Seedling Magazine Issue #3 - Feb | March 2019

bethany.chester

Free vegan lifestyle magazine which also covers sustainability, spirituality and more. This issue: In our cover story, we find out how one family is 'homeschooling' their children whilst travelling the world. We have some tips on living sustainably when money is tight, and thoughts about how to form healthy new habits which last. Our talented recipe contributors have created delicious dishes like a sticky toffee pudding cake with chocolate whiskey sauce. And we have some thoughts on encouraging your partner to adopt a vegan lifestyle without putting them off, as well as some advice on dealing with food cravings from a registered nurse. Enjoy!

seedling

ISSUE #2 | DEC/JAN 2018-19

art as

activism

The

LiberationArts

festival 2019

encouraging

your

partner to

go vegan

what meat

cravings

really mean

worldschooling

travelling full‐time with

young children

seedling magazine | 1


thank you to

our sponsors

We are so grateful to our amazing sponsors for helping to support this issue! Be sure to check

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The Divine Hag produces vegan-friendly handcrafted aromatherapy sprays which

can be used in place of ordinary sprays and air fresheners - ideal for those with

conditions like asthma. The sprays are all-natural and have healing properties. The

company also makes fragranced beard oils for men.

"Photographer based in Warwickshire, UK. I provide services such as newborn shoots,

pet portraits and weddings. As a vegan I'm passionate about capturing images to

support animal rights - my longtime aim is to help vegan charities and sanctuaries.

Purchase my photography greetings cards, prints and tote bags via my Etsy shop"

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"You can have confidence in the Inner Origins Product Advisory Board; we

only allow household groceries and other items to be on the platform if

they have been certified to be healthy and safe for all. This site is for all

who care for their own well-being."

LiberationArts is a UK-based organisation that focuses on art as a form of vegan

activism to support the liberation of animals. They are holding a free animal rights

art exhibition and festival at Paintworks in Bristol from Feb. 9th-11th 2019. Read an

article about the event on page 12.

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seedling magazine | 3


Website

littlegreenseedling.com

editor's

note

Submission, sponsorship and

advertising enquiries

bethany@littlegreenseedling.com

Design

Bethany Ivy

© 2019 Bethany Ivy

While every effort has been made to

ensure that information is correct at the

time of publication, the authors and

editor cannot be held responsible

for the outcome of any action or

decision based on the information

contained in this publication.

Hey everyone!

I can't believe we're on issue #3 already. Time has

flown by! This one was so fun to put together, and

you're in for a real treat thanks to our amazing

contributors.

In our cover story, we find out how one family is

'homeschooling' their children whilst travelling the

world. We have some tips on living sustainably

when money is tight, and thoughts about how to

form healthy new habits which last. Our talented

recipe contributors have created delicious dishes

like a sticky toffee pudding cake with chocolate

whiskey sauce. And we have some thoughts on

encouraging your partner to adopt a vegan lifestyle

without putting them off, as well as some advice on

dealing with food cravings from a registered nurse.

Enjoy, and be sure to let us know what you thought

of the issue!

Beth

The editor and writers do not give any

warranty for the completeness or

accuracy of this publication’s content

or opinions.

This magazine is not intended as a

substitute for medical advice. The

reader should consult a doctor in

matters relating to his/her health,

particularly with respect to any

symptoms that may require diagnosis

or medical attention.

No part of this publication may be

reproduced or transmitted in any form

without prior written permission of the

editor. Permission is only deemed valid

if approval is in writing.

All images used have been sourced via

Pixabay, or are used with the

permission of the owner.

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what you're

saying

"This is excellent! Ty for sharing


contents

Click the titles to go directly to the articles!

mind

8.......encouraging your partner to go vegan

20......alternative education and long-term

travel with kids

body

27......yummy vegan recipes

34......why you should try these two

odd-looking veggies!

38.......what meat cravings really mean

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soul

10......making new habits: the yoga and

meditation challenge

44.......thoughts about...forgiveness

planet

16......sustainable living on a budget

42......beautiful planet - nature photos

48.......how to use a menstrual cup: a comprehensive guide

beings

12......art as activism: the liberationarts festival

24......why it's okay to be vegan and miss eggs

36......vegan paint: what you need to know if

you're redecorating

seedling

seedling

magazine

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Encouraging Your

Partner To

Go Vegan

by Katy Malkin

Living in a mixed­diet household can be tricky to navigate.

Indeed, we have what I like to call a ‘tri­diet’ in our

household – with an omnivorous husband, vegetarian

daughter, and a vegan (myself).

I’m now an expert at cooking multiple dishes at once and

writing strategic shopping lists. We make it work, but it’s

not ideal. I dislike the smell of meat in the house, meals

take longer to make and our 3­year­old asks a lot of

awkward questions about why Daddy eats fish.

Something that has made things a lot easier recently is my

husband taking part in Veganuary. Not having any meat in

the house for the last three weeks has been a blessing.

What was it like? He said, “I thought going vegan for a

month would be really difficult. There have been times

when I’ve had to be more conscious of my decisions, such

as buying beer or picking meals when eating out. But I’ve

also been lucky that I don’t have to do the majority of the

cooking and have great meals provided. What I’ve found is

that I haven’t missed eating meat. The ‘conscious’ decisions

have started to become more natural as the month has

progressed. I’ve had to deal with some peer pressure and

‘the questions’ around veganism, but I feel better in my

body and healthier. I’m not sure yet if I would convert to

veganism, but who knows!”

So how can you encourage your partner to take a step in the

right direction? Here are six top tips that worked for us!

Don’t be a nag

Does nagging really work for anybody in the long term?

You might get your significant other to give the vegan

lifestyle a try, but they will be doing it half­heartedly and

for the wrong reasons, and more than likely give up.

Launching into a speech about animal cruelty whilst they

are biting into a chicken burger only inspires guilt and

conflict, not change. Instead, try educating and informing.

Ask if they’ll watch a vegan documentary with you (we’re

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going to give What The Health a try soon!). Share the

benefits of a vegan lifestyle, rather than the pitfalls of an

omnivorous one.

Lead by example

When a lifestyle seems attractive, others will be drawn

towards it. It sounds obvious, but many people’s actions

don’t match up. Veganism should be a positive act, all

about adding fun things to your diet and having a great

impact on the world. Moaning about the lack of options at a

restaurant, or how you miss Brie, simply makes a plantpowered

life look like a chore.

Show that you feel healthier and happier, and are excited to

try the new vegan steak that’s being released in your local

store – that gets people sitting up, taking notice, and joining

in.

Appeal to their preferences

What’s your partner’s favourite food? If they hate tofu,

don’t try to win them over with tofu scramble for breakfast.

Big pizza fan? Go out and buy the best vegan mozzarella

you can find. If they’re a gym junkie, buy sample sachets

of vegan protein powders for them to try out. Greet them

with a cruelty­free shake after their workout. Dating an

animal lover? Visit a farm sanctuary together. My husband

loves carb­filled fast food (he balances it out by trying to be

healthy), so I’ll often make him a hot and spicy ‘chicken’

burger with all the trimmings and sweet potato fries.

Currently his favourite meal is really simple ­ vegan kebab

meat and salad in wraps. Yum!

Integrate them into the vegan

community

Most local areas have social meets of some kind – just

check Facebook or Google. Vegan foodie nights, cooking

classes, festivals and fairs ­ they can all be a really fun way

of meeting other like­minded people. Plus, they show your

partner how many of us there are out there, which

normalises the plant­based lifestyle and prevents isolation.

It also means you can pick foods together, take them home

and enjoy making a meal from them as a couple.

Check in with them

What concerns your significant other about going vegan?

Have an honest chat with them. They may be worried about

what others will think, how awkward eating out will be, or

getting the right nutrients. The worst thing we can do is

scoff or roll our eyes – it’s demotivating. But we can talk

through their fears with them. Show gratitude for what they

are doing and tell them you’ve noticed and are proud,

regardless of whether they are perfect or not.

Be patient and provide them with the tools they need to

make a change. Veganism is all about compassion, and this

extends to our loved ones too.

Ask for what you want!

Have a heart­to­heart and explain why this is so important

to you. Pick a good time – when you’re both relaxed and

feeling happy. But don’t be disheartened if they don’t feel

the same way – we all have different outlooks and

boundaries. At the very least, your honesty will plant a seed

for the future, and may even inspire a change in the right

direction. The last thing you want is for your discussion to

turn into an argument or nagging (see step 1!). Each person

must develop on their terms, in their own timeframe.

Most of us were not born vegan ­ we had a unique journey

through life that led us to veganism. I’ve been vegan for six

years, and have slowly seen my spouse’s eating habits

change. Enjoy that journey and learn together, regardless of

the twists and turns it may take. You never know, maybe

someday your partner will sign up to Veganuary too!

About the writer

Katy Malkin is a writer, whole foods enthusiast,

and the creator of Learner Vegan. She is

passionate about making veganism accessible for

all. Find her website here.

seedling magazine | 9


Making new habits:

the yoga and meditation

challenge

by Hannah Parry

I’m a pretty energetic kind of person. I like to maximise the

potential of every day by cramming in as many activities as I

can. And I love goal­setting, setting myself bigger and bigger

projects to work towards, from marathons to completing longdistance

paths, mountain climbing...you name it! However, I

find it hard to switch off and take time out, which sometimes

results in burnout when my fitness goals and work schedule

are too much. So this year, I want to create the new habit of

finding some quiet time every day. There is more and more

research pointing out how connected we are all the time and

how much time we spend staring at screens of various kinds.

Both these things mean that I often have thoughts whizzing

round my head when I’m trying to fall asleep. So here’s how

I’m going about creating my new habit of mindfulness every

day.

