Shopping for Vegan Yogis on Your List

So, you are shopping for a vegan, or a yogi, or a vegan yogi, and you are at a loss. I’ve got a few ideas that might help. I tried to list things from various price ranges, and only listed things that I personally own. I’ll attempt to pop back in and add more as I think of them. Items that were sent to me to review are so noted, but most of these were purchased at list price.

Yogi Surprise Boxes

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This company sent me their surprise boxes to review and I was impressed with how adorable they are, and what good selections were included. There are two options for the box. One contains more beauty, food, wellness, and yoga items. The other is jewelry. These would be great for someone you had no idea how to pick a gift for, but would likely not be appropriate for the male yogi in your life, as some of the beauty items seem to be slanted to women.

Right now, the Yogi Surprise boxes are 10% off. This makes the lifestyle box $39.46 and the jewelry box $22.49. The plan is monthly, but you can cancel at any time.

My Best Friend is a Bag Lindsey Bag

IMG_4005a IMG_4006a IMG_4011aIn the fall, I realized that I needed a black briefcase that was vegan friendly, laptop compatible, and looked professional. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Of course, I also wanted it to be pretty. After quite a bit of searching, I came across a company called My Best Friend is a Bag. While they are located in Australia, one of their bags, in two colors, is available on So, I thought I should try it out!

The Lindsay bag is very pretty, easy to use, spacious enough for every day, and feels like a bag that will last. I took the tassel off of mine because the cats kept pulling over the bag and it was a little big for me. Upon first use, the side magnets didn’t want to hold things closed with the pockets full, but as I’ve used it more and the magnet flaps have loosened, it’s all good!

Not only is the bag pretty and functional, the customer service of MBFiaB is wonderful! I contacted the company because I lost the snap on key fob on my first business trip after receipt (I turned it in with my rental car, DOH!), to see if I could purchase another one. While they didn’t have any to sell, the owner assured me that, when they had a bag return, she would have the key fob sent to me for now charge. Sure enough, she did, and I got it just this week. Very nice! I’m thinking I may also need the red one!

Borsa Bella Bags

I have told you about Borsa Bella Bags before, but let me do it again! This company makes the most adorable fabric bags of all sizes and types. I have a particular weakness for the phone bags and the Catch All bags. If you look at the image taken above of the Lindsay bag, you will see a long zip phone bag and a catch all bag tucked inside!

At the moment, there is even a special going on for the Catch All bags. You need to get some for you and your friends and family for makeup, gadgets, and general stuff!






Crazy Rumors Lip Balm

It can be a little challenging to find vegan lip balm, but Crazy Rumors has you covered, even for funky flavors and tinted balms. They have some fun flavors/scents for the holidays, as well.

Thug Kitchen

Like food? Like the earth? Like your health? Like funny? Not afraid of a little (or a bunch of) profanity? This might be the cookbook for you!

Thug Kitchen is one of the few cookbooks that have ever made me laugh out loud, and I spent an afternoon following my spouse around the house reading him selections. He was thrilled, or… something. The recipes aren’t all super simple, but they don’t involve particularly weird ingredients and those I have tried have been quite good.

Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

No,  you can’t buy the farm as a gift, but you could give a donation in someone’s name and help support the really important work that gets done at the farm. From now until the end of the month, all donations are matched dollar for dollar! Just head over to the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary website and make a donation. You should also look at all the pictures, while you are there, because pigs!

Queen Helene Bath Salts

Who doesn’t like a nice relaxing bath? Some lavender and patchouli bath salts add to the relaxation potential. These Queen Helene salts are vegan friendly and inexpensive. They would make a very nice little stocking stuffer gift!

Delicious Peanut Butters!!!

Peanut Butter & Company has some really delicious peanut butters that any peanut loving vegan would snarf right up. The Dark Chocolate Dreams version is so crazy good that I may (did) eat it with a spoon right out of the container. Oh my! You can check out all of their options at Not all of the version are totally vegan (some have honey), so do read ingredients before purchasing.


Take Your Food to Work Day

Working out of the house, it’s an ongoing challenge for me to figure out how to keep my food intake balanced across the day, so that I don’t get home from work at 6:00 and shove everything that isn’t breathing down my gullet.

I rarely lunch out of the office. Sometimes I’ll bring a lunch (today it is a bed of romaine and arugula topped with red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and tunaught croquettes), but it’s not unusual for me to miss lunch entirely. So, then it’s snacks if I don’t want to be ravenous by quitting time.

Here is a sampling of what my “snack drawer” looks like right now:


As you can see, there is quite a bit of coffee (and espresso pods are just off to the left), some miso soup, pistachios, rice cakes, grits, chocolate, and tea. It’s not the most inspired collection of snacks.

Help me out, readers! What’s in your work snack drawer and why?



Does Your Food Remember?

Dark-Tower-1Flashback Friday! This is a post that I originally wrote for VeganMoFo in 2010. It certainly still applies!

In the Dark Fark Tower series by Stephen King (a set of books that I dearly love), the main character, Roland, frequently extorts his companions – of one era or another – to “remember the face of your father.” In the context of the series, this means that the characters should honor their ancestors by being true to their roots and to their family values. They need to remember from where they came.  (Important note – I have nothing against mothers; I am one.  I’m just working with the quote.)

For me, this phrase constantly comes to mind when I’m thinking about, or talking to people about, the best way to eat. I’m a vegan, so sometimes that means that those I talk to assume that I certainly would eat a very sound diet.  Frequently, where I work, someone sets out cookies or cakes or candy, and then remarks to me, “Of course you don’t eat that kind of stuff,” assuming that my veganism is equal to eschewing all but fruits and veggies. But, being vegan or vegetarian does not, in an of itself, mean eating healthy foods. A vegetarian can eat cheese pizza, chips, and peanut butter cups for every meal. That is all vegetarian, but it sure is not healthy. A vegan can live – for a while, at least – on ramen noodles, pretzels, and Swedish fish. That’s all vegan. But, wow, it is not healthy.

These food items are so processed and so refined that all of the natural nutritional value has pretty much been extracted. They do not remember the face of their fathers. They are so removed from their fathers that it’s crazy.  They don’t even know that they ever had fathers!

The best foods, nutritionally, can remember the face of their fathers. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes – even if they have been a little engineered in the name of mass farming, and even if they aren’t totally organic, and even if we cook them up and add some seasonings and sauces, at least they remain fundamentally in their natural form – they can remember the face of their fathers.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pretzels. I love them. We have a long-term relationship. I’ve been trying to break up with them – again – recently and we are seeing much less of each other. Though I love them, I know that they aren’t giving me anything that I need nutritionally, and when it comes right down to it, they really don’t taste as good as a big bowl of roasted vegetables or some butternut squash risotto. I also really enjoy tofu, and I think it isn’t as bad for you as a lot of things, but it is pretty far from its father, isn’t it?  I’m not a huge sugar fan, but I do once in a while get on a candy or cookie kick. Where is the ancestry there? And there is some food that is marketed specifically for vegans that is a very very long way from remembering its father (I’ll not name any particular items here so as to not cause trauma).

Does your food remember the face of its father?  Should it?  It’s an interesting thing to think about before you take that next bite or plan your next meal.