Ingredients To Avoid On A Vegan Diet

Happy Monday Everyone!

I just want to send you all love and light before we get started with this blog post.

As a new vegan, I am still learning every single day on ingredients. Before I buy something I always quickly check google on the ingredient, however this sometimes this can take a while, so to make it easier for you guys I have compiled a list below. I find that when i’m reading or writing, it’s easier for me to remember, this is why I’ve done this for you guys! When you go through the list, a lot of these will stick in your head, then when you’re buying products you can remember or relate back to the blog for more information. For additional information or a more detailed list, feel free to get the “Animal-Free” app 🙂

Please note that any products that state they are “cruelty-free” are not necessarily vegan and vice versa. Cruelty-free means that the product has not been tested on animals. Vegan means there are no animal ingredients or by-products. Be careful as some logos look quite similar, such as the bunny stating something is cruelty-free as well as cruelty-free and vegan.

This blog has some great points about cruelty-free vs vegan and vice versa, check it out!

Anything with a “ * ” below means it is sometimes derived from animals, can also be derived from plants.


– 0% Cholesterol in most cases means that the food is vegan/animal-free
– Always look for a Vegan or Vegetarian symbol or sticker. In most cases if something is vegetarian and none of the ingredients indicate dairy, then you’re good to go!
-Additives or preservatives can also be animal-derived such as Riboflavin (may contain milk)

Vegan Easy has an awesome list on food additives and numbering. Check it out here!

Watch Out For:
-“Non-Dairy” Creamers, Soy Cheeses (can contain Casein or other milk products/powders)
– The ingredients below in cosmetics, perfumes vitamins or medicine
-“Natural Flavours” can be derived from animal genitals for vanilla flavour/other
-“Natural Flavours” can also be an animal fat or by-product

Animal Fats:
☠️ Lard
☠️ Lauric Acid
☠️ Myristic Acid
☠️ Oleic Acid or Oleyl Oleate, Oleyl Stearate
☠️ Palmitic Acid or Palmitamide, Palmitamine, Palmitate
☠️ Stearic Acid or Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearone
☠️ Suet
☠️ Tallow or Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, Tallow Glycerides

Hidden Animal Ingredients & By-Products:

☠️ Adrenaline or Epinephrine [hormone from adrenal glands of hogs, cattle or sheep.] *
☠️ Albumen or Albumin [derived from egg whites, in egg whites, milk, muscles, blood..etc]
☠️ Ambergris [derived from sperm whale intestines]
☠️ Amino Acids or Alanine *
☠️ Artificial *
☠️ Benzoic Acid *

☠️ Beeswax, Bee Pollen, Cera Flava or Honeycomb
☠️ Calcium Lactate 
[derived from Lactic Acid]
☠️ Carmine or Crimson Lake, Carmine Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4 [red pigment derived from crushed insects, specifically females]
☠️ Casein or Caseinate [milk protein]
☠️ Castoreum (“Natural Flavours” on Ingredients) [derived from muskrat or beaver genitals]
☠️ Civet (“Natural Flavours” on Ingredients) [derived from the genitals of civet cats]
☠️ Collagen [derived from animal tissue]
☠️ Cortisone [hormone derived from adrenal glands]
☠️ Cystine [amino acid in urine and horse hair]
☠️ Elastin [derived from tendons of cows]

☠️ Emulsifier 471 or E471 *
☠️ Estrogen 
[derived from pregnant mare’s (horse) urine]
☠️ Gelatin or Gel 
[derived by boiling animal skin, tendons, ligaments and bones]
☠️ Glycerin, Glycerol, Glycerides *
☠️ Insulin
[derived from pancreas of hogs and cattle]
☠️ Iron Lactate [derived from lactic acid] *

☠️ Isinglass
[derived from internal membranes of fish bladders]
☠️ Keratin
 [derived from ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills and hair]
☠️ Lactic Acid or Sodium Steroyl Lactylate [derived from blood and muscle tissue. also derived from fermentation of sugars in whey, corn starch, potatoes or molasses ] *

