6 Household Items That May Not Be Vegan

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying 2019!

It has been awhile since I have written a blog and have some big things coming up in the following year.  For today, I wanted to kick off my blogging year with some information about daily use items (and some food) that may not be vegan.

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Sometimes I think the most difficult part of going vegan isn’t the food but is switching out all of the items in your home that contain animal products.

Here are just a few of our every day items that may contain animal products:

Razors: most razors have a lubricating strip above the blade that contains lanolin or glycerin (lanolin is a wool byproduct that comes from sheep while glycerin can also be derived from animals. I prefer to use Preserve Razors. They are vegan and are made from recycled yogurt cups. 

Lipstick: red lipstick often contains cochineal, which is made from crushed beetles. Tallow, which is made from rendering animal fat, is also found in many cosmetics. The animals used to make tallow come from sources such as labs, slaughterhouses, zoos and even roadkill! I try to find vegan lipsticks from Beauty Counter, Arbonne, or Elf Cosmetics.

White sugar: the refining process for white sugar often comes from bone char, a granular material from animal ashes.

Beer: beer and wine both can contain Isinglass, a chemical found in fish bladders. It is best to buy products that say “vegan” on the label.

Supplements/medication/vitamins: be careful to read the ingredients on these items. They often contain dairy and gelatin.

Nail polish: nail polish often contains guanine, which is made from ground-up fish scales. It is also found in cleaning products, fragrances, hair conditioners and skin care products.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS.

Also, please make sure to contact me if you need any help with the transition process ❤

How Going Vegan Has Improved My Health

Hello everyone,
Happy Wellness Wednesday!
I just realized today that it has been almost two years since I went vegan. Honestly, it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here are some of the health transformations that I have had since making the switch:
 
I healed from Lyme disease.
 
I no longer need to take thyroid medication (which I had been on for almost 17 years!).
 
My skin has improved greatly.
 
My bloating has decreased and my digestion has improved.
 
My asthma is gone.
 
I have a ton of energy!
 
My joints no longer hurt.
 
My periods are no longer debilitating.
 
I look forward to cooking (before I went vegan I couldn’t even boil water!) and love that I have found passion in my life!
 
There is absolutely no turning back!!! I cannot wait to see what my vegan future holds…
Have you had any health transformations since going vegan?  
I would love to hear them!
Or are you ready to make the vegan transition for your health?  I am here to help you anytime you are ready!

Is it Possible to get Protein Without Eating Meat?

I always knew that I loved animals and never, ever wanted to eat them.  However, being a personal trainer, I often worried about not getting enough protein as a vegan. I would go a few months without eating meat and then someone would ask me, “But where do you get your protein?!”  I would let my mind convince me that I was dying from a protein deficiency and would start eating chicken again.

Because eating meat did not align with my morals, I finally took time to do some research and I found that it IS absolutely possible to get protein without eating meat!  And two years later, I am still feeling great and will never go back to eating animal protein again.IG image 1.png

Here is the good news!  Every food that we eat (minus oils) contains protein, so if you are eating enough calories you will absolutely get enough protein.  And protein from plants doesn’t contain all of that yucky stuff that meat does: no saturated fat, no cholesterol, no hormones that increase IGF-1.  Plus, plant protein contains fiber (something that meat doesn’t contain at all) and isn’t inflammatory!  In addition, plant protein doesn’t increase your chances of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, or kidney issues like meat does.  It’s an all around WIN!!!!!

Unknown-3.jpeg***This guy doesn’t have to worry about protein…and all he eats is PLANTS!!!!!

So, how much protein does a person need?  The recommendation for adults is 0.4 grams of protein per pound of healthy body weight.  It is absolutely easy to satisfy this need with a plant based diet.  Simply make sure to eat enough calories and to load up on whole plant based foods.  In addition, here are some foods that contain more protein than their plant based friends:

*Black beans: 7.6 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Garbanzo beans: 7.5 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Kidney beans: 8.1 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Lentils: 8.9 grams of protein (per 1/2 cup cooked)

*Seitan: 22.5 grams of protein (3 ounces)

*Tofu: 10-20 grams of protein (firm usually contains more protein but varies from brand                 to brand)

*Peanuts: 8.6 grams of protein (1/4 cup)

*Almonds: 7.3 grams of protein (1/4 cup)

*Quinoa: 4.0 grams of protein (1/2 cup cooked)

*Potato: 4.5 grams of protein (1 baked)

*Peas: 4.5 grams of protein (1/2 cup)

PLANT PROTEIN

Above are some of my favorite sources.

Other sources include edamame, nuts and seeds, nut milks, plant based protein powders, whole grains and vegetables.

I hope that helps a bit and shows you that it IS absolutely possible and beneficial to get protein without eating meat.

For even more information, I recommend reading Proteinaholic by Garth Davis, M.D.  It is also available on audio book and is absolutely GAME CHANGING!

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Have a great day and I would love to hear from you!!!

What is your favorite plant based source for protein??? Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

Why I Went Vegan and My Tribute to Jake

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far!

I have been in kind of a funk lately, and I realized it was because I was coming up on an anniversary of one of the worst days of my life.  Two years ago yesterday, I lost my best friend and fur baby, Jake.  Jake was the most incredible dog I have ever known and was part of our family for 11 years.  Not only was he part of our family, but was basically a child to us (since we don’t have human babies).  He was there when I woke up, went on every trip with us, spent the entire day by my side and snuggled against my stomach all night long.  Jake was never grumpy and was always filled with unconditional love, compassion and the energy of a puppy (until his last week on this planet).

