Green Bay

When I was in the Netherlands, visiting Groningen, I went to the newly opened supermarket there and it’s 100% vegan! So amazing.. to know you can have everything what they sell. You don’t need to read labels and worry that there are any animals products. I said to the man at the till that I wish they had this in London too. And he answered: there is! How did I not know about this? A vegan supermarket in London and I didn’t even hear anything about it? So a while ago I went there and it was lovely. Not sure if you can actually call it a supermarket though, because it’s very small. The one in the Netherlands is also not very big, but bigger than Green Bay. Still, it was very nice!

Green Bay is located on a corner, in a lovely looking building. I like the colours outside their logo and the window stickers. Neutral, simple and attractive. Even though it’s fairly small, they did their best to fit in as many products as possible. Though it’s not comparable with VeganZ in Berlin for example. They have granola’s and cereals, cheeses, seitan, tofu, soups, kombucha, snacks, beauty products and lots more. It would be nice if they would also do veggies and more every day products etc. So it would actually be possible to get all your groceries from there. I think at this stage, that is maybe not possible yet. I’m sure that in the future, if more people turn vegan, Green Bay can expand.

I do think, we as vegans, have to support stores like this. It’s a shame it’s a little far from me, though the bus in front of my flat does go here. I went twice now, but I feel like I should go more often. By supporting this, we vote for vegan supermarkets. It would be a dream come true if there would be supermarkets like VeganZ here in the UK and all over the world. This is the way supermarkets of the future will look like. So, even though you live far, try to go as often as possible. You can just buy things you need anyway. Like nutritional yeast, tofu, granola, snacks etc. It’s not that hard and not that more expensive to get it from here. Show your support by consuming from the right companies!

WHO? Green Bay.
WHERE? 228 North End Rd, W14 9NU.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (small, but well organised with nice products)

Did you go yet? What did you buy and do you agree with me by spending our money in the right place? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Lunette Menstrual Cup

You might have heard about this new upcoming amazing thing: the menstrual cup. Some are already using it for ages, some have never heard of it. I decided to give it a lot of attention, because it’s a good idea for so many reasons. I think one of my main reasons I like menstrual cups so much, is that it’s so much better for the environment than tampons or pads. How many tampons do you use per cycle? It’s probably in between 15-20. This is apart from all the packaging (so much plastic!). That is a lot if you compare it with the fact you only need 1 menstrual cup. This is why it’s also a lot more cost-effective. A menstrual cup is holding the fluid in your body, without absorbing it. This way you stay naturally lubricated and healthy from the inside. So for your health you also choose a menstrual cup. There are even girls who say they have less cramps or no cramps at all anymore after switching to the cup!

How does it work?
Many girls worry if they see the menstrual cup. How do you even get it in there? There is a certain technique, you probably have to practice a few times before getting it right though. Wash your hands before you start and relax. The best way is to fold it in length (in a C shape). This way it’s only slightly bigger than a tampon. As soon as it’s in you let it ‘pop’. You can check if it popped properly, by gently moving your finger around the cup. Make sure it’s not too low, because then it might happen you will feel it the whole time. You’re not suppose to feel it. You only have to empty the cup 2-4 times a day and you can also wear it during the night. You can take it out by wriggling it left and right, pulling it down. Make sure you hold the bottom of the cup and not only the stem. This way you make less mess (you don’t want it to tip over) and don’t break the stem. Rinse it with cold water (!), then wash it with warm water and Lunette Feelbetter Cup Cleanser or use the Lunette CupWipes for on the way.

Please give the Lunette Menstrual Cup a try. Don’t be scared, just practice. Don’t give up after 1 or a few tries. Maybe you need to practice a few cycles, but it will be worth it. You can also wear the cup to prevent surprises. This is what makes a menstrual cup perfect. You can use it wherever you go. Did you make any summer plans yet? Are you going to the beach, a party or on a city trip?! You can do it all! Is your period near? Don’t forget to pack your Lunette Menstrual cup. Because you want to FEEL GOOD 365 days a year!

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

Vegan Advice #3

It has been a while since I posted a Vegan Advice article. Lately I have been asked a few questions again and I thought it might be helpful to write about it. For more understanding. I write from my own point of view and so my answers are coming from the way I look at things. The last time I posted a Vegan Advice, it was about ‘Where do I get my protein from?’, ‘Can I eat the eggs from my own chickens?’ and ‘Do cows have to be milked?’. This time I’d like to talk about ‘Why is horse riding wrong?’, ‘Do you respect that some people are not vegan?’ and ‘Why is honey not vegan?’. If you get these questions too, just send the link to the people who do. It’ll save you a lot of repeating!

Why is horse riding wrong?
When I was a child, I was definitely part of the crazy-about-horses-club. I was really crazy about horses. Collected everything what was horse related and I took riding lessons too. Since my first lesson when I was around 10/11, I ride horses for years. I still love horses a lot. I think they’re incredible animals. But the love I feel has sightly changed since I became vegan. I don’t only love them, I respect them too. Respect means that you let them live their life and look after them in a way they are most happy. Though, riding horses means you need to train them. In a lot of cases it means you have to train them to be wearing a saddle and a bridle, with a metal bit in their delicate mouth. It’s forcing them to get used to something unnatural. And for what? For people’s pleasure. Without thinking it through, I can actually say that it’s lovely to ride horses. The idea of being on top of such a majestic animal, going fast, the wind in your hair, it feel amazing.. But now, realising what we’re actually doing to them it’s not that enjoyable for me anymore. It’s weird I didn’t think of this before. It’s cuz we grow up with it being ‘normal’. Now what is the real reason for riding a horse? Because if you really really love horses, you wouldn’t do this to them. You would just take care of them and love them. I think it’s the feeling of controlling an animal like a horse. Making it do things you want it to do. Making it walk and run with weird unnatural movements, just because you can. Making it jump whilst you’re on it (or not on it). You are in control. What is naturally a nice feeling. Because not being in control you can feel lost. What makes it logic that being in control makes you feel good. Simple. I think admitting this to yourself is hard if it comes to horse riding. Because you want to justify the riding. What I understand as a former horse rider. I do not actually have something against sitting on a horse’s back and then make it walk or anything. But it has to be with nothing but your body (no saddles, no bridals, nothing..) and mutual respect. If you create a bond and the horse lets you sit on him/her, because it trusts you, I think it’s a beautiful thing. I think if you start training it to do things it actually doesn’t want to and/or to win prices, you’re loving the horse for the wrong reasons. Just because a horse is capable of doing things, doesn’t mean it should. I say this out of my own experiences. I dare to admit that I loved horse riding because of the feeling it gave me. It was selfish of me. I wasn’t always thinking about the horse itself. Though I love horses and I always have (and I always will), I just wasn’t thinking about the horse’s feelings.

