5 Reasons to be a Vegan Beauty This Week!

By Kelly Behr 

Native Foods Cafe


I have written about Vegan Cuts before, in fact …the founder, Jill Pyle, was one of our In the Spotlight newsletter guests back in December. 

My friend was asking me about non-food related vegan products the other day… like how do you tell if something is vegan without them outright telling you? Well, that can be tricky as cosmetics use a lot of different ingredients that might not always be as easy to identify as a food label. 

I always reccomend doing research ahead of time. Vegan Cuts has made this process very simple. My friend's question had me heading over to their site and thought I would share some of the great beauty products I have learned about from them. 


1.) Mascara

Native Foods uses this image courtesy of vegancuts.com

This might be one of the harder items to find that is guarenteed 100% vegan, so for this cosmetic bag staple I definitely reccomend doing your research. It might take a few trys to find one you like, I know how people like their mascara a certain way! I have been meaning to try this one. I love Glam Natural's glosses so I can imagine I would like this product too. 


2.) Lip Gloss 

Speaking of..

Native Foods uses this image courtesy of vegancuts.com

This is a good gloss in my opinon, it comes in several colors and is a great way to give your lips a quick boost and a slight bit of color. 


3.) Eye-Shadow


Native Foods uses this image courtesy of vegancuts.com

Here are some rad vegan eye shadow options. Give your lids some love at your next cocktail party! 


4.) Make-Up Bag 



Native Foods uses this image courtesy of vegancuts.com

I actually might be one who likes make-up bags better than the make-up itself and what better way to store all your cruelty-free products than a bag that supports a company who makes vegan shopping a breeze! 

5.) Vegan Starter Kit 

Native Foods uses this image courtesy of vegancuts.com

Does your entire cosmetic collection need a vegan make-over? Then you can opt for their vegan beaurty starter kit and see for yourself which cruelty products are most suited for your beauty routine! 

5 Reasons to Vegan, Holiday Edition part 2

By, Alison Vellas

Native Foods Cafe

A Vegan’s Holiday Gift Guide 


If you didn’t get all your shopping done on Black Friday, here’s a list to inspire your animal-friendly gift giving this holiday season.


1. Vegan Goodies: Arguably the perfect gift, sweets are always welcome during the holidays. High quality and gourmet vegan sweets can be hard to come by, unless you order them online. That’s where Obsessive Confection Disorder comes in, serving up caramel, toffee, and peanut butter cups. Allison’s Gourmet also has a huge selection of mouth-watering confections. Give some to your loved ones, and be sure to keep some for yourself.


2. Vegan Grooming: You might say a bar of soap is a boring present, but I say not when it’s as awesome as a bar from LUSH! LUSH is a pioneer in cruelty free beauty: NONE of their products are tested on animals, and all vegan items are clearly labeled (some contain egg and honey). You can take the simple route and go for one of their adorable pre-wrapped gift boxes, or mix and match their huge selection of bath bombs, body scrubs, soaps, shampoos and more (they have stuff for guys too!).


3. Vegan Wine: This one’s a no-brainer. For red, how about a Carmel Road Pinot Noir? Or if you prefer white, try Frey Vineyard’s Sauvignon Blanc. If you need a little more help,Barnivore.com has a complete list of wine, beer and liquor with vegan status, so you know which brands are animal-friendly.



4. Books for Vegans: For someone who’s just discovering the vegan lifestyle, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (author of Everything Is Illuminated) would be a great pick. It’s not light reading, per say, but Natalie Portman cites it the reason she went vegan after 20 years of vegetarianism, and it’s pretty much required reading for new vegans. You might want something a little more lighthearted, and for that I would recommend Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week. Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author ofVeganomicon and queen of the vegans, has a new cookbook out, and that means you have to buy it.




