Tag Archives: #vegan

The Best of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bonanza

I don’t know if any of you have made it to Trader Joe’s this year, but dear lord, they are killing it with the seasonal pumpkin overload! While most of it isn’t vegan, there are quite a few veg friendly items that are definitely worth a try. Of course, I bought all the vegan items to indulge my pumpkin fanaticism and they are all tasty (except for the body butter, I didn’t taste that. … yet.)

vegan seasonal treats

  1. Pumpkin Joe-Joes- Let me say that these are probably my most favorite Trader Joe’s treats ever. They are like Oreos, but the vanilla cookie ones, with pumpkin filling. Can I repeat that? PUMPKIN FILLING! Ok now that you heard me, let me tell you how amazingly yummy these are. I bought one box and it was gone in a day. Then I bought the second box. It was gone in hours. (Husband and I are not pigs I swear, we just gorge ourselves once in a while. No big deal.)
  2. Pumpkin Spice Roobios Tea- This is a smooth, spicy, tea that’s great for winding down from a long day. This tea is a great substitute to those pumpkin spice lattes that everyone loves and is especially good for people who are avoiding coffee or caffeine. I like to brew it and then add some almond milk so it kinda feels latte-y.
  3. Country Pumpkin Spice Granola- Eat it as a snack. Eat it for breakfast. Eat it hot. Eat it cold. You can even throw this on top of some yogurt. I tried it all ways and its fabulous.
  4. Pumpkin Body Butter- Ok, Trader Joe’s is not the first place I go for lotions and potions but I saw this by the register (damn impulse buys) and I decided to check it out. After a quick check to make sure it was vegan and cruelty-free, it ended up in my basket. It really smells mostly of cinnamon and nutmeg but it feels luxurious when you slather it on. This is a super silkily, delicious fragrance that will have you smelling spicy all day long.

Have you tried any Trader Joe’s seasonal goodies? Which ones are your favorites?


On Staying Fit

vegan athletes, vegan nutrition

So about a month ago, Husband announced to me that he wants to get into bodybuilding. Honestly, I wasn’t all that surprised since Husband has an appreciation for Arnold movies (especially Terminator 2.)

He found himself a beast of a body builder for his trainer (seriously, the dude is fucking huge), got himself some protein shakes, and a meal plan and now he’s on his way to hulk-ville.

Or as he likes to refer to joining the “Swole Patrol.”

Now that he is on the bodybuilding kick, it got me thinking about getting into better shape. I mean, I run on a regular basis but I couldn’t kick anyone’s ass if I really wanted to because, really, I just want to be prepared for the off-chance that I am in a bar fight and need to bitch slap someone. Hard. And I think having muscles could help me do that.

With that being said, I got my tushy over to the running store. Yes, a whole store dedicated to running gear and what not. I mean, who knew that you need gizmos and thing-a-ma-bobs to just go for a freaking run! You know, it’s that store where nothing costs under $30 and everyone that works there are running fanatics and are high on endorphins. Anyways, I got myself properly fitted with custom inserts because apparently I have freakishly high arches that love collapsing when I run. I picked out a pretty loud pair Sauconys (purple and neon orange) and now I’m on my way to running glory.

In addition to my running goals, Husband has taken it upon himself to put me though a Marine style boot camp bodybuilding routine to help make me super beefcake. Well I’m not quite aiming for super beefcake but to look good in a bikini would be nice.

One of the most important parts of starting a rigorous fitness routine and being plant-based is to make sure that you do the proper research to make sure that you are getting optimum nutrition for your developing muscles. There are several resources out there that will help you because vegan athletes are fairly common.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Find a good quality vegan protein powder. This involves finding one that has a blend of different plant proteins, as well as, being low in heavy metals. Check out this piece I did for Peaceful Dumpling that covers the basics. After doing research for that article, I decided on Plantfusion. It tastes pretty good and gives a decent amount of protein per serving. I’ve only tried the chocolate flavor and I find it tastes ok mixed with just water.
  2. Make sure you make an appointment to see your physician to make sure you are able to do intense and rigorous exercises. It’s usually a good idea to see what kind of shape you are in starting out and then make a plan based on that.
  3. Make sure to do your research on food plans. For me, I’m eating about every two hours and making sure I have some type of protein with every meal. I focus mostly on beans, since these are cheap, easy to prepare, and excellent source of protein, fiber, and iron. Since you are starting an exercise routine you may need to increase the number of calories you are consuming to make sure your muscles get all the help they need.
  4. Get good quality supplements. Make sure to take a multi daily along with your B12, and whatever else you may feel that you will need. It doesn’t hurt to get some blood work done while you’re at your physical to see if you are lacking in any nutrients. Also consulting with your doctor (preferably a naturopath) or a nutritionist doesn’t hurt when it comes to supplementation.

