Ethos

A while ago I heard about Ethos. It looked quite posh and I thought it might not be my thing, but I wanted to know more about it. So I went to see what it was like. Ethos is very central, just a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus. So if you’re going shopping for the day, Ethos is not far away for a proper lunch. As you know Oxford Street is very busy, but because Ethos is in a street behind it, it’s a lot quieter. The building looks very nice with the wood in the front nice and it does look quite posh. Going inside almost feels like entering a luxury hotel or something. There are a lot of trees and plants, to create some privacy in between the tables. I absolutely love it. I was served by a waiter I actually knew from tennis lessons about a year ago, what was very funny. He helped me to a seat and gave me lots of information about the restaurant. Super handy!

The food is right at the entrance. It starts with cakes and treats, then the hot food and in the end the cold bar. Ethos is like a buffet. You can get all the yummy looking foods you want and at the till they weigh your food and that is what you pay for. I tried all the vegan options, because I was too curious of course. So in the end I had a big colourful plate. Something you’ll definitely notice, is that the food is all very fresh. I did like the food, just some things had a very strong taste (mustard, vinegar etc). Like the aubergine was cooked well, but the flavour was spicy and sour. There was basically no other flavour. The chickpeas, the green beans and the little cornball in the middle were very yummy though. For the cakes and treats you pay per cake/slice, instead of by weight. I chose 2, one as a dessert and one to take away. Just because I couldn’t choose. Both things I chose were super delicious! Their desserts and treats are amazing I must say. The coconut in the raw heart (with rose petals) was so yum, I definitely want to eat that again. The blondie was very nice too. It was a little bit in between a brownie and a biscuit. Very good! They also do chai lattes, matcha lattes, other teas and of course coffees. This is why Ethos is not only good for lunch, but it’s also nice to just have an afternoon break with tea and cake. And for everybody who rather has a juice or an ice tea.. they have a lot of choice in drinks too. I’m sure you can find something you like.

Ethos is all vegetarian and they do have a lot of vegan food. I’d say more than half is vegan, so there is a lot of choice. It’s quite a posh restaurant, but with some good natural vibes. So perfect for formal lunches or work meetings. As it’s a buffet, there is always something you like. What makes it easy to go to if you (or the people you go with) are picky. I do think that they are a little expensive though. For the food you see on my plate I payed a little over £16. The treats were £7 pounds together. So it’s not a very cheap lunch. If you eat a little less and you choose 1 dessert, you probably pay in between £15-£20 pounds. Personally it’s not something I’d go to every week, but more for special occasions. Because you pay by weight and it’s not an all you can eat buffet, I’m sure people will think twice about what to put on their plate. This is very positive if you ask me, because there will be less food waste. Much more sustainable this way.

WHO? Ethos.
WHERE? 48 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 7 (Great looking restaurant, lots of choice and very yummy dessert/cakes.)

Did you already know Ethos? Are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! 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

Vegan Advice #4

I got some more questions asked I would like to answer here. This way everybody can read it in case more people have these questions about veganism. I answer everything form my own perspective. I’m sure there are people with a different opinion. Last time I wrote a Vegan Advice I answered the questions: ‘Why is horse riding wrong?’, ‘Do you respect that some people are not vegan?’ and ‘Why is honey not vegan?’. Today I will answer these questions: ‘Why are you not going to the zoo?’, ‘Why do you not wear fur, wool, leather and silk?’ and ‘Do you take any supplements?. Here we go..

Why are you not going to the zoo?
I think everybody agrees with me that nobody should live in a prison for no reason. A zoo is like a prison for animals. They didn’t do anything wrong and till they are behind bars. They are used for entertainment. There are zoo’s who work with reproduce programs. You think this might be good for the animals who are nearly extinct. But why are they nearly extinct? Because of people killing them, because of people using their land to keep cows for beef and to grow their food. It’s people who are destroying these animals. Keeping them imprisoned is not fair to them, just as it’s unfair to kill them for something we don’t need (beef). Animals have no natural enemies in the zoo and are likely to become a lot older than in the wild. Though.. imagine this: if you had the choice to live in a tiny house with a tiny garden, with the promise you will become a 100 years old. Or.. you can go outside and risk your life, but you can go anywhere you want to. What would you choose? Exactly! I agree some animals are living a generally ok life in the zoo, but why make circumstance less bad if it’s something unnatural to them? They have instincts, which may be less whilst living at the zoo, but it has to stop somewhere. So I’m against reproducing in zoo’s. Zoo’s should be banned. If you want to desperately see a lion.. book a ticket to Africa!

