Vegan 101


A top tip from the inner circle of veteran vegans; once you make the decision regarding the BIG ‘V’, please do yourself a favour & prep, babe! This is not a choice to be taken lightly, it is a lifestyle change at the end of the day & your current pantry staples are more than likely not really up to scratch! You reckon you’re fine, ‘cause you have bread & butter, you’ll just make a sarmie? 

Nope. That bread is probably made with milk & your fave sandwich spread is 100% made using eggs. UGH!

You are about to venture into the most intense game of speed reading you could ever imagine. I am pretty sure every single Pick ‘n Pay employee in Jozi must think I’m not lekker in the head; I stand for hours reading labels. Why does everything use MILK POWDER? You’re about to lose A LOT of the products you once knew & loved. Perhaps, take a moment of silence for your once beloved packet of Doritos.  Shame.

This all may sound scary & overwhelming, thinking that you’re ‘losing out’ by going vegan. But, you are about to gain so much more! You would not believe the incredible vegan alternatives to absolutely everything you can imagine… Vegan chocolate is the flippin’ bees knees! (No bees were harmed in the making of this blog thanks to SunnyBo Hunny!)

Oh, while you’re here, check out my other blog: VEGAN POLICE: THE TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS OF A MODERN DAY PLANT-EATER

Vegan Food

Shopping List

Back to business, though! My newbie vegan shopping list is short & sweet, to get you through your first week. You probably think it’s a list as long as my arm, consisting of quinoa, agave syrup & tofu? Well, the truth of the matter is, there is only one thing in this realistic vegans starter pack…

Peanut butter.

Yep, that is all you need, honey. Peanut butter (OhMega Nut Butters being my personal favourite!)  & a spoon big enough to feed the inevitable cravings. Because, they will come. Trust that! I think the vegan community has created an air of being ‘from the Earth’, drinking water straight from the damn stream & bathing in oat milk… (Oat milk is hella expensive, it would be a very shallow soak.)

But the reality is, most of us are just as unhealthy as the next person. Myself included! I can promise  you right now, every single vegan alive has some sort of nut butter in the cupboard. Not all of us want to eat kale & drink Kombucha. DO NOT BE FOOLED!

You need to understand, going into this that your body is going to go through some major changes. A lot of withdrawal & you are going to have some hectic cravings for things you never thought you would miss! Fish paste from boarding school when you were in grade 7? GET IN MY BELLY! A lekker oily boerie roll from that dodgy braai stand outside of Builders Warehouse? ASSEBLIEF! 

But, if you’re committed to your decision to tread more lightly on the planet, then push through! The reward far outweighs your need for a lamb chop or even a Wimpy burger! Think of the impact you as a person are making in the world. For every year that you choose not to eat meat, you would have saved 10 055 pigs, 647 737 chickens, 11 357 cows & 3 million prawns! I highly suggest checking out Fry’s website to see some really eye-opening stats!

 I mean, that is a hell of a lot of good karma!

A Raw Deal

I think my least favourite question I get, being a vegan (and trust me, there are PLENTY) is, “but why are you vegan?” I am never quite sure how to respond to that one. Should I be brutally honest? Should I sugar-coat it so that I don’t offend you? And, are you genuinely asking out of interest or are you just waiting to give me your opinion? 

My answer? I am vegan for all of the reasons. 

But mainly ‘cause Russel Brand told me so & who could ever say no to him?


Want some meal inspo? Check out these plant-based meals: 





Mental Wellness


As we continue to adjust to a new way of living during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are starting to feel overwhelmed by the distance between themselves and their loved ones, and it hasn’t been easy on individuals who are already struggling with their mental health. 

With this current global atmosphere of uncertainty and apprehension, it’s becoming increasingly important that we take the time to not only look after our physical health but to make our mental health a priority too. That’s why we want to encourage all our readers to change their outlook and start these 6 essential mental health hacks to better connect to their inner feelings and improve their mental well-being.

Covid-19 and maintaining your mental health   

By now we all know about the precautions we should be taking to keep ourselves physically healthy and protect ourselves from the coronavirus – but what are we doing to take care of ourselves mentally?

