Going vegan in 2020! Ultimate Guide for Beginners.

Dienstag, 21. Januar 2020 • Lilly
Hi there,
you always thought about turning vegan? Or switching your current diet to a more plant-based approach? Especially with the start of the new year, a lot of people have heightened interest in adapting or learning more about their eating habits.

In todays article, I would like to share the ultimate guide for all beginners, who are currently starting to look into a vegan diet. I hope that these tips will make your transition a lot more smooth and easy. I look forward to hearing your experiences and stories in the comments!

After being vegan for quite a while, I have definitely learned a lot myself and I would enjoy sharing my tips with everyone! Lastly, make sure to bookmark this article as a source of information, inspiration, or for the case of re-reading it in a while.

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1. What does it mean to be vegan: 

First and foremost, I want to mention that you definitely do not have to turn vegan overnight. Implementing more and more plant-based resources is the first essential step you can do. Do not pressure yourself and discover with time! Being vegan means a switch in your diet towards eating products that do not contain meat, fish, dairy, egg and honey ingredients. Besides your diet, a vegan lifestyle can also imply changes in the areas of fashion, beauty and lifestyle. You can start slowly adapting your lifestyle habits, implementing more and more veggies into your diet. I would also like to mention, that the feeling of overwhelmingness can be completely normal once in a while. Especially the first time, standing in front of the vegan supermarket isle, you will probably not know where to look first. It can be incredibly helpful, to have contact with someone, who is already vegan, or someone to exchange your feelings and thoughts with. You can also do that online on blogs or social media groups. 

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2. How to substitute meat, dairy, etc.:

I know that a lot of people struggle with the thought of replacing meat, fish, dairy and especially eggs. Personally, I found the replacement of dairy products to be most challenging, but let me tell you: the variety of substitutes that is out there is amazing. When looking for tasty meat alternatives you will find the basics, such as tofu and tempeh, but there is also a whole product selection for burgers, minced meat and sausages. I do not eat most of theses meat replacements, as I stopped eating meat because I don't like the taste of it. So I am also not looking to substitute it. But, if you should struggle to imagine a life without meat, then you will be sure happy about all the replacements, that the markets are offering!
Furthermore, if you should be a fan of fish, a nice alternative can be avocado sushi! When it comes to dairy products, milk, cream and yoghurt alternative products are great. You can choose between products on soy, almond, oat or even pea basis. Here you can just try yourself out and choose your favorite. To replace eggs, for example when baking, a flaxseed-egg or a chia-egg can be a great choice to go!

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3. The best way to start a vegan diet:

Luckily, switching to a plant-based diet does not mean that you can not eat your favorite dishes and snacks anymore. You can still enjoy all of them! Starting the vegan lifestyle with a week of your favorite dishes also makes the changes way easier and first and foremost, even more exciting! For nearly every recipe out there you are able to find a vegan alternative. 
Then, when knowing all the basics of the vegan kitchen you can go broad and explore. Ever tried tempeh or is there a vegetable that you do not dare to cook? In the creation and discovery phase you are able to develop new tastebuds favorites and also find out about a variety of passions that you might not knew of! I can only recommend you, to try everything and let your tastebuds decide whether you will go for a second try or not!

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4. Where to shop for vegan products: 

Nowadays, shopping for vegan products is easy and convenient. Nearly every big, or small supermarket chain offers a variety of solely vegan products. Most of the time, the vegan products are placed in one isle, often close to the selection of bio and/or organic products. To be sure, you can of course always ask one of the employees to help you out, as they will know best! Besides the known convenience supermarkets you can also check your city or area for specialty shops, such as grocery shops with a focus on organic or local produce. They are more likely to offer a greater variety of products. Another nice alternative to try can be shops, which offer products from other cultures. In my opinion Asian, Turkish and Moroccan shops have some delicious vegan options! 
Besides your local offerings, you also have the possibility to look for vegan products online. Whether you are on the search for a subscription box or an online store, you will sure find what your heart desires.

