Digital Photo Pro Magazine – Spotlight on Beautiful Together


Recently, I was honored to be featured in the January-February 2016 issue of Digital Photo Pro Magazine, one of my favorite photography magazines that I pick up all the time when I’m at Barnes & Noble. (Like, all the time. I seriously just need to subscribe to it at this point).

A big thank you to Tracey Clark who really wrote a beautiful piece after interviewing me.  The focus of the article is on photography, yes, but also on how you can use photography as a force for good in the world, something I find truly remarkable. I appreciate how she summarized my story in such an enjoyable way:

It didn’t take long for her to determine she had found her passion and she slowly built a photography business, “learning on the job,” as she says, for the next three years. She then gathered all of the things she had learned along the way and wrote her first book, The Art of Children’s Portrait Photography. Her mission was, she notes, “To put, all in one place, all the things that I felt I could have used in a book, things that might have helped me skip ahead a few years right at the beginning.”

Sharing valuable insights with those who might be just starting out in children’s portraiture seemed like a way to give back to the growing portrait photography community that helped her on her own journey.

Her most passionate work, though, is with the not-for-profit she started, Beautiful Together. More than anything else, this organization seems like the perfect culmination of all the things that matter most to Lackey and the focusing point of her resolve to use her photography to give back to the world.

You can subscribe to the digital version of this here – and you can click on each image below to read the full article.




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Jill Conley

Tamara Lackey —  February 3, 2016

Unreal to think that Jill is no longer here.


We all have so many memories of her, and my most poignant one was actually a phone call – the long, beautiful conversation I had with her after Stuart died. She called to say she was sorry, that she was so sad, and that she was pretty surprised. She said that it didn’t seem like someone who could fight that hard could actually pass away. Which is exactly what it felt like this morning, about her – it didn’t seem like someone who could fight that hard – the female version of Rocky Balboa, as Bart Conley so awesomely said – could actually pass away. And she shared so much of that big-hearted love she was known for, even in the midst of the serious pain she was experiencing herself.


I’ve been thinking about her meeting him today. One of the most striking things about Jill in conversation with Stuart Scott was that you couldn’t help but notice how much these two people, who hadn’t known each other before, had in common. We were a full table out at dinner and everyone kinda just dimmed and watched them talk. They were both so seriously fun and dynamic and easy to connect with and they absolutely commanded attention simply because of how they seemed to shine, no matter where they were or what they were doing. They were also both STRONG. Like, insanely strong, by any standard out there. And, of course, they also shared that connection that none of us wanted either of them to have. As they compared chemo details and treatment options and side effects horror stories, they also toasted and shared hugs and sang and danced and LIVED, because that’s what they both did so naturally, and because that’s what they were both so clearly intentional about doing.


Our friend Sally Sargood & I were talking about how Stuart had to have met her this morning with one of those giant hugs he gives. How we imagined them both saying how amazing that life that they just lived was, how they got to make as much of an impact as they had hoped to before they got down here – probably even more. How it was pretty awesome to have made a true and genuine and lasting difference to such an enormous amount of people. And probably, also, about how that last part – the dealing with the worst parts of cancer part – totally, completely sucked. But at least, now that part is freakin’ done.

I bet they even know why it all happened how it did.
But we still don’t.


Please consider donating to The Jill Conley Memorial Fund, to help the Conleys offset their expenses, something Jill did for so many others, through Jill’s Wish, for years.

I love you, Jill. You will be missed and missed.


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GPP2016 Dubai Photo Week, Tamara Lackey Photography

GPP2016 Dubai Photo Week

**Update 1.28.16: The panel discussion for A Force For Good: Photography and Philanthropy is now sold out. My Dynamic Family Photography workshop is now sold out. There are only a couple spots left in the Children’s Portrait Photography workshop and only limited space left for my platform presentation.

