Stories of 2019 #55

The age of 22 has gone by in the flash. It only seems like yesterday that I was celebrating being 22?! And now within two months I will be 23. This year has been an age of change alongside a constant ‘what am I doing with my life’ thought running through my head. You are in a middle ground of still being very young and trying to be grown up (if possible)…

But a more fun twist on the blog today, I am going to pick 22 things I have achieved since turning 22 and going to set myself a challenge of completing 23 things before the 4th June 2019.

The age of 22

1 – Completed my Master’s degree (woop woop)

2 – Survived living in a flat infested with mould and damp (although this could have health implications later in life lol)

3 – Travelled to the other side of the world solo (ridin’ solo)

4 – Scuba dived in the Great Barrier Reef (and saw a huge turtle, which was incredible)

5 – Jumped out of a plane (I mean, it does not get better than that for a highlight really)

6 – Undertook work experience at High Life magazine (British Airways) and went to some cool PR events in London, pretending I was a true VIP

7 – Ate tiramisu and drunk Aperol in Italy

8 – Became a fully-fledge barmaid (I can even change barrels now)

9 – Learnt to surf

10 – Moved back home and spent some time with my mum and dad (still here and I reckon they do not want me to leave)

11 – Learnt to be happy on my own

12 – Read so so so many books!

13 – Flew to Florida with Jess for a press trip and it was the most amazing experience with some #influencers

14 – Became a plant-based hippy

15 – Applied for full time jobs, as in actual careers and had interviews (scary). I know, who knew I was at that stage… No one wants me yet but still

16 – Had a drink in the Dome in Edinburgh (a place I have wanted to go since my first visit in 2016)

17 – Visited family in Perth (something I never thought I would really do)

18 – Found oatly barista milk (may seem a silly one to some but this was a great moment for my 22nd year and oatly will be with me forever lol)

19 – Drove! (I am not a very confident driver and prefer to use my legs but on Fraser Island in Australia, I was designated driver and everyone made it out alive. I was told to speed up as I was going too slow but I am all about safety in the driving department)

20 – Decorated my room (I even built my own IKEA furniture. If that is not an achievement, I do not know what is to be honest with you)

21 – Had articles published in national publications (find them here…)

22 – Met so so so many people from the UK and around the world. From on a hostel bus meeting Tom, on a bar crawl and meeting Rosa to my regular customers at the pub, I have met an untold amounts of interesting, lovely people!

My 23 before 23…

1 – Vlog again (I rewatched an old video and I miss doing it! lol at me watching myself)

2 – See the Dior exhibition at the V&A (one failed attempt, second time lucky hopefully)

3 – Drink sherry and flamenco dance in Seville (this is slightly cheating because I know I am 100% going here)

4 – Bake more cakes and bread (for maybe exciting projects up ahead)

5 – Try to meditate daily (even if it is only for 2-3 minutes a day)

6 – Practise yoga again (when I was in Nottingham, I went to hot yoga at least 3 times a week and loved it. With no hot yoga or regular yoga classes within walking distance to me, I am going to try and practise it at home)

7 – Go to the new Chia cafe in hitchin (as one of my favourite spots in Hertfordshire, they have now expanded and I need to get myself to their new digs)

8 – Make seitan (vegan alternative)

9 – Complete a 48 hours offline challenge (no phone or laptop)

10 – Drink champagne at the Shard (very posh, I know)

11 – Plan and book a solo 2019 trip? (I want to do everything and want to go everywhere and I think I want to do it solo? However, everything is up in the air at the moment and I feel like I am on the pause button…)

12 – Make a smoothie bowl for breakfast (channeling my inner Zen Ven)

13 – Try a charcoal latte (I don’t know why but I am very drawn to them right now)

14 – Go on a gondola in Venice (cheating again and on my last day of being 22, but how amazing. I am very much looking forward to that)

15 – Attempt to make my own oat milk…

16 – Buy a pair of Veja trainers or Novesta (they look so comfy)

17 – Apply for a secret competition (I will only say if we get it. Top secret stuff)

18 – Have a facial (I am big on skincare and face creams but I have never had a facial? Luckily, I am going on a spa break in May so hopefully, I will tick this one off)

19 – Get out of my overdraft (easy said than done when I am off to Seville next week)

20 – Host dinner party (I did one at Christmas and it went very well. I will return for the summer edition)

21 – Finish Tina Brown’s book (I have been reading this monster of a book for over a year now and it is about time I finished it)

22 – Set sail on a cruise with the simple 5

23 – Celebrate my 23rd birthday in style in Croatia!!!

Hopefully I can add some cool pictures to these ones below.

Stories of 2019 #54

For the past six months I have switched to a fully plant-based diet. Before, I was mainly vegetarian whilst still eating or drinking dairy produce and on the odd occasion eating some fish. I first decided to try a plant-based diet because of the nutritional benefits but then I began to sway towards the ethical side of a plant-based lifestyle, especially after reading the book, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

But what I have loved about following this type of diet is the cooking! I did cook before but I do feel like you have to be more prepared and more willing to cook from scratch. I have put together marinades, used a variety of spices and tried different veggies, fruits and vegan substitutes like tofu and tempeh that I have never tried before.

However, some things have not changed and for breakfast I still remain faithful to my delicious oats that I was having before (the same breakfast for about 5 years now lol) but now, if I have it with milk, I have it with a plant-based milk like almond or oat and then top with nut butter and more often than not, dark chocolate because why not! Recently I have also been making overnight oats which I am currently loving. I put my oats, truvia sweetener, raisins and chia seeds into a jar (which I have up-cycled) and cover it all with almond milk and leave it all overnight in the fridge. Then, in the morning either eat it from the jar or pour into a bowl and pair with coconut yoghurt and banana for breakfast.

Lunch and dinner is a very similar set-up. I have some sort of protein, whether that be tofu, tempeh, lentils, pulses or vegan chicken pieces. Alongside this, I will have a carb which most nights is noodles (soba or udon) because I am literally oodles for noodles. Alternatively, I will have some cous cous or rye bread. I am not really a person to have much pasta or rice unless I really fancy it. I did today, however, have quinoa for a change! Another option if I am at work, at my mums bakery, I will usually have a granary bread sandwich as the bread is vegan and sent in fresh, daily, and it would be rude not to test to products. For the safety of our customers of course… Then alongside these two food groups, I will have a ton of veggies. The usual suspects are courgette, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and red onion and then, if I am fancying being a bit out there with my veg selection, I may have the odd avocado, sweetcorn, new potato or edamame bean.

Sauce/marinade wise I normally make my own also in preference to buying a jar. I have four favourite, go-to recipes…

Tarami sauce, garlic clove, sesame seed oil, maple syrup, smoked paprika and ginger.

Coconut milk, peanut butter, tamari and curry powder – more thick, creamy and tastes indulgent.

Coriander, pea, spinach and almond milk (add water if a little too thick).

Chickpeas or butterbeans, tahini, garlic granules and some water (hummus).

I usually put these all in my nutri-bullet and blitz it up baby!

Keep scrolling for some plate-spiration, nicely put together with flowers, plants or my legs :).

This post is a bit of a ramble but I wanted to show you how delicious and easy plant-based foods can be to put together. I do have other foods, less often, which are more processed such as vegan croissants, chocolate, vegan yoghurts and pastry but I much prefer to cook using whole foods and delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables.

What is your favourite plant-based dish?

More recipes coming soon…