Vegan on the Go

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Sometimes, when you are on the go or in a hurry, veganism is not the most convenient diet. It is hard enough to find vegan options in a restaurant, let alone a fast food place. There is always the option of ordering a salad without meat or cheese, but in my experience, a good percentage of the time you will be thoroughly ignored and receive the salad with no alterations whatsoever. Then there are some who may consider just an order of french fries. However, many fast food restaurants fry these in meat greases. Also, french fries are not very nutritious or filling. Even the veggie burgers that are served by Burger King contain egg ingredients.

The struggle to find vegan options from fast food restaurants can be a blessing and a curse. It does prevent you from eating poorly when you could be eating something a little better for you. However, sometimes a quick bite of food is necessary. So, after years of irritation, I have finally found an option that has worked for me, and it is my hope that it can work for all of you other vegans out there as well. 

When I need a cheap morsel of food in a hurry, I will occasionally go to Taco Bell. For merely two dollars you can get a delicious and moderately healthy little meal! On their menu they offer a very yummy black bean burrito. It does come with cheese on it, but you can ask them to exclude that part. (I have yet to get one that still had cheese as I have with salads.) I also ask them to add guacamole, which is a wonderful replacement. 

Mexican fast food can be a delightful option for vegans trying to get a quick meal. There are only Taco Bell’s near my hometown, but I am sure any such fast food restaurant would have similar options. I hope that this can help some of you out. Now instead of greasy fries or a limp, unappetizing fast food salad, you can get a delicious, nutritious bean burrito!

Enjoy, my vegan darlings. ❤ 

Take Yourself on a Date

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A year or so ago, I read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The purpose of this book is to help you to get in touch with your creative side and become a better writer/artist/musician etc. While I am not sure if I have really gained any ground with my creativity, many exercises from this book have helped me to find peace and comfort from myself. One particular exercise is a weekly self-date. I don’t often find the time for this every week, but when I do it is always extremely uplifting and rejuvenating. 

It can be hard to get up and go do something by yourself, at least it is for me. However, learning to love the time you spend with yourself can be very beneficial. Get to know yourself. Make yourself feel special by going and doing something just for your own pleasure. I can honestly say, the first date I took myself on was the best date I have ever been on. I generally go somewhere out in nature, because that is where I would enjoy being taken on a date, but you can take yourself shopping or even to a concert. Maybe there is a restaurant that you have always wanted to try out.

One of the most wonderful parts of these self-dates for me is that I always seem to find something wonderful. On the first few, I stumbled upon beautiful chunks of glass and a snail shell. (I have always loved snails.) On the more recent one, I took myself to a gorgeous field near my gym to pick some flowers to press as a decoration for my apartment. In the middle of the path, I found the charming little yellow and white daisy you see in my hand. It was the only one like that that I saw all day. These silly little things always make me feel like I am headed in the right direction.

It is important to know that you can have wonderful experiences even if you are all alone. Spending time with yourself is a wonderful treat that everyone should find the time for every now and again. So take yourself on a date, my friend. Let me know how it goes and follow my blog for more positivity and veganism.

Stay peaceful, little dears. ❤   

Gardein Fishless Filet Review

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I am not sure if this is a new product or if my little backward, country hick town has just now gotten it in our grocery stores. However, my sister and I seriously had a shameless victory dance in the freezer isle of our super market when we saw this. We pretty much made a scene we were so excited.

One of the hardest parts of veganism for me has been giving up all the different and delicious different types of seafood. Up until now, there wasn’t really any replacement for this type of meat. I had come across a few recipes online for fishy vegan meals, but only one seemed easy enough for me to try and I was not very impressed with the results. I feel like these frozen fish-less filets are a glorious blessing from the universe to thank me and all other vegans for our endeavors. 

These are somewhat more expensive than the things I usually allow myself to buy, but after trying some, I would say that they are well worth it for an occasional treat. They only take 20 minutes to bake. They are also extremely thick, crispy, and tender when finished. The taste is not exactly like fish, but it is pretty darn close. The glorious texture seems to make up for the slight difference in flavor. They are also relatively low-calorie at 180 calories for two pieces (which is more than enough to fill you up.)

Overall, I give this product a big thumbs up. I would also like to profusely thank the fine people of Gardein for gracing the vegan populace with this fish-less delight. If you haven’t tried this yet, go get some! and let me know what you thought of it in the comments below or give me a follow for more vegan posts.

Stay peaceful, lovelies. 

