Fair Share

Only 5 more nights until the day of love! Do you have a Valentine (yet)? Are you going to do something special? Last year the recipe ‘Soulmates‘ was a great success, so I came up with another Valentine’s recipe for this year. What is more romantic than sharing? Because isn’t love all about sharing? Sharing your thoughts, your happiness, your pain, your smoothie bowl.. Yes! Start Valentine’s Day as romantic as can be, with this lovely pink smoothie bowl to share! You can decorate it the way you like it.. I let the kids help me with the decoration of mine and that meant an overdose on edible glitters, haha! Oh well.. is there something as too much glitter? Not according the 3 year old girl I look after! Everybody who makes one of my recipes for Valentine’s Day will get a shoutout on my Instagram! Don’t forget to tag me, so I can see your creation. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

FAIR SHARE

Serves: 2

-2 cups unsweetened plant-based yogurt
-1 cup frozen raspberries
-1 big ripe banana
-1 tsp chia seed
-decorations: coconut flakes, edible glitters or flowers, sugar ornaments etc.

-Put everything in the blender until smooth.
-Decorate with coconut, glitters, edible flowers or whatever you think your love will like. You can actually make it really personal this way.. be creative!
-Serve immediately.

Will you share this smoothie bowl with your love this Valentine’s day?! Please let me know when you do. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Every Valentine’s recipe picture will get a shoutout! Thank you! X

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Personal #2 – Life these days

The last time (also the first time) I wrote a personal post was back in September. A lot has happened in the meantime, so I thought it’s really time to write an update. In my first personal post you could read about the fact that a lot of things were going to change for me. Things have changed now. Seriously changed. They even changed a lot more than I could imagine.

OLIVER
Something that I didn’t foresee was that I became a pig mum within 2 weeks of moving. You maybe already know this if you follow my blog or my Instagram, because I posted about Oliver here and a lot on Instagram too. He even has his own Instagram profile. Last Friday he turned 12 weeks, what means he’s already with me for over 10 weeks! Mid December he moved to the barn and he’s doing amazing. He is so lovely and I love him so so much! He brought me a lot, mostly good things. Actually only good things. I said mostly, because looking after him is a big responsibility and I always worry about him. He is all healthy now, what is amazing, but I worry about his future. I’m doing my best to raise him well, but he will be big and he sometimes forgets he is strong. This is why I choose to not have another pig for now. It will be nice for him to have a companion, but I’m worried that accidents will happen (mainly with the small kids I’m looking after). Two big pigs together will be maybe too much to handle when they’re both full size. So I want to see what it is like when he is bigger and in the field. By then I hope he will still accept a companion and if not, that he will be ok by himself. Especially when I’m traveling in a few years.

STRUGGLE
Lately I feel that I struggle with being vegan. Don’t get me wrong, being vegan itself is the easiest thing. Doing the right thing for the animals, my health, the environment and so many things more is the best decision I’ve ever made. My struggle is with the fact that the rest of the world isn’t vegan. In the first years of being vegan it was bothering me as well, but I can feel the feeling is getting stronger and stronger. I think this is for a few reasons. Since I have Oliver, there are a lot of people who want to make a funny comment about him, in terms of ‘bacon’ ‘bbq’ ‘spare ribs’ etc. Or people who ask me why I have him or what I am going to do with him. As in ‘will I eat him’. This bothers me so so much (and this is a very nice and polite way of expressing myself comparing to what I actually feel at moments like that). Even only writing it down now, makes me very angry. To be really honest with you, what I feel at moments like that is hate. I don’t want to feel it and I’m a very positive person and I always try to see things in a positive way or at least to not let it get to me, but I’m failing terribly. I’m really struggling with this more since I’d say 6 months and it got worse since I moved and have Oliver. In the country side there are so many meat/dairy/egg/hunting related things around me. The pigs in the fields next to the house, the cows and other animals I see in the fields, hunting the pheasants next to the house, but also the people everywhere. It’s more ‘normal’ here it seems, what makes it so hard for me. How can people be so distant from all these beautiful animals? They must be so lost in society and tradition, that I should actually feel sorry for them. This all is so hard and definitely the hardest things about being vegan. Why do people not get it? Why don’t they see what I see? Where is their compassion? I feel like it bothers me more and more and sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself. I always have an answer for everything, but for this one it seems I’m stuck.

