Monday, May 13, 2013

Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran

I saw Victoria Moran speak at Farm Sanctuary’s Annual Thanksgiving celebration for the Turkeys last year.  As I enjoyed my tasty vegan Thanksgiving dinner, she talked about her years of vegan experience and of helping others go vegan.  She is an amazing and positive person that one can’t help but immediately take a liking to and gravitate toward.  She explained that before going vegan she was overweight and miserable.  You’d never know it from seeing her now.  She is vibrant, fit, and radiating happiness.  She talked a little about her book and I made a mental note to order it the next day at work.  My boyfriend was also impressed by her and said he would like to read the book when I was done with it.   

After the first few chapters, which were the basic how-tos, I found myself getting sucked deeper and deeper into the book.  Moran offers new insights to long-time vegans as well as great advice for beginners.  There’s great information about nutrition, explaining the best ways to get all of the important nutrients we all need (yes, she explains where to get protein, please don’t ask that question ever again).  She even inspired me to take up homemade smoothies for breakfast, which have instantly become a huge hit (hello endless energy in the morning!).

Each chapter includes fantastic recipes at the end, usually related to the topic of the chapter.  There’s some comfort food in there, as well as some interesting new tastes to try.  I’ve made several of the recipes from that book, most of them are simple, but still amazing.  For a fast and easy treat I highly recommend Gena Hamshaw’s Collard Wraps (I used Swiss chard instead of collards because I like it better).  When I make them for dinner we can never get enough.  I’m going to refrain from listing all of the yummy recipes I tried from this book and just assure you that they’re delightful and easy to throw together at the end of a busy day.

Which brings me to my next point: this book is written for average people.  Veganism isn’t just for people with private chefs (as Oprah may have us believing), or people who can drop $500 on the weekly trip to the grocery store.  Veganism is for average people (like me!).  It helps if you have some knowledge of how to operate your kitchen, which Moran does point out.  On the bright side, cooking most of your meals from scratch won’t take as long as you think and will save you buckets of money, which is great for those of us on a budget.  She also includes great shopping resources for non-food items and explains why it’s important to take your shoes, as well your dinner, into account when making the switch to veganism.

Moran lays out the transition to veganism as an easy and gradual path.  She includes the usual information about why the meat and dairy industry are the most horrible things on the planet, but she also understands that most people can’t just drop all of their vices at once.  She explains that doing less harm, on your path to doing no harm, is perfectly acceptable and understandable.  For some people this transition may take a while, but that’s ok.  I dabbled in veganism for years before actually doing it.  However, once I jumped in, I stayed in.  I’ve never been happier.  And neither has Victoria Moran.

Buy it indie!

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