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Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Raw Chocolate Company Review

The Raw Chocolate Company makes pure raw chocolate bars, raw chocolate bagged treats such as raisins, goji berries and more. And raw superfoods such as acai powder and cacao powder. All of their products are vegan and most are fairtrade and organic. Hailing from the UK, they offer a unique award winning taste of new and old favorites. Their products contain zero cane sugar as well, which means not only healthier but diabetic friendly. Who doesn't love a treat you don't have to feel guilty about? I was lucky enough to be sent 4 of their raw chocolate bars to review for you all. 
mint with xylitol
Mint Raw Chocolate Sweetened with Xylitol: Just 4 ingredients, that's right, 4! Cacao, xylitol, virgin cacao butter and mint oil. Being 70% cacao it does have a bit of bite. Dark chocolate lovers will delight in this smooth rich treat. The mint adds a smoothness to it that is indescribable. It's hard to believe these bars are raw. I had raw chocolate before and it was very gritty, these are not. As mentioned, they are smooth and melt in your mouth just like any "normal" chocolate bar would. In case you aren't familiar with Xylitol, here's what the company has to say:
"Xylitol is a sweetener made from Birch Trees in Finland. The name comes from the Greek ‘xylos’ meaning tree and ‘tol’ denotes that it is a sweetener – so literally xylitol means tree-sweetener. It has a low GI and has been proven to actually be beneficial to teeth."





    
organic pitch dark
Raw Chocolate Pitch Dark: Dark chocolate lovers rejoice, you will love this beauty. Extra smooth and rich. I am personally not a huge dark chocolate lover so found this a little bit bitter but that's to be expected. I will most likely add this as a vegan ice cream topping or something of the sort, don't worry, this baby won't go to waste. Only 3 ingredients in this bad boy: cacao mass, coconut palm sugar and virgin cold pressed cacao butter.

organic vanoffe dark
Raw Chocolate Vanoffe Dark: I can't even begin to describe the love I have for this bar. This was my favourite of the quartet, it's a flavour I have never really had before. My husband described it as "Glossette raisins." Creamy, smooth and full of flavour. The ingredients in this one are as follows: virgin cacao butter, coconut palm sugar, cacao mass, lucuma, vanilla.  I believe the lucuma may be the flavour I loved so much.
"Lucuma is a wonderfruit from Peru adding a biscuity, malty sweetness."
goji berry and orange
Raw Chocolate Goji Berry & Orange: The orange and goji berry added a nice flavour to the chocolate. Extra sweetness with the rich cacao flavour. Ingredients: cacao, coconut palm sugar, virgin cacao butter, goji berry powder, orange oil.



Sometimes simple is best. Simple ingredients, delicious flavours and nutritionally value is even better. The Raw Chocolate Company is the whole package when it comes to vegan decadence. If you love chocolate, why not eat it in the most nutritious form possible? They use no additives, no preservatives and none of that nasty stuff that you would find in conventional chocolate. What's not to love?

Just because they are based in the UK doesn't mean you can't enjoy your little piece of paradise, all their products can be ordered directly from their website and they ship internationally! Visit www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Thanks so much to The Raw Chocolate Co. for giving me this amazing opportunity to try and review their products and of course for sharing it with my audience. I need to get my hands on those chocolate covered raisins next!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

MuLondon Skincare Review with Discount Code


The wonderful owner of MuLondon was kind enough to send yours truly, a product of my choice for review purposes. I chose the organic fragrance-free foaming face wash. Before I get into my review, let me tell you a little bit about MuLondon.

Based in London, UK (in case that wasn't obvious), MuLondon specializes in vegan, cruelty-free, organic, handcrafted skincare with no artificial preservatives, emulsifiers or fragrances. In other words, a truly green, ethical and incredible company to support.

