Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
As a vegan committed to living a natural lifestyle, finding a great, non-toxic deodorant can be tricky. I have tried half a dozen over the years, struggling to find one that keeps up with my active lifestyle. Deodorants are unlike antiperspirants, which prevent you from sweating via harsh chemicals like parabens, aluminum, phthalates, and propylene glycol). These chemicals can also be found in deodorant, and I don’t know about you but I don’t want my body absorbing them! That's why I was thrilled at the results of the truly natural line from Schmidt’s.
Music is one of the finer things in life - it is rare that I make it through a day without listening to a few songs at home. I love using my iPhone and iPad for this, as they're portable and faster to navigate than my computer. One downside of mobile devices is the low audio levels, which leave a lot to be desired and ruin the mood when you want to bump up the jams. This is why I was thrilled to be introduced to the Bamboo Amplifier from Loudbasstard - this neat looking contraption boosts the sound of any mobile device without electricity or batteries! Sound like something you'd like to play around with? Enter to win one below, along with a chance at a stand for your mobile device! Congrats to the winners of this contest!
On the hunt for gourmet vegan food in Los Angeles? One spot many residents and visits overlook is The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Perhaps it's because their plant-based offerings are relatively new, or perhaps there's a resistance based on the upscale nature of the hotel brand. However, if you're looking for a fancy dining experience and phenomenal food you must visit one of the hotel's restaurants: Culina, Windows Lounge and Cabana. And if you're not in the LA area or planning a visit in the near future, you can whip up two of the new gluten-free dishes at home!
Practically every vegan across the U.S. knows about The Chicago Diner, a legendary destination as far as plant based restaurants goes! As a ChiTown resident, I get to go there whenever I like - spoiled, I know!!! Since 1983, The Diner has been building it’s reputation as THE Chicago vegan/vegetarian choice to eat at for years. Even back when the city's reputation with meat-and-potatoes was the norm, this little cozy diner was making waves. The Chicago Diner is pretty darn famous here in our city and everyone that stops by for a meal, leaves with a big smile on their face and satisfied belly. It really is a special attraction for both natives and tourists alike.
This green juice has been hitting the spot recently, so I've been making it almost every day. I love the refreshing, tart grapefruit combined with the spice of ginger and the bitterness of dandelion greens. The pear and cucumber balance out the juice with sweet, mellow flavors, and the spinach adds an extra nutritional punch.
Amanda plays a very active role on Eco-Vegan Gal, most notably via her wonderful product reviews. She and I have a lot of things in common, from living in Boston, MA to having a passion for the enviornment, animals, holistic living and organic, gluten-free food! Here's more about Amanda and her mission to take care of all species and the planet:
I went vegan in July 2012 after watching Food, Inc. and Earthlings, and doing my own research about the meat industry. I was a vegetarian for a couple of months and thought I would never go vegan. I was that person who said, “I could never give up cheese”, but learning about the dairy industry and chick culling broke my heart. Choosing a compassionate, cruelty free lifestyle is by far the best choice I have made in my life. The added environmental and health benefits are amazing! I was diagnosed with anemia during my adolescence and since going vegan it has been reversed. Removing gluten from my diet and losing twenty-five pounds has helped curve my PCOS symptoms. Overall, I feel healthier, lighter, and happier since going vegan.
I am a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston with a BA in women’s studies and psychology. Since college I have been involved with social justice campaigns from women’s rights to LGBTQ rights. Going vegan encompasses my commitment towards ending oppression for all living beings. Being part of the EVG team has inspired me to co-launch The Envi Girls, a site dedicated to eco-vegan living. When I am not interning and working on The Envi Girls, I work for Vegan Cuts and an app. In my free time I enjoy trying out vegan & gluten-free recipes, writing, reading, practicing yoga, and volunteering.
Amanda's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: "Eco-Vegan Gal plays a role in my life as a vegan committed to eco-friendly living. I find Eco-Vegan Gal to be the most informative, well-rounded site out there for eco-veganism. Whitney’s passion and dedication captures my attention, and I know other viewers feel the same. My favorite EVG video is Feel: How Your Emotions Affect Your Health. I love this video because it speaks to how much our emotions affect our overall well being. I know since going vegan my emotional health has improved and I have become a more positive person. Positivity is an amazing emotion that greatly affects our health versus negativity, which brings our health and others around us down. Optimism and positivity keeps me healthy, happy and productive."
Follow Amanda's journey:
Product review by EvG team member Amanda Shea:
I am always on the look out for new healthy, great tasting bars, though as a gluten-free vegan, it can be difficult finding some that taste great. More often than not bars are full of preservatives and high in sugar. Thus, I was excited to hear learn about Taste of Nature, because all of their bars are vegan, gluten-free, and organic! Could I ask for more? Oh yeah, they're also made without additives, artificial flavors, or preservatives! Here's what I thought of them:
Product review by EvG team member Rachel Curit:
There are some things we miss when going vegan, and then there are some things that we don’t realize we miss. At first I didn’t realize I missed Doritos, and then suddenly my appetite for cheese-flavored chips came rushing back. Fortunately in 2014 there truly is a plant-based option for virtually everything. And bonus: the product line I'm about to tell you about is also gluten-free, corn-free and non-GMO.
Every once in a while I'm hit with a wave of sneezing, nose blowing and sinus inflammation, and it is extremely frustrating, especially when the neti pot doesn't help. When I last found myself in this miserable state I whipped up a beverage with some anti-inflammatory ingredients in hopes it would soothe my sinuses; and low and behold it did!
This sweet and spicy beverage can help reduce inflammation in many parts of the body, and can be enjoyed warm or cold.
Ingredients (use organic whenever possible):
- Turmeric - powder (1/2 Tbsp) or root (1 inch piece)
- Ginger root - 1 inch piece (or to taste)
- Cinnamon powder - 1/2 Tbsp (or to taste)
- Stevia - powder or drops, to taste*
- Water - 1 cup
* I used 4 drops of Omica vanilla stevia drops. If you don't like the taste of stevia, feel free to use a low glycemic sweetener, like coconut sugar, or none at all.
- Blend together.
- A high speed blender is not necessary but if you do not use one you will have to grate the turmeric and ginger roots before blending.
Review written by EvG team member Rachel Curit:
Anyone who has ever thought that vegan food is flavorless and boring needs a copy of Food Fusion in the Vegan Kitchen stat. Joni Marie Newman shows her readers how to make decadent and satisfying food with everyday ingredients that could be found at the local grocery store. She takes well known dishes like Vietnamese bahn mi or Italian fettuccine Alfredo and adds an ethnic twist to make it even more exciting and unique.