From February 5th through the 12th, I’ll be traveling to the United Arab Emirates for the Gulf Photo Plus 2016 Dubai Photo Week. This is a week full of workshops, talks, and exhibitions featuring 14 international photographers, and I am genuinely honored to not only be included in this prestigious lineup but to be part of this conference, which I’ve heard amazing things about over the years.

“Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) is the heart of the Middle East’s photography community. We believe in the art and science of photography as a medium of creative expression, and exist to inform, educate and inspire people across the region.”


I will be teaching two multi-day workshops over the course of four days. Both classes are limited to 12 students, and I anticipate them to be intimate, yet intensive workshops.

The first, Children’s Portrait Photography, will be held on Saturday, Feb 6 from 9AM – 5PM and then Sunday, Feb 7 from 1PM – 8:30PM.

“Children’s Portrait Photography is fun, can be very fast-paced, and is seemingly unpredictable – unless you know what to plan for, before and during a shoot.  It is also very much about joy, light, soulfulness and authenticity, and that is what this workshop is focused on: you better uncovering in your work.

In this intimate 2-day workshop, we will discuss how to plan for a successful shoot, we will work through photographing with proper exposure, and we will be shooting with simple indoor and outdoor lighting that enables you to capture images sharply while freeing you up for more engaging interaction with your subjects. In addition, all participants will learn from hands-on shooting, photographing a series of children, focusing on posing, expression, and how to overcome challenging situations.

The workshop includes on-the-shoot Q&A, so plan to bring your gear. Lastly, we will step through basic post-production and student image critiques. Prepare for an intense but fulfilling two-day workshop.”

The second, Dynamic Family Photography, will be held on Monday, February 8 from 11AM – 7PM, and then finishes on Tuesday, February 9 from 2PM – 9PM.

“Family photography is a unique genre of portraiture in that it is one of the few types of shoots we do that, especially if we do it well, will be truly treasured for years to come by our clients, only growing more so over time. That being said, of all the genres, it can also be one of the more complicated shoots to do well – especially if you’re interested in dynamic family portraits that share more about who a family is to each other than simply a staid, boring portrait.

In this high-energy, engaging workshop, you’ll learn a variety of group posing techniques and step through simple lighting concepts for a number of lighting situations, examining a variety of common obstacles that portrait photographers face and learning how to tackle them smoothly. Tamara will also walk through technical settings, composition, and even some post-production. There will also be hands-on shooting for all workshop attendees, with the ability to get all your questions answered while in the midst of your own family portrait session.

Join Tamara Lackey for this small group, 2-day workshop, fully designed to kick your family photography skills up to the next level.”

In addition to the two multi-day workshops, I will be participating in two sessions during the PhotoFriday workshops. These are shorter panels, capped at 90 minutes, to allow you to experience more of the lineup of assembled speakers. I will be conducting a live demo during the session 2 slot from 11:30AM – 1:00PM. Called Lighting, Posing, and Expression, and I will be focused on sharing solutions to help create authentic portraits.


Then, from 2:00PM – 3:30PM, I will be involved in a panel discussion with David Hobby and Katarina Premfors on a topic quite near and dear to my heart: the intersection of photography and philanthropy, and the impact it can have on making the world a better place. This is interesting timing, as I will be leaving Dubai to head back to Ethiopia to do more work for Beautiful Together immediately following my programs.

I am looking forward to this discussion and anticipate it being a riveting conversation.


I am thrilled for this opportunity to meet students passionate about photography from around the world. I hope to see you there!

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Rangefinder Magazine Redefined Column – and a Q&A Session



It is quite cool to be showcased in the brand new January, 2016 issue of Rangefinder Magazine – for a couple of reasons. First of all, because it’s a more personal interview, in general, and it was conducted by Rangefinder’s talented Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Tobin. But also because, starting in February, I will actually be the one writing this column!

