Banana and Chia Seed Pancakes

Ingredients
1 1/2 C (192g) Plain Flour

1 1/2 C (375mL) Rice Milk

3T (50g) Brown Sugar

1 Banana

2T (30g) Chia Seeds

1t (5mL) Vanilla Extract

Vegetable Oil (To grease pan)

 

Method

  1. Pre-Heat frying pan on low heat

2. Mash banana

3. Mix all dry ingredients together

4. Add remaining inredients and mix with hand held eletric beater

5. Grease pan with oil

6. Pour some of the mix in and cook like a regular pancake remembering to re-grease the pan every couple of pancakes

 

 

Makes: 6-8

 

Serves: 2

 

Cruelty Free Vegan Cleaning Supplies

Everyone knows you have to eat vegan, buy vegan makeup, wear vegan clothes – but a topic most commonly skipped is the issue of animal tested and non vegan household cleaners such as dishsoap, detergent, and general cleaners! Not only are they bad for animals, but they’re bad for you as well as they contain harmful chemicals that we’d be better off avoiding. The homemade ones are even cheaper, if you need any more convincing.
I’ll split this post into two parts; store bought and homemade, and I’ll post more stuff as I find it!

Store bought (These are all to purchase in store, I’ll put up a post for online vegan shopping soon)

U.S / CAN:

– Dr Bronners

Vegan, fair trade, 18 n 1 household cleaner. They even make toothpaste!

Find a retailer here!

– Seventh Generation

The most vast company of vegan and cruelty free home goods, and it’s eco friendly and mostly recycled! Their products even range past just cleaning supplies- they also make organic tampons, pads, toilet paper, baby diapers and more. 

Find a retailer here!

– Sun and Earth

Non toxic, cruelty free, vegan! Very varied as well.

– Bio-Pac

Bio degradable cleaning supplies, never animal tested + always vegan and they donate some of their proceeds to wildlife causes.
– Citri Solv

– Planet 

Also 100% biodegradable

– Mr Meyers

All vegan, all smell really good! Also available in South America.

– Country save

Also phalate free!

– Sound Earth

– Allen’s Naturally

Also biodegradable, everything seems to be vegan besides their wool dryer balls.

List of retailers
– Method

U.K + INTERNATIONAL

– Nature clean

Available in Canada, New Zealand, and Russia + online stores.

– Charlie’s soap

Available in the U.K, Japan, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines and Canada. Made of vegetable oil and minerals.

– Eco Maxx

Canadian based

– Orange Power

Australia based

– Planet clean

U.K based, vegan society accredited

– Bio D

GMO free! U.k & Ireland based
– Clean conscience

– Earth wise

Based in New Zealand

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Homemade ( You may need a few mason jars ) + A lot of these recipes call for baking soda, which usually is tested on animals. Bob’s red Mill & Ener G baking soda are both cruelty free.

* Warning: Do not mix store bought cleaners with any of these. You will create toxic and poisonous fumes that can hurt you or any pets in your household.

– Lemon juice + vegetable oil should get scratches out of wood.

– Lemons are also good for killing mold!

– Boil and scrub burnt pans with baking soda

Sprinkle wet bathtubs with baking soda and let sit for about 15-20 minutes 

– Absorb fresh grease spots using salt.

– Vinegar + Salt / Baking soda + Vinegar are good deodorizers and surface cleaners. You can also squeeze lemon juice onto a small pan of baking soda.

– 1/2 vinegar + 2 tbsp borax + a few drops essentially oil is another good cleaner. You can put it in a spray bottle.

– Laundry brighter: add a little lemon to your rinse cycle.

– You may be able to get spots and stains out of fabric and carpet with hydrogen peroxide. Spot test it first!

– Put salt on a wet sponge to get the grime off and out of your oven. If that doesn’t work, try wetting it with vinegar and sprinkling baking soda on top before wiping it all off.

– 1/4th cup olive oil + 1/4th cup water + lemon juice on a towel makes for a furniture polish.

– Put citrus (I.e orange / lemon) peels in your garbage disposal to deodorize your kitchen. Boiling vinegar or putting small saucers full of it around the house will do the trick as well. Unless, like me, you hate the smell of vinegar. (If you do go with the saucers of vinegar, make sure to keep them away from your companion animals. It may upset their stomachs.)

