April 30, 2015

Cruelty Free Beauty and Brands to Stay Away From

Hello, you gorgeous people! As some of you may have read from a post I made back in December, I am determined to have a completely cruelty free lifestyle. I already have the diet down, so now it's time to transition from what I put inside of my body to what I put outside of my body.

As most of you may know, a lot of brands test their beauty products on animals before selling them to the public. Although this can be looked at as a benefit to humans, it is absolute torture for animals. I will not include any pictures in this blog post in fear of upsetting the readers, but if you're strong enough, I strongly urge you to search online for pictures of animal testing and you'll see just how horrible it is. It's worse than one would think, and the poor animals don't deserve that.

I was recently searching online for cruelty free brands and brands to stay away from, and as I was searching, I thought it might make an interesting blog post for some of you who are in the same situation as I am!

Look out for these symbols on packagings! If the products have any of these symbols on their labels it means they're cruelty free! I would still check, even if you're 90% sure that the brand is cruelty free. This is because a lot of brands that've been known to be animal friendly have recently been taken off the cruelty free list due to their choice to start selling their products in China. The Chinese government requires all cosmetic products to be tested on animals before being sold to the public. 

Some brands may be listed more than once if they are guilty of testing on animals for multiple products. So without further ado, here are some of the brands that test on animals and the brands who are completely cruelty free!

Brands to Stay Away From

Drugstore Makeup
Cover Girl

Max Factor

High End Makeup
Bobbi Brown
Estée Lauder

Make Up For Ever
Yves Saint Laurent (YSL)

Hair Products

Nail Products
Sally Hansen

Oral Hygiene

Skin Care

Jo Malone

Cruelty Free

Drugstore Makeup

High End Makeup
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Too Faced

Hair Products
Paul Mitchell

Skin Care
Michael Todd True Organics
The Body Shop

Makeup Tools
Real Techniques
Sonia Kashuk

I hope you've found this helpful if you're trying to transition your beauty product collection into completely cruelty free! The animals would thank you for it, and you'd have a much better conscience!

Until next time,
Jordan x

April 9, 2015

Being a Vegetarian

Hello, my lovely and loyal blog readers! Today I'm talking about a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

As some of you may know, I am a vegetarian. I've been a vegetarian little over 3 years now, and I get A LOT of questions from people who are curious about my lifestyle and/or are interested in becoming vegetarian themselves. Today, I'm going to answer some of my FAQs about vegetarianism!

What is a Vegetarian?
People often get vegetarianism mistaken with veganism. A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat. A vegan is someone who doesn't eat any animal products, including meat, dairy, gelatin, and sometimes honey. I am a vegetarian. I eat a mostly vegan diet, but I allow myself some cheese every once in a while! That's why I still consider myself a vegetarian. Eventually, I hope to go completely vegan.

Why Did You Become a Vegetarian?
There are 3 main reasons people become vegetarian. They could go meat free because of health reasons, moral reasons, or religious reasons. I personally went vegetarian for moral reasoning. Once I learned about how animals were treated before being slaughtered and eventually put on our plates, there was no way I was going back. To me, it's strange how we keep some animals as beloved household pets while eating others for dinner.

What Do You Eat?
Vegetarians eat the same things as everyone else, just not meat. Some vegetarians eat eggs (ovo vegetarians) and some eat fish (pescatarians). Being a vegetarian, you have to be on the lookout for foods that might sneakily (and surprisingly) contain animal products. For instance, I do not eat any kind of squishy, fruity, gummy snacks because they usually contain gelatin, which comes from boiled skin, bones, tendons and ligaments of animals. Gross, right? I also don't regularly consume dairy products. (That's more of a vegan thing.) Yes, I'll have the occasional heavy cream in my coffee or tea or cheese on my pizza, but I would never drink a straight up glass of cow's milk.

Where Do You Get Your Protein?
A lot of people have the misconception that meat is the only sufficient source of protein. This is completely false! Vegetarians get protein from nuts, nut milks, nut butters, seeds, beans, peas, leafy greens and meat substitutes like tofu.

How Does it Affect Your Health?
Since I've been vegetarian, my eyes are brighter, my skin is clearer, and I have a good amount of energy. I'm 5'7" and weigh at most 120lb. I'm almost certain that if I was a meat eater, I'd be a lot heavier. And not in a good way. Also, meat eaters seem to be a lot less 'regular' than vegetarians, so that's a plus for us veggies!

What Do You Order at Restaurants?
Ordering meals in restaurants sucks for vegetarians. What you order obviously depends on what you like, but I suggest avoiding dishes that include gravy, various soups, Parmesan cheese (which contains rennet, a.k.a. proteins from cow stomachs), tomato sauce (which MAY contain rennet depending on the brand) and any kind of wobbly, gelatinous dessert, unless it states on the menu that the dishes are vegetarian. Remember, if you're eyeing up a certain dish that happens to contain meat, you can always ask for no meat. This only works, though, if the meals are prepared from scratch and not made ahead of time, where the ingredients have already been mixed together and contaminated.

What Do You Eat When You Crave Meat?
I don't know if my experience is the same as all vegetarians, but I realized that the longer I go without meat, the less I crave it. That being said, if I ever find myself craving something savory that can't be satisfied from fruits or vegetables, I resort to meat substitutes like tofu or veggie burgers. They might not always be spot on with their mimicry, but they've managed to satisfy every meat craving I've ever had! My favorite line of vegetarian products is MorningStar Farms. They have a HUGE variety of veggie burgers, breakfast foods, and even pizza! They're delicious. (The black bean burgers in particular!)

How Hard is It?
Honestly, staying away from meat is only 5% of the struggle. The other 95% of the struggle - especially if you live in a small town and/or are surrounded by close-minded people - comes from the constant criticism from your peers, figuring out what you can eat in restaurants, constantly being around meat eaters and constantly having to explain your lifestyle choice to people who think you're insane. There will be temptations and tight situations inevitably some mean comments. That's why in order to be a vegetarian, you need to have incredible will power and a thick, thick skin. Once you get past that, it's easy as pie! Especially when you know it's for a good cause.

Being a vegetarian has made me a much stronger person. I no longer crave acceptance from people, and I no longer have trouble taking the road less traveled when everyone else is doing something completely different.

Speaking from my experience on both sides, life is better as a vegetarian. You look better, you feel better, and you live with a clean conscience. What more could you want?!

I hope this has been an interesting insight into the life of a vegetarian! If you were thinking of becoming vegetarian yourself, I hope this has helped you make your final decision! If I didn't answer all of your questions, leave them in the comments section and I'll make sure to answer them!

Catch you on the flip side,
Jordan x