I went vegan almost exactly 5 years ago. I went from being an omnivorous junk food eater to a strict vegan overnight after finally caving in and watching some factory farm footage. It was quite a shock to those around me, but to me it was like I was finally the person I always wanted to be. As lame as it sounds, it is like I was meant to be vegan.
Where do I start? First of all, my skin looks AMAZING. I have more energy, I lost weight, my severe allergies disappeared, my migraines lessened, I think clearer, and I developed this wonderful sense of well-being. I also noticed that I have a better connection with my body now. I can feel when something is off or how I react to certain types of foods. I also feel I have a stronger connection with animals since I have no guilt about eating them.
Well, the whole idea is to just be the best you that you can be. To live a conscious life in every aspect. I think respecting all life, supporting small businesses and eating healthy food pretty much sums it up. As long as you are confident with yourself, and make the best ethical choices you can on a regular basis, you are a chic, chic lady in my book. Oh, and be nice to people. Always be nice.
I have lots! My favorite recipe of all time is Chocolate Chili from VegNews. It is so easy and cheap to make – those are my two deciding factors when cooking.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
- 4 cups cooked or 3 (15.5-ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrots, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add tomatoes, chipotles, and chocolate, and stir until well blended.
- Add beans, water, and coffee, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chili thickens and flavors have time to develop, about 45 minutes. Add a little more liquid if chili becomes too thick. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds before serving.
*photo and recipe courtesy of VegNews.com
The Ethical Girl’s Guide to Being Vegan and Fabulous! is my totally FREE ebook that I released 2 months ago. It is essentially a beginner’s guide to going vegan and helps answer common questions like “where do I get my protein?” and “what do I do with my non-vegan clothes and accessories?”. It is 40+ pages packed with anything you could possibly want to know about living a vegan lifestyle. I am very proud of it and happy I could offer it for free to my beloved readers.
Vegan fashion has come a loooong way since I first went vegan 5 years ago. I remember it was impossible to find a pair of nice looking shoes clearly labeled as “vegan”. A warm, fashionable vegan coat was completely non-existent. I remember almost in tears looking at these horrendously ugly, boxy pea-coat things, wondering how I was going to keep warm during a harsh Northeastern winter.
Now we have wonderful companies like Vaute Couture, Cri De Coeur,Olsen Haus, GG2G, Matt and Nat, and so many others, making high quality, socially responsible products that are ultra fashionable. So, yes, I think that fashion is definitely becoming more conscious if you know where to look. However, fur and leather are still proudly gracing the runways and most people still have trouble connecting these things with the furry creatures they know and love. In that sense I think we still have a while to go, but we are making strides to get there.
Live your life by your own terms. When in doubt, smile and nod. Stop trying to figure out what other people are thinking. Be polite. Above all things, always do what you think is right. And always, always wear clean underwear.
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