First Sneak Peek of "The Roadmap: Going Vegan Made Simple" (The secret project we've been working on!)

Boy are we excited about what we have to show you today.

You're about to get one of the very first sneak peeks into The Roadmap, the vegan online course we've been working on for the past year and which, as you've probably already heard, goes live this fall (2018)!

This has been a wild ride, and we wanted to take you along some behind the scenes footage we shot while filming on location. This is just the first of many little glimpses that you'll get to enjoy while you wait for the launch of the course.

Enjoy a little sneak peek below, and then sign up to make sure you're on the list to be notified as soon as the course is live and receive our early bird special deal!

Ok, now I'm nervous / excited / giddy like a little kid. Here we go!

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Banana Nut Bread

Whenever I want to make something really simple, that is sweet but not overly sweet, which means it would be perfect for both dessert and breakfast or brunch, I think of banana bread.

I grew up on this stuff because at my house, my mom always overestimated the number of bananas we could actually eat, which meant many were overly brown by the end of the week. This meant two things, over the weekend we would have our fair share of my mom's famous bananas foster, and the smell of homemade banana bread (which in my house was served with salted butter and jam on the side... go figure!) would fill every corner of the house. It's the perfect use for bananas that have gone over to the dark side.

What's not to love about banana bread? It's moist, dense, sweet, and with that perfect pairing of banana, walnuts and cinnamon that go together so well.

Today we're teaching you how to make this baby thanks to our partnership with our lovely friends at Vegan Outreach who we made this video for. Make sure to follow them through their blog and youtube channel, they produce so much great content for new vegans and seasoned vegans alike, and we just love the work they're doing to help animals!

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Vegan on the Go: Simple, Delicious Vegan meals for Taking to School, Work, Picnics or Travelling

There's something about the summer that always makes me think of potlucks and picnics on the beach or by the lake. We don't have an ocean near where we live but we love taking the dogs to a beautiful reservoir nearby, where they get to swim, roll around in the sand, and we all get that change of scenery we need sometimes. As you know by now, my favorite thing to do is spending time in nature with Carlos and the dogs, and this little reservoir is one of my favorite places ever. It's surrounded by the most beautiful rocks and mountains that look almost Pre-Historic, but then you look out into the sand and water and you see families eating together, or people paddle boarding or sailing in the water, and of course, no one is having more fun than the dogs (by dogs I of course mean me).

When we go there, we always know that there will be a delicious picnic in the itinerary, including doggie treats of course, and there's something so exciting about eating a picnic near the water that I think although neither of us wants to admit it, we secretly want to dig in and start eating it the minute we arrive, even though we've just had breakfast. For this reason, our picnic usually includes several stages, the first one usually involving watermelon or cherries to help cool us off in the summer, some chips and guacamole for a bit later, delicious sandwiches for the main event and sometimes that includes a a container filled with my potato salad on the side. Then of course, something sweet for dessert which can either be more fruit, cookies or energy balls (chocolate melts so sadly that one's a no-no). As you can probably tell, picnics are one of my favorite things to do, and in today's post and episode I'm going to explain where that tradition got started, and I'm giving you tons of simple delicious vegan meals you can take on picnics or to the beach, but that are equally as portable, practical and yummy to take to work, school or when you're traveling or going on a road trip.

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Ode to Asparagus: We Usually Call Him just Gus

After many weeks discussing so many topics, from pre-summer body image, to exercise, music, mindfulness and veganism, I thought it was time that we get back to delicious food! A few months ago I began a series called Ode to Vegetables that I had yet to follow up on. Our first instalment was Ode to Mushrooms, where we talked about their numerous benefits, why they're neither animal nor vegetable, and especially, how to make them shine on the plate.

In the last few weeks though, I've begun to realize that each and every thing I do in the kitchen has a little bit of meaning behind it, and that because I've lived a slightly odd life, I have so many stories that include food but also go beyond it, so moving forward in this series, we'll dive deep into delicious foods and ingredients, not through their properties and flavors alone, but through the very human stories that connect us all, because by now we all know, that food is not just food, it's something deeper, something more meaningful, and it can give us great insight into our lives and the things we value and find joy in.

