The Brand New Vegan Community
The Brand New Vegan Community
Chuck Underwood


A community of like-minded people supporting each other on their path to wellness.

Are you wanting to try a Plant-Based Diet but have no idea where to start?

The world is catching on. More people are becoming vegan every day - for the animals, for their own personal health, and even for the health of our planet.

 And whole-food, plant-based diets are leading the way. 

But changing something as fundamental as the way you eat can be HARD!  Especially if you don't have support.  A lot of people have tried to do this alone and usually fail, falling back into their old habits before eventually giving up completely. 

And that's where we come in because WE WANT YOU TO SUCCEED!

Having someone to talk to, ask questions, and share your success & frustrations is VITALLY important as you embark on this journey.  So I put together this community to bring together anyone who wants to change their diet, regardless of their reasons.  

Our goal is to create an online space to give you that support including:

  • A sense of understanding from like-minded people who "get it"
  • Openness and trust, to be honest, ask for help, and share your struggles
  • Someone to share your wins and celebrate your progress
  • Enthusiasm to give and get feedback

Our Mission

To offer a 'safe place' for anyone adopting a plant-based diet, to ask questions, get personalized support, try new recipes, learn new skills, and connect with other like-minded people who are on the same path so that we can all make this planet a better place while feeling our absolute best! 

One of my favorite plant-based gurus, Dr. Dean Ornish, MD, writes in his book UNDO IT, that to be truly successful in changing our lifestyle we need to do the following:

  • eat well
  • move more
  • stress less
  • love more

There are plenty of recipe blogs, exercise videos, and even meditation apps to help with the first 3 on that list, but getting the love and support from the people you know and love may not always be possible. People love the foods they grew up with and simply do not want to change.   That makes it hard for YOU to be successful! 

We will be that support!  And will do our very best to help you, encourage you, teach you, AND support you, so you can achieve your goals.  We have the knowledge, tools, and experience to make that happen. 

Before You Join

In order to help our community be the best it can be for all members, please be sure to read and understand our guidelines:

  • Be respectful of all members and ideas
  • Play nicely together!
  • No profanity/hate speech/slurs/etc
  • No judging!  We're all doing the best we can.
  • No spamming of any kind
  • Participate! Join in discussions and events!
  • Feel free to share your stories, experiences, and ideas—but not advice please, we're not medical professionals. 

By joining the BNV Community, you agree to follow the above guidelines and understand that you may be removed for violating them.

We're building the kind of online community that we wanted to be a part of and we hope you'll join us!

-Chuck, Trish, Michael

Meet Your Hosts

Chuck Underwood

When I told my family I wanted to be 'vegan', they laughed at me. So did my friends at work, so I didn't have a lot of support when I started my journey back in 2008 And as expected - my progress was slow.  It was only when I started my Facebook Group in 2018 that I really understood how important it was to have a group of like-minded people you could talk to that 'got it'. So important, that I created THIS space, away from any FB distractions, so that we can really focus on getting healthier together. 

Chuck's Blog
Chuck's YouTube Channel

Michael Simoneau

My journey to compassion as I call it, since veganism is just a means to that end, has been longer than I would've hoped. I and one of my sisters originally adopted vegetarianism in the early '90s to support our mother who had started for health reasons. Right from the start though I felt like the reasons fit the perfect Venn diagram of animal rights, environmentalism, and health. Support for the first step was easy since it was a unanimous decision amongst the three of us at home.

Veganism came later for me and the support wasn't quite the same. I had given up dairy on and off over the years but always ended up back to it, mainly for convenience. While my now husband was supportive of my vegetarianism when we first met (though he now claims to have forgotten that fact), dropping the dairy did cause some friction. In fact, that's about when he stopped cooking for the both of us. I persevered though since it was that important to me. I've now been fully vegan since 2012 and wish I'd done it sooner, as cliched as that sounds it's 100% accurate.

Trish Hall

My journey to becoming vegan started about 2016. My youngest daughter started talking about veganism and I started listening.  At that point, I had had some minor health issues, slightly high cholesterol, irregular heartbeats, chronic fatigue, and thyroid issues. My mom was struggling with severe Rheumatoid arthritis and GERD and reflux.

My husband was not on board and I did continue to cook meat for him…until he decided that he didn’t want to be married anymore. I eliminated dairy after a few months and really started feeling great. 

My mom ended up breaking her back and I was providing all her meals, so she went all vegan at that point. She still had very painful arthritis in her hands and it was because of that that I began to research anti-inflammatory diets and discovered Dr. McDougall. We adopted that way of eating and I lost 30 lbs in the first 2-3 months. My irregular heartbeat went away and my energy soared. All my labs came back in normal ranges. My mom was able to get off of her meds for arthritis, she no longer had GERD or reflux, and aside from scoliosis, she is in excellent health and still drives and goes to yoga classes at 91 years old!

My oldest daughter also became vegan and had a healthy pregnancy and gave birth to my beautiful Riley Jane, who has been raised completely vegan and is a healthy, smart, and compassionate soul. 

Finding Chuck through his Brand New Vegan Facebook page turned out to be serendipitous!  I started blogging my recipes with Chuck’s encouragement and guidance. He’s been a mentor and a good friend and I love being a part of his amazing outreach through his groups.

BNV Community is a Private Mighty Network exclusively for members.