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

27 February 2017

Lotus Vegetarian Cuisine

If there's an international cuisine that I've not ever been overtly keen on it's Chinese. Not that I've ever had a massive vendetta against satay or noodles; it's just never been my first choice. Then when I went vegetarian and later vegan, I began to stray even further away from oriental restaurants as Chinese food is typically meat heavy and a lot of it is infused with fish sauce. 

That's why I was surprised to discover that Glasgow - in all its multicultural and vegan-friendly glory - was now going to be home to a 100% vegetarian Chinese restaurant. Lotus Vegetarian Cuisine can be found close to Bridge Street Subway Station on the Southside and offers a menu filled with tofu, vegetables and faux-meat. 

When me and Elaine (who runs Vegan Events Scotland) first walked walked in, we had to admit it didn't feel like much. The place was empty, and the overall feel was very simplistic. We sat down and looked over the menu (which was printed on an A4 sheet of paper - I really do mean it when I say they didn't go all out on image) and made our choices. Elaine shares my love of large portions so we ordered a few dishes to share between us and were left to natter. 

The wait for our food was long. During that time a man came in to order a takeaway and began getting huffy about the wait. Granted he was trying to order off-menu with Scottish takes on Chinese food such as chips and curry (tbh, he was the kind of customer who makes me glad I no longer work in hospitality). I'm not usually one to care too much about how long something takes to arrive, but they were chancing their luck and we were obviously not the only ones who were getting impatient. 

However, if you think this review is going to be a don't-ever-eat-here affair, you'd be wrong. Because when the food did come, it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. While there are restaurants who take ages to serve meals that other places could do in half the time (I'm looking at you Mono!) the hold up had obviously been due to an enthusiastic love of delicious food - and I can get behind that. 

The full menu can be found on their Facebook page - of which me and Elaine opted for salt and chillies bean curd, vegetarian beef with black bean sauce, pumpkin with miso sauce, and mixed vegetables fried rice. All were beautiful and I can't pick a favourite (though Elaine said she loved the black bean sauce the most). 

We had a chat with the owners and they were telling us about their move to Scotland and that this was their first restaurant. Apparently they were still waiting on a new oven being installed which would explain any waiting. They were such a lovely couple and it was also their friendliness that made the the wait worthwhile. While they certainly could work on styling and organisation, they clearly are very passionate about food and I think any true foodie (I know that makes me sound pompous) appreciates good food regardless of any other weakness the restaurant might have. 

I 100% recommend Lotus to anyone after good cuisine - just don't visit when you're in a rush. 

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. 

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). 


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...