Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Bend, OR with my boyfriend and our 3 year old son Roman. I work as a cook at a raw vegan cafe called Salud Raw Foods. I like writing, traveling to new places and being out in nature. I’m passionate about wellness as a lifestyle. What we eat, the information we consume, how we spend our time- these are all choices that we have the power to make every day, which in turn determine how we feel and our overall quality of life. I find this deeply empowering. I blog about everything that goes under the grand, overarching category of wellness, from diet and exercise to personal growth, mindset and body image. My blog Liminal Wellness (www.liminalwellness.com) focuses on helping readers find peace with food and their bodies, while striving after the best, happiest, healthiest versions of themselves.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
I was vegetarian for almost 3 years when I was younger, but I fell out of it and returned to eating meat again for a couple of years before going vegan. I was meditating one morning and it became clear to me that I needed to go vegan. I didn’t feel right about what I was doing. For one I wasn’t eating right and I knew that I was limiting myself with my diet at the time. I felt disconnected from my body and wrong about supporting the industries pumping out factory farmed meat and animal products into supermarkets.
Also, I come from a background of restrictive dieting and binge eating, so finding a healthy relationship with food has been a challenge for me. Seeing what a whole food plant based diet looked like was a huge inspiration for me, as it differed so much from the restrictive dieting attitude I was used to. This way of eating was abundant and focused more on food as nourishment rather than as another means to succeed or fail. Adopting a whole foods plant based diet has taken away a lot of the anxiety I used to have around food.
How long have you been Vegan?
I’ve been vegan since September 2016, so 2 years that I’ve been vegan now.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
Being vegan is a way for me to stand for what I believe in. Going vegan has forced me to be conscious of what I put into my body and what I pour my money into. I believe that we all vote with our dollars. Choosing to buy local plant food over inhumanely produced animal products is my way of making the world a better place one grocery haul at a time. I find this notion that I can make a difference by consciously choosing the food I buy and eat deeply empowering.
Any recommended Vegan books?
Rich Roll’s “Finding Ultra” is an incredible read.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Pure Joy Kitchen is one of my favorite vegan restaurants here in Bend. Salud Raw Foods, where I work, is also incredible. Corrine, the owner, is really talented when it comes to transforming raw fruits, veggies and nuts into rich, decadent dishes. Working there has changed the way that I cook at home. I used to not know what to do with raw veggies aside from put them in a salad or smoothie, now I have fun playing around with different raw dishes.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
I’m a smoothie gal. This has been one of my favorites lately, especially after a workout, as the cashews make it really satisfying.
Smallhandful of soaked cashews
- 2 tsp Matcha powder
- 1 tbsp maca and lucuma powder (Healthforce Superfoods has a great one)
- 1 frozen banana
- 3 dates
- Almond milk
- –BIG handful of spinach
What does living cruelty-free mean to you?
To me living cruelty-free involves becoming deeply conscious of how your actions impact the world around you and all of the beings living on it. It means taking into consideration the bigger picture- what went into the food you pickup from the grocery store or the shoes you buy from the mall- and making decisions, big and small, that don’t perpetuate cruelty, whether it be the factory farming of an animal or the abuse of a sweat shop worker.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Miyokos has a delicious line of spreadable vegan cheeses. NuCulture is one of my favorite local vegan companies; everyone needs to try one of their cashew spreads at least once.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
A good shredded vegan cheese made with whole plant food ingredients. Many of the ones on the market are made with way too many unrecognizable ingredients and are lacking in the taste department.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism? Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
When I first became vegan, eating with family and friends was difficult. There was one occasion where I was caught off guard for Christmas Eve dinner at a family friends house and every dish either had meat or dairy in it. The hardest thing for me was feeling like the difficult one when eating out with friends and family or hurting people’s feelings by denying the food they served me.
My advice for new vegans is to pick a staple (like veggies and rice at Chinese restaurants, or oatmeal at breakfast places) that you can always fall back on at restaurants with few vegan options. If you’re going to dinner at a friend’s house bring your own vegan dish. That way you contribute to the party and you also have something to munch on if there aren’t any vegan options present. It’s really important to not get too wrapped up in how other people feel about your choice to go vegan. Not everything you do will please everyone around you. Going vegan is something that you do for you. It’s a way of choosing yourself over the need to be validated by others.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.
“What inspired you to go vegan?” I’m always interested in seeing what it was that created that aha moment for other vegans.