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Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Vegan Peach's Holiday Food Guide

I think a lot of our holiday memories involve food. When first going vegan, it may feel like you are giving up a whole lot but I'm here to tell you that certainly doesn't have to be the case. From candy canes to cookies and holiday roasts, here's my personal food guide for the holidays:

EggNog/Holiday (non-alcoholic) Drink: 


Advent Calandar:


Other Treats:

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Saying Goodbye to my Twenties

While this may not be my usual post for a vegan blog, I feel that I want to document this moment and share it with all of you.

As I sit here and think about these being my last few hours in my twenties, so many things come to mind. Without making myself sound ridiculous, I am scared. Unlike most children who couldn't wait to grow up, I was more of the Peter Pan type, I wanted to stay a child forever. I remember the day before my 16th birthday and just being overwhelmed with anxiety. To me, growing older means more responsibility, less fun, more chores, more bills, etc.

Thirty, now that's a big number, much bigger than 29. Ridiculous, no? I can't help this impending doom I feel. I feel like I have failed somehow...

I still don't have a career. I work a job that, while I am good at, I am quite unhappy with. Sometimes I feel my brain melting into the sleeve of the shirt I am inspecting. I live in a small apartment in what some people consider the "bad part" of Dartmouth. It's just my husband, my two cats, hamster and myself. I do love my little family. I have known since I was a child I didn't want to have children, except the furry kind of course. So in that sense, I am not unfulfilled. I happen to like Dartmouth, even if the bus is annoying to take, it gets me to where I need to go. I have got to do some moderate traveling. I lived in the Yukon for 5 years, visited Alaska, Seattle, Las Vegas, California, the Grand Canyon, Hawaii and drove across Canada seeing every province but Newfoundland and the other two territories. I have a best friend who I love with every piece of me, she lives in Las Vegas but we are still tighter than ever. She's truly a kindred spirit and gets me through my toughest hour. I have met dozens of amazing people through work, activism and online outlets.

I have made friends, lost friends, probably got a few enemies along the way. I have grown a fan base for myself, which I never imagined possible. I talk to people all over the world right at my fingertips. I receive some of the most amazing comments anyone could ever ask for and I am deeply grateful for the support of the community I have built myself.

I have overcome one of the biggest tribulations of my life. Living with mental illness, no I am not cured for there is no cure but when I look back to where I was 5 years ago and see myself today, I am a completely different person. I feel like maybe my twenties was the time to figure out who I am and I think I finally found me.

I am strong, compassionate, dedicated, loyal, passionate, stubborn, moody, hardworking, lovable, fun, sentimental, caring, empathetic, artistic, kind and so much more.

The question is: what do I really want? I have been asking myself since I was still in elementary school. My mind was always burdened by some big decision that I didn't even know existed. I tend to think I am just going to be a wanderer forever. 

It's hard to say goodbye to this decade but I hope to embrace my thirties and find even more of myself. I truly believe with each year of my life, I have grown stronger and wiser.

When your grandmother told you life is short, she wasn't lying. These past 30 years have gone like a blink of an eye. I can only hope that these small flashes have been imprinted somewhere in history. That my existence will mean something. That I can in my own way change the world for the better.

I want to read more, write more, focus even more energy on growing The Vegan Peach, laugh more, hug more, meet new people, have brilliant conversations, see new places and become even stronger.

Thank you for taking this journey with me, whether you were here from the beginning or are just joining me now, let's rock this new decade!

Monday, 15 June 2015

Vegan Community: Love or Hate?

I really need a break from the vegan community. I have tried so very hard to stay connected, to support my fellow activists via social media. I have watched hundreds and hundreds of videos, commenting, tweeting and retweeting, sharing Facebook posts and you know where it has got me? More frustrated than ever!

You can't win.

In one breath, according to some, I'm being intolerant because I say "hey Beyonce isn't vegan, can we not call her that." While these same people would be upset if someone they knew were using the word vegan but still consuming animal products.

Then, the same people are all for people like Vegan Gains calling other vegans names and saying nasty things about them.  

Where is the middle ground? 

I think I am reasonable and fair and above all else HONEST but it seems we spend an awful lot of time worshiping pseudo-plant-based celebrities and vegans who treat EVERYONE like assholes rather than looking at the big picture, stepping outside ourselves and realizing that our OWN choices and voice are the most important of all.

Do we focus all our energy on people like Beyonce because we really think we have no power of our own? That her influence, while it may be great, is far more important than yours or mine? Us little guys, have the ability to change the world. Speak up, stand up and embrace your right to fight! I know it isn't easy, I know we encounter a lot of in-fighting but you can make a difference. So how about instead of focusing all our time talking about celebrities who aren't really vegan, we talk about why we went vegan?

Why do these things bother me? Honestly, because I feel we are turning veganism into a friggen sideshow. It doesn't matter how someone puts it, I will not get on board with Beyonce and her plant based diet. Do I think it's better than the conventional American diet, absolutely but call it for what it is, "a mostly plant-based weightloss system." No, it's not vegan, no this is not me hating on Beyonce and no I will not change my stance because some big name vegan told me that I need to look at it differently.

I will also never ever support people like Vegan Gains. I am sorry but I think he is flat-out obnoxious and a shameful representation of our cause. He believes that if you are not skinny, even if you are vegan, you should hide in your house because you are damaging the cause. He spends his time calling people fat and other nasty names, as you can see on his video about Tricia Paytas. How and why is this what we want our community to become? To become so intolerant based on someone's body size that we are okay with the hateful words people spew? Is this any different than judging based on race, religion or ethnicity?

I write this post out of frustration. I am tired of being made to feel like I am the intolerant one when in reality, I just want people to get past their own vanity and look into the eyes of the victims. I don't care whether you eat vegan burgers and fries all day every day or if you choose to eat 30 bananas a day. I just want you to remember what being vegan really is about... the animals. The cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep and fish who get slaughtered by the billions every year. The mice, rats, cats, dogs, monkeys and guinea pigs who are trapped in cages as we speak so humans can perform cruel experiments so you can have longer eyelashes or plumper lips. The mink, fox and rabbits who live in cages only to meet their end on the end of a rod that anally electrocutes them so you can wear your fur coat, your fur trim or hat. And for the billions of other animals who are hunted, trapped and tortured in rodeos, aquariums and zoos.

I don't care if you are skinny, fat, muscular or scrawny, wealthy or poor, weak or powerful, happy or sad, tall or short, black, red, yellow, white or orange, whether you believe it God or not, I just want us all to live as one, to include animals in your circle of compassion and to think about how our choices affect others, not just ourselves.

Hate is not the answer.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Lively Bakery-- Review

 I don't get down to the Alderney Landing Farmer's Market as often as I wish but when I do I usually find at least a couple new surprises. I've actually grown to enjoy the Dartmouth market more than the Halifax one but as a vegan, it can still be very difficult seeing butchered animals and other animal products on either side. However, spotting the Lively Bakery there a couple Saturdays ago was a pleasant surprise. They had a table with a selection of different baked sweet treats and I was ecstatic to see so many vegan labels on them.

 The couple who run Lively Bakery were both very friendly and kind. I asked to make sure that these items were indeed vegan and did have any hidden honey in them. We've experienced some unfortunate locals who seem to misunderstand what veganism really is and put bee products in their items. The Lively Bakery is not one of them. The lady assured me that "all the vegan products are indeed vegan" and went on to say that vegans do not consume honey. So refreshing and wonderful to hear!

Hubby and I picked out almost one of everything and spent more money than we should but how could we resist such temptation? We got date squares, blueberry squares, caramel apple squares, chocolate cookies and caramel cookies. I was extremely impressed with every one but had a particular fondness for the caramel cookie and the caramel apple square. They were all so simply delicious and moist.

Thank you so much to the Lively Bakery for having so many vegan options. We are an ever growing minority and it's wonderful when businesses accommodate us. I will definitely be back to feast on some more incredible treats.

Caramel cookie with a vanilla cream filled center

Chocolate cookie with a jam filled center

Date square

Caramel Apple tart

Blueberry tart

Monday, 23 March 2015

Having a Vegan Easter

In the land of The Vegan Peach, the Easter bunny is very real and also a vegan saint. He brings all the good little vegan kiddies baskets full of vegan chocolate and treats. Many parents wonder where in the world can bunnies find delicious vegan Easter goodies, I got in contact with the bunny himself and he gave me the lowdown on the best treats in town.

Allison's Gourmet: Chocolate bunnies, chocolate mini eggs and more.

Sasha Farm Sanctuary: Lazy bunnies like prepared baskets with chocolate, lollipops, gummies and more.

No Cow Chocolate: Chocolate bunnies!

Vegan Cuts: Offers two pre-made Easter baskets.

Non-dairy chocolate easter basket


Chocolate Easter Bunny & Egg Gift Set 

Premium Chocolatier's: Chocolate bunnies, vegan cream eggs and more.

Moo Free Chocolates: Chocolate Easter eggs.

Sweet & Sara: Vegan marshmallow peeps.

Natural Candy Store: This website offers awesome options for every time of year including Easter, so hop to it! Chocolate bunnies, lollipops, gummies and chocolate eggs.

Sjaak's: Chocolate bunnies and eggs.

Divvies: Chocolate bunnies.

Chocolate Decadence: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

Amanda's Own Confections: Chocolate bunnies and more.

Mama Ganache: All their dark chocolate is vegan.

Rose City Chocolatier: Easter chocolates.

No Whey!: Vegan egg truffles.

Lagusta's Lucious: Bunnies, cream eggs and more.

Chocolate Inspirations: Chocolate bunnies and other Easter goodies.

Vegan Treats: Vegan cream eggs, chocolate bunnies and so much more!

Denman Island: More chocolate bunnies!

Bissinger's: Dark chocolate bunny ears.

Divine Treasures: Cream filled eggs and chocolate bunnies.

Plamil: Chocolatey eggs.

YumEarth: Jellybeans and Lollipops.

Booja Booja: Gourmet Easter eggs.

Hotel Chocolat: Milk-free easter eggs and bunnies.

Montezuma's: Dark chocolate eggs, bunnies and more.

Cocoa Loco: Dark chocolate bunnies and eggs.

Choices: Dairy-free bunnies and eggs including a white chocolate vegan bunny!

MULU Organic Raw Chocolate: Chocolate Easter eggs and buttons.

Lindt Dark Chocolate Bunny:
Holidays are about being creative. You can find slews of vegan recipes on how to make vegan cream eggs, you can get molds and make your own chocolate bunnies and so much more. Have a hoppy Easter!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Overall Beauty Review-- Vegan and Cruelty-free Eyeshadow

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely Kim of Overall Beauty. She asked if I'd be interested in trying her vegan, natural and cruelty-free eyeshadows. Of course, I jumped right in with both feet. If you know me, you know I not only love new products to try but also love reviewing them for my wonderful audience.

Kim let me pick out 6 different shades I wanted to try. They arrived extremely quickly, even though I am up in the frosty wintry land of Nova Scotia.

I opened my parcel to find bright and colourful eyeshadows packaged just perfectly. In a sweet little pouch I received not only the 6 sample colours I wanted but a bonus full size shade of her most popular product, champagne.

I love that the sample shades were even in little pots. Many other companies send them in plastic bags. This is much nicer. I even love the labels. 

The shadows are very much the colours you see in photographs. True to the image. I had a tough time choosing the colours I wanted but settled on these six: Make it Rain, Flamingo Strut, Star Powdered, Bronze Turquoise, Gray Sapphire and Ginger Bear. As well as being vegan and cruelty-free, Overall Beauty does not use talc or bismuth oxychloride, cosmetic dyes, ferric ferrocyanide or carmine in their makeup. That's right, bright purple and pink eyeshadows that are VEGAN! That's not always easy to find.

I have a love for all things shimmery, especially when it comes to eyeshadow, so I stuck to mostly those that sparkle. Since I am far from a makeup artist, I like that the shimmery ones are easier to apply and I think they highlight my eyes nicer. Overall Beauty's are some of the prettiest shimmers I have used. The colours go on easily, without any clumping. I love every colour I received and actually have a hard time deciding which I want to use for the day because I love them all so much.

Overall Beauty offers quality products at fair prices. You can purchase from her website or Etsy shop. She also offers a nail polish line, skin care and other makeup products. If you are looking for vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics, look no further, Overall Beauty has what you need!

A big thank you to Kim of Overall Beauty for giving me this opportunity.

                               Also check out my video opening Overall Beauty's package.