No added sugar, fruit sweeted eating,, Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan., Semi-vegetarian, Flexitarian, heart health, Uncategorized

The Sweet Life (With Less Sugar)

There’s no getting around it, sweet things taste good. While greasy doughnuts and multi colored candies have never appealed to me, there was a time when I couldn’t be left alone with a chick flick and a pint of sorbet.

This changed about three years ago when I read a piece on American’s excessive sugar consumption. As a natural foods enthusiast who avoided the standard American Diet like the plague, I assumed I was doing much better than most. It was true I wasn’t  eating hydrogenated oils, and synthetic colors, or flavors, but I was still consuming double the recommended amount of sugar on a near daily basis. On a day when I would indulge in my half pint of sorbet the figures were much worse. This was without drinking sugary things or eating candy!

Within one month of my new found sugar awareness, my always easily inflamed and broken out complexion had cleared in a way that amazed me.  I also no longer needed to take 12-15 ibuprofen per month for cramps and headaches. I knew sugar was inflammatory, but I never realized how much so until I minimized my consumption. An added benefit of my great sugar reduction was feeling my energy level skyrocket.

I know cutting sugar sounds near impossible, perhaps even punitive, but becoming aware of my sugar intake and avoiding added sugar has been one of the best things I have done for myself, which is why I’ve chosen to share the experience. Let me show you the way I went about this journey.
A few starting points:
* It is important to note there is no timeline. This can be done at one’s desired speed. The point of this is lasting and positive change.

*According to the World Health Organization the average adult female should consume no more than 25 grams (six teaspoons) of sugar per day. Did you enjoy a glass of apple  juice with breakfast? Congratulations, you’ve just taken in 24 grams of sugar (and done so without fiber to slow absorption).
*When I began, I set out to consume less than 25 grams of sugar or less each day.  That was helpful because I never denied myself when I craved a bit of sweetness. I encourage readers to follow that same guideline rather than attempt a path of complete abstinence, which will result in cravings and is unlikely  to result in lasting change.
* Cutting down on sugar may be more of a challenge if your diet is highly processed. It is still completely doable if you’re willing to read some labels and switch a few packaged foods out for the real thing. When checking labels know that manufacturers often use alternative names for sugar: fructose, glucose, sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, raw sugar, rice syrup, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, cane juice, cane sugar, crystalline fructose,or beet sugar.

Below are the steps I have taken to rid my body  excess sugar and the negative effects it was having on my personal well being.

The initial step is taking note of how much sugar you are consuming. Do this by printing one of the simple online charts that list the naturally occurring sugar content of all fruits, vegetables, and grains. For any canned or packaged food, reading labels is imperative.  When following a whole foods diet with little processed food, there are few sneaky sugars. The same cannot be said for prepared or processed foods. Sugar is added to  cereals, bars, and even savory soups, and crackers.


When grocery shopping, it’s best to buy ingredients. Shop the perimeter of the market for as many items as possible. Your cart should be filled with a variety of vegetables, grains, seasonings, and fruits. Processes snacks should be kept to a bare minimum.

I’m aware some  remove fruit from their diet when avoiding sugar; not only is this  likely to cause intense cravings and loss of micronutrients, it’s also unnecessary. We will be using fruit to satisfy those sugar cravings. In addition to nutrients,fruit contains fiber which causes its natural sugars to be released into the bloodstream slowly. Speaking of sweetness…


I used to be one of those folks who’d cringe at the sight of dates. I had never eaten one, but to me  they didn’t look very appetizing. These days, I keep a Costco-sized container of deglet noor dates in the fridge. I also make date paste  to sweeten any recipe   ( it tastes way better than it sounds).
Why dates? They’re a natural whole foods sweetener. Dates should be used conservatively given their high sugar content, but they are the best bet if you’re making  dessert or smoothie that needs extra sweetness. In addition, dates are full of fiber and minerals and won’t cause the dreaded sugar crash.

Make Smart Choices with Prepared Food. Boxed Cereals should be avoided. I say this  because A. Does anyone actually feel satiated eating this as a meal? B. Boxed cereal with no added sugar usually tastes like cardboard. If you must have cereal, I recommend plain oatmeal with fruit. Remember the banana you slice into your oatmeal contains  about 18 grams of sugar. Do yourself a favor and trade a heavily sweetened  breakfast for a better option.


