Vegan Resolution ๐ŸŽ‰2017๐Ÿพ

New Year’s Resolution

We have 9 days left until Christmas๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ and ย 16 days left until the new year๐Ÿพ so your mind may already be planning what you want to do and achieve next year, I know some people don’t even make resolutions if they’re going to break them…so..

If going Vegan is on your resolutions list for 2017, I have written some tips on how to achieve this goal…

Tips on how to go vegan…

First tip is …

  • don’t put a timeline on when you are meant to be a full fledged Vegan, just slowly introduce it to yourself so you can learn and not begrudge the change.
  • ย Go Vegetarian first, start with quitting meat and then quit the dairy.
  • Start by trying some vegan versions of your favourite meals, there are a lot of great faux meats and cheeses out there!๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ๐Ÿท
  • ย Watch documentaries and read about the industry and the health benefits of the lifestyle to keep you encouraged. (Vegucated is the perfect one to help transition, minimal gory content and you watch 3 carnivores start from scratch and take on this lifestyle)

  • ย Go out and dine in the Vegan restaurants etc. in your city and make it a social thing.
  • ย Keep track of your health records, or pay attention to your energy levels before and after introducing a Vegan or Vegetarian diet. It’s great you want help the animals and environment; but if you are not doing it right and getting all you need, without your own health in check you are no good for yourself or the cause.
  • Make your own rules. I always think about the article I read with Carrie Underwood saying she was a practical vegan. She said on a trip to Italy that she found cheese hard to avoid so she was a bit more vegetarian on that trip, wait what? *gasp* -blasphemy! No, no, no ..it’s fine! If you have a trip planned or you’re pregnant, or you are struggling for a small portion of your life to be a perfect vegan, does that mean you should write it off completely and forget that you ever cared? NO! just do what you can, when you can. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Don’t announce it at every party or social event you go to, sometimes your friends or family will do this for you ๐Ÿ™„ it’s fine, just accept what will happen next …”Oh! What do you eat then?” “How do you get your protein?” “hmm..would that wine be vegan?” – at a party you really don’t want to be ruling off a list of reasons as to why you are vegan, because majority of the reasons are horrifying! And you don’t want to be the buzz kill of the party. You will get some people with such an innocent, genuine interest, but some people want to ask you a bunch of questions or watch what you are eating very closely to stump you ….these can also be fellow Vegans sometimes…
  • ย …don’t be that vegan #hatersย 
  • Know where to get your protein, vitamins and minerals that you may lack in this lifestyle.
  • ย Focus on complete proteins…quinoa, buckwheat, rice and beans, oats and nuts etc contain the essential amino acids, look at what you need to combine to have this in your daily intake.
  • Have a good plant based protein powder as a staple in your pantry.
  • B12 -the most vital vitamin supplement in a vegan diet. B12 is the only vitamin that you can’t get from eating dairy or meat, even as a vegetarian I would advise you to take it ..most other supplements I feel are personal to what you may need, so trust how you feel or see a doctor about it.
  • Don’t let others tell you veganism is impractical and that they don’t need to take vitamins, because they probably do! Vitamins and minerals aren’t as strong are due to depletion in the soil that produce grows in these days. Some people count tomato sauce as their vegetable and chicken nuggets as their protein-so you’re doing OK!
  • Know that calcium and iron can come from dark leafy greens, not just milk and steak.
  • ย Know that you will never stop learning. So many things aren’t vegan, which is why being a perfect vegan is NOTย on this list. Gelatine is something you avoid even as a vegetarian -you find it in sweets and jellies …I found out earlier this year even batteries have this in it and I overheard a sales assistant at a vegan accessories store telling a customer that some synthetic shoes and bags actually have it to, so they are not vegan as people think. Just do the best you can๐Ÿ˜Š
  • If you own lots of leather or fur, don’t feel like you need to throw it all away immediately and buy new …because that’s expensive๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ฐ(although if you own fur you probably can afford to buy a new wardrobe) Slowly transition your wardrobe to a vegan friendlier one as you can and as you accumulate new things, give away the old to charity.
  • NEVER be the vegan who throws red paint on someone wearing fur. Let me make sense of this, so you are upset that this animal has lost its life to give its fur coat away to be worn by a pretentious human being, so you throw paint at this human being, yes, human being and on their coat so it can never be worn again so the animals legacy is now even more worthless? Give your fur coats to charity, homeless people, people who will genuinely need it.
  • Don’t scare others into being vegan. Like the fur coat scenario you are not encouraging people to want to take on this lifestyle. We’re all only human and doing our best in life and some people genuinely have no idea about this industry, at all, so don’t attack them for what they wear or eat.
  • Vegetarian is more of a diet and Vegan is a lifestyle. When I went vegetarian I quit meat, make up tested on animals, leather, gelatine, pet shops..some vegetarians only go as far as the meat. I kept learning and realised the environmental issues these industries caused and realise the animals lives are just where the issue begins and started avoiding dairy, eggs, cruelty free cosmetics, palm oil, animals in captivity…the list goes on…..it’s most definitely a lifestyle.
  • You are probably not the person who is going to introduce Veganism to your friends and family. I remember listening to a podcast with Pete Holmes and Elizabeth Gilbert and them saying, you can be enlightened and have your life changed by something, but telling others how incredible it is usually won’t change them. I have experienced this since going vegetarian back in 2008, I still find myself listening to my friends and family tell me about makeup products they use, that are most definitely not the cruelty free ones I have always advised they buy instead, along with other things. If they want to find this information and make these changes, they will find this themselves and on their own journey and almost never take it from you. You may say something that will peak their interest and send them down the path, but don’t expect to preach and have them turn around and be a changed person.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you cheat…like I said before how Carrie Underwood is a practical vegan, it’s OK to slip up sometimes and remember, you are doing more than most people! The only thing I have cheated with since being vegan is chocolate and it’s usually at Christmas time when my mum has bought the tins, I don’t eat half as much as I used to because I feel sick after ward, but I’ve been known to cheat, and enjoy it in the moment. I justify it by saying the chocolate is already bought and I didn’t support the dairy industry buying it, not the best excuse, but it’s the only thing I’ve cheated with and I am 1 year, 5 months into my transition from vegetarian to vegan and still working on this.ย **cue the #haters to throw egg replacer at me!**ย img_5959

