End of Year Roundup – Welcome 2016

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Happy 2016! It’s that time of year again. Time for a roundup. I thought that my last roundup saw a lot of change, but this year saw even more! Maybe not with what physically happened, but definitely with what went on inside of me emotionally (ok a bit deep I know) I’ve altered my whole outlook on life. It was a slow start to the year, but the second part of 2015 made up for it. Read below to find out.

January: I was meant to be bringing in 2015 in style with a big night out in Bristol, but instead Eugene the cat had major issues with his bladder (£800 later at emergency vet! – thank god for pet insurance) so ended up staying at home in Brighton.

eugene-the-cat

February: 14th February – 5-year anniversary of my Mums death – can’t believe it’s been that long.

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Mum in Syria

Recipe developed 2 new gelato flavours and entered them into the Great Taste Awards. Fingers crossed!

milk-and-thyme

March: Went on a cookery course in France as part of a joint Christmas present. All I can say is it was one of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had…

After becoming  vegetarian (again) in December 2014, I carried on eating fish every now and then. I made the decision to stop eating fish altogether (with one exception in June) when reading up on it as part of Meat Free Week. I also started cutting out some diary. My new favourite lunch was the Vegan pizza from Infinity Foods.

May: Our friends Lydia and Kieran got married! The wedding took place at a beautiful location on the Isle of Wight. I was given the special task of making the Tiramisu for the event. I got some friends to help me and we formed a Tiramsu relay. Team Tiramsu was a success!

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isle-of-wight-wedding

June: After the wedding we continued on with the holiday vibes and jumped straight into the car to drive to Devon for a week. I completely fell in love with it!

Devon

Blur in Blackpool – OMG. We managed to get tickets. We did feel slightly mad driving all the way to Blackpool for one night, especially as we already had tickets for the Hyde Park gig at the end of June. But it was sooo worth it. The barrier broke and I had piss thrown at me. It was wild! Best gig of my life EVER. EVER. (even though I said that last year about Damon’s show at the Royal Albert Hall)

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Look how close I got!

July: My Uni friends Phil and Katie got married! They had a gert lush West Country wedding, which also happened to be completely Vegetarian. Win!

My birthday was the day after the wedding so I headed to Bristol to celebrate with friends. The day after my birthday I downloaded and watched Cowspiracy…And my life changed. I became Vegan. And bloomin heck I didn’t realise how much this would open up my mind and make me see the world differently. Highly recommended!

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August: Found out that both my Gelato creations I entered into the Great Taste Awards won stars! Milk & Thyme got ** 2 stars and White Chocolate & Black Olive got * 1 Star. Yay!

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We said bye to our besties, Ollie and Kathryn, as they were moving away from Brighton.

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Bye Bye Beach BBQ send off

After a busy season making Gelato it was time for a holiday. I was super excited because we were going back to Salento, but this time it was with my Dad and my Brother who hadn’t been back there for over 10 years!

Being Vegan in South Italy was surprisingly easy. I did cheat at the beginning of the holiday and ate some burrata. But my holiday reading, The China Study (just a bit of light reading!?), kept me on track and I ate Vegan for the rest of the trip. Not sure if my family appreciated me reading out facts from The China Study at the beach though – oops.

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September: Went to The Good Life Experience Festival in North Wales. A small festival celebrating the great outdoors curated by my fav 6 Music DJ, Cerys Matthews. I even got to meet her! Swoon 🙂

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After working the Summer with the lovely Aussie Girlies (you know who you are) it was time to say goodbye. Good luck with your travels. And yes I’m still addicted to lentil crisps and houmous. A new manager started at work and I could just tell we were going to be good friends 🙂

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The Aussies

My new Vegan lifestyle was settling in well and I started developing some exciting new Vegan flavours at work. I’m pleased to say that my Vegan Chocolate Brownie Gelato and Vegan Ecuadorian Dark Chocolate Gelato are now amongst the most popular at the shop.

vegan-dark-chocolate-gelato

October: After a great start to Veganism, the honeymoon period was wearing off. The constant questions and aggravation from people was getting too much for me. I cried and shouted A LOT. I was becoming an angry Vegan! I felt very passionate about my beliefs, but found it hard to pin point them when asked. I needed to get the facts straight in my head. And what was peoples obsession with protein?!

Volunteered at Feed the 5000 an event highlighting food waste.

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Curry for 5000 people

We had some very sad news. Murrays Mum was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. She had to spend 4 weeks at hospital. Suddenly the book I’d read on holiday was being put to use. We went into juicing mode and consumed lots of wheatgrass. We’re currently waiting for treatment.

November: Went to Vegan Futures, a festival of inspiring talks and films in London. Ate some lush food and got an amazing goodie bag of treats. Will definitely be going again next year. The best thing I got out of it – be positive!… I could feel my angry Vegan phase fading.

IMG_6608 Nannie turned 80! Murray, my Brother and I travelled to Bristol in secret to surprise her. We had a good old Bristolian family get together with LOTS of food.

I was so upset that I couldn’t make the Climate Change March. I followed it all day at work and even had two friends report live back to me on the events. I was definitely there in spirit and Caroline Lucas is still my heroine.

climate-march

November was a quiet time at the shop, which meant I could experiment! I developed a Vegan and Gluten Free waffle, which I’m very pleased to say is going down a storm.

vegan-waffle

December: After a contemplative 4 months, during which my outlook on life dramatically changed, and after a hard-hitting reminder that life is so precious and fragile I decided to hand my notice in at work. Sadly my dream job of Gelato Chef was turning into a bit of a milk nightmare! It wasn’t for me anymore. And life is too short to settle.

6 months on from going Vegan and I feel completely comfortable with it. I don’t mind the questions. I’m very happy to answer them. I know the facts now. It has made me a more compassionate person and made me feel more alive. I get sad about climate change statistics and animals being harmed, but I feel I can help and actually  do something about it. I just wish I’d done it sooner!

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So here is to 2016! Who knows where it will take me? I have no set plans and no savings account handy. Although the one thing that I am set on? Sharing lots of delicious plant based food with people.

And my favourite thing of 2015? Seeing blur live! (of course)

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2 responses to “End of Year Roundup – Welcome 2016

  1. Gabs this is so lovely, i’ve just been browsing your posts and you should be super proud of where and what you have become. You’re so active in your beliefs and I feel really lucky to have met such a compassionate, kind and caring fellow vegan xx

    • Ah thanks Liv. I’m very pleased we shared our angry vegan phase together, haha. And right back at ya! I’m so happy to have met such a lovely fellow vegan! xxx

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