Friday, May 31, 2013

Food & Fitness Fridays: Surprise trip to Follow Your Heart!

Market & Cafe
Photo Courtesy of Follow your Heart

Last night I made an impromptu visit to Follow Your Heart Market and Restaurant in Canoga Park, CA. I am rarely in the area, so it was nice to FINALLY pay a visit.
Follow Your Heart is a cute little market and café that has been around since the 1970s. It truly is a gem of the Valley. The reason why I love this market so much is because it is one of the few markets in the San Fernando Valley that caters exclusively to a vegetarian and vegan crowd. It carries all of the popular name brands that are on the market and offers an amazing selection of anything from vegan, vegetarian and even raw vegan foods. Plus the café serves great vegetarian and vegan dishes.

If you shop at Whole Foods or Sprouts, you may also recognize the name "Follow Your Heart" from this bottle of vegan mayonnaise:


This is THE Follow Your Heart of Vegenaise fame. If you haven’t tried their Vegenaise, I highly recommend that you try it as soon as possible. I wasn’t even a fan of regular mayo until I tried their vegan version. It is amazingly good and will make a mayo-lover out of you! In addition to being vegan, it’s also non-GMO and gluten-free. Plus they sell a soy-free version (which is my favorite).

Follow Your Heart also makes dairy-free cheeses and salad dressings, among other great vegan products. Their manufacturing facility (which is also in Southern California) is entirely solar-powered!

If you have not tried their products and are not in Southern California, you may still be in luck. There could be a health store near you that sells their products. Check out their Store Locator. You will thank me!

Here are a couple of items that I purchased in the market:

-Alternative Baking Company's Luscious Lemon Poppyseed cookie. I am addicted to these cookies. And it's this flavor in particular. The other flavors are great, don't get me wrong, but I often find myself dreaming about the lemon poppyseed. And it's very sad because they don't sell these at Sprouts or Whole Foods so I had to stock up while I was at Follow Your Heart. This cookie is seriously worth the drive.

Luscious Lemon Poppyseed in wrapper

-Primal Spirit Foods Primal Strips vegan jerky (Texas BBQ). I was never a fan of jerky (too salty and rubber-y and full of nitrates), so I can say this with confidence: these Primal Strips are WAY better than the real thing. They have the perfect texture- very similar to meat and not dry like regular jerky (they're saucy!). They come in six delicious flavors and taste great alone or in a sandwich. If you haven't tried these, they are a must-try!

I also bought a pre-packaged kale salad featuring FYH's Vegenaise. I can't wait to try it!

If FYH was a little bit closer to me, I think I would be there everyday. And I can't get the above items anywhere else, so I really do stock-up like a mad-woman when I'm there. Have you tried their Vegenaise yet? Have you heard of Primal Strips or Alternative Baking Company? Are you a fan too? 

Be sure to see if your local health food stores carry any of the above items and give them a try for me. Tell me how you like them!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fashion & Beauty Thursdays: Outfit Idea

Today's outfit is inspired by a hi-low dress that I found on It's called the Teal Hi-Low Long-Sleeve Midi Dress and it's by La Class. Plus it was made in the USA.
Check it out below...

Shoes:  Aven Vegan Shoes by Neuaura  - find them at compassion couture
Ring: Toro ring in Jade by Andean Collection
Necklace: Black Tagua Stone Necklace by Hearts
Belt: Studded Cork Belt (vegan) by Hearts
Handbag: Flower Nicole Saffiano Shoulder Bag (vegan) by emilie m. - find it at zulily

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Worldly Wednesdays: Vida Vegan Con 2013


Vida Vegan Con II took place last weekend, May 24-26, in Portland, OR. Vida Vegan Con is the world's first international vegan blogging & social media conference. Below is a recap of who was there and what went down (from a non-attendee). 

But first: What is Vida Vegan Con?
Vida Vegan Con is a professionally run, annual conference designed to celebrate, explore, and fine-tune the practice—and ever-growing community—of vegan bloggers and users. It's an action-packed weekend of workshops, discussion panels, speakers, special events, exhibitor exhibits, vegan food, and more.

It’s a 3-day convention featuring:

Who attends?
- 350 vegan bloggers
-cookbook authors
-blog enthusiasts and future bloggers

The Speaker Lineup this year included some of my favorite vegan bloggers, such as:
-Cadry Nelson of Cadry’sKitchen
-Sayward Rebhal of BonzaiAphrodite
-Susan Voisin of FatfreeVegan
(I highly recommend following these food bloggers. Even if you aren’t vegan, their recipes are incredible)

-also Michelle Schwegmann of Herbivore Clothing (check out their clothing sometime!)

