Thanksgiving, but Cruelty Free

The year is almost over! As I start to reflect on everything that’s happened this year, I am in awe and so THANKFUL. I have met so many amazing people. I’ve learned so much, and I am so excited to see what happens next. Many of us kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is full of so many traditions. Football, mashed potatoes, stuffing, the list goes on.

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This year, I want to challenge you to continue your traditions, but with a few small tweaks. This year, I want us all to celebrate, but with a little less cruelty. But how, right? I know you don’t want to give up your pumpkin pie or turkey. But I’m asking for a little trust here. I KNOW that with a few changes, you can celebrate this season of thankfulness with a clearer conscious and satisfied taste buds.

Let’s start with the classics. No Thanksgiving is complete without:

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Pie/Pecan Pie
  • Stuffing
  • Turkey
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Apple Crisp

Vegan-ise Your Mashed Potatoes

Now, the two ingredients that keep your vegan relatives from enjoying your mashed potatoes are butter and milk. Luckily, this is a quick fix and you have PLENTY of options. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has a vegan option, as well as Earth Balance. So keep an eye out for these in your local grocery store, or take a trip to that new hipster grocery place your kids can’t afford but go to anyways (Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Turnip Truck, etc).

If you’re the kind of person that makes your mashed potatoes from scratch, fear not. You can make your own vegan butter and it’s super easy. Like so easy, I might even try it this year.

Now, we’re hopefully all familiar with milk alternatives. My current favorite is Oat Milk. Super creamy and makes a delicious latte! Most grocery stores at least carry almond, soy, and coconut by now. So you’ve got plenty of easy options there, too!

Vegan-ise Your Pumpkin Pie + Pecan Pie

There are so many ways you can do this! Odds are, there’s a vegan baker close to you that you can find online, that would happily make these for you. But if not, here’s a bunch of recipes I found online (disclaimer: I haven’t tried these yet!)

Cooking from Scratch:
Pecan Pie That I can’t Wait to Try (major changes – vegan butter and crust)
Vegan Pumpkin Pie 

Store Bought:
Unfortunately I could not find a store bought vegan pecan pie (see gif below for my thoughts on this). BUT I did find a vegan pumpkin pie! You can find it too at Whole Foods!

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Vegan-ise Your Stuffing

Most store bought stuffing mix calls for chicken broth. A quick change you can make is to opt for a vegetable broth instead! Not sure if you’re grabbing a vegan friendly broth? Avoid those with meat titles and check out the ingredients list. At the bottom of your food label, allergen information can be found. So watch for things like “Contains: eggs, milk” etc.

Vegan-ise Your “Turkey”

While you may be nervous about making a big change to everyone’s favorite dish, there ARE alternatives. ToFurky has a great Tofu Turkey and Wild Rice stuffing that you can find in stores! The Gardein brand offers a stuffed “turkey” or Holiday Roast option for groups!

BUT – if you like presentation as much as I do, you’ll be the most interested in this option. Vegetarian Plus offers a Vegan Whole Turkey. It’s shaped and colored to look exactly like a real turkey. Find out where you can find it here!

Vegan-ise Your Green Bean Casserole 

Miniminalist Baker is my go-to vegan recipe holder. She’s got a killer green bean casserole recipe that you HAVE to try. Still creamy, still got a bit of crunch, but only 10 ingredients and none that include any animal products!

Vegan-ise Your Apple Crisp

Another holiday must have, is dessert. Apple Crisp is that perfect end of fall treat to complete your holiday (in between pie slices). And can be made vegan friendly very easily! I found a recipe here, that I haven’t tried yet, but I will tell you that it seems to have everything covered! Now, for someone who doesn’t cook often, it looks like a lot of work. I haven’t had any luck looking for a store bought/premixed option, but I will be sure to share it if I find one!

*if beer is you’re thing, you have another opportunity to be cruelty free this year. You may be surprised to find out that some beers are processed with animal products or additives. Luckily, Peta has a complete list of beers that are vegan friendly!

Now, I understand that this may be a lot to take on. It can definitely be intimidating. If you decide to have turkey at your holiday celebration, I hope you don’t feel judged. But I know that there are MANY of you who would like to have a positive impact on this world, and making these small changes (even just one at a time) is a great way to start. So I’d like to challenge to you switch up at least one dish. Try tweaking just ONE of your recipes and having a less cruel holiday. This will probably be the ONLY time I share recipes with you guys, so let me know how it goes and don’t expect this often haha!

