Vegan Product Reviews
COYO Vegan Yogurt Review
One of my favourite snacks of all time is a big bowl of yogurt, syrup and fresh fruit. Since transitioning to a plant based lifestyle I really have found it hard to find a yogurt which I enjoy.
Coming across COYO was a such a blessing; not only is it dairy free its free from Soy! I am trying really hard to cut Soy products out of my diet so COYO instantly caught my attention.
What I love even more about COYO products is their history. They were founded by Henry Gosling whom was born and raised in Fiji. From an early age he scraped coconuts for his family which was used as the main ingredient of his family meals.
As his wife was allergic to gluten and intolerant to dairy, COYO was born and is a plant based alternative to dairy yogurts. COYO offers people with dairy, lactose and gluten intolerances an opportunity to expand their options in a world where individuals are over exposed to products that are filled, pumped and bulked with ‘nasties’ (puss, blood, hormones and so much more).
Currently COYO have created yogurts and ice cream. The ice cream I am yet to try , but for now let me give you the low down on the yogurts.
The yogurts are dairy free and made from the milk of a coconut, five plant fed cultures are then added creating the smooth, velvety free from dairy alternative. I love the freshness of the yogurts as you can taste the honest flavours without the addition of sweeteners or preservatives.
COYO offer five flavours:
- Morello Cherry
- Salted Caramel
My favourite has to be the salted caramel, I have a thing for sweet flavours that leave me licking the spoon and yearning for more.
Click here to find out where you can purchase these goodies.
Precious Vegan Meets Cauldron
Honestly, I have never been a huge fan of Tofu as I am not a huge fan of Soya. However, Cauldron never disappoints me, with their flavourings and texture.
If you know me, you will know that Asian food is my favourite delicacy, so when Cauldron sent me their Sweet Ginger Tofu I couldn't wait to cook up a dish and share it with you.
This Tofu has an authentic Japanese flavour, one that I am familiar with as my dad has visited the country many times and always encourages us as a family to try the latest flavours. (Whilst practising his Japanese when passing us one of the many dishes across the table)!
I am so excited to share with you my recipe using Cauldron Sweet Chilli Ginger Tofu, it's so simple and literally took no longer than 20 minutes to throw together.
- Dash of Rapeseed oil
- All purpose seasoning
- Chinese 5 spice
- Golden Syrup
- Maple Syrup
- 1 box of Sweet Chilli Ginger Tofu
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- Couple cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 1 celery stick
- 1/2 pineapple, sliced
- 1 aubergine, sliced
- Brown Rice or Black Bean Spaghetti
- sprinkle of chilli flakes to garnish
- Generous handful of your favourite nuts!
- Wash your rice!
- Bring your rice to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes (cover with foil) DO NOT STIR!
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place the sliced pineapple and aubergine on a baking tray, cover with maple syrup for 15 minutes (or until slightly brown)
- Season the Sweet Chilli Ginger Tofu with the marinate that comes in the box, Chinese 5 spice, all purpose seasoning and mix with as much golden syrup as you like and leave to marinate for as long as you can in the fridge
- Preheat rapeseed oil in a frying pan
- Over a medium heat throw in the onion, spring onion, garlic and celery
- Then add the Sweet Chilli Ginger Tofu, stirring occasionally until warmed through
- If you choose to use the Black bean spaghetti instead of the rice cook the spaghetti in a separate pan of boiling water for 5 minutes
- Your dish is now ready to be served and garnished with chilli flakes and nuts
If I had to choose one dish over the other, I would go for the brown rice. I found it more filling and believe it worked better with the aubergine and pineapple.
If you aren't vegan but are veggie curious and are on the hunt for inspiring recipes that are filled with exciting flavours head over to 'Cauldron Foods' where your imagination will come to life on your next plate.
I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as me and do let me know your thoughts.
Alodia Hair Care 'Twist Out'
I have never proclaimed myself as a ‘hair blogger’, but when ‘Alodia Hair Care' got in touch with me I couldn't say no - especially as the products were vegan.
Alodia Hair Care’s founder Dr Isfahan Chambers- Harris created products made from natural ingredients to help protect her hair and others from breakage and scalp damage due to years of chemically straightening her hair.
As a woman with mixed-cultured hair myself, I can fully relate too. Years of straightening my hair (either chemically or with electric tongs) to try and ‘fit in’ to be ‘socially acceptable’ ruined my thick, curly hair and I am definitely paying the price for it now.
