Monday, March 26, 2012

Vegan Interrogated: Beth Br00tality

My name is Beth Br00tality. I live in Cincinnati, OH, I'm 24 years old, and I'm vegan and straight edge. I live with my boyfriend, his two cats, and my Boxer/Ridgeback mix. I work in cosmetics, both as a freelance makeup artist and in retail. You can find me on any major networking site as Beth Br00tality, but most notable on my YouTube and my blog. I have a Facebook as well, so please look me up and add me (

What made you decide to go vegan:
There is, of course, an answer to this that spans the twenty four years of my life, but let's start a little more recently and simply. I've always been really close to animals, and in my teens I decided to be a vegetarian. My parents weren't really that supportive, they assumed it was a phase, and do to a lack of options at home, I eventually went back to eating meat. When I moved into my boyfriend at the time's place, I went back to being vegetarian one January, and the following March I went vegan. It's been about six years maybe? Not only is it better for the environment and my body, I just really can't get over the use of animals in products, and how cruelly we obtain those sources. Say what you will, but I believe that animals are not here to be used by humans; they're just here to be animals the same way we're here to be humans.

Reaction from friends/family:
My family assumed it was, again, a phase. When I was still doing it a year later, they started to believe me, haha. My mom grew up on a farm and my dad was a very efficient eagle scout by the age of like fourteen or something crazy like that, so neither of them share my views. My dad still makes jokes about it but I know he supports me. My mom has learned how to make a few vegan things here and there and tries to randomly get me things when she finds out they're vegan. It's really cute. They never pressure me to eat something at a family function to make someone happy, and I really appreciate that. I know a lot of vegans lose their way because of the implied guilt from family members. They're good to me.

Do you find going out/social situations difficult:
The smart vegan is a prepared vegan. The dumb vegan is a whiny little brat that makes us all look bad because, "well I can't eat anything here!!" Unless you're picking the restaurant, don't ever assume you're going to have something to eat, haha. You might be scraping by on flavorless veggies ("hold the butter please") and if you're lucky, bread. Eat a snack beforehand, or stash something substantial like a hearty trail mix in your bag or car. That way not only will you not be a whiner, people won't be able to try to exclude you from outings based off of your dietary needs. The important thing to remember is that they're your ethical convictions, not anyone else's. It should never seem like a do it because you believe in it.

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about you being vegan:
People always expect me to be this malnourished little waif; I am a thick girl! I have had people tell me before, "You can't be vegan, you're to thick." Well, in the past I was offended but I've come to terms with my extra twenty or so pounds, and would like to consider it a compliment to veganism that while I could be eating healthier for my body, I'm not some sickly little string bean that blows away in the wind (not that there's anything wrong with being skinny; I'm focusing more on the sickly part of it). If anything, my health has drastically improved since I embraced a vegan lifestyle. I used to have chronic IBS issues and those have mostly disappeared. I used to get ridiculously regular ear and sinus infections, and since cutting out the dairy the only time I have issues with those are when my allergies flare up (and I don't think there's much my diet can do for my allergies to the air I breathe). Dairy is associated with ear, nose and throat issues a lot so I wish I would have cut it out a lot sooner so that I could have spent my childhood with the ability to move and breathe a little better.

Do you think a vegan diet could be universally adopted:
Sadly, no. As forward thinking as I would like to think my generation is, they have still been brainwashed since childhood to maintain the disconnect between a living, breathing animal, a cruel, disgusting slaughter practice, and the slab of flesh on their plate. There's a reason we don't call beef a hunk of cow. Pork is rarely called pig flesh. They've worked really hard to keep this crazy image of cow's milk being good for growing human bodies for centuries. Are you a baby cow?! C'mon! Sadly, it's going to take a lot of change to get people to see things differently. That certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Just being a vegan raises a little bit of awareness to those around you; "hey.. that person eats differently and believes different things than me.. there are options." Being a happy, prepared, balanced vegan will help create a better image for all of us, not yelling at meat eaters and being snotty to vegetarians.. the important thing to remember is a lot of people don't know. Sit them down, hand them a plate of vegan cookies, and turn on Earthlings. Those two things can speak volumes about our way of life.

Friday, March 23, 2012


My friend Lynn has been telling me about a restaurant in Venice, CA called Seed Kitchen ever since I went vegan. She and I finally had a chance to go there a few weeks ago. It's a small place with a few tables. You order at the counter and they bring the food out to you. Nothing fancy, but the food is AMAZING!

We each ordered a burger, Lynn opted for the Seitan Sirloin and I went with the Southwest (I'm a sucker for guacamole). We also got sweet potato fries and pomme frites to share. The fries came out first and mother of all things holy, the portions were HUGE! Super crisp and yummy (I am also a sucker for anything potato related).

Lynn's burger looked amazing with strips of seitan plus a huge pile of caramelized onions and baby greens. I will definitely try that one next time I go.

My burger was just as pretty and absolutely delicious! I haven't fully embraced tempeh yet, so this bean and grain patty smothered in guacamole was a total winner for me.

We both left feeling satisfied and full, but not in that heavy disgusting greasy way. I can't wait to go back and try more items!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

100% Pure

As I make my transition into a full-on vegan lifestyle I am trying to find new cruelty-free beauty products to replace the stuff I have been using most of my adult life. I would have loved to have thrown out all the old mean stuff in one dramatic fell swoop, but unfortunately I don't have enough money to replace THAT much stuff all at once. Yes, I am a typical girl with more toiletries, make up and beauty products than any one person should need, but whatever. Luckily I already had a ton of vegan eyeshadow made by my awesome friend Mary at Gothcupcake, so it was just everything else in my medicine cabinet (and numerous make up bags) I needed to replace.

