Newsletter FEBRUARY

February.. or shall I say Februdairy?

FEBRUDAIRY
Yes, after (another huge success of) Veganuary, the dairy industry came up with Februdairy. On Monday I will post an article about what I think about this whole concept.

07/02 – PARADISE UNBAKERY MEET UP
This is a little painful to write as I used to literally live next to Paradise Unbakery and it’s an amazing cafe. So I’m very sure this is a lovely meet up. If you want to get together with like-minded people, then you’re welcome between 18:30-21:30 (59 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise NW10 3ND). The entry is free, you just have to pay for your own food and drinks.

10/02 – MY BIRTHDAY! 
Yay! I love my birthday. I will turn 29.. almost 30! Omg! This year my birthday is on a Saturday. What means I’m off and that is lovely. I’m also alone on my birthday, as my employers are on holiday. It’s a bit weird to be alone on my birthday. I’ve never experienced that before. I’m planning a Spa day! I’m in need of one as my back is super stuck and I have a little trouble relaxing lately.

10+17+24/02 – HACKNEY DOWNS VEGAN MARKET
There will be a lovely vegan market in Hackney again, like every Saturday. There are such lovely stalls and you will be pleased to choose from a wide range of great tasting food. It’s from 11:00-17:00 (Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT) and the entry is free. I’ve been here a few times myself and there is such good food.. really worth going!

10+17+24/02 – CANADA GOOSE PROTEST
Every Saturday there is a protest against the horrible brand ‘Canada Goose’. It’s from 12:30-15:30 and everybody is welcome. Make sure you’re not wearing anything animal related and only bring information specifically for Canada Goose, so not about fur farms. The meeting point is inside Cavendish Square (max. 13:00). I might go here myself, the 24th. Do I see you there? Stand up against fur!

11-16/02 – GENEVA/FRANCE
For work I will be flying to Geneva this day and stay in France until the 16th. I’ve been before and it’s super beautiful up there. That last time was in summer, so now it will be cold en there will be snow. That is not really my thing, but I’m sure at least it will be a lovely sight. It will be a short trip, but I will miss Oliver a lot though. I will post some lovely pictures on my Instagram!

17/02 – GREATER LONDON VEGAN FESTIVAL 
A vegan festival with a brand new location: Kia Oval (Kennington, Oval, SE11 5SS) and it’s from 10:30-17:00. There are many stalls, talks, demos, a kids area and much more. A ticket is only £3 if you order it in advance. On the day itself they will be £5. Nothing planned this Saturday? Then go check it out!

24/02 – YOGA AND VEGAN FAIR
It’ll be the first Yogific Yoga and Vegan Fair in Greenwich. It’s held at Corelli College (Corelli Road, Blackheath, London, SE3 8EP) between 9:15-16:30. You can count on all-day yoga sessions, workshops, talks, delicious vegan food and shops with vegan products/services. Tickets are £5 if you order in advance. They will be £6 at the door, but they will be limited. Under 13’s are free.

25/02 – BRIXTON VEGAN MARKET
Another lovely vegan market, in Brixton (Recreation Centre 27 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8QQ). It will be from 9:30-15:30 and you can find lots of sweet and savoury food here. Hurray for another vegan market!

MORE EXCITING NEWS
Quorn Ham Free/Chicken Free slices. Yes! Quorn keeps adding more vegan options. 

RECIPE SPOILER
Super easy and delicious Cranberry sauce! Keep an eye out!

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

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Personal #2 – Life these days

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletter JANUARY

Before I begin: I want to wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year with lots of love! I hope you’ve had a good 2017 and that you feel totally ready for 2018! The year 2017 was an amazing year for veganism and 2018 is even more promising. More people make the connection every day and that makes me so happy. Let’s be kind to animals, to our bodies and let’s save the world!

Last month:

XMAS HOLIDAYS
I’ve had a lovely holiday in the Netherlands. It was quite easy going on the days around Xmas and ny’s. I went to sleep very late and I slept in almost every day. It’s so nice to not look at a the time for a while. Although I must say that I do look forward to have more routine again. I guess that means I’m charged and ready for 2018. I’ll write a complete travel post about my Xmas holidays soon.

