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About Me

Hi, I’m Amber Shea.
I’m a 27-year-old linguist, chef, and cookbook author in Kansas City, Missouri.

My specialty is healthful vegan and raw food.
I was classically trained in the art of gourmet living cuisine at the world-renowned Matthew Kenney Academy, graduating in 2010 as a certified raw and vegan chef.
In 2011, I earned my Nutrition Educator certification at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute.

I was named Hot Raw Chef of 2011 by Living Light International, and my first cookbook debuted in March 2012, published by Vegan Heritage Press. You can purchase my book, Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make, on Amazon today!

Click here to view my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page
and learn more about me.

Thanks for reading!

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172 Comments leave one →
  1. July 3, 2010 1:30 pm

    So glad to see your comment on my blog so I could find yours…. I love finding fun new vegan blogs πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 3, 2010 11:27 am

      I’m glad you found mine too! Hope to hear more from you in comments :]

  2. July 19, 2010 12:18 pm

    Hi Amber!

    I’m also a vegan blogger in the KC area! Good to know there’s more of us around here!

    Your blog looks great. Mine is still an infant, but it’s growing all the time. I look forward to reading your entries.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 3, 2010 11:27 am

      I’m glad you found my blog; it’s so fun to interact with local vegans and foodies! I’ll be watching as your blog blossoms and grows. πŸ˜€

  3. July 19, 2010 11:16 pm

    I thought you looked kind of familiar, so I did a search for “Blue Nile” in your entries, and yes — we were in the same intro to vegetarian Ethiopian cooking class earlier this year!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 3, 2010 11:25 am

      That’s CRAZY! Sooner or later, I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again in person :]

  4. July 20, 2010 2:59 pm

    Love it! I too am almost vegan for the simple reason that eggs do not concern me. I too became vegan for health reasons. Already see many items i want to try! Thanks

    • July 20, 2010 3:00 pm

      I also use honey in much of my cooking =)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 3, 2010 11:24 am

      Welcome! I think organic eggs, used judiciously, can have a place in a healthy dietβ€”I just rarely indulge :] Honey, though, is another story! Love it πŸ˜›

      • August 3, 2010 12:00 pm

        Yup me too I rarely ever eat eggs the only reason I still buy them is because my hubby has a hard time letting them go haha, but honey I use quite often!

  5. July 22, 2010 6:51 pm

    Amber… Your “About Me” summary could be mine–if my blog was about veganish stuff. Mine is more about triathlon, running, cycling, etc, but I do throw in the occasional pro-plant based/almost vegan post. That’s what I call myself–almost vegan. After reading Thrive by Brendan Brazier, I too am eating ‘increasingly raw’ foods.

    Good to know there are others that are into being almost vegan without the activism/dogma angle.

    ~Mario

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 3, 2010 11:22 am

      That’s great! I love hearing from other almost-vegan athletes, especially those with a similar relaxed stance to mine. ‘Thrive’ is a great book!

    • June 27, 2011 2:58 pm

      I was just watching a couple of Brendan Braziers videos…He has a lot of great knowledge about how the plant based diet can truly fuel and health the body. I have been a vegetarian since 16 years of age and at 49 I feel unbelievable- the last year started researching more vegan, raw food lifestyle and love it although like others I have a casual approach and fall of the “wagon” occasionally. Looking forward to chatting with all of you more…”Let food be they medicine”.

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        June 27, 2011 4:49 pm

        Hello, Gail! Welcome to the world of almost-vegan and partially-raw πŸ™‚

  6. August 3, 2010 10:53 am

    Now THIS is what I have been trying to explain to people who wonder about my eating habits! This is perfectly put… and I’m glad there are actually people out there that share the same eating habits even though it doesn’t really have a name πŸ™‚ May I post a link to this on my ‘about me’ page?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 3, 2010 11:12 am

      Yay, another Almost-Vegan!
      By all means, link to me! I’d be honored. ::Curtsies:: πŸ˜€

  7. August 6, 2010 12:13 pm

    Done! And thank you πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 31, 2011 5:53 pm

      Thanks Ellen!

  8. August 7, 2010 1:00 am

    Hi Amber,

    I love the review you did of Cavewoman bars. Alyssa is a great person and someone you must meet when you are in LA. Please send me an email I’d like to see you review our Energy Bars. They are currently available in Whole Foods (Southwest), Select Vons (So. CA) and Select Safeway (No. CA), as well as online at Amazon, Dlife and a few other sites.

    Jeff

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 8, 2010 1:37 pm

      Hi Jeff–I would love to review your bars! I emailed you via the contact form on your website, including my mailing address, but please let me know if there is anything else you need. Thanks for getting in contact with me! I can’t wait to try your products.

  9. August 8, 2010 6:32 am

    So fun to hear of other KC vegan bloggers. I fall into that same category of “almost vegan” – love it! Fun to see so many others out there. Looking forward to trying some of your recipes!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 8, 2010 1:41 pm

      So glad you found me, Kylea! I too am always overjoyed to find a) fellow KC bloggers, and b) other almost-vegans! Whichever recipes of mine you try, please let me know how they work out; I love feedback :] Looking forward to browsing your site as well!

  10. Noelle M permalink
    August 27, 2010 10:17 am

    I wanted to say, I just love your blog. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 27, 2010 10:20 am

      Aw, thank you! It really means a lot to me that you read and enjoy it, and I hope you continue to do so. πŸ˜€

  11. August 31, 2010 1:36 am

    Keep up the good work Amber! Love seeing someone like yourself put effort into something they love doing. Wish more people had the passion and devotion that you do. The quality of your posts are great too.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 31, 2010 9:39 am

      Tyler, thank you so much! For the compliment AND for reading my blog. I’m so glad to hear that my passion and hard work shine through in my posts. :]

  12. September 5, 2010 2:38 pm

    I love this! When my co-workers see my meatless lunches, they always ask, “are you a vegeterian?” And I have to say, “almost…”

    I found your blog through Healthy Living Blogs and I’m new to the area. I was hoping to organize a blogger get-together of sorts to meet new friends and/or running buddies. If you’re interested, e-mail me at theresemarie414@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 7, 2010 11:11 am

      Welcome to KC, Therese :] A blogger meet-up sounds fun! I know of a handful of other veg bloggers around here. If you feel like you’re close to setting something up, drop me a line and I’ll try and make it!

