I used to suffer from terrible silent-but-deadly gas, and I never knew when it was going to strike. A house party, a movie theater, and a private kung fu lesson where there were no other suspects were the most embarrassing occasions. But now I’ve found a solution, a vegan gas relief for onions, and my excitement to share it overrides all my old embarrassment!
Several years ago, I did an elimination diet and realized that onions were the culprit. I always assumed it was beans because that’s what you hear, but it wasn’t. So, I avoided onions, most of the time successfully, even though I missed the taste. But my husband loves Indian food, and I kept running into dishes where the onions were blended in. So, whenever we’d go out for Indian food, I’d have to sequester myself in my studio after.
UNTIL! It came up in an internet forum, I can’t remember which, and someone suggested Beano for onions. I had thought that Beano was only for beans, but that’s not true! But, it turned out Beano might not be vegan. That’s when someone suggested my savior: VEGAN BEAN-ZYME!
Regular Bean-zyme uses a gelatin capsule, but the company makes a vegan formula – the packaging says “Vegan Formula” in small letters on the front of the bottle.
How does it work?
Some people are missing the enzymes necessary to break down complex sugars into more digestible ones, resulting in FLATULENCE. Vegan Bean-zyme works the same way as Beano. It contains the enzyme Alpha-galactosidase which is made from a food-grade mold. Apparently, this is just the enzyme I needed to digest onions! I’ve eaten a recipe that called for half an onion with no consequences!
I hope this post reaches someone out there with the same problem and makes their life a little less gassy.
I’ve been subscribing to the Purple Carrot vegan meal delivery service for 14 months! I sometimes wonder if anyone’s been doing it as long as I have. Here’s my review of the pros and cons and how it works. If you’ve already decided to try it and are looking for a discount, please sign up using my referral code here for $25 off your first order, and I’ll get a discount too.
What is Purple Carrot?
Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal delivery service. They delivery different vegan recipes and pre-measured ingredients to your door each week. If you’re familiar with Blue Apron, it’s like that, but vegan. It launched in 2014 in the northeast United States. I first took notice in late 2015 when they brought Mark Bittman, the best-selling cookbook author, on board. I remembered always liking the Bittman recipes that my dad made.
How does Purple Carrot vegan meal delivery work?
Purple Carrot is available in the lower 48 United States. They offer three different subscription options and you pay by the week.
$78 – TB12 plan – 3 vegan “high performance” meals, each feed 2 (or 1) people. Developed with Tom Brady. ($13/meal/person)
You can pause, cancel, or switch between the three plans if you give a week’s notice. Shipping and tax are included in the price. My husband and I have been using the $68 plan for over a year.
What do you get?
Every Tuesday (or Wednesday if it’s a holiday weekend) you receive a cardboard box with ingredients for two or three recipes depending on your subscription plan. The box comes with ice packs to keep the ingredients fresh. Also in the box are recipe cards with full-color photos, step-by-step instructions, estimated time, tools needed, and nutritional info printed on standard-size paper, perfect for keeping in a binder. The ingredients come in plastic bags and plastic containers, many of which you can reuse, and all of which are recyclable. I stuff all the ingredients into the refrigerator when the box arrives.
Some of my favorite Purple Carrot recipes have been Creamy leak polenta with spinach pear salad, BBQ jackfruit with loaded potato salad, Cauliflower l’orange with beets and fresh herbs, Koshari with zucchini, lentils, and brown rice, and Blackened tempeh chopped salad with creamy ranch & crispy tortillas.
Time and Tools Needed
Besides the cost of the subscription, you’ll need a few things to make the recipes.
Time: the recipe cards each generally estimate 35-45 minutes, but when I started out I was new to cooking, and recipes sometimes took me over an hour. I’m a lot faster now, usually finishing in 45 minutes. I think the time really depends on your speed at tedious tasks like chopping, washing and drying produce, and peeling. I’m pretty slow with that stuff.
