Tag Archives: vegan

My Favorite 3…Makeup Items

In my search for makeup items that do not contain any animal products or byproducts in them – such as beeswax, animal fat, crushed beetles or fish scales – it has also become important to me that the beauty company operates in a cruelty-free manner; that is, their products are not tested on animals.

It has been quite difficult finding items that are both vegan and cruelty free. Oftentimes, the information is not readily available. However, I’ve found a few companies and products that I’m comfortable sharing and recommending. Here are my current top 3, all of which I use daily:

Kat Von D – Tattoo Liner ($20) This brush-tipped liquid liner goes on smoothly and easily. On their website it says: “#VeganAlert and 100% Cruelty Free Forever.” They are part of PETA’s Beauty-without-Bunnies program. More info: Kat Von D Beauty is going completely vegan.

Too Faced – Sweethearts Blush ($30) The blush has a palette that includes three color swatches. On their website it says: “Vegan friendly.” They are also part of PETA’s Beauty-without-Bunnies program. Note: although they are cruelty free, not all of their products are vegan, so if you want both you’ll have to check the ingredients. They keep a convenient list of their vegan products on their FAQ site.

Tarte – Lights, Camera, Lashes ($23) This mascara is very deserving of its great reputation and 4.5 star reviews. On their website it says: “Vegan.” As with Kat Von D and Too-Faced, Tarte is part of PETA’s Beauty-without-Bunnies program; while they are cruelty free, not all of their products are vegan. They keep a list of their vegan products on their website.  

As with my shoes, over time I hope to make my entire stock of beauty items both vegan and cruelty free. I am hopeful this might inspire you to take a look at your beauty supply as well!





*There have been cases where the claims from the manufacturer were proven to be false, so note this is subject to change.

10 common cosmetic ingredients that are derived from animal products

101 cruelty-free and vegan makeup brands

Testing cosmetics and household products on animals


Vegan Cheese Taste Test

I’m not vegan. However, I’m on a nutritional path that might just lead me there someday. If I tried to explain that path here, I’m afraid we’d have a novel instead of a blog entry! Suffice to say, I’m on a search for tasty vegan alternatives to dairy cheese.

If you’re not familiar with the benefits of eating vegan, I recommend reading these posts:

Below is a summary of tasting notes from my friend (also not vegan) and me. 

(If you’re viewing this on a desktop computer, you can click the image to enlarge it.)

2015-11-15 19_50_26-I can't live without cheese - Microsoft Word

Cheese plate

Vegan Cheeses from L–>R: Chao’s, Treeline, Follow Your Heart, Miyoko’s and Heidi Ho.

A few weeks after I did the comparison of the five cheese above, I also bought a package of Chao’s Creamy Original, and put it up against the Follow Your Heart Provolone-style cheese in a meltability battle royale of grilled cheesy goodness. The verdict? Both were great! I do not feel the need to buy conventional dairy cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches anymore; both completely satisfied the grilled cheese craving for me in terms of taste and texture. For bread, I used the Alvarado St. Flax Seed Wheat (delicious!) and instead of butter on the outside I slathered on some of the Heidi Ho Smokey Chia Cheeze.

grilled cheese2

grilled cheese

Have you tried any vegan cheeses? Did you like them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments below!

Fast and Easy Vegan Meal: Zoodles! [Recipe]

When I’m working from home, I love to eat Zoodles (zucchini noodles) for lunch or dinner. It’s very filling, delicious (in my humble opinion), and super easy to make in under 5 minutes. You read that right. < 5 minutes.

Gather ingredients:

  • Zucchini. I’m a 5′ petite woman. One zuke makes a mid-sized meal for me; two and I’ll be stuffed!
  • Pasta sauce. Mia’s Kitchen Tomato Basil sauce is my favorite. I buy it from my local chain grocery store (Safeway). There aren’t any scary ingredients (see photo).
  • Seasonings. All optional. The sauce already has plenty of flavor, but feel free to add salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. I also shake on some Bragg’s nutritional yeast at the end, similar to how some might use Parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast is a seasoning that contains iron, selenium and B12, which is great for vegans, as B12 isn’t naturally occurring in plant foods. It’s an essential nutrient that can be found in meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, milk, etc. No animals are harmed in the process of creating nutritional yeast because yeasts are members of the fungi family. It tastes similar to cheddar cheese and the smell reminds me of a chicken bouillon cube.


Tomato Sauce branded

Then, get your tools together.

  • Spiralizer or vegetable peeler. If you’re going to make this often, then I’d recommend getting a Spiralizer. I realize it looks like a torture device, but it’s super easy and fast to use: insert preferred blade, insert veg, crank. Done! My sister bought me a Spiralizer as a gift; she purchased from Amazon (~US $24). Of course, the fun doesn’t stop at zucchini. Try potatoes, squash, apples, and more!
  • Knife.


Spiralizer comes with 3 different blades. Today, I cut my zucchini into thirds to show you how they turn out: ribbons (left), skinny noodles (middle), and thick noodles (right).

3 Kinds


I prefer to eat my zoodles cooked down into pasta sauce, so the ribbons or thick noodles tend to hold up better to the cooking process. If I’m eating my spiralized veggies raw, I tend to prefer the ribbons or skinny noodles.

In the pan

I plate it up my Zoodles with the nutritional yeast, some whole wheat vegan bread (Alvarado St. brand – also from Safeway), and top it off with a little more sauce.

Super fast, super delicious vegan meal. What’s your go-to meal that takes less than 5 minutes to make?