As most of our fans know, PB2 is free of preservatives, artificial flavors, and GMOs. And we are proud to be certified Vegan. To shed more light on vegan products, we spoke with Vanessa Espinoza and Dani Taylor from the Vegan Strong team. Vegan Strong is an organization of vegan bodybuilders dedicated to providing the necessary resources to people interested in joining the vegan movement.
1. Tell us about yourselves and your backgrounds. How long have you been vegan strong?
DT: I am a vegan figure competitor who has been vegan for 17 years – and I was vegetarian for 8 years prior to that! I grew up very overweight and upon going vegan and learning to eat right and exercise, I lost 90 pounds and went on to compete as a vegan bodybuilder.
VE: I was a high school All-American basketball player, played D1 basketball at Colorado State University, got drafted to play professional basketball, was a three-time Colorado Golden Gloves state champion, and currently am a professional powerlifter and gym owner. I have been vegan for 19 years!
2. How difficult is it to find brands of certified vegan peanut butter?
DT: To be honest, I don’t know which brands are certified vegan or not, but I know most mainstream brands are not. I read the ingredient labels on absolutely everything, to be sure. But you would be surprised to find out how many people think there is actual butter in peanut butter!
VE: It’s very difficult to find certified vegan peanut butter – most brands have so much added salt and sugar.
3. What do you typically look for in an ingredients list when shopping for a new product?
DT: I look for the shortest ingredient list that makes sense, great nutrition facts that will help me hit my macros as a vegan athlete, and great taste!
VE: When shopping for a new product, I first look to see if it’s vegan, then organic. I am very particular about what I put in my body. Next I check for the sodium and sugar intake.
4. What is the biggest struggle when you’re looking for new plant-based products?
DT: I think the biggest struggle in finding new plant-based products is that when most products first launch, they are cost prohibitive to include in my diet on a regular basis, and sometimes it can take years for the price to come down.
VE: The biggest struggle when looking for a new plant-based product is finding one that is organic and doesn’t have any artificial colors, flavors or fillers.
5. Why do you think PB2’s certified vegan powdered peanut butter is a game changer? What’s your favorite thing about PB2?
DT: My favorite thing about PB2 is that it’s the OG! I remember when it first came out that it was a literal game changer for folks who couldn’t afford the fat macros of regular peanut butter, but still wanted all that peanut flavor! And it has so much protein as well! I love that you can use it in so many ways. I add it to protein cookies, oatmeal, shakes and savory recipes, too, like stir-fries, BBQ recipes and dressings!
VE: PB2’s certified Organic powdered peanut butter is a game changer for me because, number one, it’s organic. Two, it’s low in sodium and sugar. And three, it tastes amazing.
6. How does PB2 help fuel your fitness regimens?
DT: PB2 allows me to enjoy peanuts – one of my favorite foods – regardless of whether I am trying to bulk up or cut down. It helps me keep variety and flavor in my diet, even when it gets more strict.
VE: PB2 keeps me filled up for a long time. I typically have it with my quinoa cereal. It keeps me energized for my long lifting session in the morning.
7. What’s your favorite PB2 product?
DT: My favorite is the original flavor PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. It is so versatile!
VE: My favorite is the certified Organic Powdered Peanut Butter.
8. What’s your favorite PB2 recipe?
DT: I make a double chocolate peanut butter protein cookie using PB2 as one of the flours and it is something I can eat every single day!
VE: My favorite recipe is to put it in my quinoa or oatmeal in the morning. I also use it when I’m making banana cookies!