Nifty Nooks: Wild One Wholefoods…

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Where: 9 Prince Ave, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 3116

The Beans: Kokako (An Auckland based Roasters that is both organic and fair-trade.)

Favourites: Soy Flat White, Salted Caramel Smoothie, Coconut and Blueberry muffin (can you tell I have a sweet tooth?) and I’m sure there’d be more if I could only make it to the actual menu.

During the awkward days on my first arrival in Mount Maunganui I do what I always do, when I’m bumbling about a new place, and seek out a sanctuary. Away from the pollution of people in the hostel, away from the too crowded cafes over run with intimidatingly cool locals. I find Wild One Wholefoods on Prince Avenue, just off of Mount Maunganui road. It’s space is clean and vibrant and the selection of vegan options overwhelming. My love isn’t cemented until I take my first sip of the smoothest soy flat white I’ve had in weeks. It’s a beautiful thing. The gnarliest barista.

I come back day after day as I fall into a wandering routine. Broken only by the promise of my own room in a flat a little too far away to frequent so often. Though that’s probably the best thing because money only lasts so long (spoiler, I’ve since moved out of said flat and into one right across the road, Good bye savings!).

The girls who work there are the loveliest, always good for a chat if it’s quiet enough and always working their little butts off on busy days (I wrote up this review a couple months back before I actually became one of those gals haha! I love brewing up a storm so pop in for a coffee made by moi!). If you are vegan, gluten free, or health conscious in any way then this is the spot for you. The menu is inventive, though I barely make it past the cake fridge where you’ll find the coconut and blueberry muffin, which is my all time fave. And the owner is super cool, a young woman making waves of change with a little nook for the health and planet conscious cafe lover.

Love and Light, N x

 

 

Nifty Nooks: Cafe 88…

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Down in the Mount you’ll come to realise the heart of the coffee culture, in this tiny town, is held on the premises of two neighbouring cafes: Luca and Cafe 88. The former I’ve yet to snap any pictures of, though it was my first and possibly my best coffee in the Mount, so more on that soon, promise!

Cafe 88 is always busy. I used to find refuge here during my time living in the hostel across the road. It’s open a little later than a lot of the other cafe’s, closing at 5pm, so it’s always been a good spot for me to kill a few hours with a book and something sweet. The vegan caramel slice is my jam (it features in both pictures) and though Gravity coffee brings back haunting memories of the awful cafe I worked at in Wellington, as well as just being generally terrible, the Barista’s here are skilled enough to pull it off. Also, the girls behind the counter are just wonderful. Always smiling and passing banter between them despite how stressful I bet it gets working there. One of the barista’s, Katie, even hooked me up with a trial shift back when I was hating life working at my previous cafe. The trial was awesome and only proved that the staff are little rays of sunshine. I would of jumped on that job had I not heard back from my lovely little vegan nook first.

The atmosphere, though busy, is always electric. There are a whole host of locals chilling out in the back courtyard and tourists streaming in, enticed by their packed cabinet food. So if you want to feel at home in a place, this one is your best bet. You’ll be looked after and welcomed, no doubt about it, and you can grab something yummy in the process.

Love and Light, N x

Nifty Nooks: The Nourished Eatery…

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114 Willow St, Tauranga, 3110

Tauranga is a handful of city with a less hectic vibe. There are some halfway there towers of buildings, professionally dressed people dotted about the cafes and a lot of cool projects on the rise. When I feel like I need a little city wonder it doesn’t really do it for me but then there lies the charm of New Zealand, it’s tiny cities and easy flow of life. There is a starbucks in Tauranga and it is the main reason I ever ventured there in the first place. Starbucks has always been my constant as I’ve bummed about travelling, always a familiar mug of coffee in a nearly identical space. But nowadays when I head to Tauranga it’s for this place, The Nourished Eatery. It lies just a two minute walk from the city centre bus stop and first snagged me in because it advertised, not only vegan food but Flight Coffee too. And Flight Coffee is my preferred bean for sure.

They do an Iced Maple latte that you can have with any choice of plant based milk (every single thing here is vegan, not even cow juice is available for the drinks). I always go for rice milk and they serve the components separate so you can chose your own level of caffeineyness. Of course I just chuck all of it in there. I always want to go for one of their smoothies but I can’t get over how good this iced coffee is.

As for food, well, it’s just as impressive. There are the expected raw treats on display which do look yum but me and my sweet tooth always sidetrack them for the good, indulgent, baked stuff. So far I’ve tried their custard passionfruit donut, apple and cinnamon muffin, choc chip cookie and Banana loaf. Now I just always chose the banana loaf. They manage to make all of their cakes so fluffy and light which is always a problem I have when I bake vegan bits myself.

From the menu I’ve only ever tried the avocado on toast, it was insane. They give you so much avocado and the seasoning is wonderful thing. I don’t really have the foodie lingo to truly amp it up I guess but as far as vegan food goes this is a top choice here in New Zealand, definitely one of my favourites and of course it’s a local, independent, business which is always a bonus.

