Why We Partnered with The Humble Co.

A selection of The Humble Co.’s bamboo toothbrushes

This May 2019, we featured products by The Humble Co. in both our vegan Snack Box and vegan Beauty Box. The Humble Co. proudly produces sustainable oral care products including toothbrushes, floss, gum, and more. The Snack Box featured a pack of plastic-free chewing gum, while those who received the Beauty Box got a bamboo toothbrush in a surprise color with an accompanying mini toothpaste.

Are you new to using a product by The Humble Co.? Here’s all you need to know. The company was established in 2013 but is quickly growing throughout the world. You can find their products online, on Amazon, and even in dental clinics. The Humble Co. is based in Sweden and each product showcases a sleek and efficient Scandinavian design. But what we love most about them is that they founded the Humble Smile Foundation to deliver oral care products and provide oral health education to kids around the world. Currently, they have active projects in the following countries: India, Ethiopia, Nepal, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Transylvania, Cuba, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, Romania, Sri Lanka, Zambia, South Africa, Uganda, Cameroon, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, and Tanzania. If you like the products you got in your May box, or you missed the box :(, we encourage you to buy from them as every purchase goes toward funding these projects.

A photo from a Humble Smile Foundation project in Mozambique.

Did you know that 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are used and disposed of every year? You can help to reduce that rate by switching to a bamboo alternative, like that made by The Humble Co., as the plastics end up in our landfills and oceans. We know our subscribers value living ethically and sustainably, which is why we always do our best to provide you with items that can help you live well without sacrificing performance or style.

In honor of the partnership, The Humble Co. also did a giveaway with us! One lucky winner won 6 brushes, 4 tubes of toothpaste, 8 packs of gum, and 5 dental flosses!




8 Vegan Restaurants Foodies in Los Angeles Love

Whether you’re a resident Angelino or just popping in for a visit, there’s practically no better city for incredible vegan dining than Los Angeles. From the heart of Venice Beach to East LA, plant-based menus, are popping up everywhere and showing no signs of slowing (woo hoo!). From fast food joints to a variety of cuisines, such as delicious Ethiopian, Japanese, and Cuban options, Los Angeles pretty much has it all.

So whether you’re craving some comforting soul food or a creative take on the traditionally meat-laden Cuban classic, ropa vieja, here is our list of the top vegan restaurants in Los Angeles, in no particular order:


West Hollywood


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Crossroads has made countless “Top Vegan Restaurant” lists across the nation for years, and with good reason. This high-end vegan staple is known to satisfy all palates, herbivores and omnivores alike. Owner and chef to the stars, Tal Ronnen, has revamped the meatless meal into an art form, with innovative flavors and combinations that are sure to make your mouth water. In fact, he is so creative that most patrons don’t even make the connection that the menu is entirely plant-based. Reasonably priced and served in an intimate, upscale setting that draws everyone from LA’s most fashionable and youthful to the older, business-clad crowds on the regular.

From the hearts of palm “crab cakes” and artichoke heart “oysters,” to the more substantial Funghi Misti pizza and spaghetti carbonara, which comes with a bursting tomato “egg yolk,” Crossroads truly honed the plant-based Mediterranean fare.

Equelecuá Cuban Cafe



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Did you think you’d never be able to enjoy a Cuban sandwich being vegan? Think again! Equelecuá Cuban Cafe proudly boasts itself as only all vegan Cuban restaurant in the world. If that’s not enough to entice you, picture this: arroz con pollo (“chicken” and rice), ropa vieja (shredded “beef”), alitas (“wings” made from soy), and tostones galore— all vegan.

Head chef Julito Ortega and owner Caro Lafaurie and truly brought a highly desired, plant-based slice of Cuba to Inglewood.

