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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 March 13, 2019

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

            Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

            You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

            Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

            1. Work on the small tasks.

            When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

            Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

            2. Take a break from your work desk.

            Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

            Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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            3. Upgrade yourself

            Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

            The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

            4. Talk to a friend.

            Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

            Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

            5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

            If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

            Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

            Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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            6. Paint a vision to work towards.

            If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

            Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

            Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

            7. Read a book (or blog).

            The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

            Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

            Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

            8. Have a quick nap.

            If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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            9. Remember why you are doing this.

            Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

            What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

            10. Find some competition.

            Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

            Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

            11. Go exercise.

            Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

            Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

            As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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            Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

            12. Take a good break.

            Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

            Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

            Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

            Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

            More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

            Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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