Giveaway Time! Win Rawspiration E-Cookbook by Anne Meinke of The Raw Mama (2 Copies!)

rawspiration-raw-vegan-cookbook-giveaway

Hi all! Today I’m excited to bring to your attention a new e-book by my friend Anne, a raw vegan chef, plant-based diet enthusiast and creator of TheRawMama.com – a website and a YouTube channel that guide new parents through raising their children healthy and happy on a raw plant-based diet. Anne is a mom of the cutest 18 month-old boy named Axel who makes frequent appearances in her work. In an effort to document her own transformation from a hard-partying twentysomething with failing health and disordered eating habits to a thriving raw vegan parent, Anne penned Rawspiration – an e-book that turned out to be a memoir, a cookbook, a raw vegan lifestyle and parenting guide all in one package. I met Anne and her son Axel at one of our local vegan potlucks on Whidbey Island a few months ago. I learned that Anne was following a mostly … Read the rest of the post

Running And Safety: Why We Need To Talk About Harassment Women Experience Outdoors

Tips for safe outdoor running for women

In the fall of 2013, I was training for my second marathon – my first one since I went vegan. I was documenting every week of my training here on the blog, sharing my ups and downs so that other female vegan runners had something to relate to. Yet there was one incident that I didn’t write about. I was doing my weekly 10+ mile long runs in a quiet neighborhood across the street from our apartment complex in our then-home of Daphne, Alabama. The neighborhood funneled into a long, scenic road that was even quieter but oh so beautiful, with old live oak trees forming a tunnel over the roadway. Running along that road, with not a soul in sight, was very peaceful, and always cleared my head from busy day-to-day thoughts. There were also plenty of challenging hills, which I found beneficial for my marathon training. So one day, I … Read the rest of the post

10 Fitness Tips I Wish I’d Known When I Was 21

10 things about fitness I wish I knew at 21_1

As someone who’s been working out for over half of her life, I have to admit that over the years, I’ve made a fair share of mistakes in how I approached fitness. I used to rely on tips from various fitness magazines aimed at women, bits and pieces of information I’d find on the internet, my own experimentation in attempt to defy conventional wisdom – all of this on top of my dietary manipulations (read: working out on an empty stomach, waiting to eat for at least an hour afterwards, and wondering why the heck my muscles weren’t growing). Am I the cluster of fitness wisdom today? Of course not – I still discover new information all the time, which includes learning about things I’ve been doing WRONG since the beginning. I’ve doubled down on my fitness aspirations about ten years ago, so today I’d like to share ten things … Read the rest of the post

Fat Shaming is Never Cool, Even Coming from a Famous Plant-Based Blogger.

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I recently had to stop following a popular female blogger (I’ll call her The Blogger here) who was a big inspiration to me since the beginning of my vegan journey. Here’s what happened. The Blogger (who will remain unnamed because I still have respect for her and her privacy) was one of the very first plant-based writers and cookbook authors who showed me through her work that cooking tasty, oil-free plant-based meals was easy and fun. I own almost all of her cookbooks, and have recommended those on multiple occasions to people reaching out to me for advice on transitioning to veganism. I stood by this girl when she was fighting off bullies accusing her of focusing too much on the food and not nearly enough on the plight of animals, and respected her decision when she announced that she was no longer calling herself ‘vegan’, going entirely with ‘plant-based’ … Read the rest of the post

2016 Vegan Beer and Food Festival in Portland, OR: Comfort Food, Banjos, and More Beer Than You’d Ever Need

Vegan Beer & Food Festival in Portland, OR

Imagine a situation in which lots and lots of vegan people came together to eat delicious food, drink vegan beer (or non-alcoholic beverages), and listen to great music on a breezy summer day. That’s exactly what Rob and I experienced last weekend when we went to the 2016 Vegan Beer and Food Festival in Portland, Oregon. I wanted to go to this festival last year in September, but at that time I was in the middle of what turned out to be a failed attempt to train for a bikini competition (dieting and all-you-can-eat-and-drink scenario of the festival didn’t mix well). So as soon as I found out that this year it was scheduled for mid-June, I jumped on the opportunity. I asked Rob for a trip to this event as a birthday gift, and that’s exactly what he arranged. Thanks, sweetie! This also happened to be our second trip to Portland – I wrote about … Read the rest of the post

