Wednesday, 27 January 2016

THOUGHTS ON: My First Month As A Veggie

This week marks my first month as a vegetarian and I thought I'd celebrate the occasion by chatting about it with you guys... Don't worry, as ever, I am not here to tell anybody what to do; that's just not my thang. I know however that meat-free and vegan lifestyles seem to be on the increase, and as there are a few of you who are as interested in this subject as I am, I thought it was only fair to give you an update.

It seems wise to tell you a little as to why I've turned veggie... For me, it was more about lessening my impact on the environment than anything else. Prior to 2016 I loved cooking and eating meat dishes and felt totally comfortable with my decision, and it was only when I heard how much of an effect the meat industry had on the planet that I began questioning my lifestyle. I also considered going zero-waste, but as that seemed pretty much impossible to achieve where I live I decided being a vegetarian was the best option I had.

The first thing I've noticed is that I am so glad to have taken my time over this decision. The last month or so of 2015 saw me gradually taking meat out my diet, starting with red meat and then working forwards until eventually I had adapted to going fully vegetarian. Going cold turkey* really didn't work for me on previous attempts; I was unprepared and on one occasion ended up feeling pretty unwell as I wasn't giving myself a healthy diet. This time around it felt astonishingly easy and I think it is a sign that I've been eating right that I haven't had cravings or even missed meat at all.

I can confidently say that I do feel a little better; whether it's a placebo effect or I'm just more conscious of eating well remains to be seen, but I have a bit more energy and seem to be sleeping well too. However, I most certainly am not losing weight and the differences are subtle; I am not bouncing around with energy and dropping dress sizes by the day, as some have said of going veggie.

One thing I do need to sort out is finding more quick, tasty recipes. I've eaten mostly pasta, soup and risotto this month and I am beyond fed up of all three, so any recommendations from you guys would be a total godsend. I have also found that in my hometown, vegetarian options are very variable; curries are the only eat-out meals that haven't left me a little disappointed/hungry.

All in all, I've found it has been a relatively simple switch for me; that said, I'm already conscious that switching to a vegan diet (which I won't be able to commit to until after my summer working at a girls' camp in the US) is going to be a far more challenging option for my current lifestyle... So again, if you are a vegan or vegetarian I would love to hear from you!

Would you guys ever consider going veggie, if you aren't already? Whatever side of the fence you are on, I would love to hear your thoughts!

*using this pun while talking about vegetarianism is the best part of this lifestyle, trust me


Sunday, 10 January 2016

What I Eat In A Day

I'm such a fan of this format that I knew I had to get in on the action and share a day of meals with you!

Here's the video for you:


50g oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
100ml approx coconut milk
100ml approx water
25g dates

Combine ingredients and cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes.



Toast your bread then slap on your filling!


Approx 8 sweet potatoes
1 pepper
1 onion
Approx 10 tomatoes
1 tbsp red thai curry powder
Olive oil

Prep and peel vegetables, then drizzle with olive oil and coat with seasoning. Roast for around 40 mins then blend with hand blender.

I hope you guys enjoyed! If you are a vegetarian or vegan, I would love to hear your stories! Head to the comments and let me know...


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Steps Towards Becoming A Morning Person

I'm sure I'm not alone in knowing that the first few hours of the day are not my best... Mornings find me bleary-eyed, bushy-haired and as grumpy as a bear disturbed mid-hibernation.

Thankfully, however, over the last month or so I've found a routine that makes my least favourite time of day much more do-able; something I value deeply during these dark, cold starts to the day that we find ourselves battling through.  Today I'm putting together my hard-learned lessons for your reading pleasure; hopefully it won't be too long before these grim dawns are behind us!


Waking up with my outfit picked, breakfast and lunch made and my bag packed makes my life infinitely easier come 6am. The more I can do the night before, the less there is for my fatigue-addled brain to mess up come morning... It makes a tremendous difference.


The morning will never be your friend if you're not sleeping right but, for light sleepers like me, it might take a little more work before restful nights become the norm. The main challenge is to set your body clock, getting it used to a regular bedtime that sees you getting your 7-9 hours a night... not something Uni-Me was any bloody good at! I have also tried to avoid ridiculously long lie-ins of a weekend, as this can effectively un-set your body clock.

I also sleep infinitely better when I meditate before sleep. If you're a novice, there are some great apps out there to teach you the basics. I'm a fan of the app Headspace, which offers a subscription and also a free 10-day program that can be used without subscribing. If apps aren't your scene, I'd recommend sitting and simply focusing on counting your breaths for ten minutes or so; just sitting without distractions and breathing deeply can do some serious wonders.

Finally, if you are a very light sleeper, try a sleep mask. Yes, those little fabric eye masks may look a little odd but I never sleep as well without one! Useful in the summer when it can get light before 6am, they're also great because you are essentially forced to keep your eyes closed, which means I'm out like a light in no time.

A photo posted by Anna (@byhermirror) on


No hitting snooze for you, kiddo. Not too long ago, I would either ignore my first alarm in favour of a little more sleep, or stay in bed browsing Instagram "to wake myself up". The latter proved particularly problematic, as I would stay under the covers far longer than I should have. Now I get up and get moving; I take myself straight to the shower before my sleepy head can work out what's going on. The water wakes me up in no time, making me much quicker for the rest of the morning.


I. Live. For breakfast. Three of my favourites are documented in this video,  but for work mornings I tend to go for my overnight bircher oats as it is very filling. I refuse to skip brekkie not simply because its benefits are pretty much universally agreed upon, but because it's what I look forward to as soon as my eyes open! If you're not a breakfast person, I urge you to consider including it in your routine; your body needs fuel after around 10 hours without food. If time's an issue, pop a jarful of something tasty in your bag for your commute.


Not one I manage every day, but something that makes a tremendous difference when I do. Spending a bit of time without my phone in arm's reach is just such a nice way to start the day; instead I try and do some reading, having set myself the goal of reading one book a week for 2016. (I am currently reading The Kinfolk Table cover to cover and I am in love with the photography!)

So there you have my very best advice for getting through the morning; I would love to hear yours! Pop to the comments and let me know...