You’ve Got Mail::Vegan Subscription Boxes

When I was a kid,the most exciting part of my day was waiting for the mail. I had pen pals from across the world and family members that still practiced the art of writing on fine stationary. Opening a letter with a fancy wax seal was a simple moment of joy.

Flash forward to adulthood (with my sophomoric sense of humour and general goofiness, I use that term loosely) when the mail becomes something to dread because all you get are bills and bits of junk mail that won’t go away. Gah!

Solution: Sign up for a monthly subscription box full of vegan goodies delivered to your door! These services are fantastic if you enjoy trying new products,but live in a location that has a limited variety of vegan items.

My favorite sites are Vegan Cuts and Conscious Box. Vegan Cuts has just released their new bigger and better snack box,almost doubling the amount of goodies contained in the December box.

January Vegan Cuts Snack Box

Items included in my January Vegan Cuts box:

Cuppow-Turns a Mason Jar until a travel mug

Beanfield’s Chips (GF)- Pico de Gallo AND Salt n’ Pepper (eating these with spinach dip right now!)

Dandies Vegan Marshmallows(GF)- A classic pantry “essential”.

NY SuperFoods Manhattan Mud Chia Peanut Butter- No salt or hydrogenated oil (no palm oil). This is not labeled as gluten-free

Nutcase Crunch(GF)- Almonds,pecans, coconut and pine nuts. I sprinkled this on a salad and it was quite tasty.

GoRaw Banana Bread Flax Bar(GF)- I buy these all the time to eat before I hike…happy to get another one.

Just Pure Foods Chocolate Kalenola(GF) – Chocolatey kale chip granola-ness.Your brain will be like, “whuuuut?!” and your mouth will be like, “more please!”

Organic Freekeh-*Recipe card included* Roasted green wheat. This is actually a pretty good sized bag at 8oz. and will make four servings. I’ve dabbled using freekeh in recipes but since I’m reeeeeally trying to go gluten-free, I’ll probably share this with a friend.

PÜR Gum(GF)- Wintergreen. Fresh breath is a priority in my life, so I’ll be carrying this is my purse.

Moringa Tea- According to Ayurveda, the oral tradition of Indian medicine, Moringa prevents 300 diseases. I am not a tea connoisseur but I thought the flavor was similar to a light green tea.

$25 iTrain Gift Card- Download mp3 workouts. The cost of each download is between $5.99-$10.99 so I downloaded two of the ballet sculpting routines. So convenient to add the free workouts after I chowed down on all the snacks!

I was excited that almost all of the products in this month’s box were new to me and super bonus that I liked everything after sampling.The Cuppow alone would be almost $11.50 so you definitely get your money’s worth with this box.

December Vegan Cuts Snack Box

Conscious Box offers a classic box (vegetarian friendly), the vegan box and just introduced the new gluten-free box(GF review next month). Be sure to specify which one you’d like when you sign up.

January Vegan Conscious Box

Happy Squeeze – Strawberry Kiwi Beet fruit & veggie twist. I take these along to slurp down after I hike.

Peeled Snacks Apple Cluster(GF)- Berry flavored and surprisingly satisfying when I have a sweet tooth.

Nutiva Hemp Seeds(GF)- I blast these in my Vitamix with some water to make my own hemp milk.

People Towels- Save a tree, carry this washcloth sized towel around with you to wipe your hands.

Simply Straws- Glass straw. Love this idea but the straw is only six inches, the glasses I drink out of are seven inches, and so it’s a bit awkward. Just call me a size queen. I did a little searching and they do make a 10-inch straw along with a cleaning brush that you can purchase here

Dale’s Raw Protein Bar(GF)- Blueberry Macadamia. YUM! This is seriously one of the best tasting bars I’ve had in a while. Really wonderful texture and flavor.

Hail Merry Macaroons(GF)-  Coconutty-choco heaven in a cookie.

Maakoa Koopuwa- Antioxidant elixir made with cupuacu, acai and other super fruits. Tastes like Welch’s grape juice

Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood- Wild berry flavor drink powder. Will add this to my travel kit.

Dr.Singha’s Mustard Bath- This is the only item I’m not thrilled about because 1)I don’t have a bathtub, only a shower and 2)a mustard bath does not sound sexy to me at all.

Conscious Box also includes coupons for most of the products featured in each monthly box, with offers ranging from 10-20% off or buy one get one free. You can see what was in some of the previous boxes here .