VANLIFE
Something super exciting is that I bought my van. Last year, in November. It’s a white Citroën Relay from 2014. So far I stripped and cleaned it. I wanted to fit in the skylight ventilator and the window before Xmas, but it was too cold. I have the insulation ready to fit in, but there is so much condensation (because of the cold as well) that I have to wait with that too. I will wait until there is a weekend with temperatures above 15C. Hopefully this will come soon, because in March my dad is coming to help me and the insulation needs to be done by then. Overall, I just need to be patient, what is super hard, because I want to work on it. I’m so excited for it to be finished and me moving in.

HEALTHWISE
Last year I didn’t work out much, I made less time for yoga/mediation and mindfulness and I ate too much junk food. This year I want to change that and it’s going super well so far. I’m eating clean and I’m seriously working out almost every day. I’m trying to make sure I live in the now and I start my mornings with yoga and meditation. One of the things I also started doing since the first of January, is writing down what I did every day, like a little journal. I bought a day-a-page diary for this and I do this every evening before I go to sleep. It’s not so much for writing down my feelings etc. but more to remember what I did that day. This works great for living more mindful. I also started to read more, what was one of my new years resolutions. I love reading.

Do you recognise some things? Do you have questions? Or do you have something you’d like to share after reading my more personal stuff? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

New Beginnings

Is it a little pathetic that I’m super excited about the fact that the first of January is on a Monday? Because I totally am! I’m a big sucker for New Years Resolutions and I always make a list of a few things. Every year (like basically all people) you can find ‘eat healthy and exercise more’ on this list. You might think, why would you put it on the list every year? It’s not there because I feel like I failed last year, but I think it’s an important thing to put on the list and I think that is why it’s such a popular one. Every year again you have to look after your body. It’s always better to put it on the list and give it some attention. Going into the new year with the idea to be better for your body is the first step to a good year. I always make small lists with quite general things. When I was a teenager I used to make a huge list and those never worked. It didn’t work because I used to always write down every little detail and felt like a failure whenever I couldn’t or didn’t do something. It was just too long and I was too obsessive to do everything from the whole list perfectly. It’s a classic mistake and I won’t be surprised if this sounds familiar. Nowadays I write down a few things I want to improve or pay more attention to. I write them down on the top of my daily to do list, so I’m reminded every time I look at that list (which is a lot). I also write down why I want to do it better and why it’s important to me, together with a little suggestion routine. I used to make tight schedules, but that of course didn’t work. Now I try my best, I motivate myself by reading why and I just try to make better decisions every day. It’s also important that you reflect a few times a year. You can do that every month (like me), but if that sounds a like a little too much, you could also do it every time a new season starts for example.

Here are the things that are important to me personally, what and why I want to improve and how I will do it. Maybe it will inspire you.

Eat Healthy.
Everybody always thinks I eat super healthy. But I do have my weaknesses and I do not always eat healthy. There are actually 2 things I have to pay more attention to. The most important one is to eat on normal times. This has always been a thing for me. Where other people eat breakfast lunch and dinner on set times, I eat all over the place. On the days I work, breakfast and lunch are mostly ok. It’s on the days I’m off and basically all dinner times where it goes wrong. I sometimes eat ridiculously early. This is most of the time not a proper meal and it also makes me hungry later in the evening (what ends in snacking). Sometimes I eat very late (and then I eat way too much, because I’m so hungry + it’s never good to sleep with a very full stomach) and sometimes I skip it all together. The best way for me to be better at this, is to be well prepared. Cooking different dishes in advance and prep meals in a way that I only have to heat it up or mix it together. This doesn’t only help for eating on set times, but I also tend to eat a lot healthier this way. It just saves so much time.
The second thing is to stop eating too much chocolate. I love chocolate! And after meal times I often crave some. Chocolate is actually the only thing I eat that contains sugar. I do think it’s fine to eat a bit now and then, but I just find it almost impossible to only eat a little piece. This takes a lot of willpower and discipline. That is a shame, because that is exactly what you need to solve this big problem. Haha!

