Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rachel’s Simple Vegan Tips

My mom's co-worker recently sent me  a couple questions and I wanted to answer them so everyone can follow them:

Information on becoming vegan:

The transition from meat eater to vegan is a large step, and not something to take lightly. As I said in my last blog, simply taking out the meat from your regular diet will just not work. To stay healthy during your transition make sure your body can adjust slowly. I cut out red meat a long time ago, and ate chicken and fish. Next, I went vegetarian. I started replacing my regular meals with fake versions. Fake chicken, burgers, everything. This was an easy transition for me as I read more about nutrition and found out how to eat better and more processed foods out. I stopped eating the processed vegetarian meals because they were boring, salty and highly processed. I also gained weight on the diet (yeah, vegetarians can gain weight!).

This is the point where I started to LOVE to cook. The Internet has an amazing array of vegan and vegetarian dishes. I started Googling anything I was curious about. There is no specific website to choose from. The best resources for recipes are my cookbooks, however. The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook by Chef Tanya Petrovna is a local chef and restaurant owner in Orange County, CA. Her book and cooking demos in the OC and LA changed my life! I highly recommend getting this book and attending her monthly free vegan cooking demos, after that go to her restaurant that is to DIE for!! My other favorite cookbook is Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero. This is a Spanish vegan cookbook that includes amazing empanadas, flan and sauces of all kinds.

Local OC or LA stores:

Lush - Vegan, natural and homemade shampoos, soaps and beauty products.

Native Foods - American vegan food - super fresh!

Loving Hut - Largest vegan chain in the world - Asian influenced food.

The Veggie Grill - True American burger joint - but vegan.

Z Pizza - Has a vegan pizza with my favorite Daiya cheese

(When in doubt, Yelp.com)

Inland Empire:

Dragon House - All vegetarian meal - just ask - Chinese food