Standard kitchen equipment: stovetop, oven, blender or food processor, pots and pans of varying sizes, mixing bowls, baking sheet, spatula, wooden spoon, peeler, grater, whisk. They usually suggest and alternative when a more specialized tool is called for.
There’s only one tool that has given me trouble and it’s only come up twice in over a year: an oven-safe skillet that fits in your broiler. I interrupted cooking to research whether any of my skillets were oven-safe. I was just barely able to fit our smallest pan in our broiler, but I’m still not sure if it is officially “oven-safe.”
Here’s some of the stuff I or my husband cooked. I’m not a professional photographer. Or chef!
Pros of Purple Carrot vegan meal delivery
Customer service: One of my favorite things about Purple Carrot is how responsive they are to customer feedback. The few times I’ve written to them, once because I didn’t like a recipe layout change, and once to suggest that they label the produce in a clearer way, the very next week the delivery was inline with my (and possibly other customers’) requests! They also have a weekly survey on their website where you can give specific feedback for each recipe relating to the taste, the cooking process, and suggestions for what you want to cook in the future. And once one of the ingredient in my order burst and they immediately credited me for a reasonable portion of the order.
Horizons Broadened: The variety in Purple Carrot’s recipes is amazing, and educational. I used to alternate between a few go-to recipes like pasta and stir-fry. But, in fourteen months of subscribing to Purple Carrot, I’ve cooked more recipes from more cuisines than I had in my entire life prior! I’ve learn how to make vegan ranch dressing and ricotta. This whole time there’s only been one repeat recipe and it happened to be the one that kind of blew my mind: Koshari (Egyptian pilaf). I had never heard of Koshari. The combination of different pastas and grains seemed totally strange to me while I was making it, but when we sat down to eat, my husband and I were both in awe of the rich flavor and textures. I can only assume that Purple Carrot got so much positive feedback that they knew they had to run it again.
Health: I always feel good after I eat a Purple Carrot meal. The recipes are delicious and nutritionally balanced. The portions are on the small side, but not so small or even light that they feel like diet food. Usually when I think it’s not enough food, I wait a few minutes for all of it to reach my stomach and then I feel full. I never feel gross or over-stuffed. I am a petite woman who rarely works out. My husband is 6’4″ and has an intense daily workout routine. Usually the Purple Carrot meals are enough for him, but on occasion he has a snack later on.
Convenience: Purple Carrot ingredients come right to your door and save you some time from grocery shopping. The website provides a convenient portal where you can manage your deliveries. I like that the cut-off date for skipping a delivery is right on the website under “orders.”
Recycled and Recyclable Packaging: I’ve watched Purple Carrot experiment with different packaging over the last year. They use post-consumer waste for all their packaging, and they recently switched to a smaller box that’s easier to carry. You can also even recycle the plastic produce bags.
Cooking Skills: I have a much better grasp of the basics of cooking now. Purple Carrot has also taught me some special skills like how to supreme an orange or work with fennel.
Price: For us, Purple Carrot is worth the money. The recipes use high-quality ingredients and take some time to make. We live in an expensive city where if we were to order an equivalent dish at a restaurant it would probably cost between $15 and $25, far more than the $11.33 we pay with Purple Carrot.
Referral program: Purple Carrot has a great referral program. If you get someone else to sign up, you both get $25 off your order, and it’s easy to pause or cancel your subscription from their website. If you are considering signing up, please use my referral code to get $25 off your first order! Click here for the discount.
Cons of Purple Carrot vegan meal delivery
Time: Purple Carrot recipe time estimates generally range from 35-45 minutes but on occasion have taken me over an hour. That happened more when I was starting out with it, maybe because I didn’t have much cooking experience. Sometimes I imagine they get their estimates from timing a professional with superhuman chopping skills. I think if you leave an hour for cooking when you’re starting out, you’ll be safe.
Complexity: Purple Carrot recipes always involve several steps and processes. There’s not a lot of down time. For me, it’s impossible to listen to talk radio or a podcast while following the instructions. Music works for me though.
