Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vegan Resolution - Guilford Free Library

I recently gave a lecture and demonstration called "Vegan Resolution" at the Guilford Free Library for people interested in transitioning to a vegan diet.  The class had originally been scheduled at the beginning of February to coincide with New Year's resolutions to eat healthy, but a wallop of a snowstorm caused it to be postponed to later in the month, then another one caused it to be postponed to March.  So, by the time this class rolled around, it hardly felt like the new year, though I think several people in attendance were happy to get a little reboot on their plans to go vegan.

About 35 people gathered for the event, and I gave a slide presentation which offered basic nutrition information that new vegans need to consider such as the 5 nutrients for optimum health (complete protein, calcium, iron, omega-3, B-12, and antioxidants) and the best plant-based sources for them.  I also talked about the many benefits of switching to a plant-based diet - physical health, emotional health, mental health, spiritual health and most important, karmic health.  What you eat affects not just you but everything and everyone around you.  I think this message hit home for many people, particularly when I shared my stories about how my first dog, Lily, saved my life, and how my second dog, Zinny, gave me motivation to persevere even during the most difficult times.  They remind me every day how precious life is, and that I don't want to be complicit in causing the unnecessary suffering of any animal.

After the slide presentation, I shifted gears to a quick food demo and in about 15 minutes made a delicious "Crunchy Cruciferous Vegetable Slaw."  The slaw was dressed with a raw cashew mayo which I also demonstrated how to make.  This was new to most people in the audience, and judging by the response of those coming back for seconds, I'd say it was a hit!  It's a colorful and flavorful salad that's perfect to eat during seasonal transitions when the immune system needs a little boost.

One of my favorite comments from an attendee in response to the question What did you like best about this class? was, "your nice manners, non-judgemental tone, and sharing your personal experience toward better health."  I have to say that, honestly, it is always a challenge not to judge, and to be open-minded to everyone's personal experience.   I try my best to listen and understand before I offer information as guidance.  I felt like it was a huge success when I read this comment.

Thank you to all who attended this presentation!  I hope to continue to see you on your vegan journey.