Bogs footwear keeps you warm and dry in the slush!  »

It’s been kind of a weather nightmare in New York as of late. I’m sure you all heard about Sandy, but then this past week we had a dang snowstorm. Seriously? Seriously. And as usual, I was completely ill-prepared for snow. I had some cheap boots on that immediately let icy cold water seep in and they have no traction so I pretty much almost slipped and died 80 times. I thought, “omg I should’ve word those boots Bogs sent me!” They sent these boots to me for free last year but the weather wasn’t that cray back then. Now, the weather is CRAY with a capital JEEZ LOUISE. Basically, it’s perfect Bogs weather.

My Bogs, picture above, are called the Charlot and they are completely vegan (obvi). Not all the boots are vegan, some have leather. But the insoles are vegan so you don’t have to worry about that. These boots are bulkier than I expected so don’t think you’ll be wearing them to the club, but they sure are rugged. And I got compliments from the girls at work, so that is always a good sign. I walked around in the slush and didn’t slip once and my feet stayed totally dry and toasty. 

Here’s some nice background from Bogs:

Bogs are made with 100% natural rubber sourced fairly from Malaysia and non-toxic glue. The materials we use are die-cut to minimize waste. Our shoe boxes are made from recycled materials and are shipped from the manufacturing plants by sea to reduce our environmental impact.

They also sell a line of camouflage ”hunting” boots but I like to think of them as “wildlife photography” boots. There are a lot of other styles and colors to choose from. Bogs are great for snowy/slushy/icy/rainy days or super for you farmer/gardener types. And if you like to jump around in mud, get some Bogs and you’re good to go.

UPDATE: I got official word on which Bogs are vegan and which aren’t (because I’m the best!):

All Bogs are Vegan except the following styles (which have leather on them):
McKenna, Mason, Seymour, Hudson Buckle, Jamison Leather and Bridgeport Leather. 
Everything else we make is using a mix of natural and synthetic rubber (about 80% natural) and are vegan-friendly. 

And they are working on manufacturing Bogs without glue (through a new heating process) and making their antimicrobial lining on the insoles 100% organic. Look out for that next year. I’m very excited for this!


Choc&Nut vegan chocolate spread is chocolatey delicious!  »

You may have already heard of Choc&Nut vegan hazelnut/cashew chocolate spread as it’s been making waves in the vegan chocolate-loving community. Well I received a free jar to sample and now I will tell you all about it!

Choc&Nut is made by a very sweet family business in France and I know you will all be excited about this: not only is it organic, it’s palm oil-free! So you orangutan fans* can eat with a clear conscience. 

Onto the flavor! As you can see, I tried it on a nice toaster waffle. It’s excellent! The flavor is sweeter than many chocolate spreads I’ve had and it definitely has a Euro taste to it. Reminds me of the chocolate we’d get on family trips to Europe when I was a little one. It’s also very smooth. Some chocolate spreads are granular like when you grind your own peanut butter, but this is not like that. It’s smooth as silk. Another difference between this and say Justin’s chocolate hazelnut spread is that this doesn’t have a salty flavor. I like the saltiness of others, but I like this too. I think it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. I think this is definitely a good Nutella substitute and would be awesome in crêpes. If you have a good vegan crêpe recipe, dude, get some of this, a few banana slices and go to town!

There Facebook has some adorbs recipes but they aren’t vegan. I’m thinking we could veganize them? If you do, send me a pic and I’ll post it. But not a janky pic! I have standards. Maybe not in men, but definitely in photography. 

I know our partner Vegan Cuts has a good deal on three jars, vegan mega-mart Food Fight! seems to have a good price if you want one jar.

*Orangutans are my 2nd favorite animal in the world! It’s elephants, orangutans, …dogs or otters…mountain gorillas or dolphins…I don’t know, I haven’t really figured it out past the first two. Point is: I love those ginger monkeys!


Go Max Go debuts vegan Butterfingers!  »

The rumors are true: Go Max Go has added a new candy bar to its vegan line! The bar is called Thumbs Up and it’s a vegan version of a Butterfinger. I love Butterfingers, so Go Max Go sent me a free bar to try. Now I will tell you all about it.

