Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I'm at Angelica Kitchen! Delicious! We also got a salad, pickle plate, and parfait.



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Limegreen vegan home and body products

I was wandering around Chelsea Market the other day, and found a great new brand in the Artists and Fleas space over on the 10th ave side of the Market!

Limegreen offers "completely natural vegan products" that smell amazing and are made in Brooklyn! You know I'm not into perfumey stuff, but I do enjoy natural fragrances from essential oils and the like, and these are made from "unrefined, certified organic, raw, wild harvested and steam distilled ingredients, such as Coconut, Olive, Castor, Sweet Almond oils, Soy Wax and Alcohol Free Witch Hazel Distillate. We seek the ‘Best’ ingredients and look to support local business."

I also like that a lot of their products are double or triple duty- for example the BAR you can use for washing face and body and hair, which makes traveling so much simpler, as well as the shower ledge. The OIL moisturizes hair and skin, and also removes makeup! The MASSAGE CANDLE smells amazing and as they melt they turn into massage oil! I've really been into candles lately, I think because it's winter and dark and candles make the space seem cozy and also smell nice.  I was thinking this is a great gift on so many levels, don't be surprised if you know me and you get one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Wannabegan Cookbook

I really have my pulse on the Wannabegan cookbook market, considering that I don't cook at all. I like to fantasize that one day I will make all my meals from scratch myself!

Anyway, this yoga lady, Tara Stiles, that my yoga friend is a big fan of just put her own cookbook, called the "Make your own rules diet." Make your own rules?!? ? That sounds like a Wannabegan plan to me!   Actually I think this is more than just a cookbook, there is some talk about meditation and yoga too, it's so nice that this book is a holistic approach to FEELING GOOD. I want to be that energetic green juice drinking, meditating, yogaing, positive change inducing beauty that Tara Stiles is.

Friday, October 24, 2014

More Chloe!

I have a crush on vegan chef  Chloe Coscarelli (see previous post here), even though I haven't actually made any of her recipes yet!  I just think she's so gracious, I love her message, and obvi she's super cute.  So I was really excited when I saw her make a guest appearance on another blog I follow, Marie Forleo!

Marie focuses on inspiring entrepreneurs, and she interviewed Chloe about how she built career.  In the process, Chloe talks about her own wannabegan approach to food! "It's my goal to show people that hey, this food is actually good, and it can make you feel satisfied, and it's not something that you have to commit to 100% of the time if you're interested in it so I like to think of it not as an all or nothing, you're either an extreme vegan or nothing, I like to think that you can eat vegan once in a while... and maybe you start to like it!"

Check out her vegan recipes online, or go out and get one of her cookbooks!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Italian Apple Cake WANT

This post is entirely lifted from a newsletter email of this vegan chef I am fond of, Chloe Coscarelli, who is promoting her new vegan cookbook, Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen. I don't cook but if you make the recipe, let me know how it is, or even better invite me over for a slice! 
You know how every family or household has “the cake”? Well, this is the cake in my New York City apartment. In advance of any birthday or snowy day, my roommates will ask, “Are you making the cake?” We’re all obsessed with it. Everyone has her own copy of the recipe and makes it frequently. I have no doubt that if you try this cake once, it will become the cake in your house, too. If you’re feeling adventurous, try replacing one of the apples with a pear!
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick, but the apples will release moisture as they bake.
Arrange some of the apples in a circular pattern to cover most of the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Then gently fold in the remaining apples into the batter. Spoon the batter into the pan, being careful not to disrupt the apple pattern on the bottom. Use a spatula or your fingertips to pat it evenly into the pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set and the cake is lightly browned on top. Rotate the cake halfway through baking time.
Once cooled, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and gently unmold so that the apple design is on top. Peel off the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour*
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Powdered sugar for serving
*For a gluten-free alternative, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum (page 257 from Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Some Links

Some links of things I've been reading on the web:

Laika Magazine, http://www.laikamagazine.com/
"... You could say it’s a quarterly vegan lifestyle magazine. Or you could say it is simply a clear assertion that a full, vibrant, exciting, interesting and satisfying life can be had — without ever having to inflict harm on another. This is not a hypothetical notion. This is the reality. And LAIKA MAGAZINE is a reflection of this undeniable reality. It is the place where compassion and innovation intersect. Ground-breaking thinkers and doers, visionary fashion and beauty, inventive food, transformative travel experiences, stories of courageous activists and the animals they defend — are all told with uncompromising dedication and presented in a visually dynamic way. It is new and yet also familiar… familiar, because it shows what we’ve known about ourselves all along: our capacity for kindness is infinite. Thank you for being a part of this journey."
Vegan Chau, http://www.veganchao.com/
So cute, Asian, and lives here in NY!  I feel like she's my cooler-than-me kid sister. She not only talks food, but also beauty, fashion, and overall lifestyle!  I have her new posts emailed to me automatically.
"I started my vegan adventure on November 8, 2006, when I was about to turn 18 and my mother couldn’t force me to eat injustice any longer. That night was one of the most memorable of my life… since there was almost nothing to eat in my fridge! Since then, I have vowed not to go hungry and stock my fridge with plenty of veg-friendly options. Mom helps out now too!"
Vegan Fast Food Restaurant Options, http://urbantastebuds.com/43-vegan-chain-restaurant-menus-every-vegan-needs-know/ 
I'm not a huge fan of fast food, but sometimes when you're hongray you just feel desperate and that's where this list could come in handy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Breaking news (to me, maybe not you):

There is a book called VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good and it sounds like Wannabegan plan if I've ever heard one!

I love the author, Mark Bittman (he's the NY Times guru), and there is an accompanying cookbook for this VB6 plan too - The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night that I would totally buy if I ever cooked.  (I peeled at ate some grapefruit this week, does that count?)

I'm happy that one of the major culinary influencers of our generation is talking about going vegan to a mainstream audience (actually, let's say an affluent, educated, yuppie audience, that's my impression of NYTimes readers). My hope that is people will open their minds a bit, dabble in a few vegan meals here and there, notice how good they feel, and then gradually transition to a predominately vegan diet.

PS while we are talking about books, I'm reading Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, super fascinating and a little scary when you think about what these big food corporations are doing to us.

I just downloaded the ebook from the NYPL, crazy easy and FREE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Freelee's #1 tip for switching to a vegan lifestyle

I've recently gotten hooked on Freelee the Banana Girl (YouTube high-carb raw vegan advocate). She's probably the most extreme kind of vegan I've ever heard of, high carb raw vegan, or sometimes called 80/10/10, you basically eat a ton of raw fruit and vegetables.  There's a whole clique of raw vegan vloggers on YouTube, I'll post a list of my favorites some time.   I have to admit, all of the high carb raw vegan YouTube people are in such amazing shape, so high energy, and they talk about how their health, watching their videos is great motivation!

Anyway, in this video Freelee answers a ton of questions from her Facebook fans, and one that came up was "What is your #1 tip for switching to a vegan lifestyle?"

Anyway! Freelee talks about educating yourself about why you should go vegan. Here are the links in her video description (I suspect some of these may be graphic, I personally don't watch these kinds of videos):

Earthlings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys
5 reasons to avoid eggs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTfvdypnAgg
5 reasons to avoid milk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9hh-Npc50
What's really in your burger? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD0RTBtl0Pc

Also, she says find a community or start one. Let me know if you have your own tips in the comments!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I learned a new word: Zoonotic

I love monkeys! I really do! I also believe that as cute and funny and mesmerizing as they are, they should never be kept as pets. Why? Well, it's bad for people, and it's bad for the monkeys.  One of the many problems is Zoonotic Disease. immy Kimmel explains it here, joking that Joey and Chandler from "Friends" are dead because, "Marcel the monkey bit them and gave them monkey rabies, and they died."

I real life, it's NO JOKE.  The woman who was attacked by a "pet" chimp in 2009 not only had her face and hands mauled off, she contracted an infection from the monkey which caused her to GO BLIND.

You can help prevent horrible accidents like this: Protect Primates and People from Dangerous and Inhumane Trade

I'm at Blockheads Burritos! "We can make anything vegan!" Sauce, beans, vegan cheese, soy sour cream all vegan!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Vegan Drinks!

The Next NYC Vegan Drinks!