For lunch many of us enjoy sandwiches. Have you read your bread, though? If ever you have  made your own, you are aware that bread is supposed to contain flour, water, salt, and yeast. Most breads you see the market contain added sugars (and hydrogenated oils, Datem, and calcium proprionate). Stick with Goldminer and La Brea, which can be found in the bakery section of most markets. Their sourdough has no added sugars.  Of course, there is always the option to make your own bread. The aforementioned brands taste significantly better than most sandwich breads. The only caveat is they don’t  keep as long. Unless eaten quicky, they will need to be frozen, or toasted. How about what your putting onto and into your sandwiches and meals?

Most bottled dressings and marinades are loaded with sugar and other synthetic chemicals. I strongly encourage everyone to make their own. There are countless quick and simple recipes (Hello, oil and vinegar with seasonings)!  While it is simple to prepare our own dressings and marinades, few of us prepare our own ketchup (although there are easy recipes at the click of a mouse!). Personally, I buy ketchup without high fructose corn syrup, but it remains fairly sugary. Be aware of how much ketchup and other sweetened condiments  you’re consuming. The liquid sugar trap doesn’t end there.

Would you believe half of our sugar intake comes from sugar-laden drinks? Soda, fruit juice, and fruit drinks. Water should always be our default drink. If that seems boring to you, try adding a few lemon slices or experimenting with carbonated flavored waters. This helps, particularly if you are a soda drinker.

Snack foods almost always contain added sugar. Here are a few of my favorite no sugar added choices:
*Vegetables with a homemade dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic
* Edamame (soybeans)
*Avocado with salt and lime
*Blue Diamond Almond Nut Thins
* Sourdough Pretzels with hummus
* Popcorn
*Avocado Toast….and more!
I know what you’re thinking: What About Dessert? When I opened my eyes to the dangers of excess sugar consumption I admittedly  had a moment of, “I don’t  need to eat dessert again.” Who was I kidding? I’m sure there are people who live happily in the perpetual abscence of dessert, I’m just not one of them! Plus, I believe in alternatives not denial. At times, you are going to crave sweets. This craving need not find you stuffing yourself with Thin Mint Cookies. Here are a few favorite dessert ideas:
*Date Sweetened Smoothies
*Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
*Mashed Sweet Potato with butter, stevia extract , and cinnamon
*Unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon
* Fruit and/or stevia extract  sweetened cakes, pies, and cookies. (Occasionally, I post such desserts.)
*Hail Merry Tarts
*Homemade banana ice cream

Armed with this information,and a few recipes, you’re ready to visit the market. The above guide should help you lessen your sugar intake significantly. As I along with  many others have discovered, when excess sugar is removed from our diets along with it goes our heightened chances of developing Type II diabetes, stubborn extra weight, sluggish immunity, inflammation, acne, other inflammatory skin issues, and low energy. Those are all things we can certainly stand to lose on our trek to wellness.




Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. My writing is based on my personal research and experiences.


Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan., Uncategorized

Nuts About Milk

Remember the days when the nightly phrase at dinner was, “Drink your milk!”? Oh, how I dreaded those words. Luckily for me, my mom gave up her attempts to get me to drink milk upon realizing the only way I could swallow cow’s milk was if my glass was filled half way with chocolate syrup. I hated the taste of it, and as it turned out my body was rejecting cow’s milk as well, in the form of exzema and digestive issues.

When I first ditched dairy, non-dairy milk choices were slim. Our local market had a specialty aisle; nestled into the corner of said aisle, were  a few dusty cartons of EdenSoy and rice milk from which to choose. Times sure have changed. These days, I am blown away by the array of non-dairy milks available at every store I visit. How convenient!

There are several  uncomfortable truths  about the store bought nut milks, though; they’re mostly water and thickener, and are  often high in added sugar. Homemade nut milk only takes a few minutes; it’s  higher in protein, minerals, and flavor.

Nuts are a great source of protein. Protein  is the building block of our tissues, and is reparative as well.  Nuts are high in minerals such as: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Selenium, and Zinc. Minerals are important for nerve and muscle function and  immunity.  Some are cautious regarding nuts because they’re  fairly high in fat. While excess  is unhealthy, fat is a necessary macronutrient essential for the good health of our skin and other cells. Fat also helps in the transport of fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K). Homemade nut milk is creamier  than store bought, and making nut milk at home helps you to avoid excess sugar by allowing you to control the sweetness.


