I have a confession to make: I have a girl crush on Laura Beck.


If you don’t know who Laura is, I suggest you get to know her NOW. She’s one of the masterminds behind, San Fran’s totally awesome vegan lifestyle guide (New Yorkers, I think we need to get us one of these), the writer of her own random, opinionated, and shittaciously funny blog, and the webmistress over at, which is just the largest vegan recipe database in the world. She’s also one of the coolest vegans I know: whip smart, hilarious, and passionate. Few vegans are more blunt, outspoken, or vocal about why veganism rocks, but Laura—like all cool vegans—also knows how to be compassionate, encouraging, and to lead by example (rather than with vitriol).

In short, she is my hero.

I’m not only saying this because Laura happens to have featured me in the latest VegWeb newsletter. Yes, I just gave you the link, but don’t be lazy: as this issue proves, the VegWeb newsletter is awesome, and you should all go sign up to receive it (at the top of the VegWeb homepage) now. After all, it’s free!

Laura and I have spoken at length about raw foodism: the myths, the stereotypes, and the realities. I’ve shared with her my rather unorthodox approach to eating raw (which you guys already know about: semi-raw, flexible, etc.), and she’s shared with me her theories about why many vegans are alienated or put off by raw foods. This theory is pretty simple, and pretty hilarious. To quote Laura in the newsletter:

Raw food gets a bad rap. Sometimes you get slack for eating vegan, but what’s weirder than that? Eating raw. Some vegans even like to point the finger at raw foodists when people accuse them of being odd. Like, look over there! Those people are the real freaks!”

Ha! I’ll confess, this attitude isn’t one I’m too familiar with. Typically, the people who write to me are vegans who are intent on becoming raw—perhaps even too intent, too quickly! I often find myself explaining to people that, while raw foods offer us myriad benefits, “going raw” isn’t the logical extension of veganism, or some sort of special challenge for the hardcore among us. Still, I see Laura’s point: I think raw foodies are natural targets for certain unsupportive vegans who enjoy the idea of there being someone out there whose food choices are even less conventional than their own. But, as Laura points out,

“ . . . the stigma attached to raw foods is slowly being erased, bit by bit, by the fact that some of the most innovative food coming out of the kitchen isn’t even cooked! Adventerous and talented raw-food chefs like Sarma Melngailis, Ani Phyo, and Mathew Kenney are changing the way people think about raw food. Bloggers are helping forge the way, too. My personal favorite is Choosing Raw, a blog maintained by the delightful Gena Hamshaw, who also happens to be VegNews’ raw-food columnist! Not only is she a total foodie genius, she’s smart and sane, to boot.”

OK I didn’t really have to include that last bit to prove my point about how raw food is going more mainstream. But it’s not every day that I get such sweet, if undeserved, flattery. Thankfully, I get to thank Laura with a big vegan dinner in San Fran when I visit (two weeks!!). If not, I’ll just continue to tell her about my girl crush on her until she gets creeped out by me.

Laura asked me to pick a recipe from the VegWeb raw food library to feature in the newsletter. Can you guys take a guess as to what I picked?

w5sn1oo8 (500x333)

Duh! Raw green soup. Blended salad, con avocado: simple, easy, fresh. Vintage Gena.

While we’re on the topic of girl crushes, I was super excited to see that Ms. Katie gave my tofu scramble a spin on her blog this week. It looks as though her batch came out nicely! I was also really touched to see that my former client and friend Elese commented to say that she’s been inspired by the pleasure I take in eating (Elese and I have eaten out together in Chicago). When you eat “healthy food”—and especially when you write about it—the assumption is usually that you have a joyless, functional relationship with what you eat. I have to bat down this misconception a lot; to this day, I don’t think my ex-boyfriend believes that I really enjoy eating kale (are the 184572 photos of kale salad on my blog not sufficient proof?!?). So I’m always happy when a friend notices the fact that I like food. A lot.

