What’s Love Got to Do With It (EP 44: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

Let me share exactly how we came to decide the topic of “What’s Love Got to Do With It” for our latest The Vegan Life Coach Podcast episode (this is my text conversation with Stephanie)…


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

Ella: The episode will be 5 days from Valentine’s Day… in case anything comes to mind related to Vday…

Stephanie: V-day is a made up holiday designed by Hallmark and Russell Stovers to make us spend money and eat candy?

E: Totally😆- so should we ignore it or challenge it?

S: Well, will we seem like the valentine equivalent of grinches or Scrooges if we challenge?

E: If we aren’t organized with our thoughts probably!

S: Maybe we could share alternative ways to celebrate…

Whether you think “Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday designed by Hallmark and Russell Stovers to make us spend money and eat candy,” or not, most of us can agree that love is something we all want and need in our lives.

The holiday can be a source of joy or a source of stress and grief for different people at different points in their lives. If you’re single and don’t want to be, or you’ve recently had a tough break-up for example. 

The holiday can also cause strife between partners when they have different expectations for each other in terms of how it should be celebrated.

In this episode, we encourage you to try an alternative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day that could spread love to yourself and the world in more meaningful ways that bring you a deeper sense of fulfillment. Things like…

  • Donate/volunteer (e.g. Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary)
  • Make a list of 10 things you love about yourself (or write a love letter to yourself)
  • Random acts of kindness

Sending you all lots of love!


Episode on the Self-Empowerment Coaching System

Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary Website

Take Our New Going Vegan Quiz HERE!  


Grab the valuable gift we have for you HERE.

Have a question you’d like us to answer, or feedback you’d like to give us (we love hearing from you!)? Leave us a voice (or written) message HERE.

Interested in receiving a free coaching session to air on an upcoming episode? Apply HERE.

Creating Unity Among Vegans (EP 43: The Vegan Life Coach Podcast)

In this special episode, guest co-host Anne Molina (founder of Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary) and I discuss our mission to create healthy conversation around controversial vegan-related topics.


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

As Anne was doing research and networking with other animal-lovers in Facebook groups, she witnessed turmoil within many of these communities. The discussions all too often seemed to end up as unproductive arguments driven by ridicule and harsh judgment. 

Anne and I decided to produce a series of roundtable discussions to address tough topics in productive ways. We’re calling it, “Beet Around the Barn,” and the first episode will be coming out on our Hogs & Kisses YouTube Channel within the next month. We’ll be covering subjects like, “What exactly is a vegan?” “Should vegans adopt cats?” “What about dating as a vegan?” and so much more.

Stay tuned!



Hogs & Kisses YouTube Channel

Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary Website

Take Our New Going Vegan Quiz HERE!  


Grab the valuable gift we have for you HERE.

Have a question you’d like us to answer, or feedback you’d like to give us (we love hearing from you!)? Leave us a voice (or written) message HERE.

Interested in receiving a free coaching session to air on an upcoming episode? Apply HERE.

Why Self-Love is the Ultimate Gift to the World

My yoga teacher instructed the class to give yourself a big hug and say, “I love me!” the other day. Most people in the class giggled, a few people rolled their eyes, and a couple others took the request very seriously. What would you have done?

I was a giggler. A few years ago I would have laughed it off completely. Even though I giggled this time, I didn’t brush it off. All I could think about was the transformational power of self-love, as demonstrated by countless clients whose lives have been forever changed by the teaching we are now doing at Vegan Life Coach Academy.

For me, overcoming shame by learning to love myself unconditionally was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done (it only took me 35 years ;)). It was also the most empowering thing I’ve ever accomplished. There is simply NO WAY anyone can even come close to reaching their true potential and living a meaningful life without having unconditional love for oneself.

At some point in my teenage years I created the story that I was not enough. Who I was and what I was capable of would never be good enough. I hid behind my strong conviction for saving animals.

For well over a decade I suffered in silence. My passion for veganism was what got me out of bed every morning. Understanding my purpose on this earth, to fight for the rights of animals, kept me going day in and day out despite the depression, anxiety, disordered eating, distorted body image, and insomnia I was experiencing.

Although I knew logically what was going on, (I had my Master’s Degree in Social Work and recognized the shame) I could not for the life of me figure out how to truly love myself.

What I didn’t realize was the amount of courage it was going to take to heal. Why courage? As Brene Brown says, “The antidote to shame is vulnerability,” and when I finally was able to figure out how to share my story, without being attached to the outcome (other people’s opinions), I was able to finally take my power back.

Wondering how this relates to veganism, fitness, and the holidays? I’ll tell you!

First of all, veganism is all about acting according to your values, and as I teach in the Coaching Program, this requires you to be able to make conscious and mindful choices about what you eat and how you live. It is impossible to consistently make the choices that will serve you best if you don’t love yourself. When I say “serve you best” I mean physically, mentally, AND emotionally.

When it comes to fitness, at the Vegan Life Coach Academy we talk about exercising because you love your body, not because you hate it. And how do you expect to love your body, no matter what shape you’re in, if you don’t love yourself as a whole being?

Last, the holidays are a time to spread love generously. Only when we love and take care of ourselves can we truly love and take care of others. It’s that simple. You can’t give away what you don’t have.

I encourage you to give yourself the most life-changing gift you could ever receive this year… the gift of self-love. Rest assured that your self-love will also be a gift to everyone around you as well.

