It’s Our 3rd Birthday! (Giveaway time)

YumUniverse is 3 years old. And I take it as seriously as I do a birthday for anyone close to my heart. It’s so much more than a website about plant-based, gluten-free food. It’s a community. A home base. It’s stereo-type bustin’ good eats. A healthful, well-rounded lifestyle. It’s passion shared from me to YU and absolutely vice versa.

Today, I am taking this moment to think about how much has been accomplished since our launch and it makes mama proud (psst: YU should be proud as well because we did it together):

  • 540 posts/recipes shared
  • We have one of the best Facebook communities around
  • Same goes for our Twitter pals
  • I’ve developed an extensive library of resources, eBooks and meal plans that are helping 1000s of people all over the world
  • A lifetime membership was created so folks could get community support and all eBooks published by YumUniverse (now and in the future)
  • We’ve given away $1000s worth of plant-based goods, services and resources
  • 1,000s of people have been able to transition, maintain and find the health they deserve thanks to YU

What makes me even more proud is where we’re headed this next year (and beyond).

  • Everything listed above and then some!
  • The first YumUniverse print book will be published by BenBella Books and released Fall 2014
  • I am currently developing incredible new resource offerings unlike anything available for our lifetime members and new folks looking to take control of their health (2014 launch, so stay tuned!)

So, happy birthday to YU.

Let’s celebrate by giving one of YU an awesome birthday gift—a free lifetime membership ($300 value)!

YU Lifetime Membership


The deets:

1. Officially register for the giveaway here (whether you win or not, I’ll send you a free sample meal plan so everyone gets birthday goodies).

2. Tell us with a comment below, how YumUniverse has helped your plant-powerful journey. What would you like to see from YumUniverse in 2014?

3. If you’re one of those lovely peeps who like to spread the word—tweet out this giveaway to friends!

4. One lucky winner will be chosen at random from official registrants on September 12, 2014

Stay connected and up-to-date on YU news:
Facebook: lots of Q&A, recipe sharing, community
Twitter:  lots of Q&A, recipe sharing, community
Pinterest: inspiration for everything from recipes to styling
Instagram: day-to-day pics from a plant-powerful lifestyle
Sign up for our weekly newsletter





Read the comments or add yours.

Comment Rules

  1. Ellie

    YU has helped me by making it easier to be healthy with lost of easy and delicious recipes!! I would love to see more party planning tips for a plant based lifestyle! Thanks!!!

  2. YUM Universe has helped me find some wonderful recipes and try foods I never would have thought to try before. I look forward to more recipes in 2014!!!

  3. Happy Birthday, YumUniverse! You have helped me on my journey to heal myself from the inside out! I consistently use your recipes to support my ever-increasing vegetarian diet, and I find that they’ve opened me up to new ways of understanding how exciting and easy eating a whole food diet can be! I love your chia seed pudding for breakfast and I recently made your Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Black Bean & Kale Quesadillas! Everything is always so YUMMY! In 2014, I hope to see more healthy breakfast recipes! Thank you for all you do and best wishes for another awesome year!

  4. Crystal

    The site has really helped me to find whole food, plant based recipes for my family. I love using pure ingredients, so this site has been such a blessing to find. In 2014, I’d love to see some recipes for making gluten free and vegan breads/wraps of all kinds. That’s an area that I often struggle with, and we just can’t afford to buy the pre-made ones on the market. Thanks so much!!

  5. Jessica

    YumUniverse has helped so much. It was one of the first blogs I started following and it had so many awesome gluten free plant based recipes since we are a Celiac family as well. Your information on transitioning into a plant based diet was extremely helpful.

  6. Erin

    I love all of the great new ideas that I get!!

  7. melanie

    YU has helped me see the wide and beautiful array of options one has with a plant-focused ‘diet.’ with the delicious recipes here, you won’t miss the old way of eating!

  8. Danna

    Love all the great ideas and information! Its so easy to get stuck in a rut, always eating the same vegetarian/vegan foods, the recipes have been so helpful! Thank you!!

  9. Kerry A.

    YUM has been a great source of moving to the next level of veganism: making my own previously store-bought staples, like plant-based milks, yogurts, etc. I’ve still not really made the time to tackle a recipe yet, but I keep reading and bookmarking. Need to just go and buy some items at Whole Foods and go for it! The baby has been a convenient distraction, though!

