Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry

WARNING: I am writing this post in response to a slew of questions I got asked on Facebook when I said on Friday night that I was embarrassed I had ever eaten Paleo. I’m bringing this here because when I am sitting in front of that Facebook screen, sometimes the responses scream at me in a condescending and whiny voice that is not necessarily intended by the person leaving the response, but it nonetheless makes me want to yell SUCK IT, FRANCIS.

(If your name is Francis, I am not referring to you. But, wow, is your name fun to throw around.)

Responding that way is never productive, so here we are! Aren’t you so happy you haven’t clicked over to Instagram to look at pictures of DIY party hats! Hunker down for some real honest talk about farts!

When people find out that I’m training for a marathon while eating an entirely plant-based diet I get the question probably every vegan has to endure whenever the way we eat is brought up in conversation: you haven’t been laid in years, have you? but where do you get your protein?

Lemme see… I can’t look on the package of the beans or lentils I eat because I buy them from the bulk dry goods section at Whole Foods—and let me interrupt myself here for a second and acknowledge that choosing and being able to eat this way is entirely privileged. It’s expensive and time-consuming, and did I mention expensive? Because I’m not a vegan who eats potato chips or cereal or pretzels or candy. I eat a shit ton of fresh produce. Massive quantities of green things. Think you can make a salad too big for me to eat? WRONG. I guarantee I’ve made one twice that size and consumed it simply by looking in its general direction.

This is the salad I had for lunch today:

vegan

Kale, spinach, tomatoes, olives, pepperoncinis, beans, hemp seeds, flax seeds, cilantro and a cheesy dressing made from onions, red peppers, cashews, nutritional yeast and tahini. Aside from singing Marlo to sleep at night and reading next to Leta before bed, this badass salad right here is the best part of my day.

Protein is abundant in beans, lentils, quinoa, wild rice, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, nuts, buckwheat, potatoes, and amaranth (an ancient grain, KELLY). I eat a lot of protein every day. I eat a lot every day, period. The training regimen for this marathon, even though it was designed for a novice, is so physically intense that it’s forcing me to consume double to triple the amount of food I would normally eat. I would not recommend training for a marathon if you’re trying to lose weight. I would recommend it, however, if you really want to look like the Incredible Hulk bursting through your jeans:

vegan2

(You can make that the background image on your phone in case you need to be reminded of what you’ll look like after 18 weeks of marathon training, although he should be missing a few toenails.)

TANGENT AHOY: Back in February when I was at a conference in DC, I was having dinner with four of my friends/colleagues including Laura Mayes who looked on in stunned silence as I terrorized a plate of beans and rice. I stopped mid-monsterizing to apologize, like, I’m so sorry you have to witness this, but if I don’t put food in my face right now I will start gnawing on furniture. I might come for your arm, if I’m not careful.

I’d run a “short” seven miles that morning, a run she knew I’d done, and she shook her head and said, “You do NOT have to apologize. Would you like the rest of my meal that has yet to arrive?”

Some people have asked me how my digestion has handled introducing legumes back into my diet. And that is a complicated answer so I will try not to go on too many tangents here BUT I CANNOT PROMISE ANYTHING:

A year ago when I began this journey—yes, punch me right in the nut sack, I called it a journey like I’m some kind of life coach who wants you to be the best you!—I did not experience any adverse effects whatsoever. But that has everything to do with undergoing several stressful events that happened to coincide with the change, and my appetite tends to go missing when my anxiety is through the roof. I wasn’t eating much of anything, little if any legumes, so those first several months don’t count. Turns out that when your dog dies you don’t really fucking care about black beans!

And then my diet swerved all over the map. I still wasn’t eating many legumes because I wasn’t exercising like I have been over the last 18 weeks. I was, however, being a horrible vegan and making exceptions so as not to inconvenience people in my life. I have since started ordering plain salads when going out or bringing my own food and explaining, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Which is the truth. I mean, have you met me?

But then I got serious about training and making sure I was getting adequate nutrition for the distances I’d be running every week. FYI: I have run over 400 miles in the last 18 weeks. Ultra-runners do that in about two days, I know, but I’m gonna give myself some credit and say: WHO THE FUCK CARES, HEATHER.

So I started eating beans. Ahem. Clearing my throat here… one sec… okay. Let’s see. Something is stuck in my throat… AHEM. What was that one thing called… oh yeah. CHERNOBYL.

