GoPicnic Ready-To-Eat Boxes: These easy-to-carry boxes are packed with vegan, gluten-free snacks you can take anywhere! We loved the red pepper hummus with multigrain crackers best, and loved even more that you could fit the small boxes into a purse or bag to travel with you all day. Kid-friendly and appetizing to adults, these meals are great for airplane traveling, field-trip lunches, and plain ol' picnics! The boxes come in snack & meal sizes, and some are focused on certain meals, like the protein-packed almond butter & multigrain bagel chips for breakfast. They even offer a subscription, so you can get these sent straight to your mailbox. Rather get it today? Try Target, Whole Foods, Costco, or Walgreens!
Cream of Coco Sustainable Soap: Available only for a limited time, Wisdom of the Ancients has re-released their popular Cream of Coco Sustainable Soap- and we're glad they did! Free of synthetic foaming agents, preservatives, fragrances & dyes, the soap is also wrapped in 100% recycled packaging. The soap is made of just 4 ingredients, the base of which is an ultra-moisturizing Mbocaya nut oil. It's never tested on animals and each bar is hand-cut, meaning that you'll always get a slightly different shape and color- so you KNOW its real! Its super sudsy, and lathers up great in the shower or in the sink. Its gentle enough to use on skin AND hair, and is incredibly similar to the soap used for over 2,000 years by native Paraguayans. A soap you can feel GOOD about using!
Primizie Thick Cut Crispbreads: Crispy, crunchy, flavorful- what more could you ask for in a chip?! Made with natural ingredients, these crisp breads are also cholesterol & preservative free. 3 of the 4 flavors (chile, simply salt, and italian) are 100% vegan & non-GMO. They taste great as a snack on their own or dipped in guac, salsa, hummus or our favorite- in our homemade spinach artichoke dip! We devoured the simply salted on our own, but brought the other flavors to holidays parties, and they were a hit! They're not greasy since they're grilled, and each chip is hand-cut, so you know they're made with love :) We'll definitely be serving these up with our favorite dips at the next party!
Vegan products we're LOVING right now!
1. Blode Kuh Vegan Tree Nut Cheese- Blode Kuh (pronounced BLUE-deh KOO) means 'silly cow'. If you follow us on Instagram, you've probably seen some of our posts about this stuff. We discovered the booth at our local Long Beach Farmers Market and we're SO PUMPED! In rows of fresh produce and food trucks catering exclusively to non-vegans, this find was a gold-mine. They make 8 flavors of their cheesy spread, all handmade weekly with organic cashews by creators Maxi & Doug. They have flavors like Truffle Fluff, Sriracha Cheddar, White Cheddar, Herbievore, and Garlic Green Peppercorn. And for the Sriracha Cheddar? They make their OWN raw, vegan sriracha! Now THAT is quality- and you can taste the difference. And what I like best about Maxi & Doug is that they agree that most vegan cheeses aren't palatable or even cheese-like. Instead of dealing with it like the rest of us, they dove-in and started making a better product- one they liked and could be proud of. For now, they're selling at Farmers Markets in the greater LA area, but I am PRAYING they go big- I cannot get enough of the stuff! And everyone that tries it agrees...its better than the rest!
2. ENERGYBits- Made from 100% organicallly grown, non-GMO spirulina & chlorella algaea and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%!!)- for just one calorie per tab. They act as a plant-based energy shot to help supercharge workouts, increase mental alertness, and give you healthy energy to help get through the day. Since they're small they go down easy- and are cool for kids, too! They are 100% ALGAE, which means nothing in them will do anything but good for you. And since they're high-protein, they help stave off hunger and unnecessary snacking & cravings. I've been poppin' one overtime I feel run down or snack after I've already eaten. I'm hooked!
3. Fruigees Organic Fruit Snacks- These little babies have been SAVING me lately! As a nanny, I am constantly running around. Between car rides to school and activities, plus the constant GO that a 4 & 2 year old have, its nice to have an easy-to-eat in the car snack that isn't full of crap. These delicious treats come in3 flavors: 'Kalefornia Grape', '24 Carrot Orange', and 'Nothing Beets Cherry'. My fave is the 24 Carrot Orange. And with 1/2 cup of fruit per serving, they're fruit-filled enough to make adults happy and sweet enough to keep the kiddos happy. Plus, they have 100% serving of Vitamin C. What more could you ask for?!
Ellovi Body & Lip Butter Review + Giveaway!
I'm officially a believer in body care products again. After months (okay, years?) of trying product after product, slathering my skin, lips, and hair in greasy, powdery, and sometimes straight liquid goop, I found a better answer. And what is that answer? Its called REAL INGREDIENTS. And Ellovi is all about using real ingredients. Started by down-to-earth duo Kelly + Ryan, Ellovi is free of artificial ingredients, cheap fillers, preservatives, and parabens. Ellovi products are made from edible, recognizable ingredients like macademia nut, coconut, marl nut, hemp seed, and shea. In fact, the body butter only has 6 ingredients and not ONE of them is water; because of this, the butter is highly concentrated and super hydrating, so it soaks into skin and won't evaporate off. Plus, your skin is like one giant sponge...so why not feed it the good stuff?
We also love the this cruelty-free company is committed to keeping their eco-footprint small, too. They use a 3D printer to make mold for all they lip butter containers, and package their body butters in wildly harvested, reusable glass containers.
It'll leave your skin silky, supple, and baby soft. I coat myself in it post-shower and feel softer than ever all day long. The butter is so soft on skin it dries to an almost powder finish. Amazing! And the lip balm? Not only moisturizing, the touch of tint gives your dry, sad-looking winter pout a killer boost. And it smells DELICIOUS! Seriously, Alex compared its scent to buttercream frosting. Who could resist slathering yourself in THAT?!
As a girl with sensitive skin I have to be careful about what I wear, but Ellovi us non-comedogenic, free of fragrance, and helps reduce wrinkles, cuts, burns, scars, and even eczema! And don't stop with all-over moisturizing- you can also use Ellovi as a makeup remover AND a sunscreen!
The point is, I'm hooked, and I'm so hooked I want you to try it too. And while Ellovi's prices are totally comparable to similar (though far less impressive products), I want to give it to you for free. And Kelly, the brains behind these scrumptious goodies, has offered to give one lucky reader a FREE body butter & tinted lip butter to try for themselves! And if you don't win, throw it on your holiday wish list- it's a stocking stuffer worth giving AND getting. Enter using the widget below. International entries welcome, giveaway ends November 24th, 2014. We'll email the winner when they're picked. Good luck!!
North Coast Organics: Al Sol Review & Giveaway!
If you hang out here often, you may've seen our review and giveaway of somedifferent North Coast Organics products a little over a year ago. It's because we LOVE THEM. They rock. We're so happy to help them introduce their newest scent (and our newest favorite), Al Sol. Keeping with their commitment to being 100% cruelty-free, their newest deodorant is vegan, organic, and free of yucky chemicals & aluminum. Hand-made in Chicago is small batches, these deodorants are the answer for those of us who forgo the traditional B.O. defense routine. They stand-up against odor and leave you with a gentle scent all day. Plus, they keep you dry with simple ingredients like coconut oil, caranuba wax, arrowroot, baking soda, and essential oils. These natural ingredients won't ruin your laundry or make you itchy, and they keep you from stinking. What more could you ask for?
We've been seriously loving the newest 'Elite Assassin of Odor'! It smells so rich and woodsy, but is light enough for a gal like me to wear, and not too perfume-y for Alex. It goes on dry and feels a little clay-like, which makes for a great feel on a freshly-shaven pit. I loved that it didn't get stuck on my shirts or stinky, and Alex liked that it didn't clump up or get sticky in his underarm hair. And even after coaching hockey in his stinky gear for 2+ hours, he actually still smelled REALLY GOOD! And that has never been easy to say, even when he used to wear tradition deodorant/ antiperspirant. North Coast Organics has won us over again! And this new scent may be our favorite 'cause, even though we each have a tube, its perfect enough for us to share. Plus, their online store offers all their scents in both travel + full sizes, so you can try it before you but a bunch. And if you’re not into scented stuff, they offer a ‘naked’ version, scent-free. Now that's the kind of product I give my seal of approval. But instead of BUYING it, why not try to win it for FREE first? 2 lucky readers will each win a set of 3-travel sized deodorants, all in different scents!
