Hi! My name is Kristen Shoemaker, and I’m a vegan seedling (as my logo implies).

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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.

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This giggly vegan girl!

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.

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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.

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FLEEGLE!

 

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My love, Matt, and our baby girl, Mia

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Masters degree in TESOL (a major recent accomplishment)

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I love Broadway!

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Newest hobby: Taking pictures (of food, mostly)

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!

Love,

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13 Comments

  1. Kandace McNatt
    July 8, 2013

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    You go girl! So proud of you! I wish I had your will power! Keep us updated and so happy for you on your new lifestyle!!

    Love ya,
    Aunt Kandace

    • This Vegan Girl
      July 8, 2013

      Leave a Reply

      Hehe, thanks Aunt Kandance. It’s definitely not easy, but the benefits are substantial, so it’s so worth the work. Don’t worry; you’ll get to discover its ways the next time I stay with you! 😉

  2. Lynn
    July 8, 2013

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    Are you doin all vegan products?! Because I have a monthly package sent to the house of all vegan skin care products called consious box so awesome! Should try it out!

    • This Vegan Girl
      July 10, 2013

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      I just joined!! I can’t wait to get my box. Thanks for your awesome suggestion, Lynn!

  3. kim
    July 10, 2013

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    This is awesome and inspiring! I don’t think I have the strength to give up my cheese or seafood, but I love eating vegan when I can. I’ve been a pesceterian for a while now and I love finding new things to eat that accommodate to my diet, without eating too much fish.

    • This Vegan Girl
      July 10, 2013

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      Good for you, Kim! I didn’t think I could give up cheese and seafood, either, but you can accomplish a lot of things if you have the drive. Nowadays, I’m in the works of creating my own vegan cheese so I can be apart of the cheese community once again.

      I hope to see more of you around here in future posts!

  4. Lindsay @ VeganYumminess
    July 17, 2013

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    Kristen! I love your blog and your vegan story! Going vegan is not an easy transition. Okay, so I can’t exactly relate since I was raised on a plant-based diet since the age of 5, but I remember my mom going nuts every time we drove past a Burger King. But, she held her ground. She’s had a vegan diet since 1994? ish? and still going strong! Love this.

  5. Ian
    July 26, 2013

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    Yeah, I feel your “pain”. Working at a major medical institution in NYC I encounter similar situations and questions. One author who has definitely helped me put all naysayers to rest is Dr. Norman Walker. He’s deceased, however his information on the human body and how diets affect it were and are still a great inspiration. Stay strong in your decision to be vegan, the benefits are endless. The choices of eating out are increasing as the populace become more aware. Create a healthy, happy life. Peace

    • This Vegan Girl
      July 27, 2013

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      Thank you for your comment, Ian! It’s awesome to get affirmation from a medical professional.

      I’d like to look up Dr. Norman Walker. I never get tired of researching health. Luckily, health is becoming “trendy,” so yes, choices of eating out are increasing.

  6. Whitley
    January 11, 2015

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    I’ve been vegetarian for years & am finally making the switch to veganism. My husband has Celiacs so that’s been my excuse to hold on to the dairy and egg. I’m so so happy to find your blog! (Although, sorry your boyrfriend also has Celiacs… It’s the worst.) The quiche bites and pancake bites are pinned already. Off to look at your other recipes!

    • This Vegan Girl
      January 11, 2015

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      Wow! Congratulations on your decision to go vegan! You won’t regret it. I hope my blog will help you out a bit with cooking awesome food for you and your husband. Let me know how they turn out! Good luck!

  7. Doris Lewis
    April 5, 2017

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    Doris
    April 5, 2017
    Hello This Vegan Girl, I’ve just joined your blog and am very impressed. I became vegan July 2016. I agree that it is hard to find places to eat outside of your own home and the way people react to your veganism, my husband has taken to eating vegan very well and I am proud of him for making that transition. You see we are of the older generation. I have needed new recipes and am so glad I found you ( This Vegan Girl), I have already pinned several of your recipes thank you so much. Now I feel that it will be so much easier to COOK more OF A VARIETY OF VEGAN DISHES I know we will LOVE from your blog.

    • This Vegan Girl
      April 5, 2017

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      Doris, I am so happy to have heard from you. Congratulations on finding veganism. I am extremely impressed that you got your husband to love vegan food, too. (You must be a good cook!) It warms my heart to see older generations of people opening up to new ideas that can benefit the lives of others. Keep doing amazing things, Doris! I’m so glad that my recipes can help you.

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