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Compassion Couture Earth Month Sale

1 Apr

Sale-Facebook-Image-Final

I’ve been having some tech issues getting photos of my camera, which means a delay in blog posts on my end.  Luckily I heard from Jill at Compassion Couture with news of their awesome sale I can share with you instead!

In honor of Earth Month, Compassion Couture is having a HUGE sale – 7 Days Only! From April 1st – April 7th.  Receive 20% off full priced items with code EarthMonth20 and 10% off already reduced items with code EarthMonth10. It’s perfect timing to spruce up your cruelty-free wardrobe!

They’ve also recently added a bunch of new vegan/eco brands such as CoraLlei, Krze Studio & Ella Vickers.

So do yourself a favor and stock up on some cute sandals for spring.  And get a pedicure.  Spring is here!

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Vegan Versions / Alexander Wang Naomi Sandals

26 Mar

Alexander Wang Naomi Sandal
ALEXANDER WANG Noemi Sandal $570

I’m kind of obsessed with all of Alexander Wang’s pieces. They are so simple, minimal, chic and tough. It’s just a shame he uses so much real leather and that his line is so freaking expensive.  A girl can remain inspired though.

I fell in love with these Noemi sandals a while back. I love the mesh sides and that they’re kind of a cross between a cage heel and a boot. So sexy yet tough at the same time.

So I was beyond excited to find a pair that looks almost EXACTLY the same on JustFab, and they’re VEGAN!!!

JustFab Dresden
JUSTFAB Dresden $69

See!  They’re almost exactly the same!  Mine just arrived and I can’t wait for it to get warm enough here in NYC for me to finally wear them.

Eating Vegan Paleo / Masala Tofu and Cauli-Fried Rice

25 Mar

Dinner tonight: Masala Tofu and Cauliflower "Fried" Rice. #Grainfree #vegan and smells amazing!

As I’ve mentioned since my Paleo Challenge at my Crossfit gym earlier this year, I’ve since maintained a totally grain free vegan diet.  I had such great results I now can’t fathom eating any other way.

When I mention I’m grain free to other vegans, their first usual reaction is “I love grains!  They’re the basis for every meal for me.  I could never do that!”  This is kind of ironic to me considering it’s the same type of answer we all usually get when speaking to an omnivore about eating meat, dairy or eggs!

Truth is I’ve actually found it pretty easy to make similar recipes to what I’m used to by using grain “substitutions”, similar to how people will eat faux meats and cheeses when transitioning to veganism.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll give you some of my tricks as to how I’ve easily made this transition along with some of my new favorite recipes I’ve both adapted and created to make it possible.

First up today is grain free rice!  I used to absolutely love rice, especially fried rice.  Believe it or not,  grated cauliflower has a very similar taste and texture to the real thing, so it works perfect in these kind of dishes.  It’s also really easy to prepare.

Here’s my vegan adaptation of Urban Poser’s Paleo Masala Cauli-Rice.  To make this more of an entrée for vegans, I’ve added some delicious dry rubbed masala tofu to the dish.  This recipe smells as amazing as it looks and tastes!  When I brought leftovers of it into work one day everyone kept ducking into the break-room to see where the smell was coming from.

Masala Tofu and Cauli-Fried Rice

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium cauliflower head, grated (about 4 cups)
  • Half a large yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 whole jalapeno, seeded and diced or 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & grated ( about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup frozen petite green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon Garam Masala seasoning (I used the pre-made type)
  • salt and pepper to taste (amounts will vary depending on if your masala mix was salted or not).
  • Garnishes: lime wedges & cilantro

