lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog: vegan living
Showing posts with label vegan living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegan living. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

vegan food review // tattooed mom // philadelphia, pa

We don't typically celebrate Valentine's Day traditionally, so this year we took a day trip up to Philadelphia and went to the Mütter Museum and checked out a great restaurant called Tattooed Mom.
The first thing we noticed was the quirky decor and the excellent atmosphere. We sat at the bar because the restaurant was busy, and the bartender was super friendly and helpful. After taking in the bright colors and all, we tried to figure out if we had a similar place back home to try!
I had the vegan cheese steak (with tomatoes on the side to add because they're my favorite) and we split an order of waffle fries. It was made with local seitan and it was delicious. I'm not usually a "beef" fan, but this was so good! It was seasoned well, juicy, and just damn tasty. Mike had the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich, which was up to par on his spicy scale. All in all, we'd definitely return!


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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

richmond veg fest 2019 // #rvavegfest

Saturday I volunteered with my two best friends at the Richmond Vegetarian Festival! We helped with parking and then walked around the festival and had some amazing vegan food and petted a bunch of adorable puppers (most notably a tiny little nine pound pup who was the cuuuutest).
I was starving by the time our volunteer shift ended, so I started with a sides sampler from Khepra's Raw Food Juice Bar! I loved their kale and one other side, but I have no idea what it was, haha. While I didn't try any juice, definitely check them out if you're in DC! The food is worth it.
Next I tried the vegan mac & cheeze from In the Raw with Soul and GUYS, this stuff was amaaaaaaaaazing. I wish I had tried more from them! They had a surf and turf burger that looked really good, but I didn't see a photo until after I was home! I hope I run into them again sometime.

I had a great time and great food. ♥


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lucky bandit is a for profit blog. I use affiliate links and paid advertisements. I may earn compensation for a click or purchase through a link. Paid (whether via product or monetary) reviews will be noted in the actual post. Though compensation may influence the type of posts, all opinions and reviews will be legitimate and honest.

*All affiliate links will be marked with an asterick.*

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

true food kitchen // mosaic district

Earlier this month, Jess and I had a girls' night and decided to try out True Food Kitchen in the Mosaic District. Since she's dairy free and I eat vegan, it was a great spot for both of us. It was a chilly night, but they had a great looking patio and the interior and atmosphere were great, though a tad crowded. True Food has a great philosophy about food and a rotating seasonal menu that we're going to be sure to check out.

I ordered the Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl and Jess had the Butternut Squash Pizza. Everything tasted fresh and both dishes were delicious. My bowl was filling and had a great mix of veggies. I'm not a huge avocado fan (gasp) but it went really well with everything else. It was a really pleasant meal and I'll definitely be returning!


Monday, October 23, 2017

jason // sea fresh strengthening toothpaste

I started using more natural toothpastes a few years ago and except for the occasional sample I somehow still receive, I've stuck with them. A while back I picked up Jason's Power Smile Gel Toothpaste and liked it, so when I started running low I went back to Marshall's and found this little tube of Sea Fresh Strengthening Toothpaste.

The great thing about Jason toothpastes? They promise no sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, no preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, no saccharin, no propylene glycol, no gluten. Holy moly. Not only do they not have all of those nasties, they're cruelty free and vegan!

Now onto the actual review:

I've been enjoying this toothpaste. Not like brouhaha partying enjoy, but I like the consistency and taste. It's got a tiny smidge of stickiness, but I think it helps it feels like it's working, and as a paste compared to a gel it foams and cleans a little better.

A problem I've had with more natural toothpastes in the past is that I don't feel my mouth is fresh enough. This one though? Minty fresh!

I think I'm going to keep this as my go to toothpaste. You can try it yourself on Amazon, iHerb*, and VeganEssentials.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

vegan food review // Tofurky slow roasted chick'n strips

I decided to pick up these new Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick'n strips to add to a salad we had planned for dinner at my mom's. I wasn't disappointed!

