monthly favorites, Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

February Favorites

Happy March VCF family! Not unlike January, February was equally short as it was long. Losing two to three days at the end of the month is bittersweet; happy because March is full of exciting things for our family and sad because, well, it’s two days less of time! Any who, you’ll see some February Favorites that are classic OGs and others that are new. What have you been loving this month?

Swiss On Shoes

I’m trying to pick up running again. My schedule barely leaves me time to breathe so I’m trying to fit it in where possible. I know once we move into the new house, my fitness will get back on track, but for now, my treadmill in my living room (ew) will have to do, and these shoes I bought when we were in Manhattan Beach, CA a couple years ago have regained my love.

Best of all, according to PETAOn is 100% vegan.

iPad Pro

I’m constantly thinking about work and things I have to do. Instead of carrying around numerous notebooks and post-its and notes, I now do everything on my iPad. Don’t get me wrong–I miss my old fashioned writing and still write in my gratitude journal every morning, but this iPad guys…game. changer.

Ember Cup

Hasn’t failed me so far. I use this Ember mug once if not twice a day, morning and night.

Faux Fur Infinity Scarf

Polar vortex. Snow. Ice. Slush. I hate it all, but this faux fur infinity scarf is coming through to keep my neck nice and warm. Best of all, it’s a Target find, for less than $15 (at least when I bought it a couple years ago).

Question of the Day

What are you guys loving this month?

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle, weight loss

One Small (and easy) Step for Quick (and healthy) Weight Losses

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional. Please seek advise from your general practitioner before starting a new routine or healthy lifestyle. 

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve! You may be one of the 45% of Americans going into 2019 who resolve to lose weight, and I don’t blame you. While it’s not at the top of my list every year, I can certainly say that it’s been kind of a priority since I was in middle school, and more so when I wanted to join the Varsity Tennis Team in High School. However, I lost weight in both healthy and unhealthy ways. But unlike the majority of New Year’s resolvers who start every year with gumption that fizzles into Netflix and Chillin’ come February 1, I’ve cracked the code to healthy weight loss.  

With that said, look out for a weekly Weight Loss Wednesday series where you can follow along my weight loss journey as a vegan, where I also give you some tips on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that believe it or not, is not completely about omitting the things you love.

This week, I’m going to share one tip that may help loads of you. 

HEALTHY WEIGHT LOSS TIP: Eat Fat, Get Fat 

This is by far the simplest thing you can do. Intaking pure fat is the quickest way to gain actual fat (or add to your adipose tissue). I say pure fat because there’s a difference between pure fat and healthy fats as you probably already know:

Pure Fats – Oil, in any form:

  • Olive oil – reducing the intake of oil is the easiest thing you can do for your weight loss journey 
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (dairy or vegan)
  • Cheese – reducing the intake of cheese and dairy is probably one of the healthiest things you can do for your body 

Healthy Fats 

  • Avocados
  • Nuts (be aware of serving sizes. A handful can easily be between 300-800 calories). 
  • Chia seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Soy beans (keep daily intake low)

If I can’t have oil, what do I cook with? 
When you sauté, cook with water or vegetable stock. Another alternative is cooking spray. 

The rule of thumb is to intake up to 8-10 grams of fat per day at most…

…but more than anything and as with any healthy lifestyle–moderation is key. AND don’t let the scale dictate your day! 

Your changes should not be a diet. They should be a part of a healthy routine that fit your lifestyle. Not the lives of someone you see on Instagram or even your co-worker or friend who’s schedule and day-to-day is completely different from yours. 

I was going back and forth about starting this kind of series. Is this something y’all are interested in?

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Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Food

Vegan Taco Ring – Easy Vegan Dinner Recipe

 

Photo Sep 09, 4 38 32 PM

I became vegan a few months after my husband and I moved to Illinois. January 1, 2016 marks my vegan birthday (cue balloons). As many vegans will tell you, the hardest part was finding fun recipes and thankfully, Instagram came to the rescue. I found a recipe similar to this ageees ago, but what I learned is that so many of these recipes can easily be tailored to your own. I especially love this one because it’s literally a garbage pile, in that you can throw all your leftovers into the mix, wrap it up, bake it and voila: taco ring.

A couple weekends ago, it was raining like crazy, and I wanted to bake and cook and just be around a warm oven. So I made the taco ring. What’s best about this is, you can easily make it for a potluck or a bring it to a party as your go-to meal because it’s literally SO easy to make and can be made really quickly too depending on the ingredients you use. The one I’m showing you guys below is a little more involved because it includes potatoes. Take out the potatoes and that literally cuts down about 20 mins of time. So, let’s get started!

Taco Ring Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 roll of crescent rolls (Pillsbury is accidentally vegan, but Annie’s makes vegan options)
  • 1 packed of Soyrizo (soy chorizo)–I get mine at Trader Joe’s (it’s the cheapest there too)
  • 1/2 packet of taco seasoning (also from Trader Joe’s)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pouch of potatoes
  • Veggies of your choice

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut up all of your veggies and start sauteeing them.
3. Open your crescent rolls and lay them out to create a sun shape. The point side should be the outside of “the sun” and the wide side will overlap from piece to piece like below:

TR-3

4. Cook the soyrizo in a separate pan for about 5 minutes. Then toss the mixture with 1/2 packet of the taco seasoning.
5. Mix the soyrizo with the veggies and whatever else you want to fold into the mix.
6. Scoop the soyrizo mix onto the ring like below:

Photo Sep 09, 4 00 55 PM

7. It will get messy, but that’s ok. After you’ve scooped as much as that will fit, fold the point side into the wide side, like below:

Photo Sep 09, 4 01 55 PM

8. Optional: Add vegan cheese to each ring on the top:

Photo Sep 09, 4 03 56 PM

9. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, then let it cool.