Why do you not wear fur, wool, leather and silk?
Vegans don’t use anything what comes from animals. This also means fur, wool, leather and silk. Using animals in any way is just not necessary and very often cruel. Fur and leather are the most cruel industries there are. Animals for fur are kept in horrible circumstances and electrocuted. This happens with metal pins in their bottom and mouth or they are skinned alive. Only for people who think it’s fashion to wear a dead animal who suffered unimaginable. Many people think leather is just a product what is left over from the meat industry. What is true in a way (and wrong anyway, because we don’t need meat), but leather is a product with a lot of profit. So it’s not just something nobody wanted anymore. Then the sheep who are shaved these days are sheep who are bred with a lot of wool, so we can shave it off and use it. These sheep are not natural, because normally sheep don’t need to be shaved. And what about silk. Most silk is coming from the mulberry silkworm. They are kept to create silk, used for fashion, whilst we have so many other options to choose from. So again, not necessary.

Do you take any supplements?
As a vegan you have to take a lot of supplements to stay healthy. This is what a lot of people think anyway. I hear this all the time. I don’t take any supplements myself, apart from the ones who are necessary for everybody. I only take B12. Some vegans don’t take any supplements, but are relying on the foods fortified with B12 (plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes etc.). I eat that too, but I also take a supplement, just in case, to make sure I have more than enough. I don’t take it every day though, just 2 times a week, to top it up. This B12 thing, is often used as a thing for omnivores to prove that a plant-based diet isn’t the way and you need meat to stay healthy. Though, what a lot of people don’t know is that meat only contains B12 if the animals were given B12 themselves through their food. So why take B12 through killing and eating animals, whilst you can take it straight away? B12 is a bacteria that grows on sugar. B12 used to be in the dirt, this way it got into plants and into animals who ate gras. Nowadays though, the dirt is ruined by overuse and by the use of pesticides. This means everybody needs to make sure to take B12 in a way, because your body can’t make B12 by itself. For some people it’s also advised to take a vitD supplement, especially when you live in a country with not too much sun. I don’t take this myself though.

Did you already know about this or did you learn something? Are there any other questions you’re struggling with? I’d be more than happy to help! Please let me know by leaving a comment below or by sending me a private email. You can also contact me via Instagram by sending me a message, by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank 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

Being Happy

There is a lot of power in being happy. That is why a lot of people these days try to find their happiness. But what is it what makes us happy? There are so many different ways to feel happy and some are very personal. I wrote about happiness before and I’m sure this will also not be the last time I write about it. It’s always a hot topic, because everyone wants to experience happiness. Some people spend a lifetime looking for it and for some it clicks within a few days. Happiness is not something you can buy or wait for. It’s the opposite of waiting actually, you need to do something to become happy. It’s something you experience in living your every day life, because happiness is now. No matter in what circumstances you are. I agree that there will be times you’re less happy, gong through something traumatic for example. You can’t be euphorically happy all the time. That is also not what I’m talking about. I’m more into a feeling of an overall happy feeling. Whatever you might go through sometimes, as soon as you master the trick of happiness, I’m sure you will be back on top soon. So what are those daily things that makes us feel happy?

From the way you wake up until you close your eyes going to sleep.. there are things you can actively do to make yourself feel good. Try to make room for several healthy habits throughout your day. This may include: waking up early, drinking enough water, exercise and practice meditation. Not long ago I wrote about my personal healthy habits and that might give you some ideas and inspiration. Healthy habits can also be creating a routine for yourself. Now, this is very personal, because there are people who get very unhappy from having a routine and there are people who get overly happy from routine (I’m definitely on that side). Though I do advice to always have some sort of routine. You can make it as detailed as you want it to be. You can keep it simple to at least try to wake up and go to bed at the same time and to try having regular healthy meals. Or you can create a morning routine a daytime routine and an evening routine. Like I said, this might make some people feel paranoid, but it can also function as something you can hold onto, so it will give you some calm and peace. You have to experiment with this yourself.

Something else I wrote about before, is about being kind. Being kind to others, but also to yourself will give you a sense of happiness. Doing something nice for somebody else, a family member, a colleague or your neighbour gives meaning. It doesn’t always matter how big the act of kindness is, because it will give you a feeling of joy. Looking after others make you feel satisfied. So don’t hesitate if there is something you can do for somebody else, because it will not only make that person feel good, but it’s instant karma too. Also don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself in a nice calm voice and give yourself a compliment now and then. Reward yourself when you accomplished something and smile at yourself when seeing yourself in the mirror.

