Melon Drink / Ice Lolly

MELON DRINK
Watermelons are in season, yay! Isn’t it the best? You can use watermelon for so many things. You can blend it and drink it, you can use the juice to make ice lollies or you can just get a spoon and dig in. Watermelon is the best! The people of What a Melon get this and juiced some yummy watermelons to put it in packs, so you can drink it all year around. Watermelon water is super hydrating and has the anti-oxidant lycopene + and the amino acid citruline (your muscles love this!). It’s vert tasty too, 100% natural and all they add is a little squeeze of lemon. A perfect drink to stay cool and hydrated this summer!

ICE LOLLY
Another way to stay cool are these delicious ice lollies from Ice Kitchen. One morning when I went to the park cafe behind my flat, I came across these fruity lollies. There was a sign with explaining which one was vegan too. Unfortunately one of them was labelled as vegan, but had yogurt and honey in them. I told the staff and they took action straight away, what was good. This Raspberry&Mint flavour was vegan though and I obviously needed to try it. It was very tasty, with the real fruit and the sweet taste of raspberries. Normally I don’t like products with mint in it, but it definitely works for this lolly. So I’m happy I tried it. They’re all natural, made with 100% fruit and contain no sugar. I really would like to try the Peach&Hibiscus one too, it looks amazing! They won the Taste Award 2016 and I discovered why!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

OrganiCup

I’m sorry this review will be slightly boring for my male readers! Still, this is such an important subject. Who is using a menstrual cup already? Well done for the ones who are! You might remember that a while ago I wrote a review for Lunette Menstrual Cups. But there are a lot more brands out there of course. Like the one I will write about today: OrganiCup, an award winning menstrual cup. They want to change the way your period affects your life, your body and of course the environment. They believe in a world without all the disposable period products, the need of putting chemical in your body because of your period and where all girls can go to school, even when they’re on their period, without being ashamed. Now this is something we all want, isn’t it?

OrganiCup is quite a small cup in comparison to other cups. The material is more flexible too. This makes them very easy to insert and they are also easy to take out again. This is nice, especially when you just started using a cup for the first time. I think for this reason the OrganiCup is great for teens. Though I do like them myself too, so of course it’s for all ages. I did experience a little leaking (very little!) though in the first 2 days of my period. If I empty the cup a little more often it’s fine though, but I advise to combine it with a liner, for some extra security. OrganiCup is 100% free of bleach, glue, perfume, lotion or anything that doesn’t belong inside your body. You can also wear during the night and I promise you that a cup really makes your period more bearable!

How Does It Work?
-Wash your hands.
-Fold the cup in a C shape (like on the picture above).
-Insert it and let it unfold into your vagina (you can make sure it has properly unfolded by gently moving your finger around the cup).
-Empty the cup 2-4 times a day (I think for a heavy period it’s definitely going to be 4 times).
-Take it out by gently pulling the stem, but also the bottom of the cup (wriggle it a little if necessary).
-After using it, rinse the cup with cold water first. Then with warm water and a cup cleanser or a natural soap.

TIP: You can cut off (a part of) the stem, if you keep feeling it. You’re not suppose to feel the cup. 

Would you like to use OrganiCup? Then go to their website, order one and start using it! I’d love to hear how you get about! Or if you have any questions, please let me know. You can also contact me via Instagram and by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Mascara / Chocolate

MASCARA
I discovered a great vegan mascara. Lash Vegas from Barry M. Until one day they decided to discontinue it! A disaster, because I had to find another vegan waterproof mascara which was not tested on animals. I did a lot of research, but there wasn’t one that even came close to the Barry M one. In the end I got a mascara from Lavera, but it was not waterproof and more than twice as expensive. Though I was desperate and needed something. A week after I bought that one, being very unhappy with it, Superdrug got some great news. It was going to sell ELF make up and it turned out they do a waterproof one. I ordered it with my fingers crossed. The package and the outside is really nice. Simple matte black with white letters. It looks very appealing to me. The mascara is not only waterproof, but also lengthening and volumizing and they promise thick, full and long looking lashes. It’s quickly drying, prevents clumps and it will last all day without smudging or flaking. This sounds amazing and I was very hopeful. The brush is quite a standard brush, but it works well. My lashes looked nice, it was quite easy to apply and I’m happy with the result. There are only 2 downsides: it only comes in small (handy for in your handbag though!) and for more than half an hour it stays a little sticky. Apart from that it stays on quite well during the day. So it’s not as good as my Barry M mascara, but I’m super happy with it as it comes close! I recently also bought the ELF primer and that makes your lashes even look more amazing + I find it’s less sticky. You can get them at most Superdrug stores now or you can order them online via Superdrug. Tip: register for the Health&Beauty card to get free delivery.

