Author Archives: urbanveganchic

About urbanveganchic

I'm an urban chic woman, who is passionate about educating others about the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based vegan diet, cancer prevention & survival, as well as art & life. I love adventures and travel. As an artist and a teacher, I care deeply about healthy living, being a conscious steward of our planet, and being kind & respectful towards animals. Learning about a vegan plant-based diet has been like discovering a new country and falling in love with it, so if I sound like I'm enamored you now know why! As a world traveler, I truly wish I had discovered this beautiful new country twenty years ago! Better late than never, as they say, cause there's no going back now! Born and raised in Scandinavia. Proud owner of a tripod cat & a foxy little pup. Speak four languages...some better than others. Working on the fifth one. We are all either part of the problem or the solution! Health & Happiness to you! ~UrbanVeganChic

It’s Never Too Late To Become A Vegan



A BIG Thanks goes to Jess Walter for submitting this excellent post!

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about going vegan for years but still haven’t taken the plunge. Maybe you think you’ve waited too long, and worry that it’s too late for you to make the switch. After all, only about 4% of American adults over the age of 55 are vegan or vegetarian — does this small number mean that it’s not a good idea? In a word, no. Older adults have plenty to gain from a plant-based diet. Here’s what you should know about going vegan as a senior.

Eating Made Simple

Many older adults end up adjusting their diets because eating becomes more difficult as we get older. A plant-based diet might be easier to chew than a meat-based one. Though not all vegan foods are healthy, if you maintain a good vegan diet that’s loaded with fruits and veggies, you’ll be sure to get plenty of nutrients while aiding your digestion. Vegan meals are also generally easier to prepare and waste less food, which is why it’s ideal for seniors who’d rather not spend extended amounts of time preparing elaborate meals.

The Perks Of Going Meatless

Aging is inevitable, our bodies will change and decline as we get older. Over time, our immune system will stop functioning properly, our joints will start aching, and our senses will begin to dull. But our diet can hold off the aging process. Research has found that vegans have the most antioxidants in their bodies compared to lacto-ovo vegetarians, pescatarians, semi-vegetarians, and non-vegetarians. Antioxidants protect cells from damage, potentially holding off the signs of aging for longer.

No matter what your diet, it’s important that you consume a varied range of foods. If you ensure that you’re consuming the nutrients your body needs, you can lower the risk of developing many conditions common to seniors. For example, vegans and vegetarians are less likely to have diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Your Changing Dietary Needs

As we age, our bodies need less calories to function, which means we can easily get our daily calorie requirements from a non-meat diet. However, just because your caloric requirements have decreased doesn’t mean you need less nutrients. Senior vegans should ensure that they’re getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies healthy.

Thankfully, there are plenty of plant-based sources for the nutrients our bodies need. For example, we can get calcium from soy milk and dark green leafy vegetables. Nuts and legumes are excellent sources of protein. And as you get older, it’s probably a good idea to supplement your diet with doctor-recommended multivitamins suitable for your needs — whether you’re vegan or not.

Do Your Research

Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you can’t go vegan. Switching to a plant-based diet shouldn’t sacrifice your health; in fact, if done right, it should make you even healthier. If you’re seriously considering going vegan, read up on how you can make sure that you’re giving your body all the nutrients it needs.

Shifting to a new diet can be difficult, but you don’t have to rush into things. Start slowly by adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet and lessening your meat intake. And, of course, make sure to set an appointment with your doctor and a nutritionist so you can get advice on how you can safely transition to the vegan lifestyle.


Thanks again, Jess! You Rock!!!  Happy Summer, Everyone! ~Nina

Improving Quality of Life for Seniors


The following article has been submitted by Jason Lewis. Jason is a personal trainer and he’s the primary caretaker for his mother. Jason works to create programs that are considerate to the special health needs of those over the age of 65. 


Improving Quality of Life for Seniors

When seniors reach their older years, they want to continue to maintain a high quality of life. Staying physically healthy is important, but that’s not all there is to life. We need to ensure their mental and emotional state is in good shape as well. Here are a few ways to improve seniors’ everyday quality of life and give them a positive outlook, which can ease stress and help cognitive function.

Monitor Depression

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says depression affects up to 5 percent of the elderly population. That number jumps to 13.5 percent for seniors who require home health care. Get acquainted with the signs of depression in the elderly and be on the lookout for them in the seniors you know and love, especially after major health incidents or events like the loss of a spouse. If necessary, take them to the doctor to get the help, counseling, and/or medication they might need.

Stay Physically Active

Regular physical activity does wonders for both the mind and body. Exercise can keep the blood flowing, relieve stress and anxiety, sharpen the mind, boost the immune system, encourage better sleep, build stamina, and even create fun. This doesn’t have to a huge workout for seniors. Even something as simple as walking or swimming can give them the benefits they need. They don’t even have to leave their home. There are many at-home exercises that seniors can do inside using exercise videos or fitness apps. Staying active is the key.

