Make a Veggie Connection in NYC

One of the best way to maintain a lifestyle is to meet like-minded people. Although there are a number of ways to do this, I think you get ‘more bang for your buck’ at a veggie festival. There’s lots of people, products, and information packed into one place and the energy level is amazing.

For you lucky folks on the east coast, there’s an amazing festival coming up that shouldn’t be missed – The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival is from 10am to 5pm, March 3rd and 4th. It’s only $5 to attend and promises to be pretty spectacular. From the website:

Foodies, locavores, vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians, and those who simply want to find out more about living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, this is the festival for you! Vegetarian food companies, restaurants, and health and wellness vendors will congregate in New York City to celebrate the delight of vegetarian food and cruelty-free living at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival.

This highly anticipated festival is now a two-day festival and will feature food sampling and meals from New York City’s top vegetarian restaurants and food companies, health and wellness vendors, vegetarian/animal welfare information tables, and live entertainment and activities throughout the weekend. It has never been a better time to see for yourself what the vegetarian buzz is about.

The speakers include Rebecca Gilbert, a former competitive figure skater who healed her body with a plant-based diet and Ellen Jaffe Jones who wrote Eat Vegan on $4 a day. They are going to talk about ways to transition into a vegan lifestyle and do it on the cheap. There’s even going to be a Classical Egyptian Style Belly Dance Class! Plus, a portion of the proceeds will go to For the Animals Sanctuary – pretty cool.

So all of you wannabe vegans – get out there and mingle!

There’s no such thing as a stupid question?

As a wannabe vegan, I strive to be tolerant of others who may not be as aware of what it means to be vegan as I do. In fact, I do everything I can to help people become more informed – if they want to be. But sometimes the questions can be a bit ridiculous and it can be difficult to maintain a demeanor that exemplifies the compassionate, loving person I strive to be.

Of course, I am not the only one that suffers from this and I was pleasantly surprised to find the following video that addresses just such a dilemma…


Although he takes it to the extreme, sometimes it DOES feel like the endless questions and scenarios presented distract from the original topic at hand and degenerate the conversation into an endless game of “What if…?” that could eventually get pretty ugly if both sides decide to defend their opposing opinions.

So what should a wannabe vegan do when this happens? Here are three suggestions that have worked for me in the past:

  1. First, take a deep breath, stay calm and remind yourself this is a great opportunity to be a good example of a compassionate person.
  2. Acknowledge their questions and try to understand the belief behind their reaction. For example, “Wow. You seem to be really interested in veganism. Why is that?”
  3. State your intention for the conversation and divert their attention to the original topic. For example, “Nancy, I’m happy to answer your questions about being vegan anytime but I asked you to lunch today because I wanted to hear about your trip to Japan. How was it? Did you have a fabulous time?”

Have you ever encountered the ‘endless question’ scenario? How did you handle it?

Please share below. I’d love to hear from you!

A Veggie Valentine’s Day

Whether you agree with the idea of Valentine’s Day or not, this one day each year will probably make you think about and evaluate the relationships you have in your life. For some of us, it will be a motivation to get out there and do a bit more to create loving relationships that enrich our life and inspire us to be a better person.

But being a wannabe vegan can create lots of dating and friendship hurdles.

Almost every aspect of getting to know someone is a potential landmine of vegan questions that could easily derail a budding relationship – why did you get soy milk in your coffee? would you like to go to my favorite steakhouse for dinner? why don’t you like butter on your popcorn?

Luckily, there’s one way of avoiding the whole thing all together – find and date another wannabe vegan! It seems so simple doesn’t it? Where do you find these other like-minded individuals also lookin’ for love? The internet of course! Well, to be honest, there are other places you find them but … here are 3 sites to get you started:

VeggieConnection.com – According to the site, it is the largest dating/friendship site for vegetarians and was the winner of the “Top site to find a veggie mate” by VegNews Magazine. They offer free and paid memberships.

VeggieDate.org – According to the site, there are over 16,000 members. You post a profile that can include whatever you want it to. They offer a 2 week free trial and paid memberships.

PlanetEarthSingles.com – This isn’t just for wannabe vegans; its for everyone who wants to live a ‘green lifestyle’. They offer free and paid memberships. Both offer extensive options and lots of extra fun stuff like tests, etc.

Have you tried any of these sites? Any success? Let us know below!

