Vegan Women Who Inspire Me: Taryn Rasgon

Taryn Rasgon is an inspiration on so many levels. She launched her online shop, Vegetaryn, back in 2014 when she was just 22 with the goal of spreading the vegan message through a variety of creative tees, tote bags, and other fun merchandise. Building from scratch and learning as she grew, Taryn built a successful brand and has made giving back to animal charities part of her business model. She’s barely into her 30s, but has already accomplished so much—proof that you can make a difference, no matter what age you are.

Vegan for:
11 years

What do you love most about your vegan life?
I love enjoying delicious food that doesn't come from animals. I am a foodie at heart, and trying new foods that are creatively made from plants brings me so much joy!

What does your morning routine look like?
The first thing I do in the morning is chug water. Then I wake up my dog, Cudi; he likes to sleep in! Once I get him out of bed, we head downstairs and I feed him breakfast. After I feed Cudi, I head outside to feed my rescue pig, Penny. While the animals eat, I make myself a warm cup of tea and breakfast. After I eat and feel nourished, I begin my work day. I usually have a running to-do list, so I like to start off by prioritizing what needs to get done first. I'm very much a "list" person so doing this helps me stay on track and focus on my goals for the day!

What is your evening routine?
At the end of my work day, I go through my to-do list and cross off everything that's been done. Doing this gives me a sense of accomplishment and helps get my to do list ready for the following day. My fiancé and I typically switch off making dinner at home most nights. After dinner, I like to start off my evening wind down routine by drinking a cup of warm tea. Typically a golden milk latte or sleepy tea. Then I head into our garage, aka Penny's room, and let her out to do her business one last time for the day. When she comes back inside I wrap her up in blankets, and cuddle her for a little bit. Snuggling with a 175 pound pig is one of my favorite things to do. She is so sweet and loving, it truly is a great way to boost both mine and Penny's oxytocin levels! I turn off all the lights, and head upstairs to go to bed with my dog and fiancé. Before I fall asleep I like to think of three things I'm grateful for. Practicing gratitude has been one of the best ways to calm my anxiety, and get my head in a good space before falling asleep.

What tips for productivity do you swear by?
1. Make a to-do list
2. Stay organized
3. Take breaks

What's your go-to breakfast each morning?
Lately, my go-to breakfast has been a veggie scramble with JUST Egg, or avocado toast with cucumbers and sauerkraut, topped with Everything But The Bagel seasoning and fresh dill.

What are your must-have healthy vegan meals?
My fiancé and I have been trying to get in shape together for our wedding. Some of our favorite healthy vegan meals include a big salad topped with tons of veggies, herbs, and a no oil maple-mustard dressing. We also love to make sushi bowls with rice, topped with chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, avocado, "ahi" beet poke, and seaweed. Since we live in Portland, OR and it's currently winter, we enjoy making lentil and veggie stews with onions, shallots, leeks, carrots, celery, parsnips, mushrooms, potatoes, and lentils. These are some of my current favorite healthy vegan meals, and writing about them is making me hungry!

How important do you feel a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise, meditation, sleep) is to your quality of life?
I feel diet, exercise, meditation, and sleep are crucial to my quality of life. When I first went vegan 11 years ago, I cured myself from asthma and eczema, two ailments I thought I'd live with forever. Exercise has always been an activity that helps me blow off steam. I feel so much better when I practice yoga, lift weights, or walk/run on the treadmill. I try to workout for at least 30 minutes a day. Meditation, breath work, and practicing gratitude are some of the best mental exercises I've learned. The app 'Simple Habit' has been a really helpful tool for this. Finally, I'm the first to admit that nobody wants to be around me if I haven't slept. Sleep is vital for my well being. I cannot function when I'm tired, and I get very cranky. This is why I always try to get eight hours of sleep every night. I take pride in my health, and do my best to take care of my mind, body, and soul.

Please share some ways you unwind and create a work/life balance.
1. Drink a warm cup of tea
2. Practice gratitude
3. Call/Facetime/hangout with friends

What are some tips you'd like to share with entrepreneurs in the making?
1. Believe in yourself!
2. Set goals, and when you achieve them, set new goals.
3. Stay focused on your vision

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't let anyone tell you your dreams are out of reach, only you know your full potential.

Who inspires you?
Lately, I've been very inspired by mompreneurs. In the next couple of years, I hope to grow my family with human babies. Some of the moms I love to follow are @daniellamonet, @fashionveggie, and @conveythemoment.