Another excellent exercise for seniors is playing golf. There’s nothing like spending time with friends at a golf course while breathing in fresh air and enjoying the sunshine. Golf is also a great low-impact workout; seniors can burn calories by walking and swinging their clubs.

Stay Mentally Active

Mental activity is important as well. Find something the senior in your life enjoys and help them stay mentally engaged. This can take the form of reading, games, and puzzles, such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku, or even learning a new instrument if they’re feeling adventurous. Some seniors may even want to go back to school for a class on a topic they’re interested in.

Keeping the brain sharp isn’t all about puzzles. A plant-based diet can help improve memory and cognitive function, slow the aging process, increase energy levels, and even help seniors get better sleep. Next time you go to the store, encourage seniors to try new fruits and vegetables or visit the farmer’s market together. If you help with food prep, put veggies front and center. You might even consider starting a garden together to pair low impact exercise with healthy eating.

Fight Substance Abuse 

Sadly, dependency and addiction are issues with seniors that you may have to face as you maintain their quality of life. While Americans over the age of 65 comprise about 13 percent of the population, they take about 33 percent of all prescription drugs. Even when they take medicine for legitimate reasons, it can lead to abuse, addiction, and dependency, especially with opioids. Statistics also show that up to 17 percent of adults over the age of 65 struggle with alcohol abuse. 

If you see any signs of dependency or addiction, talk to them about it. Research treatment options and get them into a program if necessary. Let them know you’re there for them and you’re not going to leave them, even when things get tough. 

Overall Happiness

You can do several little things to give seniors a brighter outlook on life as well. Create beauty in their lives with fresh flowers, their favorite music, and sunshine. Make sure they’re eating well. Get them out of the house for community events or even just a country drive or walk in the park. Arrange their medications and any treatments they’re undergoing so they don’t have to spend so much time and energy managing details. Share details of your life with them and include them in family events; they love to be part of what’s going on with their loved ones.

Although seniors face challenges in their later years, they can still live a fulfilling life if you follow a few simple guidelines. Giving seniors a high quality of life is the least we can do after all they have done for us.

Thank you so much, Jason! I really appreciate your contribution and the work that you do! Happy Spring, everyone! 

Is Lack of Self-Care Ruining Your Mental Health?


Hello Everyone,

The following article has been generously submitted by Brad Krause, who left the corporate world to help promote the simple notion of self-care. He is the writer and owner behind SelfCaring. A link to his site can be found at the end of this article.



When you don’t take care of yourself, your mind and body are left vulnerable. The good news is that you don’t have to drastically change your life in order to reap the benefits of self-care.

A gut feeling

You already know that eating the right foods can make you feel good. The reasons for this are many, including fueling your body well. But one lesser-considered benefit of paying attention to what’s on your plate is gut health. Your intestinal system doesn’t really belong to you. It belongs to the billions and billions of tiny bacteria that live inside your stomach, bacteria like lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, and akkermansia. These and other microorganisms need a healthy diet, too. Once you understand all the things that affect your gastrointestinal system, you can add – or take away — foods that help or hinder your health.

The US National Library of Medicine posted a study in 2017 on the gut-brain connection. It’s a long and interesting read, which can be found here. The write-up offers lots of great information, including study results, charts, diagrams, and in-depth explanations, on how the stomach affects the brain. If you don’t have time to read it, a good summary is this: gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of good bacteria, along with systemic inflammation, is linked to severe mental illness.

While there is no simple fix to achieving internal harmony, it starts with the food you eat. For the good bacteria to thrive, it has to have a food source. This comes in the form of prebiotics. Reader’s Digest contributor Charlotte Hilton Andersen explains that foods such as cold potatoes, green bananas, and garlic have gut-boosting properties. These foods and many others should be added to your diet if they’re not already stable menu items.

Sleep away stress 

Even if you get your eating habits under control, there’s still work to be done when it comes to your overall self-care plan. Sleep is another area that tends to get pushed under the rug and neglected due to work, family, and social obligations. But sleep – and especially a lack of it – has significant effects on your mental health, and can cause or worsen anxiety disorders and stress.

Getting enough sleep is one simple and free way to reduce stress and wear and tear on the brain and body. This is crucial for your well-being as well as for your relationships with yourself, friends, and family. Stress is one of the largest contributors to more significant mental health problems in the US, and is undeniably linked to drug and alcohol addiction. Most experts agree that healthy adults should strive for seven hours of sleep every night.

Know your limits

Another important facet of your health is the load you put upon yourself. If you’re a caregiver, you will put everyone else’s needs before your own. You must learn to redirect your energy to places where it matters most, and that starts with you. The simplest way to do this is to get up close and personal with the word “no.” These two letters can empower youto take control of your time so that you can best focus on your health.