Real Food Daily

Pasadena, West Hollywood, LAX


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Real Food Daily has been a favorite plant-based option for Los Angeles residents since 1993, and unlike many LA favorites hot spots, it didn’t win everybody over with its hip decor. RFD’s mission to serve a “quality, authentic, creative, and nutritionally balanced menu” is what’s kept people lining up for over a decade. Here, customers dine on full plates of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables paired with their signature house-made sauces, and the menu spans an international gamut.

From Mexican (tacos filled with braised jackfruit, roasted tomato salsa, pickled purple cabbage, pico de gallo, and jicama slaw), to Italian (lasagna made from a creamy cashew “ricotta” with spinach and mushrooms), and even Japanese (ramen made from a spicy sesame miso broth and sriracha grilled tofu). It’s also a favorite spot for brunch, so you can nurse your hangover with their hearty breakfast pizza (topped with tater tots, tempeh bacon, fresh cashew mozzarella, ranchero sauce, and a tofu scramble) or gratify your post-hike hunger with their famed avocado toast (grilled 7 grain bread topped with pepitas, almond feta, and sriracha).

Gracias Madre

West Hollywood


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With a mission to “both offer organic Mexican food to the communities we serve as well as honor the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with us in California,” it’s hard not to be inspired by Gracias Madre. From the second you walk in the door you’ll be astounded by their stunning decor, adorned with festive tiles and pillows from the floor all the way up to their gorgeous high ceilings. In fact, Gracias Madre is just that stunning that we’d recommend you go there during the day for the first time to really soak up the beauty of the space.

Carnivores will most definitely forget how much they love carne asada when they try Executive Chef Chandra Gilbert’s fare. From the barbecue jackfruit carnitas tacos to the squash tamales and even their young coconut ceviche, you can’t go wrong. The best part is that each dish tastes better than it looks.

Lastly, you can’t mention Gracias Madre without talking about their libations menu. Their cocktails are epic, and the ingredients are just as unique as their names. The “It’s Because I Carrot, Suzanne” (carrot, coconut, ancho chile, maple syrup, lemon, and tequila reposado) is an unexpected delight if you’re willing to be adventurous, but you definitely can’t go wrong with their house margaritas. If you’re not in the mood for alcohol, however, we suggest going with their creamy horchata or one of their house-made sodas to quench your thirst.


DTLA, Culver City



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Did someone say vegan sushi? That’s right— This eccentric Japanese favorite focuses on the vegan macrobiotic diet and will have even the biggest sushi buffs on the planet questioning their palates, as everything on this bill of fare is divine. Shojin uses tofu and tempeh as the base of their sushi. It’s also quite comforting to see “no chemical preservatives, no artificial color and no chemical seasonings,” promised boldly on the menu.

Their Dynamite roll (a spicy tofu and avocado roll topped with vegan mayo and a spicy beet sauce) is easily the most popular item on the menu, but you’ll definitely want to test out the rest of the carte. Their appetizers are the quiet star of this establishment, so be sure to explore and enjoy.


Silver Lake



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After your first bite at Flore, you’ll see why Zagat called it “a vegan lover’s dream,” as they have perfected their menu of healthy vegan comfort foods. Famed musician Moby has publicly raved about their burrito and even admits to coming here weekly because he just can’t get enough! Their menu offers healthy versions of all your favorite comfort foods, from mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy to the classic Seitan pastrami on rye. Flore also makes incredible use of the ever-popular Korean kimchi. Try their kimchi quesadilla with cashew cheese or maybe their kim-possible burger! And while it might be hard, try to save room for some of their delicious pastry desserts.

A final note: as spectacular as the food is, the people watching is just as fun, so we recommend you sit outside on their outdoor patio.

Araya’s Place

Beverly Grove



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Though LA is flooded with a number of vegan Thai restaurants, none hail in comparison to Araya’s Place. Tucked away, almost hidden, in a tiny Beverly Grove strip mall, this joint is a must for all Thai food lovers. Even diners who think they prefer their curry with meat will be left dreaming about their avocado curry for weeks. While everything on their menu is impressive, people tend to come back for the pot stickers, the drunken mushroom noodles, and that green avocado curry we mentioned. Remember just how spicy Thai food can be, and be very specific with the level of heat you’d like in your dishes to ensure a tear-free meal.

