Image credit: Screen shot from Mayim's video
If you don't want to bother reading another fan page, I must give you fair warning and tell you not to bother reading this article. I don't purposely intend to sing the praises of Mayim Bialik, but I believe that discussing her accomplishments will seem like I am. She achieved her first acting role at just 11 years old when she was cast in the role of Ellie in the series Beauty and the Beast. This was in 1987 and the following year, when she was 12 years old she landed the role of Jennifer Cole on The Facts Of Life, and as Wallace Kid in the movie Pumpkinhead. She scored roles on various television shows, such as Webster, Murphy Brown, Molloy, Doogie Howser M.D. She brought enjoyment to millions in her many various roles.
It was in 1990 that she scored one of her two most well-known character rolls when she landed the role of Blossom Russo on the series aptly named Blossom. This is the role she played for five seasons and comprised 114 episodes before finally ending in 1995 with an episode that was properly titled Goodbye. At the time Blossom aired the networks didn't expect the series to last because they felt that no one would want to watch a show about a girl. She didn't play a superhero or a super agent. She simply played a girl. That was what made Blossom a groundbreaking show. She liked the fact that she played 'just a girl,' and not a nerd, or a girl who had to choose between being intelligent and being liked. She played a normal girl facing life with her father, two brothers, and her best friend Six. The character Blossom Russo became known for her outlandish hats and her spunky attitude. She was just the normal girl with a great attitude, and a lot of common sense for how she approached life, and the characters in her life.
Around thirty-six acting roles, later Mayim Bialik came to the next role she has become well known for. From 2010 to 2019 she played Amy Farrah Fowler on the TV series The Big Bang Theory. For The Big Bang Theory, she played a somewhat dry, but intelligent character who was a neuroscientist and the love interest of the character Sheldon Cooper. It is no surprise that she played a character who had a Ph.D. in Neurology since she has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in real life.
After the end of the series of Blossom in 1995 Bialik was accepted to both Harvard and Yale, but she opted to attend the University Of California in Los Angeles California where she achieved a bachelor's degree in neuroscience, Hebrew and Jewish studies. Her family lived on the west coast, and she had wanted to stay close to them. After achieving her bachelor's degree in 2000, she went into the university's Ph.D. program in neuroscience. She completed the program in 2007.
In 2012, Bialik was in a car accident that many rumored would cause her to lose her thumb. In the accident, she had suffered lacerations to her left hand and thumb. Through social media, however, Bialik told the waiting world that she would indeed be keeping all of her fingers. Though the injuries needed to heal, they were not as bad as they easily could have been.
What I must admit that I find the most fascinating about Mayim Bialik is her vegan life. In 1994, at 19 years old, Bialik became a vegetarian. Ultimately, she knew she would become a vegan, but she needed to transition into it. It was a taste aversion to eating meat that had been her reason for becoming a vegetarian at such a young age. As is with many, it was after removing meat from her diet that the learning process began. That was when her deep love of animals began forming her choices and gradual changes.
Though the innate desire to become vegan was present, Bialik needed more information. Her change was gradual, which gave her the room to think things through every step of the way, and to make the best possible decisions about what she was doing. When she gave birth to her first son, she was still consuming dairy. Her son could not handle her breast milk, and this led to her realization that she was allergic to dairy. Small things took her through to each of the steps which led to her vegan life as it is today. I know many vegans who have quite similar stories to hers. What finished it for Bialik was when she read the 2009 book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Though some may not agree with raising their children as Vegans, Bialik sees the wisdom in doing so. For her, the challenge is trying to find the balance between giving age-appropriate information to children, and allowing them to come to an awareness about food on their own. It would be hard to find a balance that allows children to not feel superior or even deprived by growing up vegan. Too often in society, other children and even adults attempt to shame or invalidate those who are in any way different. This is especially true of interactions between non-Vegans and vegans of any age. Most tend to have the attitude that vegans will be weird or modern-day hippies. Though a small percentage are, this is not true of most.
In case anyone is wondering what a Vegan parent might feed their children, Bialik makes lots of Nut cheeses. She describes the Cashew and Macedamia cheeses as being super easy and tasty. She puts the cheeses on crackers with veggies for them. She also uses nut-based ricotta and makes Spanakota which is a savory pie. She also gives them Avacado which is a super healthy plant-based fat. She also gives her children Trail Mix. This is something Bialik was given by her mother when she was growing up as well. Bialik's focus is healthy plant-based fats, which are incredibly healthy for growing children.
