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Monday, 25 July 2016

Vegan Guide to the Yukon

So I no longer live in the Yukon but I did travel back to visit family last month and I was shocked to see how much veganism has grown there. I saw new restaurants with vegan options and lots of places to shop. So, therefore, I am going to make a vegan guide to the Yukon. Who knows if anyone will use it or not but I am going to make it anyhow. I went vegan in Whitehorse 5 years ago, it may seem like a strange place to be vegan but with the high concentration of tourists, I think there is a demand for vegan options. Veganism is growing everywhere and that's something to smile about. :)

Whitehorse: 

Where to eat: 

Alpine BakeryThe Yukon's only ALL vegetarian spot. They offer an assortment of vegan milk alternatives for drinks, vegan cheesecake, pizza and other offerings daily. I have noticed a couple items saying vegan when they have honey in them so watch for that. The also stock some pantry type items. Of course their bread and stuff is normally vegan as well. They do not use eggs at all. I feel sad that I didn't go here more often when I lived in the Yukon.

Baked Cafe: They have daily soups and one is always vegan. They have vegan muffins, soy or almond milk for drinks. I recommend getting there early if you want food though cause their cases clear out really quickly.


The Gr8ful Spud: Located inside the Best Value Inn. They have quite a substantial amount of vegan options including vegan poutine with mushroom miso gravy and daiya cheese. They also have vegan pho, a tofu sub that can be made vegan if you omit mayo and a panini if you omit cheese.

Epic Pizza: They have daiya cheese! Their dough and sauce is vegan so you can make an awesome vegan pizza. They also have nachos and pasta which I suspect could be made vegan as well.

Big Bear Donair:
They offer vegan falafel and great service!


Pickapeppa: Jamaican cuisine. All the vegetarian options are also vegan.


Cafe Balzam: Located at the Tahkini Hot Springs, they offer a vegan burger crepe, poutine without cheese (gravy is vegan) and a bean puree.


Sanchez Cantina: Mexican restaurant with vegan options.


Where to shop:  

Superstore: Superstore has been fully renovated since I lived in the Yukon. They offer a much larger natural section with many vegan options.

Super A: Has quite a few vegan convenience foods, including ones I can't even get in Nova Scotia. Look for Gardein, Daiya and many other vegan brands.


Riverside: Huge selection of vegan options, prices are high on some stuff but they by far have the biggest selection of convenience foods and cruelty-free beauty products.

3 Beans: If you are looking for cruelty-free products, here's the place to go.


Bigway: Surprised to see Bigway even carrying more vegan products including Daiya cheese, Coconut Bliss, Enjoy Life products and more.


Farmer Robert's: This is a new place since I left the Yukon and it's a really awesome store. Country style store but offers a lot of vegan products you can't find elsewhere. Also stocks cruelty-free cleaning supplies.


The Fruit Stand: Seasonal fruit stand with produce and other packaged items.

Dawson City: Most things in Dawson are seasonal so please be aware that things may be closed during the winter. 

Alchemy Cafe: Internet cafe that offers plant based milk for drinks. Many baked goods are vegan and they also have fully vegan meals.

Aloha Tacos: Food cart that specializes in tacos. I messaged the owners and they stated that almost anything on their menu can be made vegan, simply request when ordering. Operated May to September only.

Carcross: 

Caribou Crossing Coffee:  The daily soup is always vegan and depending on the time of day they have vegan baked goods, such as muffins and also has almond and soy milk for drinks.

Haines Junction: 

Village Bakery: Bakery and cafe that offers vegan lasagna, stuffed peppers, tofu rice paper wraps, pizza and more. They also sell Endangered Species chocolate bars. Staff was great help on pointing out vegan options. Open May through September 1st only. 

Caribou Coffee in Carcross, YT


Monday, 29 February 2016

OSEA Skincare Review


Have you been looking for good quality skincare products that are also cruelty-free and vegan? Look no further because OSEA has got you covered. In 2002, OSEA ( Ocean, Sun, Earth, and Atmosphere) signed the Compact for Global Production of Safe Health and Beauty Products. Being an industry leader, the first to sign, they lead the path that over 1000 companies followed to also phase out the use of toxic chemicals in all beauty products.