Plant Food + Wine




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If you’re looking for fine vegan dining (and we mean very fine) and one of the best patios on the West Side, head on over to Matthew Kenney’s sleek and delicious Plant Food + Wine. This Venice hot spot serves fare that looks almost too beautiful to eat. Almost. Kenney’s locally sourced menu offers incredible vegan takes on the classics— Kelp noodle cacio e pepe, spicy udon, kimchi dumplings, and golden beet crude are some items diners can currently expect to see. We say currently, as the menu is ever-rotating. And of course, every dish is best paired with their organic and biodynamic wine list.


And there you have it– 8 vegan restaurants Los Angelinos, herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores alike, absolutely adore. Do you have any LA-based vegan restaurants you think should be on this list? Or maybe you’d like to check out another city…let us know, and bon appetit!

How to Get Enough Nutrients as a Vegan

Vitamins for vegans

Nutrition isn’t just a vegan concern. No matter your diet, adequate intake (AI) of not just micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, & phytochemicals) but, macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and fatty acids (ALA, LA, & EFA, EPA & DHA) is essential.  It might seem overwhelming with all of these acronyms, but, don’t worry! Ensuring a well-balanced vegan diet is easy.

While there is a veritable alphabet of vitamins to consider, most are easy to meet AI with virtually any diet.  The dietary guidelines developed jointly by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) (think old-school food pyramid, now MyPlate) are still focused on the Standard American Diet–although they have started to include mention of vegan alternatives for dairy and meat products. This organization is also responsible for the way the nutrition facts percentages are calculated on packaged foods, that is, based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet. While this would work for some people, most of us need to understand how to read these labels for our own needs.


The best place to start is to calculate your exact needs based on your age, sex, height, weight and activity level. This will give you an at-a-glance look at how many grams, milligrams, and micrograms of all the nutrients you need.

The vegan diet gets a bad rap for being “deficient” in certain things. In this article, we hope to clear the air, and dive deeper into ways you can properly get all of the vitamins you need within a vegan diet.

Vitamin B12

Adequate intake of vitamin B12 is a valid concern while on a vegan diet. It helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. Yes, it is only found in (grass-fed) meat and animal products naturally. But the fact is most B12 rich food now, even meat, is fortified (vitamins are added to it). This is because animals do not make vitamin B12. It is caused by microorganisms in soil and water. This means only animals eating grass (and thus dirt clinging to roots) are consuming B12. So, vegans are just bypassing the transportation vehicle: animals.

This vitamin comes in three forms methylcobalamin (naturally-occurring), cyanocobalamin (synthetic, not found in nature), and hydroxocobalamin (man-made, used in injectables). Cyanocobalamin may be absorbed better in your body, while methylcobalamin likely has a higher retention rate. However, the jury is out as to which is the better form to take in a supplement. The most important thing to note with B12 is that your body can only absorb a small amount within a given time. This means eating several fortified foods throughout the day would be better serving your body than sitting down to a plate of liver!

RDA for adults: 2.4 µg/ day (no upper limit)

How to meet my needs: 2–3 servings of fortified foods like cereals, plant-based milk, tofu) OR a daily supplement (e.g., Garden of Life mykind Organics B-12 spray)


Where do you get your protein?

That’s a common question vegans hear. Luckily, there are a lot of answers. Protein is found in a variety of beans, seeds, nuts, vegan protein powders, and most non-dairy milk. Mixing up your protein sources daily will ensure you are getting all your amino acids.

Why do you need it?

Protein is essential for making muscle, blood, antibodies, hair and more. When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids that your body needs but only 9 of them are considered “essential,” that is, your body can’t make them naturally. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.  

