LVB Interview: Clea from Veganuary

It is nearly that time of year again. No, not New Year’s but Veganuary. The annual campaign to encourage the average joe to eat vegan for the month of January.

Clea Grady, Veganuary’s  engaging and passionate Marketing Manager, was kind enough to answer some of my questions:

How did Veganuary start and why?

Veganuary’s founders, Jane and Matthew, knew that month-long pledges were not unusual, but felt that it could be done differently, and perhaps more successfully, by focusing on the month of January; a time for resolutions and new beginnings. Veganuary is dedicated to changing public attitudes, while providing all the information and practical support required to make the transition to veganism as easy and enjoyable as possible.

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What is your personal story?  What brought you here? 

I became vegetarian at 12 because I loved animals. In my teenage years, being veggie was very much a part of who I was. I was the girl with the hippy skirts. Present day. I’m Veganuary’s Marketing Manager and can say, hand on heart, that taking part and going vegan has completely changed my life. My only regret about being vegan? That I didn’t find my way here sooner.

How many people signed up last year and how many people do you expect to sign up for 2016?

12,800 in 2015, a fourfold increase on the 3,300 of 2014. Hoping to do the same again so are aiming for 50,000 this year!

Any famous celebrity fans signing up?

Vivienne Westwood has been announced so far. http://www.veganuary.com/vivienne-westwood-is-taking-part-in-veganuary-2016/

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Do you have an idea of how many people remain vegan after January?

We survey twice a year, once immediately after January and again six months later. In 2015, 51% of survey respondents said they were staying vegan, and 49% confirmed they have remained so in the follow-up August survey.

What are your favourite recipes/meals?

I have a load of my own recipes on Veganuary.com http://www.veganuary.com/recipe-authors/clea-grady/and I love the ‘Isa Does It’ cookbook!

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What are your top tips for being vegan in a pretty much non vegan world? 

I wrote the whole of our Vegan Starter Kit, which is brand new for 2016, so that would be my recommended first place to start! http://www.veganuary.com/starter-kit/. A sense of community is really important I think, so if you don’t know any vegans locally then get involved with a friendly group online. Our Facebook group is one of the nicest! www.facebook.com/groups/veganuary

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How do you keep the momentum going after January? 

We move into our ‘Try Vegan, Stay Vegan’ phase, where we support the participants who wish to remain vegan, and provide support to anyone interested in veganism during any month of the year.

As a vegan, what can we be doing to spread the message? 

Share, share, share! We rely 100% on our support network to share our messages on social media, and grow momentum for each yearly campaign.

What is up next for Veganuary and the team?

We’ve merged with Animal Equality so that’s really exciting! http://www.veganuary.com/veganuary-and-animal-equality-join-forces/ Continuing to grow Veganuary and become a recognised voice for social change. Our ultimate aim is to make veganism a social norm, so everything we do is a step towards that. J

Joining-forces

Thank you so much, Clea for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you want to know more and maybe even sign up, check out their website: http://www.veganuary.com or follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Veganuary

Let me know if you’re planning on taking the pledge this January.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird.

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Although the weather seems to be forgetting it’s about to be Winter, I’m pretty sure those chilly days are not too far away.  It’s much easier than you may think to find vegan friendly clothing on the high street and beyond. Here’s my top vegan winter fashion finds:

Sweaters

Coats

Shoes

Thanks for reading.

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LVB’s Winter Running Essentials

As pretty much everyone who knows me, knows that the cold is really not my favourite thing. Therefore, if I want to maintain my love for running (and possibly train for that marathon next year), I need to deck myself out in the warmest running gear I can find.  Here are my favourite finds to make stepping out of the door on that chilly day that little bit easier.

