My name is Mariia, I’m originally from the Ukraine but have been living in New York for a few years with my husband and 3-year-old daughter. I’m a stay at home mom for the time being, but I love living a healthy lifestyle and motivating people to get in shape so in the future I’m planning to get certified as a personal trainer. If interested you can check out my Instagram @tofu_fit_girl.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
It was my husband’s idea to go vegan after watching a disturbing video of animal abuse on Youtube. It was quite surprising to me at first since we were into eating a lot of “lean” meat (protein and all). But we have always been a team so I wanted us to be on the same page. After doing my own research and watching a few documentaries, it really opened my eyes to animal cruelty, health, and environmental issues. Once you make a connection, there is no way back.
How long have you been Vegan?
For a little over a year.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Because I don’t want to contribute to animal suffering, world hunger and environmental problems. We vote with our dollar.
Any recommended Vegan books?
“The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell, “The Starch Solution” by by John A. McDougall and Mary A. McDougall, “ How not to die” by Michael Greger.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
I think “Forks over knives”, “Cowspiracy,” and “Earthlings” are must watch for everybody. Also, there is a new documentary on Netflix, “Food choices.” I like “Bite Size Vegan”, “Mango Island Mamma” and “Vegan family TV” channels on Youtube. They provide great content on how to transition to veganism and raise healthy compassionate children.
Do you actively promote veganism? How?
Mostly through my Instagram page and daily conversations with people. People are always curious how I stay in shape and what my diet is.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
Not really. There is a vegan alternative to basically any meat, dairy or egg products. We never were into junk before going vegan, so most of our diet comes from whole foods, but we do enjoy healthy vegan treats every now and then.
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype? If someone asks you a question about it, how do you respond?
That vegans are weak salad eating hippies. Oh and lack of protein of course. People don’t need as much protein as the fitness industry claims. You can get more than enough on a plant based diet without any risk of getting cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.
There are so so so many that it’s hard to pick one. But recently we have been enjoying homemade falafels a lot.
•3 cups chickpeas(slightly under cooked)
•1 red onion
•2 garlic cloves
•couple handfuls of spinach
•salt, cumin, and any other spices to taste
•2 tbsp oat flour
Put all ingredients but flour in a blender( I use a Vitamix) and pulse until blended well but still has some texture. Pour mixture into the bowl, add flour, mix well, form into balls and bake for 30mins at 400F flipping half way through. Should be harder on the outside and soft inside😉
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
I’m doing my best to support cruelty-free brands. I don’t buy cosmetic/household products that are tested on animals/contain animal ingredients or clothes that are made of animal skin/fur. But I do own a few things that were bought long before I went vegan.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
100% pure cosmetics company, Seventh Generation, Mrs.Meyer’s, Desert essence.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
Don’t be too harsh on yourself, trying to make an impact is already a huge step forward and you should be proud of yourself. If you fall off track, just pick up where you left off. Some people need more time to make a connection than others but it’s all about progress, not perfection.