What is your business?
I started Full Of Life, Vegan Connections as a means to educate and inspire people about the vegan lifestyle and food. I try my best to connect with people through the site, through local community screenings of health/food related documentaries, and through cooking delicious and healthy vegan food. Full Of Life has been flowing in an organic way while I’ve been upgrading my education to include a certificate of Plant Based Nutrition and a diploma course of Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition Consulting. My business will now include vegan consulting, hosting online juice cleanses and preparing vegan food for people locally. I have lots of ideas for the future, and as Full Of Life is less than 1 year old, I see multiple options for growth and development. Something I’m really looking forward to is developing some eBooks and doing some local workshops about veganism!
Though I wish I could say yes to this question, my answer is no. I would consider myself a recovered sugar addict, and possibly food addict. As many young woman experience in their lives, I too developed disordered eating during my high school and early university years. Though I naturally became healthier over time, and had been a vegetarian for 16 years, it wasn’t until I became vegan and developed an interest in how food plays a role in a healthy mind, body and spirit, while minimising risk for disease and maximising health and lifespan, that I can say I’m at the healthiest place I’ve ever been in my life. Being vegan not only made my food choices better (kale is my favourite food!), but it also freed my mind in a profound way to find more joy and happiness in life. Since health is holistic, the state of my mind these days is one of the strongest indicators of my healthy lifestyle, but I see my unprocessed, whole foods, vegan diet as being the pillar of my health.
What does your diet consist of?
90% of the time I follow a healthy plant based, vegan diet. 10% of the time I make room for vegan treats, white pastas, dark chocolate and French fries. When shopping I stick to fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes. If I’m buying pre-made foods, I make sure the ingredient lists are kept to a few basic, recognisable foods. I try to avoid chemicals and pesticides and do my best to buy organic. As a vegan, I eat no animal products whatsoever and find a lot of joy in doing the least harm to animals, the environment and my health by choosing this diet.
What sparked your love of juicing?
Ah, my love of juicing is overflowing! For just under a year, I’ve owned my own juicer and since then have consistently had fresh vegetable and fruit juices as part of my diet. Every couple of months I try to do a 3 day juice cleanse and drink nothing but (mostly green) vegetable and fruit juices- about 6 16oz jars a day. My love of juicing developed after watching the film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. I was convinced that by giving our bodies a break from digestion and nutritionally void food, while supplying an abundance of freshly sourced nutrients, our bodies could catch up on daily demands of cleaning and also recharge and heal ailments over time. I love everything about juicing and am very passionate about its benefits. I recently hosted an online juice cleanse with 20 participants and had a lot of great feedback about how juicing inspired some people to pursue a healthier life and maintain a cleaner diet.
Could you please share with us your favourite recipe?
These days, my favourite meal and recipe is a delicious kale salad that I make with a tahini-nutritional yeast dressing.
- Thoroughly wash one small bunch of kale. Shake off water from leaves, but don’t dry kale fully. When washed, tear away the kale leaf from the stems into small pieces and add them to a big salad bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, prepare dressing. Scoop out dressing onto the kale leaves and massage dressing into kale with your hands. Make sure every piece of kale has been massaged with the dressing. Kale will soften, and the paste of the dressing will stick nicely to the leaves.
- Mix all ingredients together except the nutritional yeast. When combined, add in nutritional yeast to create a thick paste. Massage into kale.
Enjoy the salad plain with the dressing or top it with thinly sliced cucumber and black olives.
Nutritional Yeast-Tahini Dressing
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (from organic/natural food section at your grocery store)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2
- Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp light miso
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- black pepper
What is the number one thing you would recommend to a person who wants to improve their health?
As a vegan advocate, the number one thing I’d recommend is to add more vegan meals to your diet and limit animal products and protein to 5% of your calories or less. I enjoy the idea of crowding out unhealthy foods by adding more plant based foods and highly nutritious superfoods. A great strategy for this is starting your day with a green smoothie- in a blender, mix until smooth a banana, a cup of frozen berries, a couple handfuls of spinach, some ground flax seeds and some water or almond milk. It’s a raw, energizing, plant based, nutritionally packed way to start the day! Enjoy.