Right from the beginning, I knew I would love MuLondon. I had heard so much on the internet regarding them that I just needed to get my hands on one of their products. I am so grateful Boris was more than willing to give me the opportunity to review one. I received my foaming face wash quickly, especially considering that it's coming from across the ocean. I've been washing my face every night for a week and a half and I just love the way it makes my skin feel. One press down on the pump and you get a nice sized amount of product.



It lathers really well and rinses off easily with no gross residue. It leaves my skin soft, smooth and feeling clean. I also want to state that it has not affected my acne negatively in any way, it has not caused me any outbreaks which is a huge plus. My skin is highly sensitive and so many products claim they won't cause any problems, do. I also appreciate the fact this is fragrance free since I am scent sensitive. They do, however, offer many products with essential oils and herbal extracts for anyone who loves that extra kick.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Potassium Sunflowerate (Saponified Sunflower Oil)*, Potassium Cocoate (Saponified Coconut Oil)*, Glycerin (vegetable, naturally occurring)*, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate (Potassium Salts), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil)*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Extract)*

  *Denotes Certified Organic Ingredients.

I don't think it's necessary for me to ramble on anymore than that, I don't need people sleeping on their keyboards. The products speak for themselves. All products can be ordered directly from the MuLondon website: www.mulondon.com and it can be ordered and shipped internationally, anywhere in the world. To make it even better, don't miss out on this special opportunity just for YOU, The Vegan Peach fan, Get 10% off until October 15th, 2014 using code TVP10

Thank you once again to MuLondon!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Halifax VegFest 2014


Saturday September 20th was the first annual Halifax VegFest, an all vegan event held at the Olympic community center. The crowds were massive, the food was delicious and I think it turned into a bigger day than any of us could have dreamed.



I arrived an hour early because I was insanely excited and wasn't sure if there were lineups or not. I was allowed to enter a little bit before 10 since I was volunteering for Mercy for Animals. Upon entering I was impressed by the amount of vendors who showed up. A lot of these companies are not fully vegan but they took it upon themselves to create vegan options for this event or showcased their existing vegan-friendly selections.

Towards the back wall there was a table filled with vegan pamphlets, recipe cards, stickers and more for people to help themselves to. They also had a table filled with vegan books for people to flip through. Upstairs there were more vendors and other animal activist groups including Mercy for Animals.

Food, lifestyle, cooking demos, lectures, entertainment, massages, weightloss gurus, a food truck, vegan bbq and so much more were part of Halifax VegFest.

A highlight for me was getting to meet and speak with Gene Baur, founder and president of Farm Sanctuary and also the author of "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food."

Gene during his inspirational talk

I met incredible people of all walks of life. Young and old, children and parents, grandparents, mothers and fathers. Many vegans, vegetarians and even non-veg folks attended. The atmosphere was positive, the energy was high and questions were fast and furious. Tickets sold out faster than anyone imagined. They had 3000 at the door and they were gone in a flash and more and more people continued to arrive. Vendors sold out, some restocked but sold out almost immediately afterwards. You could not have asked for a better inaugural ceremony. I honestly didn't want the day to end and am already dreaming of next year.

When people tell you things aren't changing, you can laugh and think of this blog post because every one of us that attended VegFest can see the wheels of change. Vegans need not hide or be afraid anymore, we are here and we are proud to be part of a revolution.

Jessie Doyle, owner of Fruition doing her talk about raw foods

The group of lovely folks I got to volunteer with
My VegFest Swag


Cocoa and Honey: Vegan truffle and coconut caramel

Wearing my awesome shirt

Vegan cinnamon bun from Odells Gluten free

K-dog from The Food Wolf

                                                             See Gene's full lecture here.

Monday, 25 August 2014

An Open Letter to Hope for Wildlife

Dear Hope, 

What can I say, when I moved back home to Nova Scotia and heard of your wonderful organization, I was thrilled that there was a place that had compassionate people who wanted to work to save animals. I borrowed the first 2 seasons of Hope for Wildlife on dvd from the local library and was enthralled watching all of the beautiful creatures NS has. Seeing yourself and your hardworking volunteers saving, nurturing and bringing so many animals back from the brink of death and to witness the day of freedom that was unsure for so many. You gave me hope.