5. Vegan Winter Wear: Finding acrylic-knit (non-wool) scarves and hats is easy enough, but I have searched high and low for a stylish pair of vegan leather gloves. Luckily, UNIQLO’s online shop has three different styles to choose from. Three! My favorite is this beige one with polyester fur cuffs. Classy and cruelty-free for this freezing Chicago winter.

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The Web is the New Black

By, Kelly Behr

Native Foods Cafe



Native Foods uses this image courtesy of ABC. 

Do images like these evoke fear in you?  Black Friday has taken a major turn in the last couple of years to the point where it shouldn’t even be called Black Friday sine retailers everywhere are jumping on the Thursday opening bandwagon.

I remember waking up super early with my father growing up and hitting one of the major retailers. We were never going for anything in particular we would just go for the experience of maybe buying a large tin full of popcorn for $2.00. We definitely weren’t sleeping in our cars over night or fighting people like the scene in Jingle All the Way.  We were calm cool and collected and usually home before my sister and mother had attempted to get out of bed.

As a child this seemed like a fun adventure with my dad, as an adult it seems like more of a nightmare. And with the Internet at our finger tips, going out on Black Friday can be left to only the thrill seekers.

So if this isn’t your cup of tea I have compiled some of the websites where you can buy great vegan gifts right from your couch.


1.)   Herbivore Clothing  and they even have specials throughout the weekend with this link : http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b947dcebd3a9481efd34342b4&id=7505a75701


2.)   Matt and Nat, this is one of my favorite vegan line of products and their website offers access to all their products. http://www.mattandnat.com



3.)   Mooshoes offers all sorts of stylish vegan shoes including their own brand, Novacs which affectionately means, no cows. http://www.mooshoes.com



4.)   Alternative Outfitters, an online vegan boutique. http://www.alternativeoutfitters.com



These are just a few samplings of some sites online that offer great and unique vegan products. Be sure to keep checking our blog as we will be unveiling some of our favorite gift ideas for the season. 

5 Reasons to Vegan this Week

By, Kelly Behr

Native Foods Cafe


1.) Movie Theater Popcorn 

It is that time of year for movies, holiday movies and blockbusters alike join forces on the big screens these next few weeks. My family has had a tradition to go to see a movie every Christmas day. This Thanksgiving holiday weekend is a big weekend for moviegoers as well and who doesn’t like to snack on theater favorites like popcorn? Good news for you, it is probably vegan! AMC and Cinemark chains have both confirmed that their movie theater popcorn is vegan; you see that yellow color for the butter isn’t real butter. Now I am not going to pretend that because this popcorn is vegan means it is good for you, but it is good to know if you have craving for this classic snack you can indulge. I like to say, vegan doesn’t always mean healthy but it always means happy. 


Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of http://localtvwtvr.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/amc-popcorn-bag.jpg


2.) LVX Nail Polish

LVX, a vegan brand of nail lacquer is now offering a trio of fabulous holiday colors and for each purchase they are donating 20% of the proceeds to PETA to help the animals. 

1384436739-holidaytrioNative Foods Cafe https://www.shoplvx.com/index.php?plugin=Products&id=50&title=holiday-trio-2013


3.) Naked 2 Palate

And since we are on the beauty topic, I can’t leave Urban Decay off this list. Urban Decay is a dedicated vegan company that has some of my favorite products, especially their eye shadows. I am not one to get too wild with color on my eyes and was stoked when the Naked 2 palate came out; it was like the colors were made for me. If you are into rad colors on your eyes, they also have you covered. 


Native Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of http://www.sephora.com/naked2-P302916?skuId=1393636


4.) Turkey Adoption!

We had written a blog about Farm Sanctuary’s turkey adoption. I just think it is such a great cause and idea, the fact that you can adopt a turkey for less money than it costs to buy, cook and eat one is pretty sweet. So do them a favor and save a life and help the Farm Sanctuary have the funds to continue doing what they are doing. The number of turkeys that are consumed on Thanksgiving is terrifying, where do they all come from? I’m already pretty attached to Martha, my ladybird this year.