Now let’s see what to do this January:

1-8/01 – MY MUM
My mum flew back to the UK with me and will stay with me for a whole week. I’m so super excited about this. She can see my new house, my van and most important, meet Oliver! I’m so sorry if this doesn’t interest you, but I’m just so excited about it!

1-31/01 – VEGANUARY
This amazing event is super helpful and inspiring. It helped a lot of people to try out veganism and a lot of people actually stayed vegan since then. Please inspire people to try out Veganuary!

20/01 – STROUD VEGAN FAIR
It’s held for the first time and it looks very promising. So if you get the chance, I think it’s a nice Saturday outing. It’s held at the The Subscription Rooms ( George St, GL5 1AE) in Stroud. It starts at 9:00 already (breakfast idea?) and finishes at 17:00 (this means that your lunch and dinner are sorted too!). The entry is £3, but under 12’s are free.

21/01 – ROMSEY VEGAN FAIR
Another first ever vegan fair, what a good start of the new year and super helpful for the people who’re doing Veganuary. It’s held from 10:30 – 16:15 at Broadwater Road. The entry is £3, but under 16’s (!) are free. There is a lot of basic information, informative talks and yummy food. This sounds like a very good first fair to go to.

21/01 – THE OXFORD VEGAN MARKET
On the same day as the Romsey Fair, will also be a fair in Oxford. So if you’re closer to Oxford, then that is great. I happen to be in the middle, so I can choose, haha! It’s held at the Oxford Townhall and is from 10:30 – 16:30. The entry is only £2 (under 12’s are free)!

28/01 – KINGSTON YOGA AND VEGAN FESTIVAL
What a great combo Yoga and Veganism. There will be a festival in Kingston this day, from 9:15-16:30 at the Hollyfield School (Surbiton Hill Road, KT6 4TU). Get your ticket here (£5 (£6 at the door) and £10 for VIP). You can attend free yoga and meditation sessions. There will also be workshops, talks and vegan cookery demos. Of course you can eat yummy vegan food and there will be 50+ stalls with all sorts of vegan products.

RECIPE SPOILER
You can expect this yumminess this month!

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Please tell me about your Xmas, New Years and New Years resolutions.. 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

Newsletter DECEMBER

I’m sorry I’m sorry!! It’s the 10th of December today and so this newsletter is officially 10 days late! I’ve just had so many things to do and so working on my blog isn’t first priority at the moment. Apart from that, there is a wifi problem in the house and so I can not access the internet very well. Super annoying, but that’s why I went to the nearest Starbucks today, to do a bit of work. To keep you up to date and to let you know what’s on this month, here is the late December newsletter. And before I forget: a Merry Xmas to you!

Last month:

SOUTHAMPTON VEGAN FESTIVAL
As I was van viewing near Southampton this day I decided to quickly take a look at this festival. It was the first time they held it here and so I was curious. I’ve had a good time and there were quite some stalls. Some I knew already, but also some I didn’t see before and that is always fun. As it was lunchtime I had a burger from ‘Got No Beef’, what was super yummy. For dessert I tried the most amazing ice cream from ‘Ice Green’. I chose peanut butter and apple crumble and I enjoyed this so much, you have to try this if you ever get the chance! As a treat to take home I chose a chocolate salted caramel brownie from ‘Dark Matters’. My goodness, I did make yummy food choices that day. The downside of this festival, and I’m sure everyone who went agrees, it was way too dark everywhere and the floor was super sticky everywhere (even the carpet). I think a different venue is definitely a good idea, would they want to do this festival again.

VAN NEWS
Something else very exciting happened last month too. I got my van!! Yes! I found my perfect van, a Citroen Relay form 2014 and I picked it up the 25th of November. I’ve been working on it since, though I couldn’t do lots yet. I stripped and cleaned it so far. The new window and the skylight ventilator arrived now though and as soon as there is a dry day I will get that in (what is a bit scary). To stay tuned and updated about my van(life), please follow my instagram, as I post updates on my IGS regularly. Soon I will do a blogpost about my van too.

LUCKY OLIVER
Oliver is 7 weeks now and he is doing well (if you want to know more about Oliver and his rescue, please read his story here!). He will move to the barn somewhere in the up coming days. I’m a little anxious about this, but it’s time. He’s getting too big for his cage in my room. Of course he’s out whenever I’m off, but the 4 days I’m working he does spend a lot of hours in the cage. He really wants to move, run and jump around though. He needs more space!

