Today, I’m introducing a new series called Vegan Victories. My goal is to make this a monthly series to discuss the different advances in the vegan movement. Today’s post is called Vegan Victories: November 2016. Read on (or listen via podcast) to learn what’s new and exciting in the vegan world!
The first thing I think is important to discuss is my view point on veganism. I describe myself as a passionate AND compassionate vegan. That means I’m passionate about the health and environmental impacts of veganism. I’m also compassionate towards myself and other people who are on this journey in any shape or form. It’s not always easy being vegan, so we need to be compassionate towards ourselves along the way.
With that said, let’s move on to Vegan Victories!
Vegan Victories: November 2016
Here are the things that have me jumping for vegan joy this November.
Quorn has a Vegan Veggie Burger
You know, Quorn has been around, producing meatless and soy-free products for a long while now. Their products are a great resource for vegetarians, but not so much for vegans. That’s because most of their products include eggs. And hey, I started out as a vegetarian and I’m all for supporting great, tasty, and accessible vegetarian products. Quoin has done an awesome job establishing a presence in a wide variety of stores, including grocery stores, healthy food stores, and more.
Yay to Quorn and to vegetarians!
The folks at Quorn reached out to me recently to let me know they have a new line of vegan products — from chicken tenders to veggie burgers. Pretty exciting stuff!
Shawn and I tried the Quorn Vegan Burger and we liked them! They’re still a little hard to find, but I’m sure that will improve as word gets out. I can find the Quorn Vegan Burgers at our Natural Grocers store.
If you see Quorn Vegan products at the store, we recommend them!
More Vegan Mayo: Hellmann’s
Vegan Mayo. Wow, it has been quite a journey. A few years ago, there were like two brands available and they were kind of meh. Just being honest. Today, we have a lot more options.
And, in fact, Hellmann’s is getting into the game. Now, if you recall, Hellmann’s made kind of a stink about Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo a couple of years ago, but to no effect. You can now find Just Mayo in Walmarts, Targets and just about everywhere else.
It appears that the old saying rings true, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, because now Hellmann’s is introducing their own line of vegan mayo. I say let bygones be bygones. I haven’t seen Hellman’s Vegan Mayo at my local grocery store yet, but I’ll be sure to buy some when it does!
Vegan Fashion: Fancy Block Heel Booties
I was on Facebook recently and saw an ad for a super cool pair of boots. Here’s a picture. It’s actually called a bootie because it is a short boot.
I was discouraged when I followed the link and realized that cute bootie was made from leather. And these boots are $150. That’s a little pricey in my book. I was discouraged, but not dissuaded. I decided to look around to see if I could find a vegan version…and I did!
In fact, I found a few. Here they are:
Option #1: This is the Faux Suede Bootie from Charlotte Russe. I actually love this one even more than the original. I like the lighter color and the bigger heel. The price is a very affordable $22 (on sale from $36).
Option #2: If you’d like a lower heel, check out these Sun Faux Suede Booties from Target. When we’re dealing with fashion, you’re supposed to say Tar-JAY. Hey, I don’t care how you pronounce it, those shoes are cute. And I bought a pair of faux suede booties from Tar-JAY a few years ago and they are very comfortable. I’m still wearing them. I mean, not at this very moment, but at other times. Anyway, these shoes are comfortably priced at $49.99…and bound to be on sale some day soon.
Finally, I kind of like this Faux Suede Pointy Toe Bootie by Wet Seal. The pointy toe kind of gives it a cowboy look, but I think they’d look great with a pair of jeans. This shoe comes comfortably priced at $37.
It’s just exciting to see the affordable, accessible and quality choices we have available to buy shoes and purses and what-not, that are NOT made with leather. It’s definitely a vegan victory!
Now, let’s get back to food.
Vegan Yogurt via Stonyfield
I had the great pleasure of working directly with Stonyfield Organics because they were the primary sponsor at the 2016 Chopped Conference. They brought along some of their vegan yogurt and, let me tell you, I was one happy chick. I can find the Stonyfield O’Soy Yogurt at my local grocery store and it’s rich and creamy. It might even make you forget you’re eating something dairy-free. I love it and buy it regularly.
Taco Bell’s Vegan Friendly Menu
Every now and then we may find ourselves in need of some fast food. Hey, we’ve all been there, whether traveling or home on a Tuesday night and you don’t feel like cooking. You’ll get no judgment from me on that, but the trick is finding the restaurants that will work around the food you want to eat.
Taco Bell is making some big news in this department. They recently announced the Taco Bell Vegetarian Friendly Menu, which also helps Vegans out too!
Actually Taco Bell is the first restaurant of its kind to offer American Vegetarian Association (AVA) certified food options.
Taco Bell sells 350 million vegetarian items a year. Who knew! In fact, another thing to love about Taco Bell is that most items on their menu can be modified to remove meat, cheese and dairy, giving vegans and vegetarians a lot of options. Here are an example of just a few vegan options:
- Order the Seven Layer Burrito without sour cream and cheese
- You can ask for the Bean and Rice Burrito
- Ask for the Tostada without cheese and sour cream
- Sometimes I’ll order the cup of beans without cheese and a sub of salsa. It’s pretty good!
I usually ask for salsa on just about everything and then add about 10 packets of Diablo hot sauce. That Diablo is the only thing that comes close to remotely hot enough for me. I should probably just carry Sriracha in my purse.
Let’s move on to the healthy benefits we’re celebrating this month.
Vegan Health Studies
It’s true, we can’t talk about Vegan Victories: November 2016 without going into the healthy benefits.
So, let’s talk about some of the recent health-focused materials related to vegan diets. I love this post from Nutrition Facts on the benefits of a plant-based diet on the health benefits of a vegan diet. Not only does Dr. Greger talk about the health benefits, but he also breaks it down to specific conditions and foods. It’s a great resource. Dr. Gregor was also on the podcast talking about his book How Not to Die.
Also, I listened (twice) with great interest to Rhonda Patrick, PhD talk with Valter Longo PhD about a Fast Mimicking Diet and the related health benefits. Dr. Longo about a vegan, mediterranean diet as part of this discussion as well. I was impressed to learn about the health benefits of eating within a tightened window of time. Some people call this Intermittent Fasting. You know, like your windshield wipers? Now you’re fasting…big pause…now you’re not.
Dr. Longo also talks about a Fasting Mimicking Diet. It’s where you go for several days at a time eating fewer calories per day to create a fasting effect. He says you can reap a lot of health benefits from a fast, especially when you’re dealing with certain health conditions. They talk specifically about people who are battling cancer. As you know, I shared recently some tips on a plant-based approach to cancer. It sounds like, based on this discussion, that introducing a fasting mimicking diet before chemo can be very important. Dr. Longo recommends that the most effective results come from a combined effort of diet/nutrition combined with chemo. Anyway, check out this video if you’re interested to learn more. They also have it in podcast format if you prefer to listen. Just look up the Found My Fitness Podcast.
I’m fascinated with the health impacts our diet can have, so I have definitely been practicing time restricted eating as a result. I’ve also started adding apple cider vinegar to my diet every day. There are real health benefits attributed to apple cider vinegar and it’s relatively inexpensive to give it a try. Just be sure to dilute it with water before drinking it. I do 1 tablespoon to an 8 oz glass of water.
Well, that’s it for Vegan Victories: November 2016. It feels like every day there are new food products to try, faux leather products to wear, and real health and environmental impacts to be proud of.
I’m a big supporter of vegetarian and veganish diets as well, so wherever you are on this journey…
…health and happiness to you!