LAFC at the Movie Premiere of “What the Health”

written by Tiffany Negrea

photos by Lukas Maverick Greyson

What the Health Poster-Online
Vegans and health enthusiasts alike gathered at the AMC Loews Theatre in Manhattan’s Union Square area on March 7 for the premiere of the hot new documentary What the Health. Filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn wowed moviegoers yet again, with a packed screening followed by an after party at nearby Jivamukti Café. You may know the duo as the inspiring pair responsible for Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. While Cowspiracy focuses on the environmental impact of animal agriculture, this time the two were on a mission to expose the collusion and corruption in government and big business as it pertains to healthcare in America.

After the credits rolled, the audience was treated to a Q&A hosted by musician, author and Ironman Triathlete John Joseph. Andersen, Kuhn and special guests Dr. Michelle McMacken and Ruby Lathon — the former Nutrition Policy Manager for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — talked about the doc and answered questions from the crowd.

John Joseph
John Joseph
Ruby Lathon, Dr. Michelle McMacken, Keegan Kuhn, Kip Anderson
Ruby Lathon, Dr. Michelle McMacken, Keegan Kuhn, Kip Andersen

When asked what it took to make such an in-depth film, Andersen said it required, “Two years and a lot of perseverance.” Party attendees remarked that the documentary was, “Definitely an inspiration.” One woman thought of her grandparents and the flaws in nutritional education that are nonchalantly passed down. Others remarked how sad it is that we hear sugar is the true source of myriad health complications, when in reality it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Fats, as it happens, are so much worse.

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The after party at spiritual oasis Jivamukti Yoga included scrumptious catering by Vspot Organic and Blossom Du Jour. Everyone enjoyed wraps filled with deliciously prepared, wholesome vegetables and a variety of perfectly seasoned empanadas. Juice Press provided flavored waters and a decadent dessert table boasted treats by chef and caterer Peter A. Cervoni. Think carrot cake bites, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate hazelnut brownie bites — all 100% vegan of course! Before leaving, partygoers were gifted goodie bags packed with cruelty-free delights and coupons for products from ethical companies.

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Does this sound like an experience you would have enjoyed? Share this article, subscribe to the magazine for similar content, and be sure to join LAFC at the next New York vegan event!

Some people of note at the event!

The filmmakers with event organizer Nell Alk
The filmmakers with event organizer Nell Alk
Victoria Moran
Author and speaker Victoria Moran
Designer Joshua Katcher and PR Exec Dana Capone
Menswear designer Joshua Katcher and PR gal Dana Capone
"Vegan Mos" Ethan Ciment and Michael Suchman with Chef Fran Costigan
Vegan Mos’ Ethan Ciment and Michael Suchman with Chef Fran Costigan
Our Editor Adrienne Borgersen helps distribute gift bags.
Our Editor Adrienne Borgersen helps distribute gift bags.

Watch the What the Health trailer here and standby for a full review of the doc in the upcoming Spring 2017 issue of La Fashionista Compassionista magazine!

LET’S CHAT: Questioning and Acquiescence

…as featured in the Winter 2016 issue of LAFC, by Adrienne Borgersen

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There is a story I heard at a very young age that greatly influenced me.  Please excuse the traditional female roles and the reference to meat, it’s just how I heard the story 100 years ago…

A child asked their Mother, why they cut the ends off of a roast.  The Mother responds, “Because that’s how my mother made it”.  No one never thought to question it, but the Mother became curious and asked the Grandmother. The Grandmother responded, “Because I didn’t have a pot big enough to fit the roast.”  Obviously, the point is, that now there is no reason to do it that way and there is a better way. The moral of the story is to always ask questions.

I have always questioned everything. I asked “why” and when I got that answer, I asked “why” again. Likely, to the point of annoyance (sorry Mom & Dad).  And if I didn’t like the answer, I looked for another one. It’s a perpetual cycle. To this day, I believe it’s the most important trait anyone can have.

This year has been one of the most tumultuous, crazy, upside down turning years I can remember.  We’ve lost heroes, some celebrity, some personal, one after the other.  I can’t remember an election cycle that caused people to be so mean spirited and that created such divisiveness. Wars and natural disasters have escalated chaos everywhere.  It would be easy to say that I can’t wait for this year to be over, but what’s happening around us is far from over.

All I can be sure of is that time marches on.  The only constant in this life is that things will change.  And change isn’t always for the better.  All we can do is move forward.  To some things, we must acquiesce.  But that doesn’t mean we fold. That doesn’t mean we stop asking questions. That doesn’t mean we don’t continue to challenge ourselves as well as others. We need to make sure we are not stuck so far into our ideology that we don’t see things about ourselves that could be better or happier, with a change. We all must continue to evolve.

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Even those of us who feel we are on the “right side” of history, need to be open to constantly learn. Nothing is black & white. We must think critically and cognitively and be open to alternate views. Not listening, not having conversation, not engaging in intelligent debate will just strengthen the divide.

We have to find a way to come together. We seem to have lost trust, the foundation of any relationship. We are all jaded and angry and scared.  We have to wipe our tears, breathe away our rage and march forward towards a solution. We need clear heads and open minds.  The animals need us. The children need us.  We all need each other. That is what creates the resilience I know we all have. I don’t want to live in a world where it’s every person for themselves.  We are meant to be connected to each other.  That doesn’t mean we all have to agree, but we all deserve to live peacefully and together.

How do you connect with someone when they vehemently disagree with you? How do we bridge the divide? Let’s talk about it. COMMENT BELOW

Let Your Palate Be Your Ballot at the Coalition for Healthy School Food Gala

by Adrienne Borgersen, Editor in Chief, LAFC

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Do you have your tickets yet?? The Coalition for Healthy School Food (CHSF) are hosting their annual gala on October 20, that’s next Thursday at 6:30PM.

CHSF is a nonprofit organization that introduces plant-based foods and nutrition education in schools to educate the whole school community.  They are changing how schools feed kids.

They are responsible for the very first vegetarian lunch program, launched in Queens, NY and are endorsed by the American Heart Association.  Read about that monumental story here!

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With an obesity epidemic among our kids, Host Dr. Michelle McMacken will undoubtedly talk about the mounting medical evidence that points to all the benefits of a plant based diet.

The gala is sponsored by amazing organizations such as Animal Welfare Trust, Cool Foods Trading Company and Forks Over Knives

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There promises to be lots of fun and delicious food from top notch chefs, like Candle 79, my very favorite restaurant in NYC (once I had dinner there and Paul McCartney was at a nearby table!); and other personal faves such as decadent cheese by Miyoko’s Kitchen and chocolatey delicious desserts by Chef Fran Costigan!

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Vegan cookbook author Miyoko Schinner holds a plate of her homemade cheese on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, in San Anselmo, Calif. She has written a new cookbook about artisan vegan cheeses. (IJ photo/Frankie Frost)

Along with entertainment by jazz band Bob Miles & Miles of Music and The Cynthia King Dance Company, join the raffle or the silent auction. We are particularly excited about the fashion prizes from Bead & Reel, Vaute, Matt & Natt and Mooshoes.  But there are plenty of other things on the list as well.

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Our friends the Vegan Mos, Liz Dee and Jenne Claiborne on the host committee are sure to guarantee a fun, eventful and valuable evening.  Tickets are still available here!

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I hope you will support CHSF’s monumental efforts, which are important to the health of our children, our planet and of course, for the animals.  Get your tickets here!

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GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT! Rebecca Winnicki, Founder of the Vegan, Organic, Zero-Waste Beauty Company, Homemade Betty

Hey Fashionista Compassionistas, we have a guest blog post today!  Cayla Mackey from Unicorn Goods talks about fab beauty products by Homemade Betty!

by Cayla Mackey, Unicorn Goods

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If you’re eating organic and vegan, shouldn’t you be doing the same for your skin? That’s what vegan Rebecca Winnicki, founder of Homemade Betty, asked herself three years ago. Frustrated by the lack of vegan, cruelty-free, organic body products, she set about creating zero-waste alternatives. Now, her growing company helps people live beautifully, and you can, too.

