Friday, October 14, 2011

vegan mofo :: win "30-day vegan challenge!"

Colleen's Cinnamon Coffee Cake is just one of the fabulous recipes featured in the 30-Day Vegan Challenge 

The lovely Colleen Patrick-Goudreau was among the many inspiring authors I met at the Vida Vegan Blogging Conference. I've been a fan of Colleen's since her pivotal The Joy of Vegan Baking was published a few years back. She is passionate about animal rights, and her newest cookbook, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge is a testament to her dedication. It overflows with yummy recipes, as well as practical tips, advice and information for new vegans, the vegan curious, and for those transitioning to a plant-based diet.

Want to win Colleen's new cookbook? If you're already vegan, leave a comment with a tip for new vegans. If you're a new vegan or veg-curious, leave a comment about why you're going or heading vegan. A winner will be chosen in the next few days.

62 comments:

janet @ the taste space said...

As a new vegan (under a year), my best advice is to start out small... add in vegan elements slowly. Eventually you will decrease the meat, cheese, dairy, etc - whatever, until you can be vegan 100%.

Melissa said...

Most of the time I eat as a vegan, but really I'm an ovo-vegetarian, who just rarely eats eggs. I gave up dairy about 3 months ago, which I thought would be the hardest part about going vegan because I started noticing symptoms of food intolerance. Reading about how male chicks are often treated (ground up) really grossed me out, so it's for this reason that I'm considering full-fledged veganism after years of vegetarianism.

Ian said...

If you are a new vegan you may not be aware that a lot of alcoholic drinks are not suitable due to fish-guts, milk etc used in production.
www.barnivore.com is a useful guide and is growing all the time!
Cheers, and good luck!

Vegan Triangle said...

I've been vegan for over a decade now. My tip for new vegans would be to cook for yourself. If you're used to eating out, it might be hard to dissuade yourself from getting what you normally love at certain restaurants. Moreover, if you stick to what's only vegan at certain restaurants, you might limit yourself to salad, veggie burger, and pasta with tomato sauce. Even if you aren't a cook, try to become one! Follow recipes and step out of your comfort zone in your own kitchen!

hollyfrench said...

I guess my advice would be to emphasize the importance of learning to cook. If you don't already know how, just buy some cookbooks and dive right in. Not relying on convenience foods makes being vegan so much easier.

Sojourner said...

I am a vegan want to be. Moving in that direction slowly but surely.

Ladystardust said...

I am well on my way to becoming a vegan with the majority of my diet already consisting of plant based items. I don't intentionally eat animal products, it usually happens if it's in something and I wasn't aware (ie: wine) My diet originally evolved to focus on plant based nutrition because there is NO denying the superior health benefits and the benefits for the environment. I hope that one day I will also embrace the animal activist component as well.
Thank you so much for the chance to win the book!! :)

Natalie @ Angst Loves Spinach said...

advice to new/contemplating vegans? Know why you're doing it. People will ask and if you don't have an answer, they will latch onto that and confuse you and make you doubt yourself because they sure know why they eat animals.

I don't want to sound like everyone will be mean to you, but people who do eat meat, in my experience, become defensive when you state your own choices, no matter how innocently and without accusation you do so. You need to know why you made your choice because you WILL need to defend it.

Lauren (PB&G) said...

I've been vegan for almost 10 months. My advice isn't really advice so much as an observation:

Oats are amazing. They can be savory with garlic, cheeze sauce and greens. They can be sweet with pumpkin, banana, spices and peanut butter. They truly are the perfect food.

Oh and breakfast will probably become your favorite meal of the day!

YetiFemme said...

I'd recommend avoiding imitation meats and cheeses at the start. If you're used to animal meat and cheese, you may be disappointed by the vegan versions simply because they're different than what experience has led you to expect. There are plenty of delicious, balanced dishes that don't use "fakes" at all.

tweal said...

I love her cookbooks, I hope I win this one!

As a veg, my tip for newbies is to cut yourself some slack. No one is 'perfect' and it's normal to make 'mistakes'. If you slip up, learn from it, and move on. No point stressing about what is in the past.

Babette said...

I've been a vegan for a long time... My advices would be to eat whole grain and cereals and to stock up on canned beans, to be able to prepare meals quickly. Also, don't forget to eat red star nutritional yeast and lots of greens.

Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles said...

