About Dani Thompson

Model/Actress/Presenter/Burlesque Dancer/Writer/Producer/Unicorn/Vegan and now lifestyle blogger!

Plant Powered Expo

Last weekend I popped along to the first London Vegan expo of 2020. The Plant Powered Expo.

Although on a smaller scale than some of the other expo’s like Vegan Life Live, or Veg Fest, it’s timing was perfect for anyone who might have just completed Veganuary and decided to continue the plant based lifestyle.

Occupying one hall at Olympia, the expo had everything from vegan food tasting (I must have eaten my body weight in vegan cheese and chocolate), cookery classes, speakers, lectures, music and shopping to an art exhibition.

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I went first thing to avoid the rush and although it was quiet at that time, it still took me almost 2 hours to have a good look around, shop and of course eat!

Often you see the same exhibitors doing the shows, which is great because you can stock up on all your favourite vegan goodies under one roof but with the vegan boom, there were so many new and innovative companies and products on show too. I made a little Eden Perfumes purchase at the Viva La Vegan stand (Click for more on Eden Perfumes) and stocked up on pepperjack cheese from Follow Your Heart. 

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Just some of the new products I discovered are Veggie Sheet who provide Nori style sheets made from carrot, radish, tomato, pumpkin and spinach, tomato was my favourite, a great alternative for sushi making but also for spring rolls and samosas, they’re available on Amazon now and Unlimeat who are a Korean brand yet to launch in the UK but are a meat alternative made from brown rice, oat and nut, delicious!

I also managed to finally get my hands on some Marigold brand Tuno which I haven’t tried yet and a Mummy Meagz vegan creme egg from the Newcastle based Alternative Stores stand, I’ll definitely have to pay them a visit next time I’m in the toon and before you ask, I bit off the top and licked out the middle of course! How do you eat yours?

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After walking around the show and visiting the Art Of  Compassion exhibition where I bought no 1/250 of a limited print from the very talented Philip McCulloch, I’m going to frame it for my Mum for Mother’s Day, to go in her healing  hut (I’m banking on her not reading my blog and finding this out in advance . . . ) it was time for lunch and deciding what to have was tough. I really wanted to try a burger from The Green Grill and had worked up quite an appetite as, as well as walking around the show, I’d also been to the gym in the morning but as it was a bit early, I opted for what I thought would be a lighter option, a hot dog from Pig Out – well it didn’t turn out to be all that much lighter topped with mac n cheese, but it was worth it! 

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After consuming all of this, you’d think I wouldn’t to eat for the rest of the day but you’d be wrong, I went home and sat down with a cup of tea and cake, the Oggs chocolate fudge cupcakes that were in the goody bag – I did share though, I didn’t eat both!

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Hmmm, maybe I should sign myself up to that Vegan Runners group what were exhibiting . . .

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Plant Based News Presents OMN!PORK

The wonderful team over at Plant Based News put on an OMN!PORK tasting event tonight at Neat Burger.

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I first heard of the brand recently after seeing a clip on the news while I was in the gym of people sampling at a tech fair in Hong Kong and had being dying to try it myself.

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The tasters on offer tonight were Meat x Omnipork Tacos, Neat x Omnipork kimchi sliders, Sloppy Joes and loaded chilli cheese fries.

I managed to get in early, the DJ was already in full swing and I sampled the goods before it got too busy.

I can’t decide what I loved most, the tacos, I’m a sucker for Mexican food, or the sliders but to be honest everything was delicious and there were drinks on offer too,being a vegan vamp, I went for the obvious choice, the blood orange lemonade and it was divine!

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OmniPork is developed by food-tech company RightTreat, a subsidiary of Green Monday. An established food science team in Canada spent two years of comprehensive research to create this nutritionally superior pork substitute, comprised of a proprietary blend of plant-based protein from peas, non-GMO soy, shiitake mushrooms and rice for complete protein. It contains 0mg cholesterol, is antibiotic-free, hormone-free, cruelty-free, and 86% lower in saturated fat and 66% lower in calories than traditional pork, while being much higher in fiber, 260% higher in calcium and 127% higher in iron. 

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Since its launch, OmniPork has won support from renowned chefs around the globe. In Mainland China, OmniPork has partnered with acclaimed restaurant chains like Wagamamas, Taco Bell, and Tsui Wah. In other regions, numerous restaurant partners have launched dedicated OmniPork menus, including: Ming Court at Cordis Hotel Hong Kong, One Harbour Road at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, Shatin 18 at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Shatin, You & Mee at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok and Baan Thai Family Recipe Restaurant, headed by a Michelin-starred chef. OmniPork has also launched in Singapore and Taiwan with tremendous success, with many hotels and restaurants redesigning their local dishes with OmniPork.

I’m hoping it takes off here in the UK too.

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Thank you Plant Based News and Neat Burger for hosting such a fab event, I’ve very glad I braved trekking into central on a cold January evening for this!

