Julie Shah Lamba is the founder and editor of the newest vegan newsletter, The Veg Post. This weekly newsletter is sent out every Thursday morning filled with the lastest vegan news, great recipes and interesting articles. The Veg Post is great for busy vegans who aren’t always up to date on the news. Also, The Veg Post is an awesome resource for people just getting into veganism or interested in understanding the foods we eat, stories we read and news we talk about. Julie is really engaged in the vegan community and it shows! I found out about The Veg Post on twitter and you probably have read my tweets or facebook posts about this exciting new vegan resource. If this is news to you, be sure to sign up today (like right now)! I interviewed Julie and discussed her journey to veganism, her favorite vegan books, recipes and much more.
1. When and why did you start your journey to become vegan?
2006, on the advice of my ayurvedic doctor, Pratima Raichur. I had been struggling with fatigue, acne, digestive issues, and stress. I was already vegetarian, but she recommended that cut all animal products out of my diet.
2. What are the best and worst aspects of living vegan for you?
They’re all best aspects for me – I am much, much healthier. All of the health issues that I struggled with before becoming vegan have evaporated – without the use of any medications. Being vegan has inspired me to become more aware of what I put into my body, become a better home cook, and to use high-quality ingredients, nutritionally-speaking. I love sharing my food with friends and family. I also enjoy watching how plant-based eating is gaining traction in the mainstream – it makes me proud to be vegan.
3. How have you incorporated veganism in other aspect of your life besides what you eat? If yes, how so?
I use vegan skincare products (if I wouldn’t eat it, then why would I put it on my skin?). And, I love Matt & Nat handbags. I’m also making it my work – currently through my lifestyle e-newsletter, The Veg Post.
4. How do you deal with eating and socializing with non vegans?
Somehow, this is not as hard as it used to be. Most of my family is vegetarian, so it’s pretty easy to accommodate vegan dishes into dinner parties. I’ll always offer to bring something, if necessary. Restaurants in the cities where I’ve lived have gotten better at accommodating vegans. (I’ll call ahead to find out what the restaurant can do to accommodate me, if nothing seems to work from the menu.) Worst case, I’ll eat at home before I go out. But, if I do this, I don’t make a big issue out of it – I take care of myself, and then focus on spending time with the people I’m with.
5. What would you suggest to someone thinking about going vegan or starting to become vegan?
First, this could be one of the best decisions you make for yourself, so congrats! Find a community of vegetarians and vegans to exchange thoughts, experiences, and recipes with. (The internet makes this really easy.) If possible, find restaurants in your area that serve really good vegan food. As you’re learning to cook vegan, I think eating good vegan food is encouraging and prevents you from missing your old diet. Finally, pick 10 vegan recipes, (from various internet sources, or from one great cookbook), to cook from, to start. As you’re learning vegan flavor profiles, learn to make these core recipes well – again, eating well, and enjoying your food will keep you on track.
6. What are your favorite vegan resource, product and/or service?
Resources: Vegan.com, The Kind Life, VeganConsultant, and the many, many vegan recipe blogs.
Products: Pratima Skincare, Matt & Nat handbags and my VitaMix (not vegan, but an excellent kitchen appliance).
Books: I’m currently cooking a lot from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.
7. What is your favorite vegan restaurant or dish?
Seattle is great for dining out vegan! My favorites include Sutra, Café Flora, Pizza Pi and Mighty O Donuts. It’s too hard to choose one dish!