Thursday, December 18, 2014

favourite documentaries about the food industry

Very specific title, eh? But I thought it'd be best to get straight to the point with this one! As an aspiring nutritionist, I find myself constantly scouring the internet for info about different health topics that have piqued my interest. Over the last two years or so, I have come across quite a few documentaries that played a huge role in my goal of pursuing a career in nutrition, as well as my aim to lead a healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle.
For me, my ultimate goal when it comes to health and lifestyle, is to live in a way that creates a positive impact, upon myself and others, or at least yields no impact (i.e. having a small carbon footprint). I believe that a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is one of the best ways to do this, as well as sticking with cruelty-free products and services. In this day and age it's nearly impossible to live completely cruelty-free, as sad as that is to admit, but that doesn't mean we can't all do our part to educate ourselves and make wise choices.
I don't appreciate when others shove their opinions down my throat (that is such a grody visual), so I personally don't ever want to do so either, but with a topic that's so near and dear to my heart, I felt it would be almost dishonest of me to just never mention it on my blog.
Although I do want to share this information, I'm still a novice and have a lot to learn. These documentaries supplied a lot of the facts behind my decisions on how to lead my life, so I feel that sharing them is currently the best way for me to share this information, because the last thing I'd want to do is spew out information that I technically have no right giving out since I'm not a registered nutritionist or dietician (YET!). I know a lot of people won't find these documentaries interesting at all, but to those that take the time to watch even just one, I'm sure it'll make a positive impact on you!

Since there are so many I have here, I'll give you brief, little run-downs of each! I really do hope you check out a few of them and let me know what you think:

So let's start with the most basic and easy-to-stomach documentaries: Foodmatters, Hungry for Change, and Forks Over Knives all focus mainly on the food industry in general and the facts often swept under the rug. These are all presented in a very factual, straight to the point manner, and each make a point in promoting more whole-/plant- based foods. These documentaries do have quite a lot of overlapping information, so even just checking out one would give you a huge dose of reality about our food industry. But if you're looking for a documentary that will REALLY open your eyes, the next three are sure to do the trick….

 I know a lot of people tend to avert their eyes and ignore videos and pictures about factory farming and the likes, so I've organised these three documentaries by their "squeamish rating". I believe these three  films do a great job in promoting plant-based diets, but they vary in their use of pathos, to put it simply. Vegucated is a documentary that follows a woman in her journey of supporting three omnivores in their six week "vegan challenge". Throughout the film, there are doctors and other professionals providing essential information about the benefits of a plant-based diet. This is probably the best documentary to start out with since it's not so in-your-face with the gruesome clips and photos (there are few clips throughout). But then again, clips like those are what have the biggest impact, which brings us to Food, Inc. and Earthlings. These two are probably the most well-known when it comes to documentaries exposing the truth of factory farming and human impact on animals. I think these two are best coupled, because Food, Inc. has more of a spotlight on the truths of the food industry (e.g. facts about high fructose corn syrup and GMO's), whilst Earthlings delves into the more emotional issues surrounding the roles animals play in humans' daily lives. If I'll be honest with you, Earthlings is pretty difficult to watch. It has gory and heart-breaking clips, and I honestly believe that if every person was required to watch this, we'd have a lot more vegans and vegetarians walking around. Sometimes discovering the truth isn't easy, but I do believe it is completely necessary. We as humans have a huge responsibility to this planet and the other earthlings on it, and currently I don't think we're doing such a great job. Have a different opinion? Check out these documentaries and get back to me.

These last two documentaries are what I call "come-along documentaries" in my head, and by that I mean that they're documentaries in which you follow the hosts' personal journeys. Many have probably heard of Super Size Me, since it had a lot of controversy surrounding it during its initial release. I remember in the 8th grade I signed up for this little "Superfoods and Nutrition" club organised by my english teacher. A few of our meetings consisted of us watching this movie, and I remember it having a huge impact on me. If I was asked to track back and figure out when was the moment in which my passion for nutrition developed, I'd have to say it was after finishing this movie. Fast forward a few years to me stumbling across Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead on Netflix, a fairly new vegetarian with an insatiable hunger for more information, you'd clearly be able to see that. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead follows Joe Cross on his extreme diet change. The results are hard to ignore, but I won't say much more than that - you've got to check it out for yourself (*sunshades emoji*).

