100th Blog Post Celebration (& Giveaway)

Hello Friends!  It seems like just yesterday that Mike was urging me to start a blog.  I had repeatedly told him ‘no’ for various reasons (my favorites being “I’m too shy” and “I don’t have enough to say”), but now, about 18 months later, this is my 100th blog post, and I still have a huge list of topics I’ve yet to write about.  Thank you so much, Mike, for encouraging me to do what I love! (and for taking care of the whole complicated technology aspect of it.)

And Thank YOU to my readers.  While I started my blog with the hope of inspiring others to eat more healthful, vegetarian meals and to have a global curiosity, I believe I learned a lot more from the blog-o-sphere than what I contributed to it.  Case in Point:

  • When I first started blogging (Sept 2010), I was a Cheese-Loving, TV-dinner addict.  I refused to pack a lunch for work, eating out or in the office cafeteria every day.  I’d never tasted Kale.  I got the heebie-jeebies whenever I heard the term ‘nutritional yeast’.  And I didn’t own a single Vegan Cookbook.
  • Now, I like to call myself a “Flexi-Vegan”.  While I still eat limited eggs & dairy, I rarely cook with them.  I have a shelf full of vegan cookbooks. I now pack breakfast AND lunch for work every day.  My grocery cart is at least 50% produce every time, and my kitchen pantry is stocked with Chickpea Flour, Silken Tofu, Chia Seeds, Coconut Oil, and yes – a 2lb tub of nutritional yeast.  I honestly think I’ll live a longer and more full life thanks to my new diet, which focuses on eating more plants and less processed foods.
 
And the journey so far has been an incredibly fun one, full of so many new foods, recipes, and experiences.  
 
Here are some of the highlights from the past 18 months:
 
Local Restaurants:
 
   Moto (Molecular Gastronomy)                        Blind Faith Cafe                                     Earth’s Healing Cafe 
  
 
Favorite Recipes:
 
                      Chocomole                                         Sweet Potato Dal                    5-Ingredient Barley-Corn Salad
  
  
New Friends:
 
                         Aparna                                  Katie, Cate, Marisa, Alexandria                               Laura
  
 
US Travel:
 
                            Ann Arbor                                       Farm Sanctuary                                    Wisconsin State Fair
  
 
International Travel:
 
                 Foods of Bangkok                      Tropical Island Treehouses                                     Berlin
   
 
 
As a thank you for your support, I’m giving away a $25 VeganEssentials.com Gift Card to a lucky reader!
 

Based out of Wisconsin, VeganEssentials is an award-winning online retailer of cruelty-free products including foods, books, cosmetics, and clothing!  I recently ordered from them and was impressed with their service & speed of delivery.
 
What might you be able to get with this gift-card?  Here’s a sampling of their offerings:
 
My Favorites:
 
           Happy Herbivore                             Nacho Momma’s Voodoo Queso                        Vegan Brunch
  
 
Stuff I Want:
 
      Sweet & Sara Vegan S’mores                 Audrey’s Raw Sushi Chips              Artisana Coconut Butters
   
 
                Cocoa Nibs                                     ‘Cow Hugger’ T-Shirt                             Kuumba Made Lip Shimmers
         
 
To enter, use the RaffleCopter tool below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Contest wrap-up:

Thanks to everyone who entered and helped to celebrate my 100th Blog Post – your support means so much to me!

Congratulations to the lovely Aparna, who was randomly selected by Rafflecopter as the winner!

Your favorites:

Each entrant into the contest was asked to tell me their favorite Vegan Product.  I thought it would be fun to share the results:

Product                          # Times Mentioned                          
Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or a Blend 4
Coconut Oil or Butter (esp. Artisana) 3
Gardein 2
Larabars 2
Nutritional Yeast 2
Vegenaise 2
Fresh Fruits & Veggies 2
Almond Butter 1
PB & Co Peanut Butter 1
Cocoa Nibs 1
Earth Balance 1
Gold Mine Garlic Kraut 1
Kale Chips 1
Purely Elizabeth Granola 1
Rosewood Tofu 1
Upton’s Naturals Bacon Style Seitan