After some experimentation I discovered the best ratio was 1/4 cup of cashews to 2 cups of water.  The recipe below creates a basic neutral milk for use in sauces, mashed potatoes, baking, cereal, and smoothies. Although, you’ll likely want to skip the vanilla for certain uses! The most commonly used nuts are almonds or cashews. Almonds create a lighter milk that’s lower in fat, but MUST be pre soaked overnight even if using a Vitamix. Cashews result in a richer result and don’t require soaking.

Cashew Milk

1/2 cup of unsalted (preferably raw) Cashews

4 cups water

3-5  Dates

1 tsp Vanilla extract  (optional )

Place in high speed blender, and blend on high for about two minutes. Chill for 30 minutes before drinking (unless you’re adding it to a hot recipe).

This cashew milk keeps in the fridge for up to five days. Shake before using.


Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan., Uncategorized

Vanilla Date Bread

While I  make just about everything else from scratch, my lack of baking expertise has found me buying pre-made baked goods for my husband, and as a result feeling like a partial failure as a wife.  I’m sure I’d have long  been capable of baking a cake if I went the classic “eggs and sugar route”, but you know us plant-based folks,  we’re commited to finding  healthier alternatives, and it’s not  always simple when it comes to baking.

I’ve certainly  tried my share of online recipes with  alternate ingredients, but I haven’t  enjoy many of them.   As much as I love chickpeas and  brownies, it’s been my experience those two shouldn’t be together under any circumstances.

Not long ago, I finally created a baked good I was proud of. My husband , a self-proclaimed sweets connoisseur, raved over it, and asked me to make it for his birthday. I was nervous about baking it for guests, two of which had professional baking experience. As it turned out, the bread was a hit. This recipe is sweetened entirely with fruit, meaning there’s no white sugar.

One  challenge of baking sweets without unhealthy ingredients has always been the frosting .  Most homemade  frosting is made with large amounts of butter and powdered sugar. That’s usually the best case scenario, as frosting from a can contains synthetic colors, and flavors, as well as hydrogenated oil.  If you’d rather not put  any of the above into your body, but still love frosting, there’s a healthier option here. This frosting was adapted from a recipe found in the book, “Nourishing Meals”. Although  I’ve made some changes to their recipe, I must credit the authors of this book with teaching me an entirely new way to make frosting!  

This recipe yields about sixteen servings. This is a special occasion treat for us.  Each frosted slice contains approximately 15 grams of fat. I usually eat two slices per sitting, hence the special occasion designation! The fiber and protein conten, paired with the abscence of refined sugar ensures this sweet treat will not cause cravings or the dreaded sugar crash. It’s the only dessert I’m willing to eat for breakfast. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we have.


Vanilla Date Bread

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 c.  Date Paste (2c dates to cup of water)

1 1/2 c. Milk of your choice

1/2 c. Butter (dairy or non-dairy)

1 tbs. Vanilla

*Preheat the oven to 350
*Whisk the dry ingredients together.
*Place all wet ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until smooth.
* Using a fork mix the wet and dry blends until they just come together; the batter will be dense and sticky.
* Scoop the  batter into two greased loaf pans or one 9×13 baking pan.
*Bake for 22 to 24 minutes.
*While the cake is in the oven, wash out the blender,  you’ll need it to prepare the frosting.

Vanilla-Cinnamon Frosting

1c. Cashews

1/4c. Water

1/2c. Dates

1/2 c. Coconut cream (Thai Kitchen is my preferred brand)
1 tbs. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon


*Place all frosting ingredients into your high speed blender. Blend on high for three minutes until everything forms a cream consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice.

*Transfer the frosting into a container and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

*  Once the cake has cooled, frost it using a silicone spatula.

*Source: Segersten, Alissa, and Tom Malterre. Nourishing Meals: 365 Whole Foods, Allergy-free Recipes for Healing Your Family One Meal at a Time. New York: Harmony, 2016. Print.

Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan., Semi-vegetarian, Flexitarian, heart health

Eating for Health and Happiness

It’s no secret that the United States ranks 37th in health outcomes. The high sugar low nutrient  Standard American Diet (ironically abbreviated as SAD) is a major contributing factor to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

Eating should be enjoyable. The foods we consume should appeal to our senses, and make us feel energized and ready to face the day. Our diets should nurture our immune system, and overall well being. Eating well is a form of self-respect. 