Cows are My Friends

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I went to a local fair today to pay a visit to the sweet babies that are in those hot barns all day. I am not entirely sure if it is very vegan to have anything to do with a fair, but nonetheless, I can never stay away. I feel that it is the least that I can do to go give those darling animals a few moments of kindness before they are sold off to slaughter. 

It is so wonderful to meet those timid little souls and offer them affection, sympathy, and kindness. I met so many wonderful angels today, but I must say, the cows truly stole my heart this year. They were so sweet and grateful for the attention and caresses I gave them. Some were so fluffy and soft. I looked into their dark, intelligent eyes, and it broke my heart that their lives should be so wasted. Why is a cow so different from a horse or even a dog?

I saw the people happily petting the goats and the piglets and being so enthralled with these animals. I just don’t understand why so few people are making the connection. It is time to wake up and realize that though we would like to believe these animals are happy and our friends while still going home to a steak dinner, that isn’t reality. These animals a beautiful and innocent. I know that everyone can see that. Well, they are dying and suffering because of us. We have the power to change that. All animals are precious. I don’t want to have to know that all of the precious souls I met today are going to die for a dinner. Most people can’t argue that if they were to be the one to kill the animal they wouldn’t be able to do so. There is a reason for that.

Listen to your heart, go vegan. ❤

Part-time Jobs

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I know that I haven’t been posting a lot lately, but that is because I have been working. And I must say, I absolutely love my part-time job! Now, I can not speak for the rest of you, but to me, this seems hard to believe. Most of the part-time jobs I have acquired so far in life have been considerably awful. I was treated badly by customers and managers alike. I would be scheduled for long hours despite my requests for less and would never get a break unless it was required by law, and the company felt that they would be penalized if they did not give me one.

However, I have recently been employed at a somewhat small, family owned chain of grocery stores in the Ohio and West Virginia area called Riesbeck’s. Here, I am treated with the utmost kindness and consideration by my co-workers, managers, and costumers. Riesbeck’s pays their employees more than the law required minimum wage, gives raises every 6 months, and is even generous enough to give their workers a paid 15-min. break for every two hours of work. they even pay you $1.50 extra per hour when you work on Sunday. They always have enough people scheduled each day to make sure that everything can run smoothly and efficiently. I am never overwhelmed by my the tasks required of me, my requests for days off or more/less hours are always respected, and sometimes you even receive a token from a manager if you are performing especially well, which is good for a free drink or even lunch on Riesbeck’s!

For the first time in my life, I do not dread going to work. I do not feel drained and miserable after coming home. I feel happy. Some days going to work has even improved my mood! In my eyes, this is nothing short of incredible. Riesbeck’s does charge a bit more than other stores for it’s products, but that hasn’t affected their huge success throughout the years. They even have a wide variety of organic and vegan foods available, more than any other store in the area!

After having worked for Riesbeck’s for the past few weeks, I am alarmed and appalled at the conditions and wages that workers of other companies receive. Knowing that Riesbeck’s treats and pays it’s workers so well and still receives enough profit to make their family quite wealthy makes me disgusted in the amount of money companies such as Walmart must be raking in at the expense of their own employees and customers. They have no excuse for paying such low wages and providing such poor and impersonal service.

I never used to think much of it. I figured that they were just a business and they were being efficient in order to make the most money as possible. But now I realize just how much money they must be making. No one needs so much. The CEOs of these large companies must be gluttonous monsters to think nothing of the very people who work for and support their stores. 

I am so thankful to Riesbeck’s for helping me to gain this new perspective and giving me the most fulfilling job I have had thus far in life. I will not be supporting Walmart again any time soon. I would highly recommend trying to work for a smaller family owned business instead of a major corporation. They may actually be down to earth enough to treat you like a human being instead of just another digit in their bank account.

I hope that any of you reading this that happen to be near one of the following Riesbeck’s locations will consider spending a little more to support such a wonderful company:

  • Barnsville, OH
  • Bellaire, OH
  • Bridgeport, OH
  • Cambridge, OH
  • New Concord, OH
  • Shadyside, OH
  • South Zanesville,OH
  • Zanesville,OH
  • St. Clairsville,OH
  • Toronto, OH
  • Wintersville, OH
  • Woodsfield, OH
  • Elm Grove, WV
  • Follansbee, WV

Let me know what your part-time job experiences have been like or if their is a wholesome family owned business in your area that you would like to give some praise. 