  10. Jessica

    YU is beautiful. Everything is so attractive and nutritious. To me, that is important. I would like to see a days worth of meals that you eat.

  11. Isabel

    Your yogurt recipe changed my life! I’m vegan and te only thing I miss often is yogurt! Your recipe is not only fun and easy but tastes better than I remember traditional yogurt! The but pulp recipes you have are wonderful too. Now I use it all!
    I am grain free as well and you have great recipes. I would love to see a grain free tab in your recipe section to make it easier to browse.


  12. YU is filled with great tips and inspiration that I enjoy and refer to often. It is a place I like to go when I need a new idea to keep my food choices fun and easy.

  13. Kathleen

    Thank you Heather for all the wonderful recipes. You inspire me to try new things and you make eating plant based a pleasure! Can’t wait for your cookbook. Happy Bday YumUniverse.

  14. Maria

    YUM has helped me by getting relevant info available and ideas for new recipes!

  15. Tina

    Happy Birthday to YU!
    When I first found this website, I was totally captivated for hours! I keep coming back for the awesome and creative recipes, which add so much to my high-RAW diet and lifestyle. Many thanks to YU!

  16. Connie

    love the new ideas for avoiding food boredom. thanks.

  17. Sarah

    YU has accomplished the unthinkable! It gave me recipes that my meat-loving boyfriend enjoys. I’m talking serious meat love affair here, like one pound of ground beef with salt and pepper for a meal (gross, by the way). I used to think I would lose him to a heart attack someday, because of all the animal fat he consumed, but now his eating habits have changed so much and it makes me so happy to see him thrive on a plant-based diet. Thank you, YumUniverse, for giving me a chance to grow old with him!

  18. Heather C

    YU has become my “go-to” website on my journey. I haven’t tried a recipe I didn’t love or used any of the advice that has lead me astray. It hasn’t been easy, this journey, but I feel that this website has helped me immensely. Thank You so much for being there for me, and Happy Birthday!!

  19. corinna

    i’m so glad that i discovered yumuniverse! i had some ongoing stomach issues until i left out flour, sugar, mostly meat and diary. all the recommendations and really great recipes from yumunivers helped me a lot to get a variety in my diet so i didn’t even miss my old way of eating at all.
    thanks to the amazing team that puts all this together on a daily basis.


  20. YUM universe has been helpful for me because it is so hard to find good recipes that are gluten-free and vegan. As someone with celiac who is allergic to casein in dairy and to eggs finding good recipes can be hard. Thanks for posting good stuff that I can eat!

  21. Rosanna

    Happy Birthday YUM Universe! Thank YU for educating me and providing me with information and wonderful recipes to make the transition to a full plant-based lifestyle and influence my family to do the same! You were the first blog that I followed and will be always my favorite! Your website is one of the best and I cannot wait to get a hold of your book! For those out there still thinking about joining the lifetime membership, do not hesitate to get on the wagon!

  22. Dominika Ivan

    Happy Birthday! Your recipes have helped me convert some of my more hesitant friends, and they are a reminder of how amazing plant based food is/can be.
    Would love to see more recipes with a smaller # of ingredients.

  23. Emily Palmer

    YU has helped me see that eating a more plant-based diet is not only possibly but also delicious. I feel comforted knowing that such a wealth of valuable information (how to store herbs and make your own almond milk, for example) is in one cheerful place. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with the recipes and this way of life. Thank you!

  24. Pam Bridges

    This is a wonderful website for newcomers to WFPB concept. I have enjoyed the recipes and the great tips. It is good that I found YU. Heather, thank you for all your work on this website and thanks for sharing!

  25. Bethany

    YU gives healthy options for vegans that are gluten-free and less sugar, and more real food. This doesn’t mean treats aren’t there — yummy, hearty foods and sweets are my favorite!

    I would love to see more meal plans, maybe choices for eating out and on vacation.

  26. GW

    I like the contests and your simple recipes..looking for more raw recipes. Especially appreciated the “milk” from nuts/seeds how to’s. Keep up the good work. Many thanks! GW

  27. Octavia

    YUM has given me so many tips and tricks on developing a plant based diet. I absolutely have fallen in love with all the recipe ideas.
    I would love to see more cooking videos, because they are fun to follow.
    Thank Team YU for this great resource of plant based knowledge!

