I ran into Sarah in one of my favorite Facebook groups called Being Boss. Her post caught my eye because I saw the word “vegan” and instantly knew I had to connect! And I’m so glad I did. I’m impressed and inspired by her work and I’m thrilled to feature her in my Vegan Entrepreneurs Series.
Sarah Hagstrom runs TheSeasonalDiet.com alongside her partner Peter where they help others eat more seasonal produce in order to lose weight, improve digestion, constipation, and increase energy. They make healthy eating achievable and fun. They love the sunshine, farmers markets, green juice and swimming in the ocean.
What was your road to veganism like? Was there one thing in particular that changed your thinking or was there an evolution?
It started with a few small changes over time. I struggled with stomach issues throughout college, which lead to me cutting gluten out of my diet. I felt so much better, I just kept researching what else could be causing my stomach and body issues. My boyfriend (now husband) at the time, Peter, shared the documentary Food Matters with me, and that had a huge impact. From that point on, we both decided we were going vegan, and that was back in 2010. It was the best move we ever made.
Have you experienced any benefits from living a vegan lifestyle?
Yes, like I mentioned above, I struggled with digestion issues all throughout my life. Once I made the switch all my issues pretty much disappeared. I know it sounds like it was some magic pill, but for me it kind of was. I also noticed I was able to run longer distances and recover faster. Since going vegan I’ve run 2 marathons, an ultra-Ragnar, and a handful of half marathons. I don’t think I would have been able to do that before.
What has been the most challenging part of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle? What has been the most rewarding?
I think the most challenging is social situations, I have to be a lot more prepared. I can no longer take the backseat and just go out to eat wherever, or let others do all the cooking. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it does take more effort. Over time my friends and family came to understand, and will now make an effort to provide food I can eat, but at first it was a little bit of a shock.
The most rewarding has been how much my health has improved! I used to be the one who was sick all the time. I would joke that I had the sick gene, but the truth of the matter is I didn’t take care of myself, and once I went vegan and started focusing on nutrient dense foods I stopped getting sick.
Tell us a little bit more about your website/business and your core values.
I run The Seasonal Diet with my husband Peter. It’s an online business dedicated to helping others include more seasonal vegetables into their diet. When you eat vegetables and fruits that are grown locally, you’re able to get the most nutrients into your body. We get to help people who are just like we used to be – struggling with poor digestion, constipation, skin issues, addicted to sugar and carbs, and overcoming those things by fitting in more seasonal vegetables – and that’s a lot of fun for us.
What inspired you to start your website?
We made the switch on our own, but wish we would have done so sooner. Ever since then, our goal has been to help others make the switch to a healthier lifestyle. We used to work at the farmers markets, teaching people how to use their CSA boxes (boxes of produce you get weekly from local farms) and we knew that if more people started incorporating seasonal produce their health issues would disappear. We started working in person, but soon found that we could have a bigger impact if we took our business online, so our online website was born.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
Things change so fast these days, it’s hard to say in 10 years. Currently we’re focused on our mentorship programs, where we help people improve their diets through small changes, group cleanses for women interested in clearing up pesky skin issues, and supporting our community in our free Facebook Group. I guess our long-term goal is to support even more people making healthy eating a priority.
What advice would you give to someone else who is thinking about setting up their own vegan company, website or blog?
Make sure you’re really passionate about it, because it’s a ton of work and it takes a lot of time. And, if it’s a business, most of the time it takes a while for the money to come back to you. So if you’re passionate it, it won’t be a problem. And, don’t forget to infuse generosity into your venture as often as possible.
In addition to your website, do you have any other favorite resources you would recommend to someone who would like to learn more about becoming vegan?
Great Question…So in addition to our website, we also have a podcast, The Health Beet, which you can find on iTunes. We provide a lot of great resources for vegans, or those interested in eating more plant-based.
I personally love Kris Carr, I have all her books and think she has a wonderful website full of information. I also love Instagram. I think it’s a great place to find inspiration for vegan recipes and vegan products.
Follow us here. I share lots of recipes along with a little bit of business, and our vegan adventures!
Are you a vegan entrepreneur and want to share your story? I’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch here.