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5. Vegan resources to follow, read, listen: 

At some point you might be wondering: "What should I cook tonight?", The answer to that question is simple: "Be inspired from all the amazing vegan content that is out there, ready to be explored from you!" With the internet at our fingertips we can not only access an endless list of foodblogs, but there are many more resources for you to read, listen and watch. To ensure that you have a good starting point, I will provide you with some of my favorite resources. I always go back to them when being on the hunt for a new recipe, or simply for the purpose of inspiration. 

Food blogs to read:  I think that Pinterest offers a great variety of recipe choices, but as you can probably imagine, blogs are also one of the easiest ways to discover. Make sure to check out: 
  • Bianca from Elephantastic Vegan (https://www.elephantasticvegan.com)
  • Ania from LazyCat Kitchen (https://www.lazycatkitchen.com)
  • Caro from VeganVibes (https://www.veganevibes.de)
  • Richa from VeganRicha (https://www.veganricha.com)

Videos to watch: If you enjoy watching youtube videos then you are lucky! One of my favorite sources is the Canadian youtuber Maddie Lymburner. On her channel, as well as on her blog, she is providing her readers with a variety of recipe ideas. Furthermore, I highly enjoy watching the content of the twins Dave and Steve from "The Happy Pear". Some channels I can recommend: 
  • Maddie Lymburner - blogs about vegan lifestyle, workouts and recipes 
  • The Happy Pear - easy and quick recipes for a plant-based diet, from junk to health food, the variety of recipes is great 

Podcasts to listen: If you should travel a lot, or you have some spare time while being in the car, cleaning or being outside, listening to podcasts can be an awesome time filler. There are a lot of podcasters out there, who focus on the topic of veganism: 
  • Katrin and Daniel from Bevegt - A runner podcast with tips on the vegan lifestyle, as well as running
  • Veggie world 
  • The vegan twins
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6. Restaurant tips

Our last point to cover: going out to eat, or vegan restaurants. Of course you will be still able to enjoy a nice meal with family and friends. Luckily, the variety of vegan food options at restaurants has been significantly growing within the last couple of years. There are more and more restaurants, especially in big cities, that even offer only a vegetarian or vegan menu.
On the other hand, I do have to admit that sometimes finding a restaurant that suits everyone can be time consuming and some areas are limited in choice and availability.
One of the best sources when looking for a vegan restaurant is by far "Happy Cow". By simply entering your zip/area code the website is able to list all vegan and vegetarian restaurants close by. Besides that, you also have a listing with health food stores and farmers markets. Another recommendation of mine would be to look out for Thai and Italian restaurants, as they often offer dishes that allow substitution of meat, or even vegan options. In addition, you can always ask for the vegetarian option on the menu and ask the waitress if there would be a possibility to serve the dish as a vegan alternative, so dairy and egg free. Often times there should be a possibility to do that!
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Could you imagine turning vegan in 2020? Let me know!

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50+ simple tips be become more sustainable in 2020!

Samstag, 4. Januar 2020 • Lilly
Good afternoon,
the new year is here! And what would be a better start for the new year then some good lifestyle changes! Therefore I would like to share over 50 tips with you on how you can adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle and that in all kind of areas of your life. Furthermore these tips are easy and simple and you can start implementing them right now. Especially when it comes to topics such as eco-friendliness and sustainability it is important to keep in mind that every little step and change has an impact! Even if you are not able to perform all of these tips at once it is worth trying to do your best each and every day. If you have additional tips which I should not have mentioned in this article then please feel free to share them in the comments.

Content of this article:

➤ Sustainable lifestyle - what does this mean?
➤ Daily activities - Sustainable tips
➤ Travel - Sustainable tips
➤ Grocery shopping - Sustainable tips
➤ Transport - Sustainable tips
➤ Kitchen - Sustainable tips
➤ Office - Sustainable tips

What does a sustainable lifestyle mean:

First and foremost, the definition of a sustainable lifestyle differs from person to person. In the past year I identified for myself that a sustainable lifestyle includes being mindful about all my daily activities. Bringing my own bags to grocery shopping, buying more products plastic free and in bulk, always bringing a reusable water bottle, as well as coffee mug and much more. Especially during that time, I realized that even the small steps can make a big difference and I would like to share some of them with you. I hope they might help you to start the new year with a happier and more environmentally friendly approach. It could be a great idea to pick a few points from each area and try to implement more and more tips as you go. There could not be a better way to challenge yourself in the beginning of 2020!

Daily activities - tips 

1. Bring a water bottle wherever you go.
2. Use a shampoo and conditioner without micro plastic.
3. Reduce online shopping.
4. Take shorter showers.
5. Purchase plants for your rooms, they not only purify the air, but also improve your well-being.
6. Recycle your waste.
7. Eat home-cooked meals to prevent takeaway containers.
8. Avoid using the clothing-dryer and instead hang your clothes to dry.
9. Start second hand shopping.
10. Adapt small steps in your lifestyle.
11. Spread the word and knowledge with friends and family.
12. Choose native plants to attract bees and birds.
13. Have some veggie days during the week. 

Travel - tips

14. Reduce your flights to a limit.
15. Do not make use of the hotel laundry service.
16. Pack light and only what you need. 
17. Travel by land, if possible. 
18. Purchase Carbon-Offsets for potential flights. 
19. Eat at local places. 

Grocery shopping - tips 

20. Ditch plastic bags.
21. Try to buy plastic free products. 
22. If possible, buy products in bulk.
23. Buy loose tea.
24. Bring your own jute bags.
25. Use food waste saving apps, such as 'Too good to go'.
26. Shop at the farmers market.
27. When buying veggies and fruits try to purchase seasonal and local products. 
28. Check where the food is coming from. Long transportation routes should be prevented.
29. Buy imperfect products to reduce your carbon footprint. 
30. Potatoes are a great choice when trying to buy an eco friendly carb, as they do not require a lot of water. 

Kitchen - tips 

31. Only cook what you need.
32. Make use of reusable straws. 
33. Use bee-wax wrappers instead of plastic wrapping to keep products fresh.
34. Use glass jars for storage. 
35. Grow your own herbs.
36. Use chemical-free cleaning products, such as a natural dishwasher liquid.
37. Multi-use your pot while cooking, for example, boiling pasta water while steaming broccoli.
38. Use coffee ground as a dishwasher alternative to reduce stains in pots and pans. 

Transportation - tips 

39. Take your bike more often.
40. Always take the stairs over the elevator.
41. Drive sensible. Hard braking consumes more fuel.
42. Walk it out.
43. If you use the car, try to combine tasks and errands. 
44. Take bus and train when commuting.

Office tips

45. Bring your own lunchbox to the deli.
46. Only print if necessary.
47. Use double-sided printing option. 
48. Bring a reusable coffee mug.
49. Unplug electronic devices during the night.
50. Turn off / Dim lights and use as much natural light as possible.
51. Start a sustainability challenge with the whole office.
52. Buy a plant for your desk. 
53. Encourage shared transportation. 
54. Use a digital projector for agendas during meetings instead of printing them out. 

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15+ christmas ideas you have to do in 2019!

Sonntag, 29. Dezember 2019 • Lilly
Good afternoon,
I wish everyone a joyful season. For this who celebrated, I hope you had some delicious food and a nice evening and morning with your loved ones! I have counted down the days before christmas and now that the day actually came around the corner I am just as surprised again how quickly time passes by. To keep the christmas spirit a bit longer I would like to present you over 15 ideas for activities and things you could still do within the next couple of days. Since the days before christmas are always quite packed and stressful it is nice to use the time right now for some bonding with family and friends!

These christmas activities will hopefully turn the upcoming days into a fun celebration and turn the last days of December in the best ones! Let's get started! Don't forget to let me know in the comments how you spend christmas and which of these ideas is your personal favorite.

 Host a friend cookie swap. Cookies are one of the best ways to celebrate the season. So gather all your friends, swap cookie recipes and then head to the kitchen to bake some of the best cookies. Have fun while decorating and to finish off have a jury rate the cookies based on look and of course taste! It is a cookie-celebration!
 Idea number two, one of the more chilled ones: Watch all the traditional christmas movies with your family. A movie afternoon with the whole family is a great christmas activity. Cuddle up with some nice blankets in front of the TV and put on 'Love actually', 'Polar Express' or maybe 'The Grinch'. And do not forget to snack on some christmas leftovers and nip on some hot chocolate!

Not so happy about your christmas presents? I am sure there is someone who might find more joy than you in that present: Therefore it could be the perfect time to throw a little secret santa gift exchange party! Often times you might make another person more than happy with your gift and all presents find a new lucky owner.
 Watching a christmas musical or going to a ballet show can be an amazing way to prolong the christmas vibes. Enjoy a nice dinner with your family beforehand and then head to the festivities. The music and the costumes are worth seeing!
 One of my favorite activities to do during the holidays is discovering christmas decorations within my town. I love seeing all the decorated houses and watching out for the most cheesiest and funniest decorations that are out there! To make it an engaging little competition you count count colorful christmas lights, or Santa's.
 Arts and crafts during the winter time are a must! Whether you are making an advent calendar, a christmas wreath or some hand lettered cards for family and friends. Grab your painting supplies, pick some nice scrapbooking paper and let's go! Pinterest is a great source to find inspiration!
 If you are lucky there are still some open christmas markets where you can enjoy the last 'Glühwein' of the year. Make sure to check out my latest post to find out which activities you should not miss and which christmas markets you have to see in Europe!
 Especially when it is getting a bit colder outside it is a great idea to provide some food for the birds outside. You can simply look for some instructions on which seeds you can use to make up a great mix for them. You can even make some birdseed ornaments which you can hang in your garden.
 Cooking your own hot chocolate is a definite To-Do for me during the holidays! Invite your friends over and sip on the hot and sweet drink together. It is a perfect idea to go for a walk in the cold air beforehand!
 Looking back on the past year is also a nice way to round off the last days of the year. Maybe you would like to make some New Years Resolutions, or you could think about crafting a photo album with some memories from the past twelve months!
 If you had not have the time to decorate a gingerbread house yet, I can only recommend to do it right now. It is one of the most fun activities to host between family members and a great way to spend a nice hour together. Design your dream house!
The time for S'mores in now! Roast some marshmallows over the fireplace and enjoy with some crackers and chocolate. Take a good book to read while your marshmallows are sizzling over the warmth.

Having a christmas song dance party is the best way to get moving after a filling meal. Put on your favorite playlist and "rock around the christmas tree".

A christmas brunch is a great way to catch up with some old friends and just spend time with people who are close to you. While enjoying nice food you have the chance to look back on the 'old days' or to just chat about the latest news! You will be surprised by how quickly time passes by.

Of course there are also some amazing parties you can visit during the christmas time! So put on your favorite red sequin dress and off you go with some friends or even family. Everyone loves to dance off the gained christmas pounds and sing out loud to your favorite songs.

Of course the christmas time would not be complete without a wintery walk through the forest. At the moment the cold temperatures create a frosty atmosphere, but the sun light is bringing warmth and a magical spirit. Definitely worth a red nose!

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The top 5 christmas markets in Europe!

Donnerstag, 19. Dezember 2019 • Lilly
*Dieser Artikel entstand in freundlicher Zusammenarbeit mit Christine Möller. 
Guten morgen!
Die schönste Zeit des Jahres verkürzt uns die Tage, die Vorweihnachtszeit! Weihnachtslieder laufen hoch und runter, Häuser sind festlich geschmückt und die Suche nach dem schönsten Weihnachtsbaum ist eröffnet. Während unter der Woche alles im Weihnachtsstress versinkt, so werden die Wochenenden zum gemütlichen Beisammensein genutzt. Nachmittage werden durch Spritzgebäck und Lebkuchen versüßt und der Weihnachtsfilm sorgt für entspannende Beschäftigung. Wer der Nachmittag allerdings nicht im eigenen Heim verbringt, den findet man mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit auf einem der unzähligen Weihnachtsmärkte. Mit der Familie, Freunden, gutem Essen und der weihnachtlichen Stimmung verfliegt die Zeit.
Und nicht nur in Deutschland ist der Besuch des Weihnachtsmarkts ein echtes Muss, in vielen Teilen Europas locken attraktive Marktstände. Damit ihr euch einen guten Überblick verschaffen könnt, stelle ich euch heute fünf Weihnachtsmärkte in Europa vor, bei denen sich ein Besuch nur empfiehlt!

What to wear on a christmas market? 

Eine Frage, die sich natürlich schnell stellt: was ziehe ich auf den Weihnachtsmarkt an? Ist es der kreative Weihnachtspulli, oder aber doch ein schickes Kleid? Im Grunde genommen, kann sich hier jeder ganz nach persönlichem Geschmack entscheiden, einige generelle Tipps wie Wärme und Gemütlichkeit sollte man aber auf jeden Fall im Hinterkopf behalten. Auf Handschuhe, einen dicken Schal und eine Pudelmütze sollte so nicht verzichtet werden.
Wenn es zum Thema richtige 'Schuhwahl' kommt, greife ich im Winter am liebsten zu Stiefeletten. Bei YOOX kann man zum Beispiel viele trendige Damen Stiefeletten online finden.

Which drinks and food can I find at the christmas market? 

 Auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt angekommen, geht es gleich mitten ins Getümmel. Der ganze Rummel kann ganz schön Kräfte zehrend sein. Um neue Energie zu tanken, rufen die unzähligen Stände mit ihren köstlichen Leckereien. Der Geruch von gebrannten Mandeln hüllt den gesamten Markt ein und auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt findet sich wirklich jede Menge an Leckerbissen. Wer sich das Weihnachtsfeeling nach Hause holen möchte, der sollte dieses Rezept für Vanillekipferl auf alle Fälle nach backen!

What can I do at the christmas market?

Auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt gibt es auch eine Reihe an Aktivitäten, die man sich nicht entgehen lassen sollte. Neben dem gemütlichen Glühwein trinken, kann man so meist viel auf den Märkten erleben.

Für rund einen Monat verwandelt sich eine Stadt in den Niederlanden in ein wahres Weihnachtsparadies. Gelegen in Limburg, nahe der Stadt Maastricht, liegt Valkenburg. Die Stadt wird nicht umsonst auch 'Kerststadt' in den Niederlanden genannt. Weihnachtsdekorationen soweit das Auge reicht!

When is the christmas market?

Vom 29ten November bis zum 6ten Januar kann man dem Markt einen Besuch abstatten! Aufgrund des großen Besucherandrangs lohnt sich eine frühe Anreise.

Why is it a must see? 

Dieser Weihnachtsmarkt muss unbedingt wegen seiner Höhlen besucht werden. Diese werden nämlich ebenfalls in ein Weihnachtsparadies verwandelt und können für einen kleinen Eintrittspreis besucht werden.

 Die österreichische Stadt Salzburg ist nicht nur zur Weihnachtszeit ein echter Geheimtipp. Der Christkindlmarkt zählt zu einem der ältesten Märkte der Welt. Wer gerne weitere Tipps zu dem 'Salzburger Christkindlmarkt' haben möchte, sollte auf jeden Fall auf der Tourismus Seite vorbei schauen.

When is the christmas market?

Am Donnerstag in der Woche vor dem ersten Adventssonntag öffnet der Markt seine Stände. Am 26ten Dezember ist dann die ganze Magie vorbei und man muss sich wieder ein Jahr gedulden, bis es auf ein Neues los geht!

Why is it a must see? 

Durch die traditionellen Stände wird eine ganz besondere Atmosphäre geschaffen, die gleichermaßen Einheimische, als auch Touristen anzieht. Überspannt wird der Weihnachtsmarkt außerdem von einem 'Sternenhimmel'.

 Im deutschen Nürnberg kommt der Weihnachtsliebhaber auf seine Kosten. Eine weitere Besonderheit des Markts ist die Auszeichnung der schönsten Buden. So vergibt die Stadt jährlich Preise an Budenbesitzer. Besonders am Abend ist ein Besuch empfehlenswert, da die Stände sich in ein Lichtermeer verwandeln.

When is the christmas market?

Vom 29ten November bis Heiligabend lohnt sich hier ein Besuch.

Why is it a must see? 

Überzeugt wird man vor allem von dem Angebot der lokalen Händler. Von komplizierten Handarbeiten, bis hin zu süßen Kleinigkeiten wie Lebkuchen und Spekulatius, mit leeren Händen verlässt man den Weihnachtsmarkt sicherlich nicht.

London! Neben dem 'Christmas Wonderland' überzeugt auch die restliche Dekoration der Stadt. London ist so geschmückt mit unzähligen Weihnachtsbäumen, Lichtern und Girlanden. Für ein besonderes Erlebnis empfiehlt sich außerdem der Besuch eines der großen Kaufhäuser, wie zum Beispiel Macy`s.

When is the christmas market?

Viele der Märkte öffnen bereits im Beginn des Monats. Für genaue Daten am besten die einzelnen Märkte im Internet suchen. Besonders an den Wochenenden ist es in der Innenstadt relativ voll. Frühes Aufstehen ist angesagt, um Wartezeiten zu vermeiden und die Atmosphäre vollständig genießen zu können.

Why is it a must see? 

Ein Besuch der Hauptstadt empfiehlt sich in jedem Fall, da Events, Shows und Schlittschuhbahnen locken. Auch ein klassisches Musical ist einen Besuch wert. Viele Geschäfte werden weihnachtlich dekoriert und viele Einheimische genießen heiße Getränke in den Cafés. Auf der Seite Visit London habe ich außerdem 'diesen' tollen Artikel entdeckt, welcher 101 Dinge vorstellt, die man sich nicht entgehen lassen sollte.

Wer gerne einen Weihnachtsmarkt ein bisschen weiter weg besuchen möchte dem empfiehlt sich Schweden, genauer gesagt die Stadt Gothenburg. Hier kann der Weihnachtsliebhaber auch gleich auf eine besonders besinnliche Stimmung hoffen, da die Chance auf Schnee relativ groß ist.

When is the christmas market?

Vom 29ten November bis zum 6ten Januar lohnt sich hier ein Besuch. Diese Daten beziehen sich nicht auf einen bestimmten Markt, sondern begrenzt die weihnachtliche Jahreszeit.

Why is it a must see? 

Eine ganz besonders Atmosphäre findet man im Freizeitpark Liseberg. In Skandinavien's größtem Vergnügungspark dreht sich so um die Weihnachtszeit herum alles um eine magische Atmosphäre. Der Park bietet märchenhafte Weihnachtsschnitzeljagden an oder man dreht eine Runden mit dem schnellen Karousell. Wer es eher ruhig angehen möchte, der kann natürlich auch eine der Musical Shows besuchen. Hier werden einem neben bezaubernder klassischer Musik auch atemberaubende Kostüme geboten.

Welcher ist der schönste Weihnachtsmarkt, den ihr bis jetzt besucht habt?

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