Of course, the vegan convenience-food industry has evolved significantly over the last decade. There are now tasty, meltable cheese substitutes made without casein (not so back in 1998), and incredibly delicious milk beverages, coffee creamers, yogurt, and ice cream made from coconuts. My diet has also evolved over the years, and I've gone from relying heavily on convenience foods to centering my diet around whole, ripe, organic, (and as often as I can raw), fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grains, nuts, and seeds. I have gone from cooking with oceans of olive and coconut oil to preparing my meals with almost no oil at all, and I'm learning to cook with ever more simple ingredients while maintaining a complexity of flavors and a gourmet standard of taste.
Do I still indulge in the occasional vegan Boston cream donut and coconut milk ice cream sundae? Sure. Will I still eat a vegan pizza made with Daiya cheese or throw a Great Harvest Veggie Burger in the toaster oven when I realize I'm hungry, but haven't planned ahead? Yes. Do I think that it would be easier to achieve and maintain my ideal weight and vibrant health on a low-fat raw vegan diet? Absolutely. But I am comfortable where I am right now: eating thoughtfully, compassionately, sustainably, and deliciously. My meals at home are predominantly low-fat, made primarily of whole ingredients, and sacrifice nothing when it comes to taste.
Now that I no longer build my own diet around convenience foods, do I still think that anyone can adopt a vegan diet overnight and be happy, satisfied, and satiated doing it? You betcha! My clients are proof-positive that this is true. And I am very confident that even as my personal food choices continue to evolve, I will continue to inspire and delight the palates of food-lovers who come to me in search of the next great vegan meal.
As an author, speaker, and food coach, I've had the honor of teaching people from all over the world just how delicious eating vegan can be. Thank heavens, eating compassionately and sustainably is an idea that is finally catching on. Please join me in exploring Nature's bounty of green cuisine!
It is a joy for me to share my favorite food discoveries with you. Unless I believe that a person or business has misrepresented their products, services, or themselves in some way, I find negative reviews to be counter-productive to my mission of sharing delicious vegan discoveries with my readers. I realize that everyone's taste buds are different. What I think tastes awful, someone else might find delectable! Therefore, I only write about things that I love!
Many times I receive products, books, or services at no cost for review. The kind people who send me these items do so with the understanding that I will only write about things I love, and if I don't love what they have sent me, there will be no review. I do not consider this compensation, because no one can pay me enough to write favorably about something I do not like. But the FTC does regard review copies and product samples as compensation, and according to their newly revised endorsement guidelines, bloggers must now clearly disclose to the reader the relationship between herself and the "advertiser." So with regard to all of my reviews that are about products, books, or services I receive at no cost, I submit the following disclosure:
"I received the product/book/service at no cost. The company sent me the product/book/service to review. You are reading this review, because I LOVE the product/book/service not because I received the product/book/service for free. Please know that no one can pay me enough to buy my endorsement. I only write about things I love, because it is my mission to show people just how incredibly easy and delicious eating vegan can be."
Some of the products and people I write about are also client companies. Again, I only write positively about them if I support, admire, and appreciate what they do and sincerely believe that they are making a positive contribution to people, animals, and the planet.
On September 19, 2011 I became an employee of Turtle Mountain, LLC. Up until that time, I had been writing positively about their products for fourteen years (the time when my first book was published!) When I mentioned a So Delicious® Dairy Free product in a recipe, it's because that's what I have used in my own kitchen and enjoyed eating in my own home. As of the end of August 2013, I was no longer employed by the company. On September 18, 2014 So Delicious® Dairy Free announced it was being acquired by food conglomerate, WhiteWave. I have very mixed feelings about such mergers and trust my readers to make spending choices that are in alignment with their personal core values.