Vegan Foraging: A New Adventure

Wesley Martusewicz (an herbalist, not a vegan)

I’ve been eating a gluten-free, soy-free unprocessed vegan diet lately and feeling so great. My skin is clearer, my digestion is better and my allergies are gone. I’ll take a photo soon and I bet you’ll see a difference — I really think it’s visible. My doctor suggested I try cutting out those foods after I complained of throat phlegm that persisted through the seasons — dairy, gluten and soy are common dietary irritants. Veganism is very compatible with foraging, fortunately. Just ask Greg, the blogger-slash-casual vegan who writes about healthy food and green living in Arcata, California.

I’m looking forward to trying out a recipe for cat’s ear, Hypochoeris radicata, in John Kallas’s book as well as some in Wildman Steve Brill‘s new Wild Vegan Cookbook, which I’ll be reviewing on here soon.

Tonight I had an awesome vegan dinner with Tammy, a fellow Portland blogger who writes about voluntary simplicity at She lives with her partner, Logan, in a small studio apartment and writes about how living with less has brought her happiness. We met when Logan came out on one of my urban foraging walks. Check out a great article about her in the New York Times.

So, about this vegan thing. It’s not about purity (anything with an “ism” is trying to guilt-trip me. Screw that). It’s just about feeling good. Of course I’ve long been opposed to factory farming due to the ethical and ecological violence of enslaving animals. And I have been pesco-vegetarian for 12 years now. But have you ever had the experience of just knowing your body wants you to eat a certain way? I feel that way about the vegan diet. Will it last? I don’t know. I’m going to keep it up until or unless I feel I can’t. In theory I am totally open to roadkill deer meat, but in practice it grosses me out. I’ll update if this changes.

Good news: I am working on a book! And I’m looking forward to leading some awesome upcoming fall foraging classes with herbalist Wesley Martusewicz. (Emily is traveling in California). Edited to add: Despite the juxtaposition of the headline and the photo, Wes is not a vegan.

8 thoughts on “Vegan Foraging: A New Adventure

  1. A book! Awesome. I just got Thayer’s, but can’t wait for yours!

    Thanks for those other blog links.

    As for vegan-not-ism… Vegan-ality? Vegan-ish-ness? I definitely am trying to eat less and only organic and free-range meat. But my calorie need is so high from my height, I need my lean happy, grassy meat.

    In any case everyone needs to listen to their own body as well as the needs of the environment. Vegan, paleo, whatever works. As long as everyond does that, things can only improve. :)

    • Coleus,

      If Scott Jurek: can run 100 mile endurance races through the most brutal heat on earth in mid summer, as a vegan, I’m certain you can manage to get enough calories for your height. If you don’t believe me try it.

      Even when I was weight lifting 5-6 days a week and running 10-20 miles a week, I easily got enough calories from an entirely plant-based diet. I simply ate more nuts, seeds, avocados, fruit, and cooked vegetables. And yes, more grains too.

      The more you exercise, the more calories you need. The more calories you need, the more nutrients you get.

      • Hi Greg!

        Oh I believe you. I simply enjoy the benefits and taste of a moderate amount of responsibly-raised critter.

  2. I’m a vegan who doesn’t eat refined grains, sugar, or processed foods. I’m not strict about it because it’s really difficult to avoid refined grains completely. Also, I accept animal products in restaurants when I order them on accident, but I’ve lost my stomach for cheese completely. I just can’t eat it.

    I do eat as many vegetables in a day as I can, and I eat 3 pieces of fruit every day. It’s impossible not to lose extra weight if you eat so many fruits and vegetables.

  3. I’m glad you’re wary of isms. As long as you’re listening to what your body wants and make conscious, informed, and ethical decisions about where the food comes from I don’t think it matters what you choose.

  4. hej Rebecca, Ossi is a finnish person and doing a lot with plants. Nice that you feel so good with vegan diet. i want learn more about a plant vegan way. also in germany are quiet some peopels trying go this way.

  5. I once told my partner she’d have to drag me to a farm to convince me to go vegan. It turned out all she had to do was get a few books from the library. There’s an avalanche of scientific studies backing up the healthful value of whole plants. It’s something everyone knows and so many ignore.

    While I can’t speak to allergies or irritants, becoming a whole foods vegan ended my post-food comas, and I lost 10 pounds of fat without trying. I’m very excited to learn more about eating weeds because you simply can’t gain weight if you eat lots of plants.

Leave a Reply