CHOCOLATE
At my work my employer one day gave me a chocolate from Ombar as it’s vegan, I like chocolate and they wanted to know I’m appreciated. It was the raw Ombar chocolate with coconut. I never had it before, but as I know Ombar and I know they do amazing chocolate, I was very excited. Also because of the fact it says coconut. Coconut makes me instantly interested! After eating the whole thing (I’m just not somebody who enjoys 1 bite and then saves the rest for alter) I was crazy about it. This is such good chocolate. It melts in your mouth and it’s very creamy, with a very perfectly chocolate taste. The best thing is that it’s all raw, it’s sweetened with coconut sugar and it has nothing bad in it. It’s very much guilt free. I won’t recommend eating it every day of course, but it’s definitely something you can have as a treat without feeling you put something nasty in your body. They do have more flavours btw, you can check out their website to take a look or you could go to the shop to try them all. They sell them in most health shops like Portobello Wholefoods and the Whole Foods Market.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you!

Vivera Meat Substitutes + recipes

A while ago Vivera sent me some of their products to review. Vivera is one of my favourite brands and if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few pictures with it. I noticed that still not a lot of people know about this brand here in the UK and maybe some people in the Netherlands are also not aware of these amazing products they offer. So I decided to do an extra article about them. Vivera is made in the Netherlands, but since a while a few of their products are also available in the UK. You can get them via Ocado (burgers, chicken style pieces, mince etc.) and Sainsbury’s (kebab etc.). They don’t sell all of them yet, but they do have a few good ones. You do have to watch out, because though most of it is vegan, a few of their products are vegetarian and not vegan. But wait for it.. they will go 100% vegan before the end of this year! GREAT NEWS!! The burgers are really nice, very different from other burgers I know (structure and taste!), but also the chicken style pieces (you can hardly tell the difference from real chicken) and the mince style (think of lasagna and shepherd’s pie) are very good. I made a few recipes with them for you. Though with some of them you can also just get some fries and have it on the side, like I did here (above) with the chicken style burger. Not so healthy, but super yummy! I hope you enjoy the recipes and using Vivera. I do hope Vivera will sell more options here in the UK soon , like the steaks and the bacon style pieces.. because those are soooo my favourite!

KEBAB
Kebab King

serves: 2

-1 pack of Vivera shoarma
-4 pita breads
-1/4 iceberg lettuce
-1/4 cup el mayonaisse
-2 garlic cloves (minced)
-1 tsp olive oil
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp basil
-pinch of salt

-Put the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic until it’s slightly golden.
-Mix the garlic with the mayonnaise and add the thyme and basil + a pinch of salt. Mix well.
-Put the shoarma in the frying pan and fry for a few minutes (3-4) until it hot and a little crispy.
-Cut the lettuce and toast the pita breads.
-Cut open the pita breads and spread some garlic sauce inside.
-Mix the lettuce with the shoarma and fill the pita breads. Drizzle some extra garlic sauce on top.


BACON STYLE PIECES
Veganara

Serves: 2

1/2 pack of Vivera bacon style pieces
-200 gr pappardelle
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-1/3 cup cream (I used Alpro)
-3 tbs  cream cheese
-1 tbs nutritional yeast
-1 tbs fresh parsley (chopped)
-1 tsp olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the pappardelle as described on the package.
-Fry the garlic in the olive oil for just 1 minute.
-Then add the vegan bacon and fry for 2 minutes on a high fire.
-Add the parsley and fry for just half a minute.
-Lower the heat and mix in the cream and the nutritional yeast.
-Add the pasta to this and give it a good mix for another minute.
-Add salt/pepper to taste and sprinkle some extra parsley on top.


