Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vegan In 30 Days

It was November 2004, the day after Thanksgiving. I'd pledged to celebrate my 10-year vegetarian anniversary by giving veganism a 30-day trial run. I would shun cheese, milk, eggs, and other sneaky animal by-products for one month. I never intended to make the change permanent. But after 30 days, I felt better than I'd ever felt. I'd discovered a whole new world of ingredients, and I didn't even miss cheese. So I went vegan and lived happily ever after.

Though the transition was much easier than I'd anticipated back then, I sure wish I'd had Sarah Taylor's Vegan In 30 Days book (published by the Farm's Book Publishing Company) to guide me along. I'm a sucker for a good program — complete with steps, homework assignments, and long-term goals. That's my inner Type A rearing its obsessively-organized head. Taylor's book is geared toward goal-oriented Type A's like me.

Taylor includes 30 steps, one for each day, to guide hardcore omnivores into a life of cruelty-free eating. The program begins with a simple assessment of why you want to be vegan, but the other steps get pretty darn specific. One step instructs readers to start drinking a green smoothie everyday (a tip I could use now). Another instructs wannabe vegans to start reading John Robbins' Diet for a New America. And yet another urges folks to spend a few hours getting to know their local health food store.

Here's the beauty in Taylor's program — each simple step tackles going vegan one day at a time. One day, you give up red meat. Another day, you eliminate dairy. By the end of 30 days, you're a full-fledged vegan with a better understanding of what you can and cannot eat. She teaches folks how to eat out on a vegan diet, and how to entertain (or be entertained). Brilliant!

My only complaint with Taylor's advice — she shuns oils. Y'all know I'm a big proponent of healthy fats, so I don't think skipping the oil is good advice unless you're seriously trying to lose weight. That's why I added some good old-fashioned extra-virgin olive oil to Taylor's Veggie Ceviche recipe:

The back of her book contains 14 recipes to get started. I chose to make her ceviche because she mentions it several times throughout the book. It's basically a black bean/raw veggie salad dressed with red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Tasty, but I felt like it needed more salt and something to cut the acidity of the vinegar. A little Bragg's and olive oil did the trick. This salad was delicious served with some quick cheezy vegan corn tostadas.

I'd recommend Taylor's book to anyone considering veganism. Like I said, I wish I'd had this book as a reference back in my pregan days. As far as I know, there's no other "go vegan" program like this. Buy a copy for all your omni friends.

16 comments:

Veg is Sexy said...

I definitely know a few people that could use this book... never heard of it, thanks for the lead!

Serena said...

I think I'll check out this book :) I'm already vegan but I love those types of books with 'plans' too, haha

*Lesli* said...

Just bought it :) THANKS!

Leslie R. said...

I'm cutting way down on oil as part of Eat To LIve, but I still eat healthy fats all the time. I prefer sauteeing things in veg broth most of the time anyway. I am really going wild with the green smoothies lately, tho mine are usually purple due to the berries. I use a greens powder plus a big handful of fresh spinach with my fruit. I love it in the morning...but I still drink my cup of coffee too!

vegeater said...

I gave vegetarianism a 30-day trial run in 2006. I never looked back! Thanks for this resource!

Anonymous said...

Where did you find this book? I live in Memphis also, and I've checked the libraries and Barnes and Noble with no luck. Thanks :)
Mary

Sheridanna said...

I would definitely like to check this book out. I think it would be good for me.

Bianca said...

Hi Mary! I'm not sure where you would the book in local stores, but it's available on Amazon for less than $10:
http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-30-Days-Healthy-World/dp/0976441411

Also, most major bookstores, like Barnes & Noble and Bookstar can order books upon request.

Sweet said...

That looks like such a useful book! Especially for people who aren't sure how to start going vegan or eat a lot of dairy/meat products. I like how it emphasises a transition and not just jumping in feet-first :)

Alanna said...

That tomoato she is seated on stikes me as not being the most stable perch, and a wet one to boot.

VeganIza said...

Hi there,

great blog - feel free to follow my vegan blog!

http://veganice-runvegan.blogspot.com/

~Isa

Vegan Valerie said...

I love book reviews! And it's funny--this book actually caught my eye today a my local health food store! Cool coincidence! Even though I've been vegan for years, I still have a lot to learn! I should pick this title up!

What a great post! Thanks, Bianca! :)

The Voracious Vegan said...

I like the basis for this book. Omnis are always asking how they can go vegan, and I think a step by step guide would make it more doable for many people.

But not oils!?!? I don't know how I'd live without my olive oil! I am a BIG lover of fats.

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

That's how I started being vegan...I wanted to see how long I could do it. At the time pizza and ice cream were my favorite foods. Here I am 17 years later, still a happy and healthy vegan! It would have been nice to have a book like this to help me out, as I had no idea what I was doing at first.

River - The Crafty Kook said...

How cool! The Veggie Ceviche is so bright and colorful. I'm with you there big time, bring on the olive oil! :)

book publishing company said...

I like the basis for this book. Omnis are always asking how they can go vegan, and I think a step by step guide would make it more doable for many people.