From Skepticism to Success: Unlocking the Power of Plant-Based Business ft. Kathy Davis
Dive into the world of plant-based entrepreneurship with Kathy Davis, a plant-based lifestyle and mindset coach, CEO of VegInspired, and author of three cookbooks. Discover her inspiring journey and the secrets to thriving in the industry.
Hello, plant-based enthusiasts, and welcome to another exciting episode of Plant Based On Fire! In this episode, we're thrilled to introduce you to Kathy Davis, a leading figure in the plant-based business world. Kathy is not only a plant-based lifestyle and mindset coach but also the dynamic CEO behind VegInspired and the author of three incredible cookbooks. Her mission? To educate, inspire, and empower individuals to embrace a plant-based way of life. So, let's dive into the insights and wisdom she shared during our latest podcast episode.
Meet Kathy Davis: Pioneering the Plant-Based Movement
Kathy is a firm believer in the power of plants. Her journey into the world of plant-based living began almost a decade ago when her husband, inspired by contradictory articles, suggested they explore a plant-based diet. Kathy, like many of us, had her reservations and hesitations about making this significant dietary shift.
In her own words, "I love animals, but I was stuck thinking about what I'd have to give up." However, she took the plunge and started experimenting with plant-based foods. Slowly but surely, she discovered that plant-based eating wasn't what she initially thought it would be.
Kathy's Plant-Based Mantras
During the podcast, Kathy shared two guiding mantras that have shaped her plant-based journey:
Eat More Plants: Kathy's mission is to make plant-based eating more accessible and normal for everyone. When asked about where to start with plant-based eating, her answer is simple: "Eat more plants." It's a fundamental goal that underlines her work, focusing on helping people enjoy more plant-based foods.
Intention Over Perfection: This mantra evolved when Kathy transitioned from a vegan junk food diet to a whole food plant-based lifestyle. Instead of imposing rigid dietary restrictions, Kathy emphasizes intentionality in food choices. She encourages clients to ask, "Is this serving me long-term?" This shift in mindset from dieting to mindful, intentional eating has been transformative for Kathy and her clients.
The Evolution of VegInspired
In 2015, Kathy founded VegInspired with a vision to inspire and encourage people to embrace more plant-based, veg-heavy eating. Initially, it was focused on recipe development, sharing recipes on their blog, Instagram, and YouTube. But VegInspired's evolution didn't stop there.
Around 2019, Kathy found herself at her heaviest weight, facing markers of pre-diabetes. She realized she needed to pivot from her vegan diet to a whole food plant-based lifestyle for her health. This shift marked a turning point for Kathy and VegInspired, aligning her brand with her authentic self.
Bringing Mindset Coaching into the Mix
Kathy's background as a school teacher and her passion for teaching naturally led her to incorporate mindset coaching into her work. She believes mindset is not only a tool but a way of life. Kathy helps her clients envision their future plant-based selves and empowers them to take intentional steps toward their goals.
The Cookbook Collection
Kathy has authored three cookbooks, each with a unique focus:
30-Minute Whole Food Plant-Based Cookbook: Kathy's first cookbook dispels the myth that whole food plant-based eating is time-consuming. It features a wide range of recipes, from breakfast to desserts, all centered on real, unprocessed ingredients.
The Super Easy Plant-Based Cookbook: This cookbook offers simplicity with four categories: no-cook recipes, 30-minute recipes, five-ingredient recipes, and one-pot recipes. It's designed for busy individuals seeking nutritious, fuss-free meals.
Budget-Friendly Whole Food Plant-Based Cookbook: Debunking the notion that plant-based eating is expensive, this cookbook provides practical tips for budget-friendly shopping. Kathy encourages the use of whole, unprocessed foods like dried beans and bulk grains.
What's Next for VegInspired?
In 2024, VegInspired is streamlining its programs to help individuals become the best plant-based versions of themselves. Kathy's vision includes forming a mastermind of plant-based business owners to amplify the impact of plant-based living, not only in spreading the message but also in enhancing energy, productivity, and well-being.
Get in Touch with Kathy
If you're eager to support Kathy's mission and learn more about her plant-based journey, visit her website at VegInspired. For regular updates, insightful tips, and delicious plant-based recipes, connect with her on Instagram at @VegInspired.
In conclusion, Kathy Davis embodies the spirit of plant-based entrepreneurship, inspiring countless individuals to make the switch to plant-powered living. Her journey from skepticism to success is a testament to the transformative power of intentionality and whole food plant-based eating. We hope you found her story as inspiring as we did. Until next time, let's keep the plant-based fire burning!
>Podcast Episode’s Transcription:
Hello everyone and welcome to Plant Based on Fire, where we talk about plant-based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in the industry. I am your host, Brian, and joining us today is Kathy Davis. She is a plant-based lifestyle and mindset coach, the CEO of Veg Inspired, and the author of three cookbooks. Kathy's on a mission to educate, inspire, and empower others about the plant.
based eating, living, thriving, and leading that successful life. So she has a couple amazing mottos, but I'll let her introduce us to those. Welcome to the Show Cat. Thanks for being here.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (00:40.401)
Thanks, Brian. Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to sharing and teaching and leading and inspiring today.
Awesome. So we're trying to help some plant-based businesses follow you on your amazing journey. And we got to debrief a little bit before we started Hit and Record here. So what are your couple big mottos that help you with your inspiration?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (01:01.773)
Absolutely. One of the big mottos from day one has always been eat more plants and it really helps those folks, you know, and my mission to help make plant-based eating more accessible, more attainable, more normal for people. Eating more plants is that goal, right? I don't know where to start, Kathy. Eat more plants. Eat more of those foods that you love. That's a lot of the work that I do. That's a lot of the inspiration is just how can you eat more plants?
The second motto is intention over perfection. And that was born about three and a half years ago when I shifted from that vegan junk food kind of life into a more whole food plant-based way of living and looking at how I could be more intentional with the food choices that I had and the food choices that were in front of me versus making it a diet because nobody wants to be on a diet. We all wanna be living and thriving. And so
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (01:59.173)
when you operate out of intentionality, really in anything, but especially with food, it can create a different energy around the choices that you're making. So it's not, I can't have that vegan key lime cheesecake. It's more about do I want it? Is it worth it? Is this serving me long-term? And those are the types of questions I work with my clients on.
That is awesome. So help us rewind just a little bit here. How did your journey get started and what kind of brought you to this plant-based lifestyle, mindset, coach, et cetera?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (02:32.573)
Absolutely. About, I always say, gosh it's been almost 10 years. My husband read two contradictory articles in some health magazines and came to the conclusion that we should try plant-based or vegan eating. And I came in kicking and screaming. I didn't want to give up my standard American way of eating. I love animals, like I got it for the animals, but my mind was just too stuck in what do I have to give up?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (03:01.301)
I'm scared, you know, all of those pieces. And it took me about six months. So this was back in late 2013, early 2014, to truly make the transition through experimentation, experimenting with plant-based foods, experimenting with some of the vegan processed foods, experimenting with the recipes and the foods. And what I found was that it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. And so that was that initial mindset shift.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (03:29.017)
Right? It's not what you think it's going to be. And what I found and what I found myself searching for was this place, this platform, this information that could showcase plant-based eating isn't what you think it's gonna be. And that's how Veg Inspired was born. Really about inspiring people to embrace more plant-based eating, embrace more veg-heavy eating. And we started Veg Inspired, I started Veg Inspired in 2015.