When it comes to managing your mental health, there is no one step, quick-fix solution in this journey. The good news is that there are plenty of mindful practices you can commit to every day to keep yourself mentally healthy and stay strong during this pandemic.

1. Be mindful of your environment and your feelings  

Trying to live a more mindful life begins with making a conscious effort to get in touch with yourself and your emotions. Take time to notice when your stress response is triggered and identify stress-enhancing situations. 

For some of us, having to constantly communicate on our phones, be on social media and regularly check the news for COVID-19 updates on a daily basis can take its toll. 

While it’s hard to take the right advice and slow down when you’re feeling overwhelmed, the first step is to admit to yourself that the world will not stop turning if you ignore a single DM or take a little longer to reply on WhatsApp. You may need some time to be in your own bubble and ignore the rest of the world – and that’s okay!

2. Discover your unique stress-relievers 

Since mental health is directly linked to our body’s immune system, it’s important to discover your specific coping habits which act as anti-stressors in times of rising anxiety. 

For some people, coping with stress or feelings of depression means getting out of the house and going for a long hike, a jog or a sweat-filled session at the gym. But for others, it’s lounging in the same pyjamas all day and scrolling through motivational posts on Pinterest (don’t worry – we’ve all been there). 

The point is that there’s no one-size-fits-all way to deal with stress, and it’s essential to keep that at the forefront of your mind at all times. While getting started with online therapy and doing regular meditation sessions are great ways to stay calm, it’s important to remember that your coping mechanism doesn’t have to look a certain way to others. Who says that gouging a bowl of ice great and watching reruns of The Office isn’t just as therapeutic? 

Mental wellness 101

3. Get real about your mental health 

There’s a lot of ways to answer the question, “How are you doing?”, but a lot of the time, most of us tend to steer clear of the honest answer. Instead of shrugging off your emotions, start trying to admit that you’re struggling with what is happening in the world right now. If there was ever a time where it was okay to feel vulnerable and afraid, it’s during this pandemic. 

Remember to be proud of yourself and acknowledge the work you’ve already done to try and keep your mental health in check. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to admit to others that you’ve hit some bumps in the road along the way and ask for their help getting back on track. Being honest and open about the emotions you are experiencing is a great way to load-shed your stress and get it off your chest. 

For men, doing this may be especially intimidating due to the harsh stigma around men’s mental health. That’s why it’s important for all of us to openly acknowledge any struggles we are facing and create a more open dialogue about mental health

4. Move your body

Part of being able to thrive during this uncertainty is to keep yourself motivated towards achieving a new goal – such as improving your personal fitness and working towards living a more healthy life. 

We all know about the healing benefits of exercise – it gets your blood pumping and your spirits up – but most of us don’t actually relish the idea of sweating inside a hot home gym all day. 

The great news is that there are all sorts of fun and exciting ways to stay fit and get home endorphins flowing. Try to have some fun by taking a new online dance class and letting loose – nobody’s looking! Or go on a hike with your friend or family for the day. Most people underestimate the healing positive effect of being outdoors in the fresh, open air. 

You’d be surprised how even a simple walk in the park or a stroll at the beach can inspire the innermost feelings of happiness and peace.

5. Give your hobbies some attention

With most of us being far from our friends and families during this time, it’s important that we focus on our inner happiness and try to do things that keep us inspired. 

Now more than ever, we need to focus on the hobbies and passions that we have often put on the shelf due to being caught up in the world of work and stress. Here’s just a few fun new hobbies you could get behind: 

  1. Hone your baking skill as and indulge your sweet tooth with this new delicious choc chip mug cake recipe. Or, if you’re looking for a heartier option, take some time to make your family a healthy home-cooked chickpea curry
  2. Get those makeup skills on point and give yourself some time to try that new contour tutorial you saw on YouTube. 
  3. Rearrange your home and redecorate your living room to feed the interior decorator inside of you.
  4. Put your green thumb to the test and start an adorable veggie garden outside.

