When Victoria Moran decided to go vegan in 1983, the decision was such an anomaly that the local paper in the western suburb of Chicago where she was living did a full story about her “odd” lifestyle choice, with photos and everything, she says. Fast forward a couple of decades, countless magazine articles, a couple of appearances with Oprah, international speaking engagements, a full fledged Main Street Vegan Academy she crafted and twelve authored books on the subject of kind eating and living and Moran now occupies a space where veganism is no longer seen as a rarity.
Adding to the cannon of plant-based living literature, Moran is back this month with one more, The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion a book exploring the karmic benefits of what happens when you switch to a vegan life. She will be speaking about this on Friday at EarthSave’s free monthly dinner (details below) where she is the special guest for the evening. The book - in line with Moran’s previous efforts - is full of real-life advice, heart and humor, practicality and self-care tips for those who may just be getting interested in changing unhealthy eating habits or embracing plant-based eating for the first time and for those life-long vegans who may be looking for daily inspiration. There is no lack, Moran posits, only possibility and abundance when embracing a “good karma” diet.
“It's something people discover when they make this change: You gear up for having less great food to choose from and you find out that there's more. It's like exercise, which ought to tire you out, but can give you extra energy. Most people, if they really look at what they eat, don't have nearly as much variety as they thought they did. When you say, 'OK, now we're gonna just eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and whole grains,' it sounds so limiting, but it really opens up a whole new world of both beautiful, simple, natural foods, and also incredible specialty dishes, ethnic dishes, and gourmet raw foods that most of us never knew existed before.”
Moran has seen plant-based eating and vegan advocacy grow “phenomenally” in the last few years, adding that had she gone vegan now, the Wheaton, Illinois paper would have probably passed on her story for lack of originality.
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“In 1983, the local paper actually did a story with pictures. That wouldn't happen now. Being vegan is seen as a legitimate lifestyle choice; people know what it is, how to pronounce the word, and probably know someone who's vegan. There's non-dairy milk in every supermarket and some convenience stores. The veggie-burger has become a diner staple. It's easier to eat vegan everywhere from an airport to a truck stop to the bastions of fine dining. And vegan restaurants, such as Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, have shown that plant-exclusive dishes can be exquisite and extraordinary.”
Besides her books, podcast and speaking engagements like Friday's event, Moran is intending to grow the movement by getting more plant-based experts out on the streets with Main Street Vegan Academy, a 6-day in-person intensive in her now-home of New York City where people come from across the country to be certified as vegan lifestyle coaches and educators. Hear more about it during EarthSave’s dinner beginning at 6 p.m.
Chef Brook Katz has been prepping for a Tex Mex feast with organic greens salad and dressings, Mexican chipotle "chickin" with an almond cream sauce, black beans and rice, salsa and guacamole and chips, southwest vegetable medley and Orange Cake with tequila agave frosting.
Victoria Moran will be speaking from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tamarac Community Center, Paradise Ballroom, 8601 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac. To RSVP call 954-597-3620, or BrookKatz@hotmail.com.