Exercise More.
Ok, I have to admit that last year I wasn’t very good with exercising regularly. I hardly did any yoga, because I like to do that in the morning, but my ex and I had different work times and it wasn’t possible living in a studio. There were some weeks I was doing very well, doing at least something. I did little work outs before lunch for example and that felt very good, but it never lasted. This was because of my relationship, holidays and also later this year because I moved and rescued Lucky Oliver (a piglet). This shouldn’t be excuses, but I find it difficult to fit it all in one day with a lot going on. I do have to let go and just do it though and doing some is better than none. So I will focus more on that.

Read more. 
I actually only read when I’m on the train or aeroplane by myself, what is almost never. I love reading. It’s relaxing, educational and it inspires me so much. I always say I don’t have time, but actually it’s because I do not make it a priority. I could easily spend a little less time on social media and spend that time reading instead. So that is what I’m going to do. At the moment I’m still reading ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo. I love this book. Even though I already did a lot of the things she talks about, based on my own experience. I love reading it, mostly because I recognise myself and her journey to tidy up. I love learning new tricks and it gives me a good perspective of how we treat everything around us. I have a long list of books I still want to read and I’m determined to do so this year. Reading is so important and it’s definitely something I want to increase even more once I’m traveling around Europe with my van one day.

More mindfulness.
I’m a very mindful person, but the last few months I wasn’t sure where I was in my own story, if you know what I mean. With the move, ‘new’ work and rescuing Lucky Oliver I lived in the past and the future a lot more than I wanted. Weeks flew by, time went so fast, I forgot things, mixed things up didn’t know what day it was and I was living in my head, rather than in the moment. Now I had a break from it all and rested a lot over the Xmas break, I think I’m more likely to live more in the now again. I will train myself to be more conscious and to create more space and peace in my head this way.

Are these things you also find important? Or does your list look very different? I would love to hear the things that are important to you and how you try to actually stick to it. Do you have a certain tactic or do you have something to say or add to this? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you! X

 

Minimalism #2 – Presents

Did everybody have a nice Xmas?! For a child, waking up on Xmas morning is probably one of the most exciting things and I’m sure that over the years most of you still feel some of that excitement. Waking up to unwrap your presents is just something really exciting. What did you get this Xmas? Did it make you happy? But most important: Did it spark joy when you were holding it? Because what if it didn’t? What if you don’t like your gifts or it’s something you won’t use (because it’s not vegan for example)? It’s always a thing, isn’t it? Especially when you are (or when you’re trying to be) a minimalist or have a very specific taste (like me..). You do not want to come across as ungrateful and disappoint the person who got out of his/her way to get you something. But Xmas without presents also sounds a little boring. It’s just so tricky! Do these situations sound rather familiar on this Christmas day? If it does, then I can hopefully help you to not experience this again. This will not only be helpful at Christmas time of course, but in any situation where people normally like to give you a present. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations..

I love getting people presents. I honestly love it a lot more than receiving a present myself. Looking or finding something you know somebody will really enjoy is such a nice feeling. Then when they open it and they really like it.. that makes me so happy! I like to spoil and get out of my way to get people something they (hopefully) really like. I’m sure I’m not the only one. This means that people who are giving you a present will be sad if you do not like what they got you. This makes me sad too. Not only because of their disappointment and effort, but also the money they’ve spent. Presents should make you happy, not sad. So here are some tips to save everybody from all this hassle:

*Tell people exactly what will make you happy. 
You can tell people exactly what you want. You can either write down the exact specifications, send them a picture or even a (Amazon) link. This way you’re very sure you get what you like or need. The whole surprise will be gone though, so it’s a little less fun I think.

*Make a list of general things that will make you happy. 
This is what I did. It’s all things you can eat and use anyway, things that will finish, make a memory or a favour. This way people can still kind of choose what to get you and it’ll be much more of a surprise for yourself. Most of the things are sustainable already, because they can be consumed. Try to think of more sustainable choices when you make your list. To give you some ideas:
-Soy toxin free candles.
-Your favourite Lush products or any other cruelty free brand you like.
-You favourite chocolate.
-Chia seed.
-Bag of nuts (cashews, almonds, macadamia).
-Bag of spirulina, matcha powder or any other powder you use.
-Essential oils.
-Incense.
-iBooks / iTunes / Movies.
-Going vegan for a week.
-Theatre/Cinema tickets.
-Donation to animal charity.
-Going out for dinner and pay for themselves as their gift to you.
-Donation towards your dream.
-Gift cards for the Whole Foods Market or any of your favourite stores.

