Alien on Toast... it's what you think you'd asked for when you tell people you're vegan. This blog is dedicated to all things vegan from someone who lives in a pretty non-vegan world! Stay tuned for food, beauty products/makeup, recipes or restaurant/product reviews.... along with a healthy smattering of bad food photography, half eaten leftovers and bad puns.
Today I thought I'd talk a bit about Slimming World. It's a funny one; I've followed the diet on and off for a while (mostly off if I'm honest) and I do find that when I stick to it, it works.
It can be a little restrictive, as all diets are when you're trying to lose weight. It's also very VERY geared towards omnivores and vegetarians. A lot of the free foods are dairy, egg or meat heavy and a lot of our equivalents have 'syns' - a word I detest by the way, but it's what they basically call anything they don't class as a free food or a healthy extra. I'll explain in a minute.
I play a little fast and loose with the rules, I won't lie. There are things I don't syn and should do if I were to follow 100%. But as I still get weight loss, because I don't go mad with these things, I happily carry on.
EDIT: Ps, I have other ideas for posts about Slimming World but I don't want to make this blog about that at all. So I started a new one. If you want a vegan resource for Slimming World, come and join me HERE.
So here's how it works.
You can eat as much of these as you want and are encouraged to fill up on them. They include ALL fruits and vegetables (except avocados*), pasta, noodles, potatoes, grains and rice.
You get 1 Healthy Extra A a day, which is generally dairy products or our equivalents. I usually use this for my soymilk, occasionally some cheese. You also get a b choice which is a limited amount of bread, oats, cereals, some seeds and nuts, some cereal bars and dried fruits. You don't get much of any of these though!
Ugh. A word I hate as I don't like associating food with negativity. However, it's what they call them and it's basically anything that doesn't fall into the above category. Pretty much 20 calories = 1 syn. You get 5-15 per day.
*Avocados - I don't syn them. I know we're meant to but fuck me they are a 100 times healthier than a slab of bacon or beef and those are both free! I don't eat them that often anyway, so I'm cool with not synning them. UPDATE NOV 16 - since I restarted the plan in August, I have been synning them. I still don't eat them that often but I'm trying to deviate less.
If you're anything like me, you'll get bored easily. So I'm always looking for ideas. So this post is to give you a few ideas for lunches, for when you get bored of homemade soup or salad, although those are great options! I'm also planning a follow up post with some dinner ideas.
Rice salad (2 syns)
Easy as pie, cooked rice, some beans, some veggies.... this was actually a pack of premade veggie rice (2 syns for the whole pack) and I added some extra kidney beans and sweetcorn to it. This was a lunch that I cobbled together from stuff I could eat from the local (crap small) sainsburys. A homemade version would be free because you could leave out the oil that the packaged rice has in it.
Spaghetti or Beans on Toast (Free/1 x HExB)
Such a cop out, easy lunch (or breakfast). Here is 1 Healthy Extra B (bread) and a tin of spaghetti. Tinned spaghetti and tinned baked beans are both free.
Pasta & Pesto (Free)
OK pesto isn't free, unless you make it yourself. This is the edamame pesto from appetite for reduction, made without the oil. The nooch in this recipe, isn't really enough to be worth synning when it's portioned out, because this recipe makes a LOT. I also added some broccoli in to cook with the pasta for the last 5 minutes or so, for this dish. A tiny sprinkling of nooch wouldn't really add any syns (it's only 0.5 for a whole tablespoon).
Roasted Veggies & Couscous or Pasta
Another really easy one!I roasted up some butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, courgettes and asparagus, then made a quick easy sauce of some sauteed onions, garlic and some dried herbs and added a bit of tomato puree and water. Mixed in the veg and served it on top of couscous (for Simon)...
Pasta for me!
Bean Salad (Free)
This was actually a recipe from the Slimming World Veggie Delight (I think it's called) book. It was heinous! I hated it. Probably because I used plain tinned kidney beans instead of the ones in Chili sauce that it told you to use. But either way, not a fan. However, a salad like this (beans and veggies) with a better tasting dressing on would be a great lunch. You could add some pasta or rice to it if you wanted, to bulk it out. Keep it free by not adding any oil to the dressing.
Also, another thing I love is making some baked tofu to snack on. Tofu is free and if you don't add oil, it stays that way. I dunk it in soy sauce, rub some seasoning on and then baked it at 180C for 20 minutes, flip it and then bake for at least another 15, to get a good texture. When it comes out the oven, I usually sprinkle it with a bit more soy sauce or some salt.
I'd love to hear from other vegans who have tried slimming world - does it work for you? Do you find it restrictive? Does the constant meat and quark talk in group drive you crazehhh....?
I bought one of these at VegFest a couple of years ago and never remembered to blog about it, or sign up for future boxes. Bad blogger! Anyway, I remembered recently and this time, I've made a video of me unboxing it and showing you what's inside.
So if you wanna see that, then go HERE and if not, here's a spoilery pic...
Hope you're having an awesome week? Food post coming later this week :)
So a while ago I noticed a new brand in Superdrug, called Freedom. I talked a little about them in my most recent favourites post because I am in love with some of their items.
But before I fell in love with some of their products, I wrote to them to be sure they were animal friendly and to ask about vegan products. They are Makeup Revolution's sister brand, so I was 99% sure they would be fine. Here's their response (my questions in purple, their responses in red):
Please see comments below:
(I asked them to confirm...)