 

 

My Favorite Women – October

I’m writing this in the Nashville airport at 5am. My flight has been delayed two hours and Real Housewives of Orange County won’t load, so here we are! I’m rolling out another list of incredible women that did some really cool things in October.

1. Alyssa Milano

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Alyssa Milano recorded a video in January for her daughter, addressing the #MeToo movement and sharing her own story. This past month, Milano shared that video with the public on the one year anniversary of tweeting, #MeToo herself. Talk about vulnerability, people! Too often women are criticized for showing too much emotion or being “too emotional”, but Milano didn’t hesitate. Since sharing her story, she has advocated for survivors of sexual assault relentlessly.  To watch the video, click here.

2. Rihanna

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My queen. Rihanna does it again. After being asked to perform at the Super Bowl, the superstar passed on the opportunity to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

3. Taylor Swift

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I have never been a Swiftie (and probably never will be) BUT, I was proud of “American’s Sweetheart” for finally stepping out and speaking her mind when it came to politics. She encouraged others to vote and even caused a spoke in voter registration in the state of Tennessee. What a time to be alive. You can read Taylor’s full statement below!

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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈

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Petit Vour Box Review – September

It’s almost November! You know what that means! That means that you’re about to read a post that’s a month late!!! Bet you’re so pumped! If you’ve been following along at all, you know that one of the things we try to do over here at AllisonRanting.com is empower women. Part of that empowerment is educating women and giving them access to products that are significantly better for their health, than what they’re currently using. If you don’t think the make up you’re wearing now is that that bad, you’re going to want to put a pause on this, and read up on the Five Toxins on Your Face Right Now.

Petit Vour has been a super helpful part of this clean beauty journey for me and I’m really pumped to tell you all about what came in my September subscription box! Honestly, I wasn’t super impressed with the August box. I really loved the Eye of Horus Brow Pencil that came in it, but the rest was just kinda “meh” to me.

BUT SEPTEMBER’S BOX GUYS!! SO GOOD!! 

The September box came with a lip crayon, bath oil, shampoo + conditioner sample, and lotion! I’ll go product by product telling you exactly what I thought of each one!

1. Axiology Lip Crayon – $26
Impressed immediately by the packaging. I love the triangle shape and the shimmery gold. I received the color Enduring. *peep that swatch pic*. This crayon went on SO SMOOTHLY. It was like butter. I did feel like it plumped and moisturized my lips, and wasn’t drying at all. Now, it is a color I don’t normally wear, so I’m not sure how often I’ll use it. My only critique would be that it didn’t stay as bright or last as long as I wanted it to.

 

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset2. Olverum Bath Oil – $13
YA’LL I felt so fancy. Now normally, I wouldn’t buy something that is going to
literally just go down the drain (#bathoil) but this felt so luxurious. I mean, just look at that glass bottle. Made up of organic essential oils, it smells SUH GOOD. After soaking for a while, my skin was left so soft and smooth. You only need about a third of the bottle per bath (or shower if you prefer) so there’s plenty left. If you want to give something luxurious to a friend that won’t break the bank, I recommend this!

 

 

3. Evolvh Ultra Shine Moisture Shampoo + Conditioner – $5 Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
THIS PRODUCT IS ONLY FIVE DOLLARS I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE IT IS MAGIC. Seriously. Made for all hair types, this duo is voluminizing (yas), frizz-dimenishing (yas yas), and color-protecting (yas yas yas). My hair felt so clean and so healthy. Not to mention, it left my hair with an incredible shine. I cannot stress enough how surprised I was by this. I mean, they didn’t send a very big sample, and I’ve got a lot of hair on my head. I didn’t expect to notice a difference at all, but my hair felt genuinely clean, smelled great, and looked great. I will absolutely be purchasing this again.

4. Andalou Naturals Kukui Cocoa Nourishing Body Butter- $2 
When I tell you that this lotion could not have come at a better time, I mean it. The Processed with VSCO with m5 presetNashville cold snuck up on all of us this year and dry skin is slowly killing me. But this lotion has been everything I needed. Without leaving my skin greasy, this lotion makes my skin so so soft. Not to mention, it smells like cake batter (and if you don’t think that’s a good thing, UM BYE). Safe to use all over, this is the perfect lotion to have in your bag. Will definitely be purchasing again BECAUSE DID YOU SEE THAT IT’S ONLY TWO DOLLARS!!!

 

 

 

 

Keep your eyes peeled for an IGTV video review as well! In the meantime, you can keep yourself entertained with the last IGTV review that I’d consider only a partial failure.