Matthew Kenney: Plant-Based Culinary Guru (EP 49: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

I couldn’t have been more excited to interview plant-based culinary guru Matthew Kenney.


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*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.

With a career spanning decades, a lifestyle brand, and over fifty restaurants opened in his image or with his name, Matthew Kenney is someone I have great respect for. I was honored that he made the time to have this intriguing conversation for The Vegan Life Coach Podcast. 

Matthew Kenney, A Bio

Matthew Kenney is the founder and CEO of Matthew Kenney Cuisine (MKC). The MKC business is an integrated, California-based lifestyle company that provides high-quality products and services in the culinary arts and wellness markets. Matthew’s company, MKC, holds places in six business categories: education, hospitality, wellness, services, products, and media. They operate in more than ten major cities across the globe. 

Most of the work that MKC does is based on innovative and proprietary techniques that can help prepare minimally processed, plant-based foods that are refined and healthy. MKC sees things differently, especially when it comes to food. 

Everything Matthew’s company does is based on the desire to bring culinary art and ultimate nutrition together. 

Matthew, himself, is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City. He is the author of 18 cookbooks, operates 16 restaurants in ten countries over five continents. He has been named one of America’s Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine. 

“A good chef can be a magician of sorts, but no amount of magic can make up for subpar ingredients. Being fanatical about quality is not something that only restaurant or professional chefs should take into consideration.”

My Conversation with Matthew Kenney

Over his career, more than fifty restaurants have been opened with Matthew Kenny’s help, and he can speak to the lessons that came with each experience. It’s crucial for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur, to be willing to take calculated risks. As intelligent as Matthew is, it was his passion that drove him at the beginning of his career, and it is one part of why he became so wildly successful. 

“Chefs can either be drug dealers or food healers.” 

When I brought up this quote to Matthew Kenney and told him how much I loved it, he explained to me how this quote is a little more sensational than his personality tends to be. However, he did mention that veganism can be equated to how everyone in the 80s, his parents included, smoked. Once doctors discovered how hazardous tobacco was to our health, and began disseminating this information, we eventually stopped allowing smoking in restaurants, in planes, and so on. Now, if someone tried to light up a cigarette in a plane, people would freak out!

While more provocative than how he tries to get his messages across to people, this analogy is something that Matthew can equate to eating a plant-based diet.

Matthew wants to be part of shifting the global food paradigm so that plants become the norm. Although he doesn’t believe in preaching or forcing anyone to follow his beliefs, he certainly has been the catalyst for countless people to rethink their food habits and make the transition to veganism. 

He feels motivated knowing he can bring positive change to the environment, animals, human health and get the opportunity to do something creative and fulfilling through spreading his passion. 

A raw vegan diet should be all plants that can be eaten raw or kept below a specific temperature (which there are some disagreements on) whole, plant-based, fruits, vegetables, healthy plant-based fats (avocado, coconut, sprouted seeds and nuts) and legumes.

Because there weren’t standardized techniques, gourmet vegan restaurants, or even gourmet vegan food for such a long time, there was no structure to Matthew’s vegan menus at first. He would come up with dishes during yoga or walking down the street and begin to experiment and create. 

When he opened his culinary school, he realized he needed structure to his planning, menus, and how to eat vegan. This opportunity gave the school so many various options to make new dishes (and from the looks of those dishes, they’re also pieces of art!). 

Because many of the students were from all over the world, they bring their knowledge of veganism to the school. Between that, the new methods Matthew was learning, and with the use of new tools that were used in vegan restaurants around the country, a new way to look at veganism in the culinary world began to form. 

This new view helped Matthew ultimately change how he developed new recipes and helped shape what we know about plant-based cuisine. 

Six or seven years ago, he began funneling down the possibilities of how to bring veganism into more focused ideas like vegan-French cuisine. He brought a test kitchen to California and has Michelin star chefs creating new recipes, and new techniques. 

While Matthew’s business is worldwide, he always knew that flying from place to place was not the most efficient use of his time. He wanted to use technology to supplement how his company worked. The pandemic, allowed him to use technology more effectively and helped his business, the school included, get a chance to dig into the technological realm. 

When I asked him what kitchen tool he can’t live without, Matthew replied, “a chef’s knife.” With a sharp knife, you can do everything. Everyone should have an outstanding chef’s knife and a sharpener. There are so many good options to finding a knife, so finding what feels good is the most important thing. The second, most important thing is to sharpen the blade on a sharpening stone every day. It will transform your cooking experience.

Three Question Sprint Round

List three staple ingredients you never let run out in your kitchen.

Olive oil, Lemon, and Seasalt. Or, if you’d like something a little more exciting, avocado, sauerkraut, and lemons.

A healthy dish anyone can make in minutes? 