   Many remain under the impression that eating  well means sitting down to a plate of boiled carrots, plain rice, and an unseasoned block of tofu; they believe they’ll have to force down sandwiches on bread that tastes like cardboard, cut out entire groups of macronutrients, and be deprived of flavor at every turn. This is untrue. There are many options that are nutritious without sacrificing flavor, or asking you to avoid fat, carbs, or proteins. 

Today I’m featuring overviews of healthier ways of eating. Changes  can be made without sacrificing flavor or richness. Better  ways of eating can be worked into your diet recipe by recipe, day by day.


Semi-vegetarian, sometimes referred to as flexitarian, is a way of eating that involves lessening ones intake of animals to the inclusion of more fruits and vegetables. Meatless Mondays took off a while back. Through this movement many have adopted the semi-vegetarian diet, lessening their consumption of animal products and increasing the number of heart healthy meals they serve.

Is it healthy?

It’s common knowledge eating  more fruits and vegetables while decreasing animal intake is a healthier choice. A large scale study has shown a semi- vegetarian diet to decrease the chance of death by stroke or heart disease.*


The title “Vegetarian” denotes a person who doesn’t  consume  chickens, cows,  fish or any other animal. Vegetarians may however, consume dairy products and cheese. Such vegetarians are known as ovo-lacto vegetarians.

Is it healthy?

Vegetarians tend to consume more fruits and vegetables therefore increasing their intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  That said, one can be vegetarian but eat ice cream for breakfast on a daily basis which obviously  wouldn’t be a heart healthy choice.  According to the American Heart Association, many studies have shown the vegetarian diet to be helpful in the avoidance of obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer.


Vegans are another breed entirely. In addition to not eating animals, vegans also avoid dairy, eggs, and all animal by-products including honey. Vegans  don’t wear leather or fur. Their commitment to animal rights extends to their personal care items. Vegans only use products that are free of animal by products, and  never tested on animals (look for the leaping bunny).

Is it healthy?
The nutritional aspect of veganism is entirely dependent on the individual. Oreos are vegan, but still chemical laden and filled with hydrogenated fats. There are vegans who eat well, and those who’s compassion and care for animals doesn’t  carry over to their concern for their own well-being. A few concerns about veganism are lack of  protein and vitamin B12. Both are easily corrected. We need around .35 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Vegans may accomplish this with tofu, seeds, beans, legumes, nuts,  nut butters, and whole grain items. Vitamin B12 may be supplemented or made available to vegans through fortified cereals or plant milks.


Plant-based eating means eating only plants or minimally processed plant foods. Those who are plant-based keep processed foods to a minimum or omit them completely. The diet of a plant-based person is filled with vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, nut butters,  and plant milks.

Is it healthy?

A plant- based diet is essentially vegetarianism in its optimal form, a natural whole foods diet. The fact that plant-based means eating mostly whole foods and keeping processed foods to a minimum makes this way of eating inherently higher in fiber, nutrients, and lower in preservatives, chemicals, and inflammatory ingredients like sugar and soybean oil. Many plant based folks avoid oils. The fats in their desserts and dressings exist in the form of nuts,seeds, or avocados either whole or blended into a cream consistency. The sweetness in their baked goods and pies comes from pureed dates. The plant-based diet contains less empty calories because each ingredient has nutritional value beyond caloric intake.

Plant foods can be prepared and seasoned in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for better health in the form of weight loss,  lower cholesterol or blood pressure, and increased vitality, fruits and vegetables seem to hold the key.

Which of the aforementioned appeals to you? Will you make changes to your diet? For which reasons?


Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan.

Wholesome Hot Chocolate   (vegan-friendly/High in Protein/Non-Dairy/No Added Sugar)

Growing up in the northeast meant brutal winters, it also meant snow days. When a storm kept me home from school, my mom would bundle me up in full on ski attire (not an exaggeration) and send me out to play. Given my aversion to the cold, I’d usually last about half an hour before wanting to return indoors where I knew a mug of hot chocolate would await.

