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Evolve Skin Vegan Deodorant Review & Giveaway!

Hello everyone! It’s time for a giveaway & you’ll definitely want to enter this! 

One of the main questions I get is "Who makes a cruelty-free, natural-based, deodorant that actually works?" And up until recently I had a handful of less than confident answers. I’m not exaggerating when I say, I’ve tried them all. Some have worked better than others. Some haven’t worked at all. Trial & error is expensive & frustrating. I finally thought I’d found my winner, until I got to the end of the stick, & then experienced & unsightly rash. It turns out it wasn’t only me….my Mom had the same experience. Bummer, back to the drawing board! But, just as I was about ready to throw in the towel, & resigning to be either a stinky, sweaty mess, I got a message on facebook from Evolve Skin, LLC asking if I would review their "best selling" deodorant. Willing to try anything, I jumped at the chance. The worst that could happen is that I’d be let down, again. But I was used to that kind of defeat, so why not? Bring it on!

After reading the product description, I had really high hopes: 

About Evolve Skin “Tickle Stick” Vegan Deodorant ~

Moisturizing, organic virgin-coconut oil has lauric acid that kills odor-causing bacteria. Organic, GMO-free cornstarch helps to absorbs perspiration. Sodium bicarbonate raises the pH level, making the underarm area less friendly to odor causing bacteria. Our special essential oil blend is antiseptic, anti-fungal, & antibacterial helping to combat odor while leaving a light, fresh scent. Vegan candelilla wax helps to provide long lasting protection while giving the busy-bees a break!

Sounds great, right? If only it works!

I received a small sample in the mail & skeptically I applied it, & off I went to a full day of yoga teacher training. If there ever was a time to put a deodorant to the test! After morning practice outdoors on the bay, I did a whiff test. All good. Odor free & relatively dry…but there were many more hours yet to come. As the day went by I’d swipe & sniff, discreetly, of course, & to my surprise & delight, I was still dry & surprisingly fresh. And by the end of the day, I was convinced. This stuff works! After several days of use - long work days, yoga teacher training weekends, afternoon hikes, etc., this deodorant passed test after test, & never caused any discomfort or irritation. Hip, hip hooray. 

CLAIMS: This soft solid deodorant will change your mind about natural deodorants. This is not an antiperspirant & therefore will not clog pores. This aluminum-free deodorant safely absorbs into your skin & kills odors on contact. Feel confident knowing you are protected naturally, using a product that is earth & animal-friendly! 

INGREDIENTS: Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Sodium Bicarbonate, Organic Cornstarch, Candelilla Wax, Essential Oil Blend

PROS: All natural ingredients. Handmade in small batches. Recycled packaging. Cruelty-free. Vegan Friendly. Subtle scent. Smooth & creamy texture. Highly effective. It really works! 

CONS: None for me. However, some people may have a sensitivity to sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). If irritation occurs, discontinue use. I have experienced painful breakouts & irritation with other vegan deodorants, but this was actually very soothing for my skin.

THE VERDICT: I loved the sample so much, I bought a full size tube. Like I said, it kept me fresh & dry even through the hot summer months & long & active days of yoga teacher training, & did not cause irritation. I also love that it is handmade, vegan & eco friendly. It’s important to me to support local &/or small artisan businesses! This is my new favorite deodorant. 

So, who wants a "Tickle Stick Vegan Deodorant" of their very own? I am so excited for you to try it & am so confident that you will love it as much as I do, so I’ve teamed up with Evolve Skin to giveaway a "Tickle Stick" to one lucky reader! Follow the steps below & enter to win! The contest open to US residents only. 

~~ENTER NOW!!~~

 a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Good luck! The winner will be announced on October 8th. In the meantime, check out Evolve Skin’s entire line of handmade, cruelty-free products ~ body lotions, scrubs, mists & more. Shop the main site, or shop through their Etsy Shop. Be sure to follow Evolve Skin on facebook to stay up-to-date on all of their beautiful handmade offerings, holiday season is coming up! 

Vegan Pumpkin Round-up

Awww yeah, let pumpkin season begin! These all look delicious. 

Mmmmmm, mmmmm…what to make, bake & devour? 

Saint Francis Organics IndieGoGo Campaign

I wanted to give you guys a little preview of a wonderful brand that I will be reviewing soon! Saint Francis Organics is a manufacturer of organic personal care & cleaning products. That is what they do, but they believe it is why they do it that is most important: 

We produce these products because we believe the good health of humans impacts the good health of the environment, which impacts the overall health of the world. We want to be part of the detoxing solution by making products with natural, organic ingredients & absolutely no harsh, synthetic chemicals. Our products are vegan, gluten-free, safe for septic & gray water systems, & we never test on animals.

Saint Francis Organics is gearing up for the launch a new line of NSF Certified & USDA Organic body, hair & baby formulations over the next couple of months. All of the products are going through the 8-12 week NSF certification process (QAI) now, & NSF facial & cleaning lines will launch in the second quarter of 2015.

In preparation for these product launches, Saint Francis Organics started an IndieGoGo Campaign on September 29, & it is already going strong! Through the campaign perks you can try a variety of their current products to see what they’re all about, & I am pretty sure you will fall in love! With the help of conscious consumers like us, Saint Francis Organics will soon be able to launch the next generation of NSF organic products. But they need our support! Unlike many of our favorite brands who have “sold out” to parent companies that do not share the same values, Saint Francis Organics has stayed away from large investors who want to take control of decision making, & ultimately affect the integrity of the brand. So please, take a moment to watch the heartfelt video, make a contribution if it calls to you, give their products a try, & help spread the word.

Our skin is our largest organ, so what we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put into our bodies. Let’s help Saint Francis Organics help carry out their mission of developing healthy alternatives that are free of harmful chemicals to use everyday on our hair & skin, & in our households.

Please visit their IndieGoGo Campaign to view the perks, make a contribution & learn more. And stay tuned for a product review!

Farm Sanctuary Benefit Brunch with Katie’s Healing Kitchen

A few weekends ago I had the exciting opportunity to photograph my talented chef friend Katie’s pop-up vegan brunch, benefiting the 2014 San Diego Walk for Farm Animals.It was absolutely delicious & for a wonderful cause! 

On the menu: 

  • Organic fair-trade coffee with coconut creamer, green tea, & citrus mimosas
  • Banana-nut Muffins
  • End of Summer Parfaits with Coconut Yogurt, Chia Pudding, Local Peaches & Housemade Granola
  • Lentil Mushroom Tacos
  • Raw Strawberry Acai Cheesecake

Yum! So much goodness. I’ve got a full recap & review & am sharing the "Banana Nut Muffin" recipe over at Vegenista’s Kitchen

If you are local to San Diego & have not come to one of Katie’s events, I encourage you to sign up for her newsletter so you can get up-to-date announcements, as they sell out fast! Katie has some classes coming up soon at Great News, & her next pop-up, although not yet formally announced, will be a dinner on October 26th. So come on out!

And in the meantime, now that fall has officially arrived, put on your oven mitts & get baking.

The Vegan Cuts Fashion Guide
Happy Fall everyone! Yaaaaay! I love this time of year. Time to start getting warm & cozy, bust out the scarves & boots, eat lots of sweet potatoes, drink lots of pumpkin rooibus tea!
Wanna put your most compassionate & fashionable foot forward this season? Vegan Cuts has joined forces with the ultra-hip expert Ashlee Piper of The Little Foxes to create this "Vegan Fashion Guide.”

Wondering how fashion that’s harmful to animals is often harmful to humans as well? Our section on the impact of fashion is a must-read. Convinced that vegan is the way but not sure what fabrics to avoid when shopping or what to do with your pre-enlightened purses & pumps? Print out our pocket guide to fabrics that are more harmful than hip, our tips for veganizing your wardrobe, & our directory of stores that share our vegan values. What you’ve happened upon is a snapshot of modern vegan fashion. Join us as we bust through some of the longstanding stereotypes & show the world how far vegan fashion has come.
Buying from vegan-friendly artisans & entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to show not-yet-vegans that it’s possible to look so very haute without harm. 
Happy shopping!