You have to make sure that everybody knows about your wishes and/or list, otherwise you will still get things that you might not like. If you tell people about your wishes, make sure you tell them exactly why you have a list. Obviously, do this in the nicest possible way. I’m sure a lot of people are also happy, because this makes it a lot easier for them to get you something you actually like. Though, what if people still get you something you don’t like or you will not use? If that person knew about your wishes, then it’s their own risk. What I do is, I ask if they want to keep it themselves or I give it to somebody else. It maybe takes a while before people understand that it’s a lot better to get you something you’re actually happy with. In general, everybody likes to get you something you actually enjoy, so it should be alright in the end. It’s important to be honest though, because if you react all happy and excited for something that you do not like, people will do it again and you can’t blame them.

I hope this will help you. Oh and this actually will not only help you, but it is also better for the environment, especially if you ask for more sustainable presents. Good luck!

Do you have more ideas I could add to the list? Or anything else you’d like to share after reading this post? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Minimalism #1

Nowadays everything has to be bigger or more. The bigger, the better! More of the bigger is what makes people happy. Does it? Do 3 sports cars, a mansion, the newest gadgets, (lots of) expensive clothes, even more shoes and a perfect manicure really make you happy? Very cliché, but you can not buy happiness and if you could, I’m sure there would be people making a huge profit out of it. Because everybody wants happiness. People do tend to buy stuff to feel happy and almost everybody owns more than they actually need. Most people have cupboards full of stuff and a lot of that stuff we don’t actually need or use. For example, most people own a lot of clothes, but they only wear a small collection of these clothes. Also, almost everybody has stuff in storage and I’m sure if I’d ask you what you keep in your storage space, you don’t know exactly what’s on that attic anymore or what’s in those bags in the back of the cupboard. Why do we feel the need to own all this stuff? When it comes too actual stuff, I believe less is more. People have the habit to collect and to keep it all though, for a lot of different reasons.

More is better.
If one is amazing, more must be better. So if we already have 1 item of something, but we see another one, we like even better, we tend to buy it. We didn’t need it, but because the newer one was for example more beautiful or came with an extra function, you wanted to own it. Do we get rid of the old one? Most of the time we don’t. Because you know.. it was still good and why get rid of something you can still use?! This is how we build up a lot of stuff. Stuff we already had. If things need replacement, then it’s fine, but do make sure you get rid of the old one. Throw it away when it’s broken or donate it in case somebody else can still make use of it.

Being a part of something.
How many things do you own, because everybody owns one? And did you really wanted to have that new iPhone or was it because you can show off? Some people buy something (and I think everybody has an example, if you’re really honest), because others have it. Especially when something becomes a hype, you might feel the need to be a part of it.

What if’s. 
This is a tricky one and I think everybody recognises this reason to keep something. The ‘what if’s’. What if I need it when this or that happens.. What if the old one breaks or gets lost.. What if.. What if.. We’re probably all guilty of keeping something (or a lot of somethings) you didn’t use for ages, but you keep because what if one day you might need it? Though, we can’t live like this. In the meantime somebody else maybe really needs it, so it’s better to donate it. When the time comes you really need it, you can go and get it (again), so you can use it straight away. Get rid of your ‘what if’s’, because what if you will never use it?

Sentimental value.
Old tickets, pictures, clothes/shoes, books.. or anything really. We all own things that make us think back of the time we used it or when we were given things. This is perfectly fine. I have a memory box myself. It’s nice to keep some things that have value because of (mostly) happy times. But do you need 5 very similar pictures? Do you need to keep that book you already read? Do you need all of those used train tickets? Do we need some of that stuff at all? Try to make a selection of things you really see as valuable or the things you used during happy times. If the memory is so important to you, it will not fade. You don’t need every single material piece to remember it by.

