Free for My Readers

As we enter into our last week of Fruits and Vegetables month, I’m offering my EGuide free to my treasured readers through the end of September. At just 13 pages long, it’s designed to help you answer the fundamental challenges of plant-based eating: simple and adaptable preparation methods, selecting between fresh and frozen, tips for snacking on produce and a few more topics.

Email me at: mitali (dot) shah (dot) 17 (at) gmail (dot) (com) and I’ll send you the PDF.  I’m excited for your feedback after you have a chance to check it out.

Email me at the address above for your PDF copy


Traveling like an Eco-Tourist

Last weekend I visited California with my parents for Independence Day. It’s been a while since I’ve spent time on the west coast, but I remembered quickly that California is a great place to visit as an eco-tourist–the beaches, mountains, deserts, all offer boundless opportunities to explore nature’s beauty.

Eco-tourism? What’s that? You might be wondering.

Eco-tourism asks us to visit new places in a way that celebrates the natural environment. Rather than making consumerism the focus of a vacation, you make it a priority to visit a local botanical garden, state park, or simply lounge on the beach.


Sounds easy, right? I’ll be the first to admit that the allure of the local mall was too powerful for me to resist. I spent two hours roaming around various shops. Roaming around same stores we have in DC. Do you know how much I bought that day? Exactly nothing! While mindlessly looking through racks of clothes, it donned on me. I traveled all the way across the country only to waste my precious few days of vacation shopping for clothes I didn’t need? Right then, I decided that I wanted to spend the rest of my time taking in everything that makes California special: its outdoors.

My parents and I traveled to Catalina Island the next day. We walked around the island and watched deer playing in the trees. We splashed in the ocean and polished off scoops of homemade ice cream on the shoreline. And that truly felt like what a vacation should be: a time to relax and refresh. To spend time catching up with friends and family if you’re together. If you’re alone, a vacation should inspire you to invoke dreams lost in the quotidian.

And what better place to do so than in nature? Countless studies have shown us that spending time in nature increases our well-being. The novelty of spending time outdoors in a new place exponentially improves our happiness. You are far more likely to reminisce on that time you conquered (or got lost hiking) San Jacinto Mountain than you will remembering the pair of shoes you bought in the city.

The next time you travel this summer, or whenever it may be, travel like an eco-tourist. Take pleasure in the cacti or trees that surround you and you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable vacation.


4 Ways to Enjoy BBQs This Summer

The best part of summer in my opinion is spending time outdoors with friends and family, laying around and taking in the sun. This weekend I’m sure many of you have plans to celebrate the 4th–perhaps at a backyard BBQ.

BBQs are a great way to socialize with everyone in your circles– from neighbors to colleagues, but eating at one can be challenging for veg*ns. Here are a few tips to ensure you have a fun time this BBQ season:

1. Help the Host: If you know that most of the grilling options served by your host or hostess will be meat-based, offer to bring a box of your favorite veggie patties. My friends have always generously offered to grill mine first to prevent the juices from their burgers from mixing into mine. You can volunteer to fire up the grill and get things cooking by throwing on your burgers first. My favorite burgers to bring to BBQ parties are Morningstar Black Bean and Trader Joe’s Masala burgers. By bringing your own box, you can guarantee that there’ll be something for you to eat. Plus, you may make new friends with other party-goers who are interested in trying something veg*n!

2. Enjoy the Sides: Most of the side dishes at BBQs are perfect for veg*ns. I can never get enough grilled corn in the summer. Common sides at BBQs include salads, fresh fruit like melons, and chips.


3. Eat a Snack Before: Sometimes when I know my food options may be limited, I try to eat a filling snack like hummus and veggies before I leave. That way I won’t feel guilty snacking on potato chips all day.

4. Have fun! The very best part of summer BBQs is spending time with people whose company you enjoy. Kick back and soak in the sun!

Happy Fourth of July! How do you plan to celebrate the long weekend? What do you like to eat at summer BBQs?

100 Followers–Thank You!!

Holy Cow!

Holy Cow! 100 Followers!?

Holy Cow! 100 Followers!? 

When I started GreenMindVegHeart less than a month and half ago, I never imagined the type of community I would be joining. I am so appreciative of the time you take to follow, read and comment on my blog. I am thrilled to be a part of such an engaged group of readers, writers, and thinkers who are all working to make this world a better place for the planet, animals, and each other. To celebrate and thank my readers, I am sending a small gift to a randomly-selected follower. I wish I could give you all a present.

Thank you so much.