Harmony Yoga Retreat | Yelapa, Mexico

This was my first time out of the country and my first yoga retreat, so it was an amazing adventure, to say the least.

Yoga Journal Conference Midwest

Dharma Mittra, Seane Corn, Aadil Pakhilivala, Maty Ezraty, Jim Bennitt... Need I say more?

Friday, January 4

It's Official, I'm Going Vegan + Here's My List of Vegan Resources

Six months ago if you asked me if I was vegan I would say, "I still eat eggs." And then wait for the look of confusion from someone still learning about a vegan lifestyle or the look of judgement for calling myself vegan (even from those still eating meat).

Three months ago if you asked if I was vegan I would say, "I still eat eggs at home, because I know where they come from... but not outside the home." And then wait for the look of confusion or judgement.

In 2013 if you ask me if I'm vegan I will just simply say, "Yes!" I've been wanting to do this for sometime, and with all I've read/seen I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. I mean, there are excuses: more alienation from my friends + family, I really like my morning routine of two eggs sunny side up, and brunch on Sundays is my favorite thing to do with girlfriends (we really don't have vegan brunch options in C-U). But I know, deep down, based on all the other reasons I gave up meat and then dairy—this was not an acceptable exchange for the horrible things that happen to those sweet voiceless souls I've recently heard referred to as "food animals." *bleck*

What really solidified this for me (as if saving a life wasn't enough? I know) was a friend asking me for some vegan books recommendations. I've been asked this quite a few times over the past year, and I'm flattered that people would look to me as a source of knowledge on the topic. At the same time, I know why they're asking me, I wasn't kidding when I said I feared further alienation from my friends + family... I have a handful of friends who are vegetarian (and awesome ladies, I should add), but my family is not. A couple are supportive of my efforts (thank you so much!) and the rest, at best I would say tolerate it (in the kindest of ways... still). But I digress. My point is, locally there isn't a strong vegan community in my age-group (possibly younger, but who knows. I did sign up for a Meet Up Vegan group, so hopefully this will change). So I'm just glad I can help others with questions + ridiculously grateful for my online community that doesn't even know they're supporting me through their recipes, blogs, and social media posts.

Alright, enough about me... here's my list of vegan resources. I hope this doesn't overwhelm you, I tried to divvy things up into categories to help you jump around the list and go to links that call out to you. I will say that most of these categories overlap, but I tried to put resources in sections they represented the strongest. Also, these aren't strictly vegan topics, some of them are influences for me and why I took this path.

I also want to take this moment to thank those amazing veg*ns that inspired me over the years and planted a beautiful seed of compassion in my life: my dad, Nici, Aimee, Shaheen, Grrbecca, Devin, Jan, and Vanessa.

On with it, already!

UPDATE: It's been over a year, I'm still vegan-strong, and I couldn't be happier with that decision. I don't know what brought me back to this post, but I'm glad I'm here to write that although there are categories below I would be remiss if I didn't give you a proper vegan definition.The term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson (of course vegans existed before 1944, they just didn't have the label) for the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals. It is much bigger than a diet + many vegans would be insulted by my breakdown below implying veganism is meant for anything else. I agree on some level, because I believe in the same philosophy. But I won't call someone out for calling themselves vegan for environmental or health reasons, because it's not supportive, encouraging, or recognizing the simple fact that it's still helping animals greatly.


Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
The China Study by Dr. Campbell
Main Street Vegan by Victoria + Adair Moran
Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr. Claudia Welch
The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover (I finished this one, flipped back to page one and started reading it again)
Food for Life by Neal Bernard

ChooseVeg—for your health
Three Plant-Based Protein Myths
10 Common Vegan Myths
No Meat Athlete
Vegan Athlete

Forks Over Knives
Food Matters
Crazy Sexy Cancer (also a book, and the recipes' link is below under Crazy Sexy Kitchen)

I'm not going to lie, in order to get the facts there may be some horrible pictures/videos or visuals created just from reading the text. This shouldn't be a reason to avoid learning the truth—education is key in making any solid changes and having the ammo to backup your lifestyle choices. Honestly, if the idea of seeing it upsets you that much—you already know it's something you don't want to support... right?