Enter below several different ways, just as long as you've entered by November 5th, 2014 when the giveaway officially closes. Winners will be chosen at random and announced soon after. Enter as many time as you can- it just increases your chances of WINNING! International entries welcome, good luck!!
Vegan products we're loving right now!
1. Lucy's Cookies in Lemon Goodness & Berry Best (vegan + gluten-free)
Have you seen these before? We've tried them before in their chocolate chip & sugar cookie flavors and LOVED them. They were one of the few vegan/ GF/ non-GMO sweet treats we could find at the grocery store near us in Maine last year and they became a regular grocery cart staple. They're the perfect amount of crunchy and sweet and they taste like the packaged cookies I always hoped were in my lunchbox as a kid- only wayyy healthier. If fact, 'Lucy', the creator, is an MD who created the cookies for her own child with food allergies. Not only can you pronounce all the ingredients on the label, but they're allergen free too, meaning no peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs!
These flavors are new and seasonal, but way worth picking up. The lemon goodness was light and perfect next to glass of earl grey as a late morning or pre-bed treat. Mmm, my favorite. Alex preferred the berry best because he loved the fruity flavor. He thought they were reminiscent of raspberry shortbread. They were yummiest dipped in coconut milk and looked extra yummy flecked with pink from the berries. We would definitely get these flavors again, and are looking forward to trying their 'pumpkin patch' & 'chocolate mint' flavors as the seasons change! www.drlucys.com
2. Rhythm Kale Chips in Pineapple Coconut & Bombay Curry (vegan + gluten-free)
Sure, I can whip up a batch of my own kale chips and coat 'em in curry, but something tells me I'll just never make 'em taste quite as good as Rhythm Chips does. They cook their kale chips to perfection in vegan-friendly flavors like Pineapple Coconut & Bombay Curry. The pineapple coconut flavor smells like a Pîna Colada- which sounds weird when you think of these as CHIPS, but if you think of them as crunchy nuggets of deliciousness then you'll do just fine. They were great as a dessert stand in and would be welcome on any beach day outing. The Bombay Curry was my personal favorite. The combo of smoky, sweet curry and crunchy kale was AMAZING! I ate up the whole bag in under an hour, but what's more guilt-less than some baked kale?! And yes, this counts as a vegetable serving. At least, I count it as a vegetable serving. Pick some up the next time you're the grocery store or when your garden kale bites the dust for the season. www.rhythmsuperfoods.com
3. Rhythm Superfood Chips in Barbeque (vegan + gluten-free)
Okay, yes, another Rhythm product. Its just that we've been seeing these bags EVERYWHERE lately and we had to see what all the buzz was about! And we're glad we did. These chips, made up of good-for-you super foods like quinoa, amaranth, oat bran & pea protein. They're sort of like corn chips in flavor, and are coated with a hearty dusting of the BBQ flavor, which is mild and not too spicy or overwhelming...though they are a little salty, so have some water handy. I ate these all week in snacks, lunches, and as a late night snack. YUM! I like finding pre-packaged snacks for when I'm in a pinch but don't wanna feel like a guilty gal after I indulge. Rhythm chips for the win! www.rhythmsuperfoods.com
Ka'Chava Superfood Shake Giveaway!
When we were sent samples of Ka'Chava to try, we were skeptical. I had just jumped on the Vega train and was starting to feel like I was finally getting into the whole 'complete nutrition' via the added protein powder. Alex hates protein powders- he thinks they're chalky and gritty. And for the most part, he's totally right! When we mixed Ka'Chava into our morning smoothies the first morning, we were both impressed. It wasn't chalky, it wasn't gritty- it was thick, rich, and decadent tasting. It made our smoothie seem more like a milkshake (always a plus) than a smoothie, and made it enjoyable to drink. We went back for seconds.
