Vegan Dating

It’s almost Valentine’s day! Did you check out my Valentine’s recipe Fair Share yet? Are you going to share this with your love or will you be, just like me, alone on the day of love? No worries, the smoothie bowl tastes great on your own too, haha! Just what if you wish you did have someone to share it with? Almost everybody likes to have a partner in life. A love partner. You can have a lot of close friends, but even then, for many there is still the urge to share every-day-life in a deeper way. Maybe just to share your happiness and pain, but a lot of people also like a partner to give new life. Having children is a primitive instinct. And even though nowadays there are ways to be a single parent, most of us like to share this with a partner. Anyway, if you would like to have children or not, finding a life partner often is desired. It’s not always easy and it can be a journey. It’s about getting to know yourself, what you want and very important too, what you do not want. Some people are lucky to find their partner early in life, but it can also be a struggle. Life can be very unfair when it comes to love. And like if it isn’t complicated enough, what if you’re vegan? Do you only date other vegans? How important is it for you to have a partner who is sharing the same lifestyle?

My first personal reaction would be, no way I will go out with a non vegan. But, looking back at the boyfriends I have had since being vegan, I can’t say that any of them was actually vegan. They weren’t even vegetarian. They were always respectful in a way that they wouldn’t eat meat when I was around and one of them even became a vegetarian whilst we were dating. He isn’t anymore, because doing something like that for somebody else, doesn’t work. I needs to click. You need to see and feel for yourself why veganism is the only way. I’m single now (so life is easy, haha!) and if I think about it now, I ‘m not sure how I managed dating non vegans. I think love does really make blind. Though, it’s also a process I think. The feeling of sharing life, whilst sharing the importance of the same life values, needed to grow. My last boyfriend, whom I loved so very much, was very interested in veganism and my hope was always that he’d become one. I was convinced he would one day actually (our break up had nothing to do with veganism). By that time I grew so much, that I knew I couldn’t deal with it if he would have said he’d never ever be a vegan. It would have meant that he experienced life in a very different way from how I did. In my opinion, even though you can be different in so many ways, seeing life in a similar way is key for a good relationship. If I now ask myself the question: would I date a non vegan. I’d say, ‘only if I can feel he has the compassion and love in his soul to become one’. Veganism is my biggest passion. It’s not only about not eating and not exploiting animals, but about everything around it. Veganism is love. The love you feel for the whole world, the small details and the way you see life.

Soulmates :recipe >>

Some couples are ok with living 2 different lifestyles. I mean, if you are ok with your partner supporting the exploitation of animals and you see it as their own personal choice, then good for you. But what if you don’t and what if you are dating a non vegan atm? Or what if you are already in a relationship for a long time, but you recently became a vegan and your partner doesn’t understand? I would find this really hard myself, because it means you’re growing as a person and your partner isn’t growing in the same direction. You can feel very alone and misunderstood. You have to ask yourself the question if you can live with this. I’m not saying to just break up right now. If you are in a long-term relationship, then you don’t just throw that away. Sometimes it needs time. Maybe your partner just feels very misunderstood too. You have to talk about this. Suggest watching a documentary together or reading the same book. Focus on education. If that doesn’t help or your partner doesn’t even want to, then I think you should question your relationship. When your partner loves and respects you, he or she should at least be open to your change of  lifestyle.

To make things more complicated, what if you have children and you and your partner have a very different view on veganism? This I think is one of the trickiest situations. There are so many aspects. If the children are too young to educate them and they can’t make their own choices yet, I think the best way is to compromise. For example: they don’t eat meat, but they do consume some dairy products. Talk about this and come up with a plan you both feel ok with. If the children are old enough you can educate them and they can make the choice themselves.

Now what if you’re single and you really are determined to meet the vegan-love-of-your-life? Well, personally I think faith is faith.. but that doesn’t mean faith can’t happen through a dating app.. right? I’m sure the majority of you knows about Tinder, but did you  know that there is a similar dating app for vegetarian and vegans? It’s called ‘Grazer’. It basically works the same way as Tinder. Go check it out.. and you might be just in time for Wednesday!

Do you recognise yourself in any of this? Are you single, but would you like to be in a relationship? Or are you in a relationship with a non vegan? Please share your views and help each other! You can do this in the comments below! Thank you! XX

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Fair Share

Only 5 more nights until the day of love! Do you have a Valentine (yet)? Are you going to do something special? Last year the recipe ‘Soulmates‘ was a great success, so I came up with another Valentine’s recipe for this year. What is more romantic than sharing? Because isn’t love all about sharing? Sharing your thoughts, your happiness, your pain, your smoothie bowl.. Yes! Start Valentine’s Day as romantic as can be, with this lovely pink smoothie bowl to share! You can decorate it the way you like it.. I let the kids help me with the decoration of mine and that meant an overdose on edible glitters, haha! Oh well.. is there something as too much glitter? Not according the 3 year old girl I look after! Everybody who makes one of my recipes for Valentine’s Day will get a shoutout on my Instagram! Don’t forget to tag me, so I can see your creation. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!

FAIR SHARE

Serves: 2

-2 cups unsweetened plant-based yogurt
-1 cup frozen raspberries
-1 big ripe banana
-1 tsp chia seed
-decorations: coconut flakes, edible glitters or flowers, sugar ornaments etc.

-Put everything in the blender until smooth.
-Decorate with coconut, glitters, edible flowers or whatever you think your love will like. You can actually make it really personal this way.. be creative!
-Serve immediately.

Will you share this smoothie bowl with your love this Valentine’s day?! Please let me know when you do. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Every Valentine’s recipe picture will get a shoutout! Thank you! X

Dairy Truth – #februdairy

After (another huge success of) Veganuary, the dairy industry came up with Februdairy. It’s giving me mixed feelings. First of all, it makes me laugh a little bit, because.. seriously? Second, it makes me happy.. because apparently the dairy industry is having problems and is trying to survive. Third, it makes me sad.. because there must be a lot of desperate farmers now veganism is going so well. Don’t get me wrong, because there is nothing I like more than animal exploitation to stop, but I also want people to have a job. I just hope that the dairy farmers are brave enough to choose a different profession before it’s too late. In the end I think it makes me happy the most, because if you look at #februdairy you can see how the vegan community is fighting back. It gives me a feeling of togetherness, we are all fighting for the ones without a voice. And it’s working! It looks like Februdairy turned into a vegan campaign showing everybody the truth around dairy. In just a few days the complete opposite is happening. It makes me feel proud, hopeful and strong! We have to stand up for the voiceless!

Why is dairy so scary?
Dairy is scary for a lot of reasons:
-A cow gives milk for the same reason a dog, a mouse, a lion and even humans give milk. It’s meant for her baby. Cows are not here in the world to provide milk for human consumption. We are not calves.
-We are the only species on earth that keeps consuming milk after we need it and also the only species that consumes milk from a different species.
-To get the milk, a cow get artificially inseminated every year. After the cow gives birth her baby is taken away from her within less than 72 hours. The calf is put in a crate by him/herself. A lot of male calves are killed straight after birth or sold for veal. Females will go through the same process as their mothers.
-A dairy cow goes to slaughter when she is around 5-6 years old (the average natural lifespan for a cow could be as long as 25 years), because around that time she will give less milk. At that time most of the cows are weakened a lot (some of them can’t even stand on their legs anymore, they’re called: downers) by the conditions they have lived in. She will be sold for meat. So every sip of milk is linked to the meat industry.
-Due to infections, caused by the machines and always lactating, there is blood and pus in milk. It’s legal for milk to contain up to 400 million pus cells per litre. This means that one teaspoonful of milk can max. have two million pus cells.
-In milk there are hormones and growth factors. This is necessary for the calf to keep drinking from her/his mother and to grow fast into a 750-1000 kg adult cow.
-Cow’s milk is unnatural to drink, unless you’re a calf. Therefore it’s unhealthy for humans. There are studies that that, for example, countries with lowest rates of dairy consumption have the lowest rates of osteoporosis. There are also studies that say that dairy increases the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This is a known for promoting cancer. And this isn’t all, there are a lot more negative health related issues around dairy!
-Then there is the saturated animal fat, casein and lactose. This is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes, bloating/wind and cramps, allergies, ovarian cancer.
-Dairy is all about money. The government and the dairy industry do not care about your health. Do your own research!

What can you do to make a difference? 
-Drink plant-based milk: oat, rice, soya, almond, cashew, macadamia.
-Only eat plant based yogurt, ice cream, cheese, creams or anything that otherwise may contain cow’s milk, like biscuits, crisps, cakes etc.. there is so much choice!
-Vote with your money. Every time you choose a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk, there is supply and demand. If supermarkets sell more plant-based milk and less cow’s  milk, slowly but surely there will be less and less dairy cows.
-Speak up! Tell people about the dairy industry. Tell the truth and hopefully more and more people will make the connection.

Do you still drink cow’s milk or did you swap it for a plant-based alternative? What is your favourite (my one is oat milk)? Do you have something you’d like to share or do you have a question? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

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

Caramellos

Who doesn’t like meringues? I think a lot of people do, it’s quite popular in dessert these days as well. You make meringues from egg white though. Or is there another plant-based way? Guess what.. there is! Everything you can eat, I can eat vegan! By using the water of chickpeas you can very easily make meringues yourself, without any cruelty involved. You need a can of chickpeas, without added salt. As pure as possible. I used Biona chickpeas for mine and they worked really well. Meringues are a very yummy, light, but sweet snack. They go very well with coffee, tea or on top of some nicecream. By adding agave nectar and some palm sugar you really get like a sticky caramel flavour, which I love.. I hope you do to!

