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BESTIES Vegan Paradise Los Angeles
Local
Published Monday Feb 17, 2020 by Fitt

BESTIES Vegan Paradise: The New Vegan Convenience Store

Food
Drink

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. 

 

Meatless Mainstay 

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 BESTIES Alternative 

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. 

Got a sweet tooth? Don’t worry; they don’t skimp on the baked goods (thanks Ridiculous Baking Co. and Karma Baker!). 

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. 

 

Come Hungry 

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. 

 

This article was originally published on Fitt.co.
 
About the author
Fitt is a location-based discovery platform that connects users to healthy experiences across 30 cities in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. Find the best fitness studios, healthy restaurants, and outdoor adventures at www.fitt.co.
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar