Sunday, 31 July 2016

Eating Vegan in Greece

I have been vegan now for about 3 months, so I am still pretty new to it all. I was sceptical at first when going on holiday as to whether I would be able to eat normally or live the 10 days on cliff bars and fruit. When me and my family go on holiday we usually eat out at a restaurant every night, and I was unsure about the communication between myself and the waiting staff when I told them I was vegan. I went to Crete and specifically Elounda which was a beautiful traditionally little Greek town, they had no 100% vegan/vegetarian restaurants within Elounda so I had to order of main menu's in Taverns. However if you go to places such as Chania I believe they have a few vegetarian restaurants.

The first tip that I can give to vegans who are travelling is to research, research like crazy the country you are going to be visiting. Research their traditional dishes and restaurants that can cater to vegans. I was fortunate to be visiting Greece as a lot of their traditional Greek dishes are vegan or can be easily adapted by just leaving out the cheese. When researching I came across a number of helpful sites with restaurant options and also dishes I could order off the menu and them to be guaranteed vegan. I recommend using Happy Cow if you are in a popular area as you can select the type of restaurant you want and the area you are in and there is your dinner sorted.

For breakfasts and lunches we made our own food so it was pretty easy to make them vegan for myself. I also found that supermarkets were reasonably good at stocking several vegan products such as Alpro yogurts, non dairy milks and even vegan cheese. The majority of bread is also vegan in Greece however it is best to check the label or if you are ordering from a bakery ask what bread is nistisimo (a vegetarian diet excluding dairy but not fish eggs, clams, cephalopods or honey). I tended to have porridge for breakfast with almond milk and fruit. The fruit over their is so affordable and in an abundance, a watermelon was 35 cents! I can't get one in the UK for under £2! For lunch I usually had an avocado and humous sandwich with salad, because you cannot come to Greece and not have some humous.

In Greece the traditional restaurants are called taverns. They make the traditional Greek dishes such as Gyros, Souvlaki and Mousakka, but also a lot of vegan options. When listening to a lot of videos on eating vegan in Greece I was told they may understand the word vegan, however in my case they didn't seem to. I only had one occasion when they did and the waitress was English. Just make sure to specify you are vegetarian but cannot eat milk or egg and they should be able to point you in the right direction. I also had two occasions where I asked for dishes without cheese and they were very accommodating for that. If I couldn't see any main dishes on the menu I could have then I usually had a selection of starters for my main, which in Greece is known as a Meze. I often had stuffed vine leaves, grilled vegetables and gigantes plaki. My favourite restaurant we visited in Elounda was Porto Rino which is an Italian restaurant offering traditional Greek food also. They were very accommodating so we went back 4 times! I had the vegetarian pizza without cheese, a gluten free version of the vegetarian pasta and the vegetarian risotto. Also at the end of the meal they usually brought out yogurt however changed it to fruit without us even having to ask and they remembered each night we went. Marilena is also good for traditional Greek Meze's. For desserts the Taverns will provide fruit usually after a meal or you can ask for it. When staying in Elounda I also found vegan ice cream called I love Plako, and although they didn't have that many flavours it was ice cream! It was made using olive oil instead or milk so it was true Greek ice cream.

Dishes you can most likely eat in Greece as a vegan

Bread (just check there is no milk/egg)
Stuffed Vine Leaves
Courgette Flowers - I would highly recommend these!
Grilled/Fried Vegetables
Gigantes Plaki (beans in tomato sauce)
Greek Salad (no feta)
Most vegetable risotto's (make sure there is no egg in pasta/milk used)
Pizza without cheese (check that no milk/egg is used in the dough)
Stuffed vegetables with rice (check there is no meat/milk etc)
Certain Pasta's (make sure there is no egg in the pasta as lots of homemade pasta's do have egg, I had a gluten free pasta which was fine)

It was pretty easy for me eating vegan in Greece because I love Greek food, but if you don't like eating oil it may not be the right place for you to eat. Overall though I would say that Greece is one of the most accommodating countries for vegan food for ordering off the main menu without asking for too many alterations. Not only that Greece is a beautiful country and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to visit.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

A Final Goodbye | Prom

I had my prom recently, a final send of for an amazing 5 years of being surrounded by wonderful, beautiful people. At my high school I made new friends who I hope are now lifelong companions, I spent the years with 3 of my closest friends and I am truly sad to soon not be seeing them everyday and not sharing our lunch time chats with them. They tell you that high school are the best years of your life and although it may not feel like it when you are going through it with all the stressful exams and revision, but truly looking back on my years now, it really was. Make the most of them years you spend, have fun with friends, put effort in, don't just sit back and watch those years go bye because when you leave that is it, you're thrown into the big wide world. I guess when you say goodbye to your high school that's it, the new chapter begins in your life.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Lush Dark Angles Review

I was on the look out for a new cleanser that I could really feel cleaning my skin. There are those cleansers out there that you can't feel doing anything. But, after doing some research I found that Lush's Dark Angles may just be what I was looking for. It is a mix between a cleanser and an exfoliant and because of that it is great at brightening up your skin and removing any dead skin cells without being too abrasive.

As you know all of Lush's products are natural provide your skin with amazing benefits compared to cleansers packed with chemicals. The little beads of sugar and charcoal really help to exfoliate you skin and when I first used it I noticed a dramatic difference in how bright my skin looked the next day. Like I said before this is one of those products you can really feel working on your skin as you use it. Unlike so many other cleansers after using it my skin didn't feel tight or dry, instead it felt nourished and moisturized even though I was yet to apply my moisturiser, that is from the essential oils that Lush always has in it's products to soothe your skin after using the cleanser. One of the main ingredients in Dark Angels is charcoal. Charcoal is great at deep cleansing the skin and also helps to combat spots and other impuritities on your skin. I really noticed a difference in my skin after using this product for a few days. My skin looked brighter, I found that I had less spots so I was really impressed with the overall look of my skin and would recommend Dark Angels if you suffer with blocked pores or tired looking skin.

One downside I will say to this amazing product is that be careful when you are using it. I have found that when I use the cleanser the black charcoal tends to stain my face and requires a tough rub with a facial cloth to get it off. That is my only negative though as it can be an inconvenience.

Have you tried Lush's Dark Angels and have you suffered the same issue I have? I hope you enjoyed reading this post and  maybe even sparked a little trip into your local Lush.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Vegan Dupes

There are so many products out there that aren't by cruelty free brands or that contain unnecessary animal products. I am constantly on the look out for vegan/cruelty free dupes for some of my favourite products, so I thought I would share some of my current favourites that I have found. Not only are these dupes cruelty free and vegan but a lot of them are highly affordable. A lot of these dupes are Mac eyeshadows or lipsticks because they are such great products however do come with the downside of animal cruelty.

Mac Velvet Teddy - Wet and Wild Bare it all
Mac Whirl - Wet and Wild Mochaliscious (not vegan) - Elf Praline
Mac Retro - Wet and Wild Spiked with Rum
Mac Cyber - Wet and Wild Vamp it up
Mac Soar - Colourpop Brink
Mac Shroom - Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma
Candy K - Wet and Wild Bare it all
Mac Satin Taupe - Makeup Geek Prom Night
Mac Tempting - Makeup Geek Pretentious
Revlon Stay Matte - The Balm Sexy Mama Powder
Benefit They're Real - Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

I hope this post will help you to make better decisions when it comes to choosing where your products come from, especially perhaps your favourite Mac lipstick.