Wave goodbye

Finding time to relax is an essential part of your self-care strategy, but you have to relax the rightway to reap the benefits. When you’re on vacation, for example, don’t try to squeeze in every little attraction, but domake a point to sleep in when you can. It doesn’t matter what kind of vacation you take. However, the most relaxing places in the US are usually located near beaches and mountains. Take your vacation time from work. Even if you can only get away for a few long weekends each year, the mental and physical break you receive will offer an opportunity to refresh and recharge so that you can be more efficient upon your return.

The point is that self-care isn’t an indulgence. It’s little actions you take each day – eating well, sleeping, and prioritizing yourself – so that you can achieve and maintain physical and mental wellness.

Thank you so much, Brad! Self-care is so extremely important. It reminds me of being on an airplane and how the flight attendant always reminds the passenger to administer the oxygen mask to oneself first before anyone else. Besides, without adequate sleep, exercise and healthy foods I simply don’t feel and work as well. Thank you again for sharing this excellent article with my readers! 

Here’s a link to Brad’s website:

The Controversial And Confusing Vegan Beauty Industry


Hello Vegalicious friends!

The following post is by Jess Walter who so generously wrote another wonderful piece. Thank you again, Jess! {Photo by Raphael Lovaski}


Going vegan is about more than just food, but the struggle to find great vegan cosmetics can be a mission that puts many people off making the change in this part of their life. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act does not require cosmetics to be tested on animals in the US, so why isn’t the industry cruelty free? It is getting easier for shoppers to source ethical beauty products, and reading books like ‘Skinny Bitch – Home, Beauty and Style’ are a great place to start.

Vegan Versus Cruelty Free Labeling

‘Vegan’ and ‘cruelty free’ mean different things when it comes to labeling beauty products, which can be very misleading, especially for new vegans. ‘Cruelty free’ means that the ingredients and the final product have not been tested on animals, but be on the lookout for animal ingredients, like beeswax or carmine. ‘Vegan’ means there are no animal ingredients. It’s likely vegan products are also cruelty free, but it is possible for the final product to have been tested on animals, so it’s not a guarantee. You need your cosmetics to be labeled both cruelty free and vegan to be certain.

The Ugly Parent Companies In The Beauty Industry

The vegan beauty market was estimated to be worth $12.9 billion in 2017, according to Grand View Research, and is expected to keep growing. It’s no surprise that non-vegan companies are jumping on the bandwagon and bringing out their own vegan products. Garnier has recently done this causing outrage in the vegan community who claim that their products are not vegan. Well, technically, they’re not lying, the products are vegan. This comes back to the vegan vs. cruelty free debate. Garnier are owned by L’Oréal who sell their products in China, where the law is that cosmetics have to be tested on animals, so they are not a cruelty free company. Many vegans boycotted The Body Shop, who pride themselves on being against animal testing, but were owned by L’Oréal. L’Oréal sold The Body Shop in 2017 to an ethical parent company.

The Safety Of Vegan Cosmetics

Vegan products often contain less chemicals and use more natural ingredients, making them great for a clearer complexion. However, there are some common, vegan-friendly ingredients that have been flagged as potentially dangerous and there is still chemicals present in vegan products that you should be aware of. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient in beauty products, like soaps, mascara and acne treatments. Many vegans opt for more natural ingredients and avoid SLS as it has received a lot of bad press for being a skin irritant and has also been linked to cancer. Many ethical cosmetic companies, including LUSH who are over 80% vegan and 100% cruelty-free, use SLS as they believe it’s suitable for sensitive skin and no research can prove the link to cancer claims. It’s up to you to decide whether you ditch the SLS.

If you’re making the switch to vegan and cruelty free beauty products it can be overwhelming to begin with, but don’t let it deter you. If you buy something and realize later that it’s not vegan, learn from the mistake, and either use the product so it doesn’t go to waste or pass it onto a friend and replace it. Make sure to research company’s stance on animal testing and ingredients and ask them questions if you’re still not sure. It will become easier as you find products you like and as the industry grows to make the world a more vegan friendly place.


My Fruit Thing: An Interview


This year I’ve been so inspired by my fruitarian friends on Facebook that I’ve decided to give it try at least for two meals per day… I’m not up to an all day on fruits yet, but I would like to give it a shot for more than just part of the day, so I decided to interview one of the people who has inspired me. Meet my friend Joanne.


