Self-Care Tip #1: Make Breakfast Food

In my latest post, I spoke about the importance of self-care for a healthy, happy life. This is the first of many posts on self-care that I plan on writing in the future! I know I’m no expert, but I’ll give my two cents and hopefully these tips will help people!

My first ever tip may seem like a silly one, but it’s something that helped me out today so it seems as good a tip to start with as any. I just finished a contract I had so I’m currently out of a job at the moment. In saying that, I’m quite happy to have my time back for the time being, and I’m not looking for another job just yet, but going from a strict routine to a flexible one can cause flare-ups.

When you’re used to getting up at 8.30am, making breakfast and having set times for your meals throughout the day, turning that routine on its head can be a bad thing for someone with mental illness. It can make you feel listless, kind of like a failure, useless. Or a fun mix of all three! I find that a way to avoid these feelings is keeping some semblance of a routine, and one of the best ways to do this is to make breakfast in the morning. Even if you wing it for the rest of the day, grounding yourself with a familiar thing that everybody else does to start their day can make you feel less like you’re floundering.

The act of breakfast making can be very relaxing in itself, whether you’re pouring milk over cereal, making a tofu scramble or flipping pancakes. I usually go for a nutty mueseli with chunks of dark chocolate or blueberries on top. I could opt for something sugary, and if that works for you then go for it, but I like to pick something packed with antioxidants and fibre to give me the best start to the day. I figure if I’m getting out of my bed I might as well make the most of it!

Another great thing to do is to get up early to make breakfast for members of your family, your roommates, your partner. It can make you feel useful, like you’re contributing and making a difference to others’ day. If you’re at home all day like me, you might not speak to another person at all until they get home, so make the most of the morning time. It’s so easy to just lie-in (and yes, it feels amazing until you get up to an empty house) but it’s much better for your mental health to get up and about.

Nourishing yourself and others with food that’s lovingly prepared feeds your soul as well as your belly. I have the luxury of time in the morning now so I can spend as much time as I want preparing my breakfast. Make breakfast a main event rather than an after-thought.

Stroll out into the garden to have your first cup of tea of the day, pluck some flowers or sprigs of mint and bring them into the kitchen with you, set the table properly, make tea in an actual kettle, use the good cutlery, whatever puts a smile on your face. Then when you’re finished preparing, really enjoy your food. Close your eyes and allow your tongue to properly taste the food before swallowing. Make eating an experience. If you’re sceptical, at least give this a try, you may be surprised at how it can set up your day for the better.

What are your best self-care tips? Let me know in the comments!


Prioritising Self-Care In My Pursuit Of Happiness

I’ve decided to start delve into topics other than specifically veganism on my site from now on. When I changed the name of my blog, I meant for ‘Inner Peas’ to encompass other aspects of my life other than being vegan, like dealing with mental health problems, self-care, exploring and the pursuit of happiness.

So far, that hasn’t really come to fruition much, and I think the reason is because my mental health hasn’t been great lately. When you’re feeling low, it’s hard enough giving yourself advice on how to find the light again, let alone telling other people. Now that I’m in a better place emotionally, I’m going to implement these changes and make a real effort to keep up with posts like these.

As part of this new resolution, I’m going to write regular posts on self-care tips.

From my 24 years on this planet, I’ve learnt a lot of things, but one of the most sure and terrible truths about life is that it’s not easy and it’s not fair. These truths are especially hard-hitting for some more than others. Me, I count my blessings. I know I am a very very lucky person, but that’s not to say that I don’t face difficulties.

You can be the richest person in the world, you can be the most physically beautiful, the most successful, and you can still have major depression and anxiety. When you are afflicted with mental illness, no amount of money in the world can make it go away. Smiling beautiful people can be shattered inside. The person who stays late at work after you, that person up for a promotion headed for great things, may not be able to sleep at night because of the thoughts that won’t stop circling her head.

Self-care is so important because you can’t rely on the hope that someone else is going to pick up the pieces and put you back together. Sure, they may help, they may make practical suggestions like going to see a therapist, they might tell you it’s all going to be okay, but usually this kind of thing isn’t enough on its own. Support is essential, but so is self-care.

As a vegan, I am constantly reminded of the badness and suffering in the world and as a person with mental illness, it can really really get to me sometimes. It’s hard to find a balance between staying aware and outraged at these injustices, and also finding time for peace. So far, I’ve found it’s not really possible to forget what animals go through at the hands of humans, nor should we forget, but we don’t have to be face-to-face with the horror of it all day every day. If we did, many of us probably wouldn’t even get out of bed, which wouldn’t exactly help the animals let alone ourselves. To be the healthiest person we can be, both mentally and physically, we need to practice self-care. And sometimes self-care means shutting down our devices and turning away from the chaos for a while to recharge.

You need to prioritise yourself and your health because there’s only one of you. Once you’re gone, you’re gone, and you can’t allow things to get so bad that not being here anymore seems the best option. Think of self-care as a kind of supplement you take to boost your health and happiness. If you’re like me and you don’t always remember to take your supplements, at least make ‘Self-Care’ one of the ones you remember.