All those compassionate vegan vibes, N x

 

Nifty Nooks: Octopus’s Garden…

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Where: 373 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga 3116

I woke up in an unfamiliar room in a seaside town shrouded by dark clouds, my motivation was trapped between new fresh white sheets and a fully hazy morning head. But I had no coffee waiting in the cupboard and a trip to the supermarket wasn’t a jump out of bed kinda thought. Exploring a new cafe, however, sounded all kinds of promising. My walk into town is a half hour on a main road and by the time I arrived at the first scattering of stores and cafes I couldn’t hold out for the main hub of the mount, this is when I decided to wonder into Octopus’ Garden.

The outside is all clean paint and the highest of hipster cafe aesthetics. The whole little shack and backyard courtyard scream summer and the pure vibrancy of the fresh colour palettes is enough of a selling point without the precious looking machine (I had a pure barista fangirl moment as I gushed with the girl behind the counter about how darn cute it was) I’ve seen none like it. I went for my standard order these days of a cold brew coffee, bitter and black and nothing at all like my heart. If I finish off a black coffee then you know it’s a good blend because I can only drink my life giving nectar sans milk if it’s top notch quality. Would most definitely head here again.

Blissed vibes, N x

 

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Veganuary: Beauty bits…

Oh hey there,

So I had all of the intentions to bombard your wonderful peepers with all kinds of vegan posts this month but somehow I got distracted along the way and it didn’t really go to plan. Seeing as today is the last day of veganuary I thought I may as well post this one, which has been waiting patiently in my drafts for its debut. I’m sort of bummed about not making more of an effort but I hope those of you who took part in veganuary discovered something beautiful and that you’ve been convinced to make some permanent changes even if it isn’t going wholly vegan.

This wee veganuary post is going to attempt to cover Beauty type stuffs. I say attempt, because even four years later there are debates within this that still baffle me. Mostly that’s the whole parent company debate, which I’ll cover later in the post. Having lived in  England, Australia and New Zealand, I’ve found myself some pretty nifty vegan products and having used the internet as a guide constantly, I’ve also unearthed some pretty decent guides and blogs. So here goes, do enjoy!

Pinterest: Again with another little self plug. But for reals, I keep track of everything over on Pinterest, so head over to my page and check out the Beauty section of my Vegan AF board.

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The Body Shop : A familiar brand name, known pretty much all over the globe, The Body Shop is a good foundation for newly vegan beauty guru’s. They also now have a page on their site dedicated solely to their vegan products, so there’s less confusion. It’s a difficult one though because the company do so much campaigning against animal testing. So if you want to ease into this bit, if you’re feeling a little preoccupied with the eating side, then take your time. Cruelty free is pretty easy to spot so maybe devote yourself to that first.

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Some of my favourite productsCamomile Cleansing Balm (serious holy grail level with this one, love of my skins life), Fijian Water Lotus Mist (scent was my biggest miss, I was a perfume enthusiast and it’s heartbreaking to find all your faves are probably not vegan but this has been my signature scent for years now, fresh and mystical), Fresh Nude Foundation (a light to medium coverage, nice and glowy finish, it’s a goodie).

There are probably so many more stellar products and I’ve tried others that impressed me, but the above are three of my absolute favourites, that I’ve been repurchasing for years.

This is one of those grey area ones because of the whole ‘parent company’ debacle I mentioned in the introduction. That being, that the Body Shop are owned by L’oreal, who are pretty notorious for selling in China and thus testing on animals. They also own Urban Decay, a brand so wonderfully cruelty free, repping a whole load of vegan cosmetics. Seeing that L’oreal own these brands a lot of vegans dub them none cruelty free, which I guess is fair. But just like going into Pizza Hut and ordering a vegan pizza, even though the company still serve meat and dairy, I feel it’s more of an intent type deal. You’re mindfully purchasing the vegan products over the none vegan. It’s a statement to say that vegans can exist in this world easily alongside everyone else. It’s completely your call though, do what feels right to you.

 

Ethical Elephant : A very informative, and aesthetically pleasing, vegan beauty and lifestyle blog. It’s a go to for me for sure and if you have a look HERE you’ll find a ‘Vegan 101’ post, much more in depth than this one. The Resources menu is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s easy to follow and digs into all of the issues and controversial topics surrounding vegan beauty.

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Sukin : Okay, I have to include these guys here. They’re genuine life savers. A beautifully crafted company, that not only host 100% vegan skincare products but who actually care about the ingredients that go in them. I have very sensitive skin, that likes a lot of hydration and fuss free care. These guys say no to sulphates and parabens and offer various ranges for various skin types. And whats better? They’re fully affordable. Seriously, if you need to stock up on some good quality, vegan skincare these are your best bet. I discovered them in Australia where they’re easy to get your hands on and then came home to England to find they’re stocked by Boots and Holland and Barrett.

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I’ve tried to stick to the brands that I know are a little bigger and more accessible around the globe but there are always Indie brands doing good stuff and more nationally known places (like super drug in the UK), carrying their own brand vegan lines. It could go on forever this page but again, as with my first veganuary post, I don’t want to get too overwhelming. If you have any companies, sites or information you’d like to add then please pop them down in the comments!

