Grand Opening Party at Garden of Mind

Much in my typical “mimic the seasons” fashion, last winter started out very dark for me. I was mourning another period of relapsed health and in many areas of my life I felt that I was grasping to hold things together as they teased me with disintegration. And how timely it was that I was reading Pema Chodron’s classic When Things Fall Apart!

It was only when I had moved through the “feeling sorry for myself ” and “letting fear guide me” stages that the beauty of synchronicity entered my life — an unfolding that was catalyzed by my 100 days of meditation self-challenge and continues to this day. Among the many synchronicities I’ve experienced since then was one that not only led me to new business opportunities but also new camaraderies. Continue reading

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Pittsburgh VegFest Epic Recap 1/2: The Community

One thing that I’ve vowed to do more of since my health has become more stable is to spend more time interacting with the local vegan community. When I’m around other vegans, I have a distinct feeling of “home”. It’s all so very high vibe. I never felt it so strongly as I felt when I attended the Main Street Vegan Academy and was around a whole spectrum of vegan awesomeness for an entire week, but I also felt that strong magic in the air at Pittsburgh VegFest; I’m still buzzing!

Pittsburgh VegFest was the first vegan event I’ve attended in far too long. I hate to feel so disconnected! Once I heard about it, I was determined to 1) keep my schedule clear and 2) have enough energy to enjoy it to its fullest. Mission accomplished, folks! Continue reading

The Good Karma Diet by Victoria Moran + Pie in the Sky recipe

I can’t recall when I first heard of Victoria Moran, but I remember that her work really caught my attention when she started her Main Street Vegan Academy. I had been looking for a new path, a chance to start fresh, after healing from the worst stages of my chronic illness. I was looking at pursuing life as a health professional, but that was a bigger commitment (both in terms of energy and finance) than I was able to give at the time. The more I looked into the Academy, the more I was completely convinced that it was the perfect fit for me. It’s a 5-day intensive, and while it’s a monetary investment, it’s far more affordable than a masters degree. Most importantly, her style jibed with me. Her faculty was impressive and inspirational. The value was immeasurable in monetary terms.
The Good Karma DietAfter I was accepted, I read as many books of hers as I could to familiarize myself with her message. One of them, Main Street Vegan, was part of the curriculum, but another three of them I eagerly devoured for purely my own pleasure. Continue reading

Vegans Create: Upgrade Your Plant Milks

You’ll hear it time and time again from new and seasoned vegans alike: “Veganism encouraged me to get creative.” Learning a whole new way of eating can be daunting, for sure. But when the heart is all in, there is no stopping us.

My creative foodie self didn’t fully awaken until two important events occurred:

Firstly, I had 2 jobs that fostered my culinary creativity. One was at a cafe which showcased organic ingredients and vegan-friendly options. It was there that I learned my beginner skills; knife skills, flavor pairings, basic recipe development, etc. Following that, I worked at a raw vegan cafe and learned even more creative ways to approach food, this time from the raw food perspective.

Continue reading