Thursday, August 28, 2014. 7pm-10pm.
Benefits Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
Food By Miss Rachel's Pantry
21+. At Fontana's Bar
105 Eldridge Street, Lower East Side, NYC [Map]

Questions? Email Info@Vegandrinks.Org.

Sign Up For The Vegan Drinks Email List!

This post shamelessly lifted from vegandrinks.org, via Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary newsletter

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sharing is Caring!

A generous friend in my improv class shared raw vegan white cheddar flavor kale chips with all of us, nom nom nom! Soooo delish (also addictive)! Thanks Rob!

PLUS, he also shared a tip: The restaurant he works at, Blockheads Burritos, has a vegan burrito!  I LOVE Mexican food! I just checked their website and they do it with Tofu ``Sour Cream`` and Vegan Cheese.   They have locations all over the city, and it's now on my list of things to check out! I will get one and report back here.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Saturday June 28 is Vegan Pizza Day

So says Facebook and PETA.  And as much as I realize this is a made-up holiday (aren't they all?), it reminded me of the frozen vegan pizza binge I went on a few weeks (months?) ago.

I bought every frozen vegan pizza in the store to do a taste comparison! I meant to post a detailed illustrated comparison of each one (I think I bought 5 different ones, I don't remember all of them and I don't know where the photos went), but I overcooked several of them (our oven has a replacement knob and the temperature numbers on the knob don't reflect the actual temperature, so I had to keep tweaking it up and down) and regardless I ended up just gobbling them all down and then lounging around, as pizza eating often induces.  Here are my hazy, time delayed notes:

The first thing I realized was that just because a pizza is using non-dairy cheese, it DOESN'T mean it is vegan!  Some of those frozen pizzas were implied they were vegan, even though they were not.  Amy's Soy Cheese pizza "Contains wheat, soy and milk protein" so be aware!  Amy's Vegan Margherita Pizza is vegan though, and I recall it being pretty good.

Another one was Daiya's Cheeze Lover's Pizza, and that was pretty good too (sorry it's so vague, it was a while ago).  I think I had two different varieties of Daiya frozen pizza.  Daiya seems to be the gold standard of vegan cheese, and I hear people gush about it all the time but my mother-in-law (who doesn't do dairy) prefers some other kind, I'll have to ask her to remind me what it is.

The Tofurky ones were OK, it's been too long for me to remember specifics, sorry. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm writing this post because I don't eat dairy frozen pizza normally.  BUT I DO EAT HOT FRESH LOCAL PIZZERIA PIZZA! Which brings me to....

My top pick: Go to Two Boots (so many locations now! Even outside of NY!) and get a V for Vegan pizza, which is "Daiya non-dairy cheese with artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, red onions and criss-cross of basil and red pepper pestos."  There's a Two Boots in my neighborhood and when I want a pizza fix, that is my go-to place! If you prefer delivery, they don't list it on their website, but the V for Vegan pizza shows up when you order via Seamless. That's one of the reasons why New Yorkers live in New York, right? So we can make a few clicks online and a hot vegan pizza shows up at our door.

PS since we're on the topic of pizza which naturally leads to cheese, I found a BuzzFeed called 14 Vegan Cheeses That Will Make You Forget About The Real Thing. It's mostly recipes so don't hold your breath waiting for me to make one and tell you how it is, but if you want one leave me a comment and tell me about it!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


BREAKING NEWS: Harvard University Experts have confirmed that one of their library books is bound in human skin.

Creepy? YES! Is it creepy that tons of other everyday objects are made out of dead animal skin? YES!!!!

Sometimes when I look at a purse or a leather chair or something, I just get weirded out, especially when it is extra-leathery-textured, or it looks like you can see what part of the animal it came from.  It's weird to think about my skin up against corpse skin.  It blows my mind that companies continue to market leather as a "luxury" item, when really it's just archaic.  People made stuff out of leather hundreds of years ago because there was nothing else around, today it is a luxury to have alternatives! The worst is car manufacturers who put leather seats in their cars because it gets super hot when you parke in the sun, and then even after the car cools off you get sweaty and stick to the seat... EW EW EW EW EEEWWWWW!!  Same goes for airline seats.