But we weren't comparing apples to apples. Unlike Vega, and most companies really, Ka'Chava isn't just a protein powder. Sure, it carries a respectable 24 grams per serving, but Ka'Chava is really all about the superfoods. Made from plant-based whole foods like chia seeds, maca root, acai & maqui berries, camu camu, amaranth, & sacha inchi, this superfood shake powder is designed to sustain energy, control hunger, improve digestion, build lean muscle & help to enhance cognitive brain function. And if you ask me, thats a LOT of benefits from one serving of a delicious superfood shake! Plus, as you can see above, Ka'Chava is is 100% vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, & preservative-free!
So What's a 'superfood' anyway? And why is it good for me? To quote straight from the Ka'Chava website:
Superfoods are a special category of plant-based foods found in nature. They are unique in that they are nutrient dense and calorie light, meaning they are packed with a tremendous amount of nutrients compared to other foods in their "weight-class." Therefore, you get more of the essential nutrients your body needs without consuming unnecessary calories.
We love the Ka'Chava powder mixed with almond or coconut milk, but its also great in a smoothie. Our favorite way to drink it? Banana Date Smoothies! Here is our go-to recipe:
So how do you WIN? Simply enter up to 7 different ways using the widget below, and wait for our response- THAT'S IT! The winner will receive ONE FREE container of Ka'Cahava Superfood Shake containing 15+ servings. Thats a $70 value! And you get to choose your flavor preference- vanilla or chocolate. Good luck!! (Contest ends 8/30.)
Yup, we chose a winner!! Hannah G., check your email!
Win Cruelty-Free Lip Plumper from EnvyDerm!
Yup, you read that right! We're doing our first-ever vegan beauty giveaway. And we're excited! Don't get me wrong, I love writing, photographing, and sharing recipes with you guys- but we've been busy bees lately dealing with work, sick kids, and vet visits for our pup. So to kick off our commitment to posting every couple days again, we're starting with something fun! This is a simple giveaway to enter and if you win, you get one free tube of EnvyDerm Cosmetics Lip Plumper! I know, a little weird here, right? But we vegans like to get fancy and feel lovely every once in a while, too. Plus, I love supporting companies with ethics, and the gals & guys over at EnvyDerm are easy to support. Their products are vegan, cruelty-free (which meants NEVER tested on/made with animals), & free of parabens, sulfates, and GMO's. The plumper/ gloss combo also makes your lips feel a little tingy and mega-smoochable, plus super soft since its made with 13 organic moisturizing oils! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed using it, and would definitely consider it a firm addition to my 'going-out' look.
Since we're the testers and like to be honest with our reviews, I decided to photograph myself before and after wearing the plumper to see the visual difference. The span between the first picture and the second, after the gloss was applied, was about 10 minutes. I wore the gloss in the Fleur Nue shimmer shade, but it comes in 12 other available colors including a clear coat. When I first applied the gloss my lips felt an immediate but pleasant tingle due to the small amounts of spearmint oil, wintergreen oil, and capsaicin. I actually really liked how it felt, and immediately began to notice a slightly fuller look to my pout, with plenty of flush red color thanks to the oils, as well. The sheen was perfect for 'going-out', but can easily be blotted for a more matte daytime look. too. EnvyDerm even states that your lips can become up to 37% FULLER with use, and can improve lip collagen production longterm, improving your lips natural contour & giving you plumper, fuller lips. Obviously I didn't measure my exact pucker size, but I definitely felt 'plumped' & moisturized afterwards!
So, you wanna throw your name in the hat to win a FREE tube of your own EnvyDerm Lip Volumizing & Conditioning Plumper? It's easy! Head on over to Instagram, insta/regram THIS photo (the first one at the top of this page), tag @amberstpeter, @EnvyDerm_Cosmetics, and hashtag #FettleVeganGiveaway. You'll INSTANTLY be entered to win! Enter as many times as you like, and tell your friends to enter. Who doesn't love getting fun beauty products in the mail?! I know I do! Once you've entered, just sit back and relax. We'll pick a winner next week and announce it to the world, and YOU may have a fun summer care package coming your way! In the meantime, check out EnvyDerm on Facebook & Twitter for updates, and follow US on Instagram to stay up to date when we pick a winner. Good luck!
***A winner had been chosen! Thanks to everyone for participating, and congrats to Instagrammer @Biancarogoveanu! Send us your address and we'll get your prize shipped out ASAP. ***
Louisville Vegan Jerky
When Alex stumbled across Louisville Vegan Jerky while perusing Reddit, he immediately texted me. "New veg jerky- Looks AMAZINGGG." I was intrigued immediately. Alex and I have varying opinions on what kind of vegan meats and actually worth eating, and as someone who also doesn't eat gluten, I sometimes have a hard time finding faux meats I can even taste test. After chatting with Stanley, the guy behind the jerky, we arranged to try each of their current three flavors: Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper, Bourbon Smoked Spicy Chipotle, and Sriracha Maple. Louisville Vegan Jerky is a winner across the board- vegan, gluten-free, sourced local ingredients, amazing meaty texture, and creative flavors all in one bag. Our favorite was the savory black pepper, but the sriracha maple tasted like breakfast sausage- SO GOOD! Right now, LVJ is hosting an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds for new packaging and to spread the jerky goodness. If you're a fan (you will be- take our word for it), consider supporting them- they're a great company! Plus, if you donate, you get all kids of great jerky goodies. Check it out here.
We had a few questions for Stanley on the jerky situation- including how to get Louisville Vegan Jerky in your local grocery store. Read on for his answers!
What was the “aha!” moment that brought you to making vegan jerky?
I moved to Louisville when I was 13 from Oahu Hawaii where my father was stationed in the Navy. We had a lot of exposure to foods like Musubi and Char Siu while living there, but they were all centered around meat. I called my dad one night back in 2012 and asked him for a Char Siu marinade recipe. Char Siu is typically bbq pork, but I was going to try to make it with some soy protein. I marinated the soy and through it in the oven forgetting to set the timer. I was watching tv when I suddenly realized it had been in the oven too long and rushed into the kitchen to find slightly burned "vegan char siu". I put the tray to the side and started on a new batch. About 30 minutes later I went into the kitchen and out of curiosity tried the overcooked char siu. It wasn't the best (as it was a little burned), but I could taste the potential immediately. I cooked the next batch with a little more care and WOW it was delicious jerky! I took a few ziplock bags up to a local bar and let people try it. Within 30 minutes people were asking me where they could purchase it. We worked on several different jerky flavors over the next few weeks and started selling it in local coffee shops and grocery stores right away.
We loved the Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper. What’s your favorite flavor?
My favorite is the Sriracha maple. The sriracha mixed with the maple just does wonderful things to your taste buds.
Can we request to get your product at our local store?
Yes! That's the way we've been able to grow into 50 stores over the last two years. I make cold calls to grocery stores all over the country based on requests we get from people that want to see it in their town.
We really dig the artwork on your bags. What’s the story behind it?
I worked in graphic design before I got into this business and my brother is an illustrator. We've worked on several different packages working our way up to the current one. I really like vegan products that take themselves seriously. Like a lot of vegan cheeses that were out in the early 2000's for example, all based their packaged on "vegan! natural! green living!". Now there are companies like Kite Hill and Dr. Cow that very nicely blend into the dairy cheese brands with wax paper and wooden containers. I love that kind of stuff. When we were putting together our packaging, we based the characters off of historic Louisville people that made an impact on the city. I like the apothecary, minimalistic look that's pretty trendy right now and kind of based the overall feel around those two ideas.
Do you have a favorite vegan spot in Louisville?
Louisville's a great town for vegans. Most restaurants have something vegan on their menu's, or will make a custom plate on requests. I really like this popular sushi/mexican restaurant called Dragon Kings Daughter. They do a ton of vegan dishes (tofu tacos, vegetable gyoza, vegan sushi rolls, etc), and they even have veganaise! I also like the Asian restaurants that all have tons of vegan options in the Highlands : The Joy Luck, La Que and Heart & Soy. I wish we had more places that were all vegan and made crazy stuff like buffalo tempeh wings, and philly cheeze steaks etc., but there are a lot of great restaurants here.
We know you have an Indiegogo campaign going, tell us how that’s going and some of your big plans for the money.
The money we raise from the Indiegogo campaign will help fund our brand new packaging. We're changing over to printed bags and had unexpected "printing plate" charges and art department fees. This Indiegogo campaign is really very different from a lot of other crowdsourcing campaigns. We're essentially selling pre-sales of our new packaging and new Sesame Teriyaki flavor. We're not looking for money to start a business or fund an idea that still needs to be developed. We're ready to roll and the people that purchase jerky through our campaign will get jerky for the dollars they pledge and things like LVJC stickers and t-shirts.
