Update: See below in giveaway offer!
First off, I have been a very lame Snow White. I did not finish my Vegan Mofo by reaching my goal of 10 posts in one month. (sigh)
And yet, I don't feel too guilty. It's been a chaotic little autumn and one that Mr. Snow White and I were not looking forward to, due in great part to full-blown ninny-ness of forces that have wanted to do us harm. Hopefully this will resolve itself very shortly. (Sorry, can't go into it more than that.) But it's all been stuff that, in the big scheme, really doesn't matter. We have each other, everyone's healthy, Kaci does NOT have cancer, as our new vet suggested she might (the vet was thrilled as were we), we are both employed, we have a wonderful support system, and we both have good skin.
While going through this tumultuous time, though, I recalled some supportive words that had floated from the Facebook status of one Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. After having no luck retracing those pearls of wisdom, I wrote to Colleen, asking if she'd share them with me. Her husband had spoken them to her when they were facing similar ninny-like forces. Just seeing these words calms my heart (which has been beating much too quickly for my own good.)
"Keep breathing. Tell the truth. Be fearless. Choose love. Embrace mystery."
Beautiful, no? I feel so grateful to her and her husband David for sharing that calming mantra with the world. It's done wonders for my mindset.
And speaking of Ms. Colleen ...
She's got an incredible new online program called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. I heard about it on her podcast and initially thought it wouldn't apply to me, since 1) I was a regular listener of the podcast, 2) I had all her books, and 3) I had already been vegan for a while. How much new stuff could it offer someone like me?
A lot, it turns out.
The program only cost $20 and I originally decided to sign up so I could review it here for any folks here who wanted to try cutting meat, dairy, and eggs from their diet for just thirty days. I didn't anticipate how much I'd get from the experience.
The whole thing is designed to take you from day one, when you have no idea yet how you're going to pull this off, to the last day, when you realize how flippin' easy it is to eat without hurting anyone. You get one email per day, which opens up new parts of the program to you, step by step. I like this, because I tend to be an all-or-nothing gal who reads ahead, jumps in with both feet, and then often burns out. (Hello knitting.) This way forces you to take it slow. The great part is that after that day's content becomes available, you keep it forever and can go back to it whenever you like. (Think of it as an online book you purchased. But a book with videos, podcasts, etc.)
The video section includes the following subjects: Stocking a Healthy Vegan Kitchen, Reading Labels, Getting to Know the Grocery Store, Choosing the Proper Knife, Using the Proper Cutting Board, Tempeh Bacon Cooking Demonstration, Making the Time to Cook, Eating Out and Speaking Up, Rethinking Meat Cravings, Discovering That There is Life After Cheese, Kale Chips and Kale Salad, Plant-Based Milks, Better Baking without Eggs, Drop Biscuits, Green Smoothies, Finding Abundant Food Options While Traveling, Demystifying Tofu: It's Just a Bean, Eating by Color, Black Olive Bruschetta with Cashew Cream, Compassionate Fashion: It's Cool to be Kind, and A Vegan Thanksgiving. As a more seasoned vegan, I was amazed at how much these videos helped me, particularly the ones that addressed the interesting social issues that seem to arise.
There is a whole Audio Podcast section that is separate from her original podcasts on itunes. Like the videos, they cover a wide range of topics.
The Resource Section is a great go-to place for hardcore information, including Finding Vegan Food in Non-Vegan Restaurants, Restaurant and Travel Websites and Apps, and Tips for Making Travel Stress-Free and Fun. She delves into those often asked questions regarding protein, calcium, vitamins D and B12, and iron.
There are oodles of recipes, most of which I have not tried yet. (Did I mention it's been a stressful autumn?) But they sound delicious. Among them are the following: Coconut Red Lentil Dahl, Soba Verde Salad, Truffle Popcorn (!!), Lemon Artichoke Tapenade, and Mexican Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon. Yes. Yes to all of that.
And finally, there is a community aspect to the website as well. You can log on to ask questions to other folks. Or you can simply read the online discussions and learn from the expertise (and humor) of others.
Compassionate Cooks was kind enough to offer
a free subscription to one lucky Suburban Snow White reader. This, my friends, is where you squeal. UPDATE: They have offered SSW not one, but TWO free subscriptions to The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. Fainting.
If you've ever wondered if Ellen or Bill Clinton were on to something, but don't want to declare you're "going vegan," this is right up your alley. (And if you are totally on board, it's up your alley too.) If you merely want recipes on hand because you have a couple of vegan friends and always panic when they're coming over, wondering "What on earth do we make?" then this is a great chance to get some terrific ideas. Though truthfully, you'll end up wanting to hoard the food for yourself. Maybe you're just plain curious about veganism but have no intention to eat that way. You will learn a ton! So there's no pressure for the person who wins this to commit to an animal-free menu. I promise not to stalk you and peek into your windows to see what you're making. Unless, of course, you want to become my full-time chef.
Colleen is a super relaxed gal who explains things in a very common sense way. You don't feel preached at or guilted into anything. She just shares the information and lets you make up your own mind. But I'm warning you -- you'll want her to be your new best friend. I'm JUST saying.
If you'd like to win this, simply write a comment below. You could explain why you'd like to win the subscription. Or share a tongue twister. Or send a message to Kaci telling her how pretty she is. Whatever. Be creative and have fun. Just be sure to leave an email address where I can reach you!
The Giveaway ends November 18, 2012 (Sunday night). Good luck! (I should mention that I'm not making a dime off of this. Just spreading the love.)