I would lie in bed or hunch over in pain and literally watch my digestive tract form words and tell me how much it hated me. But, I wasn’t going back. Eating this way is really important to me for a whole list of reasons, so I had to figure something out. NOTE: I am not judging you for the way that you are eating. Unless you’re standing inside a factory farm, looking around at what is going on while gnawing on a chicken wing, and thinking, “Cool!”

Then I’m going to poke you right in the butt.

I started reading everything I could—and this part is important, because I’m about to throw down a book that could possibly change your life—and through trial and error figured out that mung beans don’t cause me any problems at all. I buy them in bulk, soak them overnight, and cook enough the next morning to feed me for three-four days. Mung beans. Yes, mung. If you even glance at that word you can smell the socks of a 13-yr-old boy who has not clipped his toenails since he was nine.

BUT. THERE IS A BUT. Here’s where I talk about my but, you guys! I have a really hard time with certain salad greens, and right now that is the bulk of my diet. I’m looking forward to cutting back a bit on the sizes of the salads I eat so that I’m not walking around looking like I’m 16 months pregnant.

While doing all that research I came across this book, took a look at the title and said out loud, “Don’t play in traffic?”

vegan1

How Not to Die along with Eating Animals should be required reading for every American.

The premise of this book based on hard medical and scientific research reinforced by double-blinded study after double-blinded study after double-blinded study, is that a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat and in some circumstances reverse every single one of America’s fifteen leading causes of death. That includes heart disease, lung disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s. WILL NOT CURE HEATHER FROM TALKING ABOUT HER DIET.

I didn’t dive into it right away because I thought it was going to read more like a boring scientific paper than what it actually is, a conversational presentation of the facts about disease in this country. Over and over again the author Michael Gregor, MD, of NutritionFacts.org makes the case that instead of treating the symptoms of our illnesses, why not get rid of them or prevent them from occurring in the first place? Why pay hundreds and thousands of dollars for a drug to regulate your blood pressure when you could cut back on the meat in your diet? It is one of the most fascinating and eye-opening books I’ve ever read.

Every single member of my family is going to be super upset on Christmas morning when they open the present from me and it’s this book, because HELLO. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes run rampant in our DNA. And this book goes into great detail about how cutting back on meat consumption can turn off that part of our DNA.

Cutting back. I didn’t say eliminate. You don’t have to be a vegan, but a few meals without meat might do you some good, FRANCIS.

And this brings me back to why I was embarrassed I was ever Paleo: I ate so much meat. Too much. Probably not nearly as much as most Americans. But still, I ate meat at least twice a day. And eating that way is quite simply unsustainable. It’s killing the planet, and it is killing us. So many people eating that much meat… it will be the end of us.

And I won’t even get into what goes on in those factory farms, or the fact that chickens aren’t even chickens anymore, having been so selectively bred for maximum size and weight that they are genetic mutants.

Or the fact that the smell of bacon reminds me that I was routinely eating an animal smarter than the dog whose life I now mourn as if he were my child.

That’s why I’m embarrassed.

For me—again, for ME—it’s not about cutting back. It’s about going without. Marlo did not just conjure her bleeding heart, animal-loving ways out of thin air. I don’t force my kids to eat this way, but she saw a scene in a movie where someone was roasting a chicken over a fire pit and she ran out of the room crying.

Here I am having trained for a marathon on an entirely plant-based diet. I have run over 400 miles on the fuel of rice and beans and fruit. And I love eating this way. I assemble every meal I eat (when not eating out), make every dressing and sauce by hand, and have never known that food could have this much flavor. If this inspires anyone to cut meat out of their diet for at least one meal a week (particularly anyone in my family HI GUYS!), I’d be elated. If it doesn’t, then no harm in trying. Now that I know what I know about meat, I feel like I need at least to start the conversation.

And look! No arguments on Facebook! UNTIL I POST THIS ON FACEBOOK.

  • Miz Williams

    I will definitely check out that “How Not to Die.” On another note, er, TANGENT, I can’t believe people regularly give you so much shit for how you eat, exercise, yada yada every-damn-life-choice-you’ve-ever-made. To each his own. I would love to be a vegan, but haven’t been able to make the leap because I’m not really into the foods most consider to be healthy choices. Ever. But I’d like to be … one day.
    I watched Cowspiracy, and it was eye-opening and terrifying. But I suppose my stomach overrides my ethics every single time, because I had a cheeseburger for lunch. *sigh* However, I did buy veggie patties the other day, and they weren’t totally awful. There may be hope for me yet.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Veggie patties are a step! Every little change helps. They start to add up, and next thing you know, maybe, you’ve gone a day without meat. That’s huge! All you’ll get is encouragement from me.

    And yeah, Cowspiracy is really scary, right?

  • Kathryn

    HI Heather – I relate to this post in so many ways (not the running way – tried it, wanted to love it, it nearly crippled me). I stopped eating meat about 4 years ago and went fully vegan last year. I am also a HUGE foodie – love to cook, love to eat out, love reading about, talking about, watching anything about food. Last year I started my company, Kiki’s Kitchen. I make and sell organic, vegan soups made from local ingredients. Like you I know that I come from a place of privilege and I am very fortunate living in Vancouver, BC where there is an abundance of everything fresh and organic. Nothing makes me happier than watching a full-on carnivore try my soup, love my soup and then look incredulous that there is not a single drop of cream, butter or animal product in any of them. They are pure, unadulterated vegetables.

    I am now known as the “difficult one” in my circle of friends. I am sure they say it with love but it can be challenging when we go out or when someone has a dinner party. I just tell them not to worry, I will bring my own and if all else fails there is WINE on the menu so we’re good. Funniest part is that whenever I bring a portion of the email or my entire meal it’s what everyone else wants to eat it’s so good!

    Good luck in Boston!

  • Getting my first dog and watching “Forks Over Knives” made me make the switch to vegetarianism. I look at animals completely differently after having a dog. I would love to become 100% or mostly plant based as well. I’ll be checking out this book! Thanks for posting about this.

  • misszoot

    I did my first 100K on what I call a “lazy herbivore” diet. I’m 100% vegetarian, 98% vegan. I don’t do as much from scratch, I use a lot of cans. My 2% comes from the periodic bread type food which might have used eggs. I don’t read labels so I make a lot of guesses. The “beans and greens” meal is basically what I eat constantly. Black-eyed peas and Okra. Black beans and Spinach etc. And I’ve been completely fine too. I’d like to steer more toward whole food type stuff like you’re doing, but for now, this is working for me!

  • Thanks Heather for this great post. I too have come to the same place but I actually got there reading a bunch of human evolution books that you might like – Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind and Scatter, Adapt and Overcome, etc. No matter which ones you read you come back to the same place again and again: we’re screwed and much of it is to do with our reliance on, dependence on and addiction to meat eating. It has been true about humans since the beginning. Anyway, it couldn’t be more clear and yes, it’s a bummer. But thank you for writing about it and I hope you put out a cookbook so I can follow your recipes because I’m having a hard time coming up with good things to eat that aren’t bread.

  • Heidi

    Thank you for this! Inspiring! I’ve been trying to clean up my diet as well, but I find it difficult to find recipes or cookbooks that have actual tasty, healthy food that I would actually find in a grocery store in North Dakota, much less eat! For every 1 cookbook I buy, I find maybe 3 good recipes. And I am totally incompetent in the kitchen; I am the person who needs a recipe for a salad. Do you have any recommendations?

  • Sarah Lawton

    Can I tangent? And ask you to clarify that you’re talking about type 2 diabetes. There’s not a mung bean around that can prevent type 1 away. 🙂

  • It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Hungry all the time…but little by little I have found myself migrating to the vegan foods I DO like like miso soup and greens with ramen noodles or whatever. The choices are getting better too — the vegan cheeses are kind of, sort of coming up in the world. There are some great burgers.

  • Kathryn

    The Thug Kitchen books are great as is Oh She Glows – easy recipes using ingredients you can find in most grocery stores.

  • Here are some other book suggestions: The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution & Future of the Human Animal, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth, The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man — all of these books say the same thing about our future: we’re going to be extinct and the cause of that extinction if we don’t turn things around…it sounds irrational and insane, I know, but the science is 100% on it.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Making that change now, was just going off the titles of the chapters in the book (Chapter 1: How Not to Die from Heart Disease, etc.)

  • Heather Armstrong

    This is a great place to start: http://www.forksoverknives.com

    I’ll gather some of my favorite resources for a followup post.

