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Future steps on your veg pathway

April 18, 2023

Those of you on a pathway to a more compassionate diet already know that it is a journey of a lifetime.  Sometimes challenging but always rewarding. For you, for the planet and most importantly, for the animals.

The support doesn’t stop with the end of VegWeek. Compassionate Action for Animals is in it for the long haul. We will continue to offer a variety of events, tips and resources throughout the year. 

Most importantly, we are a community of like-minded individuals. All ready to enthusiastically support you in any way we can. After all, everyone of us has seen how important support is.

Cari Lombardi and friend

Cari Lombardi shared this thought: “Feel proud of yourself for doing something that is helping animals, the planet, your health, and give yourself grace as you make changes and learn more. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable to be different from the crowd, but eventually those feelings are replaced with the peace of mind that comes from having mind, heart and actions aligned. You can lend your knowledge and support to others so they too can learn how to lead a more compassionate lifestyle.”

Following are some other tips and words of inspiration from our community. Whether you are a new vegan or have long been plant-based, may they help along your veg pathway.

For continued support be sure to keep connected to CAA. We’ll automatically sign you up for our weekly newsletter if you click here to check out our upcoming events. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. Take advantage of those opportunities for learning and community. They will see you through.

Check out these Community Quotes

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Want to learn more about the differences your food choices make? Check out our resource recommendations

April 18, 2022

Whether you’re just starting out or have made a longer commitment to diet change, it’s always good to keep learning.

Join us for our screening of this film on April 22.

If you and/or your friends are interested in environmental issues we strongly recommend that you join us for our screening of Eating Our Way to Extinction on April 22 at the Trylon Cinema at 3pm. It’s a beautifully made, powerful film. And we’ll follow it with a discussion of how factory farming is impacting Minnesota’s environment.

Getting more details on animal/vegan issues may help in answering questions from friends and family. Facts are important—and they are on our side.

Luckily, there are lots of books and films out there that can provide the information you seek, and the learning can always continue. A quick internet search will bring you to lots of them. We also have other recommendations in the Resources section of our website. Below are some suggested by our community.

Make sure you are on our email list so you get notified when we have another film screening or book discussion coming up. You can sign up on our website. Following our social media on Facebook and Instagram @exploreveg will also keep you updated!

Check out these Community recommendations:

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Getting questions about your veg diet? Here’s how to answer

April 21, 2023

Today’s topic is fielding questions and comments about your food choices. Sometimes these come from genuine curiosity. Sometimes it feels like someone is challenging your choice.

Trent Nelson

Trent Nelson recommends, “Focus on the positive. Don’t worry about “winning” an argument… just tell your story.”

More suggestions from our community are below. And you can also hear from people firsthand! CAA is having a vegan potluck coming up on Sunday with a themed discussion of this topic. It will also be a great opportunity to test out some of those cooking skills you may have gained this week, plus you can taste the yummy vegan food brought by others. The potluck is Sunday, April 23 from 1-2:30 pm at our community space 2100 1st Ave S, Suite 200 – Minneapolis. 

One tip that may be helpful is to keep in mind when talking to others is the inspiration that got you started in the first place. Share that feeling with your friends and family—personal stories are powerful. You will probably find that most people want to be understanding as long as they aren’t feeling judged. 

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Cookbook and restaurant recommendations from the community

April 18, 2023

Here’s our community’s recommendations for recipes and restaurants!

Food at J. Selby’s—one of the restaurant recommendations. Join us for a dine-out there on Wednesday, April 19 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Blogs and Websites:
PlantYouShane & SimpleMinimalist Baker
Everything by Plantiful Kiki
Mac ‘n Cheese recipe

Cookbooks:
* Some of Isa Chandra Moskowitz‘s cookbooks are good at not relying on access to specialty stores and stuff. Mostly her earlier books; not “Veganomicon.” [There’s recipes on the site, as well as her book listings!]
* I recommend “Cooking Crunk: Eating Vegan in the Dirty South” to anyone else who grew up eating a standard american diet. Lots of familiar comfort foods.
* “Blue Zones Kitchen,” by Dan Buettner, “Mistress Ginger Cooks”, “ The Plantpower Way” by Rich Roll, books by Neal Barnard of PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), such as “Get Healthy, Go Vegan

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Vegan eating can be cheaper? You betcha!

April 18, 2023

Today’s topic is affordability: one top of mind issue for many who are exploring a more plant-based diet.

There are lots of types of inexpensive legumes. Image by yilmazfatih from Pixabay

Hand-in-hand with the myth that vegans don’t get enough protein is one that vegan food isn’t affordable.   Allow us to explode this myth as well. We know that inflation has been particularly hard on food costs. Plant-based foods are not immune to these price increases. However, they have fared better than many non-vegan options (for example the Avian Flu has not only caused great suffering for birds, but it has raised prices for eggs and chickens). And there are ways to minimize the impact of inflation.

Eating whole plant-based food is not only more healthy but it can also help keep your costs down. All packaged vegan foods are pretty expensive, including yummy vegan versions. These can be kept as a treat.  Eating foods in their most intact form is often the cheapest option. That includes fruits, vegetables and dried beans.

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“How do you get your protein?” and other things you always wanted to know about vegan nutrition

April 15, 2023

We know that most people considering a vegan diet have one main concern: nutrition. Specifically, protein.

Just last week I once again had someone ask me how I get enough protein. You’ve probably thought this or heard this as well. Well, worry not—it’s easy to get enough protein on a plant-based diet. We have been brainwashed by our society that only a big slab of meat with each meal will do the trick. But that is not the case at all.

The secret to healthy nutrition for any diet is to eat whole foods based meals. Especially ones that are mostly vegetables, fruits and legumes. Read this great article from our recent issue of Minnesota Veg Living. In it, registered dietitian Suzy Sorensen, spells it out for you. And if you’d like a good visual of what to eat, see this plant-plate. There are now lots of vegan options that don’t fit this model—which is great. But you don’t want that to be the bulk of your diet. Save them for tasty treats.

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Support and inspiration for your veg journey

April 14, 2023

We’ll tackle a variety of issues in our blogs this week including: vegan nutrition, affordability, resources, and more. These practical emails will share input from members of our compassionate community about what’s useful to them. Here’s our first:

Abbey Feola

“Having connections with other vegans has been vital. For a long time I oscillated between being vegetarian and vegan. Having connections with other people making the same changes has made veganism sustainable” Abbey Feola

As Abbey says, connections with others are key. Join Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA) for one of our VegWeek events or an event in May. We have both in-person and virtual opportunities. You’ll get information and good food. And you’ll meet others who are part of our vibrant, supportive community–maybe even Abbey herself!

If you’re exploring more compassionate living, it’s a big deal!  By committing yourself to vegetarian or vegan eating you are opening yourself up to a changed lifestyle.  One that is better for the planet while sparing animals from lives of suffering, and can improve your health.  And if you got here by referring friends, you took the next step in making a compassionate, sustainable, healthy future possible.

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Minnesota Veg Living magazine is now available! Read it for information and inspiration

April 12, 2023

The new issue of CAA’s annual Veg Living magazine is now available! You may notice a change this year. The magazine formerly known as Twin Cities Veg Living is now Minnesota Veg Living. All thanks to the expansion of CAA into new areas of the state—with chapters in St. Cloud and Duluth!

The magazine continues to offer the same mix of inspiration and information. All designed to help you on your veg journey. A variety of writers share their expertise in areas you told us you were looking for. We heard you want to know how to eat healthy on a plant-based diet. We also understand that some worry this might be difficult given inflation. Check out the magazine to find out how our experts navigate those issues.

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Eating Plant-Based on a Budget

From Minnesota Veg Living Magazine, 2023

by Jill Erickson, Rooted Green Wellness

There is a common misconception that going vegan is expensive. As a plant-based nutrition educator and Food for Life instructor with The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, people often share with me that they can’t afford to buy vegan food because it will exceed their grocery budget.

I always like to ask the follow up question “What vegan foods are you talking about?”  The responses are usually things such as vegan cheeses, meats, dips/spreads, ice cream, mayo, roasts, yogurts, etc. Those are ultra-processed vegan versions of unhealthy foods, which are indeed quite expensive! If we can avoid breaking the bank with them, our wallets aren’t the only thing that will thank us. Our bodies will thank us as well.

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Vegan Junk Food

From Minnesota Veg Living Magazine, 2023

by Suzy Sorensen, Registered Dietician

Fried chicken! Mini corn dogs! Donuts! Frozen pizza! Salted caramel cluster ice cream! Boxed macaroni and cheese! For those considering plant-based eating, all the old comfort foods and favorites are available in a compassionate, vegan version. Whoopie! Or wait, is that a good thing??

Not so long ago, a vegan meal was synonymous with a whole-foods meal plan based on a foundation of fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes. A veggie burger meant making your own black bean patty, and a vegan pizza was just cheese-less. Eating vegan generally meant eating a high-fiber, low-fat, nutrient-rich meal plan.

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