Per your request on this gloomy Tuesday, we have a brand new “Glow Down” post!
“The Glow Down” is the lowdown on everything and anything you guys have been asking me lately. Consider it a fun little series where I answer questions, share tips, offer my thoughts/advice, etc. Really though, it’s super casual and can be about anything from the plant based vegan lifestyle to my 5-Day Cleanse or Vegan Starter Guide to beauty/girly stuff to vegan cooking tips to favorite products, home things, blogging things, even what shirt or sweater I was wearing on Snapchat…
So grab a cup of coffee, tea, a smoothie (or wine?!) and find a cozy spot for this mini chit chat series.
1. What is your favorite “unhealthy” meal?
Hmm… that’s a good one. I love a good homemade veggie burger with all the toppings (lettuce, tomato, ketchup, maybe avocado?!) with sweet potato fries, duh. Also, sweets. If you offer me a vegan cupcake or chocolate (basically any kind of vegan dessert, really) I will love you forever. I have the biggest sweet tooth.
2. What blender do you use and why?
Blendtec all the way! Investing in a high-speed blender was life-changing, as I talked about in this post and opens the door to so many healthy recipes. Achieving the right texture is the main difference between a high-speed blender vs. a cheap blender. Plus, there are times when a food processor doesn’t cut it, and you need more power to blend something up to get the right consistency. The smoothest smoothies (no chunks, ever), the creamiest nice cream, hot soup in 90 seconds, the creamiest sauces (like my mac & cheese sauce), blender pancakes & muffins, grinding grains into flour. Not to mention how long a high-speed blender will last you, in comparison to a cheap blender that may need replacing year after year.
Some people are partial to the Vitamix and I’ve only tried it once, but it works just the same, only its set up a bit differently. I think the Vitamix costs a similar amount when compared to the Blendtec but I liked the “look” of a Blendtec more (comes in white), plus the Vitamix sits super tall on the counter, or at least they used to.
I know not everyone can invest in a Blendtec or Vitamix, but you should know when I bought my own Blendtec a while back, it was a refurbished model… and works like a charm. No problems or issues.
Checkout my Creamy Kale Coconut Smoothie made in the Blendtec!
3. Alcohol: How do you know if its vegan?
Who knew that alcohol could have animal ingredients in it? Many white wines have fish guts or scales.. you’d be surprised. I always check brands on Barnivore! They almost always have the brand I want to look up with ingredients listed and if the product is vegan or not. Or I use the Is It Vegan app but Barnivore seems to be more reliable. Sometimes if I can’t find the ingredients anywhere I’ll look to the company’s website but it can get tricky to find any kind of information at all!
I feel like a lot of plant based/vegan bloggers keep quiet about this topic or don’t drink at all but honestly, I’m not perfect! Although I try my best, I’ve had accidents with drinking wine that isn’t vegan and not always checking when out at restaurants or events but all I can do is try my best and support vegan-friendly brands whenever possible! I find that red wine is usually a safe route if you want wine – but you never know for sure until you check!
I’ll remember to start writing down my favorites for you guys when I buy them but I do have one brand that I never got around to posting about called Backpack Wine. They have a Cheeky Rosé and a Snappy White Table Wine – all vegan & gluten free – and super fun!
4. Beauty: How do you know if a product/brand is cruelty free and vegan friendly? How do you know if its toxic or safe?
Thankfully, the whole process of finding ingredients and figuring out whether your beauty products are vegan or not has gotten a lot easier the past few years. Most brands want to make consumers aware when a product is vegan and/or cruelty free so they print it on the packaging which is helpful! The little Leaping Bunny symbol lets you know its cruelty-free or they will have “Not tested on animals” printed on the packaging somewhere. Logical Harmony is a great resource to figure out if a product is cruelty-free, vegan and if they are owned by a parent company that is not cruelty-free. I highly recommend checking out this list!
The tricky part is deciding whether or not you’re okay with supporting brands that are cruelty free when their parent company is not… take Tarte for instance, an eco-friendly, cruelty-free brand who was bought out by Kosé in 2014. Many Tarte fans were disappointed as they choose not to support brands bought out by larger companies who perform animal testing, which happens a lot. I LOVE the Tarte products (see this makeup post) and I know the only reason they were bought out was so they could get their products out to more people all over the world – nothing else about the company changed. For me, its important to support any brand, big or small, that makes vegan products available to us. My money is still going to them, but I understand when some people are against that.
As far as deciding if a beauty product is non toxic or not, it takes a bit more research. Obviously, if a product is vegan, it tends to be on the more natural side, but it’s still smart to check if you’re unsure about certain ingredients. My go-to resource for this is the Think Dirty app. You either enter in a product or scan the barcode and they give it a toxicity-level rating with easy-to-understand info on the product, the ingredients and cleaner options.
Check all the products you use!
5. Where do you see your blog in 3-5 years, because the blogging world is changing so often?
Love this question! I often dream about where the blog will be in 3-5 years… so much can happen in that timeframe. TGF has followed me throughout every stage in my life and will continue to do so! I still picture myself blogging and sharing plant based recipes for years to come! Since I just turned 28, I dream about having a baby or two in the next 5 or so years, which would mean getting married as well?!!
Yes the blogging world is changing often but that doesn’t scare me because the blog is evolving in it’s own way as well. For food and lifestyle bloggers, more and more brands are starting to recognize the unique opportunity in working with influencers, which is amazing for everyone! Not only bloggers with large followings either, but those with a dedicated readership/page views and significant conversion rates, although I do see it becoming more competitive!
Coming out with my very own product line is a goal and would be a dream come true but for right now, I’m thankful for all opportunities that come my way and am embracing them all while continuing to improve the blog however possible. Still working on the meal plan as well which keeps getting put off… but I do see more ebooks in the future, maybe an actual book as well?!
We shall see!
Leave a comment below with thoughts and questions for the next “Glow Down” post! You can message me on facebook, instagram, snapchat (glowingfridge) or twitter too… you name it, anything goes! I’m trying to build up the community we already have here on TGF so it remains a helpful resource for you guys! It would mean a lot if you sent in questions or thoughts 🙂
Plus, I love reading these on other blogs because they normally answer questions I never even knew I had!