September 1st, 2014


VeganMofo 2014 #1 - Introduction and resources

Welcome to my VeganMoFo 2014 blog! I last participated in 2012. I didn't participate last year because I was beginning a major life transition, literally: I changed my name and sex. But I remain committed to veganism; in fact, even more so than before, as I am now more actively involved in vegan activism and food justice.

I believe that ethical veganism and a healthy, whole foods plant-based diet can and should go hand in hand. My food justice activism, primarily with the Free Farm Stand, has been focused on getting fresh produce - especially locally grown and organic - to people in need. While I believe a starch-centered vegan diet - focused on whole grains, tubers, and legumes - is the best way to feed a world of 7+ billion people, vegetables and fruits are also essential to good health. Getting access to healthy whole plant-based foods to all people, not just those who can find and afford fancy vegan cheeses or other "substitutes", is a win-win for everyone: Human and non-human animals, and the environment on which we all depend.

Of course, ethical veganism extends far beyond diet; I also avoid animal-derived clothing and other products as much as possible. But this project is about food, and so food is what I'll be focusing on this month, though I'll be blogging about food justice issues as well as recipes, nutrition, and cooking techniques.

Specifically, I'll be focusing on food that is SOS-free: No salt, oil, or sugar. I began eating this way recently (though not exclusively) and am excited to find that I've enjoyed foods without these additives. I was already avoiding oil for the most part, but didn't think I could live without added sugar and salt. I was happily proven wrong.

Here is a list of resources about whole-foods plant-based diets. Some of these are copied from my initial VeganMofo 2012 post.

The Free McDougall Program
- Summary of the starch-centered, lowfat diet style I prefer. Includes recipes. For those interested, all of the essentials are explained here; no need to buy any of the books unless you want even more detailed information and recipes. Many more free recipes available on the site.

The McDougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health (Plume)
- My favorite of the McDougall books, and my initial introduction to the program.

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!
- Most recent of the McDougall books.

The Pleasure Trap
- Explores the reasons behind cravings for animal foods, sugar, oil, salt, caffeine, and other substances. Highly recommended.

Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes
- One of my favorite cookbooks. Contains all McDougall-compliant recipes. Many more recipes available free on the Happy Herbivore web site.

Straight Up Food by Cathy Fisher
- All SOS-free vegan recipes. Highly recommended.

Fat Free Vegan Recipes
- Not all technically fat-free, but oil-free. Hundreds of free recipes.

Jeff Novick, RD
- Vegan nutritionist. Currently most active on Facebook and the McDougall discussion forums. Very responsive to questions.