Another fascinating thing to me is Mayim Bialik's book. She wrote a vegan cookbook. The cookbook contains her favorite recipes. Her cookbook also has the bonus of nutritional information and advice from Dr. Jay Gordon, a pediatrician. She offers us recipes for matzo ball soup, savory kugel which is a lot like macaroni and cheese, Asian inspired salads, and much more. One criticism made by a few was that she used store-bought vegan cheeses in her book, and they felt all of it should be made from scratch. Still more people raved about the book's recipes. They gave her accolades for her vegan recipes and her vegan choices. I must admit that I am among those celebrating her many accomplishments and her vegan
To date, she has written and published seven books. Below is a list of them all:
Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular.
Mayim's Vegan Table : More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours.
Beyond the Sling : A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way
Boying Up : How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant
Energizing Superfood Juices and Smoothies : Nutrient-Dense, Seasonal Recipes to Jump-Start Your Health
De ni?o a Hombre [Spanish]
Faith Unravels : A Rabbi's Struggle with Grief and God
In November 2012, Bialik announced the end of her 9-year marriage to Michael Stone. They had wed in 2003 in an extravagant Victorian wedding. Just two years later they welcomed their first shared son. Three years passed, and in 2008 they brought their second son into the world. in 2012 they separated in divorce. The reason given was irreconcilable differences. If you wonder who Michael stone is, I do as well. Not much is known about him because he is a private person. He was not an actor or a famous man. He was a normal schmo like the rest of us. Though he converted to Judaism when he married Mayim Bialik, I have no idea if he converted back to old Mormonism or not. That information has not been made available to us.
To end this article about this remarkable vegan, I will end it with a Transcription from the video she posted to YouTube in which she discusses the effect of her divorce on herself and on her ex-husband and her children.
"This video is going to be a little bit different than my other video was because this is something I have never spoken about publicly. I'm divorced and I have been since my kids were four and seven. They are now seven and ten, so I've had three years of figuring out how to parent with my ex. Why have I never spoken about this publicly? Because it's a private matter and talking about it might violate my exes privacy, or my kids' privacy, or my family's privacy. However, I'd like to talk about it in a way that might help some of you who are going through something similar or might educate people as to what divorce can look like in some families. So, what does it mean to create the healthiest possible environment for children in the context of a divorce? Number one we do things together, we celebrate holidays together, like Passover Chanukah thanksgiving. We go to synagogue together for major holidays. Is that always perfect and exactly what I want to? Of course not. Do make kids sometimes complain that they'd rather have Passover at their dad's house than mine? Of course, they do, but we all end up being together and that's literally what's most important.
Number two we continue to be part of each other's families. I still talked to my ex-husband's mother and father, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles. I still send them pictures of my kids throughout the year. my ex and I have attended funerals for each other's families. Divorce isn't the end of a family, it's the end of a nuclear family, it's the end of a family living in one house, but we still have responsibilities to each other's families, and to our children as a family. it only strengthens my kids' lives to have all of the people they are related together for significant events.
Number three, we try to model good behavior. We don't trash talk each other. I don't say oh so your father's pancakes may be good, but his tasting for furniture is horrendous, That's actually not true, but I can't think of a better example, and he doesn't say things like, oh your mom always loses her keys, and she's all over the place, and some people think she's unstable, is really emotional she cries all the time. Because all of those things are true, but it would not be helpful for my children to hear him say those things about me.
Marriage can be really awesome, and it's a lot of work. Being divorced is lame, it's bad, it's not a fun way to raise kids. Things my ex did when we were married that annoyed me then, annoy me still, so why put the effort in? Well, life's not to address rehearsal. My kids get one chance to be kids, and this is their situation. I have to put them first because I'm their mom and he's their dad and their dad has given over his life to caring for them completely and so courageously. I'm the working mom and every night when I'm working, he's the one feeding them dinner, giving them a bath, and reading them good night stories, and tucking them in, and making sure they sleep well. and I miss them a lot, and I missed that life a lot. so the best I think I can do is be tremendously grateful (for) What a wonderful ex-husband I have and what a great dad he is, and to continue to shatter the image of the perfect family that I thought my intact family would be. We get to make the most of what we have and in some cases, we get to make the most of what we have left. That's what families do. Sometimes I take a step back and I look at us all out doing something together, and I think less and less about how it's not the life I thought that it would be and more and more about how Blessed I am, and that's amazing. I guess that's how life is a lot of the time. it's not what you picture, but the less time you spend wondering what was, what could have been, what might have been, and the more time you spend being present with what is the, bigger the potential for that happiness to grow. I've never talked about this in this way and I hope I did OK, and I hope that it was helpful to you. Thanks for watching"
C. J. York
(Speak To Me Magazine Editor)