Do you respect that some people are not vegan?
A lot of times omnivores (mostly the ones who are close to me) have told me that I should respect their eating choices. ‘I respect you’re vegan, so I expect you to respect me eating meat or drinking a glass of milk’. For me it’s very simple: I don’t. This doesn’t mean I don’t respect the person itself. I can have respect for a lot of other good things this person does. I simply do not respect what some people choose to eat. Because their choice has victims. This is why I can’t respect it. People are often rather flabbergasted that I can’t respect this. ‘It’s my own choice of what to eat and what not to eat’. True. And omnivores are choosing to involve cruelty on their plate. It’s a choice I can not respect. Because the cow or the pig on their plate did not have a choice. Does this mean that I can’t be close to people who eat meat? No it doesn’t. I do find it very hard though, I have to admit that. I’d be lying if I said I don’t. I find it especially hard when I truly love those people. Seeing or knowing that the people I love so deeply eat or use innocent animals, is something what literally makes my chest hurt. Them then asking to respect that, is beyond hurt. It makes me very sad.

Why is honey not vegan?
‘You also don’t eat honey?’ How many vegans had this questions before? I figure a lot are raising their hands now. Because a bee is just an insect. Doesn’t it go a little far? A lot of people think it’s extreme to also not use honey. I have to admit that honey is also the last thing for me to give up. Not that I was a big consumer, but it’s used as an ingredient quite a lot. I just wasn’t aware of why it wasn’t exactly vegan, until I did a little research. So then why is honey not vegan? First of all, very simple, because it comes from an animal. I didn’t realise at first, but taking honey isn’t only cruel, it’s also very stupid. Without bees we will die. How? Bees are the reason we can grow food. They are responsible for pollination, what fertilises the plants, so it will grow new plants. Without pollination nothing will grow. With 7 billion people and a lottttttt more animals on this planet, it’s quite necessary to grow food. There are a lot of mouths to feed. This for me is the very clear and super important reason not to use honey. Taking the honey from the bees can be very stressful for bees. Bees are very intelligent insects and are getting stressed very quickly. Also, bees don’t make honey so people can enjoy it. Bees make honey for themselves. Though, instead of having it for themselves, humans came up with the idea to give them sugar water. They are mostly allowed to keep some of the honey, just enough for them not to die. This to me sounds totally unfair. Honey is for bees, not for humans. This is all apart from that there are actual bee farms, what involves a lot of cruelty and death. Honey is very easy to replace. Use any syrup: agave, date, rice, golden.. Because I think instead of taking honey from bees, we should respect and honour them. They are the reason you’re able to have a yummy salad for lunch!

Did you already know the answers to these questions 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

Veggie Bowl

img_9302Some people find it hard to get a salad together. What vegetables do you use? What tastes nice combined with what? I actually think that all veggies can go together. This is why I like to make colourful salads. Eat the rainbow! It’s also important to make a salad filling. So what I always do is: I cut up lots of yummy, colourful (mostly) raw veggies, add beans, avocado and mix it up. Most of the time I like to eat salads like this for lunch. In fact, this is basically my lunch every day. I love it and I can really enjoy digging into a huge bowl of crunchy yummy tasting veggies, mixed up with a simple dressing. I just love vegetables. I know, I’m a lucky vegan! To just give you an idea of what my salads look like and to help you make your own, I’m giving you an example today. I hope you like it just as much as I do!

img_9310VEGGIE BOWL

Serves: 1

veggies
-1/2 cup black beans
-1 (big) handful lettuce (any)
-1 (big handful spinach
-1/4 cucumber (sliced)
-1/4 bell pepper (sliced)
-1 cup red cabbage (chopped)
-1 (large) tomato (chopped)
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-1 spring onion (chopped)
dressing
-1 tbs sesame seeds oil
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Mix all veggies in a bowl.
-Put the ingredients for the dressing in a shaker and shake well.
-Pour over the dressing and mix up well, until everything is nicely covered.

Are you just as lucky as me and do you love vegetables a lot? What do you normally have for lunch? Or are you going to try this recipe now? 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

Veganism and Christianity

I was raised as a Christian. I went to church (almost) every Sunday, went to church-group and I went to a christian primary school. As a child you believe in God, because your parents do. When I grew older I started to think and I started to ask questions. I didn’t go to church anymore from when I was about 18 years old. That was not becuase I didn’t believe in God anymore, but because I don’t like churches. In my opinion it’s a lot about the people and not so much about God. Also, I’m not a big fan of ‘living in a community’ and to be part of ‘a group’. It makes me feel obligated. Then (personal) things happened in my life and I started to lose my faith. I started to have questions nobody was able to answer. Nowadays I do not call  myself a christian anymore, but I do still have difficulties to say that I don’t believe in God. I do believe in a God. Just, what and who is God?! The way he is described in the bible? I always loved the bible as a child and I still do in many ways. I think it’s a beautiful book full of life lessons. I think a lot of things in the bible really happened, but I also think that a lot of stories are made up and used as an example for us to learn from. Either way, I’m happy I was raised with this knowledge, about the christian God and the bible.

Now I’m vegan, I get told a lot ‘but God gave us animals so we can eat them’. I do not believe that and that inspired me to write this article and tell you what I think about this subject. There are a lot of things that don’t make sense to me, looking at christianity and veganism. Christianity teaches us that God created the world and Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, where everything was perfect. Then Adam and Eve fell into sin and from that moment things changed. A lot of bad and painful things came into the world. Some things that humans couldn’t control, but a lot of things happened because of humans. Humans started to give in to hate and choosing the wrong path. They started to curse, hurt and kill each other. This is not what God intended and this is what humans did to themselves and each other. You can choose love and compassion and you can choose hate and selfishness. People have own responsibility. If I ask you which one you prefer I’m quite sure you will choose love over hate. Christianity teaches us that one day the people who truly believed in God, will go to heaven. Now this is the part where a lot of questions come to my mind. If you truly believe in God, but you still do bad things you could control, will you go to heaven? And when you are not sure if there is a God, but you are a good person and always try to do the right thing, will you go to heaven? According to the people I talked to from church, you have to believe in God and be a good person. So what makes you a good person? Coming from christianity, I believe, next to honouring God, we should look after the world, look after each other, in peace, the way God intended. God designed the world perfectly. Everything is working in the perfect way. Just take a look at your own body, the growth of plants and the animals we share the world with.

Nowadays there are a lot of problems in the world. We are destroying it.The opposite from what God asked humans to do. The biggest, direct threat to planet earth is CO2. A lot comes from cars, aeroplanes, factories etc. Everybody knows this, because we get encouraged by the government to not use the car if not necessary, for example. It’s a worldwide problem. Not all CO2 comes from this though. So then what is responsible for the other percentage? It’s agriculture. In simple words ‘it’s the animals we breed for consumption’. The world that God created is destroyed by your food choice. This is not everything. What about our bodies? We are a threat to our own bodies. People are dying from welfare. We now know diseases like cancer, diabetes and about 40% of people (worldwide) has hypertension, what causes heart disease (45%) and strokes (51%). We are killing ourselves. What is causing these diseases? Consumption of meat, dairy and eggs. So again, the human body God created, is destroyed with the choice of food. How does this work? Meat, dairy and eggs are full of bad fats for humans. Apart form that, the human body has a long digestive system. Perfect for plant based foods, but animals products will rot as they digest a lot slower. What makes your body sour, toxins spread and guess what cells feel very comfortable in that environment? Cancer cells! So this is what happens to humans directly.

And what about the animals? Humans think that they have the right to own them, use them and kill them. God created animals and humans are using them like they are not important. Or actually, some are not important. We love our pets, but if it comes to a cow or a pig you didn’t know and never met before, what does it matter, right?! I think we should be loving and compassionate towards animals. They give us so much in return. We can learn so much of them. Christianity teaches us that they are also God’s creation. So why be cruel to them if you can love them too? Isn’t this choosing hate and selfishness over love and compassion? All animals have their own ability of understanding, that we don’t always understand them, doesn’t mean we can rule over their life’s. All animals have the will to live. If God created animals for us to eat, why are they trying to safe their life’s if they are about to be murdered? He didn’t give them to us to eat, in the Garden of Eden he said, in Genesis 1:29 – ‘Behold, I have given you every plantyielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you’. After the fall of man into sin, the bible doesn’t say: Because you ruined it, you can now also kill animals for food. It definitely doesn’t say ‘build mega farms and make as much profit as you can, despite of suffering’. This all came into the world by humans! Because humans can be selfish. They want money, power and rule over others. Animals don’t have a voice, they can’t literally tell us that they don’t want to turn into food. But if you look into their eyes, if you look at their fear when they smell and hear death all around them, how can you support this? I know I can’t speak for God, but for me it’s logic that this is not ok! Even though I’m not a christian, if there is a loving God (and I truly hope there is, in any form), than how can we humans justify this?

*The art you see, is by the artist Limppu – Laura Witick. She’s also a Master of Theology.

Are you a christian and are you vegan? I would love to hear your view on this too. Also when you do not agree, I’m honestly interested in how you will justify this. (Let’s stay nice to each other though!) You can comment below or send me a message via CONTACT. I look forward to it! Thank you! X

 

Animal Charity Shops

I really like that the second hand shops here in the UK are charity shops. We don’t have this in Holland. We do have second hand shops, big one most of the time, but it doesn’t go to charity. It such a good idea to have this, so you know that the stuff you donate and the money they get for that is going to a good cause. I like it even more that every shop has its own charity. This way you know where the money you spend there is going to. Now, the best thing is that there are also charity shops for animal organisations. I discovered that quite recently and I though it was so cool. I looked some up and I will tell you what they do. This way you can make a choice yourself of where you like to donate the stuff you don’t need or use anymore. Or maybe you want to take a look and make a purchase.

cpCATS PROTECTION
They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home cats. They also offering advice, give information and educate people who own cats or who are thinking about getting a cat. Cat Protection is run entirely by volunteers. If you want to know more about Cat Protection, if you have questions about your cat, want to adopt a cat or you want to know where their shop is, go to their website.

dtrustDOGS TRUST
Dogs Trust is the largest UK charity for the welfare of dogs. It already started in 1891! Today they’re active in 10 countries. Something great things they have been crucially involved in: the animal welfare act, breeding, dangerous dogs, greyhounds and currently microchipping. Dogs Trust is a huge organisation, doing lots of amazing things for dogs. If you want to know more about them or if you want to visit one of their many charity shops, go and check their website.

logo-rspcaRSPCA
Since 1824 the RSPCA is looking after the welfare of animals. They offer advice, microchipping, neutering and subsidised animal treatments. They also rehabilitate and re-home animals. You can report animal cruelty at the RSPCA. You can do this via their website or by calling (24-hour) of course. If you want to know what else they do, if you want to adopt an animal or check out their shops, go have a look on their website.

pdsaPDSA
This organisation provides animal care to the pets of people in need. They do this so they can prevent illness, suffering and death of pets. They treat sick and injured pets. They also educate people how to look after their pets. To find out more about what they do or to find out where to find their shops, check out their website.

These are only 4 organisations who have charity shops. Of course there are more, please check if there are animal charity shops near you!

Did you know there are charity shops for animal organisations? Are there any near you and do you donate your unwanted stuff here? Did you buy things in one of these shops before? I would love to hear about it! Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram to show me! Thank you! X

Vegan Partying

You are vegan? That must mean you can never have a good time at parties.. you can’t go to barbecues, events, dinner parties.. This is what you get a lot as a vegan! People think you can only have a good time if you can eat dead animals or animal products. This is so not true! People associate having a good time with good food. I agree that good food makes things enjoyable, but apart from that eating a carcass of an animal is for me the opposite of having a good time, I also think that it’s more about the fun you have in general. The conversations you have and the people you meet. Or are you only going to the party to eat the food? If that is your main reason, you might have fun wrong.. haha! I do admit, that going to parties, eating out and all things around food was the last thing what kept me from being 100% vegan. Then I got over that, because I realised that it’s my body, my life and so it’s my choice. Then there was also the aspect of having vegan food available in situations as at other peoples parties. How do you handle that?

If I go to a birthday party and I’m not sure if there will be some plant-based food there, I bring some snacks myself and often I bring a lot more, so I can share. If I go to a wedding, a restaurant or even on a long flight, I always check if there is a possibility to have a vegan meal. If not, I bring my own. But in my experience it never happened that I had to bring my own, because there was always something. A good chef will always provide you with a suitable meal. It isn’t that hard, despite what people think. A little tricker is when you’re invited to a dinner party. In this case I offer to make something too and I bring it. Think of a fancy salad, sushi rolls, pastries, cakes, chocolate mousse.. things which are easy to bring and everybody will enjoy. This way you provide food for yourself and show others that it isn’t that hard to have good food. Try not too make too much different things as in some cases you might offend the host(ess). Depends a bit on who you go to though.

But what about a barbecue? Warmer days are coming and people get excited to throw barbecue parties. I used to really enjoy that, let’s say.. before I woke up! Now I can’t imagine how I ever enjoyed that, but you still get invited sometimes. It’s up to you though, but I do not enjoy barbecues at all!! I can not stand the smell, being around all these dead animals and worst: people who are being happy about it. It makes me sad, cross and very upset. So I don’t go. Though, if you are going you can always bring your own things and ask to cook your things first, before the meat touches the barbecue. A better idea is to throw your own barbecue party. Make sure you have lots of nice goodies, to show people it’s not necessary to kill animals to have a lovely time on long summer evenings. So what can you get for a good barbecue?

*Burgers/Hotdogs/Sausages or other good substitutes.
*Perfect bbq veggies: portobello mushrooms, bell pepper, corn on the cob, onion, fennel, courgette, aubergine, asparagus.
*Perfect bbq fruits: pineapple, peaches/nectarines, mango.
*Vegetable kebabs: bell pepper, onion, courgette.
*Cauliflower wings.
*Potatoes covered in a little oil and salt, wrapped in some foil.
*Pasta salads, potato salads, leafy salads.
*To make hotdogs and hamburgers: bread rolls, gherkins, tomatoes, lettuce, fried onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce.
*Baguettes, garlic butter, houmous, guacamole, tortilla’s.
*Make sure you have some yummy dessert too: marshmallows, cake, nicecream, fruit salad, frozen grapes/blueberries/cherries on a skewer.
*To drink: lemonade, juices, smoothies with umbrella’s. Wine/Cocktails (if you’re into that).

Say again?! Yes exactly.. this (and I’m sure you can think of so much more) is how you enjoy a cruelty free bbq party! Put on some suitable music, decorate the garden with lanterns, little lights, candles, open fires, blankets, cushions, napkins, nice table cloths and make people ask you to do this more often. Maybe you could make it a tradition. If I had a garden, I would have! You can ask people to bring a vegan dish, to encourage them to think of a barbecue in a different way. I hope this will become a real thing instead of smelling the flesh of roasted animals everywhere on a hot summer day.

Were you always a bit anxious of how you get through parties? Did you ever have difficulties? Please share your experiences! Also, are you excited to throw a cruelty free bbq now? I am! In case you know other very good vegan bbq ideas, please comment below and share or show me by tagging me on Instagram! Thank you! X

Banana Island

So as some of you know, I’ve been on Banana Island for a week, from 20-26 of March. For the people who don’t know what Banana Island is, it’s not a real island. Being on Banana Islands means that you only eat bananas for a certain amount of days. I chose to do 7 days. This way your body can make real changes and it’s still very doable. You can eat bananas unlimited. Though, you have to try to at least eat about 20-25 bananas a day. To have some variety and extra vitamins and minerals, you can also eat a little bit of greens (spinach, celery, cucumber). I will first tell you about bananas and about the Banana Island, before I tell you how I experienced being on Banana Island. I will also tell you what I experienced and if anything changed. So here it goes.. 7 days, 140 bananas!

BANANAS:
Bananas have esseital vitamins and minerals. Let me explain why they are so important:
vitamin B6 – About 4 bananas give you the recommended amount of B6. So you’re good!
manganese – This helps with healing wounds (read: clear skin), healthy bones, activates enzymes (read: great metabolism).
vitamin C – It’s known to boosts your immunity to colds, but it also reduces inflammation and slows the aging of skin (read: clear glowing skin).
copper – It pairs with iron to help stimulate more red blood cells. Red bloods cells carry oxygen through the body (read: lots of energy).
fiber – It prevents heart disease and it’s especially great for a healthy bowel movement.
potassium – A very important one! It helps your muscles and nerves to work properly, it’s great for your metabolism and a healthy balance of fluids in your body. 

