Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Welcome to ‘Polly’s Vegan Bounty’. A space where I aim to share with you my gastronomical triumphs and failures (although lets hope they’re mostly successes),the trials and tribulations of being a travelling vegan. My love for food and eating! And being part of wonderfully immersive plant based community. Being vegan isn’t just about the food we consume, it’s much more then that! Let me show you….follow me!
What does cooking mean to me?
I’m a professional Makeup & Prosthetic artist AND vegan cook! I’ve always been interested in cooking and I’ve always been a real ‘foody’. I come from a family where everyone cooks. We all work in different fields and have very different lifestyles but the one thing that binds us is our enthusiasm to talk about food, cookbooks, cooking gadgets and compare and share recipes-‘food is love made edible’ as they say!’ It’s how we connect. You might find some of my recipes called ‘Kelly’s Bircher’ or ‘The Old Man’s Chocolate Beetroot Cake’ and it’s my way of including my family and their recipes(which I veganise) in my journey, and in turn share with you.
I use cooking as an expression of love and friendship. It’s a means to show people that I care or that they are important to me. The act of creating a recipe, planning a meal, buying ingredients, the cooking, the presentation, its all a well thought out process and an act of nurturing. It’s never an obligation. It’s something I choose to do willingly.
My approach to cooking is creative and passion fuelled. I love to visit markets and see an abundance of fresh produce, the smells, the colours, it’s a sensory experience….it’s like my crack! As a makeup artist I’m hyper in tune with aesthetics, so part of my cooking experience is based on visuals. The initial stimulation of rows of perfect, ripe, colourful vegetables in the market or lastly styling a plate for the final presentation. It’s so much more then a combination of ingredients on a page. There is no room for clinical sterility in my cooking. I’m a pinch of this, a dash of that, it’s instinctive and fluid. I hope to share my enthusiasm with you!
My Journey to Veganism
I started my vegan journey at the beginning of 2014 as a raw vegan! Yep that’s me, I jumped in at the deep end and learnt to paddle fast! I’m ‘all or nothing’ so I’m either giving it 110% or I’m not doing it at all. I’d spent years trying every fad diet going. At the time I’d been doing the paleo diet(yep from one extreme to the other!)and going to the gym 5 days per week and I just wasn’t seeing results. The personal trainer suggested I keep a food diary which I did diligently, tracking exercise, every calorie, every ounce of meat, fat, water etc. Baffled, he said to me one day “you know, not every diet is suited to every body”. I felt defeated yet again but he suggested I do a raw vegan ‘cleanse/detox’ for 10 days and then we would tackle it again with another approach.
Well I started that 10 day raw vegan cleanse……and I just didn’t stop. I found something that fit! It released me from calorie counting, fasting and strange pills that don’t work. Somehow knowing that I was eating in the purest, cleanest, healthiest way possible gave me the ability to let go of body hang up’s and I learnt to accept the skin I’m in! There were a lot of lightbulb moments during this period-realisations about animal welfare, environment, diet and I was baffled that it had taken so long for my penny to drop!
I feel I should acknowledge ‘Freelee the Banana Girl’ http://www.thebananagirl.com for inspiring me and filling me with knowledge about a raw plant based diet. I watched endless youtube videos. It was my first exposure to veganism and really gave me the foundations of plant based living. If you have any knowledge of ‘Raw till 4’ or ‘Banana Island’ you will know that extreme attracts extreme!
I’d like to tell you that I’m still a raw vegan because I do think it’s the optimum way to eat and live however working in the film industry means crazy hours, catering, hotels, aeroplane food and jetting off to far away locations. It didn’t really mesh with my high consumption raw diet. So I gradually became a regular vegan but focussing on health and steering away from any processed food. It’s not always easy to eat in a nutritionally dense way on the road, there is only so much salad and fresh fruit you can hold in a hotel bar fridge! Sometimes you just have to be creative! I love being in the kitchen and I miss it when I’m away but I’m always concocting recipes in my head for future experiments-even when I sleep!
I started ‘Polly’s Vegan Bounty’ last year as a business, making cakes and sweet treats for cafes and gyms and doing some larger catering jobs and the Belfast Vegan Festival. Cooking had always just been a hobby prior to that. It was something I was doing for myself and just sharing my ideas and food photos with the vegan tribe on instagram. It wasn’t too long though before people started to ask me where they could ‘buy’ my food!? Friends and their contacts were suddenly asking me to make ‘dairy free cakes’ for their kids parties or a dinner for a vegan guest and before I knew it…I was in business! ‘Polly’s Vegan Bounty‘ was still in it’s infancy as a business last year but the demand went from zero to ten so fast I struggled to keep up as I juggled a full time career and a sideline business. I’ve put the business on the shelf temporarily as I reassess the bigger picture and the best way to move forward with it. I’m putting my efforts into this blog currently but watch this space…