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As I’ve been a Boulderite for nearly two years now, it’s about time I put together a roundup of my favorite vegan eats in this town by the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Boulder is renowned for being a foodie (and beer-centric) city, but to be frank, that reputation skews heavily towards omnivorous fare. Still, there’s plenty of gems for us herbivores including two all-vegan restaurants (Native Foods and Julia’s Kitchen) and one all-vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options (Leaf Restaurant). There are also plenty of places that do stellar vegan options.

So, without further adieu, here are my favorite vegan dishes in Boulder, CO. I highly recommend seeking them out if you’re traveling through this beautiful mountain town and are looking for a quality bite.

Kale Chips from Kitchen Next Door

Kale Chips From Kitchen Next Door Featured on Queer Vegan Food

Source

These fried homemade kale chips are amazing. They’re just the right amount of crunchy greasy goodness to pair with a tall glass of local beer. Or not. Get a window seat in this restaurant and view the Flatiron Mountains while you munch these.

Kitchen Next Door is located at 1035 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Gluten-Free Vegan Dumplings from Zoe Ma Ma

Vegan dumplings from Zoe Ma Ma in Boulder, CO featured on Queer Vegan Food

These delicious potstickers come with a variety of dipping sauces, and are sure to please. Zoe Ma Ma is located right off Pearl St, so you can enjoy these on a nearby bench or outdoor seating area in the warmer seasons.

Zoe Ma Ma is located at 2010 10th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Beet Pierogis From Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

Beet Perogis from Leaf in Boulder

There’s plenty to enjoy on Leaf’s all-veg menu, but I have to call your attention to this rockstar dish: Beet Pierogis. The flavor combination of the sweet beet pure inside the savory outer shell plus cole slaw side is delectable.

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant is located at 2010 16th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Make-Your-Own Veggie Bowl With Cauliflower Rice from Zeal

Veggies and tofu bowl from Zeal in Boulder

Zeal’s menu is hit-or-miss, but this customizable dish is a winner. You can customize the sauce, veg protein (tempeh or tofu) and it will taste great regardless of what you choose. The real star of this offering is the cauliflower rice (note: you can sub out for noodles or brown rice, but that’s not as innovative, IMO). The big veggies are also amazing and cooked just the right amount to retain their crunch (dare I say their zeal?)

Zeal is located at 1710 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Vegan Tempeh Burger From Shine 

Vegan tempeh burger from Shine in Boulder, CO

Shine is an entirely gluten-free restaurant, but not everything is vegan. But the vibe is the closest thing we have to Cafe Gratitude out here, so it’s worth it to sift through the menu to find the veg gems. If you go (which you should!) you’ve got to try the tempeh burger with a homemade gluten-free bun. Get it with a side salad (featured here) or sweet potato fries, and perhaps wash it down with a beer brewed in house or one of their non-alcoholic elixirs or potions.

Shine is located at 2027 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302.

Gluten-Free Vegan Cupcakes From Tee & Cakes

Vegan gluten-free cupcakes from Tee & Cakes in Boulder, CO

The best cupcakes in Boulder, CO, period. These are fluffy and sweet and come in fun flavors like Birthday Cake. They don’t always have vegan cupcakes in stock, so call ahead, but when they do, it’s magic.

Tee & Cakes is located at 1932 14th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Upstart Kombucha From Various Locations

Upstart Lemon Ginger Kombucha on Queer Vegan Food in Boulder, CO

This is the perfect booch! Just the right amount of sparkling-tangy-sweet. Grab it from Laughing Goat, Ozo, and many other places around town.

Available at: Alfalfa’s Market, Ozo, Laughing Goat and more local retailers.

The Veggie Special From Sushi Zanmai

The veggie special from Zanmai in Boulder

This is the best veg Japanese special in town: get Oshinko, avocado, cucumber, garlic, mushroom, and many other fun pieces. You can order it without the miso soup and salad, which contain animal products.