And it grew both mindset as well as recipes. We became very heavy in recipe development, very heavy in sharing our recipes, sharing on our blog and sharing on Instagram, sharing on YouTube. And then it was, you know, it just, it evolved on its own. And then this is about, this is 2019. I found myself at my highest weight ever, right? Loving all the vegan foods, right? At this point,
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (04:29.289)
all sorts of vegan foods. I mean you can get anything made vegan. And I was also tracking all the markers of pre-diabetes. And I know that type 2 diabetes runs in my family and I put that in air quotes because I truly think that our the way we eat is what we inherit. Even though yes we may have genes of certain illnesses but that's all fueled by the way we eat. And so in 2019 I was faced with a decision. Am I going to continue down this vegan path that I'm on?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (04:58.869)
Or am I gonna clean it up and eat more whole foods? Not eat only whole foods, right? I'm very much intention over perfection, but my day-to-day are whole plant-based foods. And what came of that has been tremendous. That's really where the shift in my brand and who I am and that identity has started to authentically shine through. And if you're watching this and you're like, I'm still kind of stuck in this who I am.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (05:27.217)
take a step back and really think like, who are you in relation to your plant-based way of eating or what your message is with plant-based and how can you embody it? Because for much of that journey, those first five years of plant-based and veg-inspired, I talked about whole food plant-based eating. I created recipes on whole food plant-based eating, but I was also at the restaurants eating the Beyond Burgers and the processed foods. And so it was very conflicting.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (05:57.477)
But when I really started to embody this whole food plant-based, this true inspiration and intentionality around plant-based eating, it became very easy and authentic to share that message.
That is awesome. I mean, I think even real many plants, you know, started 13 years ago as a blog and it's taken 13, 14 years to get to this point where we have some podcasts and stuff. So I love the intention over perfection thing. You've mentioned it a couple of times here, but just start doing something and it will evolve and translate into as your mind shifts and settles and you you'll figure out your path and you're calling. And.
Hopefully we'll get to perfection a little bit, but yeah, I love, I love, love that, that kind of way to approach it. So help, help the hopefully tons of plant-based business owners that are watching this podcast right now. How do you bring some of that mindset coaching stuff to your business as you're growing it and driving it forward? Like are you eating your own dog food per se with how you draw this forward?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (07:04.609)
Absolutely, one of the biggest, mindset to me is really a tool, but it's also a way of living. And when I first started, it was very conscious choosing, consciously choosing to shift the way I thought about food, consciously choosing to pick the plant-based foods that I wanted, consciously choosing to do the actions that served my business. And over time,
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (07:33.349)
you start to become that version of you through that conscious effort. And eventually you wake up and you're like, oh, I'm there. I'm in the goal, the way I saw it to be. And some of the tools that I use from a mindset perspective is visualization. And this works with anything, whether you are looking to become a whole food plant-based eater, or you're looking to become a...
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (08:02.181)
you know, an expert in the field, or you're looking to become, have the best plant-based product on the market, can you slow down enough and take that step back and see that pathway? And then every day, take steps on that pathway to get there. I authored a chapter in a book called Absolute Vision, and it's the process, it's the visualization that I took to become a full-time RVer.
And we haven't touched on that, but we are, I guess we're going there now. In 2018, my husband and I made a decision to sell our house, downsize everything, get rid of our cars, all of the things. We had all the reasons not to, right? Two great jobs working out of our, we weren't working remotely then, we were both working outside the home. We had two cars under lease, we had our dream house, right? We were living the dream. And we thought, well, what if we sold it? And we moved our dream, we changed our dream. And we had to use visualization.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (09:01.889)
And in the article, in the chapter that I wrote, I had this vision come to mind one morning, and I used that vision every day. When I was sorting through clothes that I wasn't sure I wanted to get rid of, I was like, does the future version of me wear this? Does she need this suit jacket in her RV? Does she need these high heels? Do I need this book? Can I get, you know, everything comes down to
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (09:32.177)
does this, whatever it is, serve the future version of me? And that's something that I work with my clients on. What is that future version of you? What is it that you want to get out of this life? And a lot of my clients come to me because they have health issues and it's been recommended that they eat a plant-based diet or follow a plant-based way of eating. And so we talk about what does your life look like when you are healed?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (10:02.569)
My vision of myself as a healthy, healed person, you know, when I first started eating whole food plant-based in 2019, was one, I was healthy, I was in an ideal weight, but the underlying thing I wanted so much was to be able to go on hikes in the national parks that we visit. I've now hiked, we've visited 22 national parks, and I've done epic, amazing, scary, you know.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (10:31.589)
thrill-seeking hikes in all of these amazing national parks, nine mile hikes. I would have never been able to do that 50 pounds ago. So it's really like, what is that future version of you? And what actions do you need to take right now to get there?