– You can also use citrus peels to make a concentrated cleaner by filling a jar with peels and white vinegar. Leave it in your fridge for two weeks and then strain it into another container, discarding the peels.

– Vinegar + baking soda also make good drain and toilet cleaners.

– You can use vinegar + water on a towel to clean windows.

– A better smelling window / glass cleaner would be using 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and a few drops of essential oils.

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Let me know if I left any of your favorite vegan friendly household cleaners out, and keep an eye out for our article on vegan friendly hygiene products!

Veganism in American Food Deserts

According to the American Nutrition Association, a food desert is a part of the country deprived of fresh and healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables. This is due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers markets and healthy food providers. Food deserts are much more prevalent in poor black neighborhoods; with predominantly white neighborhoods having 4x the grocery stores. Some individuals may be able to use a form of transportation private or public to overcome the obstacle of distance; but some simply can’t.

Rural food desert – residents must drive more than 10 miles to the nearest supermarket.

Urban food desert– having to drive more than a mile.

Those who live in an American food desert usually have to buy from small corner shops that usually do not carry fresh food; but imperishable food such as canned, dried, processed and tinned foods. That or eat fast food, if they can’t make the trip to the nearest market. This can make it very difficult to make healthy eating choices. 

But difficult doesn’t have to mean impossible.

Here is some data according to a National Consumers League survey taken from 20 corner grocery stores in the District of Columbia.

  • Every corner store they surveyed had some sort of fresh produce.
  • Bananas, apples, and oranges were the three most common types of fresh produce available – with bananas being the most popular.
  • 40% of stores had more than three types of produce available.
  • 70% of stores displayed their produce in highly visible places such as near the cash register or somewhere near the front of the store.

This isn’t very much to work with, no. But paired with canned and dried plant food such as beans/lentils, pasta and vegetables, you may be able to make healthier choices than you would be eating packaged and dried meat. 

And of course, there is always vegan junk food as well that will definitely be in store – if you’re not as concerned with health than you are ethics.

There is also fast food, which many people who live in food deserts may have no choice but to eat. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan fast food options! You can always check Urban Taste Bud for complete vegan menu options at your local fast food place. 

Living in a food desert isn’t easy or ideal, but there are ways to get fresh food in your area!

The National Healthy Corner Stores Network is comitted to making fresh food more accessible nationwide in food deserts, mobile produce vans and mobile markets are also becoming more available. If it’s not in your area, you may be able to change that with enough time and support (and bugging the higher ups in your community about food accessibility in your county / town).
In the mean time, veganism very well may be accessible for you! If it applies, you can always check out or article on low income veganism as well.

Is Palm Oil Vegan ?? Part 2

The short answer is yes, because palm oil comes from a plant source. There is two parts of the palm oil tree where we get oil from, the fruit and the seed of the fruit. But the method of producing has pushed many animal species including orang-utans, elephants, rhinos and tigers to the brink of extinction.
Palm oil can be found in both food and beauty products. Foods use palm oil which is extracted from the pulp of the fruit, while beauty products uses palm kernel oil from the seed of the fruit.

It is estimated that every hour, that an area the equivalent of 300 football fields are cleared for palm oil production.

You probably don’t notice that palm oil is the most used vegetable oil and is in most packet supermarket items. Sometimes, because of the negativity surrounded by palm oil production, brands label it under different names from very broad names like ‘vegetable oil’ to ‘sodium laureth sulphate’. A full list of names can be found HERE 

Its your decision weather or not you include palm oil in your diet, there are options for sustainable palm oil, their logos

Items Containing Palm Oil

Lipstick

Palm oil helps lipstick apply smoothly and it helps hold colour.

Instant Noodles (Ramen, 2 Minute Noodles etc)

Palm oil is used to pre-cook noodles so that all you need to add is hot water.

Shampoo

Used to restore oils stripped away from most shampoos

Soap

Keeps the skin moisturised while removing dirt.

 

Sources

wwf.org.au

worldwildlife.org

 

 

VEGAN ART SUPPLIES

I am an artist and a creator. Buying new art supplies makes me giddy and I have a passion for creating.

I constantly need new materials to make more art, and when I stopped by my art store a few months after going vegan, I realized; are the products I’m buying cruelty free?

I did some research, and I must say, it took a lot of searching to find the answer. Below is a list of animal products/byproducts found in art supplies based on subject matter.

Art supplies commonly containing animal products:

Watercolor Paint- Ox gall is found in many watercolor paints, and comes from cows. Da Vinci carries extremely high quality watercolor paints, all free of ox gall. In addition to ox gall, you will need to steer clear from sepia paints, as the dye comes from squid and cuttlefish. To replace the sepia tone, there are some brands that use walnut ink instead.

Bone Charcoal: Not regular charcoal, as it’s source comes from plants, but bone charcoal. It comes from animal bones. If it doesn’t say bone on the packaging, its’s vegan friendly.

Fine Art Papers & Primers: Many papers, more specifically watercolor papers and other heavy-weight papers are sized with gelatin. Fabriano typically uses starch instead, and you can ask at your art store. For primers, many fine artists use rabbit skin glue, (yes, it’s made from rabbit skin.) An alternative would be gesso, but be careful. Gesso usually contains gelatin, but soy-based gesso is available online, and in some art stores.

Natural Hair Brushes: Many artists prefer natural brushes to synthetic, but there are many alternatives these days. Brushes made from real hair are manufactured using hair from trapped or hunted animals, of many species.

Some of my favorite cruelty-free art brands are:

http://www.colorsofnature.com – They make vegan brushes duplicating natural hair brushes.They also carry vegan papers.

http://www.fabercastell.com – They sell many different art supplies, all from plant or synthetic sources, and additionally don’t test on animals.

http://www.davinciartistsupply.com – Ox gall free watercolors

If I left anything out leave a comment!

 

 

 

Lentil Spag Bol ‘Mince’


Even if you don’t like lentils, you will probably like this recipe. Its super easy and lentils are high in protein, magnesium, vitamin b-6, fibre and potassium.

This makes about 4 servings.

Ingredients

2 Tins of Crushed (or chopped) tomatoes

½ a small brown onion

2 garlic cloves

1 medium carrot

¾ cup red lentils (If you like lentils really soft, ad suggest soaking them for about 15-10 mins prior)

Italian Herbs (however much you prefer)

Oil (I used canola but you can use any) (enough to cover your pan)

Method

  1. Pre-heat frying pan to low heat
  2. Chop up onion and garlic finely. Add oil to pan, turn up stove to medium high heat and cook the onion and garlic for 10 minutes
  3. Add Tomatoes and mix in with the onion and garlic. Add the lentils and carrot, mix.
  4. Make sure you mix every minute or so to make sure the lentils don’t stick. Add Italian herbs (depending on how you like it. I add about a tablespoon)
  5. If it starts to look dry, add some water and mix in
  6. Cook until when you drag a spatula down the centre and it doesn’t fill in fast.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with pasta

 

If you wanted to make this a pasta sauce, remove the lentils and add half a tin on purread tomatoes.

FEAR OF CARBS/CALORIES

I, myself, am not a medical doctor or dietician. I have no medical recognition or training, but the information that I am sharing comes from people who do.

Growing up in a society that projects skinny girls as the only type of beautiful is troubling. The magazines and the media feed you diets and cleanses as a way to ‘Get That Perfect Bikini Body’. They also teach you that ‘Carbs Are The Enemy’.

When I decided I wanted to go vegan, I was unsure about what to eat. I went from attempts to cut out as many carbs as I could, to unlearning it all. One of the most informative, helpful books I have read is called The Starch Solution. It was written by John A. McDougall, MD. When I first went vegan, this book was a lifesaver. It covers nutrients, why animal products are toxic, and has lots of recipes.

The McDougall diet, is a high-carb, low-fat, starch based lifestyle. I think that everybody should listen to their own body and make decisions based off of it, and his diet is an option.

As a vegan, regardless of what you’re eating, carbs are very prevalent in the lifestyle. Its unavoidable. Which is why you should do your research, and decide what type of vegan diet you’re going to follow. Choose the one that works for YOU. Eat whatever you want to! As long as it’s cruelty free and includes vital nutrients, its all your decision.

I learned to stop calorie restricting, to eat as much as I want, and to love healthy foods by going vegan. Not only do you save animals, the earth, and other people; you stop eating toxic foods.