They were super easy to prepare. You just take the wrapped product out of the box, poke a few holes in the plastic packaging, and pop it into the microwave for 60 seconds. The strips aren't packed in a ton of liquid so they don't come out mushy and can even be shredded for things like tacos. You could alternatively cook these in a pan on the stove, which I might opt to do next time.

Texture is usually what stops my buying meat alternatives, but I had no qualms about this! So how was the texture? I didn't feel like I was eating chicken, but it was firm and not rubbery at all. They held up well in salad dressing and had a smoky, full flavor, but were true to the "lightly seasoned" claim. The pieces could easily be broken into smaller pieces, which was nice for a salad. My only complaint is that I put too many pieces on my plate and it became overwhelming after a bit, but I believe that's just my palate. I'd love to try a vegan buffalo chick'n dip with these!

These strips come in four flavors: lightly seasoned, Tandoori, BBQ, and Thai basil.You can find them online at VeganEssentials, but I found them in store for less than four dollars.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

super easy pico de gallo recipe

super easy pico de gallo recipe lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I'll start this post by saying that I don't even like pico de gallo because I can't stand onions, so the raving review I got for this recipe was from a friend. I threw this together without a recipe, but I'll tell you how I made it! An alteration to traditional pico was the addition of garlic - we're garlic fiends around here, so it goes in everything.

Super Easy Pico de Gallo
Yields approximately two cups

12-15 cherry tomatoes, diced
small onion, diced
half a jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
juice of one small lime
half a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together and let it sit for at least an hour so the flavors can marinate. You're done!

I'd never made this before and this is one of those recipes that can be tweaked and ingredients can be added or taken away to your taste. It was easy to make and prep time was only about ten minutes. Try it sometime!


Monday, December 26, 2016

vegan food review: Gardein meatless pepperoni pizza pockets

In one of the cruelty free beauty groups I'm in on Facebook, someone mentioned that Gardein has some pocket type meals. Then I noticed that there were meatless pepperoni pizza pockets and I immediately started looking for them.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I found them! They're certified vegan, quick to heat up, and delicious! Typically I'm not a big faux meat fan, but the texture of the pepperoni wasn't bad at all, nor did the pockets have that gummy textured cheese.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

I keep them in the freezer at work for quick lunches as they only take less than two minutes to heat. They have great flavor and are pretty filling. The sodium is a tad high, but not terrible, and they don't have much sugar. I'd highly recommend these.

If you've been looking for a tasty vegan pocket meal, go find these!


Friday, September 02, 2016

my latest beauty favorites

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Swissco Ultimate Vent Brush in Large // Hairbrushes have never been a thing of importance to me. They keep my long ass hair from becoming a matted mess, but beyond that? Nah. Growing up I used paddle brushes and there was that one time my cousin got a round brush so tangled in my hair it had to be cut out, but other than that I never put any thought into how I brushed my hair. UNTIL NOW! Swissco's Ultimate Vent Brush is AMAZING! I no longer look at hairbrushes the same.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Pacifica's Indian Coconut Nectar Roll On Perfume  // So good. I feel like I'm on a tropical island when I use this. It comes in a glass vial, so I'm a little hesitant to carry it in my purse, but I love it.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

Hurraw Lip Balm in Grapefruit // I don't like eating grapefruit, but I love them in everything else. Luckily I can get Hurraw at my local Wegman's, and this stuff is awesome. It covers well without being heavy or sticky.

lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion // I have dark spots from acne and this lotion really helps lighten them and even out my complexion. I use it at night after I cleanse and before I moisturize. I can see a difference in a few days and that's awesome compared to the many other dark spot correcting products I've used.

I'd love to know your favorites - leave your links in the comments! ♥


Friday, July 29, 2016

TaDah Foods falafel wrap review

On my grocery run to Target, I spotted a new line of products when I was checking out the meatless section. Then I saw the word falafel and knew I had to try out TaDah Foods' wraps. I picked up the Lemony Roasted Garlic Hummus option. Those are all of my favorite things!

tadah foods wrap review lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

tadah foods wrap review lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

The wrap was really good. In a quick minute and forty five seconds, it's ready to eat! I prefer quickly heated items when I take lunch to work. The best part? They're 100% all natural, vegan, and the tortilla is non-gmo. At $3.99 each, they're a bit pricey, but it was more than enough for my meal and I actually couldn't finish it all in one sitting. There was only one true con for me and that was the sodium count - it was a bit higher than I like, but it didn't reflect a lot in the taste.

If you're looking for a quick lunch option, definitely check these out!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

8 easy ways to be more health conscious

I am in no way a health expert or physician - always consult with your primary care doctor before making any lifestyle or diet changes.

Keeping your health in mind can be hard. Really hard, depending on your lifestyle. Here are eight tips for easy ways to be more health conscious.

8 easy ways to be more health conscious lucky bandit blog katelyn carter

1. Always ask for water. // Not only are sodas expensive, they're bad for you! If you're out at a restaurant, always ask for water. Jazz it up with a lemon or lime wedge. If you're traveling, bring a Nalgene bottle and refill it at the water fountain (always ask before filling a personal bottle through the soda fountain's water option). If you must, purchase a large bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

2. Avoid added sugars. // The average human body needs zero sugar intake in a day. Your body produces all the sugar it needs. However, almost any food you buy has added sugars. By simply looking for products that state "no added sugar" or "no sugar added", you can cut down on a lot. You'll still get natural sugars (such as in fruit, starches), but a lot of times with natural sugars, you get other benefits that outweigh the sugar.

3. Take snacks with you. // As a trucker's daughter, I grew up on the road. I can eat an entire meal of gas station food. I've learned, though, that not every gas station offers healthier options. The fix? Take your own snacks! You know what you're eating when you have a snack stash in the car. If you raided my car at any moment, you can find Nature's Bakery fig bars, pretzels, and healthy snacks. If you keep a box of something in your car (obviously depending on the weather), you'll always have something for when that 2pm candy bar craving hits!

4. Take the stairs. // I hate stairs. They are the bane of my existence. But I take them whenever possible, because though I feel like I'm going to die when I get to the top, I've given my heart a little mini workout. By walking just a few extra steps a day, your body is better for it. Now obviously I'm not going to take stairs to the fifteenth floor, but the three flights I walk at school helps. Park a couple parking spaces farther at the store, walk three blocks instead of taking a car, or walk down the strip mall instead of moving your vehicle.

5. If you can't pronounce it, don't put it on your skin. // What you put on your skin (including shampoo!), is absorbed into your skin (sometimes up to 60+%!) Be very careful with ingredients. Here's an article from the Huffingpost that has some great guidelines on products. If you're really interested in eliminating harmful chemicals, do lots of research!

6. If you're not a gymrat, try classes of something or download a video. // I have no motivation to workout, nor do I want my inexperience with working out to be broadcasted at a gym while I'm struggling on a machine or clomping on a treadmill. So I take classes. I practice yoga for both the health benefits and the spiritual benefits, and this can be done in the comfort of your own home with online guided classes, Youtube videos, or a DVD. If you have an appointment to keep (and potentially money) tied up in something, you're more likely to do it. Exercising is important, but time constraints and motivation sometimes get in the way, but doing little things is better than being a couch potato all the time. Even a class once a week will keep your mind on being healthy.

7. Talk health with a friend occasionally. // You know how reading a health article, making a New Year's resolution, or eating a really yummy salad put you in the "healthy" mood? Sometimes just talking about being healthy can do the same thing. My mom and I talk about nutrition a lot (she's a nurse and nutrition is a passion of mine), and every time we do it spurs me to buy more vegetables or more nonGMO items. Even if this only changes one or two meals or workouts a week, that's more than last week!