Now what is on the rest of the December month:

16/12 – TAUNTON VEGAN FESTIVAL 
There will be a small vegan festival in Taunton this Saturday. It will be held at the Wilton Church Hall (TA1 3JT) from 11:00-16:30. There will be a few stalls and some talks too. So if you’re around, please go and have a look. The entry is free.

22/12 – XMAS HOLIDAY
This day I will travel to my family in the Netherlands to celebrate Xmas and NY. I’m so excited! I will make a yummy Xmas dinner (that I will post here too) and it will be so much fun to see everyone and to give the presents I got them. Who else is traveling home for Xmas and NY this year? I will travel back the 1st of January, but even that is so exciting, because my mum will come with me to spend a week with me in my new house. What a lovely time I will have and it’s almost. I can’t wait though!

24-25/12 – XMAS!! 
Yay for Xmas eve and day! Please tell me about all your Xmas plans!

26/12 – BOXING DAY
In the Netherlands we call this day second Xmas day and we actually celebrate it the same as the actual first day. Sometimes we choose just one, but most people celebrate both days with different people. Whoever is going shopping here in the UK instead, have fun!

31/12 NEW YEARS EVE
The last day of the year. What a crazy year it was for me. So much has happened, but I’m also super grateful for all the good it brought me. Who would have guessed I’d move to the country side, own a van and be a pig mum by now?! Also 2018 will be super exciting, finishing my van conversion, start living in it + travel around with it for the first time. Also I will rescue a dog and maybe another piglet. So many plans.. What was 2017 like for you and what are your plans for the new year?

RECIPE SPOILER
Keep your eyes open for this up coming recipe:

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Would you like to tell me about your year or Xmas plans.. 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

Lucky Oliver #1 Rescue

Many of you probably know now that I rescued a little piglet. Especially if you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noticed all my pig spam, haha! I’d like to share with you how I got him and what has happened so far, but also because a lot of people have been asking me about it. It just saves a lot of typing if I write down the whole story. This is why I decided to share his story here on my blog. I also want him to be an inspiration, I hope he will make some people think and they make the connection. So here is the story of Lucky Oliver..

To start at the whole beginning. I just moved houses. I moved from London to a farmhouse in the countryside, 4 weeks ago. Very nearby is a pig farm and only a 5 min walk from the house were a lot of mummy pigs with their piglets. Pigs are my favourite animals, I’m crazy about them and I absolutely adore them. So the first opportunity I got, I made my way to the pigs. There were about 40 little mud fields with a little shelter house. Each had one mummy pig with her babies inside. I was so excited to be so close to these amazing animals. But when I greeted them all, I also discovered several dead piglets that were clearly there for a longer time. So sad. They were all very scared, but with a lot of patience, I finally got one mummy pig to accept me. She was still very suspicious of me, but she allowed me to come close to her babies. She had 10 babies, who were about 5 weeks old at that time. From that time I went to the pigs straight after work and in the weekends I was also covered in mud. I easily spend a few hours with them each time or until it was dark. They eventually let me stroke them all over and even the mummy pig dared to come closer and she let me touch her nose and snout. I was so happy to be with the pigs, but also very sad at the same time. They shouldn’t have been there, they shouldn’t have been born in the first place, because they were only born to end up on somebody’s plate. I tried not to get too attached to them because of this, but that is hard when you discover that each of them has his/her own personality. The second time I went to the pigs I discovered a separate, more closed pig pen, that I didn’t notice before. When I looked inside I was shocked. There were about 45-50 piglets in there in all different ages. Some of them were barely 2 weeks old, whilst others were over 8 weeks old already. There was no mummy and the most shocking was that I counted 8 dead ones. They were everywhere and the others walked over them or still cuddled up against them. The circumstances were horrible. There was almost only mud what was mixed up with their poo (what was mainly diarrhoea). There was no milk, but only pellet and water. I was so shocked and sad. From that time I checked up on them every time I went and every time there was one or a few dead ones lying around again. Then this happened 2 weeks ago: I rushed home after a van view, just so I could spend a little time with the piggies before it got dark. I first went to see the orphaned pigs and then I saw one of them who was about to die. He was lying in the middle of the pen and couldn’t get up, but he was still trying to lift up his head though. My heart broke. I was standing there, but I couldn’t do anything. It was the most horrible feeling. I really wanted to take them all home. There were also 4 that were so small and skinny that they just hopped along with the others. Their heads and tails were down and they had such sad eyes. It just was the saddest thing ever. Next to the pig pen were 2 dead ones too. The farmer obviously had taken them out, but just left them there. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and the amazing day I’ve had didn’t feel like it was worth anything anymore. I was so deeply saddened and incredibly angry with the whole world! How could people do this to them? Why do people want to hurt and eat these beautiful intelligent animals? It was all so unfair and I just wanted to shout and scream to the whole world to stop doing this! I felt so powerless. Because I couldn’t get it off my mind, I went back the next morning to see how they were doing. My employers happened to be there too, with the kids and they told me there was one dead piglet. So I told them about what I saw the day before and that I was sure that it was the one I saw. I went to see them and I was right. Whilst I saw it being alive yesterday, there it was, lifeless. I was so upset! We talked about it a little and at that moment there was one of the 2 week old piggies standing next to me on the other side of the fence. He didn’t ran away with the others, but he was just standing there. So I bend over the fence and picked him up. He didn’t even resist, but just let me. What is so unusual for pigs (they naturally do not liked to be picked up). His eyes were infected and one of them was all closed. He was so tiny and light and he was shaking a lot. My employer suggested putting him in my coat. In the meantime she was going home to ask the farmer if I could keep him. It was a very cold day and I waited with him in my coat for quite a bit. After a while he shaked a little less and he made some cute noises when I tried to push him up a little bit, because he kept falling down. He sometimes popped his nose out to sniff in my direction and I really fell in love with him. It might sound weird, but it kind of felt like he was a part of me. I wanted to make him feel better and look after him so badly, it came from really deep within me. Then after 1,5 hour I was so cold that I asked if she heard back yet. She hadn’t, but told me to bring him home and we’d see from there. At home we got some moving blankets together and a big cardboard box. I wrapped him up and put him on the floor. I was a little anxious he’d panic and run, but he seemed too weak to even get up. So whilst I was preparing the cardboard box he just stayed exactly where I put him. As soon as he was in there and my employer prepared a hot water bottle from him, I took a shower. I was so smelly and muddy and I wanted to go to the shops to get him some necessities. Whilst I was in the shower my employer knocked at the door and got me the much wanted news, the farmer got back to her and he was fine with me keeping him. Yay! I was so happy!! I also felt sad though, because his 3 brothers were not likely to survive the night. It was going to be the first night of the season with freezing temperatures and 2 of them had severe diarrhoea and infections.

Before I went to the shop I drove back to the pigs to get him a bit of the pellet he ate over there. He was used to eating that and I didn’t want to change it straight away, in case it would upset his stomach even more. At Sainsbury’s I got him cat litter, a toy (a ball on a rope), a bottle and yes.. milk! I hated to get him milk, because it’s such a non vegan thing to do, but I needed to save his life. At the pet shop I got him a cat litter tray and a jumper. Going home I was only hoping that he would still be alive. He was! I got him out and offered him food and water and he ate and drunk a lot. That made me so happy. After, or sometimes during, I would put him in the litter tray. It did go wrong a few times, but oh well, what do you expect. Every 3 hours I did this, also in the night. My best friend suggested to name him Lucky. I liked it, though I wanted to add something to it. But for first, Lucky was a great name. The next day I looked for a vet who had pig knowledge. I thought there must be somebody around if there is a pig farm so close. I found a practice, but they didn’t do farm animals anymore. I did email them and asked if they knew somebody who did and in the evening I was called by a very nice vet, Julian Slater. We made an appointment for the next morning. He was busy, but so kind to still make a little bit of time early in the morning.

I rushed home from the school run the next morning, but luckily my employer already let him in. He told me that he was about 2 weeks old. That was my first thought too, but later I did think he might be a little bit older and just smaller from being ill. It turned out that Lucky had a big fever, so the vet gave him 2 injections. The first one was to take his temperature down and the second one was with antibiotics. I also got a paste he needed to have 2 times a day, to make his diarrhoea go away. He thought he did have an ok chance of survival though. It made me hopeful, after not daring to hope that he would. By lunchtime his temperature was down, what was such good sign. From that time he was a little bit better every day. He kept sleeping a lot though. For every 10 min he was awake he wanted to sleep a 2-3 hours. In the days after he stayed awake a little longer every time and his diarrhoea was gone (what made it so much easier to clean up after him). Several times I tried to offer him cucumber and blueberries, but he wasn’t interested one bit. In his first week he was also officially named Lucky Oliver. I’ve always loved the name Oliver and it was 1 of the 2 names I’d choose if I had a son. He feels like he is my baby, so Oliver it is. On Wednesday I also got him a new cage, because it was hard to keep the cardboard box clean. So a cage with a plastic bottom was a lot easier to clean and it’s more hygienic.

On Saturday (the 6th day I had him) I gave him a bath. He didn’t particularly like it and it was a little stressful for him. So I made it quick and skipped his head. He really seemed to be a little disappointed with me for doing that to him, haha! Then I put on his jumper and showed him his new bed that came that day, he was a lot happier by then. So happy that he slept for hours in his new bed and really didn’t want to come out. But then around midnight he suddenly started to keep his head tilted to one side. He was also shaking his head/ears the whole time and tried to scratch it with his paws. He also kept moaning like he was in pain and he was clearly uncomfortable. It scared me a lot, because I really thought he had a bleeding in his brains or something like that. It could also be an ear infection though, but I was so panicky that I couldn’t think clearly anymore. The whole week he tried to scratch his ear a little, but as I couldn’t see anything in his ears, I assumed it was just natural behaviour. Also because he has had antibiotics and so I didn’t think it was something alarming. That night was the most horrible and most stressful night, because I really thought I was going to lose him. I stayed up with him until 5:00 in the morning, until I really couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. When I woke up at 8:30 I contacted the vet and he was so kind to come over a few hours later. He also thought of an ear infection, but a mid-ear infection, because just like me, he couldn’t see anything in his ear. He gave him another type of antibiotics, that goes in his drinking water. He also gave him an anti inflammatory that he needed to keep taking once a day for 5 days. After 2 days he kind of stopped keeping his head tilted to one side, though he kept doing it after waking up + he kept shaking and scratching. He did started to be more naughty though. He (all the time) knocked over his food and water within 2 second of me putting it down, he knocked over the bin, started to bite in everything.. he clearly started to feel better and noticed the things around him more and more. It was really time to correct him, raise him well and be sure he’ll grow into a good friendly pig. He learns so fast though. It’s his stubbornness that makes him do things again, haha! He also finally started to show interest in other food than his pellet. He tried cucumber and after a few tries he now finishes a whole piece with great joy (what gives me even more joy!). He also really likes grapes.

I noticed he, like all other pigs, had a big urge for rooting. He didn’t have that at first, but he’s getting older and I guess his instinct is kicking in. So we even went outside for the first time (had to get him a new jumper, because he’s growing and the other one was too small after a week!). Oliver experienced grass for the first time and he really liked it. He can’t stop sniffing everything, chew on every leaf, play with little stones and run and following me around. So from now on we go outside every day. It’s good for him to get used to the temperature and I think the fresh air and rooting in the dirt is healing too. In the weekend I also got him a brush. Not necessarily to brush his hair, but more because I thought he’d love the feeling. I was so right! He loves his brush!

If you want to follow Oliver, to see where he is up to (pictures, videos and InstaStories), then please follow Oliver’s Story on Instagram: @LuckyOliverPig

|> I want to thank Doug & Maryn, my employers, for letting me rescue him and for all the love and support they’re giving him (and me). Without you he wouldn’t have been alive! <|

Thank you so much for reading this huge article! I think this is the longest one ever, haha!

Did you like reading about Oliver? Would you like me to write an update later on? Do you have a similar story or do you want to say something about it? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Lentil Love

img_8312Who likes Indian food? Me! Filling food, with lovely spices.. it smell amazing and it tastes even better. I really like Indian food, also because a lot is already vegan or vegetarian and it’s easy to veganise. This dish has lots of lentils, what means lots of protein! It’s perfect as a post work out meal. Another benefit, as this recipe serves 6, you can easily divide it in smaller meals and freeze them separately. This way you always have a nice nutritious meal ready. Or if you have a lot of people coming over?! Double the recipe, cook a lot of rice and toast some pita breads. I’m sure people will love this. And also, the main ingredient in this dish are lentils and they are super cheap (buy in bulk). You can eat this on its own, with rice or with pita bread. Oh and it’s perfect now it’s getting colder. What a super dish!

img_8314LENTIL LOVE

Serves: 6

-2 cups red lentils
-4 cups water
-1 small onion (chopped)
-2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (ground)
-1 tsp cumin (ground)
-1 tsp coriander (ground)
-1 tsp turmeric (ground)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-1 tsp mustard seeds
-1/2 small red onion (finely chopped)
-1 tbs coconut oil
-1 cup coconut milk
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_8313-Put the lentils, the small onion, the cayenne pepper, the cumin (ground), the coriander, the turmeric, the chopped tomatoes and the water in a big pan. Let it boil for 2 minutes and then let it simmer for 30 minutes.
-Fry the mustard and the cumin seeds in the coconut oil on a medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and wait until the mustard seeds are starting to pop.
-Add the onion (finely chopped) and keep stirring it while frying it for about 3-5 minutes.
-Then add this mixture to the lentils and add the coconut milk.
-Add salt/pepper to taste.
-Mix it well and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
-Serve with rice and/or pita bread.

Are you a fan of Indian food? Are you going to make this for yourself or for a big party? Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Newsletter NOVEMBER

I know it’s already the 3rd of November, what means this newsletter is 3 days late! I’m sorry! I have been so busy and with all the changes during and after my move I just didn’t spend much time on my blog. I better start writing and working, because Sunday it’s only 7 weeks until Christmas and before we all know it, it’s 2018. I can’t believe how fast time is going. But first we have November. November is always a quiet month for me. I don’t have any traveling planned, because I always travel to the Netherlands in December. Now let’s see what’s on in December. Oh and because I’m not London based anymore, I decided to include some vegan events from all over the UK.

Let’s look back on some things from last month first..

I MOVED!
First of all, I moved! It was rather hectic and a lot of things to get used to, but I’m out of London for 2 weeks now and it’s going very well. I love being in nature and there are pigs very close to me (5 min walk.. I can see them from my window). Soon I will write a personal blog again, to tell you about my life in the country side.

VEGFESTUK 2017
Who went to the VegFestUK? For me it was the weekend I moved and unfortunately I couldn’t make it because of that, but I’m sure many of you did go. Tell me about it!

HALLOWEEN
How was your Halloween? ..and who made Yummy Mummy?

4-5/11 – SOUTHAMPTON VEGAN FESTIVAL 
I know, because this newsletter is a little late, this is a bit short day. Though, if you don’t have anything planned yet for this weekend, why not go here? Funny enough I will be viewing vans (first viewings, yay!!) very close to Southampton tomorrow (4), so I’m thinking of going here myself. Who do I see there? It’ll be from 10:30-16:00 and the tickets on the door are only £5. It is held at Oceana (SO15 1RE).

11-12/11 – VON MANCHESTER VEGAN FEST
It’s from 10:00-17:00, being held at the Britannia Sachas Hotel (M1 1JG). Lot of stalls, talks and cookery demos. So for everybody living a bit more up north, this sounds nice. Who’s going?

18/11 – ANIMAL AID’S SOUTH WEST CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CRUELTY FESTIVAL
This sounds like a lot of fun. A cruelty free Christmas Festival! It’s held at the Exeter Corn Exchange (EX1 1BW). It’s a beautiful area btw, so why not make it a weekend? The festival is from 10:00 – 16.30 and it’s free entry. There will be stalls, food, (children’s) games, talks and more. So for some cruelty free Xmas shopping, this sounds like the place to be!

19/11 – EDINBURGH VEGAN FESTIVAL
It’s the 3rd time running, the Edinburgh Vegan Festival. Held at the The Roxburghe Hotel (EH2 4HQ), from 10:30 – 16:30. For only £3 (£2 if you book in advance) you can enjoy the vegan products, food, talks and lots more.

24/11 – NORWICH VEGAN CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
Also for the 3rd time, another vegan Christmas vegan festival, yay! This time on the other side of the UK, in Norwich. It’s held at Open Norwich, form 10:00-16:00. There will be more than 50 stalls, with vegan goodies and food. Christmas shopping success guaranteed! And guess what, it’s free entry.

