Hot Topic – 100 Happy Days

Have any of you heard about this yet? If you haven’t Google it!!

Briefly it’s about posting a picture to a website for 100 days straight with one thing that has made you happy in your day.

A few of my friends are doing it on Face Book and while I’m mulling it over (whether I’ll join in with them) I really have been thinking to myself that there is hardly EVER a day when I don’t find something to be happy about.

That’s usually because the things that make me happy really are the simple things in life!!

What are some things that make you happy??

This is something that makes me happy, Scrambled eggs (using free range eggs-they taste sooo good) collected from my god mums chickens, on toasted home-made bread with my Cath Kidston style girly mug of tea on my DIY – made over tea-tray (Also on my Blog). xx

Becoming a Vegetarian/ Pescetarian Pros, Cons and interesting info :) Part 2

I am still learning about the Pescetarian/ Vegetarian diet, but this is what I have to offer so far:

CONS

  • People may experience resistance to your change in diet perhaps because it challenges their views on eating meat, they might think you will try to force them to change their diet, they might think cooking for you will be practically impossible or alot of hard work.
  • Some people will need time to adjust to their new diet and find a good balance to get all the vitamins and Nutrients they need.
  • You might think it’s hard to eat out when you change your diet.
  • Some Research is needed to see which products are Vegetarian/ Pescetarian friendly.
  • You might experience Resistance from people who haven’t researched this type of diet or the farming industry; some people can get quite heated about the subject.
  • Some people will try to argue that becoming a vegetarian/ Pescetarian is un healthy and ‘not natural’.
  • You could feel quite alone when you make the swap, if your family or friends aren’t on board.
  • You might feel lost, like you don’t know what to cook instead of meat? Will your diet be boring?

PROS

  • Lots of people notice Health Benefits when switching from a Meat diet, such as a healthier weight maintained, a better complexion, sugar levels are easier to manage and head aches reduce, the list goes on.I have noticed I feel ‘lighter’ and my thoughts are less clouded.
  • I feel more knowledgeable about the farming industry and can help my family who still eat meat pick options where the animal welfare standards have been set higher.
  • There are things you can add to your diet to make sure it is well-balanced so that you don’t experience a deficiency in any vitamins or minerals or fatigue (listed below).
  • Luckily now a days there are lots of ‘Substitute foods’ for Vegetarians (like vegetarian sausages, vegetarian mince, meat style pieces and ready prepared meals). So if you are cooking for the family you don’t necessarily have to have a completely different meal. Also as-well as famous brands like ‘Quorn’ or Linda Mccartney most supermarkets do their own brand of Vegetarian meals and Substitutes.
  • I haven’t yet come across a restaurant that doesn’t cater for Vegetarians or aren’t willing to leave the meat out or swap something so your meal is Vegetarian friendly.
  • So far the products I have found that aren’t usually Vegetarian friendly (and you need to look for specific Vegetarian versions) are marshmallows(they contain gelatin), Jelly, some mousse, medicine or vitamins that come in a gel capsule, also some hard cheeses contain rennet. An easy rule of thumb is before you buy it or put it in your mouth read the ingredients list.
  • We are Omnivores which means we have the CHOICE to eat a Meat or Veg diet, we can survive perfectly well as long as we get our protein and vitamins from other food sources in our diet.
  • Making the swap from meat to substitutes and other foods wasn’t as hard as some people would like to think it is.
  • There are SO many Recipe ideas for Vegetarians online and groups which offer support such as Peta which also fight for animal rights and higher welfare standards.
  • Lots of Celebrities are Vegetarian and Vegan and use their ‘celeb status’ to shed light on the farming Industry, slowly it is becoming ‘cool’ to care about Animals in the farming Industry.
  • My diet is definitely not boring! In fact I am probably experimenting more with recipes and flavours now I am Vegetarian 🙂

Things to consider adding to a Vegetarian diet so you don’t suffer from Deficiency or Fatigue!

Good Sources of Magnesium
  1. Soya Bean
  2. Nuts
  3. Cereals
  4. Beans
  5. Green Veg
  6. Bananas
  7. Apricots

Good Sources of Calcium

  1. Dairy Products
  2. Dried Peas
  3. Tinned Sardines
  4. Leafy Greens
  5. Oranges
  6. Shell Fish
  7. Nuts & Seeds
  8. Figs

 

Hot Topic – Vegetarian/ Pescata/erian…. Part 1

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat – red meat, poultry, seafood and the flesh of any other animal; it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter

Pescetarianism (also spelled pescatarianism) is the practice of following a diet that includes fish or other seafood, but not the flesh of other animals.

