26 Pantry Staples For Anyone Considering Going Plant-Based

Bowls and spoons of various legumes on wooden background

The one piece of diet advice that everyone can agree on is that we should all be eating more plants. A vegan (or plant-based) diet focuses on getting all nutrients from plant sources like vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

Eating more plants and a plant-based diet, in particular, is being encouraged by more scientists and physicians, with good reason—crowding your diet with more plants means more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your body. Take for example, The Blue Zones, which is the term coined for areas of the world with the highest number of people living to over the age of 100. One aspect of their lifestyle that they all have in common is a plant-heavy diet with very small amounts of animal protein.

If you’re new to a plant-based diet or just want to start eating more plants, you’ve got to be prepared, and the best way to do that is by stocking your pantry with animal-friendly foods.

Check out this list of foods that will take you from plant-based novice to plant-powered pro.

Legumes

Plant-based proteins that will fill you up with good-for-you fiber and keep you feeling energized. Plus, they’re affordable and good for your waistline. Throw them in salads, soups, tacos, and stir fries.

  • Chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Lentils (all kinds)

Grains

Hearty grains are a good source of protein and make a great base for bowls, curries, soups, stews, and side dishes.

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat

Nuts + Seeds

Nuts and seeds can be the base of a variety of different recipes like granola, pestos, dips, dairy-free milks and sauces, and snacks. These are nutrient powerhouses packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Peanut butter (we love Earth Balance…and did you know peanuts alone are actually a legume?)
  • Almond butter
  • Pepitas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds

Plant-based cooking fats

Including fats is key in vegan meals, as the fat helps your body absorb all the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and plant-based foods you’ll be eating. They’re also great for baking with instead of using butter.

  • Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil

Condiments

If you’re just learning how to cook with plants, you’re going to want a little extra spice, umami flavor, or creaminess with your meals. Luckily there are plenty of condiments to help with that. Condiments like miso can elevate everything from salad dressings to soups.

  • Hot sauce
  • Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Miso paste
  • Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • Vinegars (different varieties)

2016-03-15T10:35:18+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I have ordered the detox cleanse, and the weight cleanse. Both state to eat a raw diet of veggies and fruit, nuts, nut pastes??, legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea veggies??,and fresh juices. It mentions Vegan Diet. What are my options when it comes to these choices? What do I eat and how often to keep my sugar from dropping, and feeling sick? Usually mid am, and mid afternoon?

    A:

    The best way to balance blood sugar and keep your body in a fat burning zone is to eat low fat and every 3-4 hours. Also high raw and high carb. Here are some options. Just a general outline.

     

    6am 

    Muesli - fruit smoothie-green smoothie

    9am

    2-3 pieces of fruit

    12pm

    Raw wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    3pm

    2-3 peices of fruit

    6pm

    wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    9pm

    Sorbet

     

    I suggest reading "Beauty detox solution" by Snyder, "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Karr, or 80-10-10 by Graham.

     

    I also recommend to check out my health coaching program www.theveganefect.com for more info.

     

    I hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I have read lots of information about B12. Is the plant based formula as reliable as other sources? If you could provide some more information it would be great.

    A:

    Our choice and vote is that plant-based products are always better than man-made sources. Consider doing a search on the Inter-net and compare findings and then make your choice in which form of Vitamin B12 you will use and deem best for you.

    Product Links:
    Vitamin B-12

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.

    A:

    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: Several people in the conscious community have stated that adding flax seeds and/or flax seed powder to our diet benefits the colon for complete and clean bowel movements. My question is, does flax seed powder or the seeds themselves promote parasites in the stomach and colon? A few of my friends and I have completed the parasite cleanse and got into a debate about it. Thank you very much, Hotep!

    A:

    Flax seed undoubtedly helps the colon (due to fiberous nature) but it is absurd to think or suggest that flax seeds (in any form) promotes parasites. Meat, dairy, refined grains and other processed foods is what promotes parasites in the stomach, colon, and rest of the body. So, as Public Enemy would say: "Don't believe the hype!"

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    Q: I just purchased the WEIGHT RELEASE CLEANSE AND REGIMEN and today is my first day. I'm unable to get through on our inquiry line. The diet isn't completely clear to me. Although it says miso soup is ok, I'm unclear on other things. For instance, is tofu ok? What about hummus? What do sprouted grains consist of? Would Eziekial sprouted grain breads and tortillas be ok? The miso soup is the exception to the dietary rule! NO tofu, NO Ezekiel grain breads (no processed grains at all). Sprouted grains are grains (or seeds) soaked in water overnight and consumed. They are not cooked! Hummus is okay (as it's not cooked). Recommended article: "WHAT IS RAW FOODS" Visit our articles section!

    A:

    The miso soup is the exception to the dietary rule! NO tofu, NO Ezekiel grain breads (no processed grains at all). Sprouted grains are grains (or seeds) soaked in water overnight and consumed. They are not cooked! Hummus is okay (as it's not cooked). Recommended article: "WHAT IS RAW FOODS" Visit our articles section!

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    Q: I heard about Hoodia on the TODAY show on NBC. It's supposed to suppress your appetite for weight loss. I have printed wikepedia for a more formal definition. It's supposed to be natural. Hoodia is a genus of 13 species in the flowering plant family Apocynaceae, under the subfamily Asclepiadoideae. [1] They are stem succulents, described as "cactiform" because of their remarkable similarity to the unrelated cactus family. They can reach up to 1mhigh and have large flowers, often with flesh colour and strong smell. Many Hoodia species are protected plants, typical of the Namib Desert, ranging from Central Namibia to southern Angola, especially in plains and rocky areas. Common names include "Bushman's Hat" and "Queen of the Namib". Several species are grown as garden plants, and one species, Hoodia gordonii, is being investigated for use as an appetite suppressant.

    A:

    Suppression is not cure or healing! You can't solve a problem by suppressing it! A suppressed appetite will manifest in some other area, i.e., an enormous appetite for sex, shopping, drugs, etc. Just because a thing is natural doesn't mean you are addressing the root of the problem, Beloved! It's much deeper than suppressing!

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    Q: I am a 55 year old female. I have an overactive bladder. I am trying to control it myself, without medication. I have not tried herbs. I eat fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins (not beef or pork). I added back more meat proteins 1 1/2 years ago because I was becoming so tired and lacking energy. (I read The Schwartzbein Diet, which helped convince me to add more protein.) I don't eat much sugar, salt (only 500 mg./day) or hardly any processed foods. I drink water and licorice tea, because it makes me feel good. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Can you help me with this?

    A:

    The steps you are taking in your diet are a great start. Try going raw, and eliminating grains and meat altogether. You can get enough protein and healthy fats with avocado, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, coconut. You can also add Vegan Protein Powder to smoothies.

    I also recommend you give our Full Body Cleanse a try to further detoxify your entire body. After detoxing, the ideal formula for you is our Kidneys Bladder-Adrenal formula.

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    Q: As a diet controlled diabetic I question being able to change my diet(to raw/live foods) while I keep up the same rigorous exercise and fitness program without suffering from too many low readings of which I am prone.The program has gotten me off insulin.I also have diverticulitis and seeds and nuts have been a problem for me in the past. Any suggestions?

    A:

    Thanks for the question. I hope this helps. If you are under a doctors supervision I am forbidden to give you any advice that may alter a doctors advice. They have little to no nutritional training but their word trumps everyone. 

    What I can do is point you in the direction of programs getting the results you desire. Those three are Dr. Neil M. Barnards "program for preventing and reversing diabetes" (DVD,book), Dr. Gabriel Cousins "Raw in 30" program (DVD) and "There is a cure for diabetes" (book), and recently The Gerson Therapy has released a program for diabetes (book). 

    The common denominator in all three programs is a low fat vegan diet. The differences are that Barnard's program is a cooked vegan diet while Cousins' and Gerson's program are raw. All get results but the raw programs have a 75 percent success rate in 1 month where as the cooked version of Barnards get results in 6 months. Big difference.

    I have gotten people off of insulin in around 2 months using a high raw and low fat vegan diet. I use no oils and nuts. I do encourage avocados and seeds for fats. However, with diverticulitis you must avoid seeds until your body repairs itself through a high alkaline diet. I suggest getting a bulk of your fats from avocados and coconut. I usually limit myself to a half an avocados worth of fat a day. 

    I would look into those books first and if you are under a doctors supervision bring those materials to him/her and see what they say.

    I hope this helps.

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I just ordered the FULL BODY DETOX and I know there's a dietary regimen that I will have to follow. I was wondering if you would approve of a protein shake that consist of (raw hemp protein powder, raw almond butter, sea salt, flax seed, 100% young coconut water & meat inside the coconut, raw carob powder,) (optional soy or rice milk or soy or rice cream)

    A:

    Doesn't sound like it will mess up your FULL BODY DETOX. Go for it! But leave out the rice/soy cream! The rice milk is okay (but it is processed/cooked)!

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    Q: I've made a lifestyle change about 8 months ago. I excluded all dairy, wheat, grains, gluten, legumes, sugar, oils (except olive oil). I still eat minimum amount of meat (chicken, fish) maybe 2 -3 times/wk. I'm slowly trying to eliminate meat totally as I only use to make my meals more filling. My plan is to do Ozone Therapy midway through the detox program, which also rid the body of toxins.

    A:

    Ozone therapy is beneficial!

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    Q: Thank you so much for doing all that you do. I wish that you were in my everyday life...If I ever come to Cali, I hope to be able to take you up on some of your services. I have given your site out to many people that cross my paths...most recently, a man with diabetes who is going blind. He seemed to be quite thankful for your info...I do hope that he contacts you...and my friend who perhaps has a problem with a parasite(s). But me....okay just waiting for tax refund and then I will hit you up for another full-body detox...and perhaps a parasite kit myself...as it is sad but true..with my current boyfriend careless but kind...I now have a problem with genital herpes...a small breakout every other month...I eat well for the most part...ofcourse it could be better. But the stress is hish...I am working on that. But my question is...would an air purifier do me any good? You see I live in Dundalk, Maryland...near baltimore...near a Steel plant, and a yeast plant, and close to the military practice bombing sites, and other military negative stuff, and the city polluted with car pollution, tons of light pollution, and they spray for mosquitos...then I go to work and I work at a place called ABC Supply...great place right, well the stress is high, and the building we work in is shot...I swear there is mold under the carpets in one of the rooms...the ceiling is constantly leaking and we don't know what from...and the fumes from forklifts and the asphalt from the shingles...the filterfrom the intake gets changed like once a year...but is filled with 'shit' probably in a day or week. So the answer is to get a new job and move...yeah I know...I just don’t know how to do it...or where to go. Since I moved here, I have a problem with my ears...filling up with water or histimine or whatever...usually if I don't drink enough water near my menstrual cycle...I went to a doctor once and basically walked out of the office telling him what to do for his cold...yasee..he was no help...I knew more than him already....these past two years have been bad for allergies. Now, my ears and my throat...my nose too...though I do clean it out with water and that helps. I am not the only one. In the past two years there is a great number of people who say the same thing...they have never had a problem with allergies until these past two years. My grandmother and next door neighbor are two..but many more...well they just started up that steel mill again probably about that time...they sprayed hard core for mosquitos right before my grandmother started having problems...global warming for one...and i dont' know..but two years ago I was involved with a group of people sending out petitions against an LNG liquid natural gas plant that would bring in a ship two times the size of a football field and a huge pipe line to pennsylvania, and a skyscraper of a building to store the gas. Well...we fought against it...but apparently the gas company has more say than our own local government...I don't know...but hear about it every once in a while that they are still trying to get it built. So, an air purifier?? what do you think? Much Love and Health and Thanks!! Peace, RESPONSE: Thank you so very much for your words, Beloved. Much obliged from the heart!

    A:

    In regards to your question: Oh yes! By all means purchase an air purifier or an ozone machine (which will actually be best or better for you). Make sure you detox (FULL BODY DETOX) periodically, consume ACTIVATED CHARCOAL, and take plenty of IODINE PHOSPHATE as sea weed is great for neutralizing the effects of radiation.

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    Q: I have the alternative diet and lifestyle manual and want to make sure that this applies to the respiratory condition as well. Can I have the rice bread with no gluten or wheat? or rice pasta being that I have sarcoid? Can I eat cold water fish or venison in small portions along with veggies? What about rice or soy milk or protein whey shake for breakfast once or twice a week? Thank you once again my breathing has improved greatly and I have ordered many more supplies to maintain what I have accomplished thus far due to your regimen. I am not a vegetarian so I want to make sure it is okay to have white meats. I will do whatever I have to do to live. I love and appreciate everything you have done to change and help me to heal myself.

    A:

    The manual applies when you are FINISHED with a cleanse or kit. Follow the regimen's diet. It clearly states NO COOKED FOOD. You are asking us about cooked food here. Stick to the diet plan and you will be alright! You are asking about foods no good for your condition. Whey is crap. Meat is no good. Grains are no good for you as well. They all produce too much mucus!

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    Q: I had surgery to drain a cyst on my right ovary, while in surgery the doctor hit my bowels, and they had to call in a surgeon to repair my bowels. I am on this low fiber diet now, and not able to eat raw foods. This means nothing in the green family like lettuce, or greens since they are hard to digest. This list includes no nuts, or fresh fruits with skin. How can I can complete a cleanse, if I am not able to eat the raw vegetables and nuts?