☠️ Lactose 
[derived from milk of mammals]
☠️ Lecithin [derived from nervous tissue of living organisms. Also can be derived from eggs, nerve tissue, blood, milk and corn] *

☠️ Lanolin or Isopropyl Lanolate
 [extracted from sheep wool]
☠️ L-Cystine
[amino acid derived from hair, often animal hair]
☠️ Mono and Di Glycerides 
[derived from animal fat] *
☠️ Nucleic Acid 
[derived from nucleus of living cells] *
☠️ Paracasein 
[combined with soluable salts to make cheese curd]
☠️ Pepsin 
[enzyme derived from stomach’s of calves or pigs]
☠️ Rennet or Rennin 
[enzyme derived from calves’ stomachs]
☠️ Shellac or Confectioner’s Glaze, Pharmaceutical Glaze, Resinous Glaze 
[derived from the lac insect]
☠️ Silk or Silk Powder 
[derived from silkworms]
☠️ Trypsin [derived from digestive system of vertebrates]
☠️ Tyrosine [amino acid] *
☠️ Uric Acid or Urea, Carbamide 
[excreted from urine and other bodily fluids] *

☠️ Vitamin D or Vitamin D-2 *, Vitamin D-3
☠️ Vitamin B12
☠️ Whey
[derived from milk]

Some other symbols to memorize when you’re a newbie vegan:

Just remember, it is the intention behind the food, your mindset and veganism in itself. If you accidentally consume something with dairy, or something that isn’t vegan, it’s okay, mistakes happen. It’s important to educate yourself on the ingredients and hidden animal products/by-products. There are many ways companies like hiding animal ingredients in our food, it’s just a matter of educating yourself and moving forward.

Tips On Eating Out As a Vegan:
– The easiest thing to do when you’re starting out is to cook at home or simply go to vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian restaurants are more likely to know the difference between vegetarian and vegan.

– Many Asian restaurants DO NOT consider fish sauce, oyster sauce or fish oils..etc as animal products and will tell you that the meals are “vegan-friendly”. I have come across this myself.

– Some sushi places DO NOT consider their nori (seaweed) to be an animal product, however some do contain shrimp, fish and other oils for flavouring. A lot of sauces can also contain fish or oyster sauce.

All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)

15 Environmentally-Friendly Etsy Shop Items

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I found some amazing ways we can help the environment and I thought I would share these items with you. This isn’t just about helping the environment… it’s about purchasing handmade items that are made with love and compassion, contributing towards cruelty-free and vegan products as well as helping out and supporting small businesses and local shops instead of heading to your big-box retailers as per usual.

Sometimes it takes a few days to get to you, sometimes it’s a little late, however handmade goods are definitely worth it!

The other thing I have found with purchasing items off of Etsy is that the community of shop owners are nice, genuine people who love to create and do what they do. It is a unique piece you are purchasing as each piece is made with love by the hands of creative and imaginative human beings.

I’ll  be adding photos from Etsy below, each photo will take you to an Etsy page where you can purchase these beautiful and environmentally-friendly items! Please also know that these are in no particular order.

Let’s save the Earth one step at a time.


#1 Eco-Friendly & Biodegradable Toothbrushes
Toothandbrush‘s Etsy shop has biodegradable, bamboo toothbrushes! They’re good for sensitive teeth, they’re gentle on the gums, they come in eco-friendly packaging, they’re BPA-Free and best of all…They’re 100% sustainable, ethical and vegan!

Etsy Shop: Toothandbrush


LitttleBits Etsy shop also has biodegradable toothbrushes made from bamboo. They also sell a variety of all natural powders to protect the teeth and gums!

Etsy Shop: LitttleBits


#2 Biodegradable Confetti
We never really think about getting biodegradable party or wedding supplies, why is that? Is it really more convenient for the planet when we head to the nearest dollar store and purchase plastic? I say, let’s make the world a better place by partying in eco-friendly confetti. PurpleSakana makes some amazing colours and varieties of biodegradable confetti. To be precise, they have over 150 types of biodegradable confetti in their shop!

