December 15, 2022
255: Compassionate Ways to Promote Veganism and Healthy Behaviors with Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran’s mission is to educate and motivate the world about what she believes is one of the greatest health, wellness, and animal rights movement in history. Today, she joins us to share how she helps shape the future...


Victoria Moran’s mission is to educate and motivate the world about what she believes is one of the greatest health, wellness, and animal rights movement in history. Today, she joins us to share how she helps shape the future for vegans and protect animals by bringing you subtle ways to promote empowering, healthy lifestyle tips!


Key takeaways to listen for 

  • How to continue optimistic and compassionate vegan activism
  • Simple ways to advocate animal rights and their life-changing effects
  • Advice on how to effectively promote veganism to people
  • The importance of integrity in promoting ethical vegan values
  • Upcoming book and online retreats you should look forward to


Resources mentioned in this episode


About Victoria Moran

Victoria Moran has written for publication since she was a teenager—teen mags, health food store, and vegetarian publications, and spiritual journals. She has written 13 books about well-being, spirituality, and Vegan living. Her proposed 14th, Age Like a Yogi, is in the beginning stages. VegNews magazine listed her among the Top 10 Living Vegetarian Authors, and she was on Oprah twice, which, at that time, she felt like being initiated as a genuine writer.

She has been a professional speaker since the mid-1990s. She loves the spoken word as much as the written one, and she has never been happier than when presenting for a group or giving a workshop. After the publication of Main Street Vegan in 2012, she founded Main Street Vegan Academy, training and certifying Vegan Lifestyle Coaches and Educators. She's certified as a life coach and a holistic health coach, and she’s an RYT-200 registered yoga teacher. These interests give her the ingredients to assemble workshops and retreats on living well and aging well, ayurveda, spirituality, and thriving as a Vegan. She hosts the Victoria Moran Podcast: Meetings With Remarkable Women; she’s a co-director of the Compassion Consortium, an Interfaith spiritual center for animal advocates; and was lead producer for the 2019 documentary, A Prayer for Compassion. And she’s a co-writer with her husband, William Melton, of Miss Liberty, a feature film in pre-production about a cow who escapes from a slaughterhouse.


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Transcript

[00:00:00] Victoria Moran: Visiting Animal sanctuaries is so wonderful because even though it's a tiny, minuscule percentage of the animal suffering in the agriculture system, we at least see some hope and we see some joy. And even with companion animals, their joy is so infectious.

[00:00:18] Maya Acosta: You have more power over your health than what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast. I'm Maya Acosta, and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me, together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life and increase longevity in a big way.

[00:00:42] Maya Acosta: Let's get started. All right, so welcome back to another episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. I'm your host, Maya Acosta, and my next guest doesn't really need much of an introduction, but I'm so excited, uh, that she's here anyway to tell us all sorts of things in terms of being vegan. And so I have Victoria Moran on the show.

[00:01:04] Maya Acosta: Welcome, Victoria. Thank you so much. So I'm excited to have you. Did I pronounce your last name? Okay.

[00:01:11] Victoria Moran: Well, sort of, it's actually Moran, but Oprah Winfrey pronounces it Morin. And when I was on the first time, my husband says, well, you better change how you say your name, cuz a lot more people know you as moron now than they ever did as Moran.

[00:01:26] Maya Acosta: Yeah. So when you go on other shows, how do you pronounce your last name? 

[00:01:30] Victoria Moran: It's Moran. Yeah, that's, it's your last name. That's my name. But. You know, Oprah's kind of, you know, even now, Empress of the universe, you know, she speaks and the world responds. So cool woman, maybe one of these days we'll get her plant-based.

[00:01:44] Maya Acosta: So now I wanna talk about Oprah because I was a big fan. Like many people, I watched her back in the day a lot more. And one's a person made it to Oprah Winfrey. It's like they made it. So tell us what your experience was like. How did you end up on her?

[00:02:00] Victoria Moran: Oh, well, I'm working on my 14th book, so all my books are about well-being or eclectic spirituality.

[00:02:07] Victoria Moran: A lot of books for women kind of in the self-help genre, and certainly in the 1990s and early two thousands if you wrote books like that. She wanted to be on Oprah. It just made you a real author. So I wanted that desperately. And the first time they called was the week before my wedding in 1997, and they said, are you gonna be available next week?

[00:02:33] Victoria Moran: And I said, well, we were planning to take a honeymoon. And the producer said It really wouldn't be a good. So we didn't, we canceled it. Okay. And they didn't call on Monday, but they called on Tuesday and the producer was saying, you know, what kind of dress did you wear for your wedding? What kind of cake and what kind of flowers?

[00:02:52] Victoria Moran: And it's like, oh boy. When she got to the flowers, I knew she was trying to let me down easy. And she did indeed say, well, the episode has taken a different direction, which was devastating. But I was busy working on another book, my book, creating a Charmed Life, which is my biggest seller ever. So the, when that book finally came out and I was on tour with it, the call came again and they said, we want you, we wanna film at your home, which was then my home in Kansas City, and we wanna do this on Tuesday of next week.

[00:03:25] Victoria Moran: With your book, Shelter for the Spirit, which was the previous book. The one they had, uh, stood me up on before, and I said, oh, but you don't understand the new book is creating a Charmed Life. And she said, we want shelter for the spirit. And the subtext of that is, you know, we've got a line of authors around the block. You guys are a dime a dozen. Take it or leave it. So I was like, okay, I'll be there. She didn't say that.

[00:03:51] Victoria Moran: But I knew she was thinking that. So I got back from the tour. Sunday night, Monday, a cleaning crew came in and the two of them and the one of me cleaned everything, scrubbed baseboards. And then, uh, Tuesday morning, the Oprah crew came.

[00:04:06] Victoria Moran: They filmed for nine hours and made a beautiful, really, really beautiful three-minute segment. And that used to be called Remembering Your Spirit. If you were a regular viewer, you probably remember that. And when it was over, Oprah said, that was beautiful. Wasn't that beautiful? And I'm just sitting there like, oh my God. 

[00:04:30] Victoria Moran: And even though that time I didn't meet Oprah, I didn't go to Chicago, just the fact that I had been on and she had said it was beautiful, it was like getting a degree from Harvard. And I would just call a radio station anywhere in the country and say, I was on Oprah yesterday. Okay, when do you wanna be on just open these doors. So I still wanted to be on, in the sanctum Santorum and, and in her presence. Mm-hmm. and as well as creating a charmed life did, I mean, that was a really magical, magical book. Everybody loved it. They still love it. They're still buying it around the world. But that was that book. And then I was working on another one.

[00:05:13] Victoria Moran: So I wrote a book called Lit from Within about bringing out your inner beauty. And by then I'd moved to New York and they called again and I did get to go to Chicago. And with that one, which is really fun, if people go to my YouTube channel, which is Victoria Moran NYC, on my main reel, there's the clip from that.

[00:05:36] Victoria Moran: And it was so much fun because without knowing that I did it set Oprah up for a laugh. And the topic was inner beauty and feeling good about yourself. And I was explaining how a woman that I knew here, uh, visited India and she considered herself overweight and was always trying to fix that in various ways that in India, people would come up to her and say, you are so fat and so beautiful.

[00:06:04] Victoria Moran: I try to be fat and I can't. What's your secret? Oh my God. After I said that, Oprah, with her incredible sense of comic timing, just waited beat. Beat and then she goes, can't wait to go to India. And she got this giant applause. I mean, it was wonderful. It's like, oh, this is why the straight men enjoy what they do in a comedy team.

[00:06:32] Victoria Moran: So yeah, it, it was fabulous and wonderful. And I hope that, you know, one day they'll be something else with her. I know she's no longer doing the uh, SuperSoul Sunday. Which, mm-hmm. , I had kind of set my cap on, but she'll do something. She doesn't stop.

[00:06:48] Maya Acosta: That's right. Well, she has a wonderful sense of humor and the idea that you could impress her is my goodness. That's just something very rewarding because she had, at that time, hundreds and hundreds of guests and, but she always found a way to find that important part of a guest. The story behind the individual. Now you're an author. You're a writer, a speaker, an animal advocate, and a spiritual adventurer. And that's what I love about you.

[00:07:15] Maya Acosta: I've known of you for quite a while and have been a huge fan. And as a matter of fact, I know that out of all the books you've authored, I wanna show too that I have. And then the other ones are, there's one that's in the audio, but this one's very important. It's part of a program that we'll talk about.

[00:07:31] Maya Acosta: The Main Street Vegan Academy cookbook. I had to get this cookbook because it's really, the contributors are people that have completed your program. So we'll talk about that. And then the Good Karma Diet is just one of many where you really bring in a combination of your passion for supporting animals and supporting people in health.

[00:07:56] Maya Acosta: And Victoria, one of the things of the many that I enjoy about. . One of the things is that approach that you take, the positive, the compassionate aspect of you when in your activism. So how do you do it after all these years of still knowing that animals are suffering and that people are suffering too as a result of health issues?

[00:08:17] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. , what keeps you going so that you can continue to shine this beautiful light in the work that you do? 

[00:08:25] Victoria Moran: Well, I'm finding that it's really about being happy myself, which is hard when you know about the suffering in the world. I remember, oh my gosh, this was so long ago. 1970. Seven, the World Vegetarian Congress at Orano, Maine, the first time that had happened in the US in the 20th century.

