Wait.. that’s vegan!?

Hi everyone. After my post the other day about things I noticed since going vegan, my sister told me I should make a post about foods that are vegan but you wouldn’t assume are. I am still discovering these foods and I love finding foods that are ‘accidentally vegan.’


  1. Oreos: While I have no idea what chemicals make up the creamy center of the Oreo cookie, I do know it’s vegan. I also know that unless you can hide them like there’s no tomorrow, these cookies don’t last more than 2 days in my house. 😉 03202CF
  2. Twizzlers: Twizzlers recently got rid of the gelatin in their products which make them the perfect vegan-friendly movie companiontwizzlers4
  3. Reese’s Puffs: Despite most other Hershey products being filled with milk and whey and animal products galore, cocoa powder is used. Bonus, they are also gluten free!87adee93-165e-4e20-834a-c9efc4c0a39c.jpg.web
  4. Cocoa Pebbles: Once again, cocoa powder is used to flavor the cocoa pebbles. These are gluten free as well!0002_Cocoa-Pebbles
  5. Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup: Perfect on top of some vegan pancakes or some dairy free ice cream!91z14MSci2L._SY679_
  6. Chick-Fila Waffle Fries: Once again they’re potatoes, but these are fried in vegetable oil instead of the alternative… Animal fat.slide_362648_4081737_free
  7. Swedish Fish: No gelatin in these either.450
  8. Poptarts: Not every flavor of Pop tarts are vegan.. Mainly the chocolate ones. However, the unfrosted kinds and most of the fruit flavored ones are vegan but always double check!Strawberry_Pop_Tarts
  9. Junior Mints: My absolute favorite candy is vegan! Other than Reese’s peanut Butter Cups but Justin’s brands get the job done just as good!Junior-Mints-Box-Small
  10. Thin Mints: Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t eat girl scout cookies. Thin mints are vegan!!thin_mints_new_web

What I’ve noticed since going vegan

Hi everyone. It’s been over a year since I decided to make the transition from omnivore to vegetarian and about 2 months of being completely vegan.

Since I started cutting meat and dairy and any animal product in general out of life, I have definitely noticed changes in all aspects of myself. Since I get quite a few questions from people asking the benefits of going vegan, I decided to make depicting some of the things I have personally benefited from since making this life change.


  1. I have more energy: tumblr_mej31n5m5S1ryo3y9Contrary to popular belief that going vegan makes you sluggish because of the lack of protein in your diet (eye roll) I have never had more energy. Prior to breaking my toe… I had been waking up at 5:40 each morning and going on an hour or so walk each day. It gave me a nice kick-start to my day and I sure as hell beat my mom and sister out of bed.
  2. My skin has been clearer: I’m not saying that I have no pimples… because I’m a teenager who, with hormones, and forgetfulness, sometimes forgets to change her pillowcases every other week or wash her face after a workout, but I don’t break out as frequently or nearly as much as I did before going vegan.
  3. I eat more but I weigh less: I used to count calories religiously as a younger teenager. I would still, despite my counting calories and vigorous fitness routines, not lose weight. Now, I eat a lot more (albeit I eat a lot more fruits, vegetables, and things to that nature) but I have lost weight/look slimmer with/without exercise.
  4. I poop more: Bowel movements are never things people like to discuss but I mean, it’s sort of common sense. I eat more, thus the waste has to go somewhere. So… I poop more. I don’t really know if this is a benefit or anything but I feel it is good to know.
  5. I have made friends: ezgif-3693741041Since the vegan population is pretty slim, whenever someone mentions the term vegan or even vegetarian, every single plant-based person within a 5-mile radius comes running. I have met a ton of cool vegans who have not only helped me stay on track with veganism but have also passed some amazing recipes my way.
  6. I am saving animals!: ezgif-2510867318I love animals (I’m sure you all know I’m partial to goats and dogs). I love every animal ever. I also used to love goat’s milk. Why is it that I found it okay to abuse (I didn’t know I was abusing these goats at the time) one animal I love but have another animal I love cuddle next to me on the couch? After going vegan, I have saved so many animals (even though it doesn’t seem like it) by eating plant proteins, milking almonds and soy (that’s what my dad calls it) and by being cautious when buying clothes and beauty products. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is.

