Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well, after a few months of Invisalign, then spacers, and now molar bands, it's time for full-on braces! Tomorrow I get brackets on all my little toofies. Fun times. 

What I'll look like tomorrow, from We Heart It

I'm preparing myself for lots and lots of soft foods. Bring on the polenta, oatmeal, hummus, applesauce, and juice. I also found this helpful list of soft vegan foods for people with braces. 

Wish me luck!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tips for the Vegan Wino

When I first went vegan, the last thing I thought about was if my wine was vegan. I mean, how couldn't it be? It's made from grapes, right? People stomp on them in big vats like in I Love Lucy. Actually, I don't want to think about people's feet in my wine, either. Either way, I spent a long time drinking whatever wine I fancied and enjoying my ignorance. You can imagine my surprise when I made my very first trip to Barnivore

If you haven't heard (and I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find a vegan these days who hasn't), Barnivore is an online vegan alcohol directory that helps vegans find out if their favorite tipple is safe for consumption. As Barnivore explains, "brewmasters, winemakers, and distillers may include animal ingredients in their products directly, or they might use them in the processing and filtration." Non-vegan ingredients most often show up in the filtration process, when the wine is clarified after fermentation. As weird as it sounds, things like isinglass (from fish bladders), seashells, animal gelatins, and animal albumins (from egg albumin and dried blood powder) show up in these processes. I've been told that these ingredients don't normally show up in the final product, but that still doesn't make it vegan. And it certainly doesn't make me want to drink it. 

The Barnivore App

Luckily, Barnivore has made it easier than ever to access their vegan alcohol directory by creating two iPhone apps: "Is Your Wine Vegan?" and "Is Your Beer Vegan?" What's even cooler is that they're free! I was quick to download the wine version, as I'm a serious wine lover. I use it lots. 

Wines are listed as Vegan, Some [vegan] and Not [vegan]

Now, as you might imagine, there are thousands upon thousands of wines out there, and Barnivore can't possibly list them all. It is hard to navigate through the wine aisle of the grocery store searching label after label for one that matches what your little iPhone screen says is vegan. Luckily, there are a few really good staple wines out there that show up almost everywhere. A few of my favorites are Red Truck, FishEye, Smoking Loon, Charles Shaw Reds (aka Two Buck Chuck), and Yellow Tail Reds. And let's not forget some of the more luxurious favorites: Veuve Clicquot and Groth are both vegan, too. 

Sadly, an old favorite of mine, Root:1, is not vegan. But that's okay! There are tons of great options out there, and I've already made some new favorites. 

So next time you're about to enjoy an "adult beverage," as my dad calls it, check on Barnivore first. You can drink and be a responsible vegan at the same time! Oh, and obviously, please drink responsibly.