Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Yes, you're still eating Meat...

Lately I have been a little sick of some people I know claiming to be vegetarian or vegan who are still clearly not.

 I know it is a little rich to sit here and quote my own definition of "vegetarian" and "vegan", but I will say that only cutting out beef or pork does NOT make you a vegetarian. It also doesn't mean that you don't eat meat.
Meat is the flesh of another animal. Whether it be a cow, pig, chicken, turkey, or (shock) fish!
I don't understand why someone who eats chicken or fish would presume to call themselves vegetarian? You have simply replaced eating one animal with another! (Also, someone that chooses to remove all meat except fish from their diet is called a "pescatarian")
Please don't get me wrong, I think that any reduced amount of animal products consumed by friends or family is a wonderful thing! But I don't believe that people should take something like being a vegetarian and brand themselves as such, without actually living by the moral code that comes along with it.
I stopped eating meat because I couldn't stand the idea of causing the pain of another just to satiate my own unnecessary desire for their flesh.. it is slightly repulsive to me to be honest.
I do not begrudge others who don't feel the same, I truly am not going to walk up to you on the street and pressure you into becoming a vegan! But I don't believe that anyone that does choose to eat meat (from any animal) should then brand themselves as something they are not.

Rant over.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

One Month to HOLIDAY Countdown!

I was going for a walk on my lunch break today and as I walked past the airport I saw the planes  soaring into the clouds, and I realised that we are leaving for our own holiday in only one month!!! EEP!
A plane coming in to land at Sydney Airport
In 30 days we fly out to Indonesia for a week of sun-bathing (with sun-screen on because I'm not silly....... and because I am pale as hell and don't suit blisters), swimming, enjoying cocktails and fresh fruit on the beach, and soaking up some beautiful culture! As I mentioned in a previous post, this is one of the things I had planned to do for this year that I can (very soon) cross off my list.. YAY!
So when we booked this holiday, I said to myself: "Erin, you're going to be a good girl this year, you're taking your health seriously for once, and you're going to go to the gym as many times a week as possible and become some sort of beach goddess in Seminyak."  -That lasted about 2 months... which is pretty good for me! Unfortunately during this time frame, my back - which has been a douche for a while now - started to give me  a little trouble. I ignored it for a little while, then when the pain became ridiculously unbearable I took myself off to the chiropractor in stead of the gym.
I still maintain that it was a great move on my behalf, as they found a few underlying issues there that could easily have become chronic issues had I not addressed them sooner.
Needless to say, my gym routine went out the window for a while as I was healing myself and re-learning how to stand.
Unfortunately for me though, I am now attempting to get back into a routine I had easily created months ago, and now seem to not be able to get back into: be up at 4:30am to be at the gym for a 5am start.... ughhhh. It's even more hideous written down!
This morning was my first day back at it, and I am feeling amazing! But I really did struggle when my alarm went off at 4:30.. I may have even gotten up to turn it off then crawled back into bed with my phone snuggled sweetly under my arm... But only for a minute! Then I realised how important it was for me to get up, so I did! (wonder of wonders!) - it didn't help that Domino was meow-ing constantly from the minute my alarm went off.

Our stunning villa in Seminyak

So I am trying to set myself a little goal of going to the gym as many mornings as I can until we go, doing yoga as many evenings as possible, and going for a walk in my lunch break when I can also - all in the hopes of being able to put on a bikini in Bali and feel confident when I get to that amazing pool (above).

Have you ever tried to set yourself a ridiculous goal such as this one? Are you a self-saboteur as well? What's your workout routine like?


It's Election Time...

It's federal election time again here in Australia.. We're only 2 weeks away from the cardboard booths, ridiculously large sheets of paper, and the head-down walk of shame past the local candidates wanting to shake your hand (it's FLU season people!).
Politicians are generally the same world-wide - there are plenty of gaffes, dorky dancing, and oh so many ads - thankfully we don't watch TV during the week.

One of the many memes of this election - Sarah Palin / Stephanie Banister
I fear this election is not showing the world how intelligent our nation is... really! It is terrifying that people might group Australians with the likes of Stephanie Banister, Tony Abbott (including the wider Liberal community), and James Diaz.

Seriously! Australians invented the refrigerator, the notepad, zinc, Hills Hoist clotheslines, cask wine, and the Ute (utility vehicle).... We are obviously not all as silly as our politicians would like everyone to believe.

This is all without mentioning that Julian Assange is now running for senate with the Wikileaks party....

I am not saying that I am against all politics (can I hear anarchy?), I just think that a lot of people would feel more engaged (*cough* youth *cough*) if things were a little less ridiculous -..I know, I know.. silly notion.. -and maybe more centred on the actual issues?? (cutting education funding may need addressing some time soon..)
I have always believed in making a conscientious vote, and attempting to know as much as possible about the party that I am choosing.. that being said, I generally don't change my opinions on parties once I've decided, and have always voted the same way.. but at least it is an informed decision.
I urge people not to walk into the polling booth on the Saturday and pick a party at random just because it has "sex", "gun" or "fishing" in the name..
Voting in Australia is compulsory, and I think that has made a lot of young people completely switch off - being told you have to do something has never made people too interested in doing it, has it? (how many times did you refuse to clean your room when you were told you had to?)
Maybe they should try engaging with youth? I was completely ignored at a train station by a local member (who shall remain un-shamed). She was handing out fliers for her party and skipped me completely even though I was obviously interested in receiving what she had to give me(I had forgotten my book that day). I'm not sure if I may have looked under-age that day, or she thought I looked too left-wing to be interested, but I thought that seemed slightly discriminatory and counter-productive.