This glossy guide is full of helpful information, resources, discounts, & of course, tons of fashion inspiration. It was so exciting to see some of my favorite brands represented.  
From reasons why to veganize your wardrobe to where to shop for the hottest vegan pieces, you’re not going to want to miss this guide & you can download your FREE copy here!

The Vegan Cuts Fashion Guide

Happy Fall everyone! Yaaaaay! I love this time of year. Time to start getting warm & cozy, bust out the scarves & boots, eat lots of sweet potatoes, drink lots of pumpkin rooibus tea!

Wanna put your most compassionate & fashionable foot forward this season? Vegan Cuts has joined forces with the ultra-hip expert Ashlee Piper of The Little Foxes to create this "Vegan Fashion Guide.”

Wondering how fashion that’s harmful to animals is often harmful to humans as well? Our section on the impact of fashion is a must-read. Convinced that vegan is the way but not sure what fabrics to avoid when shopping or what to do with your pre-enlightened purses & pumps? Print out our pocket guide to fabrics that are more harmful than hip, our tips for veganizing your wardrobe, & our directory of stores that share our vegan values. What you’ve happened upon is a snapshot of modern vegan fashion. Join us as we bust through some of the longstanding stereotypes & show the world how far vegan fashion has come.

Buying from vegan-friendly artisans & entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to show not-yet-vegans that it’s possible to look so very haute without harm. 

Happy shopping!

This glossy guide is full of helpful information, resources, discounts, & of course, tons of fashion inspiration. It was so exciting to see some of my favorite brands represented.  

From reasons why to veganize your wardrobe to where to shop for the hottest vegan pieces, you’re not going to want to miss this guide & you can download your FREE copy here!

LOVELIKEBEER Announces Latest Menu Series Collaboration!

Hot of the press, San Diego’s LOVELIKEBEER has announced their latest installment of the Menu Series.” LLB created this project to deliver full-time access to some of the culinary creations for which the vegan pop-up charity beer dinners are known.  

You may remember my announcement for last July’s addition to the Monkey Paw menu, the scrumptious "Mumbai Monkey Sandwich" paired with the refreshing Lemon Balm & Mint Saison,” which continues to be a fan fave & generate donations to Ferdinand’s Familia All Species Animal Rescue, one of my favorite places in town!

Finally, more than a year later (time flies), they’re unveiled their third & latest collaboration with Tacos Perlaa new & exciting restaurant concept in North Park, that serves up delicious traditional & non-traditional street tacos, with vegan options already available.  As part of San Diego’s LWP Group, the taco shop also has an existing association with a charitable organization through LWP’s "Community Gives" project, whose mission is to support the traditions & enhance the quality of life in San Diego’s urban communities by providing greater access to education, arts & culture.

As for the beer pairing, after sampling a variety of different beers, they decided that the Mike Hess Brewing "Vienna Cream Ale" was a perfect companion for the vibrant taco, & it is quite fitting that the beer pays homage to the spanish word “Gracias.”

I had the opportunity to preview the pairing last weekend, along with a few other vegan items on the menu, & let me tell you….you’re gonna wanna get all over this, stat!

The taco filling is a play on the Mexican “Chilorio” which traditionally consists of pork or chicken, but made vegan here with the help of Beyond Meat, & “meat” is marinated in a rich & earthy ancho chile sauce. It is absolutely delicious. Beyond Meat is really something else & almost a little too like chicken for my comfort zone. The omnivore at the table said he never would’ve know it was vegan if he hadn’t been told. I’ve had a few Beyond Meat experienced where I had to be reassured more than once that what I was eating was vegan! Back to the delicious taco…it’s topped with crunchy nopales, & a bright fresh salsa of radish, parsley, capers, & cinnamon - such a unique flavor combination. I love the warmth of the cinnamon, it adds just a little preview of fall! Top off the taco with one of Taco’s Perlas signature house made salsas & BOOM ~ flavor extravaganza! Oh & speaking of “house made” the tortillas are freshly made in house as well, adding to the overall freshness of the dish. The paired beer was smooth & refreshing, with its subtle layers of vanilla, caramel, & malt, bridging each bite along with a delicate hop finish.

So when can you experience this for yourselves? They’re having a shindig on Sep’t 25th! Here are the deets, yo!

LOVELIKEBEER Menu Series Pairing No. 3

  • Dish: Vegan Chilorio Taco w/ fresh salsa of radish, parsley, capers & cinnamon
  • Beer Pairing: Mike Hess Brewing Grazias Vienna Cream Ale
  • Charity: Community Gives
  • Venue: Tacos Perla - North Park
  • Begins: Thursday, Sept 25th, 5pm

Of course, this dish will be available any time after the launch, so not to worry, you won’t miss out. But LOVELIKEBEER loves to party with their people, so come on out & support awesome vegan food & a great cause! RSVP & get more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/873299656015264/

Hope to see you!

(Photos courtesy of Justin Barrow, for LOVELIKEBEER)

Late Summer Cooling Kitchari

Summer just can’t seem to quit us here in sunny San Diego. It was 100 degrees in my neighborhood, & I do not have a/c. The pug & I have been laying low, & trying to stay cool. 

Lucky for us, Ayurveda offers many ways to keep balanced with the seasons - through the right foods, drinks, self care routines, yoga, breath work & more. As summer is the season for "Pitta" this unwavering heat can increase aggression, irritability, & inflammation, making these hot temperatures that much more unbearable. 

Today over at Vegenista’s Kitchen, I am offering up some tips to help keep you cool, calm & collected until this crazy heat wave passes. I’ve also got a brand new "Cooling Summer Kitchari" recipe made with the right combination of cooling, bitter, astringent & sweet tastes to help balance out the body, & help you shed any excess  Pitta “heat” that has accumulated within. 

This recipe, along with a few other tips should help you to ride out this heat wave cool, calm & collected. 

Quinoa, Black Bean & Soyrizo Stuffed Peppers

Happy Friday! Who is ready for the weekend? I sure am & it’s gonna be a hot one here in So Cal. Fall is near & I am ready for sweater, boot & scarf weather, chai tea lattes & kabocha squash! But until then, we have a few more weeks at least of sandals, shorts, & sunnies. The last of summer’s produce is arriving at the markets & there is still time to make use of sweet corn, eggplant, zucchini & peppers.

If you are looking for a way to dish up the last of your peppers, I’ve got a new recipe over at Vegenista’s Kitchen. I took the red & green peppers from my latest CSA share & filled them with a spicy mixture of black beans, quinoa, soyrizo, cilantro & melty vegan cheese & they are absolutely delicious! Enjoy :) 

Chickpea Fall Issue

My absolute favorite vegan quarterly magazine, Chickpea, is out with their latest seasonal issue & it’s beautiful! Please help keep indie media alive by supporting this artisan quality zine. Read more about it below…

chickpea-magazine:

Our fall issue, the biggest issue we’ve put together yet, our lucky 13th issue, is out today!

A few features: veganizing your 9-5, rejecting the boy’s club, DIY bouillon, harvesting sea salt in south korea, cold-weather spices, mushroom hunting, practicing self-care, camping kits, exploring NYC through the eyes of NYC chefs, and much much more.

This was a major labor of love but think you guys will love it even more than we do.

See more about it here.
Buy it (in print or in digital!) here.
Submit something for our next issue (deadline 9/8!)

