Our Weekly Top 10 List: Things You Can Do to Celebrate Earth Day

source: blogs.commons.georgetown.edu
source: blogs.commons.georgetown.edu

 April 22, 2015 is Earth Day. And although we’re all for celebrating this global holiday, it should pointed out that veganism is a topic that’s often neglected or ignored when the discussion of climate change or other impending global catastrophes are broached. And, unfortunately, veganism is still a foreign concept to many including those who call themselves environmentalists. It’s infuriating to watch protestors eat meat after a climate change rally!

Because the litany of reasons why people choose to ignore the impact that meat consumption places on our planet  are lengthy to cram into our little post, I’ll just say do the research. Our humble Top 10 list consists of things that you, us and your Uncle Henry can and should do all year round! 

The Top 10 Things You Can do to Celebrate Earth Day. 

1. Leaflet. If you have the time, get your butt outside and leaflet for a few hours. If you don’t have the time, leave some pamphlets near various high-traffic locations. There are many great organizations such as Mercy For Animals who will send you tons of stuff. 

source: mercyforanimals.org
source: mercyforanimals.org

2. Screen a Film. Movies like Cowspiracy are ideal for spreading the word about how to fight climate change. If matters not if you screen the film for 10 or a 1000 people…although 1000 would be nice. 

source: huffingtonpost.com
source: huffingtonpost.com

3. Go to a Green Festival. There are plenty of green festivals around this time of year. The Green Festival Expo will be visiting 5 cities this year including NYC! 

source: womenscalendar.com
source: womenscalendar.com

4. Plant Trees, Flowers and Plants. Seeds are VERY inexpensive. There’s NO excuse! 

source: newcitylibrary.org
source: newcitylibrary.org

5. Recycle/Donate Stuff. Now that spring is here, you have a great chance to donate or recycle stuff that you no longer want or need. You can hold a garage sale and donate the money to a favorite charity. 

source: littlerock.org
source: littlerock.org

6. Volunteer to Clean Your Neighborhood. Grab some friends and trash bags and clean up your neighborhood! 

source: conedison.com
source: conedison.com

7. Cook a Vegan Feast. Celebrate Earth Day by throwing down a big ole vegan cookout. And by all means invite some omnivores! 

source: peta.org
source: peta.org

8. Walk, Hike and or Ride a Bike. Although we should all exercise year-round, Earth Day is a great day to leave your motorized vehicle home to see and appreciate the great outdoors. 

source: healthyanswers.com
source: healthyanswers.com

9. Green Your Home. Switch to solar power, insulate your abode and clean up using  homemade or eco-friendly commercial cleaning products. 

source: hasson.com
source: hasson.com

10. Hold A Fair. A fair is a great way to grab your town’s attention as to the importance of keeping our planet green and clean. 

source: noozhawk.com
source: noozhawk.com

 So, there you have it, 10 things you can do to celebrate Earth Day. Whatever you decide to do to celebrate, we would love to hear and see what you did (send us pictures)! 

Our Weekly Top 10: Things I Ate on a Mini Trip to Frisco

source: babson.edu
source: babson.edu

One of the perks of my job is the ability to travel several times a year with my clients. I’m a counselor for people with developmental disabilities and my clients (or “consumers” as they’re known in our community) love to escape from their busy lives on overnight and lengthier trips. Last year I took a trip to Austin and Bandera, Texas with my favorite client and we had a hootnanny. When I asked him to name a few places that he wanted to visit this year, San Francisco topped the list; he didn’t have to twist my arm on this choice! Now keep in mind this was his trip, so I needed to do all the things that he wanted to do. Fortunately, my goodhearted client is vegan-friendly which meant he didn’t mind if we dined at vegan-friendly and or vegan restaurants. Heck, he even suggested that we eat at Herbivore! 

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Had this been my own trip, this list would probably look vastly different, but I think I did okay for a brief but fun excursion.If you’ve never been to the Bay Area, it’s a trip worth considering! As with all of our top 10 lists, this one is in no particular order. .  

The top 10 things I ate on a mini trip to Frisco! 

1. Millennium. The bad news is that Millennium is closing at the end of April. The great news is that they will reopen in a new, swanky location in Rockridge sometime this June! One bite of their amazing fare and you’ll see why they crack almost every top 20 best vegan restaurant lists. 

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2. Gracias Madre. A gaggle of peers whose opinions I trust had opined that the L.A. location is more consistent than their Frisco counterpart. Although I trust their honest opinions, I had several wonderful dishes here, including the best beets I’ve ever gobbled up. 

 gm     

3. Herbivore. Herbivore is Frisco’s quasi-answer to Champs Diner . Like Champs, they offer a menu of pure comfort food, but with a more international reach. And even though Champs offers better food, Herbivore holds their own and their price point is very reasonable by Frisco standards. 

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4. Jay’s Cheesesteak. Ask and you will receive. When my client said that he wanted a cheesesteak for dinner, I called around and found out that Jay’s Cheesesteak offers several tasty vegan cheesesteak options.