Go through all your stuff and ask yourself, why do I want to keep it and do I really need it? Don’t hold on to things you don’t use or need. I will write about minimalism again soon, for now I hope this helps you to look at everything you own in a different way.

Do you own things you don’t use or need? Will you be going through your stuff to see why you’re keeping certain things? Do you have something to add to this, something to say about this or do you have questions? Please let me know! You can do this in the comments below or you can send me a message via CONTACT. Thank you! X

Press

I was in Soho, on my way to a shop, to get something for my brother. When I was almost at the shop I saw a little juice bar, Press! I never knew there was a Press in this street. It’s not a street where you often go to, so I was lucky to walk passed it. I didn’t have breakfast yet, so I decided to pop in. I had a quick look at the menu and at first sight, I couldn’t spot any non vegan products in their breakfast bowls or in any of the things they offered. They turned out to be almost all vegan. Just apart from the milk in the coffee and some honey (in some juices) unfortunately. You can still request cow’s milk in your coffee here. Though the girl told me that it doesn’t happen that much anymore. I hope they will ditch the cow’s milk and the honey one day, so they can call themselves a 100% vegan juice bar. Would be amazing!

I actually wanted to try the Chia Bowl, but they run out of it unfortunately. So I went for an Acai Bowl. I love acai! I also saw they had a Golden Latte and I thought it was like a turmeric latte. So I ordered that one too, but it turned out to be coffee. Silly me, because it was clearly listed under ‘coffees’. The acai bowl was super nice. It had some lovely toppings too: blueberries, goji berries, granola and almonds. It was very cold, so definitely very perfect for a hot day. The taste was very good, with a great acai flavour. The colour was define really, a beautiful soft purple! I couldn’t drink the coffee, because I really really don’t like coffee. I also didn’t want to give it back, because I didn’t want them to throw it away. I gave it to the lady behind the till in the shop I went for my brother later on. She was so happy and that gave me a good feeling, so not a waste. Press gave me 3 things to try too. One of them was a pineapple juice, to boost your immune system and to hydrate. I found out there is honey in there unfortunately, so I can’t review this. I gave it to the girl sitting next to me at the moment (I’m giving lots of things away today!). They also gave me 2 shots: Detox and Ginger Fireball. The detox shot is with coconut water, lime, ginger, aloe vera activated charcoal (super hot at the moment!) and milk thistle. I’m very excited about this one, it’s very nice! The ginger fireball one contains ginger (50%!!), pineapple and lime. It’s burning good!

Press also offers juice and soup cleanses. For the juice cleanse, you can choose different packages (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and do it 1-5 days. Prices vary from £47-£235. They offer 2 soup cleanses (nourish and energise) and you can also do this 1-5 days. The prices vary from £38-£186. They even have a service that you can get it delivered to your house, every 15 or every 30 days. This means you can do regular cleanses, without any hassle of preparing. A cleanse is a perfect way to give your immune system a boost, to increase your energy and sleep + a lot more benefits. You can find more information about this on their website, where you can also place the orders in case you’re interested.

WHO? Press.
WHERE? 6 Denman St, Soho, W1D 7HX.
CUISINE? Juice Bar.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian, but almost all vegan)
OVERALL? 7 (Very good breakfast, nice cleanses, but a shame they do cow’s milk and honey.)

Did you already know the Press? Or would you like to go there now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! Especially when you tried one of their juice or soup cleanses! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

What I eat in a Day! #3

I thought let’s do another ‘What I eat in a Day’ post. I often get questions about this and people always seem to be interested in what I (do) eat. I also like to show people that we, vegan, can just have normal and delicious food. So here we go!

I just picked a random day: I always start my day with a big glass of luke warm water, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This isn’t something I love drinking, but it gives me a good feeling as it gives me energy and a boost of vitamin C. It also has a cleansing effect and for me it’s perfect to start my day. About an hour later I drink my green smoothie. This is a smoothie with 2 very ripe bananas, a big handful of spinach, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1/2 tsp wheatgrass and 1 tsp of linseed. I use a little bit of water to blend it. I had this with 1/2 a medium sized papaya. When I got to work they had a bowl full of delicious fresh plums from the garden they went to at the weekend. So I just had to  snack on those in the morning. So delicious! It makes me think of my childhood as we had 2 plum trees, full of plums, in the garden where I grew up. A little later in the morning I was quite hungry weird enough, so I made myself a small bowl of porridge. As a topping I used some strawberries, coconut, cinnamon and a little bit op agave nectar. Just to keep me going until lunch time.

