Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Make a Difference - Eat Chocolate!

I didn't really imagine that I would use my blog to tout other people's sites and products, but I guess it shouldn't surprise me - I LOVE to pass on information to people and see their face light up when they hear about something I recently discovered that they are equally excited about.

So what am I so excited about today?  I received an e-mail from my friend Danielle this morning, touting chocolate with a cause!!  Entrepreneur and dancer Sarah Gross started a vegan chocolate company, and 100% of the proceeds go to animal organizations!!  Her company is named "Rescue Chocolate" (www.RescueChocolate.com) and their tag line is "The Sweetest Way to Save a Life."  My husband adores spicy chocolate bars, so he will be getting several bars of "Pick Me! Pepper" in his Christmas stocking this year - and 100% of the profits will go to helping dogs in shelters, desperately hoping that someone will pick them for a new home.  He will also get some of the chocolate hearts with raspberry ganache filling (vegan ganache - who knew!?) and the proceeds will go to circus animals, lab animals, abandoned exotic pets and other critters who are meant to be in the wild.  Other products, like "Peanut Butter Pitbull," go to help specific animal rescue agencies, in this case pitbull rescue organizations.  You get the idea.

I have never met Sarah Gross, nor do I have any connection with her company.  I just thought that as a chocolate-loving vegan with a big heart for animals, I couldn't let the opportunity pass to tell everyone I can about how they, too, can make a difference by eating chocolate!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Blog Begins! Why are YOU vegetarian/vegan?

Thanks for showing an interest in my new blog! I plan to post once a week or so, and will discuss all types of topics related to the vegan diet, nutrition, health, the environment, and spirituality as it relates to food.

So, what to discuss on the first blog entry? What else? What made YOU decide to go vegetarian/vegan? If you are not currently eating a veggie diet, read on, and see if you are inspired...

I remember how I went vegan like it was yesterday. No one could have been more surprised than me - the girl whose four food groups were Swiss, Havarti, Cheddar and Chocolate. It was about a year after Mark and I got married. We had both gained weight due to "Our Oreo Habit" (about 3 bags a week!!) and our propensity to eat out. At the time, I called myself a vegetarian, but I wasn't - I still ate fish, so I was really a pescetarian - a fish and dairy eating machine with hardly a vegetable in sight! Not anything close to a vegetarian! Not surprisingly, I was becoming a pudgy pescetarian...

On our way to Whistler for a long weekend, I realized I had forgotten my library books at home. Because I have a reputation for staying in bookstores for hours at a time, I had to beg Mark to stop at Barnes & Noble on the way. He did, on the caveat that I went straight in, bought my book, and came straight out. I ran in as fast as I could, ran to the diet book section, and grabbed a book by John Robbins titled Diet for a New America. It sounded like it might help me drop those extra pounds that were starting to pile on, and I prayed that this book would be the one that would finally help me lose the weight. Ironically, while I don't believe weight loss is ever mentioned in the book, after reading about the health effects of eating meat and dairy, how the animals are treated in factory farms, and the implications of a meat and dairy diet on our environment, I not only went vegan overnight, but I also lost the 10 pounds in about 6 weeks!

I find it fascinating that, in a vain effort to lose weight and look better, Diet for a New America helped me to find my spirituality instead - compassion and kindness to others. It's almost hard for me to recognize the person that I used to be - caught up in so many things that seem so unimportant now.

So, that's my story. What about you? How did you go vegetarian or vegan? If you're not eating a veggie diet yet, what's holding you back?