As a result I am now struggling with heat damage (thinner hair and lack of curl definition). I was in need of products that nourished my hair which in turn would help it grow and manipulate it back into a style that I would fall in love with.
I have never tried a ‘twist out’ before, so I was looking forward to testing out the ‘Alodia Hair Care Twist and Braid Out’, with the help of UK Curly Girl.
The Products used to create the final look were the following;
- Alodia hair care nourish & moisturise hair cream. Ideal for all hair types in need of moisture and hydration for a healthy, shiny and a redefined finish
- Alodia hair care deep conditioning masque. Infuses moisture-starved strands with natural, high-quality ingredients that help nourish the scalp
- Alodia hair care nourish & hydrate conditioning shampoo. This beauty gently cleansed my hair, whilst removing dirt, sweat and product buildup without stripping my hair of its natural oils
- Alodia hair care nourish & grow healthy hair scalp oil. This gem supplied my brittle ends with necessary hydration
If you like me are on a journey towards healthier hair and have struggled to select the ‘right’ hair products; Alodia Hair Care has developed styling kits for near enough every occasion; Wash N’ Go, Twist Out, Thermal Kit and more.
I would really recommend you try these products or any of the other styling kits you feel would work for you. The products have been tried and tested on women who have taken a stand to love their natural hair and not be pressured by society or conform to societies portrayal of what is beautiful.
I am so happy to be a part of a generation that is reclaiming their natural hair and teaching our future queens that black is beautiful.
If you would like to watch the full tutorial please click here
Home Scents and Violets Review
For months I have been keen to try out home products that are cruelty-free, eco friendly and 100% natural.
Then like a miracle I came across ‘Home Scents and Violets’; what I love about this company is that all the products were created in the creators kitchen.
I was fortunate enough to be sent:
- Pure and Natural Toilet Cleaner; What really struck me about this was the strong scent of fresh lime; I have definitely seen and smelt a freshness to the toilet since regular use.
- Pure and Natural Glass Cleaner; with 0% vinegar my windows and mirrors have never looked nor smelt so clean.
- Pure and Natural All Purpose Cleaner; this all purpose cleaner can literally be used on everything from your cooker to your floor! It is so pure, there is no need to wear gloves. The essential oils linger for a couple of days leaving each room fresher whilst soothing your aura.
- Pure and Natural Washing Up Liquid; I hadn't even thought about where the harsh chemicals of non-vegan detergents end up until I started using ‘Home Scents and Violets’ products. Now I know my household isn't contributing to damaging rivers and not killing innocent fish and their homes.
- Unscented Laundry Powder; I would really recommend this to those of you whom suffer from eczema as it was developed for individuals with sensitive skin.
- Unscented Mineral Bleach; what I love about this product is that the ingredients used are activated by water which in turn releases oxygen. Its also great if you want revamp an old white garment, as it takes out those horrible yellow stains.
- Laundry Softener; I was a bit weary of changing my softener as I am so picky as there is nothing better than to snuggle in an oversized jumper! I was surprised with how soft this left my garments and would highly recommend.
As the products are vegan certified they are free from animal testing, and ingredients are ethically sourced meaning they are made from sustainable sources and no petrochemicals or synthetic chemicals are used.
If you have liked what you have read and want to try these products for yourself, head over to the 'Home Scents and Violets' website add the 'TRY ME' selection to your basket for only £3.60.
Overall I was really satisfied with all the products I received and I look forward to switching over my home products to vegan friendly products.
Charlotte Tilbury Review
I Like My Products Like I Like My People Non Toxic!
I’m not going to lie to you, converting my non-vegan makeup to vegan cosmetics was harder than giving up chicken! I have been a slave to MAC makeup for almost 11 years and I honestly never thought I would stop using it.
However as time went on I became more conscious and saw beyond the name and actually realised what it stood for. To wear products that have been tested on animals is almost narcissistic as it gives the impression our ‘beauty’ is worth more than an animal’s life.
Before I go any further I just want to clear something up, just because a product is cruelty free doesn’t make it vegan! As cruelty free products are still legally allowed to contain ingredients such as shellac and beeswax. Whereas vegan cosmetics are not tested on animals and also DO NOT contain animal products.
I have been on the hunt for new makeup products for a while now but I kept saying I would make the transition to vegan products once my MAC makeup had finished as I didn’t want to waste them; then my cousin came along and spoke to me about Charlotte Tilbury.