For lunch (around 14:00) I made myself a little chickpea salad with 1/2 an avocado (+ salt/pepper/lemon juice/a drop of sesame seed oil and a little bit of smoked paprika), a sweet potato from the oven and some sugar snaps on the side. I love lunches like this. They are filling, nutritious and just delicious. I had my lunch fairly late today as I had the porridge around 10:30. Normally I will eat porridge around 9:00ish, but the plums were in the way there.. haha! I wasn’t actually hungry all afternoon, but I did get myself al little treat at Starbucks later on (around 16:00). My ultimate treat there is a Green Tea Latte with soy milk (and some cinnamon on the top). I love it! Unfortunately they put sugar in there, so I only have it now and then. In the morning I made my Nori Nori recipe, so I could take some pictures for the recipe I will share here soon. They are little wraps from nori sheets, filled with spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, alfalfa and tempeh. So as I made them, I had those for dinner, with some extra spinach on the side. It’s definitely one of m favourite recipes, so tasty and very healthy! I wasn’t feeling hungry in the evening, so I only had a cup of bedtime tea a little bit before I went to sleep. Also I drink about 2-3 litres of water a day.

Do you eat similar to me? Or do you have a whole different routine? I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

ART: Maria Tiqwah

Quite a while ago I discovered the amazing artist Maria Tiqwah on Facebook. I asked her if she’d  like to be on my blog and though it has been a while since the first time we spoke, she still agreed to it. Lucky me and lucky you, because she makes amazing things. I think she is super talented and her work should be out there more! Maria was born in Boskoop (Netherlands), in October 1982. Already since a very young age she is fascinated by animals. Her first words (yes, before ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’) were ‘cat’ and ‘fish’. Because her love for animals, she always drew animals. That is also where her inspiration is coming from. She says: ‘Animals move me, amaze me and fascinate me. They make me smile and that smile I want to pass on via my paintings’.

In August 2011, Maria watched a horrible video about the bio industry. She decided she didn’t want to contribute to this cruel industry any longer and she gave the sausage, she just got that morning, to the dog of her employer. At first she thought that veganism was a little extreme, but when she did educate herself and found out what was behind dairy, eggs and honey, she became vegan. She only uses vegan materials to make her paintings. When she became vegan she checked everything and luckily it turned out everything she was using was vegan already. She only uses 1 little brush for everything. She doesn’t like to use 20 different brushes and 100 different colours. She rather shapes her brush in different shapes and mixes colours herself. For her paintings she uses a combination of: soft pastel, water colours (aquarelle) and a white gel pen on paper. She likes soft pastel as she can work faster and it gives nice bright colours. ‘The water colours are perfect for sharp lines and details’ she says and she uses the gel pen for the white bits in a painting. For the aquarelle paper she uses, she always has to make sure she gets the right one as some paper is made with gelatine. She used to use oil based paint and then she would sometimes work on a painting for 100 hours, within 1 year. With he technique she is using now, she can finish a painting in about 20 hours. She makes about 10 painting a year now.

With her paintings she wants to show people the love, beauty and individuality of animals. This way she hopes there will be more respect for animals. This is why she also used a few of her paintings to create organic, ‘Happy Vegan T-shirts‘. Take a look, because I can tell you, it’s totally worth it (+ worldwide shipping)! At the moment she doesn’t have any particular plans for the future, but she will be on VegFestNL in Utrecht (Netherlands). She was there last year for the first time and she loved it. So make sure you check her out when you’re there! She would also love to find a nice vegan friendly gallery for her paintings (Tips are welcome!).

Maria is quite a busy woman, because making beautiful paintings isn’t the only thing she does. She also runs her own green advertisement business. Some clients are: ‘Partij voor de Dieren’ (Party for the Animals – a political party in the Netherlands) and ‘Dier & Recht’ (Animal & Right – a organisation for animals). Last year she also published a little book with her paintings, called ‘En nu wat Vroluks‘ (direct translation: and now something cheerful). It’s a little book with her paintings, combined with poetry (from several writers) about animals. She also volunteers, doing some graphic design work for Dutch organisations: ‘Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme‘ (direct translation: Dutch organisation for Veganism) and for ‘Melk, je kan zonder!‘ (direct translation: Milk, you can do without!). And if this isn’t enough yet, she also volunteers for Plenty Food. This is a plant-based development aid organisation that helps families in Africa. At the moment they have a project running, where you can buy a fruit tree (€12,50) for a family in Kenya.

Nowadays Maria lives, with her husband Raqib, in Istanbul. They fell in love in 2005 and in 2009 they decided to move to the popular Turkish city. For them it’s the perfect place to live, as both cultural and geographical, it’s in the middle of the Netherlands and Kurdistan (where her husband is from). You can buy her work, though she doesn’t like to send her paintings via the mail. The easiest way would be to come to the VegFestNL in the Netherlands (28/29 of October 2017) or to plan a trip to Istanbul! You can always contact her via Facebook or by email: maria@colourfulgreen.nl. At the moment she is only doing free work, but in the future she will maybe do commissions too.

Something Maria would like to pass on to you all:
Follow your heart and enjoy life, to be vegan in a non vegan world isn’t always easy! Also she would like to share something she finds really helpful herself: a presentation about ‘Sustainable Activism’ by Melany Joy.

I want to thank Maria very much for letting me share her story and art with all my readers. 

Do you like Maria’s work? Is it the kind of art you would get for yourself? Please let me (and Maria) know by leaving a comment below or via Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Routine Yaa or Nah?

Some of you may, just like me, swear they love routine. Some of you might be allergic for only mentioning the word routine. I do get that for both ways there are pros and cons. But a routine doesn’t have to mean you plan every second of your life (even I would be deeply unhappy if I did that). To have meals around the same time every day is a routine. And this is something what can be very beneficial for your body. For myself I created a morning routine, a day routine and an evening routine. I like to have something I can hold on to and do things that are good for my health. I feel happier and much calmer if I follow some sort of routine. I will tell you about my routines and it might inspire you to have a routine yourself.

MY MORNING ROUTINE 
Almost every morning I wake up at 6:00 and from there I kind of split my morning into blocks of 15 minutes. I start (right after opening my eyes) with taking some deep breaths and some stretching. This really helps me to wake up. When you’re sleeping everything in your body goes a little slower. Taking deep breaths and stretching your muscles is good for your blood flow and your body gets a ton of oxygen straight away. Then I make myself my morning water. This is a big glass (400ml) of warm (I mix cold and boiled) water, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This cleanses your body, gives it a vitamin C boost and wakes up your metabolism. I also use this time to go to the toilet etc. Just 15 minutes where I can wake up in a relaxed way. Then I do some yoga exercises for about 15 minutes, followed by some meditation. Then it’s time to get dressed, do my make up and get ready for the day. At 7:00 I take the time to make and eat breakfast. This always includes a green smoothie, either with fruit or overnight porridge. Just before I leave for work around 7:45, I take a little time for affirmations, visualisation and sometimes I do some writing or reading too. By this time I’m full of energy and ready to start my day. This energy is with me the whole day whenever I start my day like this. I have a rule to not touch my phone during my morning routine.

To cut it short: 
06:00 – Deep breaths and stretching + morning water.
06:15 – Yoga.
06:30 – Meditation.
06:45 – Get dressed + Make up.
07:00 – Breakfast.
07:30 – Affirmations/Visualisation/Writing or Reading.
07:45 – Work.


MY DAY ROUTINE
During the day there are a lot of different things happening of course and every day is different. I do try to have meals/snacks around the same time though. Around 10:30 I have a snack. This is basically always fruit. I like to eat fruit in the morning, so my body can easily digest it and absorb all the vitamins. Then I have lunch around 12:30, but I always squeeze in some exercise before I start eating my lunch. This means I’m doing some crunches, squats and press ups etc. I try to do this every day, apart from the Sunday. My lunch is 9/10 times a salad with lotsss of veggies. Then around 16:00 I’ll start to be hungry again and I either eat some nuts, raw veggies or sometimes a Nakd bar or something like that.

To cut it short: 
10:30 – Snack (fruit)
12:00 – Exercise.
12:30 – Lunch.
16:00 – Snack (nuts, raw veggies).


MY EVENING ROUTINE
I always try to have my dinner around 19:00, but on my days off, I often have it a little earlier. Then I take a shower (I sometimes do this just before going to bed too, but I prefer to do it after dinner). I always try not to work after dinner, but to use that time to relax. Sometimes it does happen I want to finish something. My max is 20:00, after that I force myself to relax). I often spend the evening reading, watching Netflix, using Pinterest and I scroll a little through my social media apps etc. I don’t always have a snack in the evening, it depends a little bit on how I feel. Sometimes I’m still full until bed time and sometimes I do eat something like veggie crisps, a piece of chocolate or some home-made biscuits/cake or something. I also make myself a Chai Latte quite a lot. This is a real treat for me, I love it! At 22:00 I start to get ready for bed. I prepare some things for the next day (put my breakfast necessities on the counter, pack snacks etc.) I brush my teeth and plat my hair etc. If it isn’t 22:30 yet by that time, I read a little bit and just before closing my eyes, I always wish my boyfriend a good night sleep. Often I do relaxation exercises before I go to sleep, to make myself fall asleep fast and to benefit my overall sleep.

To cut it short: 
19:00 – Dinner.
19:30 – Work or relax.
20:30 – Snack (veggie crisps, chocolate, chai latte).
22:00 – Get ready for bed (brush teeth etc.)
22:30 – Sleep.

Now, I don’t have alarms on my phone with all these times and I don’t feel bad when some things happen a little earlier of later. The times for me are just guidelines. I think as soon as you are going to plan your life in minutes it will get super stressed. And having a routine is for the opposite effect. Sometimes I also skip some things and that is fine. You need to enjoy life and trying to function like a robot is really not a good idea. These routines just give me a a sense of peace. I feel much better when I follow all these steps, because they’re all things that are beneficial to my health. Especially my morning routine is very important to me. It’s the base for the rest of my day and I feel a big difference during the day when I don’t do it at all.

Do you have a routine? Or is a routine really not for you? Please tell me about your lifestyle routine. Maybe we can learn from each other! Please let me know in the comments below or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. You can also tag me! Thank you and have a lovely day! X

Cakefast

img_7258Cake for breakfast.. don’t we all dream of that?! Chocolate-peanut butter tarts for breakfast.. reality! Yes really.. I invented these very yummy breakfast tarts for you. It’s super healthy, with the oats, bananas and raw cacao (of course you can also use regular cacao powder). It doesn’t contain any refined sugar and it’s incredible tasty! To keep it healthy, make sure you use only quality products and no products with sugar or any additives inside (especially talking about the peanut butter here). It will keep you going the whole morning (you might want to eat 2), so why not start your day with a breakfast tart?! Of course you can also make these tarts for a birthday party or any occasion that requires cake.. I can thinks of tons of occasions! So from now on you can start your day with chocolate.. you know what to do this weekend!

img_7260CAKEFAST

Serves: 6-8

base
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup soft dates (pitted)
-3 tbs peanut butter
-2 tbs coconut oil (melted)
filling
-3 ripe bananas
-1 cup oatly milk
-2 tbs cacao powder (raw)
-1/2 cup water
-1 tbs agar agar
-1 tbs chia seeds
-1 tbs agave nectar
topping
-fresh fruit
-raw cacao nibs
-oats
-chia seed

img_7259-Put all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until it’s sticky.
-Divide the base evenly over the tart shapes and press well with the back of a spoon. Put it in the fridge and make the filling.
-Blend all the ingredients for the filling (except for the water, the agar agar and the chia seeds) until smooth.
-Put the water and the agar agar in a sauce pan and turn it low when it starts to boil.
-Then mix in the filing and the chia seeds very well. Let it boil for about 1 minute.
-Divide the filling over the tart shapes and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
-Decorate the tarts with fresh fruit, cacao nibs, oats and chia seeds.

Would you like to eat cake for breakfast? Who doesn’t right? Oh and did I mention it’s very popular with children too? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X