Plant-based Life

I try to live as animal-friendly, earth-friendly, people-friendly as possible, and I love to help others do the same.  It’s very satisfying to show someone else how easy it can be!

I am a cook/teacher/coach of eating and living a plant-based life (vegan!)  One of the most popular services I offer is facilitating Make-n-Take Dinners for four to ten people in which everyone helps cooks and then takes home 4-8 dinners for the freezer.  It’s a lot of fun among friends to learn new recipes and go home with dinners all ready!  I’m also available for private cooking lessons and parties, shopping trips and pantry make-overs.  I also facilitate World Peace Diet book groups.

I started my vegetarian life in 2007 and slowly moved vegan ever since.  Although already mostly vegan, I made the total vegan move early 2011 after really realizing our bodies were not actually built to eat animal products and did not require them to maintain health.

You can see my former seattlevegcoach blog here, and below are just a few veg facts!

Please let me know any questions you might have! Contact me

What is the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian?

Vegetarian  A vegetarian diet consists of nothing that is a product or by-product of animal slaughter. This includes, in addition to the obvious meat, fish and poultry, no chicken base, gelatin, rennet, or over 20 other ingredients commonly found in food. You can find a list of many of these ingredients below.  You may hear of vegetarians that eat fish or poultry, they are not  considered vegetarian by traditional definition.  However over the past 20 years, the use of the word Vegetarian has become more casual to include people that eat eggs and dairy when once they were Ovo- or lacto-vegetarians.

Vegan  A vegan diet consists of food that has no animal products or by-products, nor has it ever been “touched” by an animal, for example honey, dairy or pure cane sugar.   A vegan lifestyle goes far beyond just their diet, so you may want to consider the use of leather, fur and other animal products in your life if you aim to be vegan.

Determining animal or animal by-products in food can be tricky as the manufactures and packagers don’t usually list the source of questionable ingredients. For example “enzyme” may be listed on the packaging but it won’t indicate if it’s from and animal, vegetable or synthetic source.  They might also list general terms such as “natural” flavors or colors and can be difficult to trace back to source without diligent questioning and follow-up directly with the manufacturer.

Curious about what common foods and products you may not know are animal-sourced?

Much of this list was compiled from and resources, many thanks to their wonderful websites

