Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bella tries the Soymilk...

Happy Saturday, folks! 

Last night, after this vegan pregnant lady passed out cold, Matt made a promise with Bella - that they would try their morning cereal with soymilk for the first time. Bella - an avid fan of drinking cow's milk - decided to try something new, as long as her dad promised to take the first bite at the same time as her.  

Well... they did indeed try it, and Bella's response was,

"This tastes exactly the same to me."

I then let out what can only be described as a victorious battle cry...

... Because it really is the little things that can make someone's Saturday. 

I'm amazed by how open both Matt and Bella are to trying the new foods I introduce them to. It's been an incredibly humbling experience to remember what I was like before I went vegan, and to see them make small changes whenever Bella stays with us. 

It brings me back to that first year of going vegan. Really the first month, to be exact. I had switched over my morning coffee and cow's milk to coffee and soymilk. I remember trying it for the first time... and absolutely hating it. But I had made a promise - that I would honor animals by making positive changes in my diet and lifestyle to protect them. And so I continued to try the soymilk in my coffee for one month. By the end of the month, I had fallen in love with the taste of soymilk. It opened up my world to have this experience - what else had I been cutting myself off from doing or having because, upon first try, I wasn't satisfied? Now, I'm a vegetable-loving, tofu-guzzling, animal rights fact-spouting, happy, happy vegan. It's been a really fun ride. 


On a side note, our baby is growing beautifully. We are officially at 17 1/2 weeks, and beyond the occasional bout of feeling tired, I'm doing awesome. I absolutely love that my vegan lifestyle has translated to a pretty easy going pregnancy. 

"Don't wait for a better world. Start now to create a world of harmony and peace. It is up to you, and it always has been. You may even find the solution at the end of your fork."
- Sharon Gannon

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Vegan Lasagna for the WIN!

One of my new favorite things about getting to know Bella, my boyfriend's daughter, is falling in love with her willingness to help cook. For Easter, my sister and I made a vegan lasagna (very-casual-super-easy recipe will be at the bottom of this post, rest assured!). We decided to make this lasagna again tonight for dinner, with great success all around. I personally credit the deliciousness of tonight's meal to Bella's insanely awesome tofu ricotta hand-mashing. If I'm being honest, at a certain part of the meal prep, I just let Bella run the show. I think I have a vegan chef in the making. 

As for the eating of our meal, it's no question that I thought the lasagna was kiss-worthy. But the big question remains - what did Matt & Bella think?

Matt loved it so much he ate two huge servings of it. WIN!

Bella liked it a lot and especially loved the Gardein beefless crumbles and the Daiya - WIN! She also said that she would have it again - but she asked for less tomato sauce next time. Spoken like a true chef. 

Alright, for the recipe!

SUPER EASY VEGAN LASAGNA

Ingredients:
Package of lasagna noodles
1-2 jars of tomato sauce (no dairy in it either, duh)
1 cup - or more! - of Daiya vegan cheese or any other vegan cheese ya fancy
1 package of Gardein beefless crumbles
Olive oil to coat pan for crumbles

For the tofu ricotta:

2 packages of firm tofu, drained - organic if possible!
Olive oil - drizzle as much as you want for a smooth consistency
Agave or Maple Syrup (or another vegan sweetener!) - a few drizzles to sweeten
Nutmeg - again, no exact measurement, but I say the more, the merrier!
Garlic, Salt, & Pepper - all to taste
1/2 a lemon's juice

Cook pasta according to directions on package. While pasta's cooking, place beefless crumbles in a medium-sized pan over some heated olive oil and cook until browned. Set aside. In a separate bowl, put ingredients for tofu ricotta in a big pile and - with clean hands! - mash the tofu & ingredients until you have a pretty smooth consistency, reminiscent of ricotta. I highly recommend you take a page out of the Lindsay Wolf vegan cookbook and trial & error the heck out of this ricotta. Taste it as you go, add whatever spices you like to make it taste yummy, and don't hesitate to get creative. (I hate measuring things, which is why I now stick to cooking rather than baking. It has served me very well come dinnertime.) 

