Be Vegan...Even At the Cookout

With Labor Day coming up, I want to give you some tips (& recipes) on how to be a vegan at cookouts.

Check out the vegan tip of the week, where I share 3 tips on my Instagram...

A post shared by Monique (@brownvegan) on

Since the time limit is only 1-minute for Instagram videos, here are a few more tips:

  • Don't feel like you have to bring up the fact that your dish is vegan. Just put your food with the rest of the dishes.
  • Eat after you leave - I'm the queen of hitting up Chipotle on the way home from any social event. You can also stash nuts, fruit, and seeds in your car to hold you over until you get home.
  • Don't preach! Just chat with those who want to know more (and people will) in the most loving way possible. Try not to get defensive when someone has a sly comment. It happens! *sigh*

Check out these recipes you can bring to the cookout:


Pasta Salad


You can also take pre-made vegan hotdogs & hamburger patties with you to throw on the grill. Field Roast & Beyond Meat are brands with great options.

Also, I love this homemade vegan burger that's perfect for the grill.

I hope this is helpful!


When I started my Brown Vegan business in 2013 (I use that year because it was the first time I made money), I was doing a little bit of everything...

  • Blogging

  • YouTube

  • Social Media

  • Newsletters

  • Podcast

  • Meeting folks in my industry by going to events

  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

I know a lot of people say you shouldn't focus on more than 1 or 2 main "things" in your business but, hey, I bore easily. lol

Out of this list, the areas working the most in my business right now are weekly newsletters, my podcast & YouTube channel.


Newsletter: I send out a weekly newsletter because it's an opportunity to connect with my audience on a deeper level. I actually prefer my email list over social media these days, because social can feel very noisy in comparison. Not everyone is checking social media each day (believe it or not lol) but most people are checking their email.

I use Convertkit to collect email addresses and send out emails with tips, special promos, videos, podcast episodes, and updates to my audience. 


Podcast: I love doing Brown Vegan podcast and get such incredible feedback from the listeners. On the show, I share tips from my experiences with being vegan and also bring on guests to share their stories.

The show has been a great way to sell my products and grow my email list too because I often mention my Vegan Starter Kit opt-in and products that I have to offer.


Video: Video is soooo powerful! On my Brown Vegan channel, I post recipes, grocery haul, vegan tips, etc. to help families transition to a vegan lifestyle. Not only do I help my viewers see how simple, delicious and affordable vegan life can be, but I also grow my email list with new subscribers and sell my products.

Another form of video that has worked well is doing weekly live streams on Instagram. I promote special offers, answer questions, come up with new content (based on questions and feedback), let my audience know about new content (on my YouTube channel or podcast) and connect with my audience on a deeper level than just posting pictures.

I highly recommend you incorporate video into your brand ASAP!

What tasks are working well in your business? Leave me a comment!

You can also schedule a biz consult with me here

Why "What The Health?" Is Making Folks Go Vegan


I spoke to one of my vegan friends about the What the Health documentary yesterday.

She asked me why I think the documentary has such mainstream appeal.

To be honest, I didn't even realize the documentary was doing so well until I noticed a massive influx of Instagram & YouTube followers and podcast downloads.

Last week on Instagram live, my new folks (heyyy, y'all!) said they found me while searching for vegans after watching the doc.

The impact has been incredible for sure!

The truth is, I think the title is why most folks hit that Netflix play button to watch. Peeps are browsing Netflix and thinking,"Yeah, I want to improve my health" and have no idea it's about going vegan.

Let's keep it real, the average person sees the word "vegan" as a cuss word. Just saying...I used to be one of those people. lol

Here's how I know most people are probably unaware about the topic before watching...

Back in 2010, I saw a paparazzi picture of Victoria Beckham holding a book called Skinny Bitch.

I thought it was a weight loss book and immediately bought it -- having no idea it was about veganism. I was blown away!

I had no desire to go vegan, but after reading it, I knew I needed to make a change!

Whatever it takes to get folks to:

  • See the cruelty of factory farming
  • Understand how our food choices affect other people (usually poor people) just as much as animals
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Protect our planet for future generations all good with me!

It's all about planting the seed and helping folks start a simple and long-term vegan life! :-)


I know what it feels like to want to make a lifestyle change, but have no idea where to start.

I ate sunflower seeds and water for 2 weeks after reading Skinny Bitch because I had no idea what to eat!

You don't have to do this alone!

Zero to Vegan will give you the step-by-step guide on how to start your vegan journey in a delicious and practical way.

When you sign up you will receive:

  • Meal plans
  • Audio and video training with strategies on how to ditch dairy, how to eat out as a vegan, etc.
  • 30-page workbook
  • Private Facebook group for support

>>> Get the course here <<<

Let me know if you have any questions about the course!

How to Be Vegan When You Don't Like Cooking

I saw this video on Instagram the other day and couldn't stop laughing!

A post shared by Baller Alert (@balleralert) on

It was too real about how cooking can feel when you're just getting started.

Even though I have a family, I wasn't much of a cook before going vegan in 2010.

Mostly everything we ate came from a package or box.

I would throw some Gordon's fish sticks in the oven, steam some frozen broccoli and pull out the Kraft mac & cheese. I was burning, baby. lol

No matter what anyone says, you have to do some level of cooking if you want to stay on a vegan journey.

You don't have to be a gourmet chef every night, but you do have to be okay with playing with spices and chopping up some vegetables for a quick stir-fry.

If you don't feel confident about cooking, it's probably because you're afraid to mess up or didn't do too well with it in the past.

Guess what? It's normal to struggle a bit -- burn a couple of dishes, forget to include an ingredient, or even feel like you can't cook the most basic dishes.

Get in the kitchen and do it anyway! Practice is the only way to get better. :-)

Here are some tricks on how to get more confident in the kitchen:

  • Make sure you have the right tools -- A quality chef's knife, cutting board, blender (I have a KitchenAid one I spent less than $100 for), and vegetable peeler will save you so much time and help you feel "ready" to conquer the kitchen.
  • Build up your spice cabinet -- Before I was a vegan, I think I only used salt and pepper to add flavor to our meals. There sooo much more you can do it make your meals more flavorful. Some of my faves: cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, basil, and garlic powder.
  • Learn basic knife skills -- This will save you time and build your confidence. You can take a class or practice while watching a few YouTube videos.
  • Experiment with simple meals -- When you make simple meals a few times a few times a week, it will give you the confidence to improve and explore more recipes. Here's an easy recipe to start with.

Stop saying you want to go vegan and do it! It doesn't have to be overwhelming, restrictive or hard.

Let's get it!