Transitioning to a Vegan Lifestyle

Hey, loves

It’s the second week of 2018 and I’m sure resolutions have been made, although I’m not a fan of resolutions. One of the resolutions I find most people make is to be healthy and go to the gym more often. So I thought why not share some tips for a new vegan or anyone who is thinking of being vegan this year. What better way to kick in the year than to start on a healthy journey so here are the tips:

  1. Start with a open mind
  2. Go at your own pace. Start with the one thing you eat the most and substitute it with a vegan versionpace-2.jpg
  3. Do some research on meat and dairy industries. Before being committed to being vegan I tried the vegan lifestyle twice and failed. The third time I tried, I stuck with it. You know why I failed the first two times? Because I wasn’t prepared. I did not do enough research. I wanted to go vegan for the wrong reasons. Then when I tried the third time, I had fully done research, watched documentaries, and recipe videos on YouTube and I had my own personal reasons for the lifestyle change and that’s when I made my decision and I have not looked back since.
  4. Watch videos on YouTube if you need ideas for recipes.
  5. Look at your fridge and pantry —-> Throw out anything that is non-vegan (especially if it’s going to tempt you)
  6. Walk down the produce section. I don’t know if I’m the only one but I feel so good when my cart is filled with vegetables, fruits and wholefood.
  7. Give yourself extra time to cook. Learn to enjoy being in the kitchen.
  8. Try to avoid vegan junk food (mock meats, Oreos etc.). Although mock meats can help with the transition, they aren’t really the healthiest.
  9. Do not be embarrassed. Not everyone will understand why you’re vegan. And that’s okay. You don’t have to explain yourself to everyone.
  10. If you’re going to a friend’s house or a road trip, pack some snacks with you.
  11. When eating out, check out the restaurants menu online and see if there’s anything available for you. Most ethnic restaurants (e.g. Asian, Indian etc. ) have ‘vegan’ options on their menu.
  12. Messed up? Don’t sweat it. We’re all human. Just get right back on track.
  13. Don’t judge others’ lifestyle. Don’t become a preachy vegan. This is quite hard especially when you’ve done your research. Try to understand that people are entitled to eat whatever they want.succeed.jpg

What About Your Non-Vegan Things? 

I think the world is definitely coming up and there are certainly vegan substitutes for almost everything. I can still eat cheese, ice cream and milk, it’s just a veganised version. Try not to think of a vegan lifestyle as deprivation. I find that most people think of veganism as a ‘loss’, like you’re missing out on all these amazing things but I promise, there is a vegan substitution for everything you eat. And it tastes the same, if not better.

Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan Family? 

Coming from an African family that loves their meat it’s definitely not easy being vegan. But it’s possible. I’m lucky enough to have a family that support this journey I’m on. If you live with your family and they aren’t vegan, I’d suggest when going out to buy groceries, try to stock up more on fruits and vegetables and some wholegrains and either asking your mom/dad to cook something separate for you or you can cook it yourself.

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I’m sure some have noticed that the name of my blog has changed to Mbali’s Corner   The reason for the change: I have an interest in a lot of things and initially when I started this blog, I wanted to talk about natural hair but my interests have expanded and this is my little space to vent and share my thoughts and feelings without fear. It’s a new year and I wanted some change. Here’s to the new year, to new goals and new experiences. If you have any questions on veganism or anything else, please feel free to comment down below.

Love,

Mbali

 

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Developing a Spiritual Code of Conduct

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I know I’ve been gone but I needed to spend time with the family and since we’re now in the new year, I know people probably have resolutions and things they want to accomplish. I think making resolutions is and great and all but you don’t hear a lot of people telling you to create a spiritual code of conduct to help you navigate through the year and to know what to accept and what not to accept from others and yourself. So I’ve compiled a list from Iyanla and I added my own as well and I really pray that you can take some of these dos and donts and develop your own code of conduct. Here they are:

Dos 

  1. Ground yourself spiritually everyday. Connect with something greater, bigger and grandeur than yourself everyday. Without fail!
  2. Know who you are at the core and essence of your being and that your behaviour does not define who you are.
  3. Ask for what you want and don’t settle for what you think is available or what you think you can get.
  4. Do affirm yourself everyday!!! And that sometimes comes with connecting with God and knowing who you are.

