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Thanks to LA’s ever-growing appetite for all things plant-based, there’s no shortage of vegan establishments sprouting across the city. Case in point: RING Baked Tofu Donuts in Woodland Hills, meat-free deli Counterpart in Echo Park, and plant-based American fusion concept O’Cado Restaurant, among handfuls of other options.
But there’s one standout shop in East Hollywood that’s making its mark by reinventing everything you thought you knew about your neighborhood convenience store. Say hello to BESTIES Vegan Paradise, the hip iteration of 7-Eleven dedicated to selling and serving hyper-local, sans-meat products.
What was once an unassuming corner market is now what can only be described as a vegan’s dream come true. A plant-based eater herself, that’s exactly how co-founder Alison Shead characterizes BESTIES, a bodega that she and her two best friends opened to make vegan goods easily accessible by bringing your everyday essentials together under one roof.
Their motto “All Vegan Everything” says it all. When you walk into the specialty store, you don’t need to question whether the ingredients are plant-based or scrutinize food labels. BESTIES has taken the guesswork out of living a veggie-only lifestyle by exclusively carrying 100% cruelty-free and vegan brands.
The refrigerators that once housed dairy and meats now showcase entirely plant-based products from mainstream and local names alike. Most importantly, though, Alison and her partners strive to be a platform for fellow LA-based vegan companies. Which is why they are committed to cultivating personal relationships with their vendors to ensure BESTIES can stock as many fresh goods from area purveyors as possible.
Not convinced? Just peruse the aisles and you’ll find a slew of products made in and around LA. Reach for The Beyond Burger, the beloved plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like the real deal. Or, if you’re on the go, grab some Nodoh Mock ‘Tuna’ Salad, Rabbit Hole Foods Un-Chicken Curry Salad, or Mort and Betty’s Carrot Lox that is sure to fool your taste buds.
In addition, you can pick up the usual suspects you’d find at a run-of-the-mill convenience store, just in the form of a healthier, plant-based version. Think jerky, cereal, crackers, Ramen, milk alternatives, and juice, as well as protein powder, deodorant, and toothpaste.
Craving a hot meal? Every Saturday from 12 pm to 4 pm, BESTIES hosts various local vendors dishing out delicious eats. Dig into bites like Heart Attack Rolls from Jade Vegan Sushi, Philly Cheesesteaks from Enjoying Earth, and Unreal NY Reubens from Original Herbivore, to name a few.
Then there’s Vrank’s, a permanent vegan pop-up serving classic franks, Beyond sausages, chili and cheese add-ons from The Vegan Hooligans, and Nodoh Nozzarella sticks. Need we say more?
Open every day from 8 am to 8 pm, BESTIES truly is a vegan paradise. But don’t take our word for it — sling your reusable tote over your shoulder and go check them out for yourself.
If you’re one of the millions under mandated work from home you may have already noticed that means cooking every meal, taking out the trash more often and, if you’re like us, remodeling your space into a home office/gym every day. With all of this change, it could be pretty challenging to maintain your wellness routine. Here at Mindbody, we’re thinking about well-being beyond the limitations of mental and physical health, including the environmental dimension of wellness. Spending more time at home means more time to make mindful choices of what you invite into your space.
Small changes to your at-home routine can have a major impact on the health of oceans, farms, and life on earth. Sustainable choices look a little different to each of us, so we rounded up a few of our favorite ways to make a positive impact on our planet from the comfort of your own home.
Aromatherapy can change the entire vibe of a space but burning through candles can happen quickly and recycling them can be a process. Just a few drops of your favorite essential oils go a long way in a diffuser meaning they’ll last you a really long time and customize your scents. Plus, diffusers oftentimes dupe as a humidifier helping to heal dry skin and even prevent airborne viruses!
You know that yoga teacher 3 towns over that melts every ounce of stress away, but it takes an hour in traffic and a half a tank of gas to get to? Virtual fitness is stepping in to bring your favorite instructors to your living room without having to burn the gas to get there. Community is a core part of fitness and our social wellness relies on staying connected right now. Invite your workout buddy to tune in, roll out your mat, turn on your essential oil diffuser and press play to recreate the essence of your favorite studios right in your living room.
Houseplants can purify the air in your home, improve your productivity levels by 15% and can even evoke a sense of calm into your space. Sure, the countless benefits don’t suppress the fear of failing to keep your plant baby alive (don’t worry, we’ve all had a failed attempt). To be sure to commit to caring for plants that enjoy being in your home as much as you enjoy having them there, choose wisely. If you live in a seasonal regional, maybe don’t invite that cactus under your watch and welcome in a fiddle leaf fig instead.
Start with one of these indoor-friendly ferns: philodendron, snake plant, zz plant, spider plant, rubber tree.
Create a dedicated “office” oasis.: Now that commuting is a thing of the past, mama earth is saying thanks for reducing pollution. Woohoo! Working from home comes with some hurdles, though. It can have us toeing the line between answering emails and binging your new Netflix obsession. But the couch just won’t cut it as a productivity throne. Dedicate a sacred space for work to keep that work-life balance in check.
Go around the house and collect all the plastic you have in a box, this includes your hand soap, shampoo, that extra set of take-out utensils, toothpaste, zip lock bags, the list goes on. Each time one of those items runs out, replace it with an eco-friendly alternative like a shampoo bar, silicone zip bags, and bamboo travel utensils.
Pro-Tip: Hang onto glass jars from finished kitchen items, like peanut butter, jam and mayo. When you’re shopping, go for the products that come in glass so you can compile a collection without dishing out more $$$ on glass containers.
From mason jars to hemp produce bags, there are so many options for swapping your plastic containers for sustainable storing.
Hint: Keep your reusable bags by your door so you don’t forget them when you go to the grocery store or if you’re packing to bring items out to a gathering.
Many studies showcase the positive environmental impact that a plant-based diet poses. If you’re not ready to go full vegan yet, start with small swaps of the plant versions of your household staples. Here are a few of our favorite substitutes that could easily pass for the “real thing.”
Oat milk – the creamiest of all the non-dairy milk goes to oats, making it a perfect swap in your coffee and nut-allergy friendly.
Butter – Margarine has been a plant-based secret for years. We also love Miyokos butter, which truly skates by as the real thing when slathered on a slice of toast.
Mayo – Eggless mayonnaise works wonders and can bring dairy-free creaminess to spreads and salad dressings. Plus, many brands come in glass jars!
Plant Protein Powder – With plenty of options on the market, you’re sure to find a flavor that will add some power to your smoothies without empowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Eggs – When baking, you can substitute eggs for flax ‘eggs'! 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 2.5 tbsp water = 1 egg.
Did you know that you can request your Amazon orders to be plastic-free with minimal packaging? Just follow these simple steps:
Collectively, devices plugged in on sleep mode can rack up $19 billion in electricity costs worldwide. Things like your toaster oven, blender, and cell phone charger can save some serious electricity if you unplug them when they’re idle. Put those pennies back in your pocket and save the planet while doing so.
This is a two in one. Giving your curtains a break is not only an easy way to minimize electricity usage, but it can also be great for your overall wellness. Natural light can be an awesome mood improver, productivity booster, and sleep aid.
Keep up the momentum of greener living by trying more virtual classes on Mindbody. Even swapping out one car trip to your favorite studio for a virtual class can have a lasting impact on this planet. Share more ways you're going green right now on Instagram and tag @mindbody! We'll share the love.