Our Vegan Experience in New Orleans During the Mardi Gras Weekend of 2017

When it comes to celebrating the start of spring with lots of great music, delicious food, and mingling with thousands of like-minded people till late at night, few places can compare to New Orleans during the annual Mardi Gras celebration.  A couple weeks ago Rob and I got a chance to go to New Orleans just for that reason. We’ve been to the Big Easy many times before, including a few times since Rob and I went vegan, so it was only a matter of time before I finally wrote a post about our vegan experience there. When we lived in Alabama, New Orleans was just 2.5 hours away, and my first visit there happened during Mardi Gras weekend of 2011. A lot has changed since, most notably our move to the Washington State, but whenever we get an opportunity to go back to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, we always know that … Read the rest of the post

How to Be Vegan on a Budget: 15 Money-Saving Tips for Grocery Shopping, Meal Planning and Beyond

When Rob and I first went vegan, I was expecting to see our food shopping bill to go down since the expensive grocery store items like meat and dairy were out of the rotation. For the most part we started spending less on food, although buying pricier treats like vegan ice cream or cheese sometimes adds up. In the beginning of our vegan journey, we quickly learned the big rule of being vegan on a budget: cook your meals from scratch at home as often as you can, as pre-made food is always more expensive. More than 3 years have passed since I went vegan, and my list of tips for being vegan on a budget has expanded quite a bit. In preparation for today’s post, I also asked Vegan Runner Eats followers on Facebook to share their vegan budgeting tips, and combined our mutual vegan wisdom into a list of 15 money-saving tips for anyone. Hope that you’ll find them useful! … Read the rest of the post

I’ve Decided to Stay Vegan – and Here Are 10 Reasons Why

Believe it or not, I don’t have a lot of vegan friends on my personal Facebook page. Whenever I happen to meet a cool vegan person, I sometimes get too lazy to look them up and send them a friend request. So when a vegan Facebook friend of mine recently announced that he was getting off the vegan grid after advocating for it for many years, I felt a familiar tinge of disappointment. “Oh man, now all of his non-vegan friends will be convinced that being vegan is unsustainable…” Eventually, I managed to overcome my initial judgmental thoughts and wished him the best of luck. At the same time, I asked myself, “Why is it that I never feel like I don’t want to be vegan anymore?” The ex-vegan movement seems to be on the rise these days. In the past couple years, some big-name vegan bloggers have announced that … Read the rest of the post

Our Vacation in Hawaii, Part 2: Finding Vegan Food on Maui is Easier Than You Think!

Hi all! I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post, but things have been crazy busy around here, so I apologize for leaving you hanging in anticipation for today’s post about vegan food on Maui! Anyway, better late than never, right? So, during our recent trip to Maui we discovered that this Hawaiian island was very vegan-friendly. As a result, I had a number of people tell me that they were planning to go there on vacation pretty soon, so they were looking forward to a post where I’d share all the details about where to find vegan food on Maui. Your wish is my command, so today I’ll be sharing our experience of eating at various vegan-friendly places on Maui. Get ready for all of the vegan deliciousness, Maui-style! (To learn about all of the fun things to do on Maui, check out my previous post.) Before we took off for our … Read the rest of the post

Everyday Heroes Series, Episode #3. What Being Vegan Is Like In Russia: Petr’s Story

Hi everyone! I am very excited to bring you the latest episode of the Everyday Heroes series, where people just like you tell their stories of how they embraced veganism. Today I have a special guest for you: please meet Petr from Russia! I’ve personally known Petr for years: we went to college together in the Russian city of Tula back in the day before I moved to the US in 2006. A few years ago I found Petr again on Facebook. I was surprised to find out that he and his wife were vegan – at the time, I was far from considering veganism for myself as I thought that vegan lifestyle was too hard to maintain. I suspected that in Russia, vegans must have an even harder time as the winters are very long and cold, and fresh produce tends to cost too much. Fast forward to this … Read the rest of the post

Ten Changes in My Mindset I’ve Had Since Going Vegan – Part 2 of My Veganniversary Celebration

(This post is part two of a 2-part series celebrating my Veganniversary. See part 1 here.) As you remember, in my previous post I summed up a few changes in my health since I went vegan a little over a year ago. Today’s post is about the changes that I believe to be even more important than the physical ones – the changes in my mindset. Why do I think that the mindset changes are so important? Because they show how far we’ve gone in our personal growth, and ultimately they can influence our decision to stick with something we chose to do, or abandon it. I am sure that everyone who’s ever decided to go vegan has experienced some changes in their mindset, but since they are not as noticeable as, say, the improvement in our energy levels or, ahem, better bowel  movement frequency, we tend not to compare them with … Read the rest of the post

My First Vegan Anniversary Celebration! 5 Physical Improvements I’ve Had Since Going Vegan

(This post is part one of a two-post series celebrating my Veganniversary. See part 2 here.) You know how sometimes we get caught in a whirlwind of things suddenly happening to us, and we forget something important? Well, that recently happened to me: last month I started a new job, got lots of new opportunities for this blog (the new Everyday Heroes series taking off was awesome!), continued to explore our new surroundings in the Northwest Washington and almost got used to this new rhythm of life – and in the meantime, completely forgot that May marked a year since I ditched all animal-derived foods and went vegan! All is not lost, so I’m going to celebrate my belated Veganniversary (yes, that’s a real word) today! And what’s a better way to do this than to count all my blessings and see how my life and wellbeing have changed since … Read the rest of the post