RDA for adults: 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (1 kilogram approx. 2.2 lbs)

How to meet my needs: Let’s look at an example:

Example Person: Susie

Gender Female
Age 25 yrs
Height 5 ft. 4 in.
Weight 125 lbs.
Activity level Active
Protein Required 45 grams

One serving of soybeans (31 g or protein) and one serving of red beans (15 g of protein) would easily meet her macronutrient goal. You can see in the graphic below how easily she could mix and match her meals to support her protein needs.

vegan protein


We all know calcium helps build your bones and teeth. It is also responsible for a lot of enzyme activity in your body.  Thanks to the iconic Got Milk? ads that started in 1993, dairy products are often seen as the only true source of calcium. However, seeds, leafy greens, beans, oatmeal, and quinoa all pack a lot of calcium. For example, one tablespoon of poppy seeds provides 126 mg of calcium.

RDA for adults: Approximately 1000 mg

How to meet my needs: Incorporating a calcium-rich food into each daily meal is easy. Check out a sample menu below that provides almost double the minimum calcium daily requirement.

Meal Food Total Calcium
Breakfast ½ cup of oatmeal prepared with 1 cup of almond milk & topped with 2 tbsp almonds & sliced strawberries 636 mg
Lunch Tofu “egg” salad wrap

1 cup of tofu

½ tsp kala namak salt

½ tsp turmeric

Herbs of choice: chives, dill, etc.

1-2 collard green leaves for wrapping

881 mg
Snack ½ cup roasted chickpeas with spices of choice (we really love this recipe) 100 mg
Dinner Vegetable Stir-fry (these are easy and versatile with whatever veggies and greens you have on hand. This version packs a calcium punch!) Approx 350 mg

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps our bodies use calcium. It has also been shown to affect mood. We ingest it or our bodies produce it after sunlight exposure.

RDA for adults: between 400–800 IU (10–20 micrograms) and 1000–4000 IU (25–100 micrograms) per day

How to meet my needs: Look for a D3 supplement or vitamin D-fortified foods that use cholecalciferol sourced from lichens (e.g., Vitashine) or a D2 using ergocalciferol, sourced from fungi. Avoid supplements that are sourced from fish oils or sheep lanolin.


Omega Fatty Acids


Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids are powerhouses for our bodies. Our bodies cannot make omega-3s (EPA, DHA), but they are essential for many functions including improving heart health, have shown signs of improving mental health, and fighting inflammation. Omega-6s also need to be obtained from our diets. They are primarily used for energy but most Western diets actually include too many omega-6s. Omega-9 is a monounsaturated fat that can be produced by the body (and is therefore not considered an “essential” fatty acid). However, studies have shown people with diets rich in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fat have less inflammation and better insulin sensitivity.

Omega-3s can be found in algal oil, nuts, and seeds. Omega-9s can be found in almonds, cashews, and walnuts.

RDA for adults: While there is no set standard, most organizations recommend a minimum of 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA each day for healthy adults (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

How to meet my needs: Nuts, seeds, algal oil, supplements.

Eating vegan and maintaining nutrients is easy. In fact, the more we pay attention to our diets, the easier it is to recognize the best food sources of the nutrients we need.

7 Vegan Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and it’s time to look into a special gift for that special person(s) in your life. The good news, gifting while keeping your vegan values intact has never been simpler.

Here are 7 vegan gift ideas to show mom some love in 2019:

1. Vegan Card

koala card

Every great gift comes with a card, right? Tell mom just how much she means to you in a gorgeous vegan-friendly card adorned with adorable animals and catchy one-liners. Even better, Two Trick Pony donates 5% of its profits to animal welfare and vegan advocacy groups. A definite win, win!   

