2013 Sucked And Was Awesome: An Essay (A Long One)

January 4th, 2014 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration


New Year’s morning, 2013. My family.

I’m staring at this empty space where I’m supposed to record ye olde Two Thousand and Thirteen, and I’m finding that I seriously have no idea where to start. I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for a while now, but I haven’t because I really just don’t know where to start. Can I just skip to the Jeremy bit? That’s the good stuff. But no, okay, I should really include the whole of it. Accuracy and such.

2013 started out as maybe the most difficult year of my life. I’m not sure how much of that came across on the blog, but boy has it been a struggle. Divorce is always painful, of course. Always difficult, and I think for many (at least for me), always involves some identity crisis. My divorce was about as amicable as they come, but even so. I have a child. I am now a divorced mother. I have to figure out how to legitimately support myself and my child.

At the beginning of 2013, I didn’t know what to do with my life. And I had to fight, every day, against the voices which would scream, “You’re too old to be wondering what to do with your life!” and also “How the hell did you get yourself into such a dependent position, you sad excuse for a feminist!”

My 2013 was dealing with demons. My closet doors flew open, and all the skeletons I’d packed up so neatly (at least, I thought) in Portland, well apparently they enjoy the southern California sun as well, because they all came flooding out. 2013 made it hard to look in the mirror. Sometimes even hard to breath. Some days fighting panic attacks. Mostly over money, but it’s not really about money, because money represents so much more than just dollars and cents. Not having enough money – not earning enough money – is the constant internalization of “failure”.

Yeah, 2013 had me doubting every decision I’d ever made, basically.

But hey, there were good things too! Overall, actually, I can definitively say that in 2013 I experienced more cumulative happiness than in any year for a long, long time prior. And I lived authentically . . . which is probably why the skeletons came out. Because I let them.

I lived with different priorities in 2013. I guess I’m not out to impress anyone, anymore. I’m not trying to leave my mark on the world. I’m just trying to experience being human (it sounds so trite, I know, but it’s the truth).

Every year, around new year’s, I prepare a word document with my thoughts and intentions for the coming year. I start off with a title, for example 2012′s was “You Only Get One Shot” (seems appropriate considering what happened) and 2011′s was “Quality Over Quantity“. You get the idea.

And I always have an overarching theme which guides my growth for the following 365 days, summarized in a short paragraph underneath the title.

2013 was called “Keep Going“, and underneath that I wrote:

you’re doing good. keep doing it. you’re moving in the right direction, so keep moving. trust your gut. you do you, so do it loud and do it proud. and for fucks sake, enjoy it.

At the time I wrote it, I actually had no idea of what I was doing. I just knew, intuitively, that I was moving – inching ever so freaking slowly – in the right direction. And truthfully, I continued to feel that way through most of 2013, which I think is why I struggled so much. I felt like I was flailing, flinging myself aimlessly in a million different directions, desperate for a path to emerge. Most of 2013 felt like all my energy went into just treading water, with no forward motion at all.

Except the thing is, now it’s over. And looking back, I can see how incredibly far I’ve come. And on Monday, I begin a master’s program in biology (most likely focusing on macroevolution, but that’s still open). And I see now, that all that thrashing was not for nothing. The thrashing WAS my path, and it got me exactly where I needed to be. Dusty and broken and bruised from all that aimless flailing, but here nonetheless.

It’s the right path. I’ve been presented with opportunities, doors that have opened that I never could have anticipated. A path, and a good one at that.

So I don’t know, maybe if you’re feeling aimless and lost, you’ll take comfort in that? One foot in front of the other. Keep Going. It usually gets you somewhere.


Waits has blossomed this year, truly, and more than I expected. He is bright, thoughtful, strong-willed, curious, and kind. He sure has an imagination, that one. And a whole lot of spirit.

The move and the separation were hard on him, but not as hard is living in an unhappy home. Since we’ve been in Santa Barbara, and especially since he’s been participating in his amazing preschool program, he’s bloomed into such a happier kid. If Damian and I ever doubted that we made the right decision (we don’t), all we’d have to do is look at the proof that’s in that kiddo. This is better for him. He is radiant.


I’m pretty convinced that Waits Rebhal IS the actual reincarnation of Jim Morrison. The Lizard Prince.

In 2013, one of the best damn decisions I made was to return to blogging. Here on Bonzai Aphrodite, but also with a regular gig over at the prolific green living web-giant, Care2.

I returned to the blogosphere with a bang, and a bigger bang than I ever expected, that’s for sure. That initial post, Facing Failing Health As A Vegan, is my highest ranking article of all time, by leaps and bounds, and I have had countless people tell me that it’s one of the most important things that’s ever been written for vegans.

I don’t know about that, but I do think it’s an important message and one that isn’t often expressed within our community, so I’m glad to have opened the dialogue.

But blogging isn’t always so serious! I mean, lets not forget, this is the year I discovered the glory that is Pudla, for gosh sakes. Definitely noteworthy. And while we’re on the subject, I think my very most favorite culinary innovation of the entire year was Waits’s third birthday cake: the watermelon cake!


Leftovers Salad was a close second, just for practicalities sake. I eat it – and recommend it to my clients – pretty much constantly.

Speaking of clients, I sure did a surprising amount of travel in 2013! Beginning, in February, with a trip to New York to attend the Main Street Vegan Academy (you can read my recaps here and here and here and here). At the end of that trip I was certified as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, and I’ve been working with clients and building my small business ever since!


Left: New york in February for MSVA. Right: Portland in May for VVC.

A few months after MSVA, I traveled to Portland (yay!) for the ever-fabulous Vida Vegan Con vegan blogging conference (you can read my recaps here and here and here). VVC is one of my favorite events, and this year certainly did not disappoint.

Later in 2013, I traveled to Shasta County for our annual family reunion, and to Maryland for a whole week of real relaxing. I was also able to sneak in a few romantic getaways, to San Francisco and to San Diego. And of course, lots and lots of weekend trips to LA.


I met one of my biggest idols, Amanda Palmer, after she did a reading at the Echoplex, March 2013.

2013 was my Year of Music!

It’s the year I listened to more music than podcasts or political radio; the year I made music a priority. These days, most of my friends here in town are musicians. I saw so many local shows, fell in love with so many bands, and listened to endless hours of live jazz.

And let’s talk just about the resplendent musical serendipity that occurred in 2013, because I don’t have any faith and I don’t believe in fate, but this shiz is just straight up crazy. How could this have happened?

Anyone who reads this blog has probably figured out that Tom Waits is my favorite musician of all time, ever, hello I named my son after him. And you may have noticed me posting a lot about Amanda Palmer as well, my second favorite musician, because she’s pretty much my greatest roll model of fierce authentic womanhood. And her music is intensely amazing.

The number three slot is so far below numbers one and two, that it’s actually on rotation, available for whichever musician fits my whim. Sometimes it’s old school punk rock, other times musical theatre. Some days it’s one song over and over and over. Paul Simon. The Violent Femmes. It could be anything, really. My number three spot is reserved for the music that speaks to me at any given moment (and music tends to speak loudly to me, so I do feel oh-so strongly in that moment).

And in 2013, as a whole, I’d say that third spot went to Macklemore. I listened to sooooo much Macklemore this year.


On October 27th I got to see Tom Waits.

Then, on December 5th, I got to see Macklemore.

And on December 15th, I got to see Amanda Palmer.

HOW?! Year of Music, indeed.


Amanda Palmer playing at the Echoplex, December 2013.

Okay. So. Work, travel, music – it’s all good stuff. But the truth, the most important truth of the year, is something I think you already know.

In 2013 I fell deeply, so completely, in love. And if you think that’s sort of crazy and seems really really soon, I can only assure you – I agree. I never expected to fall in love so quickly (if ever?), and certainly not like this.

I am so happy that sometimes, it’s actually overwhelming. Sometimes I don’t believe it’s real, because I didn’t think this was possible. To hold a person in your arms and feel like you are whole . . . it’s just not something I believed in. I was never looking for my “other half”. I didn’t think I had one.

Guys, this is Jeremy:


Extra-observant readers might actually recognize him! Jeremy has been pictured on this blog not once, not twice, but three times already. Ha!

The first time was way back in May, in the post about LA Vegan Beer Fest. Because that’s the day we met.

The second was in the Vegan Vine wine video, because Jeremy is in the wine and spirits business, so he was the sommelier for our tasting.