What are elections like where you are? Is there as much ridiculousness? Do you switch off, or does it make you more interested when there are things to keep you entertained through the process?

One of my least favourite candidates - Mr Abbot - showing his sexy/ignorant side

Thursday, 15 August 2013

A few reasons why I love Lush..

I went into my local Lush store today, and I always forget just how amazing it is in there! The customer service alone is worth the trip.
Here's why:
  • I walked in, was greeted warmly & even recognised by staff
  • She allowed me to walk around and smell things until I was ready to be approached
  • I was listened to attentively, and felt like every minor concern I brought up was completely understood.... even while I explained my dislike of one mask simply because the texture put me off..
  • I was offered a bunch of products for every concern, and the few I picked out were tested on my hands first - probably the most lovely part - she brought me over to the sink, where she began rinsing and lathering one hand, then setting a mask on the other - so that I could feel and smell them.
  • I was given a free sample of one product I was unsure about, and when I bought all of my goodies, she invited me to a VIP night to test out their new range of scents. YAY!
That is basically a repeat of every time I've ever been into that store!
The best part of going into Lush is that I always walk out feeling so much better about myself than when I walked in!

If you've not heard of Lush, check out their products here. Most of their products are vegan, and nothing in their store has been tested on animals.

Some of the bits and pieces I picked up :)

Some masks, a spot treatment, toner, cleanser, perfume, exfoliant & glitter bar!

    My favourite cleanser:
    Fresh Farmacy
    A new mask!

A little sample of Angels on Bare Skin

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Noticeable Benefits of going Vegan

I thought I should write down some of the things I have noticed that changed since I have gone vegan.. maybe there are people who are interested in veganism, or other vegans who have experienced similar (or extremely different) benefits of going vegan.

  1. My nails! From the first month I noticed that my nails had started hardening and growing much quicker than normal. Since I was a child I have always had soft, brittle nails that tended to chip and snap off before they could get to any use-able length. I had tried hardening polishes, cuticle creams, shellac, and ultimately acrylic nails (*shudder*) to achieve the beautiful, long nails of my favourite celebs... Little did I know all I had to do was ditch the dairy and I would have Dusty Springfield nails in no time! Ta-Daa! 
    My "long" nails - thanks to quitting dairy
  2. Weight loss. Duh! It is a complete no brainer that when you remove high-fat foods like butter, cream, milk, (most) chocolate - and all the things that include those nasties - you are going to lose weight! I also really don't understand diets that claim to help you lose weight by eating more meat... I cringe to think about how disgustingly constipated those poor people will be :( Seriously, plant based diets are the way to go to lose weight. I lost a few kg in the first month or so, and it was great!
  3. Clear eyes. This might be one you're not so interested in, but I have found that it brightens my face up so much having clear, white eyes.. And it makes the green in my eyes stand out so much more! 
  4. Skin improvements. So my skin is not the best. I get hormonal breakouts, and wear make-up most days - all day - for work... So I still get some breakouts, but nowhere near as many as I used to, and for nowhere near as long as I used to. It's brilliant :) I'm sure switching to all natural face and body products would have helped too, since my skin isn't clogged up with lots of nasties!
  5. More day-to-day compassion. I have found that in everyday life I seem to feel more compassionate toward not only animals, but other people too. Spare some time (or some $$ if you can) for a charity or group that you think does some good in your area..
  6. Bloating-be-banished! I never feel bloated after I eat anymore! It is fantastic... no matter what I eat, it seems to settle in my tummy so quickly, and I never seem to feel icky and the dreaded "bloat". (another benefit along with this one for me is being "regular".. hehehe)
  7. General health - My health seemed to improve dramatically after I went vegan! I noticed it most when winter started, and everyone at my work seemed to get sick within 2 weeks of each other, and I was the only one who resisted the flu! I was confounded at first, until I realised that it was the food I had been eating! I had paid attention to my health, and it had paid off!
Me "suffering" through Sydney winter - no cold for me!

I will try to think of more changes I've noticed too, and I will post a follow up if I do see more! 

If you're a vegan, and noticed some awesome changes in yourself, let me know! We can compare notes! 

