CONTEST WINNER

Thank you all so much for your contest letters!!
I am overwhelmed, thrilled and touched by all the letters you sent and I wish I could give everyone a copy of the book … but one letter in particular stuck out from all the rest because of Rebecca’s enthusiasm to connect with her friends and family in a positive and joyful way. She is a living testament that joy is infectious and with a few loving words, a plate of good food and a zest for wanting the best for her family and friends … Rebecca has changed the lives of those around her and I am thrilled that HIAV was the part of her journey.

Here’s Rebecca’s letter.

My name is Rebecca and I have been vegan now for a year. I was never a great cook as a non-vegan so the challenges of cooking vegan food for my husband Chris, Airica my 13 year old and my 10 year old was going to be a challenge.  Having no vegan/vegetarian friends to use as a resource, I went to the bookstore to the cookbook section.  There were tons of books for vegans and vegetarians alike but when I came across “How it all Vegan” it was literally love at first sight.

As I flipped through the pages I kept saying to myself, “YOU CAN MAKE THAT VEGAN TOO!!!” and the cover is so fun and the chicks on the cover look so cool!  I took it home and cooked and every recipe came out so yummy every time!  I was adventurous in the kitchen for the first time ever!  The girls loved the food.  My oldest daughter Airica (one of those vegans who doesn’t like salads and veggies) loved all the warm delicious comfort foods!

Of course that wasn’t enough recipes so I had to go get ALL the Sarah Kramer cookbooks out there and make all those recipes! I made so much food that my little army couldn’t eat it all. So we started sharing…We loved to give it out and let people eat it and THEN tell them it’s all vegan!  Well, this turned out to be a lot of fun for me.  I started telling people I would cook for them it would be delicious and healthy and would change their lives forever!

I started with my Dad who was sick and overweight.  He came to visit us for a week in January and I was on a mission.  He agreed to eat like we did for the entire week.  I had so much food prepared it was like a feast.  I also whipped up your recipes in 15 to 20 mins right in front of his eyes so he could see how easy it was.  He lost 10 pounds that week and said he never felt better. In February I flew out to stay with him so I could teach him how to shop and cook in his own kitchen using your awesome, quick and easy, no fail recipes! He has now lost over 40 pounds and has changed his lifestyle to vegan.

My beautiful daughter Airica got very sick in April and what we thought was a relapse of her juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (which being vegan had her in complete remission) but was actually stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  She got so sick so fast and went into respiratory failure while we were waiting on the biopsy results. She was put on life support to support her heart, lungs, and kidneys.

During this time we moved to Sacramento from Phoenix and we didn’t know many of our neighbors but one neighbor, Lisa, was very willing to help with anything we needed.  She wanted to help with Alyssa and cook for us.  We told her “Thank you but we are vegan.”  Her response was “Sure no problem where’s your cookbook?”  From that day on she was making all your recipes for us!  She would come to the hospital with warm food and salad for Chris and I. It was amazing!

Airica came off of life support and was so brave and was fighting for her physical strength back and was doing so awesome.  We had the best week ever.  Hugs and kisses and anything that made her smile!  Unfortunately she had a reaction to one of the chemotherapy drugs and we lost our beautiful girl on June 6th.

Airica was the kindest, sweetest, strongest, most compassionate person I ever met and I had the honor of being her mother.  She may not have liked salads but she loved the Mac and “Cheese”, Jay Lo’s Fried Chicken, Anything Goes Muffins and what she called “Fancy Soup”, and you call On Golden Pond.

Lisa and her family of 5 are still making us dinners.  She decided that she wanted to do something for our family still, so Tuesday nights Lisa makes vegan for all of us!  She is even making vegan dinners for her whole family on nights that aren’t Tuesdays!  Her daughter who just turned 6 asked for your vegan Mac and “Cheese” recipe for her birthday!

I am glad I had the opportunity to share my story with you.  Airica was so sick and the doctors  said that she made it as long as she did due to her healthy lifestyle.  I loved her so much and she loved all your recipes.  She always invited her friends over and bragged about my cooking, which is thanks to you.

If my story wins the contest I would like for Lisa to get the copy of your new book in Airica’s name for all that she has done and how grateful we are for her and her family and her personal vegan choices. Sarah, you keep doing what you’re doing you touch so many lives!

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