Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jennifer Garcia and I’m from New Jersey. I formally worked on managing nutrition programs for seniors. Since the program was funded by the state, I was forced to follow strict nutritional guidelines that included meat and dairy. After several years I knew needed a change. I recently left to pursue plant-based nutrition counseling full time. I also started a YouTube channel, Livingreencuisine, and I’m working on my first recipe book!
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I was overweight and unhappy. I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, 6 years ago and immediately became fascinated. I started juicing and watched more documentaries. Once I saw how animals were raised for food it was a no brainer for me, I went vegan, five years strong and I’ve never been happier!
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I always enjoyed cooking and was a heavy Pinterest user. I started looking up how to veganize my favorite dishes and the rest is history!
Do you make any exceptions for yourself or if you are married with kids – your family, when it comes to veganism?
My boyfriend eats a plant-based diet as I do every day. Occasionally when he is on a work trip or with family and has little to no options to choose from, he will eat fish. As long as he is eating plant-based the majority of the time and is vegan in all other aspects I’m fine with that.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Absolutely! So, they are not blinded to the truth like most people growing up.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
Vegan activists come in different forms. I believe I am a vegan activist in my own way. I am doing my part in helping people go vegan by showing them they can continue eating their favorite dishes without it being at the expense of an animal.
How compassionate or empathetic are you towards non-vegans?
I try and be patient with my friends and family, I believe with time they will also see and understand.
Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
I recently started a YouTube channel giving tutorials on some of my amazing vegan recipes! You can find me by the name Livingreencuisine.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Right now it is House of Flavor in Bayonne, NJ.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
It’s hard to pick one, I have several that are in my weekly rotation.
What is the vegan scene like in your city?
I recently moved to northern New Jersey and have a few vegan restaurants nearby. This is exciting.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
I struggled with this, for a long time I did not know any vegans or even vegetarians for that matter! Luckily the internet can be an amazing place to connect with others with the same interests! Facebook groups, meetup.com, and attending vegan festivals are great ways to meet other vegs.
What are your favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Pacifica! they are an amazing natural make -up and skincare company.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
White chocolate! It’s rare, luckily in that fast few years, there are companies that starting making it. I found decent ones on Amazon.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
For the first year, I really had no idea what I was doing. I lost a lot of weight, and then I lost too much weight and my family became concerned. My parents wanted me to at least start eating fish and I am so happy I didn’t give in. I dove deep into plant-based nutrition research and never looked back.