 

sb1398_black
Sweaty Betty Thermal Run Leggings £70

http://www.sweatybetty.com/clothes/bottoms/leggings/black-thermal-run-leggings/

 

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Nike Thermal Full Zip Running Top £33

http://www.sweatshop.co.uk/nike-thermal-full-zip-running-top-ladies-450915?colcode=45091524

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Ronhill Pro Gloves £11.99

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ronhill-Pro-Gloves-Fluorescent-Medium/dp/B00F5OVIHK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449427268&sr=8-1&keywords=womens+running+gloves+thermal

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Sweaty Betty Reversible Neckgaitor £25

http://www.sweatybetty.com/clothing/accessories/ski/grey-reversible-expedition-neckgaitor/

 

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Adidas Response Long Sleeve Top £25

http://www.sweatshop.co.uk/adidas-response-long-sleeve-top-ladies-456911?colcode=45691118

 

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Nike Dri Fit Glove and Headband £19.99

http://www.runnersneed.com/nike%20women’s%20running%20dri-fit%20glove/headband/nike-armwear/running-specialists/fcp-product/9195

What are your Winter Running Essentials? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Futures Event, London

bJdkQsnlOn 7th November , I attended the very first Vegan Futures festival.  And if this day was anything to go by, it was the first of many. The venue, in too cool for school, East London was slick and comfortable.  The organisers, Damien Clarkson and Jennifer Pardoe had thought of everything with a great line up, refreshments and awesome surroundings. Here’s my thoughts on the talks I took in:

Fit State of Mind – Claira Hermet

I was not familiar with Ms Hermet before but found her personal story to be touching and inspiring.  Speaking about the tragic circumstances in which she came to the vegan lifestyle, Clara came across as brave and courageous.

Joel Gadzar from the Wild Food Cafe

Not what I expected. Joel had a real focus on spirituality and although some of his passionate speech was a little over my head, his message was clear.  Have the right attitude and bring lightness to others as well as good vibes and positivity into the world.

Becoming a Fit vegan – veganfitness.com

Super fit couple, Darren and Gerogie shared their journey from addict to accomplished athlete. They also presented some great lifestyle tips and I will definitely be checking out their blog for more info.

Panel – Taking Veganism to the Mainstream

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This panel was made up of Juliet Gellatley  from Viva who had some passionate and interesting words as well as Jennifer Pardoe and the girls from Veganuary, Jane Land and Clea Grady.  All of which had engaging insights.

Being a Vegan Endurance Athlete and Living a Life of Adventure

This talk came from the entertaining Laura Scott who told of her journey and upcoming adventure of riding the Trans Am Bike Race across America next year – not something I could see myself partaking in but inspiring non the less.

Screening of Seaspriracy and Q and A / The Environment and Animal Rights – The Friendly Activist

Wise beyond his years, Ali Tabrizi aka The Friendly Acitivst showed his super accomplished documentary and followed it up with an intelligent and fact filled speech.  To see someone so young with such focus, passion and ambition for a cause to benefit others is truly humbling. I know big things will come from him in the future.  Check out Seaspiracy here:

Broadcasting the Vegan Message – Kerry McCarpet

How have I not found out about this wonderful woman before now? Her talk was well thought out, articulate and funny.  She spoke with such intelligence and ease about the impact of Youtube on the communication of the vegan message and how the vegan community has developed over the years. Please take a pause to go watch all of Kerry’s videos right now.

The Youtube Generation Panel

Pic taken from www.veganfutures.com
Pic taken from http://www.veganfutures.com

This was the last talk I listened to and featured a Q&A session with some of the best of the vegan Youtubers creating some really interesting content at the moment.  I, of course, was most looking forward to hearing what the lovely Timothy Shieff had to say as he really has a way to get straight to the point with honest, heart felt responses.  Next time, would love to see a whole speech from Mr Sheiff.

This post would not be complete without a huge shout out to Club Mexicana. The smoked black bean burrito was the best I have ever had.

