The Chicago Vegan

May 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

A Quick Guide To All Things Vegetarian In The City

Explore the vegan life in the windy city. They grow, they eat, they drink, they shop, they read, they wear… Vegetables, fruits, plants, algae and cereals, these products given to us by Mother Earth that many have chosen over meat, fish or poultry. Are there many vegetarians and vegans in Chicago? More than you think: vegetarians and vegans are here and live the good life in our fair city.

We usually focus on Thai massage, meditation and herbal remedies, but nutrition is responsible for 80% of our health. It would therefore be silly for us to ignore this hugely important element of our life.

The Vegan Jargon

Vegetarian, vegan, fruitarian… What’s all this? There’s more to not eating meat than one would expect. One might eat eggs, drink milk, only eat fruit or consume all fruit and vegetables in their raw form.

Vegetarian

Vegetarianism means not eating meat products, this fact is well known. But besides consuming vegetables and fruit, a vegetarian might also eat some animal products, such as eggs, milk and honey. The vegetarian does not eat meat or fish, or any of their by-products such as gelatin or beef and chicken stock.

Don’t confuse…

A vegetarian and a rabbit: a vegetarian eats plants, certainly, but these plants are not only composed of the obvious green leafy vegetables and bright fruit. Vegetarians also eat algae, mushrooms, seeds, yeasts, roots…

Lacto-ovo vegetarian

On top of fruit, roots, nuts, seeds and vegetables, the lacto-ovo vegetarian eats eggs and drinks milk. People with a sweet tooth will delighted as cakes are allowed. Furthermore, there can be 2 Lacto-ovo vegetarian sub categories… You’ll encounter the lacto-vegetarian (who consumes plants and milk) and the ovo-vegetarian (who consumes plants and eggs). Not too lost I hope?

Vegan

The vegan never eats any animal products and only consumes plant based products. Say goodbye to eggs, milk, honey, cheese, seafood, which are enjoyed by vegetarians. You might think that it doesn’t leave much, but think again, the choice can actually be quiet surprising! On top only consuming fruits, roots, seeds, nuts and vegetables, the vegan is usually very aware of any kind of cruelty performed towards animals. He or she will often stay away from places that might exploit certain animals such as sea parks, where orcas and dolphins are trained to perform tricks, and elephants camps, where tourists enjoy rides on poorly treated elephants.

Raw Vegan

Raw veganism is the strictest lifestyle in all of the vegetarian categories. It’s essentially the same as veganism with the exception that all foods are consumed raw.

Let’s Eat

Where to shop for food and eat vegan in Chicago

Grocery Markets

Food Smart

Probably one of oldest grocery store in Logan Square, Food Smart has a great selection of vegan, organic, local, gluten-free products.

FoodSmartStores.com

Good Foods Vegan / Vegetarian Deli

Everything is in the name; this deli (which also has a restaurant), offers vegan and vegetarian dishes, desserts and drinks, to enjoy on the spot or to take away.

Facebook.com/GoodFoodsDeli

Green Grocer Chicago

A small neighborhood store that has everything to make your average vegan happy; great, local and organic products, all presented by an adorable staff.

Greengrocerchicago.com

Whole Foods Market

Located all over the US, as well as in Canada and the UK, Whole Foods is now infamous for high quality produce and its wide selection of vegan and vegetarian products. Organic honey, raw apple cider vinegar, gluten-free breads, goat’s milk, Whole Foods has it all. There are currently 15 Whole Food Markets in the Chicago area.

WholefoodsMarket.com

Traders Joe’s

Another American favorite with more than 450 stores in the US, 17 of which are in Chicago, Trader Joe’s offers vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or fat-free products. “Fake” chicken beef without beef, vegan mozzarella, free range chicken eggs, Trader Joe’s is essentially in the same league as Whole Foods..

Traderjoes.com

Vegan Essentials

For who prefer to do their shopping from the comfort of their home. Vegan Essentials is now the most important online vegan store in the US and offers everything from food, to books and DVDs and to supplements.

VeganEssentials.com

Some of Chicago’s favorite vegetarian restaurants

Native Foods Café

Launched in California in 1994, Native Foods Café is America’s very first fast-vegan restaurant, serving fine and fresh cuisine. You can enjoy dishes from around the world, burgers, chili, wraps, Moroccan salads… Four locations in the Chicago area, Native Foods also offers a catering service as well as delivery.

NativeFoods.com

Karyn’s

Founded in 1983 by health expert Karyn Calabrese, Karyn’s mission is to transform the vegan lifestyle into sexy, while glorifying the power of nature and its wonders. She now has 4 restaurants and 1 spa in the Chicago area.

KarynRaw.com

Kitchen 17

Located just a stone’s throw from Belmont Harbor, Kitchen 17 serves all sorts of delicious foods you would of never thought possible for a vegan cafe: pizzas and burgers, that have nothing to envy to the “real ones”.