And the third was just a few weeks ago, in my Celebrating Winter Solstice post. Because he’s basically part of the family now.


We started our relationship long-distance, him living in LA and me in SB, taking turns visiting on our weekends. We have talked on the phone every single day since the day we met. And at the beginning of October, he moved to Santa Barbara.

I’m trying not to get all overly-emotional and gushy, but also, I kind of don’t need to, right? I mean, you guys have been reading my love lists, have watched the transformation that I’ve undergone this year. You’ve seen it reflected in the way I write, in my photos, in my eyes. I know you have, because you’ve told me! I’m happier than I’ve ever been.


Jeremy is one of the most genuinely thoughtful people I have ever met. He takes care of me. He sees me as I am, broken and good and tarnished and trying, and he wants all of it. He makes me feel beautiful. He is smart, capable, creative, and eccentric. He’s the kind of guy you’d want around during a zombie apocalypse. And he is absolutely unafraid to be completely, uniquely himself. He inspires me every day. And holy moly, we just have so much FUN together!

Waits thinks he’s pretty awesome, too.

IMG_2101photo 2

I didn’t think my life could hold such profound and sustained pleasure. Jeremy brings me joy, over and over, in small ways and big ways and ways that I can’t describe, and it just. doesn’t. stop. He makes my life better, endlessly better. I love my life. But I love my life more, with him in it.

So yeah, 2013 was confusing, difficult, and raw. But it was also soaring bliss, gleaming and divine. Dark and light. Pleasure and pain. Balance.

On December 31st, 2013, I Instagrammed the following picture, with the following caption, which I want to share here now with all of you.

photo 1

Happy New Years from Waits and I! May 2014 bring you a well-rounded human experience including but not limited to a wide range of natural emotions, primarily but certainly not exclusively the good ones. Authenticity forever! And remember – we love you!!!

Thank you all for reading, for sharing, and for joining me on another wild trip around the sun.

♥ ♥ ♥

  • kittee berns

    I read every word of this post, and I am so happy to finally say HEY HEY JEREMY! Thanks for finally introducing us! So glad to see how happy you are. So glad.

  • Coco

    I’m so glad and happy for you and your Jeremy! Its so amazing to read this post.. I also had a very similar year- and just reading this bit of positive stuff makes me feel like there is a light at the end of my long tunnel!

  • jill

    This is the best yearly-wrap-up post I’ve seen…amongst all the “my children never fought, my house stayed sparkling clean and peaceful” blogs, this was actually useful! And I love, love the boyfriend cameo appearances that those of us who don’t know you didn’t notice–how fun for you to sneak him in here and there!

  • Rachel from The Vegan Mishmash

    I absolutely love your long essay posts. And I love your honesty. No one year is every perfect for anyone, even when it’s full of amazing experiences. I’m so happy for you and Jeremy. It’s so obvious how much happiness being with him brings you. And I did wonder when you posted the wine video and the winter solstice post if he was your man. Something about the way you look at him in the video. Pure love <3

  • Lindsey

    I don’t know you and we will probably never meet in this lifetime, but I just absolutely adore and love you!! Happy 2014!!

  • Guest

    So happy for you and thanks for sharing! I’m so happy you returned to blogging,

  • http://practicalecologist.blogspot.com/ Rachel

    Sounds like some really amazing things are cooking in your world! I feel you, 2013 was full of some major highs and lows. On on 2014! I’m pretty excited to hear some about your research in the coming months. Graduate school is the most crazy, but it seems like you have the right mindset to make that crazy work for you. Here’s a link to my favorite essay about being a STEM graduate student: http://jcs.biologists.org/content/121/11/1771.full. Hope you find it useful now and in the future (I probably read it every other month. HA!).

  • Jen

    It has been amazing and thrilling to see you transform this past year. You are a inspiration and a role model to me.

  • Lindsay


  • http://www.imogenmichel.blogspot.co.uk/ Imogen Michel

    So lovely! I’m so happy that this year has turned out well for you. I hope you and Jeremy are happy together for many years to come.

  • Libby

    Aw, Say, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to read this post from you. I miss you like CRAZY here in pdx but I’m so glad you’ve found your way and your place back home. You are such an inspiration. Love ya lady!

