OrganiCup

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

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

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

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

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

Vivera Meat Substitutes + recipes

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

KEBAB
Kebab King

serves: 2

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

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


BACON STYLE PIECES
Veganara

Serves: 2

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

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


STEAK
Stamp-Pot

Serves: 2 

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

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


CHICKEN STYLE PIECES
Kebables

serves: 2 (6 kebabs)

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

4 skewers

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

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

Newsletter AUGUST

August! The last month without an -r. I like August, because it can still be a very hot month, though it has been raining quite a lot lately. What, I think, is amazing with these nice temperatures of 20C+, because it’s so refreshing and the rain feels so nice. Now let’s review the last month and see what is on in August.

GLASGOW ROADTRIP – REVIEW
If you read my travel article about Glasgow, then you already know that I’ve had an amazing time over there. Glasgow is a city with lots of vegan cafes and restaurants and everybody seems to accept it there more. I found some really good hotspots and I shared it with you in the post. So please check it out, especially if you want to go here soon or already booked your trip.

BEN & JERRY ICE CREAM
It’s official! Ben&Jerry will bring their vegan ice creams to the UK! It’s truly the moment everybody has been waiting for. I think everybody is excited to try this. I think this is such a good thing as it’s such a famous ice cream brand. It will definitely send a message into the world. I’m excited to try for sure!

VIO LIFE HALLOUMI CHEESE
Vio Life came with a new cheese: Halloumi. I’m super excited to try this. So you can expect to read a review soon. Did somebody try it yet?

10-13/08 – RAW FEST
There is a raw vegan festival near Ascot (less than an hour outside London) this August. This festal is only running since 2012. It’s all about raw (organic) food, education, talks, workshops and yoga classes. Smoking, alcohol and fast food are not allowed. It’s all about health and nutrition and it’s a 100% vegan. Day tickets are £15, but you can also stay over and camp there, so you can stay for the whole weekend. The camping tickets are £80 and you can get all sorts of tickets here. This is something you do not want to miss when you are into raw food or if you want more information about it. I’m thinking about going myself too.

12/08 – STOKE NEWINGTON VEGAN MARKET
A brand new vegan market! This will be the first time this market is on. There will be lots of yummy food from different caterers, vegan goodies, cosmetics and more. The market is from 10:00-16:00 at Abney Public Hall. There is a suggested £3 at the door, or whatever you can afford. All this donated money will go to a local animal charity called ‘Stokey Cats and Dogs’ (a charity that is rehoming cats and dogs). So do you want to be the first one to visit this market, go check it out on Saturday the 12th of August.

18-19/08 – LIVIN ON THE VEG
There will be 8 traders battling for the Kerb Golden Carrot. These 8 traders are: Biff’s Jack Shack, Petare, Lemlem Kitchen, Eat Chay, Spice Box, Temple of Seitan, Greedy Khao and Young vegans. Tickets starts from £25, this is including 8 portions of each trader. After you’ve tried them all, you can vote. There will also be a beer and cocktail bar, a DJ and more! It will be held at the West Handyside Canopy (King’s Cross). Get your tickets here. Sounds like lots of fun to me!

19/08 – HACKNEY DOWNS VEGAN MARKET
There will be a lovely vegan market in Hackney again, like every month. There are so many lovely stalls and you will be pleased to choose form a wide range of great tasting food. It’s from 11:00-17:00 and the entry is free. I probably go myself this Saturday! Do I see you there?

RECIPE SPOILER
Cake for breakfast! Yes.. stay tuned if you want to know how to make these delicious tarts!