Now that I gave you a very brief starting point, get out there and do your research. If you need help finding information, stay tuned, since I’m sure this new journey will give me plenty to talk about.

Plant based athletes, what do you do to stay fit and healthy?

Great Resources:

Vegan For Life–  Jack Norris, RD and Virginia Messina, MPH, RD

Vegan for Her– Virginia Messina, MPH, RD

Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life– Brandon Brazier


Vegan Cuts Beauty Box Review: June Box

Hey there, Snuggle Friend’s it’s that time again! Where the eff did the time go? Have you checked out the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box yet? I mean, really, you should. It’s an awesome little gift to yourself or others (sharing is caring!) When you sign up for a subscription, you get a box with an assortment of 4-7 sample and full size vegan beauty products for only $20 bucks a month. I know, totally cool, right? I’ve discovered some really cool stuff through this program and it really helps with finding vegan beauty for reasonable price.


So, Let’s move onto what I got for June.

  1. Superchic Laquer by Wonder Beauty Products- I received this totally awesome, handmade nail lacquer in a pretty, sparkly blue hue named Coming Unblued ( a good summer shade!). This polish drys quick and smoothly, which is always a bonus in my book. This polish is the mega 5 free and has no toxic chemicals. Check out their Etsy store for all of their super cute colors!
  2. Pacifica Natural Eye Pencil- I received this pencil in Fringe, a mocha brown, that goes on super smooth. I usually only buy black liquid eyeliner but I really like how this pencil is very easily applicable. This little pencil is also packed full of nutrients that help protect and nourish your sensitive eye area. And it’s waterproof!! Pacifica is a cool brand that you can order online or find in the Whole Body section at your local Whole Foods.
  3. NYL Velvet Transformative Serum– Need I say more? I do? Ok, I will. This is a fabulous little product that is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, anti-wrinkle and anti-inflammatory properties. Yes, my lovelies, this is a great serum for protecting your face. After I put it on, my skin feels so silky and radiant. NYL is made in a kitchen with amazing vegan, eco-friendly, and organic ingredients. Bottom line is: I really love this pick.
  4. LA Fresh Nail Polish Remover Wipes- These wipes are eco-friendly and one wipe works for 10 nails. Of course, I put these to the sparkly nail polish test, which is the toughest test of all. It did pretty good against the test. The scent is so much better than regular acetone nail polish and your nails feel conditioned afterwards.
  5. Lip Glosserie Moisturizing Lip Balm in Asain Pear- OMG. This is one tasty lip balm. The Lip Glosserie is a small company ran out of a kitchen in Austin, TX and they do an amazing job. This lip balm goes on smooth and gives you just a little shimmer. It looks really perrttty on and it tastes and smells amazing.
  6. Jane Carter Solution Hair Butter- Full of moisturizers, this is a great little product for the summer (especially for those of us desert dwellers!) It gets rid of those frizzes and keeps your locks looking lovely. Just remember, a little bit goes a long way!

That’s it. Now, get your keester on over to vegancuts.com and get your beauty box. Seriously. Do it. (Be one of the 1st of 300 to sign up for a new subscription in time for the July box and receive a bonus gift!)

*An added note, lovelies. This is not a sponsored post, I pay for my subscription and give my honest opinion on all products.

Vegan Lunch: “Chicken” Salad Pita Pockets

So today is Meatless Monday here in the House of Snuggles.

In fact, everyday is meatless so that’s a moo point (ha ha, get it.)

I dunno about you, but my workday lunch hour is only about a half hourlong. That’s not a whole lot of time to squeeze in a sensible, nutritious lunch. With that being said, sandwiches are pretty much my BFF in the lunch world.

This week’s sandwich is a spin on the classic deli favorite chicken salad. My mom used to make these beautiful gourmet chicken salad sandwiches for my school lunches. They were so gorgeous in fact all my friends were jealous and wanted to trade. I’ve been in a reminiscent mood lately and I have decided to re-create this very sandwich but my style.

