SOBER OCTOBER

Good afternoon beautiful souls,

It’s that time of year again that I like to raise awareness & money for a charity close to my heart – namely Macmillan Cancer Support. Nearly all of us know someone who has been affected by cancer and Macmillan play such an important part in helping people get through this difficult time in their lives.

So this year I will be Going Sober for October – that means, for the full 31 days of October, I’m going completely booze-free – not one single drop! Those who know me well know I may have a slight addiction to that post work glass of wine/pint and so I think it’s fair to say that this will be a bit of a challenge for me.

But Go Sober is much more than giving up alcohol for a month. It’s raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support so that they can continue helping people living with cancer live life as fully as possibly.
I’d really appreciate any support you can give and any donation is a good donation. So if you have any pennies to spare I would be very grateful if you could head to my Go Sober Profile and send any spare change my way!

Thank you ❤

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VEGAN CAMP OUT 2018

Good morning beautiful souls,

Last weekend I went on my first proper solo trip! I went camping, to a festival all by myself and I’m glad I did! I get huge travel anxiety so this was a big deal for me, but I coped! Woohoo! I didn’t have a panic attack and best of all I had great time and met some lovely people! The festival I was attending was the Vegan Camp Out Festival at Newark Showground. With this being a very new festival (only it’s 3rd year running) I’d say it’s still a learning curve for the organisers too, but considering the number of attendees more than doubled from last year, it went down super well, there were no major hiccups and everyone had a blast.

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I departed lunchtime on Friday with far too much stuff (but hey I was only used to going camping with the car where you can chuck as much as you like on the back seat aha, so considering this I think I managed to reduce my camping kit considerably!). Jessica kindly helped me carry all my things to the train station and from there on I just about coped; luckily I had a direct train and once I arrived in Newark it was a just a taxi ride from the station to the showground and a little walk to the campsite.

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It was soo windy when I arrived that being by myself and with a brand new tent (which I hadn’t practised putting up beforehand) I really struggled to set up camp. Luckily some kind stranger next to me asked if I needed any help and together with the tips of two passing guys who had a similar tent we eventually, after what felt like hours, managed to erect it although I was a bit dubious as to whether it would stay up with the way the wind was knocking it around. Once I had my sleeping mat rolled out and the fairylights put up though I was very happy with my spacious but cosy home for the next 2 nights (I had a 4 person tent all to myself which was rather lovely I’m not going to lie).

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Before going to the Vegan Camp Out I’d joined a Facebook group created for all the lone travellers, so that we could interact and arrange somewhere to all camp together. However I also knew that my experience would be ruined if I were to be kept awake all night by loud neighbours haha so I decided to camp in the designated Quiet area. I had been nervous about plonking my tent amidst strangers but before going I by chance ended up making friends with a lovely girl named Molly via Instagram. She was coming to the festival with her boyfriend and they decided to camp with me for which I was very grateful. About three hours after I got there Molly and her boyfriend Will finally arrived and set up camp next to me.

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After settling in, we decided to check out some of the talks and went to listen to guitarist Jona Weinhofen’s personal vegan story, before ALF (Animal Liberation Front) founder Ronnie Lee took to stage and gave a very motivating speech about why we should not just be passive vegans but take to the streets and become activists. Having spent a  good 9 year in prison himself for being an animal rights activist this guy’s passion for animals and their welfare is seriously inspiring!

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Later in the evening I met up with Sam (a guy who’d messaged me from the Facebook lonelies group a day or two before the festival). We went to listen to the reggae legend that is Macka B and then sat down to chat the night away. Okay, okay you got me, we didn’t actually chat the night away. I mean I would have loved to, it was so lovely just chilling and chatting and Sam was super nice but I was literally yawing like every 2 mins come 12pm haha, so we called it a night.

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The next day Molly, Will & I went to some more talks and workshops, including one by founder of the Carnisim Debunked website, which were all very informative and thought provoking. One of the talks held by Earthling Ed had such a huge crowd I only just managed to squeeze in at the back, but I’m glad I did – it was amazing hearing him talk in person, what a guy!!!

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We treated ourselves for lunch and had some vegan pie & mash (I went for the mushroom one) which was so yummy and went off to listen to more talks such as by Peter Hammarstedt a Sea Shepherd Captain.

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In the afternoon we decided we wanted to go to the screening of Dominion. Watching Dominion was so difficult, not everyone made it through the whole film. It was very harrowing to watch – it’s a stark & emotional reminder of why we as vegans do not eat animal produce! Hearing the cries of anguish from mothers and calves being separated, bearing witness to the thousands of animals repeatedly abused, watching as foxes are skinned alive for their fur, seeing baby chicks get conveyorbelted into a shredder just because they are male, having hidden cameras reveal the disgusting dirty & cramped conditions farmed animals live in….. the list of unnecessary, inhumane cruelty we inflict is truly endless, terrible and heart-breaking!

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, START DOING SOME RESEARCH TO INFORM YOURSELVES MORE ON THE IMPACT ANIMAL AGRICULTURE HAS ON ANIMAL WELFARE, OUR EVNIRONMENT & OUR HEALTH! IT’S SUCH AND IMPORTANT TOPIC!

Here’s some sites to get you started:

Carnism Debunked – Plant Proof – Must Watch Informative Vegan Documentaries

Well after a difficult afternoon, we went back to our tents to rest a little more before having dinner. I’d brought most of my food for the weekend with me (far too much in the end aha) and so I made an avocado salad sandwich but joined Molly and Will by the food stalls to treat myself to some vegan Churros for dessert. Annoyingly they ran out of chocolate sauce, 2 people infront of me?! Say what?! But they were just as tasty with just sugary cinnamon!