REASONS TO GO ON BANANA ISLAND: 
Healing – You’re giving your digestive system a break. As it only has to digest bananas, your system has an easy job to do. This way it uses less energy for digesting. The extra energy can go to other parts of your body.
Energy – For the same reason as described above, you will also experience more overall energy during the day.
Skin – You’re only eating raw and your body gets loaded with lots of important vitamins and minerals. Your skin will benefit a lot. You might notice your skin calms down (in case you have a troubled skin) and/or has an extra nice glow.
Hunger – You will learn the difference between emotional eating and hunger. If you just want to eat because of eating something and the only thing you can eat is bananas, you will less likely eat something. But if you’re really hungry, a banana will do.
Mind – Is quite similar to what I just described. You will be more mindful, because you will feel lighter (thanks to digesting faster), but also very important is that you will fight cravings. You will learns how to handle cravings: You admit you have a craving, you acknowledge it and then hopefully you can move on. This might be a struggle at first.
Weight – It’s very likely that you will loose weight. This will be mostly water weight. If you struggle with water retention, Banana Island will help you. Just note that if you will start eating lots of bad food again after you finished, you will easily gain weight again. To stay on the same weight or even lose more, keep eating healthy and exercise.
Senses – Your taste and smell senses can increase. You can experience better smell and taste. Especially your tastebuds will likely heal/improve.
Sleep – It improves sleep, because your body is able to make the right amount of sleep-hormones: melatonin and serotonin. These hormones are needed for our sleep/wake cycles. They often get disturbed by the things we eat or we do not eat.

SIDE EFFECTS*
Changing your diet and lifestyle can create a situation of temporary withdrawal. As Banana Island is a detox, you might experience side effects, like:
Headaches – A headache is one of the most common side effects of detoxing. It’s mostly a dull and prolonged feeling, but it is because your body is busy removing the buildup of toxins.
Fatigue – As your body is very busy cleansing, a lot of energy is used for only that. The more toxins in your body, the longer this takes. Though, if you eat enough bananas, you shouldn’t feel tired after day 3.
Feeling cold – Also very common, as your body is focusing on getting rid of toxins.
Shaky – Your body wants the bad things you consumed before. By not getting this your blood sugar drops and that is what making you shaky. Just make sure you eat a few extra bananas.
Trouble sleeping – Your body is disturbed by all the changes going on in your body. This might wake you up in the night more often.
Gas/Bloated –You body is getting rid of symptoms in all ways possible. Passing gas is a good sign, it means your intestines are busy clearing everything up. Don’t think it’s not effective if you don’t have this, as long as you have 1 (or more) good bowel movement a day it’s going well.
Cravings – Especially when you were a huge consumer of specific things like: sugar (!), coffee, alcohol and bad fats. You body will ask for there, because it was used to getting this. This side effect is probably the most difficult one. Stay strong!

*You are likely to experience this in the first 1-3 days. Some of the side effects are conflict with improvements. Don’t get discouraged, keep going! Of course if it’s getting really bad (fainting for example), you might want to consider eating a proper meal and maybe even stop all together. It’s very important that you make sure that you eat enough bananas. 

PPREPARATONS
To prepare  myself for Banana Island I did a few things. First, I (obviously) bought a lot of bananas. As I started on a Monday, I got my first batch of bananas on Friday. I got myself 50 bananas, to be sure I had enough for at least 2 days. On Sunday I got my second batch. I did it this way, so they have time to ripe, but not be too ripe.
Something else I did, is having a fruit day the day before (Sunday). This is not necessary, but I did it for 2 reasons. First, I had a lot of fruit I was not able to eat in the 7 coming and I didn’t want it to go bad. Second, I wanted to clear the way, so the effect of the bananas would work faster.

EXPECTATIONS
The reason I wanted to do Banana Island, is because this detox (as many other) is like a reset for your body. A lot of detox programs make you feel hungry, what is ok, but I liked this one because you will not be hungry at all. I especially like this detox because of the mental aspect. The difference you will experience between hunger and emotional eating. I’ve been eating a lot of junk food lately and it didn’t do my body any good. I was looking for ways to get out of that junk food circle, but every time I found myself back in that circle. So this is one of the reasons what made me go to Banana Island. I expect to learn a lot about myself and my body. I also really hope it will clear up my skin a bit. I’ve always had a bad skin since puberty and though it was way worse (before I went vegan), it can improve a lot! Though, my main reason for doing this, is because I’m more and more interested in raw food. This might be a step towards more raw food. I don’t think I will ever go fully raw and I always ate a decent amount of raws anyway, but I think I can do a lot better. I want to be a more healthy vegan. I expect to eat more than 20 bananas and I’m even slightly anxious I will eat an abnormal amount and double that or something.


BANANA JOURNAL

DAY 1 / Bananas: 20
I woke up feeling tired. I had about 7 hours of sleep, but I always have a lot of trouble waking up and getting out of bed. I had my first banana at 7:00 and I ate 7 bananas in total over the morning. At 12:30 I had another 2 bananas, but then I didn’t have any for a while. I had to go out around 15:00 for just a bit and when I came back at 15:30 I was all shaky. Just my arms and hands. I should have eaten a bit more by now I think and it also might be part of the detox effect. I had some more bananas and after an hour I was all back to normal. Still I didn’t seem to eat enough bananas and my stomach started to rumble at 18:00. I did eat 14 bananas by then. In the evening I had a whole organic cucumber, what was so refreshing and tasty. Love how something so simple was so delicious and it’s only day one. I also had 3 bananas with some spinach and water, blended into a smoothie. Was very yummy and a nice change after eating only bananas on its own. I didn’t have any real cravings today, I guess the fist day was quite easy.
Over the whole day I drunk 4 cups of tea and I drunk 2 litres of water.