And I, and I, like you, you touched on something, I guess the couple anecdotes that pop in my head. I've just watched this video some places earlier this morning about, I think it's the Japanese term misogi or something like to take this year and to figure out what is the one thing I will really want to accomplish this year? Like, what is that one goal? I want to say 20, 2023 was me doing this, launching a podcast or getting my business started or losing the weight.
Like that was what that year was about. But I love, like, I think you unpacked it for me. What I see is the American dream a generation ago was the white picket fence and the two and a half kids or something like that. And now I think the culture has shifted towards, uh, experiences. Like, and I do think it's important for us to plan. Like, I feel like even the restaurants and even, you know, the events that we go to, it is about trying to plan.
something that's different out of your comfort zone, like a couple times a year, whatever that is, three, four times a year, like how do you plan these mini adventures and push yourself while maybe marching towards your yearly goal? So like, yeah, I don't know, your RV is totally bringing that to life and it's gotta be an inspiration for your clients on every level.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (12:07.081)
You know, it's people often say, well, it's not for me. And I'm like, wait, I want you to take a step back. And I want you to think about this. I had a mentor say this and it just hit me. It just landed in such a way. Always have something on your calendar that you're excited about. Living in an RV, I'm excited about what we're gonna do next weekend, right? We're currently parked in Utah. I don't know when this is gonna go live, but it's the middle of August.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (12:32.837)
We're currently parked in Utah. Next weekend, we're going to go to Capitol Reef National Park. Next month, we're going to hit two more of the Utah Mighty Five National Parks, right? Like, there's always something to look forward to. But let's take it a step further or let's take it in a different direction. I teach meal planning for that very reason. What is a recipe? What is a meal that's on your meal plan for this week that you can look forward to?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (13:01.357)
And I bring that in because when we start to think about the changing the way that we eat, when we start to think about changing our life, when we start to think about our business, what is something on your business calendar that you can look forward to? If there's nothing, then you may wanna take a step back and say, am I doing what really lights me up? So I'm currently teaching a four week program, it's called Becoming Plant-Based.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (13:29.901)
and I teach that tonight. I am so lit up to get into this room of people who want to become this plant-based version of themselves. I also teach meal planning. Like I said, I am excited to get into the room and teach this group of people. Those types of things light me up. I'm a former school teacher. I love teaching. I love talking, obviously. But if you're doing a business and you're like, I don't love this, I don't.
feel that energy that Cathy's talking about. I don't feel, you know, when Brian's on his podcast, he just lights up. I don't, I don't feel that. Then take a step back and say, wait, what is something in my business that I love? Now, I don't claim to be a business coach, but this is really a mindset thing. Are you doing what you love?
It is, it is.