Etsy Shop: PurpleSakana

Etsy Shop: PurpleSakana


#3 Biodegradable White Dove Helium Balloons
Truly cage-free white doves on your beautiful day-to-remember. These biodegradable helium balloons are a great option! They’re made by an Etsy shop based in the United States called OhGloryBee!

Etsy Shop: OhGloryBee

Etsy Shop: OhGloryBee


#4 Bamboo Diapers
This is truly amazing considering that a lot of conventional diapers are tested on animals such as pampers. They’re product description says it all…“if you use our diapers for your child’s entire diaper phase, by the time your child is wearing size 4, their first diapers will have already become part of the earth!”. You can find these bamboo, eco-friendly diapers on Bambamboos. They have no added chemicals, no chlorine, bleaches or latex as well as no added fragrance. They are also printed with soy inks which in most cases are VEGAN!

Etsy Shop: Bambamboos

Etsy Shop: Bambamboos


#5 Up-cycled Decor
Make your sacred space, wedding or party fantastically eco-friendly from these recycled garland flags! The Etsy shop to follow for these amazing banners is called PeonyandThistle! They have a large variety of beautiful prints to choose from, this one is one of my favorites…

Etsy Shop: PeonyandThistle

Etsy Shop: PeonyandThistle


#6 Natural Cork Yoga Mat
Get your yogi bestie an amazing birthday, christmas or just-for-fun gift! Or seriously just get this for yourself, you know you want it! These mats are sustainable, ethical, and antimicrobial. They’re also non-slip and made with no chemicals. You can find these at theurbivore Etsy shop.

Etsy Shop: theurbivore

Etsy Shop: theurbivore


#7 Eco-Friendly “Swiffer” Covers
These sustainable covers are knit and crocheted using 100% cotton yarn. handknitted4you has a beautiful variety of colours and also knits other handy-dandy items such as dish cloths!

Etsy Shop: handknitted4you

Etsy Shop: handknitted4you


#8 Biodegradable Wedding Utensils
I know it seems like there are a lot of eco-friendly wedding options on this blog…could it be because i’m getting married? No, not yet anyways! It’s simply the items I found to be most popular through Etsy. This could be due to a high demand for eco-friendly wedding supplies and decor! These beautiful utensils can be purchased at ConfettiMommaParty ‘s Etsy Shop!

Etsy Shop: ConfettiMommaParty

Etsy Shop: ConfettiMommaParty


#9 Reusable Lunch Bags
It’s also a brilliant idea the fact that this eco-friendly lunch bag resembles classic paper bags! These can be ordered from RainbowBeeDesign‘s Etsy shop. It’s durable, chemical-free and handmade from waxed canvas. The wax used ensures that your lunch is waterproof. The wax is also food-safe and antibacterial. This may be suitable for some vegans that consume honey and/or use beeswax products.

Etsy Shop: RainbowBeeDesign

Etsy Shop: RainbowBeeDesign


#10 Are You a Tree-Hugging, Tree-Loving Artist? Check Out These Eco-Friendly Oil Paints!
These paints are made from natural pigments described as “Earth Pigments”. They are made without the use of any toxins, solvents, preservatives or synthetic pigments- only earth and walnut oil. NaturalEarthPaint has a variety of options including non-toxic and handmade paints for kids. Make your school supplies cruelty-free and vegan! Although i’m not entirely sure if these are vegan, I would assume so as they’re made with natural pigments and walnut oil. I have messaged the shop owner to confirm.

Etsy Shop: NaturalEarthPaint

Etsy Shop: NaturalEarthPaint


#11 Make Your Kitchen Colourful With These Handmade Reusable Dish Sponges
I think i’ll  be getting a few of these myself! They’re made by fandcsewing and you can get these in a variety of prints and colours. They’re vegan as they’re filled with 100% polyester.