Some of my favorite Sponsors/Exhibitors included:

- Fabe's Natural Bakery: delicious vegan cookies sweetened with fruits, veggies and grains (and absolutely no refined sugars). (

-Upton's Naturals: Faux meat products made of seitan (check out their products here:

- Tofurky: Faux deli meats, sausages, hot dogs and vegan pizzas. (

- Beanfields: Bean & Rice chips (products here:
- Beauty Without Cruelty: Vegan make-up that is not tested on animals (check out their products here:


- Alternative Outfitters: a Vegan Boutique located in the Los Angeles area. (
-Vegan Cuts: an online marketplace & monthly subscription box for discovering new vegan products. (

Check out more of their great sponsors here!

And don’t forget to follow Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the happenings and details of next year’s conference: VVCIII…


Friday, May 24, 2013

Food & Fitness Fridays: Review of Herbivore - The Earthly Grill

Herbivore - The Earthly Grill (Berkeley Location)

“Herbivore is a vegan restaurant that offers an international menu and an enjoyable atmosphere.”

During a trip to the Bay Area a couple of months ago, my boyfriend and I made a visit to Herbivore - The Earthly Grill. I had no idea that this place existed before our trip.

What I did know, was that I wanted to try some of the wonderful vegan food that Berkeley has to offer. I love Berkeley and I always enjoy the food (although, I enjoy food everywhere), but this time, I had a mission to find a good vegan restaurant, specifically.

My boyfriend and I had planned to visit an awesome vegan bakery in Berkeley called Cinnaholic. They specialize in vegan cinnamon rolls and the pictures on their Facebook page are drool-worthy. So, I was sold. It was the The Vegan Business Guide that had introduced me to Cinnaholic.The Vegan Business Guide Facebook page is a great resource for anyone who is interested in trying new vegan food/restaurants and shopping for vegan clothing.  

However, when I learned that Cinnaholic would be CLOSED the day that we would be in Berkeley, I hurried to find another good vegan eatery in the area. Apparently Berkeley has a lot of great vegan restaurants. I realized this after consulting several other vegan resources such as: Kristin of Will Travel for Vegan Food. I asked Kristin on her on her Facebook page if she could recommend any vegan restaurants in the Berkeley area. She got back to me right away and told me to try Herbivore.

I fell in love with Herbivore’s menu. It truly does offer a variety of international dishes. Many of these traditionally meat-centric dishes aren’t found in regular vegan restaurants because of their meat-centric-ness. But Herbivore finds a way to vegan-ize all of the classics: from shawarma, to Philly cheese steak, to lasagna. All of these choices sounded great, but I just could not miss the opportunity to try the veganized beef stroganoff. Beef stroganoff is a Russian pasta dish that my mom used to make for me. It was also my absolute favorite dish. Traditionally, the dish consists of beef strips in a creamy mushroom sauce. I have not had it since I gave up eating beef. But Herbivore uses Gardein beef-less strips as a substitute. The sauce (I’m guessing it was a cashew cream), although under-seasoned, had the perfect creamy consistency. If it had a little bit more salt and seasoning (rosemary?), it would come close to my mom’s beef stroganoff.

This dish made me so happy because I have never come across a meat-less and dairy-free version of beef stroganoff. It really did make me nostalgic. It was truly vegan comfort food.

I don’t normally rave about the bread at restaurants, but the bread at Herbivore was delicious. According to their website, they use Acme organic breads. So good.

My boyfriend ordered the quinoa salad. This was a simple (but tasty!) salad featuring Layonna vegan “chicken” chunks. The rest of the salad had spinach, roasted red beets, kidney beans, red onions, celery and avocado with lemon-shallot dressing. The “chicken” was delicious and was the star of the dish. Even the meat-eater (my boyfriend) approved.

Finally, because I did not get my Cinnaholic fix for the day, I had to order something sweet. Although, I don’t always eat vegan, I do go out of my way to eat vegan dessert. If I’m going to eat something a little junky, I’d rather it be slightly healthy-ish. So I decided to try Herbivore’s chocolate walnut brownie. I’ve definitely had better vegan desserts (starting with this beauty). The brownie was chocolate-y enough, but it was crumbly, a little dry, and was served room-temperature. It would have been much better heated up, with a side of melt-y coconut-milk ice cream. But now I know how to order it next time. ;)

Anyway, check out the food porn below!
“Beef” Stroganoff and organic bread.

 Boyfriend’s Quinoa Salad. I kept stealing bites of that “chicken.” So good!

