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

 

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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:

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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:

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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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Vegan and Cruelty Free Beauty, Vegan Cruelty Free

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation Review

TarteF1

My search for the perfect foundation continues. But first, let me set the stage in case you’re a new reader:

  1. I have oily skin.
  2. I have a brown complexion with red undertones in some areas.
  3. I could have smaller pores.

So what does perfect mean to me? A foundation that doesn’t move around even after a long day on the job, keeps me looking matte and doesn’t oxidize. Well it turns out that these three things are a TALL order for your every day foundation. Not to mention I’m totally entitled and need a foundation with SPF to protect me from all the sun’s realness. Not much right? Wrong.

My search brought me to the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage 12-Hour Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen. Now that name sounds like it covers alllll of my three bases, so I put it to the test. Here are my results:

1. CONSISTENCY: What “Clay” Foundation Feels Like.

The foundation is middle in consistency between watery and thick, however probably leans more on the #thick side (hi!).

TarteF6

2. LONGEVITY: Does Tarte Foundation Really Last 12 Hours?

This is where I was gravely disappointed. For the first day, it seemed to work fine. I tested it both with a primer underneath and without, however the primer didn’t seem to make that much of a difference. Note: This may have worked awesome for you and let me say that I am totally jelly of you for that, but I do have oily skin, so keep that in mind.

It lasted for about 2 hours before it started to move all around the place. I touch my face when I’m thinking or just taking a pause between projects. Why? No clue. But then I go to the restroom and I what look like little nicks on my face where my foundation moved. It literally sat on top of my skin and didn’t stick to anything. That said, it didn’t necessarily feel like I had a lot of makeup on so that’s a plus.

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation QUALITY

I think the quality is definitely there! It really make my skin look great (I always set my foundation with the same powder), even if it lasted all of two hours. As far as ingredients goes, this one is fantastic when it comes to sunscreen. Both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are mineral sunscreens, which are much better than the other ingredients on the market that are complete with fillers such as: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

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4. Full-Coverage Foundation COLOR SELECTION

There are 40 color options to choose from, which is a lot more than I can say for your run-of-the-mill drugstore options! I color matched as 44S Tan Sand, and I think it was actually a little bit dark for me, so I replaced it with 40H Tan Honey, which worked out much better. It also didn’t oxidize orange, but I did find that it settles in a bit darker than what you see out of the tube. That may have just been me. Otherwise, I would say err on the side of a lighter shade to find the perfect match.

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5. Is Tarte Foundation VEGAN & CRUELTY-FREE?

Kind of!

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Cruelty-Free? When asked if Tarte is cruelty-free, they say: tarte cosmetics is a cruelty-free cosmetics line. tarte makeup and skincare is never tested on animals.

Vegan? When asked if Tarte is vegan, their answer is: many of our products are vegan! At the bottom of every tarte product page in the tarte shop there is an ingredient listing where you can find the ingredients to the products you’re interested in. tarte cannot guarantee that any ingredients or products were produced in an allergen free environment.

With that said, this Amazonian Clay 12-hour foundation is vegan-friendly, and it is one of  many makeup options that are in their “Vegan Friendly” collection: #notsponsored

TarteVCF
Source: Tarte.com

OVERALL

I would recommend this foundation not at all for it’s longevity, but for the quality if you’re looking to smooth out your complexion for a couple hours. A dinner? A photo shoot? A short outing? Perfect. Anything longer than that just didn’t gel with me.

RATING: 6.5/10 because of it’s longevity, otherwise I think it would be a solid 8.5!

Would I recommend you buy it? I think it’s worth a shot to see if it works with your skin.

PRICE: $39 for 1.7 oz. I bought mine at Ulta.

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you use this foundation? How do you use it? What do you love about it? If it works for you–you’re so lucky!

Also, if you’re interested in reviewing certain products, let me know which and what you would like to see about them! These other reviews might give you some ideas.

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