SO, that's my little round-up of my favourite documentaries about the food industry. They are all a bit different, but seem to communicate the same idea: we all need to educate ourselves about the food industry, and the impacts we all have on our planet and the other creatures that share it with us. Sometimes facing the facts isn't easy, I'll admit it, but changing your lifestyle to one that makes you feel happier and healthier is absolutely amazing, and I promise you that there are more positives than negatives when it comes to realising the truths we've all done such a good job of ignoring.

Well I'll get off my soapbox now and let you have some time to check out these documentaries. Until next time, I'm sending you tons of love and positivity - toodles xoxo

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

hi, nice to meet you…again

Okay y'all, I'm not even going to do the whole "I promise I'll be much better at blogging from now on" thing, because we all know I've done that one too many times! I love blogging, don't get me wrong - it's just that a lot of things come before it for me. Blogging is more of a way for me to express myself and get my thoughts out there. Now that I have a lot of other ways to do that (like actual human interaction - SHOCKER), blogging isn't such a priority for me. But in the recent weeks I've really been missing it, for the time being you'll be hearing for me quite frequently haha

I'm currently on winter holiday from university, so with the free time not spent attending lectures, writing up practicals, revising, and all the other uni stuff, I'm looking forward to finally polishing up all the random post drafts I have saved! Not to mention that since here in the US I can't go out, I'll have quite a few free nights… not that I'm bitter or anything… *cough* the US needs to lower their drinking age *cough*

Since quite a lot has happened over the past few months, perhaps a little summary is in order?

1.) I've completed my first semester at uni and I am now anxiously awaiting my marks!
2.) I celebrated Thanksgiving away from my family for the first time, but spent it with some amazing friends and it was a really great night
3.) My birthday was at the end of November so I am now 20 years old!
4.) I have gone from vegan back to vegetarian, but there's a lot of issues and concerns floating around this for me so I'll probably do one big post about this in the near future
5.) I had my first ever, proper hang over and sweetbabyyeezus it was horrible… please, as a favour to me, always always always have dinner before a night out and drink tons of water throughout the night. Trust.
6.) I've gotten back into writing poetry and drawing, so maybe a new thing on here could be me sharing those..? We'll see haha
7.) I've made some amazing friends in Oxford and I really love my life over there
8.) I am currently in Chicago visiting my brother, but come Friday I'll be flying back to LA and ohmyword, I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to see my parents again!

Hmm, it's weird how when I was planning this post I had thought of so many things to include, but now as I sit in front of the computer most of them seem to have just vanished from my noggin! I wish I had more to list, because eight is such an annoying number to end on, jafeel?

Anyways, that's my little summary! If you wanna see some pictures to go along with this, you can check out my Instagram HERE.
Until next time, toodles xoxo

What have you been up to lately?

Monday, October 27, 2014

studying a.k.a. staring at words until they look like an alien language

Or as they call it here, "revising" - whatever you call it, I've been doing it for what feels like days. I have three tests this week so I've really been buckling down and studying. I'm pretty sure I've studied more this weekend than I have in my entire life…
And with so much studying, I definitely needed a good playlist to keep me going, which is what caused me to stumble upon this amazing playlist on Spotify:

It is such a perfect mix of instrumentals and chill vocals, but it's still energetic enough to keep me well paced! Plus it features one of my current favourite artists - Glass Animals. If you like the sort of chill house/garage/night driving vibes (there go my nonsensical music descriptions again!), then you'll definitely like their sound! Plus, they're from Oxford (insert sassy sunshade face emoji). Gooey (click here to listen) is one of their most popular songs, which I adore, but I'd also recommend checking out this sick remix - both are definitely great and can fit completely different moods.
Anyways, since I'm trying to be a good student I've been revising all day, but decided to take a quick break to share this amazing playlist with any other students out there struggling to study. Now, sadly, my break is over and it's time to learn about the wonderful Endocrine System… YAY!
Toodles for now, xoxo