5.) Thanksgiving at Native Foods

That’s right, 9 of our restaurants are open for Thanksgiving. This is not your typical Native Foods menu either, for Thanksgiving we offer a full buffet of all the holiday favorites including our famous Native Wellington, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, a Waldorf salad, pumpkin pie and more…. so much more. This is the only day of the year where we take reservations so if you have not done so, call your closest Native Foods and join us for a vegan celebration of food.


Animal Cruelty Can’t Be Covered Up (but your blemishes can)

by Sammy Caiola

Native Foods Cafe


Just because we don’t eat our make-up doesn’t mean we
shouldn’t be conscious of it. In fact, that’s all the more reason we should be conscious of it. Adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet is a big
change that, unfortunately, scares off a good deal of people. But changing your
make-up, when cruelty-free make-up is widely available and looks and feels just
as good, should be a quick fix.

If you’re vegan you’re probably already on the prowl for
beauty supplies that are free of animal by-products and not tested on animals
in any way. If you’re not vegan but have any sympathy for animals whatsoever,
you might want to consider putting on a new face when it comes to make-up. Most
products from big make-up companies are tested on animals somewhere down the
line. Even if a U.S.-based company swears it does not do animal testing,
there’s no knowing what happens when the product is shipped overseas. This
testing is dangerous for animals because of the chemical exposure, inhumane
application methods, and inhumane treatment and confinement.

When searching for cruelty-free vegan beauty products, pay
special attention to the ingredient lists. Remember that things like beeswax
and honey are usually not vegan, and look out for hidden ingredients like
carmine, which is made from crushed insects, and guanine, which is made from
fish scales.

Below, we’ve compiled ten products that are PETA-approved
and well-regarded by vegan bloggers. Find them, use them, and then gift them to
all of your friends so society can brush off its ugly habit of cruel and
destructive make-up production.

Let’s start at the top, with our hair:

Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Hair Care:
This combination of mint, tea tree,
eucalyptus and thyme smells divine and actually gives your scalp a pleasant
tingling sensation. Find it at your nearest Trader Joe’s or on amazon for $12
(shampoo/ conditioner/ body wash combo for $35)



And these are easy on the eyes:

Bella FlowerColor Shimmerdust:
These beautiful eye shadow palettes are made
with almond oil, aloe vera extract, and flower wax iron oxides. You can also
put it on your cheeks if you’re feeling rosy. Only $15 for a four-color


Without Cruelty Eye Pencils:
The name says it all. Our blogger Holladay
raved about the mascara little while ago, and the eyeliner is cut from the same
cloth. Comes in black, carbon black, soft brown, blue, green, grey, walnut.
$16.75 each.


Nothing says confidence like a good complexion:

And Zuzu
Luxe Mineral Bronzer
will boost yours in no time. Made with avocado extract
and jojoba seed oil, this high-quality bronzer will keep you looking radiant
all summer. One compact containing two shades costs $28.30



But you’re never fully dressed without a smile:

Try Obsessive
Compulsive Cosmetics’ Lip Tar
It sounds kind of gross, but vegans rave about it. This cruelty-free company
makes some killer vibrant hues, so get your summer off to a bright start.
Dozens of colors at $18 each.


Rumors Fresh Squeezed Vegan Lip Balm:
This adorable product comes from an
adorable couple named Brian and Edie Himmel, who live in Brooklyn with one
daughter and four cats.  Their many
many flavors are sorted into “ice cream”, “soda”, “coffee”, “floral” and
“mystery” and are available for just $4 a piece.



