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Vegan Christmas recipe: wild rice, cranberry and pecan stuffed butternut squash

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Vegan Christmas stuffed butternut squash
(Picture: Mandy Mazliah)

What will you be making for your Christmas main course this year? I always have a dilemma when it comes to deciding what will be the centrepiece of my festive table.

How to make a perfect vegan Christmas pudding

It’s got to look impressive, be packed full of festive flavours, not be so filling that I can’t manage dessert and, most importantly, taste delicious.

This wild rice, cranberry and pecan stuffed butternut squash recipe ticks all the boxes. It’s full of festive flavours, it’s satisfying without being coma inducing and most importantly – it’s vegan.

Read the full story

This pop-up is hosting Christmas dinner for care leavers

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Metro Illustrations
(Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler)

It’s tough for any child in care.

But Christmas can be that much harder for care leavers who’ve recently left the system and can find themselves isolated.

Now, The Christmas Dinner pop-up aims to provide a Christmas Day dinner for care leavers aged 16 to 25 on Christmas Day.

Given that many care leavers are away from family, are sofa surfing or on the streets on their own at Christmas, it can often be a dreaded day.

However, the project says it won’t be any longer: ‘We will put on a scrumptious Christmas meal and create a magical day to remember.’

The organisation is the brainchild of Lemn Sissay… Read the full story

Hate Christmas? Not as much as this Siberian husky

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GRRR-INCH! MOODY HUSKY LOOKS FED-UP IN SERIES OF WINTERY PHOTOS
Nope (Picture: Caters News)

Christmas isn’t for everyone.

Of course, there are those who don’t celebrate for religious or cultural reasons, but there are also those who hate it because they’re just plain miserable.

Parties? Advent calendars? Christmas cards? ‘Not for me thanks, pal!’ some of you cry.

If you’re in that category, you’d get on well with this grumpy Siberian husky, who – judging by these images – hates Christmas more than a trip to the vets.

Anuko is owned by 20-year-old human Jasmine Milton, who adopted his grumpy little soul when he was just… Read the full story

Women are having sex out of politeness and that’s got to stop

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couple in bed
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

In my late teens I went over for supper with a middle aged couple I didn’t know well. 

She made a curry.

It was far, far too spicy for me (I have the palate of a Caucasian five year old). Every bite I took hurt my mouth more, but I didn’t want to be rude. So I didn’t say anything. And I ate it. She probably had yogurt in the fridge. I could have just eaten the rice. There were easy fixes on this issue, but I still didn’t say anything. Because I didn’t want to be rude.

After the curry we went upstairs and had… Read the full story

Fancy a vibrator that throbs to the beat of Christmas music?

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(Picture: Crescendo, Getty)

Fancy orgasming to the likes of Jingle Bells or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer this Christmas?

Of course you do.

Thanks to the aptly-named Crescendo vibrator, it’s now an option.

And in the run-up between wrapping your presents and attending yet another ghastly Christmas market, you could say we need it more than ever.

In time for the festive season, you can add your own Christmas tunes to your playlist through the MysteryApp.

The toy features six separate motors and can bend and shape to stimulate different parts of your body so both men and women can benefit.

Let’s just say you’ll be getting more out of your… Read the full story

A five-year-old starred in his first nativity play and rang a bell to celebrate the end of chemotherapy

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A five-year-old cancer patient who was too sick to go to school has starred in his first primary school nativity play - a week before celebrating the end of his chemotherapy
(Picture: Mercury Press)

A five-year-old cancer patient who was too sick to go to school has starred in his first primary school nativity play.

And it was a big moment for schoolboy George Woodall, who played a shepherd a week before celebrating the end of his chemotherapy.

The five-year-old’s mother, Vicki Woodall, cried tears of joy as he took to the stage alongside his classmates.

It’s a milestone his parents didn’t dare to imagine a few months ago as George has only been… Read the full story

We’re All Mad Here: Claire Eastham talks panic attacks, social anxiety and her blog on mental health podcast Mentally Yours

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‘Honestly I think I was probably born with it. I was a nervous, overly sensitive child.

‘At secondary school it started coming out more because you’re expected to behave in a way that’s deemed normal rather than what feels natural to you, such as stand up and share your work with the class.’

Claire Eastham talked to us about social anxiety and panic attacks on the latest episode of Metro.co.uk’s mental health podcast Mentally Yours.