I think we all heard about the powder of endorphins. Our bodies own drug which is released by a number of things. We all know our body releases it when doing physical exercise, the well known ‘runner’s high’. And I definitely recommend exercise as one of the things you can do to treat yourself to some daily endorphins. But did you know that there are other ways too? Like laughing, listening to your favourite music, meditation, have sex (ok, this might fall under physical exercise too), eat dark chocolate and smell lavender? So let those endorphins go free and discover which of these give you peaks of happiness!

We all know the feeling (some more than others) of not really want to go out. It’s just so much easier and relaxing to stay at home and watch your favourite show with a steamy cup of tea in your hand. Isn’t it? Does it sounds familiar, telling yourself you’re feeling too tired to go out after a long day (or week) at work? We’re very good at making excuses. Though going out actually isn’t such a bad idea. Especially when you are feeling a little down. Breathing in the fresh air, the exercise of a little walk (exercise for body and mind) or going out with a friend, can all actually give you loads of energy. So even though you already switched on your kettle, you can always change your mind and put on your shoes to go out! It doesn’t have to be long, even a 10 min walk will make you feel refreshed. Or go out for dinner with a friend one evening, you will see that chatting and laughing with somebody you care about, will do you good.

It’s important to feel happy. Because being happy makes everything else work. Feeling good makes you an attractive person, you will be better at your job, it will make you study go easier and it will make your life more enjoyable. If you’re not happy, you don’t have the right energy around you to attract success. You want to go into the circle of happiness. So push yourself to do things that will make you happy. Don’t sit and wait for it, because it’s not going to be dropped on your doorstep any time soon (read: never). Life is now. So even when you’re very busy with whatever you’re doing at the moment, thinking you do not have time for all these things, make time to live in the now, because your life is now. In the end it will make things go better and faster anyway. Experience life to the fullest!

Can you call yourself a happy person? Are you in the circle of happiness? 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

Scotland – Roadtrip + 24 hours in Glasgow

If you read the last newsletter, you knew I was in Glasgow last week. I was asked by my previous employers to drive their car over there as they wanted to use it on their holiday. First I was going with my boyfriend, but he cancelled and then very last-minute my brother (Julian) came with me, thanks to my mum. Yay! He already came on Thursday evening, what meant we also had the Friday together here in London. So nice! We had croissants for breakfast, went to a children’s party (of the girl I used to look after), walked down Portobello Road (where Julian found and bought a lovely hand-made 60’s dress for his girlfriend) and we went to Westfield to do a little bit of shopping and to eat at Yo Sushi. What a lovely day! In the evening we picked up the car and parked it in the street next to me, so we could leave early.

The plan was to leave at 7:00 and so we woke up at 6:15, but before we left and put diesel in the car, it was 7:30. Still a very good time to leave though. The drive went really well. It wasn’t busy anywhere and it was lots of fun. We had time to chat and Julian was my personal DJ, making sure we had great music all the time. We listened to some of his own music, The Opposites (Dutch HipHop we both loveeee!) and Mac Miller! Our first stop was around 9:45. Time to go to the toilet, have a tea/cappuccino at Costa and to have a home-made sandwich, I made the evening before. We were chatting so much that time went quite fast and before we knew it, there was almost an hour gone. Oops! Luckily we were not in a rush at all. The second part of our road trip went a little slower as they were working on the road and we had very long bits where we had to cut speed almost in half. Doesn’t matter though, there was so much to see. Nature changed every hour and there are so many lovely cows and sheep to look at. Our second stop was around 12:30 and the place had a lovely shop, with fresh bread, food and lots of gifts and nice things. It’s a good thing I left my money in the car, haha! We had lunch with a beautiful view and there was a very cute Yorkshire Terrier coming to us all the time for cuddles. Also a seagull decided to do a poo exactly on my trousers.. he probably wasn’t aware that I’m vegan, haha! Oh well.. About 45 min later we were hitting the road again. Time flies really.. We weren’t planning to make another stop, but we needed more diesel for the car and as we made a stop anyway, we better make use of it and go to the toilet too. This was around 14:30, when we only had an hour to go. We arrived at the airport at 15:45 and we parked the car. We both didn’t feel like we sat in the car for long. It felt like we just drove for an hour or so. This clearly proves how much fun it was! We checked if we got all our stuff, locked it and started to look for a taxi. That was not very hard and before we knew it we were dropped in front of our AirBnB.