Super Bowl Sunday | The Perfect Vegan Opportunity

Some of you may be wondering what I’ve been smokin’ when I say that Super Bowl Sunday is the perfect vegan opportunity. Most of you, if you’re into American Football, would normally cringe at the thought of going to a Super Bowl party once you decided to be vegan since it is usually a carnivore’s dream event full of meat, cheese and processed food. That tradition, however, is what makes it such a perfect opportunity for change.

Just like other traditions that don’t make sense, the typical foods served at a Super Bowl party are no longer what most people want to eat and they are certainly NOT things that leave the party-goers feeling good. The beautiful thing is that there are so many other options that seem just as decadent, indulgent and tasty but are NOT animal products or chemicals that will leave everyone feeling like crap.

So, if you’re up for the challenge and you’re either hosting a party or the guest of one, here are some great options to take Superbowl Sunday to a whole new vegan level!

PETA’s Party Picks – 9 amazing vegan recipes that mimic the classics

Vegetarian Times – Ultimate Vegan Chili

Ecorazzi – Top Ten Vegan Super Bowl Recipes

VegNews – Vegan Super Bowl Soiree (includes vegan alcoholic beverage info too!)

Mercy for Animals – Score Big by Hosting a Vegan Superbowl Party

Since the Super Bowl is also known for its commercials, I thought I’d toss in an example that not only advertises an incredible product, it reminds us that sometimes all we have to do is look around us to find the inspiration we need to be a better person, a better example and an advocate for the world we want to live in.

What’s your favorite party recipe? Please share it with everyone below!

The Magical Powers of Neroli

It can be very difficult to find vegan skin care products that are natural, organic and chemical-free. I usually resort to making my own homemade concoctions instead of spending a ridiculous amount of time and money researching, shopping and ultimately being disappointed in the experience. Until now, that is!

I ordered a few products including the Neroli Toning Mist from Annmarie Gianni’s skin care line and not only was blown away by how amazing they are, I also have found a new love – Neroli.

According to the handy information card that is included, Neroli balances natural oils, soothes skin and minimizes large pores. It also has an incredible aromatherapy benefit of enhancing your mood, calming your soul and can be used as an aphrodisiac. Wow!

So I did a bit of surfing to find out more . . . here are the highlights:

  • Neroli is made by distilling oil from the blossom of the Bitter Orange tree
  • Because it is steam distilled (due to the delicateness of the blossom) it takes 1 ton to make 1 quart of oil
  • It has been used to treat headaches, relieve insomnia and reduce nervousness and anxiety

The coolest thing I found out is that it was introduced to the world by Anne Marie Orsini, a 17th century princess from Nerola, Italy. Is it coincidence that another Annmarie, centuries later would bring it into my life and now yours? I think not!

So, now I have it sitting on my desk and every time I need a pick-me-up or my skin feels a little dry, I mist my face and neck, take a deep breath of the sweet, citrus aroma and smile.

If you want to find out how amazing this stuff really is, please visit Annmarie’s website.

Have you used Neroli in your life? Share your tips below!

Cooper the Corgi is My Hero!

I was lucky enough to see the following video the other day and wanted to share it with all of you. Take a look . . .


Cooper not only melted my heart with his bravery and eventual fearlessness, he inspired me to jump in too, even if it is scary at first.

Just like a lot of us who are trying to find a diet and lifestyle that works, Cooper wasn’t so sure he should take the plunge. He really wanted the prize but wasn’t sure if it would be worth it. He was encouraged by others, but still hesitant after surveying the obstacles. He also had tools (gotta love doggy life jackets!) which gave him additional support. But ultimately, it was his decision and his reward.

I feel a lot like Cooper some days – not too sure if I should trust anyone or anything that is tempting me to step out of my comfort zone. I wonder if the things I’m reading are true, if the people who wrote them have our best interests in mind, if anyone really knows what the food we are eating is doing to our bodies and the planet. To be honest, some days I’d rather stay on the pier, in my life jacket and say, “No way folks! I’m not gettin’ in there!”

But then I see something like this video and I feel it in my gut – DO IT! Find out for yourself! Trust what you know and take the help that is being offered. The payoff will be a fantastic ride that only you will ever have the privilege of taking. Because it is YOUR ride, YOUR jump into the lake, YOUR amazing life of fearless vegan adventure!

What has been your biggest leap so far this year? Please share it below…

Inspiration!

Sunday evening is always a combination of relaxation and anxiety for me. I love the ‘calm before the storm’ that it gives me but also struggle with overwhelming thoughts about what the coming week will hold.

In case you are also grappling with drumming up some energy, motivation and excitement about your upcoming week, here’s a great video – especially if you are a movie buff like me!

What do you do to get inspired?