DIRECTIONS

PREP:
  1. Set your broiler to high so it gets nice and hot while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Press your tofu to remove as much moisture as possible.  Then cut into triangles.  Dry rub each piece with the reserved 1 tablespoon of Garam Masala.  Lay on a broiler safe baking sheet coated in cooking spray and set aside until we’re ready to broil it.
  3. Grate the cauliflower with a hand grater or with a grating blade on a food processor. You can also use the regular blade on the food processor but it may result in a wetter, less “rice-like” product.
  4. Prep the rest of the veggies minus the frozen peas (dicing, mincing) and set aside.
  5. Mince the garlic and pepper, grate the ginger mixing them all together in a small bowl.
  6. Mix together the spices in another small bowl and set aside.
COOKING:
  1. Pop the tofu under the broiler for 6 minutes.  When browned, flip the tofu and give it another 6 minutes.  Tofu should be golden and crispy on the outside.  When done set aside.
  2. Heat a wok over high medium/high heat (on the “high” side), add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and then add the cauliflower. Toss it in the oil then spread it out in a thin layer as evenly as possible. Turn the burner up to high. Allow cauliflower to fry till it starts to brown a little then stir/flip it around, again spreading it in a thin layer. Do this a couple of times till the cauliflower starts to get brown and black flecks all over it, almost like it has been grilled. Transfer to a large bowl and place the wok back on the heat, turning the heat back down to medium/high. Spreading out the cauliflower and cooking it at a high heat like this keeps the cauliflower from steaming itself and getting soggy, and produces a very “rice-like” texture.
  3. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil, then add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno/green pepper mix to the oil. Fry for about a minute but not so long that the mixture burns. Stir & toss often to keep from burning.
  4. Add the prepared veggies (minus the peas) to the wok and cook just as you did the cauliflower. Spreading out and allowing them to fry and brown, stir & toss often till the veggies are cooked through and browned slightly. Transfer to the bowl with the cauliflower.
  5. Return the wok to the heat and add the last tablespoon of coconut oil plus the spice mixture. Fry the spice mixture in the oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the rest of the ingredients back into the wok. Add the green peas and continue to fry and toss all the ingredients together for about 1-2 minutes more. Add coarse sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Salt amounts will vary depending on if your masala mix was salted or not. If it doesn’t contain salt, I start with about 1 teaspoon of salt and work from there.
  6. To serve, plate a serving of the cauli-rice and top with the masala tofu wedges.  Serve with a wedge of lime, to be squeezed on top of the “rice” just before serving and some cilantro.

 

forAnima

20 Mar

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forAnima is live!

I’ve been hearing rumors about forAnima, the all vegan online marketplace for a while now.  forAnima is essentially an all vegan online shopping experience.  All the businesses are vegan focused, as well as the products.  A compassionate Etsy if you will.

I’m not going to lie.  When I first heard of the concept I was a bit skeptical.  In general I don’t find very many vegan focused fashion products aside from a few brands very appealing being they lean more towards a boho aesthetic.  So I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect from forAnima.  I’m actually pleasantly surprised!  There’s a ton of stuff on here I’d totally wear from brand’s I’ve never even heard of.

Here’s a few examples.

Royal Turq Diag Dress $95

All the tees, tanks and dresses by Royal Bitch Couture $30 and up

Love Capri Leggings, perfect for yoga or Crossfit $65

Orange, Green White and Woven Cuff by Amanda Bess $12

They also have categories for shoes and handbags, men’s, children, beauty and health, food items, pets and home decor.  It’s really an all-inclusive, vegan shopping experience.

What do you think of forAnima?

DISCLOSURE: This is NOT a sponsored post.

Paleo Challenge / My Vegan Results

18 Mar

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

I never in a million years ever figured I’d post photos like this on the public interwebs, but here I am doing it anyway.  Mostly because I’m kinda blown away by how ripped my back now looks.  Please ignore the fact I look like a hot mess, because these were taking immediately after I finished sweating my face off during the challenge test out workout.  Also, don’t judge me for these shorts.  After seeing them on film I know to burn them, they are so not flattering!

I am beyond happy with my results from my Crossfit gym’s Paleo Challenge this past January and February.  I’m actually now even after the challenge is done still eating this way and love it.

Here’s essentially what the challenge entailed.

