From 1995 - 2001, I lived with my family in Mankato MN.
In my work I talked to a lot of people every day. When they heard that I was vegetarian, they often asked for advice for themselves or others.
It seemed to me that a lot of people needed help, for such a conservative town, and I thought that there must be other would be vegetarians who needed help in other places.
I had no idea there were so many!
In 2001 when I was 54, for the first time I had daily computer access, and time to surf the web. I decided to start a vegetarian website, and the name Savvy Vegetarian just popped into my head.
I thought the name meant that of course people want to be savvy vegetarians, not un-savvy. Since I had been vegetarian for over 30 years, and had to learn everything myself the hard way, I thought that I could help them to be savvy vegetarians with tasty food, no malnutrition, and in much less time.
My husband Ed, who had just retired from a career as a software developer, was pressed into service as a web developer. Neither of us had any idea what we were doing but by 2003, with a little help from our friends, we managed to launch a website. It was awful!
But we gradually figured things out, and rebuilt the website quite a few times. Even though Ed builds solid code, we found out that you don't just build a website, and then move in and live there for quite a few years before having to do things to it.
A website is a never-ending, constantly changing obsession. But a fun one!
One of the biggest veg challenges is transitioning from one stage of going vegetarian or vegan to the next. For most people, their diet doesn't change in their lifetime. To break away from your dietary comfort zone can be stressful and exhilarating and freeing all at once.
Another big challenge is the social adjustment. Often those who you live, play and work with do not accept or support your diet, and may actively oppose or undermine you. Being an outsider is an experience that many new vegetarians or vegans don't anticipate.
People often assume that going vegetarian or vegan will automatically make them healthier, then find out that it ain't necessarily so, and that there is a lot to learn about plant based nutrition. Not only that, but they may have to wean themselves off processed food and learn to cook if they want to eat healthy.
Savvy Vegetarian's Mission: To help you make the veg transition easily, and to thrive on whatever plant based diet works for you. With that in mind, we offer:
Our three daughters were raised vegetarian, and now they help with Savvy Vegetarian.
Charlotte, Sarah and ZoŽ are working Moms, raising 7 children between them. They have helpful husbands who cook - which could be why they can find time to work for us. Savvy Vegetarian would not be what it is without them, and we're grateful for their brains, creativity, hard work and general awesomeness.
Our oldest daughter Charlotte is an omnivore who loves good food, including vegetarian, and doesn't love to cook. But she's a great recipe taster!
Charlotte works behind the scenes as site manager at Savvy Vegetarian, doing keyword and nutrition research, finding great pictures, posting new content, updating pages and writing two weekly newsletters.
Charlotte's quick, logical mind, organizing power, and reliability ensures that the newsletters go out on time, everything works the way it should, and her mother and sisters don't procrastinate too much.
Our middle daughter Sarah calls herself 'veganish', and is an excellent writer and cook. She started cooking when she was four. Sarah has been writing articles, reviewing cookbooks, and developing recipes for Savvy Vegetarian since 2005. Many of our most popular recipes are her creations.
Sarah's desserts are especially awesome, even the gluten free desserts, which she's been testing on Charlotte, who's anti-gluten-free. If they pass that test, we know that everybody will love them.
Our youngest daughter ZoŽ is an ovo-lacto vegetarian. She learned to cook in her teens, but got really serious about it when she went off to college and realized that she had to get her act together in the kitchen - or starve. She quickly learned to feed herself well with very little time or money.
ZoŽ started writing for Savvy Vegetarian in 2012 when she was expecting her first child, with a series of vegetarian pregnancy blog posts, followed by a post-pregnancy series on how to have a quick easy healthy vegetarian diet on a budget.
Right now ZoŽ's writing an ebook on that topic when she's not looking after baby or doing housework or cooking or gardening or throwing pots (ZoŽ and her husband Bryan are ceramic artists).
Ed is the left-brained technical genius behind Savvy Vegetarian. Without him, there wouldn't be a website. He wrote it, and he's the one who rescues the website when I crash it, or figures out why a page of code won't validate.
Ed writes php and css, installs and uninstalls things, counts beans and stuff like that. He always knew that his degree in math would come in handy some day!
Judith (that's me) does everything that she can't get somebody else to do at Savvy Vegetarian. I write blog posts, articles and reviews, develop recipes, update pages, take pictures of food and process them, answer emails, and have fun on social media. I understand basic html, and work with page templates in an html editor, but that's as technical as I get.
At the end of November 2012 we finally published the protein ebook we worked on for about a year. Sometime this year we're planning to start making our free reports into an ebook on how to go veg. The free reports will still be available on the website.
When she can find time as a busy new Mama, ZoŽ works on her book on how to make quick easy healthy meals on a budget. We plan to publish that with a companion ebook of quick easy recipes.
Charlotte is studying web development online so she can help Ed more with the technical side of things, and take on other jobs with a view to a full time well-paid career.
Sarah is working on making actual vegan nut cheeses from Miyoko Schinner's book about same, which she is planning to review. And she has been on a quest to develop an edible recipe for gluten free yeasted bread. It WILL happen!
We've started doing cooking videos! I posted the first one recently, on how to use a chef's knife to chop veggies. It was kindly received, so I'm encouraged to make more. Hopefully the next one will not take me months to do.
For the last six months or more, we've been doing housecleaning, maintenance and upgrades on the website and blog - such as fixing broken links, getting rid of junky content, updating and re-formatting pages, re-organizing indexes, adding and replacing pictures. That is almost at an end, and we can get back to working full time on FUN projects!
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian - May 23, 2013