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vegan finds in northern indiana, usaSettling into a new place is exciting, especially finding place that sell vegan options for less.  There are ‘health food’ stores in the area but I find these stores to raise prices when it is unnecessary.  Sure there is an overhead involved with being a smaller stores but that does not mean prices have to be triple the price as other small stores.  (excluding farmers’ markets)  So when we move, I tend to adventure out to every store, leaving none unturned to find the best options and deals.  Moving to a smaller area in northern Indiana did worry me a bit, I’m not going to lie.  Thankfully I am finding there are options even in the most unlikely areas.  Online options are also always available too but isn’t it more fun to adventure around?  See what I have found just recently when you click the button. iHerb Coupon Code below too!

Vegan Finds at Big Lots Vegan Finds at Big Lots, what? Yep, I ventured into our local Big Lots (not one of my normal shopping destinations) and found there is actually an organic section selling health foods that can also be found in Whole Foods and other Health Food stores. Better yet, the price is much lower and the items are still the same. These are a few items I found in our local Big Lots, not sure if all locations are the same.

1.  Goya Coconut Water Goya is a Latino owned American company for those of you that are unaware.  The owners of the company were originally from Spain and came to America for the “American Dream”.  I love it when a company is built upon non-natives that have worked hard to build something in a foreign country.  I’ve lived overseas, it’s not easy to get a job or build an entire new business in a foreign land.  So I love to support this company.  The coconut water tastes the same as the carton type such as Vitacoco but has tiny chunks of real coconut meat inside.  Genki Husband is addicted to this after a long workout when electrolytes need to be replenished.  Each can contains 2 servings and 160 calories total!

2.  Izze Sparkling Water “soda” This is a product I have been wanting to test out but to be honest I did not want to pay the high price at Whole Foods Market.  I was thrilled to find it available at Big Lots for about 50 cents – yes you read that right.  There were a few different options available but I chose the Sparkling Blackberry flavor, almost like a soda but without the chemicals.  It is 25% juice and the rest is sparkling water.  This drink comes from Boulder, Colorado but can be found in many health food stores and Big Lots around America.  I believe they are now located in the home of Trader Joe’s in Monrovia, CA.  As for it being vegan, the main website rather circles around the question but as for the ingredients I did not see anything except maybe the sugar that could be non-vegan but I can’t 100% be certain.  The website does state it is not Kosher.  I am not a soda drinker but I found this to be a nice alternative, even though I do not believe I would purchase it again just because it isn’t my thing.  If you want to reduce your soda consumption, this might be a nice stepping stone.

3.  Go Lite! Popcorn It is no secret, I love, love, love popcorn!  This was actually a purchase because I was hungry while shopping.   Note to self, don’t shop while hungry.  Actually I was thankful I found this product because sometimes when going on travel a bagged option is necessary.  This is something I would definitely take along for trips, since that is when I really snack a lot.  It tastes like, well, popcorn.  The ingredients caught my eye though because there are 3, with a total of 37 calories per serving.  The ingredients are: popcorn, Himalayan salt and coconut oil.  I have never seen a popcorn use coconut oil so I was really excited.  It did not taste like coconut but the taste was very light in oil and your fingers weren’t greasy after devouring a large part of the bag.  Delicious!  I would highly suggest this snack.  The company does make other options but I can not find them in my area. 😦

4.  Aloe Vera King Drink by OKF This is a drink I used to purchase when living in Cleveland, Ohio at a Asian store called Cam Asian Store.  It is the best drink on hot summer days when you are finished with a long run.  Now let me get this out first, this is not a health food drink.  It does contain high fructose syrup – which normally I do not suggest.  Just once in a while, I do not believe this syrup is going to hurt anyone but I would not suggest it have it often.  Additionally, this drink is not for everyone since it does contain chunks of aloe vera inside it.  Aloe vera is a health food option that some people state can help increase health and decrease weight but I don’t think there is anything out there as solid proof for either of these claims.  All I know is, when I have sweat it out on a hot summer day, I love to drink this to replenish my sugar level in my body fast.  (I’m hypoglycemic.) Oh and by the way, I fell in love with this drink original when I lived in Japan but it is Korean.

5.  Vita Coco Coconut Water Another drink that is perfect for after a good workout.  A lot of time Genki Husband and I workout on hot days in the sunshine outdoors and cold or wet days inside at the gym.  So we tend to get the best of both worlds, but we do need to replenish our bodies with something other than water on certain days.  Water can get tiring after-all, anyone else have this issue?  This drink I found for around 75 cents – can you believe that?  In other stores it is available for about $3.50 in my area.  Prices may vary in your location, so please do not hold me to that price.  The coconut water is always good for replenishing electrolytes in the body after a long workout or just on a hot day.  We love to take these along for long car rides or just in my purse on a hot day.  Perfect packaging too!