Sushi Zainmai is located at 1221 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Matcha Latte With Almond Milk and Boba From Ku Cha House of Tea

Matcha Latte With Asher Brown in Boulder, CO

The best bubble tea in Boulder! This place does tea so beautifully, and their matcha latte is a standout. Pictured here with my favorite brother Asher.

Ku Cha House of Tea is located at 1141 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Yo Amigo Taco Salad From Native Foods

Yo Amigo Taco Salad From Native Foods in Boulder, CO

Native Foods is an all-vegan chain, so you really can’t go wrong with anything here, but I’m a big fan of the Yo Amigo Taco Salad. I usually sub out tempeh for the seitan taco meat. This salad features warm tempeh (or taco meat if you don’t sub it out) atop romaine, corn, tortillas, salsa fresca and black beans topped with a savory-sweet dressing. So good.

Native Foods is located a 1675 29th Street #1272, Boulder, CO 80301

Vegan Lunch Buffet Monday At Nepal Cuisine

Nepal Cuisine Vegan Buffet in Boulder, CO featured on Queer Vegan FoodAn all-vegan Nepalese lunch buffet happens every Monday at Nepal Cuisine. If you’re in town on a Monday and can slip away to Table Mesa (just a few minutes from downtown Boulder), you’ll be very glad you did. Momos, samosas, okra dishes, and plenty of greens, plus a homemade almond milk rice pudding are all 100% vegan and the same percentage delicious.

Nepal Cuisine is located at 4720 Table Mesa Drive C100, Boulder, CO 80305

Vegan Lunch Buffet Friday At Jill’s Restaurant

Vegan Buffet At Jill's In Boulder CO

This Vegan Buffet on Fridays is amazing. It’s gourmet, extremely reasonably priced at around $14/person, and even features a complimentary glass of wine. If you want to do Fridays like a Boulderite (aka start the weekend early), mozy over to Jill’s and enjoy this. They always feature paninis, pizzas, innovative and unique salads, homemade dips and soups, gluten-free desserts and much more. Trust me, you’ll be glad you checked this out! Make a reservation in advance.

Jill’s Restaurant is located at the St. Julien Hotel 900 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Hope this list of my favorite vegan dishes helps as you plan your culinary excursions in Boulder, CO! There’s plenty of other good vegan food in Boulder, but these are my personal faves at the moment. What did I leave out on this list? 

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Greetings, Queer Vegan Food readers! It’s been a little while since I’ve published a blog, and I couldn’t be more excited to share today’s update with you. In this post, I’ll share a bit about the places, foods and adventures I’ve enjoyed recently, including some cool vegan products I’ve fallen in love with, activities I’m up to, and some pics from a recent trip to Iceland.

Traveling To Iceland

Perhaps the coolest thing I’ve been up to since my last post was taking a trip in late October to Iceland. I loved the trip; the scenery was gorgeous and I got in plenty of nature and hiking, and, as a vegan, was definitely able to make it work during the week I was there. I flew in to Reykjavik (there’s miraculously direct flights to the capital city of Iceland from Denver, CO–we live in Boulder, CO, so this was a breeze) and if you at least stop there before visiting other, more remote parts of the country, I’d recommend stocking up on harder to find vegan items. Here are a few pics from the trip:

Hveragerði, Iceland featured on Queer Vegan Food

Hot springs area in Hveragerði, Iceland

A hot river in Hveragerði, Iceland

A hot river in Hveragerði, Iceland. We went swimming in it!

Gullfoss in Iceland

Gullfoss, Iceland

Jökulsárlón, Iceland, about 4 1/2 hours drive from Reykjavík

Jökulsárlón, Iceland, about 4 1/2 hours drive from Reykjavík

Blue Lagoon in Iceland featured on Queer Vegan Food

Blue Lagoon in Iceland

A view of downtown Reykjavík, Iceland

A view of downtown Reykjavík, Iceland

The vegan special from Gló Restaurant in Reykjavík. A nut pate wrap, broccoli, cole slaw, hummus and cauliflower. The best meal we had in Iceland, hands down.

