Vegan Dinner Dates, New Friends & Pho
October has certainly been a super busy, fun filled and productive month! I managed to squeeze in a couple more classes of Yoga in Nature (before the weather got too cold). And this month I’ve officially registered as self employed, and have been sub teaching a number of yoga classes in studios. It’s honestly a really crazy “pinch me” feeling, because this is really everything that I’ve been working towards manifesting for the past couple of years.
I clearly remember back in February 2016, when I was on the brink of completing my Psychology degree, that I had to decide what my next steps in life would be. In all honesty, after way too many years in the school education system, continuing on right away with my Masters degree did not seem in the slightest appealing. I thought about all of the years of hard work that I had put in, achieving great results in school and uni, and I decided it was more than time to give myself a well deserved break.
I thought okay, how can I find a way to travel, do what I love and earn a living at the same time? The answer was simple. Becoming a yoga teacher enabled me to fulfill all of these things. And okay so the money isn’t typically amazing, but when you love something and have the passion and drive, you can turn anything profitable in time (and that wasn’t my major concern anyway, as I’m quite content living a simple lifestyle-as long as I can afford to travel and eat good vegan food). I distinctly remember telling my close friends and family of my loose plans. Okay so my dad wasn’t exactly thrilled that I wanted to leave further education to gallivant around the world, with no guarantee of work. But I think over the two years that have passed, I’ve proven my point, that it is possible to succeed in doing what you love.
So here I am, two years later, living in a new city and a new country with a man I love; Self employed about to start a number of yoga teaching jobs, allowing me to earn decent money doing something that brings me (and those I teach) joy. And I haven’t written this to brag about it, but rather to prove that yes it is attainable, and that as long as you put in the work and are committed to achieving your dream: anything is possible.
So as I said, this month has been productive and also lots of fun! I’ve began hosting Vegan Dinner Date Night’s through my Meetup group, whereby I invite 5 strangers into my home and cook them a three course vegan meal. I’ve been basing each dinner date on a different cuisine and so far I’ve done, Asian, Italian and Greek themes.
My intention behind these dinners, is that it allows me to continue doing something that I love (and that I’m good at), whilst simultaneously making some new friends and a bit of pocket money on the side. It’s really been a win win for all and I have a vegan friend in Dusseldorf who loved the idea, and is going to start hosting her own too! I think that it’s also a great way to spread the vegan message, and show people that vegan food is seriously far, far away from boring and tasteless.
I’ve also been hosting my usual New and Full Moon Ceremonies, which I’ve now made for Women Only. Party because Henrik doesn’t want stranger males in the bedroom where I host the meetup's (fair enough). And also because really, the moon represents divine feminine energy, and it is so closely linked to our menstrual cycles, therefore it’s a sacred time for women to gather together as one. These meet-up events have also been another great way to meet new and interesting people, and when the Urban Yoga studio opens in November, I’ll be hosting my next Women’s Full Moon Circle there instead (as it beats the bedroom) so if you’re in Hamburg then you should definitely come and join in!
I feel like for me October has been an extremely social month, as I seem to have had social activities or events on at least 5 days of the week. Despite being a Gemini and a social butterfly, I think that was a little bit too much even for me..but still it’s been super great to spend time with new friends and explore Hamburg and all it has to offer. I’ve luckily attended a few vegan brunches, one of which is from the vegan restaurant in Hamburg called ‘Freundliches’. Every Sunday they offer an all you can eat vegan brunch and it was absolutely insane! I went with a new friend Morlin, and it’s fair to say we made the most of the brunch (I quite literally had 4 rounds of desserts).
The other vegan brunch that I attended was particularly cool, as it was for free and was created entirely out of “expired” food (that would have otherwise been thrown away by the supermarkets). This was such a great idea run by a sustainable group in Hamburg, and the food was actually sooo good! We managed to have a huge main meal, dessert and freshly made smoothies all for free and all from “waste food”. There was also a cute ‘up-cycling’ market at the brunch, where everything being sold was made from recycled materials. I think that this is another reason that I’m resonating so well in Hamburg, because the vegan community is huge and there seems to be a lot of activism and effort to promote environmental sustainability.
I also managed to take another long weekend trip to Düsseldorf, to visit my friends and attend Veggie World. It was so nice to spend the weekend with the girls and teach a candle lit vinyasa flow classs on the Friday. We also managed to squeeze a yoga in nature class in for the weekend, as the weather was surprisingly beautiful for October!
Veggie World was so cool and I quite literally felt like I had died and gone to vegan heaven. There were soo many stalls cooking delicious, fresh food, all for you to taste and sample. I ended up staying for five hours, which meant five hours of walking around eating an abundance of food samples (different flavoured tofu, cashew cheeses, mock meats, chocolates, coconut chips and more). I literally ate so much free sample food, that I didn’t even need to buy lunch or dinner. They also had a bunch of other cool stores, who also offered vegan beauty products, house hold items, herbal teas, yoga equipment and clothes and more. There were also stalls you could find out more information about activism and they had talks on all day too (but unfortunately for me they were all in German).
One of my best friends, Kira (who I’m hosting my Women’s Wellness Workshop with in November), also came to stay with me in while she was in Hamburg. We ended up cooking lots of delicious food together (as per usual) and I treated us to a lovely spa day to celebrate her birthday. We’ve also managed to find a couple of vegan companies to sponsor our upcoming workshop, which we’re so excited about and looking to add another date for January in Düsseldorf. Anyway that’s enough of a short but jam packed snippet of my month, now onto the good stuff!
Favourite Recipe of October: Traditional Vietnamese Pho
So my favourite recipe of the month is traditional Vienamese Pho. It was really my cousin from Australia, Steph, who got me into this dish. Steph was actually one of my main influences in me deciding to go vegan, as she had been vegetarian since about 9 years old and vegan for 5+ years. Anyway, her specialty is definitely pho and so I’ve been inspired once more, to follow in her foot steps.
What I love about this dish, is that its super easy and really cheap to make. It barely takes any effort, as you’re basically just chucking everything in a hot pot and then serving it all up with some noodles and yummy toppings. I made this Pho as one of the main dishes for one of my Vegan Dinner Date Night’s, and everyone absolutely pho-show loved it!
Favourite Read & Podcast episode of October:
Big Magic: Creating Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Author of the classic ‘Eat Pray Love’, Elizabeth, steps away from the novels, and instead teaches us about the infinite wonders of creativity-which she has deemed Big Magic. Big Magic allows us to tap into our creative forces, and takes a whole new approach to creativity, art and inspiration. Rather than seeing creativity and ideas as something that we humans naturally produce, she views creativity as an external force, which we invite in to come and work with us. Therefore teaching us how we can practically nourish our ability to create, and how to take the pressure out of it. Elizabeth weaves tales through the book, making her relatable examples come to life. For me, Big Magic was a light and inspiring read, which has encouraged me to continue expressing my creative rights of passage, to manifest into this world that which brings me the most joy.
2. The Highest Self Podcast (Sahara Rose)
Episode 125: Creating Passive Income Doing What You Love with Cathy Heller
I absolutely love listening to the The Highest Self Podcast (by Sahara Rose), as she is continually bringing in such interesting people, and discussing a range of topics which helps us to become more in alignment with our highest selves. This episode with Cathy Heller, was definitely my favourite of the month, as it was all about how you can turn anything you love doing into an income.
Cathy’s story is incredibly inspiring and she was so uplifting to listen to. She recommends a number of different ways in which you can create a passive income for yourself, and offers tips and guidance on how to do this and where to start. At the end of listening to this episode, I felt so motivated and really sensed such a strong belief in myself that I am capable of achieving everything I set out to do. I couldn’t recommend listening to this episode enough!
Favourite DIY beauty of October: Coconut Facial Scrub
I absolutely love making my own homemade beauty products, not only for the sheer fun or if it, but also because then I know EXACTLY what is going in there. In other words, today’s beauty product market is flooded with nasty chemicals, parabens and more which are absolutely terrible for our health in the long term.
So as a part of my facial cleansing ritual, I like to make sure that I give my face a gentle scrub in the evenings, to take away any dirt and pollution which have planted themselves in my pores from the day. This simple scrub is made just using three ingredients, which you possibly already have in your own home (especially if you’re reading this kind of blog).
Afterwards, your skin will feel deep clean and will be glowing. What I also love about this scrub, is that afterwards there is no need to moisturise your face. This is because even when washing the scrub from your face, the skin still stays nice and hydrated from the coconut oil.
1 tablespoon Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil
1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt or Raw Coconut Sugar
If the coconut oil is hard, then mix it in a small bowl with a spoon, until it is a more smooth form
Add the drop of lavender oil and stir well
Add the Himalayan salt or coconut sugar and mix together to form a paste
Take the mixture and gently apply to your face, making small circular motions on the skin
Leave on for 3 minutes and then wash off with warm water
Favourite Yoga Pose/Flow of October: Core & Booty Yoga Workout
Typically in the West, we tend to view Yoga as more of a workout than a spiritual practice. In fact, Yoga is a physical practice with a spiritual intention. So when we are gaining strength in our muscles from the asanas, we are also gaining mental strength and courage on a mental level. On the contrary, this month’s favourite flow, is gravitating more towards the western/physical standpoint of Yoga in terms of using Yoga as a means to achieve the same benefits as you would a traditional workout. But that’s also okay too, as we are living in the western world and on the material plane. But let’s not forget however, Yoga’s deeply spiritual and profound origins, whereby Yoga is seen as an eight-fold path to enlightenment (moksha).
Favourite Quote of October:
“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart”
-Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic)
I absolutely LOVE this quote that I found when reading Big Magic. I truly couldn’t agree more that when you live creativity, intentionally and doing what lights you up; You will inevitably be happy, content and fulfilled.
Maddie holds a strong place in her heart for holistic health and well-being. She is a psychology graduate, yoga instructor, reiki master, nutrition adviser and world traveller. Maddie loves cooking, reading, writing and exploring new places, meeting new and interesting people and enjoying the wonders of everyday life.