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5. DNA. Although there are better vegan pizza options in the Bay Area, DNA is open 24 hours a day and we had arrived at our hotel late. We ordered and ate a decent but expensive pie each. 

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6. Cinnaholic. Cinnaholic is to cinnamon rolls, as Vegan Treats is to vegan baked goods. WOW WOW WEE WOW! 

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7. 3 Potato 4. 3 Potato 4 is a wonderful chain that serves up baked fries that taste as if they’re fried. All but two of the unique sauces are vegan and they even have vegan soft serve and soups! 

    fries     icecream

8. Boogaloos. Boogaloos is a popular brunch joint nestled in the middle of the Mission district. Although they’re not vegan, they have enough tasty vegan options to make you want to return. 

     boog

9. Republic of V. Republic of V is the type of store that vegans dream of. This small but well stocked store, carries everthing you can poissb;y crave and then some. 

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10. Bobby G’s. Bobby G’s is a gourmet pizza joint that offers several vegan options. They use an unusual but tasty squirty cheese.

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  Mac and I may actually return to the Bay Area later this year, and if we do, we’ll post a new list. If you have never been to San Francisco or have been in years, I highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

Our Weekly Top 10: Things We Saw or Did at Natural Products Expo West

npew

Unless you actually go to Natural Products Expo West, there are few words that can accurately describe what one sees, smells and takes home. Although the Anaheim Convention Center is massive, it still seemed ill-equipped to hold the over 71,000 attendees and 3000 vendors that swarmed the place for 3 breakneck days. 

fdnpew

Now, there’s going to be a Natural Products Expo West this September in John Water’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. And since there’s a good chance we’ll check it out, we’ll be able to compare which expo is more insane, But in the interim, we offer you our Top 10 which, as always,  in no particular order. 

Top 10 Things We Saw or Did at Natural Products Expo West

1. Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat absolutely killed it at Expo West. Not only did they successfully satirized McD’s, but they served up the new Beastly Sliders and Beyond Chicken Spicy Buffalo Poppers! 

bm

 2. Violife. If you haven’t tried Violife yet (which wouldn’t surprise us because it’s not readily available in the U.S.) you will be floored when you do. When this cheese starts hitting the supermarkets grab some, you won’t be sorry! 

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3. Swag. This below photo is only a portion of the insane amount of swag you can get at Expo West. On day one we were also given a sweet tote bag that was stuffed with goodies. 

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4. Daiya. Daiya is sometimes the butt of vegan jokes. Well, the joke is over because they’ve upped their game. Have you tried their cheesecake yet?

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5. Connecting and Meetings Vendors. It was a pleasure to connect and greet the many industrious, passionate and smart innovators that made up Expo West. When I start setting up my vegan business (early next year?), I will surely contact my contacts. 

 richar

6. Friends. It was great to meet up with our NYVC (New York Vegan Crew), and to meet new folks. We were also happy to meet virtual friends for the first time! 

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7. Samples. Although not all of the exhibitors offered samples, the ones who did made up for it big time. The samples were so plentiful one doesn’t even need to eat breakfast or lunch. 

barefoot  sample ice   follow

8. Upton’s Naturals.  The super nice folks at Upton’s Naturals introduced us to their amazing new Jackfruit, gave us a great tote bag and let us hold a jackfruit. That sucker weighed 27 lb! 

  arielaup

9. Field Roast Party. The  geniuses at Field Roast threw a rather cool party at the Hilton. We ate, drank, laughed and snagged a (presumably) free souvenir glass. 

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10. Gardein. Gardein  rolled out some impressive array of new items, including very authentic-tasting Porkless Bites and Crabless Cakes which will be a can’t-miss hit. 

cardein

 

This humble Top 10 list barely scratches the surface of this massive event. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or neither, consider checking out this amazing annual event and make sure to pace yourself and wear comfy shoes!

Our Weekly Top 10: Things We Did in L.A.

source: legendsofamerica.com
source: legendsofamerica.com

 “I do love America. And L.A. is a very short commute to America it’s like half an hour on the plane.” This Craig Ferguson’s quote is a fairly accurate portrait of L.A., a unique (my euphemism for weird) place that has a lot to offer.Initially, we had set out to just see the first annual Vegan Street Fair and check out some foodie places. We ended up adding Natural Products Expo West and many other happenings to our list of things to do, see and eat. And we’re glad we did!

yoursign

Since we crammed so many fun things into our brief visit to the City of Angels, coming up with a Top 10 wasn’t easy. But we did manage to offer you a small tasting of some of the best things we did. As always, the list is in no particular order. 

The Top 10 Things We Did in L.A.

