2017, baby! Happy New Year!
Usually I don’t waste my time with resolutions. The concept of a day, an hour, a minute or a second suddenly making myself become a different, better person sounded pretty ridiculous. Things like stopping drinking fizzy drinks happened to me over time, and every year I promise myself I’ll get back to my pre-university weight, or point at an Instagram babe and say “THAT’LL BE ME BY SUMMER”. Hasn’t happened yet. Still waiting.
But if I’m honest, there are things that I have told myself I wanted to do or start doing, and a new year is a perfect reason or motivation as any to get my shit together. I started making a list during a cab ride home of goals for the year, which kind of turned out to be my resolutions list. It’s pretty much ‘be better at everything’. On it.
1. Take more time with Pretty Hungry & Instagram
You might have guessed this one already after giving my blog a face lift. I love doing it, so why not actually spend more time on it? And I mean quality time, instead of forcing in pictures of things that don’t look that great, editing photos whilst watching Netflix and typing up posts with half my eyes shut in bed without reading them through.
It still blows me away that I won Best Food Blog at Cosmopolitan UK Blog Awards, and if I can do that with something I’m not fully happy with, I hope I can go on to do even more great things. Always learn, always grow.
2. Grow Breakfast London further
I started up Breakfast London whilst I was in University. It began as an Instagram page, but quickly grew into a website and became an actual company (yes it’s great to see ‘Director/CEO – Bianca Bridges’ on super cool and official documents). After graduating in the Summer, I decided to not go into a graduate job but to continue my passion for breakfast and see how it grows. I’ve got so many plans for it, and 2017 is about launching many of these initiatives and seeing plans through.
Okay. So. When I was 17, I passed my theory test first time (Ming didn’t first time, so obviously I was pretty smug). The smugness didn’t last long, since I failed my practical four times. Four. FOUR. My anxiety would get so bad and my legs would shake so much that it once actually fell off the pedal. London’s not such a great place to learn to drive, since I was stuck in traffic most of the time, and I only ever visited the different test centres once before the test. My theory then expired, since it only lasts two years.
I took it again in November and passed (if you’re learning to drive, the DVSA Theory Test Kit App is a GODSEND). I’m determined to finally pass this year. Maybe I’ll take one of those week courses. Watch this space.
4. Start new projects
There’s exciting things currently in the works, and ideas that are still completely raw. This year is all about delegating my time and getting things moving. I’m so eager to share news about projects I’ve been slaving away at, and hopefully it’ll happen sooner than later! New opportunities also pop up all the time, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this year brings.
5. Cook more
I received my Level 2 + 3 Food Safety and Hygiene this year, so you can trust me when you come round for dinner. Even though a lot of my time is spent working away in the kitchen, there’s so much on my ‘To Make’ list, so many dinners I want to throw, and so many things I want to experiment with. I’m excited to put more and more recipes on the blog for you to try at home, since there are a few real winners that I’m dying to share!
6. Take better care of my skin + body
I don’t wash my face. Maybe I’ll wash it with water in the shower, but I never use soap, scrub, toner, anything. I also hardly ever moisturise, unless I’m about to put makeup on. I know, bad bad bad. I’m going to get a proper skin routine going, so I’ll stop being lazy and actually learn to take care of myself. How am I going to be a MILF one day otherwise?
I’ve also been eating a lot of crap. My diet is mostly vegan, and people think that means healthy. Wrong. Chips, crisps, bread, chocolate, cake, cookies, burgers, doughnuts, nuggets. Oh yeah. Things aren’t all what they seem. I am good a lot of the time and I do exercise which prevents me from being a hundred kilos, but when I indulge, there’s no stopping me. During the 11 day cruise we took this year, I put on eight kilos. EIGHT. WHO DOES THAT. Get these fruits and vegetables in my temple.
7. Get my fitness levels back up
It’s so cold outside. There’s nothing I want to do more than cuddle Pickles (my puppy, I don’t sit around all day stroking a jar) with the fire blazing and scrolling through Deliveroo (I’ll probably order some Lebanese food). Yes, I go through good weeks and bad weeks. But I feel so amazing when I get my fitness levels up, and I want to feel that good all the time, even when it means going to the gym when it’s raining.
I also do lots of different classes in London. I’ve been asked before about what exercise I do and the classes I go to, so I’m going to start writing about my favourite ones!
8. Read more
I’d like to think I’ve come to love reading books, from the days where Archie Comics and Calvin and Hobbes were the only things I’d pick up. There are a few books on my shelf that I want to read, and I should probably do it before the year is over. Making time to read is important (so I’ve been told), and maybe I should watch a little less Kardashians and maybe look at a page instead of a screen. Time to find my Kindle charger.
9. Do more charity work
Ming and I started up a project called The Bridges Manor in 2015. We organised events in support of Destiny Rescue, an incredible charity that rescues and protects children from sexual exploitation and slavery. It was a great way to meet strong, like-minded women in London, taking part in events that would grow our minds and bodies instead of just boozing, such as a yoga brunch, self-defence class, chess masterclass and even a high intensity workout session.
Not only were the events so much fun, but we raised enough money to rescue, protect and empower two young women, which was absolutely phenomenal. I donate to various charities on a frequent basis, but I want to do more, whether that’s starting these events back up or doing something similar.
10. Hello, vegan!
This is the one that I’ve been the most excited about. I used to be the world’s biggest meat eater – every pizza would be a Meat Lovers, and steak with eggs for breakfast was not unusual. I’d considered being vegetarian when I was younger (I didn’t know veganism even existed), but my love for fried chicken was too powerful. Ming went vegan for a little bit, and I made fun of her. I made fun of vegetarians, because obviously they were all weirdos. What is life without bacon on my pancakes? Little did I know, I’d become the person I never wanted to be.
We went on holiday to Bali about three years ago, and I accidentally had a vegan diet for a week without even noticing. To me, I was just eating delicious food, so I didn’t think about the word ‘vegan’ much. I didn’t realise how good I would feel. I felt so light and full of energy. I’d never felt like this before! It was amazing, but I went back to London and my diet of cheeseburgers resumed. I never forgot how great I felt though.
Then I watched ‘Cowspiracy’ on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, do. It’s about how meat agriculture is destroying the planet through greenhouse gases, destroying rainforests, water shortages, even world hunger. And environmental organisations don’t say not to eat meat because meat organisations fund them. It’s all a huge conspiracy. ONE SINGLE BURGER IS TWO MONTHS WORTH OF SHOWER WATER. WHAT.
This led to more and more research. I’d grown up seeing meat as food because that’s how society has shaped it. I’d kind of separated animals and meat that I eat in my head. I felt sick every time I ate meat after that, so there was just no point forcing myself to for the sake of it.
As a food blogger, things were difficult. First I cut out all meat except fish, then 2016 I went full vegetarian. I’d be mostly vegan anyway (partly because of the amount of research I did into the dairy and egg industry, and partly because I found out how bloated and crappy dairy makes me feel. The light, energetic feeling became normal and everything else became crap), apart from in awkward social situations (like weddings) and for food reviews.
But this is it. No more sacrificing things just for reviews, which I understand is going to make things a little more difficult, but I’d love to start writing about amazing vegan options at all kinds of restaurants. I don’t even think about it as vegan food. As a food blogger, I’d never make myself eat crap food. I only eat delicious things, and they just happen to be cruelty-free and good for the world. What’s wrong with that? And if I’m at an event with no food like that, I guess I’m just on the cocktails. Oh nooo, what a shame…