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Would you like to tell me about your Easter.. I’d love to hear all about it! 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

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

Kebables

When it’s summer, there will be bbq’s! I love it and I hate it. I hate the smell of dead animals all around the neighbourhood on a lovely summers evening. There is nothing what ruins the amazing smell of summer more when you ask me. But I understand that it’s super fun to be outside and to enjoy a bbq together, with a little music in the background and lovely chats. It’s so easy to have a cruelty free bbq though! So why not enjoy the same things, but then without all the cruelty involved?! I created these yummy kebabs, I call ‘kebables’, to enjoy with your family and friends. Big chance they will love them too. For more vegan bbq ideas you can read my article about Vegan Partying. There is no excuse for bbq’s with victims!

KEBABLES

serves: 2 (6 kebabs)

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

4 skewers

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

Are you going to surprise your family and friends with these yummy kebables? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. 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

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

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

Newsletter JULY

We’re halfway the year of 2017.. gosh time flies! It looks like each year is going faster. We’ve had some lovely sunny days in June and even though it was very hot sometimes, it was great. Today we will review the Brighton Vegan Fest and I will tell you what’s coming up this month. Here we go..

BRIGHTON VEGAN FEST – REVIEW
It was a beautiful day to go to the Brighton Vegan Fest. The sun was shining, a few clouds.. the perfect temperature! I’ve had some yummy food during the day, Phish and Chips from the Loving Hut, frozen yogurt from FroYo, a samosa and a burger! I wish I had more stomachs, cuz there was much more yummy food to try. I bought another jar of iUVO cream and brought some cake home. After that I went to the sea side to enjoy the waves. What a perfect day! Did you go and did you have a good time as well? What did you eat?

8-9/07 – GLASGOW
I’m going on a solo road trip to Glasgow this weekend. I have to drive the Landrover Discovery (my favourite car ever!) of my former employer to the Glasgow airport and as I’m there anyway, I will have about 24 hours in Glasgow, because I will fly back in the evening the next day. I’m very excited for this as I’ve heard lots of good things about this vegan friendly city. I will visit lots of vegan hotspot and make sure to write about it. Stay tuned! PS: you can also follow my trip on Instagram!

7-9/07 – JUST V SHOW
An event for everybody who is vegan, vegetarian or who’s interested in eating less animal products. This is a great event, in London Olympia, to gain more knowledge about a plant based and cruelty free lifestyle, eat yummy food and to explore loads of cruelty free products. It’s 3 days from 10:00-17:00. I will try to go as well, but as I’m going to Glasgow that weekend and I have a birthday party to go to that day, I’m not sure if it’s going to work out for me. If you can go, go! Go to the website to see what’s on and get your (free) tickets here!

15/07 – VEGAN BEER FEST
If you’re really into beer, then you do not want to miss this. It’s the biggest Beer Fest in the London. Lots of 100% vegan beer (and wine) to try, together with other drinks and some food stalls too. So, bring your friends and have a lovely Saturday at the Hackney Down Studios (17 Amhurst Terrace). It’s starting at 12:15 and if you like to go, make sure you get your £5 tickets here. Because of this festival there will be no Hackney Downs Market this month.

22/07 – HORLEY VEGAN FAYRE
From 10:00-17:00 there will be a lovely fair at the Meath Green Junior School (Greenfields Road. Horley). There will be yummy vegan food, inspring talks and fun children activities. Fun for the whole family!

23/07 – VEGAN DOG FOOD INFO + BRUNCH
Your dog can be vegan too! Learn all about how your dog can live happily and healthy on a vegan diet. And all whilst enjoying brunch. The venue is vegetarian, but serves vegan options too. You can even bring your dog if you like, though he/she does have to behave well on the leash. It sounds super interesting and educational to me. If you have a dog and you want to learn more about this subject, this is a great thing to attend! It will be held from 12:00-14:00 in the Jaz and Juls Chocolate House (1 Chapel Market).

28/07-04-08 – MALLORCA 
This week I will fly to Mallorca for work and of course I will try to find some vegan hotspots around and tell you all about this beautiful island and the things I did.

RECIPE SPOILER
Keep an eye out for Heavenly Ice Cream! Perfect treat for this summer!