OSEA products are and have always been free of:
• Animal By-Products
• Genetically Modified Ingredients
• Gluten
• Nanomaterials
• Parabens
• PEG Compounds
• Petrochemicals
• Petroleum
• Phthalates
• Sulfates
• Synthetic Color
• Synthetic Fragrance


100% NATURAL DERIVED INGREDIENTS: Aqua, *Macrocystis Extract, Decyl Glucoside (Vegetable Foaming Agent), Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, *Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Cocoglucoside & Coconut Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Essential Oils of: Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf (Tea Tree) Oil and Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf (Rosemary) Oil and Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil and Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil and Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil and Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vaccinium Mytillus (Bilbery) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonium (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharinium (Sugar Maple) Extract, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Natural Smectite Clay), Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Aqua *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

I am simply thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review OSEA's products. They have been a company I have been eyeing for quite sometime since I have high respect for a company that stays true to their ethics and leave toxic chemicals, as well as animals out of their products and of course do so without testing on animals.

OSEA has given me the opportunity to try 3 of their products and I am excited to share my thoughts with you. 

Ocean Cleansing Mudd: I have this strange love with clays, mudds and basically any sort of product that contains ingredients from the earth. Being someone who has struggled with acne for years, these mudds, clays, etc. from mother earth have helped my skin tremendously. The Ocean Cleansing Mudd was an instant hit with me right from the first application. It gives your skin a little bit of a tingle and cooling sensation leaving me feeling refreshed and clean. It has a lovely minty scent that I just love. You don't need to use a lot either, a couple small pumps and a little water goes a long way. Massage your skin in a circular motion and voila, clean and ready to go! Perfect for daily use with acne/oily prone skin. I always notice an instant glow to my skin after application.


100% NATURALLY DERIVED INGREDIENTS: AQUA, ALGAE EXTRACT*, COCO CAPRYLATE/CAPRATE (Vegetable Glycerides), MACADAMIA TERNIFOLIA (Macadamia) SEED OIL*, SORBITAN OLIVATE (Emulsifier from Olive Oil), CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE (Corn & Coconut Glucolipid), BUTYROSPERMUM (Shea Butter)​ PARKII​*​, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS SEED (Jojoba) OIL*, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (Avocado) OIL*, TOCOPHEROL (Vitamin E), CALENDULA EXTRACT, L-LYSINE LAUROYL METHIONINE (Amino Acid from Plants), XANTHAN GUM, LAMINARIA ALGAE EXTRACT, ​​GINKGO BIL​OBA​ ​LEAF EXTRACT, ​​CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA FLOWER EXTRACT*, LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (Lavender) OIL*, PELARGONIUM (Geranium) GRAVEOLENS, MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE (Natural Smectite Clay), CITRUS GRANDIS (Grapefruit) PEEL OIL*, POTASSIUM SORBATE, GLYCINE *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Atmosphere Protection Cream: I haven't been a huge fan of moisturizers for awhile now. Most leave my skin heavy and almost filmy, which tends to make way for excess oil which leads to breakouts. But, this cream, is AMAZING! It's super light and breathable and has not caused me any extra oil. I still don't use it daily but every couple of days is perfect for me. Perfect for dryer skin types. Can also be blended with your foundation for added protection. It leaves my skin smooth and healthy.

100% Natural Derived Ingredients: *Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, *Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Thuja Occidentalis (Cedar Leaf) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, *Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, *Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum (Cardamom Seed), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) *Certified Organic Ingredient

Essential Hydrating Oil: This is the only item I haven't used that much. I have times where my skin is dry but lately it has been more oily so haven't needed to use this very much. This is perfect for dry, aging or sun damaged skin. Easy application with a roll on applicator, which is fantastic and perfect for travel or keeping in your purse for quick touch-ups. I will be keeping this close for those dry days. 




I really love that they included a guide for different skin types to let you know how often products should be used.

OSEA's products are top quality. You can really feel the difference on your skin. This is what high quality products should be. No chemicals, no preservatives, only healthy rich natural ingredients. All vegan and cruelty-free.

