Although Marisa and Mary have been coaching the veg-curious for years, the inspiration for Vegan at Heart had nothing to do with veganism at all. It was born out of Marisa’s messy apartment and her desire to manage her time better. She had no idea when a friend told her about a website for “Sidetracked Home Executives” that she might discover the key to helping people incorporate more vegan habits into their lives.
Enter Flylady.net, a brilliant website that utilizes the concept of timers, routines, and beating perfectionism to get people past the stumbling blocks that keep them stuck in unhealthy habits. The founder, known as “Flylady,” offers “babysteps” as well as daily “missions” to get people off their butts and taking care of their homes and their bodies. After just a few weeks, Marisa heard Flylady’s voice in her head, chirping, “You can do anything for 15 minutes!” and “Progress, not Perfection!” Soon, Marisa was drinking more water and taking her vitamins, planning meals, doing Flylady’s “27-thing flings,” and de-cluttering her home 15 minutes at a time. Her home—and her life—were transformed.
Then the light bulb went off. Many of these concepts and tools can be tailored to help anyone who wants to incorporate good habits into his or her life, so why not healthy vegan habits? Marisa was inspired to develop a program for busy people who have vegan ideals but are daunted by the thought of going cold tofurky. She recruited some willing test subjects to try out her ideas, and after great feedback and fine-tuning, she launched Vegan at Heart online.