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Would you like to tell me about your Easter.. I’d love to hear all about it! 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

Be Yourself

You know the feeling when you were 6 and your teacher told you, you’ve made a very nice drawing? Or when you were 14 and, out of everybody else, you had the highest score on a test? That feeling when somebody gives you a meaningful hug or when your lover only has eyes for you? It gives you a special feeling. This I’m-on-top-of-the-world-feeling.
We all want to feel special. There is this desire in us to be known, to be the best and to be liked by everybody. This is a lovely feeling, you should enjoy it for sure, but what if these are the only things that make you feel you’re worthy? And are you known, the best and liked because of who you really are or because of who you pretend to be because of other peoples expectations? We shouldn’t need others to make us happy. You can be happy with others, but you can not be happy only because of others. Who are you? If you know who you are and you can be yourself, then you will find true happiness.

If I ask you: ‘Do you want to be unique or would you like to be like somebody else?’. What will be your answer? I assume that your answer is that you want to be unique (that special feeling). That would be a healthy answer. If we all have the desire to be unique, then why do we still do things because others do it too? Or because it’s expected of you? Or why do we keep ourselves from doing things because it’s not the norm? Because we want to be known and be liked. Do we need to be liked by everybody though? Simply, no. This is your life and you have to live with you 24/7. The people you might look up to also have their own life’s. Everybody has the right to be themselves. In order to be yourself, you have to know who you are though. So how do we know who we really are?

First of all.. Stop worrying about what other might think of you. How can you live your life if you constantly thinking about what others expect form you? This is your life. Where are you afraid of? To loose your friends and the people around you? If they don’t want to be around you anymore, they don’t respect you for who you are and it might be time to look for new friends. You don’t need people who only like you for doing things their way or when they expect you to behave a certain way. You want people around you who love you and respect you for who you really are. The right people for your energy.
Second.. Are you afraid to take a next step in life? Do you want to grow, but are you just to anxious to fail? If you let fear lead you, then how are you suppose to know who you are and what you can do? Feeling scared about something you actually really want, is holding yourself back. You are capable of things, amazing things! Have confidence in yourself, prepare and set an ultimatum. You have to follow your intuition. What maybe means you have to step out of you comfort zone, but nobody ever grew from staying in there. You are a person, with hopes and dreams.. make them come true. Take small steps if necessary, but take them!
Third.. Does it happen sometimes that you’ve had a lovely day, but a week (or maybe even a day) later it didn’t feel like you were really there? It feels like the character from a book you read had a lovely day, but it wasn’t you?! You probably forgot to live in the moment. It’s easy to forget with the busy life’s we’re living nowadays. I sometimes forget to do it myself as well. Then I’m so focused on taking the perfect pictures, I forget everything around me. What is a good thing in a way, I’m in the zone, but often I stay there and forget to look around me. Later I see the pictures and I realise that it feels like I wasn’t there. I have the pictures to prove it, but what about my mind? What about the joy in the moment? That is much more important than a picture! So how do we live in the moment? You just have to take a moment. Stand still and just realise where you are, what you’re doing, how it makes you feel. Notice all the things around you, breathe to focus on your presence and smile. Do this any many times as you can and try to hold on to it. By practising this, it will soon go automatically. Live in the moment!

So feeling unique and special, should first of all, always come from within. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t true happiness when somebody else is making you feel like that, but it should be more like a confirmation from where you are already comfortable with. Because receiving a compliment or people wanting to be your friend because they like the true you, means so much more than people who want to be your friend because they like something what isn’t truly you. Some people might even take advantage of you if you let that last thing happen. It’s so important to know who you are, to act like it and to be yourself. Be happy with who you are and take pride in the person you are and becoming (there is always room for self-improvement). Be yourself and love yourself!

Do you know who you are? Are you happy with who you are? Do you have something you would like to add to this or do you have something to say about it? Please let me know in the comments below! Thank you! X