Adios amigos,

Stay woke, N xx

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Veganuary: Food Inspiration…

Hey there plant power friend,

This month I’m going to pop a few vegan guides up in honour of veganuary. The struggle is in the adjustment rather than the act. You already have a nugget of moral obligation in you, wether for the animals, the environment or your own health but now it’s just knuckling down and finding your flow. In this little post I wanna share some of my favourite recipe inspiration and recipe blogs with you to help you find your feet in the kitchen.

You’ll probably find you need bigger meals and sometimes you’ll feel a bit offish, like you’re missing something. It’s about packing your meals full of the nutrients you need. But don’t let anyone scare you off with horror stories about protein and calcium deficiency, it’s a load of bullsh*t. My health actually improved drastically when I made the switch, so congratulations on your wise lifestyle choice.

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Pinterest: I use Pinterest for everything, I have boards covering all spectrums of life and find it so helpful in keeping all my vegan finds in one place. You can filter the site to only allow vegan recipe’s onto your feed too so it’s a good one. Check out my Vegan AF  board for some of my favourite recipes, I’ve recently sectioned all of them off so it’s easy to follow and I have a general section with inspirational quotes and pictures of pretty dishes. Oh, and because I’m a quick and easy type of culinary noob, they’re all basic, idiot proof recipes.

 

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Deliciously Ella: If you’ve not heard of this woman yet, I’m highly surprised. When I made my transition back in 2014 it was one of the first blogs I discovered. With tonnes of plant based, clean eats it’s the perfect platform for anyone making the transition for health reasons. It’s also a good start for any of my fellow sweet lovers out there, with recipes for healthier, vegan friendly, desserts and sweet snacks.

 

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Loving it Vegan : My saviour when I was seeking out a straight forward, vegan, raw snickers bar recipe (they’re my favourite raw treat, which I find in so many cafe’s but all of the home recipes were so intense!). I made it successfully and was so happy with the end result. I’ve since frequented this site for main meal inspiration, most of the recipes are simple and filling and I think, for a new vegan, it shows you some good alternatives for some of your old favourites. It’s less on the health conscious side and more on the satisfying, comfort foodie, one.

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Macaroonzi : This is the site where I gathered all of my vegan cheats for Christmas, all of which were super low on weird ingredients and straight forward to make. Though I guess it’s a little late (or early, you little optimist you) there are other recipes I’m excited to try out! I’ll also still be frequenting that orange hot cocoa recipe for the rest of winter (so yum!).

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Accidentally Vegan : This Instagram account is a little life saver, a bringer of joy and a hub of community. Bringing forth all of the surprisingly vegan options that you’d probably shrugged off without even checking the ingredients first. It’s very UK based, though I guess a lot of the products are internationally available anyhow. The page is run by a company called The Vegan Kind who are a UK based online vegan supermarket and creators of a vegan beauty and lifestyle monthly subscription box. So if you fancy ordering some bits online or treating yourself to a monthly pressie then check ’em out.

 

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There are heaps more ace sites I could of featured here but I don’t wanna overwhelm ya! I hope this helped as a little start anyhow and if any of my other vegan babes out there have more recommendations pop them in the comments. Let us help one another out on this, yeah? Veganism is spreading like wild fire these days and I’m over the moon to see more and more people adopting bits, if not all, of this lifestyle. It’s not so hard, I swear it and I’m happy to welcome you to the family. If you have any questions at all about veganism then just comment them and I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can.

All the best on your new adventure,

stay groovy, N xx

Nifty Nooks: Fidel’s, Wellington

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Cuba street is the heart of Wellington. One of the purest examples of why it’s constantly referred to as the ‘coolest small capital’. With heaps of thrift stores, independent boutiques and shabby chic cafe’s you could easily spend an afternoon strolling around and stumbling on new finds. Of all the cafe’s and restaurants though, Fidel’s might just be my favourite. Whether it’s ducking inside out of the rain for an almond milk flat white and a vegan cupcake or chilling out in one of their two courtyards for vegan nacho’s on a sunny Saturday. Their menu is impressive, their staff easy going and smiling and the vibe of the place is just so Cuba street.

On this particular day we crashed in solitude out in their side courtyard and hunched over Nacho’s in a too hungover state. By the end of our meal we were full on delicious coffee and yummy plant based mexican goodness. They have vegan cheese so you can get all up on that pizza hype too. Their brunch menu is the only thing I’ve yet to sample, it ends at 4:30pm, which is just way too early for me to be ready and alive on a Sunday (which is usually our Fidel’s day). The drinks menu is also pretty vegan friendly, with juices and a choice of soy and almond milk. There is even a healthy almond cocoa drink for the health conscious plant based eater. Try their BBQ tofu salad or vegan bowl for something a little less indulgent too!

 

Any recommendations for vegan foodies in Welly? Pop em in the comments!

 

Peace and blissed vibes, N x