Vegan iHerb Coupon Code Just lately I have started ordering from iHerb seeing as I can not find all my necessary items. These are a few of the items that I have purchased and love! New to iHerb? Use my coupon code TBQ458 for up to $10.00 off your first order.

6.  Big Tree Organic Coconut Sugar A product I love with a company I adore.  This is the first to be Certified Fair Trade coconut sugar in 2014, which definitely says something about the company and the product.  There are a lot of options on the market for coconut sugar since many are now using this instead of agave and/or honey.  If you have never had coconut sugar, it has a caramel/brown sugar flavor that is unlike any other sweetener I have tasted.  I have bought a few bags of this already and plan on continuing on with it.  It can be used 1:1 ratio in baking/cooking/eating raw.  I love to have this on my coconut nice cream for a little extra caramel flavor in the morning.  It is so amazing!  Highly recommended for the flavor and the company that serves the earth and its inhabitants.

7. Spry Toothpaste, Mouthwash and Xylichew gum For easier reading I am going to mix all of these products in together since each one contains xylitol.  Xylitol is a natural ingredient that actually fights cavities.  While living in the Chicago Metro area years ago I was introduced and fell in love with this product line by a neighbor.  The entire family used it because although they had bad teeth in the beginning their doctor actually noticed a cavity go away when the son used this product.  The dentist was amazed and so was I when I heard the story.  Since then I have used this product, straying a few times to test out other xylitol products but always coming back to this one.  Not only is is great for your teeth but it also has a wonderful clean mint taste and smell that lasts all day or night long.  It is the only product line I have used at night and woken up without morning breath.  Highly recommended and best yet, it is reasonably priced and lasts for a very long time.

Chia Bar Snacks As you can tell these Chia Bars are very small – I have very small, childlike hands so these will definitely fit in most pockets.

8. Chia Bar When you order from iHerb, there is an option to get some samples, not for free but a very low price.  I bought this Chia bar for about $1 I think, a great savings compared to in the stores.  Genki Husband loves energy bars that he can eat during the day at work since he’s not always at his desk to eat a piece of fruit.  These chia bars do fit into the palm of most hands, half the size of a cliff bar I would probably say.  These are slightly sweet but not overpowering and best yet they are 100% vegan, gluten-free and non-Gmo certified!  Hooray!  These are great if you want a small snack but can’t carry anything larger than your pocket.  Great purchase!

9. Raw Revolution Another bar that we have tested out this last month was Raw Revolution.  Lately we have been so busy with 10k training, strength training and getting ourselves adapted to living in the north again that we haven’t had much time at home.  So we do eat a few more packaged items than normal but this is okay when the products are good, healthy options.  Raw Revolution is an organic bar that I have been wanting to test for a while now since one of the few main ingredients is spirulina which is something I love.  Spirulina is like eating a bunch of kale and spinach all wrapped up into a tiny, slightly sweet powder.  It is perfect in smoothie and in snacks.  If that weren’t enough to sell you on it, the powder is deep green (aka, nutrients) and makes the food a nice green tint.  It’s great to ‘gross’ non-health food eaters.  These bars were deep green and tasted so sweet that I wanted to eat the entire box myself.  But at last I had to share with Genki Husband because it was him that I actually ordered these snacks for in the first place.  The bars are super tiny (1/4 of a cliff bar) but are surprisingly filling.  These are great for days when you aren’t sure you have gotten enough nutrients into your body, on-the-go, or to busy to eat but want to hit your macros.

Newman's Own Licorce Vegan

10.  Newman’s Own Black Licorice Finally a licorice that is vegan!!! As many of you know, I am German-American so that means that licorice runs in my blood so to speak. It was hard turning vegan when I found out that licorice actually contains beef broth a lot of the time and is not vegan. So sad! This brand though is vegan and is also organic. The twists are not as hard as normal German licorice but the taste is still right on target. I fell in love with this licorice so if you are ever in need of finding me a present, this will do just fine, thanks.  Note: We also tried the pomegranate, I think it was, but it failed in my eyes – Genki Husband loved it.  Black licorice all the way.  We found this in all places at an Amish store in Indiana- go figure.

So these are just a few items I found this last few months in our area.  I’m sure there is a lot that I am missing in telling you all so if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section, thanks.

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