25/11 – VEVOLUTION FESTIVAL
I assume you all know what are TED-talks? What about only vegans were doing these TED-talks? This is where the Vevolution festival is about! I think it sounds super interesting. If you agree, then make sure you are at The Ri (W1S 4BS) in London at 9:00 (it’s finished at 18:00).

26/11 – LEEDS WINTERFEST VEGAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
And if you’re still not in the mood for Christmas after all of this, there is a 3rd (huge) vegan Christmas festival, in Leeds this time. Held at the Leeds Town Hall (LS1 3AD) from 11:00-17:00. There will be 150+ stalls, vegan food and everything you expect from a good festival. This all for only £3. The festival is fully volunteer ran, so all of this will go to animal welfare charities.

26/11 – THE BRIGHTON VEGAN FESTIVAL
There can never be too many vegan festivals in Brighton. It seems like they have a vegan festival every month. Great! This will be held at the Grand Hotel Brighton and has over 100 stalls. It’s from 10:30-17:00 and the entry is only £3. A trip to Brighton is always fun anyway. Anyone going?

RECIPE SPOILER
Keep your eyes open for this up coming recipe! Yummm!

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

Newsletter OCTOBER

This is a big month! For lots of different vegan reasons, but also for personal reasons. There are also a lot of other things happening in October.. a great start of Autumn!

07-08/10 – BRIGHTON VIVA! VEGEN FESTIVAL 
A huge vegan festival in the lovely Brighton, held at the Hilton Hotel. Both days you’re welcome between 11:00-17:00. There are around 100 vegan stalls, including many caterers. There will also be cookery demos, talks and workshops. The tickets are £5 at the door, £8 for a whole weekend and £15 for fast track entry + goody bag!

13-15/10 – BRIGHTON OCTOBERFEST – Beer&Cider Festival
And there is more to do in Brighton this month as the following weekend there will be a 3 day beer & cider festival, starting at 20:00 on Friday and ending on Sunday 23:00. All made without any animal derived finings. It’s held at the Cowley club.

13-19/10 – NETHERLANDS 
Before I move (move??), I planned a holiday to the Netherlands, to have a little break (well.. break? I will be doing lots of things!) and to spend some time with my family. I will be going to Amsterdam for a day and do lots more. I will of course write about it all when I come back, with hopefully some new hotspots for you.

17/10 – TRAFFIC LIGHT PARTY
For everybody who wants to meet new people, go have dinner at Tibits this Tuesday between 18:30 – 10:30. They are having a Traffic Light Party. Red = off limits (e.g. attached and monogamous, or single but not looking).  Green = single and looking. Yellow = other (e.g. attached but polyamorous, early days of dating someone or prefer not to say). This is not a singles party, buy if you are single.. who knows!

20-22/10 OM YOGA SHOW
A 3 day show, all about yoga. With lots of classes and workshops in 3 levels. Friday: 11:00-18:00 / Saturday: 10:00-18:00 / Sunday: 10:00-17:00. It’s held at Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY. There will be vegan (and vegetarian) caterers serving hot and cold food. You can get your ticket at the door, but you get a discount if you get your tickets in advance.

21/10 – HACKNEY DOWNS VEGAN MARKET
There will be a lovely vegan market in Hackney again, like every month. There are such lovely stalls and you will be pleased to choose from a wide range of great tasting food. It’s from 11:00-17:00 and the entry is free. I’ve been here twice already and there is such good food.. really worth going!

21-22/10 – VEGFEST UK
Yay! VegFest timeee! A huge vegan festival with over 250 stalls, held at London Olympia. There will be so much to do. Some of the highlights are: Professional Health Summit – Vegan Athletes Summit – Environmental and Food Sustainability Summit – Animal Rights Summit – Vegan Comedy Festival – Vegan Film Festival (‘The Invisible Vegan’ will premiere here!) – Cookery Demos, – Living Raw Zone.. and much more! On Saturday it’s open from 11:00-18:00 and on Sunday from 10:00-17:00. Tickets at the door are £15, but if you book in advance they’re £12. If you buy one ticket, you will get the second for half price. Be quick though, because there are only a few of those tickets left! For more information and to see what else is on, go visit their website.

22/10 – MOVING DAY
This will be my last day living in London, because this weekend I will be moving to the country side. Moving to the country side?? Yes! You can read all about it here. New life starts now..