Beauty on the surface

For your skin, try Moksa Body Butter:
Moksa is a totally organic company that uses fairly traded ingredients and
donates much of its profit to environmental advocacy groups and sustainable
business. Try their body butter, which comes in lavender, grapefruit, ginger,
vanilla, and rosemary, for just $16.


of Maine Natural Confidence Deodorant:
 Don’t sweat it when you’re out and about- this all-natural
anti-per spirant will keep you cool. Fight B.O. with citrus zest for just $3.59




And just to nail it down

SpaRitual Nail
These vegan polishes are cruelty free and extra-pretty. There are
hundreds of colors, and they all come with caps and brushes made from recycled
materials. $12 per bottle




Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan beauty products, vegan restaurant, vegan food







Beauty Without Cruelty Vegan Mascara

by Holladay Allen

Native Foods Cafe


Are you a mascara junkie?  Been looking for a vegan mascara without all the added chemicals?  

EyelashesNative Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this image courtesy of Java Toolbox.

Me too!  In the past, I was ecstatic to find a mascara that didn't test on animals without any animal-derived ingredients (including beeswax).  However, this usually meant applying layers of chemical-laden black goo… but things have changed.  While I was in Seattle a few months ago, I stopped into the vegan grocery store Vegan Haven and found Beauty Without Cruelty's Full Volume Mascara.  It is awesome!  The brush is wonderful and the consistency of the mascara is light but evenly coats each lash, and it doesn't smear and is easy to remove.  I highly recommend this mascara to all mascara lovers out there.  And you can rest assured you aren't putting any funny stuff near your eyeballs.

PhotoNative Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan restaurant, vegan beauty, vegan mascara, Beauty Without Cruelty, vegan make-up

So Good It Should be Illegal — Lime Crime Makeup

by Mandi Meek

Native Foods Cafe


As a vegan girl myself, I found some of the finer things in
life harder to give up than cheese! The biggest transition for me thus far has
been navigating the world of cosmetics. Beyond the ingredients, I wanted to be
sure to find products not tested on animals as well, and I suppose it became a
new life resolution for me of sorts.

I decided to contact one of my favorite makeup artists from
the blogosphere and get her advice. She immediately sent me over to
LimeCrimeMakeup.com, and at first I was a little taken back.

VELVETINES-thumbNative Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of Lime Crime Makeup. vegan beauty

Boulder vegans are known for their down to earth granola
look, which just will never be me. So, I was thrilled to be able to find my
signature red lipstick along with no shortage of color among all the LimeCrime
products. Oh by the way, that beautiful red is vegan… just keep reading!


So what are the vegan details: The company has taken a cruelty-free
and most of their products are vegan.  
Being the diva that I am, I sent an email requesting that
they add a Vegan category just for my convenience, but until then look for the
Vegan symbol on the product’s page — you can’t miss it.

Suedeberry image Lime CrimeNative Foods Cafe uses this image courtesy of Lime Crime Makeup
. vegan beauty


See that pretty little vegan sign right there? I should also
mention that this product right here is kicking butt. I can vouch for its divine
talent, but what speaks even more volumes is the fact that it is flying off the
cyber-shelves. So, you will have to wait until the first of April to get your
hands on it, but until then feel free to try out nearly all their eye shadows
and lipsticks.

Lastly, they are affordable! I’m actually saving money with
the switch, and my vegan faux leather wallet loves that. Who said that beauty
veganism has to be a sacrifice?

You can find all the pretty vegan things at


Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan restaurant, vegan food, vegan beauty, vegan make-up, Lime Crime


The Hyaluronic Hoopla… Believe the Hype

by Holladay Allen

Native Foods Cafe


I wanted to share with you all one of my most favorite beauty products ever,
which boasts Hyaluronic acid as its key component … but as I started to write I
realized I really have no idea what Hyaluronic Acid is… so I did a bit of
research.  First off, let me start
by explaining how I came across this wonderful product.  A couple of years ago I decided to be
Regan (from The Exorcist) for Halloween. 


I was traveling, and forgot the putty-like stuff for my face make-up, so I decided glue toilet paper to my face for texture (I did use that
special facial glue for special fx prosthetics, but it didn’t matter)…. I
highly recommend NEVER doing this. 
It looked just fine, and gross, which was good for the costume…  but when I went to remove it, it was practically super-glued to my face!  And I am pretty sure I removed a nice thin piece of my
epidermis, leaving my face red, blotchy, irritated, and just plain uncomfortable.


