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Cultured Meat: The Future of Food is Here

Recently, many videos and graphics have made their way throughout social media regarding new “cultured meat” products, that look pretty darn close to the real thing. If you’re anything like me, I had questions. A lot of questions.

So, what exactly is this mystery meat? Cultured Meat is synthetic meat made from live animals cells. Back in February, The Good Food Institute announced the debut of cultured meat products from Memphis Meats. Check out their video that explains the driving forces behind their “delicious, safe, and healthy” cultured meats.

How is cultured meat made? According to Future Food – Meat Without Livestock, animal cells obtained via biopsies of live animals are cultured in growth medium with “scaffold” cells and bioreactors that are free from animal derived products. The result is synthetic meat that is produced without modifying the original genetic sequences naturally found in animal cells, that is virtually indistinguishable from animal flesh. For more on the science behind cultured meat, visit futurefood.org.

Is it natural and safe? Since cultured meat is grown in a lab, it is free of antibiotics, bacteria, and other potentially harmful contaminants found in traditional meat products.

The Modern Agriculture Foundation views cultured meat as a solution for individuals that do not want to change their eating habits, and also the answer to our declining environment and widespread diet-related health issues.

“When one considers that the decisive majority of the human race does not want to stop consuming meat, and that cultured meat could stop widespread environmental damage, the most severe animal abuse, and prevent pandemic outbreaks capable of killing millions of people, the critical question is not whether cultured meat is natural or not, but whether or not we want to support a product that can change our world for the better.”

New Harvest, a non-profit research institute that studies cellular agriculture, takes the cultured meat game one step beyond nuggets and burgers, and works to produce milk without cows, eggs without chickens, and even synthetic fur and leather.

With these new developments, it seems that going vegan is now easier than ever before. Since these products are so new, many questions remain. Will synthetic meat products lead skeptics to adopt cruelty-free lifestyles? Will vegans find this meat to be acceptable based on its cruelty-free production? Will these meats have adverse health effects? Only time and research can answer these questions, but there is no doubt that the need and desire for cruelty free, environmentally and economically friendly food options is at an all time high. No matter your stance, it is undeniable that the future of food is here!

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Kiss My Face – Quick Dry Spray Deodorants

Hello Veganeers!

I’m so excited to be partnering up with Kiss My Face to review their new, Quick Dry Spray Deodorants!  If you haven’t tried Kiss My Face products before, read the press release below to find out a little more about the company and their new deodorant sprays.

Kiss My Face is launching new Quick Dry Spray Deodorants, which are naturally effective, aluminum chlorohydrate-free, and air powered spray® deodorants!

Known as a respected leader in natural skin and body care, Kiss My Face is pleased to bring these innovative deodorants to consumers. They dry in seconds and are clinically proven to provide 24 hour odor protection. These new air powered spray deodorants leverage the power of naturally effective ingredients, like Thyme, Green Tea and Cucumber, to provide plant derived odor protection and antioxidant benefits in a soothing, cooling spray.

Kiss My Face’s quick dry spray deodorants have naturally nourishing antioxidants and are available in two refreshing scents: cucumber green tea and sport. In addition to being fast drying deodorants, they’re cruelty free, paraben free, aluminum chlorohydrate free, petroleum glycol free, artificial fragrance free, and contain no chemical propellants.

Kiss My Face is proud to add quick dry spray deodorants to its lineup of naturally effective deodorants that provide consumers with better and safer solutions for odor control.

Kiss My Face was nice enough to send me these sprays in both the “Cucumber Green Tea” and “Sport” scents. A full sized bottle contains 3 Fl oz (88 ml) and is sold for $4.99 USD on the Kiss My Face website. The air powered spray nozzle releases a steady stream of product that is easy to control. I only needed to spray for 1 to 2 seconds to cover my entire underarm, and it dried in seconds.  When using the Cucumber Green Tea scent, you will initially notice a strong smell of alcohol (which is #1 on the ingredient list), which quickly dissipates leaving behind a crisp and refreshing scent of freshly sliced cucumbers.

The “Sport” scent is much stronger, and is most likely intended for masking body odor caused by intense sport playing and workouts.  The scent contains notes of lemon, rosemary, sage, green tea, and cucumber, so it has a a natural, herbal, and outdoorsy smell.  Like the Cucumber Green Tea scent, you will notice a strong smell of alcohol initially.

So, how did these work? I must say that I have been a fan of Kiss My Face deodorants for quite some time.  I stay away from deodorants that contain aluminum and other harmful substances (Google it if you don’t know!), and was excited to give these new sprays a try.  I am happy to announce that these sprays kept me fresh and smelling great for 24 hours, as advertised! I would recommend that if you know that you have problems with noticeable body odor using other types of deodorant, that you try the Sport scent, since it is stronger and will mask stubborn odors. Keep in mind that this product is not an antiperspirant, so you will still sweat, but hey, that’s natural (and healthy)!

I’d like to give Kiss My Face a huge shout out for accepting me into their new Kiss Tribe! Give the new Kiss My Face Quick Dry Deodorant Sprays a try, and let me know how you liked them!

