Whitney Lauritsen

Whitney Lauritsen

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 15:20

Viewer of the Month: Stephanie Williams

Stephanie is a fellow YouTuber who I recently got to know well through her participation in my web course The 4 Week Vegan YouTube Plan. She has been a rockstar student and her videos are getting better by the day! I've been a fan of her work for a while now due to her autenthic and inspiring content - I especially love following her fitness and raw food journey. Her story about why she became a vegan and how it has impacted her life is heartwarming and it's amazing what she has accomplished in 3.5 years.

Hey Guys! My name is Stephanie and my YouTube channel is called Vegan, What?. I was born and raised in Cali, ventured out to the East Coast for a few years, and made my way back to the West Side (It was too cold over there lol). I love to make yummy vegan recipes, fitness videos, and share information on how to have fun being vegan. Through my channel I hope to entertain and inspire others to live a Fan-Vegan-Tastic life!

Stephanie VeganWhat wall

I began my vegan journey in April of 2011 and it's been an amazing transformation. I was tired of how my body felt and I knew I needed a change. I wanted to be more compassionate and kind to my body but I didn’t know how or where to start. But, I did remember hearing about Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet. I went online and did a little research and decided that I needed to check this book out. When I received the book in the mail I was excited and nervous at the same time. I wanted to see what new and delicious food I would be trying but I didn’t want to hear about how terrible I was for eating meat. So, I proceeded with caution. “I’m just going to be a flirt,” I said, which in her book means to just try and incorporate some vegan changes into your life from time to time. No commitment. That’s exactly what I wanted: no commitment! As I continued reading the book I realized that by eating meat and dairy, I wasn’t just affecting my health, but I was also contributing to the pain and suffering of animals and their children. I continued to research by searching the web and watching documentaries and I was finally faced with the question “Am I going to make a change or not?”

Stephanie VeganWhat hat

So, I decided to take the plunge and go vegan. Wow, it’s been such an amazing experience and the benefits are endless! I lost weight and became about 99% asthma free (I only use my inhaler when I’m sick which is so rare these days). It was like my body had been waiting for me to make this change. I’ve met some wonderful people and animals, ate some delicious vegan food that I never would have had the chance to try, and feel completely as peace with at least one of my life choices.

Stephanie's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: "hmm…there are so many, but I guess if I have to choose then it would be The Kind Diet – Artichoke Dip: cooking with Eco-Vegan Gal. I believe Alicia Silverstone posted this video on her website and that’s how I found Eco Vegan Gal. You really inspired me to start my own channel and start producing content. "

Follow Stephanie's journey:

Saturday, 30 August 2014 20:59

Viewer of the Month: Cobi Kim

I can honestly say that Cobi Kim is one of the best people I know. Her passion, compassion and talent is outstanding and I learn from her on a daily basis. Cobi and I met through YouTube, which led us to recording a few videos together, establishing a great friendship and launching an online course about creating a rockstar YouTube channel. If you have yet to discover her vegan recipe videos (aka Veggietorials) your mind is about to be blown and your mouth on the verge of watering. With no further ado, let me turn it over to Cobi to tell you more about herself:

Aloha friends! I’m Cobi Kim, the woman behind Veggietorials, a vegan lifestyle channel with a focus on fabulous food, cruelty-free products and travel. I make snappy, short-form videos and hope to provide a comfortable entry point for people to learn, discover and explore how delicious and beautiful a compassionate lifestyle can be. I’m originally from Hawaii but currently reside in the Pacific Northwest with Winston the Pug.

cobi kim veggietorials

Health journey: I was a vegetarian for many years but it was not until I worked as a Cooking Instructor for the Cancer Project that I fully realized the incredible healing power of eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet. That shift on my plate enabled me to see all the benefits of living a life devoid of animal products. My goal is to give people simple inspiration, veganize familiar dishes and make eating healthy accessible to all. 

cobi kim sunlight

Cobi's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: "With a catalog of over 550 EvG videos, asking me to pick just one favorite is tough! Extreme Healthy Vegan Cheapskates is a video I’ve shared over and over when people say that eating vegan and healthy on a budget is impossible. I love that Whitney used such a fun approach to provide a fantastic resource for meal inspiration."

 

Follow Cobi's journey:

Have you been wanting to eat more organic, plant-based foods but feel convinced that it's too expensive? The good news is that you've been fooled - healthy, eco-vegan meals do not need to break the bank! I've been eating well on a budget for years and have spent the past year absorbing tons of tips and tricks to share with you. I'll be releasing an ebook entitled "Healthy, Organic Vegan on A Budget" and to give you a taste of what you'll learn from it I've launched a month-long video series

A few days ago I was nominated to do the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS, and I really hesitated to participate. I talked it over with a few people in person, then turned to social media to get the Eco-Vegan Gal community's opinion, which was really all over the place. It is evident that there is a lot of confusion and frustration around this topic, so I started doing research to learn more. Over the course of several hours pouring over websites on ALS, a book on animal testing, and several sources on water waste, I put together a video to address my findings and feelings. Since vegan chef Jason Wrobel was also nominated to do the challenge and hesitated for similar reasons, he joined me on camera to spread the message on the importance of educating ourselves before supporting a cause and joining a social trend.

People mean well when they donate to health charities, but many are unaware that they may inadvertently be supporting cruel and unnecessary animal experiments. With growing awareness of the dangers of reliance on data from animal tests, the public should be able to make an informed choice as to how their generous donations are really being spent. ~ Helen Marston, chief executive of Humane Research Australia.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 20:27

Viewer of the Month: Candace Ryan

Candace deserves recognition as being the most zen member of the Eco-Vegan Gal team - her passion for yoga, meditation and natural healing is incredibly inspiring. It is also an important part of her animal rights activism, as this inner peace is crucial to staying calm during her research and social media outreach. Here is Candace's story of what brought her to veganism and the important work she does for and with others:

My name is Candace and I live in Flagstaff, Arizona, but was raised in California. I was vegetarian for 12 years and have been vegan for almost 4. My motivation to become vegetarian then vegan was and is for animals. Of course, a nice benefit of being vegan is that it's a much healthier lifestyle, though it is easy to eat an unhealthy vegan diet. I traveled to Switzerland, France and Italy and managed to eat vegan there, I'm very proud of that; it would have been easy to give in, but being vegan runs very deep within meI love to cook, one of my favorite challenges is to make a non-vegan recipe vegan.

candace ryan travel

I'm pretty intense about animal rights, if you're my Facebook friend you are constantly reminded of my passion with my posts. I know it can be a downer, but we can not look the other way

candace ryan meditation

When I'm not working at the clinic that I manage, I teach yoga, meditation and sound baths, as well as offer reiki to cancer patients at the cancer center. I'm currently working on starting a nonprofit called The Peaceful Revolution Project, where I work with the under empowered using meditation and yogic teachings. I also have a Facebook page for fun, where I post food adventures, etc. 

Candace's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal article: "One of my favorite posts on the Eco-Vegan Gal is "Is Palm Oil Vegan?". It's is a reminder that the vegan movement is a work in progress and we can't become complacent. Its easy to think you have reached the highest point of your journey as a vegan, but it's no only about eating healthy its also about conscience living, and making sacrifices.."

 

Follow Candace's journey:

Looking for a handbag that looks stylish without leather, is eco-friendly and works with your jam-packed lifestyle? I was in same boat a few months ago. Although I had a few great vegan purses I didn't have one that went with every outfit (casual and dressy) and could hold all of my belongings (wallet, phone, keys, iPad, water bottle, AND a few groceries). Until I received a beautiful bag from Canopy Verde. I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful purple and grey handbag made from organic cotton and faux leather, and it is so versatile that I use it every single day. Now you have an opportunity to buy one of your own at 15% off!

Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:54

CLOSED Giveaway: 2 Bamboo Toothbrushes

Congrats to Goldie, Stephany, Miranda, Savannah and Alyssa!

Cutting back on plastic is one of the best ways to be eco-friendly, yet it's hard for people to do since so many of the products in our lives are made from it. Fortunately there are some companies making it easier on us, like Brush With Bamboo. The friendly team behind this brand makes fantastic toothbrushes with biodegradable bamboo handles and BPA-free soft bristles, which are sold in compostable packaging. Since these are always a big hit when I mention them on Facebook I thought a giveaway was in order!

One of the most common themes in the questions I am asked is how to lose weight on the plant-based diet. I always try to address this topic carefully, as it's a sensitive subject. Having struggled with an eating disorder in my teens and twenties and body image issues most of my life, I understand how important one's mental state is to feeling good physically and emotionally. Changing my diet has had an ongoing impact on my life, including healthy weight loss and the ability to maintain it. Additionally, learning about how food impacts the body helped me feel more grounded and comfortable in my skin, and reduced unhealthy eating habits (like binging and purging).

I've also discovered that there is no such thing as a quick fix or a one-size-fits-all trick, and that keeping the body thriving inside and out is a perpetual process. That's why I love coming across weight loss advice that offers long-term, nutritious tips featuring food and healthy emotional guidance. Here are some of my latest favorites, starting with 10 delicious, body-friendly foods.

Saturday, 28 June 2014 14:06

Viewer of the Month: Jodi Hoberg

Jodi is a very sweet part of the Eco-Vegan Gal team - I love her kind, open spirit and it was so wonderful learning more about her journey in this feature. I think you'll be inspired by Jodi's story about how the vegan lifestyle helped her connect with her family and lose weight:

I’m 23, and currently reside in Menomonie, Wisconsin. I studied Technical Communication and recently graduated in May 2014—woohoo!

jodi horse riding

I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin with a couple horses, dogs, barn cats, and chickens. Horses are my greatest passion, and I’m fortunate to be able to work at a stable that caters to the dressage, eventing, and hunter/jumper crowds while I’m at school. I have two horses back home, Star, a ten-year-old Breeding Stock Paint, and Swayze, a four-year-old Paint/Arabian sporthorse. My family also has an eight-year-old European Crème Golden Retriever named Ryla who is very dear to me.

jodi horse riding 2

I, along with my mother, became vegan nearly four years ago due to the health benefits. My family has a history of health problems, and we wanted to prevent those same problems from happening to us. My mom discovered the vegan diet, and we began the process of eliminating animal products. At first, I began eating vegan because I agreed with my mom’s reasoning, but after doing some of the reading for myself, I started to eat vegan because I wanted to.

The book that fully converted me was The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. (A dense, but informative book.) Since reading The China Study, I’ve read numerous books on veganism and nutrition, in addition to the dozens of cookbooks my mother and I now own. The transformation that has occurred since I went vegan has been unreal—I went from a size 8 to a size 4 in a summer, and the positive shifts in my demeanor have increased drastically. After being vegan for nearly four years, I could never imagine eating the way I used to. 

jodi dog

Health has always been a part of my life, but until I went vegan, it had been on the backburner. Now, cooking is one of my favorite pastimes and all my friends know me as the organic-eating, vegan girl. (Which I find rather endearing while they consider it humorous.) A couple other tidbits of information about me: soccer is my favorite sport—I’ve played for sixteen years and love every opportunity to kick a ball around; I love to work out and be active; fashion is more of an addiction than a passion; and books—I love to read and could spend all day in Barnes & Noble.

Jodi's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: "My favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video is: “How Recognizing Your Personal Value and Power Contributes to a Better World”. I’ve always been drawn to inspirational quotes, videos, and people. Whitney is one of those inspirational people. This video nearly put me in tears because everything Whitney says in the video is true. Oftentimes, we forget how much power we truly have over our lives and the influence we have over the lives of others, and this clip reminds us of our power and influence.."

Follow Jodi's journey:

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