Conscious Box has had a few hiccups with products containing bee derived ingredients making their way into the “100% vegan” box. I remember there being a tea with honey in the box a few months back and this month there was a lotion with beeswax (not pictured because I gave it away). I reached out to Conscious Box to ask about this issue and I received this response from Jesse Richardson who handles customer support :

“Unfortunately, Bodhichitta Botanicals, an item in January’s vegan box, contains beeswax, a non-vegan ingredient. While some vegans (aka “beegans”) are okay with using insect ingredients, other vegans are not. Because the box is marketed as “vegan,” Conscious Box will work diligently to prevent any other bee products in the box – these are not vegan and therefore will be excluded.”

I have ordered both of these services for myself and been very pleased with the shipments. Both Conscious Box and Vegan Cuts charge $19.95/month (shipping included). Vegan Cuts will ship to Canada for an additional $8 and you can sign up for the newsletter to be notified of new offers. Conscious Box does not currently ship outside of the U.S., except to APO addresses.

Vegan Cuts

*Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertorial. I have paid for and ordered boxes from both Vegan Cuts and Conscious Box in the past. I received gratis January boxes from both Vegan Cuts and Conscious Box but I do not promise favorable reviews in exchange for free product. My opinions are always honest and I do not share reviews for products/services that I do not use myself.This post contains affiliate links.

Relogy Skin Care::Giveaway!

So I forgot my own rule about not treating the holiday season as one giant Eat Fest stretching from Nov.15th-ish to Jan 1st. And I ate sugar. Lots of it. The massive sugary gluten binge coupled with wearing a baseball cap on my sweaty hikes caused a very unattractive acne breakout on my huge fivehead, right before all the family paparazzi events*flash* I needed a quick fix.

Before using Relogy

Sure, I could have tried a myriad of natural acne remedies but I am impatient with my vanity. Relogy (rel-oh-jee: vegan/cruelty-free) had sent me the Dual Action Treatment Foam, Natural Skin Balancing Lotion with Coconut Milk, Targeted Spot Treatment and I was willing to give it a try.

 

Relogy did exactly what I hoped, cleared my complexion and visibly reduced bumps and redness without irritating my skin. My acne was not cystic, so your results may vary.

I applied 1 pump of the cleanser to moist skin and massaged it into problem areas, targeting my forehead (avoiding the eye area) left it on my skin on for 10 minutes, then rinsed with warm water. The cleanser did a fine job of removing the mineral powder make-up I wear but I used a separate eye make-up remover. Then, I gave my face a quick pat dry and applied the balancing lotion, which moisturized without being greasy or heavy. Last, I used the spot treatment on the most problematic bumps.

Day 5 (overcast day so my skin looks darker in this pic)

Day 7 of Relogy treatments

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty Free
  • Cleared acne in 5-7 days
  • Reduced redness
  • Improved skin texture
  • Convenient pump and rollerball packaging
  • Mild fragrance (no added fragrance)

Cons:

  • Parabens/SLS

I asked the company if the parabens and Sodium Laurel Sulfate were necessary for the product to perform and this is the response I received:

 Dear Cobi,

 We are so happy to hear that you are reviewing the Relogy® Acne Treatment, and that it has been working for you!

 Thank you, too, for your inquiry about the Relogy ingredients, and it is a great question that you ask! As thoughtful product developers, these are the kinds of questions that we ask all of the time.

 Relogy has a 100% vegan commitment, first and foremost, but also strives to incorporate as many natural ingredients as possible into our products, at least 95%. The challenge really comes with the over-the-counter drug products (our foam acne treatment and the spot treatment), which have to be held to strict FDA regulations and anti-microbial standards, so the microbes do not form in the products through-out the expiration date, and Parabens can be used as an optimal way of preserving the product for safe use.  Microbial content is a huge challenge for natural and organic products, and especially with acne bacteria at play–we want to be very careful. And, we want to provide truly effective products for our customers. You may notice that many 100% natural products are not also OTC drugs. As far as SLS, we believe this to be safe to reduce oil on skin. All of our research has led us to conclude that the negative information about SLS to be unverified. As always, however, we encourage consumers to look at each ingredient to evaluate what they think is best for themselves and their family!

 As a company, we’ve made it our mission to challenge ourselves to go further than any other acne product to bridge the gap towards a healthier, gentler way to combat acne, while maintaining results; we want our customers to succeed!

 We love naturals because we believe strongly in their effectiveness, when chosen wisely, and for the proper effect. After all, it is truly the naturals in Relogy that provide the anti-inflammatory and soothing effects, and are the big secret to why it’s great for acne-prone skin. (Shhhh, the other acne companies haven’t realized this yet!)