Thank you OSEA for sharing these with me. 

Receive FREE SHIPPING on orders over 50 dollars HERE.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Local Vegan Eats-- Koka's Snack Shack

Let's admit it, most of us are kids at heart and we grew up with special memories related to food and candy. I know for me, one of my biggest excuses for not going vegan sooner was my addiction to chocolate. I know, of all things... that's what held me back. I have been lucky enough to try so many amazing vegan alternatives to my favorite candies and foods now that there's just really no excuse for anyone anymore and I have made it my mission since going vegan to show others just how easy it is. 

TruJoy Choco Chews
Lovely Candy Co.
JJ's Sweets Cocomels

I am simply ecstatic that some of my favourite sweets are now being brought in locally through a fantastic new website. Koka's Snack Shack is an online store located right here in Nova Scotia. Stephen, the owner is bringing in favorite's such as Go Max Go bars, JJ Sweet's Cocomels, No No's from Premium Chocolatier's, Liz Lovely cookies and more. The mass majority of this stuff cannot be found anywhere else in the Halifax Regional Municipality, let alone Canada, so this very exciting. Items can be shipped right to your door but Stephen also offers to drop items off to you for a small 5 dollar fee, many times within the same day so I always suggest contacting him first: sgrantham71@yahoo.ca

Koka's Snack Shack is a new business and has every intention to continue to expand so I really hope our community will generously support his store. 







Go Max Go Jokerz


So, what should you expect with the candy? Let me tell you. We all know how much I love doing reviews, so let me break down the sweets I have pictured.

TruJoy Choco Chews: These chews are a healthier vegan alternative to Tootsie Rolls. If you've missed Tootsie Rolls, these are for you. So yummy!

Lovely Candy Co: These fruit chews are essentially a healthier alternative to Starbursts. Made with real fruit and natural ingredients. Simply delicious!  

JJ's Sweets Cocomels: I am a huge fan of Cocomels. Soft, sweet and creamy vegan caramels made with coconut milk. Perfect for any caramel lover!


Go Max Go Cleo's Peanut Butter Cups


Cleo's: If you love/loved Reese's Peanut Butter cups, then you will love Cleo's Peanut Butter cups. Made with rice milk, you get a creamy milk chocolate taste with a delicious peanut butter center.

Jokerz: Were/are you a Snicker's fan? Well then Jokerz are for you. Creamy rice milk chocolate with peanuts and nougat. It's a much healthier alternative to the "real" thing.


Cocoa Mojo from Enerhealth

Cocoa MoJo: This is the one product I haven't tried yet so can't give a review but can share information about it.
  • Made with 100% Certified Organic Cocoa Powder
  • Sweetened with Naturally Low-Glycemic Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Infused with herbs to support your Immune System
  • Fair Trade ingredients and High in Antioxidants
  • A Delicious and Healthy treat for the entire family!
Ingredients: 
Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Non-Dutched (no alkaloids) Single-Estate Latin American Cocoa, Organic Extracts of: Agaricus Blazei, Cordyceps Sinensis, Grifola Frondosa, Ganoderma Lucidum, Coriollus Versicolor, Lentinula Edodes.

Sour Squirmy Worms
Squishy Fish


                                                                       


Squishy Fish: These are like Swedish Fish (which are also vegan) but healthier and BETTER! Seriously, the flavor in these bad boys is incredible.

Sour Squirmy Worms: Most of us grew up with gelatin ridden sour worms but no gelatin in these squirmy worms. Again, much healthier and the flavour is amazing! I simply love these gummies.

Lenny and Larry's: No eggs, no dairy? No problem! Lenny and Larry's make amazing, moist vegan cookies in a variety of flavours. They are even a good source of protein!

No No's from Premium Chocolatier's

Surf Sweets Sour Berry Bears


No No's: Premium Chocolatier's No No's are the closest thing that comes to vegan M&M's. A candy shell covers a sweet chocolate center. They are delicious and dangerously addictive.

Surf Sweets: I have been a huge fan of Surf Sweets for years now. These sweet, delicious, soft gummies are the perfect treat and a healthier alternative to the conventional gummy.