1. What made you decide to become a fruitarian?   Who inspired you?

I made the decision to go become a fruitarian in October of 2018. A few years ago I had a thyroid ultrasound due to some very low TSH ( Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels that I had for a while now, but all of my other levels checked out normal. I agreed to an ultrasound just to check on my thyroids physical condition. I already felt like there was something because of the enlargement I was experiencing on the right side. The ultrasound showed three nodules, two on the left and a big one on the right. This was concerning, but apparently not enough to decide to change my diet, and lifestyle. I also had been suffering with chronic candida, and bacterial issues in the urinary tract. Also unfortunately extreme sadness and depression, which made doing something about my health very difficult. Digestive issues, acid re-flux, gas and bloating was also something that I have always had to deal with pretty much my whole life. After that first ultrasound I agreed to a biopsy of the big nodule. The biopsy showed no evidence of cancer cells, thankfully.

Some time past, and I was working as much as I knew how on some of these health issues, but not changing my diet much. In September of 2018 I went to the doctor who ordered another ultrasound, that showed that the big nodule was actually bigger! She wanted to do another biopsy, but I declined. I didn’t feel it was necessary because after this I was determined to get rid of it naturally. I also felt that the biopsy may have contributed to the new growth of the nodule. I have always dabbled in the study of holistic health, but not to the extent that I would have liked. I do believe that anything is curable, and that anything is possible. After this I was a little more worried since there had been growth and change with the nodule. I went online and started researching ways to heal of the nodules naturally. This of course led me to You Tube and eventually to a man called Dr. Robert Morse. I liked what he was saying and it seemed pretty common sense to me. It also complimented a lot of what I already knew about holistic health. I began watching his videos and jumped right in on his recommendations of a raw vegan fruitarian diet for detoxification and the regeneration of cells. I also bought his book so that I could further my studies in holistic health. I started cutting out everything, but fruits, berries and melons from my diet. I also starting working with herbs to support my body systems. As far as someone who inspired me I would have to say Robert Morse because I had never heard anyone teach what he does. Then I began watching Texas Fruitarian and she is also very inspiring. 

Indeed, she is! I love Rebecca’s story as well and will add some links at the end of this for my readers. Here’s a photo of my own “Harvest” that I brought home one day from the store…

My Fruit Purchase

2. How long have you been eating this way and what results have you seen? 

It has been about nine months since I started this diet plan. The first thing I noticed was my stomach issues starting to clear up. As long as I stayed on fruits there was no acid, and the gas and bloating got so much better. Before doing this my abdomen was hard, and protruded out, I looked pregnant all the time! As my digestion improved on fruits so did the acid, gas and bloating. I also lost about 30 lbs in my first six months of staring this. Currently I am 40 lbs down, and this was much needed. I do feel a lot better, lighter and positive about going further. As for the nodules it’s going to take some time because this will require much more work on my lymphatic system and thyroid supporting herbs. 

Wow! That’s fantastic results, Joanne! So inspiring!

3. What does your family and friends think about this? Have you inspired anyone to join you?

My family has always been pretty supportive of everything that I have done even when they disagreed with it. They do see this as extreme and tend to worry about my health. But I try to ensure them that I am learning a lot and do know what I am doing. They of course, as most people do, have a hard time with it because it is so contrary to everything we have been told in schools regarding diet. They also tend to look at it on a superficial level, like this is an extreme way to lose weight. I feel that most people have a hard time understanding how changing our diet, and lifestyle can cause the elimination of illness. On several occasions people have commented on my weight loss and say, “please don’t lose more weight!” I usually tell them that I am not doing this to necessarily lose weight but to heal my body and obtain optimal health. They usually get confused and stop talking about it at that point. lol! I have also had people tell me that I will die if I do this long term, and that it’s basically a form of anorexia. But, I eat more food per pound now than I ever have in my life. The difference is the quality has changed. My personal friends, however, are very supportive, and want to know more. They are more open to change. I like to think I am inspiring everyone to eat more fresh raw fruits, and vegetables at the very least. I think that I am 🙂 I have been trying to help through consulting anyone who is willing to get started. When I get my certification in detoxification, and regeneration then I will look to take on more clients. I do want to inspire people to take their health into their own hands, and obtain freedom from illness. 

4. What recommendations do you have for someone who’s thinking of going fruitarian?

I always recommend that you start slowly at first. Begin by eliminating animal products from the diet, and including more fresh raw fruits, and vegetables. The more fruits, berries and melons you consume in a day the faster your detox is going to be. After that begin to eliminate the cooked foods from your diet, limiting grains, beans and legumes. Raw almonds or sunflower seeds are good for beginners, and will help with some of those cravings. But, eventually you will want to be eating primarily fruits, berries, and melons. The more the better for the elimination of your illness. Never stop learning and educating yourself. Also, bananas are a staple food. And bananas are great for beginners because they are usually affordable and found in any store. This is a low fat, low protein, high carbohydrate diet. So, it is contrary to anything your doctor may tell you is good for you. I always recommend that people watch Robert Morse for more information. People can also find me online, and on social media for more information. Remember that what you are currently doing isn’t working or you would be getting healthier not sicker. 

