My name is Jasmine Briones and I am a certified plant-based nutritionist, blogger, photographer and recipe developer in Los Angeles, CA. I am the founder of Sweetsimplevegan.com (as well as Instagram.com/sweetsimplevegan, facebook.com/sweetsimplevegan and youtube.com/c/sweetsimplevegan), and I created my platform in order to help make a positive impact on others, whether it inspires them to make a plant-based meal or even better, to make the change into a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle. I create, as my name says, sweet and simple vegan recipes, videos, lifestyle tips etc. in order to show others that veganism is approachable, sustainable, and the best decision we can make to benefit our health, environment and the animals. When I first went vegan, I did not have anyone to help guide me and I did fall and make quite a lot of mistakes, so I would like to be a guide and outlet for others to help them maintain this change and make it as easy as possible.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I actually found veganism when I was struggling with an eating disorder and chose to adhere to it (simply as a diet) for all of the wrong reasons. BUT, when I was aware of my poor lifestyle choices, and wanting to recover from that time, I stumbled across informational videos and books and realized that this lifestyle was not only what I needed to gain back my health, but to be healthier than ever before. With this, I learned about the ethical and environmental impact factory farming had, and I knew in my heart I could never go back.
How long have you been Vegan?
I have been vegan for about 5 years now. I actually don’t remember the exact date, but I know that it was around February-March of 2012.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
I realized that there is so much more to this world than just myself and that the actions I take each and every day have a greater impact. I want to be as compassionate as I can, and help save our planet, our health, and innocent beings who’s lives are being taken away each second for no reason other than pleasure. It is my mission to educate the masses and to help create a global change to create a more sustainable world.
Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?
Any recommended Vegan books?
My number one recommendation is How Not To Die. It is definitely a lengthy book but it is so informative and mind opening – it is available as an audio book to help ease the read.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?
Nutritionfacts.org is a great outlet for nutritional education and information.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
Along with my blog, I have a youtube channel where I not only share my daily life but also vegan recipe videos. My goal is to use both to help simplify the approach to veganism and show just how approachable it really is.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
Yes! Through all of my social platforms (blog, Instagram, youtube, facebook, etc.) I post every single day with content regarding veganism, whether it be a recipe, lifestyle tips, product recommendations, an educational video, etc. I am very involved in the vegan community in my area, and I use my online platforms to reach a global audience as best I can.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
I get asked this question a lot, and I actually do not! I actually do not look at non-vegan animal based foods as food anymore—after learning the negative nutritional, ethical and environmental impact of animal-based foods, they are unappealing to me.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
My all time favorite recipe are the “Sweet Simple Beans” I have on my blog—basically, beans pressure cooked in broth with an onion. I know that they are so simple, but they can be utilized in so many different ways and I never get tired of them. They are definitely a staple in our kitchen.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
There is always the misconception of vegans being very judgmental, attacking and for lack of a better term, intense with their beliefs. It is always said that “if someone is vegan, they’ll tell you”, and I don’t want that to be the case. Yes, of course, most if not all vegans are passionate about the message and sharing it with others, but it is not right to put this stigma on us all. Everyone has their own approach, and if someone is too pushy with a nonvegan about the message, it is not right to assume that all vegans are that way and that you don’t want to associate with any. I personally try to make my approach reasonable, personal and approachable, and I have found this to work the best for me.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
There will be times that you may mess up, but that does not mean that you “failed” at going vegan. We all fall, but it is the fact that we pick ourselves up and learn from that that makes us stronger.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
Yes, yes of course! I try my best to not contribute to any exploitation of animals.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
With the variety that is available today and with all of the resources to purchase from (health food stores, amazon, thrive market), I don’t find myself struggling to locate any specific vegan item.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
When I first decided to go vegan, I did not fully educate myself and I struggled to fully understand why a vegan diet was so important. I started giving into societal beliefs and arguments that animal based foods are necessary, and I fell off. I also struggled to adapt a full cruelty-free lifestyle, as opposed to a just diet. I was not aware of the availability of vegan products, so I was convinced that I was going to struggle with adapting that part of the lifestyle. It turned out, though, that there were actually TOO MANY options to choose from – clothing, shoes, makeup bags, body care etc. – and the variety is ever growing it seems. I think that what we can take out of it is that people believe veganism is actually harder than it is, but if they give it a chance, they will realize just how seamless the change really is.
The one thing I love to ask others is how and when they got into the vegan lifestyle. It is beautiful to see that there are people from all walks of life, and that were inspired for so many different reasons. I personally chose to pursue the lifestyle to take back my health after struggling with an eating disorder and it has been 5 years now 🙂