29/10 – BRIXTON VEGAN MARKET
Brixton launches a vegan market at the Brixton Station Road today. It will be from 9:30-15:30 and you can find lots of sweet and savoury food here. Hurray for another vegan market!

31/10 – HALLOWEEN
I’m not so much into Halloween, but there will be a yummy Halloween recipe up on my blog!

MORE EXCITING NEWS
* Wagamama will launch a vegan menu with 6 main options! YAY! It’s not available everywhere yet, but hopefully it will be soon!
* Tofurky will come with pre-packed sandwiches in 3 flavours (Tempeh Lettuce Tomato / Chick’n & Sweetcorn / Chipotle Chick’n). You can buy these at the WholeFoodsMarket from the 2nd of October. So curious!

RECIPE SPOILER
The Halloween recipe will be up just before Halloween, to give you enough time to get the ingredients! Keep an eye out!

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

Mexican Bowl

img_7505Mexican food is so satisfying. It has lots of veggies, it has beans, avocado, tortilla’s and it’s spicy. The Mexican kitchen is yummy! Now let’s all put these delicious things in one bowl. And with pieces of crispy tortilla’s, you can scoop the goodness out of the bowl and into your mouth! How does that sound? The ingredient list seems a bit long and maybe it is, because they’re actually little recipes in one bowl. It does take a little time to make it, but it’s very rewarding and I’m sure you’ll be very satisfied when this colourful bowl is in front of you. The recipe is for one person, but you can easily double the recipe and eat it with your lover or a friend! What about making it together?

img_7498MEXICAN BOWL

Serves: 1

-2 tortilla wraps
-100 gr mince
-1/4 onion
-1/4 tsp smoked paprika
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp chilli flakes
-2 tomatoes
-bunch coriander (chopped)
-1/4 small red onion (chopped)
-1/4 tsp lime juice
-1/2 avocado (smashed)
-1/4 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 clove garlic
-1/4 iceberg lettuce (chopped)
-1/6 cucumber (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-1/2 cup black beans
-1/2 corn cob
-1/4 jalapeño pepper (sliced)
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_7506-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Cut the tortilla’s in 4 pieces and make them wet. Put them in the oven for about 6-8 min. Let them cool down.
-Mix the tomatoes with the onion, some jalapeño pepper, the coriander and 1/4 tsp on lime juice. Add some salt to taste.
-Mix the avocado, 1/4 of lemon juice, the garlic with some salt and pepper to taste.
-Fry the onion in a pan with 1/2 tbs of olive oil. Add the garlic and then the mince. Fry this all, on a high fire, together until the mince is hot and has a slightly darker colour. Add the smoked paprika, the thyme, the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste and fry again for only 1-2 minutes.
-Mix the iceberg lettuce, the cucumber and the baby corns with 1/2 tbs of olive oil and add some salt to taste.
-Let the corn cob boil in water for 5 minutes.
-Warm the black beans for just a minute on high fire in a pan.
-Put it all in a nice big bowl. Serve with the pieces of crispy tortilla.

Do you like Mexican food? Are you going to try this recipe? 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, so I can see it. Thank you! X

Soup For Salad

crTime for a cheat recipe! My favourite things to eat for lunch are probably salad or soup. Now why can’t we bring those 2 together? I must admit, that I sometimes literally pour a full portion of soup over my salad and eat it like that, but I might be a little bit of an extremist, haha! Though, I do want to give you this tip.. to use soup as a salad dressing. Not all soups are great for this, but the ‘Curried Sweet Potato’ soup from ‘Soupologie’ is perfect for this. One of the best things about this soup is that it contains 0,0 crap. All healthy and super delicious. It’s one of my favourite soups, so using it on my salad is the perfect combination. You can basically make any raw salad, but I’ll give you a yummy combination here, to give you some inspiration.

cr2SOUP FOR SALAD

Serves: 1

-1/6 Soupologie soup (cold)
-handful of spinach
-handful of lettuce
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-4 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
-5 cm cucumber (chopped)
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-pepper/salt (to taste)

-Make sure you shake or stir the soup a little before using it.
-Mix the raw veggies in a nice bowl and pour over about 1/6 of the soup. Use more or less, to taste.

What did you think of this tip? Are you going to try this? Please let me know or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X