Meet Dietetics major and vegan food blogger Taavi Moore
Taavi Moore, class of 2020, has a passion for vegan food (a diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products, and all animal-derived ingredients). She has built up her presence on social media with a following of 23,000 through sharing delicious recipes of her own, resources for how to love your body, and tips on how to make the vegan journey easier on her blog: healthienut. Taavi's goal is to break down stereotypes surrounding veganism through her recipes and to share the benefits vegan food can have on your mind, body, and soul.
How did your food blog journey begin?
I started my blog in middle school because I wanted to have an outlet to post my recipes and food photography. I was really passionate about taking pictures of my food and documenting what I was eating. My mom suggested the idea of having an outlet so I created my blog, and I called it healthienut. It’s a fun way to document progress for myself and help inspire others.
Your blog’s primary goal is to help people recognize the benefits of veganism. Is there something else you hope to achieve through your blog?
I definitely want to share the fun and joy of cooking. I want to show how healthy recipes that seem really hard can be easy to make with accessible and cheap ingredients.
Was your transition to veganism gradual or an all-in-one go?
It was overnight. One day I was eating turkey bacon and eggs, and the next I was eating tofu scramble and smoothie bowls. So it was unconventional and not the normal way of switching to such a strict diet.
You are currently part of the Dietetics program at SPU. What made you choose SPU?
I first heard of SPU through word of mouth. I went to church with someone who went here, and I decided to look into it. My heart was kind of set on UW, but I decided to apply here and went to Admitted Student Preview. When I saw the campus I think I immediately fell in love with it. I loved the size and had heard the program for Dietetics here was really amazing.
How has being in the Dietetics program affected how you create recipes or think about food?
I’ve definitely learned a lot about the nutrient recommendations as well as how food affects your body as far as digestion and absorption. It’s affected the food choices I make with my lifestyle and diet. I make sure each meal has enough whole grains, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins. It’s definitely made me more aware of the meals I eat.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m a morning person so you’ll probably see me wake up at 6 a.m., sometimes that’s even the case on the weekends. I’ll have breakfast right away—usually a big bowl of oats, then I’ll head to the gym and do a work out, and then I’ll get ready. I love going to the SUB in the morning to get coffee and work on homework before class.
What’s a tip you would give fellow students who want to cook in residence halls?
One of the things I learned early on this year was to prepare a lot of your ingredients in your room. It saves you time from hauling all your ingredients to the kitchen. If you’re making cookies, do your batter in your room. Or, if you need to prep ingredients like vegetables, I would recommend chopping in your room. Also, at the beginning of the week I’ll usually make more than enough quinoa for one person just so I have it for the rest of the week. Don’t bring too much cooking equipment because I did that this year. One pan, one pot, a spatula, mixing bowl, and maybe a can opener, and I think you’re set.
Do you have a favorite go-to recipe from your blog you like to make?
I love making veggie burgers. I have this really good veggie burger recipe on my blog with a grainy mustard aioli. The burger has black beans, quinoa, mushrooms, and a lot of spices. I put it on a toasted ciabatta bun, and it’s delicious.
Where do you usually find your cooking inspiration?
Instagram, blogs, cooks, and one of my biggest inspirations are restaurants.
Are you a part of other food-related programs at SPU?
I am coordinator for SPU’s Community Kitchen. Community Kitchen is held three times a quarter, and it’s where community members gather to cook and eat a meal together. Our team curates a menu with a nutritional analysis attached to each recipe. We usually follow a theme every month so our latest one was “Farm Fresh Picnic.”
Which event at SPU do you think has the best food?
I really liked the food at Shapadooah (SPU’s annual end of the year festival). There were three food trucks at the event. They had good vegetarian and vegan options, and it was free food!
Do you have a favorite spot to eat near campus?
There’s three that come to mind. I love Verve Bowls, the açaí place across in Fremont. Homegrown in Queen Anne has the best sandwiches and the best chickpea sandwich that’s vegan. Bounty Kitchen also in Queen Anne has amazing breakfast options and so many plant-based options.
How long do you think it took to grow your blog and social media of 23,000 followers?
Even though I started in seventh grade, I think it started to grow rapidly within the last two years because I was really consistent.
What do you think was the key to your blog’s success?
Consistency is key. Also, making sure you’re not in it for the money and followers but are truly passionate about your content and hold onto that passion.
What advice would you give to a fellow college student wanting to start a healthier lifestyle?
Just do it now. If you’re going to keep pushing it off, you’ll keep doing that over and over again and not achieve what you want to. Also, don’t do it just to lose weight and drop the number on the scale—do it because it makes you feel better, it fuels you, and it’s rewarding. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.
What do you hope to do post-college?
I definitely want to be a registered dietician and hopefully have my own private practice. But as far as my blogging, ideally I’d like to be a full-time blogger, it’s just going to take a lot of dedication and time. But I think I can do it if I set my mind to it, and my dream is to have a cook book.
Any final words of advice?
Get involved as much as you can. There are so many different clubs and programs on campus. Building your resume to find internships or jobs may seem important, but in college, being a part of the community, making new friendships, and really diving into something you’re passionate about is just as important.
Check out Taavi’s interview as she cooks her delicious Thai red curry recipe:
This interview has been edited for content and format.