Here’s a great Ted Talk by Lori Moffett on stress and taking time for yourself:

5 Irish Vegans You Should Be Following

If you’re not from Ireland, you may not think that there would be many vegans on our little island, but you’d be surprised! We’re a growing community. Although there are no official figures of how many vegans there are in Ireland, we can still hazard an educated guess just by looking at the numbers that attended Dublin Veg Fest and Vegan Festival in Belfast, which put numbers in the thousands. Plus, veganism in Britain has risen by 360% in the past 10 years. It’s onwards and upwards from here!

Anyway, whether you’re an Irish native or not, here is a list of 5 Irish vegans you need to follow!

Cosmic Colette

Cosmic Colette is a vegan YouTuber and body positive advocate. She posts very regularly and her content is always incredibly helpful and informative. If you’re looking for a mindful approach to vegan living and eating, make sure to check out her videos (and her Instagram feed – I always find out something new or get a positive affirmation for the day!)

Vegan Mammy

If you have kiddos running around the house and you’re having trouble converting them to a plant based diet, Vegan Mammy has some fantastic recipes on her blog. There’s something for even the fussiest of eaters!

Irish Vegans

Green Leafy Gael 

If you’re active on Instagram, you’ve no doubt come across Green Leafy Gael in the tags! She’s a Donegal native and a passionate vegan and healthy eater. If you’re looking for fab healthy recipes and lots of great information on vegan living and rejecting fast fashion, she’s your first port of call!

Irish Mountain Child

Otherwise known as Saoirse, Irish Mountain Child is a blog where you’ll find posts on many different things, but she writes a lot about living a healthy lifestyle and shopping ethically. I really enjoy her Instagram feed in particular, especially now as she’s gotten engaged and is exploring ethical wedding options like checking out the dresses at Oxfam Bridal.

Irish Vegans

Veg Huns

If you’re looking for a bit of vegan comedy in your life (and sure who isn’t?) as well as lots of tips on the best places to get vegan food in Ireland (and abroad as well), then make sure to follow Veg Huns on Instagram.

Irish Vegans

Do you follow any great Irish vegans? Let me know who they are in the comments below! I’d love to hear about them!

Provide 50 Days Of Clean Water With Loresk

I love the oak tree in my parent’s garden, it’s been there for almost 3 decades and it grows stronger every year, despite rain and lightning and that time I almost drove my brother’s quad bike up its trunk! Any time I see oak leaves I think of home.

I am so lucky to live where I do, but others have homes far away from me and they aren’t so lucky. Some don’t have even half of the things I have, let alone basic essentials, like water. Water is the great equaliser – rich or poor, good or bad, we all need it to survive. It’s a human right and so many people struggle to obtain it. Some people need to walk 6km per day to collect clean water. Can you imagine? Something we take so for granted is an every day struggle to people in other countries.

The bad news is that this won’t change quickly, but the good news is that you can help! Loresk is a company I discovered a few weeks back; its mission is to spread awareness and to raise money for people who desperately need clean water.

For every product on Loresk’s online shop sold, a portion of the price is donated to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation who send water purification packets to areas in need. This provides 50 days of clean water.

According to their website, the packets contain “a powdered mixture that removes pathogenic microorganisms and suspended matter, making previously contaminated water clean”. All their products are cruelty free, so you’d be helping humans and animals alike! As if that wasn’t good enough, the company is also an ally of the we are allies of the LGBTQ+ community.

I bought this agate bracelet from them at a cost of €13.73, which isn’t a lot when you take into consideration what that money will mean to a family in need. All the beads are black except the blue one which represents the clean water being provided by the purchase. It just arrived yesterday with a handwritten note thanking me for my purchase and explaining what it meant, as well as a free hat. I’m not a hat girl, but I’ll sure be wearing this one! I was having a really terrible day and receiving this just reminded me how blessed I am and to be so grateful for what I have.

Vegan Sushi Day in the Sun

I’ve been thinking as of late about how lucky I am to have vegan friends around me. It makes being vegan in an omni world infinitely easier, and it also means that if I want to give something new a go, I have a group of people totally on board to try it with me.

One of these things is vegan sushi!

vegan sushi

I saw a few pictures of gorgeous rolled nori with all sorts of yummy veggies on Instagram, and I knew I just had to try it. Last week on one of Ireland’s very rare sunny days, I met at my friend’s house and we got cooking!

We cracked open some bottles of apple and elderflower juice and some wine and relaxed a little in the sun while the sushi rice cooked. You can’t really use regular rice for sushi as it’s just not sticky enough, so shop around the health food stores or just browse your supermarket and I’m sure you’ll find a pack.

vegan sushi

While your rice is cooking, cut up whatever you want to wrap into your sushi. We decided on smoked tofu (YUM!), peppers and mango (plenty of the mango disappeared while we were cooking!)

We all had a go rolling the sushi once the rice was done, though we soon learnt we should have left it to cool a little bit more before trying to roll it. My friend Katie happened to have some old Uncle Bens mats that rolled it perfectly (though we put down some clingfilm to stop the rice sticking in the grooves of the mat!)

It was a little messy and took a bit of practice, but we ended up making some pretty awesome sushi if I say so myself. We never really let the plates fill with the delicious little rolls until the end of the cooking sesh (we were starving hungry!) but I managed to get a picture or two of the finished product before they were gobbled up.

vegan sushi

It was such a fun day so if you’re a vegan looking to get a little adventurous with your food choices, try a sushi day with your friends (who don’t have to be vegan – some of my friends are still omni and they really enjoyed the food!) or family.

Have you had vegan sushi before? Let me know in the comments! 🙂