For many people, “vegan” is a scary word. Even to the most dedicated vegetarians, the thought of making good food without any animal products can seem daunting. For Sharon Gannon, however, there’s nothing foreign about organic and vegan cooking; it’s what she does every day.
Gannon is, among many other things, the founder of the Jivamuktea Café in New York City. Her café takes its name from the Jivamukti Yoga method, an approach established by Gannon and David Life in 1984 that is as much spiritual and ethical as it is physical. Jivamukti now has more than 30 centers worldwide, with celebrity students like Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway.
Gannon’s New York City café is founded on the principle that yoga practice is more than a hobby; it’s a lifestyle. To achieve enlightenment, its mission asserts, one must show compassion for all beings. Sustainable, vegan meals, it claims, are the first step to leading a more joyful and enlightened life. Of course that sounds easy enough when you’ve got an expert chef at a café preparing your meals, but what about when you’re left to your own devices?
Luckily, Gannon is not just a yogini: She’s an author as well. She has previously written on animal rights, yoga and the overlap of yoga with a vegetarian diet. Her most recent work, Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes was published in October. The book shares Gannon’s philosophies and recipes, with emphasis on creating joy in your life through a spiritual (and practical) vegan diet.
On Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m., Gannon will speak about her innovative approach to clean eating at Mirabai Books in Woodstock. The talk will be followed by a book-signing and a question-and-answer session. And for anyone who doubts the deliciousness of vegan goodies, Gannon will be offering samples of her recipes. Each guest will leave with a recipe from the book to take home. The event is free and open to the public.
Sharon Gannon booksigning for Simple Recipes for Joy: More than 200 Delicious Vegan Recipes, Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m. at Mirabai Books, 23 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock; (845) 679-2100, www.mirabai.com.