STEAK
Stamp-Pot

Serves: 2 

-1 pack Vivera Steaks (2 per pack)
-4 big potatoes (chopped)
-3 carrots (chopped)
-2 big hands spinach
-1 onion (chopped)
-3 tbs milk
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-1 tbs sesame seed oil
-1/2 tsp coriander (ground)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Put the potatoes, the carrots and 1/4 of the onion in a pan and let it boil for 20 min. Until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
-Fry the onion until the edges start to get brown. Add the garlic, the coriander and the cumin and fry for 2 minutes. Add the spinach in the last minute and until it slinks.
-Add this mixture, the sesame seed oil and the milk to the potato-carrot mix.
-Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Serve with Vivera fillet steaks.


CHICKEN STYLE PIECES
Kebables

serves: 2 (6 kebabs)

1 pack Vivera chicken style pieces
marinate
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame seed oil
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt/pepper
veggies
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 corn cob
sauce
3 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs ketchup
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 tsp thyme
olive oil

4 skewers

-Ideally marinate the chicken pieces a day before. Put the chicken style pieces in a container with lid and add all the marinated ingredients. Put the lid on and shake it (lightly) until it’s all covered. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
-Take the chicken style pieces and veggies and divide them on the skewers. Play with the colours.
-Put them on the bbq (or frying/grill pan) for about 5-10 min (depending on how hot the bbq is). Don’t forget to turn them once in a while.
-For the sauce: Fry the garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then add it to the rest of the sauce ingredients. Give it a good mix.
-Serve the kebabs with the sauce.

Do you know Vivera and have you tried their products before? I would love to see some creations of the recipes above! Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Hand and Nail oil

HAND AND NAIL OIL
Who went to the Vegan Summer Fest in London last May? If you went, then you might have seen the lovely people from Bodyenrich. They were giving samples of this amazing hand and nail oil. A drop for everybody who wanted to try. Because that is how much you need of this beautiful oil, 1 drop! I really liked it because my hands didn’t feel so overly oily afterwards. That is one of the things what stops me if it comes to nourishing my hands with a hand cream or lotion. It takes ages to absorb and then everything you touch is oily. This is only a drop, though I do think 2 drops works a little better, as it’s easier to rub it all over.

They gifted me the oil to try at home and review. So I’ve been using it for a while now and I love it. My cuticles were quite dry and thanks to this oil they look all nice again. The skin on my hands looks very nice too. I’m curious what it can do for me in the winter, because as soon as it gets colder I always tend to get very dry hands and almost nothing helps. I hope this will help! I have good hope. The oil is all natural and made of a combination of baobab seed, calendula, papaya seed, pumpkin seed and vitamin E oils. This turns out to be a winner! I use 1 drop on each hand 1-2 times a day, before I go to bed (and sometimes also in the morning) and then rub it over my hands for about a minute, kind of massaging my hands, making sure I give some extra attention to my cuticles. It’s lovely!

Bodyenrich is a very nice company who already won several awards. The ‘Free From Skin Care Award’ for example and the ‘OK Beauty Awards’. They do have more beauty products, like coconut body butter, body oils, bath salts, body wash, face serum, body lotion and home fragrances. Very soon they will also come with hair care. For all their products you can visit their website. You can also order any of the products you like to try via the website. Before you’re using a new product, always make sure to try the product on only a little bit of skin (like on top of your hand for example) at first, to see if you get a reaction.

Did you already know the products of Bodyenrich? I’d love to hear your experience or you can also show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Sandwiches on the Go

I don’t know why, but I always liked these sandwiched for on the go. Some people find them disgusting, but I like that it’s this kind of ‘sticky’, haha! I used to get them when on the station for lunch or as a snack. Lots of times I chose the one with egg salad or just a simple cheese one. And very long ago, even a ham/cheese one. Obviously I don’t eat them anymore since I’m vegan, but I always hoped they would offer vegan options one day. Many times I checked, but even if it seemed alright, they used yogurt or mayonnaise. Such a shame. Nowadays though, tings changed. Demand is changing the offer, as that’s how it works. I was curious about the differences and so I picked 3 to compare. From Pret a Manger, M&S and Boots! So let’s see..

Let’s start with the third place. On number 3 is the one from Boots. It’s called ‘Louisiana Style Cajun Fritter’. They advertise it as an American sandwich, with a fitting package. It looks very tasty, with the fritters inside. Unfortunately the fritters were a bit dry and there is a slight soapy taste. I’m not a big fan of this one, but somebody else might like them. Something I really dislike about this one is the amount of sugar in here. There is 8 grams of sugar in here. That is a sugar cube in each sandwich. Very unnecessary. Also it’s quite high in fat (5.6 grams). Though, if you don’t have a lot of choice and there is a Boots around (there are a lot of them, so that is a positive), it’s an ok choice. It’s a limited edition, so if you want to try them, be quick!

