One big name out there you may have heard of is Kathy Freston, who recently wrote Veganist. She's been a guest with Oprah, Martha, and Ellen. Below is an excerpt of her wowing the hosts of Good Morning America with tasty treats. What I really like about her style is her idea of leaning, as she puts it, into this new way of eating by tweaking some of your favorite recipes. (I did this a while back with tacos and found the new version to be much tastier than the old!) She's gotten some flack from some folks for promoting processed foods that taste like meat as opposed to an all whole foods diet. While the latter is the ideal, I think Kathy really bridges the divide that, until recently, felt uncrossable for those who grew up enjoying the taste of meat but who felt bad about having animals killed for their own tastebuds. If we're being respectful to animals (and getting healthier!), I honestly don't see what the big deal is.
And here she is on The Talk...
In addition to taste, another reason plant-based food has become big is the health benefits. In July 2009, the American Dietetic Association claimed the following about vegetarianism:
An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals.
So I brought up the Oprah-Martha-Ellen star factor not so that we can emulate what Hollywood says or does, but because it shows how mainstream veganism is becoming. It also helps to nix the stereotype of the hippy-vegan when you see pretty-pretty plant-eating people who look amazing!
I'll be posting some amazing recipes soon that made me swoon. I swear I wasn't trying to rhyme that.