Q1

Donts 

  1. Do not think that because it hasn’t happened, it will not happen. Sometimes it don’t happen because you’re not ready. Or the situation and time is not right. Just recharge and renew your vision.
  2. Do not accept the unacceptable.
  3. Don’t move until you have a vision. A vision means that you can see it on the inside before you can experience it on the outside.
  4. Do not stay where you don’t want to be because you’ve convinced yourself that you have nowhere else to go.
  5. Do not act like you know when you don’t know. Ask for help!
  6. Do not allow people to diminish your light. Everything you hold on to has to up level you.
  7. If you tolerate it and accomodate it, you will have to entertain it repeatedly
  8. Do not fail to tell yourself the truth about yourself as soon as you know it
  9. Do not allow people to hold you to their limitations. If they believe you can’t do it, show them that you can.

Q2

At the end of each day, review your actions from everything you did and ask yourself the following:

• Who did I serve today?

• Who did I help today, without asking for payment?

• With whom did I share some knowledge today?

• Did I speak consciously today?

• Did I keep the agreements I made with myself today?

• Did I keep the agreements I made with others today?

I will leave you guys with the link to Iyanla’s Spiritual Code of Conduct. I just summarised it but the book is more in depth. It’s completely free: Spiritual Code of Conduct. It’s definitely worth a read. I would recommend you to add it to your reading list for 2018.

I hope this was worth reading and extremely helpful

Love,

Mbali

What I Eat In A Day | Vegan

Hey, loves

The title of this post says it all. I’ll be showing you guys what I typically eat on a day-to-day basis. This obviously changes sometimes depending on seasons or on what is affordable. This post is going to be quick and straight to the point so let’s get to it.

Before having breakfast, I have a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar

Breakfast 

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Oats with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, dates, shredded coconut with almond milk topped with strawberries

 

Lunch

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Spinach, Cucumber and roasted potato salad topped with homemade tahini dressing

I’ve never really been fond of store-bought salad dressings and this tahini dressing tasted just as good with half the amount of sugar.

Snack 

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Watermelon

Dinner 

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Cucumber, Avocado and Carrot Sushi 

On days when I don’t feel like cooking, I’ll make sushi. I always thought making it was hard but it’s actually quite simple.

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I won’t be posting for 2 weeks due to exams. I really need to focus on that. But I promise to be back. And let me know down in the comments if you loved this post and if you need help going vegan or just want to know more, please feel free to email me: mbalimusix@gmail.com.

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Vegan Carrot Cake

Hey, guys

So I have another recipe for you guys. I’ve been craving carrot cake lately and so I looked up some recipes on how to make carrot cake. I used a recipe from the Minimalist Baker but I changed some things up. I used items that were already in my pantry. I promise this tasted really good. I was planning on making a vegan cream cheese frosting but it was already sweet enough on its own (And I’m trying to cut back on my sugar intake). This is ideal for breakfast or just Sunday afternoon tea. It was moist(a little too moist), fluffy and rich. My non-vegan sister approved so I guess it was good. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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INGREDIENTS 

• 2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour

• 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp baking soda

• ½ tsp salt

• 2 tsp cinnamon

• 3 grated carrots

• 1.5 cups coconut sugar (or *sub with brown sugar)

• 2 flax eggs or egg replacer

• ¼ cup Olive Oil

• 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

• 1 cup chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts (Optional) 

METHOD 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  2. Grease a cake tin with vegan butter.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the grated carrots and sugar.
  5. I used a store-bought egg replacer but you can make a flax or chia egg by mixing 2 Tsp Flaxseed Meal or Chia Seeds with 6 Tbsp Water and let it sit for a minute.
  6. In the meantime, add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar into a mixing bowl.
  7. Add the flax eggs.
  8. Mix everything together in the mixing bowl
  9. Add a little non-dairy milk, only as much as you need to get the batter to a wet consistency so it can mix properly.
  10. Lastly, add chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds. I added pumpkin seeds.
  11. Pour the mixture into the cake tin.
  12. Place into the oven for roughly 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  13. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes.

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I decided to serve mine with maple syrup. However, it was already sweet enough on its own.

You can cover it at room temperature where it will stay for a couple of days or keep it covered in the fridge where it will stay good for a week!

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I’m pretty sure you guys think I just eat vegan junk food🙈. But during the week, I eat good and then I reserve my cheat meals for the weekend. I was thinking of doing a ‘What I eat in a day’ blog post for those thinking of becoming vegan. Let me know down in the comments if you guys would love that. And also let me know what you think of this carrot cake or if you’re thinking of trying it out.

Thanks for reading ♥︎

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My Natural Hair Mistakes

Hey, loves

It’s been a minute since I posted and I just thought I would share some of my hair mistakes when I started my hair journey. I haven’t done a hair post in quite some time. Remember that what works for me may not work for you. So here goes…

  1. Thinking that if a person had the same hair texture as me, that their hair routine would also work for me. Find what works for you.
  2. Comparing my hair with natural hair Youtubers, especially when I started out. I used to think Why isn’t my hair as curly? Why doesn’t it do this? Why do my wash n gos not look like hers?  Why isn’t my fro as full as hers? Stop! Just love your God-given hair. It’s on your scalp and it ain’t never gonna change. Learn to love it. Our hair can do so much: One minute its frizzy, long then the next, it’s curly and in a shrunken state. Such versatility. IMG_3323
  3.  Trusting a stylist who had no idea how to take care of Type 4 hair. I remember when I first returned natural, I went to my usual salon spot to get a wash and a blow out (I didn’t know how to do it myself back then) and the stylist was literally yanking out my hair while he was blowing it out. And mind you, he didn’t even section off my hair when washing it nor did he detangle it. I was literally traumatized from that (I could hear my hair breaking) and ever since I have not been to a salon in almost 2 years. Although, I know there are some stylists who know how to take care of coily hair. Some have no clue. So before going to a salon, just check that your stylist actually knows what she is doing. Or just learn to do your own hair (Better option in my opinion)
  4. Trimming my hair all the time (I’m still working on this y’all). Whenever I do twists on my hair and I see a loose hair hanging at the ends, I just chip it off. It’s a bad habit but I just feel good when the twist is the same diameter from the roots to the ends.
  5. Slicking down my edges whenever I did buns or puffs. Biggest mistake. My edges suffered. I don’t do it anymore, I learnt my lesson. And my edges are recovering nicely. Slicking down your edges really causes tension and they end up thinning out. It’s great to do it every now and then but not all the time. Let your edges breathe.
  6. I manipulated my hair a lot, especially when it started flourishing. I had the hand-in-hair syndrome.IMG_1904
  7. Believing that protective styles such as braids were life. I know for some, protective styling works. But for me, protective styling just makes me lazier. Recently, I was wearing a wig a lot because its more convenient when I have early mornings but I sometimes would go a whole week without moisturising my hair. With protective styling, you don’t really have the pressure to moisturise your hair because you know you’ll be slapping on a wig in the morning. So it doesn’t really work for me.
  8. I jumped on the coconut oil bad-wagon. Coconut Oil don’t work for everybody. I prefer it for pre-poos but I don’t really like coconut oil for moisturising, olive oil is my favourite. You really have to discover what works for your hair. And this relates back to my first point, what works for someone else might not work for you.IMG_3612
  9. Not moisturizing my hair enough. I honestly would go a whole week with dry crispy hair (I know, I know 🙈). All because I was just lazy to spritz my water mixture on my hair before going to bed. This made wash-days even harder because my detangling process would be quite long.
  10. Buying hair products just cause people raved about them. I think it’s great to figure out your hair by using different products, I did that at the start of my journey, but don’t break the bank trying to buy a hair product just cause your hair guru has it.  Stick to what you know. The simpler your routine is, the better.

These mistakes are limited to my hair and I know that some things mentioned above work for other people. Some of my mistakes might be your hair holy grail tips. The journey is all about finding what works for your hair. We all have different hair types and textures.

Comment down below any mistakes that you’ve had on your journey and if you need any clarification or help in starting out your journey, feel free to let me know or alternatively you can just email me. I hope this helped in some way. ♥︎

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The Return

Hey, guys

I know…I know it’s been a long time.I’m not even going to make excuses, I just needed a break from everything. Those who follow me on my social media accounts know that I haven’t been as active lately. I think it’s important to know when your spirit needs rest and so I did exactly that. But I promise I am back. And I can’t wait to share some new thoughts, vegan recipes and a lot more with you guys. Thank you to my old followers for being patient with me and thank you so much to my new followers ♥︎ Welcome to the family. And let’s just learn from each other on this journey.

 

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Cauliflower Fried “Chicken”

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I had no idea cauliflower could be used to make fried “chicken”. Now I was never a fan of fried chicken even when I was a non-vegan but I thought I should try these out. And they actually didn’t turn out so bad. My dad and his friend were literally laughing me at the whole time, they didn’t think it was possible. But I promise they taste good. And it kinda looks like chicken, right? The eyes can be deceiving 😅

Honestly being vegan has forced me to be creative with the food I eat. You do not need to take a life to enjoy a very delicious meal.

The key to getting that perfect crunch is in the double batter.

Ingredients

• 1 head of cauliflower

• 1/4 cup of almond milk

• 1 cup wholemeal flour

• 1 tablespoon chia seeds (to create a chia “egg”)

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

• 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

• Bbq sauce and/or hot sauce

• 5 tablespoons of coconut oil, or any oil of your choice

Method

1. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 2 Tablespoons of water and let it sit for 5 minutes.

2. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, ground pepper, paprika and nutritional yeast

3. In another bowl combine the hot sauce and/or bbq sauce, chia seed “egg” and almond milk. Mix until creamy.

4. Heat the frying oil. Use one hand to dip a cauliflower floret into the wet mixture then dip into the flour mixture. Dip it back into the wet mixture and into the dry mixture again. Double dipping is essential to get that fried chicken crispiness. 

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5. Place the coated floret into the hot frying oil. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower. Cook until the pieces are a golden bronze.

6. Transfer into a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

7. Serve with a sauce of your choice.

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Even my non-vegan sister was amazed at how good they tasted. Absolute perfection! Let me know down in the comment section if you have tried making these or have ever thought about making them.

Till next time,

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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

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I made cinnamon rolls today. And I knew I had to share the recipe. That’s how excited I was. These taste so amazing! They contain no dairy, no butter and a tiny amount of sugar. They are somewhat on the healthy side, with the exception of flour and sugar. They taste amazing with or without icing. The cinnamon scent of these is enough to make me weak.

I first saw these on Sweet Potato Soul’s YouTube channel and she made hers with sweet potato. I made some changes to her recipe but they still taste just as good. If you are in need of a guilt-free dessert, you should definitely try making these.

Ingredients 

• 1/4 cup of warm water

• Raw Sugar (however much you need)

• 2 teaspoons of dry yeast

• 1 teaspoon of chia seeds

•  2 cups of Wholemeal Flour

•  2 Tablespoons of Olive oil or Vegan Butter

• 1/4 cup of almond milk (you may need more)

Filling

• 1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil or Vegan butter

• Cinnamon (as much as you want)

• Raw Sugar (as much as you want)

• You can also add walnuts, cashews or anything else you want.

Icing 

• 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Syrup or Maple syrup

Method

  1. In a medium-sized bowl mix 1/4 cup of warm water, 1 Tbsp of sugar, 2 teaspoons of yeast and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds. Mix and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl mix 2 cups of wholemeal flour, 1 tsp of baking powder, 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 Tbsp of raw sugar. Add the above mixture (Step 1) to the dry ingredients. Add 1/4 cup of almond milk (or non-dairy milk). Mix and knead to form a not too sticky dough.

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3. I covered the dough and let it rise for an hour. If you don’t have the time, you can always proceed to make the rolls immediately without any rise time.

4. Sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp of wholemeal flour onto your surface, roll the dough into a somewhat rectangle

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4. Spread some olive oil/butter (not too much) onto the dough. Then sprinkle raw sugar and cinnamon on top. You can add as much as you wish. I added a lot of cinnamon.

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5. Roll up the dough and seal the edges to avoid the filling from spilling everywhere.

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6. Cut up the rolls an inch wide, about 9-12 pieces.

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7. Place the rolls on parchment paper or a greased cake pan

8.  Let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm place

9. Bake at 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove and let them cool for about 5 minutes.

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9. You can top off the rolls with anything you want. I drizzled mine with organic coconut syrup.

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You don’t know how difficult it was to take pictures with the fresh rolls wanting to get in my tummy.

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These rolls are:

Fluffy

Sweet

Animal-free

Cinnamon-y

Easy

& Guilt-Free

In other words, they are absolute perfection.