DAY 2 / Bananas: 20
The second day and I woke up before my alarm (6:15), feeling very well rested. That doesn’t happen a lot. Walking to work I felt very energetic and light, what was a lovely feeling. When I got to work my employer gave me a compliment, that I looked well and energised.. ‘The bananas are doing you good’! It’s only the second day and even people around me see a difference already. Again I ate 7 bananas over the morning. In the afternoon I had a little nap. I didn’t feel tired, but to help my body detoxing and because I had a mild headache. It helped me to have less headache. Being shaky for an hour yesterday and the mild headaches are the only bad side effects I’m having now. Weird enough, having the side effects is kind of exciting, because it means my body is getting rid of toxins. Though, in the end of the afternoon, starting from about 16:00ish, I had a very dry mouth. When I got home around 19:00 I ate an organic cucumber and then the dry mouth was gone. To have the last 5 bananas, I made 2 smoothies with spinach and 1 with celery (I really liked this one). Also had a celery stalk on its own. Very yummy and refreshing. Normally I won’t eat them that often on its own. I like celery, but mostly I put them in my salad. I enjoyed eating it by itself a lot. I really like that about this detox, the appreciation for food. I also drunk almost 2L of water and 3 cups of tea.

DAY 3 / Bananas: 20
I felt less energy than yesterday morning, event hough I did sleep for 7 hours. It might be a side effect, but it could also be because I have to eat a few more bananas a day. I ate 7 bananas over the morning again and around lunchtime my stomach started to rumble. So this is also a sign I should actually eat more. The thing is that I’m not hungry. I eat bananas, but most of the time it’s because I have to at least eat 20 bananas in order to do this detox. What is very positive I think, because normally I’m always ‘hungry’. My body is learning about when I’m really hungry or when I just want to eat for the sake of eating. One of the main reasons I started this detox is because of this mental aspect. I felt very cold today too, overall, but especially my hands.. As this is day 3, the side effect must come to an end by tomorrow. What means I’m very excited about what is going to come next. When I left work (18:00) I only had 13 bananas, what meant I had to at least eat another 7. I decided to blend them, to make it easier. I blend them with some celery and made 1 big glass with a little bit of raw cacao powder too. It was very tasty and felt like such a treat. I divided it over the evening, but I was still very full in the end. I didn’t want to screw up though and make sure my digestive system kept working properly. I also made my boyfriend a burger for dinner, what is my favourite food. Surprisingly, though it was a little hard, I managed doing it and it actually went really well. I didn’t even have huge cravings. I also did really well drinking 3 litres of water, next to my 3 cups of tea. Hydration is very important in a detox!

DAY 4 / Banana: 20
My sleep was very deep, even though I only had 6,5 hours. I felt good in the morning, not highly energised good, but I felt good and content. I can feel I lost some weight, but the best thing is that I feel so happy and light. From around 14:00 today was the first time I was really thinking about having something else than bananas. I wouldn’t say it was a huge craving, but it was different from the other times I thought about different foods. I ate 2 stalks of celery, drunk a cup of tea and I felt better. I think day 4 as the middle day and with the side effects gone (headache free!), your body is changing the focus. I’m surprised I still didn’t have huge cravings, especially because I will have my period next week. Normally in this week (so the week before my period) I’m craving a lot of different things 24/7. I basically alway overeat this week, but thriving on bananas this week, makes me feel a thousand times better. When I got home after work (18:45), I had to eat 5 more bananas to reach 20, so I blended them with a little spinach and 1/4 of iceberg lettuce (I’m quite a fan of blending iceberg lettuce, it gives this little zing to a smoothie). I’m thinking about food quite a lot still. Not in a very annoying, can’t pull myself together kind of way. It’s not a craving for 1 specific thing though. Just I notice that I think about salads a lot. I only think about healthy food though, I have no interest in bad food at all. Again I drunk 3 litres of water today and 3 cups of tea.

DAY 5 / Bananas: 20
As it’s Friday today, I always sleep in a bit. What also means I started to eat later. It was ok though, because for breakfast I put 7 bananas in the blender, with a handful of spinach and water. Drinking this over the morning is a lot easier than eating the bananas on its own. Though my skin still had some breakouts in the last few days, I can see that it’s getting a little better. To be honest, this week (the week before my period) is always a good week for my skin, so I’m not sure if it’s just that or that it’s also thanks to the bananas. I think I have to be more patient to find out. Around 15:00 I thought about other food quite a lot again. To solve this I grabbed half an iceberg lettuce from the fridge and ate it like an apple (what level of vegan is this?!). It really helped and it was so delicious. In the evening I went to watch the movie Beauty&TheBeast (aHmazing btw.. best movie I’ve ever watched in the cinemas!!) and I always get popcorn.. I love popcorn! Today that obviously wasn’t possible, so I prepared a chocolate milkshake what contained 3 bananas and 1 tbs of raw cacao powder and I brought a banana on its own. My boyfriend didn’t easy dinner yet, so before we went to the cinema he quickly ate a pizza. He sat in front of me, eating one of my favourite foods. He wasn’t being mean btw, I told him to just eat. Nobody should change around me just because I decided I only want to eat bananas. As there was dairy cheese on the pizza I didn’t crave it at all. Though I think, even though the pizza smelled delicious, if it was vegan, I would still be ok. I feel very satisfied eating bananas. I’m very surprised I’m so ok with all this delicious food around me. Today, after the movie was finished I ate banana number 100! Was kind of a funny thought, knowing I ate 100 bananas in 5 days. I also drunk 2,5 litres of water and only 2 cups of tea.

DAY 6 / Bananas: 20
I was sleeping in until around 9:30 and didn’t start breakfast until 11:00. What wasn’t very clever as that means I have less time to eat 20 bananas. So I blended up 5 bananas with a handful of spinach and a glass of water and drunk it straight. Me and my boyfriend went to Portobello Road Market, but before we left I ate 3 bananas so I’ll not get hungry and tempted but all the yummy food there. We normally get a falafel wrap and eat it at Starbucks, but this time I didn’t get one, but only had a green tea. I was ok with it, though it’s a lot nicer if you can eat together. Eating 20 bananas while starting so late was easier than I thought. Because I was very hungry coming back from Portobello Market, so I blended 6 bananas with some celery and really enjoyed that. In the evening I was kind of craving a meal, so I ate quite a lot of celery and cucumber. Especially the combination of them both was very enjoyable. I can feel how my tastebuds are more sensitive as I could taste how salty the celery was in comparison with the fresh cucumber. Later in the evening I had serious cravings, to something savoury and saucy, like a proper meal. This is the first time I have cravings, maybe because I know it’s only 1 more day. I acknowledge that it was just a craving and created a healthy raw recipe I’ll enjoy on Monday. I also drunk a cup of tea and went to bed a little earlier than I planned to. I had only 2 cups of tea again today, but I did drink 2 litres of water.

