Vegan Bytes #35: It's So Close We Can Almost Smell It... SPRING!

Welcome to the subscriber group! Our newsletter focuses on helping you learn more about veganism and how to apply it to your daily life. Vegan Bytes is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the world of food, answering your vegan nutrition questions, and providing you with ideas on ways to spread your lifestyle beliefs.

In this issue...

*Thoughts: The Change That's Gonna Come
*February Correction: Link To Jane Velez-Mitchell Interview
*Question: "Are fertilizers vegan?"
*Question: Inspirational "going vegan" stories from readers
*Vegan Ebooks: Complete Collection of Our Ebooks
*Recipe of the Month: Final Days of Winter Pot Pie
*What's New?: What's New With Vegan Nutritionista?

Remember, I write this newsletter and maintain Vegan-Nutritionista to help you, so if you ever have a suggestion for a topic you want covered in the newsletter, please let me know.

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Helping People Find the Way to a Healthier Lifestyle

Pot Pie Newsletter
The Last Days of Winter Pot Pie
(recipe below)

One of the enormous privileges I've had over the course of my journey with Vegan Nutritionista has been the chance to see people change and grow, often through the simple decision to change their diet. Recently, there has been an influx of people telling me they want to go vegan in my life, and I couldn't be happier.

This reminds me of what happens after a long, hard winter, and in a time when the health benefits of a plant-based diet are all over the media; we've just come to a point where people are really ready for a change. We want the rejuvenation and the hope of the future that comes with spring.

If you're a vegan reading this newsletter, you've probably also had the chance to change lives with your positive words and responses to basic questions. I hope you see this as an honor, like I do. And, I hope that you won't be too harsh or judge their slips too quickly.

While I recognize that it is simple to stop eating animal products, it can still be difficult. Yes, that's right. It's hard to do something totally new and out of your comfort zone, and most people never even attempt that type of change.

You can't force change on others. They will only make a real difference in their life when they decide for themselves, and that's when you have you chance to make an impact.

So, when someone even considers changing their diet, I applaud them. When they ask for help with a particular facet of veganism, I am excited for them. But it's when they actually start making change that I am truly proud.

During this late winter/early spring time of the year, I suggest a gentle approach. When people ask why you're vegan, give a compassionate and honest response, and remember the time before you were educated about the benefits. When someone tells you they want to go vegan, ask how you can help. And, when they start eating vegan, applaud them heartily with as much positive reinforcement as you can find within.

After that, it's easy. Keep suggesting new fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, tell about your favorite books and movies, and share your favorite recipes, helping them learn to cook if they need it. And if they bounce back to the animal side, just remember that it takes time to make a full change in your life, and even if they only stayed around for a few months, that was a few months of a healthier body for them, a healthier planet for all of us, and temporary freedom for suffering animals.

Follow Mahatma Ghandi's words and " the change you want to see in the world."


Correction from February Newsletter:
Link to Jane Velez-Mitchell Interview

Addict Nation Newsletter

Last month I told you about my exciting interview with CNN HLN's host Jane Velez-Mitchell. But, I sent you the wrong link! So sorry about that. After the number of emails I received from people trying to access the article, I thought it was important enough to include the correct link this month.

Here's the updated and correct link to my interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell.


Question: "Are fertilizers vegan?"


This question is perfect for those of you who enjoy gardening and are getting ready to buy potting soil and topsoil, and are considering composting.


Is it possible that all the plant based foods I am eating are grown in soil that uses decomposing animal products?? How can I be vegan and avoid this problem? Are fertilizers vegan?


This is a very good question, and one that I had a few summers ago as well. I was starting a vegetable garden on my deck and looking for potting soil that wasn't made with bones and blood, or any synthetic chemical fertilizers. Seems simple enough, right? Well, I was wrong.

Every bag of fertilizer I found at every store, big brand names and small mom-and-pops, all were made with some type of animal product or chemical. Unfortunately, because we are talking about such huge demand here, the suppliers use what is absolutely the cheapest formula on the planet for those potting soils. That happens to be animal bone remnants from factory farmed animals (blood, bones, fish particles, etc) and the cheapest synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides available.

The same is true of the fertilizers used on the crops we buy. Big corporations have squeezed out small farmers nearly to the brink of extinction and most of what we buy in stores is now made on enormous farms that don't resemble Old MacDonald's farm in any way. You might think, "well, I'll just buy organic produce." Unfortunately, the term "organic" doesn't hold as much weight as it used to. There are tons of loopholes and exceptions made to include as many farms as possible in the organic wave. Depressing, I know.