The essence of this Redefined column is in keeping with the focus of my web series, The reDefine Show, which has been airing on AdoramaTV for the last four years. I am looking forward to getting to know even more leaders across the imaging industry and sharing with you more of not only who they are, but how they think and the moments that defined – and reDefined – their life and work. After all my conversations with individuals at the top of their creative field over the last few years, I’ve seen certain themes rise again and again, ones that make sense and ones that have surprise me. I look forward to sharing them in print.

I kick off this year of columns by interviewing my friend, fellow Nikon Ambassador, and photography luminary Joe McNally. He shares some touching personal moments and doesn’t hold back when opening up about exactly how challenging it was for him to maintain a career in photography, which is all the more striking given his legendary role in the industry today.

For this first edition, however, I enjoyed being the one being interviewed. The questions I received focused on the areas of my life I care about most:

  • My work and how I integrate it into the rest of my life/what I consider “success”
  • My focus on Beautiful Together and how that reflects back on my photography
  • My enthusiasm for veganism – and why I moved towards this lifestyle
  • And more: what I do for fun, my last meal, and what else I’d do if I didn’t do what I do, which apparently I’m already doing. (Read that three times).

rangefinder-Depth-of-Field-Tamara-Lackey-1 rangefinder-Depth-of-Field-Tamara-Lackey-2 rangefinder-Depth-of-Field-Tamara-Lackey-3

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Happy Holidays 2015

Tamara Lackey —  December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Happy Holidays 2015, Tamara Lackey, Mugsy, Tamara Lackey Photography

Shot with Nikon D3300, 18-55mm

My kids picked out the reindeer suit for our Mugsy. They said he’d love it. But – and I’m just taking a wild shot in the dark here – I’m thinking that maybe he doesn’t completely share their enthusiasm.

I was so honored and touched by all of the responses to our Good News Post. I linked out to each and every story, video, post and news story. And I teared up about 15 times. GOOD tears, though. Redemption-type tears. So, being able to read that much goodness, sweetness, love and giving in a row was a gift. And I thank everyone who contributed to that post.

Hearing all of your GOOD news reiterated to me that there really is positivity everywhere, and it is definitely worth the effort to seek it out. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for news about the winner, and I’ll definitely be doing some sharing of these stories on social media – so many good ones!!

On that note, my family and I are wishing everyone a warm, comforting holiday season.

Even little Mugsy here ; )

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The Good News Post & a $150 Adorama Giveaway

Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography,

Shot with the Nikon D810 & 85mm 1.4, photographed at f1.8.

This can be a stressful time of year for a lot of people (especially photographers!). Knowing this, I recently shared this image on my Facebook page of an iridescent hummingbird I photographed because, as a spirit animal, they symbolize enjoyment of life, lightness of being, being present, the lifting up of negativity, and resiliency. (I know all of this only because I read it here.)
But it feels right. : )

The wonderful team at Adorama agreed that we could all use some good cheer and have sent over $150 for me to give away to one lucky commenter.

Adorama, Tamara Lackey, giveaway

So I task you with this challenge:

Share a story of something GOOD in the comments. Something positive that is happening in the world, as you see it – something that is growing momentum towards GOOD for you and/or others.

Please comment below, and I will select a winner on Tuesday, December 22nd.
Plus, most importantly, we can all benefit from reading the positivity in each other’s worlds.

In other (GOOD) news, we just updated our front page, showcasing even more of the amazing ways big-hearted, creative individuals are donating their talents for good. I am constantly awed by how frequently, and creatively, people choose to give.




And, speaking of GOOD, keep an eye on Nations Photo Lab! They are offering discounts throughout the holidays, and what better gift is there than printing your own images for your family and loved ones? Check them their new promo codes here:

$50 for New Customer Sign Ups

Promo Code: TLNEWDEC

Expires: 12.31.15 (Order by ROES ONLY)


AND 15% off Prints, including on top of any existing sales (!)


