Today is the day! I will receive my certification as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach!
Yesterday we experienced an incredibly diverse day of instruction in the Main Street Vegan Academy. We covered the environmental reasons for going vegan + how to share our personal “going vegan” story (with Michael Parrish DuDell), social networking to promote our brand (with Sharon Nazarian), urban farming, and wildlife rescue, growing up vegan, and traveling while vegan (with Victoria Moran and Adair Moran).
And the “sweet dilemma”!
Chef Fran Costigan gave a fantastic presentation on making vegan desserts. More specifically, how to put as “wholesome as possible” sweetness into confections to make them so delicious that no one will think “not bad for vegan”.
I took furious notes because I don’t make a lot of desserts. (If you use my recipe page you know this!) When I do make sweet treats they tend to be with, err, vegetables. I make Green Ice Cream with spinach. I’ve made a Kale & Cranberry Granola Snack. I have used the pulp from juice for Raw Carrot-Banana Cake. Fran said, “I don’t put chocolate on kale. I already love kale!” Good point, Fran. Good point.
Here’s the take-away I will share with you from Fran, loosely paraphrased:
- Dessert isn’t a food group; it’s a treat.
- Desserts can be “more wholesome” but they are not, in fact, “wholesome” or even “healthy desserts.”
- Desserts are fun food, when used smartly.
- Fruit is dessert (try drizzling a little balsamic vinegar over raspberries).
- Being happy is healthy!
Many new vegans who come to us for assistance will think they have to give up dessert to be vegan. But by learning about more wholesome sweetening options and creative confection ideas we can help them in their transition. They could enjoy these gorgeous, delicious truffles, for instance.
The second half of Fran’s presentation focused on how to give a cooking demonstration, which many of us will do as vegan lifestyle educators. Her tips were immensely helpful, especially this one: “repeat things five times.” It’s important to remember that people learn differently so repeating a point in several different ways helps engage everyone when walking them through a recipe or technique.
Today, we wrap up at the Academy! I’ll be back tomorrow with my final thoughts.
Check out my previous posts on this vegan lifestyle training experience:
- Recovering from the weekend and gearing up for a vegan academy
- Main Street Vegan Academy begins!
- Day 1: Main Street Vegan Academy
- Day 2: Main Street Vegan Academy (Nutrition, Shopping + Vegan Junk Food)
- Day 3: Main Street Vegan Academy (What vegans eat and what this vegan ate)