Thursday, 31 March 2016

Going Vegan - Three Months On


So March is pretty much over, which means that I've been vegan for three months! It's crazy how time flies, and it really doesn't feel like the new year was that long ago. At the same time it feels like I've always eaten this way - it's become so natural to me, and I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. It has been difficult sometimes and I've had to make a couple of exceptions, but it's all worth it, because the list of advantages is so much longer. Here is what I've learnt so far, good and bad - 

Sometimes lunch will be a plain bagel with jam, because that's the only thing available. Glasgow is a remarkably easy city to be a vegan in, with vegan-friendly places on every corner. However, Sweden so far hasn't been as easy, but since the vast majority of my meals are well-balanced and nourishing, the odd compromise is not the whole world.

Being the odd one out can be exhausting. You will have to deal with dubious looks, confused comments and sceptical questions. It can make you feel really weary, but 99% of the time people don't mean any harm, so it's just important to try and remember that. Not everyone will understand, but that's okay. And thankfully, most people around me are very supportive and understanding.

There is a whole world of inspiring recipes out there. I've always liked cooking, but this time last year I was definitely stuck in a bit of a rut. Going vegan has re-ignited my love for cooking as I've started trying out new recipes, and I've definitely found a lot of new favourite flavours and go-to meals. 

Healthy food can be exciting and delicious. This is sort of related to the above, but a bowl of (for example) roasted sweet potato, kale, quinoa and avocado makes me genuinely happy, and I enjoy it so much. Not only do I enjoy the flavours immensely, I also know I'm nourishing myself and caring for the world. Healthy food doesn't have to be boring, it can be colourful, fun and incredibly flavoursome.

Eating the rainbow is wonderful for energy-levels. My plant-based diet has given me so much more energy, and even when I've had stressful weeks with a packed schedule I've never felt too weary to get through the day. Sure, a long day will always be tiring, but there's a difference between being tired and being completely void of energy. 

Being vegan doesn't mean giving up chocolate or cake. I don't really miss cheese at all, but cake and chocolate were the two things I was a bit worried about before taking the leap. I needn't have worried though! There are plenty of wonderful alternatives out there, both to make at home and to eat out. 

You don't have to spend more money on food, but you might want to. Food has become something that I really enjoy investing in. Naturally, I like saving money as much as the next person, but I don't mind buying fresh fruit and vegetables, almond butter, maple syrup and so on - because I think it's truly worth it. 

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Veganism is a long and arduous but incredibly rewarding journey. Moreover, there is always more to learn and things you hadn't thought about, so it can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but I find that by taking it slow and not beating myself up, it works wonderfully. I've started to replace all my skincare and make-up products with cruelty-free alternatives (though slowly, as I'm using up what's left), and I'm also having a look at better alternatives for household items. It's a process!

I hope you enjoyed reading this! With veganism becoming a bigger part of my life, it's naturally going to become a recurring subject on my blog as well. I'm thinking of putting together a 'What I Eat in a Day' post (I've actually already started collecting material for it), so hopefully that's something that people would enjoy.

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Happy Post #33

Deep breath. I feel like I blinked for a moment and all of March just disappeared, in a jumble of university assignments, part-time work, country dancing, and trying to fit in coffee and food dates with friends in the gaps. I'm happy, but I'm also mentally exhausted and in desperate need for some time off. Luckily, today is the final day of lectures and also my final shift at work before I'm on Easter break. My plan is to really get back into blogging over Easter, and to start off, I thought a Happy Post would be the best idea - because after a long period of stress, it's important to remember the good stuff. So here are the things that have made me happy recently, or are making me happy at the moment...

Going home to Sweden! Tomorrow morning I'll be taking the bus to Edinburgh Airport and catch a flight back home. I haven't been home since June, so I'm buzzing. I'm staying for just over two weeks, until the 10th of April,  and I'm very much looking forward to relaxing and spending time with my family. I really need it. 

Finishing all of my assignments. I handed in my two final essays last week, and then I had a presentation on Monday and a small assignment to hand in today, but that's everything for this semester! Sure, there are exams looming in the distance, but it's a relief to have all assignments for second year done and dusted.

Spring feelings. Spring is definitely in the air - there are daffodils everywhere, trees have started to bud, the sun is showing itself more, and birds are chirping. Some days are still a cold and grey, but the spring weather is on its way and we've already had some beautiful days. This Sunday, for example, I sat outside in the sun for a couple of hours, which was just lovely.

Zizzi's vegan mozzarella. I got the chance to try the new vegan mozzarella last Thursday when I met up with a friend for lunch. I generally don't really eat vegan cheeses, because I honestly don't miss cheese at all, but I was excited to try it all the same, and I was pleasantly surprised! It was weird how similar both the taste and consistency was to the real thing. I still never find myself wanting cheese on an everyday basis, but it's nice to know that there's the alternative if I'm ever craving a cheesy pizza.