If this resonates with you, and you’re ready to do the work it takes to learn how to eat, move, and live in a way that will bring you not only health and happiness, but also a meaningful life, I encourage you to check out our new Visionaries Membership. We help our members face the blocks that are keeping them stuck and the hurdles that are standing in their way in order to put a game plan together for them to move powerfully forward in your life. There is never a “right” or “convenient” time to dive into this tough, transformational work, so why wait? Let’s do this!!

Diaries of a Dating Vegan (Me)!

Vegan Dating

Until a couple months ago I had been on a dating hiatus, putting all my vibrant vegan energy into my incredibly rewarding work transforming lives with the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program.

In fact, my last relationship ended over three years ago! 

Looking back, was I disappointed when we broke up? Yes. Was it a shock? Not at all.

Although there were multiple factors that led up to the split, ultimately, at the root, there was such a huge difference in core values that my growth as a human being was being stifled.

I don’t play the blame game. I take full responsibility for the consequences of staying in a toxic relationship for many years. Now, over three years later, however, I am able to approach myself and my past with curiosity and compassion instead of contempt and ridicule.

Being so clear on the value I place on the well-being of animals since I was seven years old is something I am eternally grateful for. At the same time, having my identity be so connected to veganism, starting long before the average person even knew what the word vegan meant, has made dating and relationships especially challenging.

On November 11th, 2018, for the first time in my life, I realized how vital it is that I build a long-term relationship with someone who, quite simply, gives a shit, someone who feels compelled to make choices based on love and compassion, instead of hate and fear, someone who opens their heart and mind and thinks for themselves instead of taking what they’re taught by society as “the way it is,” someone who respects and values ALL life and the planet as a whole, someone who is driven to live a meaningful life in abundance instead of making decisions from a place of greed and scarcity. This also means supporting leaders who care about giving a voice to the voiceless and protecting our environment, instead of choosing to have tunnel vision and voting with his wallet.

I was at the Yard House in South Beach for Sunday Funday football, sitting at a table with the guy I was dating and a guy friend that I’m not close with. I won’t go into many details, but here’s the gist of what went down. The boys started talking, and when it turned political, I sat quietly listening. I also sat quietly as they covered the topic of plant-based eating. I found it interesting that not one time was I asked my opinion or for input, despite being the obvious expert on plant-based diets. For the most part I just wanted to listen anyway, though I couldn’t help but to jump in a few times. 

As surprised as I was to hear my friend ask for my date’s political views (we’ve never talked politics on Sunday Funday before), I was equally as grateful to be able to listen to the conversation, and here’s what I learned throughout their conversation. 

My date votes with his wallet above all else, above human rights, environmental protection, and certainly above animal welfare. I learned that he finds the current political situation somewhat “entertaining”. I learned that bringing him to numerous powerful vegan events during the Seed Food and Wine Festival that week, introducing him to my amazing world-renowned network of vegan health, wellness, and fitness professionals, had so little impact that it wasn’t even worth mentioning in a relevant discussion. I even learned that a qualified woman sports reporter is only worthy of announcing if she’s young and pretty.

It only took a few minutes after they started talking to develop a knot in my stomach and to feel all of a sudden very alone and deflated. As I looked around, understanding that I was likely the only vegan in the entire restaurant, and feeling completely disconnected from my date, I had a number of realizations.

Growing up as the only vegetarian in elementary and middle school, and the only vegan in high school and college, I had a hard time creating close relationships with others. It was me with my view of animals and the planet, versus everyone else and their view. I didn’t think about my difficulty connecting in that way though. Instead, I just assumed that there was something wrong with me that I couldn’t seem to form close relationships with many people.

On November 11, after telling my friend and head mindset coach in my Plant-Empowered Coaching Program Stephanie about my experience that Sunday, she wrote the most insightful words of wisdom.

She wrote,

“I think you’ve hit on something huge in terms of giving yourself a hard time. You connect easily with others, but in all honesty, you are a revolutionary with a big part in creating and forging a new world and way of living. You are so courageous to be doing that while not hiding exclusively in that community that is not yet mainstream. I know it’s not easy, my beautiful friend.”

Stephanie made such a powerful point… To a large degree I have always kept myself smack dab in the middle of the mainstream world, having mostly mainstream friends and boyfriends, and doing mainstream activities (like practicing Thai boxing and watching football). I’ve always seen it as part of my life’s work, to live my truth and inspire others to open their hearts and minds so that they too can live theirs. If I surrounded myself with people who have the same perspective, what good would I be doing the world?

That being said, I realize now that having a boyfriend who sees the world similarly to the majority of the population will inherently prevent us from developing the intimacy I am seeking with a life partner.

My date asked me the other day, “How do you travel as a vegan?” I now realize that I want a partner who will see vegan travel as an exciting opportunity to explore other countries and cultures, instead of being an annoyance or inconvenience.

There is a worthiness issue that arises here. I battled with shame the majority of my life. Shame is routed in limiting beliefs, the main one being, “I am not enough.” I have been moving through the world believing I am unworthy of a partner who facilitates my growth, a partner who brings a sense of freedom, peace, light, meaning, and joy to my life, a partner who feels I add those same things to his life. Well that changes now. I am worthy of true love and connection on a deep spiritual level, and I am putting this new energy out into the universe starting right now!