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Due to childhood illness, Laura Hudson has been completely bald since she was nine years old. Laura's hair loss is due to Alopecia Universalis, an auto-immune disorder for which there is no cure.

Laura says, "I would have given anything to have someone tell me they understood what I was going through, that it was OK to be different, that if I just hung in there and was strong I would be victorious. It would have made all the difference in the world. I could have been spared so many doubts, questions and fears. Since I didn't have that person, I want to be that person."

Laura Hudson is a motivational speaker and the Marketing Director for Aviv Moon Productions.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vegan Report Card - Target

Target ProduceStore: Target
Location:  Gastonia, NC 
Vegan Friendly Grade:  C

When this brand spanking new Target (now with Fresh Grocery) opened - the whole town got excited!  Yep - me too!  As nice as it is, I would have to give it a mid grade.  The vegan selections were not as impressive as I had hoped they would be.

Here are the vegan pros and cons of this Target store.

Let's start with what is missing:
  • No refrigerated faux vegan products - no soy dogs, Vegenaise, or Daiya cheese.
  • No vegan or organic pet food.
  • Very weak organic make-up selection.
  • Most disappointing gluten-free offering.
  • Very limited (if any) organic produce.
What was all right!
  • Vegan snack options galore, include smoothie drinks for kids!
  • Decent selection of "milk" options.
  • Several non-chemical based cleaning product options.

Huge Redeeming Factor!!!

This Target store had a massive spice section with affordable spices.  I loved the little bottles and found msyelf really wanting to buy one of each.

All things considered, I would shop at this store to purchase snacks and spices but I would not use this Target store as my grocery shopping destination.

Lyvie Says Cuties Juice

Code Red Alert!

Lyvie loved the Cutie drinks (made by the same folks that bring you the Cutie clementines) - I read the ingredients and they were all approved ingredients.

It wasn't until I went to the website that I found that some of them are not Vegan Approved!  New blog to come on that - the site says that each drink has 10 grams of Whey protein!  The one that Lyvie drank, Tangerine Pineapple did not have that ingredient on the label.  I'm looking into it!


Disclaimer:  I do not own, represent, or work for any brand mentioned in this blog.  I was not paid or provided with product to write this review.  This review is pure opinion based on my own shopping experience.  To submit your product for review, click here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Breaking a Family Curse - Belly Fat!!!

EE and my beautiful Mother in 1964
All the ladies on my Mother's side of the family make reference to "Voncile's Belly."  My grandmother, who I affectionately referred to as "EE" was cursed with a bloated belly.  She was a thin, attractive lady but still had a belly.  I have always seen it as always looking like we are 4 months pregnant.  We have all allowed that characteristic to remain in our appearance because it we viewed it as a physical curse passed on from EE.

I can recall being a size 6 and still needing to wear a girdle.  That was so frustrating!

I've switched to a vegan (plant-based) diet in the last year and I've been surprised at how I lose weight but the belly fat remains.  WHAT?  That didn't seem fair that I was depriving myself of cheese and still have belly fat.  (The reminder of the cows not suffering engorgement for my cheese consumption brings me out of my pity party.)

Someone at my work mentioned that gluten is a common culprit in keeping belly fat - well, fat.  A light bulb went off!  Don't worry I'm bald so nothing to catch on fire...

So I tested this theory!

I woke up one morning after not having any gluten the days before and was amazed when I put on a dress with no girdle and no belly fat.
Keep in mind, I am the biggest I have ever been and I am trying to lose weight.  I have been wearing a size 12 dress because of my belly.  This was an empire waist dress so it was a size 8.
I looked in the mirror and saw a clean line.  No belly fat!  The dress looked very nice...

Two hours later I ate some homemade zucchini bread and guess what?  I found myself trying to hide my protruding belly under the conference table in our meeting.  That light bulb turned on me, busted me over the head and said, "I told you so."

So - this week without gluten, I have lost 5 pounds and the bloating is gone!

I know it is hard to imagine a life without gluten but it can be done and it is so worth it!