Getting a massage. I've been feeling very tense and achey in my back, neck and shoulders recently, which is no doubt due to too many hours spent hunched over my laptop writing essays... So I decided to treat myself to a massage, which turned out to be incredibly relaxing! The massage lady was so lovely and seemed to genuinely care about my problems (turns out I'm a tricky one), and I felt much lighter afterwards. 

My new bee necklace from Oh My Clumsy Heart. I treated myself to a new necklace for spring, because I just couldn't resist, and it's all I've been wearing lately. I love how it's a little bit different and quirky, while still being very tasteful and delicate. OMCH is definitely one of my favourites for jewellery. 

Meal planning. I've been trying to plan my lunches and dinners over the last month, and it has taken one stress element away from life so I really enjoy it. Before, I found myself going to Tesco nearly everyday because I always had to top up on something and never really knew what I was making for dinner. Now that I've got more of a plan I'm very rarely there, and it has also allowed me to try out more new recipes, which is lots of fun. 

New kitchen appliances. A few weeks ago I bought a food processor and a spiralizer, and I'm in love with both. I still haven't had time to use my food processor for everything I want to make, but I've got lots of plans. As for the spiralizer, I must admit I used to be a bit sceptical, but I'm officially a convert. A big bowl of courgetti slathered in pesto and an assortment of pan-fried veggies is hard to beat.

Finally, here are a few blog posts I've enjoyed reading recently:

'C'est la Vie' on On Serpentine Shores.


'When I hate my body' on Bloomin' Rouge.

'Ways to spend an evening in Glasgow' on Colours and Carousels.


What has made you happy recently?

Love, Mimmi.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Life Lately & Spring Goals

Muted Mornings Spring Goals

Things have been hectic lately. On top of lectures, essays and assignments I've been working more hours at my part-time job than is probably good for my sanity, and I've been putting time and effort into dancing and training to become a teacher. Free time is very sparse, but I have managed to squeeze in some much needed friend dates, both over food and coffee.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel! There are only three weeks of lectures left this semester, and on the 25th of March I'm going back to Sweden for a couple of weeks over the Easter break. I'm inordinately excited! When I come back a couple of weeks later, things will definitely be quieter, since lectures will be over and I will be working less hours.

The blog has had to take a backseat lately, but hey-ho, that's life. I'll be back in full force in not too long. Meanwhile, I wanted to write up my goals for Spring, seeing as March is already here! I wrote some goals both for Autumn and for Winter/Christmas last year, and I want to continue the tradition as I quite like it. I didn't do so bad with my Winter goals. The only two things I didn't achieve were to go ice skating (because I simply couldn't find the time, plus it was extortionate and didn't seem worth it....) and to finish my Goodreads challenge (I was about four or five books away from my target, boo!).

So here is what I want to achieve before Summer arrives...

1. Do the best I can in my exams. So this is a repeat from last time, but it still applies. I've got my exams in May, so I've got plenty of time to revise for them. I have to get a B in English Literature and an A in English Language to be able to do what I want to do next year, so getting good grades is sort of essential. Luckily I've got my grades from last semester to fall back on, but still...

2. Keep it up with my veganism and try out more exciting recipes. I'm loving the vegan life, I really am. I've been trying out more and more recipes lately, and that's something I really want to continue doing, especially when I have more time later on. I especially want to try more vegan baking, because that's still something I haven't done much of!

3. Make the most of my time in Sweden. You would think that I go home quite a lot since Sweden isn't that far away, and since there are quite cheap flights, but no... Because of uni and work commitments and so on, I really don't get the chance that often! So I want to really take advantage of my two upcoming weeks at home and just spend quality time with friends and family.

4. Get my blogging-inspiration back. I haven't been very happy with most of my blog posts lately, which is probably because I just haven't had time to produce content that I'm proud of. I want to find my inspiration again, both to write posts that I can say I'm proud of, and to engage more with other bloggers.

5. Photograph more. I've been terrible at using my camera lately. I think it's a combination of being stressed and lacking time, and just resorting to my iPhone camera. While the camera on my iPhone 6 is so much better than the one on my old iPhone 4, I do miss photographing with my proper camera, and I really want to stop being lazy and start bringing it with me more.

6. Cut myself some slack. Sometimes I take too much upon myself, like I think I'm some sort of super human. And the result is a giant ball of stress that just can't relax. I can't remember the last time I had a day of just lounging around at home, doing nothing (actually I can - it was probably just after Christmas). I want to be kinder to myself, and allow myself days where I'm not particularly productive. 

Do you have any goals for Spring?

Love, Mimmi.