Hi! I’m Linda (the mom), and I’m Alex (the daughter), and we’re the creators of Veganosity, a vegan lifestyle blog. We love to run, work out, play tennis, volunteer at our local dog shelter, shop, and create delicious vegan recipes that non-vegans love to eat too. Basically, we’re out to prove to the world that vegans are not granola eating hippies, judgmental, and/or “different.” We also want to thank Sarah at The Balanced Babe for featuring us on her amazing blog! Thanks Sarah!!
BB: What made you turn to a vegan diet?
Linda – My husband and I were vegetarians for many years until I got pregnant with Alex, then I started eating chicken and fish again. Alex told me that she was going vegan in October, 2013, and after seeing the changes in her body and mood, and watching some of the factory farming videos she shared with me, I decided to make the change in December, 2013.
Alex – I tried eating vegan while studying abroad in London my junior year, but it was really difficult when I traveled to other countries on the weekends. When I got back home I realized that cheese and dairy was giving me stomach aches so I stopped eating it for a while and I felt so much better. I also put on some weight while abroad and I knew that a vegan diet would help me take it off. But, the reason that I stuck with it was when I started doing some research on a vegan diet, which led me to the truth about factory farming and the cruel and horrific ways animals are treated.
BB: What inspired you to start Veganosity?
Linda – I started a fashion blog, Middle Skirts, in September, 2013. I was a model in my teens and early twenties, and worked in the fashion world for decades. I wanted to share my passion with middle age women who wanted to wear the newest trends without looking like a teenager. When Alex and I became vegans I started looking at vegan blogs and realized that there was a need for a vegan lifestyle blog that anyone could visit without feeling judged or out of place.
Alex – When my mom asked me if I wanted to create a vegan blog I was immediately on board. We both love to cook, we’re both creative, and my class schedule was light so I knew I’d have time to do it. The more we blogged the more passionate I became about it. It also allowed me to share my ideas and story with my friends and family, which really helped them to understand my new lifestyle.
BB: What is one of the obstacles you face being a blogger?
Linda – Growing viewership and monetizing. We’ve only been doing this for about six months, and I realize that it takes time to grow an audience, but I’m impatient, and I want people to find us. The monetizing part grows with viewership so we know that we won’t make money unless we get the views. And, we won’t get views without consistent, quality content. Fortunately, we love creating so that part will hopefully help us get to where we want to be.
Alex – Time. In the beginning I only had one class to focus on, then I graduated. This summer has been difficult because I got certified as a personal trainer (lots of studying), started working at David Barton Gym, and I’m moving to Chicago and starting graduate school in a week. My time is limited, so I thank my mom for picking up the slack for me. Once I’m settled I will start writing a lot of fitness articles for the blog.
BB: What are your tips for incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet?
Linda – Start with one meal. Give up animal products for one meal a day. This will force you to consume plant based foods. Once you get used to that then make it two meals a day, or a meal and a snack. I’m a huge fan of the “eat this, not that” mentality. Instead of cow milk, drink almond or coconut milk. Instead of a hamburger, eat a veggie burger. Instead of loading a salad with cheese, sprinkle creamy avocado cubes on it.
Alex – I agree with my mom. Few people can dive into this lifestyle like my mom and I did. Take it slow and be conscious of what you’re eating. Mindless eating can get you into trouble, even if you’re a vegan.
BB: What have you noticed about your body/lifestyle since committing to a vegan diet?
Linda – The first thing I noticed was that the arthritis in my right ring finger disappeared. I woke up every morning with a stiff and painful finger. It’s gone, completely gone. I also lost the little bit of belly fat that I had. To be clear, I have always been a “food Nazi,” to quote my kids and husband. I’ve always cooked with whole foods and stayed away from processed foods. I also exercise daily, so I was in great shape to begin with. But, having turned fifty last year, I noticed a little pooch that I couldn’t work off. Thanks to my vegan diet, it’s gone. And, I have so much more energy.
Alex – I’ve lost a ton of weight. I feel great, I have so much more energy, and I never feel guilty about what I eat. I know that every day I’m helping to save an animal’s life. That feels really good.
BB: What are your most popular recipes from your site?
Our Chickpea Burger has been hugely successful. Finding Vegan featured it and we get hits for it every day.
Our Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes were also recently featured on Finding Vegan and we had several amazing days of traffic.
Of course our veggie recipes are always popular. This Summer Sunshine Salad in a Mason Jar has brought us a ton of traffic.
BB: What is one common misconception about being vegan?
Linda – That we are granola eating hippies who look down on those who eat animal products. In our case, that’s absolutely false. First, we love fashion. Even though we don’t buy leather or wool products anymore, we still dress in the hottest trends. Stella McCartney is one of our favorite designers. Her faux leather purses and shoes are incredible. Second, most of our friends are not vegans. We don’t judge them, we love them. If they ask us for information we’re happy to give it. I believe you attract more bees with honey, not vinegar. Another fallacy is that vegan food sucks. Some of it does, I’ve had it, but ours is amazing. My husband and son are not vegan and they are both foodies like Alex and me. They wouldn’t stand for it if I served bad food for dinner.
Alex – That we don’t get enough protein. The reality is that most American’s consume too much protein. Most plant based foods have protein, so if you’re eating whole foods and consuming enough calories, you’re getting enough protein.
BB: What are some of the benefits from being vegan?
Linda – There are so many peer reviewed scientific studies that prove that a plant based diet can help to prevent heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. It’s really difficult to be unhealthy if you’re eating a balanced, plant based diet. We’ve all heard that diets heavy in meat and dairy are linked to colon cancer, other cancers, and heart disease, but I’ve yet to see a study that links fruit and veggies to those things.
Alex – Besides health benefits, which are huge, a vegan diet is good for the environment, and for farm animals that suffer each and every day.
BB: How do you maintain the balanced babe lifestyle?
Eating whole, plant based meals, exercising daily, volunteering at our local dog shelter at least twice a month, and not taking ourselves too seriously, you’ve got to have fun!
BB: Quick tips for staying fit?
Linda – Don’t make excuses. If you can’t get to, or afford, the gym, work out at home. Dance, walk, run, buy a work out video, or follow our blog. Just do something!
Alex – Take the stairs, park further away and walk, just move as much as you can. And remember, you CAN fit an hour of intense exercise into your day, you just have to make it a priority.
BB: What can we expect from you and Veganosity in the near future?
Linda – We are looking into packaging some of our vegan bakery products, and we are going to start selling our tee shirts on our blog within the next few months.
Alex – I’m working on a fitness program that people can do with me via Skype. I’m hoping to get it going by January.
All photos courtesy of Veganosity