Support local businesses & Stay peaceful, my sweets. ❤

Veganism is Not Expensive or Limiting

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Many people do not consider veganism an option because of their socio-economic standing or their desire for variety in their diets. Well, I have just returned home from doing my grocery shopping for the upcoming week, and just look at all of the wonderful treats I bought! In case you cannot see clearly enough in the picture I will list them for you:

  1. 2 cartons of blueberries
  2. 1 carton of strawberries
  3. Tofurky kielbasa
  4. Earth Balance vegan butter
  5. Popcorn with sea salt
  6. Grilled chik’n patties
  7. Apple crisps
  8. Frozen lima beans
  9. Fruit puree (which I mentioned in my post about vegan snacks)
  10. Croissants 
  11. Vegan riblets
  12. Granola cereal

Better yet, all of these items only cost me $23! Granted, I managed to find some incredible deals this week at my local grocery store, but if you are flexible with what you buy from week to week, it is always possible to save just as much money. I never spend more than $25 a week on groceries. So, there is no need to feel intimidated by veganism. You can do it! ^_^ Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go inhale some vegan noms.

Stay peaceful, my darlings. 

Advertisements

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I have always been repulsed by most advertisements. They are almost insulting the way they pander to the most feeble minded individuals. I have come to realize that they do this because that is the majority of the population. How depressing that was to figure out. To make things worse, these advertisements are particularly insulting and infuriating to vegans. 

I am so fed up with fast food restaurants putting attractive, skinny little girls in their commercials. It makes my blood boil. Are men really that easy to fool? *Subliminal Message* Sexy women will want you if you eat this disgusting greasy poison food! Really? Not only do women not want a man who is overweight, unhealthy, and irresponsible (which is pretty likely if you are eating such horrid foods), those women are certainly not eating such junk! I think it is about time that this is put under the category of false advertising. 

Not only is this type of advertisement downright ridiculous, it is also very offensive to women and animal rights activists everywhere! There is nothing “sexy” about the torture, confinement, and murder of millions of animals. What makes it worse is that they are killing these animals only to create further harm to all that consume these products. The people that create, participate in, and enjoy these commercials disgust me. 

The latest Arby’s commercial is not much better. They may not degrade women, but they do strongly promote the idea that meat is “manly”. There is absolutely nothing tough or alluring about sentencing innocent, peaceful creatures to death for your own unhealthy pleasures. It is sickening. This only solidifies the idea in the minds of men that Veganism is for women and weaklings. And I am pretty damn tired of there being so many less men who would even consider Veganism for this idiotic reason. A real man would be kind to those that are weaker than him. A real man is secure enough in his own masculinity to know that what you eat doesn’t define you. A real man protects the innocent. He doesn’t exploit them. 

Sorry about the rant. Stay peaceful, my loves.

 

5 Affordable Vegan Snack Options

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Hello there! I have been feeling awfully lazy lately, but I fought through it today to share with you some ideas for vegan snacking options that are affordable, low-calorie, and healthy! Sometimes when first getting into the swing of a vegan lifestyle, snacking can be a problem. Most of the usual “healthy” snack options have something to do with dairy, such as string cheese or yogurt. However, I have compiled a few of my favorite things to munch on when I am on the go or don’t have time to prepare anything elaborate. I hope that these can help you out!

  1. Granola bars – Be careful to make sure they are vegan as some types and brands are not.
  2. Baby food (Fruit Puree) – These are so yummy and extremely good for you. They can even be purchased in a convenient pouch, which makes them an easy on-the-go snack!
  3. Lara bars – These are a great snack that are very dense and filling.
  4. Popcorn – I pop mine myself on the stove then just add salt. You could do the same or use microwave non-butter or kettle corn instead.
  5. Wasabi Peas – These may not be for everyone. They can be somewhat more pricey than other snacks and they are also quite spicy.

These yummy morsels have always worked for me. I hope that I have provided you with a few ideas that you had not previously considered. Let me know what you think and what your favorite vegan snacks are in the comments below! I will try to combat my overwhelming apathy in order to post something better tomorrow.

Have a peaceful day, everyone.

Helpful Vegan Handout

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If you are vegan, then I am sure you are tired of the idiotic questions we are asked on a daily basis by family, friends, and even strangers. Granted, some are questions that I had myself before reading more about the lifestyle and experiencing it for myself. Nonetheless, they are extremely annoying and tiresome to have to go over countless times with people who seem to think their “clever” questions will show you that you need meat or other animal products in your diet. It is quite frustrating, so I wanted this post to be  a quick Q&A sheet that you may hand out to the non-vegans in your life so you will no longer have to deal with that hum of irritating questions. Here we go.

