Hi! My name is Kristen Shoemaker, and I’m a vegan seedling (as my logo implies).
In December 2012, my life was changed forever as I watched the documentary Vegucated in my apartment alone at night, gasping in horror and bawling my eyes out at the animal cruelty that has become a normal way of life for us. It was being in a puddle of my own tears that made me realize that I needed to make some major changes in my life. Since January 1, 2013, I have officially been a vegan.
Being a vegan is awesome. In fact, I’ve never felt better! I feel good about what I eat, both mentally and physically. I feel like I have gotten to know my food so much more. I appreciate taste and freshness on a different level than I used to. Knowing what I’m putting in my body is good for me and better for the environment really eases my conscience. On top of that, I’m doing all I can to cut out processed food from my life. I’m not a perfect vegan angel girl, but I’m trying my best.
The journey to veganism hasn’t been an easy one, though. After all, living a non-mainstream way of life poses challenges. Some friends and family were more supportive than others, and it’s difficult for those I eat around to accommodate to my lifestyle. I got a congratulatory “Cool! Good for you!” from some, and a “What?! How are you going to get protein?” from others (ugh, btw). Even now, it’s still something that I need to be ready to talk about, defend, and justify.
Not only that, but going out to eat can be slim-pickins. I try to eat out at vegan-friendly restaurants as much as possible, but sometimes, they just aren’t an option. It causes a lot of anxiety for me to have to sift through meat/egg/cheese-laden menus to find ONE measly option in which I must make taste-compromising modifications to. And no, I don’t want salads ALL THE TIME.
That’s why vegan cooking is essential. I’ve always been a fan of cooking, but vegan cooking made me feel like I was learning to cook all over again! My boyfriend, Matt, has Celiac disease, so this has been quite a journey for the both of us. I have learned to combine his gluten-free lifestyle to my vegan one to make yummy dishes that we both can love. Because of this, most of my recipes will be gluten-free and vegan; although, every once in a while, I can sneak away to make a glutenous treat just for me. 🙂
Here is a little more about me. I am an English professor, with a particular passion for teaching English as a second language. I enjoy cooking (dur), running, yoga, nature, Broadway, languages, traveling, reading, DIY projects, American Sign Language, my cockatiel Fleegle (with a shout-out to my hometown cockatiel, Buzzae!), and my Golden Retriever Mia.
My goal is to make healthy, easy-to-make gluten-free and vegan recipes that you can incorporate in your daily lives. As a vegan seedling, I am still learning, and I hope you join me on my journey. I truly appreciate your support!