Soul Shine Wellbeing Space

Soul Shine Wellbeing Space (www.soulshine.org.uk) in Radley Road, Abingdon, opens today, 16 April 2018. Founder Vicky Rainbow describes Soul Shine as “A beautiful sanctuary offering carefully crafted classes & workshops in The Nia Technique, Yoga, Dance Meditation, Arts/Crafts & More, empowering people to feel good about themselves. There will also be therapies offered soon and the space is aiming to be purely vegan.” We wish Vicky success with her venture.

Paul Appleby

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Reading Vegan Market

During a recent visit to Ribizli, the vegetarian (and mostly vegan and gluten-free café in Wallingford; https://www.ribizli.co.uk/), I picked up a flyer for Reading Vegan Market, which is held on the last Saturday of the month, 10am to 4pm, at Station Hill, Reading, RG1 1NF. The market offers “vegan street food, cakes, cheeses, confectionery stalls and more, brought to you by amazing, ethical local companies and start-ups.” Details at: http://www.ethiccollective.life/.

Paul Appleby

Eco footprint of the food we buy

I came across this thought-provoking ‘card’ at the end of a friend’s email and thought it would be worth sharing with readers. Presumably, the message is that if you only eat the plant foods pictured, the eco footprint of your diet would be considerably less than 60% of your total contribution, although this would obviously depend on other aspects of your lifestyle such as what forms of transportation you use and how you heat your home.

Paul Appleby

Vegan Berlin

If you’re vegan and looking for a travel destination where you’ll feel at home, you couldn’t do much better than visit Berlin.

Germany has been ahead of the game in terms of vegetarianism and veganism for some time, but a recent visit to Berlin proved that the UK still has a long way to go to make vegans feel truly at home. Most cafes and restaurants in Berlin have several vegan options and, according to Berlin-Vegan (http://www.berlin-vegan.de/english/), there are more than 60 eateries that are exclusively vegan. The Happy Cow website lists 173 vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurants in the city (https://www.happycow.net/europe/germany/berlin/).

There’s something to suit everyone, from vegan cocktail bars, microbreweries, and crêperies to outlets selling doner kebabs and currywurst, the traditional Berlin snack that is said to have originated from a post-War fusion of ‘British’ and German foods. There are plenty of healthier options too!

We stayed in the Mitte district and found numerous options within easy walking distance. Momos (https://momos-berlin.de/) offers a selection of organic vegetarian and vegan dumplings that are really good value and great for sharing. If you want to convince meat-eaters that vegetarians and vegans can eat tasty burgers, then Peter Pane’s (https://www.peterpane.de/) fairytale ‘burgergrill bars’ offer five choices of vegetarian burger and four vegan ones, as well as a temping vegan chocolate brownie with ice cream and peach compote; the restaurants are very popular, so you will need to book in advance. Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers (https://www.facebook.com/fathercarpentercoffee/), situated in a recently renovated courtyard, is a great spot for breakfast or lunch and offers dishes including avocado on sourdough bread and a very tasty selection of winter root vegetables and spicy chick peas.

You’ll never find it difficult being vegan in Berlin and there is no shortage of websites that offer recommendations; the only difficulty you’ll have is knowing where and what to choose. For further information and suggestions, check out these websites:

http://www.berlin-vegan.de/english/

https://theveganword.com/48-hours-in-berlin-what-to-eat/

https://www.happycow.net/europe/germany/berlin/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/berlin/travel-tips-and-articles/berlins-10-best-vegan-restaurants-that-carnivores-will-love-too/

Anne Orgée

Berlin_Father_Carpenter_Coffee_Brewers

(A meal at Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers, Berlin)

Take part in new research on vegetarian-friendly omega 3 oils

University College London is testing the effectiveness of omega 3 oils, derived from entirely plant-based sources, in reducing background inflammation in the body. Taking part in the study involves taking capsules every day for three months, and sending two samples of saliva. To get involved contact Robert Pigott: robert.pigott.17{at}ucl.ac.uk

Paul Appleby

Book review: The Essential Vegan Travel Guide

The Essential Vegan Travel Guide: How to plan your stress-free, meat-free trip by Caitlin Galer-Unti. The Vegan Word, 168pp, ISBN 978-0-9986555-0-5, £11-95

The Essential Vegan Travel Guide is not a travel guide as you know it; it doesn’t provide information on specific locations, but rather provides a wealth of information about how to find vegan restaurants and how to thrive as a vegan away from home. Having trekked across various cities in search of a vegan restaurant that has unfortunately closed down, thanks to a ‘traditional’ guide book, this innovative approach is probably a good thing.

Dedicated to “lost vegans everywhere”, the aim of the book is to remove the stress from finding good vegan food wherever you are in the world. It provides a step-by-step approach to finding vegan-friendly (or vegetarian, raw or gluten-free) fare, and hints for travelling (including with dogs or children), finding somewhere to stay, and cooking basic meals in your hotel room. It also includes useful sections on the best dishes to order, and how to order them, in a variety of non-vegan restaurants, including Burmese, French and Jamaican.

A large portion of the book is dedicated to web-based searches and forums, and there is a helpful list of useful resources and recommendations which is also available on the Vegan Word website (www.theveganword.com). The author recommends Happy Cow (www.happycow.net) as the site where she starts all her searches. She also recommends other directories, blogs and local websites. Some of the tips seem a little basic, since most vegan travellers are likely to have used the internet to search for appropriate eateries. However, there are many search tips and innovative ideas that many people may not have thought of. For instance, did you know that putting ‘related:’ before the URL of a website that you are interested in will provide you with sites offering similar information? You might have used a Doodle poll to organise an event, but have you thought of using it to plan your restaurant and café visits by entering the opening times on the days of your trip?

There are recommendations for finding local vegans who may be willing to offer advice, or even a vegan-friendly place to stay, including social networks such as ‘Meetups’ and ‘Couch surfing’, the latter offering travellers the opportunity to find out about local culture by staying with local people or just meeting for a coffee; advice about staying safe is also provided. The information in this book will date as search mechanisms and media fall in and out of fashion, but the principles and the creative thinking are likely to endure, so you probably don’t need to buy it every year! It starts with some of the myths about travelling as a vegan – that you’ll insult the hosts by refusing to try local cuisine, or will starve because you can’t find anything to eat – but ends with a sense that stress-free vegan travel is possible, whatever your destination.

Anne Orgée

Oxford Vegan Festival 2018

Farplace Animal Rescue (http://www.farplace.co.uk/) make their third visit to Oxford in the space of a year with another Oxford Vegan Festival on Saturday 10 March, 10.30am-5pm. As previously, the event will be held at the Kassam Stadium Conference and Events Centre, Oxford, OX4 4XP. Entry costs £3 on the day or in advance, under 16s free. VIP tickets (limited to 100) with goodie bags are available for £15 and give priority early entry. Details at https://www.oxfordveganfestival.com/.

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