One Year of Blogging, Life & Everything in Between

Whoa! It’s been a whole year of blogging?!? Happy birthday, Emilie Eats! 🎉

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite memories from this year, what I’ve learned from blogging, some roadblocks in life along the way, and both YOUR favorite recipes and MINE from the year. It’s been a delicious one, friends! I also want to give a shoutout to my wonderful boyfriend Cayden, because today is also our one year anniversary! 💑 Thanks for eating all my food, babe.

Gah, I just love today!!!

Starting a blog had been in the back of my mind for months, but I didn’t believe I had anything valuable or different to offer. Boy, was I wrong. I may not be the loudest voice in the blogging world (yet😉), but I have a voice. And I’m using it to bring you guys plant-based recipes & tips you can use in your daily lives to live healthier & happier. That is definitely valuable stuff!

You don’t know how much it means to me when you comment that my muffins were the perfect dessert for your 1-year-old’s birthday party, or that my veggie burgers got your meat-eating husband to actually like vegetables, or that I’m making veganism approachable. I seriously tear up every time I read your sweet comments. Thank you.

Not only have I been able to give you guys awesome recipes, this blog and everything with it has taught me so many valuable lessons. Beyond all the technical stuff (like how to fix your site all by yourself when it goes completely blank – yep, that happened), I’ve learned how to work hard, be proud of my accomplishments, present myself with confidence, and give myself a break when I need it.

I'm recapping what I've learned in one year of blogging, what I struggled with personally, & some reader favorite recipes!

It was an eventful year, to say the least. I started a blog, continued in school, got a promotion, saw my blog grow beyond my wildest dreams, made memories with the love of my life, became Miss LSU-USA, and got my cat Leo. I also questioned myself, mistreated my body, dropped my sorority, cried a lot, battled disordered eating habits, and struggled to love myself & my body. Every year has its up and downs, but this one proved to be pretty challenging mentally. I’m happy to say that things are going amazing now, and I feel revitalized, happy, and optimistic about everything headed my way.

I can’t wait to see where life and this blog take me – I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Here are some things I’ve learned in one year of blogging and life:

  • Work hard, rest hard. I’m still trying to learn this. It’s awesome to work for what you want and hustle to get there. But you also have to be compassionate with yourself and take time out of your hustlin’ schedule to do stuff you love outside of work.
  • Finding an online community will make blogging even more rewarding. I am so thankful for Georgie and Christina for creating the BGB Community, where I’ve been able to connect with badass women from all walks of life. I love following their successes as well as my own and celebrating together. Plus, I met one of my best friends through Instagram and visited her in Chicago – social media is cool, eh?
  • Plants are awesome. This past year of being vegan has opened my eyes to the world in a whole new way, and especially in the last couple weeks. It’s amazing how good you can feel when you’re powered by food grown straight from the Earth, and it’s awesome to know you’re helping the environment and animals also.
  • Some people won’t understand why you do what you do, and that’s okay. It can be disheartening to have people question your passion or the way you choose to live, but everyone is different, so just keep that big smile on your face and go about your happy way.
  • Numbers aren’t everything. Whether they’re from your blog analytics, on your report card, the calories in your breakfast, or on your scale, they don’t define you. Yes, they can be useful sometimes, but your self-worth doesn’t come from numbers.
  • You can’t fill anyone else’s cup before you fill your own. This kind of relates to resting when you need to. It is so important to prioritize time for yourself and ask for help if you need it. It is NOT selfish to put yourself and your health (mental & physical) first.
  • HAVE FUN! I am so thankful to do what I love through this blog, and it is still so much fun to me to create recipes, practice my photography, and connect with you guys. When blogging starts to feel like a chore, I go back to why I started Emilie Eats – to share healthy, plant-based recipes to make your life easier. Also, have fun in life! Do something spontaneous, go on a hike, travel, get a coloring book, have a vegan ice cream night. Enjoy this life. It’s a beautiful thing.

Your Top 5 Favorite Recipes 

1. 10 Healthy Lunches for Work (or School!)

I was surprised to see this had taken #1 – the now #2 recipe held the top spot for a loooong time! I see why, though. We’re all looking for easy, healthy lunches to make at home instead of spending money on less healthy meals. These lunches are awesome!

Skip the fast-food line and pack your own lunch! These 10 Healthy Vegan Lunches for Work (or School!) are easy to pack in a container and are super tasty.

2. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Bars (vegan & gluten-free)

I call this recipe my claim to fame. I was in tears when Finding Vegan featured this recipe on their Facebook & Twitter accounts. Funny story about this recipe: I made it on a total whim the day before it went live on the blog. Turned out to be a good idea, since it’s been repinned on Pinterest over 100,000 times!

If you're looking for a delicious gooey treat that's vegan & gluten-free, these Chocolate Chips Almond Butter Bars are perfect! Easy & naturally sweetened.

3. Black Bean Quinoa Veggie Burgers (vegan & gluten-free)

This is a recipe I still make often. I remember being SO excited about the picture below – it was one of my first blogging photoshoots. I love keeping a batch of these in the freezer for easy dinners!

Easy baked black bean quinoa burgers that are vegan & gluten-free, filled with plant protein, and perfect for end-of-the-summer cookouts!

4. 10 Epic Vegan Cake Recipes

We want that CAKE CAKE CAKE. These vegan cakes are truly epic, and you guys love them. I can’t wait to whip these up for my friends’ birthdays so I can prove vegan desserts are NOT gross.

Everyone loves cake! Bake one of these epic vegan cake recipes to impress even non-vegans at your next party. Chocolate, cheesecake, strawberry & much more!

5. Vegan Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

TBH I absolutely hate the pictures in this post! It was getting late, the lighting was weird, but I had to get this post up. Of course, it ends up going crazy on Pinterest. Lolz. I may think the pictures are ugly, but one reader said it was the best soup she’s ever had. Whoa!

Requiring little prep, this Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner! It's vegan, gluten-free, and full of plant-based protein.

My Favorite Recipes

1. Vegan Cheesecake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust

My favorite dessert before I went vegan was cheesecake. For my birthday this year, I set out to recreate a vegan version that was as close to the original as possible. I think I succeeded! Everyone who tried this raved about it. Including me, who enjoyed a fat slice on my birthday. 🙂

Everyone loves cake! Bake one of these epic vegan cake recipes to impress even non-vegans at your next party. Chocolate, cheesecake, strawberry & much more!

2. Smoky Tempeh Tostadas with Mango Cabbage Slaw

I literally made these 5 times in 2 weeks. The seasonings are so on point, and everything comes together in under 30 minutes. Talk about an easy dinner! Plus, I love the way the pictures turned out. Now I’m craving them again…

A 30-minute meal that will please everyone! These Smoky Tempeh Tostadas are crispy & satisfying, and the Mango Cabbage Slaw is the perfect tangy complement.

3. Fluffy Chickpea Pancakes with Vegetables and Avocado Sauce (vegan & gluten-free)

Still in my early photography days… but these are seriously one of my favorite breakfasts! The chickpea flour makes these super satisfying & savory. The avocado sauce tops it perfectly. Basically, pancakes in any form are my favorite.

These protein-packed chickpea flour pancakes with vegetables and avocado sauce will keep you feeling satisfied for hours. Enjoy them for any meal!