Essential workers are still essential. A vegan nurse shares how to give something back
Crissandra “Angel” Hall is a single vegan mother of four. You can recognize their three girls as the acro yoga trio known as DZ Vegan Kid athletes on Instagram, but what her poses don’t reveal is the dedicated woman behind the camera. In addition to being a full-time mom, she’s also a full-time nurse. When the pandemic broke out, it was sent to hotspots like New York City, NY and Austin, TX across the country. After being away from her family for weeks on intermittent overland flights to attend her children’s birthdays and gymnastics competitions, she continues to appear for both her family and her patients. Although many of us see a light at the end of the tunnel, important workers are still essential and they deserve every kindness we can spare ourselves. On this Mother’s Day, let’s cover all of the mothers – not just our own, but those who work in these essential roles. Here are nine vegan things that can make up a working Mother’s Day.
1. Peanut-free vegan protein bars
Nurses and mothers are always in a rush, and if you don’t have time to sit down to eat, a plant-based protein bar is a reliable place to go. Hall is allergic to peanuts and makes a fair point: when you’re donating to your local nurses, it’s best to be on the safe side and go peanut free. Is your favorite snack Organic Fit High Protein Weight Loss Bar from Garden of Life. The vegan S’mores and Chocolate Coconut Almond taste just like chocolate bars – nutritionally, they fill up much better than something from a vending machine.
2. Frozen vegan proteins
When a nurse or busy mom has some time to herself, she doesn’t necessarily want to spend that time cooking. Hall relies on certain store-bought staples to put together a tasty and filling meal. So she prefers spicy food Gardeins Nashville Hot Chick’n Tenders are a comfort at the end of a long day. When handing out groceries for key employees, consider some non-flavorful options for employees with more sensitive palates as well.
3. Cheesy vegan snacks
Sure, vegan Cheetos aren’t the healthiest option either, but it’s no secret that hospital workers often buy from vending machines. Reduce the demand for animal products by offering a veganized version of their favorite snacks. Hall is a huge fan of PeaTos– especially the fiery-hot aroma. Bonus: They contain four grams of protein and three grams of fiber!
4. Chocolate and caramel
A little something sweet can brighten up any day, but nurses and mothers need something to pop on the go. Assemble a basket of individually wrapped vegan chocolates and caramels that the nurses can split up and put in their pockets to enjoy between patients. Hall recommends No whey chocolates and Cocomels.
5. Fresh fruit
A fruit basket may seem old-fashioned, but in the midst of the constant rotation of packaged food, key workers crave some freshness. In addition, many fruits provide a natural boost of energy and moisture. Hardy fruits like perfectly ripe bananas, apples (not Red Delicious – the name is an oxymoron), dates, mandarins, and mangoes are excellent options.
6. Vegan hair products
High stress jobs put a strain on your hair – just check out the pictures of all the US presidents before and after the shoots. The gray sets in quickly. Hall explained that nurses are also exposed to a lot of stress and that this can lead to early shades of gray and even thinning hair. Every mother deserves to feel beautiful even when her hair is under a nurse’s cap. Hall is in love with Donna’s recipe Tabitha Brown hair products. From vegan biotin hair vitamin gums to fortifying hair oil, Brown’s collection helps revive even the most stressed locks.
7. Resistance exercise bands
In multi-day shifts, nurses rarely have time for a special one-hour training session. Especially for those who travel like Hall, they need something that is fast, effective, and portable. Hall recommended a number of resistance bands that she relies on to keep her in shape no matter where she is. A few squats and bicep curls add to the constant noise every nurse (and mom) needs.
8. Juices and wellness shots
Hall swears by her immunity shots from Cor and Pressed juice. She told us, “I love these because they are strong, effective, and have helped me stay healthy while caring for tons of COVID-19 patients and more over the past year.” A steady stream of juices also provides quick, immunity-boosting nutrients to nurses dealing with at-risk patients. A pack of green and citrus juices with a few drinkable vitamin C wellness shots is more than just a thoughtful gesture – it could allow these workers to stay healthy and get on with their important work.
Okay, yeah, we know it’s cheesy, but it’s Mother’s Day. When your mom hugs, don’t stand there like a hard man. Hug the hug. As in any relationship, find ways to say “I love you” every day. These little memories can be made every day. And if it’s not your own mom, show some appreciation, either with a friendly smile, a thank you, or a full basket filled with all of these vegan goodies. Actually, all three would fit well.
Happy Mother’s Day to all important employees.
Tanya Flink is the digital editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner who lives in Orange County, CA.
Photo credit: Crissandra Hall