Anyone who knows me knows that I am my own toughest critic, so when I say that you don’t need to tell me it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I last Pride & Vegudiced, I mean it. In Jane Austen’s own words, “Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch.” :)
No, but seriously, my life’s been a bit of a roller coaster since last June. I’ve experienced a few hard knocks in my personal life (but have lived to tell the tale and would like to believe I am stronger for all of it!); I left my wonderful job at DrWeil.com to return to school at ASU to take pre-med classes with the possible goal of becoming a nutritionist, naturopath, or integrative doctor myself (I want to be just like Dr. Weil, but less hairy and more vegan!); I finally left my parents’ house and moved in with my good friend Allison near campus; and, in December, I began working at my favorite restaurant (literally, my favorite restaurant in the entire world, and, as an English minor, I never misuse the word “literally”…), Pomegranate Café. It’s organic, almost entirely vegan, and so gosh darn lovely that it deserves its own post, so you can look forward to that!
Some other things I’ve been up to since we last spoke include getting a haircut I severely regret; dressing up as Hermione and waiting 20 hours in line with my sister and good friends, Laura and Bear (dressed as Dobby, Bellatrix, and Luna, respectively) for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, where I simultaneously experienced unadulterated joy, communal paroxysms of grief, and the end of my childhood; meeting my hero, vegan author and inspirational speaker, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of Compassionate Cooks, when she came to speak at ASU (thanks to my mom’s event planning); playing lots and lots of soccer; finally upgrading to an iPhone 4S from my sad, sad EnV2 (a.k.a. the glorified calculator); shooting my first wedding (for my beautiful friend Lindsay!); completing the giant, full-spread, 700+ clue Thanksgiving crossword almost on my own; spending ten days in Jamaica with my dad’s side of the family; and not caring about the Super Bowl for the 24th time in my life.
Also since we last spoke, both my mom and little sister have joined the vegan wolf pack! (My sister actually revealed to me that she was going vegan by adapting the famous “wolf pack” speech from The Hangover to refer to her joining my vegan wolf pack – it was hilarious and I will have to post the full transcript at some point…) Having two of the people I love most in this world adopt the same joyful lifestyle that has shaped me into the person I am today is extremely gratifying; it also taught me that leading by example can be more powerful than vegangelizing. I love that they came to veganism on their own once I stepped down from my vegan soapbox. I’m so proud of them!
As cute as my mom and sister are, I know you’re all here for the food porn. I’m happy to inform you that, despite not blogging for eight months, I haven’t quite abandoned food photography. In fact, quite the contrary: I’ve become a recipe photographer for everyone’s favorite vegan publication, VegNews Magazine! I’m currently working on my fifth assignment for the magazine, which will appear in this year’s May-June issue, but I thought I’d share my first four published photos with you all, just in case you’re not all avid VegNews subscribers!
My first (and I must say, favorite) published photo was Robin Robertson’s Thai Lettuce Bites in the July-August 2011 issue. The flavors and colors were poppin’…
Next up, Gena Hamshaw’s Vanilla Almond Milk, featured in the September-October 2011 issue. This vegan’s made plenty of almond milk in her day (I actually own a black and white shirt that says, “Got nut milk?”), but this recipe was quite possibly the best.
For the November-December 2011 Holiday Issue, I whipped up another Robin Robertson creation: Classic Fry Bread (click for the recipe!).
Finally, the most recent (March-April 2012) issue of VegNews features my photo of Allison Rivers Samson’s Fresh Mushroom Ceviche:
That’s all I’ve got for now, folks. Thanks for sticking with Pride & Vegudice despite my extended absence – I will try to post at least once a month from this point forward, especially once I get my greedy little hands on the imminent Canon 5D Mark III. If that doesn’t motivate me to photograph everything in sight (including food), I don’t know what will!