The ups, downs, ins, outs, disappointments, and triumphs of a day-to-day vegan living.
By Featured Contributor, Matt Lara

I had a friend once tell me that he didn’t know how I remembered all this vegan stuff everyday. I told him that it’s all just a bunch of small things, and I keep adding more as I go. So here are some small things i’ve come across for your own use and enjoyment. Start compiling….

https://i2.wp.com/ssl9.chi.us.securedata.net/theheadnut.com/merchantmanager/images/uploads/steel%20cut%20oats.jpg?resize=209%2C172&ssl=1Steel-Cut Start
For me, it starts with waking up to good vegan choices. I have had many of those mornings where I’m running to work with deli coffee and a muffin. I have to recognize these days—they often end up filled with trips to the vending machine—and know that many of these short-term fixes can become long-term effects on my health and the environment. If I’m going veggie I have to do it healthily, and that extra 15 minutes to eat a good breakfast has become a priority. I’m not someone with one daily routine, so I have a few breakfast options depending on what my week looks like. If all I have time for is coffee and a muffin, it’s organic fair-trade coffee and a muffin I baked the previous weekend. Some days it’s simply cereal or a smoothie. On Sundays I like a good tofu scramble or pancakes. My favorite go-to breakfast is a bowl of Irish oatmeal, also known as steel-cut oats. They are packed with nutrition, but do take a bit more time to prepare than the sugary oats you pour hot water over. Luckily, there are some short cuts to lessen the prep time to about 10-12 minutes (I use the “quick soak” method all the time).

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These tins make excellent pen holders!

Refreshing Rishi
Speaking of morning coffee, I stopped drinking so much of it. It was no big decision and not even that big of a struggle. It was more like avoiding an addiction in the making. I still chill over an occasional soy latte at my local coffee spot, but I am now enjoying loose-leaf green tea from Rishi Tea. They make a variety of green and black teas, as well as many herbal infusions. According to their instructions the leaves can be brewed 3-4 times. I am surprisingly refreshed after a few small cups. Green tea does have some caffeine in it, but not nearly enough to give you those coffee jitters nor those fun post coffee “movements” that tend to come along.

vegantwix_dsc6775Feeling Pot-Lucky

If you have a circle of vegan friends, do get together for a potluck. One of the highlights of my month was attending the one hosted by The Discerning Brute himself. If Josh is cooking, I am there. By the time I arrived, his stuffed shells were all but gone, but there was still plenty to eat. It is so refreshing to walk into a room and be surrounded by many amazing dishes, great people, and great animal friends running around adding life to the party. Plus, there were guests who did not consider themselves vegan. They got a chance to both see and taste this deliciousness we experience on a daily basis. To me, that’s the best way to show people what we’re doing. If our food is undeniably great and all are welcome to partake, we’re on the right track.

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-Matt Lara

_dsc62841Matt is an actor, singer, closet poet, dancer, avid reader, guitar picker, waiter, home cook, nosey coffee shop guy, animal lover…he basically has to know how to do everything. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.