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 to Eat Out as a Vegan

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

Since the weekend is approaching, I thought that it would be a great time to discuss how to eat out as a vegan.  Honestly, this was something that I was hesitant about when I first made the transition, but we have found it easier (and more fun!) than ever!

First, because I have readers in many different parts of the world, I would recommend downloading the App “Happy Cow” on your phone (you can also pull up their website).  This is a fabulous resource; all you have to do is type in your zip code, and it will tell you all of the vegan restaurants in your area.

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Second, I highly recommend studying the menu of the restaurant you will be visiting before you go.  Most places have vegan menus or vegan options.  However, you can also look at the ingredients in meals and stay away from eggs, meat, dairy, cream, gelatin, honey, fish, whey, chicken stock, bone broth, etc.  If you have a difficult time choosing something, don’t be afraid to ask your server for help.  You may need to explain what “vegan” is to them, but they should be happy to offer suggestions.  If you get really stuck, stick to the basics like a salad or baked potato (no butter).

Some of our favorite places to dine in or pick up food from are:

*Rubios (nothing like a veggie burrito or veggie bowl.  Stay away from the chipotle cream sauce though)

*Chipotle (we love their Sofritas!  Add those to a burrito or a veggie bowl.  Do not add cheese or sour cream)

*Veggie Grill (enough said!)

*On the Border (ask your host/hostess for the “vegan” menu)

*Sushi Lounge (we have found that sushi is incredibly easy to make vegan.  You can order all kinds of vegetable rolls, sushi rice, miso soup, edamame)

*California Homemades (this is for all of my local friends.  They offer a full vegan menu)

*Jimbos (order all kinds of vegan sandwiches and sides from their deli menu daily.  They also have an enormous, salad bar and smoothies)

*Craft and Taco (this is also for my local friends.  They offer a vegan taco menu)

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If all else fails, stick with bean burritos at Mexican restaurants, pasta and marinara at Italian restaurants and veggie stir fry at Chinese restaurants.

I hope that helps a little!  Please contact me if you need more assistance.  Also, I would love to hear from you.  Where are your favorite, vegan options for dining or taking out?

 

 

Other Names for “Dairy”

Did you know that there are other sources of dairy than just cheese and milk?!

I think that one of the hardest parts about transitioning to a vegan diet is that dairy is found in so many foods.  In addition, dairy isn’t always labeled as that.  It can be referred to by many other names.

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Let’s start with the basics.  Dairy from cows or goats (yes, goats!) is used to make cheese, ice cream, whey, yogurt, Greek yogurt, milk, ghee, cream cheese, cottage cheese, butter, milk chocolate, kefir, and creamer.  It can also be found in processed foods such as crackers, candies, vitamins and medication.

One of the best ways to check to see if a food is dairy free is to read the ingredient list.  Stay away from the list above as well as the following: casein, lactose, galactose, rennet, quark, lactate, cream, nisin preparation, recaldent, natural flavors.

The best way to avoid dairy all together is to stick to a whole food plant based diet and to avoid packaged foods.  You can also look for the “Vegan” label when buying packaged items.

I hope that helps a little bit. If you need even more help transitioning to a dairy free life, please read the following blog posts: How to Make “Cheese” without the Dairy and It’s easy to give up dairy with these awesome alternatives!  Also, feel free to contact me anytime!

 

Let’s Talk About Supplements

One of the first things you often hear as an argument against going vegan is that “vegans have to take too many supplements.”  I find this interesting considering that grocery stores are full of vitamins, protein shakes and other supplements that are marketed to non vegan customers.  One can absolutely get almost all of the nutrients that he or she needs on a whole food plant based diet.

However, let’s discuss some supplements that may be beneficial to include in your daily routine (these supplements are important for vegan and pre vegans as well).

Some vegans may argue against this one, but I think that everyone should be taking B12.  B12  comes from a bacteria found in our soil but because our soil is so depleted these days, we are not getting enough of it.  In addition, most of us wash the soil off of our fruits and veggies so the amount ingested is so small. Some would argue that you could not wash your produce and also not brush your teeth for awhile (ewwwww!) and you could get an adequate amount of B12.  I think I would rather take a supplement :).

Quick note about how omnivores get B12: did you know that animals are often given B12 supplements during their “production”.  So, people who are eating meat are also getting B12 through a supplement.  It is just secondary through the animal’s flesh.

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(Image found on Google)

Other supplements that are commonly deficient in plant based diets, according to Dr. Fuhrman in Super Immunity, are Zinc, Iodine, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

I recommend getting a blood test to see if you have any deficiencies.  In addition, I love the Chronometer App and website.  It allows you to track your nutrition throughout the day and will tell you what nutrients you are missing from your diet.