1. Q: Where do you get your protein? 

A: As the chart below shows, vegans and vegetarians have no problem with protein. In fact you may want to worry a little bit more about if you are getting enough protein. Oh, and also did you know that cooking meat cuts the amount of protein your body can use from it in half? Yeah. Seems like vegans are getting more protein now, doesn’t it?

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2. Q: Where do you get your calcium?

A: There are plenty of vegan calcium options. The foods listed in the image below along with many other sources provide more calcium for far less calories. And once again, if you are worried about the strength of our bones, maybe you should be more concerned about your own. Dairy products aren’t natural, so our bodies struggle to digest them, hence why there are so many people who are lactose intolerant. In order for our bodies to break these things down they must use the calcium we already have in our bodies. In the end, we have less calcium then before we drank that milk. I guess vegans get more calcium than meat-eaters too.

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3.  Q: Humans are omnivores though, right?

A: In fact, no. No, we are not. The oh, so common childish excuse that we have canine teeth isn’t going to cut it anymore. Despite the fact that this doesn’t matter because even if we were it wouldn’t justify us massacring and torturing others species with no physical need, are canines are actually meant for protection. They are far different than the canines of carnivores and omnivores. If you tried to bite into the hide of a cow, (surprise, surprise) you would not be able to. Not only that, other parts of our bodies say otherwise as well. The structure of our jaws, facial muscles, and intestines do not match those of omnivores either.  We are classified as frugivores. This means we are meant to eat fruits, vegetables, and nuts as the chart below demonstrates. Try arguing with those facts. (I’m sure you will.)

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4. Q: Why not just be vegetarian?

A: Well, apart from all of the other evidence that we are not intended to eat any type of animal product and they are detrimental to our health, vegetarianism just doesn’t cut it. It is nice to think you are saving animals by not devouring their flesh, but contributing to the dairy industry is just as cruel. Cows and chickens experience unimaginable suffering for their milk and eggs. In order to acquire a cows milk, a farm must get rid of its intended recipient, the baby cow. This is a horribly painful experience for the new mother and her child and happens countless times within the cows lifespan before she too is killed for her meat. As for chickens, they are packed into tiny cages sometimes with multiple chickens in one cage. They have their claws and beaks clipped off so that they cannot peck one another to death in response to such close conditions. Even in “free-range” farms, chickens are only given up to three feet of space each. And once again, once a chicken can no longer lay eggs, it will be killed. We must protect animals from not only their demise, but their torture and abuse as well.

5. Q: How do you go out to restaurants?

A: It’s easy. If you are lucky, there may be vegan restaurant options in the area. If not, there is always something on the menu that is vegan or can be made vegan, even if it has to be a salad. If eating a fancy, high-calorie meal that will last 20min. is more important to you than the entire life of another being, then you may have some issues. Self-control is an important part of life, get used to it.

6. Q: How are you helping the environment?

A: The meat and dairy industry is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock are also responsible for 64% of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and the acidification of ecosystems. Factory farming also is responsible for the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, “dead” zones in coastal areas, the degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, the emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. Also, the need for pasture and feed-crop land is resulting in more and more deforestation. 70% of previously forested land in the Amazon is now occupied by pastures. This is an unreasonable amount of harm being caused to our environment by something that is so unnecessary for our health or survival and is even detrimental to both. Veganism could also aid in ending world hunger as less farm animals would allow large amounts of grain to be used to feed the starving people of the world.

 “[T]hose who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests.…[W]hen non-vegetarians say that ‘human problems come first’ I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.” — Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, 1990

7. Q: What if you are an athlete?

A: Veganism does not hinder your physical abilities in any way. In fact, veganism has helped improve the performance of many professional athletes and bodybuilders. The man in the photo below is vegan. He won the German log lift title for the fourth time in a row in 2012, and set a keg lift world record (115kg). He took the European Powerlifting title in Finland, and set a world record for fronthold by holding a 20kg weight for 86 seconds. A vegan diet has also helped ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek do better than he ever had previously in his 100-mile races, soaring above and beyond his competitors. If you are an athlete, maybe you should do yourself a favor.

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8. Q: But what about bacon?

A: Such an infuriating question. What about it? There are endless vegan versions of bacon that are just as delicious. You can buy them or you can even make them yourself. Also, bacon is horrible for you. I recommend developing some sense of self-control instead of killing pigs so that you can kill yourself for one moment of flavor.

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9. Q: Isn’t being vegan expensive?