Clean up: The mess varies, but Purple Carrot can involve a food processor, baking sheet, large pan, and a bunch of other stuff all in one recipe. So, yeah, sometimes there’s a lot to clean up, sometimes there’s not.
Price: If you live in an inexpensive area or on a limited budget, $11.33/meal/person might not save you money or beneficial to your finances.
Is Purple Carrot vegan meal delivery for you? It might be if you …
want to expand your culinary repertoire with new recipes.
want to know you’ll eat at least a few healthy meals per week.
want to reduce your consumption of animal products, whether for health, the environment, or to reduce animal suffering.
want to save time on grocery shopping and meal planning.
want to improve and expand your cooking skills.
spend too much time deciding on what recipes to make.
are vegan or follow a plant-based diet.
can afford the subscription price or might even save money depending on how much you usually spend on meals.
So, there you have it. I haven’t tried any other vegan meal delivery service, or any non-vegan one for that matter, so I don’t have anything to compare Purple Carrot to. But I’ve liked it enough to keep going this long. Whenever I think of pausing a week or canceling, I actually get FOMO – what if they use fingerling potatoes next week or a vegan ranch?? Please tell me about any other vegan meal delivery service you like.
There are many available vegan deodorants but it’s hard to find a vegan antiperspirant.
What’s the difference between Deodorants and Antiperspirants?
Deodorants merely mask body odor with a more pleasing scent, while antiperspirants prevent or reduce sweat in the first place, reducing body odor.
Body odor is caused by bacteria on the skin breaking down our sweat into acids. Antiperspirants work by plugging the sweat pores in your armpits, and also causing them to contract.
There are several controversial claims against antiperspirants. I read up on them, and have added some information on those claims at the bottom of this post. I am still going to use antiperspirant. So, here’s a list of the few vegan antiperspirants I’ve found:
Several health risks have been linked to the aluminum in antiperspirants, though many of these claims have been debunked. And some consider antiperspirants “unnatural” in general. You know what’s not natural? Wearing pants in 90 degree weather!
Breast cancer: There is a widespread fear that the the aluminum-based complexes in antiperspirants cause breast cancer. This has not been proven. You can read the full Snopes breakdown of the issue here. And Science-Based Medicine also wrote a post about it.
Alzheimer’s: Another fear is that aluminum in antiperspirants causes Alzheimer’s disease. This idea came from some studies in the 1960’s that found high levels of aluminum in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients. Aluminum cans and pots and pans were considered more of a risk than antiperspirants, and the studies were never reproduced.
Kidney Disease: Part of the job of our kidneys is eliminating excess aluminum from the blood stream. Most aluminum in our blood comes from food. When kidney function is impaired, kidneys cannot eliminate as much aluminum, and aluminum levels can build up in the blood. If you have kidney disease, consult your physician before using antiperspirant.
I’m always skeptical of research being influenced by powerful corporations. But having read up on these issues, I am not convinced antiperspirant is a great enough health risk to give it up. I would love to find a DIY solution to body odor because I don’t want to contribute to more plastic waste. But until I have time to figure that out, I’ll be slathering my armpits in aluminum on hot days and carrying a titanium spork, bamboo straw, cloth napkins, and thermos.
I wanted to make a list of vegan protein powder with no added sugar because I couldn’t find one, and added sugar is addictive, increases risk of heart disease and tooth decay, among other things. I’d rather save my daily sugar allowance for a delicious vegan donut than use it up on a boring shake – or better yet, try to make it through the day without any added sugar – a rare feat! Check out this 60 minutes segment on the risks of too much added sugar.
I’ve listed the vegan protein powder I use first. It doesn’t taste bad but it doesn’t taste like my dream come true breakfast either. Most of the powders without added sugar and flavors have lukewarm to bad reviews as far as taste. But, I’m assuming you’re looking for a vegan protein powder with no added sugar for a reason. I’m grateful that I can get so much nutrition for so little money, without added sugar, and it only takes two minutes to make, two minutes to drink, and two minutes to clean up!