(but honestly, it does feel better when you don’t cheat; physically, and for your soul, you feel so much healthierย and happierย -also have you tried Vego bars? -amazing!! ..I just wish they were easier to get a hold of! Vegan is a whole other level to Vegetarian and it feels sooooo much better, so if you are at the point of being vegan then really stick to it as much as you can and a cheat is really, an occasional cheat)

..and last but not least…

  • Enjoy it! Don’t think being vegan is going raw and only ever eating salad and chickpeas (it can be, if you want it to). But you can also eat pizza๐Ÿ•vegan cheese isn’t even bad for you and tastes just as good! There are so many fun vegan recipes and cute clothes that fall into a vegan lifestyle, it is just a more mindful way of living your life๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿค—Happy New Year ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿท2017๐Ÿธ๐Ÿซ


Love and Resolutions,

Michaela ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ‰ xxx

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits: Google images – When Harry met Sally, Vegucated, What to expect when you’re expecting, Hannah Montana, Friends, New Years Eve, Full House, quote

L.A Story

Los Angeles, California

LA is probably my greatest love in this world. I have always known since spotting a picture of Mary-Kate and Ashley on a sunny red carpet sporting some hideous 90’s attire in a trashy magazine, that I wanted to be where they were -I was 7 or 8?? I soon learned this was the land where everyone paid for spray tans regardless of the year round sun, dodgy earthquakes, traffic for days, diet fads and plastic surgery obsessions – none of which took my interest.

L.A Story, Steve Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker
I was  more focused on the old Hollywood history and film and television studios.  I will admit my obsession with Marilyn Monroe, old movies, aswel as 90’s sitcom nostalgia definitely romanticised my definition of “Hollywood”…

 

Friends, warner brothers studios 

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Marilyn 
…but like every other girl my age, I’d watched The Hills so I wasn’t naive that I would walk into a magical land of cinema….although that show did seem to make it look like everyone got their dream job just by clicking their fingers,


at least we have Vanderpump Rules now to bring us back to earth and everyone can see majority are just working in restaurants.

Anyway, my point is I always knew I wanted to live in LA …and I did! In 2012 to early 2013 I lived in Sherman Oaks, California while attending a full time acting program. I always return to LA for visits and hope to move back properly in the near future…but for now I am just going to reminisce as I think of some of my favourite and vegan friendly places the city has to offer.

 

 

Veggie Grill- ๐Ÿ”๐ŸŸ๐Ÿช

I love Veggie Grill!! …I wouldn’t say this is the healthiest option out there, but it’s not too bad! (Obviously a healthier option then In n Out). Veggie Grill has burgers and fries, Buffalo wings or salads. My pick would be the Caesar Salad and the Chill out Wings.

