Today is Friday - but, of course, not just any Friday.
It's also January 20th - in other words, late January, and those doing Veganuary may be wondering if or how they'll continue the experiment next month. In fact, those without a strong support network may already have found the vegan-eating experiment too difficult.
The good news is that Peace Advocacy Network has another Vegan Pledge program coming up next month - the first meeting is February 12 at The Church of Saint Asaph in Bala Cynwyd - and the whole point of this free program is to give the vegan-curious support for a month of consistent vegan eating and living, in the form of mentors, food, education and practical tips.
And, I might add, entertainment. That's because the Plant Power Couple will be doing a cooking demo in their inimitable zany yet informative style. You might have seen them at the Vegan Mac & Cheese 'Macdown' last spring, or tried their vegan 'bacon salt' or enjoyed one of their Facebook Live cooking videos.
Who are these folks, anyway? Brittany and Terrence Roche have been Philly-based for five years, and say their mission is "bringing awesome vegan food to people who love food and love animals." They also bring a sense of fun and energy to the process of cooking.
"Yeah, we like to share our joy and excitement" about vegan food, said Brittany. "We love the PAN pledge program - this is our fourth time doing it," added Terrence.
For their Pledge appearance, the goal is simple: "We want people to see how easy it can be to make great vegan food - get them excited to experiment in their own kitchens," said Terrence. "We'll show [participants] that they don't have to give up their favorite dishes - just alter them" to a plant-based version, he added.
"Also, some of these folks will be cooking for their families, so we want to show them how to make stuff their families will also enjoy," said Brittany. To that end, the cooking demo will likely involve walnut meat tacos, though they're also known for their jackfruit tacos and tofu scramble.
The Plant Power Couple, of course, is not the only draw: Participants get a hearty vegan lunch at every meeting, with food donated by generous local groceries, merchants and restaurants (featured this time around is ravioli from Eat Nice pasta co.). Educational talks by knowledgeable vegans such as Rachel McCrystal (ethics), PAN's Dara Lovitz (animal agriculture and the environment) and Kerri Foxhill, RD (plant-based nutrition) will provide more context for the eating "experiment," as will the panel on Living Vegan in a Non-Vegan World.
"We love the PAN pledge program, this is our fourth time doing it," said Terrence, who called the month-long tryout "a valuable program serving Philadelphia's growing vegan population." The off-kilter duo will also be showing off their chickenless noodle-soup powder at the Jan. 29 Vegan Pop-up at Tattooed Mom.
As of this writing, there are still spots available for February. If, like most people, you're eating more plant-based meals and striving for a more balanced diet, and if, like most people, you deplore violence against the innocent, this could be the time to act on both impulses.
So yeah, today could be the perfect day to sign up. Like every day, it's the end of the past and the beginning of the future - which, to a considerable extent, is what we make of it.
Vance Lehmkuhl is a 16-year vegan and the author of "V for Veg: The Best of Philly's Vegan Food Column" and "Eating Vegan in Philly," both from Sullivan Street Press. Vance will be signing and reading form both books this Sunday, Jan. 22 at Main Point Books, 116 N Wayne Ave in Wayne, PA (484-580-6978) from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. More info here.