Official opinion: AMAZING! Like, so good. I can’t remember exactly what Butterfingers taste like, but to my best recollection, these are an excellent approximation. They are crispy and best of all, peanut-buttery. As soon as I bit in I was like, “hot damn!” I’ve had a few vegan Butterfinger-type things in the past and they were all great, but they were generally a harder consistency than the real thing. Very toffee-like. These are different; they’re much lighter, which I think the real bar is like. Kind of like half-toffee, half-peanut butter wafer. 

If you want to get your own Thumbs Up, Go Max Go tells me the bars are going to hit stores this month! They should be showing up in online vegan stores first, so keep an eye out. I for one can’t wait!


Whole Foods debuts their own brand of vegan meats!  »

And we’ve been eating them up and they’re TASTY. Chicken patties, burgers, meatballs, nuggets, THE WORKS.  

I believe they’re at all Whole Foods but Whole Foods doesn’t tell us shit so you might want to call a store near you and get the 411 on meatless meatballs and chickenless nuggets and WHAAAT. This stuff is GOOD. $4/package. I think that’s everything


[thanks to wonderful megan and miles for the tip <3 ]


Sunbiotics Probiotics Are Chewable Candy For Your Colon  »

One of my life missions is to bring supplementation to the vegan masses through any means necessary (see: the B-12 patch and Omega-Zen). Something I’ve been wondering about lately is how to make vegan supplements taste like candy, because I feel strongly that taste matters a great deal when it comes to ensuring our population is adequately supplemented. If it tastes like acidopholous, you’re not going to take it very often, am I right?

If you’re jonesing for a probiotic that satisfies the palate as well as the body, you have GOT to try the new Sunbiotics Probiotics. They’re chewable! How cool is that? You can feel like a kid again, crunching one of these nickel-sized tablets and enjoying the benefits of improved intestinal bacterial health. I used to work for a raw vegan retreat center where the suppies staff got into big debates about what kind of sweetener should be used to feed and grow the probes. Some supplement companies use inulin derived from jerusalem artichoke, which is rad, but it can cause irritation and sensitivity in some individuals. I once took a bunch of inulin-containing probiotics right after I broke a seven-day green juice fast and my body was super sensitive and insta-broke out in icky blotchy hives. I took an Allegra prescription allergy pill I keep on hand in case I’m attacked by a patch of poison ivy or mangoes (did you know they’re in the same family? Plants are crazy!) and was fine but vowed never to take probes made with inulin again!

Lucky for me, Sunbiotics Probiotics mean I won’t have to! My friend Alex Malinsky, the mastermind behind Rawtella, sent me a free batch to try. These tablets are made with organic yacon root prebiotics and cut with lower-glycemic coconut sugar vanilla flavor. It feels like eating tiny round marshmallows made for astronauts! The one issue I have with them is that they taste so good, if you find yourself crying over a bottle of probiotics you might be tempted to take them all at once. Don’t do that! Find yourself a 12-step program and seek answers outside the supplement bottle!

Sunbiotics probiotics are raw, gluten-free, vegan, and organic—absolutely free from yucky fillers or preservatives, unlike some other supplements on the market. I highly recommend these to anyone who’s afraid to take supplements or who just wants a really solid vegan probiotic made with high-quality organic ingredients. Get them online or demand them from your local health food store!

This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post! Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Queer Vegan Food.


Giveaway and Product Review: Zen Society Natural Skincare!  »

Zen Society is a line of vegan, natural skincare. It’s made with USDA Certified Organic ingredients, plant botanicals, and fruit extracts. Zen Society is super environmentally friendly; the shipping boxes are made from recycled materials and all the packaging is 100% recyclable. The products are also gluten-free!*

I like this part from their site:

Zen Society takes pride in offering fresh, handcrafted products. We use the highest quality of 100% Natural and USDA Certified Organic ingredients which are cold pressed and unrefined. If our oils are heated, they are never heated above 120° so they retain all vitamins, minerals and nutrients to provide ultimate nourishment to the skin. Each ingredient contains at least 10 vitamins and minerals. We include Fair Trade and locally harvested ingredients whenever possible. No parabens, pesticide sprays, petroleum, silicone, synthetics, artificial fragrances, dyes, GMO, or harmful processed additives.