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone (if you can get around her Clueless speaking overtones)
Diet for a New America by John Robbins
Essential Gandhi by Mahatma Gandi (his philosophy on non-violence)
When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Life of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson + Susan McCarthy
Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans by Sherry F. Colb

Another list from Luminous Vegans Here: Part 1  
The Kind Life's List of Kids Books

ChooseVeg—for the animals
This Vegan Life
Vegan Outreach
Will Travel for Vegan Food (amazing inspiration + great restaurant resource)
Vegan Kit
Someone, Not Something (no pics, just words)

I can barely get through the trailers of most of these movies... but what I've watched is enough to happily support my lifestyle decisions.
Food Inc
Peaceable Kingdom
Philip Wollen Speech (and more on TedX)

Pet Rescue Saga
Scarecrow (promoted by Chipotle's beautiful film)


Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (this book is why I switched my degree to environmental science)
The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony (currently reading Babylon's Ark)
Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber

ChooseVeg—for the earth
BBC Science + Environment
Green by the NY Times
Environment by The Guardian
World Changing (also a great book)

An Inconvenient Truth
Erin Brockovich
Planet Earth
Blue Planet
The 11th Hour
Gorillas in the Mist
March of the Penguins
The Real Dirt on Farmer John
Whale Rider

An excellent list from Grinning Planet—the above I've actually seen though

I have a few cookbooks, but the truth is I'm following recipes on line (as you can tell from the long list that follows), but I do still pick up these books from time to time
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
The Chicago Diner Cookbook
Alternative Vegan
The 30-Minute Vegan
Skinny Bitch: Book of Vegan Swaps (I just got this one as a gift. It's perfect for beginner's + yet I'm still learning a ton here, after three years)
Chickpea Magazine

I follow these peeps on facebook/twitter/pinterest/email, and when a recipe pops up that inspires me, I'm off to the grocery store :)
Olives for Dinner
Oh She Glows
Veg Kitchen
Fran Costigan
Post Punk Kitchen 
Naturally Ella
Dana Treat
Veggie Num Num
101 Cookbooks
My New Roots
Green Kitchen Stories
Oh My Veggies
Cookie + Kate
Lisa's Kitchen
Good Things Grow
Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Global Vegan Kitchen
Just the Food
Sweet on Veg
The Lazy Vegetarian
Fat Free Vegan (crockpot section)
Keepin' It Kind
Vegan Baking Secrets
Veg Angela
Chef Chloe
Native Foods Cafe Blog 
Holy Cow!  
Umami Girl
The Papaya Chronicles 
Lisa's Kitchen
I don't think I can keep up with this list—but you can visit my Pinterest page to see all the food boards

Our Hen House
Girlie Girl Army
Global Animal
Animal Rights Zone
Laika — vegan lifestyle magazine (my version of Cosmo when I want to relax and read)

Barnivore's app for Vegan Beer + Wine is called Green Vegan
21-Day Vegan Kickstart

Soy-free Earth Balance Butter
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Rice Vinegar
Coconut Oil
Daiya Cheese (we stick to the jalapeño havarti block cheese)

Quinoa (excellent source of a complete protein)
Imagine Soups
Chia Seeds (excellent source of a complete protein)
Coconut Milk
Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza
LightLife Gimme Lean Ground Sausage Style
Field Roast (for BBQing brats or holidays roasts, amazing! — they just came out with burgers, SO GOOD!!)
Enjoy Life Chocolate
Cinnamon Gum (ok, this is in my purse)
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows (when you need some camping noms or hot chocolate goodness)


Ecco Bella
Acure Organics
Mrs. Meyers
Seventh Generation
Crush Cosmetics
Zion Health
Pacifica (great concealers, lip balms, soaps, and perfumes!)
Kiss My Face shampoo + conditioner
e.l.f. (Peta approved cosmetics we can all afford, woot!)

Sparitual (nail polish! nail polish! nail polish! AND nail polish remover)
Eco-Dent (vegan floss... sans beeswax)
Auromere Toothpaste (I'm currently using Tom of Maine, but actually prefer this brand when I find it)

Whew! OK, since I put all this effort into this list, I will be sure to update—so please check back! And, please don't hesitate to comment with your own suggestions, there are definitely TONS more out there (which is awesome)!


I'm already adding to my list! Anything highlighted will be new as of the date listed here: 09.23.14