The vegan special from Gló Restaurant in Reykjavík. A nut pate wrap, broccoli, cole slaw, hummus and cauliflower. The best meal we had in Iceland, hands down.

A health food store in downtown Reykjavík stocked more Tofurkey than one could imagine. Perfect for stocking up if you're traveling to more remote place in Iceland.

A health food store in downtown Reykjavík stocked hella Tofurky.

The gay bar, Kiki's, was located blocks from two veg-friendly restaurants in Reykjavík.

Courtney Pool in front of the gay bar, Kiki’s, which is located blocks from several veg-friendly restaurants in Reykjavík.

A beautiful, simple meal (lentil soup, salad, and homemade bread and hummus) from Cafe Garðurinn in Reykjavík.

A beautiful, simple meal: (lentil soup, salad, and homemade bread and hummus). From Cafe Garðurinn in Reykjavík.

A typical spread of food we'd pack with us for day trips to places outside of Reykjavík. Most of these items were purchased at the health food store chain, Heilsuhúsið, and the greens were from a local big chain grocery.

A typical spread of food we’d pack with us for day trips to places outside of Reykjavík. Most of these items were purchased at the health food store chain, Heilsuhúsið, and the greens and carrots were from a local big chain grocery.

European plant milk spread

The plant milk spread at an organic grocery chain in Iceland.

Trying Great New (Or New To Me!) Vegan Products

I've been cooking with the Massel vegan bouillon a lot.

I’ve been cooking with the Massel vegan bouillon a lot.

Massel’s Vegan Boullion collection is my new favorite go-to option for steaming vegetables and making warming soups to get through the cold Boulder winter. I made a vegan chicken noodle with quinoa pasta, and love to steam broccoli with the vegetable cubes.

Rubbermaid BPA Free Shaker Bottle

I’ve been loving the Rubbermaid Shaker Bottle for bringing smoothies with me to the office. It’s BPA Free, and contains this adorable little mixer device that ensures your smoothie doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of your bottle. Brilliant.

Chao Vegan Cheese

I wrote about the launch of Chao Vegan Slices from Field Roast on Vegansaurusand now that my local Whole Foods in Boulder has Chao in stock, finally got to try them for the first time. The original is amazing on salads and stand-alone with crackers and baby carrots. Really cheese-like in texture and taste; I’m a fan!

Buying A Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker from Zojirushi on Queer Vegan FoodI’ve never owned a rice cooker before, and kept hearing about how awesome they were, so, after a lot of research, decided to invest in a high-end rice cooker. I went with the Zojirushi NS-VGC05 Micom 3-Cup (Uncooked) Electric Rice Cooker and Warmer, and have only used it a couple times, but I already really like it! It’s very convenient not to have to attend to a pot while the rice cooks, and the rice tastes great. I also appreciate the minimal cleanup needed after you’ve made a batch. I’ve made short grain brown rice and wild rice in it so far, and look forward to trying out other kinds.

Organizing Intersectional Events

My day job is doing marketing for software companies, and earlier this year, I created a group in Boulder to help promote LGBTQ diversity in tech (and diversity in tech in general).  We’ve been putting on a lot of amazing events and I’ve been so inspired by the support of so many great LGBTQ people and allies in the community. If you’re interested, you can check out what we’re doing on meetup.

Registering To Attend Vida Vegan Con

Vida Vegan Con in Austin, TX

I’m super stoked to be participating in Vida Vegan Con for the first time! I felt a rush of excitement while registering for the 2015 conference in Austin, TX. I’ll be staying at the official conference center, and hope to learn a lot from the talented presenters as well as shmooze with new and longtime vegan friends. Are you going?

Thanks for reading! xo

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How To Be Vegan By Elizabeth Castoria

I’ve been vegan for nearly nine years now. I remember when I first went vegan, there wasn’t as much awareness about veganism as there is now. There certainly weren’t super famous vegan celebs gracing every magazine, and we vegans had to pave our own path in many ways. Though it was harder when I was a teen, I should note I can’t really compare my relatively cushy early years as a vegan (after all, soy dogs were available at my local non-foodie supermarket!) to the 70s vegetarians who had to make their own soy milk and veggie burgers from scratch.

Thanks to the explosion of ethical food and lifestyle companies and increased awareness thanks to many tireless activists, making compassionate food and lifestyle choices is now easier than ever. Still, it isn’t something you pick up right away, unfortunately, given how non-vegan our world is. Typically, going vegan takes myriad hours of internet sleuthing, talks with friends/coaches, obsessive package reading syndrome, falling back on trial and error, etc. I think more people would go vegan if it were naturalized into our culture (aka the norm), but the next best thing to growing up vegan or living in a vegan world is getting How To Be Vegan by Elizabeth Castoria.

How To Be Vegan is the essential modern day guidebook for anyone who wants to go partly or all vegan. I would have paid good money to get this when I was a teenager stumbling into veganism.

Here’s why Castoria’s book is a game-changer: Without dogma, she lays out the exact action steps necessary to becoming vegan, from stocking your pantry, to traveling as a vegan, to dealing with non-vegan family members, to dating–it’s literally all here. You can even use this book to plan your ethical vegan wedding! Castoria comes from a magazine editorial background, and there’s enough eye-catching infographics and features in here to satisfy anyone with a taste for design. The sleek designs are just another example of the extremely thoughtful approach Castoria took while crafting this book.

There’s 50 recipes in here (I can’t wait to try the Portobello and Cremini Stroganoff) and lots of really useful tips for being vegan during international travel in many countries. I am now craving Piadina, toasty flatbread street food from Italy, Bibimbap, a Korean dish containing blends of rice with steamed, sautéed and pickled vegetables tossed with rice wine sauce, and Dosa, crispy lentil-based pancake from India. Of course, many of these foods are available throughout the United States, but it’s tempting to plan trips abroad just to try the dishes Castoria describes.

Elizabeth Castoria

In addition to the “how” theme that runs throughout, this book answers the “whys” as well, offering just the right amount of detail to whet readers’ appetites to learn more about the cruelty behind animal product consumption but not too much to cause overwhelm leading to stagnation.

I absolutely plan to share this book with non-vegan friends who have been curious about how to make it happen but have never taken the plunge.

Buy How To Be Vegan here.

 

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TCBY in Longmont, CO now stocks vegan flavors.

TCBY in Longmont, CO now stocks vegan flavors.

I was first exposed to the “fro yo” craze in college; normally reasonable students would queue in insane lines for the self-serve machines at our dining halls. I was already vegan by this time, so I didn’t partake, and I’ll admit, I was pretty taken aback by its popularity. After all, there were other ice cream vendors available at the dining centers, so what was the big deal about this stuff that streamed out of a machine? I’d picked up on the many pop culture references to Pinkberry (isn’t a celebrity spotted there every ten minutes or something?) and seen that fro yo is far more than some collegiate fling; for some, it’s a downright obsession.

Now that I’ve experienced a veganized fro yo (also known as “soft serve”), I must say I get it: this stuff is special. There’s something irresistible about the smooth, almost silky texture and the aesthetic of fro yo tumbling out of a self-serve machine. I love that TCBY, one of the nation’s largest frozen treat confection chains, now offers several all-vegan fro yo flavors! TCBY’s PR department kindly sent me a coupon to try it at a local chain. The chain I went to in Longmont, CO carried a Silk Chocolate Almond Milk fro yo flavor. TCBY also makes a vanilla Silk flavor, and are in the process of rolling out a Silk coconut milk dairy-free fro yo line across the nation.

I loved the new Silk chocolate TCBY fro yo.

I loved the new Silk chocolate TCBY fro yo.

TCBY coconut milk vegan frozen yoghurt

TCBY coconut milk vegan frozen yoghurt is available now at some chain locations.

Now we vegans can be in on the fro yo craze!  I highly recommend finding a chain near you, if fro yo is your thing!

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Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. With Courtney Pool and Queer Vegan Food.

A couple weeks ago, Courtney and I took a short but lovely trip to Colorado Springs. Only an hour and a half’s drive from our hometown, Boulder, it seemed only fitting we’d celebrate our birthdays with a visit to the oft-talked about destination. It was my first time, and Court’s first time since she was a kid, and we were both super impressed by the fantastic company (we got to see the lovely JL and Dave!) and the absolutely gorgeous scenery. This place is so beautiful!

Here are some pictures from our trip of the scenery, company, and delicious vegan food:

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Courtney at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. On Queer Vegan Food

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Courtney at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Featured on Queer Vegan Food

The beautiful colors dazzle in Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

Courtney at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, so beautiful! on Queer vegan Food

Another breathtaking view: Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

In addition to celebrating our birthdays, Courtney and I were treated to a delightful meal with JL Fields and Dave Burgess! JL and Dave took us out to one of their favorites spots in the ‘Springs, Adam’s Mountain Cafe! We actually ate at the restaurant during one of its last days in its old location. JL reports on her blog that the new location on 26 Manitou Avenue is even more fabulous!

We spent the evening laughing, enjoying delicious plant cuisine, and soaking in good ‘Springs vibes.

Senegalese Tofu At Adam's Mountain Cafe in Colorado Springs! With JL Goes Vegan!

Senegalese Tofu At Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Colorado Springs .

Chocolate tarte At Adam's Mountain Cafe in Colorado Springs with JL Goes Vegan!

Chocolate tarte At Adam’s Mountain Cafe in Colorado Springs.

On the last day of our trip, we hiked Garden of the Gods a second time and explored downtown and I got a yummy gluten-free chocolate chip birthday cupcake at Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery in downtown Colorado Springs. I also got a soup and salad at Poor Richard’s across the street.

Gluten free chocolate vegan cupcake from Coquette's Bistro and Bakery in Colorado Springs!

Gluten free chocolate vegan cupcake from Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery in Colorado Springs!

Poor Richard's Soup and Salad

Poor Richard’s Soup and Salad

After the trip, I returned to a package of Chocolita raw vegan chocolate to try! It was the best thing ever to come home to! Chocolita is the purest raw vegan chocolate available, made from only the best, organic, fair trade, low-glycemic wildcrafted ingredients. My favorite flavor was the raw white chocolate Blueberry Lotus flavor. It blew me away; I’ve never had such a pure, vegan white chocolate before! Some of the flavor notes in Chocolita include: wild flowers, heirloom beans and more. Truly epicurean! If you love fancy vegan chocolate that’s low glycemic and delicious, I highly recommend consulting this list of where to buy Chocolita at a store near you or you can order Chocolita online.

Chocolita raw vegan chocolate is fantastic.

Chocolita raw vegan chocolate is truly fantastic.

I love the delicate artwork that adorns each Chocolita bar.

I love the delicate artwork that adorns each Chocolita bar.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

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Mayim's Vegan TableThere comes a time in every blogger’s life when she connects so deeply with a cookbook that she feels, while making the food described in it, that she and the author are inextricably linked. Food recipes can connect us across geography and time, and in the case of Mayim’s Vegan TableMore than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to YoursI felt super connected to the author, wherever she is, being a fabulous neuroscience PhD, television star, and all-around gorgeous vegan genius. Every recipe she included in here seemed as though aimed at me to love it, though I’m sure that’s how most feel. Brussels sprouts chips? Kugel? Taco salad? I also miss making a lot of my favorite Jewish foods like Matzo Ball soup, challah, sufganiyot, rugelach, kugel, and more. This cookbook is totally a resource for those of us who love vegan food that tastes like a Bubbie made it!

The beginning of the book includes some helpful tips on vegan food prep, some basics and some in-depth tutorials like meal planning for picky kid eaters and sections on the science and environmental arguments behind a healthful vegan diet. To be honest, a lot of that stuff didn’t appeal as much to me (I just wanted to make the delish recipes!), but I think for new and/or aspiring vegans, it’d be a big help! I’m glad she took the time to share her values and appeal to parents who may need more help to get junior to eat her broccoli.

