Posts tagged veganism
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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My Journey into Veganism

In last week's post and episode I told you all about my journey into cooking, so I thought it was fitting for me to follow that up with the story of how I ended up being vegan in the first place. To say I was as far away from vegan as possible for most of my life is the biggest understatement of the century! I wasn't born a health nut, I had no idea that the word "vegan" even existed, I never even questioned where my food came from. All I knew is I came from a house of total foodies. Food was our entire social life and shared experience as a family. I come from the weirdest family you'll ever meet, but fantastic food always seemed to be the thing that pulled us all together. In last week's episode I also told you all about my uncle Aly, who was the best cook I've ever met. I remember grilling steaks with him over an open fire in his house in the Catskills. Digging into steak tartare and "swimming" in an ocean of sushi. Just so you get an idea of how much of a carnivore I was, my family would joke when choosing restaurants for celebrations by saying "is there steak on the menu? Otherwise Kim won't be there". This sounds like a stretch but it wasn't. I would quickly browse a menu and stop the minute I saw the word steak, and say "yeah.. we can eat here!".

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My Journey into Cooking

Our idea for Brownble initially came from my desire to teach people how to cook vegan food, and the fact that we live far enough away from the city that starting with a  small group of "in person" classes was a bit complicated. That's when Carlos came along with his high tech ideas and placed the first grain of sand into what Brownble is today, not only our new site and this blog, but also our online vegan cooking classes as part of our cooking membership program. What I realized the other day was that this has actually been a huge metaphor for what my journey into cooking has been like, and now I'm looking at Brownble in a whole new different light. Today I'm sharing a bit of that story with you. By the end of this post you'll know all about the strange way my mom influenced my cooking, what I used to do as a teen every single day after school, my obsession with the French, how veganism completely changed my experience in the kitchen, and why cooking scrambled eggs under a tree made me into the vegan cook I am today. Yes, I said scrambled eggs!

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Vegan Teens Series Part 2: "I'm a Vegan Teen in a Non-Vegan Family"

It's finally time for part 2 of our vegan teens series! In part 1 we talked about what can happen when parents decide to go vegan and they have a resistant teenager at home that may not want to start eating this way. I gave you tons of tips for keeping the peace at home, inspiring without relying on the outcome, how to ensure that no matter what you do or your teenager decides to do, that the number one priority is to infuse a sense of "normal" and balance to food and the act of eating. Today though, the parents are not my audience. This post is specifically for you my dear teen! If you then decide to show mom and dad this article in the hopes that they understand what you're going through if they've been resistant, feel welcome to, but this post and podcast episode is for you.

Let me start this off by saying that although I'm in my mid-thirties as I write this, I work with teenagers and I remember being a teenager extremely well. I can say without a doubt, that due to my life circumstances and the fact that very often I was the odd one out (you can read more about my personal story with food here, and my "always feeling like an outsider" story here), my teens were the hardest years of my life (with their amazingly cool moments too!). I know you hear people giving you the speech of how things get more complicated after you become an adult and have responsibilities, work and the like, but let me tell you this: that was NOT my experience.

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Perfectionism, Veganism and Ex-Vegans

Let me start this off by saying that when it comes to perfectionism, I've got about 2 or 3 masters degrees. By perfectionism of course I mean the pursuit of perfectionism, since this is a horizon-like line that continues to move further away the closer we think we're getting to it. It's an illusion, but for a perfectionist, it just means we need to work a little bit harder if we want to get there. In spite of my advanced career in the pursuit of perfectionism, several things have happened throughout my life, especially in recent years, that have thankfully put me in a state of recovery. By recovery I mean that if there were 12 step program meetings I would surely need to attend for life just to keep it that way. It's work in progress. Not only am I a perfectionist in recovery, but I'm one of those lucky ones that also happens to be an overachiever, and trust me, that is not a good combination.

Here's a look at what my thought process would be in my pre-recovery days:

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VEGAN 101: WHAT DO VEGANS EAT?

I used to think that the question "why are you vegan?" was the one I got the most frequently until I noticed that there's one that beats it by a mile (and for good reason): What do you eat? This post is meant to give you the basics of what it means to be vegan, especially when it comes to what you put on your plate. This is part of a series of posts I'll be writing from time to time called Vegan 101, written especially for people making the transition to a vegan diet or making more vegan choices and curious about this way of eating. If you are a well seasoned vegan however, these posts are great for sharing with family and friends that have questions and concerns about your new lifestyle. So on to the matter at hand... what do vegans eat?!

Long time vegans might feel the need to respond to this question by saying: "what do you mean what do I eat? I eat food! Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, spices, vegan cheeses and meats, bread pasta, chocolate... etc., etc..." and wonder why it's such a big mystery to people. It's so important to look back to your pre-vegan days to understand why this really is such a hard concept to grasp.

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FROM OUR KITCHEN TABLE

From our Kitchen table is our brand new blog series in the Brownble blog that will be coming out every Monday! We invite you to pull up a chair in our kitchen and take a look at some of our favorite meals from the previous week, sometimes even with a quick recipe or two. This week we had some amazing goodies...

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TRASH BAGS ON A BEACH AND OUR FIRST DONATION RECIPIENT: OUR HEN HOUSE

In order for me to present the two incredible women I want you to meet today (aka the hens), I first need to tell you a story about my mother and the trash bags. When I was 15, smack in the middle of those tough teenage years when all you want to do is fit in, my mom offered to take me and all my classmates (16 in total) on a weekend trip to our little beach house. For weeks it was all anyone talked about at school, and for a brief moment...

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