To tie up our themes nicely, my lunch today involved both a girl crush and a raw soup. I used gray, damp weather as an excuse to make my girl Kristen’s incredible Harvest Soup, which is hands down one of my favorite raw soups ever. With simple salad, avocado, and pureed, steamed butternut squash (yes, I was feeling autumnal), it was exactly what I craved:

IMG_2951 (500x333)

IMG_2952 (500x333)

IMG_2953 (500x333)

Comfort food for a rainy day.

And now, the usual Sunday night catch up ensues. Before I go, tell me: do you have any blogger girl crushes? Or guy crushes? (Yes, Evan, Matt, and Ian, I am trying to embarrass you.) I would love to hear your personal blogging heroes are, and why.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Categories: Uncategorized
Ingredients: Butternut Squash

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I live near this place in Northern California. A beautiful facility and they have an open store/kitchen where anyone can go in and buy prepared raw foods, and smoothies etc. Just a great community resource and good introduction to raw foods.

  2. My blogger crush is definitely you. You have the most soulful style of writing of any blogger I’ve followed and I don’t even know if you mean to write that way, but it’s awesome. I’m drawn to your blog!

    Coming in at a close second however is Angela from Oh She Glows. She really does seem to glow and she’s so bright and positive and her food always looks amazing and she really seems like a bundle of joy 🙂

  3. Oh so many crushes it is, quite frankly, embarrassing! To name a few… You (naturally), Kristen’s Raw, Caitlin (HTP), Angela (Oh She Glows), Shauna (gluten-free girl), Sophia (Burp and Slurp)… ok, there are more but i’m starting to feel like a stalker! xxx

  4. my blogger crush is def Taylor from – i mean, he’s a BADGER, and food blogger with awesome photography skills. COME ON.

  5. My blog crush is on Mara at Medicinal Marzipan. She is a body image blogger and talks about love, sex, relationships, building positive body image all the while being 100% real and without any fluff.

    My kind of girl.

      • Awwwwwww… you guys. reading this totally made my night AND I have wicked blog crushes on the both of YOU. Gena what a lovely post this was, and I am having a blast reading all of these adorable comments! So much love! Christie – always, thank you for all your love and support. xoxoxo

  6. I have three! Caitlin at HTP, Angela at OSG and Kath at KERF…just love their writing styles and their positive attitudes 🙂

  7. Enjoying this post.

    I have a crush on:

    Kimberly Snyder of “Kimberly Snyder.” First of all, she’s beautiful inside and out. Furthermore, she’s a world traveler who has immersed herself in divergent and diverse communities.

    Caitlin of “Healthy Tipping Point” and “Operation Beautiful.” Caitlin just seems so balanced. It’s refreshing.

  8. My Favorite Raw Soup:
    Raw Butternut Squash & Lemon.
    Blend the two together to taste.
    So Simple!
    So Good!

  9. How did I almost miss this one! 🙂 You, my food twin, of course! 🙂 Hmm.. Earthmother, Bitt, Maria, Heathy And Kristen Suzanne my mommy crush! 🙂 Wow, I’m pretty promiscuous with all those crushes! LOL!!! I love my ladies!

  10. shittaciously – I’ve got to remember that one! 😉

    Oh my gosh…so many blog crushes: Mama Pea. Would love to meet her and her family someday because they are precious, and the girl cracks me up! Also love Chocolate Covered Katie – she is so sweet, and someday I will come to NYC to meet you! There are others out there – such an amazing blogging community!

  11. Hmmm blogger girl crushes….not specifically, though I have been on a lot lately, and there are so many talented people on there! I find someone new everyday that I admire and whom inspires me…so maybe that’s a crush??

  12. Wow, lots of great links in this post – thanks! Super happy about the SF vegan site, I had no idea that existed! Blogger crushes? Hmmm, not sure where to start because there are so many blogs I enjoy reading and have not had enough time to meet or really get to know anyone.

  13. Well, this is probably totally obvious, but you are SO my blogging girl crush, Gena. You are my hero and healthy eating inspiration. Seriously, dude, thanks. Ok, I’ll stop being creepy now.

  14. Ahh I love blog crushing. I have a new blog crush every week, it seems. You’ve certainly been on that list! I get won over by personality… some names: Anne at fAnnetastic food, Freya at BritChick, Averie at Love Veggies… amongst many others.