  • Richard Morey

    Is Francis a reference to Malcolm in the Middle?

  • Suebob

    Beano, my friend, Beano. I buy it in bulk on Amazon and save money. Vegetarian since 1986.

  • Gem Wilder

    I’m definitely adding How Not To Die to my reading list. A couple of vegan/plant based resources I like for recipes and tips are the blog Bonzai Aphrodite, and on YouTube, Niomi Smart. Niomi is currently training for the London marathon and has been showing what she eats in a day that she does her longest training runs.

  • Jana Griffis

    I’ve found it difficult to not push Cowspiracy on everyone I see. I try to stop myself from being “THAT” person though. BUT HOW DOES ANYONE WATCH IT AND FEEL OKAY AFTERWARD??

  • Cassie S

    Thanks Sarah, if I have to hear one more time someone ask me if I just fed my daughter too much sugar (or junk food) when she was younger I’m going to punch someone in the face. She’s type 1, it has nothing to do with that.
    Thanks for updating that Heather. While my meat eating hubby will never go vegan, I have been able to compromise a lot with him. We eat reduced amounts of meat, and substitute lots of beans and fresh veggies. And we’re planting a lot more stuff at home so that we know how things were grown so yay!

  • Erin Reece

    Yes! This! Except, I went vegan last summer (because my thinking and my bleeding-animal-loving-heart are in line with yours) and 4 months later I was so severely depressed that I finally understood why people commit suicide. No, I was not suicidal, but I was able to step outside of my body and say “Wow, yes, this kind of mental suffering is really THAT BAD.” I also thought at least once per day that it wouldn’t be the worst thing if a bus took me out while I was crossing the street. Anyway, I went back to eating meat. The mental torture ceased immediately. I feel tremendously guilty about this. OK, so I’m rambling, but here is my problem: I cannot tolerate legumes. They make me terribly sick. I learned this while I was eating a vegan diet. HOW DID YOU GET PAST THIS?!?!?! Because your post is reminding me once again that I am so against factory farming that there has to be some way for me to eat just enough meat to maintain a healthy mental state while also getting protein from elsewhere if needed. So: legumes. How did you do it? Or am I just one of those people with a sensitivity to them and there is no getting past it?

  • Libby Parker

    I’ve been talking to my husband about wanting to implement a plant-based diet. And I keep seeing info like this everywhere I look. Along with the fact that my doctor told me that my cholesterol is wildly high at the age of 32, I want to fix this right away. We’ve *started* by moving to whole, unprocessed foods and by the summer I intend to be completely meat-free.
    Thank you for writing this post and please don’t censor yourself about your diet!

  • Hannah Murphy

    Yes! I just discovered both of these cookbooks and am now cooking/eating vegan about 90% of the time. I haven’t convinced my bf yet, but I’m working on it. It’s amazing how delicious these recipes are!

  • Sarah Lawton

    Thank you!!

  • theolojen

    Hi Erin. I know you’re not asking ME, but if you want to feel better about the meat that you want/need to eat, perhaps getting it at a farmer’s market would be possible?

  • DriverB

    My husband is a fairly healthy eater, but I canNOT get him to stop with ‘I need meat after I work out, beans are not a complete protein’ and it drives me nuts. He is not a professional athlete, he is not training for a marathon. Chickpeas and rice will have him covered, right?

  • Heather Armstrong

    Yep! Tell him ultra runner Scott Jurek is a vegan and can run over 150 miles without meat:

    http://scottjurek.com

  • Michele

    I thought it was a reference to “Stripes.”

  • Heather Armstrong

    My friend Ben works with an organization called Farm Forward (https://farmforward.com) and he spearheaded a website that helps you buy chickens that are actual chickens and have been raised with the utmost of ethics: http://buyingpoultry.com

    However, that chicken is SUPER expensive.

    I’d say, if you’re maintaining a healthy mental state and even attempting to find meat from ostensibly “good” sources (like a farmer’s market) or are cutting back on the amount you eat so that it’s not every meal or every day… you’re doing a phenomenal job already. I say bravo.

  • Julia

    Love this post, Heather! I flirted with veganism for years, and recently turned completely plant-based and feel so peaceful in my body and spirit. Never going back. The first month was tough-going on my digestion, and I do find there’s a lot of guess-and-check to find what works with my body, but I’m figuring it out… and also allowing my attitude to be a player in how this goes.
    The biggest dance I’m having is how to explain without explaining. Ie how do I pass on this information – when people ask – without sounding like I’m judging others’ choices. Thanks for the book recommendations! Those are good directions to point people.

    Question: are Leta and Marlo on board? Do you buy dairy+meat products for them? (don’t worry – this is out of curiosity, as a future parent, not to judge either way – I know you have a house of picky eaters)

  • Jodi

    I love your style of writing lately! So refreshing and enjoyable to read, even the tangents. Especially the tangents?

  • Blestchick

    I was waiting to hear the benefits of no smelly poop for a year 😉 Thanks for the follow up post!

  • kym

    I admire people who are vegans – it takes a strong commitment…and that salad sure looks good 🙂

  • AWESOME, Heather!! I’m soooo thankful for impertinent questions & questioners on facebook! Ihope they’ll tick you off again so you can blog more. 😉 Should I follow you on FB, BTW? I’ll check that out.

    Anyway… wonderful post, I wish I had more energy to cook more often for my family. Working full time with a 158 miles commute (round trip, 3 days a week) is tough. And… we still need to kick the dairy (and occasional egg) out of our diet. I’m THRILLED for you, though. That salad looks amazing.

    I should check that book out. I want to thank you for recommending Ta-Nehisi Coates book, EXTREMELY important.

  • Kim

    You do you, Heather. But please don’t try to tell the rest of us we’re “less than” because our bodies can’t tolerate beans. Or rice. Or amaranth (ugh! That stuff is the WORST for me). Or because whe we ‘went vegan’ we became sicker than any other time of our lives which took years to dig out of. Or because we need animal protein to stay healthy and sane.

    Funny…..I make everything I eat from scratch too. And I’d wager my salad is just as large as yours. It just happens to include animal protein that I get from my local farmer named Tom who takes great care of his very happy animals. Can’t we all just get along? People who adopt paleo style diets and people who adopt vegan diets have way more in common than differences. Please don’t flame the hate.

    — Former vegetarian for nearly 20 years and not embarrassed about my paleo diet since 2010

  • Meegs

    Ohh, what’s the recipe for that salad dressing? Nutritional yeast flakes and tahini are my jam!

    I definitely still eat meat, but I’ve cut way down. And I found a local egg source who treats their chickens like their babies, so that makes me happy! Baby steps, right?

  • Michael Mathews

    I’m not vegetarian either but I realize I need to be more informed about what I am eating.

    There are no “complete” vegetarian protein sources, but it is not difficult to eat sufficient combinations of proteins. They don’t even have to be eaten together in a single meal. The people who get into trouble eat a diet without enough variety, as I understand it.

  • Love the post. I am a big fan of Meatless Mondays – doing my little part to save the planet. It doesn’t hurt that I married an ecological vegetarian.

  • pixistik13

    I think its a Pee Wee reference

  • Scorptress

    I am loving your style and this post! I just really don’t get why there is so much drama over the rise in people choosing a plant based diet. My best guess is the combative instinct that kicks in on auto drive when people feel (though it may be deep, deep down) like they aren’t doing or being as good as others. (whether it’s true or not) That’s when people get all defensive and attack what they’re either insecure about or don’t understand. That’s MY best guess anyway… If you’re living your life conscientiously without causing pain, torment, or suffering to yourself or others, including animals and all those with feelings and a central nervous system with pain receptors, then I ain’t mad at ya. Live your life. Side note: I’ve been vegan for going on a year and a half now and have not had any issues with digestion or bloating. I ate a lot of vegetables before making that choice though, so maybe it just wasn’t much of a shock to my system? That or I’m just a lucky girl. Anyway, thanks for being you and sharing that loveliness with the world! Peace, love, and veggies! ✌️❤️

  • Maria

    Ok I want to make one of those salads RIGHT NOW!!! YUM! And totally agree about not training for a marathon to lose weight. I couldn’t believe that my jeans got TIGHTER when training for Boston in 2007. (Although, the pizza and beer couldn’t have helped either since it was my senior year of college). I’ll be cheering you on this year, just beyond Natick Center, right before mile 11 🙂

  • undisclosed location

    I’m sorry to say but most the diet references Heather has given is based on bad science and ideology. For example, the vegetarian ideology asserts that diseases such as the cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc. can be cured by “the right diet”

    There is no scientific evidence that this “cure” happens. In fact there is no scientific evidence that it doesn’t happen because most scientific studies are diet are poorly designed and draw the wrong conclusions which may or may not be reversed years later. For example, the Framingham heart study which proved “conclusively” that saturated fats were bad for you. Now they discovering that a high-fat diet is actually better for you. WTF?

