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A Spring in my Step!

Spring is my favourite time of the year. It’s a time for rebirth, fresh starts, and longer days. It’s a time for sunnier weather, drier grounds, and warmer air. It’s a time to get outside, get s*it done and appreciate life, and the things we have around us.

This time last year, I was starting to come out of my depression; like a bear emerging from a winter-long hibernation – it was a sight for sore eyes. And getting outdoors and being one with nature (as they say), brought the light back to my life. It was as if I was seeing the world with new eyes; for the very first time. I loved seeing the lambs in the fields, the bluebells in the forest. I loved feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, and the pink sunsets in the evenings. I loved being alive and that was the first time I’ve truly appreciated life and felt happy. I guess when you overcome depression, when you feel like it will beat you, it gives you a whole new outlook on life and it will always make you a better person in the long run.

This Spring I’m feeling even more grateful. I’ve finally got my life onto a path that feels like it could potentially lead to greater things, while trying to kick my social anxiety in the ass at the same time and even though I’m still way behind in life, than most people my age, now I don’t care.  I can see that everyone is different and everyone does life and deals with life differently to the next person. Not everybody was dealt a lucky hand and some of us have to fall behind and fail a few times, in order to gain strength from those weaknesses. But it also makes those achievements, however small, even bigger accomplishments when we finally reach them.

I’ve purposely tried to challenge myself and put myself in situations this year, that I never could have done last year, or even the year before. But it was needed. I had to push myself in order to see what I was capable of and to prove to myself that I’m not a failure, or a non-entity, and I can live a normal life again one day: it hasn’t been pretty, nor has it been easy. But holy crap – it’s been worth it and I have never felt more proud of myself. It took a hell-hole of depression to encourage me to change and it was only then I realised that nothing was going to improve unless I did. I needed to be the one to take control and steer my life in the direction I wanted it to go in and I needed to do things that were challenging to me, in order to make those changes.  Although, walking around in a busy place alone, is challenging for me, so this is going to be a bloody nightmare.

The best way I can describe my life at the minute, is like this – Have you watched the scenes in Shawshank Redemption, when they finally get to leave the prison after decades of being incarcerated? The world has drastically changed in the years they have been cooped up and they no longer know how to live in a world they no longer recognise.

That’s me.

I let my anxiety control me so much and for so long, that I imprisoned myself: both mentally and physically. At my worst I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house and at my best, I couldn’t do social things without the help of alcohol and I lacked the confidence to grab life by the balls when I was sober. I have become so disconnected from the ‘real world’ over the last ten years, that now I don’t know how to do things that the average person my age does know. It’s a horrible feeling. It makes me feel stupid and immature for needing the extra help and guidance, and it makes getting my life on track that little bit harder. Thankfully, I have always had the support from my family, who have always done everything and anything they can to help me through the awful parts of my life: while encouraging me along the way and also the only people that have never given up on me, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

As a person who’s always been shy, quiet, and introverted; I’ve always run away from my problems rather than face them and have to deal with the shame, and embarrassment of being rejected or laughed at for being awkward and socially nondependent. That said, if I feel like my time is being wasted and I’m being treated like a joke, the same happens then – only this time – it’s with courage and dignity. And I have felt that more and more, over the last few months, while trying to setup a life for myself: to ask for help, or to ask questions that may seem ‘basic’ to most. But are completely new to me; only to be made to feel stupid for asking. It’s disheartening and it makes me question why I even bothered. Although, every cloud has a silver lining and thankfully this modern world has google – he hasn’t judged me yet. 😉

Obviously, I’ve seen a difference in my overall persona, confidence, and mental health this year, but I’ve also had family and even people from social media comment on how much happier, determined, and upbeat I seem lately; which has been lovely to hear. And that’s because I’m finally ready to move on in my life and I’m ready for this new chapter that has yet to be written. I’m just ready to better my life and become a part of society again, rather than someone who exists and nobody really knows of.

I just have to remember that even though I struggle with anxiety, it doesn’t define who I am as a person: I may come across as a snob to those who don’t know me, but that’s only because I don’t know how to interact with people, whom I’m unfamiliar with and I’m always constantly stressed about how I’m coming across to the people I’m trying to socialise with. However, in reality, I’m a kind, loving and compassionate person, with a sassy personality when needed and those qualities should far outweigh any awkwardness I bring to the table.

So for anyone out there who is going through a similar thing – just do it. Push yourself through the uncomfortable and then soon you will be comfortable; otherwise, you will be 10 years down the line (like me) and have nothing to show for your life; other than a social media account and blog that will be irrelevant in another twenty. It will seem hard at first and you will want to give up, but that is when you need to find the determination to push through:  that is when change happens. Only you have the ability to change your life, no one else can do it for you.

Disclaimer: I do not apologise for all the clichés in this blogpost. 😉

The Swigg: Eating Vegan Down on Swansea Marina



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Towards the end of last year, I made a promise to myself that I would take control of my anxieties and social anxiety, and push myself do to more things. January 2017 came around and to my surprise, I followed through with that promise:  I find myself saying yes to more things now, even when I don’t really want to.  Of course, I’m always a bag of nerves doing these things and for the duration of those social activities, my insides are churning, my voice shakes and I stutter and stumble over all of my words. But however awkward I may come across, I’m always happy when I push myself out of my comfort zone, as it’s another step closer to becoming a lot less uncomfortable with day-to-day things Read More

Traditional Welsh Cakes.

welshcakes.jpgBeing welsh, you would expect me to know better. You’d expect me to want to re-create traditional Welsh recipes and make them vegan and you’d likely expect them to still be tasty and delicious -right? For the most part I do try. But sometimes I get it wrong. Take last year for example.  Last year I made a massive faux-par and I turned a traditional welsh cake into a bloody travesty – I tried to make it healthier, vegan, low carb, low-fat and also gluten free – the outcome: less than impressive. I’m still reeling today at my failed attempts. Read More

What It’s Like To Truly Have Balance: Life After E.D.

If you scroll aimlessly through social media: whether it be Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter; you will likely fall on a post where some fitness freak is spouting tosh about finding balance in their life and everyone should do this, that, and the other to achieve it too. That’s great. Finding balance in life is an incredible thing and it has truly changed me – my personality, my outlook on life, and everything that is involved with the fitness world. Read More

Cruelty Free Eggs: Is There Such A Thing?

So, it is veganuary: the month where thousands of people take on the vegan diet for a month as a challenge for themselves. Some people go back to their normal way of eating after the month has ended and others decide to continue the vegan lifestyle, whether it’s just for a couple more months or for life. So, I thought now would be a good time as any to share this post, which I wrote back in the summer, as it was something which got me thinking -is there such a thing as cruelty-free eggs?Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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Gift Ideas for the Pedantic Vegan, Just Vegan & Everyone In Between.



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Last year I wrote my first Christmas guide for the blog: Gift Ideas for the Home Cook, Foodie & Meat-Head. And while it didn’t get very many page likes, it was one of my most viewed posts. So this year, I decided to write another guide; only this time for vegans: Gift Ideas for the Pedantic Vegan & Everyone In Between. Now, I don’t mean to insult anyone by the title, but I do feel that it is apt for the way some vegans live their lives – I am by no means judging – which can be intimidating for the average person who isn’t fully up-to-date with veganism and the lifestyle. And I know this to be true, as a few months ago I had my sister ring me in distress as she was stumped, as to what to buy a vegan: it was all last minute. I gave my sister many ideas, but in the end she settled on an orchid, from fear of having the gift not being fully appreciated.

So with this gift guide, I aim to help you mere mortals – who may fear us vegans – with suitable gift ideas, that are thoughtful and easy to find, which would be greatly appreciated by any vegan; whether they’re pedantic or anything in between. Read More

Spiced Orange Slice Decorations

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetDid you know that a Christmas tree was traditionally decorated with fruits, nuts, and other edibles? I quite like that idea. I especially love the look and thought of having orange slices hanging from the Christmas tree: either spiked with Cloves or twined with cinnamon sticks: I like how the orange slices look when they’ve been dried, I like the dark, shiny colour they turn from the drying process, and I like the thought of having something natural to look at on my Christmas tree, rather than some garish bauble or tinsel. Read More