Yesterday was your annual open house. I was extremely excited. I arrived with my two good friends and husband. The crowds were unbelievable. I saw Hope doing interviews and got a bit starstruck, as silly as that may seem. I didn't approach her because I knew there was so much going on.

My friend Sam and I made our way over to the petting zoo. As ethical vegans, we had mixed feelings about this. Thinking of the stress these animals must be under and of course, knowing that these are most likely animals used for someone's own purpose. There were a few goats and a couple sheep. Magnificent creatures. We soaked in their pure goodness, trying to not get overwhelmed by the crowds. Samantha immediately mentioned to me that the sheeps tails were docked. This is a painful procedure, normally done without anesthesia in which they cut the lamb's tails off before 6 months of age.

My biggest notice while with the goats and sheep were just how reactive children are to animals. We are naturally compassionate beings. We are born loving animals and being around them is so thrilling and so exciting for children. I question whether these same children would want to consume the hotdogs and hamburgers being served on the BBQ.

We wandered around, enjoyed seeing the baby squirrels, chipmunk, raccoons and many more beautiful animals.

Then our tummies started growling. What are 4 vegans going to find to eat? You are at an event that is supposed to be raising money for animals yet animals are on the menu? Why is the life of a cow so different than that of the deer you save?

I did, however, notice they had veggie burgers as well. I got excited until I approached one of the people BBQing and was told that "no they can't clean or use a separate grill because they are too busy and don't have time." My immediate response was "then having veggie burgers is pointless." The mass majority of vegans or vegetarians do not want to consume something that is being grilled on the very same grill with animal juices and where pieces of animal flesh were. Thank you for the thought but in the end, it was a pointless gesture.

We moved away from the BBQ, hungry and becoming more and more agitated by the whole event. But the kicker came when we walked up a slope to see a booth lined with fur coats. I stared for several seconds, turned to Sam and said "did I just walk into the Twilight Zone?" I was so disturbed and scared I might start a fight if I approached that I don't know even what exactly they were there for. Searching a little bit online later it seems to me it was for an Inuit center of some sort. How could an event for animals condone allowing fur coats there?

I also witnessed lots of animal pelts on the booth across from the coats and also on a tarot card readers tent. As well as several animal skulls here and there. To me this seems like major disconnect. As a vegan, animal activist and animal lover, seeing these things upset me to the core. You are raising money for animals yet displaying their death everywhere. It made no sense whatsoever to any of us.

We left immediately after this, truly in shock, shaken to the core. My heart ached and all ounce of hope I felt was gone.

So here's what I suggest, Hope and Hope for Wildlife staff, whose hearts I believe are in the right place. If you truly love animals, I challenge you to not only look into veganism but search what happens on family and factory farms every single day. Watch Earthlings, Vegucated (also available on Netflix), Speciesism (there is a free public screening in Halifax on Sept. 30th) and a multitude of other animal films. I ask you to listen to Gary Yourofsky's best speech. Read the many animal and vegan related books on the market. Try some of our local vegan restaurants such as Wild Leek, enVie and Fruition. Come visit Halifax Vegfest on September 20th. Visit my website which has databases for all things vegan www.theveganpeach.com. My blog also has a Halifax vegan guide which is perfect to get people started who live locally.

Peace begins on your plate. The animals you save are no different than the ones you consume. All animals deserve life and all animals want to live. 

Choose compassion, go vegan!

Sincerely,
Ashley Leslie
The Vegan Peach


Vegan Cuts Beauty Box-- August 2014

 This was my first ever Vegan Cuts beauty box. This box was curated by My Beauty Bunny and included items from Pacifica, Zabana Essentials, Emani, Enfusia and Balanced Guru. Let's see what I think of the items:

Pacifica  Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream: This was my first time using a BB cream but I constantly hear about them in commercials and magazines. Truth be told, I wasn't even sure what it was and honestly, I still don't haha! That being said, I love this stuff! It matches your skin tone perfectly and is not heavy and gives you a nice colour and glow, as well as moisturizing the skin. This could easily become a new must have in my makeup bag. 

