Five-Year Reflection

January 4 marked five years since I started my plant-based journey (six, if you include the year that I gave up pork, red meat, butter, and eggs in an effort to lower my cholesterol…read more here).  Yay me!  Am I a perfect vegan?  No.  Never claimed to be.  I will say, however, that I am closer and closer to becoming a true vegan—lifestyle included—each and every day.

As you know, initially, my decision to forego eating animal products was strictly to live a healthier life.  Today, health is still my number one priority in practicing a plant-based lifestyle.  Throughout the years, however, the environment and animal ethics have come to play a role in how I live as well.

Over the course of the last year in particular, I’ve begun trying to consider where my makeup comes from or what cleaning products I’m using.  As cosmetics and cleaning supplies ran out, I replaced them with plant-based alternatives that include no animal products and that are not tested on animals.  Below you can check out a few of my favorite vegan beauty brands.  🙂  (NOTE:  I have not been paid to endorse any of these products.)

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As a result of adopting other aspects of the lifestyle rather than just the diet, I find that plant-based living is becoming more complex in some ways.  Each time I use one of the leather purses that I was gifted or bought years ago, I feel a little guilty about it.  I’ve realized, however, that I can’t change the past, but I can control how I live my life moving forward.  That was my last leather purse!

Another valuable part of my experience with plant-based living has been mentoring.  Somehow, some way, I’ve inspired people to live healthier, more considerate lives.  THANK YOU!  I am not an expert by any means, but I’ve done the research and I continue to research.  I’m grateful that vegetarian and vegan diets are becoming THE way to nourish ourselves and protect the environment.  (Did you know that sales of cow’s milk have decreased by $1 billion?!)  I’ve had countless individuals reach out to me over the past five years looking to get started with their transformation and I’m honored to have been a part of their journey.  ❤

Finally, I’m at a place where the occasional “cheat” is becoming virtually nonexistent.  The first couple of years into my new diet, once or twice a year I would still treat myself to a piece of salmon or a handful of ribs; I now have no cravings whatsoever for even a once-a-year burger or chicken wing.  I would consider myself 100% vegetarian and 95% vegan.

The pickings in our fridge were slim a few nights ago, so hubby suggested we order a pizza.  Like a “real” one, with actual dairy cheese.  The first few years into plant-based living—especially when I was pregnant and had all sorts of unusual cravings for crap food—I would have been all about that.  My desire for such items has become less and less.  We did order that pizza (vegetarian, but with cheese) and I told Travis that night that I think that that was the last time.  I don’t need it, I don’t crave it…and I make my own vegan pizza that’s fresh and delicious anyway!

I also used to go out to restaurants and pick out a salad on the menu and think to myself, “Ok, I don’t really eat cheese anymore, but there is goat cheese on this salad and they aren’t going to lower the price if I ask for it to be removed, so I am going to consume what I’m paying for.”  I’m proud to say that I don’t think that way anymore.  Now, I think about how I can request an easy substitution that would still allow me to get my money’s worth out of the salad and fill me up if I decide to omit an animal-based ingredient.  If there are cucumbers on the salad, for instance, I just ask the server if I can have extra cucumbers instead of cheese.  If the salad comes with ranch, I ask to sub a vinaigrette instead.  Always polite, I’ve never once been turned down.

If you’re interested in starting your plant-based journey, please reach out to me.  I’ve been at the starting line and am now well into the race a healthier person with a bigger heart and smaller carbon footprint.  It’s the gift to yourself, the environment, and the animals that keeps on giving!

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A Few of My Favorite Things: Portland

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of returning to Portland, Oregon for the second time to visit my best friend, Danielle, and her precious new baby, Devlin.  I absolutely love Portland:  the people, the culture, the lifestyle, and most importantly, the food!

Portlanders are a health-conscious people, frequently opting for a vegetarian/vegan diet.  Even in just two trips to this green city, I was able to see that no matter where I went, there would be plenty of plant-based options available.  Danielle jokes that you can find kale anywhere; she even found a small pile of it outside of her car in a parking lot one day!