8. Partake in Meatless Monday. // My personal views aside, meat can cause health issues. But here's the thing, you don't have to give up all of your diet choices. Just participate in Meatless Monday! Not only are you helping your body, you're helping animals and the environment. Small steps!

You don't have to drop everything and revamp your lifestyle to be healthier. It's all about slowly making changes that you'll stick with. And don't get me wrong - I love junk food and being a couch potato as much as the next person, but being healthier can prevent costly problems down the road!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

iHerb mini haul

iherb mini haul vegan lucky bandit blog

I recently discovered iHerb and I was amazed at the massive selection! There's tons of natural, organic, cruelty free, and/or vegan items! I didn't start shopping with anything specific in mind, so I didn't order a ton of stuff. However, I did order some things I'd never heard of or had been on my list of "things to get eventually".

Source Naturals Vegan True Melatonin // I've had trouble sleeping for what seems like forever. I'm tired of taking sleep aids (which are basically Benadryl), so I'm going to give melatonin a try.

Merry Hempsters Vegan Spearmint Lip Balm // Since I announced that I've been having trouble finding vegan lip balm (I swear there isn't any in any stores near me), I've kind of gone on a lip balm buying rampage. So far, though, I really like this! It's minty but not overly so, and it soaks in well and stays put.

TheraNeem Naturals Lotion // I need more lotion like I need a hole in the head, but at $1.20 for the bottle, I couldn't help but give it a try.

If you've never tried iHerb, if you use the code TNZ430 at checkout, you'll get $5 off and I'll get $5! It's a win-win.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

cruelty free & vegan beauty wishlist

CF & vegan wishlist

I want to start off this post by saying I'm still going through a lot of non-cruelty free and vegan beauty and personal care products. I used to coupon regularly a few years ago before I bought cruelty free and vegan products, so I have quite the stash. I wouldn't purchase them again, but I'm not going to waste them, either.

With that said, I'm still building up my cruelty free and vegan products. I find a lot at Marshall's and Ross, but there's some I can only find at Ulta, at stores a bit too far away to drop in regularly, and online. Here are some that I've been lusting after - and will hopefully be able to make room for in my stash soon!

Andalou Naturals Aloe & Willow Bark Pore Minimizer // I desperately need a pore minimizer. I've tried Andalou Naturals deep conditioner on my hair and I love it, so I thought I'd try more of their products. try

Pacifica Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mineral Mascara in Supernova // I reaaaally want to try new types of vegan mascara. Pacifica's is infused with coconut oil, so it's worth a shot. try

Hurraw Coffee Bean Lip Balm // This is described as a coffee-choco flavor. That alone sold me. My local Wegman's carries Hurraw balms, but I have yet to get over there to pick some up. I've been having a hard time finding vegan lip balms, so I might place an order for some. try

Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in Beach Vibes // I've really been loving the greige trend and this nail polish doesn't disappoint. It's a big pricey, but I've heard good things about Trust Fund. try

Lunatick Cosmetic Labs Supernatural Palette // It's in the shape of a coffin. And it has a bat. Not only does that have me in love, but the colors are pretty and goes right along with my go-to colors. try

Lush Superbalm Scalp Treatment // I've always had a super itchy, dry scalp. Gross, I know. I've tried almost everything. Coconut oil helps, but I'd like to try more targeted treatments, and this one tops the list. try

This is just the beginning of my wishlist, but I didn't think having seventy items would be fun to read. Do you have any products you'd like to try?

Sunday, December 06, 2015

vegan tacos & leftover taco bowls

vegan tacos leftover taco bowls lucky bandit blog

A few nights ago I made cabinet tacos. Super easy. Grab stuff from your cabinet, prepare it  and then my favorite part: MAKE TACOS AND STUFF YOUR FACE! I pick up most of my taco supplies when I have Cartwheel deals and coupons. It's a quick and cheap dinner that's almost always on hand if you pick up things when you pass them.