CARAMELLOS

Serves: 16-20

-1 can chickpeas (water)
-2 tbs agave nectar
-3 tbs palm sugar
-pinch of cacao powder (optional)

-Mixing bowl
-Electric mixer
-Baking paper
-Tray
-Oven

-Preheat the oven to 100C.
-Make sure you use chickpeas in water, with no salt.
-Separate the chickpeas from the water and put the chickpeas itself for another recipe.
-Put the liquid in a mixing bowl and start mixing it with an electric mixing for 3-5 min. You will slowly see the liquid turn into foam. When peaks form, it’s ready.
-Then slowly add the agave and the palm sugar whilst mixing on a low speed. Mix it in well.
-Put the baking paper on the tray.
-Drop 1 spoonful on the baking paper and form a circle.
-Put them in the oven for 1,5 hour.
-Let them cool down before sprinkling on some cacao powder.

Are you going to make these Meringues?  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

Sanctuary

>> THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED <<

I heard about Sanctuary via Instagram and when I saw the pictures I knew I wanted to go here. The food looked so good. When I did a little research I actually couldn’t wait to go here. Not only because of the food, but also because of their mentality. Sanctuary stands for: Integrity – Knowledge – Commitment – Respect – Perseverance – Honesty – Humility – Courage – Love and Passion. This I really like, but what I like even more is their straight forwardness. They say it the way it is, what I think might come across as a little aggressive to some people, but I think it’s because of my Dutch roots that I appreciate it.

It was nice and quiet when I went. I always try to visit hotspots early or late, so it’s not crazy busy, in case I want to ask questions. I ordered a burger obviously, because I love burgers. I also ordered some sweet potato fries, obviously.. because I love sweet potato fries, haha! I guess you know that by know. The burger was honestly one of the best burgers I’ve had and I made sure they knew that before I left. The whole combination was just so so tasty and I strongly recommend it. The burger itself was I think from Linda McCartney, but when I asked they said they were not allowed to say if it was. I thought this was a little weird, but ok. The burger comes with a simple salad too and I really like the overall presentation.

Sanctuary donates to the ‘Mino Valley Farm Sanctuary’ regularly, hence the name. This is so cool! Inside there are lots of pictures of the animals from the sanctuary, vegan quotes and information. Super nice! They really are vegan for the animals, but they also really care about health and the environment too. This makes it really one of the nicest restaurants in London in my opinion. I do think they could improve when it comes to the interior. The building from the outside is quite ok, but inside it’s just too dated and cheap. In my opinion the food doesn’t match the restaurant at all. I bet if they’d make it a little bit lighter, fresh and modern they’d do even better.

WHO? Sanctuary.
WHERE? 651 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5PU.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing food, great mentality, but dated interior.)

Did you try a burger of Sanctuary yet? What was your experience? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about 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

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

New Beginnings

Is it a little pathetic that I’m super excited about the fact that the first of January is on a Monday? Because I totally am! I’m a big sucker for New Years Resolutions and I always make a list of a few things. Every year (like basically all people) you can find ‘eat healthy and exercise more’ on this list. You might think, why would you put it on the list every year? It’s not there because I feel like I failed last year, but I think it’s an important thing to put on the list and I think that is why it’s such a popular one. Every year again you have to look after your body. It’s always better to put it on the list and give it some attention. Going into the new year with the idea to be better for your body is the first step to a good year. I always make small lists with quite general things. When I was a teenager I used to make a huge list and those never worked. It didn’t work because I used to always write down every little detail and felt like a failure whenever I couldn’t or didn’t do something. It was just too long and I was too obsessive to do everything from the whole list perfectly. It’s a classic mistake and I won’t be surprised if this sounds familiar. Nowadays I write down a few things I want to improve or pay more attention to. I write them down on the top of my daily to do list, so I’m reminded every time I look at that list (which is a lot). I also write down why I want to do it better and why it’s important to me, together with a little suggestion routine. I used to make tight schedules, but that of course didn’t work. Now I try my best, I motivate myself by reading why and I just try to make better decisions every day. It’s also important that you reflect a few times a year. You can do that every month (like me), but if that sounds a like a little too much, you could also do it every time a new season starts for example.

Here are the things that are important to me personally, what and why I want to improve and how I will do it. Maybe it will inspire you.