On the second place I put the M&S sandwich. It’s called ‘Rainbow Veg’. A nice name I think. It’s with chilli squash and pumpkin seeds on red pepper bread. This bread gives it a little extra I think as it’s very tasty. Very soft and fresh. It’s a very good sandwich, with a bit of a smokey flavour, thanks to the roasted veggies. I also really like the package with the avocado and fresh veggies on there. It’s quite a healthy option too, as it’s 2.8 grams in sugar (still unnecessary though). The fat content is quite high (8.1grams), but that must be because there is avocado in there.

And on number 1, what can’t be a big surprise, is the sandwich from Pret a Manger. They have a lot of vegan options in general and they’re all delicious. They just do good food. I can’t say much about the package, as they’re all the same at Pret and they’re very neutral. What is fine I think, the sandwich itself makes it look attractive enough. It has Avocado, red tapenade, red pepper, spinach, olives, some lemon juice and seasoning. A perfect combination on very tasty, fresh bread. The only downside is that it says there is 6.3 grams of sugar. I can’t find that they add sugar, so I’m not sure where the sugar comes from (in the tapenade maybe?). Still they are on number one, because it’s simply delicious. I really enjoy this sandwich!

Funny thing is that I was most curious about the Boots sandwich, as it was very new to me. I already had the Pret sandwich several times. Still Boots ended up on number three and Pret on number one.

Did you already know these sandwiches and which one is your favourite? Or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

The Bon Vie Tops

I was gifted these great looking tops with beautiful designs from ‘The Bon Vie’. This is the company of a lovely girl who started to make tops with vegan designs. She always loved animals, but it wasn’t until about 2 years ago she came to realise how many animals suffered on a daily basis. This made her go vegan. She also started to volunteer at animal sanctuaries and shelters, trying to make a difference. But about 6 months ago she felt like she wanted to do more and make a bigger impact. She already knew a lot about T-shirts and graphic, so she decided to combine those 2 and I’m happy she did. Her designs are so nice. Quite different from other ones. The Bon Vie is all about spreading awareness and bringing people together. In the future she hopes to switch to recycled shirts to help the environment. I think the avocado shirt is so cute.. ‘Wanna Avocuddle?’ hehe.. This T-shirt I like best in white, so the design is very visible. I really like the V-neck too. I don’t like tops with the color too high and V-necks are perfect, my favourite. Both the other tops, whilst not having a V-neck, are low cuts and that is the best thing about these tops. Out of all the design and shapes, I chose the avocado T-shirt, but I said I also liked the elephant and the ‘I just want to yoga all day, eat yum vegan food and save animal’. It was hard to choose! When I received my parcel it turned out she also include the other 2 designs. So sweet en generous of her! And it turns out I like the elephant the best. Even though it has a round neck, I absolutely love it. It has such a nice fit and I really like the colour, a very nice, not so common, blue. A few weeks ago I bought new elephant trousers and they are a perfect combination together. Very nice for the summer. Make me so happy!

The shirts are a very nice shape and fit nicely. The T-shirts are quite a small fit, so if you like a lose fit, I recommend choosing a size bigger than you normally get. Though the tank top was perfect fit. You can go to The Bon Vie website to see all the other designs. For every sale, $2 goes to help animals! This either goes to a sanctuary or a shelter (it changes on a regular basis). So you don’t only get a nice top, you’re also doing it for a good cause. Help yourself to a nice T-shirt and help an animal to have a better life. Where are you waiting for?

Are you familiar with The Bon Vie tops? Do you love them as much as I do? Please show me your choice on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. You can also tag me (and @thebonvie) of course. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

The Smarter Tea of T Plus

Time for tea! Always sounds lovely, because tea is always a good idea (that’s why it rhymes!). I discovered this new tea at a vegan festival and I was given them te review. Say hello to a new generation of vitamin.. the smarter tea from T Plus! This new, independent British company created tea with lots of extra vitamins. We all know that green tea is good for us and it has loads of antioxidants. Like we know that herbal teas all have different health benefits. T Plus created tea which has it all. As a base they’re using hand picked green tea from Sri Lanka. Then they add herbs, whole pieces of fruit and a little bit of natural flavouring. Then it’s not finished yet, because then they also add some daily essential vitamins. This works great for everybody who does enjoy a cup of tea, but is living a busy life.