[00:08:52] Victoria Moran: And I was there as a speaker and I had this wonderful kind of, uh, the star can't come. And so the, uh, standin gets to go on. The woman who was gonna do the cruelty-free fashion show couldn't come. So I got to do it. And I was talking to the people who wanted to model. And there was this lovely young woman, beautiful young woman, and I said, are you actually a model?

[00:09:16] Victoria Moran: I mean, you look like a model. You move like a model. You just know exactly what to do. And she said, well, I used to model, but now I don't do anything. I'm too depressed because of the animals. And I remember thinking in that moment, That's what we can't be, because, in that state, we can't help anybody.

[00:09:37] Victoria Moran: Mm-hmm. So I tried to encourage her as best I could. I hope she went on and got over her depression because you have to have enough going in your own life so that it's like the put on your mask first, and then you know the person you're flying with. So I find that yes, I know that the suffering is beyond comprehension.

[00:10:03] Victoria Moran: And I also know that as a single human being, I'm only gonna be able to alleviate some of it. But I wanna be sure that however much I have been allotted to be able to alleviate that I will meet that quota. And the only way I can do that is if I take care of myself, if I'm healthy, if I'm rested, if I have energy, if I haven't overscheduled, which is a terrible character defect, I overschedule just ridiculously.

[00:10:33] Victoria Moran: And I try, you know, when I'm looking at these things that I do that I wish I didn't do, if I can bring in the animals, it's like, You don't need to crowd your calendar so that you can't find yourself because those animals are counting on you, and that helps me. That's a way that even though knowing about the suffering is very, very difficult. I can use that knowledge to take care of myself so that I can continue to do the work.

[00:11:05] Maya Acosta: So self-care is key.

[00:11:08] Victoria Moran: It's huge. And it's not selfish. You know, we always think that we're supposed to give, give, give to others first, but the self-care is so that we can give to others. Mm-hmm. I finally figured that out.

[00:11:22] Victoria Moran: I thought it's what comes first. Others self, of course, it's others. That's how you be a good person, but itself, cuz you have to take care of yourself. No, it's others. Therefore it has to be self. They're hand in glove.

[00:11:34] Maya Acosta: Yes. Yes. I don't know if you saw recently, if you follow, James has be who you know is a very dedicated animal activist. He recently put out a video of why he sort of had disappeared from social media for about a year. Mm-hmm. , I think even from his YouTube channel, he had manifested physical pain. that probably he internalized. He tried to explain in the video of just having internalized so much of what he sees of animal, you know, in the content when we're talking about animal cruelty associated with the food industry, he was having extreme pain that led to painkillers.

[00:12:14] Maya Acosta: Painkillers that got him a little addicted, and you, we know how those stories go. And then he discovered another doctor who helps to release the trauma from the body and he said he couldn't even go 15 minutes without feeling pain. And now that he's doing the spiritual work and the self-care work and other things like that, it seems like the physical pain is starting to alleviate a little bit.

[00:12:38] Maya Acosta: But hearing his story was so profound, Victoria, because I thought a lot of times, like you said, like if we focus on the suffering and we feel helpless because we don't know how we can help, and yet we continue to internalize it and worry and stress about the things that we cannot change immediately. We are the ones that are going to shut down and not be as effective.

[00:13:00] Victoria Moran: It's so true, and I'm reminded of when my daughter was acting as a child, she's still a performer, but when she was a teenager, she had the lead role in a play called Kinder Transport, which was about English people taking Jewish children from Nazi-occupied lands and adopting them. And the woman who played the mother of my daughter's character, a little girl who was taken on the Kinder Transport, was a method actor and method actors try to really get into their character, become the character, live the life of the character.

[00:13:39] Victoria Moran: And I remember seeing her backstage before every performance, and she would feel like she was a woman in a concentration camp who had lost her only child. And by the end of the run of that show, which was six weeks, she actually was hospitalized. Because those thoughts, you know, our brain can't tell the difference between what we're experiencing, what we tell it, what we really, truly embody and feel and what's actually going on.

[00:14:15] Victoria Moran: And so she was very sick and it took her quite some time to get beyond that. So just as that negative thing can happen, we can also use thoughts to lift ourselves up. And I think this is why visiting Animal Sanctuaries is so wonderful because even though it's a tiny, minuscule percentage of the animals suffering in the agriculture system, we at least see some hope and we see some joy.

[00:14:43] Victoria Moran: And even with companion animals, their joy is so infectious. I'm without a dog right now, but I go to this dog cafe, the Black Lamb Cafe on the Upper West Side, and I get to hang out with everybody else's dogs. And I think, you know, if you have children, if you have grandchildren, just you know, hanging out with friends, being around uplift is so important.

[00:15:06] Victoria Moran: And I don't think we talk about that enough in the plant-based movement because we see that what the food does for us, Is so incredible. We forget that we are whole people with other aspects too. And if we get the food going on and the emotional and the social, I mean, then we can just have it all. I mean, to the point that Earth can provide that.

[00:15:31] Maya Acosta: Absolutely. So speaking of our companion friends, I never had a dog. I grew up in a very strict home where my father was againsts having animals in the home, and we became vegan. My husband and I, and my heart began to open in terms of noticing. Suddenly I noticed the cats a little bit more. I noticed the dogs a little bit more, and I said to my husband one day when I fell in love with my sister's dog, I said, I think I'm ready for a dog.

[00:16:00] Maya Acosta: And he was actually scared. He said, you've never had a dog. You'll never know how to take care of him. You know he's gonna wake you up in the morning, you're gonna have to take him for walks. And just made me overwhelmed, like a little bit scared, but I said, I'm ready. And we ended up adopting my dog and the love that I have for my dog.

[00:16:19] Maya Acosta: It's like such a special love that I've never experienced. And I can see how therapy dogs, my dog is not considered a therapy dog, but I can see how they help us in terms of offering companionship, in terms of reducing our stress levels. So there's so many benefits to loving animals, and I have gone to animal sanctuaries. I feel the same way. Victoria, I don't know these animals, but I feel a profound connection with them. 

[00:16:49] Victoria Moran: They're pretty remarkable. You know, I almost feel like they're US minus complications. And when I think about the kind of person I wanna be is I wanna be the person that my dog was, my dog, Forbes. Mm-hmm. Passed away in October. Here's my WW FD bracelet. What would Forbes do? . Oh. Oh. Cause he was, I love that he was so, Responsive and animals Also, maybe because of their ability to smell or some other kind of capacity that they have, they know when someone is physically or emotionally suffering and they'll just glom onto you with this intent of healing it.

[00:17:31] Victoria Moran: It certainly seems to me, we used to call him Dr. Forbes, so when he died, I made three promises to him. I said, I will take care of myself. Because it's so easy not to, I mean, my history is growing up as a food addict, always battling weight issues, never quite catching up with other young people because I just felt that I physically wasn't up to it.

[00:18:01] Victoria Moran: And so a lot of the self-care practices I had to learn as an adult and kind of like learning a language. It's harder for them to stick when you learn them later. So I told him that then I said, I will be in life as you were up to the very last moment, which he totally was. I mean he, even though he was very sick with a very aggressive kind of of cancer, He was just there.

[00:18:29] Victoria Moran: He was like, what's cool? What's the most fun? What can we do? Ooh, don't feel like my walk, but you know, you could sure give me a treat. And I said, okay, Forbes, I'm gonna be in life like that. And then the third thing was to redouble my efforts to help save other animals. As long as I'm on this earth, or as long as I'm healthy enough, which, you know, I try to live in a way that that won't be until the day I leave here, that I really want my life to count for something in terms of ending suffering.

[00:19:01] Maya Acosta: And I'm aware of Forbes passing. You shared that on social media, and I'm telling you as you're speaking about the promises you made him, I'm getting a little emotional just because it's such a tremendous loss. I think I heard about, and I don't remember, but there are people that offer support in terms of, you know, being there for you if, in helping you experience and grieve the loss of an animal. And there are.

[00:19:26] Victoria Moran: And may I recommend some really good ones?

[00:19:29] Maya Acosta: Please. I might have heard it on your show. That's probably how I know about this. 

[00:19:33] Victoria Moran: Well, the, the person that I wanna recommend first is the animal grief counselor that I have been working with. And I know him because he is a graduate of Main Street Vegan Academy, which is a program that I run that trends and certifies vegan coaches.

[00:19:47] Victoria Moran: But his name is Russell Elleven, E L L E V E N. And he is a Unitarian Universalist minister. And I'll give you his contact information that you can put in in the show notes and. He is absolutely phenomenal. I just, I cannot speak highly enough of him. And someone else who has helped us out with some group grief support things is Kimberly Wilson, and her website is Tranquility Du Jour.

[00:20:19] Victoria Moran: I think it's also Kimberly wilson.com. But I'll, I'll give that to you, Maya. Mm-hmm. . And she's a wonderful woman. Also a graduate of Main Street Vegan Academy. She's a psychologist by training and an animal person by heart. Mm-hmm. . So those are a couple, and then something else that I'll share if anybody is interested in this sort of thing.

