Vegan “essentials”, wearing vegan while eating vegan, and growing as a joyful vegan

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by JL Fields on January 23, 2013

Sunday I made my monthly trek to Denver for vegan supplies.  I started at the Neat Market and ended at Nooch.  I scored a super-fabulous HempHoodLamb poncho (100% vegan)

ponchoHemp Hoodlamb Furry Poncho

and all of these “vegan essentials”:

Neat Market and Nooch haul

So this might look like junk to some people but it’s a countertop full of happiness to me.  I have green smoothies, fresh juices, homemade beans and grains and tons of fruits and veggies every single day specifically so that I can enjoy all of this yumminess guilt-free. I love healthy vegan food. I love vegan junk food. Hey, I even picked up some white chia seeds and the that jerky is make out of black beans – practically health food!

Before leaving the Neat Market I had lunch at the Vegan Van.

SpicyTofuffalo Sandwich from the Vegan Van

Spicy Tofuffalo Sandwich with Ranch Slaw

So ridiculously delicious!

When I returned from my vegan shopping day my husband and I went to our dear friends for a BBQ with a bunch of triathlon coaches who had just spent their weekend at a Level II training at the United States Triathlon Association.  Our hosts, Justin and Natalie, support my veganism beyond imagine. So though he was grilling up meat for all of the other guests, he brought out a grill section for the BBQ that had never been used and dubbed it the “JL section” of the grill which will never be touched by animal products (love him).  There was a vegan pasta salad (made by Justin and my hubby, Dave), a leafy green salad (vegan), steamed asparagus and potatoes that Justin made in the pressure cooker.

Justin rocks the pressure cooker

Yep, my protegé rocked two pressure cookers that night.

I brought over a piece of my own homemade seitan that I thawed and marinated in a  homemade barbecue sauce (ketchup, maple syrup, liquid smoke and ground ginger).

Barbecue Seitan

It was a great meal!

Barbecue seitan, too

I had an interesting exchange with one of the guests at the BBQ which I shared on my Facebook page:

Glad I wear vegan boots

Wow – I got a big response to that status update!  I hope you’ll give it a read. I’m glad I was wearing vegan while eating vegan because it demonstrated that I wasn’t eating vegan solely for my health – my veganism goes beyond the plate.

The next night Dave and I attended the local MeetUp – Colorado Springs Vegan and Vegetarian Group – at Il Vincino.  The MeetUp organizer, Jackie, brought Daiya cheese and asked the restaurant to serve it to the vegans who requested it.  So I had the vegetable calzone with Daiya.

Vegetable calzone with Daiya at Il Vincino

YUM!  We made friends with two couples and immediately planned a visit to a vegan-friendly brewery after the Sunday Brunch Potluck this weekend. I have found local veg MeetUps to be such a wonderful way to connect to the local community. Do you go to veg MeetUps?

Yesterday I was up and at ’em early for a day-trip to Dallas for work. I traveled in vegan style:

Green smoothie and a GUNAS laptop bag - traveling vegan style

Dave made me a green smoothie to drink on the way to the airport (almond milk, spinach, and frozen banana and blackberries) and I stuffed my GUNAS laptop bag for the day. You can shop at GUNAS with this code – JLYNN05 – and get 10% off!

I met up with some colleagues before a meeting and had an interesting lunch experience – which I again shared on Facebook:

chicken rice conversation on facebookI hope you’ll read the comments as I tried to explain that my response to the situation was to simply demonstrate what it means to be a joyful vegan. I didn’t eat the rice but I also didn’t make a big deal out of it. I was with colleagues, two of whom I didn’t know, and I wanted them to walk away from the situation seeing me as a happy vegan. I feel that I am really growing as a joyful vegan.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

There you have it. Just another Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of my vegan life!

  • I love that, “Joyful vegan.” And you are SUCH a great example of that exact thing. You exude happiness at being vegan and you most definitely walk the walk. And what a nice friend to set aside a portion of his grill just for you! The BBQ meal looked delish, too. 🙂

    • JL

      Thanks, @twitter-48088321:disqus !

  • HoodLamb Colorado

    Thanks for stopping by HoodLab!! Thanks for the write up and hope to see you soon! Cici & Adam HoodLamb CO

    • JL

      It was great to meet you! LOVE your gear!

  • Debbie

    I love that you want to be a joyful vegan, but sometimes it is almost like being co-dependent. We want people to think (know?) that vegans really are nice people, not militants, so sometimes we stay quiet even when we should speak up (politely). Being served a dish with chicken broth after you were so specific about your needs is just wrong. It could be a learning moment (yes, I think that even Texans can learn about cruelty free living!).

    • JL

      @96c0c1cde6c4d6daa9834cc6d4761bf8:disqus you may not have read all of the comments and responses because in one of me replies I said: ” no I didn’t send it back. It was a rushed meal, pre-meeting with colleagues and I wanted to be a joyful vegan. , the server asked if everything was okay and I said it tasted like the rice was made in chicken stock (she confirmed that) and I said I couldn’t eat it but that the edamame was wonderful!”

      So, I wasn’t quiet. I did let the server know that I wouldn’t be eating it and why. But I did not send it back and I didn’t throw a tantrum. I was in a business meeting. I joyfully ate my edamame before we left for our presentation.

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