The friend who changed my life

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A good friend once told me the following:

“I’ve had the most success in my life when someone close to me believed in me a little more than I believed in myself.”

Look, we’re not all David Goggins, and from what I gather, even David Goggins has moments of self-doubt. One of the reasons friendships are so important is because they boost confidence that we can’t provide ourselves day to day. And there’s nothing wrong with leaning into it, thankful for those who push us toward the sometimes elusive “I can.”

In fact, one of those friends can change your whole life one day.

220 likes on Instagram.

I started the Korean Vegan Instagram account in February 2016, shortly after becoming vegan. I post photos of my vegan cookies, cakes and pizzas with recipes in the caption…

Discover how I went from a virtually anonymous Instagram account to a bestselling author in this week’s podcast episode:

Ask Joan.

This week, on Ask Joan, Samantha, a sober homemaker, begins to challenge the idea she was taught growing up: Depression isn’t real, it’s just a mindset.


First of all, I am so sorry to hear that you are going through such a difficult time. Whether you call it depression or just a “mindset,” it’s clear you’re suffering. And I think that’s what really matters, right?

Listen to my answer to Samantha’s question.

A Night with Michelle Zauner.

Photo credit: Adam Amengul.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of (if not consumed) Michelle Jauner. Crying at H-Mart. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with him at a live event hosted by him Now serving LA (one of my favorite bookstores in the world). We spoke in front of a crowd of about 2,000 people, and I confirmed that Michelle is as beautiful, talented, and kind as her bestselling memoir. But, I also learned that he is hilarious!!! He managed to let out a near-constant stream of steady laughter, while Also Makes people cry. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, you’re in luck, because we’re giving away one lucky winner! Sign up above!

Photo credit: Adam Amengul.

This week’s recipe inspo.

For this week’s recipe inspiration, I bring you my Strawberry, Kale and Fennel Salad! I was inspired by the beautiful strawberries at my local farmer’s market, and I thought a salad was just the thing to show them off.

For the dressing:

1/4 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 pinch of salt
Bell pepper
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon hummus
1 tablespoon mustard

For the salad:

2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fennel bulb
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped strawberries
1 to 2 teaspoons vegan cheese

  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together until smooth. The dressing will be more of a vinaigrette than a creamy dressing.
  2. Add kale to a large bowl with 2 tablespoons salad dressing. Massage the kale with your hands and set aside while chopping the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Prepared production – wash all products! Chop the cucumber, chop the fennel bulb, slice the strawberries, chop the roasted pecans, chop the fresh basil, slice the vegan cheese.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to salad and drizzle with additional dressing to taste. Enjoy!

This week’s recipe inspo comes straight from the Korean Vegan Collective–a web app that has all My recipes and provides you with complete nutritional information! If you want more recipes like this on your phone right away, check it out! You get:

  • 2,000+ delicious and personalized plant-based recipes
  • Complete nutritional information for each recipe
  • Integrated grocery shopping list and grocery delivery in selected areas
  • Access to one-on-one diet coaching
  • Live cooking demonstration
  • Exclusive articles and videos from me and my team

Parting thoughts.

Of all the cheerleaders in my life, Anthony remains without a doubt the loudest (sometimes to an embarrassing degree, haha–have you seen her on the sidelines at the races??). People often ask me, “What was that moment for you? I knew Should you quit your day job? The problem with this question is that it assumes that once I know, i knew, and there was no going back after that. Maybe that’s true for other people, but it certainly wasn’t true for me. Even after I decided to withdraw from the partnership, I second guessed it, tripled it, quadrupled it, at which point Anthony started to get upset.

“Look, at this point, I don’t even care what you decide. Just make it, stick with it and be done with it,” he used to say.

He added something, though, that finally plugged a hole in the constant dribbling of self-doubt.

We were sitting in the TV room of our house in Chicago. Sitting in my favorite chair I was working on a discovery request. He was foam rolling on the floor watching CNN. Roodles was snoozing on the fluffy little bed when we gathered in this part of the room. I stopped mid-draft to object to another absurdly inappropriate interrogation, for the millionth time.

“Babe, are you sure I made the right decision?”

he knew right What I mean by “decision”.

He stopped foam rolling, put his hands on the floor and turned his torso to look at me.

“Look. I’m just going to say it one more time,” he began. “There aren’t two people in the world I trust more than we do.”

And once again, I just couldn’t argue with my husband’s logic.

– Joan

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