Chocolate Chia pudding on Oatmeal Peanut Butter Crust

Might have to try this tomorrow…

Hungry Hungry Hayley

Most people are chocolate lovers… I am not. However, once and awhile my life goes like this:

Mood swings. Chocolate. Cramps. Chocolate. Chocolate. Crying at random TV shows (such as Bones). Chocolate. Cramps. Chocolate.

My intense chocolate craving is usually a pain in my butt. I don’t like chocolate and even though I crave it, I don’t entirely enjoy eating. But on the upside my cravings did allow for me to create this beauty of a dessert. I am not sure what it is or what to call it but it has all the things I wanted to consume yesterday. 


1 TBSP natural peanut butter
2 TBSP organic coconut oil (I used a 1/4 Cup but I think it was too much so I’m suggesting half that)
2/3 Cup oats (I used quaker large flake)
1 TBSP almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate chia pudding

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The Truth About Cow’s Milk

The more you think about cow’s milk, the weirder it seems that it’s such a daily staple in the West.

Many people often believe the misconception that vegan’s don’t get any calcium because they don’t drink milk. Not only is this wrong, but so is believing the fact that getting calcium from cow’s milk is healthy for humans.

Dairy-cows-PavementI am here to tell you that this is not true. Take everything you’ve been told about cow’ milk, and throw it away. I am not trying to change anyone’s opinions on the matter, and I am not trying to convert anyone to a vegan lifestyle. I am however providing the facts so that you can be aware of the situation and know what you are putting into your body. I’ve done my research, and here is what i found:

1. Human beings are not designed to drink any milk except human milk (only during infancy, of course)

milk2. Cow’s milk is strictly for calf consumption. Humans are the only creature that…

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Vegan treats…

Holland and Barrett do a range of flapjacky slicey things which are the perfect tea time pick me up if you’re craving something sweet, indulgent and teatimey.

Yesterday I had one of their coconut flapjacks. Deliciously crumbly and coconutty.

Today I had an apricot and coconut slice. Yummily apricotty and coconutty.

Think I may have missed my calling as a food critic…

You get the gist…


“Mummy don’t eat the chickens!”

Arcadia’s nursery have got some baby chicks which the children care for and tend to each day. Today, one of the older kids came in and started kidding around that they would be cooked up and served for lunch next week. The result? Twenty 3 and 4 yr olds crying uncontrollably they were so upset at the thought.

We spend so much time debating whether it’s right to eat meat – intellectually, ethically, environmentally, nutritionally.

We needn’t bother.

Just ask any 3 yr old.

The sentience death sentence…

The lack of empathy or compassion we feel for fish makes fishing seem like a pretty extreme thing to oppose on animal welfare grounds. “Oh God don’t tell me you love all the fishes in the ocean too now?!”

But we also have absolutely no reason to believe that fish don’t suffer and feel pain so why would we risk it? They have a central nervous system and they thrash about like crazy when hooked (as any proud fisherman will assure you whilst regaling you with takes of the heavyweights they’ve landed that day), they seem to know what stretches of water to avoid if continually returned to by fisherman (again, something keen fisherman will attest to).

So, until we are sure that they don’t endure a huge amount of pain and suffering when being hooked, played and reeled in, perhaps it would be best to avoid it altogether.


Conflicting advice…

Here’s a prime example of how difficult it can be to get reliable nutritional advice.  This article in today’s Guardian tells us that the trans-fats found in eggs and red meat might actually not have any direct relation to heart disease…  something we’ve been told is almost a certainty for a very long time now.  I think that rather than get your knickers in a twist, you have to look to yourself for some of the answers.  Only you know how well your body copes and reacts to different foods.  We are all different and lead different lifestyles and our bodies tolerate different foods in different ways.  Before switching to a vegan lifestyle I had energy highs and lows throughout the day (which I attributed to coffee, sugar, too heavy a lunch etc), I probably had a ‘bowel movement’ once every other day and they were nothing to write home about.  Now – and this change happened around week 3 of switching to a vegan lifestyle and has stayed the same ever since, my energy levels are far higher and stay constant throughout the day, (and yes I still drink coffee, have sugar in my tea, can eat a huge baked potato for lunch without crawling into a carb-coma an hour later), do at least three number 2s a day and they are worthy of their own exhibition such is their colour, texture, form, bouquet and pitch!!!  My skin is also clearer, the tiny pimples I’ve always had on my bum (and attributed to spending hours and hours in the saddle when younger) have cleared up entirely for the first time in 32 years and I haven’t had any dandruff either. 

