With Halloween right around the corner, I thought that it would be a perfect time to review one of the best vegan chocolate companies around – Go Max Go Foods. Also, since it’s nearly Halloween, I thought I would do a special review: the chocolate products I’ve tried of theirs in one review. This way, you can have some chocolate along with your candy.
Let’s get on to the first one:
Said to be the closest vegan chocolate bar to a Mars, this bar has nougat and caramel and is my favourite of the bunch! It is so rich, soft and chocolatey it’s seriously drool worthy. The caramel stretches when you bite into it like the cheese in pizza commercials, and that might just be the best thing about this bar.
Oh wait, no – the best thing about it is that the wrapper is purple. And purple’s the magic colour, which is probably why this chocolate bar tastes so good.
Cleo’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Dude, it’s a white chocolate peanut butter cup. What else do you need?
Only problem? Only two in a pack.
Cleo’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
Like the white chocolate ones, except dark chocolate. Same texture, size and ratio of chocolate to peanut butter goodness.
This one is still good, but it’s too nougaty for my liking. Biting it is like biting into a brick of nougat. And then, the chewing. There’s so. Much. Chewing.
Who knew a brick of nougat would be so dense?
All these chocolates are great vegan alternatives, but the one downside is that they don’t sell them in those giant boxes that the mixes of Mars, Coffee Crisp, Kit-Kats, etc. Come in. I’m sure I’m not the only vegan who would be down for buying a box of these chocolate bars in ‘fun size’, or hell, full size. (Then you don’t have to eat 20.)
They have a few other products I’ve yet to try, (check them out here), but these guys should be your go-to for all your Halloween-y chocolate-y needs.
Like this review? Check out more here!
“She has to be here,” his eyes swept the beach underneath him, scanning each face for those perfect amber orbs he’d grown to love.
“We’ve checked the entire beach twice,” Frank came out onto the balcony behind him, “She’s not there.”
“I’m sorry, Sir,” he placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, “we can’t postpone the meeting any longer.”
The prince took a small step forward, leaning out over the railing a little more, desperately searching the sand below him, “I just…” he trailed off, turning to look back at his father figure before sighing and stepping back toward the house, “You’re right. Can’t expect them to wait any longer. But once we get back I’m searching that beach myself.”
The butler suppressed his sigh and nodded, following the prince as he led the way back into the house. It wasn’t that he didn’t feel for his boss – of course he did, he himself had been through heartbreak before – it was just, seeing him so distraught her – it made him crazy. The prince was acting as if they’d been together months, years even – instead of the one week they had actually shared.
If Frank was being honest, he didn’t like her. She’d been tough to deal with, to say the least. She had zero interest in listening to the prince, and she tore the house apart.. It wasn’t right the way he was pining after her. Frank felt she wasn’t worth his time.
Definitely not worth all this drama.
What got under his skin even more was the fact she chose to leave. She could’ve stayed, if she’d only listened, but no, she tore out of the living room with little regard as to what she was leaving behind. He thought that once she was gone that’d be it, but no. Now he had the entire security team scouring the beach to find her. Why the prince assumed he’d be able to find her by just searching the beach was beyond him. She had a whole day ahead of them, there was no way she’d just be soaking in the sun waiting to be found.
Frank followed the prince into the board room, nodding at the four other men already there. He couldn’t help but notice the way the men straightened their back as they entered.
“Sorry for the wait,” the prince immediately switched to his Professional Mode and took his seat, “Jack, get us started.”
“W-well, your Highness, we, uh….” Frank stifled a smirk, of course you’d be the first, “we have our best men covering as much ground as possible.”
“Great,” the Prince turned to one of the other men, “any news from our eye in the sky?”
“Not yet,” the blonde startled a bit at the question, fidgeting with his tie as he answered, “as soon as we have a confirmed sighting, we’ll let you know. If she’s anywhere within a fifty foot radius, we’ll find her.”