Kitchen17.com

Urban Vegan

Urban Vegan offers vegan Thai dishes with delicious Asian flavors. You don’t live in the neighborhood? No problem… For a small fee, Urban Vegan will deliver your favorite dishes to your door.

UrbanVeganChicago.com

Shop Vegan

Lush Cosmetics

Lush is now relatively famous for its natural and vegan beauty products and treatments. For 30 years, this British brand has branded itself around the fight against cosmetics being tested on animals and is boycotting all the companies that practice this.

LushUSA.com

MooShoes

In spite of the name, no leather is used in the manufacturing of these shoes. In fact, MooShoes is more than just shoes… The store also offers bags, wallets, belts, t-shirts and sweatshirts, jackets and accessories all made of synthetic microfiber polyurethane. And, as a bonus, veggie lovers can find books and DVDs to help them become a bit more vegan. MooShoes doesn’t yet have a Chicago location but its online store is pretty awesome.

MooShoes.com

Vaute Couture Fashion

This independent fashion house created by a former fashion model and Chicago native Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart offers stylish designer creations, crafted of recycled and recyclable fibers.

VauteCouture.com

The vegan state of mind: online ressources

Being vegan is much more than just a diet; it’s a whole state of mind, by which adepts clearly and simply indicate their refusal to use any product derived from animals.

American Vegan Society

The American Vegan Society posts interesting facts about the vegan lifestyle.

AmericanVegan.org

VegSource

There is also the VegSource, a true media outlet that covers a large variety of topics touching veganism, such as health, fashion, conferences and events. Want some crispy info on vegan celebrities? It’s also on VegSource.

Vegsource.com

Vegan Beauty Review

Learn everything about the ways to be beautiful naturally. The Vegan Beauty Review blog offers great tips about make-up, fashion, hair care as well as as host of information to live a cruelty-free life.

VeganBeautyReview.com

Vegan Chicago

The ultimate guide for anything and everything that’s vegan in the Chicago area. This great online database lists vegan businesses according their activity, ‘veganity’ and their location in the city. You can also suggests new businesses for them to list..

Vegan-chicago.com

Chicago Vegan

Many of us obtain information via social media and for this Facebook group pages are extremely useful. Chicago Vegans is such a group and anyone can join this group in order to inquire about all things vegetarian in the area.

Facebook/groups/chicagovegan

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Silence: The Art of Being

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Why do we always feel the need to be productive? Always having to be on the move or keep our mind occupied. It feels like any time there is silence we have to fill it with some thing, god forbid there be a moment of uncomfortable silence to reflect in. It almost appears as though we are scared to spend a moment in silence. As though we’re afraid of what we might come to realize during our silent contemplation.

To reflect on your own personal reality is one of the most effective ways to get inalignment with your goals, desires and passion. Most people are not even aware of what they want to experience in life; they’ve become caught up in being “comfortable” keeping busy in order to continue being “comfortable” that they forget that there is an entire universe of possibilities awaiting them.

Silence is the key. From the silence can we begin to see cleary what we want to create in our reality. We must have the idea before we can start to build. The art of contemplation breeds change. We humans are not meant to be like gerbils, running on the treadmill of life. We must be still and listen to ourselves for a change in order to surpass the lifestyle and experience of previous generations.

Can you sit still in complete silence with your eyes closed and your hands in your lap? Could you do that for 15 minutes a day for the rest of your life? Try! Do it and see what happens. I guarantee you will see change in your life if you do this. You will begin to build a relationship with yourself that you once had when you were achild, before your mind became poisened by preconcieved notions. But don’t beleive me, do it yourself!

This simple yet underestimated way of experiencing reality is one of the missing pieces to bringing a grander experience of life to every one. Being in completesilence alone or with other people allows you to just be. They should teach a course in school called “Silience: The Art of Being”. We must go back to our infant nature and stop trying to fool ourselves in to thinking that we have it all together and understand all aspects of reality.

If we allow the idea that “we have to always be productive” to be prominate in every moment of life it will only hinder our growth as human beings. We’ll never take a moment to look and say, hey wait a minute if we keep walking the path we’re walking its only going to create more and more suffering, maybe we should change course. With out moments of silence, with our breaks in unconscious mindpatterns, we won’t be able to co-create a new reality for all human beings to live in. We need to take that time and experience the simplicity silence.

Maybe we’ll all finally realize that we’re just children convinced that we’re adults.

Shane Lamotte

Shane Lamotte has developed a desire for knowledge of Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, Quantum Physics and anything that involves the nature of reality. His vision includes creating music that gives its listeners a “wake-up call” to change society in a positive way. Go to http://www.livingillusion.com.

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