The initial idea for Homemade Betty struck Rebecca when she cured her son’s eczema using products she crafted at home. For years she had been recreating her versions of products, like Bath and Body Works’ body butter, and playing around with ingredients and recipes for friends and family. Things took a turn when Rebecca realized that not only were these products fun to make and a joy to give, but they could dramatically change people’s lives, starting with her own family.

Rebecca got serious about holistic body products. She opened up her medicine cabinet and asked herself what else she could replace. It wasn’t soon before she was off and running. Homemade Betty was born. Once her friends and family caught on, they started asking for their own specialty homeopathic products. The business grew from there.

In the pastoral hills of central New Jersey, Rebecca still handcrafts body butters, face masks, sunscreens, face cleansers, scrubs, toners, beard tonics, deodorant, hand sanitizer, bug repellant, and toothpaste. None of her products contain more than six ingredients, ranging from French vanilla coffee to turmeric to matcha sweet green tea powder.
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Everything comes in glass to prevent contaminants that leach from plastics normally present in body product containers, making sure that the product goes on the way it was made to, purely. Customers who want to go zero-waste can select the Homemade Betty “Forever Jar.” With the Forever Jar, you can mail back your original glass and have it sanitized and refilled, postage paid.

There’s love in every jar. Rebecca draws from a history of cure-making that she inherited from her mother, a strong believer in holistic, homeopathic remedies. As dancer and musical theater actress by education, she now channels her creativity into Homemade Betty. Even her three young kids pitch in from time to time for fun, when they aren’t being homeschooled or helping out in their expansive home garden. They are the source of her inspiration and desire to improve the world.

With Homemade Betty, Rebecca has grown, too. She is now a gluten-free soy-free vegan, and she applies the same principles to food that she does to body products. As she sees it, “If I’m eating organic and vegan, I should be treating my skin the same way.” We couldn’t agree more.

Shop Homemade Betty here.

Rebecca’s favorite products:
Coffee Face Scrub
Sun Protection
Lavender Body Butter

Have you tried Homemade Betty?  What’s your favorite product?  Talk to us!

GUNAS Shopping Party! by Tiffany Negrea

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On Wednesday, July 27th, vegans in the NYC area gathered at Bene Rialto, a boutique in midtown Manhattan for a shopping party hosted by GUNAS. If you aren’t familiar with this brand, you should definitely check it out! Not only are all of the chic bags ethically crafted, but GUNAS is making history as the first American designer brand of fully vegan handbags. The bags were showcased with a backdrop of delicious snacks from Beyond Sushi, vegan macaroons from Sweet Maresa, and vegan wines galore, from believe it or not, Trader Joe’s.

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Yummy snacks from Beyond Sushi and Sweet Maresa
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Gorgeous bags on display and goodie bags for everyone!

 

The event was an evening of mingling and admiring the beautiful handbags and shoes on display throughout the store. That’s right, we said SHOES! Gunas is now previewing their new line of adorable and super comfy flats!

Cute & comfy new Gunas shoes!
Shooooooes!!
Sugandh Agrawal and her new shoes
Sugandh Agrawal and her new shoes

 

 

 

 

The lucky attendees received a 20% off discount on all handbags and left with a goodie bag filled with cruelty free beauty products from Whole Clarity and Armour. Be sure to check these vegan brands out as well. The best part? All proceeds from tickets were donated to Catskill Animal Sanctuary!

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LAFC Editor in Chief Adrienne Borgersen with Sugandh
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Adrienne with Gunas Model and LAFC contributor Juliane Casey
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Hey, that’s me, with Adrienne!
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Goodie Bag!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve loved GUNAS, and the genius designer behind it all, Sugandh Agrawal, from the beginning. You might remember seeing Sugandh on the cover of the Summer 2015 issue. If you haven’t you can go back to the archives and read her informative interview. It’s amazing to see fellow vegan businesses within the fashion industry succeed, spreading the message that style definitely does not have to fund animal cruelty! If this looks like an event you wish you had gone to, subscribe to La Fashionista Compashionista Magazine for free. Follow us on our social media platforms as we’re always posting about events in the area and fabulous vegan brands.