I’ve made several of Mayim’s recipes, and here are some of my favorites so far:

Quinoa with Herbs and Veggies

Quinoa with Herbs and Veggies

Vegan challah! I actually used Mayim's Turtle Bread recipe and just substituted gluten-free flour.

Vegan challah! I actually used Mayim’s Turtle Bread recipe and just substituted gluten-free flour.

Taco Salad! Mmm

Taco Salad! Mmm

Brussels sprouts chips: easy to make (if slightly time consuming) and oh-so-good!

Brussels sprouts chips: easy to make (if time consuming) and oh-so-good! I added nutritional yeast.

These recipes for the photos above are each very easy to make, designed for busy parents and/or those who love delicious food but don’t have time to create crazy-elaborate dishes. I highly recommend picking up a copy, and not only because Mayim is so cool! Here’s a link to another great review of Mayim’s Vegan Table by my friend Jenny Bradley on Vegansaurus.

Buy Mayim’s Vegan Table online and at bookstores nationwide.

 

 

 

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Greetings from snowy Boulder, CO. My first winter in Boulder has been quite an adventure so far. I learned only after moving here that February, March and April are some of the snowiest months of the year. While the temps have been vacillating a lot recently (60s one day, 9 degrees a few days later!), I got a chance to finally explore the Colorado powder at Copper Mountain. In anticipation of skiing, I unpacked my ski gear from childhood and donated everything that was made of leather, and picked up some gently used cruelty-free alternatives (a helmet without leather, leather-free gloves, wool-free neck warmer.

I’m by no means an experienced skier, but I had a really great time enjoying the beautiful scenery! I can see why people trek from all over the world to enjoy the slopes in Colorado.

Queer Vegan Food skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado

Skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Recently, two amazing companies, Tolerant Foods and Explore Asian, sent me samples of their amazing gluten-free vegan pastas. At the risk of sounding incredibly ignorant, I had no idea that it was even possible to turn red lentils, black beans, soybeans and mung beans into pasta! These pastas list the respective beans as the only ingredients, which is a marvel of science if you think about it. This is definitely not your average brown rice or quinoa/corn pasta–each of the pastas I tried (Mung bean, black bean, and red lentil, so far) are rich in flavor and have enjoyable al dente textures.

Gluten-free, organic black bean, soybean and mung bean pastas from Explore Asian.

Gluten-free, organic black bean, soybean and mung bean pastas from Explore Asian.

Tolerant Foods red lentil rotini is gluten-free and vegan.

Tolerant Foods red lentil rotini is gluten-free and vegan.

So far, I’ve tried the black bean penne and red lentil rotini from Tolerant Foods (both so, so good!) as well as the mung bean fettucini from Explore Asian (so unique and satisfying!).

Beyond Meat also generously sent me samples of their latest gluten-free vegan product, Beef-Free Crumbles! I think this may be my favorite Beyond Meat creation yet. Other faux beef products are laden with processed soy and/or processed wheat. I love that Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, which comes in regular “beefy” and “feisty” flavors, contains pea protein and no weird added fillers.

Beyond Beef crumbles are vegan and gluten-free and really delicious.

Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles are vegan and gluten-free and really delicious.

An easy, yummy recipe: Beyond Meat Beyond Beef crumbles, parsley, tomato sauce, black bean pasta from Tolerant Foods!

An easy, yummy recipe: Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles, parsley, tomato sauce, black bean pasta from Tolerant Foods!

When I served Beyond Meat Beef-Free  Crumbles and Tolerant Foods’ black bean pasta to guests, the crowd went wild! Granted, they were a vegan, mostly gluten-free crowd, but still, these products are big winners in my book. I’d absolutely serve them again to my friends and loved ones, and enjoy them myself. The only real issue when eating foods like this with hella beans and protein is that you may feel absolutely invincible. Here’s to bean and pea protein power!

Stay warm! xo

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