Lonely

Hello, blogland. It’s been a while.

I’ve missed this space. I’ve missed writing.

It seems lonely in blogland though.

So many of the blogs I’ve followed for years and years just no longer resonate with me. (Note: I’m not talking about the blogs of close friends, which I love to read no matter what because it gives me another connection to their lives and a chance to see different details and snippets than what filers through social media these days.) I’m talking about my life crushes. Do you know what I mean? Those folks who you see out there doing stuff and you think, “Man, I want more of *that* in my life!” or “That’s so inspiring!” or “I hope to get to that point in the next few years.”

Lately I’ve felt like I don’t fit with those blogs anymore, and it leaves me feeling frustrated. The two big divisions seem to be:

– kids. Or my lack of kids, I guess. So many of the DIY homesteader blogs that I adore and love have slowly (d)evolved into kid blogs. Mind you, I don’t mind hearing about children and seeing cute photos, but there gets to be a tipping point in terms of content percentages. But when everything in the blog post, even farming or canning preserves, gets told through the filter of being a parent and/or involving your kids in those activities, I start to fade out. I have no frame of reference for this. And honestly, it also freaks me out. Because I’m not completely 100% positive that I’ll never have a child in my life in some shape or form, but I know that I don’t want that kid to take over my identity. So watching it happen to my favorite bloggers, who are generally women whose independence and work ethic have been hugely inspiring to me, is a bit scary because it leaves me thinking, “Would I end up like that too?”

– veganism. Where are the DIY homesteader blogs for herbivores? I’m so turned off by these constant blogs about animal husbandry — raising goats, pigs, chickens, cows, etc. It’s not a part of my life and never will be. I don’t mind scrolling past the occasional post with photos of non-veg meals, but I definitely don’t want to read an in-depth, three post series about finally deciding which hogs to send to slaughter and which to breed for next season.

Believe me, I’m not expecting these bloggers to change their blogs or censor themselves or anything. I’m just frustrated because five years ago, those two themes didn’t seem to dominate their entries. And now I feel a bit lost as I delve around and try to search for some new life crushes, as it were.

Vegan, kid-free life crushes… They’re out there somewhere, right?

vegging out for 2014

A lot of people in my life are making big dietary changes for the new year, myself included. Last year, I went from vegan to raw vegan during the month of January and loved the results. I’m doing it again this year, possibly for as long as three months. A dear friend is joining me, which means I’m looking forward to some food prep and dehydrating sessions together. I have other folks in my life who are going vegetarian or vegan for the first time. Big changes for all and so it’s nice to head into this armed with some helpful guides.

So with that in mind, I’ve put together a short list of some of my favorite recipe resources, both online and off. Enjoy!!

Cookbooks

*Anything* by Isa Chandra Moskowitz — Isa’s pretty much the most well-known name for vegan cookbooks and she’s got plenty to choose from. My faves are Veganomicon, Appetite for Reduction (lots of super healthy stuff), and Vegan Brunch (breakfast seems to be the hardest meal to find vegan options for when dining out).

Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry — lots of great stuff in here, from cornmeal crusted seitan to gumbo to watermelon pickles. I once made an entire Thanksgiving meal solely from recipes in this book. It was a huge hit with vegans and non-vegans alike!

Vegan Express by Nava Atlas — quick recipes that are useful during the week if you don’t have a lot of time to prep meals.

The Lotus and the Artichoke by Justin Moore — tons of international dishes with influences from all over the world. Moore traveled from country to country learning to cook with the various people he stayed with and then veganized his favorite dishes.

Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo — lots of good info if you’re trying a raw diet for the first time. The recipes were all fairly simple to prepare. Just try to ignore the gratuitous photos of Ani on every other page…

Recipe Blogs

FatFree Vegan Kitchen — lots of healthy options here! The best part is you can sign up for their newsletter, which means weekly reminders to Try New Things in the kitchen.

The Vegan Stoner — Hilarious illustrated recipes that are super simple to make. Many of the recipes involve ingredients that are straight out of a package, so if you’re trying to avoid processed foods this isn’t the choice for you. On the other hand, these are super fast to make so if you’re pressed for time you’ll love it!

The Post Punk Kitchen — the PPK started out as a cable access TV show with Isa whipping up yummy vegan food. There’s no show anymore but the website is still up and new recipes are still being added.

Sweetly Raw — a recipe blog dedicated to raw vegan desserts! I’ve made some incredible things from here and they’ve been huge hits when I’ve taken them to dinner parties. People are always shocked to know that they’re vegan!

This Rawsome Vegan Life — delicious recipes and gorgeous photography.