Sunday, November 28, 2010

Whoever said "You'd better not pout" anyway?

Many of us are familiar with the earthy crunchy (even unwashed) vegan and vegetarian stereotypes. But the truth is, we pretty much all live in the real world. And many of us still get a kick out of "worldly" things. Just because we might chow down on tempeh and kale, it doesn't mean that we won't flip through an issue of Vogue now and again.

While some of us may be makeup wearers and some of us not, chances are if we had the choice, we'd prefer there to be more cruelty-free products on the market, right? Good news for all of us then: Turns out that we
don't have to banish ourselves to a lipstick-free existence if we don't want to.

I pretty much love this online store for a number of reasons. Firstly, the makeup is free of animal ingredients and by-products, and none of it is tested on animals. It totally takes the guesswork out of reading all of those crazy chemical names on the back of your tube of lipstick. And trust me, PETA wouldn't affiliate themselves with just any cosmetic company...not without some serious animal-friendly standards.

Also, MAJOR bonus: da da da da! - most of the cosmetics cost $1 to $5 apiece! Not even the drugstore can beat that for animal-free goodies!! Additionally, e.l.f. posts sales and promotions all the time. Free shipping, free gifts, half off, and on and on. Totally worth it on all counts in my opinion. It literally is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

So check 'em out today. And the only reason you'll pout at your holiday parties will be because you're totally in love with your new lip gloss and you just caught your reflection in an ornament.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm here! I'm here!

I do apologize for all of my tardiness and unexcused absences...but I swear I had a good reason, honest!

For the past month, I have been off having my semi-vegan way with the world all over the place. I have had the good fortune to have met 3 successful and inspiring vegans, including at least a couple of virtual rock stars of the vegan universe. I am totally going to gush hopelessly about all of them, so I think this will have to be the first of 3 installments...

The whole big hero-worship-inducing mess all started about a month ago. I had already bought the book Thrive a little earlier this year, having discovered it during one of my frequent forays on I started reading it and I found it to be very enlightening regarding the effects that certain foods can have on the body. Some of you may be familiar with the book's author, Brendan Brazier, as a notable vegan athlete. In fact, he is not just an athlete, he is actually a career tri-athlete. I will have to admit to you that, like much of the world, I have not often thought of the words "vegan" and "athlete" as belonging together. I just don't picture Arnold Schwarzenegger pumping a bunch of iron and then heading home to refuel with a package of veggie dogs. But you know, when there's a will, there's a way.

Thrive has a lot of reasonable and valuable information to offer, and clearly Brendan Brazier has done his homework. Being me, I tend to take everything I read with a grain of salt, but I didn't see a lot of sensationalist information in this book. I tend to get nervous when I read about all kinds of obscure superfoods I've never heard of, and only rarely does some new "out there" nutritional supplement make it into my regular rotation. A notable exception of course is spirulina, which I posted about fairly early on here.

But anyway, I am straying from the point. The results seem to speak for themselves. Brendan Brazier succeeds as an athlete, and, even more notably, as a vegan athlete. It is such a HUGE challenge to navigate the physically taxing demands of the Ironman triathlon, even under "normal" circumstances. And honestly, from my point of view, veganism is a thinking man's game. It takes some effort to plan nutritionally-rounded meals for people with average activity levels, nevermind for people who have just biked over 100 miles and think to themselves, "You know what would be awesome right now is a marathon. Let's DO this..."

So when I found out that Mr. Brazier himself would be giving a talk and doing a book signing at my local Whole Foods store, I was totally all about it. I mean, why not go see and be inspired by someone who has accomplished something that most people would have thought impossible?

So I went, I saw, I got my book signed. I also stood there awkwardly in the book signing line and I asked this successful author and owner of the extremely popular Vega nutritional foods line if he was from Canada. Yes, he is from Canada. And he is also very nice when talking with awkward hero-worshipping semi-vegans who meet him in supermarkets.

So to the Hot Vegan Army with you Brendan Brazier! And I'll see you in the bulk dry goods aisle....

P.S. He IS that tall.