I spent a week test driving some very small aspects of vegan lifestyle.
But I didn’t toss my leather jacket in the bin. Nor did I completely banish all animal product from my diet. And I did use my Mac lipstick maybe once or twice.
But I’m not gonna scorn myself with the words ‘bad vegan’. Last week was all about dipping my toe in the water, testing it out & seeing how it fared.
Veganism. It used to be a word that was associated with hippies, tree huggers, flowers-in-their-hair kinda people. It certainly wasn’t mainstream. And to utter the word ‘vegan’ in a restaurant would often be met with raised eyebrows and panic in the kitchen.
‘WHAT THE HELL CAN WE FEED THESE PEOPLE’. ‘Um hummus?’
But nowadays, it’s becoming more and more regular to hear the phrase ‘vegan’ batted about. And lemme tell you something; vegans don’t all look the same. They don’t necessarily have flowers in their hair or dance around trees. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they’re 101% against cruelty to animals.
Shops are abandoning fur and leather, and the volume of animal cruelty videos circulating on Facebook is making even the hardcore beauty queens think twice about Estee Lauder or MAC Cosmetics.
So last week, with the arrival of some Arbonne products, I decided to finally do what I’d been meaning to do for ever such a long time. Give veganism a little go.
As I said; a little go. I’m not claiming to have embraced every inch of the lifestyle fully. Mainly, I wanted to see if the beauty & health products were any different and how my body fared with the removal of meat from my dinners.
I’ve been testing out Arbonne Products, all of which are proudly 100% vegan and Peta certified. No rabbits or chickens or any other cute furry things were harmed in the creation of their products, which I think we can all agree is pretty ace. All products are botanically inspired with clinically proven results.
But how do they compare?
So armed with my vegan meal plan, I spent last week embracing a different lifestyle. It’s been more of an eye opener than I thought it would be. I’ve picked out some of the things I tried below and given them a little review for you:
‘It’s a long story’ – Arbonne Cosmetics Mascara
Let me be clear. I’m not a beauty blogger. I have zero routine. I usually end up buying expensive make up ’cause I ain’t a clue what I’m doing with my face and my theory is that expensive make up will somehow make it all better. Lols. Great theory there, Jade.
So my standards aren’t exactly sky high when it comes to beauty products, but one thing I am quite fussy about is mascara.
I don’t like it too heavy or clumpy and I am fully against looking even remotely a little bit panda-ish. And one of my pet hates is mascara that lasts about five minutes. This gal ain’t made of money y’know?
‘It’s a long story’ from Arbonne Cosmetics slotted into my simplistic make-up routine perfectly. It’s high quality impressed me and it worked well for how I like to apply my make up (with a shaky hand; it was a very forgiving mascara)
The product is as light as a feather. It doesn’t clump the lashes and it creates a really natural look; something I strive for. I guess if you’re looking for that camel eyelash kinda thing, then this product probably isn’t for you. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to build up layers for a heavier look, but you ain’t gonna be no drag queen using this mascara.
It stayed on well until the end of the day, but it does come off really easily with make up remover which is a plus for me. Can’t stand scrubbing my eyes at the end of the day.
The verdict? I wouldn’t notice any difference between this brand or another mainstream brand. Proving you don’t need to test on fluffy things to get great lashes.
Indian Spiced Cauliflower & Chickpea bake with Rice
This was one of my fave vegan recipes of the week and so flippin’ easy and quick to do.
Vegan food, I’ve decided, is all about making what would usually be your side dish the queen of the show. Put the crown on that wonderful broccoli, show off that sweet potato and highlight the awesomeness of those mixed beans.
This recipe literally called for me to throw Indian store cupboard spicing all over a tray of cauliflower and chick peas. Bake in the oven and serve up with some rice.
And who said creating vegan food was hard? Jeez.
Okay, so a spoonful of yogurt across it would have added an extra bit of yummy creaminess to it. But it really was quite spectacular as it was.
You can find the full recipe here.
Purifying Sea Soak – Arbonne Aromassentials
Taking a bath was a novelty in itself for me. Since moving into our compact bungalow at the beginning of the year, I’ve been restricted to showers. Weep.
So last week I packed my Topshop rucksack with all my bathing essentials and my Detox Purifying Sea Soak pack and headed to Withrington Heights (my parents) for a well earned bath.
I don’t know what topped what; lounging around in the giant bath tub on the third floor of my parents place or the indulgence of the Detox Purifying Sea Soak.
Either way, the whole thing was pretty lush. I went home that night as though floating on a flipping cloud.
It contains mineral salts and spray dried sea water and is designed to draw out toxins in the skin. Lets be frank; there are plenty of similar products on the market like this, but for me the draw was in knowing that this product is entirely botanically based, no nasty chemicals and completely vegan.
Now I just gotta persuade Maxwell to extend the bungalow of love to fit a bath in. Babe…
Not the quickest of recipes. The butternut squash tends to take a little while to soften up in the oven. But very nice none the less and pretty easy to throw together.
I kind of off roaded on this one and took a recipe I found and then stuffed EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING into the squash because I was worried it was gonna be bland.
It wasn’t bland. I mean it wasn’t ‘blow your socks off’ tasting either, but it was a nice, well rounded dinner. And I was really full up.
I used a mix of rice and quinoa because I was worried about not getting enough protein intake and then HECK just throw in some mushrooms for good measure.
I don’t think Max was completely sold on it, and to be honest I think I could do more with the humble squash. That’s on next weeks agenda.
You can find a basic recipe here. But as I said, just chuck whatever else in that takes your fancy. You da boss.
Herbal Infusion Blend – Arbonne Essentials
Containing 9 different botanicals, this caffeine-free tea was a great way to wind down before bed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a tea pigs kinda gal at heart. I drink that stuff (oh and 10 cups of coffee a day) like it’s going out of fashion. But swapping to these pure, herbal teas was a pleasant change. It was caffeine free and I certainly did a lot of sofa napping last week. Lols.
It’s pro’s were; they didn’t have that horrible aftertaste that other cheap green teas have. Ew. Cannot stand that. They were peppermint flavoured with a hint of liquorice and elder-flower. So pretty nice to drink.
And they did have a calming effect on me, as all hot drinks do (apart from coffee, which puts me into double quick robot time).
Never eating meat chilli again.
Okay probably a lie, but you get the gist yeah? This was better than meat chilli. Fo’ real.
And it used up all the spare, leftover veg in my fridge at the end of the week. It was a humble dinner, with big flavour and oh so filling.
I roasted off butternut squash, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus in the oven and then made up the usual concoction of chilli sauce. Added the roasted veg with a tin of kidney beans and served it along with some rice.
It made the ultimate comfort food.
You can find a base recipe for the sauce here, but I kinda free styled this one by roasting off all my leftover veg and adding to the pot. It really can work with anything.
I enjoyed the challenge tremendously. The Arbonne products were a joy to use and the vegan dinners encouraged me to think differently about how I eat.
Do I really need to eat meat at every meal? No, probably not.
Do company’s really need to use animal products and test on animals in order to come up with quality health & beauty products? No, probably not.
It’s certainly got me thinking.