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Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Favorite Cruelty-Free (& Healthy) Food Staples

I've mentioned a few times before that I practice a pescetarian diet, meaning I don't eat meat except for occasional seafood. I also try to make vegan choices a few times a week as it's an even healthier diet to practice. I received a request to talk about my diet some more, so I thought the best way to go about this was to show you some of my favorite cruelty-free food staples that I have in my kitchen. These have all been Lauren approved for deliciousness!

(From Left to Right: Lightlife Smart Dogs Veggie Protein Links, Boca All American Flame Grilled Meatless Burgers, MorningStar Chik Patties, Fantastic Foods Sloppy Joe Mix (Vegan), Amy's Southwestern Burrito, Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burgers (Vegan))

When trying out meat-less products for the first time, please remember to go into it with an open mind. If you bite into a veggie burger expecting it to taste just like beef, you're not going to enjoy it. Even before I decided to cut meat from my diet, I ate the Boca and MorningStar patties as they are MUCH healthier and lower calorie then eating a real burger or chicken patty. Try a couple different brands and varieties to find the ones you like best! These are just the ones I grew to love.

(From Left to Right: Silk Chocolate Soymilk, Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk, Smart Balance Organic Buttery Spread (Vegan), Daiya Cheddar Shreds (Vegan))

When it comes to ordering food and drinks outside of my house, I don't mind if they use regular milk, butter, or cheese. However, in my apartment I don't have any regular milk or butter. Cheese is a different story as it's an addiction of mine. It wasn't hard to replace milk with Vanilla Almond milk because I actually liked it better!I'm not a fan of soymilk but when I tasted the Silk chocolate soymilk, I became addicted! Smart Balance butter I've been using for years but never realized their organic variety was vegan so now I buy that! As for cheese, I dislike most vegan cheeses but tapioca cheddar cheese isn't too bad especially in Mac & Cheese!

(From Left to Right: Zucchini, Broccoli, Spaghetti Squash, Baby Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Red Delicious Apples, Bananas, Red Grapes)

Oddly enough, I'm not a huge fruit lover, but I do LOVE vegetables. Anything steamed with a little bit of the vegan butter is all I need to be happy! Broccoli has become my new kitchen staple for a healthy dinner side dish. Zucchini I get every now and then to make zucchini fries which are so good and really low in calories! Then there's Spaghetti Squash which I eat with some melted Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb cheese on top, baby spinach which is the base to all my salads, and sweet potatoes which I can eat every which way! The only fruits I keep in my kitchen are bananas, red delicious apples, and red grapes (which I freeze and eat as a snack, great for the hot summers!).

(From Left to Right: PopCorners Kettle Chips (Vegan),  Oreo Cookies (Vegan), Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus, and Trail Mix)

Luckily, some of my guilty pleasures are quite healthy and even vegan! PopCorners Kettle chips are my new favorite addiction and I could eat an entire bag unless someone takes them away from me. They are vegan, all natural, and gluten free, plus they taste way better then potato chips! Then of course there's Oreo cookies and although they are not healthy, they are vegan surprisingly! Thus, if I have one or two before bed, I at least don't feel AS guilty eating them. Hummus has finally grown on me and I love the roasted garlic variety on some pita chips! Then there's trail mix which I keep in my desk at work to curb my appetite. Love almonds, sunflower seeds, crasins, and walnuts!

You don't have to become a full fledged vegan or vegetarian (I didn't) in order to make healthier and friendlier choices. All you have to do is make an effort to try new foods that don't include the traditional meat & dairy ingredients! You will lower your risk of heart disease substantially AND you will feel more energetic as well as healthier overall! What are your favorite cruelty-free products? Have you tried any of the foods I talked about and did you like or hate them?


  1. Interesting post. I've always pondered going about 50-75% vegan - for health reasons - but I can't imagine how to start. What did your meals look like early on?
    I've recently switched out "easy" things, for example I will have nuts/trail mix/dried fruit from Harvest Box instead of chocolate.
    The biggest reason to start switching is to lower sugar intake, and increase vegetable intake.
    I have found it easier to start making better choices now my live-in boyfriend is cutting [weight].

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Well I mainly eat a vegetarian diet with some vegan meals thrown in every now and then. In the beginning, it was tough. I stuck to foods I already knew how to make and loved like spaghetti. Then I ventured into trying new meals like Spaghetti Squash with cheese (so good), Boca burgers, homemade black bean burritos, eggplant parm, breakfast for dinner, grilled portobello burgers, sweet potato burgers, etc. Pinterest became my best friend. If you want some more ideas, check out my pescetarian Pinterest board: or search "vegetarian" or "vegan" on pinterest for more recipes! :) It gets easier with the more meals you learn to make!

  2. I use to say I hated hummas, but sadly two days ago I tried it again...I am hooked. I guess my taste buds have changed. It's so delicious! I'd love to start a diet like this, however I think I'd have to do Vegetarian. I can't give up my dairy. I tried the almond milk and it was way to thick and rich for me. This is a really nice post though. I never really heard of many of the items. I'll have to check it out now. Also, THANK YOU so much for the advice on the Comic Con!! You've made me pretty excited about it! :)

    1. I used to think hummus was disgusting but then suddenly one day I tried it and I really liked it. Yeah, I don't think I could ever go full-fledged vegan. I LOVE cheese. I also love baked goods that you need real milk and butter for. I do what I can to eat the least amount possible, but I'm also a firm believer that you're on this earth only once so if you want to have pizza slathered in real cheese, you should be able to. :) Definitely check out some of the frozen meat-less option. Even when I was eating meat I ate them because they were really good and low calorie!

      No problem about Comic Con, I hope you get to go! You will have a blast! Thanks for coming over to my blog! :)

  3. have you tried the almond breeze ice coffee? its amazing! i'm gonna have to check out the chocolate soymilk <3