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Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Vegan Challenge" Author Offers Tips to Reduce Animal Product Consumption

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:45 AM

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Now that we’ve all had plenty of time to abandon our New Year’s resolutions to eat better, it’s the perfect time to pick up a new edition of a book by Oakland author and activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.

Patrick-Goudreau, who says she was raised on the standard American diet of meat, eggs and dairy, is the author of numerous books on veganism, teaches vegan cooking classes, and coaches people on adopting more of a plant-based diet.

She chose 30 days because behaviorists say that long-ingrained habits can be broken within three weeks, and she liked the round number that 30 days gives. While Patrick-Goudreau abstains from all animal products, she doesn’t expect that all readers of her book will too; she encourages everyone to take small steps to hopefully reduce, if not eliminate entirely, the amount of animal products we eat. As she herself notes, that without proper support and community, it’s very difficult for everyone but the most ardent vegans to remain at it for long.

In addition to lots of recipes (baked oatmeal with blueberries and bananas for breakfast; southwestern quinoa pilaf for lunch, socca, or chickpea crepes with balsamic mushrooms and kale for dinner; strawberry parfait with vanilla custard and candied almonds for dessert) the book gives advice on introducing new foods to your pantry, trying to go vegan when your partner is not, eating vegan in such places as airports and family gatherings, and time-saving tips.

One such tip she offers is to prep vegetables immediately upon your return from the store or farmers market, as seeing whole veggies in your crisper drawer often deters home-based cooks from using them. On the other hand, if someone opens the fridge ready to make dinner and sees cauliflower and broccoli already in florets, and carrots already in sticks, it can be much easier to throw them into a soup or stir-fry. Going vegan is that much harder, she says, if the individual is one of those people who believes you have no time to cook.

And while offering lots of yummy-sounding plant-based recipes, Patrick-Goudreau doesn’t stop there, she even offers a chapter called “Compassionate Fashion,” with a resource guide on how to replace the leather, wool and silk in your wardrobe and shoes, and down in your bedding.
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About The Author

Alix Wall

Alix Wall

Alix Wall is an Oakland-based freelance writer and certified natural foods chef. Her web site is

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