Kale Wrap / Sour Sweets

KALE WRAP
Finally.. they were one of the last coffeeshops, but Starbucks introduced a vegan meal. Or meal, something more than a hand full of nuts or a piece of dark chocolate. Starbucks is my favourite place to get tea. I drink my green tea with soy milk or, my latest discovery.. a Green tea Soy latte. If I wanted to eat something  I could choose between some little snacks, because all the sandwiches, wraps and cakes have meat, dairy or egg in them. A lot of other coffeeshops already offered vegan options, especially if we talk about PRET, they are king! Though Starbucks didn’t. Such a shame. But as the world is changing, Starbucks had to. And of course I had to try it. I didn’t have breakfast the morning I did and so it was kind of like a breakfast burrito. First of all, I think it looks good. The lettuce inside and the wrap itself are fresh and the overall taste is nice. It’s just a shame there is a lot of crap (sugar!) in them. But if you’re in a rush and you need to have something in your stomach, I think Starbucks did a good job with offering something tasty!  Let’s hope for more options in the future. Way to go!

SOUR SWEETS
I love love love sour sweeties. I know they’re not good for you, but very once in a while I have some. Sometimes until my tongue is literally open. I know.. it’s bad! It’s just so yummy. The sour the better. A while ago I discovered these Sour Snakes from Biona. BIona is one of my favourite brands. They just have a lot of good stuff. I took these to Rome and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste They’re sour (though it could of lasted a little longer) and the taste is nice. They’re obviously still not healthy, but I’m sure it’s at least better than the other ones. But just once in a while it should be fine. To take with you on a trip or like me.. when I’m on my period (serious cravings!).

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Lunette Menstrual Cup

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

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

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

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

Lola’s Cupcakes

img_7668I actually never go into bakeries and cake shops, because they never really have vegan options. And that’s apart from that I’m not a huge fan of cake that is not home-made. Though, the last time when I was in Westfield and I was on my way out, walked past Lola’s Cupcakes and it made me curious. They were already tidying up, but I quickly introduced myself and asked if they had vegan options. I was very surprised that she said yes! ..and she didn’t only say yes because they had 1 vegan cupcake, they actually had lots of flavours: Coconut and passion fruit, lemon and raspberry, chocolate.. oh yes! There was only one vegan cupcake left (lucky me!) and that was the ‘pistachio and cherry’. She gave it to me and I promised to write about it. So here we go..

img_7667Like I said before, I’m not a big fan of cake that is not home-made. I was a little sceptical about this one too. I was sitting in the bus on my way home and I was looking at the box and asking the cupcake: will I like you?! When I got home I was quite excited to try it though. So I opened the little box. They give you super cute boxes btw.. I thought: even if the taste will not be that good, I’d get one just to have a beautiful looking cupcake in a cute box. Haha! First impression: I had to admit that it looked very tasty. With the green pieces of pistachios and the chocolate.. + it came in a shiny golden case. Taking my first bite I was pleasantly surprised! The cream on top was very fluffy and had a lovely structure. Also the cake itself was very good. The cream is very very sweet though, but the cake is a lot less sweet, so together they’re perfect. It would have been too much if they were both that sweet. I ate it all and I actually really enjoyed it. The only thing I didn’t like that much, was the cherry in the middle, but that is more personal taste I think. I started to read about Lola’s Cupcakes and it turns out they also do big vegan cakes. So if you do not like baking, but you still want a nice vegan cake, I think this is just perfect. Also because you can order them online, super handy!

WHO? Lola’s Cupcakes.
WHERE? Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Ariel Way, W12 7GD.
CUISINE? Bakery.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (quite some vegan options + nice design/shops)

Did you already know that Lola’s Cupcakes do vegan too? Are you going to try one of these yummy treats? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Smooth Oats / Tofu