If You’re Using Potatoes

  1. Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces.
  2. Throw them in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drain and let them cool for 5 minutes, before tossing them into your taco ring mix.

Photo Sep 09, 4 38 32 PM

Question of the Day

Have you tried this kind of recipe before? What’s your go-to potluck meal?

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Gift Guides, Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, Vegan Fashion, vegan lifestyle

VCF Labor Day Sales

When I was a little kid, my mom would pore through weekend flyers like it was her weekly task. We would pile up all of the flyers on the floor and my brother, mom and I would sit in a circle, like a kumbiya trust circle of ads. She would look through each ad (back to front), then pass it on to me. I did the same, then passed it on to my brother. This is why I associate Labor Day sales with Macy’s (10% cash back through eBates), and nothing vegan or cruelty-free in particular. Now that I’m an adult (some might disagree), I look through Target ads every Sunday, and grocery ads to look for vegan and cruelty free deals…but are there really vegan Labor Day sales or cruelty-free Labor Day sales? Yes! Take advantage of the sales below to get the most bang for your hard-earned bucks. The list is short but powerful!

Asili Naturals: Asili Naturals is having a End of Summer Sale. 40% off their entire site, now through September 16th. Use code: ENDOFSUMMER at checkout.

Kat Von D: Up to 40% off cult products + Free vegan leather makeup bag, compact mirror, Mini Tattoo Liner in Trooper Black and Mini Studded Kiss Creme in Lovecraft when you Spend $75

Lime Crime: Receive 40 percent off site-wide.

Passport to Organics: Free Hyaluronic Vegan Milk Toner with purchases over $75

Primal Life Organics: 10% Off 100% Organic, Gluten-Free, Vegan Skin Care with code DRSUZHEALS

PUR Cosmetics: Everything from this cruelty-free brand is 20% off with code LABOR.

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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free, vegan lifestyle

L.A. Girl PRO Matte Foundation Review

The search for a vegan and cruelty-free foundation and makeup in general continues, but my hunt for a VCF matte foundation specifically seems endless. For the past month or so, I’ve been testing the L.A. Girl PRO Matte Foundation (not sponsored) as an affordable alternative to a lot of the higher-end (mostly NOT VCF) foundations out there, so that you can make your transition to a vegan lifestyle much easier. I bought mine at Ulta (you can use coupons on it!) for get this, $8.99…and that was pre-coupon. I mean. Come on! I thought it was too good to be true, so I put the foundation to the test, for more than one month straight.

LA Girl Pro 6

1. CONSISTENCY

This foundation is easily thick and creamy and offers a medium to full-coverage. It doesn’t really feel like I’m wearing a ton of makeup and doesn’t look cakey which is nice.

LA Girl Pro 2

2. LONGEVITY

Not going to lie, I had high expectations for this foundation, and it didn’t deliver. It looks great at first, but after about a couple hours, I had splotches on my face where the foundation pooled with my oil–should my blog have had a “graphic” disclaimer? Sorry but I had to test it for you guys and that’s exactly what happened! This is why I think this foundation is better off for those who have normal/combination skin.

FYI–I touched up with powder maybe 3-4 times in my usual 10-hour day at the office alone to cover up the grease.

3. QUALITY

Between an “eh” and a thumbs up to be honest. I was, however, surprised by how good the quality is for the price. I did like that it came with a pump though!

LA Girl Pro 3

4. COLOR RANGE

LA Girl Pro 5

This L.A. Girl foundation only comes in 14 color options–such a bummer. I bought cafe at first, which was FAAAR too dark. This should’ve been named Burnt Toast because that’s what your girl looked like, and what’s worse, no one told me. #rude.

So I switched it up and went a shade lighter, which was much better. If it didn’t wear off an hour later, I’d be a sucker for this foundation.

5. VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE FOUNDATION?

Cruelty-free? According to their FAQs: Please be assured that we do not test on animals. Beauty 21 Cosmetics (their parent company) is a proud member of the cruelty-free PETA organization.

They also wear the Cruelty-Free logo on their website! *Praise Be*

Vegan? L.A. Girl is not 100% vegan, although some of their products are. You can contact them to get a full list of their vegan products. I.E. some of their products contain beeswax.

OVERALL

TBH guys, I would pass. The color that eventually matched me looked beautiful, but that was it’s only redeeming feature. Needless to say, I do not use this foundation anymore.

RATING: 5/10 because of it’s initial beauty.

Would I recommend you buy it? Pass if you have oily skin. If you have normal to combination skin, this may be a win for you.

PRICE: $8.99 for 1 oz. I bought mine at Ulta.

QUESTION OF THE DAY

How do you keep your makeup in place all day? Do you guys touch-up at all?

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