A: It certainly doesn’t have to be. There are many pricey vegan alternative food options on the market, but they are not a staple for most vegans. All you need to do is buy fruits, vegetables, pastas, tofu, and grains. Once you figure our some recipes and what you need to have around the house, it can be even more affordable than a non-vegan diet. Milk and “fresh” meats are raising in price. Save yourself some money. Go vegan!

10. Q: Isn’t being vegan inconvenient? 

A: It can seem that way at first if you are in an area without many vegan outlets. However, once you get used to it, not at all. Knowing what you can and can’t eat becomes second-nature. You become exposed to the many others options there are around you besides meat and dairy, and trust me, there are a lot.

 

Well, I hope this will help all of you out there to better understand veganism and why it is the right choice for the animals, the planet, and your body. I also hope it can aid my fellow vegans in answering these mind-numbing questions again and again. So read up and pass it on! And don’t froget to stay peaceful. ❤

5 Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle

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Unlike many people out there. I have no interest in guilting anyone into becoming a vegan. I do not want anyone to feel like they are an awful person for eating meat, because not so long ago, I was one of those people. It can be extremely hard to break away from the norms of our society. It is even harder when you feel like to do so you have to admit you have been committing evil and shameful acts. So don’t look at it that way. We all make mistakes, and the meat and dairy industries are working hard every day to make sure that consuming animal products is one of them. Instead of focusing on the abuse and the pain and all the years you have been a part of it, focus on all of the positive aspects of veganism! Your body deserves to receive the nourishment it was meant to have. Be kind to yourself! Allow me to show you the benefits of veganism instead of just the consequences of carnism.

1. Weight Loss: Veganism is a wonderful and healthy way to shed those extra pounds. A lot of people try vegetarianism as a way of accomplishing this, but as one of the many people who have tried that and failed, I can tell you that veganism actually does work! A vegetarian diet leaves most people suddenly replacing the meat in their diets with more bread, pasta, pastries, and cheese. This may even cause you to gain weight. However, veganism forces you to center your diet around fruits and vegetables. It is awfully hard to be unhealthy and vegan. Even high calorie vegan meals are better for your body and are less likely to be turned into fat. Unlike calories from meat and dairy, which cannot be burnt up without exercise, plant based calories can be used immediately and efficiently by your body. When you eat the things your body needs, you will gravitate towards the weight nature intended without really trying.

2. No Food Hangovers: You know that feeling you have right after eating a decadent meal at a restaurant or after a holiday meal? You almost just want to lay down and die. Well, thanks to a vegan diet, I no longer have to suffer through that. I can eat as much as I want during a meal, yet I still feel wonderful afterwards. I don’t feel heavy or bloated at all! It is such a relief to know that horrible “too full” feeling is in the past.

3. Quicker Food Prep: One of the benefits of veganism that never even crossed my mind is how much easier cooking is. I am not a chef by any means, but I assume many of you are, so this may be a bigger plus for you than it is for me. I would always remember waiting for, what seemed like an eternity, for my mother to finish cooking dinner each night. Now that I use imitation meat or tofu for most of my dishes, I no longer have to wait nearly as long! While meat needs to be cooked thoroughly until it is safe, imitation meat/tofu only needs to be cooked until it is warm, which takes much less time. I am the first one to eat at any barbecue!

4. New Foods: Making the transition to a vegan diet closes the door to many classic food options. However, it also opens many doors to new, exciting, and foreign foods as well. The best part is, these new dishes are healthy as well as delicious! Many of my favorite foods were not discovered until I became vegan. There is not a single day that I miss meat or dairy. Also, veganism allows you to appreciate more fully the simple foods that you used to take for granted. I have never loved broccoli, bananas, and apples more. Fruits are as they should be to me now, a delicious delight.

5. Overall Health: By far the best part of veganism is the health aspect. I have never felt better in all of my life. I have more energy than I ever have. I am able to do more at the gym. Even my thoughts are more clear and organized in my mind. Vegans life longer and are less likely to develop problems such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. These are some of the biggest health problems in America today. This generation also eats more meat and dairy products than previous generations. This is not a coincidence people. Don’t destroy your body. It is the vessel that will carry your consciousness through your whole life. Be kind to it. Take care of yourself. The best part is, doing so will allow you to care for all those innocent animals as well.

So there you have it! Five of the best benefits of becoming vegan. Those aren’t the only ones either! Leave a comment and tell me one of your favorite parts of becoming vegan. I would love to hear what you have to say!

Stay peaceful, loves.