Multiple locations in California: http://www.veggiegrill.com

@luxuryvegan

 veSTATION ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฑ

This was my go to while I was attending classes in LA. Its Asian style vegan food and on the healthier side. I always order the exact same thing every time…satay skewers with relish w/ a side of 1/2 quinoa, 1/2 brown rice.

veSTATION: 14435 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, USA

                                                            

Crossroads -๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆ

When I walked into this restaurant I thought I had died and gone to vegan heaven ๐Ÿฆ„โ˜๏ธโ„๏ธโœจโ˜„

Crossroads is an upscale vegan restaurant on Melrose. I felt so hazed when I walked into this establishment (although that could have been because I’d been drinking at a rooftop Australia Day party earlier that day), with the mood lighting and classy decor, it is refreshing to see a vegan restaurant that hasn’t gone for the typical rustic vibe.

I ordered a carbonara (that tasted legit! bacon flavour I have not had in a very long time) and my friend had gourmet pizza, all was amazing! Dessert was a chocolate ice cream sundae- amazing beyond words!

You must definitely go to Crossroads, take all of your non vegan friends because you can completely convince them it is not a vegan restaurant; and then at the end tell them and they will all convert to this crazy plant based lifestyle.

Crossroads Kitchen: 8284 Melrose ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90046, USA 

         

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@veganlens
            

The Beverly Hills Hotel โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿท๐Ÿธ๐Ÿพ
When I was a vegetarian I had high tea here when my sister came to visit me, at The Polo Lounge. Although the high tea is not suitable for vegans (as far as I know) I still love it here ..so maybe not the greatest vegan visit, but definitely still a fave of mine in LA.

You can order a pot of tea…

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Saving Mr Banks, filmed at Beverly Hills Hotel
…or order a Think Pink cocktail ๐Ÿธ at BarNineteen12. (low cal, of course-this is Beverly Hills) 

The Beverly Hills Hotel: 9641 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, USA

                                                      


 

The Grove-  Where L.A. Comes Together ยฎ๐Ÿ•ถ๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ‘›๐Ÿ‘ 
The Grove is my favourite place…probably ever๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผ If I could live at The Grove, I would! I would rent the sofa in the bathroom of Nordstroms to sleep on if I knew I’d be waking up at The Grove everyday. 

The Grove is a Disneyland-esque shopping, dining, entertainment complex in West Hollywood. My favourite store is Anthropologie, which carries clothes, cosmetics, bags, shoes, homewares, books; some of which are vegan and cruelty free.

I am obsessed with book cafes so I usually head upstairs in the Barnes and Noble and order a soy latte from Starbucks. The only problem with the grove is (if you can believe there is any) there’s no real vegan dining options available in the complex,

(at least I found that last time I was there in Jan ’16) 

but no need to worry because there is Veggie Grill in walking distance on Fairfax Avenue. ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ

The Grove: 189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA, 90036, USA |  www.anthropologie.com

                                                


 

Barry’s Bootcamp- โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’™

Now if you take to Veggie Grill’s burger and fries a bit too much then this is the place to burn it off!

Barry’s Bootcamp is a really great place to go to knock you out of your comfort zone, and not just in fitness, but in life!

Barry’s is an hour long group fitness class with some of the best personal trainers in LA. It is basically 30 minutes weight training and 30 minutes treadmill cardio, it’s interval training so the 30 minutes can be in 10-15 minute breakups of cardio and weights or sometimes you find yourself in quick 3 minute intervals. It’s amazing, it teaches you just how much your body can actually do.

Barry’ Bootcamp, Sherman Oaks: 14622 Ventura Blvd #201, Sherman Oaks, CA, 91403, USA | multiple locations: http://www.barrysbootcamp.com

 

Halloween class 2012
Disneyland- ๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿญ
Disneyland is the happiest place on earth and that is partly because they have cruelty free options. I was only vegetarian, all the times I have been to Disneyland, so I didn’t always focus on the dairy free options, but I can vouch for the vegan burger at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland Park.
I also heard that the Pineapple Dole Whip is now dairy free; which I always crave, but like the “It’s a Small World” ride, I never get around to trying it. ..next time, next time …

more veggie Disneyland options here…

http://disneylandnews.com/fact-sheets/2015/04/30/vegetarian-and-vegan-food-options-at-disneyland-resort-fact-sheet/

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

๐Ÿ’—๐ŸŒดLove and Palm trees ๐Ÿ’—๐ŸŒด,

      Michaela ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ’—xxx

P.S

MK&A circa 1995
I cannot confirm this was the exact picture that inspired me all those years ago, However I can confirm the 90’s outfits are hideous๐Ÿฌ








Photo credits: some my own- @luxuryvegan, some google image & @veganlens

Cruelty Free Christmas Cake

Vegan Christmas Cake



My Christmas cake is a lighter, cinnamonny, fruitier version of the traditional fruit cake.