The girl of the AirBnB was super friendly and kind. She showed us everything and made us feel very welcome. She was going to the park with friends that evening and planned to be away the next day too. So we actually had the whole flat to ourselves, super relaxed. We sat down for a bit, a little relaxing before we left to find a restaurant/bar called Mono, to have dinner. I did my research and planned the places we were going to eat, to review and to make an amazing hotspot list. It was about a 20 min walk, but that was lovely after being in the car for most of the day. Very soon we agreed that Glasgow felt like Berlin (we have been both). The neglected fields, old buildings mixed with new buildings, graffiti, fences and also Mono. Mono is quite a big restaurant, with a bar, a stage and a vinyl shop.  The furniture was all very vintage and everything was super dated, but that is kind of the idea. The waiter who brought us to our seats looked like he came straight from the 80’s (I was looking for a time machine), hair, glasses, clothes.. everything. And he wasn’t the only one. It was quite a fun experience. We both ordered a burger. Julian had the falafel burger and it was very tasty. Fresh, crispy and a little spicy, truly perfect. I had the seitan burger and that was truly perfect as well. The burger itself was yummy, the sauce was super tasty and the buns they came on were making the whole combination complete. But the one thing what was most perfect, were the fries. I think I’ve never had such tasty fries. You got to go here to try them! After dinner we walked around a bit and came passed The 13th Note. This is, like Mono, also a music venue and a cafe/bar/restaurant. All very artistic and easy going. We had a quick look inside, but were too full to order something. They have a great menu though, with mostly vegan food. We kept walking and saw a little bit of Glasgow this way. Very nice! there is a lot of street art, what I absolutely love and very interesting sights. We sat down for a bit, to enjoy the last sun rays, but then walked back to our AirBnB. We did pop into a very lovely Asian shop called Oaka. You have to go here,  if you’re into this. I bought some tofu, seaweed crackers, Pu-Erh tea and a very nice matte black can with matcha powder. They also do some beautiful Asian dishes and tea sets. Back in the flat, we had a shower, watched some You Tube on the big tv there and then went to sleep.

I was so tired, that I slept really well. We had a relaxed morning and left around 10:00ish. It’s lovely not to be in a rush. We walked to this cafe called Picnic. I was very looking forward to this, because yesterday we walked passed it and it looked so nice from the inside. It’s all vegan and they have a lot of choice. They do breakfast, sandwiches, warm dishes, cakes, smoothies.. it’s amazing. It’s nice that my brother is more and more into healthy vegan food too. It’s nice to share the experience together, being like-minded. So we took a seat and were excited to order. We both ordered the granola and yogurt and aso a croissant and a blueberry and kale smoothie. The yogurt and granola was very delicious with all the fresh fruit on top. The croissant, though not having the exact consistency of an average croissant, was very tasty. More filling I would say. What a perfect breakfast. The interior of Picnic is really nice too. Light, bright and colourful, but not too colourful. It’s done right. The staff was very kind as well. The only downside I would say is that the music was a little loud and didn’t really go with the whole atmosphere.

With a full tummy we walked up to the city centre, what is very close from Picnic. We saw some more beautiful graffiti, but it also started to rain. Now I’m a big fan of rain, but I only had the clothes I was wearing and still had to wear them all day long, so we had to stay our of the rain as much as possible. We went into a shopping mall and Julian saw the shop Game. He asked for second-hand games (he collects old games) and were redirected to Cex. This was heaven for him, he looked like a little boy in a sweets shop. Hehe.. He bought 2 games and we spend a lot of time there, looking at all the games. Then there was also a shop with all anime toys and stuff, so we went in there too and later it turned out, the whole street was kind of geek heaven. Julian had to leave Glasgow around 14:00 as the only flight to Amsterdam that day was at 16:00. So we had to keep an eye on the time and went to have lunch. We chose to go to Stereo, as that was the closest from where we were. It’s a little tricky to find at first as it’s located in a very narrow street, with lots of bins. You wouldn’t think there is a restaurant. When you go inside it feels like Berlin again. Very vintage and easy going. We took a seat and chose something from the 100% vegan menu. Yay! Julian went for a broccoli burger and I went for the aubergine fritters + some fries on the side (I love fries, it’s one of my favourite foods.. so bad and childish! Haha!). My food was delicious, but very oily though. Also the fries were very oily. It looked like everything was fried in the same oil, what made the quality of the oil (and so the food) less. Overall it was tasty though. The broccoli burger was very yum and it had a very nice obvious broccoli taste which we both loved.