If you were a non-human animal, what would you be? 

A fox. I love foxes, they are clever, but they play a lot. They have beautiful fur, and they love the outdoors.


Matthew Kenney’s Website

Food Future Institute

Matthew Kenney’s Instagram

Matthew Kenney’s Facebook Page



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4 Steps for a Vegan Thanksgiving to Remember (Forget Surviving… Thrive!)

Vegan Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and if you’re newly committed to a healthy vegan lifestyle, you may be a bit stressed about surviving Thanksgiving surrounded by omnivores!

Amanda, a client in my 6-Month Plant-Empowered Coaching Program came to me with some concerns about the upcoming holiday season, and maybe you are thinking it too… “How am I going to tell my mom I won’t be eating her infamous sausage & cheese casserole?” Or “Everyone is going to give me the 3rd degree when I turn down turkey this year!”

Here are the 4 ways you can make this a vegan Thanksgiving to remember…

1. Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until you show up for the big dinner to talk to your family/friends about your food choices! Talk to those planning the gathering as far ahead of time as possible to let them know you’ll be having a vegan Thanksgiving this year. Be equipped with some ideas and recipes that you could suggest in case they ask, and offer to either bring a few plant-exclusive options, or be a part of the cooking process. Here are some links to help those of you interested in cooking up your own delicious, healthy dishes to share:vegan cranberry-sauce

Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving Dishes

Create Your Own Vegan Loaf!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

2. Keep a Positive, Upbeat Attitude Throughout the Holiday

Instead of focusing on what you “CAN’T” eat, make the choice to ENJOY exploring new vegan Thanksgiving dishes that are in line with your values and will make you feel good from the inside out!

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, so focus on how thankful you are for your health, and how making new food choices embodies that. Also share (as in have an actual conversation) with family members how much you appreciate their support in your venture to live a healthier, more conscious and compassionate lifestyle. If you set it up in this way, your family is more than likely going to get behind you on your decision.

3. Bring Top Vegan Swaps to the Table

vegan roast

There are certain holiday foods or drinks you may feel you just can’t live without. Fortunately for those of us who aren’t interested in spending lots of time in the kitchen, there are great vegan substitutes for almost everything these days! These swaps may not be whole foods, but they will allow you to stay consistent with your vegan lifestyle, and you can think of them as your special treats and indulge a little while eating clean otherwise.

Click on the links below to see some kick ass options!

Egg Nog Options

Cheese Options

Roast Options

Ice Cream Options

4. Lead by Example

The most effective way to make a positive impact on others is to let your actions back up your words consistently. You may have recently learned a lot about all the benefits of a vegan diet (and all the negative consequences of consumption of animal products) and would love for your friends and family to all just jump on board the vegan bandwagon as soon as you tell them about it! Well be prepared… that’s probably not going to happen.

On the other hand, if you simply practice what you preach (and by that I mean “talk about” not really “preach”), and those around you see the positive changes in your body and your life, they will automatically want to know how to move in the same direction and you will be there to help guide them! Sharing delicious vegan Thanksgiving dishes that everyone can try is a perfect way to start!

Photo Credit: Gardein

*Interested in learning more about how to make the transition to a healthy, fit, vegan lifestyle? Click HERE for more info about our life-changing Plant-Empowered Coaching Program!

Top 7 Vegan Thanksgiving Swaps


I’m writing this post about vegan Thanksgiving swaps for anyone who, like me, is choosing convenience this holiday season!

Maybe you can relate to some degree… As many of you can imagine from reading my story, “From Disordered Eating to Plant-Empowered Living,” the holiday season used to be an incredibly stressful time because of all the less-than-healthy foods surrounding me. I experienced the holidays as a time where my will-power was constantly “tested.” My goal… not to gain any weight. What a miserable way to spend what is meant to be a special, fun time to spend with loved ones!

Well no more! Ever since I finally ditched the diet mentality and learned a method I call “Plant-Empowered Eating” (the method I teach as part of the 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program), the holidays are now filled with joy instead of stress. I put no pressure on myself. I eat what I feel like eating. And guess what… I have never looked or felt better every single month of the year. (My clients can also attest that this method works.)

I’m telling you all of that because I am not into holiday cooking, so I don’t do it! I prefer to take the convenience route, especially now that there is such a wide variety of vegan Thanksgiving swaps on the market today. Many of these vegan swaps, although healthier than the non-vegan options, cannot be considered healthy. But as part of a mostly whole foods diet, I say, “Who cares!” As long as it is cruelty-free, I’m down to try it.