When it comes to plant-based eating in Portland, restaurants, bakeries, and even Bob’s Red Mill are all on board.  Bob’s products are essential in my vegan kitchen.  In particular, I purchase his whole wheat graham flour to make homemade graham crackers and hulled hemp seeds to add to baked goods, salads, and smoothies.  In addition to selling his wide array of products, Bob’s also serves good ole country style food in house, including a variety of vegan options.  Honestly, I think that Portlanders expect it and I’m thrilled that it’s a standard here.

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Looking for something fresher?  Head over to the Laughing Planet Café.  The LPC—serving fresh, high quality ingredients on a menu that includes vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly options–has many locations, so you’re not limited to Portland to dig in.  The atmosphere at the LPC is bright and eclectic and made me excited to try the food before it arrived.  I chowed down on this totally vegan grains and greens salad; it was delicious!  Maybe there really is kale everywhere in Portland…

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Lastly, who wants to skip dessert?!  Not this preggo!  Both times I’ve been to Portland I’ve stopped into the famous Voodoo Doughnut.  Voodoo is well-known for many reasons, from its pink exterior to eccentric decor to, of course, its classically scrumptious doughnuts.  Naturally, I gravitated toward the plentiful vegan selection.  When in Portland the first time, Travis tried both the regular and vegan doughnuts and confirmed that they were equally tasty; as I’ve been preaching for years, vegan doesn’t mean sub-par flavor or quality.  Would you believe that Voodoo even has a peanut butter and jelly doughnut?!  Only my #1 preggo craving.  I was in heaven.  🙂

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There are a million reasons you should visit Portland, but the fantastic eats top my list.  I hope you enjoy eating your way through the city as much as I have!

Plant-Based Entertaining for Everyone

I have many times had friends or family over for dinner and prepared an entirely vegan meal with great success. This was only my second time, however, throwing a large party with an extensive plant-based menu that needed to please guests all of all ages and diets. In attendance, I had several vegetarians, one gluten-free eater, and a whole bunch of standard omnivores.

I tried first, to think of foods that it seems everyone likes to eat: fruit, chips, and sweets. Then I thought about how I could make all of those items vegan (and some gluten-free, too), but tasty enough that my guests would never know it…or at least never miss the animal product varieties.

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Here’s what I served:

Chocolate peanut butter truffles: A play on my power ball formula, I used extra cocoa powder and rolled them in unsweetened shredded coconut. Guests said that they were delicious and rich: exactly what I was going for with a truffle!

Mini-fruit kabobs with cinnamon coconut whipped cream: As you know, I’ve been recently delighted to make and try coconut whipped cream in conjunction with my nice cream formula. I added ground cinnamon to this batch – yum!

Mini-chocolate chip cookies: A variation of my chip cookie formula, these were tasty, but a bit crumbly. I was surprised since I’ve made them many times before. Maybe my preggo brain forgot an ingredient?! Very possible. 🙂

Tahini dip: My creamy dressing formula kept extra thick for dipping. It was a crowd favorite.

Roasted fennel hummus: My hummus formula with fennel as the star vegetable was a gamble…and I won (or, I should say, my guests won)!

Lemon raspberry cashew mousse: Remember that failed attempt at vegan cheesecake turned mousse? I served these delightful little cups at my party and several people asked me for the recipe. I’d say they worked out ok after all.

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In addition to fresh fruit, I also served raw veggies, organic blue corn tortilla chips, and two different types of pretzels for dipping. I adorned the tables with small bowls of trail mix for extra munching and had beer and white sangria flowing. Guests seemed happy and full.

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As I mentioned when I threw Nolan’s second birthday party, I’m done serving food that I no longer regularly eat. I hate the idea of potential meat and dairy-based leftovers that threaten to throw me off the wagon (I don’t waste food, ya’ll). Stick to your guns in designing the menu for a party. Remember, guests don’t have to eat your food, but they would definitely be missing out if they didn’t!

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In case you were wondering, the party was a diaper party for Baby #2. Since it isn’t customary to throw a second shower, I wanted to have a more laidback celebration for our family’s final installment. Offering food, booze, and a good time in exchange for diapers was a win-win for all involved…and baby is stocked up for the first year or more of his/her life. Just an idea if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to celebrate a second baby or beyond. 🙂

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Two of My Favorite Things

Plant-based eating is about creating food that is as simple as possible, relying on the natural flavors of plants to trump the need for too much added fat, salt, or sugar. Today, I wanted to share with you a couple of vegan delights that I not only love, but that are healthy, too.

Let’s start with the gorgeous truffles you see pictured above and below. PuraTea Water is a fair trade tea shop strategically placed next to a vegan restaurant. (Remember my post about Sage Kitchen and its connected tea shop? Perhaps this is a trend?) As the name suggests, PT sells many varieties of tea and fresh herbs. One of the co-owners makes these truffles as a special treat, sitting at checkout.

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My husband knows the way to my heart and picked up a bunch of these precious goodies while out shopping with our son. The best part? These “desserts” are guilt-free powerhouses of nutrition! Animal product-based truffles are, of course, wonderfully delicious (see my cherry cordial smoothie post), but most are nothing to write home about in the way of nutritional content. The homemade truffles at PT contain such super foods as dates, seeds, cocoa powder, and nuts. They are minimally sweetened with agave and taste very similar to my protein-packed power balls. I ate them for breakfast this morning paired with PT’s iced apple spiced chai. 🙂  Yum!

Upon leaving the tea house, Travis and Nolan wandered into Loving Hut, a vegan chain with over 200 locations around the world. LH’s ethical and environmental stance on plant-based eating makes them a winner in my book. Plus, even though there are some processed items on the menu (gotta watch out – not all vegan food is created equally) there are some fantastic fresh eats, too.

These spring rolls are one of my favorite vegan takeout items ever. Fresh vegetables and tofu are rolled in rice paper and served with a sweet and savory peanut dipping sauce. As I always have my Fresh Formula thinking cap on, I would include unbreaded tofu since the moisture in the surrounding vegetables negates the purpose of a crunchy outer coating. Really, though, I shouldn’t complain…these are vegan bites at their nearly best and I could seriously eat them every day!

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Travis and Nolan coming home with two of my favorite things last night (plus having flowers delivered to the house during the afternoon, if you must know!) was pretty fantastic, but there was extra icing on this cake:  The sweet folks at PT were excited about my blog!  I started The Fresh Formula to help ordinary people like me live healthier lives, so the more people I can reach, the better.  Look forward to seeing what the future holds.  Go green!

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The Pomegranate Cafe

Today, I’m sharing with you my review of a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called The Pomegranate Café here in Ahwatukee, Arizona.  In a part of the country known primarily for its authentic Mexican cuisine (which I also love), it isn’t always easy to find healthy eats that cater to our plant-based lifestyle.  When I have the chance to try something new here in the valley, I really relish the opportunity to eat high-quality food that will ultimately inspire me in my own kitchen.

TPC, a mother/daughter created concept, is located in a bustling strip center in the east valley of Phoenix.  It is a charming establishment—as I’m finding many vegetarian/vegan restaurants are—with reclaimed wood tables, mason jar lights, fresh flower centerpieces, and images of plants displayed on the walls.  I could hear Bad Religion playing in the kitchen and the young people on staff appeared to really embrace the way of life that comes with plant-based eating.

The menu at TPC is lengthy and diverse.  I really appreciate choices, especially when it comes to plants.  I was happy to see that they indicated when an item was raw (not cooked above 118 degrees) and even when an item’s proceeds went to charity.  While just about everything looked absolutely delicious, after watching a powerful documentary called An Apology to Elephants, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play a small role in helping the elephants in need; I ordered the Elephant Bowl Curry.

The curry was a little spicy for me, but I’ve admitted before to being a total wimp.  🙂  This rendition had a variety of vegetables and sat atop one of my favorite super foods, quinoa.  It wasn’t much unlike my own curry formula.

FullSizeRenderTravis ordered a Macro Bowl, which I don’t see here on their online menu.  It was also fantastic and a harmonious pairing between raw and cooked elements, from tofu to black beans to kale to seaweed.  It came with a zesty lime macadamia pesto that reminded me of my pesto formula; I now have a new combo idea!