Tip for new vegans: don't be afraid to try new things! Vegan food is not boring or tasteless, and cooking is so rewarding. Check out blogs and cookbooks. Make it a goal to try out a new cookbook or blog recipe each week!

Kier said...

My advice would be to find some great vegan blogs for some inspiration, recipe ideas, etc. If you have a spouse, kids, roommates or whatever, I bet you could slowing transition to a vegan diet and no one would be the wiser.

Emma said...

I've been wanting to get this book for my Mum. I'm vegan and as a big fan of Colleen's I'm sure she is really clear and comprehensive in 30 day vegan challenge.
My tip for newbies is to focus on adding rather than subtracting. It feels a lot more positive and then the subtracting just happens naturally. Think more fruit and veg, whole grains, beans and nuts.

Jade said...

My advice to new vegans is to try everything! Don't be scared to expand your culinary horizons.

mooxinator said...

I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I made the switch to vegan. The best advice that will help any newbie live a better and healthier life is to be informed. Be aware of what you put into your body. Include yourself in your own life. Cooking for yourself is a big part of this new lifestyle but there is more to veganism than 'what's for dinner'. It is surprising what you will find out along the way. It can be a lot to handle sometimes so learn and convert at your own pace. Don't beat yourself if you mess up, there is no such thing. Google will become your best friend, and answer most of your questions.
Enjoy your life!

Lee Ann said...

Be prepared and be flexible.
Read labels, check online, always carry a snack,don't be afraid to let people know what you can eat.

angielee said...

My tip for new vegans is to get a food processor and embrace the wonderful non-dairy creaminess that cashews and other nuts can bring to foods. Just because you go vegan doesn't mean you have to give up decadent foods! Also, don't be afraid to try new veggies. I used to be a greens phobic. Now I eat kale, collards, chard or other greens every day. You just have to learn how to treat them right!!

Jules said...

I am a long time vegetarian (since 1994) and after reading a couple books in the past couple months, my eyes were opened and I don't know why it took me so long to make the transition to veganism! I'm not there yet, I'm learning all I can and finding new recipes and making the transition. I just don't want to be part of any animal cruelty.

pickygourmet said...

I've been a dietary vegan for about 30 days... vegetarian for just about a year. My veggie birthday is tomorrow! I read Eating Animals and had to make a change, but dairy and meat at the same time felt like too much. Then I could no longer deal with the dissonance of knowing how badly cows and chickens were treated, especially as I became a devotee of Colleen's podcast.

I cut out eggs right away, and switched to almond milk, it was, of course, the cheese that held me back so long.
The last thirty days has not been as hard as I thought. I fry bread crumbs in garlic and olive oil to top my pasta, and have a special olive oil, garlic, rosemary and sea salt topping for my pizza.

I'm still phasing out old body care and household products (when one runs low, I look for a vegan replacement), but I'm getting there. It's been a journey I'm proud to be part of.

Lori said...

Don't be afraid to try ingredients you are not familiar with - you never know what you might be missing.

KleoPatra said...

I WANT A PIECE OF THAT COFFEE CAKE!

Seriously.

Beth said...

My tip is to stick it out for at least 3 weeks. Get over the hump- sometimes changes we make to any aspect of our lives can be difficult on our minds and bodies. But in the end, chances are you'll feel SO much better than when you started!

Myriam said...

My best advice would be to buy or borrow a few vegan cookbooks. Many list basic pantry items that will make vegan cooking/baking easy. The hardest part really is to become familiar with the ingredients. Once you have them on hand, it will be much easier. For instance, if you always have flax seeds in you cupboard, you won't even consider buying eggs for your baking!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

True to form, my #1 tip is to not stress about perfection. Keep it FUN and interesting and tasty, and focus on how delicious vegan food is, not on what you're missing. 99% of the time, "doing the best you can" to be vegan is perfectly good enough.

Michelle said...

my best tip for new vegans is to try to find new, vegan recipes for your old favorites.. that way, you won't feel like you're missing out!

Summer said...

Don't apologize for your choices! I spent way too much time at the beginning apologizing over and over at restaurants and other people's houses for asking them not to use meat/cheese in my food. It's your choice, and you have every right to ask for what should and shouldn't be put in your food. Be proud!

Vegiegail said...

If you're trying to convince your spouse or your children that your new vegan diet is the way for them to go and that vegan food tastes great, don't make a big deal out of serving a dish and telling them it's vegan. When you lovingly prepare and present scrumptious vegan dishes, your family will enjoy them and will be surprised and amazed afterwards when they discover that the yummy food they just enjoyed was vegan!

Courtney said...

Tip: Don't expect vegan cheeses (homemade or store bought) and vegan "meats" to taste like the "real" thing. They are good, but they are their own foods...if you are open to appreciating them for what they are and NOT for their omni clones, you will be much happier with them!

Maree K said...

Advice to folks wanting to be vegan: nourish yourself lots of good protein and fats like nuts, coconut oil, pumkin seeds, and fresh fruits and veggies. You will not feel deprived, but empowered if you treat yourself to plenty of nutrient-dense, beautiful fresh food.

Jackie Smith (the other one) said...

Make it a goal to try at least one new plant-based (not processed) food a week. Visit your farmer's market & actually speak with the farmers. They are generally delighted to talk with you and answer any questions you have. When you see produce on the table that's new to you, ask them what it is and how you can prepare it.

Ms. Figgy said...

I've been eating low fat vegan for just two months. My motivation is primarily healthy-related (weight loss, lower BP, cholesterol and triglyceride numbers.) If jumped in "with all four feet" and I haven't looked back.

two strategies I use are 1) search the internet regularly for new recipes, and 2) plan ahead for parties and company meetings. I always try to bring something to share that I am willing to eat. Omnivores are usually very happy to munch on vegan baked goods.

Suburban Snow White said...

I have a few tidbits of advice.

1) Slowly work up to about 7 recipes that you love and that are easy to prepare in a short amount of time. In our household, we've been eating vegan for about 7 months, and it took a couple of months to build up a steady repertoire, as it was all so new. But once you have one, it's great to have these yummy standbys to make after a tiring day at work.

2) Start to scout around for a couple of restaurants that serve vegan fare for when you want a night on the town. They don't necessarily have to be all-vegan places. Two of our favorite Boston restaurants, we discovered, had a whole vegan menu already -- we'd just never noticed it before! (The Elephant Walk and Addis Red Sea)

3) Visit an animal sanctuary. It reminds you of all the good there is in the world. :)

Jody said...

my advice to a new vegan or, really, someone thinking about going vegan: try just 1 meal a week and work up to all the meals in a single day, then add multiple days! it's a fun way to start experimenting with new recipes and ideas!

Rachel said...

I have been transitioning to vegan for the past month. It started as a "cleanse" of sorts, but I have found that I feel so much better - no more migraines, no more indigestion/heartburn, no more bloating. Thanks for the great tips - great internet resources have made this transition much easier and much more fun.

Lacey said...

My tip for new vegans: Continue to love food. Love it more actually! Cook often and share. The more people you get to try your food the less afraid or incredulous they will be. Second, keep up with what is being written about veganism and animal rights/activism. Or perhaps more important - what's being written against it. As a vegan you are part of a group that most people will have questions about. Educate yourself so you feel confident and proud when answering question because at some point, and perhaps often, you will be asked to justify your lifestyle.

Rande McDaniel said...

I decided to do the vegan mofo just as a month long challenge for myself. I was a very unhealthy vegan in high school (heaps of processed garbage) and wanted to see if I could do it in a more healthful manner. I'm pleased to say that I can :)

Greenergirl said...

This question comes at the perfect time, as I've just been contemplating how to get going with a vegan lifestyle in the last few days! My reason might be a little odd, but I'm confident that it will give me the dedication to carry through.

My son is about two, and adores all animals. He also *loves* food, and has long been eating whatever we eat for dinner. A few weeks ago, we visited a farm and his dad made the connection between meat and animals. I didn't really think it sunk in at the time, but he has staunchly refused to consume any meat at all since that day (no cow for dinna momma).

I have always toyed with the idea of being veg, but cringed at the idea of making two meals per night (husband doesn't like vegetables and will NOT be giving up meat). But if someone so small can make the decision not to consume animals so intuitively, it makes it feel like the most natural, right thing in the world. And now we're in it together.

zenmama73 said...

I have been a vegetariqan for over 12 yeARS. I grew nup in a home that was hubters and frequented Fast food burger joints and my parents were obeses. I now have a family of my own, 3 kiddos, and I am trying to show them that eating healthy and vegetarian is fun and can be an adventure! My husband was recently diagnosed with cancer and it got me thinking about going full Vegan again. My 9 yr old daughter jumped right in with me and we have been cooking up some fun healthy recipes we can all enjoy!! Thank you for your inspirations!!

Marcella Marsella said...

What a coincidence! This morning I marked today's date on my calendar as my first official day as a vegan! I've been cutting out animal products for a while-the last to go was eggs about a month ago-and today I've finally decided to take the plunge. I'm going vegan because only positive results can come of it-it's better for the earth, better for animals, and better for me! I want to live to be 101, so our earth better be around for me to make it there!

Sarah L said...

Hi! Thanks for hosting this giveaway! As a new vegan, I really appreciate all of these tips! My main reason for going vegan is health, but also the environment. I love all of the recent documentaries on health, diet, and environment because it is great to educate people!

vegansoul said...

I have been vegan for five years and vegetarian for 20 years. My biggest problem was cheese. Just think about where the cheese come from. Thinking of the milking process and infested mammary gland helped tremendously.

mpluthero said...

I am almost vegan however giving up cheese has been difficult

princesstofu said...

don't worry so much about being perfect--just do the best you can and keep learning from your mistakes. you are doing a wonderful thing for the animals, yourself and the planet!

Anonymous said...

Learn how to cook! Fresh, locally-grown, homecooked food is the way to go---whether it's vegan, vegetarian or otherwise!!!
--Tara E.

North of 17 said...

think about the health benefits to your body and mind, I've never felt healthier in my life! Learn to love hummus and pick one new vegetable from the store/market each week and invest in some vegan cookbooks!

krazymomofboys said...

We are relatively new vegans. We started because my hubby is overweight with high blood pressure. We've been vegan for 2 mos now and he's lost 20+ lbs and his blood pressure is still high but slowly coming down. He isn't getting migraines anymore as well. As for me, I'm just his cheerleader along for the ride. I only have one problem with being vegan. The fake meat. I can't get over the texture. I would love tips on how to cook better yummier foods for hubby and stuff that I would like as well!!

Bev said...

I am in the vegan wannabe group..using cookbooks and blogs and this great vegan MOFO to inspire me to make the leap from vegetarian..the comments offered here are really helpful..as others have said, cheese has been my stumbling block!

Bev said...

I am in the vegan wannabe group..using cookbooks and blogs and this great vegan MOFO to inspire me to make the leap from vegetarian..the comments offered here are really helpful..as others have said, cheese has been my stumbling block!

Amanda said...

Best advice for new vegans...don't strive for perfection. Just do you best. Also like Colleen says don't do nothing because you can't do everything!

Yvonne said...

For me going vegan was a joy when I tried vegan recipes from vegan cookbooks or from vegan blogs - I learned so much about cooking this way! Now I don't know better to substitute eggs and butter etc and to still make it taste good.

djbays said...

Advice for the new vegan -- don't eat foods that don't taste good just because they are vegan. There is such a wide variety of foods that are vegan, there is no need to suffer through foods you don't like.

ashleys cooking for unknown said...

I am a slightly new vegan by a year my best advice is try everything in the beginning.

kmm22 said...

my tip for new vegans is to stick with it! it gets better and easier over time.

MarkTwain said...

A tip for new vegans- be kind to yourself. :) It takes time to shift habits. It's okay to not be perfect. Just keep going! :)

Chris said...

I would tell new vegans to be open to trying any food (that's vegan). Some things I didn't like or thought I didn't like before I became vegan turned out to be really good veganized.

heartoftexas said...

The boyfriend and I have been vegan for less than a month. I already feel much healthier but I miss my goat cheese. I do ALL my cooking at home now and we're gradually finding places that are veggie friendly!

Celeste said...

Non, been looking to becoming for a while.
I'm already a veg, and most of the time I feel SO healthy, I'd love to take it a step farther:)

Michelle said...

I've been vegan for three years now, and I've been living in Florence, Italy for months now while being vegan. My advice would be that no matter what people tell you about how hard it is or how little support you may or may not receive, just remember your own reasons for doing it and how great you feel living and eating an cruelty-free life!

Amanda said...

Our family is suddenly very vegan-curious! We've done some research and seen some documentaries and that's made us anxious to try going vegan :)

klippy05 said...

I was vegan about 2 years ago and then went back to vegetarian. I have been doing alot of reading and got out all the old vegan cookbooks and just ordered some new ones. I really miss how I felt on a vegan diet and can't wait to get back there. Seeing how tired I am and a few pounds heavier i know its time to do something! Thank goodness for blogs like this one that keep you motivated!