  13. September 9, 2010 11:53 am

    Hi,
    It’s so great to find another “almost vegan” out there. I agree with you, you have to be happy.
    I really like your blog.

    Sherri

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 9, 2010 8:43 pm

      Yay, I’m always excited to “meet” other almost-vegans too! Thanks so much for reading. I hope to hear from you again! πŸ˜€

  14. September 16, 2010 5:29 pm

    I love that you’re a linguist! I almost decided to go to grad school for PhD in linguistics, and it’s still something that is in the back of my mind. Yay words.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 16, 2010 5:36 pm

      Thanks! Oh wow, really?! I thought briefly about grad school myself, but since I don’t want to a) teach, or b) research for a living, I couldn’t justify it. Did you get your undergrad degree in linguistics, or something else? Yay for words indeed!

  15. September 30, 2010 5:56 pm

    I absolutely love your approach and beliefs in food and your diet. I’m vegetarian (and would like to think of myself as “almost vegan” LOL) strictly for health reasons, and I get so tired of the judgmental holier-than-thou vegans that I come across. I do it strictly for the food, and I am a FOOD LOVER, so I totally understand where you’re coming from. So I praise and admire your honesty and willingness to stay true to yourself, and not hop on any bandwagons or look for approval of others. Happy eating!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 30, 2010 6:07 pm

      You totally just made my day! There aren’t enough people like us, and it seriously drives me nuts sometimes. Thanks so much for the compliments. So happy to meet you too!

      By the way, I just checked out your site, and it’s BEAUTIFUL!

      Anyway, I hate hype, dogma, and politics surrounding food, and I love hearing that you feel the same. Keep spreading the purely-foodie love! ;]

  16. Britt permalink
    October 2, 2010 6:48 pm

    I thought I was the only “almost vegan” around. I just prefer the taste of whole foods over animals and have had a dislike for meat since childhood though I did occassionally eat it because everyone else was!!!! I do consume dairy though but I have started substituting with alternatives like soy, almond and rice milk to name a few. I just hate soy yoghurt and have yet to find one that tastes good!

    Can I add that I also don’t eat animal flesh because I feel bad doing so?? It just doesn’t seem right to me that we humans breed animals for the sole purpose of fattening them up and slaughtering them for our ever increasing greed. That seems so wrong and sad to me 😦 I hope I’m never a cow or pig in my next life!!!

    Anyway, thanks so much for your site, I wish there were more of them around!

    Britt from Australia.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 2, 2010 7:07 pm

      Thanks Britt! I used to think I was the only one too, hehe. Luckily, I’ve found there are quite a few of us! I think people can just be a little hesitant to say so, until they find another like them. πŸ˜€

      That’s great that you’re beginning to enjoy dairy substitutes. Have you tried making homemade almond milk yet? You might also like my maple cinnamon pecan milk! As for soy yogurt, I disliked it from the first time I tried it =/ I don’t know if you can find it down under, but I have fallen in love with coconut milk yogurt instead, mmm!

      I consider the animal welfare aspect to be a great side effect of my almost vegan diet. It’s not my focus or main concern, but I’m very happy to be able to say “Meat/cheese/dairy is unhealthy, and I also just plain don’t like the taste…and oh yeah, my way of eating happens to be better for animals and the environment as well!”

      Thanks for connecting with me through Facebook! Hope to hear more from you soon. πŸ™‚

      • Britt permalink
        October 2, 2010 7:23 pm

        I can honestly say I’ve never seen coconut milk yoghurt but it sounds delish!! We are definitely not spoiled for choice here in Australia so being “almost vegan” is a struggle for me. Our supermarkets have a very limited health food section and our specialty stores don’t have much on offer. I nearly died and went to heaven when I saw “Wholefoods” in the USA the last time I was there! We don’t have anything like it here.

        Your maple cinnamon pecan milk sounds TDF by the way!

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          October 2, 2010 7:30 pm

          I feel your pain about not having a Whole Foods equivalent 😦 At least there’s always internet shopping, right? Though not so much with yogurt…I hope the coco milk stuff heads your way soon!

  17. Julia permalink
    October 5, 2010 10:23 pm

    Oy! I wanted to give you a heads up, just in case you hadn’t heard of this place – but in Wichita there’s this Middle Eastern/Mediterranean place “Zaytun” (which supposedly means “olive” but I don’t remember which language it was in.). They prepare foods from all over – Lebanese, Syria, Iran (Persia), Afghanistan, etc.

    The other day husband and I had lunch there – which is probably your best bet because it’s an all you can eat buffet deal, so you could skip over what you don’t want to deal with and eat more of what you did, until you felt full. Now it’s not a “vegan” restaurant, in the purest sense of the word, not by any stretch of the imagination, but most of the foods are largely vegetables with little tiny bits of beef or chicken and/or cooked in a beef or chicken broth. There’s usually several raw salads, usually a bean soup or lentil soup of some sort, of course hummus and pita… and this particular day, they had a delicious cold pudding dessert which I detected rosewater in but I couldn’t decide if it was rice or cream of wheat in the grain part of the pudding. I asked the lady and she told me it was “Rose Pudding” but that it was made with rice (which explains the white color.).