List of VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER with NO ADDED SUGAR!
Starting with no sweeteners or flavors at all. Scroll down for powders with stevia extract. Updated 5/16/2017.
*This is the protein powder I use. I use two scoops (that’s one serving) in a blender with one banana and some water or vegan milk until it’s pourable, maybe adding a few berries depending on what’s in the refrigerator.
Nutrition per serving
Protein 27g 54%
Calories 120 (cal. from fat 5)
Total fat .5g
Saturated fat 0g
Total carbs 2g
Dietary fiber 0g
(There was some confusion with a label typo on Amazon. This information is from the NKD Nutrition website)
Most gummy bears contain gelatin made from the cartilage, bones, hooves, or skin of pigs, and sometimes other animals. In other words, most gummy bears are not vegan, vegetarian, halal, or kosher. Fortunately there are some vegan and kosher and halal gummy bears on the market. Here you’ll find:
List of vegan gummy bears
List of gummy bears to avoid
Contact info to request companies make vegan gummy bears
LIST OF NOT-EVEN-VEGETARIAN GUMMY BEARS
with company contact info.
Black Forest Organics Gummy Bears – NOT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
Contains gelatin from slaughtered pigs.
Ferrara Candy has gone out of its way to rebrand Black Forest as an organic brand. The bears are organic, gluten-free, and have natural flavors – but still have gelatin!
CONTACT THEM NOW with this form to request vegan gummy bears.
Tweet at Black Forest’s parent company Ferrara Candy @FerraraCandy
Haribo Gold-Bears – NOT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
Gold-Bears produced in Germany contain gelatin from slaughtered pigs.
Gold-Bears produced in Turkey contain gelatin from slaughtered cows.
Kosher Gold-Bears contain gelatin from slaughtered fish, white and yellow beeswax
Website says they also make fruit gummi’s without animal products, but those products are nowhere to be found, and when I e-mailed customer service asking which products were vegan I received a form letter touting the benefits of animal gelatin without answering my question.
CONTACT HARIBO with this this form to let them know you want vegan gummy bears.
Tweet at HARIBO to ask for vegan gummy bears and other candies @OfficialHARIBO
Albanese 12 Flavor Gummi Bears – NOT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
Contains gelatin. Customer service says it’s a mixture from pigs and cows.
Website makes it impossible to find ingredients but touts dairy free and gluten free. Had to find an image of packaging with the ingredients on Amazon.
Call (855) 272-3227 or fill out this contact form but watch out – it tries to sign you up for a mailing list, and if you uncheck the mailing list box, but then forget to put a phone number, it reloads and rechecks the mailing list box.
Tweet at Albanese candy to ask for vegan gummy bears and other candies @AlbaneseCandy
Trolli Classic Bears – NOT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
I don’t think these exact bears are made anymore now that they’re owned by the same company that owns Black Forest but they make many other gummy candies, and you can still find them on a few websites so just in case:
Also contains Sodium Lactate and Lactic Acid which may or may not be vegan. Have not received a response from customer service.
Other Trolli brand gummies also contain gelatin.
Tweet at Trolli to tell them you don’t buy their products because of the gelatin. @Trolli_USA
YumEarth Naturals Gummy Bears – NOT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN BUT … MAYBE VEGAN SOON … stay tuned!
YumEarth Naturals website says: “We are hoping to make all products vegan by the end of 2017, stay tuned!”
Pasadena, California is home to A LOT of delicious vegan food, including some great vegan breakfast and brunch options. There are at least five 100% vegan restaurants in Pasadena, a 100% vegetarian drive-thru, and a bunch of other restaurants with great vegan options. Pasadena is even home to an annual vegan beer and food festival.