Most people use sultanas as their fruit base with a few cherries, I focus more on cherries.

I use more cinnamon and nutmeg, rather than mixed spice and added some coconut and almond meal to lighten the flavour.

For Pre Soaking:

2-3 bags of glace cherries

ยผ – ยฝ cup sultanas and/or mixed dry fruit

Freshly squeezed Orange juice

Sweet Sherry

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For the Cake:

1 cup plain Flour

ยผ cup coconut flour

ยผ cup almond meal (I used a flax, Coq10, almond meal mix w/ walnut pieces)

ยฝ teaspoon sea salt

ยผ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon or to taste

dash of mixed spice

3/4 cup coconut and/or rapadura sugar

ยฝ cup dark brown soft sugar

4 egg replacers or flax eggs  (I use Orgran egg replacer)

1 dessert spoon black treacle

1 teaspoon golden syrup

Splash of vanilla essence

270 grams dairy free butter (i use nuttelex)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

ยผ-1 cup slivered almonds

zest of an orange

sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

Sweet Sherry to โ€˜feedโ€™ the cake

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ready to bake
Method:

Put cherries and fruit in orange juice to soak

Add Sweet Sherry and leave to soak ( the longer you soak the better, minimum 2 hours)

Preheat the oven at 140

Mix all dry ingredients together

Add wet ingredients with the vegan egg going in last- mix all wet ingredients, without the โ€˜eggโ€™ first and then add โ€˜eggโ€™

Now gradually fold in pre soaked fruits, nuts, zests (drain pre soaking before folding into cake)

Put cake mix into tin and bake the cake on the lowest shelf for 4 hours

Let the cake stand and when cool, โ€˜feedโ€™ the cake with letting it absorb some sherry

You can now โ€˜feedโ€™ it at odd times until it needs icing or ready to eat it

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For the Icing:

Marmalade, heated to brush on the cake for marzipan to stick

Marzipan, rolled out to cover cake

1 ยฝ cups Icing Sugar

Squeeze of lemon

Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg white

May need a little bit of water or dairy free milk to smooth it out

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marzipan
Fastasia, Disney
 

Casa Veganย 

Once upon a time there were 3 young actresses who moved to Los Angeles to pursue the seemingly impossible dream, although they trailed from 3 very different places Brighton, (UK) Bourne End, (UK) and Perth (Australia) they soon found each other as “valley girls” residing in the community of Sherman Oaks.

They quickly learned that late night acting classes led to late night snacks at the many Mexican restaurants in L.A, for the class of out of work actors a place where there was free chips and dip and cheap margaritas suited just fine!

Having 2 vegetarians in our party the menu was to suit, but as one transitioned to vegan the menu got a lot smaller; and chips and dip were the only option and not just by cheap default.

I love Mexican food, but it can be unhealthy if always eaten out. I find it’s become quite a staple for me in my vegan diet as rice and beans is an instant complete protein, so I’ve tried to make healthier options while retaining the flavour and Mexican feel.

So here is one of my ideas I have used when I feel like I want to add a bit of spice to my life and feel the nostalgia of late night L.A talks about acting, annoying people in class and how we shouldn’t be eating the chips because we’d been at bootcamp all week and wanted to keep our “bootcamp bods” intact. -but that conversation is for another post…

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Burrito Bowls!

So this is one of the healthier and simple options for Mexican….

Beans, Rice, salsa, veggies and guac!

 
Burrito Bowl …
– As a base I use kale or spinach (slightly steamed)

– cooked Rice and/or Quinoa -add paprika, garlic powder

– Steamed Black or Kidney beans

– Steamed Corn

– Homemade Guacamole – mash an Avocado with a fork, add fresh finely diced clove of garlic, finely diced 1/4 of a red onion & (diced tomato, jalapeรฑos, salt & pepper -optional)

– Homemade Salsa – tinned diced tomatoes, add paprika, Mexican chilli powder, garlic powder (to taste)…can add real chilli if you like it hot ๐Ÿ”ฅ (I use this because store bought salsas etc have a lot of added sugar …I save my sugar for chocolate ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿซ) (can add tomato paste if you want it thicker)

– Cashew Cream Aioli (recipe click on link) https://luxuryveganstyle.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/cashew-cream-4-flavours/

– Melted Vegan Cheese (optional – bio cheese is best)

 
This recipe is low sugar, is a complete protein, has magnesium and iron, aswel as other benefits; and you can have some cheeky chips to scoop it up aswel if wanted!

