About

 

Hello, my name is Ashley.

Welcome!

I’m a software developer living in Durham, NC who is passionate about vegan food. I created this blog to share my vegan journey with others, since it was content like this that helped and inspired me so much in the beginning. And because I got tired of the question "But what do you eat?!?" when I told people I was vegan. The answer "food" never seemed to satisfy them and I wanted a more concrete record of the things I eat and make to help answer that question. 

Going vegan has by far been the best thing I've ever done for myself. My path to it was different than many peoples. I started out doing it begrudgingly and not interested in it at all. However, as I started to find more vegan recipes, blogs, tips and tricks about where to find products, etc, I simply realized that it was ridiculous not to be vegan. I had everything I needed and did not want for a single thing. I had lots of junk food, some healthy meals, baked goods, candy, meat-replacement products, etc. I ate all of it while still losing weight, curing my asthma, and becoming the fittest I've ever been in my life. I certainly feel the best when I'm eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and sticking to a whole foods diet, so you'll see lots of healthy recipes here. But honestly one of my biggest (and most shallow) attractions to veganism was that I'm up for anything that lets me regularly pig out on burgers and buffalo wings while still improving my health and fitness. So, I eat a lot of vegan junk food too. Simply because I can and I know it's still better for me than the non-vegan alternatives would be.

My husband went vegan first, for health reasons. Even though he was only 24 at the time he had high cholesterol, so he decided to go vegan to eliminate dietary cholesterol and improve his health. Since at the time I hated cooking that meant I was going along for the ride with him and also eating vegan at home. He was mostly focused on health though and eating a lot of salads. I had been vegetarian before and wasn't super attached to meat, but I had no interest in healthy eating at the time. Since all my husband was making was healthy, whole-food meals I thought that's what veganism was. I bought a lot of microwave meals and still ate meat when outside of the home, just for the indulgence.

We went on that way for about 1.5 - 2 years, eating mostly vegan at home but eating whatever when we went out as a "treat." Then I discovered the vegan community on YouTube. Specifically, Hot for Food, the Edgy Veg, and other vegan comfort food bloggers. Buffalo wings, burgers, donuts, anything you can imagine can be made vegan. This was mind blowing to me! Since my husband was still eating healthy, I started following these vegan junk food recipes myself and learned to cook from them. I'd never enjoyed cooking before, meat always grossed me out and usually I was happier not knowing what exactly went into my food. With vegan food, instead of the cooking process being bloody and gross it felt creative and exciting. Making nacho cheese out of vegetables, finding ways to replace eggs in baking, discovering how to take something like cauliflower and turn it from bland to amazing, it was a whole new world! I got addicted to it and the more I went along in this journey the more I realized how unnecessary eating meat is to having amazing and indulgent meals.

Around this time, I watched Cowspiracy and that's what really cinched it for me and made me commit to veganism. I've always cared about the environment. I bike and walk a lot to save gas, I try to take short showers, I recycle, etc. Cutting out animal products does way more for the environment than any of these things. 2500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 900 gallons of water is needed for 1 pound of cheese. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and rainforest destruction [source]. We waste so many resources growing crops in massive quantities to feed to animals, when we could just eat them ourselves. The US could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat. Animal protein requires eight times more fossil fuels to produce than plant protein but is only 1.4 times more nutritious[source]. It's just simply wasteful and unnecessarily destructive to our planet to eat animals.

Since then I've found many more reasons to be vegan. I'm vegan for our planet, vegan for the people of color who disproportionately face the negative health effects of working on and living around factory farms, vegan for the animals, and vegan because why not?