 Meanwhile, at Relogy, we are continually tracking advancements in natural preservatives and other ingredients for the highest degree of effectiveness and safety. There are some interesting things coming in the future, and we can’t wait until they are truly proven and available for us to incorporate into Relogy.

 Please let us know your thoughts! We truly value your comments, ideas and suggestions–as a young company, we are all about your feedback.

 Kindest Regards,

 The Customer Service Team at Relogy

 

There is no substitute for being mindful of what we eat, how we treat our bodies and not causing breakouts in the first place. When I am doing my best, powering down green smoothies for breakfast and drinking plenty of water, my skin is clear and bright. But, if I need to clear up a breakout quickly, I would use Relogy again.

Relogy is providing one set of the products for one of my readers to try. This giveaway will run for two weeks and the details to enter are:

1) Please follow Relogy on Facebook or Twitter and Subscribe to my YouTube channel

2) Leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite acne fighting tips, remedies or products

3) I will choose a winner on Jan. 28, 2013 and contact them via email. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

Good Luck!

Mandarin Mimosa Mocktail

Cheers to the weekend friends! I’m back on track with my good habits instead of allowing my gluttonous holiday self to make poor decisions.

In addition to eating a variety of healthy plant-based foods, drinking lots of water and getting enough rest, I am sticking with the magnesium regimen recommended by my chiropractor after my car accident in November. Magnesium has been a life saver for me in helping reduce pain and spasms in my neck and back, as well as giving me relief from the headaches. I notice that when I do not remember to take magnesium, I have bouts of restless leg syndrome and my quality of sleep is interrupted. You can read more about the health benefits of magnesium here.

I had purchased a bottle of magnesium from a local natural foods store but soon after received a sample of the Natural Vitality Natural Calm magnesium and I like it so much better!Unlike the first magnesium supplement I tried, the Natural Calm does not need to be mixed with hot water. I add 1 rounded teaspoon to an 8 oz glass of fresh-squeezed, chilled mandarin juice to make this refreshing drink. Natural Calm has a pleasant raspberry lemon flavor sweetened with organic stevia, so you can mix it with water if you’re not in the mood for  a frou frou juice drink.

This post is not intended as medical advice and you should consult your trusted doctor before taking any supplements. But, if you are suffering from symptoms of stress,anxiety,fatigue or musculoskeletal conditions you may want to find out if you’re magnesium deficient.

November Conscious Box Giveaway!

Conscious Box is celebrating their one-year anniversary and are partnering with me to give away the November box to one of my blog/YouTube followers. Woohoo! Who’s feeling lucky?

Getting my Conscious Box delivered each month is like having happiness arrive in the mailbox. Each box is packed full of food products, beauty samples, eco household stuffs, coupons and more.

October vegan box curated by EcoVeganGal

September vegan box curated by Brendan Brazier

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

  1. Please “Like” Conscious Box on Facebook
  2. Please subscribe to my Veggietorials YouTube channel
  3. Leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know that you’ve done steps 1 & 2 (leave your YouTube username)
  4. Contest ends Nov. 6, 2012 and I will select a winner. Open to anyone in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Conscious Box also ships overseas to APO addresses, as well as US territories.

*Products in the November box will differ from those pictured above*

Vegan Okonomiyaki Recipe

Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese style pancake and literally translates to Okonomi “to your liking” + yaki “grill”. This one skillet meal since is a great way to eat a lot of cabbage (or your favorite greens) topped with crunchy, savory, salty goodies.

This is one of my favorite ways to eat cabbage and I use green onions straight from the garden.

The super fun ingredient I added was vegan prawns. I first discovered Sophie’s Kitchen vegan seafood during ExpoWest way back in March. It took awhile for me to get my hands on the products here in Hawaii, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait. The prawns look amazingly real and lend a chewy, bounce to the pancake. Added bonus: they are gluten and soy-free. The vegan calamari is also mind-blowing amazing. I served it fried up and slathered in home made tartar sauce.

I thought it might be fun if you could win some of the ingredients I used in this recipe, so I’m having a giveaway for (2) free products from Sophie’s Kitchen, (2) packets of The Vegg and (6) That’s It Fruit Bars! That prize pack should keep your taste buds happy.

To Enter the Giveaway:

  1. “Like” Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Seafood on Facebook or Twitter
  2. Leave a comment on my Oknomiyaki YouTube video   telling me which Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Seafood product you’d most like to try
  3. *Totally optional Extra Credit: Like The Vegg and That’s It on Facebook or Twitter and leave me a comment on this blog post letting me know that you did
  4. Giveaway ends on Oct. 31, 2012. I will select a winner and they will be contacted via YouTube messages (please check your inbox!)Contest open to US and Canada residents.