2. Vegan Accessories

vegan accessories

Equip mom with the coolest in vegan fashion accessories like this Pura Botanica designer cosmetic bag. It’s made from faux “ostrich texture,” is super stylish, and it’s perfect for traveling. You may ask, “Traveling where!” And we’ve got your answer right below…

3. Visit an Animal Sanctuary

ella the pig

Most states are home to one or more sanctuaries for rescued or previously farmed animals. If you’ve never been to an animal sanctuary, there’s no better way to have a life-changing experience while doubling it up as a gift for mom. You’ll connect with magnificent animals, learn more about one of your passions, and share in a magical moment with mom.

That’s a gift for the record books.

4. Vegan Shoes

vegan shoes

Help the person who brought you into this world ditch those leather-bound, wool-laden shoes of hers and get them to step into a fresh pair of vegan kicks. Vegan shoes are becoming more mainstream by the day, and they’re not just moccasins and hemp slippers anymore. 

5. Vegan Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate? If your mom has a sweet tooth, there are stellar vegan chocolate products sure to have her grinning cheek to cheek with delight. If you’re lucky, maybe mom will share the goodies with you.

 6. Vegan Apparel

vegan cuts

When it comes to clothing, we love Herbivore Clothing so much. They craft apparel that is amazingly witty, extremely aesthetically pleasing, and unbelievably comfy to boot. Browse their lineup and we guarantee you’ll find a design mom will love.

7. Vegan Subscription Box


The gift that keeps on giving. Whether your mom is new to the vegan world, a vegan veteran or just loves gifts in the mail, the monthly Vegancuts Snack Box, Beauty Box or quarterly Makeup Box is packed with vegan goodness.


3 Ways to Become More Mindful


What is it? How do you become more mindful?

Becoming more mindful has become an increasing focus for people across America. Various media outlets have covered it, and how to live a more mindful life. Huffington Post doubled down on this by saying, “it’s not a trend, it’s a movement.” For those new to exploring mindfulness, it is the exercise of living in the present.

“Mindfulness. It’s a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, except for the annoying fact that we so often veer from the matter at hand.” says Mindful.org

So how do we become more mindful?

Be conscious of your food choices.

mindful eating

It is so easy to eat mindlessly, without thinking about how our food was sourced, created and shipped to us. Vegans are inherently conscious when it comes to their food choices. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t fall victim to mindlessly consuming–let’s face it, tortilla chips are delicious.

So before you take your next bite of food, consider taking five seconds to think about the effort it took to get the food to your table. This simple exercise will allow you to appreciate your food, not mindlessly consume it.

Practice meditation.


Meditation can be intimidating. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to be on a beach, meditating for hours to find zen. For those exploring meditation, we recommend downloading the Calm or HeadSpace app, which both have seven-day meditation programs to ease you into the practice.

One trick to meditate more frequently is to set up a mental prompt to do so. Similar to how you brush your teeth when you first wake up, you want to set up prompts to meditate. One tactic that’s worked for me is to piggyback it on top of brushing my teeth. So, after I brush my teeth, I spend 3-5 minutes meditating.

But what if meditating isn’t for you?

If you find it hard to meditate, look for other opportunities that allow you to be present. Things like food preparation or exercise are great ways to flex the mindfulness muscle while accomplishing other tasks.

Put your phone away.

Being mindful means that we’re focused on the activity at hand, and devoting our energy to that task.

Managing our smartphone usage is critical for being mindful. Endless notifications and distractions that are enabled by social media and other applications are the enemies of mindfulness. In fact, scrolling through our smartphones can be some of the most mindless activities we engage in daily.

A simple trick to minimize your phone usage is to put it out of arm’s reach, even if just for a small, designated amount of time. For instance, I like to put my phone in my bag or on a different table while I’m at work, as this systematically allows for me to put more focus into the tasks I’m working on.


And it’s not just phones that can be a problem. According to recent Nielson research, Americans spend nearly 11 hours a day consuming media, with TV (still) being the biggest driver at 4 hours and 46 minutes daily. By adding in systems to manage our media consumption, we can cut out a lot of mindlessness and ultimately live a more mindful life.