It started on January 2nd and ran up until February 13th.  On these days our workout times and weight was recorded, so that we could measure the improvement after the program was completed.  We also took our before/after photos on these dates after the Angie workout, which is why I look like such a sweaty mess in these photos.

Angie is a bitch.  She’s 100 pull-ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit-ups and 100 squats.  Now that the challenge is completed, I’ve done the workout three times and have improved measurably each time.

As far as the eating thing goes, the foundation of Paleo is to eat all real, non-processed food.  There is a heavy emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and for omni’s free range organic meat and eggs.  So it’s really not all that different than veganism aside from the meat and eggs thing.  There were three different levels they allowed people to participate in.

  • Beginner: eliminate sugar and grains; 1 cheat day a week.
  • Intermediate: eliminate sugar and grains; no cheat days.
  • Advanced: eliminate sugar, grains and dairy; no cheat days.
  • Expert: eliminate sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and alcohol; no cheat days.

I participated at the advanced level, but they allowed me to leave legumes in.  The main reason they say to cut out legumes is most people are intolerant to them and they can cause bloating and something they call “leaky gut”.  I already knew I was tolerant to legumes  since I’ve done elimination diets in the past and had no issues when I added them back into my diet.

So the big changes for me were no sugar, no alcohol and no grains.  The grains one was a huge one for me.  I love my gluten free pasta, rice, and all other things grainy.  I had been gluten free for a long time but cutting out all grains, including rice, quinoa and corn was going to take a lot of focus and planning for me.

The one thing that really surprised me is after I cut the grains and sugar, I stopped having food cravings. I used to like to snack all day and now I don’t have any desire to snack at all.  I also crave natural food.  When given the choice now between a bag of chips and an apple I without thinking chose the apple.  It’s made sticking to this way of eating much, much easier than I ever anticipated.

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

Paleo Challenge Results 2013

As you can see in the before and after photos, my body apparently loves life grain free!  The weight just kinda started dropping off.  I didn’t increase my workouts or what I was doing, just changed my diet and within a week saw a measurable improvement which continued through the entire challenge.

At the end of the 45 days, here’s how I came out.

January 2nd:
Angie Time: 23:15
Weight: 154 pounds

February 13th:
Angie Time: 20:45
Weight: 147 pounds!

So I not only cut 3 minutes and 30 seconds off my time, but I also lost 7 pounds!

I also set several personal records during the time frame as well.  I’m deadlifting and squatting over 160 pounds, and I even got a clean and jerk record of 98 pounds which for me was insane.  Considering I’ve only been Crossfitting a little over 4 months, I’m pretty proud of that.  Vegans can be strong too!  I’m happy to be showing my non-veg friends at the gym that the weak vegan stereotype is a load of bull.

I may be strong, but I still have a lot of work to do.  My cardio endurance is sad, so I’ve been given orders by my coach to work on things like burpees, double-unders (jumping rope) and just trying to move faster in my workouts.  So that’s my next focus.

I’m actually really looking forward to reading this post in the next 6 to 9 months or so and compare these results to the results I have then.  I can only imagine how much I will have progressed by then if I got these results in a short 45 days.

Sadly, I didn’t win the challenge but my improvements were still noticeable enough that people at the gym are asking me more about vegan paleo.  One of the coaches today even asked me if I’d mind helping out with nutritional info for one of their clients who is vegetarian.  I was really impressed he asked for help and acknowledged not being knowledgeable on the subject as opposed to pushing his client to eat standard paleo.  This also shows me I’m being taken seriously enough at the gym as far as my performance goes that people would think to ask me about my diet as a viable option.

I really can’t make any exceptions to the no grain thing.  I retain a LOT of water if I eat them.  It’s gross.  Immediately following the challenge, I somewhat fell off the wagon and during my Mexico trip drank a lot (obvi, I was surrounded by margaritas!) as well as had a lot of corn chips and boy did I pay for it.  My body almost reverted back to the way I looked on day one.  I’m now two weeks into eating super clean again and I’m leveling back out again thank goodness.  Now I know I can’t be one of those 90/10 paleo people.  I have to eat clean all the time, no exceptions if I want to keep improving.  Then again they say abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym, so I guess it makes total sense.

