mo'adore: cruelty-free beauty ∙ vegan food ∙ glasgow/dundee lifestyle

12 February 2017

Increasing my Omega 3 intake with ahiflower oil



If there's one question I hate being asked it's "how do you get your protein/calcium/omega3/other-nutrient-I-can-easily-get-from-plants?". 

Don't get me wrong, when you switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet you have to open the nutrition textbooks so you know how to get everything you need. But I hate how everyone and their Great Uncle Harold turns into an armchair nutritionist every time someone quietly mentions that they don't eat meat. That's because vegan diets offer everything you need and I wouldn't have cut animal produce from my diet if I felt there was any risk to my health. 

And now that I've said that, I can move onto my review of the Vertese Ahiflower Oil capsules. I've personally had a life-long tussle with omega 3 (something that is not connected to my veganism because, as I said, it's lifelong). My brain seems to function a lot better with high amounts of omega 3 but I rarely seem to hit that beautiful quota, and I have turned to supplements a few times. 

As some of you will know, a few years back I was an Arbonne Consultant. Aside from my favourite primer ever (their only product I rave about like I'm still getting paid to) they also sell nutritional products, including Omega-3+ Capsules. I adored these capsules but at £33 for a two-month supply I wasn't going to upkeep that habit once I gave up my membership discount. Then I also tried these Holland & Barrett Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral Tablets, which were rubbish and I didn't feel any different while using them.



So with a few different experiences with vegan nutrients, I didn't know how I'd feel about Vertese Ahiflower Oil. The ahi flower that these supplements were produced with only came to the UK market in October 2016 and has remained a pretty low-key source of omega 3. However, since its discovery it has become the richest plant based source of an omega 3 fat called stearidonic acid, and is a solid source of plant-based essential fatty acids. So if you think you're showing signs of being low in fatty acids (such as low concentration, dry skin and tiredness) then this is one of the best ways to boost your intake. 

Obviously, I don't have my own at-home science kit where I can measure my omega-3 levels and I can only go on how I physically feel after taking the supplements for a month. Concentration and tiredness wise I didn't feel much difference, however my skin was clearer and much brighter. Even though my skin is oily is can still get dry patches in the winter but one week of using these and my skin felt plump and healthy again. The capsules are also free from salt, yeast, gluten and added sugar. Plus, there's many places oil line where you'll only pay slightly over a £10 for them.

I by no means think that vegans require omega 3 supplements (or any other supplement for that matter) but if you don find yourself showing low signs of omega 3 then I would definitely recommend these babies (or you can splash out on the Arbonne version if you're feeling flush). 


28 January 2017

Alchemy Grapefruit Hair Remedy



For the most part I'm not a fan of loading my hair with products. And by loading, I mean putting literally anything on it. But it's not because I'm not a hair care fan (evidently I run a cruelty-free beauty/lifestyle blog and my haircare tag is buzzing) - it's because my hair is naturally thin and oily. Too much product just wears it down, so I'm pretty much a simple shampoo girl (even conditioner gets used sparingly). 

But one styling product that has been a focal point of my hair care routine has been hair oil. Which, I know I know, totally contradicts the Not-Weighing-My-Oily-Hair-Down-With-Oily-Products statement. But the way I've been using hair oil is at nighttime and letting it work its magic overnight and then washing it out during my daily shower (yeah, I wash my hair daily #haterstotheleft). 

I've never been a particular slave to certain oils, and I'm constantly trying out new ones. The most recent oil to enter my rotation is Alchemy Grapefruit Hair Remedy*. A natural hair oil, its ingredients list counts in at  ground total of five super oils and promise to improve shine. thickness and keep your scalp healthy! 

Now the first thing that I noticed upon receiving this hair oil was how thick it is. It put me off a bit as typically it's thinner oils that my hair co-operates with. And when I did use it overnight, it was just a bit too much and - while my hair was shinier - it lost any bounce. However the packaging recommends three ways to use the treatment: overnight, as a 20 minute treatment prior to showering and on wet hair before blow drying. We've established that overnight didn't work for me, and using it on wet hair before stylish just resulted in a stringy mess. However as a 20 minuet treatment? That was my bag! My hair was soft and shimmering but without being weighed down. 

In fact, when me and my flatmate were heading out to work one morning she commenting on how vibrant my hair colour was looking. So it's obviously not just me who reckons my hair is looking good.

The only tiny little thing I would complain about is the bottle design. Sure, it looks lovely on a shelf but the sizeable opening means you can very easily accidentally pour out too much and waste product. Tip very very lowly...

But still, this is one of the best hair oils I've ever tried. 

Ingredients: 
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Virgin, Organic Avocado Oil), Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Organic Castor Oil), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Organic Sweet Almond Oil) and Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil (Organic White Grapefruit Essential Oil). 

ALCHEMY OILS: 


15 January 2017

Reducing food waste with EcoEgg


Remember that time I had multiple internet orgasms over some laundry detergent

It was the EcoEgg. I first purchased one in early 2015 and later the same year the company kindly got in contact offering me their newest fragrance, Orange Blossom. That was some time ago, and I'm very happy/proud/pleasantly surprised to let you know that I still have both of them. No, they have not been hiding at the back of my grown-up cleaning cupboard; I have been using them every week for almost two years and they still show no sign of disintegrating. They claim on the packaging that they last for 720 washes - and I'm very much inclined to believe them. 

Now, I'm clearly not the only one who likes them as the company has went from strength to strength, and now boasts a wide range of eco-friendly cleaning products. From hard surface cleaner right through to reusable lint rollers, there's not much they don't sell. They don't even just concentrate on cleaning anymore, either. 

Recently the company got in contact asking if I wanted to review one of the newest members to their family of products: their Fresher For Longer Discs. If you're asking yourself what on earth these are, join the club because that's exactly what I wondered. Turns out, these little nifty things help kill off ethylene gas - which is the enemy when it comes to keeping mouldy lumps off your fresh produce. Apparently these are what cruise ships use to keep the food nice and fresh while out at sea for that long (in case you're ever in a game show and get asked that question). 

Learning what they were was one thing - actually believing in the science was another. I admittedly wasn't that keen to accept them originally as I was convinced I would have to write a negative review and be blacklisted and never be offered another product for review ever again in my life. 

My conscious was only cleared when I decided to look up some reviews on Amazon. And what I found was almost universally positive. So I decided to roll with it.

I do have to throw out in vegetables every now and then because I just don't get through them in time (spring onions and cucumbers are my failings) and I buy a lot of frozen vegetables because they keep longer (even though I would rather buy fresh) - so these were definitely worth a try.



And now it's time for the actual review

They ended up arriving just before Christmas, so this was the perfect time to try them out. Upon leaving my Glasgow flat to travel to my parents house to Aberdeen I placed a disc (there's four in the packet) on the spring onions in my fridge, the apples and clementines in my cupboard and some slices of bread still left in my bread bin (they're not advertised as suitable for bread, but I thought I'd give it a try). 

Anyway, when I returned to Glasgow a week later I was pleasantly surprised to find that while they were a little more tattered than when I last saw them, they were definitely a far universe away from how bad they could have been. And that includes the bread - which, yes, they worked a treat on. The spring onions were probably the vegetable in the least lacklustre state, but my apples were almost just as ripe as they were when I left.

They retail in at £7.99, last for three months and you get four in a packet making them absolutely amazing value. I mean, how much money have you wasted because you had to through out past-it vegetables? I bet the cost definitely works out.

Once this sample runs out I definitely see myself purchasing a new packet with my own money.

And I think I'll pick up that reusable lint roller too...


12 January 2017

Can vegans eat mussels?

La Fiorentina mussels
From this blog post (this was my mum's dish)

They say you learn something new everyday, and today (or, more accurately, when I wrote this post) I learned that I maybe didn't have to give up one of my favourite foods when I stopped eating meat. 

If the title of this post is anything to go by then you'll probably have guessed that the food in question is mussels. Seafood on the whole was one of my favourite food groups back in the day - give me a tuna sandwich (with a wee bit of sweetcorn) for lunch any day of the week and the cheap Tesco muscles were always sneaking about my fridge somewhere. Fish was the last type of meat I gave up prior to my transition and I'll be honest: I miss it. 

So gastro-reminiscing aside: wtf about mussels being vegan? Technically (maybe?), they are an animal and they do taste fleshy. So obviously if you don't eat meat for taste reasons then you could probably exit the conversation right now. HOWEVER, if you're a vegetarian or vegan who's reason is either an aversion to eating sentiment beings or because meat-farming is killing the planet, then we all need to sit down for a pow-wow.


Now, my research and knowledge on this topic is based on about, uh, three hours of Googling so I'd advise you carry out some of your own. Basically, the concept that mussels (and scallops and oysters too) could be vegan suitable came up in a vegan Facebook group, and the comments took off as apparently the internet has things to say about this. However, the jury seems very open on this issue and it doesn't look like there's going to be an official line drawn any time soon. 

So what are the arguments?

1. There's little evidence that mussels (and oysters and scallops) are sentient beings
While not a plant, scientific evidence leans more to suggesting (important word) that mussels react to threats similarly to plants. They don't scream out in the pain but they do react to the world around them. Mussels can close their shells to protect themselves, in the same vein that plants close up to protect themselves from gases. 

2. Mussel farming is sustainable
While there is a lot of scientific evidence to suggest that cutting meat from your diet is a sure-fire way to help get the health of the planet back on track, mussel-farming is meant to be a positive thing. A lot of the mussels that are available to buy (there are numerous kinds, and only some are suitable for human consumption) are farmed on ropes; not dug up from the seabed. 

Also, seafood is notorious for by-kills - such as dolphins caught in nets meant for tuna. Because mussels are raised in-shore and on ropes, it's very difficult to accidentally capture another creature from from the water while fishing. 

3. They're still technically an animal
For vegans who refuse to eat mussels, this is the main argument. And y'all I get it. Maybe mussels don't feel pain in the same way a cow does but they're still part of the animal kingdom and vegans should leave them the hell alone. 

So am I going to start eating mussels? 

Well, no. Despite having been one of my favourite foods back in the day (my mouth has been salivating writing this post) I'm not going to head to the shops and bulk-buy. While I think this is an issue that is 100% up to the individual and I would hold no judgement, I'm deciding against it for myself. And it's because it could be a slippery slope. I'm not exaggerating when I say I loved seafood and ripping into a packet of mussels could result in re-developing a taste for other sea-life (that are definitely out the question for any vegan!).

As I mentioned, I'm not a scientist (I have Standard Grade Biology....which I tried to get out of doing because I'm an arty-farty person) but if you want to read more from people who understand oxygen compounds or whatnot (is that a thing?) then here's a few links because this issue has been going on longer than my own personal decision to stop eating meat:
- The ethical case for eating mussels and oysters
- Consider the oyster
- Are oysters vegan? 
- Are we strong enough to talk about mussels?
- Why some vegans are okay with eating oysters
Are Bivalves Vegan? Specifically Oysters and Mussels?
- Vegans shouldn't eat oysters, and if you do you're not vegan, so...
- Did you seafood feel pain?
- Do oysters feel pain? 
- Mussels: your go to sustainable seafood