Once pasta is cooked and drained, begin layering pasta in a lasagna pan as you normally would for lasagna with a layer of sauce, noodles, ricotta, crumbles, Daiya. Repeat until you are at the top of the pan. Add some sauce to the top and sprinkle Daiya over it. Cook at 375 degrees in an oven for 30-35 minutes with an aluminum foil top, then for 10 minutes without the aluminum to brown it. 

EAT & ENJOY!!!!!

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." 
- Walt Disney

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jon Stewart, I Love You.

I am so in love with everything Jon Stewart right now. 


First, I find out his wife is vegan.


founder and president of Farm Sanctuary




Next, will I see news that Jon Stewart has... 

dun dun dun... 

GONE VEGAN?!

We shall see. For now, I have a major reason to smile today. 

Thanks Jon!!!!!!

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Gentle Barn.

After having already experienced the joy that is The Gentle Barn a few years ago, I was lucky enough to share this beautiful place with Matt and his daughter, Bella, on Sunday. For those of you who don't know, The Gentle Barn is a farmed animal sanctuary with a different agenda than most - this safe haven for formerly abused and discarded animals also serves as a place of healing for at-risk, developmentally disabled, and other groups of children and adults, by providing tours and volunteer opportunities during the week to allow for connection between the animals and humans they encounter. While GB 100% supports a plant-based diet & vegan living as the #1 action humans can take to help our Earth, this sanctuary also wants to leave a legacy that bridges the emotional, physical, and psychological difficulties so many people face with the extraordinary transformation the cows, chickens, goats, turkeys, pigs, and other creatures at GB experience. The best part? This transformation is all a result of the love, kindness, patience, and compassion of their GB human caretakers. 

Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn
Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn, gives regular speeches on Sundays before people are allowed to enter the upper areas of the sanctuary. In this rousing speech, Laks encourages every interested person visiting - child and adult alike - to remain gentle with the animals they encounter, a quality that is inherent in every aspect of her sanctuary. It was captivating to watch an entire audience of such a variety of people unite with Laks' words, especially that one main word - "gentle". I decided to look up the word "gentle" in Merriam-Webster and found the top definition to be: "having or showing a quiet and kind nature; not harsh or violent." I left Laks' speech with a renewed love of what it means to be a gentle being in this world. I left the sanctuary that day with a renewed commitment to the animals and humans I honor every single day with my vegan living. And man, was it fun to introduce this kiss-worthy place to Matt and Bella.

Below are some pictures capturing the day. I encourage all Southern LA residents and beyond to take a Sunday to visit this extraordinary place. 


Bella and I with Buttercup, a rescued cow. 


Matt meeting Lela, one of the sanctuary residents.


Bella & her new friend Zeus, after she gave her very first pig belly rub!


Me with Ellie Laks and her daughter


I couldn't resist giving a belly rub to Zeus myself! 


McKenna, one of GB's turkey residents


Faith, a blind rescued cow who gives new meaning to the word "faith"


Belly loved brushing the cow's hair!


For more information, please visit www.gentlebarn.org.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Plus One.

It has most certainly been a while, friends. 

Seven months to be exact. 


But a lingering, little voice inside seems to keep whispering to me, beckoning me back to writing a blog post on here.


"Lindsay, write to the people!"


And tonight, I'm listening.


On my mind at the moment - growth. The growth a person does in trying times. The growth a person experiences in the happiest of moments. The stretching and growing we do as we navigate this lifelong journey. For me, living as an openhearted ethical vegan has had its fair share of bumps along the way. While my resolve and daily commitment has never wavered, the heaviness of life has managed, at times, to challenge my belief in the possibility of worldwide change. I've also found myself focused so much on my art that I tend to forget to give time to causes that I hold so close to my heart - the animal rescue organizations, vegan advocacy groups, and the other amazing heroes of our movement who remind me to carry on carrying on. But that is life, I think. To ebb and flow, to allow certain parts of you to play solo. To forget, and then to remember.    


A lot has changed for this vegan lady. 


A few things that have stayed the same: I'm still living in Los Angeles living my dream of being a film and television actress and filmmaker.  I've still got my rescued cat Vicki by my side. And I'm still quite possibly the happiest vegan you may ever meet (going on six and a half years now!).  

A few things that have changed: As I wrote in my 2014 post, while Steve and I remain friends, we are no longer together romantically. It has been a transformational year on my own, and one that brought me to the realization that I want to start a family, to find a partner I love, and to carry on with my dreams beside that person and family. What I ended up finding was even more than I bargained for - a loving, sweet, funny, and kind man, his beautiful, beautiful daughter, and one more recent addition...



When I was a little girl, in response to the classic question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I listed my reply in this order: 1) Artist, 2) Teacher, and 3) Mommy. Becoming a mama has been a lifelong dream of mine, and one that I had been pushing aside so that I could prioritize a growing creative career. But life has a very funny way of showing up when you least expect it, and here we are. Honestly, I couldn't ask for better timing in the long run. Because having lived vegan for as long as I have has shaped me into learning the kind of mama I really want to be. And thankfully, my partner, animation artist Matt Garofalo, is just about the most supportive person I could ever ask for. Even though he's not entirely vegan, he's 100% vegan friendly and open to raising a vegan kiddo.



Life lately has involved vegan pregnancy books, walks, emotional ups and downs, doctors appointments, and a reorganizing of my formerly busy, overly productive life. Making room for this new chapter has really overhauled my whole attitude. I want to make sure, of course, to still be actively working towards my creative goals and participating in my own wholehearted evolution, but now, I also want to make sure I leave... well, room. Room for more. More surprises. More presence. More growth in ways I never dreamed possible. 

What does this means for you, my kiss-worthy readers? Well, it means I want to start writing it all down and sharing it with you. The whole thing. Of course, I will be sure to have my vegan lifestyle at the heart of each post, but I also feel like it might be nice to leave a little extra piece of me with you here as well. So I'll be getting personal as I go. One thing you can expect soon - a rundown of my experience taking Matt and his daughter to The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita tomorrow. Beyond that, we will just have to see where the inspiration takes me.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. For being here. For cheering me on along the way. I hope that in the sharing of my experience, I can leave you with something positive as you approach your own life.

Alright, I think I'll get back to finishing "Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven." It's fabulous so far, BTW.

I leave you with a quote that I will be carrying alongside me as a new mama: 


"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar." - Bradley Miller


Love and Vegan Kisses,

Linds




Friday, September 5, 2014

As you can see...

... we've been a bit absent. For a whole bunch of reasons.

Lindsay's acting career has taken front seat in her life at the moment, as has Steve's flourishing Reiki business, and while Lindsay & Steve will remain wonderful friends, we are no longer together as a couple. Which means for you, our kiss-worthy readers - this blog is a bit on hold. BUT - and this is a great, big, beautiful BUT - we will be keeping our beloved blog up on here for as long as we are needed. Whether we add new posts or not, you can forever consider KMIV a constant resource of vegan awareness and the joys of living a vegan lifestyle. 

Thank you for your support. Enjoy the old posts. We love you and are grateful for each and every one of you.

With love & vegan kisses,

Lindsay & Steve 

"If we're destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there's got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that."

- Ellen DeGeneres


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Please Help PlantBuilt Spread the Word of Strength & Health & Compassion through their Indiegogo Campaign!

While I've always been involved in sports throughout my life, I had always been on the skinny, plain, undefined body side of things. 

