ISSUE #2 | DEC/JAN 2018-19
travelling full‐time with
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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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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
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!
The editor and writers do not give any
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All images used have been sourced via
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"This is excellent! Ty for sharing
Click the titles to go directly to the articles!
8.......encouraging your partner to go vegan
20......alternative education and long-term
travel with kids
27......yummy vegan recipes
34......why you should try these two
38.......what meat cravings really mean
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10......making new habits: the yoga and
16......sustainable living on a budget
42......beautiful planet - nature photos
48.......how to use a menstrual cup: a comprehensive guide
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
magazine | 7
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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
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
seedling magazine | 11
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
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
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
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‐ helen keller
seedling magazine | 15
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
1. The Perfect is the Enemy of
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
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
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
can be messy,
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
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
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
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
to just be in
the world, and
that it is a safe
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
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.
magazine magazine |
why it's okay to
be vegan and
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
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
from vegan cooks Miggs McTaylor, Sarah Mordelt
and Chloe of Baked by Clo
seedling magazine | 27
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
– 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.
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
peanut butter cookies
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.
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
Full of healthy fats
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
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!
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
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
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
To fit a 19.5cm cake tin a double
recipe makes a large 27cm cake.
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
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)
pinch of flaky sea salt
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
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
By Deborah Bostock‐Kelley
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
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.
Phone: (+44)1273 699922
Address: 70 Bonchurch Road, Brighton, BN2 3PH, UK
seedling magazine | 37
by Olivia, registered nurse and
health and wellness coach
I was talking to someone the other day who gave me that
“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
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.
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
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
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
• 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
• 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
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
• 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
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
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
seedling magazine | 41
Appreciating the world with photos of beautiful places
seedling magazine | 42
The Grand Canyon & Bee in Fresno,
By Farin Montanez
By Sabree Simmons
Do you have a beautiful nature photo from your part of the world? Submit it by emailing
email@example.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
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
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
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
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.
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
Recognise that people grow and
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!
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.
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
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
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
• 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
• 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
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
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
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
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
Yes to both!
I can't/don't want to use a menstrual
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
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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