I’m not sure how hot  chocolate mix  was made in the 80’s, if the ingredients were “real”. I do know when I recently looked into buying the mix I remembered from childhood, I saw on the label: hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors. There was also alot of added sugar. I don’t know about anyone else, but  I remember always needing to add extra spoonfuls of mix because it was never quite  chocolatey enough for me; meaning I was  getting double or triple whatever was on that label each time I had a mug of hot chocolate.  No wonder my mom stopped buying it!

Eating well is a form of self-respect and self-improvement, and I knew there had to be a better way to enjoy hot chocolate that offered some nutritional value. And so  my wholesome hot chocolate recipe was born. IT’S MADE  FROM FRUIT, NUTS,H2O, AND CHOCOLATE; YOU’VE GOT TO TASTE IT TO BELIEVE IT!


This recipe is made only from whole foods; it contains no added sugar,dairy, oil, or synthetic ingredients. At 24 grams of fat per serving, this hot chocolate is surely a rich dessert  indulgence, but it also offers in each serving: over three grams of fiber, more than six grams of protein, nearly 20% of your recommended daily iron intake, and plenty of potassium. The dates have naturally occurring sugar but are low glycemic index and won’t cause the dreaded sugar crash. Plus, you can drink it knowing  your’re only putting good things into your body!

So without further ado, here it is:

Wholesome Hot Chocolate  (Vegan Friendly/Non-dairy/High in Protein/No Added Sugar)

You’ll need the following:
(Makes two mugs)

*A high speed blender  (i.e. ninja/vitamix/nutribullet)
NOTE: if you’re without this, you may sub store bought nut milk.

*1/2c Cashews
NOTE: If you’re concerned about fat you may half this amount, and it will  be less creamy, but still pretty darn good!

*2c Water

*6-7 dates

*4 tsp. Cocoa Powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for a full minute. Pour into two mugs and and heat in the microwave for about one minute. Enjoy.

Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan., Recipe, simple, plant recipes, vegan, quick, and easy meal, under 30 minutes, creamy soup.

Creamy Potato Broccoli Soup -100% plant based, simple, incredibly good, and incredibly good for you!

20170222_082526.jpg     When I met my husband he told me he hated vegetables, and didn’t care for soup (What?). As a vegetarian who could eat soup for every meal, this was not exactly music to my ears. His words resound  in my head each time I set a bowl of this soup in front of him ,and several minutes later, his bowl has been wiped clean with the accompanying  baguette.


For this recipe you’ll need a high speed blender  (ex. Vitamix or Ninja). We’ll have a few things going at once,but it’s still fairly simple. I am multitasking averse, but don’t mind doing so for this soup!

Creamy Potato Broccoli Soup -100% plant based, simple, incredibly good, and good for you!

20 minutes total
Yields two large or four small servings

10-12 mini creamer potatoes
1 1/2 c mirepoix
1c broccoli  (or cauliflower)
1/2c water
2 tsp better than boullion  vegetable base
1/4c  Raw Cashews
1 1/2c water
Lemon Pepper

Tip: I buy my mirepoix ready prepped, and my broccoli pre washed. Honestly, who feels like prepping  vegetables? Not me!

In the microwave:
Place 10-12 mini creamer potatoes
Microwave for 7-8 minutes,depending on your microwave’s power.

In a saucepan:
1 1/2c  mirepoix
1 cup of broccoli
2tsp Better than buillion
1/2c water to cover.

Cover and simmer the vegetables over low/medium until they soften and the broccoli turns bright green. They should be done when the potatoes have finished cooking.

In your high speed blender:
1/4c cashews
1 1/2 c water
Blend on high until a milk forms (a few minutes)

After the veggies are done, we’re going to transfer the potatoes and the saucepan mixture into the blender.

Note: If you’d rather not have green soup, you blend only the potatoes into the cashew milk until creamed, and then add the mixture from the saucepan blending on low until the rest of the veggies are finely chopped.

Blend on high for 2-3 minutes
Pour into bowls
Season this soup with chives, dill, and lemon pepper to taste, and serve with a warmed baguette.

Plant-based, vegetarian, meatless, vegetarian advice, vegan.

So, You Want to Go Plant-based? An Introductory Guide for Aspiring Vegetarians

It’s been nearly twenty years since I took the leap into a plant-based life. I was a teenager, and had found myself fully immersed  in this book  on Asian health principles, one of which was adopting a plant-based diet. I maintain that change was one of the most important positive steps I’ve taken in my life, and feel a certain level of excitement when others take interest in “going veggie”.

