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Veggie Life

Veggie Life

Vegan Protein

What about protein???

So many people have asked me, “where do you get your protein?” It really surprises me that out of everything this is what people care about. They don’t ask about the animal suffering or about the disappearing rainforest, but they sure do care about protein. Don’t get me wrong, being healthy and getting the right nutrients is important to me, but living in a society that is overweight and unfit, I’m surprised and slightly annoyed to hear such questions. No one has ever cared about my protein before going vegan, so I’m not sure why this is so important now. But anyways, this is how I get it.

Breanna

I didn’t stop eating meat because I didn’t like the flavor, I quit, because the animals suffering for my food didn’t set right with me. This is why I turn to mock meats for a lot of my protein. There are several options out there such as Beyond Meat, Beast Burgers, Gardein, Field Roast, and Tofurky. These are just some of the brands that can be found at your local grocer. These are all very popular in my household and get added to our meals daily. The best part is, you don’t have to waste tons of money at whole foods on these products, I have purchased several of these from Walmart + Meijer at cheaper prices than the cost of meat.

Also, these mock meats can be treated just like animal meat. Just last weekend, Josiah & our roommate Scott made skewers with the Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages. They were delicious with some zucchini and bell peppers. Another favorite mock meal of ours is spaghetti and meatballs. We bought veggie pasta from Walmart and used Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs. It turned out absolutely delicious. For all the burger fans out there, Beast Burgers are awesome 1/4 lb burgers that actually contain more protein than regular burgers at 23 grams per burger. They’re easy to cook in the oven, in a skillet, and of course you can toss them on the grill. One more favorite of ours would be Gardein’s Fishless Fish Fillets. Bake those in the oven and top with vegan tartar sauce, a squeeze fresh lemon, add a side of rice + veggies and there you go. So delicious.

Besides mock meats, lentils and beans also are loaded up with protein. A quick look at the package will tell you exactly how much depending on the type. I personally like black beans and great northern beans the best, which have about 15 grams of protein per cup. Check out this link healthaliciousness.com, as it lists 37 different types of legumes and their protein values.

Not only do I get my protein from mock meats, lentils, and beans, but also from protein powder. YES, they do make vegan protein powder. Who knew? Vega is one of the most popular brands out there for protein powder, I currently use Blenditup. I throw it in the blender with a bunch of fruit & almond milk.

I honestly believe that since going vegan and eating the different mock meats, we have become better cooks + we eat better tasting food. Josiah is an awesome cook to begin with, but since we have been forced to try new food, our cooking skills have drastically improved.  If you could eat amazing food, get the right nutrients, not contribute to animal suffering + environmental pollution, why wouldn’t you?

Veggie Life

Vegan Grocery Shopping

I’m not even kidding when I say “I love grocery shopping”. It’s even more fun now that I’m an adult and can really choose what I eat for the week based on my lifestyle. As a kid I simply had to eat whatever my parents bought, and sadly it wasn’t the healthiest food for my body. I remember as kid loading the cart up with hamburger helper and chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I still get chocolate chip cookies, but I get a pack of 12 instead of a box of 40. Grocery shopping should be fun, not just seen as a daily chore. This is the food that you will be putting in your body for the week. It’s the fuel your body runs off of.

As most of you know I’ve been vegan for a while now, but it’s still exciting to go to the store and find new vegan products. Especially, because lately there seems to be new vegan products coming out every week, from Chao cheeses to Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream there are tons of new options. Also, all the new mock meats from Tofurky, Gardein, and Field Roast are exciting to try. But sometimes those foods can be expensive, if not on sale. For example, Tofurky’s pizza at Fresh Thyme is $8 regularly. To save money I check sales add and stock up on them when I find a good bargain. If I can’t get it on sale, I don’t buy it, which just gives me an opportunity to try something else that is on sale that week.

It can be overwhelming to go to the store and try to flip through the add while everyone is bustling around you. That’s why before I even leave the house I check the sales ads online. This way I know what I’m buying before I even walk in and don’t feel rushed. I really try not to buy anything that isn’t on my list. With so many superfoods these days and colorful marketing, it can be hard to stay on track. I also write down the price of the item from the sales ad so I can make sure I’m getting the right product. For instance, sometimes I get overwhelmed when there’s bagged carrots, organic carrots, baby carrots, rainbow carrots, peeled carrots, and I’m like “uhhh I just need the carrots that are on sale for 1lb/$.99.” Plus when I have the prices written down, I can see if they’re actually cheaper at the first store, even if they’re not on sale.