Fast-forward to now. In the past two years, I've run three beastly mud runs and a half marathon. I've added on a solid 20 lbs. to my thinner frame, mostly muscle, transforming into a new lean and muscular athlete. I've adopted a solid gym regimen, lifting more than I ever have. A consistent yoga practice has also helped me shape my body. Why now? Why have these past two years proved so valuable with my fitness?

1) I adopted my vegan lifestyle, taking a much greater focus on health and nutrition. My new completely plant-based diet introduced me to new foods, cleaner eating, and a renewed love for lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. And beans. And oh so many other foods.
2) I discovered Vega and Vegan Proteins. And with this came my go-to source for clean, plant-based, cruelty-free options to enhance my fitness, muscle building, athletic performance, endurance, and more.

plantbuilt indiegogo
I've had the great opportunity to get to know many plant-based athletes and bodybuilders, through personal friendship or online followship - Robert, Giacomo, Dani, Ed, Chad, Billy, Derek, Mindy. I've looked to these wonderful people for inspiration, motivation, information, and advice and they have all bonded together to create a powerhouse - PlantBuilt.

PlantBuilt is a group you may be familiar with. The team, compiled and led by Giacomo Marchese and Dani Taylor, co-owners of veganproteins.com (whose collaboration with KMIV brought our most successful giveaway ever!), debuted at the 2013 Naturally Fit Super Show, with 15 vegans competing in various classes of bodybuilding amongst over 150 (non-vegan) competitors. Every single athlete placed in the top 5 of their class and 2 pro cards were awarded. Making up only 10% of the competition, they took home 40% of the overall trophies. This year's team is over twice the size and will be represented in the INBF bodybuilding, Crossfit, powerlifting, and transformation competitions at the Naturally Fit Super Show in Austin, TX on July 26th, 2014. Many of last year's team members returned, and the new ones were selected by the honorary members from a large, competitive pool of applicants.

vegan bodybuilding

With such great success last year, I, personally, am SO excited for what they can - and will - accomplish this year. In order for this to happen, for this powerhouse of vegan strength, health, and compassion to show the mainstream that plant-powered is the upcoming movement of our world, PlantBuilt needs our help. And since they've done so much to build veganism in a healthful, strong, positive light, let's come through for them, so they can continue spreading the message.

PlantBuilt is currently hosting an Indiegogo campaign in a effort to raise the needed funds to:

  1. Support their selected farm sanctuary and vegan outreach groups
  2. Go towards the operating costs to compete as a unit and promote a vegan lifestyle through direct activism

Beyond helping the PlantBuilt team, the animals, and spreading positive message of compassion, there are a variety of perks to reward YOU for your help - t-shirts, custom workout music compilations, Vegan Proteins products, honorary PlantBuilt team membership, and more. For optimal value, check out "The Works" package. For $100, you actually receive more than your donation value while offering your generous support to PlantBuilt.

So let's make a difference, okay?! Visit PlantBuilt's Indiegogo Page


and please donate as you can. Each and every dollar means something and adds up to make this campaign a success. Whether you donate or not, please share amongst your friends, family, community, online audience. We have a fantastic group we're supporting here. Let's really make a difference.

plantbuilt indiegogo campaign

Thank you. From Kiss Me, I'm Vegan and from PlantBuilt. And from the animals. 


Many vegan hugs and kisses and flexes to you!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Talking Veganism & Beliefs with Jon Wolf, The You-Time Coach: How to Discover Beliefs You Are Certain About

My brother-in-law and Life Coach/Mentor, Jon Wolf, is doing this awesome series of interviews that I had the privilege of being a part of. We connected about "discovering beliefs you are certain about," even in the midst of growth and change. It was a fun conversation and we delved deep into veganism. Please check it out! Go to www.youtimecoaching.com to find out more about Jon, The You-Time Coach, and dive into his valuable insight and explorations through his blog, www.youtimecoaching.blogspot.com.

_________________________

How to Discover Beliefs You Are Certain About

Everybody has been marginalized in their lifetime in some way. 