It was time to say goodbye. A little sad, because we had such an amazing time together. I really appreciated him coming with me. It was helpful, but most of all it was super nice. Julian makes me laugh 24/7 (literally until the last seconds, driving away in the bus), whilst we can also talk about serious things and everything and nothing. I love him! Now it was time to explore some more hotspots. We walked passed a juice bar earlier, called the Juice Garden, and I decided to go there. I ordered a green juice and took a seat. It’s a very nice juice bar, with a lot of juices and smoothies to choose from. They also do other things like: acai bowls, breakfast, sandwiches and salads + some snacks too. It was nice to have a little break, especially because they had great music. All 90’s/00’s hip hop and R&B, totally loved it! I edited some pictures and planned my next hotspot. Close to there was an Asian restaurant called Nippon Kitchen and apparently they have a vegan menu. I had to test this of course. It’s a very nice, typical Asian restaurant. I asked for the vegan menu and I was happy to see there was a lot of choice. As I already had lunch and I planned to eat dinner out too, I only chose 3 things. The maki avocado and cucumber and a temaki. It came on a very nice dish and it was very yummy. A shame Julian was gone already, because he loves sushi too.

I then walked around a little bit and in the end of the afternoon I went the The Flying Duck. This was quite an experience. It’s located in a basement (with great art down the stairs) and it’s a very big space. It’s quite dark, vintage and it has Berlin written all over it. They have a lot of different types of seats and I was lucky enough to get a lovely chair to sit in. They also have a pool table, board games you can play and loud music. I ordered a sandwich with tempeh at first, but they run out of tempeh (of course that happens, after I finally decided what I wanted). So I went for a hotdog instead. I didn’t want something too big, because I had quite a lot of (fast) food already. Though when the hotdog arrived, it turned out to be huge.. haha! It looked super delicious though and it came with salad. Very tasty, especially the cole slaw. The hotdog itself was exactly what you want from a hotdog. A tasty sausage, pretzel bun, onions, ketchup and perfect mustard.. sooo yum! The downside was that their menu is very unclear. There is just too much going on in black, white and bright pink colours, with very big ‘screaming’ letters. It also all took quite long. There was only one girl to serve all the customers and she also helped making some orders in the meantime. In the end I had to rush a bit as I had to wait so long before I was able to pay.

Then at the bus stop I had to wait 15 minutes for the bus, what made the little rush very unnecessary in the end. The Airport Express (bus 500) to Glasgow Airport leaves from ‘St. Vincent Ln’ btw and is very modern and new. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport, what is super convenient. I got there on time though and the security was super quiet en quick. I waited at Starbucks with a tea whilst charging my phone and watching all the traveling people walk by. I had to wait until 19:25 until they would announce the gate, whilst 19:25 was also the time of my flight. In the end it took an hour before I was able to board. So many people were annoyed, short-tempered and sighing. So silly, because there is nothing somebody could do and so they only destroyed their own mood. The flight itself is almost 1,5 hour. We landed a little before 22:00, but before I was at Victoria station (by train), took the bus and got home, it was 00:00. I was so exhausted by then. So I quickly unpacked some things and got ready for bed.

Overall I think, for the short time I was there, I can say that Glasgow is a great city. There is a lot of music, art and freedom. People are artistic and are not afraid to express themselves. People who love Berlin, definitely have to pay Glasgow a visit too. I’m sure you will love it!

HOTSPOTS:
Mono – 12 King Street, G1 5RB.
The 13th Note – 50-60 King Street, G1 5QT.
Oaka – 130 George Street, G1 1RG.
Picnic – 103 Ingram Street, G1 1DX.
Stereo – 22-28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH.
Juice Garden – 23 Renfield Street, G2 5AH.
Nippon Kitchen – 91 W George Street, G2 1PB.
The Flying Duck -142 Renfield Street, G2 3AU.

Have you been to Glasgow yet? Did you know about these cool hotspots or do you have any other recommendations? Are you really excited to go now? I would love to hear about your trip and experiences! You can leave a comment below or you can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. 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

20 Healthy Habits

Sometimes it’s easy to lose (some of) your routine and to develop some habits you wish you didn’t have. Try to get into healthy habits instead. What are your healthy habits? I wrote down 20 of my healthy habits and I hope to inspire you to do them too. I promise you that it will add to your health and your overall happiness.

