Who’s Your Guru?

Robin February 8, 2013 1
Who’s Your Guru?

When I was growing up, I wanted to be just like another girl in my grade.  This particular girl wasn’t gorgeous, but she was pretty.  She was also very smart, nice to everyone, and she made a lot of her own clothes.  And they were nice clothes, too, not the Jiffy patterns that I played with.

As kids and young teenagers, we tend to use our peers to help us figure out who we are.  If I wasn’t so enamored of this girl, I might not have spent time focusing on my posture (hers was perfect), my fashion sense, or my handwriting (which is pretty nice).  She was a good example for me and she didn’t even know it.

When I decided to shift to a vegan diet and lifestyle a few years ago, I thought about my teenage “guru.”  She inadvertently helped me navigate through some of the craziness of growing up.  I decided that a vegan guru might do the same for me as I embarked on a new cruelty-free lifestyle.  Since I didn’t know anyone who was vegan, I had to do a bit of research to see who I could turn to for help in making this transition.  I now have a few standard “experts” that I rely on for information about nutrition, lifestyle, recipes and all of the other twists and turns that I might encounter.  But in the process of finding them, I realized that there is someone for everyone.  It all depends on your style.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but if you are looking for someone to help you with your vegan journey, you might want to explore some of these options.

Ginny Messina

I read her book, Vegan For Life, in a couple of days, took lots of notes, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia’s book The Kind Diet, was the final tipping point into veganism for me.  This lady is definitely NOT “clueless.”

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

What a lovely woman.  She’s written several books, her podcasts are inspiring, and the 30-Day Vegan Challenge is well worth the small investment.

Brendan Brazier

He’s a guy, so that’s a plus.  He’s also an ironman, an author and he formulated the ever-popular line of Vega products.

The Skinny Bitch ladies

I read the books and the style just didn’t click with me, but that’s OK.  They’ve converted a lot of people, so they are clearly doing something right.

Kathy Freston

Classy, gorgeous, but very approachable.  Kathy doesn’t judge.  She only asks you to consider “leaning in.”

Victoria Moran

She’s been vegan for three decades, so she knows what’s what.  She’s written books, she has a podcast,  and she recently launched Main Street Academy, which provides training to become a vegan lifestyle coach.

And a couple of others, who are well-known in the vegan community, but maybe not to the mainstream population:

The ladies of Our Hen House.  If you haven’t listened to their weekly podcasts, do take an hour out of your day and enjoy one.  And read their blog, too.  Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan are smart, funny and SO into it for the animals.  It’s awesome.  I can’t wait to meet them some day.

Gena Hamshaw.  Her blog is full of great information, recipes and things to ponder.  She also works with Our Hen House and she writes for VegNews.

Wow.  And I haven’t even mentioned the big guns, such as Neal Barnard and Joel Fuhrman.  I could go on an on.

I have some favorites in this list and I’ve learned a bit from everyone.  You can too.  But in the end, you have to do it your way.  Take what works and don’t use what doesn’t.  Your reasons for choosing this journey are your own.  Enjoy the ride.


Click below to read our interviews with some of the above mentioned gurus…

Kim Barnouin

Kathy Freston

Victoria Moran


Original image courtesy of sapojump on Flickr


One Comment »

  1. Rebecca February 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm -

    <3 I love everyone on this list! I started with Colleen, she is wonderful! You should also check out a podcast by Erin Red, Red Radio. She was the catalyst for me. :)

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