That is excellent advice, Joanne! Yes, if we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’ll never get any new results. One last question before you go:

5. What do you typically eat in a day? 

I primarily eat fruit all day long, from fresh whole sources. I do eat seasonally to ensure the best quality, and nutrient rich product possible. Especially if it’s locally grown! I tend to have one mason jar full of smoothie a day if I have enough fruit on hand. But, I prefer not to mix my fruits and will go for mono meals of one kind of fruit at a time. These days being mid summer in California, I am eating mostly watermelon grown right here in state. But, in the winter is was mostly citrus fruits, plus bananas, mango, and what was affordable at the time. We also have many established fruit trees at my house thanks to my dad, and I get to eat lots of fresh picked seasonal fruits too. 


“This is a mason jar smoothie meal, made with frozen mixed berries bananas, peach and orange juice.”

Thank you so much for sharing your story and all of this helpful information, Joanne! I appreciate it so much! I am sure my readers will too. Below are some links to further inspire you. Joanne’s link is the first one:

Fruitarian for over 50 years! Hear what she has to say about it.

Check out Texas Fruitarian, our friend Rebecca Rosenberg, on YouTube!


Salt Lake Vegan Trip


The Rose

Happy Summer Everyone,

I realize it has been a while since I’ve written. As a friend said to me a year ago,
“It’s probably because you haven’t felt you’ve had anything to say.” Not exactly true, but that is part of it. Life also takes over. Doesn’t it for everyone? This is from a recent trip I took to Salt Lake City to visit my aunt & uncle, plus see some dear friends. One of my favorite go-to places is The Rose Establishment. Not only do they have yummy vegan things, like cinnamon rolls and muffins on certain days, but they always have this toasted bread with avocado. It is SO Amazing that I ended up ordering this just about every day I was there…I could literally move to Salt Lake just to order this along with their awesome tea that they serve. They also make great coffee! One day I came back twice to read in the afternoon, I had this amazing tea infused with lavender… It just happened to match my Kindle with the not so correct time setting.


On another day I had to go back to Sage’s Cafe…


It says “Vegetarian”, but it is all vegan! It’s another “go-to” place because the food never disappoints, neither does the service!


If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I love their Jackfruit tacos. YUM! That day I felt like a beer. I seldom drink, but that day it was hot and it went perfectly with this meal.

One of the days I was there, my sweet friend made a few adjustments to my hair…


Afterwards, I took him to lunch at a new place that I’d heard about called Boltcutter. I was pretty excited about trying this place out…



…And the menu nor the food disappointed. The prices were also very reasonable.


We both ordered the Chorizo Potato dish in wraps…and we had a glass of wine. The food was great, but the wine less so. We talked to the manager, or the guy who looked like he was the manager. My friend asked if it had been sitting for a while. He didn’t offer to bring us any new wine. Just looked and walked sourly around. My friend and I are very polite to people in the service industry. We also leave generous tips, but this guy seemed to not care about anything. As much as I hate to say anything negative about any vegan place, especially since the food was delicious…However, the service could be greatly improved! After this meal, we were stuffed, but then we saw this place next door called “Monkey Wrench” and guess what? It’s ALL Vegan NICE Cream! YESSSS! So after Mr. Sourpuss  that’s where we headed…


This place seriously did not disappoint and we wanted to chill…


I have a thing for Earl Grey Tea, so I tried out this one, plus another scoop of something equally delicious. It was a bit much after lunch, but we did it. Check out the sign above – notice the “ANTI DAIRY” in the top right corner? That had me at “Hello”! Seriously, if you stop in Salt Lake City, just stop there first! Forget the food…LOL! (I’ll put the addresses below to all four places.)

All in all it was a great trip. I got to spend some quality time with my sweet auntie and uncle. They’re from Denmark, so we spoke a mixture of Danish and English (Danglish) while I was there. I also saw a few friends, went on a couple of hikes…had to work some of these calories off that I was eating.

My next post will be about what I’m eating this summer. I’m on a much stricter diet and workout routine since I’m off for a month and a half. How about you? Any great trips? Places to recommend in the country or world?

The Rose Establishment: 235 S. 400 W. Salt Lake City, UT 84101. M-F: 7am – 6pm | S-S: 8am-?
Sage’s Cafe: 368 E 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111. (801) 322-3790
Boltcutter: 57 E Gallivan Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Monkey Wrench: 53 E Gallivan Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 






Soy Candles: The Ethical Alternative To Toxic Paraffin Candles


Hello! Hello! Happy International Women’s Day, Ladies! Here’s another wonderful and informative article from Jess Walter. What woman doesn’t love candles? I certainly do and I’ve been buying soy candles for the past couple of years.

Learn why here!