 Chocolate Walnut Brownie. Very cute presentation.

I will definitely be going back to Herbivore. The menu is huge and there are so many wonderful veganized dishes to try!

I will also be going to Cinnaholic on a day that they are open. And, trust me, that day can’t come soon enough! Just look at this cinnamon bun.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fashion & Beauty Thursdays: Outfit Ideas

 The following outfits were inspired by two maxi dresses that I found on-sale at

So, what exactly is zulily?

 Zulily is a membership-based daily deals site offering sales on a variety of great brands.  New sales launch every day and typically last 72 hours.

Zulily offers AMAZING deals on a variety of great brands. They have featured such brands as: The Honest Company, Toms Shoes, Karma Circle U.S.A., Rising International (clothing that is handmade in nepal), Sanuk Shoes, The Colourful Grass Shoe Company (vegan shoes), and amykathryn vegan handbags, just to name a few. I chose to feature these two maxi dresses because they were both made in the USA. When shopping for new brands and clothing on zulily, I usually check to see if an item is made in the USA or if it is ethically made/traded in another country. I always do my research on new zulily brands and I am always happy to discover a new brand that I like.

Unfortunately, these dresses went on sale last weekend and are not on sale anymore, but there might be a chance that zulily will feature the brands again (I am crossing my fingers). Check out the details below:

Outfit #1

The dress featured in this outfit is a sleeveless maxi by Butterflyzebra and it was made in the USA. It inspired a truly adventurous outfit that says "world traveler". I paired this dress with Sbicca of California Wedge Sandals (also made in the USA and also on sale at zulily). The jewelry featured in this outfit include: the Classic Tagua Bracelet in "steel" by The Andean Collection and the Ember Trio Necklace, which is handmade in the USA from sustainably harvested & upcycled wood.

Outfit #2

This was the other great maxi that I found on sale at zulily. I think this is really the perfect spring and summer outfit. It features the Sky Blue & Mustard Isabella Dress by Ava Rose Designs (it's still available on the Ava Rose Designs' website). Jewelry featured: Ivory Tagua Bib Necklace by The Andean Collection and Gold Starfish Ring by Alkemie. The Wedges are by TOMS.

So go check out and you might find some brands that you love. You need to sign-up, as it is a members-only site, but I PROMISE you won't regret it (errr...maybe your wallet will). Anyway, remember to keep track of when your favorite brands are on sale because sales are guaranteed to go by quickly! Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Worldly Wednesdays: World Fest Los Angeles Recap

Wednesdays are “Worldly” because, every Wednesday, I will provide S&P readers with all the latest news and info in the world of eco-friendly and sustainable fashion, beauty, products and brands. Plus I will try to keep you all up-to-date on upcoming events and festivals. Wednesday will also be the day to review and recap events and festivals that I, myself, am able to attend.

What a better way to kick-off MY VERY FIRST Worldly Wednesday than to give a recap of last Sunday’s World Fest Los Angeles?

“What exactly is World Fest?”- You might be asking. Well, if you live in Los Angeles, it is something you should know about. This amazing and very vegan-friendly festival is held every year at Lake Balboa, CA at Woodley Park. The park serves as a great location for the event- it isn’t too overwhelmingly huge or too small of a festival.  This year’s fest took place last Sunday (May 19). If you are able to make it out next year, I HIGHLY recommend that you do. Here are just a few reasons why:

The overview on the World Fest Facebook page explains:
WorldFest is an “annual solar-powered celebration of music, food, the environment, animals and humanity - inspiring people about making a difference for their community and the planet.”

Not only does World Fest “talk the talk”, it truly does “walk the walk.” According to the World Fest Facebook page, there were more than 100 exhibitors:  both companies and organizations with earth and animal-friendly missions. Along with eco-friendly exhibitors and vegan food tents, there were animal adoptions, celebrity speakers, singers and songwriters, poets, kid’s activities, yoga, meditation and cooking demos. Because the festival is committed to being eco-friendly, they offer recycling and composting, and even free filtered water onsite. Plus, discounted ticket prices were offered to those who showed up on their bikes or via public transit. And, you read that right: it’s ALL solar-powered.

At almost every booth I visited, exhibitors were giving out freebies and samples. I left with a goodie bag FULL of stuff. There were samples of popular vegan food items, including: Beanfields chips, Alter Eco fair trade chocolate, Mamma Chia drinks, So Delicious ice cream bars, and Bio-K Plus probiotics.

There were also some great celebrity speakers. John Salley (formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers) was there to champion a vegan diet, Debra Wilson (MADtv) spoke about her involvement as an animal and social advocate, and Dan Piraro, creator of Bizarro Comics, was there to provide comic-relief.

