Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Peaceful New World - Will It Come?

A Peaceful New World - Will It Come?

Recently, a NY school cafeteria went completely vegetarian! How cool is that? For more on that story….
This past week, some colleagues (work friends) of mine and I partnered with our cafeteria to heighten awareness of their newly created vegetarian options. I thought it was sweet because these friends aren’t even vegetarian but you’d think they were because they offered to help me and talked about all of the benefits of this healthy diet!
The cafeteria recently added “Vegan” and “Vegetarian” signage to the food which is great when trying to select options. They added “Flexitarian” posters with its definition in the area. In order to help get the employee’s attention, the Chef provided two vegan options for employees to taste test for free! Everybody loves free food! A quinoa, red onion and cucumber salad, and Peruvian lima beans with olive oil and scallions (delicious).
We set up a table to showcase the food and brought several cookbooks for employees to peruse through -Colleen Patrick Goudreau’s, “Vegan Table”, and Rip Esselstyn’s, “Engine 2 Diet” to name a few.
We didn’t think many people would come over or be interested since we have a lot of meat lovers that work with us. Our employee health team members joined our efforts so they could answer questions about health and nutrition. We didn’t know what kind of reaction to expect.
It was a rainy day so many employees stayed in for lunch instead of going out so it was very crowded! And guess what? It was a hit! Total success! People loved the food, the books and the effort! We asked people if they were interested in learning more about a flexitarian/vegetarian (baby steps) diet and joining an onsite local club – and we got 26 people interested! Some vegetarians, some not. Wow!
Now, we just need to figure out how to make it all work! See what people are interested in, how often we want to meet etc. Any and all suggestions are welcome!
PS - A lovely lady handed me the pamphlet in the photo above today. She could have picked from a number of pamphlets with different stories and themes, but she chose the one about peace coming, peace even between humans and animals. There is hope - we have that!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Hello and Welcome to VeggiEvolution! A place where you can find great tips and connect with others who want to learn how easy it is to be vegan!

“Easy” is relative right? Change and human behavior are interesting topics and much of how you view them is largely based on your mindset and your experience. What is “easy” for one person may be extremely “difficult” for another. This has always fascinated me and my hope is to help others understand the impact of the choices we make,  help them to see how easy it is to live on a plant based diet and live a vegan lifestyle.

I finally started to realize the impact of my choices about six years ago. I never really cooked before I got married (other than pasta and jarred sauce) and realized when I started cooking chicken – that it was - oh - actually chicken!  Not making that connection for over thirty years speaks to how we are raised, what we are taught and what is acceptable in our culture – more to come on that topic in another blog. I’ve always loved animals and I decided to become vegetarian on my way to work one day when I saw some baby cows jumping and running around in an open field! They looked so happy and free - I knew I couldn’t ever eat one again! Just writing that, “I knew I could never eat one again” sounds so odd because just looking at them and their sweet eyes, I knew I could never harm one. Therefore, I can’t contribute to their harm by pretending they aren’t harmed on factory farms, pretending or being ignorant of the fact that they are mistreated and raised only to be eaten! That is so inherently wrong in a world that can and should be eating healthy a plant based diet for many reasons.

Being a vegetarian six years ago seemed so much more challenging then than it does now. Probably partly due to my finding my way, but also because it is becoming so much more prevalent in our society! Yeah!!! Almost every restaurant has at least one vegetarian option, if not an entire vegetarian menu! You can even find something at a steak house, if you get a little creative, which I think is fun! Most wait staff are willing to help you out, especially if you ask nicely! Thankfully, my sweet, adorable husband was very patient and encouraging of me in this endeavor and didn’t mind the diet change when we ate at home (he occasionally would eat chicken and/or seafood when out at a restaurant). This worked well for us and he was happy we were trying to eat more healthfully!  Healthful? While vegetarian food is somewhat healthier, it is often loaded with cheese! Pizza, burritos, paninis are usually doused with cheese or some dairy spread.  Not so sure about the healthful part!

Join me next time for: The Vegan Transition!