More Cowbell at CAS Cocktails and Cow Tales!

What a great night for Catskill Animal Sanctuary! Their Cocktails and Cow Tales event, was a big hit!  The house was packed with guests who came out to mingle, party, learn more about the farm and most importantly, save animals.

Kathy Stevens, in her fab, little orange dress, did not disappoint at pulling at our heartstrings, while speaking about the farm and the animals.  The rescue situations are devastating. How she and her team take these animals in, rehabilitate them and give them the lives they deserve, is nothing short of miraculous. This is a team some of the most humble, dedicated, hard working and amazing people I’ve ever met.

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Kathy Stevens.  Photo by LAFC.

Click here to watch a short clip of Kathy talk about the animals and how she really feels about that dress  😉

People swarmed the sponsorship tables. Every time an animal was sponsored, a cowbell rang.  I will tell you, that bell rang all night!

...because you can never have too much cowbell. Right?
…because you can never have too much cowbell. Right?

Each sponsorship creates funds that contribute directly to the care of these animals.  You can adopt an animal anytime you want (how about now??) by clicking here.  SPONSOR

Along with tables filled with silent auction items and t shirts for sale, guests contributed over $66,000 for CAS!!

Auction Table.  Photo by Ruth McDade
Auction Table. Photo by Ruth McDade

A board member spoke, letting us know that, “…Charity Navigator is the country’s leading evaluator of over 8,000 U.S. charities’ financial health and transparency. On a scale of of zero to four stars, Catskill Animal Sanctuary has earned four stars and is ranked in the top 6% overall. We’re the highest ranked farmed animal sanctuary.” Wow – well deserved, CAS!

Kathy Stevens & Chef Jay Astafa. Photo by Ruth McDade
Kathy Stevens & Chef Jay Astafa. Photo by Ruth McDade

But, back to the party… generously passed hors d’oeuvres by the amazing Chef Jay Astafa included jackfruit tacos, (dairy free) mozzarella caprese, beet burger sliders and for dessert, strawberry (dairy free) milkshake shooters with a mini donut.  O. M. G.

Delicious Caprese, dairy free mozzarella and tomato. Photo by LAFC
Delicious Caprese, dairy free mozzarella and tomato. Photo by LAFC

Topped off with a wine and juice bar, I guarantee everyone left with a full belly and a full heart.

Please support CAS and visit the farm often, for a heart swelling, life changing experience!  www.casanctuary.org

Chef Fran Costigan and Adrienne. Photo by LAFC
Chef Fran Costigan and Adrienne. Photo by LAFC
CAS Marketing & Activity Director Michelle Alvarez. Photo by LAFC
Adrienne with CAS Outreach Manager, Michelle Alvarez. Photo by LAFC

Come on out to Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Cocktails and Cow Tales!

Hey, it’s me, Adrienne – Editor in Chief of LAFC!  I want to tell you about a very special event coming up soon in NYC, that I hope you will attend.

Kathy Stevens with Franklin
Kathy Stevens with Franklin

One of my favorite places in the whole world is Catskill Animal Sanctuary.  In the peaceful town of Saugerties, in upstate NY, is a vast farmland full of animals, rescued from abusive factory farming and hoarding situations.  Founder & Director Kathy Stevens and her super awesome team are dedicated to the rehabilitation of these animals, giving them the lives they deserve.

My friend Beth and me, rubbing pig bellies at CAS!
My friend Beth and me, rubbing pig bellies at CAS!

You are in for a treat, as they are coming to NYC to throw their Cocktails and Cow Tales celebration! Come on out and join us on Tuesday, June 7th, 6:00 pm –8:30 pm, at Home Studios (873 Broadway, Manhattan).

Tickets are $125 ($100 is tax-deductible). Hurry, tickets are still available, get yours here!

I love this t-shirt!
I love this t-shirt!

Have some fun, meet great people, pick up one of their fab T-shirts (this one’s my fave) and sponsor a rescued animal with some yummies for your tummy, courtesy of Chef Jay Astafa.  I can tell you from personal experience, Jay’s all vegan, creative fare is worth the price of admission, alone. Round it all out with a cocktail and you have a perfect evening, all in support of the glorious mission of CAS!

 

I hope to see you there!  But, if you can’t make it, you can still make a difference in the lives of these precious animals, with a donation here

Kathy telling visitors about horses.  Have you read her book "Where the Blind Horse Sings"?
Kathy telling visitors about horses. Have you read her book “Where the Blind Horse Sings”?

To give you an idea of the work done at CAS, here’s a cow tale about CAS’s latest rescue, a calf named Lil’ Guy and watch him here!

He arrived on 5/11 from the beef farm where he was born in April 2015. He didn’t nurse as much as he should have and became weak. The farmer bottle fed him, but he eventually developed an infection. He recovered, but it was clear he had developed a problem with his hind legs.

The farmer continued to bottle feed and care for him, even going as far to help him up. But his condition worsened.

It reached a point where the he either needed to find him a home or euthanize him. A friend offered to help and reached out to us.

We took him in not knowing if we could help him or just make sure his final days were happy. But it was clear that he was not ready to give up, so we aren’t ready yet either.

As typical for new arrivals, we kept him in quarantine as we got to know him. It takes two of us to help him up each time. But we do and have consulted with our vets. We’re still determining the best course of action, but have focused on getting him up as much as possible. While he was in quarantine, we distributed fresh grass throughout his stall to encourage him, however short a distance, to walk towards his food.

We frequently massage his leg and spine — you can hear him sigh when we do. He must be in so much pain, to have a moment’s relief must be a new experience.

He’s now out of quarantine. This week we’re going to introduce him to the Underfoots (the family of animals allowed to roam the grounds freely). Our hope is that being out in the fresh air and sunshine with other animals will encourage more walking.

Stay tuned for stories and photos of the event!  If you see me, say hi and take a selfie with me for the blog!

More info about Catskill Animal Sanctuary at www.casanctuary.org

Grape Cat interviews Adrienne!

March 7, 2016

James Lucas of the Grape Cat Fashion & Business Podcast interviews LAFC editor-in-chief, Adrienne!

Some highlights from the interview:

  • How Adrienne got into fashion and who inspires her
  • The essential fashion pieces everyone should own
  • What she wishes she knew about being an entrepreneur
  • Her vegan journey and thoughts on wool
  • Tips to transition into a more compassionate lifestyle
  • How La Fashionista Compassionista was born

Check out the original post on GrapeCat.com or listen to the podcast below:

Grape Cat features all kinds of fabulous vegan clothing and accessories, and they’re PETA-approved! Be sure to check them out at GrapeCat.com.

If you liked the interview, be sure to share it!

Lois on Grape Cat Podcast

February 3, 2016

James Lucas of Grape Cat interviews our co-founder, fashion designer Lois Eastlund. They discuss Lois’s early start in fashion, lessons learned as an entrepreneur, and her biggest fashion pet peeve!

Check out the original post on GrapeCat.com or listen to the podcast below:

Grape Cat features all kinds of fabulous vegan clothing and accessories, and they’re PETA-approved! Be sure to check them out at GrapeCat.com.

Adrienne & Lois on The Jazzy Vegetarian Blog Spot Radio

December 2015

Laura Theodore, the Jazzy Vegetarian, interviews our founders, Adrienne and Lois, to get the inside scoop on stylish, cruelty-free holiday fashion. Laura is also our Holiday 2015 cover model!

Check out the full post at Blog Talk Radio!

Bonus! Listen to the jingle written for us by Laura Theodore, The Jazzy Vegetarian: