The Path to Becoming Meat-Free: CBC's Guide To Recipes, Restaurants, and Retail

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Graphic by Carolyn J. Braden

Graphic by Carolyn J. Braden

View my 21-page interactive, downloadable and printable eBook including these topics:

  • How to Use This Guide + Definitions

  • Recipe List

  • Restaurant List, USA: Chains

  • Restaurant List, USA: Local

  • Retail List

Plus these 3 bonus sections:

  • Bonus: Recipes by Carolyn

  • Bonus: Meal Planning 101 by Carolyn

  • Bonus: Sample Meal Plans by Carolyn

Click the “View eBook” button below now!


My Meat-Free Path, In a Nutshell

My journey into being meat-free started in 1995.

During a trip to Hawaii, I had my first tofu burger and was hooked ever since. After that trip, I gave up red meat. I don’t know why, but something clicked and it stuck. I was only 15, but my heart told me it was something that was right for me.

I tried eating red meat again in the early 2000’s during the Atkins diet craze, but I could barely make it through a couple of bites of my hamburger. It just didn’t taste good or right. I was still eating chicken and that was enough meat for me. Fast forward to 2013……

I quit eating meat altogether. I started purchasing prepared plant-based meals as a lifestyle convenience for my husband and myself. While we loved it, it started to get quite expensive. I also figured I could make most of the meals on my own, so I started to do some research. My husband and I had started eating only organic or non-GMO products, mostly gluten-free and many dairy-free types of food items (due to my husband’s stomach issues and my skin issues), so I had my work cut out for me. Thank goodness for my love of conducting research!

I found some blogs dedicated to vegan or vegetarian recipes and lifestyles and went from there. I started experimenting with finding recipes and cooking as often as possible; something I had to do since I didn’t live in an area where there were many non-GMO, organic, vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Through this, I started creating some of my own recipes. Luckily I had been doing this since I was a child (I still have the very first menu I created for my first imaginary restaurant, Around the World Café), so I was able to create hits with one try.

I highly encourage anyone seeking a meat-free lifestyle to start slowly so you can see how you feel with each change you make in your diet. While eating out can be difficult for us (and we don’t “cheat” as others have asked us to…..this isn’t a diet…it’s a lifestyle), I feel it’s worth it because we are in great health, feel good, and maintain our weight (we conduct proper exercise as well). While we currently aren’t 100% vegan (we still eat eggs (whites) and I eat minimal cheese occasionally and my husband is making a transition away from meat completely as I type this), we may make it there eventually. For now, we do our best, make adjustments according to how we feel and truly enjoy our way of eating.

I wish you all the best in creating your own journey into a meat-free lifestyle. While this way of life may not be for everyone, I am happy you are at least interested in trying it or may just be curious about it.


Carolyn J Braden, Owner and Creator of Carolyn’s Blooming Creations


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