Starting small

Committing to an hour of yoga every day isn’t going to work

­ what with work, blog writing, running and other hobbies, I

can’t spare that much time. So I’m committing to 10 minutes

a day. I can do that. Anyone can do that.

Have a visual tracker

You can search for and download some really lovely habit

trackers. You’re encouraged to colour in the squares in

beautiful rainbow colours ­ creating an ever more intricate

pattern as your habit grows. I found a scrap of paper and drew

some boxes on it with a biro. Scruffy ticks in wonky boxes

work just as well as emerging artworks ­ pick what works for

you.

Create accountability

Tell your friends and family what you’re doing (or write an

article about it…). Telling people will help you stick to your

new habit ­ people may even want to join you in your

challenge, and then you’ll have to stick to it so as not to let

your friend down.

Seek out resources

There are sooooo many resources on the big wide Web. From

the Headspace app to yoga on YouTube, there is something

for everyone. My personal favoutite internet choice is Yoga

seedling magazine | 10


with Adriene. Not only is she charismatic and approachable,

but she has a video for every type of person and whatever

mood you are in. Her 15 minute Sun Salutations video is

great, as are her 7 minute Bedtime Yoga and 5 minute

Morning Yoga practices. Of course, there are also longer

videos for proper yoga practices ­ check out her 30­day

programmes too.

Make a routine

Once your new habit is becoming routine, you can make it

more ambitious, perhaps by committing more time to it or

increasing the number of pushups (or whatever it is). Be

happy and have fun, as well as enjoying a little more

mindfulness each day. Good luck! SM

I have decided to have my quiet time in the evening, just

before going to bed. But if your new habit is something else,

then try first thing in the morning. That would be a great time

to do a pushup challenge or something more physical.

Set a limit

It’s fairly daunting to say that you HAVE to do this new habit

FOREVER! Decide on a length of time to make it more

manageable. 30 days is challenging but achievable. Studies

show that it takes a minimum of 18 days to form a new habit.

Don’t worry if you miss a day

Yes, the idea is to commit to your habit every day. But if

something happens which means you miss a day, then don’t

beat yourself up. Why not colour that day differently and

move on? If this happens too often then maybe make the habit

easier, or maybe it’s just not important enough and you need

to pick something else. It can also be a good idea to give

yourself a reward for completion.

Keep it simple

I spend enough time staring at screens all day, so I’ve come

up with my own meditation practice which doesn’t involve

waiting for YouTube to load. I set a 10 minute timer on my

phone (ok, so that involves looking at a screen ­ maybe I

should get an old­fashioned hourglass that you turn over), get

comfy and visualise a mantra. Something along the lines of:

About the writer

I am breathing in, I am breathing out (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Om mani padme hum (a sacred chant from Tibetan Buddism)

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing

shall be well

(Julian of Norwich, a 13th century Christian mystic)

When she can sit still long enough, Hannah the

Traveller is a writer and blogger. The rest of the

time, she’s running or hiking or cooking up

vegan feasts somewhere in the world ­ or playing

the organ! Find out more at

www.hannahparry.co.uk/hannah­the­traveller.

seedling magazine | 11


art as

activism

How the LiberationArts festival is creating change for animals

LiberationArts is an organisation on a mission ­ to create

change for animals through the medium of art. After its

successful Behind Closed Doors exhibition in London in

2017, it's taking things up a notch with a 3­day vegan

festival. This time, it will be held in the vegan hub of

Bristol in the south west of England, from February 9th to

the 11th 2019.

impact of their dietary and lifestyle choices.“We believe

that art is such a special form of activism, because it can get

away with being quite hard­hitting whilst also allowing a

safe environment for people to contemplate,” says founder

Aisha Eveleigh.

The venue is Paintworks, a former industrial site converted

into an impressive event space. Pieces by a range of vegan

artists in a variety of media will be present on all 3 days.

Days 1 and 3 will feature screenings of vegan films. Day 2

will be packed with activities ­ workshops where visitors

can make their own vegan­themed badges and tote bags,

talks by vegan advocates from all walks of life, and stalls

selling everything from vegan food to clothes to artwork.

Local animal rights charities and activist groups will also

have stalls with information about what they do.

For founder Aisha Eveleigh, art has always been a form of

activism. An artist herself, her own work is all focused on

vegan issues ­ whether it relates to animal rights, the

environment, health or human rights. She makes ceramics

and textiles with hard­hitting messages.

Though the LiberationArts festival is themed around animal

rights, vegans are not necessarily the target audience. The

LiberationArts team hopes to attract non­vegans to the

event, with the aim of encouraging them to consider the

A key feature of the festival is that it's supposed to be fun!

Many forms of activism, such as demos, can put nonvegans

on the defensive. But the festival will expose

visitors to new information in a way that is both nonthreatening

and engaging.

Aisha Eveleigh

Best of all, entry to the event will be free to convince as

many people as possible to come along!

Visit the LiberationArts website for the lineup and more

information. SM

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"life is

either a

daring

adventure

or NOTHING"

‐ helen keller

seedling magazine | 15


Sustainable Living

on a budget

by mary imgrund

Living ethically and sustainably is a privilege, in that not

every household has the means or time to live according to

their values; that being said, the idea that you can buy your

way out of waste is a marketing ploy by companies who just

want your well­meaning dollars. It’s an oxymoron that you

can buy more things to reduce human waste, and frankly the

tenets of capitalism and collectivist action are often at odds.

It’s hard to wade through all of these sponsored posts,

aspirational blogs, and lifestyle gurus to find out what works

for you on your budget. It’s also easy to be discouraged.

Personally, I began my journey towards sustainable and

ethical living through my insatiable appetite for politics and

environmental justice (though I didn’t call it that at the

time). Being an activist isn’t just about reading the news or

tweeting, so I began changing my lifestyle to better reflect

my values. I did it through both undergrad and graduate

school, and for a lot of that time, I had next to no money.

Here’s my advice on how to do the same, no matter your

budget.

1. The Perfect is the Enemy of

the Good

The first and most important thing in this journey is to

realize that no one is perfect, and just making an effort to

stay informed and be an advocate, in any capacity, is the end

goal. The destination is the journey.

Don’t feel bad if you need new work shoes or want to buy

seedling magazine | 16


something frivolous or order delivery once in a while. The

bulk of the blame for pollution and human exploitation lies

at the feet of the companies that make that choice. We need

policy change in both the private and public sector, and

living sustainably is your way of doing what you can today.

You don’t need to do everything at once, and you don’t

need to hold yourself to ridiculous standards. That just sets

you up for for failure.

2. Sustainable Eating

The kitchen is one of the most wasteful rooms of your

house, or corners of your dorm. Everything is packaged and

a lot of foods have either a high carbon footprint (meat) or

cause social harm (quinoa). Whilst I don’t advise you to try

to photosynthesize instead, you can make a few very small

changes to have a drastic impact. For food, you want to

avoid things packaged in plastic ­ and yes, that

unfortunately includes vegan meat alternatives. You can

DIY many alternatives, like oat milk, which end up being

cheaper per pound than what you can get at the grocery

store anyway. It’s also not necessary to eat organic food, but

you can still try to avoid the “dirty dozen”.

The rest of your kitchen likely generates waste as well.

Simple replacements can make a huge impact. For

containers, vintage stores are your friend. You can find

glassware to store your veggies in to make them last longer,

which will be cheap, more easily recyclable than plastic,

and look beautiful. Why buy a pack of mason jars on

Amazon when you could find dozens for next to nothing at

the thrift store?

Finally, if you meal prep and make your lunches for work

over the weekend, you won’t need to (or have an excuse to)

eat out at the office. These small expenses add up over the

weeks, and by avoiding eating out, you’ll be healthier, save

money, and live more sustainably. Just make sure you use

your reusable containers (which you can get at the thrift

store).

3. Invest, Patch, and Thrift

Think of your clothes, no matter how much you paid for

them, as an investment. If you can’t afford expensive

ethically­made clothing, that’s ok! These brands (at least

the honest ones that aren’t upcharging to pay for

Patched jeans

advertisements) pay more for their materials and labor, so

their pieces are simply worth more. That doesn’t mean that

you should treat fast fashion as fast fashion if that’s what

you can afford. Learn to patch your clothes, and don’t wash

them unless they’re actually dirty. You shouldn’t wash your

hair every day, so imagine what happens to your clothes

when you wash them harshly after every wear.

Besides treating your clothes with care, when they do rip or

become damaged, find ways to fix or repurpose them.

Patching and altering clothes extends their life and can

often make them look more stylish. Patched elbows can

look posh, and there are myriad methods of mending holes

artfully, like darning or embroidery. If you do need new

clothes, check your local thrift store.

Admittedly, if you live in a rural or suburban area, you

might not find such stylish clothes as you’d find in an urban

area, but the great thing about thrift stores is that their

offerings are always shifting. Thrifting supports a circular

economy that continues to give purpose to the goods we’ve

already made, which preserves more materials and creates

less waste even than recycling.

4. A Sustainable Home

Home renovations are incredibly expensive. I recently

walked into a home renovations store to price cabinets and

walked right back out when the first I saw was $1,000. If

you can afford to pay an artisan to make handmade items,

absolutely do so. My boyfriend makes tables and other

wooden goods from all salvaged materials, and his clients

actually help keep wood from being discarded, but not

everyone has that privilege.

seedling magazine | 17


"sustainability

can be messy,

imperfect and

mundane. and

that's ok!"