    The ideology of vegetarianism is that it blames the patient. “Oh, if you got sick, it must be because you did something wrong. You didn’t eat the right foods, you didn’t exercise you didn’t… ” To which I reply “not helping as*****. I mean, you jerk”

    Personally, I don’t buy the “meat is killing the planet” argument. Yes, it has an impact especially with the whole agribusiness pillage and then burn school of animal husbandry. However, Heather could compensate for the environmental impact of meat consumed by a small village by giving up air travel.

    If you look at the environmental impact of our way of life, you would see that meat eating is a very small portion of our total environmental footprint. Living in detached housing, driving, electricity use, modern healthcare all have a much higher environmental impact.

    In the last dig I will make against vegetarianism is that it is part of the whole anti-science mindset so common in America today. If you do the science, if you do the math, you’ll see that many of the arguments for and against environmental (especially vegetarian) practices just don’t hold up.

    The only argument for vegetarianism that I will not discount is the ethical one. After all, I will not eat any animal that is as smart as my dogs. However, ethics is like a penis. It’s nice that you have one but don’t shove it down my throat.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I think you’re projecting a bit here. And your defensiveness is saying something more about what is going on with you than what I wrote.

    I never said that anyone is “less than” for eating differently than I do. I’m happy that your diet works for you and that you’re not embarrassed about it. I wrote that *I* am embarrassed, didn’t call for anyone else to feel the same way.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Awesome! Say hi if you see me limping by. My bib will read GUIDE.

  • Heather Armstrong

    One yellow onion, one red pepper, one tablespoon of tahini, three tablespoons of raw cashews, one cup of nutritional yeast. Throw it all into a blender or food processor, adding a bit of water to get a smooth consistency.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I have never in my life been more regular! 🙂

  • Alice Hartzog

    I have to be honest. I really don’t care about what other people eat, and if you try to force your diet politics down my throat, THERE WILL BE BLOOD (which is not vegan). Whatever diet you wanna do, that’s cool! I just don’t want to hear about it. Sorry.

  • Alice Hartzog

    oh I should add that this is just in general and not really directed at anyone in particular. I’m just venting. I’ve been seeing a lot of smug, self-satisfied crap about people’s diets on my Facebook feed and I am SO OVER IT.

  • SmileMikael

    Not that you asked, but here is a quick guide to very vegan-friendly restaurants in Back Bay if you need an immediate post-marathon meal, two of which are at the finish line to the Marathon: b.good (at the finish line, and another one at Back Bay station) – veggie burger is vegan, and have abundant bowls and salads that can be made vegan and are delicious. Sweetgreen – salads and bowls, next to b.good at finish line, also another location inside the Pru). Pret a Manger – two blocks from finish line on Boylston, less vegan options but still have a few and their stuff is made fresh daily and tastes good. Jugos – at Back Bay station – amazing fresh juices, smoothies, bowls, sandwiches – no sitting space but totally worth carrying it out with you. Boston is very vegan-friendly and we have some amazing food so it’s a good thing you’ll be hungry while you’re here! 🙂

  • Jan

    I really loved the last vegan book your recommended(“But I Could Never Go Vegan”), and I loved the point that you don’t have to do it over night. I started with a “meat-free March,” and it went so well, that I’m continuing to focus on vegetarian and vegan eating. It’s a process of learning new recipes, how to cook, how to read labels, how to eat out, and how to think about food. Thanks for recommending books and ideas!

  • Payal

    Thanks for this – I was just going to ask for the recipe. It reminds me a bit of the dressing/sauce they use at a place I used to go when I lived in PDX – Cafe Yumm. Love that place and I learned so much about nutritional yeast – so good!

  • Amy G

    Erin- I had the same thing and I have the same question for Heather- how do you eat the legumes??? . I cannot tolerate legumes beyond a half a serving and when I dropped animal products from my diet my mental state took a scary plunge. We’re already gluten free (severe allergy) so we have to navigate around that. The only meat we eat is locally sourced from (really expensive) sustainable, humane farmers.