6. Get yourself a furry best bud 

Lockdown can be lonely, and with thousands of pets abandoned and shelters left struggling due to the effects of COVID-19 on our economy, there are countless furry friends that could use a safe home right now. 

What’s great is that pets are proven to have mood-boosting powers and bring about a sense of calm for people who suffer from high levels of anxiety. Bringing a new friendly companion animal into your life is a sure-fire way to manage your stress in a healthy way, reduce loneliness and elevate your mood.

Studies have even found that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression 
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure when exposed to stressful situations 
  • Playing with pets can increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in the body which can help anxious people to be more calm and relaxed.
  • Caring for a pet can help you make healthy lifestyle changes by encouraging you to start a regular exercise routine where you take them for a walk, a hike or a run.

Health and well-being with Wellbe

Living an active, healthy life can be difficult when you are silently struggling with your mental health. At Wellbe&Co, we want strong ladies and men everywhere to stay as fit, healthy and happy as they can be – no matter what these times bring.

That’s why we strive to give our loyal Instagram followers a daily dose of motivational magic to help you stay inspired and conquer your anxieties. From updates about the latest workouts and healthy new recipes to sharing essential yoga poses that will help you approach your day with mindfulness and serenity, our priority is to give you the encouragement you need to pursue your goals

Join the WellBe family today to get your own daily, easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health hacks – all while maintaining focus on your mental health. 

Vegan 101


The Journey: Part 1

I don’t really remember the day, to be honest, the specific day that I stopped eating meat. It was more of a slow process of eating less of it & a whole lot more frozen broccoli than I care to admit. 

All of a sudden, I realised it had been MONTHS since I had eaten any meat. I kind of accidentally became a vegetarian & felt like a new woman. But to say I was nervous to tell anybody about my new lifestyle change, would be a MASSIVE understatement. I knew the stigma. Hell, I had possibly added to the problem many times throughout my life, with poorly timed jokes at the expense of someone else. 

The Saturday afternoon that I had been dreading for months finally reared its ugly head… A family braai. It was time. Time to break the news to my VERY Afrikaans family that, “no, I will pass on the boerewors today, Oom. How about a fried mushroom instead?” Shock & horror followed this, as predicted & there was a moment of silence for the loss of a comrade. I scoffed down that rubbery mushroom & got the heck out of there before they had the chance to ask me, “but where will you get your protein?”

Although the braai was not nearly as difficult as I thought it might be, the judgement & scandal behind my choices extended past my family. Strangers felt the need to let me know why meat is a necessary part of my diet, their favourite argument being… “If we’re not meant to eat meat then why do we have canine teeth?”


The Journey: Part 2

My living hell was only perpetuated when I took the next step of becoming vegan. A no-brainer for me, but more of a NO-BRAIN to those around me. It was an easy transition, my only regret? Not doing it sooner.

I was living in the mountains of the Drakensberg at the time, doing yoga in the veld & eating tomatoes straight from the freaking earth, man. I was some kind of hippy, minus the leg hair (mostly.) I was always the odd one out. The black sheep, or rather the black BeyondMeat patty.

For the most part, being vegan in the Berg was a breeze. I got a few quizzical looks at coffee shops when I asked for non-dairy milk. Huh? Like… Goat milk? Uh. Never mind, I’ll just have still water. It was actually during that time that I learnt how to drink black coffee & pretend like it didn’t taste like sadness. I only cried in the shower a few times. WINNING!

But everything changed when I moved back to the city. Jozi, baba. You beaut! I found a community here, a community of like-minded people. A place where I could vent about the RIDICULOUS price of vegan yoghurt & not have someone roll their eyes straight back into their skull. I so appreciate that in a friend. If you’re looking for a starting point, I would highly suggest you check out my fellow veggie compatriot Caley’s blog, for all the inspiration you could ever hope for, honey!

Vegan Job Opportunities

At the same time, I realised that within this beautiful community of amazing people, there are a plethora of other factions. Societies within society & they’re out for blood. Human-blood, of course. They would not appreciate that joke!

I’ve affectionately named these groups; The Vegan Police, The Plastic Police, The Palm Sugar Police, The Gluten Police & The SAPS. Well, the last one is only on this list ‘cause I’m pretty salty about my lack of vegan wine in the cupboard, but that’s a whole other story.

These groups work tirelessly to ensure that you’re happy, but never TOO happy. Like your mother-in-law on a good day.

Enjoy that oat milk latte, Claire. But it better be in a paper cup! Oh, I hope you didn’t add any refined sugar to that? Is that coffee fair-trade? Are you going to recycle that cup or do you just hate sea turtles? 

All I can say is that I am so happy that during a global pandemic, during this Coronacoaster, these cops have jobs & that they’re able to work from home! LUCKY! I just hope they’re being paid for their ‘ESSENTIAL’ services to the vegan community. 

My wish is that this blog spot somewhere on the interweb inspires you. Inspires you to try a Fry’s Chicken Nugget without dry-heaving. Even if you chase it with a mouthful of fatty biltong. I’m not here to anybody; I’m just here for a good time not a long time, uhh. I mean, I’m here for the animals. 

Eat food. Not too much, mostly plants.

“The most damaging phrase in language is; we have always done it this way.” Grace Hopper

While you’re here, check out some of my recent recipes with WellBe: 





Until next time…





Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1

The perfect dessert to make in a hurry! Filled with all the right flavours, this vegan mug cake is the treat you need (right now).


  • 4 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips


Add all the ingredients to a mug & mix well. Microwave on high for 1 minute & 30 seconds.






Time: 7 minutes

Serves: 1

This very berry quinoa porridge is an easy, clean eating breakfast for busy mornings. It’s full of good-for-your-gut nutritious ingredients, leaving you feeling fuller for longer and energised to take on the day!


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup macadamia milk or any milk of choice
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence


  • 1/2 cup of berries of choice
  • 1 tsp  sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp nut butter of choice


  • Warm the milk, honey & vanilla in a small sauce pan over the stove.
  • Place the cooked quinoa in a bowl & pour milk over it.
  • Top it with all your delicious toppings.





Time: 20 – 30 minutes

Serves: 4

There is absolutely no shortage of ancient grains to add to your pantry, but if you haven’t tried bulgur wheat, lockdown is definitely the time to give it a go! Rich in fibre and so easy to cook! This delicious and flavourful meal packs a healthy punch!



  • 2 large aubergines
  • 1/2 Cup Mediterranean style vegan cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 Cups of uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 2 Cups of water
  • 1/4 Cup  cherry tomato pasta sauce
  • Salt & pepper


  • Slice the eggplant down the middle & open it slightly. Make criss-cross lines inside with a sharp knife, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Start baking in the oven at 180C for 30min.
  • In a medium pot, heat the olive oil & sauté the onions & pepper until soft.
  • Add the bulgar wheat & sauté for a minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the water & the pasta sauce.
  • Simmer for about 20 min, adding more water as needed.
  • Fluff with a fork & serve inside your baked aubergine, top with crumbled “feta”, red onion & fresh parsley!


Women Power


In today’s business world, leaders can’t afford to underestimate the importance of empowering women at work. From driving innovation to boosting a corporation’s profits, the value of having strong women in the workplace is undeniable. That’s why, this women’s month, we discuss the five most important tools to help organisations everywhere strengthen their female leadership and direct the conversation towards creating a more positive workplace culture.

What is “workplace culture”?

Workplace culture is a product of individual factors that come together to create the every-day environment in an organisation. Think of it as the character or personality of your organization.

Essentially, the space in which we work is shaped by a collection of the values, attitudes, priorities, workplace practices and the type of leadership in the organisation.

Creating a positive workplace culture 

The biggest mistake most organizations make is that they let their workplace culture form organically without first defining a specific culture or environment that they hope to create. 

However, no matter how big or small the organisation, every business can take gradual steps to start making their workplace a space that encourages and empowers women, and one that is mindful of creating new practices that support female career advancement.

1. Amplify the female voice  

In an interview with BBC News, Facebook’s VP, Nicola Mendelsohn, noted that women’s voices are often overlooked in the workplace, saying that “Women get interrupted a lot, or people talk over them. I think there is an element that happens in the workplace where we actually condition women not to speak.” 

That’s why it’s essential that organisations encourage open dialogue in the workplace. By providing opportunities for women to have their voices heard, your organisation can help women to educate the rest of the office and allow them to begin to form the type of workplace culture that they’d like to see themselves. 

In practice, your organisation can offer workplace training on topics such as implicit bias, inclusion and diversity. Some employees may have never heard of these topics before, let alone critically analyzed them in the workplace. This is a great way to continue to bring the experience of women in the workplace to the forefront of the conversation. 

2. Listen and learn 

Creating a positive workplace culture is about allowing women to express themselves openly, without fear of judgement. One of the main ways workplace environments can be damaging to female employees is when men in leadership positions try to discredit female voices using tactics such as “tone policing” or by “derailing” the conversation. 

This is basically when men try to take focus away from real issues female face in the workplace and put it on the way they choose to express this issue and the tone of voice they use. At its core, this suggests that women have to distance themselves from their emotions in order to be heard, and it allows men to define the terms of the conversation. 

That’s why it’s absolutely essential that leaders openly acknowledge their female employees’ experiences in the current workplace culture rather than dismissing the conversation out of fear of criticism.

3. Encourage female leadership

Promoting strong, deserving women to prominent management roles is a great way to create a more positive workplace culture. It also sets a valuable precedent that says, “Yes! Women can hold leadership positions in our organization.” 

Gender diversity in the workplace is an essential factor in creating positive results such as bringing in new perspectives, making firms more productive and widening the talent pool. It also tends to signal a more attractive work environment and a positive workplace culture to other potential female employees.

Diversifying management and ensuring female representation also gives women the ability to provide valuable input when it comes to important decisions about the organisation’s policies and practices that will affect the day-to-day lives of every female at work. 

4. Equal wages for equal work and experience 

It’s only natural; we all love to be rewarded and recognized for good work. In fact, one of the leading factors encouraging motivation in the workplace is something called the Incentive Theory of Motivation

According to leading psychologists, most people work harder and stay at higher levels of motivation when they are inspired by external reinforcements such as the possibility of promotion, higher wages and an opportunity for growth. 

Equal pay is one of the most important parts of creating a space where employees feel valued. Women can’t thrive in the workplace or reach their full potential if they feel that the strengths they bring to the workplace are not recognized and that they are not equally rewarded for their contribution to the team.

5. Support professional development 

Creating a safe and open relationship with female employees in the workplace is a real sign of progress, but it’s also important to go a step further and actively provide opportunities for women to grow their skills and enhance their professional development in the workplace. 

For example, by creating a mentorship programme for women in the organisation, female employees can shadow other women in leadership roles and build relationships with strong female examples. For most women, seeing another woman in a position of authority is empowering and encouraging, and it is also crucial for better career advancement and professional development within the company. 

Your organisation could also consider offering female employees the chance to attend conferences or workshops relevant to the leading practices in your industry. It’s a great way to help them gain some practical experience while developing the skills needed to move up in the organisation. This could be anything from funding external skills development courses to offering leadership training programs which will equip them with the tools to jump-start their career. 

Strong Women

Women at WellBe 

WellBe&Co strives to empower women by helping ladies everywhere to become their happiest, healthiest selves. WellBe is a corporate wellness company that specializes in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions.

We know that no two women are alike. That’s why we provide nutrition advice, training programs and supplement advice tailored to your individual needs, goals and personal preferences.

Our WellBe family believes that women who support other women should be every organisation’s ultimate goal. So, if you’re feeling a little unmotivated, simply join our WellBe Instagram community made up of prominent women in the fitness industry where we share daily tips, tricks and motivational messages so that we can all improve and grow together.

Follow our regularly-updated, informative blog posts for guidance on topics that deal with everything from workplace productivity to the art of living a more mindful life. And, while you’re at it, why not take a look at our simple set of recipes that will have you eating clean in no time?

Start the learning journey today and you’ll be your healthiest self both at home and in the workplace in no time.