So with that all being said, I have put together a list of my top vegan Thanksgiving swaps for you…

  1. SoDelicious Nog

Image result for so delicious nog

2. Gardein Holiday Roast

Image result for order vegan roast

3. Tofurky Veggie Roast

Image result for vegan thanksgiving products

4. Simply Organic Vegetarian Brown Gravy (vegan)

Image result for vegan gravy

5. Follow Your Heart VeganEgg 

Image result for follow your heart vegan egg quiche

6. Hilary’s Holiday Stuffing

Image result for vegan thanksgiving products

7. Daiya Cheese Cake

Image result for frozen vegan pie Daiya

I hope this list of vegan Thanksgiving swaps will help make your holidays joyful and stress-free. Enjoy!


5 Simple Ways to Enjoy a Vegan Memorial Day BBQ

Vegan Memorial Day BBQ-Stars_and_Stripes_by_DivineDesign-660x240

A vegan Memorial Day BBQ may seem like somewhat of an oxymoron, but it’s time to break away from tradition and get healthy and creative!

Memorial Day generally involves barbecue grills loaded with racks of ribs and burgers,tables full of macaroni salad and chips, as well as coolers full of beer, wine, and sugary cocktail mixers.

Have you ever experienced something like this? As you are being invited to a BBQ, the invitation ends with an uncomfortable, “Oh yeah, but you don’t eat meat.”

Here’s the Deal

A Memorial Day barbecue does not have to be synonymous with a meat-eating extravaganza. I look at barbecues as an opportunity to spend time with friends, meet new people, play volleyball (there is often a beach v-ball court around here in South Beach), have a few drinks, a lot of laughs, and share my vegan lifestyle simply by being present and being me!

The Bottom Line

You can have a vegan Memorial Day celebration that is healthy, delicious, and fun if you keep these five simple tips in mind.

1. Fill up on veggies

As cliche as it may be, bring a veggie and hummus platter to the party. Celery, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and cauliflower with a couple different types of hummus is the perfect way to fill up on satisfying, guilt-free food, leaving less room for the unhealthy stuff. People actually end up appreciating having a healthy option in the midst of all the junk food.

2. Replace the meat and dairy with vegan alternatives.

There are so many incredibly tasty vegan products on the market today to choose from. There’s simply no need to put disease-causing animal products in our bodies or support the cruelty of the meat industry. I recently wrote a whole blog post highlighting my top picks for store bought veggie burgers. I also have a post on the best vegan cheese brands on the market to date, so check those out for suggestions.

Of course if you enjoy preparing food, then please, have fun making your home-made vegan patties, potato salad, coleslaw, and whatever else you are craving. There are tons of awesome vegan recipes out there to try!

3. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.

Sugar is enemy number one when it comes to a healthy immune systems and attempts to prevent weight gain. By remembering to drink lots of water, you will help yourself stay hydrated and avoid other unhealthy liquids. Soda, sweet tea, and juice will only make your calorie intake and blood sugar levels skyrocket. Not good! If you drink alcohol, keep your intake moderate and avoid sugary mixers, including juices. If you really want a mixed drink, try using soda water and fresh lemon with your liquor for a low calorie, sugar-free alternative.

Vegan memorial day workout

4. Get in an intense morning workout.

Burn off those extra calories in advance with an awesome workout in the morning before the festivities begin. Working out not only helps keep you on track for your fitness goals, but also boosts your mood and energize you for the rest of the day. Even if your gym is closed for the day, you can train in your own home or outside with effective body weight exercises you can do anywhere.

5. Say no to preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Synthetic additives and preservatives sneak into so many of the foods on grocery shelves, and they can wreak havoc on our bodies. The key here is reading nutrition labels—but that can be tricky (learn how to tackle tricky labels in the “How To Go Vegan Beginner’s Guide”).

Labels are your friend. Always read them to find out what you’re really eating.

Now relax & have a blast!!!

And if anyone has links to recipes you have tried and love, feel free to post a comment to share!

*Header art by Mitchell Lazear

Top 5 Vegan Cheese Brands

cheese alternatives

Thanks to the growing vegan cheese options on the shelves these days, giving up cheese is becoming easier and easier.

I get a lot of new clients who say, “I would go vegan, but I just can’t imagine life without cheese!”

Well let me just tell you… Vegan cheese has come A LONG WAY since I went vegan 22 years ago! In fact, vegan cheese has come a long way in just the last year. The options getting more and more realistic both in taste and texture. Just recently, vegan cheese products are also becoming healthier too. How cool! 

Here are my top 5 brands and favorite vegan cheese products. Explore and enjoy!

Image result for smoked gouda follow your heartBrand: Follow Your Heart

Favorite Product:

Smoked Gouda Style Slices

I don’t remember ever trying smoked Gouda cheese before going vegan at 15 years old. When I discovered Follow Your Heart’s smoked Gouda style slices I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. Perfectly smoky and creamy, these slices make a killer grilled cheese or melt. Being the southern girl I am, I absolutely love it in grits too. This vegan cheese is one of my staple “comfort foods”.