There is some hope. When I was researching it long ago, I found that there are vegan soils and farmers who grow their crops exclusively in that type of soil. A little google searching should help you look to see if you can find vegan fertilizer.

Also, if you have space and the inclination, you can grow your own produce. More and more it seems the best way to control our food chain is to be completely in charge of it ourselves. Then we know exactly what goes into our food and where it's coming from. To solve the dilemma of looking for soils at a store, you can start a compost bin.

We got a counter-top compost bin like this one from Amazon that we fill with our veggie scraps each day and then dump a few times a week into a pile in our backyard. I am so shocked to see how much compost we actually make, and how nice that soil has become outside. Compost is like magic dirt and you can grow absolutely anything with it, so I highly recommend it for gardeners. Free vegan fertilizer! And then, you aren't making as much trash to throw onto trash heaps.


Stories from Readers About Going Vegan


We have a lively and fun section on Vegan Nutritionista about what prompted our readers to go vegan. I love to hear about your lives and what inspires you, and it amazes me to see all the different parts of the world represented in the new wave of veganism. Here are some of the latest posts on why readers went vegan.

Jackie was looking for a life change.

Valerie read Slaughterhouse and immediately dropped animal products.

Similarly, Amanda read Eating Animals and stopped eating animals.

And Claire responded openly to her daughter's wishes and has gone vegan with her.

Want to join in the fun and help to inspire aspiring vegans all around the world? Why did you go vegan? The more detail you can share, the better. As you're writing, think of those people who doubt you and really brag to us about how you feel now.


Have unresolved questions about veganism? Join in the discussion on our site by asking and answering questions, as well as commenting on other answers. It's fun and helpful!


Vegan Nutritionista Downloadable EBooks

The Vegan Bread Box: 30 Simple and Delicious Vegan Bread Recipes

Tiny Bread Cover

This is our most recently created ebook, and it's been overwhelmingly successful. I've found it really difficult to find a vegan bread cookbook on the internet; there are tons of recipes out there, but they're scattered all over different sites and you never know which ones are good. This book has everything from an eggless brioche to a classic whole wheat boule recipe, so you'll never have to go scrounging the internet again. I'm so happy people have gotten so much out of this ebook.

This time I asked for the help of several bread testers, so the recipes are flavor/texture/instruction-tested and approved! Learn more about the bread baking tip that's almost too easy here or download your copy for only $7.95 now.

Soak, Rinse, Boil! Your Complete Guide to Cooking Beans and Grains

Tiny Soak Rinse Boil Cover

Soak, Rinse, Boil! is a complete guide to cooking beans and grains. Don't worry about picking up endless cans of beans that need to be rinsed to reduce the sodium. Control all your own additives with fresh, homemade beans and grains. This guide teaches how to soak, how to boil, what spices to add and when, and how to store your finished product. Download a copy for only $4.75 here.

*Note* If you are an owner of A Fresh New Vegan You, you have a very similar guide in your ebook already. This is a printable handbook to store in the kitchen near your dried beans and grains.

Vegan Meal Plans for Spring/Summer

Spring Menus Newsletter
The spring meal plan book is available and is getting great reviews! It focuses on seasonal spring vegetables like kale, lettuce, carrots, peas, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and more! Just like in the original Vegan Nutritionista meal plans, the menus include 66 recipes for full dinners for 4 work weeks complete with nutritional information, tips, and many pictures. No repeats! Get your Vegan Meal Plan for Spring/Summer, now for just $9.75.

Vegan Meal Plans for Fall/Winter

Fall Menus Newsletter

Vegan Meal Plans is a complete meal plan for one month vegan weekday dinners. It includes 64 recipes, pictures, nutritional information, grocery lists, and tips and techniques. Everyone from those beginning a vegan diet to those veterans who want fresh menu ideas love this ebook. It focuses on fresh, local, and seasonal vegetables and uses all normal ingredients-- no fussy or gourmet skills needed. Download a copy for only $9.75 here.

Just the Menus Ebook Package Deal

Just the Menus

Just the Menus Ebook Package allows you to have both Vegan Nutritionista meal plans, one for the fall/winter and one for the spring/summer at a discounted rate. Download your copy for only $16.99 here.