At the end of the day, even little steps towards becoming more mindful can go a long way. These practices can help with coping skills, taking away stress, and adding a new level of appreciation to your everyday activities.

Let me know how you practice mindfulness by posting about this using the hashtag #MindfulVegan.


vegan docs

These Are the 9 Documentaries Every Vegan Should Watch

If you want to be more informed about global issues and want to make small, easy changes with massive global impacts, these documentaries are a must-watch.

Few people realize how interconnected our daily food choices are with so many of the planets most pressing issues: climate change, water scarcity, water pollution, deforestation, species extinction, human rights abuses, animal welfare, public health, and even world hunger are linked to meat and dairy consumption in Westernized nations. Learn how these are interconnected by watching the documentaries listed below.

For your convenience we have broken up the documentaries into three sections:

  1. Environmental
  2. Animal rights
  3. Humans & Health

1. Environmental

When we talk about climate change and the importance of conserving water, we are often told to drive less or take shorter showers, but many of us are unaware that the production of meat and dairy is a large contributor to many of the planets most pressing environmental issues. For example, one gallon of milk uses 27 showers worth of water to produce. Or alternatively, if everyone in the US ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would have the same impact as driving 91 billion miles less or taking 7.6 million cars off of US roads for good. Luckily, the following documentaries can teach us everything we need to know about easy changes we can make in our daily lives to have a real, meaningful impact.

Here are some documentaries related to environmental concerns:

Racing Extinction

Learn about the ways in which human behavior is the driving force behind our planet going into its 6th mass extinction and what we can do to help.

Before the Flood

In this visually stunning film, Leonardo DiCaprio addresses the driving forces behind our planets most serious threat.


Cowspiracy educates viewers about the largest threat facing our planet and why no one is talking about it.

2. Animal Rights

The philosopher, Jeremy Bentham said, “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’, nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’ Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?” When we think about animals in this context and the research that has gone into animal intelligence, it can really be thought-provoking.

These documentaries on animal rights are sure to get you thinking about the ethical treatment of animals and how we can help the well-being of animals.

Speciesism: The Movie

This deeply thought-provoking film explores the idea of speciesism; the idea that no animal is more important than another, despite our many assumptions.


Factory farms aren’t the only places where animals are suffering. This documentary educates viewers about the many industries that profit off of using and abusing animals around the world.

The Ghosts in our Machine

This visually stunning film highlights the lives of individual animals trapped in our current societal model that profits off of animal exploitation.

3. Humans & Health

Why do we see increased rates in heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol in the USA, when we’ve got more resources and science at our fingertips than ever before? Numerous studies find our current eating habits are the root cause. These documentaries explain the importance of diet on both personal and public health:

The Game Changers

The first question many vegans are asked is “where do you get your protein?”. This documentary dispels the myth that we need meat to be strong and fit by highlighting vegan athletes around the world.

Forks Over Knives

There are so many misconceptions about nutrition. Forks Over Knives helps viewers gain a new and deeper understanding of what it means to eat a healthy diet.

What the Health

There are so many powerful political forces that often dissuade us from knowing the truth, particularly when it comes to our own health. This documentary lifts the veil.


Thanks in large part to the popularity of documentaries like these, things are changing for the better; education and awareness are powerful catalysts for change. As consumers learn more about the devastating effects of factory farming, they are pushing the food industry towards a more sustainable, healthy and humane system one delicious meal at a time. Thanks to the power of our dollar, the U.S. Plant-Based Foods Industry topped $5 Billion in annual sales in 2017 and the Dairy Alternative Market is anticipated to cross USD 34 Billion by 2020; even the meat industry itself recognizes this trend. Tyson, the largest meat producer in the US invested 55 million dollars into a plant-based protein company called Beyond Meat. Cargill, another major meat producer, sold off the last of its cattle feedlots because they wanted to free up funds to invest into plant-based proteins.

We steer the food industry with every single purchase and luckily, it seems as though we are choosing to drive it in the right direction.

All sources: