Vegan Birthday Cake - Anna Szabo is blowing off cake candles at her 37th Birthday

Have you ever wanted to celebrate your Birthday the vegan way? I planned, shopped, prepared, cooked, and served a vegan Birthday feast for my 37th Birthday. Everyone loved it! Here are my 37 ideas for your vegan feast.

Happy Birthday, Anna Szabo!

I turned 37 on January 18th, 2020 and this was the best birthday celebration in my entire life. I prepared all the food. My friend Jennifer invited everyone to gather in her beautiful house.

She had it gorgeously decorated: inside and outside.

Happy Birthday, Anna Szabo! January 18th 2020 by Jennifer Hall

Jennifer’s husband Lance helped with the party as well, and I’m so grateful. They both allowed me to experience what I only dreamed of experiencing in heaven: a table prepared to celebrate my life.

That’s what Jesus is doing up there, in the heavenly realm. Down here, in the physical realm, Jennifer prepared a table for me that made me cry. I am beyond grateful. Jennifer, thank you so much! Your kindness and friendship have healing powers. You practice love as a verb. Thanks for your love and kindness, Jennifer!

This picture of you shows what your heart is about.

Jennifer Hall

Actually, Jennifer prepared TWO celebration tables to celebrate my life. We had many guests, and to accommodate a sit-down dinner, we had two tables: in the dining room and in the kitchen.

When I saw how beautifully, with love, thought, care, and creativity Jennifer planned and decorated everything, I cried. I’m so touched. It’s so kind! It was very special, and my cup was overflowing from all the love. Being at Jennifer’s house felt like being in heaven!

She is definitely Jesus-sent.

Anna Szabo 37th Birthday by Jennifer Hall
Jennifer Hall celebrates Anna Szabo's 37th Birthday

It was Saturday.

I did my grocery shopping at Sprouts in advance.

On Saturday morning, I loaded my Camry with white serving dishes, tea pots, tea warmers, groceries, rice-cooker, instant pot, tea maker, and crockpot, and I was on my way.

Here are my go-to cooking tools used for my party.

You kind of guessed that I love tea. I do!

But only hot tea. So, to keep my tea hot for extended periods of time, I use tea warmers. I have two. I just place a candle inside, light it, place a teapot on top of the tea warmer, and it stays hot for as long as the candle can survive. Here is the tea warmer and the candles I use.

I was at Jennifer’s house early. My friend Maria came in the afternoon to help me cook, and she brought a delicious plant-based Birthday cake for me. Maria is an exceptional cook, so creative! She added such special touches to my dishes, even I was surprised with the deliciousness of the vegan feast we had! Maria, thank you so much for your love and help!

Maria Rodriguez making plant-based diet meal
Maria Rodriguez at Anna Szabo's 37th Birthday cooking plant based vegan feast

Guests showed up at 5 pm EST wearing my #52Devotionals shirts, which made me so happy. Prior to my Birthday, I discovered that almost 30 different websites online stole my #52Devotionals shirts designs. I felt angry, sad, helpless, and powerless all at the same time. But when my friends showed up wearing my Christian apparel with #52Devotionals Biblical Affirmations, I felt encouraged and empowered.

#52Devotionals Christian apparel by Anna Szabo at her 37th birthday celebration January 18th 2020
Happy Birthday Anna Szabo - guests wearing #52Devotionals shirts Christian apparel
Norm and Ruth Laible #52Devotionals Christian apparel by Anna Szabo

VISIT MY SHOP TO BUY THESE SHIRTS

Two of my friends brought cameras and captured memories, for which I’m beyond grateful. Thank you, Hakim and Jerry! These memories will last forever. I appreciate you more than you know, and your images are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks, gentlemen! Here’s Jerry and the next picture is of Hakim (with the ladies).

Jerry Black
Hakim Wilson

We shared poetry, took lots of pictures, had conversational cards, shared about our faith, cried, laughed, and celebrated the story of God’s glory.

The conversational cards I used were two types.

One set was gifted to me by a ministry here in Atlanta. It’s a printed set of cards in a box advertised as Christian conversation-starters. Some questions there were very thought-provoking and God-focused. Yet, some questions, such as “What is your favorite YouTube video?” left me with a jaw dropped on the floor. I literally was in disbelief that this question was included in a Christian card set. That being said, I loved many of the questions in that box and I’m grateful for the gift.

The second type of cards was created by me, written in ink by my own right hand, and everyone loved those questions. They were all focused around faith, self-care, spiritual growth, etc. I hope one day, I get to publish them for others to enjoy! Please pray for this if you’d like to help me help others.

There was great entertainment at my party!

I don’t know if you know but… I am a poet.

It feels weird to say… So surreal…

READ: My Spoken Word Poetry Story

My collection consists of over 100 poems.

I began sharing it publicly for the first time just last year. I was intimidated by my poetry and by the idea of sharing it, but thanks to many people who encouraged me, I embraced my identity as a poet, I gratefully began sharing my spiritual gifts, and I encouraged others to express themselves through spoken word art as well.

READ: My “Poems From God” Collection

So, my Birthday party was an open mic kind of event where a few friends shared their poems: Akida, Maria, and Gormah. My friend Lindi shared a dance performance, which was for many guests the most memorable moment. Maria wrote a heart-touching poem addressed to me, by hand, and I keep that poem now in my nightstand. What a precious gift!

Anna Szabo shares spoken word poetry at her plant based vegan birthday party
Akida Lavender sharing spoken word poetry at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Lindi Lane sharing her dance at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Gormah Banaci is sharing her poems at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Maria Rodriguez sharing her poetry at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Akida Lavender performing poetry at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Lindi Lane dancing at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Lindi Lane sharing her gift of dance with Anna Szabo
Lindi Lane
Lindi Lane dance
Gormah Banaci at Anna Szabo's vegan birthday feast
Anna Szabo spoken word poetry performance
Akida Lavender poetry performance for Anna Szabo
Anna Szabo shares her poetry at her 37th birthday party
Maria Rodriguez and Anna Szabo poetry performance
Anna Szabo and guests at her 37th vegan birthday feast

So, now you know what kind of Birthday this was, you have a clear idea of where it took place, who was there, and what we did. I hope you feel included. It’s time to talk about food. Shall we?

The food was vegan, planned and prepared by me (with the help of Maria, Jennifer, and Lance). My goal was to have lots of colors, which is great for the brain, lots of options, which helps people choose easily, and lots of flavors, which makes my plant-based vegan food fun.

The goal was achieved!

Plant-Based Diet Meals Ideas

Introduction To Vegan Food

I am from Russia where people eat lots of potatoes, bread, and meat. Before 2018, I ate anything I wanted. Disclaimer: I had never been a fan of fast food, sodas, fat-filled smoothies, or cupcakes. But I did eat steak with everything, tons of sour cream, six eggs a day, and fat Russian butter, cottage cheese, kefir, cheeses, and salami. And Russian cakes!

My body size has always been between double-zero and two. I still wear clothes from when I was 17, and I am 37 now. Yes, I have clothes from Russia that I’ve had for 20 years. But anyway, about becoming vegan.

In 2016, I got married and was soon manipulated into severely suicidal depression through such eloquent narcissistic abuse tactics as gaslighting, projection, discarding, and other techniques described in my blog post called “Narcissistic Abuse Examples.” In 2017, I was divorced, and my journey out of that suicidal depression had begun.

READ: My Depression Story

Early in 2018, I realized that if I put the flesh of killed animals into my body, if I eat the product of raped animals and babies taken away from their mama while screaming and being severely abused, I can’t possibly NOT be depressed. I studied this closely, watched several documentaries, threw away all the food in my house, and started fresh. It was March 2018.

READ: My Plant-Based Story

As they say: a video is worth a thousand words (didn’t they say VIDEO?)… So, let me share with you the vlog from the day I decided to become a vegan. Just so you know: I had no idea how hard the journey would be because I didn’t understand the full extent of the food addiction.

It’s 2020, so you can clearly witness that I did recover from that suicidal depression, and I talk extensively about the importance of self-care as a victim of narcissistic abuse. I explained my point of view in the blog post called “Narcissistic Abuse Recovery.

To tell you briefly what NOT eating animal products did for me, I want to mention this: the fog in my headspace went away, my body slimmed and stopped swelling, my acne disappeared, my fatigue dissolved, I had much more energy, I was able to think clearly, and my emotions became way more balanced. I also saved a ton of money and paid off my Prius. And there’s so much more. It was great! I felt and looked great!

But…

I’m here to tell the truth. And the truth is this: several times after November of 2018 I slipped right back into my old eating habits. It happened while I was not mindful, not paying attention, and not thinking.

I restarted plant-based, failed again, restarted, failed.