I plan on creating another post shortly which will outline better what I’m now eating on a daily basis, including what substitutions I’ve found for things like pasta and grains.  There aren’t a ton of vegan paleo posts out there on the internet so I’d love to share what I learned.

If anyone has any specific questions on crossfit, vegan paleo, what I eat or my results, please let me know!

Iceland

15 Feb

Iceland 2012 Trip

As you may know, this past November I went on a weekend “girls” trip with my Mother, Aunt and my Aunt’s friends to Iceland. To be honest, I went to Iceland with ZERO expectations. I basically knew it was going to be really cold, and that it was one of the few places in the world where you can see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights was the primary reason we were visiting the country to begin with.

Let’s just say Iceland FAR exceeded my expectations. I’d absolutely love to go back sometime I enjoyed it so much. I was blown away not just by the beauty of the country, but also its people. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Another thing that surprised me was the shopping in Reykjavik, the country’s capital. I came home with so many awesome, unique pieces from the many independent designers who all had boutiques in town.

Though I took over 300 photos while there, these are some of my favorite images during my trip. Knowing I was going to try to catch the Northern Lights, I brought all my good camera gear with me so I got some pretty amazing images to remember this trip by.

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

Iceland 2012 Trip

I had a few readers ask me about my experience eating vegan while in Iceland. All in all, I was pretty lucky. We stayed at the Hilton and right across the street was a fantastic raw/health food restaurant called Glo that the locals recommended. I also accidentally stumbled across a health food store behind the hotel that was chock full of vegan goodies, including soy milk and cookies. Funny thing is I got some soy milk to have with cereal at the hotel, only to the next day find the hotel had gotten some to put out at the buffet since I was asking for it the day prior. Talk about great service!

Iceland Trip 2013

All the staff at most of the restaurants knew what vegan meant and guided me to appropriate items I could order. There was only one place I think accidentally served me butter, which I knew due to me being allergic to dairy and getting really horrible stomach aches. Otherwise pretty much everywhere I went, even including local coffee shops in Reykjavik had vegan options, many of which were clearly marked with the universal V sign.

If you have any questions on where I ate and specifics on what I visited and did, please feel free to message me!

Surviving Ikea

14 Feb

Surviving Ikea
What I’m Wearing // TOPSHOP Parka // VICTORIA’S SECRET Jeggings // H&M Tee // CORNELIA GUEST Bag // MIA Boots // NYC STREET VENDOR Beanie

After the snowstorm this past weekend, Jim and I spent the entire day on Saturday doing nothing and enjoying the snow day. We actually watched around 6 back to back episodes of Shark Tank. OMG I totally love that show now.

Sunday we were back to business on operation Clean House, so it meant we had to do a run to IKEA. Each time we go to IKEA, we know our marriage is meant to last forever because we always survive the trip. We have our arguments and spats while there, but we’ve learned to instantly identify when it’s “Ikea Fever” and scale it back a bit. We persevered, and made it home not only with a new cabinet for our kitchen but also a new rug for our living room and a few other items.

Bringing our IKEA goods out of our car and up the stairs into our apartment was a good test of my recent Crossfit training. There was several larger items that were over 50 pounds that I carried up the stairs with no issues at all. In the past, it would have been a major ordeal getting all that stuff into the apartment! This time around it was almost easy.

Speaking of Crossfit, I wanted to mention really quick how much I totally love these new Victoria’s Secret Jeggings. Since I started Crossfit none of my pants fit because although my waist is much smaller, my quads are now huge. After searching high and low on the internet for the best types of jeans for athletic builds, the common answer was anything with stretch, so I invested in a few pairs of these mid-rise jeggings and don’t know why I ever wore normal jeans. They are so comfortable and look the same as skinny jeans.

This post is getting really random. Let’s keep on this roll. I think this is the first debut of my new hair color on the blog. What do you think?