1- Wake Up Early.
I love to wake up early. Ok, I actually hate to wake up early. Or to be fair, I hate it the first 20 seconds I’m awake. After that I love it! In the morning you can get so much done and you can actually start your day properly. Starting your day (with yoga, meditation and mindfulness) in a good and relaxed way is so beneficial for how the rest of your day is going. The time you create in the morning, is time only for you. To help you with this, I recommend you reading the book The Miracle Morning. It’s full of helpful tips and I’m sure you will feel very inspired.

2- Drink Lemon/ACV water.
The second I wake up I drink about 400-500 ml warm water (1/2 cold and 1/2 boiled) with the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This really helps you waking up, wake up your metabolism and it boosts your immune system. It also supports weight loss.

3- Yoga.
Everybody should practice yoga. Yoga is for all ages and you really benefit from it. I always do some yoga in the morning. It doesn’t have to be an hour, just a few yoga poses and some good stretches, already helps you to have a good start of the day. You can of course also go to yoga classes, which are very fun.

4- Mindfulness.
This is something what is also good to do in the morning before you go out of the house, before things get hectic. Practice some mindfulness. Meditate + think of some empowering affirmations, visualise your goals and think of something you are grateful for.

5- Fasting.
Eat breakfast! Breakfast is very important yes, but it really doesn’t have to be right after opening your eyes. In the night, until you eat breakfast, your body is clearing up your  body. To help your body with this process, it’s beneficial to wait with your breakfast. Start your day with drinking water or lemon/ACV water and let your body do the rest. Eating breakfast a few hours after waking up is really not a crime. You can also fast longer if you like, for a whole day or even a few days. I do advise to have coaching from somebody who is experienced in this. Fasting doesn’t have to be not eating at all. You can also fast from a particular food or habit. No crisps for a month for example or to not use your phone a certain amount a day. It’s also about being more conscious.

6- Eat healthy.
We all know we have to eat healthy. Healthy foods are plant-based whole foods. So eat lots of fruit, fresh (raw) veggies, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Try to cook from scratch so you know exactly what it is what you put in your body. Avoid eating processed foods.

7- No alcohol or coffee.
Coffee and alcohol are not good for your body. The caffeine in coffee is not a good source of energy and it can cause restlessness and even insomnia. Just 1 cup of coffee a day isn’t gong to cause that, but if it’s not good, then why drink it at all? Alcohol is totally unnecessary and can harm your body. You don’t need that glass of wine and you don’t need to get drunk to have fun. Just stay away from it.

8- Drink water.
Drink lots of water. Water helps you to stay hydrated and to cleanse your body. You should always drink 2-3 liter of water a day. Make sure you always have a bottle filled with water to drink at any time during the day.

9- Exercise.
We all know that exercise is good for us. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hour at the gym though. Just 30-60 minutes a day of something that is making your heart and your breathing go faster, is sufficient. So go for a firm walk, or cycle and do some crunches. This will keep you energised and healthy.

10- Be positive.
A positive attitude will get you so much further than a negative one. Try to always see the positive side of everything. And don’t forget to smile.. a lot!

11- Relax.
After all we do in 1 day, it’s important to also relax. To take our mind of things. Did you know that whilst you’re relaxed you sometimes think of the best ideas? So have some down time. It doesn’t matter when you do it and if you find it hard, then literally plan to have down time. I have some time in the morning and I tend to take some time after lunch. Do something you like and feel like benefitting from.. meditate, watch a movie, read or go for a walk.. or even surf the internet. Whatever you like!

12- Go outside.
It’s good to spend some time outside. It’s great if you have a dog who you have to regularly have to walk. But if you don’t (like me.. poor me!) then go to the park or around the block. Get some fresh air!

13- Declutter.
At the moment I’m totally addicted to this. Getting rid of thing I don’t need or use. I’m somebody who gets attached to things, because of memories I have. This is totally fine if it is something with real emotional value, but if it’s something you really do not use then you better donate it. It is SUCH a liberating feeling! This also mean that you don’t buy things too fast. Don’t just get things for the sake of it (I admit, I was guilty of this), but first think about it and ask yourself the question: ‘Do I really need this?’ I also have the rule that I never leave the house or go to sleep whilst my house is messy. My desk needs to be tidy and clear, the dishes done and the bed made. It so much nicer to wake up or come home like this. Would anybody like to know a bit more about this subject? Let me know in the comments!