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HUGE Announcement: The Top Secret Project We've been Working on for Ya!

The day that I've been hinting about endlessly has arrived! Long gone are the days in which I tease you mercilessly and tell you about how excited we are feeling about the top secret project we've been working on, or the time I showed you lots of pictures of all the fun we were having at a mystery house in the mountains, or the time I shared how I fell in love with Carlos even more over a wooden table in the middle of a mountain thanks to this little top secret thing we've been working on.

The wait is over my friends! At least the wait to share what it is we've been working on with blood sweat and tears over the past year. 

Are you ready?!

Drumroll!

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When your Job Isn't Vegan

This statement regarding "vegan jobs" sounds kind of strange, I know. What do you mean with whether or not my job is vegan? Can a job be vegan or not vegan? Well, just as we did with our "when my partner isn't vegan" episode and post, I thought I'd use the same structure to discuss the dilemma some people have when they're facing their transition to being vegan, but they have a career or job that doesn't go hand in hand with their new way of eating, especially when we make this change for our love of animals. In today's episode we're going to talk about what to do when you're faced with the desire to go vegan but at the same time you're faced with realizing your job or occupation requires you to still produce, cook, serve, or work with animals for food, use animal products, use animals for entertainment purposes, etc.

Just in case this sounds vague, let me paint a picture for you. What if you're thinking of going vegan or have gone vegan, but you're a chef or cook at a non-vegan restaurant? What if you're a zoo keeper, or you work in labs that use animals for research? What if you work at a butcher shop, or at a supermarket and have to handle meat? What if you work in a farm raising animals for food? What if you're a server at a non-vegan restaurant? What if your family business is a dairy based ice cream business, or a bakery that uses animal products, or you live in an abattoir town where most of the jobs available are in the slaughterhouse industry?

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On Music, the Word Vegan, and the Things that Connect Us

If you follow us on instagram (@brownble), you probably saw a photo I posted last Sunday explaining why I had been a bit MIA. On the outside I was at the Mad Cool Music Festival in Madrid, but on the inside, I was in a much deeper and cooler place, where lots of magical things happened as we spent three days listening to music and taking it all in. It was so special that I just had to share it in today's episode which won't have our traditional written version, but which you can enjoy in full by hitting that play button above or listening on your favorite device via iTunes or Stitcher.

Although I'll be sharing lots of personal stories from these last three days and why music and concerts are such a big part of who we are, this episode is much more than just about the music. We'll be talking about the festival and the bands we saw and of course the amazing vegan food we had, but we'll also talk about the things that connect us all, what happens when 80,000 strangers are together with one shared love that links us together, why I've reached another level of zen and why Carlos is basically Yoda in a human suit (ok, Yoda in a hunky human suit). We'll also talk about the meaning of the word vegan, how the chorizo man turned into the vegan man this year, and how the world is slowly shifting to something new. We discuss community, Eddie Vedder's love song to the Chicago Cubs and so much more. I promise it all comes together in spite of this seeming like the craziest episode we've ever done. It's actually quite a simple one, and it's all about how music is my life, and one of those things that brings us all together.

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On Changes and Fear

In last week's post and episode we covered the topic of changes and the importance of practicing patience. Something we've lost touch with in this "want it now, get it now" society we live in. Today I thought we'd talk about fear, and the attachments we have to certain ways of living our lives, to eating in a certain way, to cooking in a certain way, and how changes can be scary and how we can move past that.

We'll discuss why lots of people got angry at a hot dog recently, why going against the mainstream can be so tough, and why we ourselves sometimes carry judgements that make changes a bit scarier than they should be. We'll also talk about some simple questions you can ask yourself when the road gets tough, to go from "I'm fearful of this change", to, "this little part actually seems doable!", and we'll talk about how sometimes it's the fear of change in our loved ones and the world around us that keeps us from giving things a try. All of this can apply to so many of the things we discuss in this podcast, including eating in a different way and going vegan, saying goodbye to the dieting and weight centric paradigm, practicing body acceptance and so much more. In the podcast version of this post I'll also answer a great listener question from Sam, on being a new vegan in a non-vegan barbecue, and much more.

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