Etsy Shop: fandcsewing

Etsy Shop: fandcsewing


#12 How About Some Handmade Face Scrubbies?
This is a fabulous idea for anyone looking to help the planet by not purchasing cotton pads all of the time and not to mention this saves you money! You’re also helping the animals that certain companies test their cotton pads, and make-up removing wipes on. These beauties are made by silvashop along with other beautiful crocheted items!

Etsy Shop: silvashop

Etsy Shop: silvashop


#13 Reusable Paper Towels
This is one of the greatest products I’ve seen for being eco-friendly around the house. With kids, pets, parties, spills, puppy accidents and clean-ups to do, we tend to use conventional paper towels and A LOT OF THEM. Here’s a great alternative by TuesdaysandThursdays. They’re made from 100% cotton and four snap-like buttons ensuring that you can put them together after every wash.

Etsy Shop: TuesdaysandThursdays

Etsy Shop: TuesdaysandThursdays


#14 Reusable Nursing Pads
Now…I don’t know too much about kids, having kids or kids in general as I have none of my own. However I think this is a great product if you’re currently purchasing disposable ones. The other great part about these is that they’re cruelty-free, which is nice considering that a lot of baby products are tested on animals. I’m not entirely sure if these specific pads are vegan-friendly as it says they’re made of fleece and flannel. I know that now-a-days most flannels are made of cotton and there are cheap polyester-fleece alternatives. You can purchase these on BGreenings‘s Etsy shop.

Etsy Shop: BGreenings

Etsy Shop: BGreenings


#15 Reusable Eco-Friendly Coffee Filters
This is an absolutely fabulous idea for any coffee addicts out there! A great alternative to conventional paper coffee filters that get thrown out, these are made using hemp and cotton! These are reusable and you can rinse them 2-3 times after each use before washing. They can be found on GreenCityLiving‘s Etsy Shop.

Etsy Shop: GreenCityLiving

Etsy Shop: GreenCityLiving

I’ll be purchasing a few of these items, I suppose at that point i’ll be writing another blog post on Environmentally-Friendly Etsy Item Reviews!

All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)

15 Random Facts About Me

Hey Everyone!

Before I start this blog, I want to send you all positive energy, light and love ❤

I thought I would write a little bit about myself so that you can get to know me and maybe we can be friends haha. But seriously, there are so many bloggers out there and not many readers get to know the blogger themselves, so I thought I would write a few interesting and random facts about myself! 🙂

If you want to learn a little bit more about my personal life, what I like, what I do for fun and my adventures and creations, just follow me on Instagram. I share a lot of my cooking/vegan recipes, Cosmo, spiritual posts, motivational posts and spreading light and love to as many viewers as possible. I love making people’s day 🙂


#1 I constantly have dreams that come true
This seriously happens to me all of the time. Sometimes it takes a few days, a week or even a year, however they usually come true at some point in time. Of course not any of the nightmares, but a lot of the good ones come true 🙂

#2 I dream every night
Sometimes I won’t remember much of my dream however I know for a fact that I dream every night, it’s quite rare for me to fall asleep and not be dreaming. Even during 30-minute power naps, i’ll be in dream land.


#3 I smile when I sleep
A lot of people have told me I smile in my sleep, mainly my boyfriend notices. I also subconsciously feel myself smiling, and there are many nights when I meditate and fall asleep smiling.

#4 I have my Master’s in Usui Reiki
I have been a Reiki Master since October 2015 and have been practicing whenever and wherever I can. During my sessions I like to cleanse the space and any crystals i’ll be using before starting. I also heal and practice Reiki on Cosmo; Animal Reiki is quite powerful and dogs absolutely love it. He just falls asleep in my arms and won’t want to get up afterwards.

#5 I “finger paint” a lot of my beauty products
I don’t have any fancy brushes or anything like that, I prefer doing my eye shadow just with my fingers as well as my liquid foundation. I have brushes for my powders such as blush and bronzer. I also use all vegan and cruelty-free beauty and skin care products including shampoos and conditioners. If there’s ever an eco-friendly and Organic option for make-up, skin care products, or hair products i’ll choose that (still being vegan and cruelty-free of course). One of the eco-friendly brands I use is made in Australia and they’re called Sukin. I use their shampoos, lotions and moisturizers. I love their brand a lot because it’s as natural as it gets, they don’t use parabens, they don’t test on animals, they use essential oils for scents versus perfumes (which can dry out your skin) and their packaging is all recyclable 🙂


#6 I have morning rituals

To start off my day I either meditate, do yoga or I do both. Every morning before starting I cleanse with sage and ensure the area i’m meditating in or doing yoga is cleared. Some mornings i’ll even do a bit of animal Reiki for Cosmo. My set up every morning looks a little bit like the video below.

#7 I almost died when I was about 5 years old

I was really ill with pneumonia and had an extremely high fever. I remember laying on the couch, sick and unable to move much, and I also remember sweating a lot while being absolutely freezing. I remember asking my mom for blankets and sometimes it was okay, until my fever got too high then she would take them away and sometimes give me a cold bath to cool my body temperature. At the time we lived in a pretty hot climate so that didn’t help either.

#8 I can speak Russian
My background is Russian and Ukrainian, that’s how I know Russian. My family and I still speak it all of the time and it’s pretty much a given when visiting my older relatives as they don’t know English very well.

#9 I have allergies
I am allergic to cut grass, the smell of grass and basically grass in general. When I sit on it, i’ll break out in little hives. I’m also very allergic to hay, so any time we go anywhere in the spring or summer and we have to pass through a lot of farms, my eyes start watering, my nose starts leaking and my mouth gets all dry and itchy. I’m also allergic to dandelions and “cotton” trees (I think they’re called cottonwood trees). They’re everywhere in Vancouver and Calgary and the “cotton” just flies around and it gets to me quite quickly. Basically i’m allergic to spring due to all of the pollen haha.


Side note: this is why I was recommended honey from many doctors and naturopaths, a little every day gets me used to the pollen outside. For some reason none of the allergy pills work for me and i’m not big on pharmaceuticals and prescription medication so i’ll take honey over that any day!

#10 I am a Graphic & Web Designer
I graduated from BCIT a while back and have a little over six years experience in graphic design. I also have experience in photography, video editing, photo editing, illustrations, user-experience and user-interface design.

#11 I have minor OCD
Which makes me quite good at my job because It requires me to pay attention to detail. A lot of my OCD kicks in when there’s things that could break, for example if there’s a cup on the table and quarter of the mug is “hanging” off the edge, it’ll push my OCD over the edge and i’ll have to move it to a “safe and designated” area haha.

#12 I shave my legs every morning
I love the feeling of smooth, it just makes me feel so clean and comfortable. This probably isn’t too good for my skin, however I do lotion afterwards and it makes it that much smoother. I find that when i’m sleeping if they’re stubbly, it bothers me quite a bit, so yeah, that’s why I do it 🙂

#13 I don’t like and don’t wear pajamas
They’re nice, cozy and warm…however around the house I prefer leggings, a tank or t-shirt. Even in the winter! It does get quite warm in our place so pajamas are almost uncomfortable.

#14 Sock-less
I love walking around with my bare feet, feeling the hardwood floor, it’s very grounding. I’ll only wear socks if i’m absolutely freezing, even then, in most cases I just grab a blanket so I can keep warm and be sock-free! 🙂


#15 I have visions
I have visions of people i’ll meet, or see them in my dreams or during meditation. I don’t recognize them until I meet them. I also have visions about how some items in life may unfold. A lot of my visions are extremely artistic and only I would be able to determine what they mean. I write my visions down a lot of the time, it’s mainly so I can look back and see how long it takes to come true, or some of them become of use later on in life. I’ll also get visions of objects, destinations and general outcomes. I wouldn’t call myself a psychic because I cannot see into other people’s future, past or present. I would say anybody close to me (close family, friends..etc) I would be able to see something however I don’t “read” people. If something comes to mind, it does, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

Let me know if you guys like “Random Facts” posts and i’ll be sure to post some more 🙂
Have a happy week everyone!