P.s I asked Travis some things he's noticed and he said "my nails are harder to bite through" and "I fart more" hahaha. Guys are so observant.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A little obsessed with zombies

First scene of The Walking Dead - walkers

Now that Game of Thrones is over for the season (sigh) I have been in need of a new show to watch... and since the lastest season of The Walking Dead has aired, Trav and I have started watching the latest half of the season.
We came across the show when season 2 was almost finished, so we spent a little over a month watching it from start to finish, then when it ended felt that horrible sense of loss until the next season began airing. It became a little like crack for us.. I even began having dreams about the zombie apocalypse. Unfortunately for me, in these dreams I always ended up in a city, with a population of about 1 million un-dead... scary  (If I could choose: I would hole up somewhere safe with high walls and enough provisions to wait it out - preferably in the country.... with people who know how to grow veggies....... and no zombies)

I must admit, I have been slightly obsessed with zombies snce they resurrected(hur hur) after everyone seemed to tire of vampires.. I love zombie movies (World War Z, Warm Bodies, Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead etc etc).
I even have the running app: Zombies, Run! and have finished all of the runs in season 1. I have just downloaded season two and I am OH so excited to be chased by zombies while I'm running around my neighbourhood on the weekends!

Zombies, Run!

If you haven't used the app yet, if you love anything Zombie, and enjoy running (or need an excuse to get motivated to run), then definitely try Zombies, Run!

Official Day One of the 30 Day Yoga Challenge!

Getting ready to yoga!

Tonight my lovely boyfriend decided that after a couple of days watching me yoga it up at home, he thinks he would like to challenge along with me! Isn't that nice? Although it does mean that I had to start from day one again so that we could do it together from the beginning, I didn't mind, because it can only benefit me, right? :-)

Basic update: my shoulders and arms are a little sore from all this downward dog-ing, but my back is feeling amazing! 
The tension after a work day seems to release - which is amazing - and leaves me feeling relaxed and ready for bed :) 
Overall: Feeling amazing, and happy to continue on for the rest of the 29 days ahead! 
Tip: Don't push anything that doesn't feel right. Relax into the poses and concentrate on your breath.
Are you Yoga-ing too?

Monday, 5 August 2013

30 Days of Yoga Challenge


Hullo there! Mid-week boredom has spurred a challenge!!!!

So.... I am not the fittest person in the world, and I would never claim to be, but since I hurt my back a few weeks ago and haven't been able to get to the gym, what was left of my fitness has only declined..
The last week I have been attempting to go for a walk every day on my lunch break, not only to get out of the office for a little while and get some much needed vitamin d, but also to get my body moving since I haven't done much of that the past month..
As I am sure I have mentioned before, I am a procrastinator.. and I have been procrastinating about going to yoga for probably years now. I get ready to go to a class, then I find an excuse not to go - my yoga mat has a tear, I don't have my sports bra, my shirt sits funny today... etc etc until I finally have convinced myself that it would definitely be a bad idea to go today.. bad karma or something.
So I have decided to try and make myself accountable for actually doing it! Because I have been told that yoga will help to strengthen my back and neck and hopefully correct some of the damage I have done through years of poor posture. So I have decided to do a yoga "challenge" of sorts. I have videos to use through the week, and there is a class locally for me to go to on weekends to make sure I am doing everything correctly. I have attended a class here and there, so it is not completely foreign to me, but still a challenge is a challenge, and I am sure it will feel it.
So basically, the rules are: 1. Do yoga every day for 30 days. Got it? Good :) I'm not into setting crazy rules that I cant live by though, so if there is a day when I reeeeaaaally can't get it done, the I will have to do it twice the next day.. Morning and night. Fun!
Wish me luck, or join in for the fun!

Let me know if you've ever tried a challenge like this one, or if you're interested in trying it out with me! It would be great to know I am not the only ridiculous one out there.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A quick lunch - Vegan hotdogs with a twist

Vegan Hotodog - With a Twist

Vegan hotdog - in a corn tortilla

Out of sheer desperation, I searched our cupboards and fridge and couldn't find anything to make for lunch! **shopping day woes**
Finally, I looked in the freezer and found a packet of vegan sausages that I'd bought on a whim a few weeks ago, and half a packet of corn tortillas from last week..  et voilĂ ! A delicious and QUICK lunch - vegan style :-)

Vegan hotdog - in a corn tortilla

I used:

  • A corn tortilla - fried with some Canola oil spray
  • Vegan sausage - Sanitarium brand - cooked under the grill
  • Coriander (cilantro)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mustard
  • Yeast flakes
  • Fried Shallots 


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Commuting sucks

Just a word on why I hate commuting.
Lately I have been extremely lazy, and not waking up early enough to catch my train, which means in stead I am driving.... Naughty naughty, I know.
Besides clocking a LOT of unnecessary mileage on our new car, it also leaves me very frustrated by the end of the day, especially when there has been excessive traffic.... Much like this morning!
A car caught on fire  on the freeway that I travel on to get to work, and left all 3 lanes of traffic crawling. Although yes, this sucks, it meant I did get to take a pretty picture of the fog receding over the mountains:

Hawkesbury from Brooklyn Bridge
Definitely not one of he worst parts of commuting.. and I must admit: being awake to see the sun rise over the water every morning is probably one of the nicer parts of my day.

Long story short, I did eventually make it to work on time.. After narrowly avoiding another breakdown, and sitting through the regular city traffic.. PHEW!

Oh well.. TGIF right?!