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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

One Year of Veganism Update

Back in November marked one year of deciding to cut out dairy and eggs from my already vegetarian diet. I have to admit, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself in to, although I thought I did at the time. If there was one thing I could take from this year, it would be that a vegan lifestyle is a learning process. Mistakes will be made and glycerin will be ingested. I don't think I even knew what glycerin was until a few months into my vegan lifestyle. In hopes of saving someone reading this a years worth of mistakes, I made a list of all the things I've learned throughout the past year.

Now to the list!

1. Most Gum is NOT Vegan
I know, whaat?! Most well known "name brand" chewing gums aren't vegan. They contain glycerin or glycerol which is essentially animal fat.

2. Beeswax/Honey isn't Vegan
I was a little confused by this when I first learned that beeswax and honey weren't vegan. I read numerous times that it depends on your preference whether or not you consume honey. That confused me as well. Vegans typically aren't supposed to consume anything derived from an animal... but if it's cruelty free honey, that may be okay. This is still a pretty hazy topic for me, but for the most part, beeswax and honey isn't vegan.

3. Most Skincare/Makeup Brands Test on Animals
Almost all of the name brands, like Cover Girl, test their products on animals. Very, very disappointing when I first learned this. It was like a snowball effect of discovering brand after brand that tested on animals. Almost every brand at your local drugstore probably, most likely, tests their products on animals. Most of them also contain glycerin or beeswax as well, so they're not even vegan on top of that.

4. Look for the Cruelty Free and "V" Logo
Most products that are certified cruelty free or vegan are labeled so with a handy little logo. This will save time reading the tiny printed ingredients, believe me.

5. Read Labels
Whether it's clothing labels or food labels, read to check for non-vegan materials/ingredients if it doesn't already have the logo.
Some common non-vegan materials may include leather for clothing or whey and glycerin for foods. You'll be surprised with the ingredients in most foods after reading the labels. You'll also most likely not want to eat that food after discovering all the artificial ingredients, or maybe that was just me? Also, most foods have an allergy warning for dairy, wheat, eggs and such on the bottom of the long list of ingredients. Look there first to see if it contains dairy or eggs before reading the list. That'll save lots of time in the grocery store.

6. Oreos ARE Vegan
Yes, you read that right. Oreos are completely vegan. Some good news in the midst of all that disappointing news. But just remember, the ingredients aren't the healthiest, there just isn't any animal derived ingredients.

7. Granulated Sugar isn't Vegan
Most normal granulated sugar contains cow bone char. Super disgusting and again, disappointing. It took a while, but I was finally able to find vegan sugar at Whole Foods, so crisis adverted.

8. Raw Foods Aren't Disgusting
Eating raw fruits and vegetables isn't the worst thing in the world. I found throughout the past year that I absolutely love brussel sprouts, kale, mulberries, and bananas. If I didn't have a vegan diet, I probably would've reached for the Doritos instead of the bananas, so 50 points to veganism for saving me from future clogged arteries.

9. Vegan Restaurants Exist
It will be tough to come across restaurants that sell exclusively vegan dishes, but they do exist. The bigger the city, the more likely they are to have "trendy" restaurants, and yes, vegan is trendy.

10. Vegan Makeup Exists
There are quite a few brands out there that sell exclusively vegan and cruelty free makeup. It took me such a long time to discover these hidden brands. I have a post in the making of all the brands I've discovered. Look forward to that soon!

I hope I helped at least one of you!

xo, Sarah Holt
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Friday, February 13, 2015

DIY Valentine's Day Bath Bombs

Ever since I found out it was possible to make your own bath bombs, I HAD to make my own. It took quite a while to scrounge up all the ingredients needed to create these bath fizzers, but it was way worth it.

In this recipe, you'll see I used cherry juice instead of food coloring. Most food dyes contain animal derived ingredient. Some are even tested on animals. I decided to use the coloring from cherries to avoid the hassle of finding vegan-friendly food coloring at the store.

Now to the DIY!
(this recipe makes about 8)

What You'll Need:
Silicon Heart Shaped Molds
Note: I found the mold used for this at Target
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/4 cup Citric Acid 
Note: Citric acid is sometimes called sour salt. 
I was able to find it in the baking section of my local health food store.
1/4 cup Corn Starch
1/4 cup Himalayan Pink Bath Salts
1 1/4 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Rose Essential Oil
1/4 tsp Raspberry or Cherry Juice

What You'll Need To Do:
Mix together the dry ingredients (baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, bath salts)
In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (coconut oil, essential oil, cherry juice)
Note: I used actual cherries to get the juice which is why you'll see chunks of cherry in the mixture. There's also chunks of bath salts. You can grind the salts and avoid the chunks of cherry if you don't want lumps. I like the lumps. 
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 
Note: Depending on the consistency, you may want to add a 1/4 tsp water. In this recipe, the cherry juice replaces the water. The consistency should be dry, but not too dry. It should be able to pack down and hold a mold. If too much liquid is added, the bath bomb will react as if it's being placed in the water. We don't want that to happen. Only add in the extra water if the consistency is off.
Mix the mixture immediately. My mixture had a slight reaction, but I kept mixing and it was fine. 
Press the mixture into the silicon molds.
Let the mixture sit for about 4 hours then you're done!

If you plan on gifting these, I thought putting the bath bombs in a jar with a pun attached was just corny enough to be really cute (I gave mine to my mom)

U R the BOMB!
Happy Valentine's Day!

xo, Sarah Holt

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