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About

Hi! I'm Teenuja, and this is a blog of things I like; a space where I share my cooking adventures, vegan recipes, crafts and cruelty-free jewellery making. Read more below...

If you like what you see here, leave me a ♥ dodo love ♥ in the post comments box. For any questions or just want to say hello, you can email me, veganlovlie at gmail dot com.

Veganlovlie

The Veganlovlie blog started off back in 2008 after about a year that I became vegan. It soon became my favourite special corner - my little cocoon - where I would depict all the recipes I was making and experimenting with at the beginning of my vegan culinary adventure.

To be honest, “vegan” has now become a gross label to apply. I am not going to re-iterate the definition of veganism here since you can all search for this and there are now many resources available on the subject. I would however like to elaborate and share more, on where this particular aspect of me currently stands with regards to veganism.

I have been a vegan for more than 7 years now (since 2007). While it is not always the easiest thing to live this lifestyle, I can however say that the diet part of it is what came the easiest to me; it felt natural for me personally.

After becoming fully aware of the inconceivable degree of torture and suffering that was being deliberately inflicted on the creatures that are only but sharing this earth with us, I could not take this in any longer. My most natural and immediate reaction was to completely stop eating them; viewing animals as a food source was something of the past.

A lot has happened since that day; I have seen improvements in my body’s health and the way I was interacting with life in general. I was more lucid mentally — whether that has a connection to a plant-based diet or not, I can’t say.

Something has settled within me however; the urge (and belief) I once felt as being responsible for the animals and the planet has now shifted. It is not that I no longer feel any compassion towards animals, nor that I no longer see the impact on my health, or the difference that a vegan diet makes, but at this present moment in time, I eat a vegan diet simply because it comes natural to me. I require no effort to be vegan and I am content this way. My intimacy with veganism and how it blends in lithely with my everyday life is the most important aspect as to what really drives me in this life choice.

I believe that the urge to eat a plant-based diet or live a vegan lifestyle should come naturally to you. Whether it is for ethical, compassionate, health or social reasons, it is all up to you. But, if anything needs saving more than all the rest right now, it is your own self. Do what comes naturally to you and you will find much more freedom and aliveness in doing so. You need yourself more than the animals or planet need you; and by saving yourself, you save everything else — it’s called the ripple effect.

The planet has been here for thousands of years and has withstood innumerable calamities. It does not need us to literally act as a saviour. It is still standing strong and has the capacity to regenerate by itself should it reach critical point. I do not believe that humans should be conceited enough to think that they could ever save something that they do not yet fully comprehend. I mean, how can we hope to save this planet, animals and other lifeforms, when we do not even know our own body and mind fully?

I know a lot of vegans may disagree with my views here, but in all honesty, this is my utmost truth — I do what comes naturally to me. Eating a plant-based diet and trying my best to be find vegan options for other products is what currently feels natural to me. To do otherwise would require quite a bit of strain. Ultimately, everything should be effortless and by effortless I don’t mean it in a lazy way, but more like flowing harmoniously with the rest. If some effort is to be made, then I will put the effort towards effortlessness.

I do, however, understand the effort that many activists are doing towards veganism and while I do not currently actively participate in activism in the form of protests etc I do respect their ways as we all have our reasons (or maybe also lack of reasons).
I may from time to time share things that promote veganism because it is natural to want to share something that brings you joy. But ultimately, each one of us has to find his/her own truth.

That is my truth to you. I hope you find yours too.

The content of this site will remain vegan or it will be so for as long as I feel pertained to it.

My Cuisine Style
My cuisine style is inherited from my home country, Mauritius, where I was born and raised. At the age of 19, I left the island for studies abroad. I have been travelling and living in different countries since - Australia, UK (England and Scotland), Ireland and now settled in Canada with my also-vegan partner - aka Boyfriendlovlie.

The best part of having lived in different countries is undoubtedly the food culture - the local as well as international cuisine that exist in these countries.
Mauritius, by default, is a multicultural nation where, back in the 19th century, people were brought to the island from various part of the world, namely West Africa, Asia (India and China) and Europe (UK and France). A myriad of all these different cultures and cuisines sprouted into something really quite unique to Mauritius with a blend of Creole, Chinese, European and Indian flavours.
Infused with culinary delights that I have picked up from living in different countries and paired with ingredients that I like to source locally, my recipes now depict a fusion-style cuisine with a tang of Mauritian inheritance where every recipe has a story to tell.

What inspires me to blog on food?
One aspect of me has been fond of cooking prior to turning vegan, something I probably have inherited from my mom. She is known in the family for her wonderful tasty dishes, even though not vegan.
When I left Mauritius to pursue my studies in Australia (back in 1998), I started cooking for myself as I was missing the amazing array of delicious local Mauritian foods. Even from my early days as a college student away from home, I was making scrumptious meals which my flatmates very much enjoyed.