  

Zabana Essenstials: French Green clay facial cleansing bar. I automatically liked the idea of this. Clay is so good for the skin and this seemed like a convenient way to add some to your daily routine. I have been using my bar for a few days now and really enjoy the way it feels on the skin. It has a nice light scent which I love but my skin has unfortunately started to breakout again. I have uber sensitive skin and I fight with acne daily. I can't say I'd repurchase this as I don't think it's agreeing with my skin but recommend it to people that don't suffer from acne like I. It's really affordable to order on their website!

 Enfusia: All-natural spa bath salts and soaks. I love baths and I love bath salts because they are fantastic for sore muscles after a long day. These ones from Enfusia smelt divine and left my skin feeling great and my muscles refreshed. This is definitely a product I would buy again.

 Emani: Mineral Hybrid Cream for brighter eyes in Speechless. When I first opened this I wasn't sure what it was even for but I absolutely loved the colours. It's breathtaking. I figured out it was for your eyes and have used it everyday since. It is so gorgeous and you honestly don't need to do anything else to your eyes but use this. I am lazy when it comes to make up, so this is perfect for me. This is also my favourite item from the box. I love love love it! 


Balanced Guru: Energy mist in Intuition. Basically this is sort of like a perfume or air freshener but it tells you to inhale it when sprayed in the air or spray it onto a scarf and inhale it. Really neat concept but this scent is a little strong for me. I am scent sensitive so inhaling it was a bit too much but I am going to use it as a air freshener instead.

Thanks Vegan Cuts!

Watch my unboxing video

Monday, 18 August 2014

Informal Rant-- I think being a judgmental ass makes YOU less of a vegan.

This started as a Facebook status and turned into a novel, so thought I would just turn it into a blog post.

I really don't understand the mass majority of YouTuber's. I am told I am judgmental because I use words like "carnists" or simply discuss why eating meat and animal products is bad but then someone who is supposed to be vegan spends their time judging other vegans based on how "healthy" they eat. WHAT IN THE HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH VEGANISM?! Seriously!

People like Freelee spend their time calling people fat, making whole videos calling celebrities and YouTubers names and I am the one who is judgmental? I get rude comments because the food I eat is "processed garbage, sugar laden, fried, etc." Except you know what folks, most of these people don't even really know what I eat. Yeah, I show convenience food in my videos so people can see just how easy veganism is but that's not all I eat for crying out loud. And even if it is, IT DOESN'T MATTER BECAUSE IT'S VEGAN AND VEGANISM IS FOR ANIMALS! Shocking, right? What a concept.

I am just so tired of being told I am the one doing a "disservice" to veganism yet these people seem to completely forget what the real purpose of veganism is. If you want to eat mangos all day, go ahead! But stop acting like someone who eats Daiya Cheese and gardein is somehow less of a vegan than you are.

People go vegan because they have options now. I am sorry but most people will not go fruitarian or be excited to try veganism when all they can eat is carrots and kale. I love animals, that's why I don't eat them or their secretions. Unfortunately, the mass majority of people are growing up on heavy, greasy, sugary, animal fatty foods. I was one of them. I never gave up those things because I didn't like the taste, I gave them up because my compassion was worth more than my tastebuds. And guess what, my tastebuds love vegan food! Going vegan was the easiest thing I have ever done because my soul knew it was what was right but it wouldn't have been nearly as easy without vegan "processed" foods. All these substitutes give people a cruelty-free option without giving up the taste. That's what it's about.

If you think this makes me less of a vegan, go right ahead and think that but I think being a judgmental ass makes YOU less of a vegan.


