will know, whether you know me in person or just from seeing me on Instagram, that I was struggling with gut and stomach problems for a number of years, mainly after having my son eight years ago.

I have been vegetarian since I was twelve years old, and then after having my son I switched to vegan, hoping this was going to help with my stomach problems. Not only did I chose veganism for the health side, but also the animal cruelty side, which was my reason for vegetarianism when I was young too.

On and off I was struggling with having to visit the toilet after eating meals and snacks, anything and everything, it could be a random apple or even a homemade vegan lasagne. I was suffering bloating, gas, pain and weight gain, even though I wasn’t eating much and exercising seven days a week.

My clothes were all different sizes, depending on the bloat, I was always worrying about going out to eat with friends, and I was struggling to eat, wondering what the after effects would result in; pain, bloating, toilet visits.

Earlier this year I was given the change to try what’s called a Pink Drink.

Well. How do I put into words what happened about a week later.

No pain. No bloat. No toilet issues. Weight loss. Sound sleep. More energy.

I wasn’t sure who I was, I felt different, but the same, me yet better.

I must admit I was super super hesitant to try the drink to begin with, mainly due to the price, but I just bit the bullet, thought what do I have to lose. I am so glad I took that chance, this magical drink and the probiotics and cleanse I had also bought to team with this pink concoction was life changing. I wasn’t used to eating and then not feeling pain, I wasn’t used to having more energy, nor was I used to feeling lighter, seeing the weight drop off and seeing my skin and general health improve.

Now my daily health routine, besides eating well on a vegan diet, are three extra little steps each day.

I begin with a bottle of water, and a pink drink sachet, shake it up and enjoy its sweetness whilst I get ready for the day. This pink liquid is full of prebiotics which supports a  healthy glucose metabolism.   It also aides in blood sugar balance, so you can say goodbye to those afternoon crashes and tiredness. Don’t worry though, this is a plant based drink and there is no caffeine in its ingredients either! Chromium is also included in the pink drink which can help control your insulin function which allows your body to help build muscle and burn fat.

I also pop a Bio Cleanse – this is basically made of magnesium and vitamin c, it creates an alkaline environment in the bowel which means certain disease causing cells cannot survive. It wont, however work so quick that you need to be aware of the locations of toilets whilst taking it.

Before bed I take a Pro Bio 5 which is a probiotic, which helps with sleep, less sugar cravings, and is unlike any other probiotic, as it can break through the exoskeleton of the yeast in your gut. It has all the goodness the body needs in a probiotic but also the antifungal and enzymes to break down anything that’s making or keeping us unhealthy.

I would definitely recommend at least trying this three combo gut and health buster for a month, see how it changes your body and what aspects it improves and helps.

I’ve not found anything close to this combination to help my body, gut, sleep, energy and general health.

I’d love to take you on this health journey too.

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Do you have gut issues? Pains? Stomach problems?

Are you interested in trying this triple combo gut buster yourself?

Weekly Recap

What a week it’s been with the wild weather here in Canberra. There’s been hail and rain and wind and storms. It’s been warm but it’s also been cold and chilly.

This week I’ve teamed up with Model Co to bring you some awesome make up and some wonderful deals. Plus they’re a Vegan certified brand so you can use it with the peace of mind that it’s completely cruelty free! Plus I definitely recommend subscribing to their emails as you’ll also get 10% off your purchase.

There’s so much to chose from when it comes to their vegan products, not only is their tanner vegan but their cleansers, foundations, eyelashes, mascaras and bronzers. So no matter what beauty product yours looking for you’ll be able to find a cruelty free variety. They’re both vegan and PETA certifies and there’s nothing even associated with our furry friends from inception to being on the store shelves.

Model Co has been around for over 16 years and they have everything you’d want and need for your beauty regime.

 

Coming up to Christmas one of my favourite holiday drinks is Egg Nog! I’ve always wanted one of those Moose Glasses that Chevy Chase has in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to drink my Nog out of but I’ve never been able to find one. If you know where I can get my hands on one or two please let me know.

So my go to Vegan Egg Nog recipe each year is an easy one and you’ll just need a blender or like me, a Nutri Ninja.

You will need:

1 avocado

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Pinch ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons agave

1/4 cup rum (optional)

Blend all ingredients.

It has a thicker, fuller consistency than a smoothie and ice could be added too if you desired.

The weekend consisted of baking on Saturday with another batch of my favourite gluten free chocolate chip cookies being made and I finally made a successful batch of fruit mince tarts. The ones I made last week I left in the oven a little too long and they ended up burning.

I’ll post the recipe in an upcoming blog post and I will link it here.

 

 

Sunday we went to the SpringOut Festival at Glebe Park to celebrate one last Pride event before the new year.

 

We had a great time watching the performers, Wee Man loved the free fairy floss and face painting and the entertainment was pretty good too. There were heaps of people there all armed with their picnics like us, and the day was just perfect, not too hot with the right amount of sun. A good way to wind down on a Sunday.

 

There was a great atmosphere with many kids and their families all set up on the grass of Glebe Park and there were also fun activities to partake in such as tug of war and handbag throwing.

 

 

We then made a quick pit stop home before heading to Wee Man’s school fete which was Multicultural event with lots of different foods, activities and then the usual rides, and fundraisers. Wee Man chose to go on the Dodgems and a Pony Ride. A pretty good fete for a school, very impressed.

 

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have had a wonderful sunny weekend,

Simply,

Natalie Laura