Good Luck!

Recipe adapted from the popular YouTube show “Cooking with Dog” (the dog is the host, not an ingredient) Okonomiyaki remastered

Vegan Okonomiyaki Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Okonomiyaki means "to grill as you like it", so fill this savory Japanese pancake with your favorite ingredients.
Author:
Serves: 2 pancakes
Ingredients
  • For the pancake
  • 1 cup cake flour (or mix ¾cup +2 tablespoons all purpose flour with 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon dulse (optional)
  • ¾ cup water or kombu dashi
  • 4 tablespoons prepared Vegg
  • 2 vegan prawns,chopped
  • ½ cup vegan bacon bits
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • ½ cup green onions,chopped
  • For the Sriracha mayo
  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • For the okonomiyaki sauce
  • Mix 2 tablespoons ketchup+ 2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos for soy-free)
  • For garnish
  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds
  • Furikake (seaweed rice seasoning)
  • Aonori (seaweed powder)
  • Beni shoga (pickled ginger)
Instructions
  1. Combine cake flour,dulse and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in water (or dashi) and the Vegg until smooth.
  3. Add cabbage, green onions, prawns and bacony bits.
  4. Heat a non stick skillet over high heat.
  5. Pour half of the mixture into the pan and form into a pancake.
  6. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the pancake, cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Flip one last time,cover and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Brush with okonomiyaki sauce and garnish with Sriracha mayo, seaweed, sesame seeds,beni shoga (pickled ginger) and green onions.

The Simply Bar- Product Review+Giveaway

 

Giveaway Details:
1) You must be SUBSCRIBED to my Veggietorials YouTube channel to be eligible to win
2)To enter, Leave a comment on this video letting me know what your favorite protein bar is. I will select one random winner and send one box of The Simply Bar peanut butter chocolate bars (must be a U.S. shipping address)
3)One entry per person
4)Giveaway ends July 20,2012
5) Winner will be announced via YouTube messages and will have 48hrs to claim their prize or I will choose an alternate winner

Good Luck!

Panko Crusted Tofu Medallions w/the Tofu XPress

I’m going to give away my age by using an 80’s reference to MacGyver again. Oh you know.You’ve  MacGyver’d too…when you rig up the solution for a challenge using your limited resources instead of the tools you *wish* you had. That’s what I’ve been doing for years when I had to press tofu. I’ve used plates, trays, and cooling racks piled high with weights in the form of canned goods, telephone books and anything else I could stack, to press the water out of my green protein.

For years, this was the only way I knew to achieve that fantastic chewy, meaty texture of restaurant style tofu. Through the wonder of the internet machine, I stumbled across the Tofu Xpress Gourmet Food Press. This amazing gadget presses out all the excess water from the tofu in about an hour. No fuss, no muss and you can marinate right in the same container!

 

This recipe requires a very firm texture for the tofu to hold it’s shape while frying. I was super impressed with the way the medallions turned out.They were chewy and dense, almost like a savory marshmallow on the inside and crispy golden spiced goodness on the outside.

 

Tofu Medallions w/Kale & Carrot Shirataki Noodles

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 1 hour (inactive)

Cook Time: 30 minutes (active)

Keywords: fry entree dairy free nut-free vegan vegetarian tofu the vegg

Ingredients (4 servings)

For the tofu medallions

  • 1 block organic tofu (firm or extra firm)
  • 1 cup panko mixed with 3-4 tablespoons curry seasoning
  • 1 cup prepared Vegg yolk
  • oil for frying

For the noodles

  • 1 package Shirataki noodles
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tabelspoon nama shoyu
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups kale- finely chopped, massaged with a little drizzle of oil and a big pinch of sea salt
  • sesame seeds,green onions for garnish

Instructions

For the Tofu

Drain water and remove tofu from package. Press excess water out of tofu using the Tofu Xpress or your preferred method.

Cut pressed tofu into medallion shapes. Dip tofu into Vegg mixture and then dredge in panko+spice mix. Coat evenly.

Heat oil in a pan on the stove and pan fry medallions for about 2 minutes on the top and bottom. Fry the medallions on the sides to get an nice crispy crust.

For the Noodles

Prepare noodles according to directions on the package. Mix sesame oil, chili oil, agave, shoyu and rice vinegar in a small bowl.Add sauce to noodles after they have been drained and rinsed. Toss with wilted kale and top with carrots,sesame seeds and green onions. Plate with tofu medallions.