How's school going for you right now? Any good study tips to share?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

across the pond

Wow. Honestly that's all I have to say right now - wow, it's been a long time since I've blogged/wow, I'm across the globe from home/wow, I absolutely love Oxford/ WOW. I've been here in Oxford for over a month now and I feel like I can finally say I feel at home here. It definitely isn't home home, but I feel like I belong here. I've made some really awesome friends, done some amazing things, and I feel like I've learnt a lot already about living away from home and being my own person.
Everyday I learn something new, whether it be in my studies, about England or about myself. I'm not going to lie - the first couple of weeks were brutal, but that's a story for another time!
Now that I know my schedule and have really settled in, I'm looking forward to blogging more and hopefully creating some material for YouTube. But for now, I just wanted to a do a quick catch-up post by sharing a few photos I've snapped throughout my first month here! I haven't busted out my actual camera here since it's quite clunky and honestly, I'm a lazy bastard and using my iPhone is easier! But I would love to get some nice shots in the city centre so maybe I can be a complete tourist this weekend and go on a little photoshoot…
Until then, I hope you like these shots:

This was taken during my first venture into the city centre. I honestly can't explain how great it felt to see all of the amazing sights after having a rough first night. A major tip I have for people moving far from home for uni is to just get out there and keep yourself active! It's okay to be sad and miss home, but don't let yourself wallow - get out there, meet people, try new things!

Fresher's Masquerade Ball - my first night out. It felt so strange being able to buy alcohol… but I ain't complaining (the sunshade emoji would be SO perfect right here!)

 I joined the Vegetarian & Vegan Society at my uni and I'm really glad I did - I've met some really great like-minded people! We alternate between meetings and socials, and this picture was taken out our first social, which was dinner at a nearby vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant and ohhhhmyyyy I'm honestly drooling just over the memory of this burger. It's safe to say that I am looking forward to our future socials!

 One word: pubs.


PUBS. I love them with a burning passion! The ones I've visited so far have all had such great vibes and everyone has been so friendly.

This was taken after a few drinks and quite a lot of dancing, so you'll have to excuse my derpiness, but hey! I had fun and that's all that matters.

And don't you worry, I have been doing my work and studying! Work hard, play hard right?

Well that's all I have for now - those are just a handful of the pictures I've taken since getting here. I'll definitely be blogging more here on out, because I'd really like to be able to look back on my time here. I can already tell that these three years are going to be beyond spectacular!

Now I have to be a responsible uni student and get to bed soon! I have a lab tomorrow so I get to play scientist, so toodles for now xoxo

P.S. If you want to keep up with me, go ahead and follow me on Instagram (link in sidebar) - I post quite frequently there and you'll see that some of these photos were originally posted on Instagram so if you follow me there you'll get the first look!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

studying internationally - top 10 things i'm most excited about

If it isn't obvious by now, I am insanely excited to start my journey as an international student in England. Everyday I find a new reason to get even more pumped about it! Even though I'm counting down the days with anticipation (as of today, I have six days left!), there are of course a few things that make me nervous, but I thought we'd keep this post positive (perhaps I'll do another post with the top 10 things making me nervous… or maybe a YouTube video? hmm…). It was pretty difficult cutting it down to just ten, because come on, I'm going half way across the world - there's a lot to be excited about!

1.) It'll be my first time being away from home for longer than two months
I spent a summer away a few years ago, but that will be nothing compared to this. I will be learning to stand on my own two feet in a way that I wouldn't learn to if I were to stay nearer to home. Although I know at times it'll be scary and some nights may be spent crying to Michael Buble's "Home" while drinking one too many bottles of cider, I also know that it will be worth it.

2.) I'll meet tons of new people from all over the world
Oxford Brookes is a very diverse university with students from countless different backgrounds. Already I have heard of students from Norway, Japan, Spain, India, Africa… the list goes on! So not only will I be meeting people from England, I'll be exposed to tons of different cultures from across the globe.

3.) Traveling throughout Europe will be cheaper and easier
I've always dreamt of making my way through Europe, and since I'll be closer it'll be immensely cheaper and easier than it would be traveling from here in California. I know that on a student's budget I won't be able to travel every break I get, but I'm hoping that with some saving up and good budgeting I'll be able to make a few trips each year!

