Victoria Moran has been vegan longer than almost anyone I know, and simply looking at her glowing skin and sparkling eyes, you can see the benefits of plant-based living in action. As an author of several books and the founder of Main Street Vegan, Victoria has helped countless people embrace a vegan lifestyle healthfully and joyfully. We share a love of yoga and ayurveda, and I am continually learning from her wisdom and experience.
What do you love most about your vegan life?
Even on my least effective days, I'm saving somebody's life and giving somebody hope.
What does your morning routine look like?
Never quite as "pretty" in fact as in writing, but I strive to get up by 6am, do ayurvedic rituals (spritz of rose hydrosol to the face, scrape tongue, quick warm oil massage), exercise (gym is closed so I walk the halls and climb the stairs in my NYC apartment building), drink lemon water, shower, pranayama and meditation, a little hatha yoga, and breakfast with the New York Times (it takes me all week to read the Saturday and Sunday editions, but it seems to me that a writer who doesn't read a good paper is missing out on valuable continuing education).
What is your evening routine?
Interrupted! At this point in time, I'm in a raja yoga course two evenings from 6 to 9pm, and another night I have an ongoing Zoom commitment from 6 to 7pm, but as best as I can, I do an evening meditation a bit before dinner, which is light and early, and shut off all screens by 8:30 pm. I clean up the kitchen and any place else I'd feel unhappy in the morning not seeing orderly; take care of my face (oil cleanser, sudsy cleanser, serum, moisturizer; right now I’m testing a vegan collagen cream and eye cream); give a warm oil massage to my feet and hands (ayurveda says this promotes sound sleep); and then read a book on paper until a serious lights out at 10 pm. The books I'm juggling right now are Caste by Isabel Wilkerson and a couple of commentaries on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. And sometimes on the weekend, my husband and I open the sofa bed in the living room to indicate: "Slumber party! Total permission to break all rules."
What tips for productivity do you swear by?
No email until after lunch. Do what's intimidating first. If a task steals your soul, delegate or delete it.
What's your go-to breakfast each morning?
It's a toss-up, depending on how the bananas are ripening. A no-banana morning is oatmeal with berries and flax and spices. A pro-banana morning means an ayurvedic chocolate shake with ginger and cinnamon and ashwagandha.
What are your must-have healthy vegan meals?
Kitchari—the anti-inflammatory ayurvedic stew made from rice, split mung beans or lentils, veggies, and spices that are good for digestion including cumin, coriander, mustard seed, fennel seed, turmeric, asafetida—is lunch three to four days a week. Other staples are chili, whole meal salads—raw greens tossed steamed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, and/or other veggies—and cooked kale salad with sweet potatoes and olives.
How important is a healthy lifestyle to your quality of life?
Really important, unless I make the requirements too onerous, putting them in the category of stressor instead of stress reliever. I feel better when I live well, and I owe that to myself, my family, and the animals I'm trying to help. But falling into "Will gluten kill me?" or "My triceps won't survive the pandemic" or "The alarm didn't go off: my day is cursed" won't help a thing.
What are some of the ways you unwind and create a work/life balance?
1. Spend time with my daughter (and Main Street Vegan coauthor), Adair Moran.
2. Write in a café.
3. Go to Greenwich Village, take a yoga class and get reflexology, and then write in a café.
What tips do you have for entrepreneurs in the making?
Be sure you love this business enough that you're willing to put up with what comes with it. Start thinking early 'collaborator, not competitor.' Have sufficient monetization to carry you through tough times; if your dream is moving faster than your funding, slow it down.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You're already got this thing. You showed up on this planet with a functioning connection to the Divine. And almost nobody else knows that, either: they're just as uncertain as you are.
Who inspires you?
My daughter; she and her husband are performers, and the show they were in closed for the pandemic. Their condo here in NY was rented out for the two-and-a-half-year duration of the contract, so they're uprooted, out of state, working B jobs, and grieving the loss of one amazing dog a year ago, and another just last month. She's tougher than I am, and she leaves me in awe.
Thank you, Victoria!