  15. Laura is hilarious! I have been a big vegansaurus fan for a while now.

    Blog crushes? Seriously, all you wonderful ladies (and men) who blog are awesome and I don’t like to play favorites but, I’ll give some shout outs to Gena, Mama Pea, Katie from CCK and Gina.

  16. I have a wee bit of a girl crush on Kath of KERF. She just seems so down-to-earth and honest, I really love her approach on food and nutrition.
    Oh and clearly I have a girl crush on you too! You are a very generous and caring person. Your compassion helped me when nothing else could. 🙂

  17. I have a girl crush on Laura too! Vegansaurus rocks…and (blush) I kinda have a girl crush on YOU, Gina! I love how you mix raw with the occasional cooked meal and refuse to get all uptight about 100%-rawness. I think many non-raw vegans are turned off by people that get all uppity about being super raw all the time…but you’re very accepting of all (healthy) vegan food choices. I like that.

  18. My blog crushes are Sara Jenssen (happyfoody/walk slowly, live wildly), you and Heather @ HEAB. All very intelligent, inspiring ladies who have impacted my food choices and give me food for thought (pardon the cliche) each day.

  19. Awwwwww. Join the LB crush ranks!! I *adore* her! Brilliant, hilarious. wanna be just like her.

  20. Girl crush = you or Sarma! Both such beautiful, inspirational women who are kind enough to share so many aspects of their healthy lives with us =)
    Guy crush (not as many to choose from) = Evan. Funny, smart, runner, my age, cute, insightful.. 😉
    (this will so be creepy if he reads it hahaha)

    Cool post idea!!

  21. hmmm…you, Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point, and Katie at sweettator are my current favs.

    Happy you enjoyed my comment! It is so true, though. I wish everyone could see you in action at the dinner table. 🙂 Especially us girls…so many of us could benefit from it!! Have a good week G. -Elese

    • The hilarious thing is that I’m here thinking, “and I didn’t even eat that much that night!” Hehe. Ah, glorious, glorious appetite.

  22. Um, you’re my blog girl crush! 🙂 I think you are beautiful, inside and out. And I’m always talking to my hubby about you, like you and I are BFF’s or something…”You know, Gena said xxxxx on her blog today,” or “Gena had the BEST recipe on her blog today – here’s the link to check it out!” It’s pretty funny…and not at all stalker-ish like it might sound….;-D

    • You are way too sweet! And if this kind of stuff constituted creeper behavior, then I’m a blog creeper too.

  23. Absolutely going to check out her blog!! Sounds great. Hmm, my blog crushes…Gina from the Fitnessista, Averie, Mama Pea, and about a million more that I don’t want to write in case they see this and think I’m a creeper 🙂

  24. Congrats on the feature! Those compliments are WELL DESERVED!

    Totally crushing on you, gorgeous and talented lady! AND, although it has nothing to do with veganism, I die for the comedian Daniel Tosh from the show Tosh.0 on Comedy Central. I’m always over on his website and blog *blushes*

  25. I have to know more about this Laura Beck…she sounds like my type of girl!

    Is it wrong to have a crush on a pregnant woman? Because Heather (who Eats Almond Butter) is totally my girl crush!

    And you are like the unattainable girl crush, Gena. I’m excited, yet terrified to meet you!

  26. I have a crush on so many of you hotties…let’s see, some you would know that I know you read…you, Aimee/Bitt, Gina, Sarah/Pea, Miss Gliding Calm, Elise hippie, Diana Soap n Choc, Evan is my 19 yr old stud, Danielle Runs on Green, LOL, and gosh tons more. That’s a quick list. I can’t believe I am writing this LOL

    Ok Laura, I sheepishly don’t know her but am going to cruise her blog after i post this comment…

    The question aimee asked you about healthy living or raw/vegan community identification…I can’t wait for that answer!

    Have a great week, Gena!


  27. I could list so many, but Angela at was the first blogger I followed religiously. She taught me that you can be fit and have a good body and still eat a LOT of food!

    • Totally agree about Ange! And having now met her, I can say she’s as amazing in person as she is in writing. Truly a gem.