I hope this helps you guys! Please, in the comments below leave any advice on how to be cheaper & also what to do instead of the produce bags you find at the grocery store.

Thanks!
XOXO

Breanna

Veggie Life

Vegan Munchies

I Am a Snacker

Vegan Snacks

My hardest challenge lately in trying to go vegan is finding vegan food at the grocery store. I feel like it should be so much simpler. Why do manufacturers make it so difficult to tell if there are animal products in it or not?  I awkwardly end up standing in the grocery store aisle searching ingredient labels to find if there are traces of animal by-product or not. Lately I have been finding great options at Caputo’s, Fresh Thyme, & Mariano’s. Sadly I have to drive 15 minutes or so to get to one. The easiest way to end my hassle would be to eat more fruits & vegetables. But who doesn’t like the fancy superfood snacks or chocolate chip cookies? One of my biggest issues is that I consider myself an ethical vegan, so I refrain from munching on anything that contains palm oil. So below I have made a list of some of my favorite vegan snacks.

Agave in the Raw – Organic Agave Syrup. I know this isn’t exactly a snack, but I do like to use it in my tea.

Cal-Snax – Sea Salt Kale Poppers. Kale chips took some time to get use to, but they’re a healthy snack to munch on.

Beanitos – Simply Pinto Bean w/ Sea Salt & Black Bean chips. These are great to bring to parties w/ a jar of salsa.

Brad’s Raw Chips – Red Bell Pepper. These are delicious with some hummus.

Eat Well Embrace Life – Edamame Hummus. This is my all time favorite hummus. I actually like a lot of this brand’s hummus too. I put it on carrot sticks and some of Brad’s Raw Chips.

Go Raw – Choco Crunch Granola. Great on dairy-free yogurt & just by itself.

Mamma Chia – Organic Chia Seeds. I use these to make chia pudding & also add to dairy-free yogurt.

Nature’s Path – Pumpkin Raisin Crunch – This is my favorite cereal, totally love this stuff.

Navitas Naturals – Sun-Dried White Mulberries & Blueberry Hemp Bites. These guys are great just by themselves.

So Delicious – Coconut Milk Yogurts. These have been somewhat hard to find and can be expensive if not on sale, which is a bum deal because I LOVE YOGURT.

As you can see, I have kind of became a chip eater. I never used to eat this many chips before becoming vegan. There is just such a wide range of vegan chips. If you see any snack on here that have since became non-vegan friendly, let me know. Also, in the comments let me know what your favorite vegan snacks are so I can try them too 🙂

XOXO

Breanna

Captains Log Veggie Life

No Meat For Me

I love meat! Ribs, wings, steak, and burgers are some of the foods that I miss eating the most. I have decided to switch to a non meat based diet and may in the future transition to a vegan/raw diet. I am not making this transition because of the wife or for any health reasons. This is a decision that has long been in the back of my mind and is just now being implemented in my daily life.

Here is how I came to decision

Nature (aka the environment, animals, oceans…) is something that needs to be preserved for future generations on earth in my opinion. I cannot imagine a world where elephants, whales, orangutans, and other animals are either extinct or are only “alive” in zoos. This is appalling to me!

Here is what I know to be truth

Before humans took over the earth animals were everywhere! How do I know this to be truth well let’s take the American Bison also known as the Buffalo for an example. Before America headed towards the west coast the bison population is estimated to be 30 to 60 MILLION according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.But wait we decided to KILL pretty much all of them!

Bison skulls pile to be used for fertilizer , 1870

This is a truth that cannot refuted as it is clearly documented in American history. But maybe you might think that it is just a rare occurance that this particular animal got fucked over by humans. I am going to post the pictures below of a few other animals that the human race has decided are better suited for other purposes than living. Some of the photos are going to be from past eras but not all as we haven’t learned anything from our past mistakes yet. 

Whaling_in_the_Faroe_Islands

2D73DF0400000578-3274724-image-a-14_1444939655988

taiji-dolphin-slaughter

amazon-deforestation

 It is pretty simple to see that we have taken animals for granted and the entire planet. Some amount of change is necessary in our everyday lives if we want earth as we know it to continue after we are gone. A picture that I ran into online a few days ago said there is no Planet B and it just reinforced all of the changes that we are making in our lives as the right choices.

Breanna's Journal Veggie Life

My Favorite Pain Free Beauty Products

Beauty is Pain. But that pain doesn’t have to involve cute + innocent beagles.

Sponsor Free Post

I had heard the rumors several times about beagles being used for testing makeup, but it wasn’t until I read the book “The Dog Lived (and so will I)” that I made a commitment to using cruelty free products. Teresa L. Rhyne inspired me to become a vegan like herself. Through reading her book I learned that being a vegan isn’t just about the food we eat, it’s actually a lifestyle. She gave me the drive to find products that I’d love from brands I could trust to be cruelty free.

beagle testing 2

Finding cruelty free products can be difficult at first, but once you get started it’s easier than you think. I generally get everything from Ulta. They have several brands that are cruelty-free & vegan. Just be careful because as helpful as their employees may seem, they don’t always know about cruelty free products. I made a mistake a while back trusting a sales rep, she told me Lancome was cruelty free. She had assumed they were because they’re both under the same parent company, L’oreal. Totally cruelty-free products are hard to find. Some companies are cruelty-free except when they mandated, like selling to China. So if you know different about the products I use below, please let me know in the comments.

These are the cruelty-free products that I use on a daily basis + my review of them:

Body Wash:

Hempz Pomegranate Moisture Herbal Body Wash. I love the way this stuff smells & how it lathers up really nice. It’s Vegan + Cruelty-free.

Body Scrub:

Anatomicals The Buff Stuff, Citrus Body Scrub. It’s okay, it smells good but doesn’t lather well and I feel like I have to use a lot to get a good lather. vegan + cruelty-free!

Face Wash:

Pacifica’s Kale Detox Deep Cleansing Face Wash. My husband and I love the way it makes our faces feel afterwards. The only thing I don’t like is that it advertises it removes makeup, but it has this weird way of smudging my mascara under my eyes. Maybe it’s because I use waterproof mascara. Beside’s that it keeps my acne away and my face feeling awesome. I also love how on their products they make it easy to see that they’re vegan + cruelty-free.

Face Wipes:

I also use Pacifica’s face wipes as well to remove makeup from my face. These also don’t work the best for getting off mascara and other eye makeup. On the upside they are vegan +cruelty-free.

I just purchased and have yet to try Tarte’s Fresh Eyes Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipes. They were a little pricier but should be able to wipe my eyes free of mascara and eyeshadow. They were $12 for a pack of 30 at my local Ulta. Not everything from Tarte is vegan, but this specific product is vegan + cruelty-free.

Shampoo + Conditioner combos: 

Paul Mitchell’s Color Care Daily Shampoo & Daily Conditioner. I no longer use this product due to how greasy it made my hair. Paul Mitchell is cruelty-free but not completely vegan due to using beeswax and select other ingredients.

Active Products is my current prefered brand. They are color safe and never fade out my color. It’s hard for me to find products that don’t make my hair greasy, but these never do. The only downside to this brand is that I have only been able to find them for sale at the Colorific near my house. They also sold at a limited number of salons. Check their website for locations. They are vegan + cruelty free.

Deodorant:

Tom’s of Maine Wild Lavender Deoderant is what I currently use. It’s nothing exciting but it gets the job done. Sometime it can wear off if I’m having a very active day, so double application may be needed. The upside of this product is that I can find it at my local Walgreens + Meijer. Tom’s of Maine is vegan + cruelty-free.

Veggie Life

Vegan Ice Cream Is Awesome

So many people assume that just because something is vegan, it can’t possibly taste good.

Well they’re wrong.

I LOVE ICE CREAM. It’s actually my favorite food group. So trust me when I say this stuff is like crack. Growing up my dad + I would go “out for ice cream”. Living in the Chicago burbs we always went for Oberweis Ice Cream. Sadly, most ice cream isn’t vegan but there are some great alternatives which can be equally good or even better.

So Delicious makes some good vanilla ice cream with an almond milk base. Personally, I like So Delicious‘ Almond Milk line the best. I’ve also tried their chocolate flavored ice cream with a coconut milk base. Sometimes I think the coconut milk based ice creams have a protein powder taste to them instead of being uber creamy.

BUT MY ULTIMATE FAVORITE IS…

steves-speculoos

Steve’s Speculoos Cookie Butter, end of story. Oh, no big deal or anything, but it’s also award winning. I was weary of the coconut milk base, but it turns out I love it. I found it at my local Mariano’s grocery store. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find it anywhere else. They do have a ton more flavors, which aren’t all vegan, so make sure to read the label. Their Cookie Butter flavor is their only flavor I have had so far. I’m hoping to soon try their also vegan Wildflower Honey Pistachio + their Cold Brewed Cinnamon Coffee flavor.

So what are you waiting for?? GO GET SOME!

I love sweets. So if you have one you love, let me know in the comments below, so I can try it too!

Veggie Life

Meat Has A Face

It’s so obvious. Obviously the bacon from my bacon cheesburger came from a living breathing animal.

use this somewhere

Except that was my biggest struggle when becoming vegetarian. It was so natural & habitual for me to just order “chicken this” + “chicken that” without even considering what the meat actually was. So, believe it or not, meat comes from animals who have faces + feelings.

I remember a day specifically while standing in the Panera line, thinking to myself “Chicken Noodle? Sounds great. Oh nevermind that has meat in it”. As if I had forgotten my meat had a face. I had become so accustom to ordering a meat filled dish that I had disassociated it with coming from a living breathing animal.

My first thought about steak never used to be images of a blood filled slaughterhouse or deforestation, but bbqing in the summer or at a fancy dinner. Steak was about spending the day grilling and drinking beer in the backyard. It was about getting the right flavor and finding the right bottle of Cabernet to go with it.

Turning vegetarian is about awareness. It’s about bringing awareness to what on your plate was born with a face.

Now that you’ve heard about my biggest battle becoming vegetarian, in the comments below I’d love to hear yours!

chiken

Veggie Life

Shuffling Towards Veganism

I always knew I’d stop meating (eating meat) one day, I just didn’t know when.

My name’s Breanna, I’m a vegetarian going vegan. But that’s not all. I’m also a cookie eater, horse lover, dog cuddler, Jeep driver, wannabe minimalist, and wife of a husband who’s converting a school bus into a tiny home.

I still have the memory clip in my head. I was 13 and was on a youth group trip with my church friends heading to one of those team building resorts. A girl named Kaitlyn was defending herself on why she didn’t meat. We all sat there thinking she was crazy. She went into detail about how KFC threw their chickens against the wall to kill them (I never did check the credibility on that).  That moment, is the exact moment that started this all.

It wouldn’t be until college that I’d have another run in with vegetarianism. I never thought when I met Dr. Miller, my philosophy teacher, that he would have a lasting impression on me. On our very first day he asked us if we were speciesist. Did we as meat eaters think we were better than others, such as cows, monkeys, and horses. Strangely, maybe because of  our pride, we all answered “no”. I mean we all ate meat and yet never would admit that we thought less of the animals that provided the flesh. Over the course we would watch tons of documentaries about where our food came from. We viewed Forks Over KnivesFat, Sick, and Nearly DeadFood Inc. and any other documentary out there that makes one question what’s on their plate. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the instance I declared my love for vegetables and stop eating meat. I wasn’t going to let propaganda and biased Netflix documentaries change my comfortable lifestyle.

Years later after eating my fair share of chicken caesar salads and bacon cheeseburgers I decided I was going to dedicate myself to being a vegetarian. But it wasn’t until after I saw something with my own eyes that my life would change. My best friends and I were on our way back home from Nashville, TN. We had just spent the weekend killing our livers, stuffing our faces with BBQ, and having the time of our lives for my Bachelorette party. As we were in the midst of the 8 hour drive back home a semi pulled in front of us. It wasn’t just any semi. It was a semi truck trailer filled with chickens. Alive, dead, and frightened chickens were aboard a ride to hell. I knew from that moment on I didn’t want any of those chickens atop my iceberg lettuce.

The one thing Dr. Miller did teach me was that, life is about shuffling in the right direction, because eventually after enough shuffling, things will be where they need to be. These three instances shuffled me into place.

& That’s it. That’s my story. I’d love to hear your story about becoming vegetarian or vegan in the comments below 🙂

I wonder if Kaitlyn is still vegetarian.

Breanna