And it's the big difference between a job, work or a career. And I think the other thing that our generation needs to shift its mindset on is really that your career can change. Right. Like you did this in your 20s, you can do this in your 30s, you can do this in your 40s. Like it doesn't you don't have to do the same thing that you went to school for 20 years ago or something. So definitely chase those passions and you'll find a way to unlock.
both a meaningful career business idea and have a ton of fun doing it. Like both you and I get to do with our podcasts and our veg-inspired company. Talk to us a little bit about your cookbook because you've got three cookbooks out and they hit on some really awesome themes. Tell us about those.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (14:55.546)
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (14:59.921)
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (15:04.813)
Absolutely. So about six months after I really started to shift into whole food plant-based eating, I was you know, I was pitched with an idea to write a cookbook on whole food plant-based in 30 minutes. And I was like, do I think I can cook the whole food plant-based in 30 minutes? Like, let me, let me see. I went back, looked at my recipes. I'm like, I totally can. So, 30 minute whole food plant-based cookbook was born. It is, it's my first cookbook, definitely my baby. And it
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (15:34.297)
Thank you. And it busts the myth that whole food plant-based has to be time consuming. In the book, we've got everything from breakfasts to desserts, all whole food plant-based using real food. You know, we don't get, as much as I love and support the vegan brands, those high processed, high oil foods are not for me. They have a place in the plant-based world and the vegan world, they're just not for me and that's okay. So my recipes are all whole food plant-based.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (16:03.993)
The second cookbook, which is super fun because it's divided into four categories. So it's called the super easy plant based cookbook. And you can look for all my books at veginspired.com slash books. That's an easy way to find them. They're also all on Amazon. So you could just search Kathy Davis and likely and whole food plant based and they'd come up. But the second one, the super easy plant based cookbook, four categories, no cook recipes. So recipes that you don't have to cook because
We're all busy and we want those super easy recipes. More 30 minute recipes. So again, recipes that come together in less than 30 minutes. Five ingredient recipes. Recipes that are simple. You likely have the five ingredients in your house. And then the last one is one pot recipes. Now what I love about the one pot recipes is that they use that simplicity of a sheet pan meal. Most of the time when we think of sheet pan meals, all the recipes I saw.
That's right. Yep
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (16:59.973)
had meat on them. So how can we bring them more plant-based? Beans, potatoes, these more heavily, tofu, things like that. The third book busts the budget, right? We all hear that plant-based eating is expensive, and one of the things that I've found, especially traveling the United States, is groceries cost different everywhere. Like, you might be able to find...
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (17:23.429)
Watermelon for super cheap where you are but it might be more expensive where I am you might be able to find tahini super Cheap, but where I am it's more, you know, so there's definitely a very variance of pricing But when we take a step back and we say, okay, I want to eat whole food plant-based, right? 30 minute whole food plant-based budget friendly whole food plant-based cookbook. We want to eat whole food plant-based We're buying foods that haven't been processed. So they haven't gone through this extensive manufacturing So they haven't been touched by all these hands
So they tend to be less expensive. Dried beans, yes, you can use canned beans, but dried beans are gonna be more budget friendly. Whole grains, bulk whole grains, where you can buy the quantity that you want. You're not forced into two pounds for $10 or anything like that. You can really, you know, and now that bulk bins are kind of coming back, that's an easy way for you to shop on a budget. Loose produce, these are some great tips for those of you that might be like, oh, I do wanna do it on a budget.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (18:22.765)
If you're looking to make carrot dogs, can you buy four loose carrots instead of buying the whole bag? If you're looking for, you know, broccoli, can you buy the loose broccoli that you have to touch, right? Like, the trade-off is your time versus somebody else's time. It's what's going to make it less expensive, but can you... Exactly! So can you buy the broccoli that you have to prepare to make it less expensive than the florets? Now, if you're listening and you're like...
Yep. But it's half the price, nine times out of 10, or more than half less, yeah.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (18:52.893)
price doesn't matter, my time is my money, right? You're a business owner, time is money. You might shift the other way and say, I want the garlic that's already minced. I want the florets that are already cut. I want the cabbages already prepped. I want the frozen fruit. I want the things that are already washed. I don't wanna have to do it. There's that avenue too.
I mean, I think the key for me is just the meal prep. Like you just carve out that one day where you're going to spend the two, three hours and get stuff ready for the week. I, I usually do that pretty consistently as a, as a business owner myself here, like that Sunday afternoon evening, get it done. Like this week I was out of town this weekend. I didn't do it. And I just like, I don't even know what I'm going to have for lunch today. Kind of a thing. Uh, cause I didn't, they didn't.
prep it ahead. So I can't underestimate that whether you go for the cheap and prepare it or you buy the pre-ready stuff. Um, either way the whole food diet I think has got to be one of the cheapest diets out there. Cause the price of meat keeps rising too. So, um, yeah. Yeah.
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (19:52.197)
Definitely. Well, and if you're eating whole foods, you're not buying the processed burgers, right? Like when we stand in front of the dairy section and we see plant-based yogurt is twice the amount of dairy yogurt, plant-based cheeses, of course, it looks more expensive, but when but I don't eat those things on a regular basis. Those are not my day-to-day. Yes, I'll eat a vegan cheese. Yes, I'll eat a veggie burger, but they're not my day-to-day. I typically I typically make my own or I look for things without a lot of processing and a lot of oil.
Yeah. So what is, I got a couple more questions before we wrap up. What is the, uh, stuff coming down the tubes next for veg inspired and then what, uh, kind of collaborations and partnerships are you looking for in the future?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (20:36.877)
Absolutely. So we've got a couple of things. We're shifting one of our programs right now and in 2024, it's going to be very streamlined, very intentional. Again, coming back to that word intentional about helping people become that plant based version of themselves. And then on the horizon, we're looking for plant-based, this is like perfect, right? Plant-based business owners to create this mastermind around how we can really enhance and
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (21:06.165)
make a bigger impact, right? I always think of the ripple effect. So the more people who eat plant-based, the bigger the ripple effect, but not only in spreading the message, but also being able to spread their own message. So one of the big things I found through changing the way that I was eating from vegan to whole food plant-based is that I have more energy. I have a better mood and I'm more productive eating these whole foods. So how can we...
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (21:32.061)
create this energy, this mission around it. And so we're looking for those plant-based people. You're already plant-based and it's really answering the question, okay, I'm plant-based, what's next? What's next for me? What's the next impact I can make, not just for myself, but in a bigger world?
Yeah, absolutely. Change the world on that front. So, how can, just hit us one more time. You gave us a couple URLs, but how can people support your business? What's the best ways to get in touch with you, Kathy?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (22:00.281)
Absolutely, so you can find me at veginspired.com, but honestly, I'm most active on Instagram, at veginspired. I manage my own Instagram. I know that that's something that I'm really proud, you know, I'm very proud that I take the time to connect with my community, to be active on Instagram. So if you're listening to this podcast and you're like, I wanna be in her space, come find me on Instagram. Let me know that you found me on this podcast. And I always have free gifts, I always have free things. Right now I have...
meal plan like a CEO. So I'm a huge fan of meal planning in accordance with your schedule. So this really came to head about six months ago, I was on a podcast, I was actually on a podcast marathon. I recorded six podcasts in a day. And when I was introducing, thank you, when I was introducing myself, I asked the question of the other people there, what did you eat for breakfast? And they laughed. And I was like, but your energy today, you want your energy on podcast number six?
Kathy Davis | VegInspired (22:57.149)
to be the same energy on podcast number one, and you're gonna get that by fueling your body. So if you are, you know, you wanna learn how to meal plan like a CEO and really be in that directiveness of the way that you eat in alignment with your schedule, right, how to fuel yourself for those busy days, how to have food on the go, we have a free gift with the meal plan, meal plan like a CEO, and you can find that on my website, because I don't know the URL right now, but we could put it in the show notes.
That is, that's okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, you send that over, just we'll get that in the show notes for sure. So check that out. And it's all at veginspired as your starting point or get in touch on Instagram. So thanks again, Cathy. That is all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire, but we really appreciate you joining us and sharing your insights and experiences with our community. Until next time, let's keep that fire burning, everyone.