An upcycled dressing table

Instead of buying new, you can upcycle or refurbish old

discarded pieces. It will take time, but stripping ugly paint

from otherwise well­made furniture is an easy process. To

select well­made goods, look for real wood rather than

particle board, which is just made from wood scraps and

glue. The corners will also reveal its quality ­ look for

furniture that meets at a joint, where the wood is cut to fit

together rather than glued or bolted at a right angle. It’s

amazing how some paint (or lack thereof), new hardware,

or new legs can totally transform a piece of furniture. If you

learn what to look for, you can find the perfect base for a

gorgeous home sitting at the roadside.

5. Just... Buy Fewer Things

This isn’t about suffering. It’s about the freedom that comes

with overcoming powerful marketing forces that

manipulate you into thinking more stuff will make you

happier, fitter, healthier, or more attractive. That doesn’t

mean never buy anything, but build in a buffer for yourself.

Wait a few hours or days before buying something so you

don’t succumb to an impulse buy. I’d also recommend

keeping a running list of things you want or need; on mine,

I have everything from “sustainable flat black sandals” to

“new glasses and contacts.” Be as specific as you can so

you know exactly what would improve your capsule

wardrobe or what priorities you need to set. Bring it

shopping with you so if something doesn't fit your criteria,

seedling magazine | 18

you don’t buy it. This makes sure that everything you buy

is exactly what you wanted and, as Marie Kondo would

recommend, is useful or brings you joy.

No matter your budget, living your values is something you

can do incrementally, cheaply, and purposefully. If there’s

one thing you take from this article, let it be that

sustainability has been co­opted by brands and lifestyle

influencers who make it seem aspirational and unattainable.

Showing that sustainable food and homes are just as

beautiful or satisfying as conventional ones is important

when persuading others to change their habits, but

sustainability can also be messy, imperfect, and mundane.

And that’s OK! You don’t need to live an Instagrammable

lifestyle or perfectly curated life. Sustainability isn’t a habit

for the rich, it’s something we should all strive for, in our

own time and in our own way. SM

About the writer

Mary Imgrund is a writer, entrepreneur, politico, and

activist currently living in Harrisburg, PA. She’s the cofounder

of a monthly pop­up market for sustainable and

artisan goods, the HBG Flea, and a recent graduate of

American University where she earned her MA in

Political Communication. She believes in social justice,

environmentalism, intersectionality, and empathy.


seedling magazine | 19


Alternative Education and

Long-Term Travel with

Kids

by Emma Walmsley

When my first­born child was a baby, I started learning

about alternative education pathways. It was amazing to me

that home education was such a popular and wonderful way

to learn, and I fell in love with the idea of worldschooling

as soon as I read about it. How incredible that we could not

only take responsibility for educating our kids, but we

could do it all over the world!

I was very open to these ideas and happy to give them a go

with our kids, but my partner Anthony needed a little more

convincing. He eventually agreed to try home education

rather than kindergarten for our son Dante, on the condition

that Dante was learning and that we were all happy. If not,

we figured school would always be there to fall back on.

Well, we have never even considered sending him to school

once, and he is turning nine this year! Home education suits

Dante perfectly, and he is thriving outside of the school

seedling magazine | 20


system. We also have a daughter now, and it seems that our

choice will suit her too. Allegra is four and is also happy

and healthy and learning without school. You can read more

about how we home educate in this blog post.

Why we chose home education

I think I was most attracted to home education because it

allows my children to learn at their own pace, and to follow

their interests rather than what someone else tells them is

important. We follow a relaxed approach called

Unschooling or Natural Learning, so we don’t use

curriculums or schedules. We do use some resources as

they’re appropriate for the kid’s learning, and we seek to

support their ideas and interests with further relevant

information and experiences that they might like and

benefit from.

I love following their current passions and seeing how

many branches of learning they cover very naturally. It’s

amazing! For example, Dante was really into Star Wars last

year, and along with watching the movies and reading many

books about the series, he sought activity books based on

Star Wars (practicing writing, reading and math within), as

well as drawing and coloring characters from the series,

playing Star Wars apps and board games, learning about

space with some great conversations and YouTube clips,

and building Star Wars lego. It’s fun to follow a theme and

it’s doesn’t need to be forced upon kids; it’s a very natural

progression of learning.

life skills and the development of empathy, kindness and

other positive character traits), and to facilitate family

travel. We knew from the beginning that travelling would

be one of the best experiences we could give our children,

and home education seemed like the best choice to enable

us to travel often and for long periods.

Our worldschooling adventures

We officially began worldschooling in 2017 with a fourmonth

trip to South East Asia. Before then we took many

shorter trips within Australia with the kids, so they would

slowly become familiarized with travelling. We have taken

Dante to Queensland, South Australia and Byron Bay, and

camped at Mungo National Park when he was three. We

also spent a week in the snow at Mount Buller when

Allegra was one, and two weeks in steamy Kununurra,

Western Australia when she was two. We decided we

didn’t want to travel overseas while she was still in

nappies/diapers, so once the timing was right for her and

for Anthony’s business, we rented out our home and left for

Asia.

He’s quite obsessed with Minecraft at present and similar

patterns are occurring; he’s also doing his own very

thorough research. Dante has learnt how to research online

and also uses some books he got for Christmas to enhance

his Minecraft worlds and test new features ­­ all by himself.

One of the key benefits of homeschooling recognized by

universities is the ability of students to research and take

control of their learning independently. I can see why, after

watching my son learn these skills at eight.

The other reasons I had for choosing home education

include avoiding competitiveness and bullying at school,

having the opportunity to cover a greater range and depth of

learning than school can provide (especially very practical

Voluteering at a turtle conservation project

Allegra had recently turned three when we arrived in

Malaysia, and Dante turned seven while we were there. We

spent two months exploring Peninsular Malaysia, including

one week of volunteering together at a turtle conservation

project on Tioman Island which was amazing. We soon

learned that travelling from place to place every couple of

days was too much for us all, and adjusted our travel style

to include a week or more at each destination. It’s much

better for our health and the planet’s health to travel slowly,

seedling magazine | 21


"Our kids are

learning how

to just be in

the world, and

that it is a safe

and fascinating

place."

so we have time to relax and immerse in each place, and we

don’t need to rely on transportation nearly as much.

We also spent a little time in Singapore and then a month

each in Thailand and Cambodia. We loved Chiang Mai in

Thailand: it remains one of our favourite ever cities! From

there we travelled into the mountains of Northern Thailand

to see elephants in the forest and have a homestay with a

rural family. It was a truly amazing experience, and is the

type of travel we like best as it supports local people,

allows us to connect and learn in a meaningful way, and it

supports animals living naturally too.

to travel a bit closer to home too, so we decided to get a van

and travel within Australia last year. It seemed like the right

decision at the time, but the old van we got needed a lot of

work and it took Anthony more than six months to

complete it. We finally got going in late October, and spent

five weeks travelling through Central Australia, reaching

Uluru before coming home for Christmas. It was still

amazing, especially Uluru­Kata Tjuta National Park, where

we stayed for ten days and absolutely loved exploring. We

took several workshops and learnt a lot about aboriginal

culture and history, as well as how the rock formations

developed and much more.

We also enjoyed Siem Reap in Cambodia and spent three

weeks there over the holiday period, getting to know

people, exploring Angkor Wat and supporting NGOs and

social enterprises doing great work there. After Siem Reap

we travelled to Battambang and learnt much from a

wonderful local guide, but by this time the kids were

getting quite homesick. So instead of continuing on to

Vietnam or Central America as we’d planned, we surprised

our families by arriving on their doorsteps in January 2018.

Dante and Allegra were happy to stay home for awhile and

That trip was supposed to be the start of our trip around

Australia, but we won’t be continuing on with a lap around

the coast. Towing a caravan is not a sustainable way to

travel: we used a great deal of fuel, thus generating a lot of

carbon emissions. We had hoped to be able to convert our 4

wheel­drive to biodiesel but for numerous reasons it’s not

going to work, so again we have changed our plans.

Luckily we are all flexible! And Uluru was the trip we most

wanted to take here, so we all feel satisfied that we made it

to the heart of Australia at least.

seedling magazine | 22


What our kids have learned from our travels

There are so many things we are all learning! Flexibility of

course, and the ability to listen to each other and change

direction if our plans don’t feel right. I love that we listen to

our kids and our hearts, and take all opinions seriously.

Dante and Allegra have already learned that they have

much in common with children from all over the world, and

they happily play with all kids even when they don’t share

their language. Dante has converted Australian dollars to

Malaysian ringgit, a great mathematics lesson as well as a

stimulus for discussions about currency. Allegra loves

animals and has seen how they live happily in nature rather

than visiting them in a zoo. We have all learned more about

our own country’s history and ancient culture; an education

that Anthony and I didn’t get in school.

Our kids are learning how to just be in the world, and that it

is a safe and fascinating place. They are learning travel

skills and life skills each day, and especially as we adapt to

new places and situations. They’re learning how to

communicate with a huge range of different people, and

how to be respectful and thoughtful in all cultures. And

they’re learning how to respect the earth too, with our focus

on sustainable travel and supportive experiences. We talk

often about our choices and allow them to make up their

own minds about each topic, but find that since we model

environmentally­conscious practices, they often want to

help anyway.

I really value being able to spend so much time with our

kids as they are growing and taking in the world. Anthony

and I have the chance to make a positive impact with our

choices and demonstrate qualities such as kindness,

empathy, respect and generosity, and it’s wonderful for our

children to be a part of that. It’s also just amazing to be able

to explore the world together, and we have very

purposefully crafted our life so that we can travel often.

We’re currently preparing to spend much of 2019 in South

and Central America! And beyond that we have some ideas,

but are open to going wherever our four hearts take us. SM

About the writer

Emma Walmsley blogs about sustainable travel and lifestyle on her site Small Footprints, Big Adventures. She is

a worldschooling parent who loves to travel with her young family. They aim to travel slowly and often as the

children grow up, immersing themselves in cultures, exploring landscapes, and leaving a positive trail along the

way. She hopes to inspire others to travel with sustainability at heart, and to live amazing lives full of adventure,

connection and hope.

seedling seedling

magazine magazine |

23

23


why it's okay to

be vegan and

miss eggs

by Laura Maria Grierson

Eggs are off the menu on a vegan diet, but what happens when vegans miss eating them - and are

free-roaming backyard chickens the answer?

Welcome to Veganuary, folks ­ a movement so ubiquitous

right now that we might as well do away with the word

'January' and rename the first month of the year in homage to

all things plant­based. Whether you're giving Veganuary a go,

have been vegan a while, or are trying to cut back on your

intake of animal products, this month is a great time for

getting some extra info, connecting with other vegans, or

simply grabbing some great deals at local restaurants. (Or

watching a publicity­hungry dolt descend into a tantrum like

an attention­seeking three­year­old because Greggs decided to

launch a vegan sausage roll alongside its traditional offering.)

I was a vegetarian for almost eighteen years, and I loved eggs.

Whenever the subject of going vegan is broached, cheese

always seems to be the one product that people feel they can't

live without, but I was never a big fan of it, especially since

I'd started gradually cutting it out of my diet for a couple of

years before I went vegan. For me, it was always eggs.

Boiled, fried, or poached: I loved 'em. Ironically, it's really

easy to create vegan versions of scrambled eggs, quiche,

omelette etc., which were all things I'd never particularly liked

in the first place. Something that looked and tasted like a real,

whole chicken's egg was elusive.

seedling magazine | 24


But I didn't mind. Knowing what went into producing that egg

made giving them up an easy sacrifice. But the thing with the

egg industry ­ just like all other forms of animal agriculture ­

is that there's no indication of what had to happen to create

that egg. The boxes might show photographs of heathy hens

on lush green pastures, even when there's little chance of the

hens those eggs came from setting foot outside. And the fate

of the male chicks that had to be culled is obviously absent

from any marketing campaigns. In fact, tiny stray feathers are

often the only indication that these eggs were stolen from

their imprisoned female counterparts.

When I looked at the eggs in the family fridge, I didn't see a

scrawny hen half­bald with stress, and I didn't see the gassed

bodies of newly­born chicks. I saw the food that my mother

prepared for me with toast as a special treat. I saw the main

ingredient in a sandwich I'd learnt to cook as a teenager. I saw

memories of holidays in the Scottish Highlands where we’d

collect eggs from free­roaming chickens.

And that's okay. Our food experiences are often tied to our

cultures, our families, and our memories. And they taste good:

that's at the crux of why we like to eat animal products, and

admitting that isn't "failing" as a vegan ­ it just means that, a)

we're not in denial, and b) we appreciate ethics (or health or

the environment or whatever other reason you went vegan)

more than our tastebuds.

The same is true for bacon or fried chicken or margherita

pizza or anything at all that contains an animal product. The

overwhelming majority of vegans didn't give up animal foods

because they happen to dislike the taste of all dairy, eggs, and

meat, so craving them is perfectly normal.

If you were to read some social media comments on posts that

show animal foods replicated in vegan form, you'd probably

see your fair share of users questioning why vegans want to

eat things that look and taste like meat. The truth is, they want

vegans and those considering a vegan diet to feel alienated.

That if they don't conform to their expectations of what vegan

means, they're not doing it right and might as well give up and

return to eating animal products.

There's no confusion. A shrimp made out of soya, coloured

with beta­carotene and flavoured with seaweed, is not a

crustacean any more than a cake made to look like a dog is a

real dog. Maybe (hopefully) people don't want to eat a real

dog, but they have no problem with eating a cake shaped like

one. And a hunk of microprotein shaped like a shrimp is not

the same as decapitating living creatures and overfishing the

ocean.

A couple of years after I went vegan, I returned to that same

Scottish holiday where the chickens were poster­children for

how we think they should be treated. They had acres to

wander, they played with the ducks and bullied the dogs, and I

felt that if humans wanted to eat those leftover chicken

periods then it wasn't that big a deal. I wasn't eating

commercial eggs, either on their own or as an ingredient, and

I felt that if the positions were reversed and a chicken wanted

to chomp down on a discarded tampon then it wouldn't have

much effect on me.

But, deep down, I knew that those eggs weren't mine to take. I

didn't know what the landowner would do with those chickens

once they were no longer laying, if they were slaughtered for

guests, personal consumption or sale, or how he was able to

prevent the rooster from fertilising those eggs (and if you

really want to be put off eggs, imagine that bloodspot as a

miniscule chicken foetus and that'll do the trick). I had food in

the house to eat: I didn't need to take from another animal.

And, selfishly, a part of me worried that if I ate those eggs, all

those fond memories would come rushing back and I might be

tempted to eat more.

So in the end, I didn't eat them, but remembering that they

tasted good and wishing for a realistic vegan replacement is

not a failing. It's our actions in funding these horrific

industries that make all the difference, not our hankering for

an egg sandwich. SM

About the writer

Laura Maria Grierson is a writer and editor from

Middlesbrough, North­East England. She creates

business content for a range of industries, edits both

fiction and non­fiction, and her poetry and short stories

have been published in UK anthologies.

seedling magazine | 25


seedling magazine | 26


yummy

vegan

Recipes

from vegan cooks Miggs McTaylor, Sarah Mordelt

and Chloe of Baked by Clo

seedling magazine | 27


sweet potato

porridge

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes

This healthy and easy­to­make sweet potato porridge has it

all. It’s oil­free, sweet, a little bit crunchy, a little bit salty and

oh­so filling. It comes together in just 20 minutes and you can

even make it ahead of time! I just love sweet potato and

adding it to my oatmeal porridge was definitely a great idea!

Sweet Potatoes for Breakfast???

I love having oatmeal in the morning. It’s just so satisfying, I

can add all the toppings I fancy (peanut butter, peanut butter

and did I mention peanut butter?) and especially on a chilly

day, it warms me up inside. But sometimes, I get a little bit

bored of my standard go­to banana chocolate oatmeal ­ so I

thought why not throw in some sweet potato for a change?

Sweet potato for breakfast?? you may be wondering now. It

does seem a bit weird at first, I admit. But you can actually

make a lot of breakfast meals with sweet potato – sweet

potato waffles, sweet potato toast, sweet potato tacos, sweet

potato brownies, sweet potato pancakes… Whilst sweet

potatoes are not as sweet as fruits like banana or mango, they

are definitely not savory like regular potatoes. So if paired

with something sweet such as mashed bananas, they do make

a great sweet breakfast.

seedling magazine | 28


Ingredients

– 1 large sweet potato (~ 400 g)

– 100 g rolled oats

– 300 ml plant­based milk

– 1 large banana

– 1 tbsp agave syrup

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– pinch of salt

– handful of almonds

– 2 tsp peanut butter

About the cook

Sarah is the blogger behind Sarah's Vegan Guide, which

she started to share her favorite recipes

and her experience of going vegan. She loves getting

creative in the kitchen, figure skating,

traveling and listening to country music.

Method

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, peel the sweet potato and cut into little cubes. Cook the sweet potato for ~ 5

minutes until it's soft and you can mash it with a fork.

2. While the potato is cooking, you can prepare the other ingredients. Mash half of the banana, and cut the second half into thin

slices. Combine rolled oats, plant milk, mashed banana, agave syrup, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.

3. When the sweet potato is cooked, remove the water and add back into the pot. Mash until there are no chunks left. Add in the

remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 5­10 minutes until the oats are soft and the liquid is absorbed.

4. Divide the porridge between two bowls. Top with the remaining banana, crushed almonds and peanut butter and enjoy warm.

seedling magazine | 29


3 ingredient

peanut butter cookies

Serves 15

These 3 ingredient vegan cookies are soft, sweet and nutty.

They’re dairy­free, egg­free, milk­free, healthy, gluten­free,

oil­free, grain­free and low carb.

And for those who can’t have nuts, I’ve even included

adaptations so you can make vegan 3 ingredient allergy­free

cookies! What more could you want?

Usually, when I’m testing out a recipe for the first time there

are almost always a few tweaks that I need to make. Most of

the time I make the recipe at least 2 or 3 times until I get it

just right. But this vegan peanut butter cookie recipe turned

out perfectly the very first time!

haven’t really played around much when it comes to cookie

recipes without eggs or milk.

How do you make cookies without eggs or milk?

There are actually many ways to make dairy­free or eggless

cookies. I’ve listed several dairy and egg replacements in my

downloadable vegan baking cheat sheet.

But these vegan 3 ingredient cookies require no

“replacements”. The ingredients are naturally vegan and form

a dough very easily when combined. Which makes them a

super quick and easy dessert!

I was originally planning to make a peanut butter and banana

sundae this week. But when it came around to actually

making it, I realised I hadn’t frozen my bananas. Fail.

So, I had a full jar of peanut butter sitting there in my

cupboard. I wanted to make good use of it in a recipe before I

lost control and started eating it straight from the jar.

(relatable, no?)

What’s in these healthy vegan cookies?

Are you ready? The 3 ingredients are peanut butter, maple

syrup, and ground almonds. That’s it! Cool, right?