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In case you were wondering, Nolan had an almond butter sandwich on whole grain brain with fresh fruit and a vegan cookie.  Once we saw his cookie, Travis and I knew we needed dessert for ourselves.  All of the pastries at TPC are vegan, but don’t taste like it.  Rich, sweet, buttery, and filling, I needed to take the rest of my “cheesecake” home.  That’s a raspberry vanilla slice below, along with Travis’s selection, a play on an Almond Joy candy bar.  Both were, in a word, impressive.

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What was not so impressive, however, was the service.  While the staff was friendly and knowledgeable, they were inattentive to detail, bringing our dinners out at three different times (Nolan, me, then Travis) and messing up simple orders (green tea instead of mint, Almond Joy instead of Snickers).  Being that we were one of three tables occupied on the 4th of July, I wouldn’t have expected it too much of a challenge.  You win some, you lose some; I’d come back for the food any day.

TPC:  Take out rather than dine in, but definitely try it.  Double check the bag and enjoy eating green.

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How I Made the Switch

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What I love about being an educator is my ability not only to teach students important academic content, but to help shape their lives.  I am thankful that my work habits trickle into my personal life, allowing me to reach those outside of the classroom, too.  Since adopting a plant-based lifestyle over three years ago, I’ve had many students, friends, and family members interested in making the switch themselves.  They’ve asked me for ideas and recipes, just wanting to live a healthier life.

As I’ve always stressed, I am not an expert in nutrition or dieting; I know what I know from old-fashioned research and experimentation.  For me, the proof of my lifestyle and Fresh Formula concept is in how I look, and more importantly, feel, in the day-to-day.  While I’ve never been overweight or unhealthy overall, I really believe that we can always improve, which is what I set out to do.

I also believe that the people in my life bring out the best in me, making me want to live as long and as healthy a life as I possibly can.  My husband and son in particular are what inspire me to make smart choices (as my mom always says!) each and every day.  I don’t want to watch my son ride his bike off to school; I want to ride my bike with him.

11001720_10204884344286016_940481854688695948_o_edited198628_10101096867216124_2241408_n_edited The most common question that students (and people in general) ask me once they learn that I don’t typically eat animal products is “What do you eat?”  I addressed this in a previous post, so I’m here today to answer the second most popular question:  “How do/did you do it?”

I’m an ordinary person with a busy lifestyle and like many people, occasionally make a really unhealthy food choice.  As a result, I knew that I would have to take baby steps in transitioning from a traditional, animal-laden American diet to one revolving around plants.

For me, the first step was doing away with cow’s milk.  Many varieties contain added sugar, hormones, and more (I’ll let you research that on your own).  I gave up cow’s milk over six years ago and should have done it sooner, being that I am mildly lactose-intolerant.  Skim milk never irritated my system much, but I knew that it wasn’t the healthiest milk option for me for a number of reasons.  So, I have since switched to plant milk.  I drink primarily almond, but I also like cashew, hemp, oat, and grain.

Less than two years later was when I was told I had high cholesterol.  Ugh!  My doctor advised me to give up red meat, pork, eggs, and butter.  I went without these for an entire year—not that I previously ate them much anyway—before I kicked all meat and most dairy to the curb.  Despite being lactose-intolerant, it’s been more difficult to give up dairy because it is often the staple ingredient in comfort foods:  ice cream, mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes, etc.  I am no different than the average person – sometimes, comfort food just sounds damn good.

Now, “comfort food” to me is a big salad or rich smoothie because that’s what I’ve come to crave.  I also really look forward to making customary animal-based comfort foods vegan, trying new things, and learning about the latest super foods.  That leads me to the next stage in my plant-based journey…

About six months after eliminating animal products, I decided to make it my mission to try new fruits and vegetables.  A friend that I used to teach high school with and I would head out to the farmer’s market and while I would buy plenty of familiars, I would also try to grab at least one or two items that I didn’t recognize.  While this sometimes wound up in failure (you can’t help what you like and don’t like!), 90% of the time I found some—or a lot of—success with new produce.

The last phase in my journey to plant-based living involved what I call, for no particular reason other than simplicity, “picky vegan things.”  I gave up honey, gelatin, white sugar, etc.  In other words, I gave up the foods that don’t outwardly say “I’m made with animal products,” or that we commonly associate with chickens cooped in their pens or salmon being fed corn, but foods that contain animals or are made by animals nonetheless.