Albumen, albumin In eggs, milk, muscles, blood, and many vegetable tissues and fluids. In cosmetics, albumen is usually derived from egg whites and used as a coagulating agent. May cause allergic reaction. In cakes, cookies, candies, etc. Egg whites sometimes used in “clearing” wines. Derivative: Albumin.
Ambergris. From whale intestines. Used as a fixative in making perfumes and as a flavoring in foods and beverages. Alternatives: synthetic or vegetable fixatives.
Animal Fats and Oils. In foods, cosmetics, etc. Highly allergenic. Alternatives: olive oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, safflower oil, etc.
Blood. From any slaughtered animal. Used as adhesive in plywood, also found in cheese-making, foam rubber, intravenous feedings, and medicines. Possibly in foods such as lecithin. Alternatives: synthetics, plant sources.
Bonito. Dried flakes from fish. Frequently used in Japanese cooking.
Carbamide. (See Urea.)
Carmine. Cochineal. Carminic Acid. Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly, 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring).May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice (used in powders, rouges, shampoos; no known toxicity); alkanet root (from the root of this herb-like tree; used as a red dye for inks,wines, lip balms, etc.; no known toxicity. Can also be combined to make a copper or blue coloring).
Casein. Caseinate. Sodium Caseinate.  Milk protein. In “non-dairy” creamers, soy cheese, many cosmetics, hair preparations, beauty masks. Alternatives: soy protein, soy milk, and other vegetable milks.
Cerebrosides. Fatty acids and sugars found in the covering of nerves. May include tissue from brain.
Chitosan.  A fiber derived from crustacean shells. Used as a lipid binder in diet products, in hair, oral and skin care products, antiperspirants, and deodorants. Alternatives: raspberries, yams, legumes, dried apricots, and many other fruits and vegetables.
Colors. Dyes. Pigments from animal, plant, and synthetic sources used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. Cochineal is from insects. Widely used FD&C and D&C colors are coaltar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continously tested on animals due to their carcinogenic properties. Alternatives: grapes, beets, turmeric, saffron, carrots, chlorophyll, annatto, alkanet.
Cysteine, L-Form.  An amino acid from hair which can come from animals, like from duck feather. Used in hair-care products and creams, in some bakery products, and in wound-healing formulations. Alternatives: plant sources.
Gelatin. Gel.  Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. From cows and pigs. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (e.g., “Jello”). In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules. Sometimes used to assist in “clearing” wines. Alternatives: carrageen (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelp—used in jellies, plastics, medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel. Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marsh mallow plant. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies. Digital cameras don’t use film.
Honey.  Food for bees, made by bees. Can cause allergic reactions. Used as a coloring and an emollient in cosmetics and as a flavoring in foods. Should never be fed to infants. Alternatives: in foods—maple syrup, date sugar, syrups made from grains such as barley malt, turbinado sugar, molasses; in cosmetics—vegetable colors and oils.
Isinglass. A form of gelatin prepared from the internal membranes of fish bladders. Sometimes used in “clearing” or filtering of wines and in foods. Alternatives: bentonite clay, “Japanese isinglass,” agar-agar (see alternatives to Gelatin), mica, a mineral used in cosmetics.
Lactic Acid. Found in blood and muscle tissue. Also in sour milk, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation. Used in skin fresheners, as a preservative, in the formation of plasticizers, etc. Alternative: plant milk sugars, synthetics.
Lactose. Milk sugar from milk of mammals. In eye lotions, foods, tablets, cosmetics, baked goods, medicines. Alternatives: plant milk sugars.
Lard.  Fat from hog abdomens. In shaving creams, soaps, cosmetics. In baked goods, French fries, refried beans, and many other foods. Alternatives: pure vegetable fats or oils.
L-Cysteine Hydrochloride. A flour additive often extracted from duck feathers. Found in commercial cereals and baking mixes.
Lipase. Enzyme from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids, and lambs. Used in digestive aids as it helps the body break down fats. Also commonly found in cheese and dairy products. Alternatives: vegetable enzymes, castor beans.
Marine Oil.  From fish or marine mammals (including porpoises). Used in soap-making. Used as a shortening (especially in some margarines), as a lubricant, and in paint. Alternatives: vegetable oils.
Methionine.  Essential amino acid found in various proteins (usually from egg albumen and casein). Used as a texturizer and for freshness in potato chips. Alternatives: synthetics.
Monoglycerides. Glycerides. (See Glycerin.) From animal fat. In margarines, cake mixes, candies, foods, etc. In cosmetics. Alternative: vegetable glycerides.
“Natural Sources.” Can mean animal or vegetable sources. Most often in the health food industry, especially in the cosmetics area, it means animal sources, such as animal elastin, glands, fat, protein, and oil. Alternatives: plant sources.
Panthenol. Dexpanthenol. Vitamin B-Complex Factor. Provitamin B-5. Can come from animal or plant sources or synthetics. In shampoos, supplements, emollients, etc. In foods. Derivative: Panthenyl. Alternatives: synthetics, plants.
Pepsin. In hogs’ stomachs. A clotting agent. In some cheeses and vitamins. Same uses and alternatives as Rennet.
Rennet. Rennin. Enzyme from calves’ stomachs. Used in cheese-making, rennet custard (junket), and in many coagulated dairy products. Alternatives: microbial coagulating agents, bacteria culture, lemon juice, or vegetable rennet.
Shellac. Resinous Glaze. Resinous excretion of certain insects. Used as a candy glaze, in hair lacquer, and on jewelry. Alternatives: plant waxes.
Spermaceti. Cetyl Palmitate. Sperm Oil.  Waxy oil derived from the sperm whale’s head or from dolphins. In many margarines. In skin creams, ointments, shampoos, candles, etc. Used in the leather industry. May become rancid and cause irritations. Alternatives: synthetic spermaceti, jojoba oil, and other vegetable emollients.
Stearic Acid.  Fat from cows and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring. Derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats, coconut.
Tallow. Tallow Fatty Alcohol. Stearic Acid.  Rendered beef fat. May cause eczema and blackheads. In wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, etc. In candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, other cosmetics. Chemicals (e.g., PCB) can be in animal tallow. Derivatives: Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, Tallow Amide, Tallow Amine, Talloweth-6, Tallow Glycerides, Tallow Imidazoline. Alternatives: vegetable tallow, Japan tallow, paraffin and/or ceresin (see alternatives to Beeswax for all three). Paraffin is usually from petroleum, wood, coal, or shale oil.
Urea. Carbamide. Excreted from urine and other bodily fluids. In deodorants, ammoniated dentifrices, mouthwashes, hair colorings, hand creams, lotions, shampoos, etc. Used to “brown” baked goods, such as pretzels. Derivatives: Imidazolidinyl Urea, Uric Acid. Alternatives: synthetics.
Whey. A serum from milk. Usually in cakes, cookies, candies, and breads. In cheese-making. Alternatives: soybean whey.


Feel free to contact me for more information or to book a class!

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