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Why Vegan America kicks Vegan Canada’s Ass

Why Vegan America kicks Vegan Canada’s Ass

    One of the first things that nearly every American asks me about or rather comments on is how medical is “way cheaper” in Canada. I’m going to burst that bubble for you right here right now. Our taxes are higher, hospital and clinic waits are longer and private medical bills are gigantic– never mind asking about the cost of prescriptions. What does this matter to Veganism you ask? This fact pretty much paints a picture of what it’s really like to be Canadian – lowest of the low on the free trade totem pole but somehow we’ve managed to make everyone believe we’ve got it going on.

    I’m going to let you know a few key details to back up my claims. I’m from Vancouver, lived in Calgary and Halifax, stayed in almost all Provinces and major cities, drove 3 weeks clear across Canada. I have traveled to about 50% of America’s states and live in Pittsburgh, PA as a Vegan Fitness Pro. With that being said, here are the five undeniable ways that traveling and living in the United States as a Vegan kicks ass over Canada.

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    1. You don’t have to cook all your own protein from scratch

    You can find plant-based food (for better or for worse) almost anywhere in America. From Giant Eagle in Pennsylvania to Whole Foods in California to Publix in Florida and every Traders Joes in between, most states seem to have a “regular” grocer that has a frozen and refrigerated aisle with at least a small showing of vegan and vegetarian items from microwaveable to baked goods to ethnic all-in-one dishes. You’ll actually never starve if you’re near a decent amount of infrastructure. In Canada, you’re lucky if you can smuggle a few Tofurky products out of Safeway or Save-On-Foods. You can visit a specialty health food type grocer and spend 25% more than the products are actually worth if you want variety beyond Yves veggie ground rounds or sub-par tempeh.

      2. Variety

      In America we have access to large-scale vegan food manufacturers from all over the continent as well as overseas. Gardein, MorningStar, Beyond, Nates, Soymage and a host of small time guys I’ve never heard of. There are soy, wheat and vegetable based proteins a Canadian could never try in the Motherland because choices are limited to one or two producers. I find myself procuring items I’d never consider eating just to see how they taste. Pushing my shopping cart in a frenzy, like a kid in a Stevia-based candy shop skipping down the frozen food aisle going “look look look” to my poor underwhelmed husband. Not that I’m a huge supporter but take a look at what Wal-Mart USA sells for Vegan goods HERE.

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      3. Consideration of diet restrictions

      While this isn’t as widespread as it could be, certain states are absolutely fabulous at putting together menu options for Vegans, Vegetarians and Gluten Intolerant folks. I’m tipping my hat in the particular direction of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York. If you don’t see something on the menu odds are restaurants will accommodate any request for a creative one-off meal sans flesh. Even in large Canadian cities like Calgary, Alberta herbivorous diners will continuously suffer through meals of lettuce and vinegar while Omni’s gnaw on the gigantic array of bovine and poultry available. Long story short, there’s more culture and creativity where food prep is concerned. I’ll go one step further to let you know that there is an actual dog patio at an Omni restaurant in Pittsburgh with a full two page vegan menu. Read ’em and weep Canadian Food Inspection Agency, there is a fair and wonderful workaround for this stuff, lets be creative.

        4. Actual Vegan Restaurants

        Apparenlty it’s fun for Canadian restaurants to sign up for Yelp and click the Vegan and Vegetarian option descriptors for sport. All to once again offer lettuce and vinegar or pizza as plant-based options to unassuming Canuck patrons. Neat, I’m sure that doesn’t get old at all, right? While this still does happen in the US the odds that a diner will find dedicated or partially dedicated plant powered kitchens, that actually design macronutrient based menu items including protein, are far higher.

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          5. Amazon

          Holy mother of mothers just like Netflix in Canada being a useless shadow of Netflix US, so is Amazon north of 49. Where the flag is star-spangled, consumers can have delivered bulk amounts of vegan supplements, kitchen staples, and medicinals at a fraction of the cost all while sitting in their offices and actually getting work done instead of running to 10 different stores to hunt down cruelty-free items. Shoppers could save at least 5 hours per week and $500 per month buying on Amazon.com. Just don’t get too carried away buying a 50-pound bag of vital wheat gluten as a reasonable kitchen necessity. Hail Seitan?

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            It’s not that Canada isn’t awesome because believe me there are people and places there that will knock your socks off. However, when it comes to accessing the basics as a health conscious person who takes matters of nutrition and quality food very seriously there is simply no matching the good old U.S. of A. Some folks might brag on Canada’s freedoms, politeness and overall better quality of life but this Vegan has to disagree in all categories. If you’re relocating to the US as a plant powered person you will have absolutely no reason to ever eat anything but the best food available ever again.

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            Sasha Williams

            Plant Powered Lifestyle Designer

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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