Many involve all encompassing things such as religion, sexual orientation, and race, while others for less overt things like the way you dress, whether you like a particular sports team, what car you drive, or what job you work. 

Psychology, Counseling, Mentoring, CoachingWhat about the way you eat? Or even how compassionate you are? 

People around the world have been marginalized for years for the very simple reason of not fitting into the mainstream "in-group". 

This blog interview illuminates and explores how an individual's beliefs can change through their own life experience and how a little resistance from main-stream culture won't stand in their way.

Spartan Race, Running, Vegan, ReikiSteven Todd Smith is a Reiki Master Teacher and owner/creator of Reiki For Creative Minds. Also: a Life Nutrition Coach, Arbonne Independent Consultant, and Community Manager for Forks Over Knives. 

There are a lot of "standard" questions to ask a vegan, "where do you get your protein?, "do you only eat salad?", or "how do you not eat bacon?". What is the oddest question you have been asked?
Because veganism is still not mainstream, even in large cities in 2014, there's a handful of "interesting" questions that get asked here and there, mainly due to lack of information or misinformation. The oddest question I've been asked was "So can you still eat chicken?" A couple others: "Why do you care about animals more than humans?", "But doesn't that carrot you're eating feel pain?"

I know that the number is astronomically growing, but what percentage of people are actually vegan or completely plant based?
vegan, vegeterian
Based on a recent Vegetarian Resource Group-commissioned Harris Interactive study, approximately 5% of the US population (16 million) is vegetarian and about half of that number is vegan. That  ≈7.5-8 million has doubled since 2009. Even cooler is that 33% of Americans identify with eating vegan/vegetarian more often, though they are not vegan or vegetarian, according to the study. That's 100+ million people eating plant-based on a more regular basis! Just thinking about the sweeping positive benefits in global health plus the number of animals being killed dropping brings me much joy PLUS knowing that, even though we've already done a good amount of damage to the planet re: factory farming's deleterious effect on the environment, the steps we're making to correct, to heal the planet will kick in sooner than later. 


Minority, Compassion, Connection
Being such a small group with a majority of people not sharing what you believe in, how do you continuously maintain your beliefs?
How did/has any minority group continue maintaining their beliefs? Sure, there's a struggle, a greater wall of opposition to come up against. The Civil Rights movement, Women's Rights movement, Gay Rights movement all believe(d) in the same thing - equality, compassion, justice, love. Same with veganism. These tenets, these beliefs are larger than life, no matter how small the overall population sharing them is. They guide me forward, giving them the amazing opportunity to share and spread them, to educate and enlighten. Once you connect to unconditional equality, justice, compassion, and love for all beings - human animals and non-human animals (obviously still in the context that non-human animals are not humans, and vice versa) - and truly believe in them, it's impossible to go against that. And, on the surface level, I get to eat delicious food that cruelty-free and have fun with a community, that may be small overall but is locally very large!, that shares the same ideals. 


Do you believe there are broader concepts and 
values that could be shared amongst everybody?
responsibility, awareness, kindness, alignmentYes, and it's definitely worth repeating. Equality, justice, compassion, love. Also, kindness, awareness, sustainability, responsibility, living in alignment. All of these without conditions or bounds. When it comes to religion, faith, spirituality, it all comes back to love, no matter how many different twists and turns each individual one may take. And I'm not necessarily talking what's stereotyped as "hippy-dippy kind of love," (although, what's wrong with that? Nothing.): I'm talking about loving your fellow Earthlings with whom you share this planet. What gives any one of us the right to confine, abuse, torture, or kill another being, whether it's a dog, a cow, a person, a chicken, an elephant, a bear, a fish? I think love is a much stronger guide and force than hatred, than the need/want for power or greed. There are so many broader concepts and values that are already shared amongst a large majority of people in the world; the important transition/awakening happens when we realize we can extend those concepts and values to ALL living beings. Then, we'll find ourselves truly living in alignment.

