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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Proud to be Vegan

Sep 04, 2014 01:40AM
Sharon Gannon in D.C. for Yoga Class and Catered Book Party by Terri Carr

As Washington D.C.’s ‘Proud to be Vegan’ and Jivamukti Affiliated Yoga Studio, Buddha B Yoga Center is sponsoring Sharon Gannon’s yoga class and catered book party at the Washington Convention Center September 27. Gannon will lead a yoga workshop from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and host a catered book party from 2 to 4 p.m. to celebrate her new cookbook, Simple Recipes for Joy. The book party will include a buffet-style lunch made with the recipes in her book.

The menu will be: very green raw soup, Insteada-Tuna Salad with Tempeh, “Poached Eggs” on Toast with Tofu, Spirulina Millet with Spicy Tempeh and Steamed Kale with Tahini Dressing. Dessert will be vegan chocolate cupcakes and Gannon’s signature Julia Butterfly Hill Cookies.

Whereas many cookbooks focus on gluten-free or fat-free recipes, Simple Recipes for Joy grew out of Gannon’s 30-year yoga practice and the principle of ahimsa or non-harming. None of the recipes require any animal ingredients or animal by-products.

The recipes that made it into the book are the ones most favored by her friends and family as well as customers at Jivamuktea Cafe, the Manhattan cafe she founded in 2006 with partner, David Life.

Gannon says it is ironic that she has written a cookbook, considering that as a young woman, she considered things like cooking and gardening utterly uninteresting. At 19, she met her first spiritual teacher who advised that to get enlightened, she had to learn how to cook, how to clean her house and how to garden.

Gannon says, “I laughed at him. I thought—I am a liberated woman, I am an intellectual, an artist.” Since then she says, “His words have rung so true.” After she became a dedicated yogi, she changed her attitude toward seemingly mundane tasks. Now she feels, “Washing dishes, scrubbing the floor, preparing your altar should be considered all the same. It is all worshipping God. A true yogi doesn’t see anything as mundane.”

In her book, she talks about the importance of being in a good frame of mind while cooking since the energy of the cook will be absorbed into the finished product. She suggests bringing sacredness into the act of eating by offering a prayer or giving thanks before meals. Gannon says, “I never eat anything or even drink water unless I say a prayer or offer it to God. It changes your life. There is no more compulsive eating.”

With few exceptions, the recipes in Simple Recipes For Joy are made with 10 or fewer ingredients easily, found at any grocery store or farmers market. Gannon says she can’t handle many of the complicated recipes in other cookbooks. “One of the reasons I wrote the book, is because I also don’t have time (to cook). A meal from beginning to end has to be done in less than an hour.”

She hopes the book will help more people understand the suffering and environmental effects of a carnivorous diet. “This info has been hidden from us. Most people just don’t know.”

Location: 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC. For more information or to register for the class or lunch, visit

Terri Carr is a D.C.-based freelance writer who blogs at


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