Exploring Western Olympic Peninsula: the Pacific Coast in La Push, Vegan Food in Forks, and Giant Trees in the Olympic National Park

Sea stacks as seen off the First Beach in La Push, WA

Recently Rob and I realized that the daily grind was getting a bit too unbearable, so we made a decision to take a quick overnight trip to the Western Olympic Peninsula in our home state of Washington. I’ve been so grateful that two years ago we decided to move to the Pacific Northwest, which turned out to be more beautiful that we ever hoped for. In the two years that we’ve lived here, we’ve discovered so many amazing places, and continue to find more every month. The Western Olympic Peninsula turned out to be quite a gem! On Saturday morning, we took an early ferry from our home ground of Whidbey Island towards Port Townsend on the Eastern Olympic Peninsula. The ferry ride takes about half an hour going across Puget Sound. Once we arrived in Port Townsend (a lovely place, by the way, deserving its own separate post), we … Read the rest of the post

Healthy, Skinny, Fit: My Long and Winding Road to Body Acceptance

Body image motivation

Ooh, things are about to get real. As I grow more and more dissatisfied with the be-perfect-or-get-out nature of social media presence of countless health and fitness celebrities and #fitspiration gurus, my desire to raise my middle finger to this culture of perfection has grown proportionately. Today I want to talk about the battle that I’ve quietly fought for years, and why the time has come to put an end to it. If you’ve ever experienced anything similar, I hope my message reaches you. If you met me in real life, you would never think that I am one of so many people in our Western society who has had history of struggling with their body image. I’ve never been particularly large, nor have I ever gotten so skinny that it would have invoked concern from friends and family. I’ve never been clinically diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia (although today … Read the rest of the post

New Recipe: Vegan Fajita or Taco Filling with Soy Curls, Peppers and Onions

Vegan fajita filling with soy curls

I know it’s been a while since I posted a recipe here, so today I’m excited to share with you one of our current weeknight favorites – Vegan Fajita or Taco Filling made with soy curls! This recipe is so simple that for a while I didn’t even consider it blog-worthy. But since the demand for easy, quick and tasty vegan meals is always there, here we go: Back in our pre-vegan days, fajitas were one of my favorite things to order at Mexican restaurants. I loved the assortment of sizzling hot, slightly charred crisp vegetables tossed with strips of chicken or steak, served in a hot cast iron pan, along with guacamole, sour cream, warm tortillas, rice, and whatever toppings each restaurant could come up with. Assembling each individual fajita from all those fillings was always so much fun! Then I went vegan, and for the most part the appeal of fajitas … Read the rest of the post

I’ve Decided to Stay Vegan – and Here Are 10 Reasons Why

10 reasons why I choose to stay vegan

Believe it or not, I don’t have a lot of vegan friends on my personal Facebook page. Whenever I happen to meet a cool vegan person, I sometimes get too lazy to look them up and send them a friend request. So when a vegan Facebook friend of mine recently announced that he was getting off the vegan grid after advocating for it for many years, I felt a familiar tinge of disappointment. “Oh man, now all of his non-vegan friends will be convinced that being vegan is unsustainable…” Eventually, I managed to overcome my initial judgmental thoughts and wished him the best of luck. At the same time, I asked myself, “Why is it that I never feel like I don’t want to be vegan anymore?” The ex-vegan movement seems to be on the rise these days. In the past couple years, some big-name vegan bloggers have announced that … Read the rest of the post

Our Vegan Adventures in San Francisco Bay Area: Millennium Restaurant, Davey Jones Deli, Smart Alec’s, Blossom Vegan Restaurant.

Vegan food adventures in San Francisco Bay area

So 2016 is in full swing, and I finally have a new blog post for ya! Even a few months ago, I wouldn’t have expected to start it off with travel adventures, but here we go – we recently went to visit Rob’s side of the family in San Francisco Bay area, and in less than two weeks we’ll be heading to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. One trip down, another to go! This was my first time ever visiting San Francisco and the Bay area, and I was definitely very impressed! I’ve heard that it was a true vegan haven, but since we were with the family, eating at as many vegan places as we could wasn’t really our goal. We still found a few vegan gems though, so hopefully our experience helps you if you head that way at some point! In case you’re wondering, the boots I’m wearing … Read the rest of the post