Together, these ingredients make the most perfect

combination. They are soft and chewy and have tons of

benefits. These cookies are:

Aside from my almond flour cookies and Christmas cookies, I

seedling magazine | 30


Healthy

Naturally sweetened

Full of healthy fats

Low carb

Gluten­free

Oil­free

Dairy­free

Eggless

Easy

Quick

And if you have allergies to nuts, check out the substitutions

below to make 3 ingredient allergy­friendly vegan cookies!

3 ingredient vegan cookies without peanut butter

(allergy-friendly)

Here’s how to make nut­free cookies:

­ Sub peanut butter for sunflower seed butter in equal amounts

­ Sub ground almonds for ground oats (gluten­free if

necessary) in equal amounts

Feel free to experiment with other flours too! The oat flour

makes the cookies a little crunchier, so if you prefer crunchy

cookies then definitely use oats instead of almonds.

And that’s it! Happy baking!

Ingredients

8 Tablespoons / 120g peanut butter, the runny kind

that's made from 100% nuts (or sunflower seed butter)

8 Tablespoons / 120g maple syrup (or agave nectar)

200g / 2 cups ground almonds (or ground oats)

About the cook

Chloe shares vegan dessert recipes on her

blog Baked by Clo. She's been baking for

friends and family in her home country of

Scotland ever since she was young, and aims

to show that going vegan deson't mean

Method

missing out on dessert!

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/ (160°C fan / 350°F/ Gas mark 4) and line a tray with baking paper.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to form a dough.

3. Lightly flour a surface with almond/oat flour and roll the dough to around 3cm thick.

4. Cut out your cookie shapes, place on the tray and bake for 12 minutes until golden brown.

5. Leave to cool completely before enjoying.

seedling magazine | 31


sticky toffee pudding cake

with

chocolate whiskey sauce

This traditional British dessert has been

given a vegan makeover with a twist. It

was developed while we were living in

Scotland, and has proven popular with

everyone I have made it for.

Served warm, smothered in a whiskey

chocolate sauce, this decadent dessert is

a definite crowd pleaser. At home, we

make this cake for birthdays and other

special occasions. It can easily be made

gluten­free if needed (whiskey becomes

gluten­free during the distillation

process).

To fit a 19.5cm cake tin ­ a double

recipe makes a large 27cm cake.

Ingredients

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake

­ 125g dates, pitted and chopped

­ 125g prunes, pitted and chopped

­ 375ml cola ­ I use the best boutique­style cola I can source

­ 2 tablespoons chia seeds

­ 90ml water

­ 100g dairy­free margarine

­ 125g soft brown sugar

­ 375g self­raising flour (GF self­raising flour works too)

­ 1 tsp baking powder

­ 1 tsp baking soda

­ 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

seedling magazine | 32


Chocolate Whiskey Sauce

­ 100g dairy­free dark chocolate

­ 125g dairy­free margarine

­ 125g soft brown sugar

­ 125ml plant­based cream (I love Oatly, but we currently

can't buy it in NZ)

­ 50ml whiskey

­ pinch of flaky sea salt

gently.

9. Pour the cake batter into the chilled cake tin.

10. Bake at 170ºC/325ºF for 30­40 minutes or until risen

and nearly cooked through. Remove from the oven and

poke holes into the top with a skewer, pour a little sauce

over the top and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

11. Remove from tin and smother with whiskey chocolate

sauce.

Method

1. Line a 19.5cm cake tin with baking paper.

2. Mix the chia seeds and water together and set aside.

3. To make the whiskey chocolate sauce, melt margarine,

chocolate and brown sugar in a small pot. Remove from

heat and whisk in the plant­based cream, whiskey and a

pinch of sea salt.

4. Pour in enough sauce to coat the base of the lined cake

tin and put it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.

5. Set the rest of the sauce aside.

6. Put chopped dates and prunes into a small pot with

cola. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes or until the

dates are soft.

7. Beat together margarine and sugar ­ using a mixer will

get the best results. Add the chia seed mixture; if you

have a grinder or stick blender you can make the chia

seed mixture into a paste before adding it (not essential).

Stir in the flour and baking powder.

8. Add the baking soda and sea salt to the hot date and

prune mixture. Pour this into the cake batter and mix

About the cook

Having trained as a professional chef, Miggs

graduated to being a Botanical Cuisine Specialist after

completing the e­Cornell Plant Based Nutrition

Certificate and Rouxbe's Plant­Based Professional

Course. You can find her recipes here.

seedling magazine | 33


Why You Should Try These Two

Odd‐Looking Veggies!

By Deborah Bostock‐Kelley

Brussels Sprouts

Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC. Wash and cut the Brussels

sprouts in half. Mix them with oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for

about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned on the

outside and fork tender. Remove from oven and toss with

balsamic glaze. Put back in oven for 5 minutes or less, until

Brussels sprouts are sticky. (Don’t go over 5 minutes as the

glaze can burn.)

­ 4 cups Brussels sprouts, halved or whole if small

­ 1­2 garlic cloves, minced

­ Salt and pepper, to taste

­ 3 teaspoon Dijon mustard

­ ¼ cup lemon juice

You probably had Brussels sprouts as a kid, and if your

childhood was anything like mine, your grandma boiled them

into pile of mush, sitting pale green and unappetizing on your

plate. You vowed that as an adult, you would never subject

yourself to them again. Truly, Brussels sprouts have gotten a

bad rap. Closely related to kale, cauliflower and mustard

greens, they are low in calories but high in antioxidants, fiber,

vitamins and minerals. Until we watched Food Network and

my husband made these in a completely different way, I

would never have agreed to try them. Now I’m addicted to

two versions – healthy and naughty.

­ 4 cups Brussels sprouts, halved

­ 2 tablespoons olive oil

­ 2­3 garlic cloves, minced

­ Salt and pepper, to taste

­ 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze

seedling magazine | 34

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350ºF/1 75ºC. Wash and cut

Brussels sprouts in half, or if small, leave whole. Deep fry for

3-5 minutes until fork tender. Remove from deep fryer and

drain on a paper towel. Place minced garlic, Dijon mustard,

and lemon juice in bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper. Add

fried Brussels sprouts and toss well.

Kohlrabi

Until a few months ago, I didn’t know what this vegetable

was, much less how to spell it correctly. It sounds like a new

medication – side effects include…. But seriously, this oddlooking

little veggie is packed with nutrients and minerals like

copper, potassium, manganese, iron, and calcium, as well as

vitamins, such as vitamin C, B­complex vitamins, beta­


carotene vitamin A, and vitamin K. It’s typically seen in

Europe and India. Its alleged health benefits include improved

digestion, aiding in weight loss, boosting energy, regulating

blood pressure, helping to prevent anemia, and improving

bone strength. I was introduced to kohlrabi as a “steak” at

Seasons 52 on their veggie plate. It was grilled and quite

flavorful, so my husband and I went on a quest to find this

elusive cabbage­like plant and finally discovered it at the

Publix. We used a panini maker and added this odd­looking

veggie to our list of quick and easy favorite meals.

1 kohlrabi

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Your favorite spices

Peel kohlrabi, taking off leaves and green outer skin. Slice

into 1/2 inch ‘steaks’ and rub with olive oil. Put slices in a

panini maker or pan and grill for approximately 20 minutes or

until fork tender. Season with salt, pepper and your favorite

spices.

About the writer

Deborah Bostock Kelley is a journalist, playwright,

producer, director, actress, author, Broadway World

theatre critic, owner of The WriteOne Creative

Services, & founder of Life Amplified variety

showcase for charity.

seedling magazine | 35


vegan paint

Thinking of redecorating? Here's what you need to know about paint.

By Chloe Bullock of Materialise Interiors

When buying paint, I’m sad to say that you need to check

whether both the end product AND its ingredients are tested

on animals (yes ­ it’s STILL happening). And frustratingly,

some manufacturers say their paints are vegan ­ but when you

ask if that covers the ingredients as well as the end product, it

can be difficult to get a straight answer.

These are the questions I ask ­ they aren’t difficult, but not all

companies can answer them.

• Is the product tested on animals?

• Are the ingredients of the product tested on animals?

• Are there animal products in this paint?

• Does the owning company test other products on animals?

Some paint suppliers might say they are vegan but work to

their own definition of vegan ­ usually that the end product is

not tested and contains no animal­derived ingredients. It can

be difficult getting a clear answer as to whether the

ingredients are tested on animals or not. I’m all for working

with manufacturers to change their ways rather than wagging

my finger at them, but I really don’t like dishonesty. We don’t

accept animal tested ingredients in our toiletries and cleaning

products, so why should we in paint? My background is in

designing for The Body Shop head office during the Anita

days, so you’ll understand why I am so passionate about it.

Then there’s the issue of the use of petrochemicals. If this is a

concern to you, there are suppliers you can use, but it starts to

get limited and colour­matching can get a bit long­winded. It

seedling magazine | 36


If you’re interested in the circular economy, there are great

initiatives like recycled paint available, diverted from

landfill. Don’t forget that you can recycle metal paint cans at

most household waste recycling centres, so that might

influence your decision when looking at paint in plastic

containers.

Resources: I use the The Good Shopping Guide and I’m

lucky to have people I can collaborate and share my findings

with. Ethical Consumer magazine are doing a feature on

paint in their April/May issue, which should also give

excellent guidance.

is possible (by sending a sample in to the head office), but if

you are in a hurry you will be working to the standard colours

available.