Roadtrip to Napa??? Oh Hells Yes! 
vegansaurus:

Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour!
If you are in NYC, Nashville, Chicago, or Napa, you NEED TO GO. Here are the details from the (talented, brilliant, lovely) maniac herself:

I’m going on tour! NYC, Nashville, Chicago and Napa. I’ll be preparing a 4-course dinner on stage at City Winery, while telling the story of each dish. You’ll be eating a 4-course dinner with wine pairings. Part dinner theater, part pyrotechnic arena rock, part Borscht-belt comedy. The menu is “to be announced” but you can bet it will be amazing and since you are about to ask, there will be gluten-free options. And brussel sprouts. And cheesecake. And a few super swanky things. From my early years in Brooklyn just learning how to make my own curries, to my life in Omaha, opening a restaurant and trying to perfect a tofu cheesecake, these recipes will tell the story of my vegan life. How I went from a little girl who loved cats to a woman who has sold a million cookbooks (something like that, who’s counting?) But you’ll also learn about the intriguing properties of coconut oil, the secrets to achieving perfect grill-marks, how to make eggs out of anything and the fastest, easiest way to mince a lot of garlic. And don’t worry, no matter where you are sitting you won’t miss a thing, because there will be video screens showing the action on my cutting board. There are more details at the ticket links below. These are advanced VIP tickets, at a reduced rate, with the best seats, so snag ‘em now with the top secret ticket code “VEGANARY.”Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, and I can’t wait to feed you!PS There won’t actually be any pyrotechnics, I’m sorry!LINKS:Use ticket code: VEGANARYNYC - February 1st 2015http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/isalive020115.htmlNashville - February 4th 2015http://www.citywinery.com/nashville/isalive020415.htmlChicago - February 6th 2015http://www.citywinery.com/chicago/tickets/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-2-6.htmlNapa - February 8th 2015http://www.citywinery.com/napa/catalog/product/view/id/702999/s/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-a-live-cooking-tour-featuring-vegan-culinary-star-isa-moskowitz-2-8/

Roadtrip to Napa??? Oh Hells Yes! 

vegansaurus:

Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour! Isa is going on tour!

If you are in NYC, Nashville, Chicago, or Napa, you NEED TO GO. Here are the details from the (talented, brilliant, lovely) maniac herself:

I’m going on tour! NYC, Nashville, Chicago and Napa. I’ll be preparing a 4-course dinner on stage at City Winery, while telling the story of each dish. You’ll be eating a 4-course dinner with wine pairings. Part dinner theater, part pyrotechnic arena rock, part Borscht-belt comedy. The menu is “to be announced” but you can bet it will be amazing and since you are about to ask, there will be gluten-free options. And brussel sprouts. And cheesecake. And a few super swanky things. 

From my early years in Brooklyn just learning how to make my own curries, to my life in Omaha, opening a restaurant and trying to perfect a tofu cheesecake, these recipes will tell the story of my vegan life. How I went from a little girl who loved cats to a woman who has sold a million cookbooks (something like that, who’s counting?) But you’ll also learn about the intriguing properties of coconut oil, the secrets to achieving perfect grill-marks, how to make eggs out of anything and the fastest, easiest way to mince a lot of garlic. And don’t worry, no matter where you are sitting you won’t miss a thing, because there will be video screens showing the action on my cutting board. 

There are more details at the ticket links below. These are advanced VIP tickets, at a reduced rate, with the best seats, so snag ‘em now with the top secret ticket code “VEGANARY.”

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, and I can’t wait to feed you!

PS There won’t actually be any pyrotechnics, I’m sorry!

LINKS:
Use ticket code: VEGANARY

NYC - February 1st 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/newyork/isalive020115.html

Nashville - February 4th 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/nashville/isalive020415.html

Chicago - February 6th 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/chicago/tickets/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-2-6.html

Napa - February 8th 2015
http://www.citywinery.com/napa/catalog/product/view/id/702999/s/isa-live-a-vegan-life-in-four-courses-a-live-cooking-tour-featuring-vegan-culinary-star-isa-moskowitz-2-8/