Overall, a great event and I can’t wait to attend next year.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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London Vegan Bird Food: Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

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Ingredients

Base:

1 Tbs Protein Powder (optional – I used Pulsin Pea Protein)

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 Tbs Cacao Powder

1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries

1 Frozen Banana

1/2 non Frozen Banana

Handful Fresh Spinach

Toppings:

1 Tbs Chia Seeds

1/2 Banana

1 Tbs Flaxseed

Blueberries, Raspberries (or any fruit of your choice)

 Method

Blend together all of the base ingredients until smooth.  Add any toppings you fancy.  I went with bananas, berries and seeds.

LVB’s Documentary Recommendations

the-cove

When I started on my vegan journey, I wanted to learn all there was to know about veganism and animal activist issues and I continue to do so.  Here are some important movies that I found helpful and educational and only served to reinforce the best decision I have ever made.

Black Fish 

Blackfish, the documentary which tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity, has gone mainstream and had such an affect on the general public, must be almost wholly responsible for the theme park giant’s dwindling profits and ever diminishing reputation. A true testament to the power of social media spreading the word and making a difference.  Oh and check out Steve-O’s campaigning antics.

http://www.blackfishmovie.com

The Cove 

The Cove is a 2009 documentary film that analyses and questions dolphin hunting practices in Japan. It was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010. The film claims that 23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed in Japan every year by the country’s whaling industry. It highlights the horrifying fact that migrating dolphins are herded into a cove where they are netted and killed by spears and knives over the side of small fishing boats. The film argues that dolphin hunting as practiced in Japan is unnecessary and cruel.  It is an emotional watch and definitely left me angry at the world!

http://www.thecovemovie.com

Forks Over Knives

This extremely fascinating documentary looks at the claim that the majority of degenerative diseases such as Cancer, Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes etc can be avoided and even reversed by adopting a plant based diet. It follows the personal journeys of highly acclaimed scientists in their field,  Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn whose research is gaining ever more traction to support this claim.

The recipe book is also worth checking out, including some super easy and nutritious meals, snacks and desserts.  Check out this documentary on Netflix right now.

http://www.forksoverknives.com

Earthlings 

A powerful, emotional and difficult watch, Earthlings explores the suffering of animals for food, entertainment and medical research to name a few. Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, this film includes some horrific footage which is often very hard to watch but an important eye opener for all.

http://earthlings.com

Vegucated 

Vegucated is a feature-length documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. In learning about the cruelty of the meat eating industry, they find themselves more affected and involved than they had bargained for.

http://www.getvegucated.com

Cowspiracy 

Another documentary hitting a mainstream audience by the acquisition of one Leonardo DiCaprio coming on board as Executive producer and getting it in front of the Netflix big wigs. This entertaining and educational film follows Kip on his journey of enlightenment about the terrors and truths of the animal agriculture industry and its wider effects on the environment.  It is filled with unbelievable facts and figures and incredibly eye opening discoveries.

I would love to hear any recommendations you may have of further documentaries and movies to check out.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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London Vegan Bird takes New York : Champs Diner

This was going to be the start of my New York food diary but I decided that Champs Diner was so spectacular that it deserves it’s very own blog post. Located in Bushwick, pretty close by to the über cool Williamsburg, Champs is an old school American diner with a friendly feel and an extensive menu. Champs was our first and last stop on our Food tour of New York.  This was probably our joint favourite place although so hard to choose.

On the first visit, I went for the Chik’n Pesto sandwich and my boyfriend had the Pulled Pork burger made from marinated seitan. Both were incredible.  We also couldn’t resist a side order of sweet potato fries which came with the most amazing curry mayo. Highly recommended.

On our second visit, as it was our last day we went all out. I had the Tuno toasted sandwich and the bloke had the bacon cheeseburger which did not taste unlike the McDonalds equivalent. He loved it!  We also had a side of Tempeh wings and washed it all down with a shared chocolate milkshake which was another triumph.