That last thing to thing to consider is brushes. Just as the use

of animals is out­moded in other areas like fabrics, we don’t

need wool or mohair rollers or animal hair brushes for

product performance. I spoke to a salesperson at a local trade

paint counter, and he confirmed this. Pay more and you get

better quality, but synthetic alternatives are just as good ­ in

fact better, as they are easier to clean and are cruelty­free. SM

About Chloe and Materialise Interiors

Chloe Bullock is a BIID Registered Interior Designer® at the British Institute of Interior Design – the pre-eminent professional

organisation for interior designers in the UK. She is the first interior designer in the UK to be VEGANDESIGN.ORG

CERTIFIED - the global accredited course and community set up by Deborah DiMare. In 2018, she won the Women in

Property’ Business Women Excellence Awards, Sussex. Materialise Interiors supports UK businesses and residents in ethical

builds and redesigns with a focus on the following: cruelty-free, sustainable and locally sourced, vegan products and the WELL

building standard (for spaces designed with health, wellbeing and performance in mind).

Chloe’s career passion was ignited by a post-university experience interning with the visionary Anita Roddick during the heyday

of The Body Shop. Anita’s personal ethos imbued in her the original values of what was, at the time, the iconic ethical brand in

retail. This lead to 10 years of working for the company on ethical global store concept projects globally and an ongoing

commitment to environmental awareness, sustainability and cruelty-free

materials, which Chloe has translated into her interior design business.

Contact Chloe

materialiseinteriors.com

Phone: (+44)1273 699922

Email: chloe@materialiseinteriors.com

Address: 70 Bonchurch Road, Brighton, BN2 3PH, UK

facebook.com/MaterialiseInteriors

instagram.com/materialise_interiors

seedling magazine | 37


What

Meat Cravings

Really Mean

by Olivia, registered nurse and

health and wellness coach

I was talking to someone the other day who gave me that

classic:

“I would go vegan, but ____”

This time the ‘but’ was because she craves red meat during

menstruation, and thinks that means she is/will be anemic.

Now, please don’t think I’m making any assumptions about

this gal’s character or intelligence. I have a great deal of

respect for her, and outside the ‘vegan thing’, we have very

similar ideals. She's truly intelligent with regard to health,

which prompts me to question whether this whole ‘needing

red meat for periods’ thing is simply another knowledge

deficit created by the industrialized gods that be. Or perhaps it

became a culture­bound belief and then a ‘craving’?

How this wives’ tale came to be is irrelevant. What is

important is that this misinformation ceases to spread and be

believed.

Do we crave nutrients we lack, or not?

So, let’s start with whether the body can/does produce

cravings for essential nutrients which it's deficient in. The

short answer is yes and no, but mostly no.

Ever heard of Pica? Those with Pica crave paint and dirt and

all kinds of non­food and dangerous goodies. Not only do

they crave it, they actually eat those things. Some research has

demonstrated a correlation between Pica and nutrient

deficiencies. In some cases, an improvement is achieved once

the deficiencies have been treated with supplementation.

However, this is far from being ‘always the case’. There are

other studies that have shown a nutrient deficiency in Pica,

but no improvement when the deficiency was corrected and

the nutrient was at normal levels. Furthermore, there are many

other studies which show no nutrient deficiencies in the

presence of Pica. So even the craziest, and likely strongest,

form of cravings one can experience (Pica):

1. isn't a reliable indicator that there's a nutrient deficiency

2. shows that if a nutrient deficiency exists, it can't be reliably

associated with the craving one experiences (because A.

correcting the deficiency doesn't consistently make the Pica

go away and B. how could we correctly distinguish what

nutrient someone might lack if they're eating hair or paint??).

Physicians at one of the top ten leading medical institutions

(Cedars Sinai Medical Center) state that there's no reliable or

consistent evidence or research supporting that any food

cravings are related to nutrient deficiencies. This honestly

would be enough for me, but let’s explore some other points

seedling magazine | 38


to drive this bad boy home.

Other instances where deficiencies

produce the wrong cravings, or none

Diets (not ways of eating, but regimes) are restrictive in one

way, shape, or form, no? Low fat diets restrict fat, low calorie

diets restrict some of each macronutrient, grapefruit diets

restrict virtually everything, and so on. The same with a lowcarb

diet; it significantly restricts sugars and carbohydrates. In

other words, it creates a [macro]nutrient deficiency.

Interestingly, this self­imposed deficiency results in fewer

cravings for the deficient nutrient. This same study showed

that those on a very low­fat diet experienced very few

cravings for fat. If cravings were associated with deficiency,

wouldn’t the opposite be true? The carbohydrate­deficient

person would crave carbs, and the fat­deficient person would

crave fats, no? Not the case.

men have greater rates of malnourishment, but women

experience significantly greater amounts and intensities of

food cravings. That’s a little backwards if deficiency drives

cravings, isn’t it? I thought so too.

Let’s talk about the ladies a bit more. What’s the thing we

ladies crave the most? You’re probably thinking chocolate,

right? Ok, now do a Google search or two and you’ll find

media posts, infographics, etc. claiming magnesium

deficiency is responsible for chocolate cravings. But did you

know that women don't crave chocolate that often at all?

American women do to a degree, but not even 1/3 of

American women sampled reported craving chocolate.

Furthermore, it isn’t even a ‘female thing’, as the media

would have us believe. As few as 4% of women in other

countries report craving chocolate at all. I’d say that’s about

as frequent as any other craving, demonstrating that this

craving is cultural, and not due to magnesium deficiency.

Specific Cravings

One study even demonstrates that the greatest restriction of

nutrients in total results in the greatest decrease in cravings

altogether. Isn’t that interesting? When someone is deficient in

everything, they crave nothing? Whoa.

Another instance when nutrient deficiency is imposed is

pregnancy. Eating for two, right? And one of those two needs

enough nutrients for exponential growth, so the assumption

would be that the mother would crave nutrient­dense foods.

Right? But study after study shows that pregnant women

crave nutrient­poor foods like sweets and fast food, not the

nutrients needed to sustain the changes in their bodies.

Guys and Dolls

Cravings are, believe it or not, gender­specific. Women

experience more cravings (no surprise here), and those

cravings correlate significantly with sex hormones, mood, and

various other factors, but not nutritional status. It's even been

shown that when boys and girls are exposed to the same

tempting food cues (sweets), the girls eat far more of the

candies.

Another fun fact ­ men and women achieve virtually the same

percentage of recommended daily allowances of nutrients, and

While we’re still on the topic of chocolate, let’s put this thing

to rest. We’ve mentioned the idea that magnesium deficiency

is behind chocolate cravings. If it were, wouldn’t craving

peanuts, almonds, cashews, or spinach be more appropriate?

Ounce for ounce, chocolate is far inferior to these with regard

to magnesium content (and other nutrients). And why

wouldn’t the body crave all of them, rather than only the

sweetest option, with the greatest popularity among the

masses, and several commercials and other in­your­face

propaganda driving desire and purchase? It’s probably

because cravings are more psychological, social, and [nonnutritive

related] physical.

The same concept applies to many other foods. For example,

seedling magazine | 39


if one craves a banana, what deficiency might be causing it?

We'd assume potassium, right? That’s the nutrient often

associated with bananas. But bananas only provide 12% of

our requirement each day. So why wouldn’t one crave lentils,

prunes, squash, or any other food that provides much more

than bananas? See where I’m going with this? It has little to

nothing to do with the nutrient and more to do with taste

preference, societal cues, imposed dietary restrictions, and a

whole slew of other things.

Let’s not forget about our friend who craves meat. If it was

anemia­driven, and iron was needed to right the imbalance,

why isn’t she craving the foods that would give her most iron?

Plants, such as white beans, red beans, lentils, spinach,

chocolate, cereal, tofu….

So what does cause cravings?

The answer to this is multifactorial. There are several reasons

why we crave certain foods at certain times, e.g:

• Forbidden foods. This book has a plethora of research

showing that forbidding oneself to eat certain foods results in

craving them.

• Mood. Cravings are often associated with negative moods

and anticipation of how the food might impact our feelings.

• This is probably a no­brainer, but stress can significantly

impact whether, and to what degree, one experiences cravings.

• If someone self­diagnoses as a ‘food addict’, they're more

likely to experience cravings. There's also a correlation

between cravings and both higher BMI (body mass index) and

lower self­esteem.

• Sleep deprivation significantly increases cravings. Some

research correlates daytime sleeping with more cravings.

calamities of having one too many, but alcohol significantly

increases cravings. And if you didn’t know, the advertisement

teams at your favorite snack companies do; they pay good

money to show their ads in prime drinking hours.

• Culture. For example, in America where chocolate (there it

is again) is a big thing, we tend to crave it a lot, and not crave

French fries with peanut butter sauce, which is popular in

Amsterdam.

How can we decrease cravings?

• Physical activity. The more consistent physical activity we

do, the fewer the cravings.

• Thylakoid­containing foods ­ the more we eat, the fewer

cravings we have. If it’s a green vegetable, it’s high in

thylakoids ­ green leafy veggies in particular. These include:

spinach, cabbage, lettuce, kale, collard and other greens.

• Don’t diet. Those who don't restrict food and instead

practice intuitive/mindful eating have significantly fewer

cravings. Those who restrict themselves experience the most.

• Stay hydrated.

• Get enough sleep and don’t sleep during the day.

• Give in to your cravings. That’s right, grab that chocolate

bar, that ice cream, those pickles… without guilt. If you allow

yourself to have what you crave, and reaffirm that you may

have whatever food you want whenever you want, you'll

reinforce your trust with food and decrease the number of

true/strong cravings you have. You'll notice that former

cravings are now just desires for things, and knowing that you

may have them whenever you want will help you relax when

they come to mind ­ not experience those frantic must­havenow

thoughts. (Any food can be made cruelty­free, even

‘meat’, so I'm not promoting deviating from veganism by

indulging in cravings.)

• Practice mindfulness and meditation. Slow down, be present,

be here right now. Practice as often as you can. Food, work,

relationships, sex, life ­ everything is better.