 
Shout out ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป to Casa Vega ๐Ÿ’ƒ and El Torito๐ŸŒฏ in Sherman Oaks – the restaurants we frequented whilst living in L.A.๐ŸŒฎ

 
More Mexican to come…
**watch this space**image

Love and Chihauhas,

Michaela ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ

 

 

The Snowman Cookie


It was a crisp New York day, as two sisters fled their toasty hotel room, a rush of cold air filled their cheeks, scarfs wrapped and jackets on – it still didn’t feel like enough!

After a day spent walking 5th avenue, Central Park and roaming Times Square they decided to slow down on their way back and get some tea, a craft we noticed Americans had struggled to pick up!
(Sorry, but how hard is hot water before the tea bag?)

As we stopped at “just another” Starbucks, but also a brand that was a luxury for two girls from Perth, my sister noticed a snowman cookie;
seeing as we had already had sweets that day she said she shouldn’t and dismissed it from her order.
She kept peering in the glass case at the last snowman cookie, the same way we were looking at the diamond collection in Tiffany’s earlier that day.

“Just get the cookie” – I said. “Oh, it looks so good how the icing is so smooth…no I won’t!”.
We left Starbucks with her still talking about it; and when returning to the many Starbucks we would see, we didn’t see it again!

Until this day she still talks about the Snowman cookie she wished she bought in New York. – just a funny story! but should tell you, to live in the moment because
what you want isn’t always there when you go back!

Luckily I lived just a hop, skip and a jump away from Gelson’s in L.A, and they too sold similar cookies and she was all over that come Thanksgiving!

These cookies always looked great to me, but when I did try them they tasted a little plastic and too processed, especially the icing ….so I made my own Sugar Cookies …Vegan Friendly- of course!

 
Sugar/Shortbread Cookie Recipe:

190-250 grams Dairy Free Butter – I use Nuttelex (I add more as I go, as needed)
2 Cups Flour
1/2 cup Caster Sugar (I know some vegans aren’t happy with the use of white sugar-most sugars should suit)

Almond meal (optional) -replace 1/2-1 cup flour with almond meal
Vanilla Extract (optional)

Pre heat oven to 170 FF
Mix with hands to shape dough, when it’s at the right consistency – roll out and cut to desired shape – place on cooking tray.
Cook for 12-25 minutes or until golden, I like to avoid them going too hard or crunchy.

Icing sugar ….make baking paper piping bag for decorating 
and without being facetious to my American friends…

How to make Tea:
Boil water, preferably in a kettle
Add tea bag to cup/mug and pour, or place teabag or tea leaves in a teapot
Leave bag or leaves to brew for 2-5 minutes (depending if you like it strong)
Milk before or after is your call (Fun Fact: they say back in the day people who put milk in first meant their class level was on the lower spectrum, as they were wary not to shock their cheap tea cups with hot water to avoid cracks)

but for vegans I’ve only found soy or oat milk sits in tea right, but I prefer mine black.

Love and red cups โ˜ƒ๐Ÿช,

Michaela 

photo credit: https://news.starbucks.com/multimedia/file/7944

            

         

     

                 

             

Michaela Hiley 

Sugar/Shortbread Cookies

image Recipe:

190-250 grams Dairy Free Butter – I use Nuttelex (I add more as I go, as needed)
2 Cups Flour
1/2 cup Caster Sugar

Almond meal (optional) -replace 1/2-1 cup flour with almond meal
Vanilla Extract (optional)

Pre heat oven to 170 degrees FF
Mix with hands to shape dough, when it’s at the right consistency – roll out and cut to desired shape – place on cooking tray.
Cook for 12-25 minutes or until golden, I like to avoid them going too hard or crunchy.

Icing sugar for dusting or add water for decorating!

(can also melt some dairy free chocolate for writing and decorating, using a homemade piping bag out of baking paper)

 

 

 

Read the story that inspired the recipe …

https://luxuryveganstyle.wordpress.com/2016/07/10/the-snowman-cookie/

B12

One of my biggest tips for a new vegan or vegetarian is to watch your B12 levels.
When you’re vegan most people ask you how you get your iron or protein- that’s easy!

Iron = dark leafy greens.
Protein = Most foods provide it, it’s just about learning how to combine food to make a complete protein – but that’s for another post!

But B12 is a vitamin that is only available to us through meat, dairy and other fortified foods, so it is really important we take a supplement. You are unable to tell if you have a B12 deficiency for 3-6 years and can cause physical illness and even depression.

You can buy B12 supplements everywhere and if you need a real boost, shots are also available.