For extra insurance I take a multi vitamin created by one of the most influential plant based doctors. **I do not sell this vitamin or get paid to endorse it.  Please check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.

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I hope that helps.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions about supplementation.  I always love to hear from you ❤

What do vegans eat?!

You have decided that you are ready to go vegan, you’ve found your “why”, you have studied all of the benefits, but now you are wondering…..what do vegans eat????

The short answer is that vegans eat everything that non vegans eat!  They just happen to do so without including animal products of any kind 🙂

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Let me explain with a little bit longer of an answer…..

A vegan diet is one that doesn’t consist of any animal products: meat, dairy, eggs, fish or honey.  And depending on your “why”, you may eat differently than other vegans.  If your reason for going vegan is strictly for the animals, then you may go the vegan junk food route in which there is literally a vegan version of everything: vegan sausage, vegan ice cream, vegan burgers, vegan pizza, vegan fish, vegan chicken nuggets, so and on and so on.  However, if are transitioning to a vegan diet for health reasons, then you may stick with a whole food plant based version: vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains.

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For fun, imagine going grocery shopping.  All you have to do is avoid animal products.  What’s left?  Everything else! And the options are endless: fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, potatoes, herbs, tofu, seitan, tempeh, rice, plant based milks, plant based ice creams, vegan meats, vegan cheese, nuts and seeds……

To show you how easy it can be, let me take you through a typical day of eating for me:

Breakfast: oatmeal with fruit, hemp seeds and a green tea

Lunch:  a giant salad with lettuce, red cabbage, peas, sauerkraut, cucumber, tofu, pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, avocado, and miso/lemon dressing

(you absolutely don’t have to eat salads, but I enjoy them!)

Snack: a giant smoothie (which will sometimes include a plant based protein powder)

Dinner: pasta, vegan sausage, veggies and marinara sauce, chickpea salad sandwich, potato soup, Mac and cheese or a baked sweet potato

Dessert: if I have dessert it’ll often be fruit or “nice cream”

The trick to switching to a vegan diet is to not complicate things and to try to make it fun!  This should be something that you are excited and are empowered to try.  And if you get stuck, there are tons of resources on the Internet.  Go to Pinterest and type in “vegan” __________________ (pizza, Mac and cheese, sausage, burger, etc).  You will find a recipe for anything that your heart desires.

Best of luck and please remember that I am always here for you if you have any questions or if you need support ❤ 

 

 

It’s easy to give up dairy with these awesome alternatives!

Have you ever thought about giving up dairy but just don’t know how you will live without ice cream or cheese?!  With these awesome alternatives, you don’t have to.  Here are just some of my favorite, plant based alternatives to make the dairy free transition an easy one.

Cheese:  There is a vast array of vegan cheeses on the market!  We have tried many and found that Violife is the most like dairy cheese.  It tastes extremely similar and melts just like the real thing.  We use it on pizza and even in grilled cheese.  Unfortunately, it can be a bit tricky to find, but Whole Foods just launched it in their stores, nationwide.  You can also visit Violife’s website to see where it is sold near you.

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Some of my vegan friends also love the brands: Chao, Kite Hill, Myoko’s and Follow Your Heart.

In addition, we have found that it is truly easy to make your own “cheese” at home.  Here is our absolute favorite, dairy free Mac and Cheese recipe from Vegan Yumminess.

Ice Cream:  Confession time: now that I am vegan, I eat a lot more ice cream than I used to 🙂 I am amazed by how creamy and delicious some of the plant based ice creams are.  My personal favorite is Nada Moo but my husband loves So Delicious (cashew milk).

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There are many dairy free brands on the market now and you can even find them at places like Target and Walmart.

If you want to try to make your own at home, you could try making “Nice Cream”.  There are thousands of recipes on Pinterest and Youtube and it is incredibly simple: blend some frozen bananas with a little plant based milk, add a bit of vanilla and you’ll have a healthy dessert.  Here are 10 nice cream recipes from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Mayonnaise and Butter:   Here are our favorite alternatives for dairy based mayonnaise and butter.  You will be amazed at how these two taste like the real deal!  My favorite mayo is Follow Your Heart Vegenaise and our butter of choice is from Earth Balance.  Earth Balance also makes sticks of butter for baking.

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The dairy free life is taking off in the markets and there are many other alternatives for plant based milks, yogurts, creamers, pizzas….you name it!!  You just have to be open to possibilities and keep trying until you find one that works best for you.

Have you tired any of these dairy free alternatives?  Please comment below with your favorites!

 

***Please remember that any dairy free alternative is going to be better than the real deal.  Dairy contains hormones, saturated fat, cholesterol and PUS…not to mention how they treat the animals (for a review, click here).  Also, please keep in mind that a whole foods plant based diet is better for our health than using alternatives; however, these are great as a treat or during the transition period 🙂