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!


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