The Super Snuggly “Chicken” Salad Sandwich

vegan, lunch, tempeh, healthy

What you need:

  • 1 package of tempeh- (I like the whole grain kind)cubed into cute little bite sized bites
  • Vegan Mayo- I use Earth Balance made with olive oil because it’s so damn tasty
  • 1 medium dill pickle, diced
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2tsp dijon mustard
  • 2tsp tamari
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • Lettuce, tomato, sliced onion for sandwich toppings

What you do:

  • First steam the tempeh for 15-20 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, add the tempeh and stir to completely coat everything.
  • Chill for about an hour before serving.

I find this goes perfectly in a pita pocket. To add some nutrition to this, I used whole grain pitas. This makes a perfectly satisfying lunch when paired with a big bowl of watermelon for a side and a homemade cookie for dessert.


Lazy Sunday Funday June 8, 2014

vegan, helpful living, cats

Boy, Kohska, if you’re gonna help me at least stay awake.

A Lesson in Just Rolling With It 

Ever have a day when nothing goes your way? I mean, like a real shit-storm of a day where you want to do nothing but hide your head in the sand? I know I do. Most of the time when this happens I just want to scream, cry, and throw a temper tantrum but that’s not very productive. It’s a conundrum. You want to get upset and pout all day but that’s a big effing time waster.

So what do you do to stay on task?

  1. Go Work Out- Take advantage of the endorphins.
  2. Bake-  aka do your favorite activity. Everything is right with the world when I’m making a delectable, sweet treat.
  3. Take a Bath- Just soak in some soothing epsom salts and essential oils. While you’re at it, pour yourself a glass of wine and light some candles.
  4. Pet a Fur-Baby- Take a lesson from the furry ones. You can also tell them everything that’s wrong with you and they won’t judge.
  5. Take a Nap- Sometimes all you need is to close your eyes for 20 minutes.
  6. Sit Down and Be Grateful For What You Have- When the dark cloud is persistently over your head, this can be really hard. But it can also put a lot of things into perspective.
  7. Love Thy Self- Take that however you will.
  8. When all else fails, Laugh.

Interesting Article for the Week: Use Brain Science to Get What You Want In Life 

I find the topic of manifesting really interesting. Is it really that easy? I’ve read a few books now and watched a bunch of youtube to try and figure this stuff out and I’ve had some small successes, such as getting free coffee, but not much more than that. This article explains the brain connection to manifesting your reality a little bit better so that maybe more of my experiments can come to fruition. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Snuggle Sample Menu:

  • Breakfast- Bagel with cream cheese and strawberries
  • Lunch- Mock Chicken Salad in Whole Grain Pita
  • Dinner- Watermelon Strawberry Dreams Salad
  • Snack- Random nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts whatever I have lying around.

Peaceful Dumpling Contribution: What Kind of Taster Are You?

How you taste can give you insight into your inner self. Or at least explain why you prefer certain flavors to others. I’m also kind of obsessed with this topic because one of my fantasies is to create the most amazing tasting dishes ever.

Have a good week, Snuggles Friends! Don’t let the crazies get you down.


Vegan Cuts May Beauty Box Review

So in an effort to save a little cash, I had cancelled my Beauty Box. I know, the horror. Than I saw the preview video for the May Vegan Cuts Beauty Box and I was like, “Dumb.” So, obviously, I re-signed up for it. And you should too. It’s such a great way to try vegan, organic, cruelty-free beauty products for 20 smackaroos a month.

vegan cruelty free beauty

May’s box was the most valuable yet with 3 full size products all worth a pretty penny. So let’s get to it.