A Pescatarian diet typically shares many of its components with a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet and may include vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, beans, eggs, dairy, and insect byproducts (such as honey, carmine, or shellac), but a vegetarian diet excludes meat. The Merriam-Webster dictionary dates the origin of the term pescetarian to 1993 and defines it as: “one whose diet includes fish but no other meat.”[1]

People decide to go Vegetarian/ Pescatarian for so many different reasons, Health, Love of Animals, disagreeing with the farming trade to name a few, this is my story.

I grew up in a meat-eating house hold, infact I really didn’t give it a second thought.

Which to an Animal lover like me is sort of bizarre.

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I adore animals, I’m not saying I’d want to own all of them as pets; more that I have a healthy respect for all animals and great empathy for them.

From an early age that was evident.

I was the little girl who ‘saved’ worms from the path on the way to school, that would otherwise surely die in the summer sunshine (much to the disgust of other girls from my class).

I was the child that brought in injured birds, hedgehogs and frogs (to name a few) and researched what to feed them and how to keep them happy until they were fit enough to return to the wild.

It was only as I became older that I knew of two vegetarians in my family and they didn’t really talk about it, it has only recently occurred to me why they don’t after I embarked on this path myself.

Initially programmes about animal abuse and campaigns about ‘testing’ products on animals sparked my interest such as ‘The Cruelty Free campaign’ and I worked for the Body Shop which also advocates Cruelty free products.

When I learnt of the Cruelty inflicted on innocent animals through ‘testing’ everything from cosmetics to house hold products (just about everything you can think of) I was horrified.

I started to consciously make an effort to buy products with the leaping bunny logo and encourage others to do the same.

Then my interest broadened into general Animal Welfare, I started to research about battery hens and egg production, which restaurants serve free range, the farming industry and eventually slaughter houses.

I had done what most of us do and that is I forgot the connection between the live animal at the farm, with feelings, personality, family and friends and the meat on my plate, (or rather the meat packaged in plastic on the shelves of the supermarket)!

After a few hideous stories, videos (that gave me nightmares) and thorough research about how the farming industry works, (including how some farmers take ‘short cuts’ to gain profit which results in low standards for the animals), how abuse is common and how ‘aware’ animals are; It started to make me feel very uncomfortable.
I honestly believe if more people researched about it and watched the videos I’ve seen, more people would decide to become a Vegetarian.
I didn’t want to take the risk that meat I was eating or buying was part of Ill treatment harm or pain for an animal.

Animal abuse, neglect or lack of empathy is the same whether it’s in the laboratories, people’s homes or farms and slaughter houses.

It has been proven many times scientifically that animals are capable of emotion and abilities to form bonds, recognise each other and humans and have memories and have the ability to learn new things.

Some people wrongly assume animals are less than they are, in every way.

I do not condemn people for eating meat it is a choice, I was once where they are now.

But I do feel that not making that connection between the live animal and the meat you eat and not caring about the animal’s life is a mistake.

Luckily it seems like I am not in the minority Jimmy (from Jimmy’s farm) advocates a campaign called the ‘red tractor logo’.

It supports Uk farmers, and is actively trying to improve the welfare standard and lives of farm animals the meat can be traced back to the exact farms they came from.

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One day the penny dropped for me a ‘Eureka’ moment if you will.

I realised when I eat a ‘leg of chicken’ it is the chickens LEG, when I fancy a beef spag bol a cow has to be killed, when I fancy a roast chicken a chicken is KILLED, if they were in my back garden I couldn’t kill them, I have too much empathy for them.

I used the words, wing, leg, neck what ever the body parts/cuts of meat may have been but I didn’t really think about the words or what they meant.

On top of that when I was learning about some of the horrendously run farms and the emotional and physical torture the animals might endure, I realised I didn’t want to take the risk…at all and the only way I could do that was not to eat meat.

If anything I thought about the meat as flavour and protein NOT under any circumstances did I associate it any more with a live animal having to be killed that’s how desensitized I’d become.

It was the norm and I didn’t question it.

Now I have and my thinking is so different about ‘meat’ or rather the animals.

I feel healthier and happier and empowered by my decision to change my diet I talk in my next post about the pros and cons and things I’ve found out along the way, since deciding to cut out meat and they may surprise you. :)x

Judging others….

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Ok how shall I start todays topic…..

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the quote ‘Judge not, lest you be judged’ to my understanding that means if you judge some one prepare to be judged.

The other quote I’m sure you know is ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ to my understanding that means don’t point the finger unless you are perfect.

A bit like the quote ‘Pot calling Kettle black’ which I think means pointing out some one elses faults when you have plenty of your own, maybe even the same faults as your pointing out (in turn making you a hypocrite).

