Friday, January 07, 2011

New Recipe and New Feature for a New Year

2011!  Wow, right?  I'm still trying to ease into the routines of back-to-school and activities, and get my head around saying 2011!  But, it is a new year, and with all new things comes an opportunity for change.  I don't mean resolutions.  They are usually gimmicky and inherently give us 'an out'.  Instead, going into the new year, maybe we can instead reflect on how we have been living this past year or five or ten years, and ask whether we want to keep doing the same? 

With that thought, this year I have decided to introduce the concept of guest posts to my blog.  I've been writing this blog for over five years, so why bring guest posts into the mix now?  Well, I think it is of value to read and learn from other people's experience.  I have been vegan for a very long time now, so part of me is "removed" from that initial transitory phase of moving from eating animal flesh and dairy to eating vegan.  Sure I remember it, but the 'immediacy' of the impact isn't there.  Like how your body physically feels lighter and freer without the digestive burden of meat and dairy... how your energy level shifts, and you feel more vibrant and excited to join each day.

Many of you also already know my personal story of becoming vegan.  If not, I will be happy to write my own post to detail my journey.  Let me know.  But, there are other stories out there.  Some very remarkable, with people experiencing major lifestyle and health improvements.  And others that are more 'everyday', but still very important because they brought more enjoyment and vibrant health to that person's life.

I became vegan for health reasons, and I think there are a lot of others that will only make that change for their own health.  Unfortunately, the cruelties of animal agriculture do not make an impact on everyone.  Maybe they don't believe those atrocities are really part of their food choices.  But, I think it's more about our conditioning.  We are conditioned to eat a certain way from a young age.  It's uncomfortable to step outside of that box of familiarity, of what we believe we "need" to eat, and what we have enjoyed eating - and what we think our family will accept.

I have heard from so many people that have made the switch to veganism because their health said so.  Plain and simple.  They needed to make significant dietary changes - or they would fall prey to heart disease, diabetes, being overweight, and more.   These stories always inspire me, and I know if I shared some of them, they would inspire many of you as well.

Last year I introduced quotes from sources like The China Study, Eating Animals, and PCRM.  My hope was that you would be inspired to investigate and read these books.  (If there is one book you could read for change in the new year, The China Study is it).  I cannot explain how important this book is, please read it, for your own good health.)   This year, I hope to provide support and information from the experiences of others through guest posts. 

Moroccan Bean Stew
So, I will return with a guest post very soon, and will detail more at that time about guest post submissions.  For now, I start you off in the new year with a new, very healthy and delicious recipe.  It is for my next book, but I think we all need a kick-in-the-pants kind of recipe to get going.  I featured this Moroccan Bean Stew a while back, now it's yours to cook up and enjoy!

One final thing - a request for input from you.  I am going to enter a gluten-free recipe contest.  I am thinking of entering my Frosted B-raw-nies... what do you think, this one of a different recipe?  My gf followers, please chime in! (and thanks in advance for helping) :)  Back soon!


Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

Your raw brownies are definitely awesome...use that recipe!

And the guest idea, different perspectives, and hopefully it gives you a little bit of a break, too :)

VeganLisa said...

I agree, I've made the raw brownies a few times and everyone just swoons. I think they would be a huge hit.

Happy New Year Dreena.

Kim said...

i love your idea of having people share about their personal stories of becoming vegan! i know becoming vegan in the past two years has transformed my health in incredible ways. i tell all my friends and family about it!

alta said...

I'm not familiar with your personal story of becoming vegan, and as someone who also went vegan for health reasons, I'd love to hear about your experience. I think the guest posts also sound great. I always enjoy your blog.

Bookphilia said...

I haven't made the raw brownies, so can't comment. I have, however, made (about a million times) your gluten-be-gone chocolate chip cookies from EDBV - and everyone loves them better than any ofther choc chip cookie they've had. They're always gob-smacked to learn they're gluten-free. My father-in-law has Celiac disease and hadn't eaten a choc chip cookies in 20+ years the first time I made them - and he almost cried!

I think I've read about you becoming vegan but would love to do so again.

London Mabel said...

You might be interested in some critiques of The China Study.

Which is not to say people shouldn't go vegan for ethical reasons (I am myself.) But I personally think there's reasonable doubt that it's the healthiest way to eat for everyone. Personally I didn't experience any health change when I went vegetarian and then vegan.

Dreena said...

thanks guys, I decided to go with the brownies (finally)! Though, Colleen, your comment made me think very hard about the cookies instead. That is so incredible to read, and so touching to know that your father-in-law was THAT happy to have a choc chip cookie again. How entirely wonderful, I am grateful for your note.

Dreena said...

London Mabel, I don't understand why vegans have disputes with other vegans about eating vegan. This is not the only book that gives scientific evidence to support the health benefits of a plant-based diet. There will always be critics of any book, and detractors of any studies. This is part of the reason I am doing the guest posts, to give "real people" experiences and results. People probably would do just fine eating a diet that is 90-95% plant-based, and the remaining being maybe eggs or fish. But, why not support eating plant-based in its entirety when it has been proven safe and healthy? I think we do just as well (if not better) eating all plant-based, and if people have specific issues, it's probably that the components within their personal plant-based diet need to be tweaked (ie, eating more legumes and less wheat, or more greens and less soy, etc). Also, I think that people waver too much with "exceptions" and are soon eating more like 30% animal foods, and then the plant-based benefits are not appreciated. I'm not trying to get in any further disputes with you, I just have this sense that ethical vegans aren't on board with health vegans. We're achieving much the same result, even if for different reasons (and personally, I came to embrace the ethical side of veganism because of my original path through changing my diet). I would like to think that ethical and health vegans support one another, because we generally learn more about the other aspect along our journey (an ethical vegan, for instance, will not stay vegan for long if eating unhealthy food and getting sick - what good does that do for the vegan movement)? I don't think you commented to get into any disputes either, I just wanted to address this because there is somewhat of a divide between ethical/health vegan perspectives.