SMOOTH OATS
This is originally thought of as a children’s breakfast I think, but I happened to love this. As a child I loved it too, but I think as an adult I love it even more. It’s so nice and smooth and it feels nice in your mouth. A lot of these kind of breakfasts have sugar or other unnecessary additives in them, but not the Ready Brek. That is why I love it a lot. Also for children, because I think a lot of children are eating a lot of crap for breakfast with all these sugary cereals on the market nowadays. Ready Brek keeps you full for long and has a lot of good stuff, like: calcium, iron and B vitamins, including B12! I personally like to eat it with fruit, cinnamon and a little agave nectar. Especially with bananas and blueberries it’s very yummy. Because it’s already smooth, it’s very easy to add to smoothies too. This way your smoothie will keep you full for longer. You can also sprinkle it over your yogurt if you like. There are so many options, whilst it’s ready fast. When I prepare it, I already add the Ready Brek to the milk (I like to use Oatly Barista for this!) in the pan. This way it’s warm very fast. It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes, I promise. I tend to make it a bit runny, as that is how I like it. I think you have to experiment a bit with it, to find out what you like best.

TOFU
This was the first tofu I discovered I really like. In the meantime I found more, but now and then I still really enjoy this one. Once I open a pack, I can’t resist it and keep eating it. Especially the side bits I like. It’s perfect for salads. You only need a bit though as it’s quite a strong flavour. That’s why if you’re mixing it through something, really make sure you don’t use too much, because then it might happen that your whole meal will taste like it. What is ok maybe, but I prefer to have some flavours separately. So I slice it up for my salads and then have it on the side. It makes any meal very filling. It comes, very handy, in 2 pieces. This way you can easily make 2 meals out of it. Or if you can resist, you can even use it for 4 meals. I most of the time already ate half of the portion I’m using though, haha! It’s also very tasty through a cold pasta salad, together with some tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, black olives or any other raw veggies. Perfect for a summers day picnic or potluck! Dragonlfy tofu is handmade in Devon and they do more tofu flavours, but I absolutely like this one best.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Southbank Food Market

img_8357Today I will give you 8 hotspots in 1 article! And they’re all in the same place.. how is that?! On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on bank holiday Mondays there is a food market with lots of nice street food, behind the Southbank Centre. I’ve known it was there since very long, but I never really took the time to take a look. I was most of the time on my way to something else. From or to Waterloo station. This time I also didn’t plan to take a look, but I happened to walk passed it when I was looking for the Benugo cafe. I couldn’t help myself this time and went for a quick look. That quick look became a very long look though. As there were so many vegan options! At least 10 stalls have vegan food. I picked 8 stalls to tell you about. I just had my lunch, so unfortunately I couldn’t eat anything, but I did have a drink! Here we go..

1. ELEPHANT JUICE
Super fresh juices! And you have a lot of nice choices for a very good price. If I didn’t have lunch just before I would have gotten a nice juice here for sure. A Berry or Passion juice would have definitely taste amazing. Next time!

2. LULIN TEA
This is the place where I had a drink. I saw the words ‘Chai’ and ‘Latte’ and I decided instantly. They have lovely ethically, hand-picked and blended tea. They do a lovely vegan chai with soy milk. It was delicious! Only downside was, that they use sugar for that.

3. BREAD TREE
A market stall with big letters that write ‘Bruschetta’ is something I had to check out of course. They do yummy looking bruschetta and they have lots of vegan options. You can basically mix and match yourself!

4. CHALÉ
Ghanaian food with a very tasty looking vegan option. With kale, pumpkin, coconut and fried plantains. It’s not something you can just get everywhere. I would have loved to try this. A lot of people did, it was very busy at this stall.

5. ETHIOPIQUES
Ok. When I saw this I really regret I had my lunch already. This looked aH-mazing! Ethiopian food with so much colour and different dishes, everything 100% vegan! I know that Ethiopian food is really good. I’m definitely going to come back for this!

6. CHOCO FRUIT
In the end I came to this. Chocolate covered fruit. Oh yes! They have 3 sorts of chocolate, but only the dark one is vegan. I would have picked the dark one anyway. They let me taste it with a strawberry. Heaven! They don’t only have that, they also have cakes which are vegan.

7.LEVANTINE
When I was already on my way back I passed this falafel place, with a vegan option. The food looked really nice and fresh. Lebanese-style falafel with lots of veggies and stone baked flatbread. I love myself some falafel, so I keep this in mind.

8. HORN OK PLEASE
Opposite the falafel place I saw this Indian vegetarian food stall. And yes, with a vegan option for dal and samosa’s. I love Indian food, so this is another very good option for the next time.

I’m so happy to see so many vegan options everywhere. I guess I have to make a few more trips to Southbank! The street food market is only there in the weekends, almost all day.