[00:20:39] Victoria Moran: Something that I'm part of is the Compassion Consortium, which is an interfaith online spiritual center for animal advocates. And part of the Compassion Consortium's Ministry is that we run a training program. Four animal chaplains and this trains people to do this kind of work with pet loss, pet grief, but also other things.

[00:21:02] Victoria Moran: You know, what do you do when you're on the road and you see that, you know, somebody just got got hit by a car? You just drive on by. Well, maybe. Or maybe, you wanna give them a little funeral. You know, these things are all, um, you know, people are different and some people are, that wouldn't be what they would do.

[00:21:23] Victoria Moran: But the Animal Chaplaincy Program that's part of Compassion Consortium is very, very cool. There'll be another class next fall, and that's compassionconsortiumor.org

[00:21:33] Maya Acosta: This is really great that you're, I'm so glad you mentioned all of this. And as you're saying, if you happen to have seen someone, I don't know if you were referring to animals as well, being hit on the road mm-hmm. Or Struck. I sort of witnessed that as my husband. We were in our camper van, so we were headed back home when I saw on the other side of the road. The opposite side. I saw an animal that had just been struck. I didn't see the actual, but he was; it was so hard for me to witness Victoria. He was jolting. I don't know how to say it, but he was shaking and trying to get out of the road and more cars were coming and I noticed that wrist was driving and then I said, no.

[00:22:14] Maya Acosta: Like I just reacted. No. We gotta go back, we gotta like, how do you get in front of the dog? So that other, but fortunately, what ended up happening is one of the vehicles stopped in front of it to render aid. Oh. And, and we just kept going because someone did stop. But I was horrified. The animal was not dead.

[00:22:32] Maya Acosta: It was fighting for his life. And the fact that, you know, there are people, I feel like more and more people are starting to consider this, that we have to rescue these animals that are like, even now so many animals are being abandoned because they're owners, they're people went back to work after the pandemic and it started, you know, and it's so heartbreaking that right now there are a lot of animals that are being put down as well.

[00:22:57] Maya Acosta: And it's so hard not to internalize it, not to wanna rescue all of those animals. Yeah. We adopted our dog, but not because he's not a Covid dog. He's a dog. that we have because my heart opened. It's a whole different story. He's not different story outta convenience. Yes. It's a whole different story. It's knowing that we found him on Craigslist.

[00:23:20] Maya Acosta: His people wanted to get rid of him. They didn't want him. I, and it breaks my heart. When we brought him home, he didn't even feel scared. He didn't run away like, did you kidnap me? Why am I here? He was just like, I'm here. So, um, oh. 

[00:23:35] Victoria Moran: That, that's a wonderful story and I'm glad you brought up the road. I never really thought about that. You know, my emphasis has been on farmed animals and the animals that we eat and, and also companion animals. But I've learned from Reverend Sarah Bowen, who runs the Animal Chaplaincy Program, that driving safely and driving a little bit under the speed limit. Is an animal rights activity. It's something that we can do to recognize that we're not the only ones here.

[00:24:12] Victoria Moran: That we do share the roads with deer and dogs and tortoises and squirrels and others. And that to be that little bit extra careful. Some people say, well, I wanna help animals and I don't have much time. Well, there's something you can do. You can be aware of them when you drive. Mm-hmm. . And since I, I mentioned Reverend Sarah, I also wanna mention her book, which is called Sacred Send Offs, which is an Animal Chaplain's Guide to, uh, companion animal loss, grief, and, and recovery. Wonderful book.

[00:24:47] Maya Acosta: Thank you. And yes, I do drive with that. I take into consideration that even cows can drift off onto the roads. They can get off the land where they're at and be on the road. And especially when we're driving, we're in Texas, so if we're between cities and we're driving through the fields or in the open area.

[00:25:08] Maya Acosta: I take into account the fact that an animal can cross the road. That's just like part of my way of thinking and Well, let's talk more about that. Let's talk more about, because I am an ethical vegan, we don't talk about it too much on my podcast because I tend to focus on the health aspect of everything.

[00:25:25] Maya Acosta: But whenever I get a chance, I do talk about the fact that when we talk about our concerns about animals, we're really talking about the food that ends up on people's plate, the animals they are eating. 

[00:25:39] Victoria Moran: Because that's the greatest numbers. The numbers are astronomical, and yet we relate when we hear about one. You know, when you talked about the cow in the road, it reminds me of a story told by Timothy Patra, who wrote a book called Every 12 Seconds about being an undercover worker in a slaughterhouse when he was working on his Ph.D. So he was there with his coworkers and they just figured, you know, he was another guy working in a slaughterhouse and they were all in the lunchroom.

[00:26:10] Victoria Moran: And something came on the local news that a cow had escaped from another slaughterhouse in the area, and all the workers cheered for the cow. So we all have a heart for the one, and sometimes if other ethical vegans are listening and they wanna try to reach somebody, a great way to reach them is with a story of one being.

[00:26:36] Victoria Moran: And it's the same with the health. You know, if somebody has a really great story of how they recovered their health, even if their condition was something other than what somebody's interested in recovery is recovery. And it people respond.

[00:26:52] Maya Acosta: Yeah, they really do. And that's the part where, because many of us do love animals, it's just making the connection and seeing that a cow also has a family and when she gives birth, it's, you know, we do something with her calf and we either take the calf away and you know, we use the mother cow for the milk, or there's just so many things that are hard to even talk about because of the suffering we contribute to it just because we don't see.

[00:27:21] Maya Acosta: It doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and it's been kept like that. The system is designed so that we're not aware of how our food is produced and what the animals endure. And we've watched several of the documentaries and as a matter of fact, I wanna mention that how I met you in person was a few years ago when a prayer for compassion was going to be screened.

[00:27:43] Maya Acosta: I think your team reached out to us and a couple of other people here in Dallas and asked about, you know, screening the movie and we did it at Unity. I don't know if you remember that, and I wanna say you of course print out either first time or the second time. Yes. And every time I watch a movie that goes into detail about the impact of animal agriculture, it uh, it's a reminder of why I'm on the right path and to, in terms of being vegan.

[00:28:12] Maya Acosta: And it's hard to watch, very difficult to watch. And tell us about that. Tell us about A Prayer for Compassion and your involvement.

[00:28:21] Victoria Moran: Yes. Well, I was invited by the filmmaker Thomas Jackson, who just very straightforwardly said, would you like to produce my next documentary? And my first thought is, I don't know how to produce a documentary.

[00:28:35] Victoria Moran: And I always thought about, well, producers, aren't those the people in the movie business who bring the million dollars? But then he said, It's about spirituality and food choices. And it's like, oh my God if I have to come up with a million dollars, I guess I have to. Yes, yes. I will do this. Well, what I then learned is documentaries don't cost that much.

[00:28:57] Victoria Moran: So we just started and we started reaching out and we did a little crowd funder and some other people came on in the production capacity. And uh, Thomas traveled across the US a couple of times and he went to the, uh, climate conference in Morocco. Then he went all through India. One of our producers is Dr. Sailesh Rao who said, you need to go to India because even though it's a largely vegetarian country, there is this, uh, cultural connection to dairy. So everything happened to make the film and. It's a lot of work. It may be the hardest I've ever worked and I consider myself a hard worker, but I remember just before the 2019 world premiere here in New York, I just thought, mm-hmm, I wonder if I will ever have any energy again, I'm just completely exhausted because there's so many parts of making a movie, but it's done really well.

[00:29:58] Victoria Moran: It's had a lot of viewership around the world, and I think it also helped to spark a lot of the interest in the intersectionality of faith. Spiritual traditions and what we eat because mm-hmm, it's so interesting. If you look at, uh, the seven deadly sins, for instance, which comes out of Christian theology and one of them is gluttony.

[00:30:24] Victoria Moran: When has anybody ever heard a sermon or a homily on gluttony? It's just never talked about. And this whole idea of, you know, kindness for animals and love all God's creatures and all God's creatures got a place in the choir, but they don't. . And so I think that A Prayer for Compassion really awakened a lot of that.

[00:30:46] Victoria Moran: And at the time that Thomas started a Prayer for Compassion, they also started the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, which brings groups together that are spiritual or religious, and that also wanna bring other beings in into the mix. And then certainly also the health aspects because taking care of our body is yes, something that most traditions talk about, just not a lot.

[00:31:12] Victoria Moran: And something that I have found that wonderful quotation from Margaret Mead, that it's easier to change a man's religion than it is to change his diet is so true. Because if, if you say to people, sign my petition, you know, not put $20 into this thing or whatever, people will do that. But when it's, and, and then mm-hmm. Change how you eat; that's a whole other thing.

[00:31:39] Maya Acosta: Yep. So, and as a matter of fact, that quote is so rela relatable. It is so true. I made the mistake, and I often say this, that when I went vegan, I wanted to convert everyone and I was hardcore. And as a result, I have not been able to convert or to influence the closest people to me.

[00:32:00] Maya Acosta: I've learned to sit back and allow and work on building my relationship with those people that I care about. So do you have a tip in terms of what we can do when we first get on board, make that change? Should we be gentle in our approach to, you know, to reach out to other people? 