Proceeds from the event went to Veganuary

www.plantbasednews.org

https://neat-burger.com/

https://omnipork.co

Win Tickets To Vegan Life Live

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It’s almost Time for Vegan Life Live again, it feels like I was only just running a competition for tickets for the 2019 show, how quickly that year flew by, and the lovely people over at the shows PR company have offered up 5 pairs of weekend tickets for my readers to win!

Vegan Life Live is one of the biggest Vegan shows to take placed every year, a firm favourite with not only the readers of Vegan Life magazine but vegans, vegetarians and the V curious.

Vegan Life Live is a weekend you won’t forget!

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It’s easy to think that being a vegan is all about what you can’t have, but Vegan Life Live, is here to show you just how much is on offer. Try pizza, kebabs, ice creams, pasta, curry, soul food – arrive early and with an empty stomach to take advantage of all the amazing food.

For those who want some ideas to take home to their own kitchens, learn from some amazing vegan chefs in our cookery demos. They’ll be whipping up quick family dinners to delicious desserts, and everything in between.

Each winner would receive a pair of weekend tickets worth £48.

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All you need to do to win is head over to one of my social media pages @veganvamplife on instagram, facebook or twitter, hit ‘like’ or ‘follow’ and comment ‘WIN’ on the corresponding thread (the main pic will be the one above)

Winners will be contacted by mid February.

Good luck!

Plant Powered Expo 2020

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Taking place on February 1st 2nd 2020 at Olympia London, Plant Powered Expo welcomes people from all walks of life with an emphasis on healthy living and feelgood factor, balanced with practical, affordable and environmentally responsible lifestyle choices.

The show dates and the location – the iconic Olympia National – guarantee a fresh dynamic crowd hungry for new plant-based options and excited to be a part of the growing plant powered revolution. Join this groundbreaking event along with the movers and shakers from the plant powered community and access the fastest growing lifestyle choice in the UK.

With over 100 stalls, 12 feature areas and up to 80 classes and presentations, you can expect cookery classes, food tasting, a global food court, speakers, lectures, music, art and of course shopping.

I’m looking forward to this one!

For tickets go to www.plantpoweredexpo.co.uk

Olympia London
Hammersmith Rd, Hammersmith, London W14 8UX

Down Dog

I was a little late jumping on the yoga bandwagon, I decided a few years ago back in 2017 to  embark on a new yoga journey.

I made a pledge to myself to try and squeeze in one or two yoga classes per week depending on my work schedule, I downloaded the Down Dog app on my phone, I bought a nice pink elephant yoga mat and even purchased a Daily Greatness Yoga Journal to record my goals and progress.

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Did my 2017 New Year’s resolution last? No it did not! I mean, it lasted for a few weeks and since then I have been to yoga classes just a little more sporadically than I’d planned,  I will admit I failed to commit.

So I’ve bitten the bullet and upgraded to the paid version of Down Dog for 2020, I figured if I pay for it, I’m more likely to keep it up and so far so good.

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I set up a little yoga space in my apartment with crystals and candles (which I quickly changed to fake candles as the dog is a little to curious for comfort and I don’t want her going up in flames) and it’s the 7th January today and I’ve already practiced at home 3 times (I also plan on doing a practice tonight after I’ve finished this blog post) and  been to 2 yoga classes at the gym.

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The app is so easy to use and with the paid version, you can choose your type of practice, do you want to do a full practice?  Hatha or Ashtanga? Would you prefer  a restorative session, some quick flow or sun salutations?

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You can choose your level from beginner through to advanced, you can add boosts depending what it is you want to achieve or stretch and you can choose how long you want your practice to be, do you want a long and full session or do you want to stretch during your lunch break?

You can choose what type of music you want to listen to during your session, personally I like the spiritual music when I practice, I love the sound of a sitar and you can even choose your instructors voice but the best bit for me is that a new workout sequence is generated each time you practice so you’re not repeating the same classes over and over.

The instruction and video is easy to follow and records your practice history too so you can keep track of when you’ve practiced.

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The app is well worth the money at $34.99 per year if you buy online (around £27), hopefully I’ll stick with it this time and be flying like a crow in no time . . .

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Dolly doing her own variation of the downward dog.

Moonology

It is said that  the cycles of the moon have a huge effect on our health, our mood, our relationships and our work and that by understanding these lunar phases we can work with them to improve and empower every aspect of our lives.

I’ve been fascinated by this concept for a while, I’ve always felt the effect of the moon and can never sleep on a full moon (I wondered for a while if it could be possible I have werewolf genes) and have heard the same from friends.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I started have a full moon ritual bath every month on the full moon with candles, oils, crystals and petals etc that I managed a full and peaceful nights sleep. Strange as that might sound, they do say that the moon governs women as it does the tide so maybe, just maybe it makes sense.

Well for Christmas I was gifted a Moonology 2020 diary , a Moonology book and a deck of Moonology oracle cards, all written by world renowned astrologist Yasmin Boland.

I’d heard about Moonology before and know people who swear by it so I opened up the diary just a few days ago on 1st January and am already fascinated, I’ve already discovered more about astrology than I ever knew, I’ve always been interested in astrology as in I’ve always ready my horoscopes but took them with a pinch of salt as I found it hard to believe that everybody born under the same star sign could have the same personality traits and fate, having said that I am the embodiment of a typical Leo but after following a link in the diary and typing in some of my details, not just birth date but exact time and also place and receiving a full birth chart back, I’ve realised that there’s so much more to astrology than just your star sign and I’ve learned that I’m not just a Leo but a Leo with Aries rising, that’s double fire, actually makes a lot of sense, I am a feisty one!

Well I’m open to following my new found interest and I’m looking forward to discovering where Moonology and working with the phases of the moon for guidance and wisdom takes me in 2020. 

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The first card I pulled for the year – Well if Moonology is to be believed then 2020 is looking promising!!!

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For more details go to www.yasminboland.com

New Year Fitness Goals

Some people think New Year’s Resolutions are pointless so call them what you like but I think the New Year is a great time for setting goals.

The New year is a great time to think about all the things you really want to achieve and then set yourself realistic timelines to achieve them.

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You could set your goals in your head but I feel like by writing them down, you’re making an official contract with yourself and you don’t want to let yourself down, do you?

Not just fitness goals however, career goals, financial goals, personal development goals, relationship goals, wellbeing, you name it, you can set goals for it!

I was really good on my run up to December as was preparing for filming in Texas so was in the gym all the time and then once I was over there, I was still functioning on UK time so was up uber early every day so managed to hit the hotel gym most days whilst I was there too but then I got back and was busy and then Xmas happened so I’m back from Xmas now and am going to get straight back on it as of tomorrow morning, why wait until January?

So what fitness goals do I have?  

Weights – Minimum of 3 sessions a week

This will include short workouts dedicated to either core, arms or legs.

Different things work for different people and for me I like to do some weights just to tone, I don’t have the dedication of the inclination of turning in to a Muscle Mary, it’s just not for me, I’m more of a cardio girl as it’s proven to burn my fat quickly.

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Running – Minimum of 5 times a week

I started running last year when I was training for Tough Mudder and have managed to keep it up. Distance running has never been easy for me but I try to do between 3-5K each time I run. 

In the Winter, it’s mainly in the gym but in the Summer I want to get out more and run in the parks, it makes for more interesting scenery and I find you actually run further than you think you have. I use Strava to track my distance. 

Yoga – Minimum of 3 hours a week. 

This should be easily achievable, there are two evening classes a week at my gym so  I can book in to those if my work schedule permits or do sessions myself using the Down Dog app which I highly recommend, it’s free to download and I find the free version is more than enough for me, it tailors a different workout each time you use it so that you’re not repeating exactly the same sequences over and over again, there are different levels available to suit all abilities and you can choose how long you want your workout to be so you can decide if you want a quick stretch in your lunch hour or a full practice.

If you do want more from the app though, you can pay a subscription to access more features like boosts.

Swim – 3 times a week 

I’ve never been a huge one for going swimming, mainly due to time management. I have a gym and pool in my apartment complex, it literally takes me less that a minute to get out of my door and in to the gym but by the time I’ve gotten up, walked the dog and spent an hour in the gym, it’s usually around 10am, if I go for a swim too then it would be rude not to use the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi being as I’m already wet, that then adds another hour and takes me to 11am so by the time I’m showered, dressed, hair and make up perfected, that’s half the day gone.

What am I going to do about it? I’m going to get up earlier! There really is no excuse It’s not like I don’t wake up early anyway, but then I’m guilty of lazing about in bed pressing snooze for far too long and then checking emails and social media.

This stops now, no more snooze, well maybe just one snooze but no more than that, I want to be in the gym by 7am latest and then the longest I’ll be there is 2hrs until 9am and I’ll be ready to rock n roll by 10am!

Swing Dance 

I’ve gone to classes sporadically before but then my local class stopped, I want to take it up properly and attend classes on a weekly basis though with a goal of being good enough to attend socials by the Summer, it just means I’ll have to actually get the tube to go to a different class, ugh, public transport. 

I go to classes by Swing Patrol , they do classes all over London and Brighton, check the website for class timetables and they’re drop in classes so you don’t need to turn up with a partner as you swap who you’re dancing with after learning each step anyway.

They also offer a range of different level classes, depending which venue you go to, there are levels, at most venues 1 and 1.5 but some offer a level 2, it’s £10 for the first class but if you find the first class easy and want to stay for more then further classes are £5 

Getting fit and having fun at the same time, win win!

Making a timetable is a good idea to remind you of the targets you’ve set yourself.

Bring on 2020!