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Why Vegan America kicks Vegan Canada’s Ass

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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 13, 2022

            10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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            10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

            A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

            To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

            1. Camping

            A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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            2. Staycation

            You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

            3. Island Getaway

            People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

            4. Fancy Resort

            Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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            5. Road Trip

            The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

            6. Charter a Boat

            If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

            7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

            If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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            8. Themed Retreats

            There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

            9. Working Honeymoon

            Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

            10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

            Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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            Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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