Pepper Jack Style Slices

All the spicy goodness you love without the horrific animal abuse. Try this flavor in quesadillas or on pizza, or just eat with crackers!

Brand: Daiya Foods

I recommend this brand for all your cheese needs. Not only are the products 100% vegan, they are also free of soy, gluten, peanuts, and tree nuts (except coconut), but they have their own factory to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Daiya is becoming available in more and more mainstream grocery stores as well.daiya-mozzarella

Favorite Products:

Mozzarella Style Shreds and Pepper Jack Style Shreds 

These are great tasting and they melt just like “the real thing”!

The mozzarella is perfect for making a delicious vegan pizza, and the pepper jack couldn’t be better for topping burritos and making quesadillas.DF-Wedge-Havarti

Havarti Style Wedge and Jack Style Wedge

I used these at a house party recently, on a platter with olives and crackers. The non-vegans had NO IDEA that the cheese was non-dairy. In fact I received compliments on the Havarti wedge and it was gone in no time. They couldn’t believe it when I told them later that it was vegan. Go Daiya!

Brand: Heidi Ho VeganicsImage result for heidi ho nacho cheese

Favorite Product:

Chia Cheeze Sauce

Go Heidi Ho! I’ve had the privilege of meeting the awesome women behind this up and coming vegan cheese brand. This is the healthiest “nacho cheese” alternative out there to date. The kicker… It tastes incredible!

Brand: Kite Hill

Favorite Product: 

Cream Cheese Style Spread (Chive)

Kudos to Kite Hill for creating the single most healthy vegan cheese on the market today. Unfortunately, because they are a relatively young company, there is a good chance their products have not made it to your local stores yet. Be patient though, I have no doubt Kite Hill will grow exponentially. Not only is their vegan cream cheese the healthiest, it’s also the best tasting. How exciting is that?!

The chive flavor is my favorite, but the classic plain flavor is good as well. When I need a savory treat, I spread it on seed or rice crackers, and sometimes add slices of cucumber… yum! When I have guests I serve it with whole grain or gluten-free bagels and get nothing but compliments.

Image result for kite hill chive cream cheeseImage result for kite hill chive cream cheese

Brand: Galaxy Nutritional Foodsvegan cream cheese

Favorite Product:

Vegan Cream Cheese Substitute, Chive & Garlic

I only get this every once in a while because it is still a processed food, but of the vegan cream cheese that are available in many main stream grocery stores, this is one of the healthier, has the best consistency, and tastes great!

I’d love to hear your favorites in the comments! 


Store Bought Veggie Burgers

store bought Veggie Burgers

Wondering what store bought veggie burgers are healthy and which should be considered vegan junk food?

The First Question to Ask Yourself Is…

“Is this veggie burger vegan?” Some store bought veggie burgers are vegetarian, but contain animal bi-products such as egg whites. With that in mind, know that all the frozen veggie burgers I mention in this post are vegan.

Then What?

The second criteria can be taste. If a veggie burger doesn’t taste good, it really doesn’t matter how healthy or junky it is! That being said, all the veggie burger brands I will mention in this post are ones I find tasty.

The next criteria is how healthy the veggie burger is. Does it follow the vegan dietary guidelines I recommend?

The last criteria is how similar it is in taste and texture to meat. Since I haven’t eaten animal protein since the age of 7 (30 years ago) I’m not the best person to judge. However, I had friends help me give the vegan burgers in this post a “realistic rating.”

I split veggie burgers into two main categories… Those that I can feel good about eating on a regular basis, and those I consider “treats” and should only be eaten on occasion. Here are my top three picks for each category.

Burgers I  Recommend Suitable for Regular Consumption

These patties, though processed, are primarily made of whole foods. They are absolutely delicious, but must be looked at as their own unique food items, not to be compared to the taste and texture of a beef patty. My top picks include:

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger Dr. Preagers California Store Bought Veggie Burger

These store bought veggie burgers are great because they are made from whole food ingredients, are low in calories, low in fat, and high in fiber. I also enjoy Dr. Praeger’s Bombay Veggie Burgers. Keep in mind they really have no similarity taste or texture-wise from animal-based burgers (which for some of  us is a good thing, while others may find this disappointing.

Sunshine Store Bought Veggie BurgerSunshine Burgers

This vegan burger can be thought of as a hearty meal, as it is higher in calories and fat than the many others because it’s base is sunflower seeds. I also like the Southwest style burger from Sunshine Burgers. Sunshine burgers are great for cutting up and adding to a salad as well.
Hilary's store bought veggie burger


Hilary’s makes several great versions of their veggie burger (original, root vegetable, adzuki bean, etc.). You can feel good about eating these as part of you’re go-to foods list. The base for these store bought veggie burgers is millet and quinoa. They need to be cooked in the way specified in the directions, or else they can come out on the dry side. Hilary’s burgers are great alone or on a salad.