Thanks so much for reading.

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Can we all just slow down?

Where is everybody rushing off to?

We’re always rushing somewhere. In primary school, I would say I can’t wait till I’m in high school. When I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to get to university. Now that I’m in university, I can’t wait till I graduate. I’m probably my biggest critic. I’m a huge over-thinker which does not help at all. I’m 21 but I sometimes feel like I should be further than I am currently. Like I should be doing more with my life. I mean I’m studying and all but my spirit just yearns for more. Having a father who is so goal-oriented does not help either. A week ago, I heard the voice of God just say Do you ever just stop and enjoy where you’re at?.

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Image from Pinterest

There seems to be this sense of urgency among our generation. When you’re single, everybody’s always asking When will you find yourself a man? As soon as you get one When are you two getting married. Once you’re married, When are you having kids?. Can a girl just breathe?! One thing I know for sure is that when you rush to get somewhere, you’re always going to end up crashing and trust me, it’s not going to be pretty!

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I’m learning to enjoy where I’m at. It’s great to have a vision and remind yourself of your goals and dreams but don’t dwell so much on the future. God has already predestined that. Focus your energy on the now. Be present wherever you are. Put all your energy, your heart, mind and soul into becoming who you were called to be and into your career and purpose.

P.S: It took me a whole week just to write this 😅 Let me know down in the comments section below if you have ever felt pressured by friends, family or by the thought of your age. Or am I the only one who has ever felt pressured to do more at a young age?

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My Vegan Journey

I know I’ve been gone for almost two weeks but uni work is piling up. I have assignments due all around the same time.

So I had this written a couple of weeks back but the perfectionist in me just wouldn’t post it. The inner critic in me was like “You’ve been vegan for a month and suddenly you think you know it all?” Disclaimer: I am not a know-it-all, I just love sharing my experiences. And I’ve been slowly learning to silence my inner critic and write about what makes me happy.

I’ve thought about going vegan for over a year now.  I watched “What The Health” and “Forks over Knives” documentaries on Netflix and it honestly made me think twice about the food I was putting into my body and my overall health. I would highly recommend you watch these. I’ve been vegan for almost a month and it has been a challenging journey. I have to cook most meals from scratch. For example, if I feel like a burger, I will make one from canned chickpeas or blackbeans and add some fresh veggies and spices into it. I could purchase veggie burgers but I just prefer making them myself. It’s extremely hard when you’re going out with friends and all you can eat is fries or a salad. Especially at restaurants that don’t accomodate vegans. But I always order fries because who eats salad, right???

I have been eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables lately and my body just feels “lighter” physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I know some of you are probably wondering “Where does this girl get her protein from?” Contrary to popular belief, meat is not a necessity for protein. Protein can also be found in your greens such as spinach and peas, non-dairy milk such as almond milk, tofu, nut butter and beans.

What Do Vegans Eat? 

• Mock meats – I don’t normally eat these because they are filled with so much soy products. But if you’re still transitioning, like I am, they are a great substitution for meat.

• Dairy alternatives: Almond milk, Soy Milk, Coconut and there’s tons of vegan cheeses available. And for all the ice cream lovers, most stores stock non-dairy ice cream.

• Beans, as mentioned above, are an amazing source of protein and they are really inexpensive.

I’ll leave you guys with one of my favourite breakfast meal recipe. This has to be my favourite breakfast to make when I have time.

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These are vegan pancakes

Ingredient list (makes 3-4 pancakes)

1 cup Wholemeal flour

Chia seed egg (I pour a tablespoon of chia seeds into a bowl with two-three tablespoons of water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes)

Almond milk (however much you need for your batter)

2 Tbsp Raw Sugar or use maple syrup

1 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Olive Oil

I topped these with maple syrup, shredded coconut and strawberries. This was a party in my mouth. Egg-free and dairy-free.

I’ve been thinking of making Mac n ‘cheese’ for the past couple of weeks but I haven’t had my ingredient list sorted so once that is done, I will be sure to post up a review or recipe.

And I promise to catch up on every single blog posts.

Comment below if you’re thinking about transitioning into a vegan or if you are vegan. A girl could use tips or recipes to try out.

Thanks for reading,

Till next time,

XoXo