July 31, 2013

Want to Go Vegan? A Top 10 Resource Guide. ~ Dana Gornall

So you’re thinking of trying a vegan lifestyle, but don’t know where to begin?

Here is a list of 10 resources to help you get started on the compassionate road to veganism!

1. Happy Herbivore: Lindsay Shay Nixon has a beautiful assortment of plant-based cookbooks that are not only user-friendly but help you produce delicious meals. Along with her cookbooks, like Every Day Happy Herbivore and Happy Herbivore Abroad, she has a website complete with recipes and vegan 101 information for people who are new to this way of life. She posts videos demonstrating her cooking skills and for those that need more she provides meal plans that include a shopping list and step by step instructions on how to prepare dishes ahead for freezing. This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in pursuing a plant-based diet.

2. The 30 Day Vegan Challenge: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is a well-known vegan writer and activist. Not only does she have a plethora of vegan cookbooks to choose from like The Vegan Table and Color Me Vegan, but she has The 30 Day Vegan Challenege in which she walks you through a month of transition from from omnivore to herbivore. Each day includes videos or a recorded audio of tips, suggestions, cooking demonstrations and recipes that guide you through this journey. This is $20.00 well-spent for the vegan newbie.

3. Post Punk Kitchen:  Isa Chandra Moskowitz  created this website from a dream of having a vegan cooking show. While only six shows were filmed, Isa continued to be a forerunner in the vegan cooking community by producing several awesome cookbooks such as Vegan With a Vengence and Veganomicon. She has rockin website with recipes, a blog and a forum for those with concerns and questions. Most of all, her pillow pancake recipe is amazing!

4.The Fat Free Vegan: Susan Voison has an incredible website with an enormous recipe database that is full of not only vegan food, but oil-free. This is great for those trying to lose weight or for people with heart concerns and need an oil-free diet. Not sure if consuming a no-fat diet is healthy? Susan answers all your questions pertaining to this issue. The best part of her site is the recipe index which allows you to keep a customized list of your favorite recipes for menu planning or when you just want to find it in the future.

5. Forks Over Knives: Are you looking for more information in the health benefits of a vegan diet? Do you want to share with friends and family why you are pursuing this lifestyle? This documentary gives a whole lot of information in a gentle and comprehensible way and has an array of anecdotal stories sprinkled with appearances from Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn,  T. Colin Cambell, PhD., and Dr. Neal Barnard. This is an indispensable resource for those looking for answers to health concerns and benefits of a plant-based diet.

6.Chocolate Covered Katie: So you think being vegan means no more chocolate or sweets? Hell no! You can definitely have your cake (a vegan one) and eat it too. Kate Higgins has created a whole website dedicated to delicious and healthy desserts that can please any sweet-lover. Do you need to bring a scrumptious dessert to a potluck or are you hosting a party? Katie has you covered!

7.Vegucated: Do you need some inspiration to become vegan? Vegucated is a documentary that follows three meat-eating people that commit to an animal free diet for six weeks. This straight forward and honest film highlights many of the issues that arise when someone first begins this transition. Familial pressure, and tempting dinners out in mixed company are common worries for most people. These three volunteers pull you along on their journey by learning about factory farming, inhumane treatment to animals, and dealing with the emotions associated to discovering these heartbreaking truths.

8. The Kind Life: Alicia Silverstone is not only a great actress, but she is a vegan activist as well. While her blog includes vegan recipes and 101 information, it also covers breastfeeding issues for mothers, and applying veganism to your everyday life such as the cosmetics you choose and the clothes you wear. In a separate section, she enlists the help of her fans to be a part of something to promote change. Petitions can be signed, products may be boycotted, and fair trade is sought out. This is definitely one you will want to bookmark!

9. Skinny Bitch: If you are the type that needs a slap in the face to get motivated, this book is your ticket. Rory Freedman’s writing is an in-your-face style that lays out all of the horrors you really don’t want to hear. Like a drill sergeant, she puts you down only to show you how to improve yourself by choosing a more ethical diet. She has a cookbook too, a book directed at men and has a fiction piece that was released recently. This series is not for the faint of heart.

10. Thug Kitchen: Speaking of not being for the faint of heart, I present Thug Kitchen. While this blogger is not vegan, almost his whole site has plant-based recipes. Sitting down and reading his blog will probably make you laugh pretty hard with his obscene expletive-filled discourse and candid writing. Just go look at it. Nothing I can say will do it justice.

Well, there you have it: a top 10 guide for those of you exploring a compassionate, plant-based, vegan way of living. I’m sure there are many more options that are just as awesome.

Please share any that you find valuable in the comments below.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

{Photo: via Pinterest}

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