Below are five things every aspiring vegetarian needs to know:

1.Changes Will Occur

A whole foods vegetarian diet brings an increase  of  micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, and a decrease of hormones and saturated fats. Factor in the absence of artificial flavors, colors, and synthetic preservatives, and your body is likely to react favorably. There are countless simple recipes, and some of your favorite meals may already be meatless!

Within six months of ditching meat and dairy I’d lost twenty pounds, had more energy, my asthma all but disappeared, my life long battle with eczema finally ceased, and I didn’t see or need to see a doctor for seven years. I believe these things occurred because I was eating so well. Had I subsisted on Oreos and cereal, those positive effects would likely not have happened.


Another area of evolution involves reasons for going plant based. Often we become vegetarian for one reason, and this expands into many. I initially went meatless for weight and health, but those reasons later grew to include animal cruelty and environmental protection. Conversely, others may abstain from meat for animal rights and later realize they have lowered their cholestorol. Everyone’s experience is a bit different.


2.Plant-based Living Can Be Economical

A plant based diet consists  mostly of grains, fruit, veggies, tofu, beans, and spices. Vegetables are more versatile and economical than many realize. I just purchased our veggies for the entire week in Smith’s frozen/ refrigerated  section for under ten dollars (If I’m being totally honest and counting the six pack of avocado verde, it’s actually a grand total of $14.00). Grains may be purchased in bulk; I do this with rice, quinoa, oats, and couscous.


Bulk amounts of bananas, apples, and other varieties of fruit, frozen and fresh, are plentiful at Costco. Spices are a necessity and some are a bit pricey, but there are dollar spices. If money is that much of an issue,I recommend adding a new spice to your collection each week. When it comes to protein, you’ll need beans, nuts, tofu, and nut butters. Nuts are best purchased in bulk as well.

3. Some May Be Judgemental.

We all judge to an extent, because each of us holds differing opinions; however, the mention of  vegetarianism sometimes brings out the folks who live in attack mode. I went veggie in the nineties. We were living on the east coast and I dont know about the present situation, but back then I was the only plant-based person I knew!  My parents were incredibly supportive; it would’ve been crazy for them not to encourage me. While other girls I knew were drinking and smoking cigarettes, I was marinating tofu and blending essential oils. I felt happy about my lifestyle; it simply fit me.

That confidence  didn’t always protect me from critical types. These folks were far and few between, but they certainly had some strong words:  “I don’t agree with vegetarianism. You have an eating disorder.” Aside from the embarassment factor of being called out I was unsure where these comments were coming from. I realize that some meat eaters believe we’re judging them. I can only speak for myself when I say,” The choice to consume animals is between you, the animal, your conscience, and your arteries, just don’t feed them  to me.”

I’ve never engaged hyper-critical types. If someone didn’t agree they were free to eat meat. If being at a healthy weight and healing from ailments meant I had an eating disorder, alright then. It’s no longer just the most defensive  meat eaters who question us vegetarians, now it’s also a few vegans. Lecturing a  stranger in Trader Joe’s on why they’re immoral for using raw honey on a skin ailment is sure to distance people  from your cause. As is berating a person for becoming vegan or vegetarian for health reasons rather than animal activism.  Why be animal friendly, but so harsh with people? Why put our health second to an animal’s life? If  we’re not at our best, certainly we’re of little good to other beings, human or animal.


The good news is that some friends and family who used to lightheartedly poke fun at my meatless existence, have come to appreciate some vegetarian staples. One particularly carniverous cousin of mine texted me to tell me that he’d tried tofu, and didn’t realize just how good those smoothies I’d been obsessed with actually were.

4. People Will Have Questions

Some vegetarians  are irritated by questions, but I welcome them. Surely, I’ve lost count of the number of inquiries as to  where I get my protein, as well as the classic question,”What do you eat?” but at the same time, I Iove educating people on vegetarianism! The more you learn the more you’ll have to share, and if you’ve grown weary answering excessive questions, recommend your favorite book as a source. Which brings me to my final tip…


5. Seek Out Support

There are a seemingly infinite number of resources on vegetarianism: Websites, books, groups, and of course my new blog and YouTube channel: Simply Serene. Stay tuned for upcoming videos where I’ll be sharing my favorite books, recipes, products, and tips.