Quarantine has really been messing with my anxiety and causing more physical symptoms than I normally experience. The first few weeks were rough, my focus was terrible and the future appeared so bleak to me. I felt as if everything was going downhill. I noticed that I was tired and needed naps more; the hours of the days were running together and slipping away so fast. Once those first few weeks were over, I began to feel better, feel more optimistic. I had developed an indoor life that had more normality and rhythm to it. I had been furloughed from my job and felt motivated to focus on my businesses. However, my anxiety prevailed, and so my jaw became tight, teeth hurt from grinding, developed neck pains and headaches, and a lack of appetite. Even when I thought I was better, my body has been telling me otherwise.
I feel that I absolutely must start taking better care of myself. I need to go to sleep earlier (get all of the sleep that you can during this time, guys!), and I need to FEED myself. I have had a hard time eating normal meals, and would often go to bed hungry. My water consumption has been low and I’ve been avoiding vegetables like the plague. This past week, though, I have made more of an effort to eat three meals a day, and healthy ones at that. So, I am back to my salads :).
Because I am making salads a normal thing for myself again, I have fallen back in love with my favorite dressing: RANCH! My first up-close encounter with ranch (not vegan, and not eaten of course) was when I was about 9 years old. I had gone on a ride to a fast food restaurant with my godmother, her son, and her niece between basketball games that we were playing in. My god brother next to me in the back seat pulled out chicken nuggets and a little packet of ranch dressing, which he identified for me upon my asking him what it was. I don’t know why, but it looked SO good to me, and I continued to hold that same perception over the years. A white sauce, that was forbidden due to the amount of eggs in it, in my vegan eyes was that dreamy food that I so badly wanted to try. When the Cincinnati Loving Hut added ranch dressing as a side to their meals, I was so excited that I could finally taste what I had always assumed would be very delicious. I was not disappointed; it was love at first bite.
Since my first ranch dressing experience, I have found vegan bottled versions of it at Whole Foods and Kroger. I have tried two different brands, Daiya (the makers of the melting vegan cheese) and Follow your Heart (the creators of vegenaise). The one that stuck was Follow Your Heart, mostly because I felt that their flavor was better and not as lemony. The following is my review of this product.
If you’re looking for a comparison between the non-vegan ranch smell and the vegan ranch smell… Well you’re not going to get it. I, unfortunately, have no idea what real ranch smells like. I’ve only imagined it, and in my mind it smelled like any savory white sauce. The vegan ranch smells very garden-like, as if it is a salad itself. Don’t think of that as a bad thing though, it still smells delicious. I would describe it as natural with a touch of lemon.
As mentioned, I am in love with the flavor of ranch dressing. I like this brand, but only wish that they had given it a little more salt. It seems these products always lack in the sodium category. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t completely bland. It is good enough, but I want it to be fantastic. I don’t know if they make it in house at the Cincinnati Loving Hut, but theirs had a nice salt-seasoned flavor to it that I was hoping would be matched in the Follow Your Heart product. Although it is nicely seasoned in other ways, I do have to add salt to my salads to make up for where it lacks.
The beautiful white creaminess speckled with black and brown spices gliding out of the mouth of the bottle onto freshly rinsed leafy greens is enough to signify just how gorgeous this product is texter-wise. It isn’t at all watery and it has a nice thickness to it. There is no grit, it is very smooth.
My review of this product seems to have a little better outcome than my last one (if you haven't read it, here's the link http://vegancoloredglasses.com/blog/natures-path-organic-buckwheat-waffles-review). This one isn't a food that I just tolerate for the nutritional value. This dressing is a product I eat because I think it's delicious! I think it's certainly one that should be tried by anyone looking for a great vegan ranch dressing. It is a pretty good replacement.
Looking Through Vegan Colored Glasses is a vegan lifestyle blog curated by a Black mom and four of her vegan raised kids, covering their opinions on health, food, and fashion.