Store Bought Veggie Burgers for Special Occasions

These vegan burgers are ones that look, taste, and feel most like beef burgers. They may be something you want to use for barbecues or when trying to appease a meat-eater or your own craving for meat if you are at a point where you still have those cravings.

The down side is that they are more processed and contain less healthy ingredients. So while you are doing right by the animals by not supporting their horrific life and death, you are not doing your body a favor by eating them. That being said, we are all entitled to treat ourselves to some vegan foods that are not the best for us every now and then. I know I do! As long as you are keeping your regular diet clean and exercising there’s no reason for guilt 😉 

Beyond Meat’s The Beyond BurgerThe Beyond Burger Vegan

This veggie burger is probably the closest to “the real thing” on the market today. I therefore recommend this one if you want to show others how they could begin to transition to a vegan diet without feeling deprived. In fact the beets they use to give the patty a red-meat appearance have led some in the media to remark that the burger “bleeds” beet blood. (This is NOT an attractive feature to me though!)

The Beyond Burger, primarily made up of isolated pea protein, is similar to beef burgers in number of calories, grams of protein. The Beyond Burger has more iron and less saturated fat than meat burgers, but be aware that the veggie burger is high in sodium and contains some saturated fat (coconut oil). Of course, as for all plant foods, it has zero cholesterol (whereas beef patties have about 80 mg).Store Bought Beefless Burger by Gardein

Gardein Beefless Burger

Gardein prides itself on how realistic their meat substitutes are. Their veggie burger is no exception. This may be one of the least healthy options on the market today. It’s main ingredients are soy protein isolate and vital wheat gluten. Super tasty though!

amys bistro store bought veggie burger

Amy’s Bistro Burger

This veggie burger has been around the longest out of these top three “treat” burgers. Since Amy’s the brand has been around for such a long time, it could be easier to find at your local grocery stores then the others. It’s also gluten free and the option with the highest amount of whole food ingredients out of the three. It’s delicious too!

 I hope this guide helps you make the right store-bought veggie burger for the right occasions!

Thanksgiving on a Plant Based Diet: A Survival Guide

Thanksgiving on a plant based diet

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if you have committed to healthier eating, you could be getting a bit stressed about surviving Thanksgiving on a plant-based diet.

Amanda, a client in my 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program came to me with some concerns about the upcoming holiday season, and maybe you are thinking it too… “How am I going to tell my mom I won’t be eating her infamous sausage & cheese casserole?” Or “Everyone is going to give me the 3rd degree when I turn down turkey this year!”  It’s for you that I created this survival guide!

1. Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until you show up for the big dinner to talk to your family about your food choices! Talk to those planning the gathering as far ahead of time as possible to let them know you’ll be having Thanksgiving on a plant-based diet this year. Be equipped with some ideas and recipes that your would like to suggest and offer to either bring a few plant-based options, or be a part of the cooking process. Here are some links to help you:vegan cranberry-sauce

Create Your Own Vegan Loaf!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving Dishes

2. Keep a Positive, Upbeat Attitude Throughout the Holiday

Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, have fun exploring new dishes you CAN eat! Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, so focus on how thankful you are for your health, and how making new food choices embodies that. Also share (as in have an actual conversation) with family members how much you appreciate their support in your venture to live a healthier, more conscious and compassionate lifestyle. If you set it up in this way, your family is more than likely going to get behind you on your decision.

3. Bring Top Vegan Swaps to the Table

There are certain holiday foods or drinks you may feel you just can’t live without. Luckily for you, there are great vegan substitutes for almost every one of these! These swaps may not be whole foods, but they will allow you to stay consistent with your vegan diet, and you can think of them as your special treats and indulge a little while eating clean otherwise. Some of my favorite holiday swaps:

Egg Nog- So Delicious Coconut Milk NogVegan Nog

Ice Cream- Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert
Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Cheese- Follow Your Heart (Smoked Gouda is my fave!)

smoked-gouda-vegan-cheese4. Lead by Example

The most effective way to make a positive impact on others is to let your actions back up your words consistently. You may have recently learned a lot about all the benefits of a vegan diet (and all the negative consequences of consumption of animal products) and would love for your friends and family to all just jump on board the vegan bandwagon as soon as you tell them about it! Well be prepared… that’s probably not going to happen. However, if you practice what you preach (and by that I mean “talk about” not really “preach”), and those around you see the positive changes in your body and your life, they will automatically want to know how to move in the same direction, and you will be there to help guide them! Sharing a delicious Thanksgiving on a plant-based diet, where everyone is able to try out the vegan foods you bring to the table is a perfect way to start!

*Interested in learning more about the 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program? Click HERE for more info and to apply for a free strategy session with me to discuss your nutrition and fitness goals!

Top Vegan Resources For A Happier Healthier You!


In this post I’m sharing with you some of my favorite vegan resources that can empower us to take our health and happiness to the next level!

Part of my 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is making sure my clients are set up for continued success by arming them with a ton of awesome resources to continue guiding them on their transformational path. Now I’m sharing them with all of you! I sorted them by category and have personally tried all of the resources on this list so I can give you honest reviews 🙂

Vegan Food/Drink:


This awesome website and app is the best resource for checking to see if the beer, wine, and/or liquor you want to drink is vegan-friendly or not. In case you didn’t know, a large percentage of wines use animal products such as eggs and fish bladder in the filtering process. There are also liquors and beers that have non-vegan ingredients such as dairy and honey. Unfortunately these ingredients don’t usually show up on the labels. Barnivore has over 22,000 entries that have been checked and often double or triple checked by the Barnivore community, letting you know products’ vegan statuses. And now they have also released an app to make it easier to do your research on-the-go!Happy Cow

Happy Cow 

A website and app, this resource has been helping travelers and people everywhere find vegan, vegetarian, and healthy food wherever you go since 1999. This is not only a restaurant and health food store guide, but also an online hub that serves as a one-stop resource for everything veg.

Vegan Nutrition Information:  

Dr. Michael Greger releases a new, short and to the point nutrition-related video or article every single day (amazing)! He has a huge database of videos and articles at this point covering just about any vegan health related question you may have. Everything he presents is based on the latest research from the most trusted sources. Bookmark this website for sure! I also love that all the proceeds from the sales of his books and DVDs go to charity.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 

This website combines the expertise and experience of over 12,000 physicians to give us the most up-to-date, scientifically accrued information on health related to diet. In addition to tons of articles, they have a free 21-day Vegan Kickstart program designed for anyone wanting to explore the health benefits of a vegan diet (based on research by Neil Barnard, M.D.).

Vegan Health 

Founded and run by Jack Norris, RD, this website is a project of Vegan Outreach and a great resource for getting answers to your top nutrition and health questions.

Healthy Vegan Recipes/Vegan Diet Plan:

Dreena Burtan’s Plant-Powered Kitchen 

Dreena’s focus is on natural, non-processed ingredients and most of her recipes are fairly simple and definitely delicious.

Fat Free Vegan 

Susan Voisin creates and posts delicious dishes made with whole foods and without added refined oils. 

Oh She Glows 

A fantastic, inspiring blog full of tasty recipes by Angela Liddon. Many of these are more complicated than I’m up for doing myself, but if you enjoy cooking then you will love what she offers on this site. There are also many easier, more simple recipes that are more my style, you just have to do a little searching to find the ones that work best for you. 

One Green Planet

There is a huge variety of healthy vegan recipes submitted and approved by people all over the world on this website. There are so many it’s slightly overwhelming, but also ensures you will find whatever you’re looking for.

The Six Weeks To Sexy Abs Meal PlanSix-Weeks-to Sexy Abs Meal Plan

This is my new book in which I guide you through an easy-to-follow 6-week meal plan that’s designed for anyone with the goal of a lean, strong body. The idea is that no matter how hard you workout, if you’re not eating the right food it’s impossible to lose those last few pounds that are hiding your six pack! I give you a hundred simple, whole-foods based recipes with grocery lists to go with them. The plan and recipes are designed to be totally do-able for even the busiest people. I make them as practical as possible. I also give guidelines for the plan so that if you go out to eat, or want to create your own recipes it’s totally fine, as long as you’re following the guidelines of the plan. The book itself is also very high quality with beautiful pictures to go with the recipes. It’s also available in kindle format. To see the blog post I wrote about the book click HERE. Hope you enjoy!!!

Inspirational Vegan-Related Podcasts:

Rich Roll Podcast 

I can listen to many of Rich’s podcasts over and over again because they are not only inspiring, they’re also entertaining and very “rearich-roll-podcastl”. Here’s how it’s described on the website (I couldn’t describe it better if I tried!) “Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality. Intimate, deep and often intense, these are not interviews. They are conversations. A weekly aural dance designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self.” He also has an app that makes it easier to listen to all the podcasts he’s ever done.

Main Street Vegan 

Main Street Vegan is a “lively hour devoted to your health, well-being, and ways to live lightly and lovingly on planet Earth.” Host Victoria Moran is super entertaining and brings you the latest on the vegan life every week. If you simply want to look and feel amazing, eat extraordinary food, help animals, and “create a physical body perfectly attuned to spiritual growth” you must check this podcast out. Victoria’s guests range from vegan authors, activists, physicians, chefs, spiritual leaders, and even some of those glittery celebs. I’m honored to announce that I will be featured on the show on February 16th, 2016!