Frank blinked, did I hear that right? “Excuse me gentlemen,” he turned to the prince, “Is this not the board meeting?”
The prince waved a dismissive hand, “No, no, I had that cancelled.”
“Cancelled?” he took a small step forward, “Sir, I don’t think-”
“I don’t pay you to think,” Frank blinked at the tone, noting the slight recoil that came from the other men in the room, “I pay you to do as I say.”
All this for her? The butler shook his head slightly, raising a hand, “Sir, if I may-”
The prince waved his hand again, the four other men in the room practically running for the door, “You may,” he stood, careful to keep his face blank of emotion, like his father, “either get on board with the search or pack your bags.”
Franks’ jaw dropped, “S-sir?” Surely he’s not serious.
The prince made his way to the door, and Frank saw the effort it took for him to keep from looking back at him, “Be gone by the end of the day.”
Frank took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves, “I practically raised you.”
The princes’ face twitched before smoothing out again, “If you refuse to listen, then you’re no longer needed.”
Frank paused as the prince left the room with that, shock beginning to set in. He rushed to the door, head spinning from what just happened, “Sir!” the prince stopped walking, finally looking him in the eye, “it’s just a dog!”
Like this story? Check out my other short stories here!
So far, I’ve just done food reviews, so I wasn’t too sure if I should do non-food items as well, but, since being vegan is more then just what you eat, I figured I should probably do some non-food items. Also, I realized that the non-food items might be things that trip more people up. Also, with warm weather around the corner, you’ll want to know some products to help keep your hair looking its best in the sun. (Since it’s no longer covered by a hat)
This was the first vegan shampoo I’ve ever tried (I only really started switching over the non-food products in my life this past year), so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I mean, aside from not being tested on animals, how different could it be? I read a few articles online that said that vegan shampoo wasn’t supposed to lather, since the lathering didn’t actually clean your hair, then I read another article (and talked to a rep at LUSH) who said that lathering was important – basically, there was a lot of different, conflicting ideas on what exactly a vegan shampoo was supposed to be. My main two concerns before going out to buy a shampoo: if it was vegan/tested on animals, and the smell.
So, I went to one of the few grocers I actually trust: Good Rebel. They’re a fantastic (albeit small) grocer here in Toronto, that’s run by two of the most well-intentioned people I’ve met. I wish I could visit more often then I do. (I live on the other side of the city) I knew 1) that if I went there I’d for sure get a vegan shampoo and 2) if I had a question, I could ask one of the owner’s without feeling uncomfortable.
They had a few different shampoos on display, but I picked this one because it honest-to-God smelled like gummy bears. Seriously, who doesn’t want their hair to smell like gummy bears? I had one sniff and it was a done deal. Sudsatorium has a few different scents, but this was the only one Good Rebel sold by this brand. And man, am I glad they picked this one.
I used it once, and was a bit confused – I knew going in, after reading a few articles that some of the vegan shampoos wouldn’t lather, but the company was called Sudsatorium – so maybe I was using it wrong? Did I need to use more of it to get the lather? Was it actually still cleaning my hair? I reached out to Good Rebel to ask them about it, but while I waited for my answer, I continued using my non-vegan shampoo. (I know, I know, but I wasn’t gonna not wash my hair, and instead of throwing out the rest of the bottle, I might as well finish it) I wasn’t able to tell if it had really cleaned my hair, so I was a bit skeptical to use it until I got an answer.
They answered me in a few days, letting me know this is what the company said: Their shampoos do lather a little, but not nearly as much as conventional shampoos, because they don’t contain sulfates. They also explained that the foam in shampoo doesn’t actually have any impact on cleaning capabilities and that it’s actually a clever marketing tactic.
How’s that for some facts, huh? Straight from the company, I was glad to hear that I wasn’t somehow misusing shampoo, and was glad that the lathering didn’t actually make a difference. (At least in their products)
After getting that confirmation, although still a bit skeptical, I decided to give it another shot. And, I have to say, I’m not sure if it was a placebo effect, or if my hair was just dirtier the first time I tried it, but this time around, it did seem to clean my hair just as well as the other shampoo.
Also, the bottle lasted a while. I bought the bottle in September and it lasted until around the end of February. (I actually still have the smallest bit left in the bottle.) Which is amazing, especially because the bottle wasn’t that big, it was only 250ml. Another bonus, the product was only about ten bucks at Good Rebel. What other shampoo lasts 5 months for ten dollars?* Exactly.
The only real issue I had with this product was that it took some getting used to not having my hair lather. Once you get over that though, it’s smooth sailing.
I definitely recommend this product if you haven’t tried it yet. If you’re still unsure, it’s not that expensive, do yourself a favour and just go try it. The smell alone should be enough of a hook.
*I’m saying this as someone who washes their hair every other day. I do have pretty long/thick hair, though.
Like the review? Check out more here!
I’ve wanted to do these Store Crawls for a while, but there was always something more important/immediate that had to get done.
I’ve finally decided to stop putting it off, so welcome to the first Store Crawl!
Store Crawls are going to be articles where I take you through/list all the vegan offerings available at a non-vegan grocery store (No Frills, Loblaws, Metro, Sobeys, etc.), in the hopes it helps you out should you need to buy something. Now, since these aren’t vegan-centric grocers, I’ll only be listing the premade stuff, that’s available more in a grab and go style, like the deli meats, cheeses, etc. Hopefully, this will help you should you ever find yourself away from your preferred grocery store so you aren’t scrambling for something, also this may help you with your day-to-day shopping.
Okay, so, without further ado, here’s the first Store Crawl:
I know Zehr’s is not in Toronto (I’ve yet to find one, anyway), so if you live outside of Toronto (say, New Market, or Barrie), this might be of more help to you. I’ll be posting other Store Crawls for stores that are actually in the city soon, so keep your eye out!
I’m starting with Zehr’s because I was just there this past weekend and figured, why not start with the one that’s fresh in my mind?
Here’s what I found:
Apparently, Zehr’s is owned by Loblaws, so they have a lot of vegan options, thankfully. They pretty much had all this stuff in one aisle, (I believe it was labelled the ‘Natural Foods’ aisle) which was super convenient for me, I didn’t have to run around the entire store!
Deli Section: (Next to the meat counter)
- Yves Lunch Meats (Turk’y, Ham, Bologne, and pepperoni)
- Yves Not-dogs
- Daiya Shreds (Mozzerella and Cheddar, no slices or blocks)
Natural Foods Aisle
- Silk (I didn’t see Silk Almond, just the Soy, also didn’t see the Chocolate one, just Plain and Vanilla)
- Earth Balance Butter
- Daiya Yogurt
- Daiya Pizza
- Gardein Nuggets (7 Grain Crispy Tenders, Mandarin Orange Chick’N nuggets and the Fishless Filets)
- Hilary’s Burgers (green box [which I believe is their original?], and I think there was a purple box [Spicy Thai] too)
- Sol Burgers (Quinoa)
- Nature’s Path Organic Buckwheat Blueberry Waffles (Gluten Free!)
- Amy’s Kitchen Black Bean Vegetable Burrito (the green and blue wrapper one)
- So Good Ice-cream (chocolate)
- Almond Breeze
- Rice Dream
- Coconut Oil
- Amy’s Kitchen Cans (Organic Alphabet Soup [my favourite!], Organic Lentil, Vegetable Soup, Organic Fire Roasted Southwestern Vegetable soup, and they had a black can, I’m not too sure which kind that one was)
- Daiya Mac (Deluxe Cheddar and Deluxe Alfredo – they were $4.49!)
- Nuts To You Organic Tahini Paste (and almond and other nut butters)
- Skinny Pop White Cheddar Popcorn
- Veggie Sticks
- Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo (never seen/heard of this brand before, I bought a bottle, keep an eye out for the review!)
And there you have it! Most, if not all the vegan finds available at Zehr’s.
I did my best to keep all the proper brand names/flavours, as I felt it’d be more comprehensive to list the ‘official’ flavours, instead of just listing (as example) ‘Gardein nuggets’. I’m sure some of you would still understand what I meant if I did it in short-hand, but I thought it might just make it easier, especially if you’re wanting to find a certain product for the first time, or requesting it.
I hope you found this list helpful, and I look forward to doing more of them in the future.
Like this article? Check out more vegan related posts on my Veg Life page!
… Is that some people who look down their nose at them. We’ve all been there. ‘When are you gonna get a real job?’, ‘You’re not a real writer’, etc. Whoever told you to this is full of sh*t. I’m sorry, but since when is using someone else’s idea as a base/platform for your own creativity bad/wrong? Are you trying to tell me you never played with Barbie’s or G. I. Joes or Hot Wheels?
‘But those are just toys! It’s different!’ Is it now? How would you feel if your mom/dad/guardian told you to ‘go play’ but took all your toys away? Or, when you bad and they did take them – how sad did that make you? What did you end up doing without them? Sitting there feeling sorry for yourself and/or crying/bargaining saying you’d ‘do anything’ to get them back.
And now let me ask you: do you still have those toys you once thought were so precious? Do you still play with them when you get home from work? No, because you outgrew them, right? You don’t need them anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you always out grow it. You can still write it for fun, because it’s fun. It’s for you and makes you happy. I write fanfiction too, it’s all good.
But, shooting a writer down because they ‘write fanfiction’ is not cool or helpful. You know what you do each time you say that to someone? You chip away at their dreams. Yes, you do. Especially when they’re 12-14 year olds. ‘Oh, it’s not perfect grammar, there’s spelling mistakes, blah, blah, blah’, of course there is! Newsflash: they’re kids. They’re learning. They’re teaching themselves basics with characters they know. They’re taking the familiar and making it their own. Making it less daunting.
Look at the famous writers you (maybe) were taught or at least read in school: Robert Munch, Barbara Park (Junie B. Jones), Dav Pilky (Captain Underpants), Stephen King even Dr. Suess – notice what all these big authors have in common?
They all have a lot of books. Some of them even had whole dedicated sections in the library. Any child who is aspiring to become a writer is guarantee thinking ‘I could never do that.’ When you are just learning what a noun is, and the different parts of a sentence – of course you look at that giant library as Mount Everest.
It doesn’t help that ‘writer’ is never addressed as something you can grow up to be, (but that’s a whole other article) kids are literally stunted in pursuing a writing career at the same time they’re just learning what writing even is.
Is it really a wonder why some dip their toes into the profession using characters that are already established/developed/loved?
Fanfiction should not be scoffed at – there are some amazing works and writers that wouldn’t exist if they didn’t write fanfiction. So don’t you dare tell me fanfiction is somehow ‘polluting’ the writing genre.
Here’s just a few examples of famous works that are fanfiction:
- The Lion King – Retelling of Hamlet
- Romeo and Juliet – yep, even Shakespeare himself wrote fanfiction. He based it off of an Arthur Brooke poem, The Tragic History of Romeo and Juliet
- Dante’s Inferno – Bible fic
- The Three Musketeers – based on another book, Mémoires de Monsieur d’Artagnan
- Lord of the Flies – some may argue this is more a parody than fic, but either way, it was based on The Coral Island
These are just 5 examples of famous works out of what I’m sure is hundreds, but look at how beloved the above works are. Not all fics are bad (like, say… Fifty Shades of Grey [which is a Twilight fic, FYI]) and they’re not all gonna be gold, either. Give kids the same encouragement to write fic that you’d give them if they wanted to be a doctor, or lawyer.
Do you really want to be responsible for telling the next Shakespeare they shouldn’t write?
Hot chocolate – it’s a prime winter staple. Who doesn’t have fond memories of spooning too much powdered chocolate into a cup with not enough water? Sure, it wasn’t the most perfect drink you ever concocted, but hey – at least your parents’ let you make it yourself, right? That alone made it taste ten times better, ‘Look what I made! Look what I made!’
You’ve probably gotten better at it over the years, but maybe you’ve found that the same mixes you had as a kid really aren’t all that exciting. These days with people catching Pokemon ‘IRL’ and talking to robots, well… powdered chocolate doesn’t quite cut it like it used to.
Luckily for us hot chocolate has come a long way since then, and one of the greatest improvements that’s been made? Adding shit to the powder. Plain old hot chocolate is good, but caramel hot chocolate? That’s great.
I don’t know what it is, but since going vegan, I’ve discovered countless cool products that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to (or have ever tasted) before. One such thing, would be one of the first times I went to Starbucks and got a Caramel Soy Latte. That was beyond good. (I’ll be doing another post about cool Starbucks Canada offerings [yes they can be different than the US] later)
Turns out, I really like caramel flavoured stuff – who knew? So last year as the weather began getting colder, and I was just discovering the wonderful world of faux foods that wouldn’t kill me (or that I never tried because growing up I wasn’t allowed) I knew that I just had to try the Castle Kitchen Caramel Hot Chocolate. And boy was I sure glad I did! It’s so… indescribably amazing!
Maybe it seemed better than it is because I had spent years before that just using cocoa powder (the baking kind) and hot water, or maybe it was the excitement of trying a new product – rationalize my excitement however you need to, but I’m telling you this? You won’t go wrong if you buy a can of this stuff.
It comes in a pretty big can too, and only needing one spoonful for each cup, it lasts a while. I didn’t drink it everyday (I wanted to preserve it so I could have it as long as I could) but even if I did, I’m sure it’d still last a while. I bought it in early December (it’s somewhere on my Instagram), and I still had it at New Years. Even just peeling the foil back and smelling it… I’ll admit, I was salivating a bit. If they had a perfume out there that smells like that (or a body wash!) I would definitely be first in line to buy it. (The closest one I could think of would be the I Love… Cosmetics Yummy Caramel, but I’ve yet to get my hands on it). But, that’s a whole other post.
This stuff is definitely, hands-down my favourite hot chocolate I’ve ever had. And, with the addition of mini Dandies on top? It’s like a cup right out of a winter fairy tale. Now, the can says to add 3Tbsp. to 6oz. of water, but let me tell you – I use 1 Tbsp and just fill up a regular-sized mug and it tastes great. Not watery at all, and, there is even some leftover powder at the bottom of the cup. So the fact it wants you to add 3 Tbsps? Crazy. The only thing you’ll achieve by doing that is running out of this delicious stuff sooner than you want. Trust me, you can get buy with great-tasting hot chocolate on 1 Tbsp.
This powder man… what more can I say to convince you? It’s chocolate with caramel – what more of an explanation do you need?
Don’t just take my word for it though – go out and get yourself a can so you can be your own judge. I’ve already got mine. With this by my side, I’m definitely ready to take on the cold. Also, it’s an amazing drink to come back to after all the shopping, cooking and parties. It’s the perfect cup to unwind while you tear off your party clothes in favour of pj’s and curl up on the couch to Netflix the night away.
Like this review? Check out more here!
Yes, it’s that time of year again, yule tide carols are being sung around a fire, chestnuts are roasting, and something very special is coming…
Yep, that’s right – ALL books are 50% now until January 2nd!
Get your copy before this amazing once-a-year sale runs out!
Find all books (both paperbacks and e-books) here:
See if your family Christmas’ are as bad as the horrors that await you in Holiday Treats.
(Did I mention that this was the Wincest one?)
Winter blues got you down? Tag along with your favourite hunters as they explore Hawaii in Melting Hearts, Sunburns and Tanlines
Don’t miss your chance to get a copy of Don’t Get Caught with the BRAND NEW cover!