I’ve seen lots of Quotes on Social Network sites and lots of animosity caused by judgement or comments said with out thought.
It got me thinking, it seems to be a reoccurring theme and a constant point of issue with people who fall out over it.

Theres a big difference between having a general opinion(which we are all entitled to) and pointing the finger at some one directly just to make them feel bad/feel small which is a form of bullying.

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I have come to the conclusion that it is HUMAN NATURE to judge.
We use our judgement skills to make informed decisions, to choose between right and wrong, to decide what we would do differently to the person in question.

We are here to LEARN from our experiences.

In a situation where you are Judging some one ask yourself these questions:

WHO- If I am discussing this with some one are they to be trusted?Could this get back to the person in question?

HOW- How would I feel if the person saw what I’d written or heard what I’d said?How would I feel if they judged me?

PERFECT?Can I see my flaws clearly and do I accept them?

WHY-Why am I talking about this person? Is it because I care? Is it for Advice? Is it to Vent? Or is it to GOSSIP?

WHAT- What am I judging them on and is it worth my time and energy?Is it something petty or something I seriously think needs to be approached?

IMPACT- Whose life does it impact?Mine? A child?A family member?An Animal?Some ones Health?

WORTH IT?Is it worth falling out over?

Try and keep in mind that we all have different priorities we were all raised differently and have different goals in life.
It takes all sorts to make up this world.

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Some times you just need to pick your Battles and …

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Community Volunteer

Firstly I am going to apologise for not Blogging lately.
In my past Blogs I talked about being helpful and thinking of others and making the world a better place.
This culminated in me Volunteering in my community.

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It’s taken my attention away from my last Post about home-made cleaning products and ideas to organise the home.
I miss laid my Camera, so that didn’t help (the pixies must have moved it)!

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I was chatting to my Mum about the state of the country, the lack of a positive system to help people out of work,the lack of Community and people who ‘fall off the grid’so to speak. Possibly because they don’t have family or there just aren’t enough people who step forward and show love and kindness.
Lots of us watch those lovely inspiring videos that pop up on Social network sites about kind people, helping each other and people performing random acts of kindness and I do think the world needs more people like this.
How many people walk past the homeless man on the street and feel to embarrassed or not motivated enough to spare a bit of change or a bottle of water or even a greeting?

Manners cost nothing, neither does being KIND.

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In my Local village there is a Parish Council, a new concept to me and the closest I’ve ever come to it is the Vicar of Dibley!

There will be a Local Fayre near me and every one was invited to the Parish Council meeting about it last night.
It’s really nice knowing what was going on in the local village and I getting to know a few more faces.

It’s sad to think not every one cares about their community or even knows their neighbours names (I am all too familiar with this, when we lived at our last address in Wrexham I experienced this first hand).

I do believe people need to be shown kindness, often the people who are the most shut off, the most irritable angry and impatient people are the ones that need it the most.

I also believe that if you want to see a change you have to take action and take part of being that change you want to see.
Wether it’s starting a group or seeing whats on in your local community that you can part take in, being a good neighbour, we should all be looking out for each other.
It’s a really basic thing that I wish more people would do, as simple as bending down to pick something up for an elderly person,giving up your seat to some one on public transport that needs it more, holding a door or saying Thankyou.
It all has to start some where,no matter how small the steps, I believe in the ripple effect and we all have a responsibility and the power to change the world for the better.

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Snow day!

So the snow has hit where I am staying, I cooked brunch from my parents and we were talking about how fortunate we are that our cupboards are stocked and about the elderly and homeless people that this weather might affect badly.

Also people that have to travel alot,theres alot of debate about the roads not being gritted when it’s needed here.

Here are some of my tips to keep warm and well in the cold months;
If I start getting the sniffles I immediately reach for the high strength vitamin C, I like to eat alot of mixed veg but especially dark green veg like spinach(stir fry is my fave).
Food in the freezer is a must incase you get snowed in,I eat lots of garlic onions and chillies to fend away the lergy! Having tinned fruit and veg and a good stock of pulses and dried pasta and rice is a brilliant mixture to make meals with to fall back on when your fresh food starts to run low.(Check out my previous Post on ‘Mushroom Risotto’)
We also freeze milk (in plastic bottles).Hot drinks whether it’s cuppa soups, tea,coffee,hot squash or hot chocolate is great for warming you up from the inside.Also eating hot food,will warm you up, porridge is a good one for breakfast(with nuts or dried fruit especially).

layers are a must I even tuck my trousers into my socks, 🙂 Toe tees (thick house socks-sometimes with rubber grips on the bottom) are great too, but the proper ones (I think they are a brand name like thinsulate) are brilliant!They really do keep your feet warm.
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If you’re on a low-budget heat one room close all the doors, block any drafts and use that room all day, take your projects into that room take your blankets and get ready for a cozy home day!

