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How to order vegan from Taco Bell

Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you’re immune to late night hunger attacks or road trip snack stops. Vegans need their fast food fix just like the rest of us. If that growling stomach is sending you to the next Taco Bell, here’s what you can order from the menu without disregarding your lifestyle. Note: Taco Bell doesn’t guarantee that cross contact with meat products won’t occur. Additionally, some stores use the same frying oil to prepare vegan and non-vegan items, so depending on your level of commitment, you may want to ask additional questions when you arrive. 1. Crunchwrap The Crunchwrap is a beloved Taco Bell menu staple. And vegans can enjoy it, too. Just ask for beans instead of beef, and tell them to hold the sour cream and nacho cheese. Most locations won’t have any issues about sneaking you some extra salsa on top in place of…

How to receive your refund from a food recall

First it was peanuts that we were trashing. Then came time to toss the romaine, avocado, veggies, beef, potatoes, flour, and then the eggs. The ingredients we’ve lost lately due to nationwide food recalls reads like a grocery list for a decadent holiday meal. While we’re horrified that so many people are getting sick from salmonella and other foodborne illnesses lately, it’s also worth considering your wallet. Are any of these companies willing to pay us back for the food we’re missing out on? The answer is yes, but you have to pay close attention to the recall directions. If you see a recall for a product you purchased, verify that your item has the specific code, sell by date, or whatever other identifying mark the company is using. Then you’ll have to determine who is responsible for giving you your refund. You can check the FDA’s website for a…

Raccoon gets stuck inside a Florida high school vending machine

Hey, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry. A ravenous raccoon apparently attempted to sneak away with some free food and instead wound up getting stuck inside a vending machine at a central Florida high school. The curious critter had to be freed by animal control. “This gentleman was apprehended today while committing burglary of a vending machine at Pine Ridge High School,” a post on the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Faceback page read. Thankfully, the law enforcement officials thought to snap a photo of the adorable, guilty-looking little guy to share with all of the world. Naturally, the internet loved it. “That bandit even wore a mask and still got caught,” wrote one user. Herr’s snack company, whose chips are visible in the photo, joined in on the fun, writing, “We think we know what he was after!” If you’re worried about the bandit’s safety, know that he’s good now. According…

Asheville, North Carolina is best U.S. city for beer lovers, report shows

To say that craft beer is popular in America is a serious understatement. Once dominated by big time cities like San Diego, Austin, and Denver, now even tiny American towns can now point tourists and passerby to their local town brewery. Yes, Americans love beer. But what city can claim to be craft beer’s biggest fans? If you consider yourself a craft beer lover, perhaps you should pack your bags and head for Asheville, North Carolina. A recent data report compiled by ApartmentGuide.com shows that the outdoorsy southern city has the most breweries per capita of anywhere in the country. In fact, Asheville has nearly 30 breweries just within city limits (that’s 28 breweries for every 100,000 people), including nationally recognized names like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. Other outposts include Highland Brewing Company (Asheville’s oldest brewery, 1994), Green Man Brewery, French Broad River Brwery, Catawba Brewing Company, and Eurisko…

When will Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte return to stores?

The weather might still say summer, but for pumpkin lovers across the country, the calendar only means one thing — the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yes, September is right around the corner, meaning that PSL fans are pulling on their cozy sweaters and counting down the days. While Starbucks has yet to announce the official release date of the iconic drink, employees told Business Insider the pumpkin spice latte would be returning Tuesday, August 27 — it’s earliest release date ever.  Typically, the PSL returns right around Labor Day weekend. Starbucks employees have been posting photos of the Pumpkin Spice syrup arriving at stores throughout this month, further fueling PSL superfans’ cravings. Can’t wait until the end of August for a taste of fall? Dunkin’ has your back. On Monday, Dunkin’ announced it would launch its fall menu on August 21. Menu items returning include pumpkin spice drinks, coffee and…

The Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals in America, report shows

Few of us would choose to eat all of our daily calories, fat, and sodium in one sitting. But that’s exactly what you’ll get if you order some of America’s worst restaurant entrées. Thankfully, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) releases an annual Xtreme Eating Awards report, calling out the unhealthiest chain restaurant entrées out there, so we don’t have to make the mistake of ordering them. This year’s awards feature shockingly bad dishes and desserts that will set you back 1,500 to 2,300 — just for one serving! Of course we know that dining out isn’t the healthiest choice, and that milkshakes and burgers won’t put you on the fast track to weight loss anytime soon, but there’s a difference here. You can usually sensibly indulge your cravings without eating the equivalent of seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins — which is exactly what you’ll get if you…

Survey finds 4 in 5 Americans take vitamins, but it could be causing them more harm than good

More than 86 percent of Americans take some form of over-the-counter vitamin or supplement in attempt to improve their health. After all, it can’t hurt — right? Unfortunately, no. Taking vitamins does come at a cost. According to a recent survey on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, only about a quarter of people (24 percent) actually received test results indicating a nutritional deficiency. “Numerous investigations show the alleged benefits are unproven and in the worst cases, vitamins and supplements can be harmful,” said Mike Varshavski, DO, an osteopathic family physician. People with documented nutritional deficiencies can most often and most effectively correct the problem with a change in diet. Since supplements don’t work as well as most people assume, taking vitamins can distract or deter people from taking other steps to treat their ailments, like improving nutrition or moderate exercise. As the multibillion dollar vitamin industry grows, Dr. Varshavski says…

6 healthy pasta alternatives you need to try

You don’t have to be a dietician to know that eating a ton of pasta isn’t the healthiest move you can make. It’s typically loaded with refined and bleached flour, and pretty low on anything resembling a vitamin, mineral, or protein. It sure is tasty, but too much of the good stuff, and you’ll probably pack on a few pounds.  (Or will it?) But what if I told you there is a way you can enjoy your favorite pasta dishes without piling on the carbs. Try these 6 delicious pasta alternatives when you’re really craving Italian — for the third time this week. 1. Pasta with added veggies If you want to start stepping away from traditional pasta, pasta with added veggies can be your first baby step. It’s typically a traditional pasta recipe, but it has dehydrated veggie paste — such as spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms — mixed right in.…

7 reasons you should eat more cherries

When you eat cherries, you can enjoy so much more than just their delicious sweet taste. Yes, they’re the perfect quick snack — just rinse and go — but those tiny cherries are loaded with big health benefits too. Here are 7 good reasons to start snacking on this superfood today: 1. They’re a low-sugar sweet tooth fix Sweet cherries are delicious and sweet, but unlike that double scoop ice cream cone, they have zero added sugar. What’s more, they’re low on the glycemic index (22) compared to other fruits [grapes (46), peaches (42), plums (39)], which means their natural sugars will be released into your bloodstream more slowly, and you won’t feel that spike and crash of high-sugar snacks. All this makes them a go-to for folks with diabetes. 2. They’ll bring you better sleep If you’re tossing and turning all night long, try drinking cherry juice — or…

Otter Pops releases icy pop without artificial dyes

Ice pops make sweltering summer days a little more manageable. But this summer, you may notice a change in one of the most popular brands of the frozen juice treat. Otter Pops is trading in its rainbow collection of blue, green, red, and orange pops in favor of a new “colorless” version. But ridding its product of artificial colors and dyes isn’t the only step Otter Pops is taking to create a healthier summer treat. The new-and-improved Pops are made with 100 percent fruit juice, so while they might not be as pretty, they’re much better for you. If you’re someone who swears by blue raspberry there’s no need to sweat! The Pops might have been stripped of their iconic colors, but the flavors remain the same. Choose from Louie-Bloo Raspberry, Sir Isaac Lime, Alexander the Grape, Poncho Punch, Strawberry Short Kook, and Little Orphan Orange. Imagine. Enjoying an icy…