What’s your long-term goal for Louisville Vegan Jerky?
I want LVJC to be the household name for vegan jerky. I know there are other veggie jerky's out there, but I truly feel like the effort we put into our texture and ingredients makes our jerky the best brand available. I want to provide a healthy, meat free snack for people avoiding animal protein. I've always been a huge fan of vegan products and still get very excited when I see new products on the market. It's a very cool time we live in for vegan food and I love being a part of it.
Be sure to support Louisville Vegan Jerky on Facebook & Twitter, and consider donating to their Indiegogo campaign to help them reach their goal- and score some free jerky! These guys are great and make the best vegan jerky I've ever had. Thanks again to Stanley for introducing us to this seriously addictive stuff...now what're you waiting for- get yourself some jerky!
When I was offered to review the Vegan Cuts Monthly Snackbox, I was THRILLED. Seriously! Until this month, I have been drooling over them monthly, jealous of all the boxes I see arriving all over instagram. We were moving and I was livin' on limited funds, but now I have officially decided to dedicate the entirety of the monthly toilet paper fund to a Vegan Cuts box instead. Just kidding- we don't have a toilet paper fund. But I'm still setting aside a little monthly moolah to get this delicious delivery sent to me! I love trying new food AND getting mail, so this really is ideal. And it was so fun trying products we might not normally pick out at the grocery store. Now we have a few new favorites!
They fit SO many scrumptious goodies into one adorable little package! I opened up the box to a list of the curated products, which this month got a help from Eco Vegan Gal. The full list included: A bag of lentil chips, a pomegranate oat smoothie by Oatworks, superfood oatmeal in espresso mocha blueberry, a pouch of vegan protein powder made with brocolli, an almond chocolate chip bar Nii bar, some NuttZo brand seven seed & nut butter, 2 packets of Numi savory tea, and a clear reusable glass straw.
And while I really did like EVERYTHING they sent, I picked a few favorites. First up? Those lentil chips! A little strange at first, I quickly decided I liked the slightly salty chips exactly because they were pretty plain- and GREAT with hummus! It's hard to find a chip that seems so worth snacking, but I felt good about eating these and loved that they were gluten-free. In fact, the whole box was!My next favorite, or should I say MOST favorite, was the vanilla protein powder. Made from broccoli seed, I was a little worried it might taste "green", but it was one of the best protein powders I have EVER had! Not too thick, not clumpy, just smooth, rich, and full of flavor. I loved it and will DEFINITELY be getting a larger container of it! In fact, this was the one product in the box I didn't share with Alex. I drank it up before he even noticed...oh well, his loss!
This sweet, chewy almond chocolate bar from Nii was the all around winner. I loved how simple the ingredients were and how filling it was, and Alex of course loved that it was packed with chocolate. Perfectly sweet with a little crunch- definitely a bar I'm not sure I would've picked out in the first place but would definitely buy again; That's the best part about the Vegan Cuts box! A bunch of stuff to try and fall in love with...or not. But for just $19.95 each month, you don't feel like this little splurge is really a splurge at all. And who doesn't LOVE getting mail?!
I recommend getting your vegan booty over there and ordering yourself one right now. Oh, you're a raw vegan? A gluten-free vegan? Yeah, they're got you covered. Beauty more your thing? They do that too. Seriously, they ROCK. They also have a super cute, fun-filled online store full of fave products and some extra stuff, too. What're you waiting for? Like them on facebook, follow them on twitter, and order yourself a Vegan Cuts Box!
(As a Vegan Cuts affiliate, I get a small percentage if you order a box. On that note, this review was published BEFORE I became an affiliate with them and is in no way biased. In fact, I became an ambassador because I love their service and the quality of their curated products and support their business- and I highly encourage you to give it a try, too.)
*YES, I was sent a box free of charge to review. NO, I didn't agree to be nice. I just really, really liked these products and I'm sharing it because I think YOU might, too.*
Vegan Fashion Review: