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About Vegenista:

The “Vegenista” blog was born in November 2009 when a very dear friend of mine, Andi, & her husband Kevin, decided to adopt a vegan diet. Transition slowly? “Lean” in? Not these two! They went cold turkey after watching Food Inc. Knowing I was raised vegetarian, & eating mostly vegan at the time, Andi had plenty of questions & I had plenty of answers. After bombarding her email account with forwards, links, & information & spending our work days talking more about food than about work – it struck me! Why not put all of this knowledge into a blog? So I did & here we are.

To me a “Vegenista” is a chic & fashionable gal (or guy) who is devoted to a living compassionate & cruelty-free lifestyle.


A bit about me:

As I mentioned, thanks to my wonderful Mom, I was raised on a vegetarian diet. While I had a few meat eating moments, the vegetarian way of life always resonated with me more, & I am grateful to have had a family that stood behind me & encouraged my choice. I believe that the first step to a healthful life & planet is to adopt a plant-based diet.

My goal is live as consciously, healthfully & compassionately as possible. Four years ago, I began transitioning to a “vegan lifestyle” - for both dietary & ethical reasons. That means giving up the “cheese cheats;” reading labels & fussing over trace dairy; slowly weeding out my leather shoes & bags & replacing them with non-animal based goods (that means no leather, wool, silk, & especially not fur); being meticulous about cosmetics & household items & making sure they are 100% cruelty-free; buying from eco & animal-friendly brands, as much as my budget will allow; & being more conscious about animal rights’ issues. Some changes have been easier than others, but I have enjoyed the journey. I am not 100% vegan, & I’m not perfect, but I do the best I can, for the good of my health, & especially for the animals. :)

I love food, especially when it is 100% plant-based! There is nothing better to me than a massaged kale salad, a veggie sandwich on the go, a cashew cheese plate & a nice glass of wine, or a sinful vegan cupcake (or two).

Secondary to food, I love to shop. For shoes, bags, watches, scarves & cosmetics, you name it. Yet, my shopping habits have changed tremendously over the last few years. While I still hit up the Target shoe aisle now & again, I try to support smaller local stores, independent brands & handcrafted brands. I am always on the look out for items that are eco-friendly, ethically manufactured & sourced, & cruelty free, but still modern & fashion forward.

I am also a dedicated yogini, a Pug owner & lover. I have an extreme fondness for Paris & all things Parisian, but I’m lucky to have been born & raised in sunny San Diego.

On Vegenista you will find everything from my favorite plant-based recipes, to eco-friendly & ethical fashion tips, cruelty-free beauty product recommendations & reviews, information on health & wellness & much, much more! Everyone is welcome here, as this blog is dedicated to sharing, learning & growing together.

Thank you for joining me & thank you for reading! :)

xoxo, Melissa

“Compassion & love are not mere luxuries. As the source both of inner & external peace, they are fundamental to the continued survival of our species.” - His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

“Affiliate Disclosure Statement:

I am grateful to be of service & bring you content free of charge. It does take time to create all this content, so I have partnered with a number of affiliate programs.

Receiving compensation will never impact my opinion on a product or service. I’m going to give mixed & honest reviews of products sometimes & turn down propositions that don’t fit with my ethics.

My current affiliates shown on the side bar (subject to grow & change) are: 

~ Vegan Cuts

~ Pure Citizen

~ Sunfood Organics

~ Gaiam 

~ Vega

If you click on their ad or text link & make a purchase, I get a little kickback. Unless I’ve reviewed the product & mentioned that they provided the product to me, I am not compensated me in any other way.

I also participate in’s affiliate program. If you click on an Amazon link or photo at my site, I get a (small) commission, as long as you complete your purchase within 24 hours. 

When I run a giveaway or review, I usually have received a free product, & the company has sponsored a free product to give to one of my readers. The review is my own opinion, & although the company in question may certainly read my text, they don’t edit or approve it in any way. They also don’t compensate me for reviewing the product beyond providing me with a sample.

If affiliate programs freak you out, I understand – just avoid the links & google around for the products on your own. 

Thank you, in advance for your support!”