The author founded mental health blog We’re All Mad Here and has written We’re All Mad Here: The No-Nonsense Guide To Living With Social Anxiety.

She said: ‘I had my first panic attack when I was 25, and it’s because I’d been suppressing my anxiety all my life, it finally came out in a very physical, aggressive way.

‘I actually went in for a (job) interview and it felt like this wave came over me and I couldn’t breathe, my heart… Read the full story

I’ve got a kitten, not a baby, so where’s my (pet)ernity leave?

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Chessington(Picture: Miranda Larbi)

This weekend, my boyfriend and I brought home our new baby.

She is beautiful, happy, adorable.

But she does love crying at night. God, does she cry. Tiny little whimpers which send one of us out of bed to check up on her in the next room, riddled with guilt at prioritising sleep over her happiness.

At 4am on Sunday morning after putting up with her jumping on my face for a good few hours, I finally locked her in the living room and put in a set of earplugs.

To teach me a lesson, she hid for the next eight hours, prompting me to recruit a search party to come… Read the full story

What’s it like being permanently aroused?

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metro illustrations

Getting regular orgasms may seem like a blessing.

While it isn’t the goal of sex, it’s definitely an added bonus.

But for people with persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD), having regular orgasms is a never-ending nightmare.

A report defines PGAD as a ‘persistent sensations of genital arousal in the absence of sexual stimulation or emotion, which are considered unwanted and cause the patient at least moderate distress’.

Considering that masturbation and orgasms offer no relief to those with PGAD and those affected can feel genitally aroused even without being subjectively sexually excited, it’s unsurprising that women – and men – affected by this condition describe carrying a lot of shame.

This is particularly exacerbated by incorrect assumptions and wrong diagnoses from many healthcare professionals that those with PGAD are either sex addicts or have hypersexuality.

So what differentiates it from hypersexuality?

Crucially, PGAD is not relieved by orgasms and can continue for hours, days and even… Read the full story

Did your uni make the list of the top 10 hipster universities in the UK?

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Closeup of hipster male student reading a book in a hallway. Sitting next to a window and listening to mp3 music. He has fully grown beard and mustache and wearing red cap indoors. Tilt shot, low angle view.
He probably goes to Manchester Met (Picture: Getty)

Back when I was choosing a uni, a large part of my decision making process rested on how hot the people in the uni prospectuses were.

Apparently, other students looked at league tables and such.

These days, if recent research by Liberty Living is to be believed, prospective students are more interested in how cool a university is than how its students fared at their degrees.

The study of 3,000 students… Read the full story

What is Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? Condition explained as Keith Chegwin dies from IPF

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(Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Famed broadcaster and actor Keith Chegwin has died aged 60 after a battle with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a condition of the lungs.

His family have said that Mr. Chegwin endured a ‘long-term battle with a progressive lung condition’ which ‘rapidly worsened towards the end of this year.’

Man sleeps as woman in underwear looks onWe need to break the system where women feel obliged to have sex out of politeness

What is IPF?

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is a condition in which the lungs become scarred making breathing increasingly difficult.

The cause of IPF is unknown but rarely effects people under… Read the full story

Why are so many babies conceived at Christmas?

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metro illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

The most popular year to be born is September. 

You know what’s nine months before September?

Christmas.

So you really wouldn’t have to be a genius to work out that more people are getting pregnant at Christmas than at any other time of the year.

But why?

The answer is, a mixture of reasons. First and foremost, you can’t discount the basic logistics of Christmas. People have time off – which might sound flippant but it’s very hard to get pregnant if you’re too busy to have sex.

Additionally, Christmas is the season for parties, which means drinking, which means fewer inhibitions, more sex and less concern for contraception. We’re… Read the full story

What it’s like to be depressed at Christmas

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How it feels to be depressed at Christmas (Lucy Dimbylow)
(Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

Christmas is, without a doubt, my favourite time of year.

I love everything about it: candlelight carol services, twinkling decorations, good food, time with friends and family.

But, over the past few years, the sparkle and shimmer of the festive season has been no match for the darkness in my own mind.

Depression is a beast whenever it strikes, but there’s something particularly awful about being depressed at Christmas.

This time of year is supposed to be fun, but how can you celebrate when you feel like you’re dying inside?

How are you meant to be enthusiastic about your… Read the full story

We took DNA tests to see if we were born Marmite lovers and it made us question our life choices

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Get in my belly (Photo by: Newscast/UIG via Getty Images)

Let’s get this straight – I love Marmite.