  • Jules

    Thanks, Sayward, for sharing. Your thoughts and feelings on “flailing about” hit home for me. Since losing my job I have felt this way and describe it just as you did… flailing! It feels good to know that my focus, too, is “just keep going”! My open window is just around the bend, I know it is!
    Also, I can’t express how happy I am for you and Jeremy! He is truly an authentically, original person and it seemed to us (his family) that he may never find the person that makes him complete. I don’t think we will worry about that anymore!
    Best wishes in 2014 and hopefully we will see you this summer!
    – Julie

  • Rachel in Veganland

    Hi Sayward, thanks so much for this post! I’ve always appreciated your openess, honesty, and authenticity on your blog. So happy for you! You’re such an inspiration to me and I hope that 2014 brings you much joy and happiness!

  • Jbuesch

    I was weeping by the end of this post. My phone is broken at the moment or else I’d just text you but I am so happy for you. I can’t wait to actually meet Jeremy in person! Love you xoxoxo

  • Kathi Vegana

    Hi Sayward,

    I found your blog a little before Waits was born and it’s been my
    favorite blog ever since. And even though I read every single one of
    your posts (some of them multiple times) I’ve never written a comment
    before. But I’be been wanting to thank you for a long time. So, thank
    you Sayward! You’ve been such a huge inspiration! Thank you for being
    real and reflected and thoughtful and authentic. Your words have often
    touched me deeply and I’ve been in tears while reading your posts more
    than once. And they also made me smile and feel inspired and sometimes
    laugh out loud. Basically you just somehow manage to open up my heart
    with your words. So thank you for that! <3

    And I'm so happy for you that you found someone you can love so deeply!
    It's been really beautiful to watch the whole transormation you've gone
    through this year, but especially to feel all the love your love lists
    and pictures radiated in the past few months. And your words in this
    post – just wow – LOVE!

    I wish you all a wonderful new year!

    Love and hugs,


  • http://dresseduplikealady.com/ Cammila

    A fantastic year end recap, and can I just say, I feel you so hard on so much of this! Thank you for being another blogger willing to post about divorce — about its painful but sometimes vital process ultimately resulting in better things in life for everyone involved, like a positive environment for children, true love, and even unimaginable happiness.

    P.S. My tag on my own blog for this topic is “blended families for the win.” ;)

  • Long-time-reader

    I’ve been reading along for many years and have always enjoyed your blog. I am so happy for you and Waits to have found Jeremy – or better, he’s found you – and I am looking forward to new adventures from your end in 2014. Happy New Year!

  • Jo

    What an incredible, growing year for you! Congrats on beginning the master’s program in biology. I’m about to finish my own thesis-based MS degree in biology (insects and fungi) and it can be a difficult road to traverse, especially as a vegan. Good luck!

  • Kelly H.

    What a beautiful review of 2013. It made me quite contemplative about my own life…and my perpetual state of feeling lost. This gives me some hope…

    I was wondering when we would officially meet Jeremy. :) I am so happy for you and in awe of your expressions of true love. I’m really glad you found it Say… You truly deserve it!

    And little Waits. Wow. He is quite adorable and is going to grow into an amazing man…You can just see it. Bet he’ll be melting hearts left and right. :)

    Happy 2014!

  • Rebecca

    Glad it has been such a dynamic and progressive year for you! I definitely benefited from hearing the whole “felt like I was flailing the WHOLE time but actually GOT somewhere” bit :)

    2 questions:

    1. Can you explain the following a bit more? Do you mean that you think internalization of failure LEADS to not having/earning enough money or vice versa? Interesting concepts either way..would love you to expand.

    Not having enough money – not earning enough money – is the constant internalization of “failure”.

    2. From your posts it seems like you and your son’s dad both take care of him. Is he now out of the picture? The reason I ask is that you labelled yourself a “single mother” and supporting your son on your own. I typically equate being a single mother with not having help. Hope you are getting some assistance!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Jo! Great questions . . .

    1. I think both apply, actually, but in this case I meant that not having/earning enough money to support myself and my family is like a constant re-affirmation of “you’re a failure, you failed, you’re a failure”, on a constant loop.

    I think that receiving the message of “you’re a failure” from external sources can also cause paralysis/fear/distress/what have you, that could lead to an inability to act (in this case, earn money). But that’s not what I was referring to here.

    2. Damian and I both share custody of Waits, pretty evenly. I was actually driving today and thinking about the phrasing I used here, and wondering over the term “single mother”. I definitely consider myself a single mother, but I also recognize that I’m not in any way in the same position as a full-time single mother. Of course, I’m not going to call myself a “part-time” single mother, because I’m not willing to imply that I’m a part-time mother. It’s a weird situation!

    I’ve had the conversation with other single mother friends of mine, regarding what to call ourselves. On those long days and long multi-day stretches when things are NOT good, and you’re in the parenting trenches and it’s all-out warfare, there’s certainly no denying that you’re a single mother. You’re in there alone – nobody is tapping you out to take a rest. On the other hand, we absolutely have to recognize that we are in a very different ball game than full-time single mothers, who never get a break ever ever. I wouldn’t want to take anything away from them by using the term. Do you think it does? (take something away from them, that is)

    Is it necessary to make the distinction? In this case, for the sake of this piece of writing, considering my audience, the format, and the flow of the words, I didn’t feel it necessary to get overly explanatory. In the larger context of life and a sociopolitical conversation . . . you tell me. What do you think?

    (Also, just to clarify, I said I had to “support myself and my son”, not that I had to support my son on my own. What I meant was, in this house, I’ll be the only one bringing home the tempeh bacon, so supporting myself and my son – while he’s here – falls all on me.)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Kelly! Always good to hear from you – hope you had a great end of year and here’s to a fantastic 2014!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I’m actually doing an exam-based master’s for just that reason, and already cleared it with my advisor that I will be going nowhere near any animals. I’m very fortunate to even have that option.

    I plan to write a whole lot about studying animals and being a vegan, in the coming months and years. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Kittee! That means a lot to me. Lots of love to you, and say hi to Portland for me!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    There is a light Coco, I swear it. Just be true to yourself, and never stop working your ass off. =)

    I hope 2014 brings you closer to your dreams. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I have to admit, it was fun to sneak him in. Ha! And thank yo Jill, I think reading so many of those sterile wrap-ups myself maybe helped me really open up and be honest here. I don’t ever want this blog to be like that!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Do you really recognize him in the Solstice post? That he was the same guy as the wine video?! I wondered if anyone would!

    And thank you Rachel. Happy new year to you, I hope it brings you lots of magic!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Lindsey, and happy 2014 right back at ya! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ooh thanks for the link, I’m sure that will come in handy. I’m actually looking forward to the crazy (she says on the night BEFORE school . . . )

    Happy 2014 Rachel, onward and upward!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Jen. Thank you for allowing me to feel safe in this space, mucking about and making mistakes. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal


  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Imogen. And – me too! ;-D

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Libs, I miss you so much too! This is definitely the right place for me, but I miss pdx and my pdx PEOPLE soooo much. Lets talk soon! Lots of love!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, thank you Julie, it means a lot to know that my words resonated with you. And thank you for your kind words about Jeremy and I! We are definitely two weirdos who were made for each other, that’s for sure. No need to worry any more. ♥

    See you next summer – for SURE!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Rachel! And I hope 2014 brings you all the same and more!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Girl, where’s your phone at?? Seriously though, let’s talk soon. I can’t wait for you to meet him to! Maybe pdx next summer . . . ?

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Kathi, thank you so much. Truly, hearing that my words open up your heart . . . well, that is one of the most wonderful things anyone has ever said to me. Thank you – as a writer, you made my day! And thank you – as a fellow human just trying to hold on while we all careen around the sun – it’s nice to connect. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hey lady! Well ditto, thank YOU for being one of the awesome voices out there too. I love the way you and Matt have been talking about this stuff more this year, and I especially loved his piece reflecting on his divorce. That shit is not easy to put out there, I know it. But sometimes divorce really is the best way, and sometimes it’s really is what’s best for the child/children. So, much solidarity, and I’m happy to add my voice to that important dialogue.

    Happy new year!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Than you so much, and thank you for sticking with me and reading for s long. It means more than you could ever know. Happy new year!!! <3

  • Ginger Baker

    I use the term co-parenting. My ex and I co-parent (pretty well, IMHO) and while it’s usually more of a 70/30 split versus a 50/50 split (or sometimes way more than 70, like this month while he is away at army training), he is definitely involved and active as a parent to our kids. Obviously, you might say you co-parent, but “co-parenting mom” is not really a “title” the same way – I would instead maybe say “divorced mom” and leave the possibility of describing a co-parenting moment or utilizing that term for later in a relevant paragraph. (On a side note, I almost never “mother” my children, I always “parent” them – it’s definitely a big small-ticket-language item in my book.) My .02, for what it’s worth. :-)

  • Jbuesch

    My phone was drying out… it’s back in order now. I’m not waiting until the summer! We’ll be there in March, remember?! I’ll text/call you to make firm plans :-)

  • Sonja

    thanks so much for this honest and heart-warming post! I’m so happy for you and Waits to have found Jeremy. It’s so refreshing that you are writing about the light and the dark during 2013. That’s the way it goes but many bloggers shy away from writing about the dark sides. So thank you for that and for inspiring me! Lots of love & light for you and Waits in 2014.

  • Cécile

    Dear Sayward,
    I love you too !

  • disqus_nNpnYvXv4g

    You are so stinking cool. I think I have a girl crush on you. Thank you for your bloggin’ awesomeness.

  • http://coconutandberries.com/ coconutandberries

    What a ride you’ve been on! I’m so so happy for you that you’re finding your place in this world and the happiness you deserve :) Jeremy sounds absolutely wonderful- not least because he’s making you happy. I just love that last message- we can’t deny the bad stuff and the good stuff is so much more appreciated because of it. This year is going to be brilliant for you, I’m sure! x

  • http://www.carrieonvegan.com/ Carrie @ Carrieonvegan

    Hey lady. Just wanted to take a moment to wish you a happy new year and all the best for the adventures to come. Your post spoke to me, especially the part about being a feminist, yet still winding up in your current situation.

    It made me think about how messed up our society is that single moms don’t have adequate resources. I’m not an expert, but from what I know about Scandinavian culture, it’s not that uncommon for parents to not be together and there is just a ton more support for parents in general. After all, you are doing the hardest, most important job out there of raising someone who will have the responsibility of the future. That’s HUGE, yet being a parent, married or divorced or whatever, doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

    I’m sending you a big dose of woman power, not that you need it, and a virtual hug for following your passion and for being someone whom I admire very much.

    P.S. I don’t think it would be un-feminist (or sexist, for that matter) for me to say your man is a hottie, would it? :)

  • Deirdre

    “but it’s not really about money, because money represents so much more than just dollars and cents. Not having enough money – not earning enough money – is the constant internalization of“failure”.” You started with this and then line after line of wisdom. You’ve grown! Leaps. Bounds. Internalizing and externalizing authentic womanhood. (Not to say you weren’t before, but…It’s just so clear.) Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

    Best wishes in 2014.


  • John Rothgeb

    Excellent year recap, thanks for your honestly and authenticity. I read your blog (only started recently after finding your article on kale) as a non-vegan who has several vegans and vegetarians in the family and lives in one of the other vegan hotspots in the US, Austin, Tx. I have forwarded your blog URL to several others so that they may better understand and feed our vegan friends when they visit.

    I REALLY appreciate you discussing your vegan lifestyle, philosophy and ideology in light of your scientific training and in particular your use of scientific methodology and facts in assessing how to be authentically and honestly (and healthfully) vegan. Too often vegans and vegetarians are ideological, judgmental and holier-than-thou to the point of being religious (even against other vegans or vegetarians sometimes, a bit like Catholics against Protestants or various Protestants against other Protestant denominations) so it is all a bit hard to take sometimes (even though I often agree in part or in whole with their fundamental premise).

    Whether we eat/use none, some or any animal products along with our vegetables, we all need to know more about health and nutrition as well as the most ethical ways to live and eat. Thus I have found your posts quite enlightening. Thank you for all you do and write. May 2014 be a wonderful year for you and all of us.

  • http://michellestinykitchen.blogspot.com/ Michelle Thiele

    I just had to say thank you so much for this post, your honesty and vulnerability really touched me. I’m so happy for you, Waits and Jeremy! Happy New Year!