Below is a list of vegan food in Pasadena. Jump to different sections! Click on the link in the name of each business for opening hours and other info on Yelp. I’ll be gradually updating and adding to the list. Continue reading “Vegan Restaurants in Pasadena, California”
Yes! Skyn ICELAND is a 100% vegan luxury beauty product line. They’ve been around since 2003 and are currently PETA certified vegan and cruelty-free. The Skyn ICELAND website explicitly states that their products do not contain “animal-derived products or animal by-products, including fish-derived and insect-derived products.”
Check out our list of customer service numbers. If you’re ever bored, send off an e-mail to a company asking which products are vegan. If they don’t have any vegan products, request them. You can forward response e-mails to info at doublecheckvegan dot com and we’ll share the results. Every little bit helps. The more companies hear that customers care about ingredients, the more likely they are to chase their policies.
UPDATE: If you are looking for Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme, they changed the formula and reviewers are not happy!
The color of the cap is different and so is the product! I contacted Eucerin and they wrote back on May 18, 2017:
We are sorry to disappoint you, but at this time there are no plans to go back to the old formula. All comments are important to us and are shared with the appropriate departments.
I compared the ingredients from both formulas. The new moisturizing creme no longer contains sodium hydroxide, DMDM hydantoin, methylparaben, or ethylparaben. Instead it has added 1-2 Hexanedoil, Piroctone Olamine, Polyglyceryl-2 caprate, decylene glycol.
It may still be possible to find some of the old product. The original formula had a blue cap, and the new one has a red cap.
Here are a few links on Amazon where they may still be selling the original product because the image is still of the original blue cap packaging. Definitely ask the seller first before ordering.
The only non-prescription moisturizer that works for my eczema is Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizer Cream. I was pretty nervous to put it into the DCV search engine. I’ve been buying this stuff in bulk and I purchased the last batch before I became vegan. I’m about halfway through my last tube and realized I need to make sure this is something I want to buy in the future.
The Search Results
Running a search of the ingredients on Eucerin’s website came back with 5 flagged ingredients, yikes! Two of these (Cetyl Alcohol and Cetyl Palmitate) are “probably vegan” because they are likely derived from Palm Oil – a whole other issue! Eucerin’s website says they are trying to go 100% sustainable with their palm oil by 2020, meaning they do use palm oil as a source. But the remaining ingredients- Glycerin which can come from animal fat, plants or synthetic sources – and Glyceryl Stearate and PEG-40 Stearate which use Stearic Acid which can come from animal or plant sources- were more iffy.
Parent Company Animal Testing Stance
I had hope, because Eucerin’s parent company Beiersdorf has a webpage dedicated to their stance against animal testing. They claim to have been committed to developing alternative methods of research even before the ban in the EU. That means animals were probably not used to test this product during its development.
Customer Service Reply
I received this information from the a Eucerin customer service agent on May 9 and 10, 2016:
Most of the ingredients used in Eucerin products are synthetic or plant derived. The following ingredients are animal derived:
Lanolin alcohol from sheep’s wool
There are no animal derived ingredients in the Eucerin Skin Calming Crème
I’ll probably keep buying this cream until I find a product that works just as well from an all-vegan 100% cruetly-free company. Hopefully I’ll find one before this tube runs out. If you have any suggestions, please post in the comments!
Too Long Didn’t Read: List of Vegan Gummy Vitamins at Bottom of Post. (updated 5/23/2017)
Finding vegan gummy vitamins is easier said than done. Unfortunately, there’s no vegan search option on Amazon. Have you ever tried searching “vegan” on Yelp only to get restaurants with reviews like “There were no vegan options?” Searching on Amazon can be even more opaque. Sometimes a product shows up in the search results and I can’t find the word “vegan” anywhere.
I recently searched for “vegan gummy vitamins” on Amazon and the top result was “Nature’s Way Alive Adult Multi-Vitamin Gummies, 90 Count.” The bottle boldly says “No Gelatin” on the front, and on the back says that
it has no dairy or eggs. This would lead most people to believe it is a vegan Continue reading “In Search of Vegan Gummy Vitamins”