Eat Healthy.
Everybody always thinks I eat super healthy. But I do have my weaknesses and I do not always eat healthy. There are actually 2 things I have to pay more attention to. The most important one is to eat on normal times. This has always been a thing for me. Where other people eat breakfast lunch and dinner on set times, I eat all over the place. On the days I work, breakfast and lunch are mostly ok. It’s on the days I’m off and basically all dinner times where it goes wrong. I sometimes eat ridiculously early. This is most of the time not a proper meal and it also makes me hungry later in the evening (what ends in snacking). Sometimes I eat very late (and then I eat way too much, because I’m so hungry + it’s never good to sleep with a very full stomach) and sometimes I skip it all together. The best way for me to be better at this, is to be well prepared. Cooking different dishes in advance and prep meals in a way that I only have to heat it up or mix it together. This doesn’t only help for eating on set times, but I also tend to eat a lot healthier this way. It just saves so much time.
The second thing is to stop eating too much chocolate. I love chocolate! And after meal times I often crave some. Chocolate is actually the only thing I eat that contains sugar. I do think it’s fine to eat a bit now and then, but I just find it almost impossible to only eat a little piece. This takes a lot of willpower and discipline. That is a shame, because that is exactly what you need to solve this big problem. Haha!

Exercise More.
Ok, I have to admit that last year I wasn’t very good with exercising regularly. I hardly did any yoga, because I like to do that in the morning, but my ex and I had different work times and it wasn’t possible living in a studio. There were some weeks I was doing very well, doing at least something. I did little work outs before lunch for example and that felt very good, but it never lasted. This was because of my relationship, holidays and also later this year because I moved and rescued Lucky Oliver (a piglet). This shouldn’t be excuses, but I find it difficult to fit it all in one day with a lot going on. I do have to let go and just do it though and doing some is better than none. So I will focus more on that.

Read more. 
I actually only read when I’m on the train or aeroplane by myself, what is almost never. I love reading. It’s relaxing, educational and it inspires me so much. I always say I don’t have time, but actually it’s because I do not make it a priority. I could easily spend a little less time on social media and spend that time reading instead. So that is what I’m going to do. At the moment I’m still reading ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo. I love this book. Even though I already did a lot of the things she talks about, based on my own experience. I love reading it, mostly because I recognise myself and her journey to tidy up. I love learning new tricks and it gives me a good perspective of how we treat everything around us. I have a long list of books I still want to read and I’m determined to do so this year. Reading is so important and it’s definitely something I want to increase even more once I’m traveling around Europe with my van one day.

More mindfulness.
I’m a very mindful person, but the last few months I wasn’t sure where I was in my own story, if you know what I mean. With the move, ‘new’ work and rescuing Lucky Oliver I lived in the past and the future a lot more than I wanted. Weeks flew by, time went so fast, I forgot things, mixed things up didn’t know what day it was and I was living in my head, rather than in the moment. Now I had a break from it all and rested a lot over the Xmas break, I think I’m more likely to live more in the now again. I will train myself to be more conscious and to create more space and peace in my head this way.

Are these things you also find important? Or does your list look very different? I would love to hear the things that are important to you and how you try to actually stick to it. Do you have a certain tactic or do you have something to say or add to this? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you! X

 

Mooshies

It’s been a while since I was here actually, but I do want to add this fabulous vegan burger bar to my hotspot list. It’s not only a fabulous bar, but it’s also located in one of the coolest neighbourhoods of London. You can find Mooshies on Brick Lane in Shoreditch! I don’t know if you’ve ever visited this place, but you should. It’s so lively and I would almost say that it feels like you’re in different world. Shoreditch is super colourful, with its graffiti on (literally) every corner and it has a great sense of freedom. I love going here and whenever I go, I can’t skip paying a visit to Mooshies.

I chose the  ‘What’s your Beef’ burger that day, together with some cheesy sweet potato fries. The burger is made of quinoa and black beans and comes with several toppings, including (vegan) cheese. Though it was busy, I didn’t even have to wait that long for my order to arrive. I like the way they serve it, in a little basket with black an white paper. What I want to say first of all.. sweet potato fries and cheese are one heavenly combo, go get them! Now the burger. The taste is very good, the whole combination with the sauce, the crispy bottom of the bun and the fresh lettuce is super yum. Personally I would have liked it if the burger was a little bit more firm though. It’s quite soft. I really like how you don’t feel super full and heavy after eating this burger.

Mooshies couldn’t have choses a better location and it’s perfectly blending in. The atmosphere, the colours.. just everything. It’s not a super big place and it’s very popular, so sometimes you do have to wait a little bit to be seated. In the meantime you can stare at the beautifully graffiti walls. The best place to sit, I think, is close to the windows as Brick Lane is perfect to enjoy watching the variety of people walking around there. I also do have to mention that the staff is super friendly over here and I felt very welcome. They answered my questions and really looked after me well.

WHO? Mooshies.
WHERE? 104 Brick Ln, London E1 6RL.
CUISINE? Burgers.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Great colourful restaurant, yummy burgers, reasonable prices and friendly staff.)

Did you already know Mooshies? Are you planning to get a burger over here? Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X