  28. I love this post! Vegweb recipes are my FAVES and I have found so many amazing things on there. Cauliflower Poppers and Nooch queso are some of the best things I’ve found there.
    I totally have a girl crush on you 😀 You seem like such an awesome person!

    • Sonia,

      Any friend of mine can attest to the fact that I am actually a BIG. DORK. But I’ll take awesome, thanks.


  29. Hmm, well what other blogger have I sought out lunch with? (answer: none). Other blogs I seem to more go through phases with, and I try to limit my blog seeking as it’s my #1 source of procrastination! I love vegansaurus though. I rarely read it but it is dear to me for its simple suggestion to try making Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread with canned pumpkin instead of egg (hence making it vegan). Result: the impossible: Rachel and my favorite winter treat was made even more blissful!

  30. I have a blog crush on pretty much all healthy living bloggers. Who wouldn’t? Y’all are mostly gorgeous, talented, funny, vivacious, intelligent, hysterical ladies (and gentlemen.)

    And I’m not just saying that. Seriously. I crush on nearly everyone.

  31. Well besides yo’ foine self, obvz…I mean that is a known fact…

    You know this but I guess the ladies in question don’t – I think I need to cross paths with the Fitnessista and the Eating Bender sometime. Guess I missed my opportunity in Chi-town! At least I got to check Miss Burp & Slurp off my list this summer. 🙂

  32. I admire several bloggers!

    In general, I love how so many bloggers promote others without getting anything out of it. Lynn at Actor’s Diet is one of them – she is very sweet and generous with her compliments!

  33. LAURA BECK IS THE MOST AMAZING WOMAN ALIVE!!! I believe I’ve told that to her, too. Girlfriend knows how to karaoke, too. Yea, she’s pretty much a dream girl and the funniest human being EVER. She made my San Frantastic experience even more ridiculously wonderful.

    Crushes on: you, Holly (Healthy Everythingtarian) aaaand Mama Pea aaaand Mara. Hells bells, I’m sure there are more…

  34. Obviously you, Gena!!

    I love a great writer who loves food, HEALTHY food… and who yes… I will adamantly agree with Laura, is totally sane, cool… and “with it.”

    Oh… and for the record, How could someone NOT like Kale???

    ~ – ~

    “Sometimes you get slack for eating vegan, but what’s weirder than that? Eating raw.” — umm ya! Love this!

  35. Well now I have a crush on her.. But I have been crushing on Lolo @veganyumyum .. But really? It’s hard for me to not crush on veg ladies.. 🙂

  36. My blog crush is on you! 😉

    I have had a question since seeing you in VegNews. Do you feel that you identify more with the “healthy living” community or the vegan or raw community? I have to admit I assumed the former but then was sort of surprised to see you in vegnews because they come to veganism from more of the ethical sort of standpoint. I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

  37. Laura is mine ladies! Back off! I’ve had dibs on that for the last year! 😉

    Although, I might be willing to make a trade for Melliser from the Urban Housewife or Natalie from Bake and Destroy…

  38. Cute post! Laura is hilarious & awesome, and I LOOOOOVE how passionate she is about positive body image regardless of size. One time (or a million times), I came across one of her Yelp reviews & laughed for like 10 hours. They’re pretty much like Vegansaurus – so random & funny. Check it out if you need a smile: (Sorry if that makes me look like a stalker; the girl makes me laugh my fool head off.) Laura is a great ambassador for veganism!

    I have too many cyber/blogger crushes to count. 🙂

  39. Vegweb is my favorite recipe website to go, since I became vegetarian 6 years ago! But since I turned high raw vegan start of this year, your website is. 😉 My blogger girl crush is Melissa from Trying To Heal! She runs, is into environmentalism, and veganism, and is so open about her ED fears and feelings! And her whole family is gorgeous looking!

  40. I have been called out. Parallel to your girl crush, I have a slight blogger guy crush on Matt, the I mean, the man has Boston Qualified while starting a family and write knock out post after knock out post. I drool over every recipe he makes, even the ones I can’t eat because of pasta or seitan. He’s a blogging and running machine and does it all on the power of plants–amazing.

You might also like