DAY 7 / Bananas: 20
I woke up at 9:00 today, what meant that it was already 10:00, as last night the clock moved forward one hour. I slept very long and deep, 9 hours. I only woke up once at 6:00. So I started to eat my bananas a little later again. I guess that is what happens in the weekend. I made myself a banana/spinach smoothie and I got ready for the farmers market. It was lovely to see all the yummy colourful vegetables, it always makes me happy. Though I knew I had to wait for a salad until tomorrow. Later on in the Sainsbury’s, to get the rest of my groceries, it was also a little hard. I love grocery shopping, but everything what I bought was for the following week. I didn’t have huge cravings though, I’m just looking forward to a proper meal again. I made myself another big smoothie with bananas and celery (the one I bought at the farmers market), after eating 3 bananas on its own.
Though I did have bowel movements every day, today was the first time I had big bowel movements. I’m not sure why, but it’s a good sign. Tomorrow my body will be all ready to receive lovely fresh salads. I turned the last few bananas into a raw cacao soft serve. It was delicious. And swallowing that last bite, meant I ate 140 bananas in 7 days. Yesterday and today I was a bit bloated. My intestines must be working really hard to get a lot of toxins and waste out of my body. I’m wondering how it goes when I start to eat other things from tomorrow. I only had 1 cup of tea today, but I did drink 2 litres of water.


DAY 8
So this morning on the scale, it turned out I lost 1,5 kg this week. Quite good isn’t it? I could already feel it during the week, but what means a lot more to me is that I feel so light and have so much energy. I started the day with a big glass of luke warm water, with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This is how I start my day every morning, also when I was on Banana Island. I did some yoga and it went really well, it made me feel so good. Then I made myself a green smoothie with, guess what.. bananas! This shows you how much I love bananas. I did make the smoothie like I normally make it though, so not only with spinach and water. Yesterday I bought myself a little ripe papaya, to eat as the first thing after all these bananas. It was delicious. I love papayas! Then I also ate a very juicy and sweet tangerine. So enjoyable. At work I had some strawberries and then waited all the way until lunchtime. The moment I’ve been waiting for. I had a huge raw salad with spinach, chard, radish greens, radishes, baby corns, sugar snaps, avocado, ground coriander, smoked paprika and a little sesame seed oil. It was soo nice! I really love salads. Very satisfying after 7 days. Then in the afternoon I snacked on some blueberries, 1 apple and 2 pears. At dinner time I was really hungry and made myself some courgetti. I used a whole big courgette and I made very yummy raw sauce from: fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, fresh basil, celery, salt, thyme and a little ground coriander. It was very delicious! There was some sauce left, so in the evening, whilst watching my favourite show ‘The Big Bang Theory’, I cut up a cucumber and started dipping. Yumm! Going to make this more often. I also drunk over 2 litres of water again and 3 cups of tea. What a successful day! In the next few days I will keep eating more raw foods, but I will also introduce my body again to some cooked foods, like: beans, sweet potatoes and porridge. 

CONCLUSION
Thinking I would eat more than 20 bananas and even feeling anxious about eating double that amount, was quite an hilarious expectation, looking at the fact that I struggled to even eat 20 in the end of every day.
Now one of the questions I was asked most during this week on Banana Island was definitely: ‘Do/Will you still like bananas?’. Yes I do! I love bananas! I enjoyed eating bananas a lot and I’m still enjoying them now. I think bananas are just perfect food. They have so much goodness inside of them, they’re so tasty and you can make amazing food combinations with them. They’re really my personal Super Food!
So overall I found it a very nice experience and it helped me a lot with looking at food in a more healthy way. For all these reasons, I would definitely do it again. Maybe in the summer.. I hope more people will join me then!

DAY 14 / Back to normal
So last week I ate very healthy, apart from a little chocolate here and there (sorry, I’m allowed when on my period, hehe..). This morning I was the same weight as I was after Banana Island. I think if I wasn’t on my period, I would have lost a little weight maybe. It’s still a good sign, because it means that the weight I lost on Banana Island is still off. I can also see that my skin is better. It’s smoother and I have less break outs. Even though I was on my period, I didn’t have huge cravings. Normally I have cravings 24/7 and I can eat a lot, especially the week before and I’m hungry the whole time, but I felt so much better.
The day after Banana Island I had a raw day as you can read in DAY 8. I did this to slowly introduce my body to different food again. The day after that I introduced beans and the day after that, I had some porridge for breakfast. Though from about that day, my stomach was getting really upset. I was very bloated and my tummy (from my stomach to my lower intestines) was painful all day. I think that I ate something (maybe a vegetable) that was bad and I didn’t notice. Or maybe it was becuase introducing all these foods again, but I don’t this was the reason. I kept eating healthy and normal, but only from today I actually feel better. I don’t want you to be discouraged from trying Banana Island, because I think it was because I ate something wrong. I still have a lot of energy and overall I feel very good. I feel so much better than before I started Banana Island. It really helped me to get back on track. This week I will exercise more and get properly fit again. The lovely sun coming out more often, is really helping me with that!