[00:32:17] Victoria Moran: Well, perhaps should, but nobody wants to be told what they should do. And you know, I wonder if being a new vegan is a little bit like being a teenager, and should teenagers not experiment with things, should they not rebel against their parents? Well, I don't know. It's pretty unpleasant. And yet I think it's what they're supposed to do. It's what they need to go through.

[00:32:43] Victoria Moran: Mm-hmm. I see. And maybe all of us as a new vegan needed to do that for the cause. It would probably be better if we focused on what I like to call at Extractivism or at Attraction Activism. There's something in the 12-step programs, an alcoholics synonymous. When you have what somebody else wants, they will do what you did to get it.

[00:33:07] Victoria Moran: So if you have more energy mm-hmm. , if you're looking better, if you got off some medication, if you're cholesterol is down and your A1C is down and you're working out again, people are gonna say, what are you doing? And then you tell them, and they might not decide that they're gonna do that right that day, but they've asked the question because they were curious.

[00:33:35] Victoria Moran: It's a whole other thing, you know, if somebody, mm-hmm. comes to you with their issue and you know, maybe they're passionate about some cause that, you know, you haven't thought about, it'll be like, okay, alright, this is your cause I accept that. Here's 10 bucks and that's all . But then if you find something, maybe you're online and you're scrolling through and you learn about, I don't know, literacy or something, that you didn't know the statistics before, you didn't know that adults need to be taught to read and you've got a little time, then you're gonna ask questions, can I be a literacy volunteer?

[00:34:11] Victoria Moran: What can I do? How can I help? Mm-hmm. , it's a whole different thing than if somebody. You know, pushes it on you. So as vegans mm-hmm. , I think if we can just shine our light, bring the best food to the potluck, and give vegan gifts, I mean, nobody is gonna turn down your gift just because it doesn't have meat, eggs, or dairy in it.

[00:34:32] Victoria Moran: And it, these are just ways that we can reach people without being pushy. You know, you make some kind of, maybe Dr. Fuhrman's healthy black bean brownies and you bring it to the office and you don't go of vegan but you put little recipe cards,  so everybody knows.

[00:34:51] Maya Acosta: Yep. What's in 'em. Yeah. Okay. And you just mentioned gifts too. So I'm doing a series for December of holiday gift ideas that people can either gift to themselves or loved ones. And so I've been interviewing people that either have a service, a book, a product, whatever it may be, but things that we can give loved ones for the holidays. So do you have a recommendation? Oh boy. Well, I guess in terms of things, your book, maybe? Pardon? I said your book, maybe one of your books. 

[00:35:25] Victoria Moran: You know, books are great. If somebody is interested in veganism, maybe they're a pre, then I would highly recommend my book, main Street Vegan, because it's a primer. Mm-hmm. , and it's very friendly, very understanding of people. I kind of got a, I just call it a higher power download about writing that book and exactly what the tone was supposed to be and who it was supposed to be geared to and mm-hmm. , so it's very, very friendly. I would not give that book to somebody who has no interest in veganism, who wants to be keto. Who tells you to leave them alone about it, but for somebody who's like, oh, it's cool what you're doing, I'm kind of interested. Yeah. Main Street Vegan would be a good one for them. Thanks for asking. Okay.

[00:36:11] Maya Acosta: Yes. You know, so I had a gentleman, a young guy on the show I think you might enjoy on your show. His name is Jun and he's in Bali, and he's a coach, a life coach that supports vegans in self-care in releasing some of the trauma, like what we've been talking about.

[00:36:29] Maya Acosta: And I told him about a recent experience that my husband and I had as we reunited with some of his college roommates from back in the day. And we rented a house, we all stayed together, and I would've preferred for my husband to warn them, to tell them that we had dietary restrictions just to address the awkwardness.

[00:36:48] Maya Acosta: But it wasn't addressed until. Decided to do groceries and then it just felt very awkward. And so he said, you know, one of the things that I probably could have done was just kind of said while we were having dinner, boy, it feels a little awkward, you know that we're eating differently than you guys. And does anybody else feel a little strange or awkward or uncomfortable just to call it out so that we can address the elephant in the room and then be done with that.

[00:37:15] Maya Acosta: Instead, we found ourselves having to kind of explain, and I mean, it always gives us an opportunity to share with others why eating plant-based is good for our health. And then if the conversation permits, then we can talk about the environment and the animals as well. Any recommendations about that as we head into the holidays and reunite with loved ones?

[00:37:37] Victoria Moran: I would keep it really light and you can tell we all have an intuitive sense and we know if somebody's really interested and if they are, then you can say, I'd love to talk to you later. You know, this topic always comes up at a meal when other people are eating what they eat and that's not the time to talk about this.

[00:38:01] Victoria Moran: And if you can just diffuse it a little bit by saying like, you know, I'm doing this plant-based thing for my health. Oh well whoa. What? What do you eat? And blah, blah, blah. Just, you know, let's talk about that later and let's just enjoy our meal right now. And then, if somebody is really interested, just give them all the information you think they can handle.

[00:38:20] Victoria Moran: Sometimes I have to slow myself down and not give people too much. But you know, you can tell them your stories cuz we love hearing one another's stories. We are a storytelling species, so whatever got, whether it was a video you saw online, whether it was a doctor's, uh, pronouncement about your health that led you to start looking, whatever it is, it's interesting to your fellow humans.

[00:38:49] Victoria Moran: And then you can maybe recommend a couple of favorite websites. I always recommend nutrition facts.org because everybody likes videos and most people respect science, and all of Dr. Greger's videos, uh, fit those criteria. And then maybe a book, maybe some recipes, or just even one of the free recipe guides.

[00:39:13] Victoria Moran: I was just ordering a bunch of. African-American, uh, vegan starter guides because it's just, it's a wonderful, wonderful collection and it, you can get it free. Uh, farm Sanctuary is part of that. PETA has a vegan starter guide. Uh, mercy for Animals has one, and it's good. You can get these for free. And you just keep a stack of them.

[00:39:38] Victoria Moran: And then when people say, oh, tell me about what you're doing, you just hand them that. And nobody can argue with something that's in a magazine. You know, it's like they can read and come back to you and argue later. But if you start talking, especially if you talk, if one person comes up to you one-on-one, that's a whole other thing.

[00:39:58] Victoria Moran: But if you're at a table of eight or 10 people mm-hmm. , and somebody asks because they're interested, you can know that there is somebody else at that table who is doing paleo and they love it and they're gonna bring that up. And there's somebody else who's newly dating a hunter and the hunter. Is at the table, and that's just not gonna be good for them.

[00:40:23] Victoria Moran: And so, you know, as a vegan, as an ethical vegan, I want everybody to be vegan. Yesterday, you know, I want the hunter and his girlfriend, but what I know is that today might not be the time for them unless they ask. So one-on-one, provide them with materials. And you know, if you're a spiritual person, just ask a conduit for this information. And I feel that when we ask and really mean it, we get answered. We get answered positively.

[00:40:55] Maya Acosta: Yeah, that's wonderful. I hope my listeners are listening to this. I mean, I, this is a key thing I actually wanted to take because I have some guides from PCRM, which are also like the vegetarian starter kit that we give to our patients, and I wanted to sneak some of those into my luggage and have them just in case.

[00:41:16] Maya Acosta: The right person just in case an individual was interested. And then I didn't, I sort of second-guessed myself, and there was one person that approached me that weekend while I was in the kitchen and we had a very comfortable conversation, and I thought I could have given him the guide because he was willing to listen.

[00:41:36] Maya Acosta: And so you just never know who's going to be ready. So I don't wanna forget to talk about your podcast. And then the vegan, the Main Street Vegan Academy and that one. Yes. It's, I really, yeah. I really wanna talk about that one because I actually thought, Victoria, I wanted to be part, I wanted to take your training at one time, and I know that the pandemic happened, but let's start with your podcast. Okay. You recently rebranded. Yes. I love that. The podcast is your, I love that your podcast is now The Victoria Moran Podcast.

[00:42:09] Victoria Moran: Congratulations. Thank you. And what I love is the subtitle, which is Meetings with Remarkable Women. Yes. So I only have women guests, and maybe at Father's Day I might have a man once a year.

[00:42:24] Victoria Moran: I have a wonderful physiatrist here in New York City who's a yogi. His name is Dr. Loren Fishman. He got a degree in philosophy at Oxford and then went to India and knocked on the door of the legendary Yogi B. K. S. Iyengar and said, can I study with you? So he lived with Iyengar for a year. Then came back to the States and went to medical school and he specializes in osteoporosis, which I know is something that's a problem for a lot of women.

[00:42:54] Victoria Moran: So I may make an exception at Father's daytime and have him on. But basically, I have remarkable women, and there are so many of us. I mean, it's like that movie Steel Magnolias that really looked at the heart and soul of a group of women, very different women, but all steel magnolias, all this kind of maybe fragile exterior, but this incredible strength.

[00:43:19] Victoria Moran: So part of the strategy of doing the podcast this way after 10 years of the Main Street Vegan podcast is that I don't wanna be preaching to the choir. I want to reach out to mainstream people and then every third or fourth episode, I don't know how it's gonna actually play out when I have a specifically vegan or plant-based topic, then the people who came for the other topics will stay.

