The Next Big Thing: Vegan Lifestyle Classes + Vegan for Her

by JL Fields on March 4, 2013

Welcome to a “blog hop”!

My friend Robin Asbell, who I met in NYC when I took one of her cooking classes a few years ago,

Robin Asbell and JL Fields at Natural Gourmet Institute

invited me to participate in this fun game of cookbook author tag! What an honor because as you’ll see below, I’m asking you to hop from here to several other sites where talented cookbook and food authors are talking about their “Next Big Thing.”

  • I know many of you reading this blog love recipes and you’ll find them as you hop blogs (not all vegan, though!).  
  • I know many of you write blogs and/or books and I think you’ll love reading about what these writers are doing next!

Here we go!

What is the title of your upcoming book?

I am co-author of Vegan for Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet.

In addition to the book, my next big thing is a series of Vegan Lifestyle Classes that I’m offering in Colorado Springs.  Last summer I went through Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy and became a certified vegan lifestyle coach and educator. I have been coaching individuals since then. My first public class begins tonight (sold out!) so I’m offering it again in April and I’ve added a cooking class to my schedule in May!

Who is publishing your book and what is the expected release date?

Da Capo Lifelong Books (July 9, 2013)

How long did it take you to research and write this book?

I could say three years or I could say one year. This book is the brainchild of Ginny Messina (The Vegan RD), co-author of Vegan for Life. She brought me along for the ride.  Three years ago, after eight years as a vegetarian, I went vegan and a few months later I started this blog to chronicle my journey. I began creating recipes that fit my lifestyle. Just over a year ago I got an email from Ginny, subject line: “Write a book with me?” Ginny was working on a book proposal for Vegan for Her and wanted to include a cookbook section. She felt my recipes reflected her nutritional philosophy. While it took one year from Ginny’s outreach to submitting our final manuscript to the publisher, you could say I was working on it (the recipes) for several years – I just didn’t know it!

What inspired you to write this book?

Not what, who: Ginny!

What is your favorite aspect of writing a cookbook?

I loved working with the recipe testers.  They were a very loyal group who provided honest feedback and tons of support.

What is the hardest aspect of writing a cookbook?

Recipe testing!  It’s humbling to put something out there that you like and to hear from someone who doesn’t like it. But that’s why we test, right?  We aren’t writing for ourselves! I also wrote the chapter on veganism beyond the plate and I went from two extremes – where to start and when to stop?! It’s such a big topic.

What interesting things would we find in your refrigerator right now if we were to open it?

I have big batch of vegetable soup that I threw together at the end of the week when I realized that most of my vegetables were at the “now or never” point: cook ‘em or lose ‘em!  The soup is filled with cabbage, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, and more. I also have a beans and tomatoes dish with olives because I needed to run through a recipe before shooting a cooking video last week.  My crisper is overflowing because I get a an organic produce delivery every Thursday. I have two jars of home-fermented veggies (it’s my new obsession). Oh, and I have six packages of Upton’s Naturals seitan – a deal I got through Vegan Cuts.

What is your favorite sound in the kitchen?

My pressure cooker coming to pressure! I absolutely love cooking with it and still cannot believe that after years and years of avoiding the kitchen that I a) love cooking and 2) use a pressure cooker!  My second favorite sound is hearing the words “I can’t believe this is vegan!” come from the mouths of non-vegans.

So, do you have an agent?

Thanks to Ginny, yes I do! Angela Miller. She’s wonderful.

Which actors would you chose to place your main characters in the rendition of this book?

Our book spans a woman’s life. We would need lots of fabulous women to portray the various stages of life.  Maybe some of these terrific women participating in the blog hop?

Robin Asbell biscuits

I learned how to make these Crunchy Buckwheat Biscuits from blog hop leader Robin Asbell. 

Are you blog hopping yet?

  • Rachel Jacobs

    Congratulations on your cookbook. I have always read your blog and enjoyed your perspective. I can’t wait for your book to hit the shelves.

    • JL

      Thank you so much, @google-b0a4df834ab6a5057a750cf03e145753:disqus!

  • Bianca-Vegan Crunk

    I’m so excited for y’all’s book!! Also, I wish you would come to my house in Memphis and teach me how to love my least favorite kitchen tool, my pressure cooker. 🙂

    • JL

      @a2da25b31bb18ec3b56b64a7de22d4cc:disqus , you have to fall in love with that thing! It will change your life! 🙂

  • Pingback: Robin Asbell's Real Food Digest » The Next Big Thing: Gluten Free and Juicing()

  • Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] I enjoyed your cookbook insights; it was probably a lot of hard work!

    • JL

      Thanks, @renardmoreau:disqus! It was challenging and FUN!

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