Today, I am working on becoming even more dedicated to an imperfect model.  I am not above grabbing a slice of pizza at a party; I just choose not to eat like the majority 95% of the time.  For this, I am healthier than ever, with great blood work, loads of energy, reliable sleep habits, and a normal weight and heart rate.

I hope that taking a look into how I got where I am inspires you to make a healthy change in your lifestyle, however big or small.  There’s nothing wrong with baby steps and there is no perfect diet.  🙂  For more inspiration and ideas, read more about me, plant-based living, and my Fresh Formula concept.  As always, enjoy!

Let Everyone Eat Cake!

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Ok, so I don’t do dessert often, but I definitely have a sweet tooth now and then. Some desserts can be prepared more healthily than others; take my dessert smoothie, for example. Other “desserts” are really just a creative or eye-catching preparation of fruit, which I think is fantastic. When I really do dessert, however, I want to go beyond what I’m eating regularly—smoothies, fruit, dark chocolate—and create something that even those not following a plant-based lifestyle would love to eat.

When I think of a “special” dessert, as many people do, I think of cake. I’ve made cakes for myself and others for all sorts of reasons. Years ago, I once made a cake at 10:00 at night because I needed a break from grading essays. Any excuse is a good excuse. 🙂

The problem with cake, like many traditional desserts, is that it is loaded with sugar and fat. While my newly-developed cake formula does not eliminate these foes, I have found a way to make smart substitutions and reductions. I do not cook or bake with white flour, white granulated sugar, or white table salt…ever.

Additionally, because this a plant-based recipe, it is totally vegan and thus, includes no eggs. Gluten-free diet? No problem! You can make this cake gluten-free, too, as I am today. My mother-in-law has a gluten intolerance and is allergic to almonds as well, so I am substituting my favorite plant milk—almond—with flax.

With any dessert, I think it is crucial to incorporate and capitalize on natural sugars whenever possible. Thus, the frosting formula I’ve come up with utilizes fruit as one of its ingredients. In places where I need another type of sweetener, I’m calling upon one of my old standbys: raw turbinado sugar.

What is raw turbinado sugar? In a nutshell, it is cane sugar that has not been refined into what we commonly know as white granulated sugar. When sugar cane is pressed, it releases juice that evaporates into the crystals that are turbinado sugar. It is minimally processed with no chemicals. Turbinado sugar retains a rich molasses flavor that is lost in processing white sugar, as well as vitamins and minerals. It is lower in calories than white sugar and, it’s vegan.

DSC_1890White sugar isn’t vegan?! Bone char—from cows—is used to produce white sugar’s white color. Ew.

What do I substitute for the eggs? There are actually more egg substitutes out there than you may have imagined. I follow a mostly-raw vegan blogger that shared these popular switches, equivalent to one egg:

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsps water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp soy protein powder + 3 tbsps water
  • 1 tbsp agar agar + 1 tbsp water
  • ½ mashed ripe banana
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsps peanut butter

Of course, some of these egg alternatives will affect the flavor profile of your dessert, so choose wisely!

Overall, cake isn’t your healthiest option for dessert, but if you must—and sometimes, you absolutely must—consider an alternative to the boxed variety. I promise, you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE: CAKE

For the cake:

  • 1 cup flour –>  I’m using brown rice.  (See my multi-grain salad post for the nutritional benefits of brown rice.)
  • 1-1 ½ cups plant milk (depending on the flour) –>  I’m using just over 1 cup of flax.
  • ¾ cup sweetener –>  I’m using raw turbinado sugar.
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup oil –>  I’m using coconut (melted).
  • 1 “egg” –>  I’m using ½ of a mashed ripe banana.
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (a binding agent, if using gluten-free flour) –>  I’m using it (see below).

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  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½-1 tsp extract (depending on the flavor intensity) –>  I’m using 1 tsp vanilla.
  • ¼ tsp salt –>  I’m using pink Himalayan sea salt.
  • Up to ½ cup specialty ingredients (chopped nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, citrus juice/zest, etc.) (optional) –> I’m not using any.

