Leah D’Ambrosio (VP of The Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA)), Kelly McDermott (Director of SARA’s East Coast Projects) and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Glasgow, Scotland, where I had the honor of speaking on “Reiki for Dogs” at the Natural Canine Care Convention, alongside other amazing speakers such as Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Isla Fishburn. I learned so much about caring for dogs holistically! What I didn’t realize when I arrived in Glasgow, was that I was about to embark upon a journey of culinary yumminess that rivals any trip I’ve ever taken! It’s sometimes a bit tricky, trying to eat gluten free/vegan while traveling, but not this time 🙂
- Entrance to our sweet apartment in the West End
- My presentation at the Natural Canine Care Convention
- Me with SARA Officers Kelly, Alison and Leah
- Kelly feeding a highland cow
- Me with “Honey”
- Stirling Castle
- View from Stirling Castle
Little did I know that Glaswegians (the term for natives of Glasgow) pride themselves on their vegan food! I even had a few locals tell me that Glasgow is the vegan capital of the UK! After spending a week there and sampling many restaurants (both those solely vegan and those just with vegan options), I must say I agree! I loved the food here even more than my last trip to London.
To top it off, the people here were so polite and friendly. It made me a bit embarrassed to be a “rude” American, LOL. (Well let’s just say that landing in JFK, NYC was a bit of a culture shock after spending 7 days in gracious Glasgow.)
If you’re vegan and/or gluten free and planning a trip to Scotland, make sure to spend a few days in Glasgow so you can sample their amazing food! Here is a short summary of my food experiences in Glasgow.
I recently came back from a very fun trip with my family to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland in Southern California. One of my goals on this trip was to find a way to eat delicious, healthy food and stay true to my diet of vegan/gluten-free (V/GF). I have to admit, eating V/GF while at Disneyland wasn’t a walk in the park (no pun intended). There were a few times where I realized the true meaning of the slang term “hangry.” (Definition: irritable or bad-tempered as a result of being hungry.) I even thought about calling this blog, “Woman cannot live on fruit cups alone” or “Starving with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,” but settled on a more positive choice. 🙂
Friday is St. Patrick’s Day—a fun day that always reminds me of my Irish ancestry. Though I haven’t seen the Emerald Isle yet, I hope one day to visit its famed castles, museums and—of course—its shelters and sanctuaries! Here are four inspiring organizations dedicated to helping make animals’ lives better. This St. Patrick’s Day, consider supporting one of the following (even a small donation helps!):
Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary
Eden promotes “liberty, equality, veganism.” About 100 rescued farm animals now live in peace at this sanctuary, which started in 2008. In addition to rescuing animals from farms, Eden is committed to spreading the word about veganism; its inspiring Go Vegan World advertising campaign uses billboards and TV ads to challenge people to reconsider their use and acceptance of animal products. See Eden’s beautiful farm and animals here:
Thanksgiving is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate peace, kindness—and turkeys. Each year, I try to find a way to celebrate compassion on this special day. Last year, I joined Gene Baur and Farm Sanctuary at the Celebration for the Turkeys in downtown San Francisco. This year, I plan to share an array of delicious homemade vegan dishes with my family and friends.
Though some people may give you a strange look when you mention you plan to celebrate a vegan Thanksgiving, keep in mind you’re in good company: Beyoncé, Russell Brand, Ellen Degeneres, Liam Hemsworth, Jared Leto, Alicia Silverstone, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood and Kat Von D will be enjoying a cruelty-free Thanksgiving, too.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my tribe! What are your plans this weekend? No matter if it’s dinner, dancing or a snuggle on the couch, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate love with your nearest and dearest (both human and animal). This day is also an opportunity for animal lovers like us to show our compassion and respect for all of earth’s creatures by celebrating in special animal-friendly ways. So before you finish up the last of your heart day shopping, consider these 10 awesome vegan Valentine’s gift ideas: