Bliss Juicery

Some days I get the heady kick of feeling accomplished and in control.  To-do list is checked off, work has been done well, laundry is washed, emails are answered, nutritious meals are cooked and mascara is applied, all while seeing the bigger picture and not swearing at anyone in traffic.
And other days (most days) I’m eating peanut butter on toast for every meal, plastic is mixed up with glass and paper in the recycling bin (and I don’t care), I’m slurping down caffeine while anxiety eating chocolate, all the while pondering if I’ll ever be a successful human being.
I’d love to juice every day, as much as I’d like to consistently grow my own food, go with the flow, meditate (more on than off), and not waste hours of my life wondering about other people’s curated existences on social media.  But in a world where grocery shopping sometimes seems an impossible task, and just keeping my legs hair free is not always possible, Bliss Juicery saves the day.
Bliss has opened a small store a stone’s throw away from my home and they offer every manner of fresh cold-pressed juice, from the fruity, to the green.  The almond milk variations are super delicious too!  They deliver throughout Joburg, and they offer juice cleanse programs, which is a real win.  I like to do a juice fast (feast) every autumn and spring, but sometimes find the admin of buying enormous quantities of vegetables, and juicing what feels like the whole day long, a little overwhelming.  Now it’ll be super easy 🙂
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Vegan bags

Wowee.  These are lovely!  And vegan!  And quirky!  The trifecta of awesome achieved!
Well done East Workshop!  You win.

holographic unicorn purse (I MUST HAVE THIS IN MY LIFE)

clear satchel

vegan envelope clutch

vegan leather envelope purse/ipad cover

oversized vegan envelope clutch


What do you call a vegan restaurant?

A florist.

I persuaded my father, and some other confirmed meat eaters, to venture into uncharted territory over the weekend.  Leafy Greens is an amazing vegan (and mostly raw) restaurant in Muldersdrift (next door to the meaty Casalinga), and there were happily many sighs of delight all through lunch.

The vegetable garden is also a thing of wonder and a good place to stroll around after two helpings of banana crème pie.


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Not so okay veganism

Vegetarians make some people feel uncomfortable.  Vegans make many people feel very uncomfortable.

I’ve had an interesting day.  I’ve turned down work because I don’t feel I can freelance (albeit briefly) for a company that makes its money selling animal products, and I’ve returned a pair of bloody gorgeous shoes, because, well, they are the outcome of a bloody process.


I’ve also had someone declare I’m a hypocrite because I have leather products in my cupboard.

And I’d agree.  It is hypocritical to refrain from eating all animal products and yet still have a leather belt.  The thing is, for me veganism is a process, and a new one at that.  I’m not about to throw away any animal products I’ve accumulated over the last 15 or so years of consumerism – that  feels entirely wasteful and disrespectful.  I am however going commit to not buying new leather belts and shoes and handbags,  or leather wallets, or cars with leather seats, or any of the other animal-sourced merchandise abounding the world over.

The honest truth is that this is the hardest thing about being a vegan for me.  Not giving up cheesecake and milk chocolate; no, it’s the shopping.  I like shopping. I have a career in fashion and I love clothes.  And shoes.  And watches.  I often get swept away by aesthetics.

The other truth is that as uncomfortable as my dietary choices make people feel, they make me feel a lot more uncomfortable.  It’s hard to discern when enough is enough; whether it’s fair for my omnivore boyfriend not to have meat in the fridge, when worrying about where my food has been grown, where my clothes were made, how heavy my carbon footprint is, and whether my cosmetics (and medication) are tested on animals is going to tip me over the edge and do my head in.  This is often the case.  How do I reconcile my desire for certain things with their potential moral load?

It’s also uncomfortable to make people feel uncomfortable.  Social situations become a minefield and I’m quizzed often and usually to the point of exhaustion about why I eat the way I do.  It’s uncomfortable to know that people are wondering what the hell they are going to feed me at a dinner party and it’s a complete pain in the ass when a coffee shop doesn’t offer soya milk, not to mention the absence of vegan dishes on most restaurant menus.

The crux of the matter is that no-one enters into veganism lightly, and certainly not to make you feel uncomfortable about your own food choices.  Any discomfort is entirely your own.

Okay veganism

I’ve been a vegan before (for about two years in my late teens), and I’m 95% vegan these days (the other 5% made up of the odd bit of eggy/buttery cake, Sunday croissants, dinners cooked lovingly for me where the pasta may contain eggs, the odd scoffed piece of milk chocolate, and social gatherings where I can’t be too sure if there’s parmesan in the pesto).  I’m reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer at the moment,  have watched parts of Earthlings again, and am enjoying the insight of South African Veg-IT, and all are leading me further down the path of a fully plant-based diet.

The hardest bit is the social aspect: most people can cope with cooking for a vegetarian, but few manage the idea of vegan cooking without a little blanching.  In actual fact though, it’s really not that hard.  There are MANY wonderful blogs dedicated to the art of tasty and nutritious vegan cuisine, The First Mess being one.

I made an utterly mouthwatering dinner today based on a recipe on The First Mess (spaghetti squash noodle bowl with lime peanut sauce), although I swopped out the squash for what I had in the house (orange sweet potatoes and carrots).  I’ve made the dish with butternut squash before though, and it’s sublime.  I used baby spinach instead of kale (kale seems exceedingly hard to come by in SA), used almond butter to replace the peanut butter (this makes very little difference to the deliciousness of the dressing, while boosting the nutritional aspects a bunch), and replaced the grapeseed oil with extra virgin olive oil.  I also added some smoked tofu.

So much yum factor.