I went to Whole Foods looking for something very hydrating and soothing to
counteract all of this mess.  That
is when I found Derma E Hyaluronic Hydrating Mask



the first application, my skin was remarkably better.  Less blotchy, softer and more importantly felt soother and
less inflamed.  After 3 nights, it
was all better.  Nowadays, I use it
about once a week, twice in the winter, and I still love the way my skin feels
after using it.  Derma E has a whole line of hyaluronic products… and they are vegan!

what is Hyaluronic acid, or HA for short?
  According to

Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in all living
organisms and is a gel-like component that exists between cells and connective
tissue. In synovial fluid, it acts as a cushion for joints and nerves to
prevent degeneration, according to the Pain Clinic website. Hyaluronic acid
hydrates skin and hair and moisturizes the eyes. With age, the body produces
less hyaluronic acid and the skin and cells lose moisture and elasticity,
causing wrinkling, dry eyes, thin hair and shrinkage of cartilage.


Hyaluronic-acid3Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant usus this image courtesy of Vocoterra.

Connie Chung visited the village Yuzurihara, Japan, which is located about 2
hours from Tokyo and found a thriving community where 90-year-olds are
commonplace, and more of 10% of the population is 80 or older…. With virtually
no disease…. What?!  It is even
nicknamed the Village of Long Life. 
She interviews two men both well over the age of 80 who have been
smoking for most of their lives, and show no signs of lung damage or disease (Don’t
start smoking!  This is merely an
example of the powerfulness of the local villagers’ diet… which is mostly
plant-based!).  In fact, a majority
of the population lives well into their 90’s, rarely go to doctors and have
beautiful skin.  So what is the
deal?  Great DNA?  Low stress?




researchers believe that potatoes could be a huge factor in their youthfulness.  In lieu of rice (which is the staple
food in most of Japan) the village of Yuzurihara took to growing potatoes
because of the hilly terrain.  The
potatoes along with other starches & vegetables are the majority of their
diet, along with a small amount of meat.  Dr Toyosuke Komori, the town's doctor and author of
five books on Yuzurihara, suggests the reason for the youthful healthiness is
due to a low-iron, sticky vegetable-based diet that promotes hyaluronic acid
levels in the body.

of us are born with a good amount of hyaluronic acid, but begin to lose it with
HA enables
cells to retain moisture, keeps joints lubricated and keeps our skin smooth and
elastic… Dr Toyosuke Komori has never seen skin cancer in the village.  
Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies caught on started putting HA into
pills, which they then tested on 1000 people, of which approximately ½ reported
smoother skin, less fatigue and better eyesight.

Eyeball-940x636Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant usus this image courtesy of Indiana Public Media: Photo: Dezz (Flickr)


has long been used in eye surgery as a shock absorber to protect the retina,
proven effective in lubricating arthritic joints (usually through injections
directly to the area), and is well known for its ability to restore moisture
and elasticity to tissues.


HA enthusiasts and researchers believe that it’s most dramatic discoveries are
around the corner… could it regenerate the cells inside our body?


there is a ton of hyaluronic in the combs on top of rooster’s heads, which means companies are harvesting the rooster combs, and needlessly killing roosters.  But a majority of the hyaluronic acid
does come from vegetable sources (the best source of hyaluronic acid is seaweeds, in particular kelp)… which is great… can’t we just leave the roosters
out of it completely?

5611250Native Foods Cafe vegan restaurant usus this image courtesy of Backyard Chickens.

5 Reasons to Vegan this Week!

by Holladay Allen

Native Foods Cafe


1) Luna Bars  The classic vegan food sustenance bar has created LUNAFEST, a "traveling film festival – by, for, about women – dedicated to building community, through the power of film and through the power of story."  And Native Foods Cafe will be providing delicious treats tonight, Thursday, November 17th at the Chicago screening!  If you have not gotten your tickets already, get them HERE!



