Being Vegan, Vegan Being – Hiba Hachem – Veganism Opened My Heart and Triggered My Mind to See the World Differently.

My name is Hiba, I am a 24-year-old mother of two, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I am also a vegan recipe creator and I post my recipes on my Instagram account @rainbows.babies.andclouds.

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

I was struggling with fatigue and the lack of energy after my second child, and it took a toll on my skin too. Given that I was always trying to eat healthy, I thought about eliminating dairy from my diet, and I did. After doing more research and meeting more vegans on Instagram, I decided that I wanted to go vegan. I transitioned slowly into veganism, though, over the course of four weeks I was fully vegan.

How long have you been Vegan?

I have been vegan for just under a year now, (will be one year in February).

Why is being Vegan important to you?

I like to think that being a vegan is a part of who I am as a person now, with the way I think and the values I own. Veganism opened my heart and triggered my mind into a whole lot of issues that I might’ve never encountered or thought about if I wasn’t to be vegan.

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

I like to read mostly vegan food blogs, and my favorites have to be unconventionalbaker.com and feastingonfruit.com .

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

I loved watching Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives, because they both show two different aspects of why a lot of people are going vegan.

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

I like to think that everyone should have their own journey that’s going to lead them to believe in veganism. I try not to push my beliefs on other people, as I don’t like that to be done to me, but at the same time I don’t mind sharing my experience and knowledge about the topic if people are willing to listen. In fact, my sister quit dairy after my last visit to my parents over the holidays, which I like to think of as an achievement, and one friend told me that they’re going to go vegan for 3 weeks and see how they go!

Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?

I, honestly, don’t really miss any non-vegan foods, but if I had to name one thing that I haven’t found a good vegan alternative for, it has to be melting cheese.

What is your favorite Vegan meme?

My favorite is that one that says, “Well, can’t you just pick the meat out?!”, because I had someone tell me that before.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

Even though I don’t eat much out, but when I need to break the routine I love going to Soul Burger. They are an only plant-based burger place and they have the best burgers!

What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.

I have a lot of recipes that I love and constantly make. I want to share something comforting, tastes great and super easy to make. So, I’m going to choose, Tofu Fried Rice!

To make this you’ll need:
Sauce:
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut sugar
3 tbsp coconut amino acid
1/4 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp coconut oil
125g firm tofu, towel dried and smashed
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp chili, Finley chopped (optional)
2-3 cups veggies of choice (I chose carrots, broccoli, asparagus, and corn)
1 cup rice, cooked

Start by preparing the sauce, place lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and mix on low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rest of sauce ingredients and set aside.

In a big pan or wok, add some oil and add the tofu after you’ve torn it into little pieces with your hands, and stir fry until browned slightly. Move tofu to the side of the pan, add garlic and ginger, fry for a few seconds then add the vegetables. Stir fry everything together for a minute, add rice and sauce and stir until sauce is well distributed. Serve warm with a garnish of spring onions and coriander.

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

I would tell every new vegan, congratulations on making a great decision to go vegan. No matter what we do to better ourselves, it’s a journey, it’s going to take time and effort, and before we know it we’re already there. Just hang in there, educate yourself and eat nourishing and filling food, so you don’t feel the urge that you want to go back. Surround yourself with loving and supporting people, I found a lot of support through Instagram and even made very good friends there too.

Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?

I am a cruelty-free vegan in the way that I don’t buy anymore non-vegan or non-cruelty-free products. I still have stuff that is not cruelty-free that I haven’t got rid of yet, though.

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

I am surprised every day by the amount of vegan and cruelty-free products on the market. I recently came across an amazing Australian company called Healthy Skincare; they hold 100% vegan and cruelty-free products including my favorite deodorant called Woohoo. I also love Lush’s vegan products and have always used them. Our shampoos, body wash, and creams are all from lush.

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

The only thing that I struggled with, is explaining myself to people with ridiculous questions, that don’t accept and respect my choice of following the diet I choose to follow.

What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.

I would ask them, how their families reacted to them being vegan? My family members were all supportive of me changing my diet. I can’t imagine them not being supportive and it meant the world that they were. I always think how hard it would be for someone not to have the support of the closest people to them.

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