Theories About Cravings Being Caused

by Deficiencies are Anecdotal, at Best

Upshot ­ unlike cars, our bodies don’t come with a diagnostic

• Not consuming enough macronutrients, namely fiber and

protein.

• This may be another no­brainer if you’re privy to the

sensor that spits out a code when certain symptoms are

present (cravings). Craving foods as a result of deficiency is

something no research yet soundly supports. However, we can

and do crave foods due to hormonal and emotional

seedling magazine | 40


imbalances, and this can sometimes be a warning sign of

deeper issues. If you notice excessive cravings, overeating or

binging, or other characteristics of an unhealthy relationship

with food, please get in touch with your physician, a dietician,

and/or a nutritional therapist. Nutritional therapists help us

become more intuitive and mindful eaters (which does not

translate to sacrifice and misery).

sped up and made more effective with a helping hand or two.

Foods with Vitamin A increase iron absorption by up to 200%,

so eat some green, orange, or yellow veggies. Vitamin C is

We Can Be Deficient and Not Know..

While it can confidently be said that my friend’s cravings are

not driven by a need for iron, that doesn't rule out deficiency

(it's possible for anyone, especially women of menstruating

age). However, iron needn't be animal­derived, and vegans are

at no greater risk of developing anemia than anyone else (and

at less risk, according to many studies). Furthermore, as one

author showed via a collection of 40+ research articles and

reputable sources, iron from animals is harmful and can lead

to the development of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and

many other maladies. These are not a concern when the iron is

from plants. As clean, happy, free­range, or ‘humane’, etc. as

the meat is, nutrients from plants are adequate, and often

superior.

If the subject of concern is heme­ versus non­heme iron:

• Neither heme or non are exclusively essential to the body.

You may have all heme, all non­heme, or a mixture, and the

body is none the wiser.

• While heme is absorbed a little faster than non­heme, this

shouldn't be a concern for those with adequate, well­rounded

diets. Here’s why:

• The daily recommended iron intake for an adult male is 8

mg ­ for an adult female of childbearing age, it's 18 mg. One

bowl of fortified cereal meets the woman’s needs. One. And

considering that virtually everything that comes from the

ground (plants) has iron, you could say anything else is a

bonus (or even overkill) in a well­balanced diet.

• More recent studies have shown that the body’s homeostatic

mechanisms play such a big role in iron absorption that

differences in dietary iron bioavailability (heme versus non)

may have been overestimated. So we need to head back to the

drawing board to correctly establish their bioavailability.

• Iron isn't hard to get. If one eats in a regular and wellbalanced

manner, there's no risk of deficiency. Non­heme iron

does absorb slower, but if there's a regular influx of nutrients,

there won’t be a gap in availability. Iron absorption can be

another big player, so load up on delicious citrus fruits.

• Other factors play into the bioavailability of iron. For

example, obesity ­ if we're obese, our bodies won't absorb iron

well regardless of the source. If we eat mint with ironcontaining

foods, it enhances absorption. Drinking tea or

coffee with iron­containing foods decreases it. There are too

many factors to mention, but iron bioavailability is much

more impacted by self­care, eating habits, environmental

factors, etc. than whether it came from animals.

• So if you or someone you know is at risk for developing iron

deficiency, it's wise to ensure adequate intake. We've collected

some delicious plant­based recipes for all occasions to help

you reach your recommended daily intake. Check them

out here!

References

This article was originally published on Olivia's blog, where

she included detailed references for all the facts cited. Check

out the original article to see those references.

About the writer

Olivia is a Masters Degree­prepared Registered Nurse

with several certifications and post­graduate

designations. Her focuses are Nutrition and Human

Movement. Olivia was once a meathead but has now

been vegan for nearly two years, having experienced an

amazing transformation after adopting a plant­based

lifestyle. She promotes plant­based living for healing,

athleticism, the animals, and the Earth on her blog, The

Vegan Zebra.

seedling magazine | 41


eautiful planet

Appreciating the world with photos of beautiful places

seedling magazine | 42

The Grand Canyon & Bee in Fresno,

California

By Farin Montanez

Instagram: @spiritedvegan


Carmarthenshire, Wales

By Sabree Simmons

Instagram: @theveganbree

Carmarthenshire, Wales

Do you have a beautiful nature photo from your part of the world? Submit it by emailing

bethany@littlegreenseedling.com, and be featured on this page next issue! You'll get a link back to your site or

social media account too.

seedling magazine | 43


thoughts about...

forgiveness

We all know that we're supposed to forgive those who wrong

us and move on. But how many of us actually do so? Many ­

if not most ­ of us have rifts in our families or friendship

groups due to unresolved disputes. I think the pain and

division this causes is a tremendous shame.

We could all benefit from connecting, communicating, and ­

above all ­ loving each other more. That means learning to

overcome our differences ­ and yes, forgive. But forgiveness

is another of those things that's much easier said than done.

Why should I forgive?

I've seen backlash online against the idea that we should

always try to forgive. People who have been seriously hurt

may think, "Why should I forgive? They don't deserve my

forgiveness." It's understandable that people feel this way. But

I think this line of thought derives from a misconception about

what forgiveness is.

Forgiveness is often seen as something we generously do to

someone who has hurt us. But I believe it is something we do

for ourselves. When we are carrying around anger, bitterness

and resentment towards someone else, we can't keep these

feelings contained in a little box. They spill over, preventing

us from being at peace with the world. Sometimes, we may

get caught in repetitive thought loops about how that person

has hurt us ­ I've been there! We may badmouth them to others

in search of validation, which only serves to spread blame and

negativity. Hanging on to these emotions can poison our

headspace and our interactions with others. So forgiveness is

really about letting go of things that don't serve us. It's

something we do primarily for ourselves, though it may

benefit the other person too.

Does forgiving someone mean

allowing them back into your life?

Another barrier many people have with regards to forgiveness

is that they think forgiving someone means being willing to

interact with them. But again, forgiveness is a personal

journey. Letting go of your resentment towards someone does

not mean condoning what they did. If you know it would not

be healthy to have that person in your life, you can still

choose to keep your distance. But that decision will be

coming from a calm, rational place rather than a place of hurt

and anger. Rather than blaming and accusing, you'll be able to

accept what happened and move on.

Acceptance really is the key to forgiveness. Some years back,

a story made the headlines about a woman whose daughter

had been murdered. She made the radical statement that she

had forgiven her daughter's killer. Did she mean that she was

ok with what had happened, or that she was over the loss of

her daughter? Of course not. But she realised that no amount

of anger would bring her daughter back and chose to let go of

it, recognising that this was the only way for her to heal.

When religious texts speak about forgiveness, I believe this is

what they mean.

seedling magazine | 44


This is all well and good, but how can we overcome all those

negative feelings towards those who have wronged us? There

are a few things we can do.

Think about why the person behaved

in that way

People are not born mean, selfish or spiteful. Usually, people

are unpleasant because their life experiences have made them

that way. Those who are abusive were often abused

themselves, for example. The role models people have as

"When we quiet our noisy

minds and release our stress

and tension, we feel more

connected to others. This

mindset can make it easier to

think favourably of others, and

let go of emotions like

resentment which aren't serving

us. "

children have a huge impact on their development. And of

course, these role models may themselves have been

mistreated. Additionally, there may be traumatic events in

someone's past that we are not aware of.

None of this makes it ok for someone to hurt us. But it can

help us to understand why they may have done so. We've all

done things that we knew deep down were wrong; we are

human, and we're not perfect. We understand that having done

those things doesn't make us bad people, and the same likely

applies to those who hurt us. They may have been hurting

themselves at the time. Understanding what drives someone's

actions can be the first step towards forgiveness.

Recognise that the situation may not

be clear‐cut

Sometimes, as with abuse, it's clear that one person has

wronged the other. But in most cases, it is less clear­cut. Take

romantic relationships, for example. They can end because of

mismatched needs and desires, a lack of shared goals,

different priorities, meeting someone new, other

commitments, stress...the list goes on. Many people feel very

bitter and resentful if, for example, a partner devotes more

time to their career than to the relationship. And the partner in

question may think this bitterness is unjustified and that their

partner is being unsupportive. So who is right? Probably no­

seedling magazine | 45


one. It's just that the people involved want different things

from the relationship. But the ensuing breakup will likely

leave both people feeling hard done by and badmouthing their

partner to anyone who will listen. And this creates division,

especially when there is a shared friendship group.

Sometimes, we may need to take a step back and realise that

what we're thinking of as offences may actually just be

differences. And if this is the case, we either need to respect

that or cease to be involved with the person in question ­ in an

amiable fashion, of course, and without resentment. This

applies to all relationships, not just romantic ones.

Cultivate compassion for the other

person

As you ponder what may have made someone behave in a

certain way, you may find you can even sympathise with

them. Think about all the things they may have been through

which have made them closed off, jealous, insecure etc.

In a book on Buddhist meditation, I read that those who are

most unpleasant towards us are most deserving of our pity,

because they will live a lifetime (or several lifetimes!) of pain,

suffering, anger, stress and dissatisfaction. We all know people

who seem relentlessly negative and pessimistic, and who take

those emotions out on other people. This tends to drive people

away, making the person feel even more bitter. I often feel

sorry for these people, because it can't be much fun to live that

way. What must it be like to never experience joy, or be

excited and satisfied with where your life is going, or feel a

deep sense of peace and connection to the world and everyone

in it? To me, that seems nothing short of a tragedy.

Meditate

Meditation can soothe a number of ills. When we quiet our

noisy minds and release our stress and tension, we feel more

connected to others. This mindset can make it easier to think

favourably of others, and let go of emotions like resentment

which aren't serving us.

Loving­kindness meditation is particularly well­suited to this.

It typically involves first directing our love to someone close

to us, then to someone we dislike or who has hurt us, and

finally expanding it to envelop the entire world. This exercise

requires us to love unconditionally, which is impossible if we

are still holding on to a grudge. It is difficult, but profoundly

healing.

Recognise that people grow and

change

Some of us hold grudges for years or even decades, without

stopping to question whether the person we are angry with

still exists. People change and evolve all the time. Someone

may have matured and feel very ashamed of their past actions.

We shouldn't refuse to accept the possibility that they have

changed, unless we have hard evidence to the contrary.

If we're already angry with someone, we are apt to blow all

their mistakes out of proportion, using these mistakes as proof

that they are a bad person. We should attempt to recognise

when we're doing this and reason with ourselves!

Communication

If you're still on speaking terms with the person in question,

talking things over can help you to forgive each other. But you

need to be able to stay calm, or it may only make things

worse. Good communication is beyond the scope of this post,

but it may be worth looking into NVC (nonviolent

communication) to help you out with this.

Conclusion

Forgiving isn't just for those of us who are religious ­ it can

help us all to feel lighter, and build bridges with those around

us if we so choose.

Remember to extend the same treatment to yourself. Many of

us are carrying tremendous guilt about something we have

done. But we can't change the past, so we need to learn from it

and move on ­ in other words, to forgive ourselves. For some

of us, this can be the biggest challenge.

I just want to acknowledge how difficult all this can be. I'm

personally carrying some resentment towards other people,

and a little guilt too. I recognise that it's damaging, but it can

be hard to set aside time to process it. I've let my meditation

practice slip a lot in recent months, for example. But hard is

not the same as impossible, and I believe I'm capable of

working through these emotions. What about you?

seedling magazine | 46


seedling magazine | 47


How to Use a

Menstrual Cup

a Comprehensive Guide

by Bethany Ivy

By now, you’ve probably heard of menstrual cups, but you

may be unconvinced by the idea. If that's you, I'd like to

answer some questions that many people have about

menstrual cups, and hopefully convince you to take the plunge

and try one out!

your vagina when you have your period. When you insert it, it

forms a seal, preventing leakage. The blood is collected

inside, rather than being absorbed like with a tampon.

Why use a menstrual cup?

For those who are unfamiliar with menstrual cups, I'm going

to start by explaining what they are and their benefits. Feel

free to skip this section if you're already familiar with this

information.

What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup is a squishy silicone cup that you place in

There are so many reasons to use a menstrual cup. Here are

the main ones.

• Sustainability. Think how many pads and tampons we throw

away worldwide. They don't biodegrade, making them an

environmental disaster. They are a huge waste of resources, a

source of pollution and damaging to wildlife.

• Price. Menstrual cups may seem a little expensive upfront,

seedling magazine | 48


ut they last years and will likely pay for themselves within a

few months. I paid about £20 for my cup 3 years ago, and

haven't had to buy a single pad or tampon since. That's a huge

saving.

• Comfort and convenience. Like a tampon, you shouldn't be

able to feel your cup once it's in. And you can leave it in for

up to 12 hours at a time, meaning you don't have to worry

about changing it whilst at work or school.

• Minimalism. A cup takes up much less space than a box of

pads or tampons, which is especially convenient when you're

travelling.

• Safety. Unlike tampons, there is no known risk of toxic

shock syndrome (TSS) with menstrual cups.

• Hygiene. Menstrual cups are easy to clean and should not

leak if inserted properly. Using a cup often allows me to forget

I’m even on my period.

Which menstrual cup should I choose?

There are so many cups on the market that it can be

overwhelming trying to decide which one to buy. I went for a

Ruby Cup because for every one sold, they donate one to

someone in a developing country. They aren't the cheapest

option, however.

Everyone's body is different, and you'll want to take this into

account when choosing a cup. There are various different

shapes and sizes, with some softer than others. I can only

advise that you read reviews and decide which you think

would suit you best. This quiz is really helpful too.

In terms of sizes, those who have given birth will need a

larger cup than those who haven't. Most brands have two sizes

for this reason. There may also be other sizes you can choose

from based on your flow; I chose the smallest available size

because my flow is quite light.

Can everyone use a menstrual cup?

If you have a health condition like vaginosis which makes it

difficult or painful for you to use tampons, you probably won't

be able to use cups either. But otherwise, most people should

be able to use them. For those who have just started their

periods, smaller sizes are probably best.

How do I insert my menstrual cup?

It's easiest to do this sitting on the toilet or squatting. Start by

folding your cup up ­ I fold it in two, making a C shape. Then

you should be able to put it in. Cups sit much lower down

than tampons, so don't be tempted to push it up too far. The

stem may even stick out, depending on your body. If the stem

feels uncomfortable, you can trim it or even cut it off

completely ­ just be careful not to damage the cup.

Now for the tricky part ­ you need your cup to open up and

form a seal. If you're lucky, it may do this on its own.

Otherwise, the easiest thing to do is turn it once, clockwise or

anticlockwise. You should hopefully feel it open up ­ you can

check a seal has formed by running your finger around the rim

of the cup.

If it doesn't open, you'll need to do some adjustment. Some

peoples’ cervixes are tilted, so it may just be a case of

experimenting till you find where it sits best. You can also try

allowing it to open just inside the vagina then pushing it

further up. Find what works for you.

Putting in your cup can be fiddly when you're not used to it.

Exercise patience and perseverance and you'll soon get the

hang of it.

Could my cup get stuck?

You may have seen horror stories floating around on the

internet of cups getting stuck too far up and having to be

medically removed. I think the only way this could happen is

if you inserted it way too far up. I made this mistake the first

time I used my cup, since I was used to tampons. It migrated

even further up in the night and I had a lot of trouble getting it

out! But since I learned how to put it in properly I've had no

issues whatsoever, so don't be put off.

What do I do when it's full?

If you suspect your cup is full, or it's been in for 12 hours, it's

time to empty it. Again, you’ll want to do this sitting on the

toilet or squatting. If the cup is too far up to grab hold of, push

it down a little (as if you're giving birth!) then fold it to break

the seal. Take it out carefully, so you don't spill the contents.

Empty it into the toilet, then give it a rinse to get the blood

off. If you're in a public toilet, you can wipe it clean with

toilet paper instead. You can then reinsert it.

How do I clean my cup?

Once your period is over, you need to clean your cup. The

best way is to sterilise it by boiling it. I put mine in a glass jar,

cover it with water and microwave it on full power for 2

minutes. You can also do this in the oven, or in a pan on the

stove.

seedling magazine | 49


My cup came with a fold­up silicone container to boil it in,

but it kept popping up open in the microwave and spilling

water everywhere ­ gross! Eventually the lid broke off so I

threw it out. The jar works way better, though it's not ideal for

travelling.

I know some people prefer to use a menstrual cup wash rather

than boiling their cup, which could be easier if you are

travelling. Personally, I like to know mine has been sterilised,

but it's your choice.

Help! My cup is leaking

There are two reasons why your cup may leak:

• It's full. If your flow is heavy, your cup will fill up quicker

than expected, so try emptying it.

• The seal hasn't formed correctly. Reinsert it, making sure the

cup opens up properly.

I always wear dark underwear on my period in case there is a

bit of leakage. You may want to use a reusable cloth panty

liner for extra security if your flow is heavy.

Could a cup make my cramps worse?

Many people actually report that their cramps improve after

they start using a cup ­ this could be because it helps to train

your muscles.

Once, when my cramps were really bad, I wondered if my cup

was to blame. I experimentally removed it and put in a pad

instead, and my cramps got even worse. Needless to say, I

went back to the cup.

A couple of times, I’ve felt an odd tugging or pinching

sensation after inserting my cup. Removing and reinserting it

always solves the problem ­ I think it happens when the cup

suctions itself onto the wrong place!

stain. Though it's harmless, it does look kind of gross.

Luckily, there's an easy fix. Go to the pharmacy and get some

hydrogen peroxide solution ­ 3 to 9%, the kind you can use to

clean cuts. Put your cup in a glass or jar and add roughly one

part hydrogen peroxide solution to 3 parts water (I never

measure). Leave it to soak for at least a few hours ­ you'll

soon notice the stains starting to disappear. I leave mine in the

jar till it looks completely clean.

Note: many manufacturers recommend against using

hydrogen peroxide on cups. I did my research and found no

evidence that it could have any negative impact on the cup.

Many people say they have used it without issue; I've soaked

my cup multiple times with only good results. I suspect the

manufacturers just want you to buy a new one!

How long will my cup last?

Most manufacturers say that their cups will last about 10

years. I can easily see them lasting even longer if properly

taken care of. Mine is showing no sign of wear after 3 years.

Can I wear my cup at night/to go

swimming?

Yes to both!

I can't/don't want to use a menstrual

cup

For those who can't, don't want to, or need a break from using

a cup, please consider getting some reusable cloth pads to

help the environment. Again, they may seem expensive

upfront but will be far cheaper in the long run. I won't go into

detail about those ­ this article is already long enough.

So that's it. I hope I’ve convinced you that a menstrual cup is

more than worth a try!

If your cramps do seem to worsen after using a cup, it may be

that your cup is the wrong shape or size, or too firm. Consider

trying a different one. But most people should not experience

any problems.

How can I remove staining?

About the writer

Bethany is a freelance writer, blogger and the editor of

Seedling. She loves books, long nature walks, cooking

delicious plant­based food, meditation and yoga.

After you've been using your cup for a while, it may begin to

seedling magazine | 50


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