What Is AWAI About – A Writing Exercise from the Accelerated Copywriting Program

What is AWAI about? AWAI stands for American Writers and Artists Inc., which is a company that trains people to make a living as a writer. You can work remotely. You can design your life and have the freedom that you’ve suspected could be possible for you.

At least that’s the idea. There is, as with anything worth having, some effort required. I’ve known about AWAI since at least 2004. In various years, including 2015, I’ve gone through multiple of their programs.

What follows in this post is a writing exercise that I did while I was going through AWAI’s “Accelerated Copywriting” program. Copywriting is a term used to refer to words that sell products and services, and copywriting training is a big part of what AWAI does.

If you’re interested in learning more about AWAI, you can go to their website at www.awai.com

The purpose of the writing exercise was to write to someone specific about my favorite restaurant. I did not have a favorite restaurant back then, so I made one up.

I did the writing exercise in 2015, and I read through it again in 2019 and changed the dates in there from 2015 to 2019. A month after that, I went to Portugal and found that there is a chain of restaurants quite similar to what I described in the writing exercise.

That chain of restaurants is called daTerra, and they have a buffet available for each meal every day. I went to daTerra multiple times and really enjoyed the experience.

If you’re interested in learning more about daTerra, you can go to their website at www.daterra.pt

Now here is the writing exercise describing my favorite (fictional?) restaurant…

Sample as Many Vegan Dishes as You Want at the City’s Only All-Vegan Buffet…

Plus, 50% Off for First Time Visitors… But Only for the Next 7 Days

Hi Mom,

You’ve planned your trip. You’ve booked your plane ticket. You’re due out here in 4 days. What are some of the experiences that you want to have while you’re here?

We could walk in Watershed Park, play mini golf, and talk about what could get you started as a children’s story writer.

All well and good. What about food? We could go to a type of place that you don’t have where you live. Something different. A grand experience to share with Helen and me. Been to any buffets lately? Were any of them vegan?

Didn’t think so. Well, I know a place where dietary dreams come true. You’ve expressed interest in going vegan. What easier way to dip your toes into the waters of an exciting dietary lifestyle than by sampling as many vegan dishes as you want at the city’s only all-vegan buffet?

Vegan Nation Restaurant – A Buffet for Human Herbivores

What is that you hear as soon as you enter the restaurant? Why, it’s soothing background music – both instrumental and sounds of nature. You are now in a calm, welcoming atmosphere. You are a guest, and you have arrived at a place where you can feel at home.

All of the staff are friendly and take great care of anyone who visits the restaurant. Their only interest is that you enjoy yourself as much as humanly possible. If you have any questions, they provide the best answers that they can.

And information packets about the vegan lifestyle and about nutrition – along with some sample recipes — are available for you to take with you. Yes, that’s right. Armed with those recipes, you can duplicate the vegan dishes featured at Vegan Nation Restaurant, and enjoy them again and again throughout the year – right where you live.

What sort of ingredients does the restaurant use, and where are those ingredients sourced from?

Vegan Nation Restaurant follows a sustainable model. A large percentage of the ingredients for the restaurant’s foods and drinks are grown on its own produce farm located within 25 miles of the restaurant.

At Vegan Nation Restaurant, all of the ingredients for each dish are clearly listed so you know exactly what you’ll be eating. There’s no guesswork involved. Of course, no animal products or by-products are used. That means:

• No meat
• No dairy
• No eggs
• No honey

Leaving animals entirely out of the dining equation opens up a range of plant-based foods greater than you could possibly imagine! Picture in your mind the foods now available to you.

Feel your hunger increase, and let your mouth water as you consider the possibilities of the vegan diet. The choices can be staggering at times…

A Brief Listing of Vegan Foods

First, there are the plethora of food choices available in the Starches category for you to enjoy:

  • Whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, millet, and oats.
  • Legumes include dried beans, peas, and lentils. There are a great variety of beans to choose from, such as: black, cannellini, chickpeas, kidney, lima, pinto, and white. Common pea varieties include black-eyed, split, whole yellow, and green. Lentils can be found in green, red, or brown varieties.
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and winter squashes including acorn, butternut, and pumpkin.

And there are also other food groups for you to sink your teeth into:

  • Non-starchy vegetables including carrots, beets, zucchini, garlic, onion, ginger, green beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus, celery, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale, eggplant, and cucumbers.
  • Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, tangerines, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, plums, apricots, apples, pears, grapes, dates, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, and watermelons.
  • Nuts including walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews. Seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.

All of those foods and more are extremely healthy for you! Vegan Nation Restaurant combines those and other foods in fun and often miraculous ways. What are some of the possibilities available for you to explore?

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Selected Appetizers

Chickpea Fries
• Fries are a staple at restaurants, but you’ve never had fries like these! While there’s nothing wrong with traditional fries made with potatoes, you’re here because you want something different. When you eat Chickpea Fries, it’s like having hummus in fry form! Which you can then dip in hummus – if you so desire.

Cucumber and Zucchini Salsa
• Salsa doesn’t have to be spicy, but it does have to be a fun way to have vegetables. This non-spicy salsa allows you to enjoy the flavors, instead of being distracted by spiciness.

Green Pea Guacamole
• Yes, it’s guacamole with a twist. Avocados are still included, but they’re not the leading attraction this time. Blended green peas – the main ingredient — pack a powerful protein punch!

Kale and Spinach Dip
• Made without sour cream and mayonnaise! This very green dip is closer to a sauce than what you’re used to. What you’ll also notice is that the flavors of spinach and kale come through clearly, combined with a garlic kick to set your taste buds humming.

Mozzarella Cheese, Cherry Tomato & Mini Cucumber Skewers
• Made with vegan cheese! This recipe includes coconut products. This appetizer may well be your introduction to non-dairy cheeses. Other vegan cheese recipes have nutritional yeast and/or nuts such as cashews or almonds as ingredients.

Onion Rings.
• Made without milk and eggs! Crispy and gluten-free, too. The onions are on full display – for both sight and taste. They’re not obscured by attention-hogging breading.

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Selected Main Dishes

Butternut Squash with Black Beans
• This hearty dish is loaded with a selection of starches – butternut squash, black beans, short grain brown rice – and with a selection of non-starchy vegetables – red bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, and garlic. All of the ingredients are tied together with the lightly sweet flavor of the butternut squash. A guaranteed good time to be had with vegetables!

Green Bean, Zucchini, and Potato Stew
• This moist stew will leave you full and satisfied. It dares you to think beyond meat-based stews.

Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes
• It seems that lentils are mainly known for being used in soups. This is no exception. What’s different is that you may not want to go back to having other lentil soups after having this! Brown lentils, sweet potatoes, kale, tomatoes, and spices. So simple, yet so satisfying!

Potato Salad
• Made without eggs and mayonnaise! Creamy potatoes, crunchy broccoli, savory celery, crispy red peppers, plus onions and spices conspire to make this the best Potato Salad you’ve ever had!

Sweet Potato Lasagna
• The lasagna noodles are actually slices of zucchini. Each layer of this lasagna is packed with vegetables for your health and delight.

Three Bean Chili
• Made without meat and cheese! All of the beans are soaked overnight and cooked for at least two hours to aid proper digestion. You can eat this Three Bean Chili with extraordinary peace of mind and with massive enjoyment.

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Selected Desserts

Fruit Salad
• Made with 10 different fruits! An explosion of flavor in every bite.

Ice Cream Sandwich Brownies
• Made without cow’s milk! The ice cream is literally just bananas. As silly as that may sound, the taste is even better. The ice cream is surrounded by sandwich brownies made primarily with walnuts and dates.

Mint Melon Popsicles
• Juicy and sweet. A great frozen treat. The melons are pureed, then poured into ice molds, and frozen overnight. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon options are all available for your dining pleasure.

Pumpkin Pie
• Made without milk and eggs! The crust is made from blended pecans and hazelnuts. The pumpkin is sweetened with maple syrup. This Pumpkin Pie is truly a fantastic snack. (It’s perfectly acceptable to keep going back for more.)

Strawberry Yogurt
• Made with coconut milk, not with cow’s milk! Taste the difference today.

Vanilla Ice cream
• Made with cashew milk, not with cow’s milk! Rich and creamy. Sweetened with maple syrup, not with sugar.

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Selected Beverages

Carrot and Kale Juice.
Have you ever had carrot juice like this before? Carrots aren’t alone this time. Kale, apples, fresh ginger, and olive oil lend their support. Mmm, delicious.

Cashew Milk.
Rich and creamy. What’s more fun than eating cashews? Why, drinking them, of course!

Sweet Cinnamon Almond Milk.
What are dates, cinnamon, and vanilla extract doing in your Almond Milk? Proving how much fun something healthy can be. Treat yourself today.

Coconut Milk.
Imagine a tropical paradise as you sip your Coconut Milk. Be transported to a place of white sands and clear water as you savor the soothing flavor. Suntan lotion not included.

Kale plus Almonds Blend.
Almond milk and almond butter join forces with kale, blueberries, chia seeds, and avocadoes. The result? Mouthfuls of yummy goodness!

Kale Energy Shots.
Whether you need an energy boost or not, Kale Energy Shots deliver a quick blast of nutrients to your body! It’s the power of kale combined with apples, cucumbers, celery, and lemons for maximum effectiveness in such a small dosage.

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Selected Prestigious Awards

Vegan Nation Restaurant has been recognized for its excellence in areas including customer service, food selection, and presentation. It has already received several prestigious awards. These include:

• Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards 2019 Gold winner
• Restaurant of the Year 2019 – Surrey Environmentalists’ Group
• Eater’s Choice Award 2019 – www.happycow.net
• Top of Class 2019, Health-Conscious Restaurants category – BC Tourism
• Education Literacy Award 2019, nutrition category – Education Canada

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Selected Beaming Reviews

In addition to awards, Vegan Nation Restaurant has also received generous feedback from both professional reviewers and regular customers. Their thoughts include:

“All of the staff are very friendly and non-judgmental. They happily promote the vegan lifestyle but not even remotely in an annoying way. I very much enjoyed my time there. It was a blast sampling various vegan cuisine. I piled my plate high every time, and I still didn’t get to try everything! I’m going back to see what else I can taste and discover. Highly recommended.”
– I. Eat Daily, top food critic for The Vancouver Sun

“The vegan movement keeps growing, and it now has more support in the form of an all-vegan buffet. Vegan Nation Restaurant — newly opened in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada – offers a wide selection of beverages, appetizers, main courses, and desserts. If you thought that a diet free of meat and dairy limits you primarily to soy and especially tofu, think again. Soy and tofu are not even allowed within the walls of the restaurant. Instead, you are faced with the staggering variety of foods available as part of the vegan diet. Also, you will find constant surprises, twists on familiar foods that you thought you knew. One example: cheesecake made with almond milk! Vegan Nation Restaurant is a fantastic destination. I’m glad I went, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy going there, too.”
– Treat Love, travel writer for The New York Times

“I had no idea that a vegan meal could be so healthy and so filling. I used to wonder where I would get various nutrients from on a plant-based diet. Vegan Nation Restaurant provides an education on nutrition in a friendly manner. I am now armed with knowledge to improve my health both on my own and whenever I go back to Vegan Nation Restaurant.”
– Justus Strong, a very satisfied customer

“Ever wonder what ingredients are in the food that a restaurant serves? Well, you can stop wondering. Vegan Nation Restaurant lists the ingredients for each of their food and drink items. You can even try doing the recipes at home! I used to think that vegan food was boring and predictable. Now I know better. Vegan Nation Restaurant has given me plenty of food for thought.”
– Michael Donaldson, a renewed food enthusiast

Quotes From Famous Vegans

Also, here are a couple of quotes from famous vegans:

“I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like. And I felt better, so I continued with it. Now, for many people, that choice is connected to environmental ethics and health issues and all that stuff, but I just wanted to try it to see what it was like. In a visceral way, I felt better, so I’ve continued with it, and I’m likely to continue it for the rest of my life.”
– Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President / environmentalist / Nobel Peace Prize winner

“Setting aside the health benefits, how often do you get that kind of incredible win-win where you can really transform the planet? And it’s possible. You gotta check the facts for yourselves. You’re not gonna believe it hearing it from me. But I wanna challenge everybody here. If you’re an environmentalist – I say – my challenge is: You can’t be an environmentalist, you can’t be an ocean steward without truly walking the walk. And you can’t walk the walk in the world of the future — the world ahead of us, the world of our children — not eating a plant-based diet. That’s my challenge. You can check the facts for yourselves.”
– James Cameron, writer / director / producer / deep-sea explorer / environmentalist

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Allergens Not Included!

Meat, dairy, eggs, and honey are not the only things excluded from the menu. Common allergens are also unwelcome at Vegan Nation Restaurant. People with allergies are, however, quite welcome and encouraged to get the most enjoyment possible out of the food they eat.

They can live without fear. The listed ingredients are for their safety, too. Exclusion of common allergens means that Vegan Nation Restaurant has:

  • No corn
  • No gluten
  • No peanuts
  • No soy
  • No wheat

Food items excluded are not meant to contribute to a feeling of being deprived. Rather, Vegan Nation Restaurant promotes the celebration of many, many different foods. Eat, drink, and be merry, for today we live!

Also, the only oils used at Vegan Nation Restaurant are coconut oil and olive oil. And the only salt used is sea salt, so the salt won’t give you a headache.

Every item on the menu, both large and small, has been carefully selected to maximize your comfort and delight.

Excited to Have You Share the Vegan Experience

Helen and I enjoyed the food and the overall experience so much at Vegan Nation Restaurant that we’re excited to go again. We are huge fans of the place, and we’re taking you with us! Get ready for a fun and memorable experience next Thursday evening.

We’ll pay for your meal. It’s our thanks to you for being our honored guest.

Vegan Nation Restaurant – Where Every Item on the Menu Is Vegan

In the meantime, if you’re wanting to find out even more information about the place, feel free to visit www.VeganNationRestaurant.com

To Your Health,

James Barnett

P.S. Make sure to bring a healthy appetite with you. You won’t regret it.


When I chose to share the writing exercise above, which I wrote years ago, I did a search on Bing and saw that the name “Vegan Nation” has been used by others, including by a restaurant in Athens, Greece.

Hopefully you had as much fun reading the writing exercise as I did when I was writing it.

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Until next time,

James Barnett

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