Vegan Grocery List

This massive, complete vegan grocery list is the only one you'll ever need. Print out copies of it to hang on your fridge, and then mark what you need as you go throughout the week. Download a copy for only $0.99.

A Fresh New Vegan You

A Fresh New Vegan You is a complete look at why people go vegan, including information about factory farms, the environment, and the health benefits. It provides details on how to go vegan, and offers basic vegan nutritional advice, as well as information on vegan pregnancy and raising vegan children. This ebook combines all my vegan research into one easy, convenient location. Download a copy for only $27 here.

Entire Collection of Ebooks Deal:

Complete Package Order Button

Get The Vegan Bread Box, A Fresh New Vegan You, Vegan Meal Plans and Vegan Meal Plans for Spring with a free copy of the massive Vegan Grocery List for only $49.95. Save 15%! Download this package here.*Note: this does not include Soak, Rinse, Boil! because you get it within A Fresh New Vegan You.


Recipe of the Month: Last Days of Winter Pot Pie

Small rolling pin

In the spirit of what seems to be spring finally peaking out her head, I want to give one last homage to winter meals with the featured recipe this month. I've found that recently all I do is I take a long look into our fridge, pull out veggies, cook up grains, and throw a bean with it to make a full meal. For some reason winter brings out the boring (but nutritious) cook in me.

Especially right now, while I'm staring at my new mini greenhouse that is going to house a million little heirloom tomato seedlings in a few short weeks, all I can do is think about peppers, tomatoes, crisp romaine lettuce, fresh kale, strawberries, and blueberries. Summer is just my favorite time to eat. So, I just humor this part of winter, accept it for what it is, and make the best of it with some killer soups and roasted root vegetables.

This recipe comes from that general school of thought. For that last cold winter night, a pot pie is perfect. If you make extra, you can even save extra pies in the freezer for a night you don't feel like cooking.

Don't worry if you don't have every one of the vegetables listed here-- pot pies are made to be experimented with. Once you know the basic steps, you truly can use any vegetables you have in the fridge, and those root vegetables (butternut squash, acorn squash, potatoes, carrots, and beets) really give a veggie pot pie a boost. I personally don't feel like a pot pie is authentic unless there are peas in it for some reason, so I'll always go pick some up to put in it, but that may just be me.

Ingredients for Gravy and Veggies:

  • 1 yukon gold potato, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and fine diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ c. flour
  • 1 c. non-dairy milk
  • 2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. ground sage
  • ½ c. frozen peas
  • ½ c. frozen organic edamame
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 c. flour (you can mix whole wheat and all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ⅓ c. olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. cold water

Directions: To prepare the crust, mix flour and salt together, cut in shortening, add the water, then shape into a ball and chill. Once it's chilled roll out the dough to fit the casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Saute celery, onions, and carrots in butter for 10 minutes. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add broth and milk to mixture while stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until bubbly then stir in the peas, edamame, salt, and pepper. Pour into a 2 qt casserole dish and top with crust. Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes when it comes out of the oven so the filling will have time to thicken.


Follow us on Twitter, Facebook,
and our Blog

Vegan Nutritionista is constantly growing and changing, and if you signed up for this newsletter a long time ago, you might not have read our new information. Our blog page keeps you up-to-date with new articles on the site.


We're in the process of updating the design of our website. I sometimes had a hard time fitting everything I wanted to say into the two columns we used to use, so now we have three columns. And, we'll be transitioning over to a really pretty color scheme. Nothing changes for you; all the content is exactly the same. I hope you like it!


We also now have a vegan forum where you can find topics submitted by users for discussion, answers, and places to add your own input. There is no member name required to participate, so you can jump right in and






Thank you to our newsletter sponsors!

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Until the end of the December 2010, SBI is running a buy-one-get-one special on sites. It's their best deal of the year! You can use it to start two sites, or split the price with a friend who also has a hobby they love to death.


I am an affiliate for these newsletter sponsors, so anytime someone buys something from these stores after using a link from our site, I make a small commission on it. But, I do promise that I would never recommend something that I don't use and love myself. So if you see a link on our site for something you like, you can support their company and the running of Vegan Nutritionista as well, or you can always choose to go directly to the company.

And don't forget, a percentage of all Vegan Nutritionista profits go to a rotating group of charities that benefit animals. Last year, we donated to Vegan Outreach and to start off this year we donated to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.


That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it. Have a great month!


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