Gardein Beefless Ground cooked in a pan with chili & garlic powder (25% off deal on Cartwheel!)
refried beans (25% off deal on Cartwheel!)
multi-grain tortillas
Tofutti sour cream (leftover from making party dip!)
cherry tomatoes
Badia chipotle sauce

The best part? Leftovers! I'm a huge fan of leftovers. Sometimes I prefer them. Well, with tacos, the leftovers are so easy to take to work the next day: taco bowls!

Omit the tortilla, throw your leftover ingredients in a bowl, top it with sauce, and TA DA! Lunch.

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 simple ways to go green

7 simple ways to go green katelyn carter

How green are you? I think almost all of us produce a little more waste than we should. We're human, we make mistakes, we live in a world with a lot of trash. BUT there are lots of little simple things you can do to reduce your impact on Mother Earth. Here are seven simple ways to get a little greener:

1. Recycle.
Of course recycling makes it on this list, but think about it - almost everything can be recycled! I try to only buy products that are recyclable or don't have much waste. We keep a little bin next to our trashcan so there's no extra step - it's either trash or recyclable, and all in one place! It's so much easier to remember with a bright green tub staring you in the face. If you don't have a streamlined catch-all recycling bin like we do, be sure to separate your items by type when you drop them off - some recycling centers have strict rules.

2. Opt out of a plastic bag.
Do you really need a bag to carry your candy bar and soda (or maybe apple and water if you tend to go the healthy route) from the gas station to the car? How about when you're just picking up bread from the grocery store? No. Save that waste! Grocery bags never biodegrade and end up killing a lot of wildlife. Turtles frequently mistake floating plastic bags as jellyfish, eat them, and choke to death. Keep reusable bags in your car, by the front door, in your locker at school or work, and you can even pick up small collapsible bags for your purse! When you're picking out vegetables and fruits, those priced per piece don't need bags. You're going to wash them anyway, right? If your veggie choice is per pound, you can grab some of these reusable produce bags. If you're having trouble remembering your reusable bags, you can get a FREE static cling from Conserving Now to stick on your car window so you remember.

3. Cut back on meat intake - participate in Meatless Mondays.
I'm not going to put "go vegan" on this list - it's presumptuous. Not everyone can or wants to go vegan. However, factory farming is one of the largest negative impacts on the environment, and cutting back on meat, dairy, and egg consumption can help! You don't have to cut out animal products altogether (though that would be great!), but participating in Meatless Monday can really help your health and the environment! If you are interested in going vegan, always do your research for a well balanced diet.

4. Go digital with magazines and books.
First let me say that I am a HUGE fan of holding an actual, tangible book. I like physically turning the pages. With that said, I do try to buy a percentage of my books on my Nook. You don't even need an actual Nook if you have a smartphone/tablet or laptop - you can get the Kindle and NOOK apps for free. If you still love getting your magazines in the mail, remember you can recycle them! :)

5. Turn off lights, adjust your thermostat, and check your windows and doors.
When you leave a room, turn off the lights. Don't turn the air conditioner below 72 degrees or the heat above 65 degrees. Turn off the thermostat completely and open the windows when the weather is mild. Not only do these simple little tasks get ingrained into habits quickly, they save you money. Check your windows and doors for leaks when your thermostat is on - that's valuable cooled or heated air you could be losing! You know when your mother used to yell "ARE WE HEATING THE OUTDOORS?!" - well, are you? The squirrels are used to it - they don't need air conditioning!

6. Unsubscribe to junk mail.
I love getting mail, but in the end I've realized that junk mail sucks. It's of no use and just gives the potential to spend money. There are websites that claim to unsubscribe you from catalogs and junk mail, but many take six weeks or more to contact a company and have you removed. Majority of the time there is a number on the catalog/junk mail that you can call. Simply say you are calling to unsubscribe, and the person on the line should be able to help you and process your request much quicker than the websites.

7. Use your appliances wisely.
Only wash completely full loads of laundry (but don't pack them in - you can set your washer off balance). If you have a dryer, this tip applies in the opposite fashion - drip dry your clothes whenever possible. We have a clothesline in our laundry room that I hang the majority of our clothes on to dry. Anything that is needed immediately goes in the dryer. Sometimes I can fit three loads of laundered, dryable clothes in the dryer on one cycle instead of three! Not using the dryer greatly lengthens the life of your clothes, too! If you have a dishwasher, always completely fill it before you start it. It saves soap and energy. If you have a habit of leaving the television on when you fall asleep, set the timer! It will cut off after you fall asleep and you'll save those hours of energy used.

These are just a few tips, but there are hundreds more ways you can go green! Remember - every little bit helps. Don't beat yourself up if you toss your soda bottle, or if you leave a light on when you go to the store. It's about progress, not perfection!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

vegan cuts box - may

second vegan cuts snack box
I got my second Vegan Cuts box last week! I was really anticipating it this month. There were lots of goodies! (And I'm gonna be honest - I was most anticipating those ranch chips!)

Last month's box, food wise, has a couple things I haven't tried yet, just because I don't normally eat them. This month, though - I think I'm gonna devour most of this pretty soon.

vegan cuts snack box

I'm gonna be honest - I don't like olives. And yes, I've had them. I just tried one about a week ago at the restaurant where I moonlight - I couldn't get over the texture. I want to love olives. I really do.

I'm not sure how the lemon fig bar will be. I normally only eat lemon/lemon flavored anything in the form of fresh lemons in my water, but I'll give it a shot.

Since it's been 90+ degrees almost every day here in Virginia, I'm probably going to wait for one of those rainy weeks to use the Jiva hot chocolate.

We've finally gotten our stove wired, so I can start making dinner! I'm going to make tacos pretty soon, so the Meatless Select Vegetarian Taco Meat is perfect!

And more spread! I've been wanting to get some mini bagels to try all my spread samples on - this month's sounds delicious!

vegan cuts snack box

I am a potato chip fanatic. I cannot wait to get into these ranch chips from Beanfield! I'm a little leery of the kale and chia chips, just because they're not normally something I would buy, but I do love kale, so they should be great.

vegan cuts snack box

We love pizza in this house, so the pizza dough is going to work out great! I might make some homemade sauce and venture out for some veggie cheese - I can't wait!

The Jyoti snack mix looks pretty yummy - I'm thinking I might settle down with a good book and snack on it.

So there's this month's box! I'm sure I'll have more mini reviews on my Instagram when I finally delve into these awesome products.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

my first vegan cuts box

my first vegan cuts box katelyn carter lucky bandit
Monday I got my first Vegan Cuts snack box! I was so excited. I have a hard time finding products specifically targeting the vegan audience (or new and exciting products, period) - our area hasn't really gotten with the program yet. My solution? Have those products sent to me!

First, let me explain the box a little. For $19.95 a month, you can have a box sent to you that's full of vegan goodies! And no, this isn't a "if you click on the links, I get credit toward a box" posts. I just think this is a really good idea and wanted to share it! It's a great opportunity to try new and existing products before you buy full size.

Since this is my first box, I didn't know what to expect. All the goodies looked so good, and I really can't wait to try out the Numi Tea in Tomato Mint! It's such a bizarre sounding flavor, but I think it'll be great. The protein blend looks pretty awesome, too, so I'm gonna blend that up one morning with some bananas and strawberries! I'd never heard of the other products, but incorporating more animal free items into my routine is always welcome.

The thing I was most excited about was this:

my first vegan cuts box katelyn carter lucky bandit

The BNTO canning jar lunchbox adaptor! These were included with all the boxes last month when I decided to sign up (and I'm gonna be honest - this and the $15 Vega credit were a large part of why I decided to go for it) and I was so excited. I've wanted one of these for a while, because ain't nobody got time to fish two plastic containers and lids out of the cabinet for veggies and dip.

So there you have it! My first box!