Many people find safety and security in having a firm set of beliefs. Do you find it easier to simply "live life" when you have a set of beliefs that direct your thoughts and behaviors?
flexibility, receptivity, ideas, beliefs
I subscribe to a "strong-walled amoeba" approach. Having a set of guides/beliefs lead the way and protect me, something I can strongly and confidently connect to, while maintaining an open flexibility/receptivity to new ideas or beliefs that I may pick up and/or adopt along my life journey. I think living life in a black or white, immobile, immovable, steel box of beliefs will only prevent you from living fully, from connecting with other people and ideas on an understanding level of some sort. So, the openness and understanding from others that comes along with a solid faith allows for conversation and self-guidance. There are many benefits one will receive from living life with firm set of beliefs though, as much strength, character, individuality can be derived from them. Floating around with no foundation can be both scary and demoralizing. 

You haven't been vegan/plant-based your entire life. How hard was it to realize that your previous personal beliefs and values were in a sense "not the right ones" and how do you go about changing your beliefs?
Great question. As I've deepened my spiritual connection and practice and studied more what our purpose, as humans, is here on Earth during our lives, I begin to lean more toward the concept that our beliefs - we'll say specifically of equality, compassion, justice, love - are always there; we just aren't fully conscious and awakened to them yet. Sure, knowing what I know now, I wish I had been living vegan my whole life. But then my life wouldn't be mine. The journey is just as important as the outcome, because it lays the foundation for the path you end up taking. The foundation - knowing your "Why?" - needs to be strong, have purpose, or any changed beliefs will easily revert back to old habits, patterns, actions, beliefs.

openness While I had initial resistance because the new beliefs challenged my old ones, I entered with just the slightest openness and understanding, as mentioned above. That gave me the space to explore, learn, and experience. I had/sought support, dove into many different resources, and began to realize that veganism provided me with everything I actually was in alignment with in life. It was less of being wrong and then being right; it became my next powerful platform of growth. The difficulty came in the unknown part of the change: what will I eat?, how will I interact with others?, etc. Just like any change though - even from crawling as babies to learning/deciding to walk (not wrong to right, just the next step in personal growth) - the answers, regardless of the stumbles along the way, eventually came.

Steve, for those people out there now that question their own beliefs, what would you share to help them reach the same level of certainty you have that your beliefs are definitely the right ones for you?

It's as easy as asking yourself: "Is this action I'm taking in

alignment with my greatest/deepest values in life?" For me, I realized contributing to an industry that promotes confinement, abuse, and killing was not in alignment with my values. I do not support confinement, abuse, and killing. Once I learned and realized I could take care of my own health, my own fulfillment, and help other beings on this planet, it became a simple decision. Sure, the journey between the question, the exploration, and the decision may be trickier and take a while (or maybe not...), but the feeling of consciously being in alignment is one of the greatest feelings you'll experience. 

So, truly ask yourself. Explore. Figure out if you're serving both yourself and others with your beliefs; if not yourself, then it's time to change. If not others, then it's time to change. You can achieve both. We all can achieve both. Let go of the past (as the past is already past), tap into your present, your right now, and decide if what you are doing creates a better today AND future all around. You don't have to know all the specifics; there's a very good chance if the decision is in favor of equality, compassion, justice, and love, you're heading in the optimal direction.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Vegan Mainstream Professional Bootcamps! For the V-Entrepreneur in You! (& 2014 Bootcamp Schedule)

In October of last year, I had the privilege of attending Vegan Mainstream's Professional Marketing Bootcamp. I was every excited for the opportunity, as I had followed Stephanie Redcross, the founder of Vegan Mainstream, for a while. Stephanie actually featured Lindsay & KMIV on VM back in 2011, which was a wonderful chance to build an even greater audience. Vegan Mainstream has been helping vegan entrepreneurs develop their brand, marketing strategies, design, PR, SEO, and more since 2009, launching compassionate businesses more into the mainstream. Last year, VM kicked off its inaugural bootcamp schedule, visiting Berkeley, CA, Washington D.C., Chicago, IL, New York City, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Austin, TX, taking the United States by storm and inspiring many V-Entrepreneurs - whether health coaches, restauranteurs, food product creators, teachers, etc. - to move forward with creating or building their businesses in a super saavy, connective way.