Anyway, it’s been a journey, and I’ve learned a lot. The main thing I’ve learned is that I do not like eating animals and I love eating plants. I don’t like how I feel when I eat animal products while I love how I feel when I eat vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.

What is plant based diet? Anna Szabo Explains
Recipes for plant based diet
Recipes for plant based diet by Anna Szabo
Anna Szabo's recipes for plant based diet
What is the plant based diet?

Above all else, I love my friends. And I show love through food. I don’t want to poison my friends with animal products. I know from experience that animal protein caused me to feel down, inflamed, swollen, and sick. I don’t want that for my friends. I want to nourish them with good plant-based vegan food to make them happy and healthy.

That’s why I chose to make this vegan birthday feast.

And my friends loved it!

Why Go Vegan

I was plant-based vegan from March 2018 to November 2018, no fail. I felt the best I ever have: energized, strong, clear-minded, and healthy. This was not only a feeling or my perception. There’s a proof in my medical documents, and I had never been to so many doctors as in 2018. Why?

On August 24th, I was rear-ended in a car accident, had a concussion, several injuries, and because of that incident, I had to go to various doctors. Blood test after blood test proved that my blood was at its best, and so was my cholesterol, blood pressure, and other common key performance indicators for the overall wellbeing of a human.

So, why go vegan?

I can only speak from my own experience. Eating a plant-based diet helped me be healthy before the car accident and get back in shape after the car accident. I specifically ate massive amounts of purple produce and I kept a food journal to track my nutrients intake.

Also, disclosure here: I did not eat vegan processed junk food. I went grocery-shopping to Sprouts. I bought fresh organic produce of various colors, which is essential for our body and brain. I cooked it all by myself at home by steaming, roasting, or raw meal-prep.

I always eat my food while sitting at a dining room table and chewing mindfully. I do not have a TV at home. Why am I telling you this? Because there’s a difference between my kind of vegan and someone who buys vegan pizza and burger junk food daily and eats mindlessly while running around or watching TV. I’m not judging anyone’s lifestyle. I’m making a disclaimer and explaining the difference before I start telling you my recommendations for why go vegan and sharing with you my personal results. I’m simply giving you some context.

So, why go vegan?

Here’s what I would tell myself if I asked Why Go Vegan?

  1. Get out of depression, clear the mental fog
  2. Start thinking effectively
  3. Regain high energy
  4. Ditch the overwhelming fatigue
  5. Stop participating in animal cruelty
  6. Do not abuse your own body with dead flesh
  7. Stop causing inflammation in your body
  8. Rid your body of inflammation and cleanse
  9. Stop having ear infections and sinus problems
  10. Improve digestion and lose weight naturally
  11. Feel lighter, younger, and more effective daily
  12. Make your acne disappear
  13. Enjoy glowing skin, nails, hair, bones, and teeth
  14. Prevent cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease
  15. Give yourself the priceless gift of overall health

All these are the benefits I personally experienced from ditching animal products. Note that I am not a healthcare advisor or medical professional. I’m simply sharing my own journey here.

When I slipped back into eating animal products, I got the flu, and it was the last time I was ever sick, which was almost 13 months ago. I eat mainly plant-based food with the six categories mentioned earlier: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains.

Sometimes, I do eat animal products. When I do, I feel like crap.

I am committed to transitioning back to being full-time plant-based for all the 15 health benefits I mentioned here. Also, I want to be kind and compassionate. I don’t want to participate in animal cruelty.

I’m currently taking intentional steps toward my goal. Daniel in the Bible ate veggies and only drank water. He was the strongest and the wisest among his pers. Plants help you build muscle and prevent foggy-mindedness. Plant-based eating is the way to life. Eating animals leads to various diseases and early death. It also leads to the deterioration of our planet. That’s why I don’t want to vote with my dollars for the meat and dairy industry. I want to practice mindful living and eat plants only.

I know I can do it once and for all.

Vegan Food for a Birthday Party

What Happened When I Went Vegan

My journey of becoming a plant-based vegan was documented on YouTube. Here’s a video of what happened during my first 30 days as a vegan. Warning: I talk in this video about such an unpleasant but highly-requested topic as vegan poop.

Really!

Don’t watch if you’re too sensitive.

On the serious note, this 38-minutes long video is a very honest and detailed overview of my first 30 days as a plant-based vegan.

Enjoy!

Vegan On a Budget

There’s a common misconception that being vegan is expensive. In my experience, being a plant-based vegan is much cheaper than eating animal products. I saved a ton of money going vegan and paid off my car. For my Birthday party, I didn’t break the bank either.

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas in a bulk section at Sprouts cost only a few dollars. Plus, Sprouts has a regular weekend sale where they have two things going on: buy one get one free and $10 off of $60.

In my shopping cart, I had multiple $60. Four to be exact. So, I used my coupon four times and got $40 off. All the berries I got were two for the price of one. The most expensive things I bought for my vegan birthday party were various nuts and avocados. Organic nuts run up to $22/lb, and avocados are $1/each.

I remind myself: when I would go to a coffee shop, I’d pay $5/cup of coffee. I would go to a restaurant, it was never less than $20/meal. I would go to a fast-food drive-through, I’d pay $11 for a crappy, poison-filled patty of non-eatable chemicals or cured chicken filled with sodium, sugar, and the kind of poison that causes Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease.

When it comes to fast food, I ate at McDonald’s once in my 37 years. I ate at Chickfil-A® three times in my life. Do I like to pay for fast food and coffee ridiculous amounts of my hard-earned money? No, thank you. I prefer $22/lb organic nuts and expensive organic-avocados that help my body stay healthy, clean, and strong.

That’s just to give you some context.

Also, for a more accurate context, I must tell you honestly about the money-side of eating vegan. I had sinus problems for decades. In 2016, I had bronchitis five times, and I was told by my doctor that surgery would be forced on me if I came back one more time.

Each visit was $75. Each bottle of meds was $176 for 20 days. Parking at the ENT of GA was $10 every time. Being sick so much caused me to take unpaid time off. Do you see where I’m going? And that is just my sinuses.

Not having to be sick with this saved me $75X5, $10X5, $176 every 20 days, and these savings run annually. I saved tens of thousands of dollars on not having the surgery and being healthy. Not having cancer, diabetes, obesity, liver issues, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or heart disease also saves me a lot of money, every day.

All that aside, there is a secret to being vegan on a budget.

READ: Frugal Lifestyle Tips

My secret to being vegan on a budget is this:

I plan my meals ahead, I do my own grocery shopping, I buy organic fresh produce, legumes, nuts, and seeds at Sprouts on sale with email-sent coupons, I cook my own food, and I don’t waste it.

If I were to buy expensive processed vegan meatless meat, pizzas, cakes, and burgers by ordering it via groceries-delivery service, and eating randomly while also trashing lots of my food, I’d go broke. And if I ate processed vegan food, I would not be having all the health benefits I had already mentioned.

So, the secret to eating vegan on a budget is to plan what you’ll eat way ahead, shop your list of required ingredients intentionally in the organic produce or bulk section on sale with coupons, and meal-prep your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for every day.

I don’t say “meal-prep every day,” I say “meal-pre for every day” because to eat fresh, delicious food every day you don’t have to prepare it every day. The leftovers from my vegan Birthday party lasted me a while, and I got to share good food made with love – with some guests who wanted to take food home and with my neighbors.

From my experience, being vegan on a budget is also profitable. How? When my neighbors saw how I eat and cook, they asked me to meal-prep for them, and I was able to make some extra-income.

I hope my vegan on a budget tips inspired you!

Vegan Birthday Feast - Anna Szabo and Maria Rodriguez

My Vegan Party

It was the first time in my life that I did a vegan Birthday party, and I was hesitant: how will my guests react, what if they don’t eat? Let me tell you: every guest ate everything on their plate, and most guests returned for more food! I was so happy. People said they were surprised how good they felt: light, energized, and refreshed instead of heavy and sleepy.

I was grateful to hear this feedback, see empty plates, and witness my friends coming back for more. My heart was filled with joy. Why? I believe that this way of eating can save people from dying young and can protect our planet. Additionally, I believe that this is the most beneficial way of eating for our health and budget.

Now, I want to give you one more secret.

The key to extraordinary flavors is variety and garlic!

Yes, mixing potatoes with fresh garlic and dill made them delicious beyond my guests’ expectations. Mixing cabbages with apples, carrots, garlic, and lemon juice made them the favorite salad at the dinner.

I only buy organic garlic. I peeled it all by hand with a knife – a ton of garlic. I diced it with my Ninja Chopper. Anything I mixed in a salad, such as cabbage, beets, apples, I squeezed with my hands over and over again to get the produce to juice naturally. I used absolutely no dressings on anything. I never buy dressings of any kind. I use the natural way of mixing natural flavors together to get delightful and refreshing deliciousness that nurtures the body, the brain, and the senses.

And garlic for everyone!

Anna Szabo's 37th vegan birthday party
Vegan Birthday - Anna Szabo's 37th Birthday

Vegan Meal Ideas

I get so excited when talking about vegan meal ideas. When I work with Christian coaching clients, they often ask me for my meal plan, grocery shopping list, and the tools I use to eat healthily.

My tools are thoughtful planning, intentional time commitment to meal-prep, rice cooker, instantpot, food steamer, crockpot, and my Breville smart oven. It makes me anything I want: toasted, roasted, broiled, anything.

The smart oven saves me time, hustle, and cleaning.

I love my smart oven!

My Birthday meal-prep started not on Saturday but way before then. On Friday, I went grocery-shopping at Sprouts and I started soaking all my beans, lentils, and chickpeas. They have to be soaked in multiple waters if you don’t want to end up farting all night and having your guests feel bloated.

I’m serious! Soak all your legumes – separately – and change the water every few hours. This simple trick will help you and your guests enjoy all the deliciousness and health benefits of legumes without the troubles of farting.

Let me share with you a few things I cooked for my vegan Birthday feast. And can I just tell you? Not only eating it was fun. Cooking it with my friends was so much fun! It was relaxing and very enjoyable.

It was no-hustle at all to cook all my various dishes because Jennifer had a set of magic knives. Those knives pretty much did the job. I literally did not have to extend much energy or effort because her knives were so sharp and so well-shaped, each knife was designed to do a specific job.

It was a pleasure to cook using Jennifer’s Cutco knives.

Here are a few things I cooked for my birthday.

Crockpot cabbage the Russian style with tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, bay leaf, herbs, and bell peppers.

Crockpot beans with herbs. Instantpot chickpeas with curry. Instantpot lentils with bay leaf only. Rice-cooker prepared Russian toasted buckwheat with mushrooms and garlic. Rice-cooker prepped wild rice.

Boiled russet potatoes with dill, garlic, and olive oil. Boiled sweet potatoes with dill, garlic, and olive oil. 

Raw, beautiful, and juicy cauliflower: orange and purple.

Salad with olives, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, reddish, celery, garlic, red onions, and fresh herbs. Salad with beets carrots, garlic, raisins, cumin, cinnamon, honey, and mint. Salad with cabbage, apples, carrots, lemon juice, and herbs.

I do not drink or allow any sodas because they thin the human bones. I don’t buy any juices because they are filled with sugar and preservatives that cause cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. So, what did people drink at my vegan Birthday party? Infused water.

There were three different pitchers of infused water I made. One with fresh lemon and cucumbers. The second pitcher had fresh mint, oranges, lemon, and strawberries. And the third pitcher had fruit.

All the water was gone very quickly. My guests asked for more and more of the infused water. They loved it. Disclaimer: at the beginning of my dinner, I showed my friends each food and drink item I prepared and I explained what the heck that thing was, because I did realize that my kind of dinner is not exactly what people had ever experienced. I knew that many of my guests had never seen or tried organically-infused water.

There was also hot black Russian tea.

My water was the hit, no doubt!

Infused Water with mint and lemon

Vegan Dessert

For vegan dessert, I bought various fruit, berries, nuts, and seeds. I had grapes of several colors: red, purple, and black. I served organic everything. The colors were so inviting; orange, red, dark black, blue, purple, yellow…

I served oranges, strawberries, lemons, apples, and watermelon. I also bought pineapple and honeydew but we decided not to serve them because there was a ton of food and so many options already.

For vegan dessert, I served a vegan birthday cake and also various nuts, which were the most expensive item on my vegan Birthday menu. The nuts I purchased for my guests were pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and pine nuts. People ate them with everything and they loved the taste and variety.

Lindi Lane with Anna Szabo and Jennifer Hall

Vegan Cake

I first tried vegan cake at the Sunflower Cafe on Roswell Rd in Atlanta. They have several options. My favorite has always been the coconut cake. I ordered it in advance by calling the cafe. They asked me about the size I wanted, and thank God I didn’t buy bigger size: this one had plenty of leftovers.

On Saturday, Maria picked it up and offered to pay for it. The cake that fed my entire huge party was $50. It was beautiful, delicious, and satisfying.

This vegan birthday cake from the Sunflower Cafe on Roswell Rd in Atlanta is kind of crunchy. It’s not mushy. It’s solid and chewable. So, we all got to indulge in it with pleasure without much guilt since it contained no animal products.

Thanks, Sunflower Cafe!

Thanks, Maria, for the gift of a vegan birthday cake!

Vegan Cake from Sunflower Cafe on Roswell Rd in Atlanta

My 37 Vegan Ideas for Your Birthday

As promised, I’ll share with you my 37 vegan meal ideas with you for your own Birthday feast. I want to make a disclaimer: dealing with raw produce, such as sweet potatoes, cabbage, beets, Brussels sprouts, russet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, melon, honeydew, and other things that are rough, can be pain-in-the-butt.

That’s why having a good set of knives, appropriate for each type of fruit or vegetable you’re dealing with, is the key to your sanity and your ability to actually sustain your plant-based diet commitment.

If you’re fighting with dull, non-working knives every day, you’ll abandon the idea of cooking and go out to waste money, time, and health. So, invest in buying good knives.

Having experienced working with Jennifer’s Cutco knives that made meal-prep for my vegan Birthday feast a breathe, I recommend this exact knife set to anyone who’s seriously committed to cooking plants.

You will see that some of my ideas include steaming veggies. I do not like turning on the stove, making a mess, and babysitting vegetables while they are being steamed. That is why I use a simple food steamer that has three levels. I put all my veggies there (potatoes and beets on the bottom, asparagus and squash on the top), I turn in on with one click, and I go on about my other business. When it’s done, it turns itself off and it’s waiting for me, instead me waiting for it. This saves me from dealing with any mess whatsoever, and this simple device requires zero babysittings.

The same vegetables prepared differently taste differently. I steam veggies with nothing but sea-salt. I roast them with salt and avocado oil, which is able to sustain high temperatures, unlike olive oil. For my salads, I use everything raw. I peel garlic by hand and dice it using a small food processor. Tomatoes, avocados, celery, kale, cucumbers, herbs, cabbage, mushrooms – none of it goes into food processor. I do it by hand to keep the shape and the natural juices. Everything else goes into my small but powerful Ninja food chopper.

My 37 Ideas for Your Vegan Birthday

1. Broccoli roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
2. Beets roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
3. Russet potatoes roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
4. Cauliflower roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
5. Sweet potatoes roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
6. Asparagus roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
7. Muchrooms roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
8. Eggplant roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
9. Carrots roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil
10. Squash roasted with garlic, sea-salt, and avocado oil

11. Russet potatoes peeled, boiled, mixed with garlic and olive oil
12. Crockpot cabbages with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs
13. Instantpot beens: soak them for 48 hours to prevent bloating
14. Instantpot chickpeas: soak them for 48 hours before cooking
15. Instantpot lentils: soak them for 48 hours to prevent bloating
16. Rice-cooker steamed wild rice: don't add salt
17. Rice-cooker steamed buckwheat: add bay leaf
18. Rice-cooker steamed pearl barley: add bay leaf
19. Rice-cooker steamed kamut: add bay leaf
20. Rice-cooker steamed farro: add bay leaf

21. Grapes: green, purple, red, and black
22. Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
23. Papaya: peel it, remove the seeds, surve
24. Watermelon: slice it and make sure it's seedless
25. Oranges: slice to make it easy for guests to eat
26. Honeydew: it adds sweet taste and fresh smell
27. Mangos: peel them, separate from kernel, slice
28. Apples: sprinkle with lemon to prevent darkness
29. Dried fruit: dates, apricots, cranberries,, and figs
30. Nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and pine nuts

31. Broccoli steamed with sea-salt
32. Beets steamed with sea-salt
33. Carrots steamed with sea-salt
34. Cauliflower steamed with sea-salt
35. Kale steamed with sea-salt
36. Asparagus steamed with sea-salt
37. Squash steamed with sea-salt
Anna Szabo turned 37 - Birthday party 2020

Best Birthday Ever

My 37th Birthday was the best birthday ever. Why?

I loved spending quality time with my friends in a meaningful way that helped everyone connect on the heart-to-heart level. We talked about the things that really matter. We got to share our faith with one another.

I loved cooking for my friends some good food that nurtured their bodies and promoted their health. I loved surprising them with the dishes they had never ever tried and probably would never have access to had I not introduced them to those foods.

I loved that we got to express our creativity and faith through poetry and dance. I loved how vulnerable we felt, and some guests cried, which I always welcome. Crying means being fully human.

I loved that people wore my Christian apparel because I had never before seen a room of people wearing what I had personally spent months creating. Yet, this was in my dream that God put on my heart. So, all the friends who came wearing my #52Devotionals collection of shirts and sweatshirts helped make my dream come true. They also empowered me. Thanks, friends!

I loved the roses and the Wonder Woman card given to me by Sheila and Joe. This card is in my nightstand, and I read it every single day. This very special card helps me remember that my friends believe that I have Christ’s divine wonder-power and can change the world.

This was the best Birthday ever.

Sheila and Joe Hernandez
Wonder Woman Birthday Card for Anna Szabo from Sheila Hernandez

Vegan Birthday Frequently Asked Questions

How do vegans celebrate birthdays?


Invite the people you love. Plan your meal in advance. Prepare fun activities to do. Send out invitations. Cook good healthy plant-based food with lots of colors and flavors. Empower guests to get to know each other. Invite them to share their creative self-expression through poetry, singing, or dancing. Make the environment conversation-enticing so that people connect on the heart-to-heart level. Use conversation cards to skip the meaningless small talk and to encourage genuine conversations that lead to deep connections.

What do vegans do for fun?


Poetry, singing, painting, hiking, volunteering, cooking, writing, open mic events, theater, kayaking, reading, hosting or attending a book club, working out, swimming, ice skating, or learning new skills.

What can I have instead of birthday cake?


Have fruits, nuts, seeds, or dry fruit. Among fruit, you can serve oranges, pineapple, apples, honeydew, watermelon, papaya, grapes, pears, peaches, apricots, bananas, and berries. You can also surprise your guests with delicious figs, dates, raisins, cranberries, apricots, and mango. You can serve them with various nuts and seeds.

How can I make my birthday fun?


Plan activities in advance. Have the start time and the end time in mind, and know at all times what’s next so that people don’t get bored. Tell your guests at the beginning of the party what to expect, so that they know what to look forward to and can anticipate with excitement.

Help your guests connect by offering conversation cards. Entice your guests to express themselves by sharing a poem, a dance performance, or a song. Invite your guests to help prepare the party, many people love helping. The most important fun thing is to engage everyone.

Prioritize creativity over alcohol. Prioritize meaningful conversations over small talk. Prioritize healthy food over junk that will make your guests feel sleepy and heavy.

Give your heart away: people value vulnerability.

Akida Lavender, Maria Rodriguez, Anna Szabo, Lindi Lane, and Gorma Banaci performing poetry

Summary

In this blog post about my vegan Birthday feast on January 18th, 2020 I shared with you why go vegan, how to be a vegan on a budget, and the benefits of a plant-based diet I personally experienced. I also gave you my 37 ideas for your vegan birthday party.

I want to thank Jennifer and Lance for opening up their home and inviting me and my guests to celebrate my life there, for decorating so thoughtfully and beautifully, and for making me feel so special and loved.

Jennifer Hall and her husband Lance

My gratitude goes also to Hakim and Jerry for capturing and sharing with me such beautiful images that make my heart sing every time I look at them. Hakim Wilson is a full-time photographer in Atlanta. Contact him to book his services for your next event: PhotoBrothersMedia.com

Anna Szabo Birthday party 2020

My appreciation for Maria is beyond words. She encourages me every day, she empowers me through her friendship, and the faith-focused conversations we regularly have empowered me to pour all my heart into this ministry, Online Discipleship For Women. Maria helped me cook for my vegan Birthday party and she gave the gift of a delicious vegan birthday cake, which I’m craving right now, as I’m writing this article.

Anna Szabo and Maria Rodriguez wearing #52Devotionals I am a Princess shirts

All my friends are loved and appreciated. Each person who was there means a lot to me. My friends are my spiritual squad. They keep me accountable, encouraged, and future-focused. Each person who came to celebrate my life added to my spiritual cup. I give a lot to my ministry through the Christian podcast for women, my YouTube channel, my Christian products, and this blog. But who gives to me? God – through my friends.

I hope you got inspired by my blog post.

My goal was to show you that it’s possible to have a healthy, fun, meaningful, and inexpensive Birthday celebration. Will you implement any of my vegan birthday party ideas for your own celebration?

Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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