A few weeks ago LivingSocial (kinda like Groupon) had a deal for 100% Pure, a company that boasts being vegan and free of yucky toxins (check out their FAQs), so I had to go for it!

What I got:
Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer w/ SPF 20
Creamy Liquid Eyeliner
Fruit Pigmented Mascara
Cucumber Eye Cream Gel

My order shipped super fast (bonus points!) and the packaging is really cute! I'm going to preface this review with the fact that I am super picky about my liquid eyeliner and found the perfect one years ago. It's going to be tough to find a suitable replacement, but the suffering of animals just isn't worth my vanity. With that said I'll start with the good first.

The tinted moisturizer is AWESOME. Because it is fruit pigmented it smells absolutely amazing. The coverage is light and airy while still evening my skin tone. I also love that it has SPF to protect my sensitive pale skin. This is definitely my new staple. The price is comparable to department store brands, but you can feel good knowing that this choice is cruelty-free and there are no harmful toxins soaking into your bloodstream.

The cucumber eye gel is also a superstar. I put mine in the fridge so it's nice and cool when I put it on at night. I also like to dab a little bit under my eyes in the morning before I put on my make up. It helps to get rid of that "I hit snooze 17 times and I barely had time to get ready for work" look.

Now the not so good...

I wasn't super impressed with the eyeliner. It could be that my standards are too high, but I just loved the applicator that came with my old eyeliner. It was kind of like a felt tip pen and I had perfected the use of it to make the perfect cat eye. Other than the applicator, I found the formula to be a little clumpy. I haven't completely given up on it yet, I'm going to keep playing with it, but in the meantime I'm going to keep looking for a new favorite.

My feelings on the mascara are almost the same as the eyeliner. I don't like the brush it comes with; I much prefer the nylon bristle mascara brushes, and this one is more like a hair brush. The formula goes on clumpy, but I blame the brush for that and I can make it look good with my trusty little metal eyelash comb. It also tends to flake a little once dried. I'm going to continue my search for a mascara as well.

If any of you lovelies out there have a suggestion for cruelty-free eyeliner and mascara I would love to hear it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alyson Hannigan and Vegan Cupcakes

My husband and I are HUGE Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. We watch the entire series every few years. We even named our dog Willow after the evil witch Willow from the show. See why?

We also love How I Met Your Mother so we were SUPER excited to run into Alyson Hannigan at a vegan bakery in Los Angeles. Living in L.A. you often see celebrities out and about and normally we just whisper to ourselves how cool it is and go our merry way. But this time we just had to say something, so my husband asked her for a pic. She was so incredibly nice (and gorgeous I may add). I look like a complete dork in this photo because I was totally geeking out, but needless to say this made my weekend - and the vegan cupcakes weren't so bad either!!

(my friend Agatha is making her 4th appearance in my blog - she's keeping count!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger French Bread Pizza

Let me start by saying that this isn't exactly a healthy recipe, but pair it with a large green salad and you may not feel AS guilty :)

What you will need:

1 loaf of french bread
1 can marinara sauce
1/2 package Meatless grounds
1/2 package Smart Bacon
Vegan cheese (Daiya is my favorite)
Fresh baby spinach
2 Green onions, sliced thin

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 425° and line a cookie sheet with foil.

2. Warm meatless grounds in a skillet, then remove and set aside.

3. Cut Smart bacon in half and cook in the same skillet.

4. While bacon is cooking, slice french bread in half length-wise and spoon marinara sauce on each half. Add a couple handfuls of fresh spinach (I only did this on one side). Then sprinkle Daiya cheese on each half.

5. Once the bacon is just about crisp, layer it on top of the cheese, then follow with the meatless crumbles and a little more cheese. Pop it into the oven for about 18 minutes.

6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with green onions, slice and enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cafe Gratitude

One of the BEST vegan meals I have ever had was at Gracias Madre in San Francisco, I can't even explain what they did to my kale, but it was AH-MAZING. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to find out that the owners had another restaurant in L.A. called Cafe Gratitude.

My lovely friend Agatha had been recently and kept telling me I needed to try it (can I just say I adore the fact that I have omnivorous friends who are into vegan food??). I finally got the chance to go a few weeks ago and I was gleefully happy. I love that this company offers 100% organic vegan food at all it's locations grown on their very own farm in Northern CA.

We went on a Wednesday night and it was packed. We waited almost 45 minutes for a table, but once seated service was fast and the food came out quickly. Our table started with "I AM HONORING": Live Nachos with spicy sunflower bean pâté, guacamole, salsa fresca, nacho cheese and homemade crackers. SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS! I was definitely honoring whoever came up with this concoction because it was flavorful, fulfilling and oh so pretty!!
For my entree I ordered the "I AM WARM-HEARTED": Grilled polenta with fresh puttanesca sauce and spinach topped with cashew ricotta and Brazil nut parmesan. Even though I was already pretty full from the nachos, I devoured this meal and probably would have even licked the bowl clean had I not been in a public place! The polenta was crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside and I have to say that I have become a huge fan of cashew cheeses, I haven't met one yet that I didn't like.

Agatha ordered the "I AM TRANSFORMED": Two seasonal corn tacos with caramelized butternut squash, black beans, sliced avocado, salsa fresca and cashew nacho cheese. She was nice enough to give me a bite and this too was amazing. Each dish is just bursting with flavors and knowing that you're eating healthy clean food grown on an organic farm just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Isn't Agatha adorable!!??

I am definitely thankful for Cafe Gratitude and can't wait to go back again, especially now since a BabyCakes opened a few blocks away!