Vegan is the new AWESOME!!!
Every year I travel to the Midwest to see family. It is exciting to see how things are changing from year to year. Change happens more slowly in the Midwest and the South compared to the West Coast but still it is happening and for the positive when it comes to veganism and the animals. Twenty years ago the term vegan was not really recognized in the Midwest and you were not received well even as a vegetarian. I know because I was a vegetarian in the midwest 20 years ago.
Ten years ago most would make jokes and pronounce it VAY GUN instead of VEE GUN and tell me how much they loved bacon.People were still eating meat 2-3 times a day and drinking dairy milk and I mean most of the people.
Fast Forward to June 2014 and I will tell you it is a different story. Many of my relatives have non dairy milk in their fridge, mostly almond or soy. I now have a couple vegan family members. My cousin Shellie even made me Kombucha while I was in Des Moines. Many of the mainstream restaurants in the bigger towns and cities have veggie burgers and a few non animal items on the menus.
In Chicago I discovered Karyn’s vegan empire. We had dinner at Karyn’s cooked and lunch at Karyn’s raw. In Des Moines I always pop into New City Market and Ritual Cafe for a little piece of Cali. I visited Zombie Burger and they had a really yummy veggie burger. Unfortunately no vegan buns which I asked about for the future. I had it on greens. It’s a super fun place that could up their vegan game a bit.. Dos Rios in Downtown Des Moines had awesome vegan items. The food was sensational. I did email ahead to request vegan consideration and they were great. Anyone who knows me knows I go to Chucks on 6th Avenue every time I am in Des Moines and even though it is an old fashioned nostalgic place for me they always hook me up.
Cleveland has some veg restaurants but we usually end up at mainstream places with my in laws. Many places can easily accommodate vegans so it’s fine. I wish more coffee shops would carry a non dairy milk and they desperately need more vegan baking going on. If you are a vegan baker in that area there is a hole that you could fill. Ohio seems a little behind in the evolution of food.
Minnepolis has come a long way and I think vegan is poised to explode in that vibrant but small city. I could see Minneapolis leading the Midwest in a shift towards a more plant based life.
The most important change is that people in the Midwest are starting to realize that vegan is NOT a diet but a different way of thinking. It encompasses so much more than any diet such as compassion for animals, better use of resources, improved health for humans and less detrimental impact on our planet. Can Paleo, South Beach or The Grapefruit diet do any of those amazing things? Of course not. Fad diets are designed only to help people lose weight in the short term. Being vegan is about so much more than that. It’s a plus that it happens to be good for the body but what it does for the soul has a far greater impact.
My next Midwestern trip will be really amazing because my book will be published and I will be meeting and talking to people about that. I cannot wait to see how much things grow and change in the months to come.
ONE VEGAN MAMA
Harrelson is also an ethical vegan and raw foodist
“I was on a bus and some girl sees me blowing my nose,” Harrelson is saying of his early years trying to make it as an actor in New York. “I had acne all over my face, which I’d had for years and years. And she’s like: ‘Hey, you’re lactose intolerant. If you quit dairy, all these symptoms you got will be gone in three days.’ I was like twenty-four. And I was like, No way. But three days later: gone.
I am very excited that my book One Vegan Mama is being published. In the book I share so much starting with my upbringing in Iowa, what led me to veganism, my vegan pregnancy, dealing with family and friends who don’t see eye to eye, traveling as a vegan, fashion, easy and quick mama on the go recipes and so much more.
My intention with the book is to help people. I meet so many people who have an interest in being more compassionate and healthy but find it difficult or overwhelming.If I can do it and so happily I feel that anyone can. I am not a vegan chef or a hippie or a total health nut. My motivation initially was my love for animals and I have benefited so much in return.It was a building blocks sort of thing for me. Now it is second nature but it took small changes upon small changes that ultimately became a big shift in my life.
Living vegan is one of my favorite life choices and when I find something incredible I always want to share it.
All vegans are different just as all people are unique and individual. Certainly I share many of the same ethics, morals and a sense of responsibility with other vegans but I do my life my own way.
I do feel it is important to encourage corporations mostly ignoring vegans to get with the program. We are increasing in numbers at a rapid rate and any smart business would strive to accommodate us.
I find it important to support and discuss the corporations who are embracing vegans such as Burger King, Chipotle, PF Changs etc. The more people support these places having vegan items by purchasing them the more such items will show up on menus all over the place.
Do I think Veggie Grill is gonna take over? Yes, I do but in the meantime let’s support those few places who have made the effort to include vegan items. Vegan restaurants in general are by far my favorite. Crossroads in Hollywood is top of my list right now for fine dining and Veggie Grill,Cafe Gratitude and Vinh Loi are some of my other faves. The food quality is just better and I feel better. It’s the best of both worlds. I get to go out and have a fab time and feel great too.Vegan is the future of restaurants.
I think my place in this changing landscape is to be accessible to people. I am from the midwest and I understand that way of thinking and life. I have lived in California for most of my adult life and I have benefited health wise so much and I want to share that with people. There is just no denying that Californians take health and fitness to a whole new level. I am still born and raised a midwestern girl. I am also very busy and on the go. I get the whole busy mom thing and I have taught myself how to do that VEGAN. I want to share it with others. When it comes to on the go moms and people some of these chains that are doing vegan items can help us in a pinch