To the event! October 12th, 2013, I made my way to Occidental College for the Los Angeles bootcamp. I was the first guest there, and the last one to leave. The bootcamp was a sell out, bringing people from all over to soak in the wonderful information, advice, and resources shared by Stephanie and her VM Bootcamp expert team. The day took us from the creative aspect of building a business to social media strategies to business tax laws, & exemptions, funding, press kits, patents, and so much more. The speaker slate was powerful, featuring:
  • lawyer Sandy Thompson, PhD, Esq.
  • marketing and business development specialist Paul Paez
  • PR powerhouse Annabel Adams (www.maddcappr.com)
  • VM founder, Stephanie Redcross
  • Happy Herbivore founder, Lindsay Nixon




In addition to the wonderful talks and Q&As, we dove into a delicious lunch, a mix & mingle & network session, and a fun Vegan Shark Tank! Some of my favorite takeaways:
  • "Our role is not to convert, rather to spread the word"
  • Key items for consideration in attracting the "Vegan Curious": demographics, competition -> Who/What else can solve that problem and/or provide service?, unique distinction -> Why does your product/service do it better? How?
  • "Understand your value, understand the person with whom you're connecting, add value to those relationships"
  • In crafting your pitch for public relations, figure out "Who Do You Want to Emulate?" Use someone/something that's been successful and develop it into your own
  • Look at your community. Who are your followers? Who are your advocates? Who are your Tribe Members? Where are they?
  • HELP your audience. Don't SELL to your audience.
  • Share your story & reference it often. People come to you (to buy, to join) because of YOU. 



Stephanie knows business; she knows people; she knows marketing, social media, effective & genuine interactions and networking; she knows how important building vegan into the mainstream is for our ultimate well-being in this world. With these Professional Marketing Bootcamps, she's providing an invaluable forum to learn, receiving inspiration, motivation, momentum, and connections that will help you and your growing business thrive in a world where "vegan" is still in the minority. It's a changing world though. And all of our vegan businesses and ideas have a place to settle in and revolutionize the world. Sure, this is very *big* talk, but, if there's so much potential out there in this awakening market, it's up to us to take the initiative to make sure we're not diving in without awareness and knowledge. Vegan Mainstream's Professional Marketing Bootcamps become the perfect vehicle to help you step and leap forward to the greater good of yourself and everyone else.


This year's bootcamps are kicking off Sunday, April 6th! Check out the schedule below and sign up if VM will be in a city near you:


I highly recommend getting yourself to one of 2014's VM Professional Marketing Bootcamps. You can jump on the website to vote for which cities they come to in 2015, in addition to reading up more about it.

Thank you Vegan Mainstream for bringing this amazingly wonderful compassionate awakened conscious lifestyle to the mainstream!

Do you have a vegan business? Are you a compassionate entrepreneur? Go to www.veganmainstream.com for more info and schedule your 30 minute introductory call.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Review of T. Colin Campbell's WHOLE & A Giveaway for YOU!

I had the privilege of reading an excellent book by one of my teachers and an icon in the world of plant-based nutrition. I am excited to share this post with you along with a giveaway for this book and more! Take a read, and then enter in your information at the bottom for your chance to win. Enjoy!

An a cappella singing group comprises of several/many people, several/many different voices, performing different parts of a song. Together, they create a complete soundscape, a recreation of a musical entity: one person presenting the percussion, others the melody, others harmonies, vocals, etc. Now imagine focusing on just one of the members and extracting her from the group because her harmonizing is so angelic, so beautiful. We take her harmony out of the group and just have her perform that harmony on its own as a song, expecting the benefits of what's provided from the complete song. Well, we're not going to get it. It's only one part of many that creates the masterpiece; by itself, it's out of context and, while complete in its own individual sense, incomplete in scope of creating a full song.

