VVC Sketchnote, Whitney Lauritsen 1

Confession time. Third time was the charm. Everything came together for this sketchnote from Vida Vegan Con. What I mean is that I was out of practice on sketchnoting, so the first two were good, but I wasn’t hitting my Flow. My skills were a little low and the challenge was a little too high. That’s not to say I didn’t get a lot out of the sessions by Gene Baur and Susan Voisin… those were amazing sessions and I learned so much… it’s just that I don’t think I did my best to draw them.

This third Vida Vegan Con session was Make Your Blog Your Full-Time Career by Whitney Lauritsen of Eco-Vegan Gal (ecovegangal.com), WhitneyLauritsen.com, and ReelInfluencer.com. The information was eye-opening, self-reflective, and inspiring. So although there was a TON of information, and it was challenging to really get all the notable things onto paper, I hit my Flow and really got a lot out of it, and I feel like I was able to represent it visually. By the way, for more information on Flow Theory, you can see this great TED Talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Whitney really provided a lot of great information because she has made the journey from blogging about her passion to being a YouTube celebrity to monetizing her passion to helping others discover their potential… all this from someone who sold lemonade and flowers as a child.

Here’s the thing. If you’re a blogger, social media personality, or even want to be… if you’re not doing something you love… if you want to get some benefits (monetary or otherwise) from following your passion… then know that you’re not alone. You can hear some free advice through the Reel Influencer Podcasts, watch some Business videos through WhitneyLauritsen.com, or you can even join a group session for coaching and guidance for a small fee.

Hopefully you enjoy this video summary of my sketchnote of Whitney’s session. It’s a little longer (almost five minutes), but that’s because there was so much information. I learned a lot, and hope you do to. As always, for quick updates and images of my food, subscribe to my Instagram account, wokwildside. Please also consider subscribing to my new YouTube channel to see all previous videos in the Vida Vegan Con series and post comments or questions there.

VVC Sketchnote, Susan Voisin

Here’s the second session’s sketchnote from my learning at Vida Vegan Con. This session was presented by Susan Voisin, the amazing person behind Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. If you’ve never visited her site, you’re in for a treat. It’s got great photos and recipes galore.

The session was titled Post-Processing for Food Photography, and she was sharing some of her top tips and tricks for prepping images for your blog or the web. I learned a lot and tried my best to sketch out some of the tools that were available in Adobe Lightroom. I also was able to add in some of the big things that she said to keep in mind.

With all that in mind, this sketchnote may not make a lot of sense without having Lightroom in front of you. Susan also mentioned that you can use iPiccy and Pixlr.

As always, please let me know what you think, visit my YouTube channel and subscribe, and follow me on Instagram (wokwildside).

VVC Sketchnote, Gene Baur

I had the opportunity to attend Vida Vegan Con III recently. Vida Vegan Con was amazing! This was the third and final one (or will it be?). More info on the three amazing founders (Jess Sconé, Janessa Philamon-Kerp, and Michele Truty) and event info can be found here, http://vidavegancon.com/.

In each session I attended, I took notes through the practice of sketchnotes or visual notetaking. There’s a lot of brain-based research that really focuses on how our brain makes connections, and the traditional text-based note-taking is inefficient and does not help with retention of material in the long-term. I’m publishing these because there were so many people at VVCiii who loved them and wanted copies, but sketchnoting is a very personal practice. My visual and text-based mnemonics may not mean much to a casual observer.

At the urging of Whitney Lauritsen (Eco-Vegan Gal, http://ecovegangal.com/) and Jason Wrobel (http://www.jasonwrobel.com/)… among others… I’ve recorded short (approx. 3 minute) summaries of each session so that others can understand my madness.

Here is the first one. Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary (http://www.farmsanctuary.org/), was the speaker. He was talking about The Paths to a Mindful Life.

For more information on sketchnoting, I highly recommend visiting my friend, the amazing Apple Distinguished Educator, Brad Ovenell-Carter. He has several resources that include:
His website with many sketchnotes, http://www.ovenell-carter.com/sketchnotes/
A video overview/primer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIK9lhKoy5I
His Pinterest uploads, https://www.pinterest.com/braddo/sketch-notes/

Other great resources include:
The amazing Designer, Mike Rohde, http://rohdesign.com/sketchnotes/
Smashing Magazine’s How To Get Started, http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/11/10/how-to-get-started-with-sketchnotes/
Sketchnote Army Community, http://sketchnotearmy.com/

Please let me know what you think. This is my first video on my new YouTube channel… so I was strangely nervous. Was this educational, entertaining, inspiring? Thanks for watching!

Oh, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube Channel if you want updates of each of the 10 sketchnotes there.


Coming Soon

Videos, thoughts from Vida Vegan Con, and more! Hope you can join me.

Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Fettucine alfredo image

Fettucine Alfredo

Do you want to know something funny? I never liked Fettuccine Alfredo before I was vegan. I ate it a few times because I had friends who loved it. I could never get over how heavy it was. Give me a simple garlicky tomato sauce or pesto any day! This all changed when I became vegan. It started as a challenge really. I was talking to a vegan friend, and we were discussing foods that we missed since going vegan. Either I’m an optimist, or I just have poor memory, but there weren’t many things I truly missed. However, my friend missed cheese, sushi, and Alfredo sauce. I sort of understood missing cheese and sushi to a certain extent, but I couldn’t fathom missing Alfredo sauce. So I decided to make one for my friend.

The thing about a good cashew Alfredo is that it’s made best with a high-speed blender. I have a Vitamix. I’m sure Blendtec or Ninjas (the blender, not the assassins) would be great as well. Sure, it’s possible to make this sauce without the high-speed blender, but it won’t be as smooth. The ingredients are pretty simple, and it’s almost foolproof. Adding a little more of this or that will change the flavor but won’t ruin it (with the exception of way too much salt).

After many experiments (all of them successful, of course… heh heh), I finally decided to write this recipe down because my mother-in-law asked me for it months and months ago. She’s not vegan… so that’s one of those fun vegan moments when you really want to help someone out with great vegan food… besides, it’s my mother-in-law. I want to make her happy. In the interest of full disclosure, I have procrastinated, and I’m writing this about six moths after her request… better late than never?

Check it out, and let me know what you think.


  • ½ cup raw cashews (you can use whole or halves and pieces)
  • 1 medium to large yellow, brown, or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ¼ cups water, divided
  • Approx. ¼ cup lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
  • 3 Tbsp. miso paste (white or yellow is fine)
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • ⅓ cup or more of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of pasta (something flat or tube-ish works best… we like fettuccine, farfalle bow-ties, or penne)


  1. Get a large pot. It’s a little bit of overkill for the onions, but then you can use it for boiling the pasta and then again for the heating the sauce and mixing it with the pasta… I’m all about trying to use as few pots as possible! Fry onions on medium heat with a dash of salt for about 5 minutes till soft and starting to caramelize a little bit. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep from burning. Add garlic and continue frying for another minute or so. Add about ¼ cup of water to de-glaze the pan. Remove from heat.
  2. While the onions and garlic are frying, add the cashews to the blender and blend until it’s a powder. Don’t overdo it because you don’t want cashew butter… just a nice powder. Note: you can soak the cashews for a few hours, but I never do.
  3. Add remaining 2 cups of water, the onion mixture, and all the other ingredients through crushed red pepper (if you’re using it) and blend on highest speed for five minutes. It’ll be relatively thin, but it thickens after it’s heated up and after it sits around. As soon as you start the blending, get the pot filled with water and about a teaspoon of salt, and get it boiling.
  4. Boil pasta according to directions. Ideally you want the sauce fully blended by the time the pasta is ready. Usually my sauce is done long before the pasta.
  5. Note: I use the entire recipe of sauce for a package of pasta, but you can start with ¾ of it and add more to liquify if needed. Pour the desired amount of sauce into the pot and heat on medium, stirring constantly. When it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s ready for you to add the pasta to it.
  6. Add pasta and continue heating till sauce is thickened to your preference. Serve immediately with crushed red pepper, nutritional yeast, or your favorite vegan Parmesan.


Do you like Chik’n Alfredo? Add your favorite veggie chik’n in small chunks.

Missing your veggies? Add 3 cups of sautéed veggies. Zucchini, spinach, kale, green beans, broccoli… They all work great!

Into seasonal adjustments? Use local, seasonal ingredients. For example, add flavors of fall… nutmeg, butternut squash, sweet potato. Diced cooked sweet potato blended in the sauce gives it an orange color and a great autumnal flair.

Are you more in the mood for cheesy like Mac ‘n’ Cheez? Double the nooch in the sauce, put the finished pasta in an oven safe bowl, top with a melty vegan cheese, and broil till bubbly and melted.