I have always kept the love of making tasty and creative meals, which I enjoy sharing. Cooking and sharing food is an effortless act for me as it comes naturally. And so does blogging about food and recipes.There is joy in every moment of it, from the grocery shopping, to the preparation, cooking, setting and styling the food then taking the picture. Next comes the writing and publishing the post. It is much more than a hobby; when I am blogging it seems like I am wrapped up in a little fascinating joyful world of my own creation. The only downside sometimes, the meal has already gone cold by the time I have taken the photos. Thank goodness my partner doesn't mind a cold dinner!

The effects that a vegan lifestyle had on my body's health
In my early twenties (I was 22 and skinny at that time), I found out I had high cholesterol -- this runs in the family. My mom has it too and I thought I would be on medication at some point. I never knew that cholesterol was only found in animal products. It was later, after I had been vegan for a year that I realised that my cholesterol level had naturally gone down to become within a normal range. It has since stayed that way without any medication. I was also an asthma sufferer who relied quite a few times on inhalers to breath; my asthma has cleared due to the fact that there was no longer any dairy in my diet.

The Veganlovlie Logo
The swirl in my logo represents the change that has happened to me in many aspects. The butterfly captures the essence of this metamorphosis — the same way that a simple caterpillar experiences an extraordinary change to become this magnificent butterfly. I have pretty much felt that way. A lot of people think of veganism as a big sacrifice that they could never attempt. At first, yes, there may be some effort but, I like to think of it this way: what seems like death to the caterpillar is life to the butterfly. What seems like a destructive process gives birth to something beyond any conceivable idea it could have had of itself. The butterfly has now broken free of its cocoon and can fly!

In this space I am sharing my recipes, food talks, jewellery making, crafts, and much more (Read on below - Bijouxlovlie - on my handmade jewellery).

You can follow me as Veganlovlie on Twitter or like my Facebook page:

veganlovlie,twitter 

Check out my pins too on Pinterest.

Any questions/comments or just to say hello, you can email me.

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My Crafty Side
On this blog, you will also see the crafts I make namely watercolor paintings, handmade jewellery, crochet and small DIYs.
A while ago I was making jewellery and selling them in my Etsy shop. Since I made the move the Canada, I haven’t gone around to opening the shop again but it is something I intend to do since I haven’t lost the passion for it. So read on about Bijouxlovlie (my handmade jewellery brand) and visit the jewellery section of this blog for a peek.


Bijouxlovlie (Cruelty-Free Handmade Jewellery)

“I embrace the concept that imperfection is seen as the highest form of beauty, wabi-sabi as is known in Japanese.” Bijouxlovlie

The idea of making jewellery started from an interest in making my own jewellery just for the fun and also because sometimes I wanted to have something that would match that dress perfectly and be cruelty-free! So, I started playing with polymer clay and have been really hooked on it since.

After being vegan since 2007, my interest in using ethical and cruelty-free products as much as possible has only but grown. Veganism for me started with making changes to my diet first, then to clothing, accessories, shoes and products. It is not always easy to find vegan products everywhere and most of the times labels don’t tell much.

While making my own jewellery, I have greatly been encouraged by my partner to make some for sale. After much thought I have considered the idea for these reasons:

By making these cruelty-free jewellery I hope to provide a nice piece of jewellery for you to wear or offer as a gift, something that you or somebody else will treasure.

I believe that if we expect people at the top, who have the power, to make changes to help make the world a better place, then every individual like you and me need to play a part as well.

Mass-production very often happens in very bad circumstances and abuse. Buying handmade from indie designers is one small way that you can help make the world a better place by supporting people who work for themselves on a small scale and the community that comes with indie design in particular.

Imperfection
I aim to produce pieces that are creative, unique and look handmade with love, compared to commercial or mass-produced jewellery; something I hope wearers will treasure. While I put every care in producing a quality standard, I embrace the concept that imperfection is seen as the highest form of beauty, wabi-sabi as is known in Japanese. Just like in nature, imperfection can be seen in the shapes of leaves, flowers and everything, yet it is of stunning beauty. This also highlights the handmade aspect of each creation.

Materials
I aim to use cruelty-free materials to the best of my knowledge in all my handmade jewellery and accessories.
The main material I use is polymer clay – FIMO and Sculpey brands. Both companies assure that their products do not contain any animal products/by-products.
Other materials I use also include natural materials like wood, natural animal-free fabric, cotton, faux suede. I also sometimes recycle things like pot pourri into jewellery pieces; they not only look lovely and natural but also give off a nice fragrance from the little scent they have left!

Where
I started making my jewellery in Dublin, Ireland. Now that I have moved to Montréal, Canada, I will be making them again from here in my new home.

Inspiration
My inspiration come mostly from the sunny island I was born on – Mauritius. I also like nature and the woods. Most of my daydreaming happens there – an escape in the woods with the fairies, collecting dew drops, dancing over the flowers and hiding under mushrooms.

I hope you enjoy my creations. I also take custom orders. If you have a theme, something specific you want to give as a gift or want a piece of jewellery/accessory to match a dress, drop me a line.

Bijouxlovlie shop on Etsy. **My shop is currently closed but I still do make jewellery for myself and friends or on special request.**

Etsy

If you would like to follow me only as Bijouxlovlie, here are the links:

Facebook Twitter

For jewellery related things or just to say hello, email me here.

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