It’s my birthday! Well, sort of. Today Vegan on the Run turns one.
This photo was taken a year ago by my mom, just before launching VOTR.
When we approach a landmark anniversary or milestone of any kind, we tend to look back, be it to pat ourselves on the back over where we’ve come from, or to be hard on ourselves for what we haven’t accomplished by now. While looking back for a moment can be healthy in offering perspective, if we lose ourselves in the rearview, we risk stalling out. We lose our sense of motion. This is something I struggle with.
As Vegan on the Run celebrates its birthday today, I’m overriding my natural instinct to look back, and instead, stare straight ahead, not to the distant future, but to the immediate present.
Here’s me at the present (well, close enough). This photo was taken by Andrew a few weeks ago at the Farmers Market.
In my personal life, I’m constantly learning how to do life together with Andrew, in a partnership. Being a “we” is something that feels foreign at times to the both of us, considering we’re still relatively fresh off of four years of what we like to refer to as desert wandering. There are things we’re both still working out that don’t magically fix themselves when you work someone else into your equation. Instead, they rise to the surface and now that someone else can see them, must be dealt with. Vulnerability doesn’t come easily for me. But sharing the ugliest parts of myself and dealing with them, is key to breaking cycles of negative behavior, fostering better communication, and forward motion.
Together, Andrew and I are mapping out ways we can live more fully and be bound by less in the here and now, by streamlining our activities, projects, possessions, and clutter of all shapes and forms. In short, we are simplifying and honing in on the lifestyle we want to live out—together. As we do whatever it takes to fight for the life we want, I foresee many changes happening over the course of the spring and summer months. Granted part of me would love to press a button and hastily make them all happen at once, I’m practicing being more patient. I can’t see the whole picture from here, but I do know it includes experiencing more of what we love, and ultimately, doing more with less.
What does all of this mean for Vegan on the Run? It means as my life shifts and reshapes itself, so will Vegan on the Run. It’s an extension of me after all. As Andrew and I have been mapping out what we want to be doing more and less of, and really looking at where we are, versus where we want to be, and making some loose plans and firm goals to help our momentum, I’ve been doing the same thing with Vegan on the Run. Here are a few of my intentions, as they pertain to Vegan on the Run.
More Food, Less Recipes
Thanks to Andrew building me a light box, no longer am I limited by darkness in the evening hours. This labor of love has made sharing our kitchen creations that much simpler, meaning I’ll be sharing more organically. While our finished meals will move into the box for photographing purposes, I’ll be taking the process out of the box. Here’s the thing, I’ve never believed in following a formula. Truth be told, I had never written down any of my recipes until launch week of VOTR. Now, the only reason I measure is for the sake of sharing. If my goal is to be more authentic in everything I do, this means no longer forcing a recipe when there isn’t one, but instead, providing quick steps and ideas, with room for interpretation.
Hummus in the light box, photographed with my phone. Hummus is a blend of multiple cans of chickpeas + cannellini beans + water + garlic + a dash of olive oil, covered in olives, pepper, and Sriracha, and eaten with the help of carrot chips.
Additionally, since I don’t believe in buying ingredients you’ll never use again, I’ll be working on crafting a guide showcasing everything you need to stock a plant-based cabinet and refrigerator for you to use as a quick reference when cooking.
These shifts will help me simplify my own process, and allow me to share more with you. I cook almost every single day with Andrew. Rest assured all of our meals are crafted to be easy, economical, filling, fulfilling, and fast (as far as prep/cook time goes). In short, our meals are optimal if you’re on the run with limited time, but want to eat home-cooked, nutrient-dense meals on the daily.
More Creating, Less Displaying
My intention for more creating, less displaying filters over into all areas of my life, but for VOTR specifically, it means focusing on the bigger picture of creating meaningful content to share, rather than sharing for the sake of displaying. I’ll never be someone who puts out a blog post every single day. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s that I don’t have a desire to do so, and feel it doesn’t align with what’s best for me, or you. Personally, I don’t believe you need to be glued to a screen focused on a play by play of my day. You need to be on the run, living out your own active life. Beyond this intention, I seek to make what I am selecting to display more engaging, more interactive, and more applicable, to you.
That said, when I’m not putting in screen time to bring a post to life, you can find visual-based snippets, regularly shared via the limited social media channels I actively use. These include the Vegan on the Run Facebook Page, Instagram, and (sometimes) Twitter.
More Involvement, Less Isolation
Involvement can take on many forms; however, it’s a department I’ve been lacking in. I could blame it on the move and make some pretty solid excuses for myself, but really, I just haven’t put in the effort needed to be as involved as I say I’d like to be. To me, more involvement looks like designating time to work on creative projects with Andrew, both those that relate to VOTR specifically, and those that don’t (be it music or mixed media projects). Beyond this creative involvement with Andrew, it means putting more energy into teams and groups I’m proud to be a part of. It means pursuing prospective partnerships related to VOTR and other realms of writing. It means climbing out on some limbs and being willing to stay out there long enough for it to be a risky move. It means reshaping my idea of community, as I work to better establish a sense of my own, in the locale I’ve chosen to inhabit at the moment. It means approaching everything I do—especially, writing, yoga, running, and cooking—with a more community-based mindset.
More Fortitude, Less Fear
You may notice VOTR simplifying itself in terms of look in the near future, and taking on a more minimalist design approach as I streamline my vision. My goal is for VOTR to be much more than a “blog” by definition, and to be more fully utilized as an online hub for all of my active, plant-fueled endeavors. In the immediate, you can expect to see more resources and “how to” posts, and less run downs and recaps. You can expect to see more health-focused features, as I get up to speed with annual preventative appointments I’ve been putting off for far too long. You’ll see more talk about mental health, specifically anxiety, and how this can be tied to one’s relationship with food.
Still, beyond the site itself, I long for VOTR to exist outside of the confines of the digital realm. For this longing to become a reality, I’ll be making a move to step away from fear, and put into action some ideas I’ve been sitting on. Falling into the fear trap is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life, and a whole new collection of fears has evolved over the past year as I’ve stripped myself away from all things comfortable and into the unknown. Truly, I tend to do my best when I push myself past my limits, and now, more than ever, I’m feeling called to do just that. And so, more than anything, my hope is to transform my fears into faith and fortitude this spring. As for Vegan on the Run, this shift will be evident not just in the stories I’m sharing, but the life I’m living out.
Thanks for sharing in this journey with me.