1. Vegan Street Fair. We’re proud to have witnessed the first of what should be many Vegan Street Fairs in L.A.. Despite the rain and crowds, we thoroughly enjoyed sampling vegan goodies from the L.A. County area and mingling with the locals. You can bet your butt we’ll be there again next year!

 vsf   vsf1  vsf2

2. Natural Products Expo West. Sheer madness is the ideal way to describe Natural Products Expo West. I doubt if we’ll ever see any other expo with 71,000 industry members and over 3,000 exhibitors! Oh, and we scored a LOT of swag! 

npew           fdnpew

3. Friends. It was great to meet up with old friends and make new ones. We also met some virtual friends in person. 

 gr

4. Meeting & Spotting Celebs. We were in L.A., duh! 

catfromhell sopranos little people

5. Our Airbnb. I think that our days of staying at big, impersonal hotels may be coming to an end. We LOVED staying in this cute studio in Los Feliz. 

airbnb         losfeliz

6. Beyond Meat Tour.The amount of planning and research that goes into Beyond Meat’s products is impressive. We met the chefs and scientists that make this great company operate. And we saw a really neat space-aged machine that we can’t talk about!

bmposter           bmt     bm

7. Shopping. L.A. has a plethora of quality shops that offer vegan goodies and beyond. They also have some wonderfully odd shops such as the Dave Eggers-inspired Time Travel Mart. Do you need a robot toupee? 

timetravel moos ameoba vivavegan wacko  robot

8. Santa Monica. Santa Monica is a welcome stop after a full day’s food crawl. We strolled along the beach and took in the fresh air. And we bought candy! 

9. Food.  L.A.’s vegan scene is as good as any! I think Seabirds Kitchen was my favorite. 

df      cross      cruzer

 10. The Field Roast Party. The great folks at Field Roast put together a great spread with food, booze and great conversation. We even scored this cool glass which ..I think… we were supposed to… take it?

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So there, you have it, our humble L.A. list. Since we plan to go back next year our list may look very different, fer sure! 

Our Weekly Top 10: Los Angeles Vegan Eats!

source: vegnews.com
source: vegnews.com

Los Angeles  has a reputation for the best and most vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants in the U.S.. During our recent trip to the City of Angels, we put this sprawling metropolis to our vegan litmus test and the results are in! Although we wouldn’t necessarily say Los Angeles is far and away the best, they definitely crack our top 10 vegan cities we’ve visited. 

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Oh, and speaking of top 10, we’ve compiled our first of several L.A. top 10 lists. Keep in mind that not every place on this list is a vegan establishment. However the non-vegan places that are listed offer numerous vegan options. As always, our humble list is in no particular order.

The Top 10 Los Angeles Vegan Eats! 

1. Crossroads Kitchen. Tal Ronnen’s upscale Mediterranean eatery often cracks most top 20 best U.S. vegan restaurants and it’s easy to see why. If you want to impress a client or rub elbows with vegan celebrities, Crossroads Kitchen is the place to be seen. 

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 2. Flore Vegan. Nestled in the middle of Silver Lake, Flore Vegan offers organic comfort food in a cute deli setting. To this day, we’re unsure of its proper pronunciation, but we’re positive of its yumminess. 

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 3. Native Foods CafeNative Foods Cafe is an uber-popular vegan chain with offerings that taste homemade. They also offer free refills of their absolutely delish beverages…We think Artichoke drank 4 Watermelon Frescas. Macaroon was playing a bit of mixology! HA!

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 4. Shojin. Shojin is a wonderful vegan Japanese spot located in Little Tokyo Shopping Center. Our friendly server spoke with us about various topics and asked for vegan suggestions for an upcoming New York trip. She also put on the show that’s listed below. 

 5. Seabirds Kitchen. This was Artie’s absolute favorite stop during the trip. Seabirds Kitchen’s dishes popped with fresh flavors and The Cheese Crisp (pictured below) is just about the best grilled cheese sandwich we’ve ever tried. We highly recommend this place! 

cheesecrisp

 6. Cruzer Pizza. An all-vegan pizzeria is something EVERY town should have, as they can convert omnis!  L.A. is lucky to have Cruzer, which offers a lot more than just pizza. 

cruzer

7. Golden Road Brewing. Golden Road Brewing is the epitome of a vegan-friendly brew pub. Besides serving crisp and clean tasting beer and ales, they offer outstanding vegan options that most omnis can’t resist. This is the perfect venue for a mixed group of eaters.

goldenroad

 8. Veggie Grill. The fact that we had Veggie Grill 3 times during our trip (this includes a stop on the way to to LAX) is a testament to how much we like this chain. We’re confident that Artie could live solely on their Crispy Cauliflower. 

veggie grill

 9. Organix. Organix is a vegetarian/vegan market that just so happens to serve the best “pulled pork” jackfruit sandwich we’ve ever had. Mac has certified this! We’re talking next level good. 

jackfruit

10. Sage Vegan Bistro. Located in Echo Park, Sage Vegan Bistro is an organic cafe that offers an eclectic array of goodies that are made from produce that are procured from local farmers.  

So there you have it. Did we miss any of your fave L.A. vegan spots? Let us know in the comments!

Until the next Top 10, bon appetit!