3 Ghoulish Halloween Smoothie Recipes

It’s that time of year again! It’s such a shame that Halloween and flu season coincide, but a night out in your scariest costume doesn’t have to end in the sniffles!

Drinking smoothies regularly is great for your digestion, your immune system and your skin. If you don’t usually drink smoothies, autumn is a great time to make the addition to your routine! What better way to combat the cold and drink something yummy at the same time?

Here are 3 of my favourite smoothie recipes (with a Halloween twist!) πŸ˜‰

Chocolate Swamp

I’m a chocolate fiend, especially around Halloween time! This delicious smoothie (it’s more like a milkshake, really!) is easy to make and satisfies that sweet tooth!

Chocolate halloween smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 and a half cup soy milk (or any dairy-free milk, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp tahini paste

Method:Β 

Blitz all of these delicious ingredients together and pour in a glass! If you have any gelatine-free halloween jelly snakes, these would be a perfect addition! You can fish out the monsters of the deep as you drink πŸ™‚

Berry Bloody

Dracula’s favourite smoothie, for sure! This is probably the sweetest of the three smoothies (it’s chock full of the nicest berries – strawberries and cranberries!)

berry smoothie

Ingredients:Β 

  • 2 handfuls of strawberries
  • 1 handful cranberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup cranberry juice/ water
  • Flesh of 1 large plum

Method:Β 

Blitz all of the ingredients together and drink it in a champagne flute, you know, something you might see Dracula drinking out of. Ooh, a goblet!

Witch’s Potion

This smoothie may look goopy and gross, but that’s the idea! Get in the Halloween spirit and imagine you’re really drinking a witch’s brew. Or, better yet, convince your kids that that’s what it is! Any chance to get some fruit in them, right?

halloween smoothies

Ingredients:Β 

  • 1 green apple
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 cup apple juice (or, for a healthier version, water)
  • Half a teaspoon of spirulina
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Method:Β 

Chop up your fruit (leave the skin on, that’s where the bulk of the fibre is! *pun intended*) and pop in the blender with the juice/water, spirulina and maple syrup.

Blitz for about 30 seconds (or less, you’ll know what consistency you want yourself!) and then you’re done!

I really don’t like the taste of spirulina myself, so when I do utilise it in my recipes I tend to use it SPARINGLY. You can omit it entirely but you lose some of the colour (and the nutrition as it’s VERY good for you!) or you can do what I did and use half a teaspoon.

This smoothie is best served in a black tub or any cauldron-like cup you can get your hands on (alas, I didn’t have one so a plain glass had to do!)

What are your favourite ghoulish smoothies? Let me know in the comments!

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A Day At Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

I first heard about the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary about 6 months ago. I constantly made plans to visit, but these plans didn’t materialise until last weekend. A few friends and I (plus two of the cutest kids you’ll ever see) went on Sunday and had a really great time. We just wanted to see some cute donkeys, but we learnt a lot about their plight and the amazing work the volunteers at the Sanctuary do every day to keep the donkeys safe and happy.

We arrived at around 2pm and walked over to the donkeys, who came up to us straight away. They’re such lovely gentle creatures with the softest hair and they’re so badly treated in so many countries. Many of the donkeys taken in by founders Danny and Sandra Curran have suffered years of abuse and neglect and were abandoned at the sides of roads or woods, and some have been taken in from people who no longer have the money to care for them.

The fantastic, kind-hearted Currans took in their first donkey after a phone call from a family friend informed them of a starving, dehydrated donkey tied to a scrapped car in a bog. After that, many more donkeys came into their care from a number of different places.

The sanctuary has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and now has a new stable block, large barn, tea room and gift shop. However, these additions have cost a lot of money. As Danny himself has said, they get very little money from the government to help ease the massive financial burden. They rely almost entirely on the generosity of others.

The sanctuary is a fantastic place for kids to see animals they wouldn’t normally see and get them used to interacting with animals. Sanctuaries are a much better option than places like zoos where animals are kept behind bars in tiny enclosures for the rest of their lives, or worse, circuses that use and abuse animals for entertainment. A sanctuary is the ideal place for kids to see animals living their lives in peace.

It’s great for animal-loving adults too though! I loved walking around at my leisure seeing the donkeys and petting them. They’re complete sweetie pies, though one of the donkeys tried to take a nibble at my jacket while I was petting him. I had no idea my clothes were so delicious!

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

If you love animals, please support this wonderful sanctuary in any way you can. Go up and visit, drop a euro or two into the donations boxes, take a few pictures, bring a thermos of soup and have a lovely Sunday to yourself. Top tip: bring a coat as the days are getting colder and you’ll be outside quite a bit!

How can you help?Β 

There are a few different ways you can help the sanctuary house and feed the donkeys, particularly during the winter months:

Have a birthday party at the sanctuaryΒ 

A really great way you could help the donkeys while saving a lot of money is to have your child’s birthday party at the sanctuary. There are four or five tables in the gift shop that would be ideal for party food and parents of the kids can donate money in lieu of presents for your little one. Or they can buy some of the donkey themed gifts from the gift shop as all the money goes towards caring for the donkeys. Admission to the sanctuary is FREE so you’re saving way more money than you would if you went anywhere else AND you’d be doing good.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

Volunteer

The sancutary is always in need of volunteers for several duties like working with the donkeys, mucking out stables, brushing and grooming, helping in the gift/coffee shop, administrative duties, website maintenance, grass cutting, fencing etc. Give the sanctuary a call or an email if interested!Β Β 

Donate money

You can do this in a few ways: Give money directly to the sanctuary, organise your own fundraising event in aid of the sanctuary, or buy bales of hay in lieu of traditional presents. For example, you can buy 1 bale of hay for €5, 2 for €10 and so on. You’ll also get a voucher to give to your loved one so they know you’ve donated money to the donkeys in lieu of their gift.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

Adopt a donkeyΒ 

You can “adopt” a donkey at the sanctuary for €25 per year. You will receive an adoption pack which contains an adoption certificate, a photograph of your donkey, a fridge magnet and a letter outlining the donkey’s life story to date. You can visit your adopted donkey or donkeys as often as you like at the sanctuary.

These make a fantastic gift for an animal loving friend or a birthday or Christmas present!

Make a purchase on their online shopΒ 

There are plenty of lovely gifts on the sanctuary’s online shop, including coasters, mugs and magnets with the faces of the very donkeys you’d be supporting.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary

It hurts my heart to know that donkeys just like the ones I spent time with are hit and starved and over-worked to the point of exhaustion and death in places all over the world. They are trusting, docile, beautiful creatures who deserve to live peaceful lives. Do yourself a favour and head up to the sanctuary some day and spend some time with them. It’ll do your soul good!

If you’re trying to find the sanctuary, it’s located halfway between Letterkenny and Lifford, and if you aren’t paying attention you’ll definitely miss the little brown sign indicating the turn-off, so keep your eyes peeled!

Have you been to the sanctuary? Let me know what you thought 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 thingΒ 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.Β 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:

Dublin Veg Fest 2017 Review + PicturesΒ 

Dublin Veg Fest is over for me for another year, and it’s been a great experience! I went yesterday with two friends and we left with light pockets and full bellies with bags of goodies weighing us down.

We got there before 11am and we’re in the queue for about 20 minutes, maybe 30, before we got in. We decided not to have breakfast so that we wouldn’t spoil our appetites for all the vegan yumminess ahead of us, but we were STARVED by the time we hit the food court outside.

Usually at vegan festivals we do a lap first before eating, but we made a beeline for the hot dog stand, V Dogs. The hot dogs were super yummy and so realistic, I swear no meat eater would be able to tell the difference.

After we were fed and watered we wandered around for a while upstairs where most of the vendors were. There was plenty there that I’d seen and tried before but there were a few new faces as well.

I gave the Wellnice pops a go, as I’d seen them advertised on Instagram a while ago and had no way of trying them before. They’re frozen juice oops made out of fruit and veggies. I liked the lemon and yellow pepper one but the other one I tried, kale and apple I think, wasn’t my cup of tea.

There was a brand called Sonnett selling at the event and they had a fantastic deal on; you could buy sample bottles of detergents and washing up liquids for just 50 cent apiece! And they were really decent sized bottles too! Brilliant deal.

I also got a t-shirt that says ‘Not your ma, not your milk’ for €15 and some amazing coconut based sauces from Asia Market. There were condensed mills, chocolate fudge, butterscotch and caramel sauces on offer for just €2 per jar or €5 for 3! FANTASTIC deal! So of course I bought 6 jars!

Another newcomer I met was Chocolatey Clare (great make, right?) who was selling flavoured milk chocolate with her sons. It’s hard to find vegan milk chocolate at the best of times, so I was thrilled that the quality was second to none. I picked up the peanut butter flavoured bar and my friend grabbed a minty one. She had it gobbled up before we even left!

Of all that I bought yesterday, however, the best thing was the vegan fried chicken from Moodley Manor. It completely surpassed my expectations, and even though the queue to buy it was an hour long, it was totally worth it. It looks exactly like fried chicken from the outside even though the inside is quite different, but the most important thing is it tastes exactly like it fried chicken well. It’s incredible.

I also donated money to the Back Into Daylight animal sanctuary and I was a little disheartened to see that I was the only name on the list. This was around 2 hours in to the festival as well. We have to remember that these festivals aren’t just a place to try yummy food and buy vegan goodies, it’s also a place where we congregate because of a common belief – that animals deserve to love their lives, that we don’t own them, that we should care for and protect them. Providing a sanctuary for animals costs money, and as vegans we should support the people running these sanctuaries as best we can. They can’t do it for free, so even if you can only donate a euro, that euro will be put to good use!

Overal, I had a great day and I tried lots of delicious food. I can’t wait until next year already! ✌🏻

Check out my full gallery of pictures below πŸ™‚










8 Essentials For Vegan Travellers

I’m heading to Dublin for the weekend and it had me thinking about the items I usually pack specifically because I’m vegan; essential things I’d miss if I forgot them! If you’re thinking of travelling soon, even if it’s only a few hours away in another county, these tips might help you out!

Travel bottles for dairy-free milk

Most places have dairy free milk these days, but you still find the odd place that doesn’t even have almond milk on offer, let alone soy. When you’re in an unfamiliar town or city, particularly if you’re somewhere rural, it’s best to pour a little vegan milk into a small bottle and pop it in your handbag. Or if you’re a guy who doesn’t use a bag, ask your girlfriend to carry it for you!

Vegan Passportvegan travel essentials

This is really useful if you’re going abroad, rather than heading somewhere in Ireland, but I thought I’d mention it anyway in case you haven’t heard of it. It’s an app you can download that contains common phrases in lots of different languages so you can let waiters and vendors know what you can and can’t eat. If you need to know how to say “Can you make something for me that doesn’t contain eggs, meat, fish or dairy?” this has you covered.

Snacks

This is a big one. Never leave the house without a Nakd bar or a flapjack or an apple in your pocket or bag. Not everywhere has items that are suitable for vegans, and in fact it’s usually the exception rather than the rule, so be prepared. Few things are worse than being a starving vegan in a place with no vegan options.

vegan travel essentials

Dry shampoo

I use Lush’s vegan-friendly dry shampoo, which is a decent sized bottle of what looks like baby powder. You just pop a few sprinkles in your hair and comb it through, and voila! Hair that doesn’t look like a big grease ball. Not only is it better for your hair to wash it every other day instead of every day, it’s also better for the environment as you’re not using as much water. Win-win! There are several VF dry shampoo sprays out there as well, but I don’t use aerosol tins so I have none to recommend.

vegan travel essentialsFace mist

Travelling can really dry out your skin, especially if you’re spending a long time on a plane or a bus (it’s 4 hours from Donegal to Dublin on a bus… yeah), so you might want to rejuvenate your skin afterwards. I don’t really wear makeup anymore and especially not while I’m traveling, and the Facial Mist by Sukin is an absolute life saver after a long haul journey. However, if you don’t want to buy something expensive, you can get yourself a little spray bottle and fill it with water and a few drops of tea tree oil. Just as good!

Sleeping mask

If you’re staying in hotels while traveling, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the blinds or the curtains may not block out the light entirely. You may want to pack a sleeping mask so that if you’re faced with cracks of light keeping you awake, you can sleep soundly under your mask. As someone who is scared of the dark, this isn’t a major problem for me personally, but my boyfriend can’t sleep if there’s even a tiny bit of light in the room, so he loves his mask.

Probioticsvegan travel essentials

Traveling can really upset the tummy. This is due to a number of factors, but mostly because you may not eat regularly, you might be trying different kinds of foods your tummy isn’t used to, or because you’re in a country that has untreated water. I use a probiotic from Optibac that has worked wonders for me in times of need.

Comfy shoes

This is super important for walking around a city or exploring woods and green areas. I recently came across shoes on Nae that are made of Pinatex (vegan leather made from pineapple leaves). I bought a pair of boots recently myself, but I think I’m going to save up for these gold beauties.

vegan travel essentials
Source: nae-vegan.com

They’re incredibly eco-friendly; they’re a by-product of pineapple farming and it takes no extra water or land to create the leather. It’s a fantastic product.

What are your vegan travel essentials? Let me know in the comments!