Planted In Miami 

I found out about this one when I got a message from Jeanette asking if I would be a guest! Jeanette and Alex, the hosts, also lead the No-Meat-Athlete meet-up group in Miami and are the most delightful couple you’ll ever meet. This “New & Noteworthy” podcast is all about the business owners, artists, musicians, farmers and others who are moving Miami forward through social awareness and community engagement. From environmental causes to healthy lifestyles, animal welfare to conscious living, it’s about giving people the information that they need to make informed decisions about living a more thoughtful and compassionate life. I had a ton of fun recording the episode I was featured in – I also wrote a post on the experience and more details about the hosts HERE.

Overall Happiness:

Mind Body Green

This website is a platform with the mission of revitalizing the way people eat, move, and live. The site has a ton of articles and posts from different contributors giving you tips, tools, and ideas to help make your life better and inspire you to be your best self. The blog post/article categories are “Eat,” “Move,” “Live,” “Breathe,” and “Love” to give you an idea of the variety of information offered. I recommend checking it out for sure! I was thrilled to be able to contribute two articles, one called, “What I Tell My Clients Who Want To Eat For Toned Abs,” and one with recipes from my new book, “Slow-Cooker Sunday: Quinoa Soup With Sweet Potato Mash.”


Described as ‘meditation made relevant to modern life’, Headspace is a platform that makes meditation more accessible for everyone, especially people like me who have only dipped my toe in meditation before, never achieving consistency. The founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe is present throughout the app (he’s got a great English accent that’s very pleasant to listen to) imparting his words of wisdom and guiding you through the process one step at a time. The first ten-minute lessons, (or exercises of the mind you could call them) are free. If you then want access to a huge library of guided meditations, and to join over a million users you can pay a monthly fee (or year in advance to make it cheaper). You can also map your journey, track your progress, and get rewards as you go. You can even buddy up with friends and motivate each other along the way. It’s pricey, but trying out the first ten sessions will help you decide if you can commit to continuing your meditation practice in which case I think it’s worth the cost.

10% Happier App 

This is a great app for newbies and skeptics of meditation. I have known about the basics and benefits of meditation for years, but until recently have not been motivated to actually commit to doing it (sitting still is not my strong suit)! I’ve struggled with insomnia for over 10 years and have tried everything else that’s ever been suggested… except meditation. So I finally decided to give it a shot and this app was a huge help to stick with it. Dan Harris gives very short, interesting videos that precede each meditation. The guided meditations begin very short – 5 minutes, and move to 11 minutes. And it’s extra cool that you get an actual person as a meditation coach who texts, emails you, answers any questions you may have, and gives you encouragement. The app starts out free so you can get a feel for it, and then you pay $19.99 (one-time fee) if you want to continue. 

Vegan-Related Documentaries:

Forks Over KnivesEarthlings, and Cowspiracy are all simply must-see movies for everyone. Please check them all out!

*For more information on the 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program, and to apply for a free strategy session with Ella click HERE

Plant-Empowered Lifestyle Transformations in Progress!


Excited to Let You All Know My New 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is Transforming Lives!

Hi Everyone!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to let you all know that my new 6-week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program is doing what it was designed to do… change lives!

In case you’re unfamiliar, I created this special program because the time had come for me to take all of my experience and knowledge and put it in a structured program to help people make total lifestyle transformations.  The program provides you with the information, and more importantly the tools you need to make positive, permanent changes in the way you think, eat, and move.

With the right information, presented step-by-step, you’re able to build a solid base of knowledge and then take that knowledge and apply it to YOUR LIFE in a way that works for YOU with the help of my coaching and support.

It’s my passion to coach people who are truly ready to commit to bettering their lives, so if you’re ready to take your body and life to a whole new level, I’m offering a free phone consultation! Learn more about the program and book your session with me HERE.

What Do YOU Need to Take YOUR Health, Nutrition, and Fitness to the Next Level?

I want to share with you some of the ways my clients in the 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program are transforming their lives without counting a single calorie!

So let’s take a look at some of the ways the Program is helping people develop healthy, positive habits that turn into the lifestyle they desire:


How would it change your life if you were to be truly help accountable for the commitments you make to improve your food and fitness choices every day? For most of us, having someone who cares to hold us accountable to what we say we’re going to do is a game changer.  Check out the text I received just the other day…

>If you’re ready to finally get on the path to a healthy lifestyle you love, apply here and let’s chat.    