Putting your clothes on the radiator before you get dressed and your PJs on the radiator before you go to bed is a great one.
In the colder months I love my hot water bottles,yes that’s right I said bottle(s)I like to rotate them and I like to put two in our bed before we get in so It’s all toasty! 🙂

A quick warning most hot water bottle instructions advise you to NOT use boiling water from a kettle, and quite often the covers on a hot water bottle aren’t thick enough so you may have to wrap it in a towel or small blanket.

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What tips do you have for the colder months?

We’ve been getting on with alot of indoor projects,because of the weather.
Although I did go outside to hang out more of my ‘seedy bird feeders’ (check prev post about how to make them),Don’t forget when the ground is frozen the birds food sources will be scarce and they will be grateful for your scraps. Also I attempted a snow dog sculpture and an octopus!The snow dog still needs a head (the snow is a bit dry not the best for snow sculptures) and my octopus still needs a face, but I had to stop for a hot chocolate and warm up because I couldn’t feel my feet!

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We had Jerk chicken rice and peas and roast mediterranean veg for tea last night (just what you need when it’s cold outside)!
I’ve also been looking alot at You tube and have found some really lovely videos, some that make you feel warm and fuzzy and inspired and grateful.
x
CLICK THE VIDEO LINK TO WATCH A LOVELY WARM AND FUZZY VIDEO:
xxx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8tzswROt70

Charity Shops

To any one that says Charity Shops are a waste of time I beg to differ, If you have patience and a bit of knowledge about what things are worth there are some great bargains to be had.

My friends are all raving about the Fifty shades of grey books and having to buy them one buy one as a treat ( they average about £8 a book there are three in the series), I got all three for £6.

Obviously some one had read them and then handed it into the charity shop they are in great condition.

MY TIPS

  • Befriend the volunteers;

If you go into charity shops regularly and are a good customer and chatty to the volunteers they will look out for things for you, put things aside for you and even phone you if there are items you are looking for.

  • Do prices differ?

I have found prices really differ depending on how well established the charity shop is, if it’s on the high street or down a little road out-of-the-way and what kind of town it’s in.

 For example a well-known charity shop down the high street of a busy touristy town can charge more than say a village charity shop or one on the out skirts of a town that not many people visit.

  • Are all the items in a charity Shop second-hand?

It’s a common misconception that everything in a charity shop is second-hand, alot of charity’s have shelves of ‘new goods’ which are donated by larger companies and are brand new, also items get donated that are brand new packaging and tags intact.

  • What are things worth?

The internet is great for looking things up and seeing what they are worth eBay is also a good guide for second-hand items. I always go by the rule of thumb that if i can get the same thing cheaper new it’s not worth it, its second hand there should be a fair discount.If something is over priced and you know you can buy the same thing new cheaper – ASK… it’s not rude to enquire about a price, not all Charity Shop Staff are Price savvy.

  • Can I barter in a Charity Shop?

I would always say YES unless your told other wise ask if you can make an offer, if something is damaged or you think it’s worth less than what it’s priced at.

  • Take your own bag with you/bag for life.                                    

Not all Charity shops are provided with carrier bags and rely on people donating them, bags for life are sturdy, better for the environment and you never know how many bargains your going to need to carry home.

  • Give back

If you have a clear out remember the Charity shops  especially the ones that aren’t well known they have less help.

Bigger Charity’s that are in chains tend to pass stock around, little charity’s have no one to pass them stock.

Make sure the items are clean and useable, if you wouldn’t give it to some one – don’t give it to charity. You’d be surprised to know how much rubbish is donated to Charity’s including broken and soiled items that the charity then has to pay to get rid of.

  • Check to see if the Charity Shop you want to donate to        

Has room to store your items     

  • Only some Charity Shops can take electrical goods

If you have electrical equipment to donate ONLY charity shops with registered electricians can take them to test they are safe before being re sold.

  • Donating Large items such as furniture

Some Charity Shops run a collection service to collect clean useable furniture from you.

    • What should I donate?Charity shops take most things from un opened food in date for hampers and Raffles to clean clothing and un opened toiletries, some specialise in say items for animal sanctuary’s. These could be things like clean blankets and towels, unopened and in date pet food, some charity’s collect old prescription glasses for third world countries and old mobile phones the best thing to do is ask what they have room for and if there’s anything specific they are collecting.

Happy Bargain Hunting and Happy Giving

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