  28. Marty

    You keep me constantly inspired with your knowledge and recipes to maintain my vegan health!

  29. Marty

    And gluten-free diet (that is harder to give up than cheese, eggs, dairy and meat was!).

  30. Brenda Barnhart

    Every single recipe sounds delicious and can easily be made to fit all of my dietary restrictions! I haven’t made anything from YumUniverse that wasn’t delicious. I also love the inspiring emails, advice and articles you share with us. YU rocks!!!

  31. teri pastorino

    my plant based diet has allowed me to be a healthier me. i sleep better and weigh a little less. i am still working on the diet, but i eat far better today than i did a year ago when i found your website!
    thanks for all the awesome information and recipes and happy anniversary

  32. Anna Carolina

    1. “YU make my life colourful every single day!!”
    2. 2014: Projects in schools, ….., please! :)

  33. Deanna

    I haven’t been a YumUniverse follower for long now, only about a month but this website has really helped me.
    My journey with changing my eating habits started about a year ago, I eliminated sugars and processed foods and saw dramatic results instantly, since then I’ve eliminated gluten, dairy and other foods that I’m sensitive to. I hit a plateau about a month ago, I wasn’t losing anymore weight and I wasn’t feeling well either. Once I started reading YU it became clear that I needed to eliminate all animal products from my diet as well. Years ago I never would have thought this was possible. I grew up in a family where we ate animal products at every meal with very few vegetables so this is a huge turnaround for me. YU made it very clear why a plant-based diet is so important with so many explanations and wonderful recipes to help with the transition. Thank you very much YumUniverse for all your wonderful resources.
    Something I would like to see more of in 2014 is more natural beauty and cleaning product recipes.

  34. Niky

    YU have assisted me in my plant-based journey by providing: plant-based resources, Yummy recipes, and helpful cooking tips. I would like to see more quick-fix meals in 2014. Thank you!

  35. Christine

    YU has introduced me to some yummy recipes that are making it easy for me to make the switch to a plant-based diet. I don’t know what I’d do without your great recipes. Thanks so much for all the time and effort you are putting into this website to help people like me.
    2014? Well, I’d like to see more recipes that are quick and easy to prepare. I’d also like to see a search engine that would make it easier to find recipes by ingredient, which would make it faster to decide what to try next based on what I have on hand.

  36. Caryn

    Hapoy bday!!! Love the info on plant sources of protein. Please keep the gorgeous photos and beautiful veggies coming in 2014!

  37. Kelly

    Happy Birthday!
    It is nice to belong to a community of like minded people, where how you eat feels just normal.

  38. Rose

    Your dairy-free milks have helped me cut cow’s milk out of my diet :)

  39. Cristina

    I have a restricted diet and YU has helped me see that I have a lot more options than I originally thought. I hope in 2014 the trend continues for providing more delicious plant-based gluten free recipes. I also hope more posts are sent out for natural alternatives such as the Calendula Miracle Balm. Thanks and keep up the awesome work!

  40. Hanna

    I’ve been going back and forth between being a vegetarian and a carnivore for 15 years. But every time I started eating meat, fish, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk again I wasn’t feeling good. Not only for ethical reasons but also my body tried to tell me this wasn’t the right path. During my vegetarian periods I’ve been thinking of going all plant based, but I thought it would be very hard and that I would miss a lot of stuff. I also feared other peoples opinion and I wasn’t sure I was ready to defend my choice of eating (because at least here in Sweden people love to have an opinion as soon as someone does something in a slightly different way). Also, because of the climate and the low demand, it is hard to find fresh organic vegetables for parts of the year.

    Since I discovered YumUniverse everything has changed. I love how you make everything so simple. I never thought I would experiment so much with food (I love the guide to plant-based milk), and you have really helped me to start loving cooking again. And I must say that I don’t miss a thing from my old eating habits!

  41. Jed

    Hi there!

    I would like to see more reviews on products that you use to bake and cook with! Like favorite brands etc!

  42. Ian T

    You’ve helped so much in providing wonderfully tasty, nutrient dense vegan recipes. You’ve improved the health of our family, and made me a much better cook – many thanks! For the future I’d be interested in more recipes and tips aimed as sports people, and ways of getting optimal nutrition while training and exercising.