[00:43:48] Victoria Moran: But I have to tell you, Maya, it's so interesting talking with people who are not vegan because the vocabulary is different. And I had somebody use as an illusion, the cost of butter. And I said, well, as I'm a vegan, I'm happy that it's expensive. And she said, oh, well, it was unsalted and my heart just fell because I am a health person and I really believe in the power of diet and lifestyle to improve our health to ward off disease.

[00:44:26] Victoria Moran: I think it can be near miraculous, but I am an ethical vegan first. And for this person to think that I'd be okay with butter if it was unsalted, kind of broke my heart. So then I had somebody use an analogy about, When the exterminators come to get rodents out of your house, and it's like, I'm a vegan, I'm not a fanatic.

[00:44:50] Victoria Moran: And I understand that there are times that you need exterminators, but I don't like to just bring that up as a side issue, because it's sad to me when you know, yeah. When anybody has to leave this earth, even when you know, survival of the fittest and all that stuff, sometimes that's what has to happen.

[00:45:12] Victoria Moran: So it's interesting. It's different and I love it. I love these women that I talk to, and as you know, it's just such a privilege to get to listen to people who are thoughtful and who are, at least in their realm, changing the. Hmm.

[00:45:31] Maya Acosta: Yes. I think it's beautiful. So when you rebranded with your name, you made that decision to also only feature women.

[00:45:39] Victoria Moran: Well, this concept started on my 18th birthday when I moved to London, and there was a movie playing in the West End about the philosopher Gurdjieff and it was called Meetings with Remarkable Men. I frankly didn't like the movie all that much, but I loved the title and I made a commitment at age 18 that my life was going to be filled with meetings with remarkable people.

[00:46:11] Victoria Moran: And now, at this point in my life, I wanna share some of those remarkable people. Others. Mm-hmm. But the movie was Remarkable Men, I wanna do Remarkable Women because there are plenty of us and we are getting our due much more than we ever did in history, but I'm not sure we've quite caught up yet. And until we do, it's gonna be meetings with remarkable women.

[00:46:35] Maya Acosta: I love it. I love it. I recently, so speaking of like your guests not necessarily having to be vegan, I think that I'm pretty clear that I am, and I, you know, I study the people that are interested in coming on the show, but I did bring the co-founder of a non-alcoholic company. I did bring her on the show because I wanted to introduce her to people who are interested in ending their relationship with alcohol.

[00:47:00] Maya Acosta: And so we were talking, she wanted to share a little bit about her health journey and went on the list of how she gave up gluten and other things. But the word plant-based or going vegan never came up. So, so it's always kind of like this fine line. How do you correct someone or in this case, it was a comfortable conversation.

[00:47:22] Maya Acosta: I asked her about the drinks and whether they were vegan because we know that not everything, that's not alcoholic. Mm-hmm. is necessarily vegan, so she actually went outta her way to contact her vendors because she owns a company that small entrepreneurs that have wine and spirits, and so all of these are non-alcoholic.

[00:47:44] Maya Acosta: And so she went outta her way to contact all the vendors to find out whether their product was vegan or not. And even contacted me and said, some of the wine may not be vegan. It's kind of like depersonalized wine because there was egg that was used or the sugar is not vegan, and she. I learned that sugar is not necessarily vegan.

[00:48:04] Maya Acosta: And she explained it to me and I said, you know, thank you so much for going outta your way for creating a category on your website that's specifically for vegans, because otherwise you would be leaving out a large group of people who would buy your product if it were vegan. So now it's vegan and non-alcoholic.

[00:48:22] Maya Acosta: Oh, that's great. That's wonderful. It is. But yeah, and then I had another person come on who's the CEO of a plant-based, uh, that is one of the cleaner ones. And now the thing is that in this conversation, he too wanted to share his health journey and then mentioned that he teaches his children how to eat hamburgers without the bun.

[00:48:40] Maya Acosta: And in place, they use the lettuce. I just thought to myself, I had to clarify that we promote healthy living. And so that nutrition is absolutely important to me. That's why I had him on the show to talk about the, um, alternative milk, uh, that he has. So it's very interesting how sometimes I have to kind of, I, you know, maybe just kind of say, I'm not endorsing that person's lifestyle, but I think the product is great. How do you do it? Do you ever have a situation like that?

[00:49:09] Victoria Moran: Well, all I've had so far, I've only been doing the newly branded podcast since September. And if it's just an illusion to something, I just cut it out in the editing. There was one person that I had invited on and I knew she was a Lacto vegetarian. I knew that she was an Ayurvedic person, and I do a lot with Ayurveda in my own life and I love it, but I certainly do it as a vegan.

[00:49:40] Victoria Moran: And I don't use GH or butter or any kind of of dairy. And I thought, you know, she can come on, she can talk about Ayurveda. She can, you know, be wonderful. So she gave me a copy of her book and I took it home in the Subway. Beautiful book. Beautifully illustrated, and I'm reading through. . And when I got to the chapter on dairy, it was, it was a promotion of dairy, which is her, right?

[00:50:07] Victoria Moran: Oh, I can't believe it's telling other people how to live or what to do, but I just couldn't have her on and promote her book, which celebrates a product that I believe to be cruel and unhealthy. But the difference with the unhealthy, at least in my mind, is people have a right to do what they wanna do with their own health.

[00:50:31] Victoria Moran: And I realize some people say, yeah, but that makes your insurance premiums higher. I know that's true, but the fact is, I don't run the universe. And if people want to eat burgers and fries and cherry pies, that's their choice. Mm-hmm. . But if somebody was harming, say if somebody was harming a dog or a cat, I would try to stop that.

[00:50:54] Victoria Moran: And when somebody's harming cows and pigs and chickens, I feel that same kind of responsibility. Not in a rude way, cuz I know there's all sorts of cultural and all that stuff going on with the way that people eat, but certainly, I can't be promoting something that to me, is a moral issue.

[00:51:15] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. That's how I feel. I don't, I mean, integrity is important to me and what I promote and what I endorse or who I have on is important to me. So, and I learned my lesson very early on in the podcasting world, that I just didn't do enough research to find out what people stood for. And there was one individual that I just, I couldn't air the episode because, um, just the conversation didn't go where I, I wanted it to.

[00:51:43] Maya Acosta: And I just felt very uncomfortable about the whole thing. Yeah. But for the most part, I kind of, most of my guests come from the College of Lifestyle Medicine, you know, being trained in that. But we also know not everybody from there. that's trained in Lifestyle medicine is vegan or fully plant-based either. So it's, uh, you just have to really know who you're dealing with.

[00:52:03] Victoria Moran: Mm-hmm, it's very tricky. Mm-hmm. because on the one hand, Vegans are a very small percentage of the population. Mm-hmm. . So if we just wanna move in that little tiny pool, we're going to keep recycling the same people. And there's something about a blend of ideas. I also believe that these people who are eating more plants are as an aggregate, helping, you know, things to go forward.

[00:52:33] Victoria Moran: Certainly for, for the climate in a positive way. It's just the idea of, of your personal brand. My personal brand, what do we wanna stand for? And there's this, this fine line between wanting to reach the outside world, the non-vegan world, and. And never wanting to promote people, not seeking to move in this direction.

[00:53:00] Victoria Moran: It gets a little tricky for me. The great, uh, shock to me with my first podcast, Main Street Vegan that I had from 2018 until the network that hosted that I did to close their doors in the spring of, of this year. I was at a VegFest in London and people were coming up to me from all over the world. I remember Portugal and Romania and all kinds of places, and they said, we love your podcast.

[00:53:33] Victoria Moran: And I thought, but you're already vegan. And I had the naive notion that because the book Main Street Vegans great for longtime vegans, but it's really for newbies. I thought the people would listen to the podcast who were just curious about getting started. But what I saw was that I built a very large and loyal following of vegans and, and it's wonderful to preach to the choir sometimes cuz we need some preaching and, there's a recidivism problem within veganism.

[00:54:07] Victoria Moran: So we need to be supported mm-hmm. And yet I really wanna try to reach other people and I think sometimes, you know, I might stumble on that, I might make a mistake. Mm-hmm. and it, it's frightening now with the whole cancel culture and all of that. It used to be making a mistake was part of life, and now making a mistake can be terrifying.

[00:54:28] Victoria Moran: But I've just decided to go forward anyway. Mm-hmm. , and if I make a mistake and somebody wants to do something terrible to me because of that, I'm just gonna have to get up the next day and keep going for the animals. Mm-hmm. for people's health, for the planet, because, you know, this is a big deal. I may not do it perfectly, but I am committed to doing it.

[00:54:53] Maya Acosta: Absolutely. Yes. Part of my rebranding too, because I moved away from plant-based DFW as a local organization and what we do for the community. I'm, I changed the name of the podcast from that to Healthy Lifestyle Solutions, the more I dove into lifestyle medicine. But part of what drives me, as well as the agony and the pain that my husband's patients go through, because I hear it all the time.

[00:55:21] Maya Acosta: It's every day. It's, uh, something, or when Riz has to go in because a patient's not doing well. Knowing the suffering that happens, uh, with people is, um, it's very hard. I even, I remember when I met him, I thought, oh my God, your energy must be low. Aren't you impacted by seeing so much suffering after 25 years?

