This week’s Balanced Babe greets us from British Columbia, Canada and is the creative energy and soul behind the popular award-winning food blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life. She is also author of the best selling book “Rawsome Vegan Baking” and recently released “100 Best Juices, Smoothies and Healthy Snacks”. Emily shares a few of her thoughts on making the switch to a plant-based diet.
BB: You believe in “living as naturally, minimally, and sustainably as possible”. Can you offer your philosophy and some easy ways to slowly start the process of going from eating cooked foods to eating plant-based?
Well cooked foods and plant-based foods overlap a lot so it’s not like you have to give one category up! 🙂 I still eat cooked plants; they are nutritious, easily digested and very healthful. I like to balance them out with raw foods to stay hydrated and energized.
About transitioning: don’t worry about going vegan overnight or anything that you are uncomfortable with. Go at whatever pace is comfortable and feels safe for you. How about today you try making a smoothie with spinach, frozen bananas, and almond milk? Then keep incorporating that in your daily diet. Next week, experiment with veggie lasagna, or make your own brown rice sushi rolls with avocado and cucumber!
Keep adding in healthy plant-based meals and foods everyday and eventually they will crowd out the other stuff. I say eat the good stuff (fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, nuts and seeds) in abundance and then you won’t crave the junk (processed foods and environmentally damaging and cruel things like meat, dairy and eggs).
BB: For those readers that would like to learn more about excluding the consumption of animal products and slowly incorporating the vegan/mostly raw foods lifestyle in their diet, what would you suggest as far as ways to adapt this type of lifestyle?
1) Do what works for you. Some vegans eat organic fruit all day long and nothing else. Some live on rice, beans and yams. At the end of the day there’s no perfect diet for everyone, but there IS an ideal diet for you. Experiment to find out what that is, then keep doing it consistently. One thing for sure: an un-restrictive whole foods, plant-based diet rich in variety and colour is gonna make everyone thrive.
2) Go at a comfortable pace for you. There’s no need to rush this. You want to make changes at a speed that is reasonable and sustainable and ENJOYABLE for you.
3) Eat enough. And eat healthy foods. Technically you could be a vegan and live off potato chips (though you wouldn’t live very long in that case). You should be eating a variety of as many fruits and veggies as you desire, raw or lightly cooked in a way that’s yummy to you. Eat rice and beans as often as you like too. Eat nuts and seeds in moderation.
BB: Can you give us an example of your typical meal plan for the day that would be high-carb, vegan and a mostly raw diet.
Mhm. So I wake up and drink a litre of water. Then I make a smoothie (mostly fruit) when I am hungry, sometimes I will make oatmeal too and have it with cinnamon and maple syrup. Then I go to the gym with more water. After working out (I lift heavy weights) I’ll make another smoothie, usually with greens and sometimes with a vegan protein powder. Next time I am hungry I’ll probably eat a bunch of fruit (example: 6 mangoes) or make another smoothie. My smoothies are normally around 1-2 litres, with lots of water. For dinner I generally will have steamed or baked vegetables with greens, rice, beans and a tahini lemon garlic sauce. It doesn’t get old. When I go out to eat, I love veggie plates at Ethiopian restaurants, or veggie combos at sushi places. Curry and rice at Indian restaurants is also delicious.
BB: How do you maintain the Balanced Babe lifestyle?
Time management and not compromising my priorities (those being healthy yummy eating, daily enjoyable exercise, social time with my partner and friends and fam, school, blog, book writing, keeping up on social media, petting my cat, Dante). I don’t let myself say “ah, no time to make a smoothie”. I give something else less important up to make that happen. My happiness completely depends on a balance of the things I just listed.
We’ve included three yummy recipes from Emily’s Blog – enjoy!