[Jackson Clarion Ledger]
Susan Voisin's Jackson dining room may now be her office, photography studio and in-house props storage facility, but the focus remains on food.
Not all food. Just what fits in the scope of her vegan diet - a personal and increasingly professional pursuit.
What started as a hobby and a service has grown into a bread-and-nut-butter (in limited quantities) blogging business, sharing her kitchen creations with fellow readers who eschew meat and animal products, and even some who don't.
Voisin began her Web site, www.fatfreevegan.com , in 2003 and her blog, www.blog.fatfreevegan.com followed three years later. Mentions in magazines Vegetarian Times and VegNews helped swell her readership and in 2007, hers was voted the most popular blog by VegNews readers. Last summer, she was a guest chef at the McDougall Health and Medical Center in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Voisin went the vegetarian route more than two decades ago, while living in Columbia, S.C. "I just always had an empathy for animals, and so that's just sort of the next step, to become a vegetarian," she says.
Six years later, she was trying to clean up her diet from a health standpoint. Reading about treatment of dairy animals and chickens prompted her to try to be a vegan, eating only plant products. Voisin tried a low-fat vegan diet for a month and at month's end, treated herself to a cheese pizza. She was sick for three days, "just all the digestive problems that you can think of," she says. Lactose intolerance? Allergy? Dietary curve ball? She doesn't know. But it was a turning point.