- you do not test ingredients or final products on animals? Correct - you do not employ anyone to do this on your behalf? Correct - do you ensure your ingredient suppliers do not animal test? Yes we do -
do you distribute your products in mainland china? We do not distribute
in China, however we may have customers who order our products through
the website, but these would not have to be tested. - are you a private company or owned by a parent, and if a parent, which company? We are not owned by a parent company
We hope this helps
Thanks, Freedom Hub
And on the issue of vegan products?.... "We can confirm that we do not test our products nor ingredients on
animals and neither do any third parties (and we are not owned by a
parent company). We cannot claim that our products are vegan friendly
but we are looking into this soon as we get a lot of requests for this."
So basically, the same stock reply that Revolution give. So as with brands like Revolution and MUA, you have to read the ingredients and decide for yourself if you're ok with them.
The only dodgy ingredient I've seen so far, is urea in their primer water spray, which could or could not be animal based. Aside from that, on the products I've bought so far (including lipsticks!) no beeswax, lanolin or carmine. Win!
Firstly, I have an eyeshadow palette that is lovely and at some point I'll swatch it for you. But at the time of writing this it's too dark to get a decent photo of it for you.
Their brush cleaning soap is fantastic. I personally prefer a solid soap for washing brushes. If you have subscribed to my youtube channel, you might have seen my review of the Real Techniques brush cleansing pad and I show this soap in this video. If you haven't then go do it, what's wrong with you!? (j/k, love you!) (But seriously go subscribe though!)
In my January favourites post last week, I talked about the pro melt lipgloss/liquid lipsticks which I love! My favourite is Up! but I just ordered a bunch more that came today, so I will swatch those for you too, very soon!
This, I think, is a brilliant bargain. This little box of lippies is £5 or £6 and you get 5 full sized lipsticks. I bought the pinks and they are all lovely colours.
L-R: Flushed, Pink Lust, Tell Your Friends, Wildflower and Candy Sweet
And also mentioned in my faves post, the eyebrow powder. Soft, blendable and pigmented. It's fab! This is the shade Soft Brown, I usually just use the lighter shade on my brows.
I also have a correct/conceal palette, which is ok but doesn't blow me away. The texture is a little too thin, if that makes sense. I would prefer it be a bit thicker so that it stayed on a little better. But for a fiver, can't really complain! :)
Have you tried anything from this brand? I'd love to know what you think!
It's February, so it's time for a favourites post. They're mostly makeup but there's a few food bits too, so I'm just gonna mix it up.
Firstly, this Pro Melt liquid lipstick/gloss from Freedom Makeup. The colour I love is called Up and it's just the most perfect pink. I find myself reaching for this almost every day as it goes with most eye looks. So pretty. It's a comfortable texture too, it's kind of like a very pigmented gloss, but melts is a good description.
A food one - M&S brought out loads of gelatine free sweets recently, YAY. Not all of them are vegan - some of the shiny sweets have beeswax in. But these are vegan and they are SO good. They really do taste like the fizzy drinks they represent. Yummy.
Then these churros. These are from Asda's frozen section and they just take about 10 minutes in the oven. To melt the choccy sachet, I just chuck it in a cup of hot water. OMG these are so good. I don't think they're limited edition either!
Next up, my new phone case! I found this in tesco, heheh. It's a clear case so you can see the colour of your phone through it, but it's covered in pugs! So cute.
I discovered these recently. They are salty snacks made of snap peas and yes they are vegetabley and they don't fool me into thinking they're crisps. But they're pretty nice for a lower fat snack! I saw a few flavours in the supermarket too.
OK I probably shouldn't really include this, because I literally opened it 2 days ago. However, I LOVE it already. It's the Indelible Paint in Purplexed by Medusa Makeup (I got it from Cutecosmetics.co.uk). Firstly the shade is gorgeous but most important, it is SO pigmented.
This is seriously one swipe! Most coloured eyeliner, even awesome ones like Makeup Geek's, need a second layer to get full pigmentation. This doesn't at all. One swipe! Look at that... amazing!
I got this cute lil piggy from Primark, of all places. Basically it suckers onto the back of your phone and you can then use it as a stand. Really helpful when I'm watching youtube on my phone! :)
Next up is this baby; Lush's Ultrabalm. I feel like I've had a stinking cold for a month. I haven't but I feel like it! This has been saving my poor, chapped, sore nose. I put a teeny bit of this on my nostrils after every nose blow and it helped so much. I have also been using it as lip balm, because my lips have been mega mega dry.
Having a cold plays extra havoc on my already dry skin. It's already dry because it's been so cold but add a stupid cold on and ergh. So I find that foundations with less coverage are better. So I've been reaching for this foundation a lot. The shade is pretty much a perfect match for me and I love the coverage of it. It's enough to even out my skin but it's not heavy; my skin still looks like skin. I can then use concealer to cover any imperfections showing through.
Something I've been loving recently is the Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. It's brightening, obviously but also it works as kind of a primer for your concealer. I have pretty dark circles under my eyes and this helps a lot and gives me a lovely bright inner corner too.
Lastly, is another Freedom product; the brow powder. I use Soft Brown, just the lighter of the 2 shades. I bought this back in December and I loved it straight away. It's the perfect shade for me and it's really soft and blends out perfectly. They do a pro palette of all their shades which I am definitely picking up for my pro kit. Freedom is super affordable and you can find it in Superdrug.
So that's it. What have you all been loving this month?