Had to share these vegan wonders with you!
Most were “discovered” this year on my vegan journey. And some are just too good not to mention, even thought they’re not “new” to me.
P.S. At this writing, my blog is not monetized, so I’m writing all this just because I want to share this info with you, my wonderful readers. I have not been compensated to review or share any of this information.
- Pacifica products.
I especially love the body butters and lip tint. Vegan, gluten-free, luscious and lovely! One of my 2015 goals is to try some of the other Pacifica products because I love, love, love them!
- Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar.
Can’t stop eating them, so I don’t buy them often. Completely addictive. Almonds are healthy, right? Yeah, right! Here’s a little blurb Trader Joe’s wrote about these tasty treats.
- Native Foods Sesame Kale Macro Bowl.
This is my go-to meal at Native Foods. It’s gluten free (I wish they had more savory, gluten-free options) and this one is worth the visit. I also love the cucumber salad that comes with it. And it inspired me to create this sesame kale bowl recipe to make at home too.
- Instant Pot.
For years, I tried to cook beans on the stove. I soaked; I sprouted; I added baking soda; I added salt; I added nothing and cooked for hours. I tried everything I could think of to make them soft. But, when you live a mile above sea level, water boils at a much cooler temperature and for whatever reason, my beans were always hard, so I gave up and bought them in cans, until… enter Instant Pot! This beast cooks my beans in about 35 minutes,even if I don’t soak them – probably even quicker if you live at a lower altitude. Even hubby (who is very picky about the softness of his beans) approves. Dry, organic beans are inexpensive, healthy and delicious. Oh, and it makes great potatoes in no time too. And did I mention soup? The instant pot is not cheap, but worth every penny.
Why iodine? Well, in 2013, I developed a goiter and had some growths on my thyroid. My mom and aunt had thyroid cancer, so I was a little freaked. I had a few visits to the endocrinologist who kept inviting me back to her office for checks, but low and behold, my research was right! I was just eating way to much raw kale. Way too much. And not getting any iodine. Thanks to supplements, I got a clean bill of health from the doctors a week ago and have not been invited back! Good news and I credit the iodine. Learn more about goitrogenic foods here.
If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to! If you have friends who care about the environment, especially friends who aren’t vegan, invite them to watch it with you. The evidence is beyond overwhelming that animal agriculture is killing the earth. See it now. Share it with others. Take action. Please. http://www.cowspiracy.com/
- Telic shoes.
These clogs and flip flops look a little like Crocs or Okabashis, but they feel like heavenly vegan marshmallows on your feet. Try on a pair and tell me they’re not the most comfy shoes you’ve every worn. http://www.telicfootwear.com/index.aspx
OK, confession. I didn’t “discover” MeetUp this year, in fact, in 2011, the first thing I did when hubby and I decided to go vegan was seek out vegan groups in our area and MeetUp helped me connect. It’s been a great resource and fun way to meet new friends. If you haven’t checked to see if there’s a vegan MeetUp group near you, I highly recommend it. If you don’t find one, why not start one? There are lots of lonely vegans out there looking for like minded friends to share a meal or outing. I’m so grateful for the MeetUp groups in my area and the many friends I’ve made going to events. http://www.meetup.com
- Shelter Pets.
Many of you know, we lost our sweet Chloe in September. Both hubby and I are still heartbroken and haven’t yet decided to bring another fur baby into our lives. We need some healing time, but I know we will adopt when we’re ready or when the universe let’s us know we’re ready. I can say that while we had no idea how old Chloe was, and we learned she was probably much older than we thought when we adopted her six years ago, I wouldn’t trade a day of her years with us for anything in the world. She brought us joy and unconditional love. I’m not sure who “rescued” who. If you are considering a pet, please, please consider adoption and save a life. Shelters are filled with wonderful animal friends just waiting for loving humans to make them a part of their lives. Visit www.petfinder.com to find shelter pets near you.
OK, another one I didn’t discover in 2014, but do I ever use this site when traveling. It’s the easiest and by far the best way to find good vegan grub away from home. HappyCow.net
- Gorilla Food.
When I visited Vancouver, BC last fall, I was lucky enough to stay right across the street from the fantastic Gorilla Foods. If you get a chance to go to Vancouver, this is a must. I ate there twice and even brought along a pre-vegan with me the second time. She loved it too. Everything is raw, organic, incredibly fresh and a happy dance for your taste buds. I got lucky and had the opportunity to chat a little with Aaron Ash, founder and chef extraordinaire. His raw breads blew me away, and yes, he said it takes him a few days to create each “slice”. Desserts are divine. And the menu is massive. Go eat here if you can or check out the cookbook and try to whip up some of this scrumptious for your sweet self.
- Watercourse Foods.
For years, Watercourse Foods was a prime vegetarian spot in Denver. In 2014, the restaurant changed to all VEGAN options. Whoa!!! I jumped for joy and found the new menu to be delightful. In 2011, Denver had zero vegan restaurants. Now we have four Native Foods, Watercourse Foods and #2 on my list…
- Nectar House Cafe.
While technically, not completely vegan, since some of their juice smoothies have honey, all the food is vegan and raw and there are many drink options without the honey. I still think this place is pretty sweet, especially the Sunday brunch. Jenna George and Piper Rose can rival the best raw chefs anywhere with their creations. In 2015, I resolve to eat at Nectar House Cafe more often.
When I started this blog in 2011, I just wanted to share some of my vegan experiences, recipes rants and praise with other like minded people. I knew there had to be at least a couple out there. And there were! Each year, the blog grows more. In 2015, I’m determined to post more, share more, do more to promote the vegan lifestyle and living it gluten-free. I am so grateful for every new and returning reader and hope you’ll stick with me. Whether you are already vegan, gluten-free or both, or simply seeking resources and information for yourself or someone you care about, I’m so happy you’re here. Every choice for food, clothing, beauty care, furniture, entertainment, health and our environment can be a compassionate one. I appreciate your journey to make the kindest choices you can for your health, the health of the planet and the plight of the 10 billion animals who suffer and die each year.Let’s make 2015 the kindest, most compassionate year ever. Thank you for joining my gluten-free, vegan journey and best wishes for yours.
Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favs of 2014? What are your hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations for 2015? Share in the comments below!!