They created 4 teas. Each tea has it’s own flavour and own health benefits. Have your pick:
Boost: raspberry & pomegranate – energy releasing B vitamins, natural yerba mate and ginseng.
Immunitea: orange & blueberry – 50% rda vitamin C, immune helping herbs.
Detox
: apple & blackcurrant – cleansing herbs, vitamin B&C.
Multea: lemon & peach – 9 daily essential vitamins, natural cardamom, spearmint and rosemary.

 

So I tried them all (in one day! I must be so healthy now, hehe..) and I love them all. First of all the smell is define. When you close your eyes it really feels like your head is hanging above freshly cut fruit. Due to the fruit they all have a hint of sweetness, but they also all have their own taste. I really like the Multea. What is funny, because normally I’m not really a citrus tea kind of person, but in combination with the sweet peach, it’s really nice. And how great is it that there are 9 (!) essential vitamins hidden in there? This really is a smart way of drinking tea. Now the packaging. I’m normally not a big fan of multi coloured items, but I think here it works. As it’s all about vitamins and fruit and so I think they really pulled it off. They are now available at The Whole Foods Market, in Holland&Barret and Ocado. Find your nearest shop and get your hand on these!

PS: I’m off to the toilet..

Did you already know the smarter way of drinking tea or are you going to try them now? Which one is your favourite? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

 

 

iUVO – Body Butter Cream

BODY BUTTER CREAM
I’m always a little anxious to put something on my skin. Especially my face. The skin on my face has always been trouble since the start of my puberty. Though it has improved since going vegan, it’s far from normal. I used several creams and the last few years I used coconut oil. This worked best so far. My skin is less oily (how ironic) and more smooth when I use it. Though, when I was at the vegan festival in Kensington the beginning of April, I came across iUVO. They were promoting their cream and beauty products there and asked if I wanted to try some. I instantly liked the way it felt on my skin. It makes your skin feel smooth and the scent is natural, but still quite neutral. The first jar isn’t finished yet, but I already bought a second one at the festival in Brighton. It’s such a lovely cream. I use it on my face before I go to bed, but it also really helped me with my dry hands. When it’s a little cold (we don’t really have that problem at the moment, do we..) in combination of washing my hands a thousand times a day, my hand get dry. I only have to use the cream once and my hand are soft for very long. Something what I find important with a cream is that it’s quickly absorbent. Nothing annoys me more than being sticky of cream the whole time. With the iUVO Body Butter Cream it’s not like that. Though you do have to make sure you’re not using too much. You really only need a little bit of the lovely organic ingredients to nourish your skin. I’m loving it!

Did you already know iUVO or are you going to try it after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Kale Wrap / Sour Sweets

KALE WRAP
Finally.. they were one of the last coffeeshops, but Starbucks introduced a vegan meal. Or meal, something more than a hand full of nuts or a piece of dark chocolate. Starbucks is my favourite place to get tea. I drink my green tea with soy milk or, my latest discovery.. a Green tea Soy latte. If I wanted to eat something  I could choose between some little snacks, because all the sandwiches, wraps and cakes have meat, dairy or egg in them. A lot of other coffeeshops already offered vegan options, especially if we talk about PRET, they are king! Though Starbucks didn’t. Such a shame. But as the world is changing, Starbucks had to. And of course I had to try it. I didn’t have breakfast the morning I did and so it was kind of like a breakfast burrito. First of all, I think it looks good. The lettuce inside and the wrap itself are fresh and the overall taste is nice. It’s just a shame there is a lot of crap (sugar!) in them. But if you’re in a rush and you need to have something in your stomach, I think Starbucks did a good job with offering something tasty!  Let’s hope for more options in the future. Way to go!

SOUR SWEETS
I love love love sour sweeties. I know they’re not good for you, but very once in a while I have some. Sometimes until my tongue is literally open. I know.. it’s bad! It’s just so yummy. The sour the better. A while ago I discovered these Sour Snakes from Biona. BIona is one of my favourite brands. They just have a lot of good stuff. I took these to Rome and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste They’re sour (though it could of lasted a little longer) and the taste is nice. They’re obviously still not healthy, but I’m sure it’s at least better than the other ones. But just once in a while it should be fine. To take with you on a trip or like me.. when I’m on my period (serious cravings!).

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X