  43. I love YU. After the 30 day challenge, I use it as a great resource for creating crowd-pleasing, healthy, plant-based meals. I also recommend it to everyone who asks me about what I eat as a gluten-free vegan. Happy Birthday, Yum Universe!

  44. Jessica

    I LOVE YU! Every single thing I have made so far from YU has turned out great, nothing has turned out badly. I love how detailed Heather is and the picture recipes. Such a variety and very user-friendly. YU has helped me transition to a plant-based diet successfully and deliciously! Thank you so much Heather! <3

  45. Jessica

    I would like to see some articles on plant based on a budget for 2014, and more of the easy, simple ingredient recipes for us workers! Thanks!

  46. Sybil

    I love how YU gives you a step by step breakdown on how to transition to a plant based diet. I purchased the Vegan Cuts bundle where YU was highlighted and I love the recipes. Simple and tasty. Happy third birthday and many more. May you continue to be blessed :)

  47. Hannah Fellows

    YUM has completely changed the way I think about a plant based diet and has given me some of my favourite recipes. I make at least 2 or 3 meals from your website each week and even my non vegan family look forward to them. The recipes I enjoy are simple, quick and easy to follow. I also have really enjoyed discovering new ingredients such a liquid smoke and coconut aminos – now store cupboard staples. Thank you!

  48. Melanie Connolly

    Happy Birthday! I love the recipes!!! Keep up the great work!!

  49. Jodie

    The site has helped me to experiment more with all the different recipes
    Just keep doing what you are doing for the future . Love everything about the site.

  50. Jennifer K

    I wouldn’t change a thing in 2014, keep up the good work! I love all the posts, especially the recipes

  51. AnnieD

    YumUniverse has been an indispensable resource for me as I work to achieve my short- and long-term nutritional goals. I’ve picked up loads of tips on sprouting, soaking grains and making delicious nut milks–and I’ve also developed a scary, tasty obsession with chia pudding! I’m thankful for all of the help on my journey. I think my biggest request would be to keep the breakfast and snack recipes coming. They’re my favorites. :)

  52. Catherine

    Thank you so much for an amazing website! I love reading your posts and learning about fun ways to eat healthy. Please keep posting delicious healthy recipes for 2014!

  53. Gabby


  54. Kelly Farris

    Happy Happy Birthday!

    Yumuniverse is dynamite. I went through a short obsession phase because it is packed with epicurean masterpieces exposing her tricks and techniques. Everything I have made is scrumpdiddlyumcious including but not limited to the hazelnut milk, almond milk, creamy kale and millet, black bean burgers with ancho chili sauce. All repeatable. All leaving you feeling satiated yet light. I just can’t get enough. There are so many strategies to help me get prepared in advance for the week; thus allowing me to eat healthy and have time to live. Plant based, whole food, gluten free is where I am headed, thanks in part (in big part) to this wonderful, thoughtful thorough blog. Thank you Heather for making the world a little bit of a healthier place.

  55. You’ve inspired me to keep on pursuing my passions and sharing my love for healthy, tasty food with style.

  56. Monica Plata

    YU gives me constant inspiration to stay on a plant based diet! Keep up the great work!!

  57. MondayJen

    YU has made me LOVE cooking and eating again! I was so disappointed when I had to go gluten free (in addition to my already vegan diet) because of health issues… but now I realize that a gluten free vegan diet is healthy and delicious! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes and tips!

  58. The YU 5 day meal plan was my first ever dabble into the world of vegan cooking, and two years later I’m glad that I have a staple of recipes in my head and enjoy experimenting with the new additions to keep it fresh and motivating. Thank YU!

  59. MonkeyMarilyn

    I’m still transitioning but it can be daunting. Growing up, I would get sick from meat (yes, even the fresh out of the wild stuff) and it wasn’t til I was older I realized you can be allergic. I was a bad vegetarian for years – french fries were my staple. And I have a tomato & wheat sensitivity. It’s hard to get excited about food at all. Trying to find foods you’ve never heard of can be intimidating and hard to follow through. I love the simplicity of YU recipes. My fav by far is the Arugula Pear Quesadilla with cashew cheese. I feel like I’m indulging and yet don’t feel sick after. Thanks!!

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