Would you like to go to Banana Island too after reading this? You should! It was a very nice experience and I would (and will) do it again! If you have questions or you need some encouragement, don’t hesitate to CONTACT me! You can also do that in a comment below or via Instgram! Thank you! X

Act With Kindness

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-21-22-33A simple act of kindness can mean so much. That’s why it’s so important to always be kind. Even when you don’t get kind back, you should never lower your level by being rude, just because somebody else is acting rude. Always act with kindness. A person who’s being rude, might learn how they can react the next time when they feel like shouting and cursing. Shouting and cursing back might make you feel good in the moment itself, but in the end of the day it isn’t rewarding at all. Don’t try to end hate with hate. Always show love and kindness. Spread it around and the people around you will feel inspired and hopefully in this way, all together, we can make the world a better place. Of course you’ll be in situations you can’t be only loving. But at least always be polite, be firm if needed and stay honest, but never give in to this angriness inside of you. It’s never worth it. You’ll gain nothing from it and nobody ever will.

hugIn general, spreading kindness is making you feel happy yourself too. It’s very rewarding and it adds to your own happiness. Giving a random person a smile, having a little chat with the person next to you whilst picking the tastiest apples at the supermarket, giving your seat in the bus to a pregnant lady, giving your best friend a hug, spreading compliments and sending your mum a message to tell her she’s appreciated and thought of. All acts of kindness. These things will somebody else feel special, appreciated and loved. Feeling special gives you a good feeling. A reason why a child (and adults.. hehe..) loves its birthday. This special feeling is such a strong feeling, that it will always accomplish a lot more than being angry and going mad. Again.. choose kindness, always.

Because all we can do is being kind, but it’s important to keep your own boundaries in mind. (That rhymes.. yay!) You can be yourself, be your unique self. Stay kind, polite and always show that you’re grateful for the acts of kindness coming from somebody else. You will be liked by the people who can appreciate that and you don’t need more. Give kindness, make people feel special, let people feel known and appreciated. This will give you a good feeling in the moment, but karma will also make sure it will all come back to you. Let’s keep that flowing!

Do you always try to be kind? Do you find it hard or does it come very natural to you? 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

Newsletter APRIL

Yes, it’s already April! The last month with an -r in the month, but the sun is shining a lot more often. There are flowers everywhere, the birds are building their nests and the first baby animals are born. Yay!

UPDATE BANANA ISLAND
In last month’s newsletter I announced I would be on Banana Island from 20-26 of March. This means I only ate bananas (and a little greens) that week. I can now tell you that in total I ate 140 bananas and guess what.. I still like bananas! What did I experience during my time on Banana Island? On the 10th of April there will be a post about everything around Banana Island. I’ll tell you exactly how it went, what happened, what I experienced, if I found it helpful, if I would do it again and what happened after coming back from the island. So stay tuned!

01/04: WINNER GIVEAWAY!
Last night at 00:00 the Anniversary-giveaway ended. I want to thank everybody who entered, but I can only let 1 person win. To make it fair I used a generator (as shown in InstaStories). The winner of the Giveaway is: Sassyvegan. Congratulations!!

01/04: APRILS FOOLS DAY
Personally I’m not a big fan of April’s Fools day, but you might want to prank somebody with Foolish Chocolate Mouse. A yummy recipe, especially for this day. Have fun!

02/04: BRIXTON SPRING VEGAN FESTIVAL
Nothing planned for you Sunday afternoon yet? Then go to the Brixton vegan festival, between 12:00 – 19:00. A lovely beginning for spring. You can expect International Street Food, Eco Friendly Gifts, Alkaline & Raw Delights and some great Talks and Art Workshops. This all for only a £1 pound entrance!

08/04 – 09/04: VEGGIE WORLD
I am super excited for Veggie World as it’s one of the biggest and one of the oldest vegan festivals there is. You can expect a lot of stalls with food, fashion, beauty and a lot more andddd.. all vegan! There will be talks, cooking demo’s from plant based chefs, activities for children, animal yoga and do you want to start a business? There will also be some useful information for vegan entrepreneurs. Did you get your ticket? You pay £2 less if you pre order your ticket. So make sure you have your ticket and I hope to see you there!

14/04: GOOD FRIDAY
What have you planned for this day off? Just an idea.. you could start with some raw pancakes at Nama or make a big breakfast yourself. Make it pamper day and get yourself a lovely bath bomb from Lush. Or.. if the weather is good, go for a day trip. For the people in London.. what about Brighton?! Looking for beautiful stones, beach walks, feel the wind blowing through your hair and have vegan pizza at Purezza. It’ll be refreshing and so much fun!

16/04 – 17-04: EASTER
Are you doing an egg hunt? Then you’re in need of vegan chocolate eggs. In my experience it’s quite tricky to get small chocolate eggs. Most of them are big. Super delicious, but a little much and expensive to get a lot of them. I did some research and found these mini eggs from Montezuma’s on amazon. I think they’re perfect. Click here to order them. You pay £8,69 for 9 eggs, but it’s free delivery! To make it less expensive, but more fun, you can also make some eggs of pastel coloured paper. You could write a nice message or quote on each of them or a question and make it into a quiz. It’s not about how many kg’s of chocolate you collect (or is it? Hehe..), it’s about the fun you have! Cruelty free fun!
I’m in Holland with Easter, to make and enjoy a good brunch. Are you going to make or go to an Easter brunch too? Take a look at my easter recipes: Stuffed Green Eggs and Hopping Bread.

22/4: EARTH DAY
Earth Day is a worldwide annual event. Events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Let’s all post something on our Facebook or Instagram what support Earth Day! Tell people about their carbon footprint if they’re not vegan.. Let’s spread the word!

27/4: KING’S DAY IN HOLLAND
On the 27th of April it’s King’s Day in Holland, a national holiday, in honer of King Willem-Alexander. Everything in Holland will be orange and there are a lot of activities (like children flee markets all around the country. The biggest party is in Amsterdam though. This attracts a lot of people all around the world!

RECIPE SPOILER
Easter recipe, you might want to try this easter! Keep your eyes open for ‘Easter Puddy’!

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Please let me know in a comment below! Do you have any exciting things coming up what is related to veganism, positivity, spirituality etc? Please let me know! Send me a message via CONTACT and I might publish it in my next newsletter! Thank you! X