Interview with Mayim Bialik, Author of Mayim’s Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours
PBR: How did you achieve the seemingly impossible task of raising your children on a vegan diet? Bialik: A lot of pre-planning! A lot of creative thinking, budgeting, and managing emotions in the early years as children learn that we all eat differently and that there is always enough fun food to be had, even if we don’t have it all the time. Patience is also very important and getting educated so I am not anxious all of the time about them not getting the right nutrients. It’s actually not that hard to feed children vegan, and part of the battle is knowing what’s a well rounded diet and not being neurotic about it which sometimes my tendency is to be!
PBR: How do you deal with a social situation, like a dinner party, when nothing served seems to be vegan? Bialik: I ask ahead and plan accordingly. I have a snack before I go to any event. I sometimes have to leave a bit early if I am starving and am going to faint, but I also can be sustained pretty well with a snack before and any fruit that tends to be served at events.
PBR: How can vegan cooks cope with vegan supplies in a smaller town or in rural situation without a health food store? Bialik: Online resources are great, as are bulk items. There are a lot of rural vegan resources online to help with this!
PBR: Does it take much longer to cook a delicious vegan meal than a conventional meal? Bialik: I don’t think so, especially since there is no meat to cook until it’s done and food tends to last much longer for leftovers when there are no dairy, egg, or meat ingredients. As with any kind of cooking, there are less complicated recipes and more complicated ones, but overall, I don’t find vegan cooking time consuming.
PBR: Is vegan cooking much more expensive than conventional cooking? Bialik: It doesn’t have to be. Meat substitutes and dairy substitutes can be pricey, but they shouldn’t be eaten every day anyway. I save those for special occasions and plan and budget accordingly. Produce can be expensive if you are looking to eat organic, and in my book, Dr. Gordon and I discuss decisions about which fruits and veggies can be bought conventional if you want to pick and choose. Great pantry items such as beans, rice, quinoa, and nuts can be found for good prices especially if you buy them in bulk!
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