  1. Skin Again Vanish– So this was a super exciting product to try. This is actually what clinched me re-signing up for my box. Turning 30 is hard and after rocking out hard in my 20s my body could use some TLC, especially my skin. Skin Again was born after the CEO, Sherrie, was severely burned in an accident. She began using a lotion that was gifted to her that totally saved her skin from scarring. She was inspired by this experience and used her knowledge of holistic elements to create these beautiful lotions for healing and damage prevention. I received a full size sample of Vanish, which helps diminish scars, cellulite, and stretch marks. Let me tell you, this shit works. Knowing the science behind cellulite, I was really skeptical but I have noticed a big difference in how my thighs look now. (Sorry, no before and after pictures. Nobody gets to see those.) So, if you are looking for a healing lotion like this it is worth every penny.
  2. Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Lash Strengthening Mascara– I was hoping to receive a mascara in one of the Beauty Boxes at some point. Lauren Brooke Cometiques uses natural and certified organic ingredients in all of their products. This mascara is a blend of vitamins, herbs, and extracts that help stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.  This is a good mascara, there’s no flaky, runny stuff that you can sometimes get with mascara. It goes on clean and comes off easily. I was using Gabriel Cosmetics Mascara but I will be purchasing this as a replacement.
  3. Gourmet Body Treats Raw Finishing Powder– This was another full size goodie. Gourmet Body Treats is a company that was created because the owner has a skin condition that prevented her from using many beauty products. Gourmet Body Treats uses vegan, organic, and eco-friendly sourced ingredients to make their awesome products. And they have super cute packaging too! This finishing powder is awesome. It definitely helps keep my face from getting shiny and oily in the desert summer heat. This is a sheer powder that is great for all skin types and should be incorporated as the last step in your make-up routine.
  4. Tallulah Jane Halona Perfume– In general I am not a fan of perfume, I’m more of an essential body oil kinda of girl. I am also more of a fan of light floral scents over anything else but I gave this a fair try. This is a light scent that is great for summer and is a good scent for anyone who likes a strong citrus scent with spicy notes.
  5. Sevi Blue Yarrow Salt Salt Texturing Spray I am a huge fan of the boho type look and Sea Salt Spray is a staple for my hair. So when I saw this little gem, I did jig of glee. This is a good texturing spray that gives you light body and defined curls without getting your hair all crunchy. The best part about this is you just spray, run your fingers through your hair and run. Low maintenance is totally my style!
  6. Goddess Garden Organics SPF 30 Sunny Body Sunscreen– A natural sunscreen that protects your skin from damaging broad spectrum UVA/UVB rays. It’s very light weight and moisturizing, so it goes well on your face. (They do make separate facial sunscreen.) This sunscreen is all natural, vegan, non-gmo and is package in recyclable containers. I try not to spend too much time out in the sun, especially in the summertime (the desert is effing hoTT!!!!!!) but I did use it for a day out and it didn’t leave me greasy or have that strong sunscreen smell which is a huge bonus in my book.
  7. Gabriel Lip Gloss Treatment 8 in Champagne– I have been using Gabriel for a while now mainly because this is something I can pick up at Whole Foods. This is a nice gloss that’s not too goopy and conditions and moisturizes your puckers. As far as lip products go, I usually just use chapstick but I will bust out the occasional gloss when I’m feeling sassy. This is an unusual color for me, so it is taking some getting use to, but it reminds me of something totally retro. And I love retro, so I’ll keep giving it a try.

That’s it folks. I hope you’ll give the Beauty Box and some of these amazing products a try!

What are your favorite beauty products? 

Vegan Strawberry Walnut Pancakes

vegan, breakfast, strawberry walnut pancakes

Ever wake up and just feel like making pancakes?

I know I do.

This past Sunday, I woke up with a hankering for interesting pancakes. I looked through my fridge and found some strawberries that were about to turn and a bag of walnuts.




Sold. I adapted a recipe out of La Dolce Vegan to fit my strawberry-walnut pancake dream and my little experiment turned out beautifully. They were sweet, fluffy and had just a hidden crunch. What can be more satisfying for breakfast? I’m not sure, but I’m sure I’ll share with you when I find it.

Strawberry Walnut Pancakes

1C All-purpose flour

1/2tsp baking powder

1/2tsp baking soda

1/4tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4C “milk” (I use almond)

1T canola oil

1/2C chopped strawberries

1/4C chopped walnuts

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Mix your vanilla, milk,  and oil in a separate bowl.
  • Combine your dry and wet ingredients until just mixed. A few lumps are ok. If you over mix, your pancakes will get kind of rubbery and that’s no good. We want fluffy, not rubbery.
  • Gently fold in your strawberries and walnuts.
  • Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. Put a scoop of batter on your skillet and cook until you see a bunch of bubbles (roughly 5 minutes or so.)
  • Than it’s time to flip! Flip your pancake and cook until golden.
  • Top with maple syrup or whatever toppings you like. Depending on the size of your scoop, recipes make about 8 pancakes.