If these aren’t compelling enough reasons, let me remind you: there were tons of cuddly animals to visit at the animal adoption tents. That’s a draw in itself!

Are you convinced yet? Good. Let me share with you my favorite exhibitors and food vendors. If you aren’t able to make it to World Fest next year, you can always find some of these vendors on their Facebook pages or through their websites. Some of the food vendors are based in Los Angeles, too. So, give them a visit sometime and tell them that S&P sent you!

My Favorite Food Vendors at the Fest:


Fresh Jamaican food tents (“popping up at festivals around southern California and beyond”).

I first had the pleasure of tasting their food at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Their tent was a vegan oasis in a desert of unhealthy festival foods (do you like the metaphor?). Ever since trying their deliciously-fresh Jamaican cuisine, I have been following them from festival to festival. I was so glad to see them at the World Fest Los Angeles. Not only do they make great food, but they are friendly people.

What to Order: The Reggae Wrap is a favorite (don’t forget to order a side of plantains!)

Field Roast


Based in Seattle, Field Roast is the “original maker of veggie grain meats.” Their faux meats are often sold in Whole Foods Markets.

I was so happy to see Field Roast at this festival because I am a big fan of their faux meats. It was interesting to see them in the festival setting, because, instead of simply selling their faux meats, they were there creating some amazing festival-inspired cuisine. You better believe that these dishes brilliantly showcased their faux meats! They were selling dishes such as their signature corn dogs, Italian sausage sandwiches, and sausage pasta. There was not one, but THREE kinds of faux sausages to choose from: Italian, Mexican Chipotle and Smoked Apple Sage. I ordered the Italian Sausage Sandwich with Italian sausage and peppers. It was very tasty and perfectly spicy.


Mamma Chia

“Mamma Chia infuses nutrient dense chia seeds with delicious organic juices creating tasty vitality beverages that are Fun for Your Mouth & Great for Your Body”
I had only seen Mamma Chia drinks at my local Sprouts and Whole Foods. I had never tried them before the festival. I was able to grab a sample of Blackberry Hibiscus and I was blown away by the incredible flavor of the juice and the delicious, gelatinous texture of the chia seeds. It honestly tasted like (vegan) Jello- in a good way.

What to Try:  Mamma Chia’s Blackberry Hibiscus drink


“Bio-K+ International Inc. intends to become a world leader in manufacturing and marketing probiotic products aimed at improving people's health and quality of life.”
I was able to sample Bio-K’s organic fermented rice probiotic drink. It is the perfect probiotic for vegans with all the taste and flavor of a kefir probiotic. I loved the taste and would probably drink it everyday. Plus it’s organic, GMO and gluten-free!

Luscious Organic Desserts:

How could I not talk about dessert? Luscious is a “local baking company offering top quality, gourmet desserts using only the finest all natural and organic ingredients with no hydrogenation, no refined sugars, and no bleached flours.” They had many delicious organic and vegan treats at the festival- including vegan ding dongs. I was able to try the original vegan ding dong and the pumpkin vegan ding dong with pumpkin cake and vanilla “cream” center. Mmmmm. 

My Favorite Exhibitors:            

Lisa (Arbonne Independent Consultant): 

Arbonne is a company offering “botanically based beauty, health and wellness products.” Much like Avon, Arbonne works with Independent Consultants. However, Arbonne is committed to transparency and providing full disclosure of ingredient lists and believes that “consumers have a fundamental right to know every ingredient” in their products. According to their website, Arbonne products are also vegan-certified: their formulas are “never tested on animals” and they “do not contain animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.”

Lisa is one dedicated independent consultant as she applies 100% percent of the profits that she makes selling Arbonne products towards her animal rescue and fostering projects. Support Lisa and her animal rescue efforts by purchasing some Arbonne from her website here:

Kathmandu Boutique

A lovely boutique featuring beautiful clothing and unique products from Nepal, India, and Tibet. This boutique is located in Santa Monica at 1844 Lincoln Blvd. Pay them a visit sometime! Here is their website:

Young Living Oils: 

I was able to meet Kathleen Brozee who is an independent Young Living distributor. She gave me a sample of her valor essential oil and peppermint oil. The peppermint oil was amazing and is worth a pretty penny ($28.29- to be exact!). But this bottle will last you a long time- all it takes is one little droplet, ingested orally, to clear your sinuses and give your body a healthy energy boost. So worth it!

For a list of more vendors, visit the World Fest website below and make sure you come out next year! Thanks for reading!