Friday, 11 July 2014

The Healthy Bug-- A Vegan Review


The Healthy Bug is located at 3514 Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax. A few weeks ago, the owner Lou asked me to lend a hand in expanding their vegan section of the store. I was thrilled and honored to play a part in not only helping this store expand business but also get more vegan products available in HRM. We discussed lots of possibilities and I think made great progress. So to all of my vegan and vegetarian homies in the Halifax area, prepare your boots for great things coming to the Healthy Bug. 

That being said, they already do offer some awesome vegan products and I want to do a small review of the products I purchased and was given (I was handed a 50 dollar gift card for helping which was unexpected and greatly appreciated). Many of these products I have not found anywhere else in the HRM. The Healthy Bug also has very reasonable prices and actually many identical items that other local stores may carry are either cheaper here or identical in prices. 

So here are my reviews: 



Green Cuisine tempeh burgers: It took me a long time to like tempeh I have to admit but now I finally love it. These were awesome. Huge and very filing, great flavour and easy to spice to how you prefer.

Sol Cuisine's new meatless chicken in Tangy Korean BBQ, Spicy Chipotle Tinga and Ginger Lime Teriyaki. I had been anticipating trying these since their announcement and they did not disappoint. These are gluten-free, that's right GLUTEN-FREE vegan chicken strips. And they are incredible. I honestly can't pick a favourite flavour because I loved them all. I tried them in both wraps and stirfry's and wish I had of had more to try many other ways. The options are truly endless. They are also super easy to cook and perfect for a quick, easy and delicious meal.


Rawkin' Cakes & Creations is a local business that makes vegan and raw sweet treats. Where do I even begin? Her creations are incredible. I tried both the macaroons and peppermint patties. The macaroons remind me so much of Hail Merry, who is another vegan company but they don't sell in Canada, so this was a real treat! Rich, sweet, pure decadent deliciousness. When I bit into the peppermint patty I nearly cried. It tasted exactly like a York patty. I haven't had one of those in over 3 years. Absolutely amazing. I can't rave enough about her incredible products.


Late July sweet potato chips. These are gluten-free, organic crispy sweet potato chips. Lightly salted and full of flavour. They are great with salsa but I like them as is as well. I love crunchy snacks and this was a perfect combination of flavours and crunch.

Nutribiotic long lasting deodorant in mango melon scent. I was out of deodorant and saw this and thought I would give it a try. Finding effective deodorant as a vegan is probably one of the trickiest tasks. You see, natural deodorants aren't antiperspirants because the things they used to stop sweat are harmful to your body and sweating is technically natural regardless of how irritating it can be. I love the smell of this stuff, it's like a tropical paradise but unfortunately, it hasn't been too effective for me. It's a game of trial and error when it comes to trying not to stink up the place by noon. :)




Sencha Naturals green tea leaf mints in tropical mango. I love tea and I love mango, what is not to love? These mints are refreshing, taste amazing and leave your mouth tasting sweet.


Pur gum in their two new flavours coolmint and cinnamon. What's so great about Pur? Well first off, they are aspartame free which is almost unheard of in the gum world. Aspartame is really icky for you. They are also non-gmo, vegan and gluten-free. The coolmint is a great new addition to the Pur family. I love anything minty. Cinnamon is my husbands and I didn't try it as I have a sensitivity to cinnamon. I love Pur!


Coconut Bliss in mint galactica. This is a very rare occasion. I tend to be the goddess of sweet things in that I love them but for some reason, I just can't get on the Coconut Bliss wagon. I want to love it but I just don't. Almost all my vegan friends love this stuff and it's actually the majority of their favourite vegan ice cream but I will stick with my So Delicious. I find the texture to be grainy and non-smooth. For this flavour, the mint was so strong my whole mouth was cold and I could taste nothing but the mint. I guess we can't love everything. Sorry Luna & Larry.



I want to say a big thank you to The Healthy Bug and Lou for giving me such a great opportunity and for letting me try out some products I have been wanting to! Until next time, ta ta for now little peaches.