Inspirational Vegan Celebrities- Guest Blog by Jessica Goodman

At nine years old, I was diagnosed with severe Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. My doctor had told my parents that if we could not get the disease under control that I was likely to be permanently in a wheelchair by the time I was fourteen, and on medication for the rest of my life. Thirteen years ago, I made the switch to a vegan lifestyle after my mom read the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. This switch completely changed my life and I was able to get my Juvenile RA not only under control but into full remission. 

Prior to switching my diet, my mom stumbled upon information about the animal industry and she went vegan overnight. Like so many vegans before and after her, she went down a research rabbit hole and that’s how she discovered the book that would make the biggest impact on my life. For her, vegan animal rights activists like Joaquin Phoenix and Gene Baur made the biggest impact in inspiring her to change her life but for me it was Dr. Campbell’s book.  My mother went on to receive certification from Dr. Campbell’s Nutrition Program at Cornell and she uses her plant-based nutrition insight in her business, coaching others to make the plant-based switch as well. Inspiration comes in all forms– for us it was the doctors and animal activists, for others it is the athletes, influencers like pop stars and actors, politicians and other cultural role models who spark the inspiration to make a change, empowering health and sustainability for the planet, animals, and their own personal health.

With that in mind, I have gathered a list of prominent vegans who continue to inspire me and those around me to make the vegan shift.  Big Picture Vegan originally posted an article on Celebrity Vegans 5 years ago, and the world has become a much more vegan place since then– you may even find someone you already respect or admire! Continue reading Inspirational Vegan Celebrities- Guest Blog by Jessica Goodman

Vegan Around The World Trip– See the world while stuck at home (Vegan Travel Diaries– guest article)

Stuck at home when you want to be on an adventure? We know the feeling! Being confined within four walls is a nightmare for those with serious wanderlust. The stress of 2020 is about all any of us can bear and that just makes the urge to get away that much more intense. When life has got you down, and you need to #stayathome, all you can do is daydream of exotic locales and foods you haven’t tried yet — and we have one way to help you escape from it…

We recently got back from a two-month Round-The-World-Trip, returning back home in the nick of time before Coronavirus shut the world down– despite the global pandemic looming, we managed to find amazing places and vegan eats that we can now share with YOU– all our fellow AND future globetrotters.

SO… GRAB SOME VEGAN SNACKS, FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS, RELAX AND ENJOY THIS VIRTUAL JOURNEY WITH US!

sydney

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Homemade Cream Cheese and Sour Cream

While we are all stuck at home and stores struggle to keep their shelves stocked, this is the perfect time to learn how to be self-reliant when it comes to your pantry staples– even the refrigerated ones!  Below are a few different options for dairy alternatives made from shelf stable ingredients so you can stock up on the bulk dry goods and get cooking to keep you going.

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Photo by Marta Branco on Pexels.com

Below I go over a few different methods to make cultured and flavored cream cheese and sour cream from a few different ingredients to be allergen-friendly.  Dairy free options that are price friendly and delicious, simple and fast to make and a range of complexity for different levels of home cook or food science geek below!

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Vegan Businesses Affected by Coronavirus

Across the country the restaurant industry has been turned upside down with new restrictions and laws as states respond to the rapid development of the Coronavirus. Among restaurants, those that focus on vegan food items are not excluded from this and in many cases may face more obstacles to staying above water during this time when all small businesses face drowning. Restaurant owners are being forced to reevaluate their specific situations overnight EVERY NIGHT and make adjustments, and weigh the cost of staying open against the cost of closing- for their rent, mortgage, debt, staff, and communities.

Some restaurateurs were forced to make the difficult decision of closing down resulting in employees losing their paycheck, and with the dragging on of pandemic estimates, likely bankruptcy and permanent closures. Other restaurants who have decided to stay open need to suddenly shift their programs to delivery and takeout services while #contactlessdelivery has become the new model of the industry– just to be able to survive this time that could go on as much as 3-6 more months. Along with takeout and delivery, others have expanded into creating meal service packages, grocery delivery service, and sponsored food relief to at risk and in need people as well as promotions for , as well as seeking donations for their disenfranchised staff and over-burdened medical staff.   In this article we will take a closer look at a few cities, with vegan businesses and see how they are operating right now. 

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covid-19 and the food industry

COVID-19 – Time to eat and build a plant-based future!

By now I am sure you have heard about novel Coronavirus (the cause of COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by a new strain of virus related to the common cold, with global implications. As the toilet paper vanishes and grocery stores empty, it is time to explore where viruses like this are born and review the larger impacts of COVID-19 on our food system, supply chain, and future practices.

One of the biggest obstacles to our health and safety is Diet Literacy. No, that doesn’t mean which diet is going to make you thin or jacked, but it does mean that most people have no idea about the food they eat: where it comes from, who makes/grows it, how its packaged, or what hitch-hiking bugs may be along for the ride.  The following article is a compilation of insights and professional expertise I developed to send to the media and communicate with public policy officials in the first week of the US wave of the outbreak.  In an interest to bring people into that knowledge base, I have expanded upon these ideas and linked to resources at the bottom.  Please reach out for more info!

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Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Making cornbread muffins takes a lot of the stress out of the cornbread, the smaller size cooks quicker, cracks less, and its ALMOST like an attempt at portion control, provided you eat them one at a time 😉 These gluten-free gems feature jalapeno, but I have definitely substituted for a scorpion pepper here and there when I know I am entertaining my fellow heat demons.

 

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Family Holidays – guest post Therapist Adriana Gambino

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about navigating family holidays as a vegan. When you’re vegan, and even worse– THE ONLY VEGAN– in a large family gathering, it can be difficult to find common ground when old sibling rivalries and family traditions are the stakes.

Sound familiar? Many of you are dreading this holiday season, but the good news is plant-based diets are rising, not just in prevalence but in awareness and understanding.

I want to share with you how it works in my family, and hopefully you can have a happy and a healthy with yours!

Continue reading Family Holidays – guest post Therapist Adriana Gambino

Maitake Mushroom Steak

Hen of the Woods, also known as Maitake, is an incredible and complex mushroom, with many small lips, and has a tendency to crumble.  Pressing the mushrooms condenses the flavors, and squeezes out the natural liquid, allowing it to soak up a delicious marinade while firming the texture into a bite-perfect steak.  Joining the already meaty flavor and texture of this mushroom, the steak will brown and bring on the smokey flavors of the marinade leaving an aroma in the air and a bold flavor on the palette. This recipe is a sneak preview inspired by the recipe in my upcoming book: Plant Based Gourmet

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Supplements for Vegans, pt 4 final

Plant-based diets are great for your health, and when part of a vegan lifestyle can be a great benefit to the animals, the planet, your body and mind.  The benefits of veganism are being talked about more and more, and it’s getting easier and easier to imagine a critical mass of vegans! Hooray!

With all of the benefits that come with a healthful vegan diet, it is very possible to live a vegan lifestyle that neglects your health. For example, you could eat Oreos for every meal, which are technically vegan, and you would probably not end up with a very healthy diet ☺ 

Nutrition is a confusing thing, and scientifically we are just starting to link nutrition to  major diseases.  I hope that with this handy guide you’ll find great ways to manage your whole-health, mostly with whole plant foods– and maybe sometimes with a very well researched vitamin supplement. The bottom of this article has a great healthy food shopping list with every food mentioned to make it easier to incorporate into your meals.

These nutrients are essential but often overlooked…

Continue reading Supplements for Vegans, pt 4 final

Vegan Keto

Vegan Keto may seem like a contradiction in terms…isn’t Keto that crazy butter and bacon diet? GROSS!  However, there is a way to do keto vegan and delicious!

After all, anything you can do I can do vegan, right? 

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Vegan Keto Chocolates! The dream can be real. Comment below if you want me to post the recipe!

So whether you are looking for a rapid weight loss diet, a cleanse, or something new, giving vegan keto a try could be worth it– you will eat ALL OF THE AVOCADOS, who doesn’t want that?

For me, Vegan Keto is the perfect way to transition between the seasons, reset my food habits, drop some pounds and change up my metabolic rate! I usually go 1-2 months Keto and then enjoy the comfort foods of the winter, the fresh fruit abundance of the summer, the crisp apples of fall, and the florals of spring. I’m never one to compromise flavor, so come and get inspired with my vegan keto shopping guide and meal ideas below!

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Taste, Health, and Compassion

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