These days it’s easy to feel so overwhelmed with all the conflicting information coming at us from all angles about what, when, and how we should eat and exercise. The 6-Week Plant Powered Coaching Program provides a structured, proven process to gain the knowledge you need to make the right food and fitness choices for YOU. The Program coaches you through the process of applying the information to your life, in a way that is in line with YOUR goals! Check it out…

Apply Here For a Free 45-minute strategy session  


It can be intimidating to try new ways of eating and exercising, especially when you lack the knowledge and experience. The 6-Week Plant Powered Coaching Program provides you with opportunities to take on new challenges that will help you get the strong, healthy body you are striving for…

>If you’re ready to feel confident about your food and fitness choices, apply here and let’s chat. 


Every action we take is a result of our feelings, which are caused by our thoughts. Getting to the root of what’s causing us to continue unhealthy actions is key when it comes to transforming our lifestyles. The 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program provides you with the guidance you need to create a new mind set that is in line with your goals…

With courage, commitment and the right tactics, I know you can create a lifestyle you feel proud of, and it’s my life’s work to help you do just that! So if you are tired of spinning your wheels, feeling confused and defeated about how you’re eating and training, let’s talk. It’s time for action!

>Apply Here For a Free, One-On-One 45-minute Strategy Session  

Looking forward to speaking with you!


Green Smoothies: Why and How?


Downing a glass of green pulpy stuff has been the craze for a while now… But green smoothies are not just a trend, they’re here to stay and here’s why!Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 6.01.29 PM

What is a green smoothie?

It is very simple actually, a green smoothie is just that, a smoothie with a base of leafy greens, fruit to cut the bitterness and help with digestion and liquid.

Here are some of the reasons why I love green smoothies:

Not only do green smoothies actually taste good they are also a wonderful way to get nutrient dense raw leafy greens into your daily diet.

Packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, green smoothies not only give your body the best defenses for disease, but you are ingesting a variety of natural substances that are essential for optimum health, fitness and wellbeing.

These whole foods when blended provide a power pack boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients without bogging down your digestive system. The best natural energy booster out there!

Drinking green smoothies is a great way to get all your greens in. Many of us do not consume enough greens. By drinking two or three cups of green smoothies daily you will consume enough greens for the day to nourish your body, and all of the beneficial nutrients will be well assimilated.

Do green smoothies taste like grass?

No, the good news is, if made properly, a green smoothie tastes just as good as a smoothie of another color! The greens may add plenty of color to your recipe, but they shouldn’t alter the taste much at all. If you do make one that is slightly bitter for your liking, just add more fruit. Some greens are hidden (in terms of flavor) better than others. Spinach for example, is fairly neutral in taste, while kale has a stronger, more bitter flavor. 

Summary of Sexy Fit Vegan’s ebook, How to Make Your Own Superfood Protein Shakes:

1. Choose your base. There are many different liquids you can choose from to use as the “base” of your green smoothie. First, there are many store-bought milk substitutes. It’s best to choose one that is “unsweetened” so you can create a smoothie that is free of any added sugars. Second, you have the option of making your own nut milk. It’s actually much easier than you may think. My favorite nut milk recipe can be found at A third option is using coconut water, which will create great flavor with less creaminess. Coconut water also has plenty of health benefits including providing us with valuable electrolytes for hydration.

2. Seeds are a staple for your super food green smoothie. The three super food seeds that SFV recommends adding are hemp, chia, and flax seeds. All three are high in protein and fiber, and hemp seeds are among the few plant foods that are a complete protein.

3. Use Popeye Power to make it a Green smoothie. Popeye was smarter than he looked! Dark leafy greens are, calorie per calorie, the most nutritious foods on the planet! 

4. Choose a thickener. Depending on how thick you like your shake, either banana or, believe it or not, avocado, can be added if it needs to be thickened.

5. Fruit Favorite. Now that we have the base ingredients set, it’s time to decide if you want to go with a fruity flavor, or go a different route (Ella gives you some great ideas!)

6. Super food add-ons. Depending on your individual health considerations, there may be additional supplemental foods that would be appropriate additions to your smoothies. Learn about the benefits of amla and maca powders in the book.

7. For the fitness freaks. If you are extremely active, do high-intensity workouts, and/or are looking to gain muscle mass, you may want to consider a few ways to get the extra energy and protein you need. Ella gives some great tips for making your green smoothie especially helpful to make gains.

8. Va Va Va Vitamix. A high-speed blender is a key component in successful shake and green smoothie creations. Many of the ingredients SVF suggests simply require a quality piece of equipment to fully breakdown and blend together.

**As always we recommend keep an open mind,and only use fresh, local, organic ingredients to receive optimal benefits

Enjoy incorporating more green smoothies into your daily routine! Find more awesome smoothie recipes in The Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan as well 🙂