So last weekend I met the fabulous Amie, from curvaceousvegan.com, and her lovely husband in Clapham Junction, ready to pop on the overground to Kensington and the Just V Show!
As we all know, I’ve been dabbling in vegan eating for a few months now, so when I found a bargain for tickets on Groupon I jumped straight in. When I found out that Amie would also be attending my heart leapt! So there we were, London Olympia, surrounded by literally hundreds of stalls specialising in vegan, vegetarian, free-from, allergy specific and all-natural stalls. Absolute heaven.
Rather than bore you with all of the details of all of the stalls, I’m going to share more of a photo diary than anything else and let your imagination, and tastebuds do the talking! Don’t worry, I’ll do a mini commentary along the way.
As part of a horsey family, I only really know Olympia for the (amazing) Christmas show so wasn’t really sure what to expect. It is simply a gorgeous building! Right up my street. Anything ferrovitreous with a bit of an arch really gets my heart going. I’m bit of a nerd for victorian architectural styles. Judge me all you want but I really do love a bit of glass and iron! All the natural light streaming in from the ceiling also made excellent photo lighting so that’s another good thing. Seriously. Is there anything better than an arched glass roof?! (The fact that I’m going to be spending so much time in St Pancras next year really gets me excited…)
I’ve never been surrounded by so many healthy people and so much healthy food and drink in my entire life. It was like walking into Aladdin’s cave – if Aladdin liked spin classes, yoga and kale. A real highlight of the day was the fresh coconut water (I mean, literally from the coconut with a straw) and vegan raspberry cream brownie that I had for lunch. Made me feel exotic and decadent and fabulous as we sat on the floor in a corner and chatted!
As we walked around the maze of amazing stalls I truly was inspired. So much colour and health and variety, all of the things I felt I lacked on my first attempt at sticking to a full vegan diet. Something I struggled with throughout my very fast transition was finding alternatives to the things I loved. While I’m still searching for a good vegan cheese (seriously, why do they all taste like pure feet?) I’ve really started to fall back in love with the idea of properly caring for my body and following a plant-based lifestyle. Maybe its the summer sun making me think of coconuts and fruit, or maybe its my mind and body telling me that enough is enough.
Eating a plant-based diet really helped me in the short few months that I stuck to it religiously. I was happier, healthier and had so much more energy. I felt relaxed and more at peace with the world around me. During a few particularly hard weeks of uni I lived off bourbons in the library til 4am but did not feel the usual stress associated with countless essays. I stopped caring about the calories and cared for what it was that I was putting in my body. Without trying I lost almost 10lbs. I dream of that kind of effortless weight loss now. I’m now so excited for delicious food in Bali and my move abroad where I can cook for myself again and truly nourish my body. Something the Just V opened my eyes up more to was the amazing array of vegan beauty products out there. While I’m far far away from making the change to 100% vegan products, I do tend to find myself becoming more conscious of the labelling on products. Cruelty free seems to be calling to me a lot more and I love that!
So what did I make of the show, overall? I loved it. So much colour and vibrancy, health and inspiration. So many kind people, truly passionate about what they do. Thank you so much to Helen and the team at Just V, and to the Vegan Society for our amazing bloggers goodybag! There’s a photo of all the amazing gifts on my instagram but sadly I’d eaten everything before I could get a good photo for the blog – whoops! I had a really great day and you totally smashed it!
(I’m currently enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in Bali – you can follow what I’m up to on my instagram!)