By this time, we were beyond stuffed but the delightfully friendly waiter gave us some giant chocolate chip cookies for the plane!! How nice! We devoured these back in London. In conclusion, Champ’s Diner was fantastic.  Great atmosphere, wonderful staff and incredible food.  If you are visiting Brooklyn, be sure to make this your first stop. http://www.champsdiner.com Thanks for reading. London Vegan Bird

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Bird’s Eye Review: The Vegan Kind Box April 15 #TVK18

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April box? Are you kidding? I am pretty late with this review but it gave me a chance to use most of the products and this was a particularly good box for me combining some of my favourite things.

Ombar Coco Mylk Buttons 25g (RRP £1.49)

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Love love love this chocolate and so to see this in chocolate button form got me very excited.  Try them in conjunction with a bag of sweet and salty popcorn and you won’t regret it. It made me nostalgic for my childhood cadbury’s buttons. Was just missing the story on the back. www.ombar.co.uk @OmbarChocolate
Faith in Nature Coconut Hand Wash 300ml (RRP £4.19)

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I have used the shampoos and conditioners from Faith in Nature and have enjoyed them so was happy to see this coconut hand wash. A yummy smell and great product. www.faithinnature.co.uk  @faithinnature
Coconom Ginger Coconut Sugar 250g (RRP £3.45)

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I already use the original Coconom Coconut sugar but was unaware they offered a ginger variety. An interesting take and I still love the fact that this is a completely natural alternative to sugar. I will definitely be trying the recipe for the Ginger cookies included in this box. They look amazing. www.coconom.com  @coconom

Soffle’s Chilli & Garlic MILD Pitta Chips 60g (RRP £1.20 – £1.50)

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Absolutely in love with these. The first thing that hit me was the deliciously garlicy smell and then I was not at all prepared for the extra crunchy and tasty deliciousness. Well done Soffles. You have a new fan. www.soffles.com  @soffleschips
Eat Chic 73% Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups with Maldon Sea Salt 35g (RRP £2)

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate…the best 2 ingredients ever combined.  Reese’s peanut butter cups used to be my very favourite pre being vegan treat and now with this dark chocolate version from Eat Chic, I can recreate the indulgence. This was absolutely delicious, not too sweet and a really great snack with a cuppa.  www.eatchic.co.uk  @eatchic

I would love to know if you have subscribed to The Vegan Kind and what your favourite products have been so far.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

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Bird’s Eye Review: The Spoke, London

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Just a quick post today to tell you about an awesome cafe we stumbled upon that has recently opened up in North London.  The Spoke on Holloway Road offers a bike friendly vibe but caters for all.

Although not an extensive amount of veggie options, the ones we tried were great and the Almond Milk Lattes were crazy good.

Awesome ambience
Awesome ambience
Chilli Avocado on Toast
Chilli Avocado on Toast
Portobello and Mushroom Humous Burger (Obligatory Sweet Potato fries not shown)
Portobello and Mushroom Humous Burger (obligatory sweet potato fries not shown)
And let's end with one more Almond Latte
And let’s end with one more Almond Latte

I would definitely recommend this place for a quiet coffee, a perfect place to work or drinks with friends.

http://www.thespokelondon.com 710 Holloway Road, London, N19 3NH.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Come and be my virtual friend:

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird

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Believe In The Power Of The Run.

No Chick left behind

"Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way" (peta)

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A lifestyle blogger with a love for many things!

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Vegan fashion, food, travel and other stuff

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new web- www.stylrwithasmile.co

Nick Butter Running

Ultra Runner, Endurance Athlete, Adventurer & Motivational Speaker

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a help page for running addicts

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Running, Lifting, and Everything In Between

Shorter and Faster

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Simple made easy! psychology love feeling emotion thought behaviour success strategy

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5k, 10k, Half Marathon

Around the world in 80 runs

1 man. 2 legs. 80 runs. Many countries.

Icicle climb | trek | ski | run

'inspirational mountain adventures'

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Running, making, baking and creating

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Writing about running, war zones, and everything in between