Charlotte Tilbury is one of the high-end, luxurious, and high-quality brands. Thus I was slightly apprehensive about how much replacing every item of my makeup bag to vegan was going to cost me! But I decided to head down to Charlotte Tilbury Covent Garden branch and give them a try.
On arrival my cousin and I were escorted down the stairs into the ‘Beauty Boudoir’ and given a seat and a glass of Prosecco by one of the in house artists Silvia. Before working her magic, I told Silvia that I was vegan and explained to her my transition and she informed that although all of Charlotte Tilbury’s products are not tested on animals they aren’t all vegan. Slivia then provided me with a list of all things vegan and explained and demonstrated how to use them and what some of the ingredients were.
I must admit having my makeup done in the ‘Beauty Boudoir’ has to be one of the best make over experiences I have ever had. Nothing was too much for her and no question I had about the products were left unanswered.
Honestly speaking looking into a mirror these last 8 months has been an effort as I have developed active acne and if I am truthful I was dreading sitting in front of a mirror for an hour. However Silvia’s calm and gentle approach as well as an A class sense of humour really did relax me and at the end of the makeover I was teary eyed whilst thanking her as it’s the first time in eight months I actually didn’t mind looking in the mirror.
It is one thing showing and being compassionate to animals in our decision making when buying and using products that have either been tested on animals or have animal products as part of the ingredients. But we must also show ourselves compassion and not be so hard on ourselves especially when living in a social media driven society, where ‘beauty’ and being ‘perfect’ is seen to be so accessible.
Self-confidence is a major key and without it, it can really dampen our mood and well-being. It is so easy to become over obsessed with what we look like and how we appear to the outside world; but trust me when I tell you no amount of makeup can make you feel beautiful unless we learn to love ourselves from within.
I urge you to practice self-love on a daily basis and if you would like to share with me how you take care of yourself drop me line!
Huge thank you to all the Covent Garden staff for all your help and kindness on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 especially you Silvia. x
Coco and Ginger
I don’t know about you but I think there is something so hypnotic and mesmerizing about the flicker of a candle. After a 13 hour shift at work there is nothing more relaxing and peaceful than the warm glow candlelight brings to my bedroom.
I find candle meditation almost hypnotic; my mind settles and I am able to focus my mind and ignore the unwanted chatter of my thoughts. My mind goes quiet as I go into a trance observing the flames of the candles dance.
Candle meditation works best for me when I use scented candles that are aligned with what I intend to achieve from each meditation session. This is why I cannot express my gratitude enough to Coco and Ginger for sending me ‘Gratitude’, ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Compassion’.
Gratitude is the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Thus the beginning of my mediation begins with me showing thanks and appreciation to all that is going well for me in my life, as it can become very easy to get caught up with all the negativity.
The fruity notes of plum, cassis and rich dark berries indulged in decadent spices of cinnamon and clove; the glamourous floral accords of jasmine and rose surrounded by sweet patchouli, sensual vanilla and moss helps me destress.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I have the travel bug! Meditation allows me to visualise and stimulate my dreams and deepest desires in a safe space.
The zesty fragrance of mandarin, rhubarb & grapefruit combined with smooth milky coconut supported by bamboo, lychee resting on an exotic base of musk, sandalwood & vanilla; Enables me to picture myself on a beach with a cocktail in hand, with the distant sound of the waves coming and going.
As a psychiatric nurse compassion is a trait that comes quite natural to me and as my vegan journey continues to manifest I have become a lot more concerned with the suffering of animals.
The ‘compassion’ candle is rich and earthy with liquorice tones of anise blended with crisp green leaf and zesty citrus fruits. Coconut sweetens the tones of cedar and violet that dry to reveal a cushion of oakmoss and tonka. When meditating with this scent I become almost overwhelmed with the desire I have in my heart to help those less fortunate than myself.
How Precious Vegan meditates
I start by getting myself comfortable by siting in the lotus position and taking a few long, deep breaths to relax. I then bring my attention to the flame and immerse my gaze to the dance of the flame flickering.
At this stage it is completely natural for my mind to start to wander so I just redirect my concentration back to the flame; in time my thoughts slow and I am able to center myself.
I am so proud that Coco and Ginger products are not only vegan but are locally made in South London and their journeys began by a friend buying them a candle making course for their birthday. I guess dreams really can come true with handwork, determination and consistency!
Price and approximate burn times
£8 small tin- 15 Hours
£13 large tin - 20 Hours
£22 small glass - 25 Hours
£30 large glass - 50 Hours