OPENING TIMES:
Friday- 12:00 – 20:00*
Saturday- 11:00 – 20:00*
Sunday- 12:00 – 18:00
Monday (bank holidays only)- 12:00 – 18:00
*In the summer open until 21:00.

Are you excited after reading about all these vegan options? What would you have picked? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Palm Sugar / Chick’n Tandoori

PALM SUGAR
When I use sugar, I use organic palm sugar from Biona. Palm sugar is an unrefined sugar. It comes from the sap, found in the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. It’s heated to take the moisture out and the syrup they get from that, is then further reduced until crystals are formed. This means there are no chemicals used in making this sugar. It even has vitamins and minerals, like: potassium, zinc, iron and it’s rich in B vitamins. It also has a low GI level, what means that it releases it’s energy slowly and prevents the spike of insulin. Most diabetics can even use palm sugar for this reason. Even though it’s a lot healthier than table sugar, it’s still a sweetener and it doesn’t mean you should use this unlimited. The taste is sweet and a it has a slight caramel flavour. I really like the taste. My boyfriend is using it in his coffee and I mostly use it for baking and as a topping for nice cream (super yummy).

CHICK’N TANDOORI
This is not something that I keep in my fridge all the time. It’s a real treat when I get it. Last year I was helping a family out with babysitting and it turned out that the mum was vegan too. This is what she had in her fridge and I had a little taste. I thought it was really nice and bought it for myself and to take it to Holland, to share with my family and (vegan) dad. They liked it too. It’s especially nice on a nice fresh bun or baguette with some fresh veggies, like lettuce, tomato and cucumber. You could also have some on the side of your salad. It has a very nice structure (as most of the Tofurky stuff) and the taste is really nice. I’m sure that even meat eaters will appreciate this and it’s a huge help for people who are transitioning.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

EAT

The breakfast/lunch cafe you see a lot around London is EAT. I have to admit that I don’t go here very often. This is because a few years ago I checked them out and they only had 1 vegan option. But as times are changing and more and more cafes and restaurants are offering vegan option, I’d thought to give them another try. I went to the one in Southbank.This is quite a big EAT. I know the one in Westfield and that one is smaller. I think this EAT might be a good option if you’re with a bigger group (sightseeing) or with kids.

They are doing a lot better with the vegan option I must say. There were houmous-harissa sandwiches, a quinoa salad with veggies and seeds and even a warm dish with sweet potato and spinach. They also sell fruit, but nothing else to snack on. They do sell lots of non-vegan cakes and bars, so it would be nice to add 1-2 vegan options to that. I already had my lunch at Strada, next door, so I wasn’t in for a meal. Would have been so nice if they had a nice nut bar or chocolate brownie or something?! I ordered a green tea with soy milk and the girl who helped me was really friendly and nice. I really appreciated that!

EAT is not a cafe you go to for the lovely atmosphere and cosy corners. It’s perfect for a nice quick lunch though and have a little break from whatever you’re doing. I brought my laptop and wanted to do some writing. They have alright seats, but because it was very busy when I was there (I went on a Saturday, so duhh!) I didn’t have the best spot to work. But that’s ok, I wasn’t planning to stay more than an hour anyway. Though when I checked the wifi, there wasn’t any available. This was very disappointing. So I took my tea outside and started to walk to my next location. But now I know they have more vegan option, I will try one of their meals soon. They do look nice, so let’ see if they’re tasty!

WHO? EAT.
WHERE? Royal Festival Hall, Unit 4, Riverside Level 1, SE1 8XX.
CUISINE? Breakfast/Lunch Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 6 (Quite a few good looking vegan option, no wifi, could be more cosy)

Have you had lunch before at EAT? Did you like it? Are you going to try one of their vegan options soon? Please let me know if you decide to visit EAT! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Linseed / Chocolate

LINSEED
Whenever I buy linseed, which is whenever I run out, I buy the brown linseed from Biona at the Whole Foods Market. I love this brand and it has good prices for good quality. I use linseed every day. I always put 1/2-1 tbsp in my green smoothie. I also use it as a topping for my smoothie bowls, yogurt or in my salad. Linseed are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, but they are also high in antioxidants. Perfect to start your day with this. Starting your day with a tbs of linseed is especially helpful when you’re a constipated. That also means that you have to make sure you don’t use too much, as it can work lactating.