Jake became ill in September 2016.  We had noticed a small lump on his paw, which we were praying was just an infection.  Unfortunately, after many round of antibiotics, it didn’t go away and testing came back positive for cancer.  We ended up amputating his toe to try to stop the spread and were initially successful.  All of the margins were clean, and his blood work and X-rays were impeccable.  We had many long months of bandage changes and keeping him calm, but were optimistic about the future.

Right after Thanksgiving, Jake developed a cough that wouldn’t go away.  We finally took him into the vet one late Monday night and were praying that maybe it was a cold or even whooping cough.  When the vet came back in with the X-ray results, she just said, “You guys, I am so sorry.” Jake’s lungs were completely filled with cancer and there was truly nothing we could do.  She said it could be weeks, months or even years but she really didn’t know how long he would make it.  Jake was gone by the following Sunday.

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What I didn’t realize at the time, was that losing Jake would transform the rest of my life. Not only because this was my first real experience with death, but also because he helped me discover my true passion: saving animals and helping people.  You see, when I watched Jake suffer and take his last breath, I realized that I never, ever wanted to contribute to another animal’s suffering for as long as I live.  I also realized at that moment that ALL animals want to be loved, feel fear and want life.  There is no difference between a dog, chicken, cow, pig, sheep, fish, cat, horse, donkey, etc.  So why would I fight so badly for one while paying someone to torture and kill another?!  At that moment I became VEGAN and later discovered animal activism.

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I will miss Jake every day for the rest of my life, but I am so grateful for the lessons that he taught me.  It’s amazing how one, little, 30 pound dog can change your life forever <3. Thank you buddy!

 

Let’s Talk About Dairy

Hello everyone,

I hope that you had a wonderful ThanksLIVING!  We had a wonderful holiday and I am trying to get myself back in gear 🙂

Today I wanted to discuss something that is near and dear to my heart, and it’s also something that most people do not know about.  This subject is dairy!

I was vegetarian for years and often ate cheese, whey, ice cream, yogurt, and cottage cheese, all while thinking that I wasn’t contributing to any animals being harmed or killed.  Unfortunately, I was completely wrong.

The dairy industry does a fantastic job at hiding the truth and telling us that it is perfectly okay to be consuming milk from another species.  In fact, we need it for “strong bones” and “it does a body good”.

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*Look at these happy cows, surrounded by family, living in green pastures.

Let me give you a quick summary of what actually happens in order for humans to drink cow (or goat) milk.  First, how do you think a cow produces milk?  Just like other animals, she needs to be pregnant!  The farmer will artificially inseminate a female cow on a device that is often referred to as a “rape rack”.  She will be pregnant for 9 months, just like a human, and will give birth to her baby.  As soon as the baby is born, he or she will be ripped away from their mom (they don’t want the babies drinking OUR milk) and the mom will cry in agony for days.  If the baby is a boy, he will be killed for veal.  If the baby is a girl, she will be raised as a dairy cow.  All dairy cows will be considered “spent” at about 4-5 years old and will be killed for beef.

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In addition to the animal cruelty, the dairy industry has done an incredible job of hiding the harmful effects of dairy on our health.  Dairy has been linked to certain cancers (including breast and prostate), is full of saturated fat, cholesterol and contains PUS.  It has also been linked to asthma, acne, type 2 diabetes, bloating, constipation, and osteoporosis (you read that right!  Because milk is so acidic, it actually depletes calcium from our bones!!!).  Dairy definitely does NOT do a body good!

So next time you are at the grocery store, instead of reaching for dairy milk, just walk over 5 steps and try some plant based options instead.  No animals had to be killed for them, they are better for your health and they are delicious!

For even more information on dairy, please watch Dairy is Scary or What the Dairy Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

Also, please know that I am always here for you if you have questions about making the transition ❤

The Easiest Vegan and Gluten Free Dessert Recipe

Hello everyone,

We are just days away from Thanksgiving and you may still be wondering what amazing, vegan dessert you can bring to your holiday meal.  Well, look no further!  This recipe is incredibly easy to make, involves no baking, and is gluten free.

*This recipe has been modified a bit.  The original is from Fresh Creations.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Cheesecakes (12 servings)

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Raw Pecans
  • 1 cup Medjool Dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

 

  • 1 cup Cashews (soaked in hot water for 1 hour)
  • 1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree (BPA free can preferred)
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice

Directions:

  1. Soak the cashews for one hour and soak the dates for 10 minutes.
  2. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap or liners.
  3. Make the crust in a food processor: blend the pecans until ground, then add the soft dates (without the pits), and sea salt.  Pulse well until combined.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the muffin tin and press down until crust is formed.  The crust is really sticky and it helps if you use your fingers to press it down.
  5. Place tin in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the filling.  In a high speed blender, blend all of the ingredients for the filling until smooth and creamy.
  7. Remove tin from the freezer and pour the filling over the pecan crust.
  8. Freeze the cheesecakes for about 3-4 hours, or until firm.
  9. Let them thaw for a few minutes before eating.
  10. Enjoy!

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