by Grey Aurore Marcoux-Sydow
Something that I appreciate about my parents was their dedication to always preparing delicious, healthy meals for my sisters and I. Sharing meal time brought us together as a family in
a fun and satisfying way. One night where as an angst filled teenager I revealed to my dad that I didn’t really want to eat a piece of steak ever again. Unlike many of my friend’s parents, who would have told their kid that they were going to eat it anyway- my father had a very thoughtful approach to meeting my palate change. He told me that I didn’t have to eat steak, and that he was going to make something else for me entirely.
That night he served me what is still one of my favorite things to eat: a large, tender portabello mushroom cap. He sauteed the mushroom in garlic, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. When I took my first bite I knew that I’d never want to eat steak again and so began my love for mushrooms.
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that was the beginning of my transition towards vegetarianism. When ten years later I enrolled in a yoga teacher training, part of our training was
adopting a vegetarian diet for 6 months. I was excited to embrace this dietary change, and I noticed that not only was I feeling great, but some other benefits included saving money, and
feeling good about not contributing to the needless death of animals for food.
My transition to veganism came about 2 years ago, when my husband shared a list of the proven benefits of adopting a plant based diet. At first I was skeptical, being that we both ate eggs
for breakfast almost every morning and cheese pizza was our favorite food. I already ate a healthy diet, so why in the world would I possibly give these things up? Well, it turns out that embracing a plant based diet is remarkably good for your personal health and the planet, as well as the obvious benefit to livestock. After a short time, I didn’t miss eggs at all due to all the other delicious, energy fueling vegan breakfasts I had discovered. And although I do still miss cheese once in a while, the benefits of not eating it far outweigh going back to consuming dairy products. When you start to realize the devastating health effects and the detrimental effects of dairy production-it’s hard to unlearn it. Suddenly, you don’t want cheese so much anymore.
Having friends over for dinner and introducing them to all the delicious flavors and vegan dishes is favorite way of introducing people to veganism. After a bountiful meal made up of
ingredients from our CSA (provided by the Oakland based Phat Beets), I like to serve friends something special that I’ve been perfecting over the past year: homemade raw, vegan pies!
Not only have they been called “mouth-wateringly delicious”, but they are mostly whole foods and free of refined sugar. These pies are made from seasonal, organic ingredients which I infuse with loving intention while I make them. They are packed full of nutrients to give you the energy you need to help you thrive. Ingredients like nuts, spices, coconut meat, fruits, and even seaweed all contribute to a dessert that is abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good fats and proteins.
What I love most is that these sweet, beautiful treats are so tasty and healthy that they are a perfect treat for children as well! Although it feels strange to credit my fish and meat loving father with my path to a plant based diet, I feel incredibly grateful to him for introducing me to the delectable mushroom he put on my plate some 15 years ago. In fact, it was only a couple months ago that he randomly remarked “Hey, by the way- I’m really proud of you and your husband for going vegan. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll tell you what: I’m quite sure it is the diet of the future.”
(You can find out more about Grey’s raw, vegan pie company by visiting her instagram at:Prana_Pies)
(You can learn more about veganism by watching the documentary Cowspiracy, and vistiting www.nutritionfacts.org)
About Grey Aurore Marcoux-Sydow: Grey was born and raised on the tiny island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. After graduating high school she postponed going straight into college choosing instead to travel to India where she immersed herself in yoga, meditation, volunteer work and traversing the Himalayas. Upon arriving back in the United States, she took a train to California and fell in love with the bay area which she has happily called her home for the past 10 years. Grey teaches mindfulness classes to children in schools and she is also a yoga teacher who firmly believes that yoga is something we do with our hearts and minds, not just our bodies. When she’s not teaching or working at Namaste you can find her rock climbing, cooking vegan food, writing short stories, foraging for mushrooms, and planning her next exotic vacation. Grey loves Namaste and feels fortunate to call such an awesome place “work”!