    I just now found this recipe, which I’m also going to forward to myself –
    http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-013w748.html for Persian Rose Pudding. It does call for milk, but seeing as I largely avoid processed dairy these days (long story), I wouldn’t hesitate to try it with almond milk. (hey, I have a potluck coming up this weekend, this might be the perfect thing to bring!!).

    So anyway thought I’d share it with you and see which of us gets around to making it first – it didn’t seem “cheesy” so you may actually like it – even though it just isn’t that rich decadent vegan brownie Holy Grail thing you are looking for, though…sorry… heh. πŸ˜‰

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 10:38 am

      I haven’t heard of Zaytun. Thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to check it out sometime when I’m passing through Wichita. (All you really had to say was “hummus,” and I’m there! :P)

      I love Middle Eastern rice puddings (I’m ok with creamy desserts, hehe), so I bet that rosewater one is delectable. It’d take some tweaking to make it vegan, but I love that it’s date-sweetened! It may not be my Holy Grail Brownie (haha! That’s totally what I’m going to call them when I finally discover/create what I’m looking for!), but it still sounds mighty delicious to me. πŸ™‚

  18. October 6, 2010 10:37 am

    Hi there. I’m also a mostly-vegan who is not particularly interested in animal welfare, but much more interested in food sustainability (one of the reasons why honey is probably a lot better to use than agave). I wanted to post to bring two things to your attention:

    1. Do you know the famous cookbook author Mark Bittman has a new book out where he advocates for eating a “vegan until dinner” diet? His idea, like mine, is that it’s not that it is immoral to eat any animal products, but just that it is better for your own health and for the world’s health if you go a lot MORE vegan. I couldn’t agree more. I just bring this up because I think that there are a lot more folks like you and me who are mostly vegan these days than there ever have been before. Especially because the modern vegan cookbooks are so superior to other cookbooks — more flavorful, healthier, more creative — so eating vegan has a terrific appeal to food-lovers.

    2. You shouldn’t eat most fish. Seriously. It is far worse to eat fish than to eat beef or chicken or drink milk or eat eggs. I would really appreciate it if you’d read my blog post on this topic, found here: http://absurdistgap.blogspot.com/2010/09/there-are-plenty-of-fish-in-sea-not.html
    In this blog post, I don’t go into real detail about the health hazards involved in consuming mercury and PCB’s because I’m much more concerned about the fact that the ocean is emptying and there literally will not be any fish left in a few years if we keep overfishing the entire ocean the way we do. I understand that, in a better world, fish would be the healthiest protein to eat. But this is not a better world, and the healthiness of eating fish is really not even relevant anymore because fish are going extinct. Trust me, I’d love to eat fish, I LOVE fish. But it’s extremely problematic and it is truly immoral to take part in the continual destruction of world fish populations. Truth be told, I only scratch the surface in that blog post. There are many more troubling things to share.

    Thanks for reading!
    M

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 6, 2010 10:49 am

      Hi Melissaβ€”Thanks for your thoughtful remarks. I am not anti-honey in the least, so I’d tend to agree with you there (especially with the controversy currently surrounding agave, which I recently mentioned).

      I have seen/heard quite a bit about Bittman’s Vegan Till Dinner idea. I love it! It’s a great, non-judgmental, non-hardline stance that I think could be a good push for a lot of people to eat better. I also agree that there are a lot more people like us than ever before. Unfortunately, I think many keep quiet about it. We are in a funny position, when you think about itβ€”we’re looked at by carnivores like we’re crazy, AND we’re criticized by hardcore vegans who would say we’re not vegan enough.

      As for fish, rest assured I only eat fish a couple times per year. Your blog post is great, and very informative. I can safely say that I NEVER eat any of those fish you specified as being particularly endangered. Coincidentally, I’d say that probably 80% of the times I’ve had fish in the last several years, it’s been catfish! I’m glad to know that’s a sustainable species.

      Again, thanks for your insightful comments! πŸ™‚

  19. October 22, 2010 8:02 pm

    i just came across your blog. your philosophy toward veganism is the same as mine!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 22, 2010 10:18 pm

      Kathleen, that’s great! Flexibility is the way to go! πŸ™‚

  20. irmagination permalink
    October 29, 2010 10:27 pm

    Stumbled onto your blog. Loved it. I am a “don’t ask-don’t tell” type of vegan. Or maybe I should say, “don’t see-don’t ask” type of vegan. If I do not see it, I am not going to ask about it, I just eat it. If I am at home, I mostly know what is in my meals and I eat about 99% vegan (I am not into reading package labels-so I never really know if I am eating 100% vegan). But at restaurants and other people’s homes, I am not going to make a big issue out of what is in every dish.

    And I, too became a vegan initially for the healthiness of it. Though now, my reasons include compassion for animals, my health is still the primary reason I eat the way I do. I am hoping to one day boast about being 100% vegan, but I am happy to wait until it becomes a natural way of life for me. Life is too short to be struggling over one of life’s greatest pleasures…eating.

    Looking forward to future postings!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 29, 2010 10:36 pm

      A “don’t-see-don’t-ask” vegan – love it! That’s a great way to phrase it. I am the same…I mean, I ask for things at restaurants to not be finished with butter, or I have them hold the cheese, etc., but I’d not going to bother to ask if there’s a drop of cream in some sauce, or whatever. Same with package labels – so Nutella has skim milk powder, oh well!

      Life IS too short, so cheers to healthy AND happy eating! πŸ˜€ So glad you found my blog, and I look forward to hearing more from you!

  21. Joe Macchio permalink
    November 1, 2010 7:57 am

    shit, i should have talked Spanish with you … If only I had known πŸ™‚

    … Me siento muy contento

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 1, 2010 2:40 pm

      Well…good for you! πŸ˜›

  22. Wendi permalink
    November 3, 2010 9:00 pm

    So glad I found you. I have started down the Vegan path for heath reasons as well and I am glad to find a resource w/o the politics!!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 3, 2010 9:05 pm

      Hi, Wendi! I’m glad you found me, too. I’m always happy to meet others who are into food without politics. Hope to hear more from you on my blog! πŸ™‚

  23. November 4, 2010 4:33 pm

    You’re absolutely adorable! Glad I “met” you!…. and found your blog. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 4, 2010 4:46 pm

      Aw, teehee! I’m so glad we “met” each other too! πŸ˜€

  24. November 9, 2010 10:58 am

    Hey Amber, I can chime in like many others. I just decided to “try” vegan for the month of November and have already decided that’s it’s a good choice. However, while I am controlling what I cook and eat, going to restaurants and other places cannot be a hangup for me or I’d never do it at all. Apparently there is a group of us who feel the same way! Good to know!
    (oh, and 105degrees sounds amazing, what an opportunity)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 9, 2010 5:00 pm

      Welcome to the AV ranks, Kelly! πŸ˜› Don’t you love it when an experiment goes just right? I’m glad to hear you’re staying relaxed about dining out, etc. – eating should still be fun! Hope to hear more from you soon. πŸ™‚

  25. Joe Macchio permalink
    November 11, 2010 4:39 am

    hey what camera do you use for your pics on the blog?
    the make, the model, what pixels etc…

    πŸ™‚

    coma te va?

  26. December 3, 2010 10:17 am

    The second I read your about me I felt like it is the exact way that I am trying to live now! Although I could never be completely vegan, 95% of the time, I hope to be. I am only just a baby at it but the more I learn, the more I understand what an important step it is to take for our health!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 3, 2010 10:35 am

      I love hearing that! I think it’s great to keep health and happiness in balance. It sounds like you’re off to a fantastic start πŸ˜€

  27. December 26, 2010 12:23 pm

    Hi!
    My name is Micah, and after reading blogs for years, I’ve finally started my own. You, along with many other lovely bloggers have inspired me to document my journey to culinary school. I’d love it if you would check out my blog Sweet Like Tea, and tell your friends about it!
    Happy holidays and hope to keep in touch!
    Xoxo
    Micah
    http://sweetliketea.wordpress.com/

    PS. I’d love to hear your comments on the 105acadmeny… did you do any other training before that? I’m currently looking into schools and need some advice!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 7:33 pm

      Thanks Micah, glad to have been an inspiration for your fledgling blog πŸ™‚
      105degrees was my first formal culinary training. If you’re into “the raw thing,” I can’t recommend it enough!

  28. January 5, 2011 1:53 pm

    I am from Overland Park, Kansas and am now transplanted in the most backwoods county town ever, but I make the most of it. I travel to Wichita to get my vegan goodies and sometimes I travel further t hit a good restaurant. I too am into eating vegan and raw for health reasons and I am not bothered by the occasional egg in my food either. I am glad I found your website! I love to read about other healthy foodies out there! BTW, where did you get your chef schooling, is it around here?
    Thank you so much, if you do not mind I am going to add you to my blogroll!
    Viv~

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 5, 2011 1:59 pm

      Hey Viv! So glad you found my blog! So you’re out in the prairie now, eh? πŸ™‚ I think it’s great that you’re making the most of the resources you have, and trending towards vegan and raw eating. As for adding me to your blogroll, please feel free! Thanks for reading – I hope to hear more from you soon πŸ˜€

      PS – the 105degrees Academy (the raw chef program I attended) is in Oklahoma City, so, not too far!

  29. Maggie permalink
    January 11, 2011 7:59 am

    Do you wear leather, fur, etc? Just curious.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 8:56 am

      Nope – even if I wanted to, I couldn’t possibly afford it! I have more of a gothy fashion sense, anyhow πŸ™‚

  30. Tricia permalink
    January 27, 2011 9:27 pm

    You have a very healthy attitude towards veganism. I consider myself vegan even though the only animal product i eat is wild caught fish every once in a while mainly because my mom feels better if i do lol.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 28, 2011 7:04 am

      Thanks, Tricia! Wild-caught fish once or twice a year is cool with me, too πŸ™‚

  31. Beej permalink
    January 31, 2011 5:25 pm

    Hey, I love your blog. My girlfriend is vegan for similar reasons as you. I on the other hand am not by any stretch of the imagination. This makes cooking together very interesting and fun. When we first started dating I searched a lot of websites and blogs and was turned off by a lot of the “holier than thou” attitudes and preachy political blogs. I read your about me section and “food without politics” really stuck out. I’ve found what I was looking for and can’t wait to try some of your recipes. Keep up the great work and thanks.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 31, 2011 5:51 pm

      Hey Beej! I’m really glad my “food without politics” message resonates with you, and that’s awesome to hear you’ve got an open mind toward your gf’s way of eating. My boyfriend Matt was similar when we first started dating – i.e. more or less open, but skeptical. A year and a half later, he’d be the first to say he’s changed quite a bit – you might be interested in reading his post about it! The important thing, though, even if you never quit eating meat, is that you and your gf can find ways to enjoy food and cooking together. So bravo to you! πŸ™‚

  32. sara j permalink
    February 1, 2011 7:40 pm

    hey just found your blog…looks like recipes I will actually *try*! very exciting…thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      February 1, 2011 9:19 pm

      Aw, thank you Sara! I love hearing that πŸ™‚ Be sure to fill me in on what you do try, and how you like it!

  33. February 17, 2011 7:52 pm

    it makes me glad to see you eat a vegan diet strictly for health purposes.
    i’ve been doing the same, but felt almost ashamed to admit it, because people assume im eating a vegan diet just to lose weight and get skinny by depriving myself of all protein, fat and iron, when really most people don’t understand we’re not depriving ourselves of anything! i’ve also felt like theres this almost guilt that’s been placed in me not doing it JUST for the animals, i mean i do love animals, but was it the main reason for my veganism… no
    and it just makes me feel relieved that i’m not the only one like this, and that there’s no shame in being vegan for other reasons

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 15, 2011 2:26 pm

      Hi Ruta! Never be ashamed of taking care of your health first and foremostβ€”what good is compassion if you can’t put it towards yourself?! πŸ™‚ So glad to hear you enjoy my blog. You (we) are definitely not alone!

  34. February 26, 2011 6:04 am

    Love it!!!

    If dirt is “safe” than certainly honey is. That’s my rationale and I tend to be political about things.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 15, 2011 2:27 pm

      Haha, I try to avoid the politics of food on this blog…but I tend to be highly political myself πŸ™‚

  35. March 29, 2011 4:10 am

    I LOVE your blog!!! I am, as well, an “almost vegan.” I fell off the meat eating habit a few years back, and I discovered my intolerance to lactose a while ago. I love your food ideas! I find myself eating the same things, a lot. I have already bookmarked your page πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 29, 2011 11:34 am

      Thanks so much, Jessica! Welcome πŸ˜€

  36. smilesndreams permalink
    April 20, 2011 8:36 pm

    Great I’ve found your blog! I look forward to reading more as I have signed up πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 20, 2011 9:28 pm

      Glad to hear it! πŸ™‚

  37. Debbie permalink
    April 26, 2011 3:41 pm

    Hi Amber, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and I want you to know that even we vegans who came to this lifestyle through our commitment to reduce animal suffering are not all as judgemental as the ones you may have encountered. I love it when anyone does anything to reduce the number of animals killed for food, and if it’s for mainly health reasons, so be it, sister! The result is the same – we improve our health, and less animals suffer. Plus, I LOVE food and I was never interested in learning to cook or bake until I became vegan and it’s opened up a whole new world for me. Raw food is amazing, the versatility and taste and innovation….I’ve eaten at 105 Degrees a few times and each time is better than the last. Thank you for all your great recipes and posts – I’ll be going back through them to find something sweet to make for my mom for Mothers day this year. Last year I bought her a raw red velvet cake from 105 but I want to make something myself this year.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 26, 2011 4:05 pm

      Thank you so much for this comment, Debbie! I definitely don’t think most vegans are over-judgmental – in fact, the vast majority are not! Similarly to how you became interested in vegan cooking as a result of your love for animals, I have come to care quite a bit about reducing animal suffering through my experience with vegan food. You’re so right, anything and everything we can do improve our health AND the lives of animals is a win-win situation! I’m so glad to hear, too, that you’re getting into raw food. It’s such exciting territory! I hope you find the perfect Mothers Day treat in my archives. πŸ™‚

  38. April 28, 2011 8:07 pm

    Hi Amber! I just discovered your blog and I look forward to reading. I’m new to this vegan(ish) world so it’s refreshing to find your blog.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      April 28, 2011 8:42 pm

      Hi Mimo! So nice to “meet” you πŸ˜€

  39. May 5, 2011 7:36 am

    Love the site! πŸ™‚

    Lots we have in common – definitely bookmarking you!

    ps-found link via the mommy bowl

    xo,
    Gigi

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 5, 2011 10:22 am

      Hey Gigi! I’m a fan of your site too on FB πŸ˜€ Thanks for the bookmark!

  40. Olivia permalink
    May 23, 2011 5:44 am

    I am a little confused as to why you say you are not an animal lover, does this mean you don’t like or love animals? Are you not also vegan because you don’t want to eat animals?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 23, 2011 11:01 am

      Thanks for your question. By “not an animal lover,” I mean I don’t really have a personal connection with animals. I don’t have pets (and don’t want any), and I’m just not the type to want to pet or play with animals. However, of course that doesn’t mean that I believe killing animals is anything but completely wrong. I AM against animal cruelty in the food system today, because it’s simply wrong and unnecessary. Although I came to veganism originally because I believe it’s the healthiest diet we can eat, it wasn’t very long before I also came to believe in the environmental and animal rights arguments. So health is still my main motivator, but as a whole, the reasons for my veganism are manyfold. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps explain my position!

  41. TanyaS permalink
    June 14, 2011 7:28 pm

    Hi! I found the link to your blog from the comments section at runners world.com. I”m glad I found your blog. I’m a NEW Vegan still ALMOST Vegan, and a NEW wanna-be-runner. I just started the Couch to 5k plan, and I’m loving it. I’m 40yr old mother of 5, 70lbs over weight, and looking to stay a Vegan Runner for the rest of my life. I can use all the advice, suggestions, and recipes I can find. I’m glad this blog is here! πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 17, 2011 11:19 am

      Hi Tanya! So glad you found me πŸ™‚ CONGRATS on starting your running career alongside transitioning to veganism!

  42. June 28, 2011 10:23 am

    Hi Amber! I found your blog via Hot Raw Chef. I clicked on your vid. to check out your super recipe once more, and instead got redirected to your blog. So happy for it, as you’ve a great site! You’ve actually inspired me to enter the 5 in 5 contest. Look out for my Spiced Banana Nut FrappΓ©. I don’t have your culinary training, but I love to “un”cook! Best wishes. πŸ™‚

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 28, 2011 5:07 pm

      Thanks so much, Trina! I’m so happy to have been an inspiration for you. Best of luck in the Hot Raw Chef contest – I can’t wait to see your video! πŸ™‚

  43. June 28, 2011 6:06 pm

    I would love to attend Living Light…..How do you become so creative in devising recipes…I am a recipe follower yet love this industry….

  44. Susie Atkinson permalink
    July 3, 2011 6:31 am

    Hi Amber. I am really happy to have found your blog. I am flying over to Fort Bragg from Australia end of August to begin classes at Living Light. Congratulations on your nomination as Living Light’s Hot Raw Food Chef for 2011….that is truly wonderful!! I am a little nervous as well as excited about attending Living Light, particularly about doing the presentation in one of the classes. I am sure it is going to be a lot of fun though. It is my first time overseas on my own as well, but Fort Bragg looks a really beautiful part of the world. Have a lovely day. Susie

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 4, 2011 9:13 am

      How exciting that you’re coming over to the U.S. and Living Light! You’ll love it. Don’t be too nervous about the presentations – the nice part is that everyone there is like-minded folk, so you’ll be preaching to your own choir! Let me know how your classes go πŸ™‚

  45. July 19, 2011 4:01 pm

    Glad I found your blog! I love your attitude towards food. I follow a vegan diet most of the time, but not always, and it’s great finding other people w/ similar eating habits.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 19, 2011 4:03 pm

      Thanks Cait! I’m happy to hear that. I love meeting like-minded folks too. πŸ™‚

  46. August 28, 2011 12:57 pm

    Just stumbled on your blog from a pinterest link. I’m a long time vegetarian for personal health reasons and after 15 years I’m looking to cut back on the milk and eggs. Don’t think true vegan is where I’ll end up but if I can eliminate all but the small amounts hidden here and there in foods I think my belly will be happier. Glad to also find a fellow vegetarian that doesn’t like salad greens! I absolutely will not eat iceberg lettuce. *shudder* I can enjoy a good spinach salad without dressing or the occasional spring mix if I must. Can’t wait to poke around and find some inspiration!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      August 29, 2011 9:27 pm

      Nice to “meet” you, booturtle! I love that we’re on the same page with both almost-veganism and yucky leaves πŸ˜›

  47. September 4, 2011 8:36 pm

    I’m not vegan, not even vegetarian, but I enjoy eating a largely plant-based diet. And I love leafy greens! πŸ™‚ A few summers ago, I ate an almost all raw diet, and I enjoyed it. I did find it a bit too time-consuming to continue it into the fall (when I went back to teaching a full load of college classes), but I’m always looking for new plant-based meals. Looking forward to following you along!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 4, 2011 8:56 pm

      Hi Andrea – Hooray for a plant-based diet! I love hearing from non-vegans who still realize how important it is to eat a diet high in fresh, whole, natural plant foods. I understand about the time-consuming-ness of a lot of raw food…my cookbook, when it comes out, will have plenty of quick-to-make recipes for that very reason. Looking forward to hearing from you in the future in the comments! πŸ™‚

  48. Monica Burton permalink
    September 6, 2011 11:39 am

    So excited to find your blog! I too am a “almost vegan” in the KC area! I never new there were so many of us! I love cooking and baking and am dying to open my own vegan bakery!! (Someday, I hope!) I’ve been trying to start a vegan blog mainly because there are lots of my coworkers asking me for recipes and I thought that would be a great way to get them to everyone. But between work and actually cooking, I can’t seem to find the time to sit down and type! Looking forward to reading many more entries in your blog!

    ~Monica

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 6, 2011 11:56 am

      Hi Monica!
      Yay, another almost-vegan gal in KC! It sounds like you know a few others, too – that’s awesome! I’ve thought casually about trying to start a KC vegan bloggers meetup, just cuz I often feel sorely in need of new, likeminded friends, but I haven’t gotten beyond the idea stage with that, heh. I have a [secret] dream of opening a vegan bakery, too! Hmm, maybe we should think about joining forces someday and making it happen? πŸ˜‰

  49. Ann-Drea permalink
    September 12, 2011 11:12 am

    Love this philsophy!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 12, 2011 12:44 pm

      Thanks! ❀

  50. September 25, 2011 8:02 am

    Thanks for your great resource. I am looking forward to reviewing your recipes. I have been a vegetarian for several months and have been cooking vegetarian and vegan for my daughter for 7 years.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      September 25, 2011 11:16 am

      That’s great, Kim! Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

  51. October 3, 2011 11:31 pm

    So happy I’m not the only vegan who does the whole vegan thing for dietary reasons – and not because I feel sorry for the animals. So happy to have found your blog!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 4, 2011 11:14 am

      I’m so happy you found me too, Ashlae! Welcome!

  52. Heather Trupia permalink
    October 9, 2011 9:22 pm

    I am excited to find your blog through entering the contest for Vegan on $4 a Day book. Your philosophy on being Vegan is just like mine! I want to be healthy without worrying about the occasional bit animal product in something! Looking forward to following your blog!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 9, 2011 9:25 pm

      Welcome, Heather! I’m glad you share my veganish philosophy. πŸ™‚

  53. October 30, 2011 9:40 pm

    oh my goodness! i saw your picture on The Purple Carrot and thought you looked familiar. I clicked over to your blog, which is awesome and definitely recognized you from high school! Looks like you’re doing well πŸ™‚ hope life is good!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      October 30, 2011 10:14 pm

      Hey! I totally recognize you too, though I can’t for the life of me remember your last name – help?

      I’m doing very well! About 1000 times better than in high school, ha. My first cookbook is being published in the spring, so times are busy-but-wonderful. How about yourself?

      The blog world is a small world, after all! πŸ™‚

  54. November 18, 2011 3:29 pm

    Hi Amber,
    I am a hardcore southern belle from the deep south, who is trying to go vegetarian/vegan.
    I want to be healthier, but such a lifestyle/dietary change seems almost sacriledge in a community where Paula Dean is revered as much as the Holy Mother. I love your blog, and your recipes look amazing! Are there any recipe books you would suggest that can make this transition easier? It’s almost the holidays and I want to show my family that veganism/vegitarianism is not only a healty lifestyle, but a yummy one at that!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 18, 2011 3:51 pm

      Hey Rika! Welcome; I’m so glad you found my blog. There are definitely some great “comfort food” vegan books out there. Bryant Terry’s ‘Vegan Soul Kitchen’ comes to mind immediately, and my friend Bianca of VeganCrunk.com is coming out with a Southern food cookbook in January. A couple other general books I’d highly recommend are ‘1,000 Vegan Recipes’ by Robin Robertson (there’s a recipe for everything you could ever want in there!) and ‘Veganomicon’ by Isa Moskowitz & Terry Romero. And of course, cookbooks aside, the vegan food blogosphere is a treasure trove of healthy and delicious (and free!) recipes.

      I hope that helps, and best of luck in your journey towards veganism! Hope to hear from you more here on the blog. πŸ™‚

  55. November 19, 2011 6:25 pm

    Thanks a bunch, Amber!
    I’ve picked up a couple of cookbooks and looked at the Vegan blog. It has been a great help, I have also tried your 5 min. blondie fix, and it was really good, sweet and super rich! i almost couldn’t finish it and was amazed at the complex flavors that was brought out with such a simple dish. You will definitely here more from me!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      November 20, 2011 8:43 pm

      I’m so happy you tried the raw blondie! It’s amazing how filling it is, isn’t it? πŸ˜€

  56. December 6, 2011 7:11 pm

    I am wanting to go to a more healthy life diet. I have cut out a lot of bad for me foods already but still am no where near eating healthy. I want to try the Eat for Life way of eating from Dr Fuhrman but not sure if I can commit to it. Do any of you have any experience with it?

    • December 7, 2011 9:24 am

      Hi Susan! Do you mean the Eat to Live program? I’m a huge fan of Dr. Fuhrman and EtL. His prescribed method is really not all that different than the way I naturally eat a lot of the time. It’s pretty straightforward once you get the gist of it: a pound of raw veggies, a pound of cooked veggies, 3-4 pieces of fruit, 1 cup of beans, and 1 oz. of nuts per day. Minimal grains and starches, no oil or sugar. It’s tough to stick to full-time, but you’ll be richly rewarded if you do. I think you can even still get in on the holiday challenge right now and get a free short-term membership to the EtL site.

      Hope that helps, and good luck! Feel free to browse my recipe page for meal and snack ideas. πŸ™‚

  57. Cindy permalink
    February 12, 2012 6:24 pm

    Hi Amber, so glad to find your site! I love it! I became almost Vegan, about 10 months ago. I am into it for my health! I care about animals and hate ‘farming’ of animals but I am not radical and I care more about human’s and the Typical SAD fare that most eat! I signed up for many Vegan sites trying to find good recipes and connect with others doing the same thing I thought I was. Oh boy! Was I in for a shock! I was attacked and made to feel stupid because I choose to eat honey and eggs once in a great while. Deleted myself from most of them very quickly!! It’s nice to finally find someone who believes similar to myself! Thank you!! Looking forward to exploring your site more thoroughly! Take care!

    • February 12, 2012 6:57 pm

      Hi Cindy! I’m so glad you found me too! I’m sorry to hear you experienced some judgmental people elsewhere in the vegan blogosphere. I can definitely understand and relate. Sounds like we think a lot alike when it comes to a vegan diet and lifestyle!

  58. Elizabeth Koehler permalink
    February 15, 2012 10:47 am

    Hi Amber,
    Really excited to discover your blog. I am a new almost vegan that moved back to KC about a year ago. The vegan diet emerged in our family when we discovered our infant, whom I am nursing, could not tolerate dairy in my diet. Combine that with a desire to cut out meat due to hubby’s high cholesterol, and there you have it! I am loving this new lifestyle and eager to reconnect with other vegans in the area. I was kind of wondering if I was the only one…

    • February 15, 2012 10:49 am

      Hi Elizabeth! You’re definitely not the only one! We have lots of vegans here, as well as tons of raw foodists. Welcome back to KC!

    • April 1, 2012 8:09 pm

      Elizabeth, I am in the kc area with two small children as well, and also feeling eager to make more vegan or almost vegan real life connections πŸ™‚ perhaps a playdate is in order πŸ™‚

  59. Katherine permalink
    February 20, 2012 6:35 pm

    Ive just started eating raw a couple of days ago and I find that any time I read information or look to support online I get overwhelmed by the strictness and rules that you mention. I agree that eating mostly raw vegan is a great idea and I dont think I should feel guilty that I dont fit into a label on days I crave a slice of toast! πŸ™‚

  60. Sarah permalink
    February 27, 2012 12:25 pm

    I stumbled upon this blog while I was getting ready to make my sister’s tried and true vegan chocolate French silk pie and was surfing the net for similar recipes. I was intrigued by the “almost vegan” title as that is how I would describe myself (vegetarian for nearly 8 years now since I love animals and currently making the transition to a plant-based diet for better health), looked at your bio, and saw that you’re a 2006 KU grad, just like me. In fact, I even took a linguistics course for part of my anthropology requirement. Small world, so just thought I’d say hello to a fellow Jayhawk! Great blog – keep up the great work. And Rock Chalk πŸ™‚

  61. February 29, 2012 11:39 am

    Amber, I love your web site!! You have so many great recipes! Looking forward to following you!

  62. March 5, 2012 11:28 am

    Your recipes look DELICIOUS and I appreciate your eloquence on the subject of being “almost vegan.” I look forward to trying a few of your concoctions πŸ™‚

  63. March 5, 2012 1:16 pm

    Hey, Congratulations on the cookbook, and i must say I just happened to discover your blog the day after i decided to adopt an “almost” vegan lifestyle. You have a lot of great things going on here. Keep up the good cooking.

  64. March 5, 2012 8:39 pm

    Thanks! It’s decided, I am definitely going. Very glad I stumbled upon your blog

  65. March 29, 2012 11:27 am

    I can relate to hating American food! With so many wonderful flavors in the world why would we want to stick with potatoes and casseroles?