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In the evening we went to see the last bit of Simon Amstell’s show on the main stage and have a good laugh. Molly and Will went back to their tent after this and I headed off to find Sam and hang out with him and some other lonelies grooving away to JME! After JME it was time for the afterparty, but I was pretty tired by then and knew I had an early enough start the next morning so I made my way back to my tent. Sam came back with me to my tent (I was forcing my leftover booze on him as I did so not want to have to carry it all the way home again aha) but instead of going back to the party straight away he stayed a while and we talked a bit more which was really nice as I felt like we’d just clicked really well. Eventually I did go to bed though and Sam went off to continue the party, well into the early hours of the morning apparently (I’m so glad I’d listened to myself and did not sleep in the lonelies area of the camp as this had apparently been the afterparty of the afterparty area where I would have got 0 sleep).

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Anyway I woke the next day to a grey sky and chilli morning which made getting out of my toasty sleeping bag rather difficult. I had hoped both mornings to be up and awake to join in on the morning yoga sessions, but totally failed both mornings, preferring my cosy lie ins aha! But this morning I couldn’t lie in too long as our taxi was booked back to the station for 11.30am (following the horrendous queues for taxis to the festival we made sure to book on Saturday for Sunday, and I’m glad we did otherwise who knows how long we’d have had to wait!). I’d packed my things together quite quickly and was having my breakfast by the time Molly & Will woke up and in the end our tents were all dissembled quicker than I thought, which was good though because it meant we could still go to one of the morning talks before leaving. I was also a good call getting up earlier as it started to rain and so we just about had everything packed away before it got too wet!

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Once we made it to the train station the last leg of my trip began as I had almost 4 hours to wait for my train home. It wasn’t too bad though, I read my book (The Handmaid’s Tale), drank coffee and before I knew it 4 hours had flown by and I was on my way home.

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I apologise for this essay of a blog post, but I guess I’m not good at being short and precise aha, so you get the long winded ramblings of my weekend adventure! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what I got up to and might even be inspired to check out some of the links 🙂

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MY FAVOURITE LOW SUGAR COCKTAIL

Good evening beautiful souls,

Now that the weather finally seems to be improving I’ve been feeling the cocktail vibes more and more and am ditching the red wines. However as summer and bikini season are approaching I thought I’d share with you my favourite low sugar cocktail so that you can still enjoy a drink without worrying about your waistline too much.

I’m not sure what to call it yet, maybe Bitter Breeze or something…

Well here it goes. You will need:

  • A lime
  • Gin
  • Diet bitterlemon
  • Fresh mint
  • Ice cubes

First pop your ice cubes into your glass – next add to your strength liking gin and bitterlemon (for this glass I used 2 shots of Bombay Dry Gin with ca. 300ml of bitterlemon) – squeeze in half a lime – decorate with another slice of lime and fresh mint.

Et voila – one Bitter Breeze at the ready – now sit back, relax and enjoy!

Love Carina xo

WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

Good evening beautiful souls,

The other day I looked back to the beginning of my blog and discovered I use to write What I Eat In A Day posts, who knew aha! I had totally forgotten and these used to be some of my  favourite posts to write too! So I’m going to start writing them again and I hope you enjoy!

This is what I ate on Monday the 5th:

I got up early to try and get an emergency doctors appointment so I just bought an Innocent smoothie on my way to keep me going till breakfast after the doctors. On the way back I really  felt like treating myself (I always do when I am ill haha – anyone else the same?!) and so I popped into our local Sainsbury to buy an avocado and a fresh baguette. Whilst there I saw a nice barley, broccoli, bean ready-meal thing and thought it looked delicious, but instead of buying pre-made food I decided to have a go at making something similar myself and bought some more healthy foods.

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Breakfast

Once I got home at about 9.50 I finally made this tasty breakfast I had been soo craving! I toasted the baguette and then spread some vegan cream cheese on that we had left before adding the avocado which I had mashed up with some salt, pepper, chilli flakes & lemon juice. Next I topped it with some rocket salad and pomegranate seeds. To drink I just finished the Innocent smoothie I had bought earlier that morning.

Tip: Pomegranate is a fruit that literally goes with soo many things – start experimenting what you can add it too!

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Lunch

The way I usually cook is by making things up ass I go along and this was no different. I should have checked what exactly went into that tasty looking ready meal in Sainsbury, but I didn’t so I just ended up creating a veg & barley mix. It was quite tasty and full of goodness but I don’t think my aim in recreating what I’d seen had quite worked haha. I’d made quite a lot though so it’s lasted us for another two meals which is great when you can’t always be bothered to cook. So if you’re wondering what went in – pearl barely (cooked in veg stock), green lentils, black beans, kale, broccoli, carrots, spinach, onion & garlic. To drink I had a glass of squash.

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Snack

I always look to find low sugar crisps and I encourage you all to do the same. It’s crazy how much added sugars are put into savoury foods! Just pic up a couple of different brands and look at the of which sugars per 100g – you might surprise yourself. Anyway most Kettle’s aren’t too bad so they’re usually one of the brands we have in the house for snacks. I nibbled on these throughout the day and on some red grapes which I’m obsessed with at the moment but forgot to take a picture of.

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Dinner

Jessica had wanted me to try some of her Chinese food for ages so we finally had these fast food style noodles which only took a couple of minutes to cook and then you just mix your sauces together and top with peanuts and pickled vegetables. I enjoyed it, it was kind of peanut buttery. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the spice; I mean I like spicy food but I maybe shouldn’t have put all the chilli spice in haha.

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And there you have it – what I eat in a day! Hope you’ve all had a good day lovelies!

Love Carina xo