Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Vegan Life Magazine

The times really are changing for veganism, and in a good way too! Since I went vegan over a year and a half ago, I've definitely noticed it becoming more mainstream. One way this has happened is through the launch of several online vegan magazines, all of which are fantastic. And now there is set to be an actual published magazine devoted to the vegan lifestyle!
 
Vegan Life magazine is a bi-monthly magazine set to launch in the UK on the 21st August. Each issue of Vegan Life magazine features over 100 pages of food, recipes, fashion, beauty, interviews with vegan chefs, celebrities, activists and sportspeople and lots more. The magazine can be found in supermarkets, and the first issue will be in a polybag with its sister publication, OM Yoga and Lifestyle magazine, both for the bargain price of £3.95. From the second issue onwards, the magazine will cost £3.95 per issue, while a yearly subscription will cost £14.50 (instead of £23.70 – a saving of over 35%). A digital subscription will cost £9.99 for one year (six issues) and will be available on all platforms.
 
 
Vegan Life magazine have invited me to join their team as a blogger! Each issue, I will be writing a blog post on an article or feature from the magazine. I have been lucky enough to have seen a preview of the launch issue and I can safely say you won't be disappointed! There are loads of great features in this issue, such as a divine looking recipe for apple crumble cheesecake that I cannot wait to try out, plus an interview with new vegan David Haye, and a debate on whether it's OK to eat eggs from your own hens (personally I don't think it is, but I am interested to read what other people think!).
 
Are you excited for the launch of Vegan Life magazine? Don't forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.
 
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Monday, 28 July 2014

No Bake Lotus Biscuit Spread Bars

Lotus biscuit spread. If you've tried it, I needn't say more. If you haven't, then get yourself off to the shop and buy some asap so you understand what I'm talking about! Basically, Lotus biscuit spread is heaven in a jar a spread made of those little caramelised spiced biscuits that you usually get when you order a coffee, and it comes in a smooth and a crunchy version. Both Lotus biscuits and the spreads happen to be vegan! Apart from spreading it on toast and eating it straight from the jar with a spoon, I was eager for some different ways to eat it. I love caramel slices, so I was excited to find this recipe for no bake Lotus spread bars. I tried out the recipe and they are so delicious, albeit very rich! As it is an American recipe I decided to tweak it to make an English (and vegan) version for those who find the former tricky to follow. These bars are very sweet, so you could probably reduce the amount of icing sugar in them if you prefer.
 
 
Ingredients
 ♥ 250g icing sugar
♥ Half a packet of vegan digestive biscuits, crushed into crumbs
♥ 225g vegan margarine, melted
♥ 275g Lotus biscuit spread
♥ 400g dark chocolate
♥ 4 tablespoons Lotus biscuit spread
 
Method
1. In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and digestive biscuit crumbs. In a separate bowl mix the melted margarine and 275g Lotus biscuit spread, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

2. Press the crust into an 8 inch square cake tin lined with baking parchment.

3. Break the chocolate up into squares, place in a microwavable bowl and add the 4 tablespoons of Lotus biscuit spread. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, then stir. Pour over the crust and smooth over with a spatula if necessary.

4. Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least an hour. Lift the baking parchment out of the tin and carefully slice into squares, or smaller pieces if you prefer.


These did not last long in my house! I think next time I'm going to try the recipe using the crunchy spread. If you give these a go I would love to hear how they turn out.

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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Clean Up Cruelty Pledge

Clean Up Cruelty is a campaign run by Cruelty Free International to help raise awareness of animal tested household products such as cleaning products, dishwasher tablets, washing-up liquid and air fresheners. To test the ingredients that go into these products, animals such as rabbits, mice, hamsters and rats are injected, gassed, force-fed and killed. Whilst the law has recently changed meaning that new cosmetics cannot be tested on animals in the European Union, the UK government has failed to keep its promise to ban animal testing of household products. 
 
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
There are many cruelty-free cleaning products available, proving that animal testing is not just cruel but unnecessary too. To be sure that the products you are buying are truly cruelty-free, you should only buy from companies that have been awarded the Leaping Bunny logo as this means no animal testing is conducted or commissioned for finished products or ingredients in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or its suppliers after a fixed cut-off date. Marks and Spencer's and the Co-operative's own brand cleaning products are certified as cruelty-free, as are brands such as Astonish, Method, Ecozone and Bio-D. Check the Go Cruelty Free website regularly for a full up-to-date list of cruelty-free companies.
 
There are several things that we can all do to help end animal testing of household products:
 
1. Sign the petition to urge the government to implement the ban as soon as possible. Don't forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter to get your friends involved as well.
 
2. Send this tweet to the Home Office:
@UKHomeOffice @CrueltyFreeIntl It's time to ban animal tests for cleaning products AND ingredients #cleanupcruelty http://bit.ly/14Me98u 
 
3. Take the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge to only buy Leaping Bunny certified products for your home, and make sure you stick to it! Once you know which brands are cruelty-free and where to buy their products it really is easy to stick to the pledge.
 
4. Take the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge to only buy Leaping Bunny certified products for your workplace. Simply download the pledge form and guidance notes (which can be found here), complete the form stating which Leaping Bunny certified products you use and send it back to Cruelty Free International. In return you will receive a certificate which you can display in your workplace to let everyone know that you are cruelty-free!
 
Before I set up my holistic therapy business I knew that I wanted to only use Leaping Bunny certified products in my treatments. I have to check the company list regularly though, as on a couple of occasions I discovered that I had been continuing to buy from companies that had had their certification revoked without me realising. I managed to find some even better products though, and when I found out about the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge I couldn't wait to apply for my certificate. As well as only using cruelty-free beauty products and essential oils, I also only buy cruelty-free cleaning products for my business. I am lucky that my treatment room is right next to a Co-op, so all my cleaning products, washing-up liquid, hand wash etc comes from there (Co-op clearly label which products are vegan too). I filled out the form and sent it off, and I promptly received my certificate which is proudly displayed in the waiting room. 
 
 
I am really proud to be a cruelty-free consumer, and I have had new clients come to me because I am a cruelty-free and vegan business. I highly recommend making your workplace cruelty-free no matter what line of work you are in as it shows that you are caring and compassionate. Vegan/cruelty-free consumers would much rather give their custom to ethical businesses, so by taking the pledge you could be opening up your doors to new and loyal customers.
 
Don't forget to like Cruelty Free International on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.
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