    A:

    Simply perform your cleanse of choice and just eat as best you can, okay?

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: I started my FULL BODY DETOX yesterday and so far so good. I have been reading books off of the book list you provided in the ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL. I really have great expectations for this detox. Anyway to my question since I have started the detox I can actually feel my organ (I am assuming) moving around. It almost feel like the motion of a child but I know I am not pregnant (hubby had a vasectomy) and plus the sensation is up too high. Have you experienced this yourself or know some else that has experienced this. I have to admit that I have not drank the daily recommended amount of water I am suppose to but I have been eating raw foods and drinking herbal teas.

    A:

    People experience all kinds of things but most report their overall experience, not beginning ones. At this point I don't know what the case could be. Just trust in the healing process and take notes of your daily experiences. This is how you learn about your body. Good luck on your cleanse!

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    Q: I am just becoming a vegan going on 20 years in June, and it takes a lot of discipline. I was wondering if you knew any good recipes for some good vegan style dishes. I really want to establish a vegan restaurant. I have purchased your Alternative Diet and Lifestyle Manual, and I know its healthier to eat vegan. But, I also understand its not the healthiest due to soy products. Is their still away to satisfy my appetite and well being at the same time?

    A:

    We have a couple of articles you might be interested in.

    Articles
    Dietary Choices
    Dherbs.Com Position on Soy Products

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    Q: What types of grains are allowed with the raw foods diet during the FULL BODY DETOX? Are whole grain breads and cereal bars ok? Please clarify. Also, should I stop taking my birth control pill while on the detox? I hear it will cancel out anyway?

    A:

    IN REFERENCE TO GRAINS, ONLY SPROUTED GRAINS. NO CEREAL AND CREAL BARS! OF COURSE STOP TAKING YOUR BIRTH CONTROL PILL BECAUSE THE FULL BODY DETOX TARGETS ALL TOXINS AND POISONS AND MAN-MADE/PHARMACEUTICAL BIRTH CONTROL PILLS ARE TOXIC AND POISONOUS. IT WILL MOST CERTAINLY CANCEL OUT.

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    Q: First, I want to thank you for your time the other evening. Your information was very informative and helpful. Next, I have a few questions pertaining to the detox and the other services you provide. 1. Will going from a traditional American diet to a raw food diet cause my body to become ill in the beginning or go into "shock" from all the good foods I'll be eating? If so, is there any way to ease in to this plan?

    A: While your body may experience a change as a result of the raw foods diet, you will not experience any adverse symptoms. Our products are 100% all-natural and only enhance your body.

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    Q: I am on day 17 of the Full Body Detox. It has been wonderful, although I have slipped up and made some bad food choices I have been able to stick to eating salads and Fruit and nuts. I have lost 5 pounds overall. I have Cogan's Syndrome. I stopped taking my azathioprine, Iron pill, and fish oils while on the Detox. I feel great aside from my Tinnitus in my left ear is ringing tremendously loud. Other than that I feel great. My skin looks so much better. My prednisone steroid hump in my back has gone away. My teeth look whiter. My eyes are whiter. Blemishes are gone. I just don't know what to do after I am done with this detox. I know that I need to continue with this particular diet because it is good to & for me. I can do that, however I just don't want to have low iron, tinnitus, or vertigo spells. What would you recommend I take after the full body cleanse. My mother has seen a difference in me and so has my husband. I love this, I can't wait to see my rheumatologist so he can tell me that my Cogan's Syndrome is in remmission. What should I do next?

    A:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. We're so happy to hear that the cleanse is going well for you. We suggest trying the Ear Oil to help bring relief from tinnitus. You can also try the Joint Aid and the MSM Sulfur to help specifically help address arthritis. If you're experiencing eye issues from Cogan's Syndrome we suggest using the Eye Formula. Continuing with a balanced diet is best as it is responsible for some of the success you were able to achieve with the cleanse. We suggest consuming two raw meals a day and one of your choice to help continue the healing process.

    Please take the time to read the article:

    Arthritis-http://www.dherbs.com/articles/causes-arthritis-34.html

    Product Links:

    MSM Sulfur -http://www.dherbs.com/store/msm-sulfur-p-49.html

    Joint Formula - http://www.dherbs.com/store/f-formula-p-42.html

    Eyes Formula -http://dherbs.com/store/eyes-formula-p-28.html