4.) I won't need to drive anywhere!
This one may sound sort of silly, but when you've grown up in LA and have had to drive eeeeverywhere (even just for groceries), walking to a market is a welcome change. Don't even get me started on fas prices!

5.) The drinking age is 18… hallelujah
This point may sound even sillier, but coooome ooooon. The drinking age being twenty-one in the US is complete silliness. I could go on a rant for hours on end about why the drinking age should be lowered, but I'll spare you guys. To put it simply, I'm really looking forward to being able to have a drink and not worry about breaking the law.

6.) I'll be learning in a classroom setting again
I'm guessing this one sounds more dorky than silly, but I've got to be honest here - I love learning. Of course I've been learning new things throughout this past year, but sitting in a classroom and having a teacher is just something I love. I don't miss high school per say, but I definitely miss that excitement of being in a classroom with a passionate teacher. And now that I'll be focusing on subjects that interest me (or will aid in me in learning about those subjects i.e. math [math ain't fun for me]) I'm sure I'm going to fall in love with learning all over again!

7.) I'll get a chance to check out different teams and unions
I'm definitely the type that likes to try everything once, so once I heard that my school has numerous sports teams and unions, I was even more amped to get over there! So far I'm super keen on looking into their cheerleading team as well as their boxing team (my mama ain't too happy about that one). They also have so many unions (a.k.a. clubs) that I am so downskie to join!

8.) The nightlife
This one speaks for itself.

9.) Learning about living abroad
I'm not exactly sure what my life will be like years from now, but I do know that I'd like to spend a good portion of it living abroad, so getting this first taste of being an expat will be a hugely beneficial experience.

10.) The weather
One word: rain. My love for rainy days is something that is rarely satisfied her in LA, but over in Oxford I will get enough rain to make up for the nineteen years here!

Well there you go - my top 10 things i'm most excited about! I'm sure that by this time tomorrow I'll come up with at least five more, but I just can't help it!
If any of you reading are starting school, what are you most excited for? I'd love to hear about it. Let's all make this a great year of new and exciting experiences!

xoxo Aubrey

Thursday, September 4, 2014

new youtube channel

More videos are in the works, as well as many more blog posts! Keep an eye out for some exciting stuff!
xoxo aubrey

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

current obsession: in the flesh

If you know me at all, you'd know that I have a massive obsession with zombie story lines, whether it be in books or movies. Heck, I even like hearing peoples' dreams that involve zombies! I'll literally sit you down, make us both a cup of tea and listen intently to your zombie dream. I don't know exactly what it is, but I am so insanely intrigued by the concept of zombies, both the old-school "risen from the dead" zombie to the more modern "epidemic induced" zombie. Don't get me wrong, I'd probably shit my pants if a real zombie apocalypse happened, but here all cuddled up on the sofa, nothing makes me happier than a good zombie apocalypse plot.
It's been a while since I've seen a good zombie movie - the last one was World War Z about a year ago, which I really enjoyed. It's also been a while since I've found a television series that really made me feel for the characters, zombie or not, so when I stumbled upon "In the Flesh", I was extremely excited.

The series centers around Kieren, a Partially Deceased Syndrome Sufferer (PDS Sufferer a.k.a. Rotter a.k.a. Risen a.k.a. a shiz load of other terms), and his reintroduction into society. During The Rising in 2009, a huge amount of the dead were reanimated by some unseen force, released upon the world killing millions and crumbling society. During the war between the living and dead a chemical compound was discovered that could rehabilitate the portion of the brain that was working improperly, which was what caused the reanimated to become rabid and well… flesh eating zombies. A huge amount of the zombies were treated and deemed ready to be introduced back into society as PDS Sufferers, but majority of the world wasn't prepared to let these "Rotters" back into the world after so easily destroying it.

Throughout the two currently released seasons (crossing my fingers for a third), you follow the struggles that humans go through in accepting others and fighting our demons, whether dead or alive. Although this series really definitely fed my hunger for new zombie material, it also struck an emotional cord with me over the whole concept of death. It's a series that has found a very rare balance between action and gore & real world issues. Seeing the way the living treat the PDS Sufferers truly reflects how certain people treat one another today, although in the end we are all humans going through our own battles.

Even if you're not a huge zombie fan, I really think most people would find something they could relate to in the show. But who am I to say? Why don't you take a look for yourself:

What do you think about the series? Are you a In the Flesh or zombie fan as well?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

the weekend's top tunes

Alright alright alright, now that I've finally taken a break from jamming to these songs all day I have some time to share them! The vibe of music I've been into has remained the same for a few months now. I've listened to other stuff, but I tend to come back to this style of music each time. I'm not sure exactly what it'd be categorized as… maybe like chill garage? I'm probably just making shit up now haha The best thing to do at this point is to just let you hear for yourself:

Hope you enjoyed those! Until next time, toodles
xoxo, aubrey

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

in exactly one month

… I'll be on my way to Oxford, England to begin my next big adventure. Excited doesn't even begin to explain how I feel right now! It's like whenever I think about it I experience every emotion possible - excitement, nervousness, fear, hesitation, wishfulness, satisfaction, pride… the list goes on. All I know is that I feel like I've been waiting so long to do this! But all this excitement makes me even more determined to enjoy my last month home. In about two weeks I'll finish up my time at work (on the 29th to be exact) and the day after will be my "farewell get-together" with my family and friends. After that I'll have a little under two weeks to get things done and spend time with my family before the big move. I'll be leaving on the 13th in the evening to arrive in London late morning of the 14th. And then it all begins (I'm smiling with the biggest, dorkiest smile as I type this)!

Okay if I keep talking about this I'm going to have an aneurism or something because of how excited I get! Perhaps this would be a good time to play catch-up huh? There isn't much to say really - only a few things have changed here and there, and nothing really major.

- I've decorated my room more
- I've applied for my UK Visa and I've gotten my information for the flat I'll be staying in once I get to Oxford
- the wonderfulness that is Sonia Kashuk has now been welcomed to my life - truly some of the best tinted moisturizer and concealer I've ever tried
- I have decided on my next tattoo/decided I definitely want to get more work done on my first one to give it a bit more detail
- I've purchased Kayla Itsine's workout guide and I'm really loving that right now (I'll possibly do a review in the future)

I'm seriously just grasping at straws here for things worth sharing haha Nothing extremely major has happened - it's been a great few months with tons of awesome moments, but nothing I'd really see as note-worthy y'know?

Anyways I should probably try to get an early night tonight, rather than getting barely six hours of sleep like I have been lately. But before I go, you've gotta check out this song by the amazing Shannon Saunders:

It's wonderful isn't it?! I've been jamming to it 24/7!
Anywhooooo, toodles for now xoxo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

back at it (for like the gagillionth time)

Wow wow wow, it's been quite a while hasn't it? Throughout the past month (monthS..?) I've been meaning to blog - I've taken and edited pictures, planned on what I'd write, all to end up not posting any blog post! It's not that I don't like blogging, but sometimes I like reading and watching movies a lot more.

Anyways I've decided to come back to blogging, because the fact that I think about it so often goes to show how much I do enjoy it! See as it would be pretty dang difficult recounting all the notable things that have happened since I've last blogged, it seemed like a good idea to just do a more visual post chockfull of tons of pictures from my family's recent trip to Chicago. Perhaps my next post will be a quick little update on everything!

Before I bombard you with all the pictures I've just got to say that the weekend spent visiting my brother in Chicago with my family was honestly one of the best days of my life. It was so much fun and  I absolutely can not wait to visit the beautiful city of Chicago again! And I'm sure you'll see why:

Isn't it such a stunning city? I'm so looking forward to visiting again one day!

Well that's all I have for now. I've got to get ready for work, which by the way, my last day of will be the 29th of this month - it's insane that a year has passed!

I'm really excited to get back to blogging so keep your eyes open for more posts. Toodles xoxo

P.S. who would've thought that Cloud Gate was so dirty! It always looks so shiny in pictures but when you get up close and personal, it's covered in hand prints haha