CHOCOLATE
It’s quite tricky to get Tony’s Chocolonely here in the UK. There are a few rare shops that sell it, but it’s definitely not like it is in Holland. There you can just get them everywhere, even in the normal supermarkets. I’m sure they will come to the UK. Tony’s Chocolonely is a great brand, as it’s 100% fair trade and slave free. There are manyyyyy flavours. They are  known for their flavour combinations as they are not as any regular chocolate flavours. A lot of them are vegan, but unfortunately not all of them. My favourite is this one, the salted almond. It’s heavenly! I also really like the coconut-pecan, but lately I’m always buying only this one. It’s so good with a nice cup of tea. I always make sure I buy a few bars before flying back to London, in case I wasn’t given any. As a lot of people tend to get me this.. I really don’t mind! Haha!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Thins Crackers / Bacon Tempeh

THINS CRACKERS
Ok.. these ones are one of my favourites at the moment! I randomly bought these Thins from Ryvita once, to dip in humous or guacamole whilst watching a movie. I wanted to share them with my boyfriend, but when I just had one.. to taste if they were nice, I accidentally ate the whole pack.. oops! I had them with a little slice of Vio life cheese on them and I also had them with guacamole. yuuuummy!! I’m sure they taste nice with all sort of dips.. so you can have a dipping party, haha! There is 0% crap in them, what is very nice. They are so crispy and the taste.. well, they don’t have a very strong taste, but it is a taste you want to eat more of. What makes them so addictive. The only thing is that they’re not that cheap. I almost payed £2 pounds for 1 pack and I thought they could have filled the pack a little more. They’re a nice treat though, or to enjoy for lunch with a salad. Try them!

BACON TEMPEH
Firs time I bought this, was when I was visiting the vegan supermarket GreenBay. I made a dish with Vivera bacon style pieces, but you can’t get these in the UK yet. So I tried to look for a substitute (a substitute for a substitute.. hehe..). I found this bacon flavoured tempeh from Tofurky. They come in easy pre cut strokes and it’s tasty too. The flavour isn’t very strong though. What I actually like, but in the dish I want to use it in, it needs a stronger taste. So instead, I made nori rolls with them and that was perfect. They will be very tasty in some fresh bread rolls too and I also once cut it up over my left over Stamp-pot. Was very nice too!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Coconut milk / Rice cakes

COCONUT MILK
I love curries. It’s one of my favourite dishes to make, but especially to eat of course. It might be because it’s with coconut milk. I love everything with coconut, I’m quite addicted. A bar with coconut, a smoothie with coconut, a shower gel with coconut.. yes, yes and yes! Now to make curry and all these yummy recipes which include coconut milk (you might have spotted quite a few) I use the coconut milk from ‘Pride’. This is because it has more actual coconut in there than any other brand I know. A lot of times it’s around 50% water and 50% coconut or they added a lot of other very unnecessary ingredients (sometimes even sugar!). Pride coconut milk has 75% coconut inside. If you need the cream of the coconut milk, this is definitely your number one brand. Especially when you want to make whipped coconut cream. So much cream! It’s very tasty too. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s not organic, but you can’t have everything I guess. So the next time you make curry, a hot chocolate or a creamy soup, use this. You can get it in a lot of supermarkets, you get more worth for your money.. and it isn’t even expensive

RICE CAKES
A yummy snack or a healthy lunch, rice cakes are very great. Just a rice cake with nut butter is a perfect protein snack and when you put some cream cheese, humous, avocado and veggies on top, you will have a lovely lunch. You do need quite a lot of these ones if you want to have them for lunch though. Because they’re thin it doesn’t fill you up easily. So in general I think these ones are better as a snack. I love rice cakes a lot, also on its own. If I don’t watch out I will eat a whole pack. I actually especially like the thick ones, but I recently discovered a very thin one I like too. The multigrain thins form Sainsbury’s. They are healthy, have a nice bite, have a very different taste and you only need a little bit of something to put on there, perfect. I really like to have them with cream cheese, cucumber and some cracked black pepper. The only thing what is a little less nice is that they break quite fast. Some of them are even already broken in the pack. It is because they’re so thin.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you!