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Lenny and Larry’s “The Complete Cookie”

Ok, so you want a treat, but also want to stick to a healthy lifestyle. We’ve all been there! How do delicious, protein and fiber-packed cookies in flavors like Birthday Cake, Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, Snickerdoodle, and Pumpkin Spice sound? (If you’re drooling a little, that’s alright… That was my initial reaction too!).

I’m so excited to be one of Lenny and Larry’s Brand Ambassadors! These cookies are vegan, kosher, and contain all Non-GMO ingredients. Each 2 ounce single serving cookie contains 8g of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber, so grab one after a work out, for breakfast, snack, or whenever you want something healthy and tasty! *The 4 ounce cookie contain 2 servings, so double the protein and fiber!

Click my link to order “The Complete Cookie”, and don’t forget to use the discount codes listed below!

Discount Codes: $10 off $50+ order, code: 10AMB50, $20 off $100+ order, code: 20AMB100, $40 off $200+ order, code: 40AMB200

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Brixx Wood Fired Pizza

Location: Biltmore Park Town Square, 30 Town Square Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28803

Phone: (828) 654-0046

Menu

Atmosphere: Brixx Wood Fired Pizza is a super laid back and casual pizza sports bar. This restaurant is located right in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square.  It’s the perfect place to order an individual pizza before you catch a movie or just to take a shopping break.  The staff is friendly, and there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Food: There are no specifically vegan appetizers, so the waitress suggested that I try the Bruschetta on pita bread, instead of their non-vegan bread option.  Well, I think the picture says it all, but this was AWESOME! Fresh Roma tomatoes, basil, and onion piled on crunchy and chewy pita bread, all topped with cheese (I’m pretty sure it was Daiya) and sweet balsamic vinegar. This was fresh, crunchy, chewy, sweet, creamy, and tangy… what more could you want in an app?

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For an entree, there are plenty of 10″ individual pizzas that can be customized to be vegan.  There is an exclusively vegan dough, and vegan cheese can be added for no charge. I ordered the Margherita pizza, which featured roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and Daiya cheese on a crispy and chewy crust. Basically, this pizza was very similar to the appetizer I had ordered, but since it was so good, I didn’t mind at all. Remember to request the vegan dough and cheeze when you order this bad boy!

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DIG IT or DITCH IT?

DIG IT! The friendly staff, casual atmosphere, and location makes Brixx an excellent place to be! The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and it is always nice to visit a restaurant that has more than salad for us plant-based foodies! Give this place a try!

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July’s Treasure Hunt

I’ve found a lot of great vegan snack foods this month… So let’s dive right in!


First up, are Margherita Pizza Plentils. These little lentil based chips are an absolute miracle! I had my doubts when it came to the “pizza” flavor, but Damn! The cheesy, zesty flavor kicked me right in the taste buds and I devoured the entire bag. I found these at Whole Foods, and will definitely be trying out the other flavors. You’re welcome. 


Like mint and chocolate? Kind Bar Dark Chocolate Almond Mint bar will not disappoint! I used to love York Peppermint Patties, but they contain egg whites for some reason, so I haven’t had one in a very long time.  These Kind Bars have crunchy almonds, rich dark chocolate, and a surprisingly strong mint flavor.  Try one and let me know what you think!


I freakin’ love, LOVE, Nature Valley Biscuits with Almond Butter. Sweet almond butter sandwiched between 2 cinnamon flavored biscuits… I mean c’mon, what’s not to like? Paired with a coffee and banana, it’s pretty much the perfect breakfast in my fantastic opinion.


So Delicous Cashewmilk Snickerdoodle Ice Cream… I’ve heard great things about this stuff, but I’ve only had actual Snickerdoodle cookies once or twice, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay $6 for this.  Well, on a late night shopping trip, I bought it. This stuff is good! It’s made with cashew milk, so it’s super creamy. There’s a strong cinnamon flavor, and there are pieces of Snickerdoodle cookie dough throughout. The flavor is spot on!


Califia Farms Full Shot Cold Brew is phenomenal! If you’ve read my blog before, or follow me on IG, you might know that I’m a coffee addict to the billionth degree, and I love trying out new caffeinated drinks. This drink has much caffeine as a cup of coffee and also has added protein, so it’s awesome as a snack/pick me up. Just remember to shake it up before you drink it!
What have you found this month??

*images taken from company websites

June’s Treasure Hunt

The summer is officially here in the mountains of North Carolina, and it’s time to talk about some of the vegan treasures I’ve found!

First up …. Trader Joe’s Coconut Strips!  These coconut strips are super sweet, chewy, and cheap! For $2, you get a fantastic snack that tastes like tropical candy! 

The next fav is also from Trader Joe’s, it’s their absolutely fabulous Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette dressing.  Smooth, nutty, sweet, and spicy… What more could you want? It’s fantastic on salad, as a dip for spring rolls, or as a marinade for tofu. It’s so delicious, it makes me look forward to diving face first into a giant salad!

Ok, ok… This is the last Trader Joe’s product I’ll mention, but Hot Dang, it’s delicious! Trader Ming’s Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower says “Ka-POW” to your taste buds! Another sweet and spicy treat, it crisps as you bake it, to make a tasty app! Serve it up over rice, and you have a meal that’s better than take out! 

Last, is Arctic Fox Hair Color. All vegan and cruelty free, this brand was exactly what I was looking for when I wanted to dye my hair a vibrant purple. This stuff is no joke! In just minutes, this gives you vibrant color that lasts for weeks! They have a large range of fun colors, and I plan on trying more! Just beware, this dye will get all over your bathroom, shower, floor, etc., no matter how careful you are! 

What vegan treasures have you found?

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YuLin Dog Meat Eating Festival Starts Tomorrow…

Despite international outrage, the dog meat eating festival in YuLin will be taking place. Slaughterhouses have been filled with strays, dogs taken from families’ homes, and dogs bought for slaughter, for months. The dogs have been tortured, burned and dismembered while alive… In front of audiences for entertainment and because these “people” decided that the adrenaline produced by these terrified dogs makes them “taste better.”

It is hard to think of something like this happening… And it feels even worse that it hasn’t been stopped.

However, many rescue groups have rescued dogs from these horrid conditions. The Compassion Project by Animal Hope and Wellness, as of the last day or so, has successfully shut down a slaughterhouse in YuLin, and is in the process of shutting down more. It is heroes like these that give us all hope.  Please donate to the rescue efforts.  The rescued animals need medical treatments, transportation, and eventually, new homes. They are counting on us. 

http://www.animalhopeandwellness.org/donate/

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THE BLOCK off biltmore

Location:  

THE BLOCK off biltmore

39 S. Market Street

Asheville, NC

Atmosphere:  The BLOCK off bilmore (TBob, for short), is unlike any other establishment I have been to.  It’s described as an “eco-vegan, social justice, solidarity bar”, with all vegan alcohol and food.  All of the beverages, food items, and spirits are locally made, which supports smaller businesses in the community.  TBob has only been open for about 5 months, but has already become known for its community-based events, Open Mic Night, and delicious cocktails.

Food:  TBob hires local food artists to prepare and sell 100% plant-based foods on a nightly basis.  This not only supports local cooks/chefs, it exposes customers to a variety of freshly made, creative dishes and snacks.  Locally made gourmet potato chips, pretzels, and dark chocolate truffles are also available, in addition to absolutely fabulous coffee, served in small or large french presses.  The food options are always different, which is part of the fun of stopping by!   I’ve had many meals at TBob, including chana masala, mofungo, tempeh scramble with home fries, falafel, rosemary tofu and small plates/apps.  I’ve had incredible desserts including the best cupcakes I have ever had!

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Dig it or Ditch it?  DIG IT!  What’s better than a 100% vegan establishment that supports local businesses and the community?  I like the fact that the food is made with care from local food artists, and it is always spectacular!  If you’re in Asheville, stop by TBob for live music or a community based event, and order a plate of creative vegan food!

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February Favorites!

Better late than never, right? Well, it looks like I consumed an incredible amount of sugar last month… Here’s what I’ve found! 

Tofutti Yours Truly Cones are phenomenal… Sweet and creamy ice cream in a crunchy cone. I tried the vanilla, but they have a triple chocolate version that I will undoubtedly be stocking my freezer with.
It took me awhile to find the Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy P.B. & Cookies, but I  was hunting for it all over the place.  I finally found it at Kroger. (The hunt was totally worth it).  I was expecting it to be excessively sweet, but that wasn’t the case. This ice cream is made with almond milk, which gives it a mellow flavor, and then packed with Oreo clone cookies and swirls of salty peanut butter.  It you’re a fan of salty and sweet combos, this ice cream is for you. I’m really looking forward to finding the other flavors. I’ll report back!

  
Also shown above, are the Gardein Zesty Marinara Chiken Filets.  They’re the basic filets, but each packet comes with 2 packets of marinara sauce.  I made pasta with a simple olive oil, garlic, and rosemary sauce, then served the filets and marinara on top.  Flavorful, filling, and a little different from the usual pasta dinner. Try it! 

Sweet and Sara’s Toasted Coconut Marshmallows are freakin’ amazing! How they got the texture to be so spot on, I’ll never know, but the  super sweet marshmallow paired with the nutty coconut will quiet even the most persistent sweet tooth. 

  

Well, that does it for me! What awesome plant-based products have you found recently? 

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Help Stop the Promotion of Animal Cruelty on Social Media

Social media, in particularly Instagram, has become an breeding ground for hunters posting their bloody animal “trophies.”  Why would this be allowed if other pictures and accounts involving violence are banned? These pictures promote violence towards animals, which is especially disturbing because of the young users on Instagram that are susceptible to these types of images.
Please help put an end to posting pictures of animal violence by signing my petition below.  The animals thank you!

https://www.change.org/p/instagram-stop-the-promotion-of-animal-cruelty-on-social-media