Serve immediately. The noodles can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days but the tofu medallions are best eaten right after preparation.

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You can purchase The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk online or at various natural food stores.

Disclaimer: This video is not sponsored nor did I receive any compensation for making this video. I contacted TofuXpress and asked them to send me product for review. My opinions are always honest and I only share reviews for products that I use and enjoy in my daily life.

WIN the July Conscious Box!

HOW TO WIN THE JULY CONSCIOUS BOX:

1) “Like” Veggietorials and Conscious Box  on Facebook

2) Share this video via my Facebook post. Each “share” is an entry. Enter as many times as you like until the contest ends June 30,2012

3) Winner will be announced on Facebook and must claim prize within 48 hrs or an alternate winner will be chosen.

* Winner will receive one July Conscious Box shipped to them directly from Conscious Box. Items will differ from those shown in the video (these were from the April and March boxes). Conscious Box currently only ships to the USA

Chia\Vie

Perhaps I could have shown more restraint but I didn’t. Like most Americans, we had a Memorial Day BBQ and I ate most of what came within reach of my little paws. Chips, crackers, bagels, Sheese, loaded baked potatoes, grilled corn, coleslaw, taco cups, candy, bloody marys, margaritas…I’m going to stop there lest you think I have a tape worm or that I am just a glutton. I did manage a salad or two, but I still felt bloated and in desperate need of repair. On an average day, I’d be making a big green smoothie. My VitaMix is already packed up for the trip home to Hawaii and I tried to use my cousin’s Blendtec- FAIL! I had so much work to finish after being disconnected from Wi-Fi for 72 hours, quick convenience was key in getting some proper nutrition today.

I received a sample of the Chia\Vie smoothies recently and the timing was perfect to give them a try. Each bottle is a single serving that comes in a recyclable aluminum container that is perfect to throw in your bag if you’re on the go. I drank the whole bottle of the Mango-J for breakfast and had my entire AI (adequate intake 1.1g for women) of omega 3’s for the day. Aha! Now my brain is working again. Since I’m from the islands, tropical flavors always appeal to me. The smoothie isn’t overly sweet and I enjoy the tang of the mango.

I had the bottle of banapple-berry smoothie for lunch with some raw buckwheat crackers and felt completely satisfied. While the banapple-berry didn’t have a really distinct flavor like the mango, the fruity goodness was still highly drinkable. *glug, glug, glug*

One of the pluses I see in this product is that the chia seeds are ground, as opposed to being left whole, so the nutrients are more bioavailable. Chia is magical because it is a sustainable crop that is naturally pest resistant, vegan, gluten-free, high in protein and fiber. The gel-like consistency helps move things along (if ya get my drift) after a weekend of hard eating. I did question the ingredient listed as “natural flavor” but contacted the company and was assured that these ingredients are plant derived, organic compliant, GMO-free, MSG-free, all-natural, Kosher Pareve, and vegan. I would definitely take these Chia\Vie smoothies along on my next road trip adventure since refrigeration is not required (shake well and  chill for best taste).

How do you put yourself back together after over indulging?

Vegan Hollandaise with The Vegg

And you thought it only existed in your wildest dreams, right? Consider this a virtual *pinch*  You are now lucid enough to learn how to make a 3 minute Hollandaise sauce, with The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk. No double boiler or whisking involved. And get this, this sauce is unbreakable.

If you’ve never mastered the art of making Hollandaise because the egg yolks always curdle and turn your sauce into a hot mess, give this recipe a try! This version features The Vegg vegan egg yolk and is so decadent, you’ll want to eat it straight off the spoon. Also great on asparagus if you need a veggie vehicle for your sauce. Check out thevegg.com for more recipes.

*My recipe is modified from the original recipe on The Vegg’s website. Use my recipe if you do not want to mix your entire package of dry mix with water at once. If you have already mixed your packet of dry mix with 1 liter of water, use the recipe on The Vegg’s website.

Vegan Hollandaise Sauce

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Keywords: blender side sauce dairy free gluten-free nut-free soy-free vegan vegetarian The Vegg

 

Ingredients (1 1/2 cups)

  • 3 tablespoons The Vegg powder mix
  • 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance (If using a microwave, do not over heat or it will separate. Microwave in 20 second increments and watch closely)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups hot water

Instructions

Combine first 5 ingredients and in a food processor or VitaMix. Add 1 1/2 cups water to start. You may need to add more water later to reach your desired consistency. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add more water as needed if you prefer a thinner sauce.

Use immediately, or the mixture will start to gel slightly. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

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