Raw Vegan Not Gross by Tastemade

Do you love vegan food porn? Healthy vegan food porn? Then, find the biggest screen you can, lock your door, have a grocery list in hand, and tune into "Raw. Vegan. Not Gross."

Laura Miller, a hilarious minx, seduces you with her wit and her food. Miller's ease in front of the camera and willingness to laugh at herself, make her and her foods addictive to watch. The vast majority of her recipes look super easy, and they always inspire me to eat healthier and more raw foods.

I will admit that I do not eat as much raw food as I should, but Laura Miller does an excellent job of crafting raw foods in a delicious and attainable way. And, she is not just whipping up salads and cold-pressed juices. She cranks out recipes like pad thai, cauliflower pizza, 'not' chicken nuggets, pancakes, and raspberry tarts. Now, you should know that most of her food is raw, but a few recipes are not. However, the nutritional value is always there. 

Her videos and food are alluring as the host. Miller creates a luscious foods that match her fun and beautiful personality. I am impressed by her comfort level in front of the camera and the cinematography involved in shooting the colorful foods she produces. 

My sole criticism of her channel is that some recipes are not for vegan newbies. Anyone could make her dishes, but some recipes, for example the Lavender Beet "Cheesecake," take some knowledge, time, and somewhat specialty ingredients. (Note: If you watch this one.... you may want a lot of napkins to mop up your drool... I watched it a bunch of times. I may be responsible for half of the 248,547 views. That is one temptress of a cheesecake) But, I would say that most of her recipes, for example her pad thai, could be thrown together by "vegs" and "non-vegs" alike.

So, If you are looking for wholesome food, that breaks the raw vegan stereotypes, then Miller is your Raw. Vegan.  and definitely Not Gross. Girl. 

Bite Size Vegan

Most of us wander around this big blue ball (that's Earth) in search of kindred spirits. You know, like bosom buddies. The kind of bosom buddy that will  bounce around the kitchen with you while you make vegan muffins and sing made-up songs.  And as you get older, you start to realize that those people are so damn hard to find!

I remember walking on the beach with my mom, and she told me, "By the time you die, you will be able to count your true friends on one hand." (We get deep on those beach walks). But, at the time, I was 15. I thought all my friends were true friends, and we were going to be friends forever. Now that I am no longer 15 (thank god for that), I realize she was totally right. Those kindred spirits are so elusive. It is tough to find those who believe what you believe, and who you can be your true self around. No need for makeup, or censorship (make all the silly jokes you want), and that person knows exactly what to say when you are troubled. 

The nice thing about veganism is that when you find other vegans, you know they are on your side. The label "vegan" means that at their core, they believe in compassion. That's why when vegans run into each other, they are instantly bonded! And since we are about 2.5 percent of the population, finding each other feels like finding treasure. (If you want to know more about vegan and vegetarian stats, visit here: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/is-2014-the-year-of-the-vegan/ )

Stumbling upon Bite Size Vegan was much like finding a kindred spirit. Emily's channel has brought me so much joy over the last week. But, more importantly, she has brought me validation. She is bringing her message of compassion to the world in such an authentic way, and her way really speaks to who I am!

Emily and her videos are nerdy, comedic, and incredibly educational. Most of her videos are scripted, and you can tell how much thought she puts into crafting her message and wording. Her lexicon melts my English major's heart :) It is rare to find intelligent wordsmiths on YouTube that are clear, funny, and poignant. 

As a channel, Bite Size Vegan delves into a variety of vegan topics and controversies, which are informative for both the vegan and non-vegan community. She discusses topics like the history of veganism (an amazing video, by the way), vegan tattoos, medications, nutrition, and pet food. So, if you have a question about how to be vegan, Bite Size Vegan is your go-to channel.

These bite sized videos, aka "nuggets", are short and very digestible. You never find yourself thinking, "Okay, I got it. Move on." Her speeches flow from one topic to the next and each moment presents you with a new perspective or information. 

To produce such valuable content, she does A LOT of research, thoughtful scripting, and careful editing to create these educational morsels.. By watching her videos, you only see a portion of the in-depth research she prepares for each topic. For each video nugget, you can find a plethora of additional resources and information on her website. This, perhaps, serves as the greatest testimony to her authority, because you can trust she knows her stuff! And if you don't, you can find exactly where she retrieved the facts from. It's like a works cited, but better!

Bite Size Vegan is honest, intelligent, and silly. Through her educational videos, and occasional vloget (vlog/nugget), you get to know someone who seems so incredible. Her message of compassion and change is a noble one, and it heartens me to see someone advocating in such a unique and personable way. 

Emily and Obby (her sweet, adorable English Bulldog), are changing the world together for the better. And, in the process, creating a community where kindred spirits can gather. Her channel is providing a platform where it is okay for us to be ourselves (no make up, making silly jokes, etc). But, more importantly, Bite Size Vegan also professes that we should all spread the message of compassion as ourselves.  

As the vegan population grows, more people will champion compassion and change. That is amazing. Thanks to Bite Size Vegan, and channels like it, the likelihood of finding more "bosom buddies" just got higher.


Essena ONeill


Do you know someone that is talented, beautiful (I mean supermodel beautiful), kind, and an overall good person? Maybe, I am talking about you. I"m sure you are all of these things, but it is hard to not have a love/hate relationship with these kinds of people. Not only did they win the genetic lottery, but they are beautiful on the inside too! If movies tell us anything, it is that you don't get to be pretty spiritually and physically. 

However, as much as those people make you want to throw your hands in the air shouting, "I give up," you have to admire them. In a world where beautiful people are handed what they want, it is wonderful to find people gifted with looks that remain humble. So, ultimately I am grateful for them. 

People like Essena can spread their positivity and message, and because some people are shallow, people are more likely to click, listen, and change. It's science people, we like the gorgeous ones. 

This being said, don't misinterpret my meaning, while I am totally Jelly of Essena :) I think she is fantastic, beacuse of her open and honest demeanor. She does not claim to be a health or envrionmental expert, but she sees an injustice (animal cruelty) and is filming her journey to make herself and other's better. I appreciate this humble honesty. She is willing to share her thoughts on diet, beauty, and fitness.  While doing all this, this girl is lovable. She is perky, fun, and authentic, which keep her videos down to earth. 

As I said before, you can find a smattering of topics on Essena's Youtube channel. If you want to see her answer social media questions on just about anything, she has that. If you want to know about her fashion, workouts, and meals, she films that. And, I think most importantly, she has videos on some serious life-tips regarding how to be vegan and how to transition to a vegan lifestyle. In these types of videos, she brings to light truths about cruelties, in a gentle way, shares her reasoning for going vegan, and how to handle the transition. 


I enjoyed spending time with this Aussie chick. She is fun, fashionable, and rooted in ethics. If you are looking for a Youtube Channel that feels hip, modern, fast paced, and is centered around lifestyle, Essena ONeill is certainly worth looking into. She does occasionally drop facts into her videos about the benefits of veganism (health or otherwise), but her videos are not really "educational." Rather, they, mostly feel like spending time with a fun, passionate, and healthy friend. This intimate style has served Essena well, and her almost one quarter of a million subscribers can attest to that. Essena has done an excellent job of finding her way and showing the world that compassion is what matters most.

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Tanny Raw

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I have a secret wish. Okay, well it is probably not so secret if you know me very well. My secret wish is that my life would be a musical. Right now, some of you are thinking, "Oh my gosh! Me too," and some of you are about to click the back button on your Internet Browser.

My back button pushers, stay with me. Don't touch that mouse (unless you are scrolling down, of course). Think about it. Just imagine the best day of your life, and think about having the perfect song specifically injected to that moment to increase its awesomeness. You know, like the feeling you get when you are driving down the road and YOUR SONG comes on. But, imagine those times ALL DAY! Basically, your life would be a mood ring of the musical variety.

Plus, I never feel like I get to sing enough. And, if you love to sing, whether you are good at it or not, you know what I mean. When a song hits you in the grocery store or a nice restaurant, it is not exactly socially appropriate to belt out your best version of Whitney Houston or Elvis Presley. But in Musical Land.... You do!

The reason I let you into my weird (but fabulous) fantasy, is because I recently discovered Tanny Raw's Youtube channel. And this girl is ALWAYS singing her sweet little heart out. And, I bet if she would totally be down with my musical fantasy too.

Now, Tanny does a lot more than sing, she just begins her videos (and sometimes ends them) with a snappy tune. So, if you are one of those people that feels uncomfortable with people who burst into song, take heart that those moments in her videos are brief.

Tanny is a raw vegan, and her channel is a combination of lifestyle tips and recipes. She welcomes people, regardless of their current diet, to foray into the raw diet, without being pushy. Her philosophy is increase the raw healthy foods one day at a time, and add a little more raw foods to each day to crowd out the processed and cooked foods. As I watched her channel, I never felt pushed or pressured, but rather inspired to increase the amounts of raw foods in my diet.

Tanny brings to her channel many years of experience with veganism, which she says changed her life and initiated enormous weight loss. So, if you are looking for a channel to help you lose weight or recipes to simply eat more cleanly, then Tanny is an excellent source.

Her recipes are simple, and she often gives overviews on how she created them in her videos. However, she does also have a cookbook with 77 raw recipes. If you are interested in checking it out, her website is here: http://www.tanny-raw.com/

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I am so curious to hear what you think about Tanny's channel. At first, her energy level is a little overwhelming, but as I dug into more of her videos, I began to love it. I think it is because you can tell she is being her true fun-loving self. She is honest, authentic, and spirited. And those are the kinds of people that suck you into their circle, and you love them for it. Her vibrancy is entrancing, enormous, and addicting.

In addition, Tanny has one quality that I cannot help but be drawn to. She is a "down-home southern girl." And, as someone who was raised in the south and with deep family roots in Tennessee, listening to her feels like being home. She is kind, warm, bubbly, and welcoming in that southern hospitality kind of way, and it makes my heart glad. However, if you are turned off by the deep southern accent, then you will have to get acclimated, but I think her charm will overcome it.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed diving into Tanny's world. I learned some nutrition facts, found some spiritual healing, and felt welcomed into the raw food community! So if you are looking for a healthy raw lifestyle, life advice, or a trip down south without the butter and biscuits, then certainly give Tanny Raw on YouTube a view.