They are also recognized as a cruelty-free company by PETA and donate a portion of all sales to Friends of the Earth. Kind of sounds perfect, right? Well guess what! Zen Society sent me the rosewater mist and the macadamia body oil on the house and I can say they ARE perfect! The rosewater mist is a nice little astringent or pick-me-up and, well, it smells like roses! Roses smell good.

The macadamia body oil is just about my new favorite thing in the whole world. It absorbs quickly and easily but the best part was when I put it on my elbows! I have rough, ashy elbows and after using this stuff like twice, they were totally better! No body lotion I’ve tried has made any difference and this stuff fixed it overnight. Pretty awesome. I had never even heard of macadamia body oil—now I’m in love! What a difference a day makes. 

OK, now, because I love the macadamia body oil so much, Zen Society has agreed to do a giveaway! To win your own macadamia body oil, leave a comment on this post answering this question: We already care about animals, why should we care about earth-friendly products too?! I’ll pick a winner next Monday.

I also encourage you to follow Zen Society on Twitter and like their FB page because they announce sales, specials, new products, and nice stuff like that. Don’t miss out!

*Is gluten bad for your skin?!


Product Review: Regal Vegan’s Basilcotta!  »

As I announced on Twitter last night, look what I came upon at Union Market last night! Basilcotta: Regal Vegan’s basil cashew ricotta-style spread. You know I’m obsessed with their Faux Gras so I had to buy this immediately. 

My official verdict: very yummy! It’s not as amazing and addictive as the Faux Gras, but really, what is? “Basilcotta” is pretty much the perfect name—that’s what it tastes like: ricotta mixed with basil. I just ate it on bread and it was creamy and good. I would love to have it in some pasta shells! I will try to get it together to do that and let you know how it turns out. Maybe I can mail some to Jenny and make her do it for us!

It’s not on their site yet but hopefully it will be soon and then hopefully you’ll be able to order it like you can the Faux Gras. Does anyone on the west coast carry Regal Vegan? They need to!

Product Review: Nutty Bean Chick Pz!  »

Clockwise from the left: Vanilla Chai, Sesame Crunch, and Sweet and Spicy Chipotle.

Hello, friends! Here I am with another product review! This time we have some healthy snack food: Nutty Bean Chick Pz. These are flavored roasted chickpeas. All flavors but the Honey Roasted are vegan. I tried the Chai Vanilla, Sesame Crunch, Sea Salt, and the Sweet and Spicy Chipotle (for those following along at home, that’s all but the Honey Roasted and BBQ). Nutty Bean sent me these flavors to try for free and now I will tell you all about them.

I’ve actually seen roasted chickpeas before; I used to go to the Italian festival in New Jersey every year (which I highly recommend—except for the cannoli eating contest; whatever you do, don’t watch the cannoli eating contest! You will vom!) and they had them in big burlap sacks. Haven’t seen them since then. I always thought it was a good idea though, seems like a healthy snack idea.

So, in brief: they are a bit weird…AND I love them. The weird part is the texture. They are crunchy at first—kind of like wasabi peas or something—but then when you bite into them, they have a kind of dusty texture? I think dusty is the best description. But I think you get used to it and then you can enjoy them with reckless abandon!

The really cool thing is that these are super healthy. If they were bad for you and had the unfamiliar texture, I might not be into them. But I think the health factor makes it a good gamble. There are two servings per package (a good size!) and each serving has 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and only 1.5 grams of fat. It also has 10% of your daily iron, so that’s nice. And a little shot of calcium to boot.

My favorite-favorite flavor is the Sweet and Spicy Chipotle. Yummy! It rules. I’m kind of a nancy about spice so these are a little too hot for me. My solution was to eat like four, then eat a handful of sea salt ones to relieve the spice. Funny Megan! But it worked great. 

I didn’t like the Sesame Crunch that much; I think you would definitely like that flavor if you like those little sesame sticks they always sell in bulk candy sections. You know the ones? My mom used to buy those for us when we were hippies. I was never that into them.  But if you were, this is your flavor.

As for the Vanilla Chai, I thought I wouldn’t like them because sometimes chai is über-sweet. But to my surprise, this was my second favorite flavor! Not too sweet but nice and cinnamon-clovey. Definitely yum and a nice sweet treat that’s not too sweet.

That’s the other good thing besides the health: these hit the spot. If you want a little touch of sweetness, you got it; if you want something salty, boom. And you can feel like you are doing something good for your body because of the iron, fiber, and protein! So it’s really a great snack option. I officially recommend!


Guest Product Review: Good Greens: Superfood Nutrition Bars That Taste Like Candy!  »

Good Greens low-glycemic gluten-free vegan bars, which boast 40 antioxidants, 10g protein, Omega 3’s, are low-glycemic, and are free from animal products, could taste like chalk and still get a nod of favor in my direction, because I love supplements so hard. These bars boast some of the fanciest and hyped ingredients in the natural health/vegan world, including mesquite, nori, mangosteen, probiotics, flax, aloe vera, chia seed, mulberry, bilberry, broccoli sprout powder, Nova Scotia Dulse (can we please make this the trendy new lox substitute? Yay Jewish vegan pride!), golden berries, alfalfa sprout powder, beet juice powder, wheat sprout powder, cha de Bugre, Siberian Eleuthero Root Extract, DHA, green tea extract, camu powder, pine bark extract, macs, lucuma, chlorella, and spirulina all grace each label of these superfood-packed bars.

With such a crazy A-list of superfoods, there’s very high risk for flavor failure. It’s like those star-studded ensemble cast movies which have such glorious talent but as a whole miss the mark: Paris Je T’aime, New York, I Love You, New Year’s Eve, etc. (Note: These films certainly had redeeming qualities, so if you love them please excuse this analogy!)
Taste may not be the primary concern for vegan health freaks (myself included!) but Good Greens bars unabashedly shoot for mass appeal. They even have a code to scan with your smartphone to learn more about the products! Can you just imagine a bunch of people scanning these on BART? I (s)can!

While a lot of so-called nutrition bars fail badly when they try to cram so many insanely powerful nutriceuticals (or else are seriously effing unethical and won’t disclose whether they source their cacao from places that use child slavery—F you, CLIF!), Good Greens decided to rise above and make bars that are completely ethical and INSANELY DELICIOUS. I shit you not, these are like CANDY! So how do Good Bars orchestrate a symphony of superfoods without creating sheer mouth cococphany?

Actually, it’s pretty simple: chocolate! Nearly every flavor of these bars includes dairy free dark chocolate as the first ingredient. It turns out, dark chocolate is the great equalizer when it comes to flavor-balancing. These bars are sweetened with healthful ingredients but you’d swear otherwise. The chocolate peanut butter, chocolate raspberry, and chocolate coconut flavors will inspire you to break dance in your “Pigs are Friends Not Food” underwear until you hit your target heart rate!

Good Greens, which sent me free samples of each flavor, are available in health food stores and online.

This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post! Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Queer Vegan Food.


Vegan Pâté throw-down!  »

What up, thugs! Welcome to the vegan pâté throw-down! If you recall, once upon a time I sang the praises of Faux Gras; well recently I noticed that the Carroll Gardens Union Market had a new vegan faux-pâté, Nanny’s Vegetarian Chopped Liver. Obviously I had to try it! I’d also seen this Vegan Terrine stuff by Trois Petits Cochons and thought I ought to try that too—so here we are! Throw-down. 

From left to right: Faux Gras, Vegan Terrine, and Vegetarian Chopped Liver.

The Faux Gras was as good as ever. I truly love the stuff. It’s sweet and savory and yummy! The veggie chopped liver looks very similar, and it actually tastes pretty similar, but it’s more meaty-flavored. With the Faux Gras, it’s awesome but I don’t think it’s trying very hard to taste like meat. I don’t mind that at all (actually I prefer it) but if you really loved meat pâté in your omni days, you may enjoy the chopped liver more. But for some reason the chopped liver is like $2 more than the Faux Gras. Not sure why. 

The vegan terrine is…not so great. It tastes like pickled green beans maybe? Kind of? Or mashed peas mixed with olives? Maybe that’s what terrine is supposed to be like but I just really didn’t like it. But if you want something low in fat and calories, this is your best option. The Faux Gras and chopped liver are both pretty high in fat but it’s totes that healthy fat from walnuts and whatnot. 

So the winner is Faux Gras! Nanny’s is a close second and Trois Petits Cochons falls last. Those are the breaks, my friends. Throw-downs aren’t pretty! But they are so very tasty.

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