Visit Koka's Snack Shack for all your snacking needs. :)






Monday, 15 February 2016

Local Vegan Eats-- Blue Apples


Blue Apples is located at:
5239 Blowers Street. 
Halifax, NS

 
How does one who loves someplace so much even begin to write a proper review for it? Blue Apples has basically stolen my heart. This place extends far beyond a tea bar. It serves as a sanctuary for meditation, yoga, massage, herbalism and acupuncture. I feel that Blue Apples is also a community center, a place to warm your heart, mind and stomach. A haven for vegans and non-vegans alike and a place to truly unwind and breath. Many community events are hosted here, everything from yoga and meditation to art events and talks.

  

I admit, I came to Blue Apples for the vegan fare but I left with so much more. It has become my absolute favourite hangout spot in the city, not only for the delicious food and drink but for the zen atmosphere and friendly company. I have never felt as welcomed in any place as I do here. Daniel, Michelle and the other folks are the kindest, sweetest and most helpful people you could possibly meet. They always have big smiles on their face when I walk in the door and I truly cannot tell you how refreshing that is.



Herbalism: If you are looking for herbs of any sort, Blue Apples is the place to go. They have shelves lined with everything you can imagine. Daniel, clinical herbalist, does consultations to help aid you in your overall health, drawing from the global systems of Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, Western herbalism, Spagyrics and more. 

Vegan Foods and Tea Bar: They offer lots of hot and cold drinks, kombucha, sandwiches, smoothies, soups, brownies and more. They also sell some of the housemade seitan from enVie and have a freezer with products from In the Raw. You will also find Rawthentic chocolate bars, The Cultured Coconut's kefir and many other local made products. 

And I must state, they have simply the best brownies you can possibly get in the city. <3

 










Arts prints, bracelets, local soap and skincare is also available in store. As mentioned, they have an acupuncturist, yoga instructor and massage therapist in house as well. Events are constantly being planned, I suggest following their Facebook page to keep up to date.

So sit back, relax, enjoy a hot or cold drink and snack and take a load off. In such a hectic world, it's refreshing to find such a zen place to relax. There's just so much offered at Blue Apples but most of all, a lot of love and care. 


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Local Vegan Eats-- Wild Leek


The Wild Leek is by far one of my favourite spots in Halifax. It has a rustic artsy feel with delicious food that feels like something your mom would make. A vegan twist on traditional favourites, along with unique one-of-a-kind creations. 

You really feel at home at the Leek.





The menu is not massive but it's still enough that I always have a hard time choosing. Portion size is perfect and prices are extremely reasonable. I always leave satisfied from the Wild Leek. Fare includes bowls, a donair, wraps and an all-day breakfast menu.

I feel a lot of love from the food there.


Ultimate burger and potato soup
Potato soup
Wild Bowl
Chocolate hazelnut cupcake

The Wild Leek offers all day breakfast and to quote Tori Amos "breakfast every hour, it could save the world." I think this is a very smart move on the Leek's part because I am pretty partial to breakfast. They offer a vegan omlette, known as the "nomlette", which is pretty special, as well as housemade seitan bacon, pancakes and homemade cornbread. True comfort food.



They have a great selection of baked goods. I am pretty fond of the cupcakes, I can't leave there without getting one, which change daily. They are truly the best cupcakes in the world. They will also do desserts upon request. So if you are looking for a birthday cake or something delicious for a special occasion, the Leek has got you covered. Brownies, muffins, cookies and more are also always in house.


They have a smoothie and juice bar which are always fresh and made right before your eyes. The Chocolite has got to be my favourite smoothie and I am pretty partial to the Elixir when it comes to juice but they are all delicious and nutritious.


Daily specials, as well as, special menus are constantly being created. Holiday dinners, 3 course meal events, pizza nights and so much more.




It just doesn't get any better than this. I love the homey, welcoming atmosphere that is the Wild Leek. The staff is always friendly and helpful and the food is out of this world. If you are visiting Halifax or living here and yet to go, put it on the list of places to eat. And that my friends is the Vegan Peach seal of approval. 

Located at: 
2156 Windsor Street
Halifax, NS