Take a dead animal, soak its skin in super toxic chemicals, and then put it as close to your body as possible. Or carry your belongings around in it. Or wrap your feet up in it.  What a weird world.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Some Recreational Reading, Sci Fi Edition

Photo via http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/

My husband I were talking about extra-terrestrial intelligence, and I wondered aloud why we put so much effort into looking as far as human and technologically possible for signs of intelligent life, while we hesitate to acknowledge that the animals we share the Earth with are intelligent and sensitive creatures.  I have actually had conversations with philosophy professors about whether or not my dog has feelings (duh! PS it's been proven)!   
Anyway, I have often heard joke, "If G_d didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?" Well, here's a fictional account of an alien discussion about.... us!  My husband read it a long time ago and thought it was appropriate to the topic, it could explain why we have get to get a response from any of the signals we've been sending out into the universe.  
"They're made out of meat."
"Meat. They're made out of meat."
"There's no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."
"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?"
"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."
"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."
"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."
"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."
"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they're made out of meat."
"Maybe they're like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."
"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take long. Do you have any idea what's the life span of meat?"
"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."
"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."
"No brain?"
"Oh, there's a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat! That's what I've been trying to tell you."
"So ... what does the thinking?"
"You're not understanding, are you? You're refusing to deal with what I'm telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat."
"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"
"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal!  Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?"
"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."
"Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."
"Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?"
"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual."
"We're supposed to talk to meat."
"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.' That sort of thing."
"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"
"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."
"I thought you just told me they used radio."
"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."
"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"
"Officially or unofficially?"
"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."
"I was hoping you would say that."
"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"
"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say? 'Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"
"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."
"So we just pretend there's no one home in the Universe."
"That's it."
"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You're sure they won't remember?"
"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."
"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."
"And we marked the entire sector unoccupied."
"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"
"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."
"They always come around."
"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone ..."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Delta gets a "B"

Just got back from a cross country trip flying Delta, and I have to say, I was somewhat impressed with Delta.  It's not like vegan wonderland in the air or anything, but I definitely felt like they made some effort to accommodate vegans.

First of all, the best thing about Delta is those Biscoff Cookies.  I wrote about the Biscoff spread before, so I assumed the cookies are vegan, and their website confirms, "Does Biscoff contain any animal products? Original Biscoff Cookies and Biscoff Spread are both vegan and do not contain any animal products." (Their "Biscoff with Chocolate is not vegan and contains milk," but they don't serve those on the plane.) I like it when when they come out and say the V-word, vegan, instead of just saying "No eggs or dairy" and then you wonder is there something else I should be concerned about?

In regards to other food available, there was really only one option on their menu of food available for purchase, but I give Delta a lot of credit because their options were clearly labeled (above) which I appreciate. So I bought that one item, Mrs. May's Cran Blueberry Crunch, and it was great!  I meant to have a little, and then save the rest for later but I ended up eating the whole bag in one go.  It's a great snack, and it's nice that it is so travel friendly- had I been able to restrain myself, I could have re-sealed the bag and kept crumbs from getting sprinkled throughout my backpack.  I just emailed the Mrs. May's to ask what other vegan products they offer, because I would definitely try their other snacks!

Update from Mrs. May's: "All our products are vegan besides our Rounds line."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Some things I learned at the Vegan Meetup

There was a ton of food at the vegan meetup - the food was delicious (pakora and lentils were my fave) and almost everyone at the table had seconds (why did I snack beforehand?!), but most nourishing of all was the FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!!

I've been processing the experience over the past few days, and here are some things I didn't fully realize before the event.  I guess I had sort of heard about these things in the past, but our enlightening conversation made the following points very clear to me:

1) Vegans amongst us!  I don't know what I was expecting - maybe a restaurant full of 20-something pale emaciated hippies/hipsters wearing shirts that say "I'm VEGAN."  I came in the restaurant and saw there was a big communal table set up with some people seated already, and I was really unsure if that was the vegan group because they all looked really, really normal.  Like a sample of people you see on the subway during rush hour- just regular folk from all walks of life getting on with their lives.  I thought vegans were these rare diamonds in the rough, but the truth is there are probably more vegans out there than I realize because you can't wear a t-shirt that says "I'm VEGAN" every day.  Of the people at the meetup, I would never have guessed that any of them were vegan just by looking at them. I guess it's like when you discover someone you've known for a while and assumed is American is actually Canadian, or on the show Battlestar Galactica (above) who is a cylon!.  Which brings me to....

2) Vegans are diverse! The group definitely was very diverse across age, race, gender, religion, profession, body type, local, visitor... as mentioned before, the kind of diversity that you see when you ride the subway in NYC (which is a big part of why I love living in NYC).  I guess the answer to the question, "What does a vegan look like?" is "Anyone who wants to be a vegan!" Because all these people from different backgrounds all have come to the same conclusion - Vegan is the way to go.  That's very heartwarming that being vegan is something universal that can bring folks together!  

3) Diversity among Vegans  - I'm talking about why these people chose to be vegan, when they decided to change their lives, and how and what they eat.  I guess the only thing they have in common is what they don't eat (animal products).

Why (some people do it for multiple reasons, some people did it for a single reasons and just get added benefits):
  • Health Vegans
  • Animal lover Vegans
  • Eco Vegans
When (how long people have been vegan):
  • Longtime
  • New
  • Future (Wannabegans!)
What vegans actually eat
  • Vegan junk food (often the animal lover vegans)
  • Organic/raw/high carb fresh fruits and vegetables (often the health vegans)
  • Fancy vegan versions of animal dishes
  • Normal stuff, just minus the animal products
  • Strict vegans / Vegetarian mostly vegans 
  • Raised vegan or in vegan community / Stand-alone vegans (first vegan in family/community)
  • Activist vegans / quiet vegans
Anyway, if you are looking for a place to be vegan and fit in, I assure you you will fit in! Take a look at the group ("Welcome Vegans and Aspiring Vegans!") and see if there is an event coming up you can join!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

So Invogorated!

Just a quick note to say that my husband and I just got back from the NYC Vegan meetup at Ayurveda Cafe (on the Upper West Side, not the East side like I thought before I actually looked at a map!), and it was totally amazing!  The food was really great and I absolutely stuffed myself, but the company was really what made it special and has me all excited.

We sat at a smaller table with three super awesome vegans that I'm hoping I can profile for you here.  I'm going to think up some questions for them, and post their responses here!

Pants Up @ the Pop Up! May 5 - 11, Chelsea Market

My home is not totally vegan.  One of the things I've been meaning to donate to Salvation Army and replace is my husband's leather belt. He only has one belt, it still functions, and he wears it every day, so I have to find a replacement before I can get rid of it.  

I think I found it!  Yesterday I was walking through Chelsea Market, where they have an "ID Pop Shop Independent Designers Sale" (lots of really cool unique stuff there, I don't know why people who visit NY from around the world bother shopping at the big mutli-national chains because that stuff is the same around the world. This is the place to see REAL local NY talent).  ANYWAY I saw this one booth (above) with really cool textured accessories - made from CORK.  I timidly asked the lady working there if there is any leather in the belts, thinking maybe there was leather layer in the middle, and she proudly responded that all their products are vegan!  Well, in that case, let me take a look around!!

The shop is Cliff Belts, and they actually have a ton of different accessories that are typically made out of leather, plus guitar straps(!).  My favorite items are the ones with the natural cork color and texture showing through (they also have colored and embossed styles). So unique! The lady in the booth showed me some cool features of their belts, where some of them are mix-and-matchable with the buckle and strap, and another line of belts are made out of recycled subway car grab poles!  Super awesome!   

I love that it is strong, durable, ecological, cruelty free, and lighter than leather. Cliff Belts says, "Cork is environmentally preferable to leather as it comes from a lower carbon impact source (tree bark) and does not use animal products in its manufacture (a vegan product). The environmental concerns associated with leather include the energy and carbon intensity of generating animal products and the chemicals used in the leather tanning process that can be damaging to human health and the environment. Cork is a naturally beautiful and greener alternative to leather."

Anything from this shop would be great for anyone who wears pants, wants to define his or her waist, or carries things (so basically everyone).  And probably also for anyone that loves wine (because wine people are into cork).  I'm going to get this belt for my husband, and I want this for me, I'm hoping I can put a little notebook inside it.  

PS - Reminder, Vegan Dinner at Ayurveda Cafe is tonight! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Love Affair Continues

I really love shopping at Trader Joe's, and I shop there despite the closest one being pretty far from my apartment and I have to haul all that stuff back home in multiple backpacks and tote bags (they do have delivery, I've just never used it).

ANYWAY!  I wrote to them the other day:

"I LOVE your unscented cruelty free skincare products (Nourish oil free antioxidant facial moisturizer and Nourish All-in-one facial cleanser)! Thank you so much for making those and clearly labeling them with the no-bunnies logo, it so easy to check if it can go in my basket or not! I often buy Tom's unscented deodorant when I am at your store, but am curious about your Trader Joe's Unscented Deodorant with Cotton - is that tested on animals? There is no indication. 
Thanks and keep up the great work! Please introduce more unscented, cruelty free products!"

And they responded super fast with the following exciting information!

"Our HABA (health and beauty aid) products are ALL cruelty free - no animal testing. This includes our deodorants."

YES!  So my husband switched from the Tom's deodorant to Trader Joe's Unscented Deodorant with Cotton and he likes it a lot better!  He uses it on a daily basis and it has even held up through his martial arts classes (he comes home literally DRIPPING with sweat and his clothes are soaked with sweat, but he does not smell!)

So I also discovered that they also list all their vegan products online which makes it super easy to pick what you want to buy ahead of time!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Goodbye, Easter Bunny"

Above: Tully, available for adoption in Chicago

Aww! I didn't realize this is STILL a problem in this day and age!  People buy baby rabbits for Easter, and then the kids don't want them after a few days, the parents don't want to deal with caring for them, and then the most innocent party in this whole ordeal (the rabbit) gets abandoned :((((((.  NYTimes article here.

Things I didn't realize and learned from the article:
  • Rabbits require as much care and maintenance as dogs(!)
  • Once the rabbits hit puberty...male rabbits spray urine everywhere, while females grow territorial
  • It can cost $300 to spay or neuter a rabbit
  • Because determining a young rabbit’s sex is difficult, owners who thought they had two female rabbits can suddenly find themselves with litter after litter of bunnies
  • A rabbit can live more than a decade

Above: Ty, also available for adoption in Chicago

My cousin and his wife are huge rabbit lovers and have had three (that I know of) over the years, so I've seen how rabbits can be really great and beloved pets. They are REALLY into their rabbits, they even made a rabbit room in their house, and they spend a lot time of caring for them. Rabbits are awesome but you really have to be prepared to handle the work and responsibility that comes with along with them.  If you are ready and live in the Chicago area, check out the rescue where my cousin got his most recent rabbit: Red Door Animal Shelter. (That's also where I got the pics of the bunnies I put in this post.)  Here's the bun they adopted from Red Door:

BONUS: Rabbits are authentic, for-real 100% vegans (not just wannabegans!). I think they are popular pets with vegan humans because you can feed your leftover vegetable bits and scraps to the rabbits and they love it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

East Side Eating

I am firmly rooted on the West Side of Manhattan, but I do occasionally venture across Broadway and spend time on the East Side!  Last weekend, I wanted to check out an exhibit on Museum Mile (Masterpieces & Curiosities: Diane Arbus's Jewish Giant at the Jewish Museum), and of course all the walking around made me hongray so my husband and I wandered around in a totally new neighborhood in search of food.  

Right around the corner was a lovely spot that reminded me of my neighborhood favorite, Juice Generation.  It was called Juice Press!  

Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant and Juice Bar
1296 Madison Ave. (at 92nd St.), New York, NY 10128

They had similar pre-prepared vegan raw/dishes, and they were delish!  I found everything to be a tad bit pricy, but it's all organic, and according to the cashier, also raw, kosher, and vegan. We followed up our raw falafel and hummus wrap with a juice, I forget which one 

In other East Side dining news, I actually missed the Vegan Meetup at Organic Grill, but there is another NYC Vegan meetup coming up, and it's on the Upper East Side! 
When: Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:00 PM
Where: Ayurveda Cafe
706 Amsterdam Ave. (bet. East 94th & 95th Sts.)
New York, NY 10025
For complete information and to RSVP: http://www.meetup.com/nycvegans/events/177101402/
I already RSVPed, hope to see you there!