2)  Vegan Marshmallows!  You can't go wrong with Sweet and Sara mallows or the Chicago Soy Dairy Dandies.  So get on it and whip up some s'mores… I just pop the marshmallows on a skewer and roast them over my open gas burner!


3)  Freakin' Awesome Vegan Boots that you can fold over or wear straight up by Big Buddha.  Snuggly, warm and very attractive… can you ask for anything else?  Order yours HERE.


vegan boots, vegan shoes, vegan food, vegan restaurant

4) Turkeys!  Cause they rule, they're super smart, social butterflies by nature and will talk your head off.  Plus, why would you ever want to eat one when you can order a Native Wellington from Native Foods Cafe?  The Native Wellington is a delicious puff pastry filled with savory Native seitan and seasonal veggies.  It comes with mushroom shallot gravy, serves 6-8 peeps and is ready in an hour!  Get yours HERE before they sell out!  And check out what the turkeys are saying about the Native Wellington:



5) Hurraw Lip Balm They're soothing, delicious and fair trade.  And they come in tints… you know, if you're into that.  My favorite is the Moon Balm, uber intensive night treatment, cause I forget to balm up during the day sometimes.


Being a Healthy, Inspired Vegan in Orange County: OC Vegan Adventures

by Kriss Young

Native Foods Cafe Contributing Blogger

After learning about the cruelties of the dairy industry and factory farming, I adopted a vegan lifestyle in January 2011. Being vegan is easy, especially in Southern California.However, it takes some research to learn how to do it in a way that is healthy and sensible. That’s why I created a blog dedicated to veganism in Orange County, covering everything from veg-friendly restaurants to nutrition facts, great beauty products and more!

Kriss and Buttercup.jpgNative Foods Cafe uses this photo courtesy of  OC Vegan Adventures

Vegan Eating

For the first few months that I was vegan, I would hardly eat out because I didn’t knowwhere to go or how to order. Luckily, that allowed me to try a lot of healthy recipes at home, including "cheesy" black bean enchiladas, veggie pesto sandwiches and roasted tomato soup. Eventually I learned that there many local places to eat out, including 100% vegan establishments like Native Foods Cafe, Freesoulcaffé and the Seabirds Food Truck.  Surprisingly, there are popular chain restaurants that accommodate the vegan diet as well.

Eating Out-1Native Foods Cafe uses this photo courtesy of  OC Vegan Adventures.


Did you know that Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Whole Foods and Mother’s Market each carry an abundance of vegan products, including frozen chicken-free nuggets, all-natural shampoo, bee-free lip balm and more? I didn’t think that finding these kinds of items would be so easy. I also didn’t know that Target has all-natural hygiene and beauty products, or that Sephora carries Urban Decay, a popular brand of cruelty-free cosmetics.  Check my blog for a list of my favorite products and where to get them.

DSC01802Native Foods Cafe uses this photo courtesy of  OC Vegan Adventures

About Being Vegan

Since I am not a vegan-veteran, I feel like I still have a lot to learn. I'm slowly scratchingthe surface on important subjects like taking supplemental vitamins, eating "perfect proteins", supporting local animal-oriented charities and more. I am excited to share everything I learn on my blog, as I continue to grow as a person and become increasingly familiar with the different aspects of veganism.  For more information about being vegan in Orange County, including animal-oriented volunteer opportunities, local events, resources and facts, please visit my full blog at www.ocveganadventures.com.  I’m working hard to update it and add new information everyday. Thanks for reading and allowing me to share my journey with you!


*Kriss was one of the winners of our "Blogging with Chef Tanya" Facebook Contest!  We loved her Vegan Adventures in OC blog as it guides you through all the basics of the vegan lifestyle, in Orange County!