Whew, where did today go? It was busy, and not enough time to get to accomplish what I wanted. Sunday I met a lot of other vegan friends at Zest Kitchen (formerly Baagan) for an inspiring talk and book signing by Lani Muelrath. I grabbed my favorite chana chickpea wrap for lunch with a kombucha and had a great time chatting with new and long time vegans there to hear her too.
It was packed! 10 minutes into the presentation, it was standing room only as more trickled in.
Since I got there early to order lunch and help set up, I got to sit at the table with Lani and chat before the presentation started and she is an amazing inspiration who is well into her 60s, but you’d never know. What struck me and something I still struggle with is that she’s such a positive and happy force, cheerfully talking to all guests and being super sweet and supportive about whatever stage their in on their journey to plant-based and better health.
The presentation and book signing was about 2 hours and more and more people continued to show up and listen during which was great.
The talk was titled Plant Based Journey and highlighted the 5 steps of a plant based journey from her book. The steps were:
The Awakening – when someone has an “a ha” moment leading to a plant-based lifestyle. It could be a health crisis, exposure to animal cruelty, or realization of the environmental impact, etc. And she invited guests to tell their awakening story. One gentleman gave a powerful story of being an elementary school teacher and teaching kids about farming and having a horrible reality check of what he was teaching about the egg industries and what happens to chickens when they stop laying and just couldn’t look at a breakfast sandwich the same after.
Then the Scout phase – researching the plant based lifestyle, figuring out what to eat and buy, and learning as much as possible.
The third step is the Rookie phase – trying to learn new eating habits, rediscovering the joys of food and finding a new passion for preparing it, going through the process of changing your tastes, and learning to “plantify” recipes.
The fourth step is the Rock Star phase – when you’re feeling like you’re starting to master the lifestyle and are becoming more confident and passionate about it.
The fifth and final step is the Champion phase – basically realizing you’ve mastered the plant based lifestyle and feeling confident about sharing it.
Other great takeaways from her presentation:
- We should always focus on lifting others up no matter what phase they’re in and even if they’re not ready to be open to the plant based lifestyle, always be a positive influence. As vegans, I think we’re all familiar with getting crap from others about what we won’t eat, etc. and it can be hard to always be positive during that, but something that’s important.
- Everyone is on their own journey and if they’re not ready to consider a healthier, plant based lifestyle – we can’t expect to change them and have to be accepting of that. Not always easy, I know. But she made a great point about respecting everyone’s journey.
- Her favorite motto is “Perfect enough” because it reminds us to stop trying to chase perfection and be happy with progress and growing at our own pace.
- As a fellow fitness fan, she believes the biggest benefit of exercise is what it does for our brains and protecting it as we age.
- When dealing with criticizers of the lifestyle – try to decide if they want anything from you, if they seem like they’re open to information. If not, just be positive and move on.
During the presentation, we were treated to a chocolate coconut dessert ball from her book – yum.
And she promoted her upcoming book, The Mindful Vegan, which I’m looking forward to because it will be about tackling stress and other negatives in our lives and how they impact our eating habits. And focusing on always being a positive influence. Also about planting positive seeds in others which she seemed to be such a glowing representative of.