14- Read.
Reading is a great way to gain more knowledge or to relax. I like to read educational books, that motivates and inspires me. But I also read books with humour, just to relax. It’s up to you.. So, pick up a book!

15- Goals.
A lot of people set goals for a year (the popular new years resolutions) or even have a 5 year plan. This is great! Though how many of you are still working on it by February or March? There are only a few exceptions and I believe that those exceptions have more than just some end goals. To succeed and achieve your goals, you need to make a plan. Write down your end goals and then make smaller steps. Like an action plan. What do you need to do every month to achieve those goals? What do you need to do every week to achieve those month goals? And what do you need to do every day to achieve that week goal? You get what I mean? This works really well for me and I’m sure it will help you too.

16- Finish To-Do-list.
One thing that is very satisfying, is getting your chores done. Agree? I make a week plan every Sunday. I write down everything I need and want to do that week and then divide this over the week. Make sure you don’t put too much for one day, because that will end up in moving the chores to other days and that will all add up, until you’re not getting them done at all. This is super frustrating and not motivating at all. So make sure that in the end of the day you had enough time to get your chores done.

17- Natural products.
There are so many products for sale nowadays, that it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Because they all promise you exactly what you want. Do try to only use natural products (+ vegan and not tested on animals) though. Preferably products with only 1 or a few ingredients. It doesn’t matter if it’s about make up, cleanser or deodorant.. natural is the way! Using chemicals on your body is really no good. Did you know that chemicals already get absorbed by your skin within 26 seconds? So, go natural! I wrote an article with tips for Great Skin.

18- Sleep.
As much as exercising is good for you, sleeping is very important too. A good night sleep does you good. You don’t only feel better during the day, but it also improves your memory, helps with weight management, lowers your stress, fights anxiety + depression and it gives you an overal feeling of wellbeing. It depends a little bit per person, but the average human being needs about 7-8 hours of sleep a night, better not to sleep less than 6 hours or more than 9, because this sometimes results in getting the opposite effect. Do you sleep enough? (or too much?)

19- Be yourself.
Everybody feels the urge to experience the freedom of being him- or herself. To be able to express yourself and to feel happy because of who you are, is one of the main keys to happiness. Try to listen to your intuition and stay true to who you are, your values and your principles. Everybody is unique and has their own strengths. Show respect to one another and just be you! I also wrote an article about it, not long ago. It’s called Be Yourself. I hope it will help you to be or to find out who you are.

20- Spend time with people you love.
We love to hang out with the people we love, but sometimes it still happens that other things get in the way. We’re too busy.. Do try to set priorities and plan time for the ones you love. Most of my family and friends live in the Netherlands and I don’t get the chance to see them as much as I would like to. When I do see them, I love spending quality time with them and that makes me feel so good. So pick up the phone.. call your mum, plan a weekend away with your lover, send your grandma a card and text a friend to ask when he or she can hang out!

How much of these healthy habits do you already master? Do you have more healthy habit tips or are there things where you would like to see some personal improvement? Please let me know in the comments below, ask for my help or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. You can also tag me! Thank you and have a lovely day! X

Ice Yay

Yay, the summer officially started! And how.. it was 34 degrees that day! With that heat I was craving some cold ice tea. You probably know the feeling?! The ice teas in the supermarket are full of sugar, so why not make it yourself? It’s so super easy! I would definitely call this a cheat recipe. You can make this ice tea with any tea you like. Last year I bought a very nice pina colada tea in Mallorca and that is the one I used, to give it this extra summery flavour. It was delicious with some extra lemons in there. So refreshing! You can also make this with green tea, passion fruit tea (or any other fruit flavour), earl grey or even the old English breakfast tea. Experiment what your favourite flavour is. So for all the hot days to come.. you will be prepared now!

ICE YAY

Serves: 6

-1,5 l water
-3 tea bags
-2-3 tbs agave nectar
-1 tbs palm sugar
-1 lemon (sliced)
-ice cubes (optional)

-Kettle
-Jug
-Fridge

-Boil the water.
-Pour the hot water in a jug and let it cool down for 10 minutes.
-Put all the tea bags in the jug and let the soak for 3-10 minutes. It really depends on how strong you want it to get. Taste regular and take the bags out as soon as you like the strength.
-Mix in the agave nectar (add to taste) and the palm sugar.
-Add the lemon slices, give it a last mix and let it all cool down.
-As soon as it’s room temperature you can put it in the fridge. Leave it in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
-Personally I don’t like ice cubes too much, but if you do, make sure you add some before you pour yourself a glass.