[00:55:42] Maya Acosta: And, um, but I also now know, I, I, you know, I understand how, what we suffered in our earlier years, childhood trauma, and it doesn't have to be a big t, it could be something smaller, affects our health and stress. Not having safe, loving relationships can affect people and but diet, I know right, that nutrition is the biggest.

[00:56:05] Maya Acosta: Thing that it's going to affect people in terms of what they put in their body. And so for me, if I could shout it every day and say that that's the biggest component of it all, I would, but I wanted to rebrand to do the same thing, Victoria, to preach to the choir. I want my listeners to be people who feel that there is something that they can do to control or to prevent a disease or manage the condition that they currently have.

[00:56:29] Maya Acosta: And so if you can't start with diet, which we know is the biggest player, like the biggest component, then start by managing your stress or exercising. And it's part of an entire wellness program. At least that's how I feel. Whatever. In other words, let's move more towards health. And I'm just like you, I was very much interpersonal development.

[00:56:51] Maya Acosta: I can't tell you how many books I've read in the past and plant-based nutrition, being a vegan brought me back to everything about self-care. It brought me back to personal development because it's. , it is about the food, but it's also part of how we manage stress. It's about being in healthier relationship.

[00:57:11] Maya Acosta: I feel like it's just a whole, um, how would you say? Like a, just a, um, a program or an a, a way of living that supports our overall health. And then maybe by, you know, my listeners listening to these pillars of lifestyle medicine, they'll also hear content like this about how we can also help our environment.

[00:57:34] Maya Acosta: And then raising the awareness of animal agriculture and how damaging it is to the animals when we don't need to. I mean, that's, it's all about information. Teaching people that you can have, you can have optimal health through plant-based nutrition. We just have to keep talking about that. Yes. And how, you know.

[00:57:54] Victoria Moran: And we have to make it normal. We have to make it normal in America to eat plants and it, it's not yet, it's considered alternative. And where I see the plant-based lifestyle, vegan eating is that it's an alternative. Sort of like you do you, I'll do me, and that's great. Mm-hmm. , because we weren't even there 10 years ago. But it needs to move from being the alternative to being the ideal.

[00:58:23] Victoria Moran: Mm-hmm. and even though things in India are not perfect. One thing that I loved in traveling in India was that the restaurants that weren't vegetarian would say regular or vegetarian plus meat. It was like the meat was the add-on. Where over here, if you go to a vegan restaurant, That, that's like a thing.

[00:58:45] Victoria Moran: You know, they only have vegan food there, but if that could become the norm, and then some people maybe still eat animal products. I mean, we would go so far, it would be like smoking. I mean, when I was growing up, everybody's dad smoked and half the moms and all the fancy movie stars smoked in, in all the movies.

[00:59:09] Victoria Moran: And now when you see somebody smoking, they're usually huddled against an office building in the snow because they're not allowed to smoke inside. That's how I want eating animal foods to become. I don't wanna make some law and force people to not eat what they want, but I want the whole culture to grow and, and, and move in this upward progression so that somebody eating a burger will be huddled against the building because it's just such a faux paw to eat that stuff. In polite company.

[00:59:44] Maya Acosta: Yep. Absolutely. I feel that even like when I'm, uh, checking out at the grocery store and all my food is there on the conveyor belt, I'm, I'm proud of my selection. And when people are standing in line watching me place my food there, I'm wondering if I'm so somehow sending a message, like, look at the, look at everything that I have. I have lots of colors. Uh oh. With the food sending message.

[01:00:09] Victoria Moran: You are Maya, and I'm gonna tell you my supermarket checkout story. This was many, many years ago. I, I was widowed young. And everybody said, don't do anything for the first year. So for 365 days I didn't do anything. And then I just wanted so much to do something that I moved to the country.

[01:00:32] Victoria Moran: Now I was living in Kansas City, Missouri then. So the country is really the country now. Here in New York, people talk about the country and they mean like, I don't know, Queens or something. But when you live in Missouri, the country is really the country. So my little uh, six-year-old daughter and I moved to the Central Missouri Ozarks, and the first time we did a grocery run, I got all the beautiful kind of food like we eat and mm-hmm, the woman actually stopped the conveyor belt.

[01:01:04] Victoria Moran: And she looked at me and she said, I've had this job for 15 years and I have never seen such pretty groceries. And that's always stuck with me because we want pretty groceries cuz pretty groceries make pretty people, healthy people, happy people, contented animals, good planet. You know, it's it, it all ripples out and it starts with pretty groceries.

[01:01:28] Maya Acosta: Yes it does. Ah, that's a wonderful story. I love it. So that means they're paying attention too. , let's talk about your program and like I said, I'm holding up the cookbook, but really you have the main street vegan academy. Who is this academy for? Tell us about it. And I, you have such great people that have completed this training.

[01:01:48] Victoria Moran: Oh, thank you so much. You know, the people who have come through Main Street Vegan Academy are extraordinary, and I finally figured out. That it has to do with a level of courage. When people sign up for a course and it's fairly intense and they don't know everything about it before they come, and they're willing to read some books and watch some documentary and actually make some effort, they are extraordinary people.

[01:02:16] Victoria Moran: I'm just so proud of my graduates. So we started in 2012 and at that time we were in person in New York City and now we're on Zoom and it's actually better and I wish I could communicate that because we have more instructors from more places. We have more hours, more classes, and practice time that we were not able to have when we were in person.

[01:02:41] Victoria Moran: It's all live and interactive and so many people just say, oh, it's an online course. No, it's not an online course. It is a live zoom of course it is recorded in case you need to miss a class or, or something like that, but it's really there to be connected. So we have three tiers, and that is vegan principles is the first one, and that includes health, uh, taught by registered dietician, uh, nutrition taught by registered dietician, uh, plant-based health.

[01:03:14] Victoria Moran: We have two or three vegan physicians every time plant-based physicians doing that. We also have, uh, ethical fashion. We have, um, uh, working with, uh, mixed and, and transitional families and, uh, and the environment. All, all these wonderful classes with real experts, real stars in the plant-based world. Then we have the communication principles.

[01:03:39] Victoria Moran: So this is public speaking. This is, is how to communicate online, YouTube, all these ways that you can get these ideas, that you have this knowledge that you have out into the world. And then we have business principles. So if you are an entrepreneur or if you want to be a professional coach, cuz the certification we give is vegan lifestyle coach and educator, then we have the principles for that.

[01:04:05] Victoria Moran: How to get started in a small business if you've never done that before. So there's just all sorts of, of resources for everything. And then our graduates that you mentioned, they are magnificent. They really are. And if you look at our, our website, main street vegan.com, particularly the second page which says curriculum and enrollment details, you'll see our, many of our graduates listed as coaches.

[01:04:31] Victoria Moran: Entrepreneurs, authors, influencers, and in the nonprofit sector, and they are just out there setting the world on fire in every kind of good way. So the next course is coming in September, and we're gonna do that one weekend a month, September, October, November, and then one day in in December. And it's just life-changing.

[01:04:56] Victoria Moran: Then we stay with people afterwards, and you don't have to hang out if you don't want to. Some people just take the class and they like it. I've never had a complaint. I've never had one person out of, uh, 35 cohorts ever ask for a refund. Everybody always gives us rave reviews, but if you don't wanna stay connected, that's fine, but most people do.

[01:05:19] Victoria Moran: So we have a Facebook. And we have reunions. Uh, we have a masterclass, which is fully optional every three years or so, and I'll, I'll just finish with what some of us are going to be doing here in New York City next week. One of our graduates is a young woman named Camille DeAngelis. She's a young adult author.

[01:05:40] Victoria Moran: And she's written a couple of, uh, non-fiction books, including, um, one about vegan creativity, but she's mostly a novelist and she wrote a novel just after she attended the academy. She started on this book called Bones and All. It's about a teenage cannibal and it has vegan undertones, and she talks mm-hmm.

[01:06:02] Victoria Moran: In the Forward and the afterward of the book about, she wrote this as a vegan to help people kind of understand what it's all about, but it's also a gripping story. It's like a young adult coming-of-age, horror story. And now it's a feature film. It's starring uh, Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet. Premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

[01:06:24] Victoria Moran: It has all this Oscar Buzz, so it's opening around the country, I believe, the 23rd of November. It's opening in New York a little bit earlier. So Main Street Vegan Academy grads who are in this area are gonna get together and go see this movie together and celebrate one of our own. So that's just the spirit of Main Street Vegan Academy and I just invite people to go to mainstreetvegan.com and check us out.

[01:06:49] Victoria Moran: And if you have any questions, just ask cuz one thing you get if you come to the academy is me. I don't have grandchildren, but I have 600 academy graduates and you can be my grandchild. Even if you're my age. You have

[01:07:04] Maya Acosta: 600 graduates.

[01:07:07] Victoria Moran: Yes, around the world. 32 countries on six continents.

[01:07:12] Maya Acosta: Oh my God. I'm seeing here, I'm looking at your website, Lianna Levine, uh, I never say her name right.

[01:07:19] Maya Acosta: Yeah. But Lianna Reisner, she completed your course, your course. 

[01:07:22] Victoria Moran: She did before she started, uh, Plant Powered Metro New York. It seems like Main Street Vegan Academy inspires people to, to light the fire that was already in them with a little pilot light.

[01:07:36] Maya Acosta: That's right. I see. Angela Crawford, who's been on the show, Lianna and Angela have been, and so many other great people.

[01:07:44] Maya Acosta: It, so yes, like you said, you, you reach people who are inspired and then you equip to go out and do what they in their heart wanna do. But then you also support them with the communication skills and the business skills that a lot of us lack because that's how you get the word out, and how to be successful in something that you're passionate in.

[01:08:08] Maya Acosta: Yes. That's what you support. It's incredible. This is a beautiful program and I had wondered how you pivoted during the pandemic, because one of the reasons I wanted to go, aside from the fact that I just love your program, I just love what you're about, but I wanted to go to New York as well and be with the group, but now your reach is on, you know, it's worldwide via Zoom so people can, uh, do this from the comforts of their home.

[01:08:34] Victoria Moran: Yes. And, and if you ever wanted to join the family, we would be beyond honored to have you.

[01:08:42] Maya Acosta: Yeah. This is, and uh, you touched on one of the components is also providing the education in terms of like even vegan, um, how did you say it? Like vegan clothing. I don't know if you touch on products as well, but I know that in our journey as we come into this vegan world, we learn first about the food and then we begin to look at our surroundings in our home and question some of the things that we've had.

[01:09:09] Maya Acosta: Like at one point we had the leather couches and so we say goodbye to them and made that change. And another thing that was really touching for me, Victoria, was right before the pandemic, I wanted to buy a longer table cuz I wanted, we have a small space, but I wanted a table that can sit at least six people so that I can invite people over.

[01:09:28] Maya Acosta: And part of that was, you know, replacing our table, our dining table, and then bringing in like new plates, you know, and all that good stuff. And one day when I was having dinner with my husband, I said to him, oh my God, our table, our eatery, our dishes, had all that. And because I knew, I, I transitioned over to stainless steel pots and pans as well and I said, Oh my God.

[01:09:54] Maya Acosta: Right now our meal and the way that it was cooked and how it's been served and what it's been served on has never seen torture like it's a true vegan experience. What we're having right now, Because I transitioned everything out of, you know, from where, how I once cooked animals to starting from scratch.

[01:10:15] Maya Acosta: Ah, so that's, it was just a, that's beautiful. Yeah. It was this realization that, and now when I go out and now, and then we move on to other areas, Victoria, like household products and personal products, you know, Yes. And, and transitioning all that out. It's a journey.

[01:10:32] Victoria Moran: It is, it is. And what we try to do at Main Street Vegan Academy is experts on the vegan lifestyle. These are people who know the whole umbrella. And in terms of the diet and nutrition part, everything that we teach is whole food plant-based. But not all of our students are whole food plant-based. And many of them are vegans. They're foodies. They're gourmets. So when you talk about the Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook, I didn't do the recipe part. I did the editorial parts and our graduate. Mm-hmm. JL Fields, who's a just magnificent entrepreneur, cookbook author.

[01:11:12] Victoria Moran: Vegan spokesperson, and powerhouse. She, she did the recipes, which came in from our various graduates, and they're not oil free. Some of them have coconut oil. Which, mm-hmm. , I just, you know, I, I, there's um, a lot of heart disease in my family, so I'm pretty much oil free and I'm certainly not gonna be getting into coconut oil and yet to open the door as widely as we can and let people come in is what we're trying to do.

[01:11:43] Victoria Moran: But I do want all your listeners to know if they do, look at the cookbook, but the training is whole food, plant-based, and then mm-hmm. people do what they wanna do. Yes. Which is wonderful. This is America. This is why, why? , you know, waving the flag.

[01:11:58] Maya Acosta: So. Yep. I mean, I'm trying to learn dishes that I can use to tran of course, vegan that I can use to transition family as, as we gather. I wanna be able to cook, uh, foods that they will like what we preach, what we encourage people to do is to stay with the whole food, minimize processing kind of thing. Because we know that even if the food is vegan, but if it's heavily processed with a lot of oil, sugar, and salt, you're still gonna end up in the hospital.

[01:12:28] Maya Acosta: You can still have mm-hmm. But it's one step at a time. So, Victoria, I thought before, as we were wrapping up, I thought we could, we'll kind of lighten things up a little bit with some fun, rapid questions. Ooh, that's fun. And then, yeah. It's just another way to get to know you a little bit and feel free to skip.

[01:12:47] Maya Acosta: If nothing comes to mind, you can ask so quickly. But if you want it, You know, um, elaborate. That's fine too. Okay. Uh, are we okay? Ready? Ready. All right. What is the best thing that happened to you this year?

[01:13:00] Victoria Moran: Starting Gyrotonics, which is a, a wonderful movement system that's sometimes called yoga for dancers. And I believe that it's getting me inside my body in a way I've never been before.

[01:13:16] Maya Acosta: Wow. That is so new to me. I, oh,

[01:13:18] Victoria Moran: Look it up. I'm sure they have it in Dallas.

[01:13:21] Maya Acosta: Okay. Yes. I like the idea of ecstatic dancing. This is, I don't know if it's something like this, but you say yoga for dancers. Yeah, I love it. You know. I'm gonna look it up.

[01:13:30] Victoria Moran: Often taught in Pilates studios because it has equipment, very different equipment from Pilates. Pilates has a lot of leather straps and things that just seem very masculine and harsh and certainly not vegan. And for gyrus, and this was probably not. Intentional, but they don't have that. It's just a much more fluid, feminine, wonderful experience.

[01:13:56] Victoria Moran: And I have never been a big exercise, or I saw that you had a copy there of my book, the Good Karma Diet, and in that book, I coin a phrase, activity resistance disorder. Because I say if if it could have initials and get reimbursed by insurance, then maybe people could get help for it. And activity resistance disorder is, yeah, I was exercising for six weeks, and now for whatever reason, I'm not.

[01:14:23] Victoria Moran: And it j it's, it's just, it's a thing. And so for me, Gyrotonic just gets me into my body so that I wanna move it in other ways. Yes. I, I'm, I'm the convert. Yeah.

[01:14:37] Maya Acosta: Okay. Well, thank you for sharing that. Because I think, and I often say this too, when we talk about, say, exercise as medicine is pick something that you really love that gets you moving.

[01:14:48] Maya Acosta: And for me, it is dancing, even if it's here in the house and I'm not out. I don't go to nightclubs anymore. But, uh, uh, so yes, I'm definitely going to look that up. Okay. Another question, since you do support women and, and that's what you're about today with your podcast, um, who is the best female role model in your life?

[01:15:08] Maya Acosta: You probably have had so many, and they don't have to be the best, but you probably have had so many role models in your life. Is there someone you can think of? 

[01:15:15] Victoria Moran: There are many, but I'm gonna tell you that it's my first yoga teacher, Stella. I moved to London on my 18th birthday. As I said, I'd read some books about yoga before I got there, and I found her as a teacher.

[01:15:32] Victoria Moran: Mm. And mm-hmm. I thought I didn't go to London af after that. My student visa was nine months, and then I had to come back, and it took me 10 years to get back over there. And when I looked her up, I couldn't find her. And for all these years, I thought perhaps she had passed away when indeed, she had been living on the continent.

[01:15:51] Victoria Moran: And then I found her in London when I went back for a veg fest, and I think it was 2015. And she is, to this day, teaching a senior class in chair yoga. She lives on a fourth-floor walkup, and she's 96 years old. So role model Stella. 

[01:16:11] Maya Acosta: And when she saw you or she, you, what, what was the, the interaction, like the reunion?

[01:16:16] Victoria Moran: Oh, it was great. And then I went to her class, and so everybody there, it's a senior class, so everybody is, you know, over at 65, and some people are quite a bit older than that. And Stella said I want you to meet my former student Victoria. She has been away for 53 years. And this lovely little lady, maybe in her 80s, looked back at me and said, welcome back. 

[01:16:44] Maya Acosta: Welcome back. Wow, that's so cool. Oh, that's awesome. Okay. Etiquette. I know that this is big for you. Very interested in knowing, um, what is one etiquette tip or something that you wish most of us would practice when it comes to etiquette?

[01:17:01] Victoria Moran: I think it's more of an attitude. I would say bring back class, and I want this hashtag become viral.

[01:17:08] Victoria Moran: Hashtag bring back class. In other words, just be courteous to somebody. I, this morning I was in an elevator with a man who I know to be 80, and it was such a relief because I knew exactly who was supposed to get into the elevator first and who was supposed to leave first. And with other people it, it's a little bit difficult because the rules have changed.

[01:17:36] Victoria Moran: We don't know what makes people comfortable or uncomfortable, so we have to do a lot more eye contact checking with people cuz we don't have so many rules anymore. But if you can just be aware that whether there's a rule that people still follow or whether there isn't, we just try to make things. More comfortable for the other person, and I think that will help a lot in being able to communicate with one another's through our political differences and whatever else is going on.

[01:18:08] Maya Acosta: Absolutely. Yes. That's a great tip. I'm going through some of these. Let's see, when you were younger, and I think, you know, I've heard you talk about your earlier years. Who did you wanna be like?