There are so many more benefits and just random things (like the poop example) I have noticed since going vegan but I feel that these 6 are super important to share. If anyone is vegan or wants to go vegan please feel free to ask me more questions or let me know what you noticed after going plant-based!

Alicia

Pea protein? no whey

Hello everyone. Right now, I am sitting in front of my laptop, post workout, disgusted as I gulp down my protein smoothie. But wait: it’s full of fruits, vegetables, coconut milk yogurt, AND almond milk so how can I be disgusted you may be wondering?

It is filled with a minuscule amount of pea protein powder that gives off a chalky before, during, and aftertaste no matter how I incorporate it into my post workout drink. However, I put the last of my frozen fruit and yogurt into it, so I cannot make another.

Since going vegan, people I don’t even know have the audacity of asking me ‘Where do you get protein?’ to which I always roll my eyes and eat another crabless crabcake. Before I went vegan, I used whey protein in my smoothies and I couldn’t taste it. However, whey protein isn’t really an option for my plant-based self.

I am calling upon the vegan community (or hell just anyone who uses proteins that aren’t whey) to tell me what their favorite protein powder is. I would go out and buy all of the proteins and see what I like the most, however, protein powder is not by any means cheap and I don’t want my possible protein deficiency to break the bank.

I really do enjoy the benefits of protein powder, and especially since I have been working out a ton since the New Year I would like to have some protein to build muscles because I know there are days when I (everyone for that matter) is deficient on some of the key nutrients we need. However, I would like mine to never be protein so that the next time someone asks me about my protein consumption; I can spike their drinks with pea protein.


Please please please help me. I have resorted to plugging my nose while I drink my smoothie today and I need immediate assistance with the task at hand.

Until next time

Alicia

Winter Necessities

Hi everyone, this was originally going to be a Blogmas post, however I wanted to wait and see what I got for Christmas as a filler for this list. I was going to post this earlier however I haven’t had much time or motivation for posting. But here I am, back in action.  I also appreciate all the comments, likes, and emails about my dog. I appreciate everything you have said and thank you for your kind words. Let’s get started with some of my winter necessities.


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Oatifix Face Mask (Lush): During the winter my dry skin becomes dryer and the fact that my skin is sensitive does not help one bit. I am a firm believer in keeping my skin care and life as natural as possible so shopping at Lush is a natural move for me. With its mix of vanilla, oats, and bananas, this mask is perfect for moistening dry skin and is great for those with sensitive skin as well.  I am in love with this facemask and I use it all the time.

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Acure Brightening Facial Scrub: I have been using this face wash for a few months now and I use it religiously in the winter. During the winter, I tend to get stressed more (not sure why) so I always break out. This mask is a savior for clearing up my skin. It helps keep skin clear and keeps skin bright which is necessary during the winter.

Candles: Candles are my shit. No matter the scent or color or size or whatever of the candle is, I love candles. I burn candles day in and day out. The one I am obsessed with at the moment is an Essenza candle is the scent Pomegranate Fuji Apple. My dad got a 4-pack of those candles from a work party a bit ago and I love all four of them.

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Biore Strips: More skin care woot. During the winter, my pores seem to triple in size, leaving loads of room for blackheads to form. However, I use Biore strips on my nose (and my chin sometimes too) so I don’t look like I have tiny volcanoes littering my face.

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Fun (Lush): This is an amazing soap/ shampoo duo that can also be used as a bubble bath. I am a firm believer in baths, especially during the winter when it’s cold outside. This fun is able to be molded into fun shapes or just tossed into the bath for a bubble bath. It is such a versatile product and not to mention, it smells fabulous.

Slippers: Alright, I have never owned a pair of slippers (or at least not in the past like 9 years) and I received a pair a few weeks back, and my life has been changed. I died and was then resurrected. I am the 2017 Jesus. Basically, they’re like walking on clouds and if I’m in the house, they are on my feet. If you own slippers, I am now part of the secret slipper sisters club, and if you don’t:  Buy some…NOW

Bath Robes: Basically just read the slippers one except substitute slippers with bath robes and you’re good.

These are my winter necessities, what are yours?

Thrive by GoMacro Nut Bars Review

Hi everyone, a couple weeks back, I won a giveaway done by Lazy Girl Vegan, sponsored by GoMacro. The prize was a sample pack of their new Thrive ‘Ancient Seeds Superfood Nut Bars.” I have tried some of GoMacro’s bars before but never these (since they are new) and decided to share with the blog world my opinion of them. Let’s get started.

The box containing all 12 bars

The box containing all 12 bars

The Thrive bars are available in 6 flavors: Ginger Lemon, Almond Apricot, Caramel Coconut, Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip, Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, and Blueberry Lavender.

All six of the flavors

All six of the flavors

They have quite a few flavor combinations for all kinds of palettes. I tried all 6 flavors and will share the pros and cons of each, and some of my favorites.

*The bars are listed in order from my favorite to least favorite*

Almond Apricot

Almond Apricot

Almond Apricot: I can honestly say I had never tried an apricot before this so I had no idea what I would be in for. I really really really really liked this one. A ton. I am always hesitant on fruit flavored bars unless they are strawberry because you never know what you’re going to get. This was surprisingly good and very refreshing. If there is one I am most excited about buying it is the Almond Apricot because it’s unlike any other bar I have ever tried

    Pros: It was a very refreshing taste, almost like eating the fruit right then and there.

    Cons: The almonds in the bar are whole almonds am personally not a huge fan of when there are full almonds in bars. I like them sliced or whatever.

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Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt

Chocolate, Nuts, and Sea Salt: Being a firm believer in the chocolate and sea salt combination, I grabbed this one first. This one takes the cake for my favorite of the sweet ones (without fruit). If you are a chocolate lover like myself, BUY THIS BAR.

    Pros: Very tasty and nothing was too overpowering

    Cons: For me, nothing

Caramel Coconut

Caramel Coconut

Caramel Coconut: I was never a coconut fan. Every Halloween, had I been given any Almond Joys they went straight to the trade pile. However, after living in California for a year, the love of coconut has been ingrained in me. I liked these a ton as well.

    Pros: You could really taste and feel the coconut flakes which to me is always a good reminder real coconut is used

  Cons: Couldn’t taste an extreme amount of caramel and the coconut did overpower it

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup: Your average chocolate chip peanut butter combination. Nothing too special about it. Good nonetheless.

  Pros: One of those, you can’t mess up the formula and is good no matter what.

   Cons: Nothing really.

Blueberry Lavender

Blueberry Lavender

Blueberry Lavender: Well, blueberry lavender. Lavender. I was a bit terrified of this name because when I think lavender I think of freshly washed sheets but was curious as to how the two would taste together. Curiosity killed the cat… and my taste buds. I was not a fan. The blueberry part was good but whatever lavender I was tasting, was not good. I made my dad try it and he wasn’t displeased with the bar. He said it was a bit bland but not terrible.

    Pros: The blueberry half was good, very sweet.

    Cons: The lavender was mainly the aftertaste but still, not a fan

Ginger Lemon

Ginger Lemon

Ginger Lemon: Preface before even tasting: I hate ginger. So naturally I wouldn’t like this bar… I didn’t. Not to be overdramatic but I couldn’t even swallow it. This is by far my least favorite. But I knew it would be because I hate ginger. I had my mom eat what I couldn’t bare to and she loved it. So, this one is definitely palette dependent

    Pros: The lemony aftertaste

    Cons: The ginger.

All in all, I love the brand in general and will continue to buy the bars that fit my palette. Something I love about not only these bars, but the entire GoMacro company is that they are certified Gluten-Free, Vegan, Organic, and Non-GMO. Perfect for so many people trying to live health-conscious and those with allergies as well.

If any of your try these bars please let me know what you think of them! Also remember to check out Lazy Girl Vegan because I wouldn’t have had the chance to try all of them had it not been for her.

Alicia

October 1st

Happy Halloween! well not really, but it is October 1st, so it basically is the same thing. If Christmas gets the entire month of December and half the month of November (Also i have already seen Christmas decorations and it was only September so Christmas sort of gets the last third of the year), So, Happy Halloween!

That literally isn’t even what this post is about. October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, it was also VeganMania in Chicago, but I had to babysit for the entire duration of the event so I unfortunately couldn’t attend. I also missed a goat walk, so that was probably the worst part.

Anyway, I have decided to go back on my journey through veganism over the past year and see what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed.

I remember vividly, my first night of college, my roommate and I went to Chipotle. I ordered chicken on my burrito bowl and my roommate looked disgusted at me and said “Chicken? You know they kill them right?” And I sat there, unfazed, as I continued to spew my order to the guy behind the counter. And here I am, a year later, yelling at the man in the chicken commercial who brags that their chickens are organic and cage free.

While I mentioned in one of my most recent posts that I had been a bad vegan, I have been. This journey has been long, grueling, however rewarding. I have no shame that for my first 18 years of my life, I lived on mac and cheese, grilled cheese, chocolate milk and bacon! Then my roommate has me watch forks over knives, cowspiracy, and other random videos about animal abuse.

Then, I went full vegan. Something not many people do all at once. Most people I know go vegetarian first for a few years, and then if they’re feeling outrageous, they go vegan. I however, cut animal products cold turkey. It has been a struggle, a rewarding one but a struggle nonetheless. I really feel that I should have transitioned slower, and maybe I wouldn’t have ‘cheated.’ I didn’t, and am learning how difficult this is.

I understand that this isn’t cheating, technically, because I am the one who is doing this. I am in this by myself for myself and for the animals.

I have been trying my best to remember why it is that I started the transition to veganism. I am doing it for the animals. I am doing so that 100 less animals are killed every year, and that despite all of the animals killed and tortured, it won’t be because of me.

Today, a year later, here I am, struggling but doing very well at it. I wouldn’t consider myself full vegan because I have slipped up a few times, but I am trying. Today, I am 30 pounds lighter, happier, crying whenever I see farm animals that were saved, and yelling at every chicken commercial I see. I really needed to write this post, for myself, to show how far I’ve come, and to shoe how far I need to go. I am doing well, but still have a long way to go.

So, happy world vegetarian day. Go vegetarian. Then vegan!

Alicia

Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake

One of the items on my summer bucket list was to make a vegan cake, and I surprisingly did it. I’ve had this recipe on a word doc for a while so I don’t have the website where it originated. I also may have adjusted a family recipe to make it vegan, I really can’t remember. Anyway, the cake was delicious, and even my sister, who isn’t vegan, really enjoyed it. Note I didn’t make the frosting (we used store bought) but I have made the frosting for cupcakes I once made and the frosting is delicious as well.

As a kid, I always loved chocolate cake, and I’ve always been a sucker at parties for cake. However, since going vegan, cake has been something I haven’t been able to enjoy. For my birthday I didn’t get a cake (because my family doesn’t really know anything about vegan baking) and just ended up eating grapes after my grandma put candles in a few of them.

With this recipe, I was quite surprised it turned out as good as it did. With a few of my other vegan baking experiences, I’ve ended up with underdone banana bread, dry chocolate chip cookies, and the most disgusting oily frosting I’ve ever eaten (not this recipe’s). So naturally, I was a little bit nervous about making this recipe. Not only did I have to please myself, but my sister was also going to enjoy this cake as well, and I don’t think I would live it down if this recipe turned out less than perfect. However, it did, and after she added some flower sprinkles, the cake was to her liking.

How I made this delicious vegan cake:

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After preheating my oven to 350F, I gathered all of my ingredients (listed at the end of this post)

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Next, in a large bowl (as large as you have) put all of the dry ingredients in that bowl ,and whisk together.

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Now, in a medium sized bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and whisk those together as well.
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Using a mixer, gradually mix the wet ingredients with the dry, making sure not to over mix.
Next, grease two 8″ round pans and divide the batter into the two pans.
Note: When baking my cakes, there was some cake hat stuck to the pan, not too much and the cakes were not difficult to remove, however, to make the residue as minimal as possible and removing the cakes simple, you can place parchment in the pans before pouring the batter.
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Bake  until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (40 minutes) Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

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Once the cakes are cooled, run a knife around the edge of both cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove each cake.
Once the first cake is set on the plate, cover the entire top of that cake with frosting. Then place the second cake on top of that. Frost the entire top of that cake and around the sides of the entire cake. Decorate if needed desired. Serve.
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2½ Cups  Flour
  • 2½ Cups  Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2⅔ Cups Non-Dairy Milk of Choice (I used almond)
  • ⅔ Cups Vegetable Oil (Canola can be used as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Prepare two 8″ round baking pans by lightly greasing them.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then put aside.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  7. To Assemble the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes.
  8. Set the first cake on your cake plate, and frost the top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake.
I hope all of my vegans (and non-vegans) try this recipe and let me know how it goes. Also, if anyone has any other fool proof vegan recipes I should try, let me know.
Alicia