The problem with enormous evidence based research is that is isSo whilst it would be foolish to ignore what the experts say – don’t forget to trust your own judgement and listen to your body – more often than not it will tell you exactly what it needs and doesn’t.    

Factory Farming vs. Alternative Farming: The Humane Hoax

Really good article. Thank you.

Our Compass

Karen Lyons Kalmenson Karen Lyons Kalmenson

Source Free From Harm
ByHope Bohanec

“Animal agriculture is a business making money on the bodies of other sentient beings. This can never be free of a fundamental insensitivity towards the victims of the industry’s profits and a deep betrayal to the animals who depend on humans for care. In the same way that one cannot own humans and traffic their bodies for profit in a humane way, it is impossible to humanely profit from the lives and bodies of animals.” — Hope Bohanec, author of The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?

The Emergence of the Factory Farming “Alternative”

For most of my adult life, I have been engaging in conversations about animals raised and killed for their meat, milk and eggs. These conversations haven’t changed much over the last 25 years. I get the same, tired questions about protein and desert islands and plants…

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Not fussed….

It struck me to today how unfair it is that vegans get labelled ‘fussy, difficult, awkward etc’ when in fact I think we are the exact opposite.  Any dinner party, restaurant, pub, picnic, you name it, I am just incredibly grateful if there is something I can eat.  Whatever there is I gladly hoover up.  Every time I go to a restaurant I ask the waiter if there’s anything vegan friendly on the menu and whatever it might be, even if it’s the 15th nut roast of Christmas, I merrily and gratefully say ‘Splendid!  I’ll have that then please thank you!’.  We are in fact the most unfussy, least awkward, not difficult guests. 

So there.

Is veganism still considered fanatical?

In this article in today’s Guardian, Emma Brockes argues that veganism is now pretty much mainstream and that people are probably eating animal free far more than they realise.  It’s certainly becoming easier and easier to be vegan, and most people have at least heard of veganism even if they’ve never encountered one themselves.   But I’d say we’re still a long way off mainstream- I’d say we’re still at the freaky strange highly suspect end of the spectrum.  And that’s living in central London… Outside of London, if you ask for something vegan you’ll most likely get a baked potato thrown at your head or asked to speak in English. And pretty much any restaurant you’re lucky to have a choice of two options that are veggie, let alone vegan, and apart from the odd packet of crisps, an overpriced banana and a raw carrot there is diddly squat you can buy in any service station so I don’t see how people might be accidentally eating vegan. 

But I certainly hope she’s right as the more people go vegan the greater the demand and the greater the supply…  imagine going into a normal restaurant and not saying, ‘hello, have you got anything vegan and if so I’ll have that thank you very much’.     



So here is a list of all the non-vegan foods that I have ‘accidentally’ put in my mouth recently and why…

1. A buttery warm croissant… When? A month ago. Why? It was whispering sweet flaky buttery yumminess to me in a very sexy and persuasive sotto voce…

2. A slice of waitrose cheddar cheese…. When? 3pm today. Why? Wanted to remember what tasted like. And? Overpoweringly strong. Bit like first puff on a ciggie after not having smoked in ages – not very nice at all but your memory tells you that if you keep going it will get oh so very good soon…

3. A mouthful of Yeo Valley Yoghurt. When? Last week. Why? Because Gogo was slurping it with such sheer heavenly delight that I decided I must be missing out on something life-alteringly delicious. Was it? Yes. Bit no more delicious than Vanilla Alpro.

4. Starbucks mini syrup wafers. When? Yesterday. Why? I bought them for everyone at work thinking they were vegan and by the time I thought to check I’d already sunk 2 for breakfast. Oops. Contain egg…

5. Twister lolly pop. When? Last weekend. Why? It was beautifully sunny day and I had girls all to myself and we were having the most gorgeous time together and it just seemed fitting to finish it off with a round of ice cream and veganism seemed less important at that moment than rounding off a perfect day with my girls.

6. Goats cheese. When? 3 weeks ago. Why? It came with a bruschetta i had ordered and hadn’t realised. And? It was horrible. Couldn’t get rid of taste all evening and it ruined an otherwise perfectly delicious bruschetta. Totally overbearing, horrid texture and entirely unnecessary.

That’s enough confessions for one session…. Will say some Hail Marys and go to bed…!

Night night x

Veganuary results

Social Chic Agency

Recently we were lucky enough to deliver the digital communications for the successful Veganuary campaign, which saw thousands of people across the world adopt a vegan diet for the month of January.

The results of the campaign are now in and they are incredibly encouraging as many people have decided to continue with a vegan diet beyond January. As vegans ourselves this makes us incredibly happy and optimistic for the future.

Please share the data below with anyone you feel would be interested. And keep your eyes on Facebook and Twitter for announcements regarding Veganuary 2015. It is all set to be huge.



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Can a vegan ever be sexy?

This article appeared in today’s Telegraph and I’m sure it encapsulates perfectly how most of the UK thinks about vegans.  It also demonstrates beautifully all the hypocrisies, hyperbole and misguided assumptions which I’ve faced over the last year and been so frustrated by.  So I thought I should share it with you along with a few of my own thoughts…

1. Her description of vegans as ‘skinny’, ‘hungry’, emaciated, starving, walking skeletons is just so far from what I’ve experienced it’s ridiculous!  I don’t know many fat vegans that’s true – although my love of bagels smothered in peanut butter and jam is putting this to the test! – but the vast majority of all the vegans I’ve come across are the picture of health, really value and respect their bodies and are all really well-read and informed when it comes to nutrition and dietary needs.  I for example, know far more about where I now get my potassium, zinc and magnesium from etc – before going vegan I thought these were just random squares from the periodic table, no idea they were related to leafy veg, avocados and chick peas!

2. Vegans are ‘joyless’ people – again this is just so untrue and unfair.  It might make us feel better to tell ourselves that life without Dairy Milk, Domino’s Pizza and McDonalds is so depressingly austere and miserable that it would never be worth it.  But in truth all the vegans I know love the fact they are vegan.  They all say that it’s the best thing they’ve ever done.  It makes you feel good about the decisions you are taking (in relation to the environment, your health and certainly for the animal slaughter you are no longer responsible for). Far from being ‘joyless’ – I would describe the vegans I’ve come across as curious, independent, strong, positive and confident – you’ve got to be to take on something like veganism as it can be really tough in the face of adversity and judgement from friends, family, strangers and journalists such as Hannah Betts!  All the vegans I know value life enormously, love nature and the environment and that’s exactly why they’re vegan!

3. Citing Bill Clinton as an example of someone who looks less healthy now than he did before he turned vegan is such a laughably ludicrous claim it shows how desperate Hannah is to discredit veganism and how badly she has failed!  Look tot The China Study if you want to discuss data controlled medically approved research – The China Study examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancers of the breast, prostate and bowel. The authors conclude that people who eat a whole-food, plant-based/vegan avoiding all animal products, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese and milk, and reducing their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates will escape, reduce or reverse the development of numerous diseases. They write that “eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy.”

Clinton underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and then stent surgery in 2010.  His consulting physician has publicly said that Clinton’s conversion to veganism is the best possible diet for a healthy heart.  He himself said a year after converting: “I’ve lost more than 20 pounds so far, aiming for about 30 before Chelsea’s wedding. And I have so much more energy now! I feel great.”

4. ” In a list that encompasses Ellen DeGeneres, Morrissey, Sinéad O’Connor, Moby, Joaquin Phoenix, Emeli Sandé , Tobey Maguire, Leona Lewis, Jessica Chastain and Alicia Silverstone, the phrase “hot, raw sex” does not immediately spring to mind.”  Really??  Am I confused or are you talking about these people?
Yeah – I can barely look at them they’re so offensively unattractive….
5. “I became a vegetarian for precisely the macroeconomic/ecological reasons that Peta and its furry friends so admire” says Hannah.  Then I’m afraid the only logical and rational end to that thought process is veganism.  Dairy produce is just as inefficient and environmentally damaging as meat production.  Fair enough to not want to go vegan – but please don’t be so hypocritical and ignorant as to claim that you are a strict vegetarian  for reasons which would logically make you vegan if you really cared about those said reasons and then mock/discredit/alienate those people.  It’s farcically illogical!  I find it bizarre when people are vegetarian for environmental reasons or animal welfare reasons and not vegan (or at least admit that this would make more sense) because the dairy industry is possibly the cruellest, most wasteful and most damaging of all.
6. “…a diet confined to plants is an asceticism too far: denying the body, as it denies the life – social and otherwise; facilitating animal existence by curtailing human”.  This is such skewed logic.  ‘Confining’ your diet to plants does not curtail human existence in any way, shape or form – it prolongs life if anything!  Again, we love the idea that vegans are emaciated, unhealthy, calcium deficient walking zombies – this is a complete myth!  Do some research and discover for yourself!
7. “For vegans give up not only the obvious meat, fish, eggs and dairy. They are   obliged to renounce: sugar (coloured with bone char), honey (the toil of   bees – read my colleague Stevie Parle on how to cook with it), red foods   (cochineal, made from insects), sweets, mousses, margarines, peanuts and   crisps (gelatin, made from animal waste), soy cheeses (the milk protein   casein), many breads (butter, whey), beer and wine (tropical fish bladders),   even orange juice (often omega-3 enhanced) and the medicinal Bloody Mary   (Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies)”.  This is citing the most extreme aspects of veganism and is a blatant scaremongering tactic.  There are plenty of vegan beers and wine, nearly all bread is vegan, masses of crisps are vegan, there are loads of vegan butter alternatives, loads of vegan cheese alternatives and plenty of vegan Orange Juice! 
8. “veganism is profoundly boring – for oneself and others. Strictly speaking, vegans must also boycott leather, suede, fur, wool and silk”.  Again – I don’t know any vegans who have found being vegan ‘profoundly boring’ – again the exact opposite is true in my experience.  I have loved learning and experimenting with all the new ingredients, cuisines and foods I now cook with and eat.  I eat a far more colourful, varied and tasty diet than I ever did before.  I feel far more engaged with the world around me and it’s led me to live much more mindfully.  Clothing really isn’t tricky – there are just fewer options (which I actually love as I hate shopping at the best of times!).  But obviously this is a supply and demand issue – which is improving ever day as consumers become more aware of where and how what they’re buying got there and demand more ethical, fairtrade, cruelty free brands. 
9. “…turning up to a dinner party at which one’s host has contrived to provide meatless fare and rejecting it on the grounds that it contains a thimbleful of chicken stock”.  This again si the kind of social scenario that people love to imagine – but in reality just doesn’t happen.  I don’t know any vegans who upon turning up to a dinner party where an effort has been made to provide them with a vegan mean would ever reject it if someone had accidentally added chicken stock.  And I find the idea that we are being ‘difficult’ gets pretty boring too.  I’m constantly apologising for being a ‘pesky vegan’ and I’m fully aware that people find it inconvenient… but any decent friend would surely be respectful of your choices and not feel ‘put out’ by it.  Would you berate a Jewish friend coming to supper as you have to avoid ham, sausages, chorizo and pork chops?  Would you berate a coeliac?  And the idea that it’s a huge hassle to provide for a vegan.. seriously?  pasta and passata…. baked potato and baked beans… cous cous and roast veg… any vegetable soup…. it really is NOT that hard to figure out I’m sorry…. it’s also a far cheaper option so if anything you should be everyone’s favourite dinner guest!
10. “..while many avoid the foie gras and veal crate extremes, a jar of honey, or a round of goat’s cheese, do not   seem especially savage”.  Grrr…. find me a vegan that describes a jar of honey as savage!  This kind of journalism, whilst amusing and fun to read, is also so frustrating in it’s blatant perversion of any credible arguments.  All it does is cement in the reader’s mind a totally inaccurate image of vegans and veganism and I think it’s actually quite irresponsible, shameful and saddening from someone who clearly knows better as she herself has been a strict vegetarian for 30 years for environmental reasons.  Perhaps she knows that an honest account of veganism wouldn’t go down quite as well as a sirloin steak, the predictable unimaginative choice, with her readers so took the easy option.  Am sure she’s right – ratings after all are ratings but it just seems such a waste of an opportunity to debunk some of the myths surrounding veganism and help inform people of the very real reasons why we should all be trying to cut down our animal products intake and increase our plant food intake.
11.”My own episodes of even non-fish consuming vegetarianism have also coincided with anaemia, vitamin B and D deficiency, inability to recover from illness, exhaustion and hair loss. “Trimmer” vegans may be, but the ability to bruise while resting my chin on my hand and the sight of hairballs around my flat did not immediately imply “fitter””.  This is again utter rubbish and there are countless dieticians and nutritional experts who will refute this.  If her hair was falling out then her diet was lacking in all kinds of vitamins most likely – all of which, other than Vitamin B12 which all vegans must take as a supplement, can be found in plentiful supply in a plant-based diet.
12. “..Evangelists are not renowned for being all fun and games, zealots seldom the coolest people in the room”.  Seriously?  We’re now lumping vegans in with ‘evangelists’ and ‘zealots’.  At this point  think we see what a ridiculously one-sided account of veganism this has been – with absolutely no interest in the underlying issues or growing realities of veganism.  What a sham – a very funny and amusing one – but still a total sham!  Sigh…
I suppose the frustration kicks in when people who really should know better continue to pedal this mythical stereotype, merely so they can reassure themselves that it would be the wrong decision and choices to make.  Why not be more honest and say, you know what it probably does make sense to cut down if not totally exclude all animal products, but I just can’t be bothered, or I could never get my other half to sign up and I can’t be faffed to cook 2 meals, or I just love cheese too much, or I can’t face the social scrutiny and judgement that my mates will inevitably make.  All of these are totally plausible reasons.  But please don’t try and obscure the very real issues of animal cruelty, environmental damage and human disease which surround consuming animal products by turning people off with this ridiculous idea that living a vegan lifestyle is boring, joyless, unhealthy and pointless.  Your not just abusing your own intelligence but you’re preventing people from having the courage and knowledge to make informed, good decisions.
There – rant over!

Vegan pregnancy!

raw diet during pregnancy, vegan pregnancy, raw food pregnancy, vegetarian

So I’m 15 weeks pregnant and interested to see how my veganism fares over the next few months.  I’ve heard countless stories of committed vegetarians being overcome with cravings for a big fat juicy bloody steak and diving head first into a bucket of spare ribs… will I follow suit?  

So far so good…. no dreams of floating pork chops or mozzarella balls.  I’ve felt no different to my two previous pregnancies in fact.  I’ve had a ravenous appetite and have easily gotten through 2 loaves of bread a week, a bucket of Duchy Organic Damson Jam… a truck load of pasta and a sackful of baked potatoes.  So no carb cravings there….  

I had the standard 2/3 weeks of narcoleptic levels of tiredness around 8 – 10 weeks and happily crawled into bed at 8pm…  

I was looking forward to having my bloods done (which had been meaning to throughout the last year and never got round to) to see if I’m lacking anything having been vegan for over a year and was pleased to see that everything was exactly as it should be so that was reassuring.  The only thing was a tiny bit low was my Vitamin D which if you’d seen the winter we’ve had here in the UK would not come as a great surprise.

Speaking of which, I escaped off to Barbados a couple of weeks back very cheekily at the last minute to visit a friend who’s living out there.  I do my best not to fly unnecessarily and we stick to UK based holidays as much as we can but this was one occasion where I thought sod it and chose sunshine and friendship over my carbon footprint…  Whilst there I had a little bit of fresh line caught fish and this seemed appropriate being that we were on an island in the middle of the Caribbean.  As I’ve always said on this blog, I think your food choices should always be appropriate for where you are and what is available to you – I don’t think there are any hard or fast rules.  In the same vein, my cousin came to stay with us in London last night and very kindly bought us some freshly laid eggs from her free range chickens she has at her home in Norfolk and even though i haven’t bought or had eggs in over a year now, I’m looking forward to scrambled eggs for supper!