Vegan* snacks perfect for holiday entertaining

With many of us becoming more lifestyle conscious, the overindulging during the holidays may not hold its traditional appeal. Data shows that Covid-19 caused people to become more focused on their health, clean food sources, and how our bodies process food. Plant-based and vegan diets and snacks are trending. We have a few delicious items that we can recommend for having on hand when friends drop by for the holidays.

Harvest Snaps

Forget potato and corn chips! These snack crisps are light, they're crisp, they're crunchy, and they come in an assortment of more-ish flavors: The vegan ones are Lightly Salted, Black Pepper, Tomato Basil, and Mango Chile Lime. Some Harvest Snaps flavors do contain dairy and aren’t vegan and these include Caesar, Wasabi Ranch, and Parmesan Roasted Garlic.

No matter what flavor you choose, Harvest Snaps feature farm-picked green peas, black beans or red lentils as the #1 ingredient and are packed with plant-based protein rather than the usual carbs. They're also baked (not fried!). Enjoy them on your own or with a light dip and salsa. Plus, Harvest Snaps are free of artificial ingredients and cholesterol, gluten, wheat, soy, nuts, and eggs. Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps can be found at supermarket chains and natural grocers across the country, plus online at Amazon.

Upton's Naturals' Ch'eesy Mac

Who doesn't like old fashioned mac 'n' cheese as a Thanksgiving side dish or for lunch on a cold winter's day? The problem is usually...all that cheese. As a dairy product, cheese is an animal product and it's usually high in saturated fats and salt. So for a vegan alternative, keep in mind Upton’s Naturals’ Ch’eesy Mac (also comes in yummy smoky flavored Ch’eesy Bacon Mac!). This vegan and dairy-free version is pretty delicious and guilt-free, made with nutritional yeast, mustard, onion, garlic, paprika, turmeric. It's hassle-free to prepare—simply mix, heat and eat. The products are also shelf stable and the noodles come pre-cooked and vacuum sealed with a prepared pouch of nut-free cheese. Low in sugar and completely free of artificial flavors, GMOs and cholesterol.

For more winter warmers, the same company makes tasty 100% vegan soups. Upton’s Naturals’ new canned soups come in classic, homestyle recipes like Chick & Noodle, Chick Tortilla and Italian Wedding and are chock-full of veggies, pasta, beans, and spices. There is 10-14g of Seitan (plant-based protein) in each serving. They’re also Non-GMO Certified (NSF), Plant Based Certified, contain no added colors, flavors or preservatives, and are completely free of cholesterol and trans fat.

Raised Gluten Free Vegan Quiche

Raised Gluten Free

It's not unusual for animal fats to creep into baked goods. Imagine savory pies and quiches with a perfect flaky crust filled with hearty vegetables, all while being allergy-friendly and 100% vegan. Crafted with care by two California moms passionate about providing delicious treats for families with food restrictions, Raised Gluten Free pies are plant-based, vegan, and in addition to being certified gluten free, also free of dairy, eggs, nuts, and peanuts, Kosher Pareve, and Non-GMO Project Verified. 

We tried the Vegan Quiche and found the light and fluffy organic tofu and savory spinach filling baked to perfection in a light pastry crust. Raised Gluten Free also makes fruit pies, too — the apple and berry peach are scrumptious and taste much healthier than traditional fruit pies. Be a thoughtful host and keep a few of these convenient 6" pies in your freezer in case one of your dinner guests comes out as gluten-free and vegan!

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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