For the frosting**:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or steamed fruit (depending on the fruit) –>  I’m using raw strawberries.
  • ½ cup powdered sweetener –>  I’m using turbinado sugar, which I’ve turned into powdered sugar with the dry blade on my Vitamix.

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  • ¼ cup room temperature natural vegan butter –>  I don’t love to use a butter alternative very often since I’m not keen on every ingredient used to make it, but I tried making frosting with solid coconut oil and it just didn’t take.  It’s ok, it’s just a little…and it’s just this once. 🙂
  • 1 tsp citrus juice (to preserve the color of the fruit)*** –>  I’m using lemon.
  • ½-¼ tsp extract (depending on the flavor intensity) –>  I’m using ½ tsp vanilla.

**If you’re like me, I’ll sometimes chow down on a cake without frosting! Add it or don’t. 🙂

***I would avoid food coloring unless you can find an all-natural variety containing plant pigments. Some varieties come from animals and others are made artificially with chemicals.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your “egg,” whether that involves scooping, mashing, combining, etc. in a large mixing bowl.

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Mix together all of your wet ingredients in the same bowl. Separately mix all dry ingredients. Using a whisk or wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the dry into the wet until a smooth, semi-pourable batter forms. Stir in any specialty ingredients, if using.

DSC_1895Pour the cake batter into a greased square 8 x 8 baking dish or round baking dish, or evenly into 12 lined muffin cups. Place the cake/cupcakes in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My mom always told me that it’s better to over bake a cake (and under bake a brownie); nothing worse than goopy batter in the middle!

Set your cake on a cooling rack for an hour or two. Speed the process by placing it uncovered in the fridge.

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While the cake is baking, make your frosting. First, puree the fruit, citrus juice, and extract to a smooth, pourable consistency. Beat together the sugar and butter/shortening, slowly incorporating the pureed fruit mixture until an icing-like consistency is achieved. You will probably have some fruit puree leftover. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour to stiffen it up, at which point it will be more spreadable and less pourable.

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When your cake (or cupcakes) is cool, frost and decorate (if you want), and dig in!

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Must-Haves from the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival

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When the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was at its peak, I decided to take the act of charity to the next level and complete weekly acts of charity for an entire year. This weekend, my personal IBC led me to the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival in Scottsdale to benefit Evolve for Animals.

The festival was teeming with eager vegans, vegetarians, animal rights activists, and environmentalists. While typical festival/carnival/state fair crowds tend to damper the experience for me, this time, I was thrilled to be surrounded with like-minded people who care about animals, sustainability, and of course, their health.

Various booths with information and most importantly, free samples (woo!), peppered the perimeter of the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater. The first booth that my husband, Travis, and I stopped at, Arizona Microgreens, featured an assortment of organic baby greens, which are easily my new favorite salad base and sandwich filler. I had had microgreens before, but didn’t realize just how many varieties existed. As you can see, they look adorable when compared with something like iceberg lettuce (I do believe that presentation matters when it comes to eating) and taste absolutely delicious. Many samples and $15 later, we walked away with broccoli and pea shoot micros.

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Up next, we stopped at a clothing booth that specializes in tops made from organic cotton and bearing catchy vegetarian and animal-friendly phrases. Geeky for some, but I was smitten and had to have one of Herbivore Clothing’s creations. Like many things organic, the long sleeve shirt I selected wasn’t cheap, but $30 well-spent to advocate for causes that I believe in without even trying.

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Who doesn’t love a soft pretzel?! As if being 100% vegan weren’t amazing enough, these pretzels were shaped like mustaches! Scrumptious and fun to eat, I now understand why the line was 30 minutes long at Mustache Pretzels. After all, “great mustaches aren’t born – they’re bread.”

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Lastly, Travis and I hit up a tortilla chip booth that had really long lines when we first arrived. By this point in the festival, it was raining, so we were able to make it to the front of Beanfields in just a few minutes. These tortilla chips–which were fantastic–are made from beans and brown rice. I’m not a big proponent of processed foods, but there are some gems out there are these are one of them.

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They were the perfect snack to end a fulfilling day doing one of the things I love most: living a plant-based lifestyle. Good for me, good for animals.