[01:18:19] Victoria Moran: Well, I wanted to be an actress. And what I see now is I never wanted to be an actress cuz I didn't wanna be somebody else. I wanted to be myself. And so that's what I do as a speaker, and I'm never happier than when I'm up in front of a group speaking live and in person. And I recognized that a week ago, I was speaking for, um, the Return to Eden Retreat, Road to Eden Retreat in Missouri. And I hadn't spoken for a big group since the start of the pandemic, and the minute I got up there, Everything changed because mm-hmm.

[01:19:00] Victoria Moran: I was doing what I knew, even as a little tiny child, I was supposed to do. I was using my greatest gift. I feel I have the gift of words I can write, I can speak, and what I love the most, well, I love both of them, but I really love speaking. And after my talk was over and, and it, it was, the talk was, um, a cultural history of the compassionate diet.

[01:19:24] Victoria Moran: So it's basically talking about veganism and vegetarianism, you know, through the centuries. So it sounds like a very stuffy title, but I don't do things in a stuffy manner. And when I got, uh, off the platform and that was over, and we were having a break, this woman who has heard me many times on, on Zoom and you know, you can't be very dynamic on Zoom.

[01:19:45] Victoria Moran: It would, I don’t. Blow, blow out the connection, or something. She said I didn't know you did that. And it was like, oh, thank you for recognizing that because it's really what I love. And that was what my little girl wanted. 

[01:20:03] Maya Acosta: Oh, so sweet. Very nice. I'll ask one more question, and I don't know if you have the item with you because you had it earlier.

[01:20:13] Maya Acosta: What is something that you love that is vintage?

[01:20:15] Victoria Moran: and I, I don't have the item. I know we had to change early on just drilling through. I don't know. It sounded like, um, in the apartment above me, so I moved to a different room, but I have a Straw Vintage Cloche Hat from the 1920s, and I put it on and. I'm, I'm back in some kind of movie or, I don't know, past life. It's just really fun. And what I'll do is take a picture in it, and if you wanna put it somewhere, you can show people my hat. Yes. Is that

[01:20:54] Maya Acosta: what the year, the era that calls you? Because there's, you know, a lot of us think of the 1920s as just that, like we would've wanted to have experience that time.

[01:21:03] Victoria Moran: Yeah. I love the 1920s, I love the 1890s, and of course, I know that I also like plumbing and I also like women's rights and civil rights and gay rights and all the things that we have now that people did not have then. But yes, so much of the fashion, the culture, certainly the literature of writing. You know, I, I love analog because I'm 72, and so I spent much of my life in the analog era, and mm-hmm.

[01:21:36] Victoria Moran: I like typewriters, and I like dictionaries and, and things that have tactile nature. Mm-hmm. that we've lost a lot of now. So yeah, that's some of my vintage. Yeah. Quirkiness. Yes.

[01:21:51] Maya Acosta: I love the hat. I saw it. I I can see you, I can imagine you wearing it. And it's, it's perfect for the 1920s. Look, that's wonderful.

[01:22:01] Maya Acosta: I, too, also, um, I have a lot of, uh, books, and I know that there was a time when someone said, you know, you can read your book on Kindle. And it's like, no, I still love books. I still connect with books, and I love them so much. So that's going to be part of who I am for Forever.

[01:22:17] Victoria Moran: And we are not alone in that because I've been in New York City for 22 years, and I learn a lot by watching people on the subways.

[01:22:26] Victoria Moran: So when I first moved here, half the people were behind newspapers, and the other half had books. And it was wonderful cuz you could see what they were reading, and you get some ideas that way. And the newspaper reading has dwindled to the point where you almost never see a paper newspaper and for a while.

[01:22:47] Victoria Moran: I never saw books or very rarely cuz everybody had their Kindle. Mm-hmm. . But people got tired of that. Even very young people. Now we're back to books in the subway. So I think that's a good move. 

[01:22:59] Maya Acosta: Yes, it is. I still go. There's a half-price bookstore. It's a chain, I think only in Texas. And it's discounted books and books that are reused and recycled.

[01:23:11] Maya Acosta: And I go there often, and I film, you know, I look for books, I look for the books that I wanna recommend. And I say to people, don't necessarily always buy brand new books. , if you can purchase one that's slightly used, it's okay. And speaking of books, just one other. Do you have anything in the works now?

[01:23:29] Victoria Moran: I do, I do. I almost don't wanna talk about it because the publishing process when you do traditional publishing is very slow. So I think we'll be looking at 2024, early 24, I hope. But it's called Age like a Yogi, a Heavenly Path with Dazzling Third Act, and I am so. Excited about it. And only one chapter is on yoga asana.

[01:23:55] Victoria Moran: Yoga postures. The exercise that everybody thinks that yoga is when indeed, yoga is this incredible philosophy of life, and you don't have to change your religion. It's just a way to enrich life. And also with. Ayurvedic ideas. Ayurveda is yoga's sister science that had many of the ideas that we now know in lifestyle medicine three, 4,000 years ago.

[01:24:23] Victoria Moran: It's, it's, it's ancient and amazing, and it's still accepted by the World Health Organization as a viable medical system. So, uh, Age like a Yogi combines a yoga philosophy and Ayurvedic ideas to help people be more vital and more content all through their lives.

[01:24:43] Maya Acosta: Wonderful. Well, we're gonna check for that in 2024 or so. And now you also have some online retreats, and I think I remember you doing things during the pandemic as well. But tell us about those because they'll start in mid-November.

[01:24:58] Victoria Moran: Yes. So when are we going to be airing this?

[01:25:02] Maya Acosta: Uh, we are in mid-November. We are mid,

[01:25:05] Victoria Moran: There is one coming up on 19th and 20th, but if people have missed that, I'm not gonna talk about it.

[01:25:10] Victoria Moran: Right. We may not have time to edit by then. Okay. And I'm, I'm traveling next week, but, uh, yes. When is it next online retreat?

[01:25:18] Victoria Moran: Okay, then I'm just going through my calendar here. Let me go months instead of weeks, or we'll be sitting; we don't wanna do that. . Okay. Oh, this is an exciting one. I think your, um, your listeners will like it.

[01:25:32] Victoria Moran: Uh, this is our, um, Ageless New Year retreat, and that is gonna be based on my MEND program, which is meditation. exercise, nourishment, and detoxification. And it's gonna be a Full Zoom retreat, um, about three hours, three and a half hours in, uh, an afternoon, uh, on, um, January 7th. So just there at the beginning of the year.

[01:26:00] Victoria Moran: But for those who, who love it and, and wanna continue, there's gonna be a membership group and, and things like that. None of that's required if you just wanna come and have a great one-time class. That's good. And the cool thing about that class is that for the price of, of coming to the class, which is not very much, you also get a free, brand new copy of my book, younger by the Day, which is a day book that, um, helps people.

[01:26:28] Victoria Moran: Figure out how to rejuvenate every single day throughout the year. And then the last one I'll talk about, cuz I don't wanna overwhelm people. I'm doing one on February 11th, and 12th called Acing Age with Ayurveda. And it's, it's all vegan. Ayurveda, of course. No, no ge, no dairy products or, or anything like that.

[01:26:51] Victoria Moran: But Ayurveda is called the science of life or sometimes the Science of Long Life. And they have the most incredible take on the over 50 decades, the kind of post-menopausal years for women and what happens and how we can slow down some of the signs of aging that we're not interested in experiencing and how we can accept some of the.

[01:27:17] Victoria Moran: Inevitable. And you know, if you're in your fifties and sixties, you know, just don't accept anything. You can. Mm-hmm. , you can work with turning the clock back. You get a little bit older, and you come to see, okay, you know what? , I, I, uh, see that life is an arc, and I know what side of that arc I'm on, but I can still be really healthy, really vital.

[01:27:37] Victoria Moran: Really vibrant, and enjoy every single day that I have on this planet. Mm-hmm. . So Acing Age with Ayurveda, and people should be able to find those pretty soon on my website, victoria moran.com. I actually have two websites, so mainstreetvegan.com, that's for Main Street Vegan Academy victoria moran.com is for everything else.

[01:28:02] Maya Acosta: Yeah. Okay. Wonderful. I am so looking forward to, uh, all of this that you're putting together, and do you have a final message for my listeners?

[01:28:10] Victoria Moran: Just that people like you and your incredible husband are what keeps this world going? You know, there've been lots of stories and myths and different traditions around the world that God or the Gods would come down to earth looking for a few good people, and in finding them, they decided that the earth could go forward.

[01:28:34] Victoria Moran: Well, right now, we really are looking at, oh my goodness, the potential for things that aren't great, but there are some really good people doing some really good things. You and your husband are certainly two of them, and I'll bet your listeners are in that group too. So thank you so much for this opportunity.

[01:28:56] Maya Acosta: Thank you, Victoria, and the same with you. You are an inspiration. I love what you're about, your energy, and you really, truly are a light; and I thank you for all that you do, and I'm excited about your new, the rebranding of your podcast, and the fact that you've earned using your name. The Victoria Moran.

[01:29:16] Maya Acosta: Did I? You did. Did. I questioned myself. The Victoria Moran Show. Yeah, you got it. We'll just have to work on Oprah. Yeah.

[01:29:25] Maya Acosta: Oh, there you go. Thank you so much for your time, Victoria.

[01:29:28] Victoria Moran: Thank you. All the best. 

[01:29:29] Maya Acosta: You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast with your host, Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.