Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Alexa Soto – Fueled Naturally Through my Passion for Cooking, Health, Photography, and Veganism

My name is Alexa Soto. I live in San Diego California. I am a student and also work 3 jobs, I love them all equally! I work part time with children with special needs, sell produce once a week at a farmers market and sell my new recipe ebook; Fueled Naturally. I created Fueled Naturally through my passion for cooking, health, veganism and food photography. I created 60 recipes that vegans and nonvegans alike would love and enjoy. Recipes like mac n cheese, lasagna and brownies can be found in the recipe book! The recipe book can be purchased at here for only $10.00.

Instagram: @alexafuelednaturally
Youtube channel: Alexa Fuelednaturally

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

The moment I realized I wanted to be vegan was moments after I finished watching “The best speech you will ever hear” on Youtube. It completely changed my perspective on the world and lead me to live a vegan and cruelty-free lifestyle. I also realized I wanted to go vegan when plant-based foods made me feel better and nourished. I noticed

How long have you been Vegan?

I have been vegan for two years.

Why is being Vegan important to you?

I am vegan and will always stay vegan for ethical reasons. I also do it for my health but my passion behind veganism stems from my personal choice of not supporting the cruel meat, dairy and egg industries. Like I said, I also do it for health. I respect my body and well being enough to fuel it with the right foods! To me, the right foods are plant-based, whole foods. Foods that grow from the earth! I feel nourished because of the foods I choose to put in my body!

Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?

I mainly post on my Instagram: @alexafuelednaturally and youtube; Alexa Fuelednaturally
As far as blogs go, I really love and admire http://minimalistbaker.com.

Any recommended Vegan books?

I really recommend Skinny bitch to woman and men!

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?

I have a vlogging channel with my boyfriend about travel, veganism and our daily lives as well as my main channel consisting of recipe videos.
Vlog channel: Chancy and Alexa Vlogs
Main channel: Alexa Fuelednaturally

Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.

One of the main ways I promote veganism is on my Instagram. I post daily, talking about vegan recipes and my lifestyle. I think the best way is to lead by example. The more I show my passion the more people around me recognize it and develop an interest. I also love promoting veganism by wearing vegan shirts that promote a powerful message. I wear them often at my workplace at the farmers market and it starts conversations about the vegan movement.

Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?

When I do miss any non-vegan foods, I veganize them! For example the other day, I thought of how much I used to love eating my childhood favorite; Arroz con Leche (a Mexican rice pudding desert). I veganized it using almond milk and it was just as tasty! I have a recipe video showing how I made the vegan “Arroz con leech”;

 

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

What is your favorite Vegan stereotype?

“Where do you get your protein?” All plants have protein! 4 ounces of black beans has the same amount of protein found in 4 ounces of beef!

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

My favorite vegan restaurant is Veggie Grill located in several states across the country! It is my go to place to take my non vegan family and friends! They have buffalo wings, Burgers, chicken fingers, (all vegan of course) that taste so realistic, it is crazy!

What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.

This recipe is from my ebook. My family and friends absolutely love this recipe!

Crispy BBQ Cauliflower Wings SERVES 2-4

1 head of cauliflower chopped into bite sized florets
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp of paprika
salt
pepper
1 cup bbq sauce
1 tbsp vegan butter (optional)

These put a smile on my best friends faces. Girls night is not complete without these crispy bbq cauliflower wings. These are always on the menu! Cauliflower is taken to a whole new level in this recipe, you almost forget you’re eating a vegetable!

1. In a medium sized bowl place almond milk, flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, mix until smooth and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl place panko bread crumbs.
3. Dip each cauliflower into wet mixture then roll in panko bread crumbs.
4. Line Cauliflower florets on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes at 450 F.
5. In a small bowl combine 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce and 1 tablespoon of melted vegan butter, mix until well combined
6. After cauliflower has baked for the 30 minutes coat each cauliflower floret with bbq sauce and bake for another 7 minutes.
7. Enjoy with a homemade or store-bought vegan ranch dipping sauce.

What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?

“You can’t gain muscle on a vegan diet!” This is so false! There are so many vegan athletes and even vegan bodybuilders.

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

Be patient with family and friends… while it is a big change in your life, it is for them too. Stick to your beliefs and passions! Do not over complicate your meals, eat the foods you enjoy, eat a variety of foods… it may help finding inspiration through Instagram and youtube! The vegan community is constantly growing!

Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?

I am cruelty-free to the best of my abilities. I buy products that are not tested on animals and that are free of any animal products.

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

I really enjoy using Trader Joe’s shampoo, conditioner, face cleanser, toothpaste, and many other products because they’re free of animal testing, affordable and vegan.

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

I would say nail polish and nail polish remover. A tip I have Is to avoid nail salons or bring your own cruelty-free nail polish to the salon.

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

I struggled with veganism recently while I was on a vacation with family in Mexico. In the past year, I found myself traveling quite a bit. I traveled over to Asia, South America and just recently Mexico. During my travels, prior to Mexico, I hadn’t really struggled with my vegan lifestyle because I was either traveling alone or with a vegan friend. Although on my recent trip to Mexico I traveled with 30 + family members, all which were not vegan except for myself and my boyfriend. It was a challenge because each day was planned with an all day activity and a lot of traditional Mexican food offered that was not vegan. It was even difficult to find rice and beans that were vegan. It taught us to always be prepared with our own meals and to try our best to not isolate ourselves when a meal was being shared. It was a challenge because food can be a large part of culture although we had to constantly remind ourselves and each other that veganism is a lifestyle that we chose and even when times get uncomfortable or difficult it is important to us. In life, you will have to come across some difficult obstacles, but it is important to always remember your values and beliefs. There are other ways to immerse yourself into a culture other than sharing a meal with others. Conversations, music, traditions are some of the many things that can be experienced as a way of immersing yourself in a culture.

Do you take your own hand soap with you to use in public restrooms?

I am always curious if vegans care to bring along a cruelty-free hand soup with them, assuming that public restrooms use soap in their bathrooms that are tested on animals. I myself do not do this but I plan to make more of an effort in bringing my own hand soap.

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