  66. April 1, 2012 3:57 pm

    found your book on amazon & followed the links here! i was surprised i wasn’t already following you on twitter. nice to meet you!

  67. April 1, 2012 8:04 pm

    It’s so exciting to me when i see people eating this way in the midwest! My husband and children and I have been vegan for 6 months now, also in Kansas city, and sometimes it can feel like a pretty lonely lifestyle. I am looking forward to checking out your blog and. Cookbook!

  68. April 17, 2012 7:59 pm

    Hi Amber, I just stumbled on your blog and am excited to find another almost vegan. Can’t wait to read through your recipes!

  69. April 30, 2012 12:18 pm

    Haha I haven’t even said hello yet and you’re welcoming me! Hello other angela ^_^

    Amber- I also don’t like leafy salad greens or minty things!! Which is funny considering I am vegan (i also do the flexible rare honey egg thing). I thought I was the only vegan on the planet who didnt like them! SO am glad to find you. I’m getting better as well, I have found baby spinach a nice pathway in, kale chips work, as does putting small amounts in my smoothie or growing it from the garden. Anyway, looking forward to checking out your stuff, if ur interested in mine its at http://www.facebook.com/edibleangela. Hope your health is doing well and improving, Bless. xxx

  70. Ronya Williams permalink
    May 4, 2012 2:02 pm

    I love that I ran across this blog!!! You are truly an inspiration!! I am a 28 year old Social Worker who recently became vegan! I have a passion for healthy eating and I too became vegan because of my health. I have an autoimmune disease ” Lupus” and Fibromyalgia and have flare ups when I drink to eat the wrong things. I have been thinking about attending culinary school and becoming certified in Nutrition Education/ Holistic Diets.. I love the fact you said you are a vegan 99% of the time and eat non-vegan foods rarely….I really use to beat myself up and now I don’t have to because you confirmed that. Everyone else asked like I committed murder if I occassionally eat non – vegan foods. I am human and that’s that. I am super motivated to work with families across the country who are malnourished!!! You confirmed this for me!!

    Blessings!!

    Ronya Williams

  71. May 15, 2012 12:35 pm

    Found your blog through my WordPress colleague Annie! Congrats on the book! Great job on the blog.

  72. Rebecca permalink
    May 19, 2012 11:22 am

    Hi Amber,
    I can completely relate your Hashimotos! I have it too and was just diagnosed and like you I’m working on a Plant-Based and Raw diet to heal my body. So far so good. Wishing you all the best on your journey!

  73. June 20, 2012 11:28 am

    Hi Amber, I found your blog when researching Vegans with Hoshimotos. My Doctors believe I Have Hoshimotos and I will see an endoctrinologist next Monday. I too am Vegan, very athletic, and have gained 18 pds. You can see my abs under all of this water. I really hope the endoctronologist can Help me out! Thanks for your Blogs! I am also Vegas right now and will try the restaurants you suggested. I have a list with other Restaurants with Vegan options as well.

  74. June 20, 2012 2:15 pm

    Hi Amber! Nice list of travel spots and even more impressive list of languages! Ironically I found your blog several weeks ago when I was still deciding on the name for my blog and upcoming cookbook. Which is to say I think the name “Almost Vegan” is excellent. (My current concept is rather different; don’t panic. πŸ˜‰

    Congrats on your cookbook and I’ll be looking for it over here (in Berlin) or else I’ll try to pick it up the next time in the US. Does your publisher deal with European shops / distribution? Hopefully… the vegan thing is getting mega popular over here!

  75. Vanessa permalink
    June 20, 2012 9:15 pm

    Hi Amber, it’s Vanessa over @ Project Zen. It’s nice to meet you and learn more about you. I like how you’re willing to share a little bit about your culinary journey through veganism by writing about it. That’s what I do with massage therapy over at my blog. Will be reading you again!

  76. July 18, 2012 4:10 am

    Hey there Amber, I’m Tonette. I forgot how I came to your blog, but I’m glad I did! Yep, I’m also almost raw vegan! πŸ˜€ Just recently actually and a blogger for almost 4 months now. Looking forward to more posts from you! πŸ™‚

  77. Larry permalink
    July 30, 2012 6:47 am

    Had to buy your book when I ran across it on Amazon & started looking through it & saw cherry mash smoothies OMG my favorite candy & since I moved to Michigan from Kansas 25 years ago & can’t buy them here
    & was looking for a healthy cookbook to help me to start eating healthy again. I have been Vegan off & on for years. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes!

  78. hellen permalink
    July 31, 2012 2:06 am

    great i love your non judgement, flexible lifestyle approach very refreshing coming from what can so often
    be over bearing and fanatical americaness around this subject!!! Love that you are also trained so have the knowledge :))

  79. Mel permalink
    August 7, 2012 7:24 pm

    Hi Amber,
    I ordered your cookbook from Amazon and it arrived a couple of days ago. It’s absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to work my way through each and every recipe.What fun!

  80. Nicola permalink
    September 27, 2012 3:20 pm

    Hey! I also am hypothyroid, and I have found that gluten and dairy free has really helped me. I’d love to know more about your journey with an autoimmune disease as well as sharing my own!
    -Nicola

  81. Molly permalink
    October 29, 2012 3:58 pm

    La utz awach? Just read your FAQ page, and I think it’s fantastic that you speak Kaqchikel Maya! I lived in Guatemala for a bit last year and learned a bit of it myself! It is such a fun language.

    • October 29, 2012 4:10 pm

      Well, I can’t claim to speak it (anymore, at least) – I only studied it for one semester in college, 7 years ago. But it’s such a fascinating and out-of-the-ordinary language! πŸ™‚

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