I love it so damn much. I always have a jar on standby, I eat it straight from the jar when I’m craving salt, and one year the only thing I requested for Christmas was a limited edition jar of gold Marmite.

So when the Marmite Gene Project launched, claiming that your genes decide whether you’re a lover or a hater, and announcing that they were selling DNA kits, I was all ears.

Marmite’s researchers discovered that there are certain genes which mean you’re predisposed to loving or hating the yeast extract,… Read the full story

Here’s a round up of all the birthday freebies you can get

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(Picture: Getty)

What’s better than your birthday? Birthday freebies of course.

Luckily for us, Vouchercloud have done the hard work by giving us a roundup of all the treats the high street can offer.

But you won’t be able to just rock up and expect to get beauty treats and free food.

You’ll have to sign up to newsletters or loyalty schemes or notify restaurants and pubs in advance.

Oh, and you’ll have to show them some proof that it’s *actually* your birthday too.

So if you’re prepared to deal with an overflowing inbox until the big day, then by all means add yourself to every mailing list going.

Here’s the roundup of all the… Read the full story

London’s getting a three day vegan Christmas market, so deck the freakin’ halls

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Hackney Downs vegan market
Hackney Downs vegan market (Picture: Andy Donohue)

I’ve never really been a fan of Christmas markets, probably because by the time I was of the age to go to them of my own accord, I’d already opted out of eating animals and there wasn’t much for me to eat there.

I’m a big fan of eating and hate getting FOMO so this always made me sad.

Luckily, vegan markets are becoming the norm, with blogger Fat Gay Vegan first dipping his plant-based trotters in the market water last year when he organised a vegan Christmas market at Hackney Downs Studios in east London, which was so popular that 5,000… Read the full story

Why you should add a safari holiday at Gondwana Game Reserve to your bucket list

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I loved going to the zoo as a child. Getting to see all the different animals in front of you, not just on the pages of an illustrated children’s book, is really exciting for a kid.

On early trips to safari parks in the UK, I got a taste of how those animals actually lived outside of cages.

Now is the perfect time to visit South Africa’s Stellenbosch for good food, great wines and a slice of culture

But it wasn’t until I went on my first safari about four years ago – a solo trip to Durban on the east coast of South Africa – that I truly understood how these animals lived in the wild.

This year, I took my mother on her first safari and, as we discovered together, the experience is a lot more fun as part of a family.

Why Gondwana Game Reserve

Read the full story

What you need to know about còsagach, Scotland’s snug rival for hygge

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(Picture: Daniella Birtley/metro.co.uk)

Toss out all your books on the Hygge Scandi lifestyle. Hygge is over. Well, in name, if not in concept.

The hot new lifestyle trend is còsagach, an old Gaelic word for feeling snug, sheltered, and warm.

According to VisitScotland, còsagach will be huge in 2018. They argue that the best way to achieve true còsagach is to head to Scotland, but, well, they probably would say that. They are trying to get people to visit Scotland, after all.

VisitScotland’s trend report said: ‘Scotland is a country where còsagach can be achieved in all seasons, but it’s winter when it comes into its own.

A handy guide to… Read the full story

How orphans cope at Christmas

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How to cope at Xmas if you're an orphan
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Christmas: scenes of steaming hot plates and families uncorking brandy, sharing platters of chocolates and having a fight over the remote.

But what happens if your parents have died?

This time of year can be particularly difficult for people. Seeing everyone else having a merry old time with their family can be a constant reminder of loss.

Alex James from Bereavement UK tells Metro.co.uk that celebrations such as Christmas can be particularly tough because of memories evoked by music, carols, weather and cheery people wishing each other a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year.

‘These can all play a part in feeling isolated and… Read the full story

Meet the woman covering the world in clitoris street art

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clitoris street art radiant sunshine
(Picture: Instagram/Clitorosity)

If you’ve ever been out in the world, you’ve seen a doodle of a penis.

They’re everywhere. Sprayed on walls. Scrawled on to your notebook when you’re not paying attention. Scribbled on tables.

The minute you draw a stick-like shaft and two little circles on one end, everyone knows you’re drawing a penis – and it’s rare that anyone would bat an eye. Drawing a dick is so commonplace that you don’t need to draw any detail. A few quick strokes of a pen and everyone understands that you’ve drawn a penis – and that is an entirely normal thing to draw.

Where’s the same artistic love for… Read the full story

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