Hi everyone! Maybe you remember me from my previous post about my home birth experience (read that post here) from a while back, or maybe I’m new to you. Either way, thanks for reading this post.
There are a few things about me you should know- I’m a bit of a crunchy, hippy mama (although maybe not in the traditional sense). I’m married to a handsome ski fanatic from Argentina and we speak English and Spanish at home. I have one baby girl who will be two in June, and I love animals. And I mean LOVE love- and ALL animals. Yep. I’m vegan. In my eyes, all animals deserve the same respect as our companion animals- so that means not eating them ;).
That being said, I know the word “vegan” carries many different connotations. Some positive – kind hearted, healthy. But also, some negative – judgy, extreme, way too hard, limiting … I’m sure you know what I mean. But I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be any of those things! For me, it’s about doing the least amount of harm that I can. I know there is no perfect solution to many of the issues we face today (environmental, health, cruelty) or perfect lifestyle and that we’re all on our own paths. But this is the path I have chosen and I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite products that are non-vegan approved too! Don’t think of choosing “vegan” products as limiting, think about expanding your ideas of products you use on a daily basis!
Let’s start with food! This is one of the biggest so I’ll just give a few of my must-have products. First things first. Cheese. I know, I know, you could never give up cheese! But there are some really great vegan cheeses out there! Even if you just swap one cows milk cheese with a nut-based cheese, it makes a difference!
If you’re looking for soft/ spreadable cheeses, Miyokos is your girl! She’s based in San Francisco and is an incredibly inspirational woman who literally started her own vegan cheese line in her kitchen and has grown to selling to Whole Foods, Nugget, co-ops and many other regular grocery stores. Any and all of her cheeses are to die for but the double cream chive is my favorite. Her European style butter is also my go-to. She doesn’t use any palm oil (which, if you do some research you’ll see why you want to avoid this ingredient that’s in EVERYTHING) and she uses whole food ingredients- things you can pronounce and have heard of!
If sandwich slices are your thing, Chao – all three of the flavors, and Follow Your Heart – especially the pepper jack and smoked provolone!
And finally, Kite Hill. These guys are also based down in the Bay Area and make a killer ricotta, cream cheese and a few other soft cheeses that will NOT disappoint! Their yogurts are also my absolute favorite. The plain, unsweetened works perfectly as a sour cream replacement too!
Did somebody say ice cream?! No? Oh, it’s just me eating ice cream while I type this…. ha. There are some great dairy alternative ice creams and here are some of my faves: Any of the Ben and Jerry’s flavors- including but not limited to- PB & cookies, chunky monkey, chocolate fudge brownie, and coffee caramel fudge. The Nadamoo line- I just tried the pistachio last week and it was so good! Luna and Larry’s (any and all flavors) but make sure you like coconut as this is a coconut base and definitely has a bit of coconut taste. And Trader Joe’s with their soy vanilla and cherry chocolate chip! Most cones are vegan as well so go ahead!
And here are a few of my favorite meat alternatives that I use sparingly as they’re not exactly healthy, but delicious and definitely have a place in our house on occasion! Sweet Earth Natural Foods benevolent bacon, the Trader Joe’s soyrizo, tofurky Italian sausages, and Trader Joe’s sriracha marinated tofu! Yum.
When it comes to beauty products, there are plenty of lines that are not only cruelty free but also vegan! Pacifica is one of my favorite brands for face wash and body lotions. They also make a great waterproof mascara 🙂 Urban Decay has tons of vegan options as far as makeup goes, and they’re labeled with a tiny paw print. Kat Von D is vegan as well and so is her entire line (minus a few mascaras that do contain bees wax) and her liquid liner is the best.
Acure is another great option for lotion, shampoo and conditioner, skin care, as well as diaper rash cream!
Stinky pits? Go with Schmidt’s! Their sensitive line is amazing and I’m really digging the new magnesium and charcoal scent.
Method is my go-to for household products as they are certified cruelty free and have some great scents from all purpose cleaner, and dish soaps, to laundry detergent, softeners, and hand wash.
Most companies committed to having cruelty free products want you to know. So just check the back and you’ll usually see the cruelty free symbol, which is the leaping bunny symbol. And, when in doubt, just google it. If I’m not sure, I always just grab my phone and double check. I always think of my purchases as votes. Each dollar I spend is a vote I’m making on what I want to see more of in the stores.
And last, but certainly not least- what to wear!! Wait, what? I know what you’re thinking. But yes, veganism reaches all aspects of my life, including fabric choices! I have yet to find anywhere I shop to not have plenty of options. I just make sure they don’t have wool, cashmere or leather. Some of my favorite dedicated vegan brands include: Mat and Nat and blowfish. But Tom’s also has a vegan line and Birkenstock finally came out with a vegan line!! Remember I said I was kinda hippy? Well, you can imagine my inner hippy dancing a happy dance knowing I could have a Birkenstock clog in my closet again :p.
Target is another one of my go-to’s for shoes especially! And ModCloth as they always have their vegan options labeled and they have some cute purses!
Whoa! If that wasn’t an info overload I don’t know what is… I do hope this gives you some ideas and new products to try without being pushy or limiting. As you probably guessed by now, this is somewhat of a passion of mine and if you have any questions or want anymore info, please feel free to ask!
I’m learning (slooowly haha) that I only have control over myself and my choices and am just striving to always be the best version of me that I can be. Being aware of my impact on this planet as much as I can while still living (and fully enjoying!) my life is one of my goals and I hope to spread compassion and awareness as much as I can. Thanks for taking the time to read this!
Thank you, Janelle, for sharing all of these wonderful products. We love your ability to share your passion in a way that broadens others perspectives with a positive spin.