Now let's bring this to the context of food & medicine: maybe extracting a specific vitamin from a whole fruit and marketing the benefits the vitamin in supplemental form; or maybe chemically creating a pill to assist in the bolstering or reduction of a certain chemical process in the body. In both cases, just like removing the vocalist from the a cappella group, we fail to receive the full benefits of the complete entity, the full picture. In fact, when it comes to messing with the natural completeness of whole plant foods, we often unconsciously (or even worse, and all too often, consciously) introduce a host of detrimental side effects into the picture, sending the exploration for health down a rabbit hole that's guided by greed and power instead of positive intentions.

In WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. T. Colin Campbell expands beyond his work in The China Study, which brought to light the immense benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet, and presents a reality where profit trumps true health and real solutions are hidden away. Dr. Campbell makes a convincing case that we ("the system") have got it all wrong. We've bypassed the clarity of what the whole picture presents by breaking everything down into tiny little pieces and allowing each and every one to define the entire picture, out of context and with selfish intention. He explains what's going on in the world of nutritional sciences, food marketing, medicine, and government, spotlighting the reductionist paradigm that unnecessarily detours the full landscape described above, and provides us with the actual truth, the WHOLE truth, about how to think critically, understand the system, and achieve true health by living WHOLE lives.


I remember reading Dr. Campbell's The China Study a few years ago - a great but dense read, packed with tons of information, charts, etc. Definitely a valuable read, but potentially not suited for readers who prefer to avoid more of a complex immersion into detailed science. I think WHOLE does a good job of bridging that gap, making for a read that can connect with even more audiences, especially because it describes the pitfalls of the current world we live in and lays out approachable solutions (we want to be in the know, right?!).

The power of this book comes from the presentation of where a non-WHOLE, or anti-WHOLE, world has left us: sicker than before, paying more for health care (which is more accurately described as "disease care"), and more confused than ever before. Yet nothing is being done by those in control to truly solve this crisis. Eating unhealthfully makes us sick. Being sick forces us toward interventions - pills, procedures, etc. Interventions cost money. Eating unhealthfully makes lots of money for the food, pharmaceutical, supplemental, and medical industries. Is this the type of world we want to live in? I can say, with 100% confidence, it is not! The solutions come from changing the policy and sources of information from the top down (which is possible but very difficult) or, more accessibly, accepting responsibility as individuals/consumers, questioning the status quo (that does not serve us), and taking action toward our own health - getting us closer and closer to a tipping point in favor of true health.

Many statistics in the book blow my mind (like "The annual revenue for Big Pharma, $289 billion in 2010, exceeds the total national budgets of at least 80 percent of the countries in the world). Learning about the reductionist paradigm's stranglehold on government and within the scientific community angered me, as it seems all too obvious that the current system is not working and has not been working for a long time now. And the information presented almost became a storyline, a journey from clarity into darkness - ending with a call to action to come back into the light.

I highly recommend WHOLE: for a fulfilling read; as an advisory to you, the consumer; as a vote for truth and for health; and so much more.

"The current system is unsustainable. The only question is, will we free ourselves before it takes us down with it? Or will we continue to pollute our bodies, our minds, and our planet with the slag of that system until it collapses under its own economic weight and biological logic? ... What we eat, individually and collectively, has repercussions far beyond our waistlines and blood pressure readings. No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance...

It's time for us to begin a real revolution - one that begins by challenging our individual beliefs and changing our diets, and ends with a transformation of our society as a whole." 
~ T. Colin Campbell




You can find out more about the book, Dr. Campbell, and plant-based nutrition research, studies, and courses at www.nutritionstudies.org.

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