Let the hot days come! Are you going to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. 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

 

 

Great Skin

I almost feel a little bit like a hypocrite writing this, because I do not have what you call ‘great skin’! Since I was about 12-13 years old I started to have spots. Like a lot of kids who start their puberty. Most of the time they will disappear within a few years or at least before your twenties. Not my skin.. my skin kept being red and blemished. I had lots of blackheads and almost every day there was a new proper spot coming up and often a lot more than one! Poor me! It made me feel very self-aware and sometimes even insecure. When I became a vegetarian it got a little bit better, but it was still far from normal. Only since I became vegan I could notice a difference. My skin is still blemished, but only has some outbreaks now and then. Nowadays I don’t care that much about what my skin looks like. I’m still aware, but it just doesn’t bother me as much as it did before. I do have some tips for people who are struggling with a not so great skin. Hopefully it will help you. It definitely helped me loads!

Plant Based Diet
Like I just said, a plant-based diet helped me the most. I do not have huge outbreaks all over my face anymore, but just a spot here and there. Sometimes I even have some days where my skin is actually quite smooth (from a distance.. hehe..). When I have 1 or a few spots I know it’s because I have been eating g too much junk food and bread. As soon as I start to eat healthy.. fresh (raw) vegetables and fruit there is a big difference. When I did Banana Island my skin looked a lot better too. So I know how I can make it better, just sometimes I enjoy a piece of cheese or a slice of bread. If you want to look after your skin the best way possible look at your diet. I’d recommend eating as much raw as you can, but simply switching to a plant-based diet and eating more fruit and vegetables will also make a difference for sure. Sometimes your skin gets worse after swapping your junk to health foods, but be patient. This is just your body’s way to get rid of it. It can take up to a few weeks sometimes before you see a difference. Keep going! Always make sure to also drink a lot of water.

Skin Care
There are 239873 products on the market for a blemished skin. Some products are even made in a way that if you stop using them, it will come back (worse), just so you will keep buying the product. A lot of these products are full of chemicals and your skin absorbs chemicals within 26 seconds. I recommend only using natural products. You can even make the products yourself, from proper natural ingredients. There are a lot of recipes online and I sometimes make my own scrub and face mask. This way you’re sure of using something without any bad stuff. If this is not for you, you can get a lot of naturel products in store though. My favourite natural products are from Lush. Take a look at their website (or go to one of their stores) to see if there is something you like. I’m a big fan of the facial cleanser ‘Herbalism’ for example, but there a few others I like too. At the moment I’m cleaning my face with the Lush ‘Olive Branch’ and I’m using a little machine with a gentle brush, what cleans and scrubs my face. This works for me. As a moisturizer (I only use moisturizer in the evening) I use either coconut oil or this new cream I discovered recently, called iUVO Body Butter Cream. There is not much more you need to clean and moisture your skin naturally.

Make Up
I use make up almost every day. Not much, but I like to look groomed a little bit. Also I don’t like it when people stare at my spots and that tend to happen more often than you think. I do also like myself without make up though, but if I go outside I do mostly wear make up. I never wear more than mascara and a little bit of foundation. Sometimes only mascara or only foundation. It just gives my skin a bit of a glow and smooth outlook. And as I’m blonde, mascara gives my eyes a little bit more expression. When I’m at home or on some holidays too, I do not wear make up at all. It’s nice for your skin to have a bit of a breather.

No Touching
Now, this is a very important tip. One I personally struggle with the most, because I find it very hard not to touch my skin. Often I scratch, squeeze and generally touch my face. I’m trying to be strict with myself and I do try to keep my hands away from my face. What works for me is, every time I find myself touching my skin I tell myself ‘Stop it’! Easy like that. I literally tell myself! Sounds a little silly maybe, but it works for me. When I don’t touch my skin for a while it always looks so much better. The problem with touching your skin is that there is a chance to rub bacteria onto your skin, what results into spots. Also there is a lot of dirt on your skin from every day life, by touching your skin you spread the oils, together with make up and dirt, what will clog your pores. What also results in spots. Just stop touching it! That also means leaning your head into your hand. Try to make a rule for yourself to not touch your skin.

Do you (sometimes) have a bit of a troubled skin? What do you use for your face? Please comment below your favourite methods, products and tips! You can also show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X