Soy Candle


Nothing can beat the soothing and contemplative feeling of being in candlelight. The gentle warmth, entrancing flame, and calming scents really do help us unwind after a long day of over-stimulation and artificial surroundings. It brings us back to basics by setting a mood for meditation and relaxation, which our mind, body, and soul respond to. However, you may not know that the most common type of candle, paraffin, is actually toxic. But the main alternative, beeswax candle, isn’t much better as the obvious animal-derivative makes it definitely not vegan. That’s why we need to make the change to soybean candles – the only non-toxic, natural and ethical alternative available.

The health benefits of switching to soy wax

We don’t want to be putting unnecessary and damaging toxins into our body but, every time we burn a paraffin candle indoors, that’s exactly what we’re doing. It has conclusively been found by the American Chemical Society that paraffin candles emit toxic chemicals such as toluene and benzene which actually pollute the air we breathe; whilst soybean candles do not. That means you may have been unknowingly polluting your indoor air for years. However, the switch to soybean-based wax couldn’t be easier. Soy wax has only positive health benefits; the air remains entirely clean when it is burned, as it is completely non-toxic.

Soy candles aren’t as expensive as you think

Many soy candles are slightly more expensive as they are often hand-crafted and ethically made. Paraffin candles can be produced at rock-bottom prices because the petroleum base is full of cheap toxins and filler. When we pay the slightly higher price for soy candles, we’re actually paying for the quality, the organic and natural ingredients, and of course for the health benefits. And, in actuality, the cost works out the same – or cheaper – as soy wax burns much, much slower and even releases stronger scents because of its high-quality natural oils.

Why soy candles are the eco-friendly and vegan choice

With the number of people living a vegan lifestyle on the rise in the US, the word should be spread that soybean candles are the best vegan option out there. To live a conscious existence, we need to care about the by-damages of any products we fund by purchasing them. Unlike paraffin, vegetable-based soy candles are made from renewable materials and support the American Soybean Association and its farmers – making its production wholly ethical. And of course, as vegans, it’s important to stay conscious about what harmful pollutants we’re exposing living creatures or plants to. That’s why the non-toxic emissions of soy candles make it the only true eco-friendly choice. But the positives don’t stop there. These types of candles are also completely biodegradable due to their plant base, so we don’t need to worry about contributing to growing landfill issues.

Making the ethical switch to soy candles isn’t difficult; the choice is made even easier when we consider all the horrendous toxins and pollutants that the common paraffin candle puts out. Changing to the all-natural, all-ethical and all-round worth it alternative of soy candles is such a simple lifestyle change to make, with massive impacts on the environment, animals and the people around us. So go vegan and non-toxic with your candles, and your mind can be at peace knowing you’ve made the air safer for every living thing around you.

Jess, Thanks again for this wonderful and informative piece! ~Nina 

How To Live A More Organic Lifestyle


Hello Dear Readers,

Here’s a new wonderful piece written by Jess Walter. Enjoy! 


Veganism becomes more popular every year, and now around 26% of Americans consider a vegan diet to be a very healthy lifestyle option – but more and more vegans are taking steps to live an organic lifestyle as well. From growing your own vegetables to shopping at the farmer’s market, there are lots of ways to go organic, and doing so will reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that you consume.

If you’re a vegan who is ready to take the next step, we can help. Here are three ways to embrace organic living. 

Buy Organic Self Care Products

Lots of cosmetic products contain harmful chemicals, including your shampoo and body wash, so it can be beneficial for your health to switch to organic cosmetic products. You can even replace your hair dye products with organic hair color treatments, as these products don’t contain ammonia or bleach. A good organic hair color treatment will even give your hair an extra nutrient boost, helping to make sure that your hair always looks shiny and healthy.

Read The Labels

Lots of prepackaged foods contain products that aren’t organic, so if you are doing your weekly grocery shop and you’re not sure what the food contains, take the time to read the label. Check out the nutrition panel and the ingredients, and if you see any products that you don’t recognize, then put the food back – or take a picture of the ingredients so that you can find out more about them online. This can vastly help to reduce your chemical intake.

Consider Getting Your Vegetables From A New Source

You can buy organic fruit and vegetables in most store, but local producers and farmers markets are more likely to stock a wide range of organic products at affordable prices. This means that it will be easier for you to buy more organic products, or you could even go a step further by growing your own fruit and vegetables at home. This means that you know everything that you are eating is organic, and this also helps to promote a more sustainable form of living.

These three simple tips are easy to include, and mean that you will be living a much more organic lifestyle! It doesn’t have to be a difficult task to be healthier; a few small changes is all it takes.

Thank you so much, Jess! I greatly appreciate you!!!

Feel free to leave us a like or a comment below if you have any other suggestions or ideas or simply found this helpful too! 

Vegan Baby Shower


This past weekend my gorgeous friend Jessica was given a baby shower. Jessica is having a healthy vegan baby and we all can’t wait to meet her! Jessica’s beautiful friend Emily, who’s not a vegan, took it upon herself to make all the amazingly delicious vegan appetizers for the baby shower. Let me tell you, they were DELISH! Thanks to all the original authors of these yummy recipes. The recipes are not mine, nor Emily’s or Jessica’s, but I believe the creators would be proud to see them and know how much they were enjoyed. 

Table with food

Author: The Coconut Mama

Coconut Fruit Dip – Paleo & Dairy Free! 

Coconut Fruit Dip


  • 1 Cup of Coconut Cream, cold with water removed. Coconut cream is the cream on top of cold coconut milk (I use this coconut milk). I suggest refrigerating the coconut milk overnight before making this dip. The coconut water will pour out easily leaving the cream on top.

  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Honey/Maple Syrup or a few drops of Liquid Stevia

  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract


  1. Scoop cold coconut cream into a medium size mixing bowl.

  2. Whip up the cream using an electric mixer.

  3. Add sweeter and vanilla.

  4. Refrigerate dip until ready to serve.

  5. This recipe makes approximately 1 cup of dip.

  6. Serve with fresh fruit or coconut flour graham crackers. Enjoy!




Serves: approx ¾ cup


  • 1½ cup cooked garbanzo beans* (how to soak and cook dry beans) OR 1 can of garbanzo beans, strained and rinsed 3 times

  • 3½ – 4 Tbsp maple syrup

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa

  • 2 Tbsp water (optional)


  1. In a blender or in a food processor, combine all the ingredients except water, using just 3½ Tbsp of maple syrup.

  2. Puree until the mixture is smooth, about 30-60 seconds. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time to create the desired consistency. Taste the chocolate hummus and add remaining maple syrup if desired.


* I’ve tested this recipe with great northern beans, garbanzo beans and black beans. I prefer to use black beans since the “bean” flavor is more subtle and they produced a creamier texture, but you can really use whatever you happen to have.
* If you use canned beans and there’s salt already added, reduce the salt in this recipe to just a pinch.
** If you choose garbanzo beans, remove the skin from the bean first. You can do this by pinching the bean between your thumb and index finger, and the skin will peel off. This helps to create a creamier texture when using garbanzo beans.

Sherry Lime




  • 1 can organic artichoke hearts (14 ounce can, drained)

  • 1 can organic chickpeas (15 ounce can, drained)

  • 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 organic lemon (freshly squeezed)

  • 2 cloves organic garlic (freshly crushed)

  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon organic chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon organic dried thyme

  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt


  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend just long enough until everything is well combined – do not over process (you want to still have small pieces of artichoke).Serve with your favorite chips, crackers or veggies.Enjoy!


Vegan French Onion Dip with Dill

Prep Time 10 Minutes          Cook Time 20 Minutes         Total Time 30 Minutes

A dairy free, whole foods version of my favorite French Onion Dip and Dill Dip combined. It’s, of course, great with potato chips, but raw veggies, pita chips or crackers would be delicious as well!

Course: Appetizer, Dip, Snack

Cuisine: dairy free, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free, vegan

Servings: 8 1/4 cup servings

Calories: 140 kcal

Author: Jenn S.



  1. Heat the vegetable broth in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat for a minute or two. Turn down the heat to med-low, add the onion powder, garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Let the onions cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a 1 tbsp or 2 of water (or more veggie broth) as necessary if the onions start to stick.

  2. Meanwhile, rinse and drain your soaked cashews

  3. In the bowl of a food processor, place the cashews, vinegar, lemon juice, dill and salt. Process until it starts to come together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add 1/4 cup soy milk and process again until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. If you feel you need additional liquid add more soy milk 1 tbsp at a time. It should be the consistency of loose cream cheese when it’s done.

  4. When the onions are done, turn off the heat and add the cashew mixture to the pan. Pour in the other 1/2 cup soy milk and stir until smooth and creamy. If you like a a dip a thinner consistency, add a little more soy milk.

  5. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold.

  6. Serve cold with chips, raw veggies or crackers.

Recipe Notes

*You can slice you onions in long thin strips or dice them smaller. It’s really just personal preference. I’ve made it both way and prefer them in a dice, but both ways are good.

**If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to soak your cashews, it will still work. Unsoaked cashews will make more of a cashew butter, than cashew cream, so you may need several extra tablespoons of non-dairy milk (or water would work too) to thin it out.

***I have used Silk Unsweetened Original Cashew Milk in this recipe as well. It is also very tasty…a little sweeter than using soy milk. But, any unsweetened non-dairy milk should work in this recipe. 

Vegan Buffalo Cau


Prep Time 10 Minutes         Cook Time 30 Minutes         Total Time 40 Minutes

This addictive Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip is super creamy, decadent, and secretly healthy/ You’d never guess it was vegan, gluten-free, and packed with protein. Make it for the big game or as an appetizer for your next dinner party.

Alexis: Alexis

Cuisine: Appetizer

Serves: 12


  • 1-12oz bag frozen cauliflower florets, steamed according to package directions

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained

  • 1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • ¾ cup original Frank’s Red Hot sauce

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • Tortilla chips (I love Beanitos Pinto Bean Chips) and veggies, for serving


  1. Place cashews in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Spray an 8x8in baking dish with cooking spray.

  3. Add to the bowl of a large food processor the steamed cauliflower, cashews, chickpeas, hot sauce, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, which will take several minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

  4. Transfer dip to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, turn the oven to broil, (keep the oven open) and cook for 5 minutes longer.

  5. Serve with chips or veggies for dipping. I like it hot or cold!

  6. Dip will last at least a week in the fridge.


Easy Vegan Vegetable Dip

Credit goes to: Around My Family Table


  • 8-12 oz container Tofutti Better than Sour Cream

  • 3/4-1 package Ranch seasoning mix (non-dairy), vegetable dip or Italian Dressing Mix (or use a homemade version)

  • 1/2 avocado


  1. Combine “sour cream” and Italian dressing mix in a small container (or just right in the sour cream tub). Blend with stick blender or hand blender. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Easy Hummus Recipe – Better Than Store-bought

Credit goes to: inspired

  • PREP  10 mins
  • TOTAL  10 mins

Homemade hummus is very easy to make and it tastes much better than anything you can buy at the store. If you don’t have any tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, you can try making it yourself (see our Easy Homemade Tahini Recipe) or leave it out. A chickpea purée without it is still quite delicious. Just add more olive oil. Another option is to use a natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter in its place. We love serving this with flatbread — here’s our easy flatbread recipe from scratch.

Makes 6 servings or about 1 1/2 cups


1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas

1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)

1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini, see our homemade tahini recipe

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water

Dash ground paprika, for serving


In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.How to Make Hummus-Recipe-Step-1

Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.

Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.How-to-Make-Hummus-Recipe-Step-3

Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.How-to-Make-Hummus-Recipe-Step-3

Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.



And on a final note…

Jessica I

…Can you believe, that Emily, seen seated here, who is just about to give birth, made all those amazing appetizers for the party? Look at these two beautiful mamas to be! I was truly amazed and inspired at the amazing spread and variety! I sincerely hope you get a chance to make a few, if not at some point try them all! I promise you will not be disappointed. Your party is bound to be a success…even if most of your guests aren’t vegan.

Thank you to Emily and Jessica! xoxo



Recycling for Vegans: How & Why It Matters


Again, my friend Jess Walter has so kindly contributed the following post on recycling. Thank you again, Jess and Happy Holidays! This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart! As Jared Diamond wrote in his book Collapse, “We are all either part of the problem or the solution.” 


All vegans have different reasons for deciding to adopt this lifestyle. But one reason that can unite all vegans is the positive effect it has on the environment. There are many benefits for the earth if you go vegan, including the diet’s ability to reduce energy consumption that is caused by feeding livestock.

In addition to the positive, guaranteed consequences for the environment, eating vegan can also benefit the earth if you give special focus to recycling. Being a vegan means that you want to do all that you can to reduce or eliminate the suffering of nature—and this translates to taking care of the environment by recycling. Recycling is one extra action you can take to do your part in protecting the environment, which is what being vegan is all about!

How to Develop the Habit

Americans can be extremely wasteful—producing 254 million tons of waste per year. This means that we all have an ethical responsibility to develop a habit of recycling to reduce this staggering number. One way to start recycling is to avoid single-use items, like plastic utensils or coffee cups. If you cannot avoid using them for whatever reason, always be sure to recycle them when finished.

Opt to carry your own travel mug when you plan to buy coffee, and bring along plastic containers that can be washed and reused to work. You can even bring your own Mason jar or Tupperware to restaurants to carry home your leftovers. Once you begin taking into consideration how you consume and store food, you will pay more attention to eliminating waste and recycling your dishes/items in responsible ways for the environment.

Start Composting

In addition to recycling the dishes or kitchen products you use when eating, you can also recycle your food instead of putting food down the garbage disposal. Studies show that 25% of landfills consist of food waste, but by creating your own at-home compost system, you can reduce this percentage. There are many different ways to compost that are easy to do in the kitchen or garage.

One simple way to compost is the “trenching” method. Vegans can save all of your fruit and veggie scraps in a sealed container, and after it is filled, you then bury the debris in your garden or yard. This debris can even bring nutrients to your plants, which is helpful for vegans who grow your own herbs.

Thus, by being more away of the ways you can recycle, vegans can develop an eco-friendly approach to consuming food.

Credit: Recycle Garbage Bin Logo Photo by Gary Chan