Starts: 12.26.15 / Expires: 12.31.15


SO looking forward to seeing your comments – and to giving away $150 to spend (or gift) as you like on anything at!





reDefine Show Episodes with Vanessa Joy, Jason Groupp, and three special episodes featuring relevant photography topics with Tamara Lackey

During the latter part of 2015, I have been fortunate to participate in a myriad of interesting educational opportunities. Today, I wanted to share the latest episodes of the reDefine show I’ve recorded in that time period.

Most recently, I taped a few episodes that deal with photography topics we all struggle with from time to time. The first – when to change lenses to in a portrait shoot to best flatter your subject – is a question I get asked a lot. The second – focus and depth of field during a family photo shoot – is a great refresher for any photographer.

Then, I was able to sit down and chat with New York City photographer and director of WPPI, Jason Groupp. We talked about wedding photography and his competitive “shoot-off” with fellow photographer Zack Arias. We finished with a clip of one of Jason’s 25 Kick Ass Lighting Scenarios

My next episode focused on speaking with Vanessa Joy, a wedding photographer from New Jersey. We talked about how she found her own photography style, mostly from hands-on experience rather than her photography degree. We also talked about the trials and tribulations that can come from the business side of photography, and the physicality of it all.

Finally, a few months ago, I was able to utilize the Pro Photo B2 as a flash fill during a commercial shoot. This episode shared some behind-the-scenes footage and a helpful lighting schema.

Feel free to check out the videos below, or by visiting the reDefine Show page. And stay tuned for more interesting guests and topics on the reDefine Show in 2016.

As always, huge thanks to! You check out this and other fantastic content by talented Adorama TV hosts Joe McNally, Mark Wallace, Richard Harrington, Bryan Peterson and Gavin Hoey by heading over to

reDefine Show: Change up your Lens to Flatter your Subject


reDefine Show: Sharp Focus For Family Photos

reDefine Show with Vanessa Joy

Vanessa Joy, reDefine Show, reDefine Tamara Lackey

Photograph by Vanessa Joy

Vanessa Joy, reDefine Show, reDefine Tamara Lackey

Photograph by Vanessa Joy

Photograph by Vanessa Joy

Photograph by Vanessa Joy


reDefine Show with Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp, WPPI, reDefine Show, reDefine Tamara Lackey

Photograph by Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp, WPPI, reDefine Show, reDefine Tamara Lackey

Photograph by Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp, WPPI, reDefine Show, reDefine Tamara Lackey

Photograph by Jason Groupp

reDefine Show: On Location Lighting with the Profoto B2

reDefine Show, Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, ProPhoto

reDefine Show, Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, ProPhoto

Photograph by Tamara Lackey

reDefine Show, Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Photography, ProPhoto

Photograph by Tamara Lackey

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 GO Summit 2016 – Street Smarts for Creative Entrepreneurs


I am excited to announce that I will be speaking at the Converge GO Summit this January 8-10th in Southern California. Run by the GoBe Collective, the summit is a gathering of creative entrepreneurs designed to talk about business and the challenges they face.

I have always found business to be nearly just as fascinating as art – and partly because there is a real art to running a smart small business, which is why I teach this subject so frequently. I got involved because I love the focus on creative entrepreneurship, and I personally know just how significant it can be to step back from your business for a bit to really better see how to run it.

Erin Fults, Director of Operations at GoBe Collective (basically the go-to person for everything at GoBe), shared what the GO Summit is:

“GoBe Collective exists to provide inspiration, training and accountability to creative entrepreneurs. GO Summit is the training piece of that equation and takes place every January in beautiful Southern California. It’s a two and half day event where we bring in creative entrepreneur leaders from all over the country to share their experience and expertise.

We love to have surprise and delight moments for our attendees along the way, like the surprise call in from Seth Godin last year. What really makes GO unique though is the opportunity to be a part of coaching groups throughout the remainder of the year called Fastermind Coaching. Conferences are great but on their own aren’t sufficient. Our community that’s participated in coaching beyond the event has gotten the accountability and resources they’ve needed to take major leaps in their business. On average they’ve seen a 300% increase in their revenue this year (no, that’s not a typo).     

We’re so excited about GO Summit 2016 and can’t wait to see the impact it will have on our growing community of creative entrepreneurs this year!”

I am also looking forward to joining the summit because Dane Sanders, the founder of GoBe Collective and the visionary behind the GO Summit, is not just a good friend, but he is also someone whose thoughtfulness, mindset, and leadership I’ve admired for some time.

Dane has written two books for photographers & their businesses – Fast Track Photographer and The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan  and has had extensive coaching experience working with individuals that want to perform in their life and business at optimal levels. He’s inspiring to work with, always pushing the boundaries of possibility.

In addition, this year the GO Summit has selected our non-profit, Beautiful Together, to be their sponsor charity of choice. Given our focus on improving the quality of children waiting for families, and the number of projects and funds we are excited to be support, this is really a wonderful opportunity to share our work and our heart for what we do.

Erin shared how this year’s conference will be different from last year:

“GO will be different in several ways this year. The event will be bigger than last as far as attendees and the venue is new this year.  It will be held at this great co-working space – Wayfare in Costa Mesa, CA. It has been such a perfect fit as the Wayfare vision for creative entrepreneurship is right in sync with the GoBe Collective.   

Another change this year is how we have planned out the speaker content. Inspired by Josh Kaufman’s book Personal MBA, the content will be formatted to include the seven primary areas of running a successful business:

  • Value creation,
  • Sales,
  • Marketing,
  • Value delivery,
  • Systems,
  • Finance and
  • Working with people (yourself and others).

The goal is to provide as much of a comprehensive approach to business training as we can in two and half days. Followed by year-long accountability to implement for those that choose to participate in coaching beyond the event.”

Southern California is a great spot to have a conference in January. The organizers put together a list of things to do while in the area, and I plan on taking advantage of being out there. I am also looking forward to connecting with all the attendees and speakers – and learning from everyone, too.

GO Summit 2016 tickets are still available – and note that you can also use the code ‘tamara‘ to get $50 off your ticket. I hope to see you there!

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What Vegans Eat: A Week of Plant-Based Meals

Or: Vegan? Wait, like, nothing from animals?? But what, EXACTLY, do you eat?

Recently, I shared a week of vegan meals on my Facebook Page. Since then, I’ve answered a lot of questions and have been asked by more than a few people if they could reference my posts in an easier way.
So I’m pulling all those posts together into one big blog post here.

I think times really are changing in the meatless landscape – not just all the recent news about significant environmental impact and general health, but I’ve come to realize that the #1 question I always used to get about being vegan was: But how do you get your protein? That has now been switched up to: “Wait, like, nothing from animals?? But what, EXACTLY, do you eat?”  I see this as progress!

That question has ramped up even more in the last few days, since the World Health Organization (WHO) announcement that processed meat is linked to cancer, which made for quite a spectrum of headlines, many comparing it to the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Do I think everyone is going to give up meat immediately? No. No, I don’t. But I do think a number of people are quite interested in at least eating less meat, or are interested in learning about new food options they might enjoy just as much. And I think that’d be an amazing thing for a lot of reasons – undoubtedly, there’s the significant compassion I feel for animals. But also because it’s the #1 thing we can do for our environment, and I also have some serious compassion for the current state of this planet.

So I thought I’d try a new thing. I’m sharing an entire week of regular meals that I am normally eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – as best I can. Not because I’m going Instagram meal shooting happy but to show how normal, tasty and varied the vegan diet can be. And this was shared during a busier-than-normal week for me. So for any of you considering the possibility of just taking in less meat in your normal diet, here you go:

Day 1


A photo shared from Sweet Earth Foods– the Big Sur Breakfast Burrito. These are plant-based, non-GMO, high in protein and a really easy breakfast to grab on a busier-than-normal morning. They are available at a lot of groceries and natural foods stores – you can even get them at Target. (Oh, and I had a coconut milk latte from Starbucks).

Tamara-Lackey-What-do-Vegans-Eat_Week-of-Vegan-Meals 10


I grabbed food from a nearby cafe to eat at my desk, as I was in crunch time, working on getting some cool things out for Beautiful Together. Lunch was a tasty vegetarian lentil soup and a large greek salad. I made a couple swaps to the salad (avocado instead of feta / good fats for bad fats) and cannellini beans instead of onions (even more protein to the meal + hey, breath saver!) with a simple oregano dressing.

Tamara-Lackey-What-do-Vegans-Eat_Week-of-Vegan-Meals 2


Aaaand, dinner. Had the fun of having dear friends over tonight and we ordered food from the very popular Mellow Mushroom restaurant, a fun pizza (and more) chain – ours was vegan cheese pizza with mushrooms, olives, and spinach. Plus, a vegan cheese calzone. One of the favorite vegan cheeses used by many restaurants is Daiya, a tapioca-based cheese that is creamy, super melty, and works anywhere dairy cheese would be used. Can be bought at Whole Foods and Fresh Market, at least.

Tamara-Lackey-What-do-Vegans-Eat_Week-of-Vegan-Meals 8

Day 2


It was another frenzied morning, getting up at 4:30am for an early morning-until-evening field trip to the mountains with my awesome 4th grader. So breakfast was a grab-and-eat-in-car Sweet Earth Foods Curry Tiger vegan burrito (so good).


Lunch was a picnic – I had a hearty sandwich, which was whole grain bread with Tofurkey slices, tomatoes, vegan cheese (another super tasty option is Follow Your Heart cheese), Hampton Creek‘s vegan chipotle mayo, romaine lettuce and a (So Creamy) Kite Hill almond milk yogurt. Of all the non-dairy yogurts out there, and there are lots, Kite Hill is the kids’ favorite.


A big Chipotle Mexican Grill salad with seasoned tofu Sofritos, veggies, black beans and guacamole:

Tamara-Lackey-What-do-Vegans-Eat_Week-of-Vegan-Meals 7

Day 3


This is easily the breakfast we eat most often – sautéed kale with coconut oil and garlic, Amy’s Kitchen organic, low-sodium refried beans, and we switch up the proteins regularly. Today is No Evil Foods, a seasoned seitan of sorts. I don’t exactly remember which product this was, we bought it at a food market, so it was delivered in parchment paper (all their plant-based meats are made by hand in Asheville, NC) – but it’s quite flavorful. And fresh tomatoes. This is a combination of foods that taste great, is quite filling – and is a great mix of high-protein, fiber, and veggies. Plus, it’s low carb.



Today was a BIG, fresh salad from Whole Foods Market, where I am a ridiculously frequent shopper. I love going to an amazing salad and hot bar with tons of options where THEY do all the prep – so worth the cost for me. Salad was a mix of spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, spicy black beans and red peppers, pumpkin seeds, grapes, olives, and Annie’s Naturals’ goddess dressing. Tons of raw foods with warm toppings (seasoned cauliflower & curry tofu), one of my favorite combos.


Dinner tonight was Thai, a very easy food option for vegans. (Side note: I once took a 3-day Thai cooking course in Chang Mai, Thailand and they taught us how to make a special vegan topping for a fish dish – then, after a rather complicated effort to create it, we were instructed to pour it over a fish. Wasn’t quite sure why they thought that made the dish vegan, but it was a thoughtful effort??)

SO – dinner tonight: Pad Kee Mao with Tofu. We just make sure to skip the egg and ensure that the base is vegetarian/no fish sauce, whether cooking it or ordering it. Also, vegetarian spring rolls. The easiest way to make sure they are vegan is to make them/ask if they are made with rice paper instead of egg wraps – different restaurants tend to vary the way they make them. Thanks to Thai Spice Kitchen for the pad kee mao photo!

Tamara-Lackey-What-do-Vegans-Eat_Week-of-Vegan-Meals 6

Day 4 – Halloween!


We kicked off this gorgeous day with a late brunch of pumpkin pie pancakes with chocolate chips, fruit, and veggie bacon. (And almond milk lattes).

The pancakes are made from scratch with organic pumpkin, a mix of whole wheat & brown rice flours, and Ghirardelli Chocolate Company bittersweet chocolate chips (which are vegan). Applesauce works to bind them into pancakes, and reduce the fat content (more here), and cinnamon and nutmeg, with a bit of agave, bring on the pumpkin pie flavor.
The butter is Earth Balance soy-free spread, spot-on butter flavor without the dairy, cholesterol, etc. Maple syrup.
Fruit is a mix of pineapple, blueberries & blackberries.

You can find quite a few vegan pancake recipes – and lots of other vegan breakfast options – here, on my pinterest link.

And, even though there are about 20 types of vegetarian bacon out there, this is definitely one of my favorites -> Sweet Earth Foods Hickory & Sage Bacon. I get asked why I eat meat alternatives if I don’t eat meat. For me, it was never that I didn’t like the taste. It was that I didn’t want to support the backstory of what had to happen to get that food on my plate, or the environmental effect, etc. I think a lot of other people who choose to not eat meat, or just eat less meat, feel similarly. Also, this is the bacon that even my dad says “hey, not bad at all”, which is massively high praise!


Lunch & Dinner

Halloween day and evening became a blur of gatherings and trick or treatings.

“Meals” is a strong distinction – it was more like eat here, eat there-ness. That included a delicious vegetarian white bean chili served at a party and a cheeseless mushroom & olive pizza served at another, plus not just a couple Swedish Fish, a vegan treat because it doesn’t contain gelatin (why many vegetarians/vegans skip it). We gave out a lot of them last night and we picked up a lot of them, so now, of course, I have to strategically hide them from myself for the next year.

(Thanks to Vegan In The Freezer for the white bean chili photo. :)


Day 5 – World Vegan Day! (Actually a thing.)


Breakfast today was pure comfort food, which included a run to Bruegger’s Bagels and a kitchen full of our family and leftover sleepover kids sorting through a tall paper bag of bagels. Mine was a toasted garlic bagel with Earth Balance Soy-Free spread, tomatoes, avocados, sea salt & pepper with Kite Hill strawberry yogurt. (And an almond milk latte).


Lunch with an often-enjoyed round of Fish(less) Tacos, with Gardein Fishless Filets, Hampton Creek Sriracha vegan Mayo, low-carb tortillas, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes.



Tonight I made a tomato vodka sauce, with cashew cream. And I cooked a fettuccini that is a great option for anyone looking to keep a lower-carb or gluten-free diet, since it’s made 100% from mung beans but with no mung bean flavor & still has the chewy taste of pasta (the Explore Asian brand). I also added veggie meatballs, this time Trader Joe’s meatless meatballs, and grilled button mushrooms. So Good.
On the side is lemon pepper asparagus and hot garlic bread with Earth Balance – for those not watching carbs ; )

All shot with Nikon D810, 24-70 2.8 and SB 910 flash.




Day 6


Shaved brussels sprouts sauteed in coconut oil & garlic, with pepper and Jamaican Jerk seasoning (thanks to Scott Jurek for the recommendation he shared on my Health & Energy program, since I use it all the time); Amy’s Kitchen Organic Low-Sodium Refried Beans; and Steakless Tips by Gardein. I was asked how long it takes to make a breakfast combo like this – about 15 minutes or so. Super high protein & fiber, low carb.


Takeout in the studio from a Japanese restaurant – the vegetarian Bento Box, spicy red curry, spring rolls, salad and avocado roll sushi. Looks much prettier in the restaurant! We just ask that they don’t use fish or oyster sauce.


Teriyaki Stir Fry with Seasoned Tofu. My son actually loves to help me prep the veggies; tonight they were bok choy, snap peas, red peppers, and mushrooms. I like eating just the stir fry as is, and the kids like to mix it into rice noodles, which I serve on the side.


Day 7


Kale sautéed in coconut oil & garlic, with Bragg Liquid Aminos (lower sodium, non-gmo alternative to soy sauce), Fishless Filets by Gardein, and Amy’s Kitchen Organic Low-Sodium Refried Beans.


The kids were out of school for a teacher workday, and we ate out at a cafe. I had Sweet Potato & Habanero soup, kale & fruit salad, and an avocado & tomato salsa. They had a spicy white bean stew over rice, bbq tofu strips and jackfruit “tuna” salad.

I get asked about calcium intake sometimes, since we don’t drink milk/eat dairy. Between the high amount of calcium naturally found in leafy greens, broccoli, the fact that our almond/cashew/coconut milks and yogurts are all fortified with calcium, and almonds/almond butter, etc – we are quite set for calcium without supplements. Although we all take a daily multi-vitamin anyway.


Pesto Chicken Panini with Sauteed Broccoli. This consists of vegan pesto made in our Vitamix, with olives, tomatoes, spinach, melty Daiya Cheese and No Evil Foods‘ seasoned hand-made Chicken-esque (love that name).
And the very fun use of our awesome panini grill.

And drinks! I haven’t touched on drinks all last week, but juices like a couple shown here include fresh green juices (kale, apple, lemon, cucumber, ginger) – thanks to All Recipes for the green juice image – and smoothies (almond milk, kale, bananas, pineapples). Also shown is carrot ginger lemonade. Obviously there is a ridiculous amount of nearly endless options here.

And dessert – oh my. Endless amount of desserts. Several people wrote in about ice cream. There are tons and tons of non-dairy ice creams out there that are crazy creamy and flavorful and fun – check out So Delicious Dairy Free‘s line up to start. And dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is always a beautiful thing.



So, there you go – that’s a week of every day eating.

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btogether-logo3Beautiful Together Feeding Fund is grateful to partner with Life To Live for Korah, working to feed the children in Korah, Ethiopia.

One of the more impactful experiences we had on our last trip to Ethiopia was spending a couple of rather meaningful days in Korah. We not only visited but were able to see the whole village, all the way around and through, and spend time inside more than a couple of makeshift homes, greeted with extraordinarily warm hospitality. We met orphans without family homes and lepers without limbs – or, rather, we met beautiful human beings who just have had a much harder go at this life than most. We also saw what it meant for a community to care for each other, despite having so little themselves.

One of the main things we wanted to do in Korah was have a firsthand experience of the orphan feeding program that was founded by Korah native Cherenet Gullene, called Life to Live for Korah. And after spending time with them, and experiencing their entire process from start to finish, we definitely knew that Beautiful Together was going to partner with them to help as much as we could.

Korah, Ethiopia was originally built as a leper colony and has now grown more than 120,000 people, nearly all living in extreme poverty. The actual name “Korah” means cursed. There is more illness, sickness and lack in this village than one sees in most impoverished communities – yet, there is an incredible spirit, sweetness and energy running through the people. That doesn’t mean to say there isn’t suffering, difficulty, hunger. There is. The pain just seems to co-exist with the gratitude in a way that really stays with you.

In an attempt to share what is being done to feed these orphans in Korah, I made this 3-minute video with Animoto. When my friends at Animoto saw it, they jumped in to help. They are offering not only a 20% discount (use promo code “TOGETHER”) for a full year subscription to their amazing video creation service, but they also said they would contribute 20% of ALL new sales for anyone using this code up until November 10th, with every single one of those dollars going directly towards this orphan feeding program.

Please take a few minutes to see what this true grassroots program is all about – and go get your own Animoto subscription, for less, here:

You can also support this program, directly, at Beautiful Together.

(And thank you to Triple Scoop Music for the perfect song.)


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*All images were shot with the Nikon D810 – again, like with this experience, in pretty extreme conditions.

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