Surviving Ikea

Surviving Ikea

Vegan Versions / Leather Vests

13 Feb

20130209-230953.jpgClockwise from top to bottom // ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR

I’m not sure why lately but I’ve been craving a faux leather vest for my wardrobe. I love the idea of throwing one over a blouse and a pencil skirt to wear to work, or on over a tee shirt and skinny jeans for the weekend.

Forever21 currently has a ton of options. What do you think? Which should I get?

Vegan Winter Coat Roundup

12 Nov

This post originally appeared last week on my column Vegan Vogue I write for I Eat Grass. If you haven’t stopped by I Eat Grass yet, be sure to do so!

Vaute

Vegan winter coats have come a long way. It used to be the only warm options out there were synthetic filled puffer coats. While warm, it’s sometimes hard to feel chic and sexy when you’re all puffed up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  Now with advances in fabric technology, vegans have many more options when it comes to selecting a coat to keep them warm all winter long.

While selecting new coats for myself, I had been on the lookout for a while for a vegan dress coat, as well as a warm, casual parka.  For my dress coat, I’ve fallen head over heels for my Vaute Couture Belden coat (shown on me above, $430.00).  The parka I eventually found and purchased is the Topshop Faux Fur Trimmed Parka below.   Mine is all black (from last season) and absolutely adore it. The faux fur interior keeps me super toasty.

During the Fall 2012 runway shows this past February it was all about big, boxy coat silhouettes. Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t participate in this trend, there are tons of options!  Here are some of my favorite vegan friendly coat picks currently in stores.

Topshop Faux Fur Trim Parka $196.00

Topshop Neoprene Oversize Boyfriend Coat $230.00

ASOS Neoprene Coat $86.23 (currently on sale)

Topshop Petite Check Cocoon Coat $180.00

Topshop Faux Leather Trim Baja Coat $110.00

Old Navy Women’s Long Belted Frost Free Coat $95.00*

*Edit: When I first put this round-up together, the Old Navy coat was listed as being 100% polyester and had no mention of down in the product description at all, which landed it a spot on this list.  Looks like after this post was written, an upset vegan customer posted a negative review on the coat on Old Navy’s website stating they received the coat and were very upset that on it’s label it listed goose down as a material.  This was is extremely misleading based on the website description. Old Navy since has updated their website and it’s safe to say this coat is not vegan.  Sorry for any confusion!

What vegan coat are you wearing this winter?

Vegan Vogue is a lifestyle and style column focusing on all things in vogue and vegan. More tips from Corrie Feld can be found at her website Brooklyn Bliss. Follow her on Twitter @CorrieFeld

Comfort Food for Sandy Relief / Coconut Rice with Winter Squash

8 Nov

20121108-082142.jpg

I don’t usually post recipes, but I figured this was as good a time as any to share one of my favorites with you!

Food bloggers are getting together today and posting their favorite comfort meal recipes in support of Hurricane Sandy Relief. The concept is to share a recipe that you find comforting and would bring to a friend or neighbor in crisis to raise their spirits.

One of my favorite recipes is one I veganized from Real Simple Magazine quite a while ago that we include in our regular recipe rotation in our home. It’s coconut creamy, comforting, quick, super easy and really yummy.

If you haven’t done so already, please donate to help with the Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. Every little bit helps.

Coconut Rice with Winter Squash

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rice- I like to use leftover rice or make it in advance of putting the recipe together.
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 block of firm tofu- I use the silken kind for a stir-fried egg-type texture.
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed*
  • kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, place the squash in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat half the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble the tofu, add it to the pan and cook, stirring, until it’s lightly browned. Add the pinch of turmeric and mix to make the tofu yellow and give it a scrambled egg look.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil and the onion to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the squash, rice, edamame, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring gently, until heated through and all the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Add the scallions and tofu, toss, and serve.

*My photo above doesn’t include the edamame because when I made it this week I forgot that I ran out of my freezer stash.  I recommend if you have it adding it to the dish, it really makes it.

What’s your favorite comfort meal?