Happy Friday, everyone! It has been a LONG time since I’ve posted an interview, but now that life has calmed down a bit, I’m hoping to share a Friday Feature each week, again…and I have A LOT of wonderful people lined up. Today’s feature is Lauren from BlondeVeganHippie! Lauren and I connected early this last summer over being gluten-free & vegan…it was one of those moments when your reaction is, “No way?! You too?” We share the same passion for natural living, love for animals and being present in the here and now. Her positive energy is contagious!
INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN FROM BLONDEVEGANHIPPIE:
- Where are you from? “I am from Ontario, Canada! Believe it or not, I don’t actually live in an igloo 🙂
- When did you go vegan and what was your “AHA” moment? “I went vegan on January 13th, 2013 after watching both Forks Over Knives and a lecture from a Doctor who made the switch towards a plant-based diet. Something clicked for me after watching both those documentaries and lectures, and I realized that I did not need animal protein to survive and that I could thrive without having to harm another animal.”
- Tell us about your blog! “I run http://www.blondeveganhippie.wordpress.com! It is a fairly new blog, as I have only been running it for about 6-7 months. I finally took the plunge to create a blog, after many close friends and family members encouraged me to do so, and I am so happy that I did! It has provided me with so many opportunities and has allowed me to connect with so many amazing like-minded beings. I came up with my blog name fairly easily to be honest. I knew I wanted to include vegan in the name and also really wanted to include hippie as well, because both words describe my lifestyle choices perfectly. Originally, I thought of going with theveganhippie, but it seemed very boring. One of my best friends suggested adding blonde to the title and that is how I ended up becoming blondeveganhippie! With my blog, I hope to reach as many people as possible and inspire them to try veganism. I hope to educate those who don’t know much about a vegan lifestyle and to show them that being vegan does not mean that you deprive yourself!I hope to connect with more amazing people and be a part of some amazing collaborations within the vegan community!”
- Is there anything you miss since going vegan? Maybe something you have yet to veganize? “I actually don’t miss anything since I have gone vegan, which I find really interesting. My first week of being vegan, I really, really wanted to eat shrimp but never gave in, and since then I have never had a craving for any animal flesh or animal by-products. I have been very lucky to find vegan alternatives to everything I enjoyed previously. Everything I loved eating previously, I have been able to make a vegan version of it. This includes vegan chili, vegan desserts and vegan Caesar salad!”
- What’s the hardest thing about being vegan? “The hardest things about being vegan is finding vegan options at non-vegan restaurants that don’t completely suck and getting asked where I get my protein from *sigh* Other than that, I find being vegan extremely easy!!”
- What is your go-to meal? “My go-to meal? Ahh that is a tough one! If I am eating out, then it is definitely avocado rolls or vegan pad thai. If I am cooking at home, my go-to meal would have to be vegetable stir fry with brown rice noodles!”
- What’s a “cheat” meal for you? “A cheat meal for me would definitely have to be a meal from a vegan restaurant that is focused around a lot of faux meats or is fried. Recently, I had an amazing dinner at Disgraceland which has a ton of vegan options but it was definitely a vegan gluttony type of meal! I had pierogies, a vegan ribwich, vegan poutine and popcorn tofu bites! SO good.”
- Your favorite cruelty-free product (cleaning, personal care, etc.) and why? “My favourite cruelty-free product would have to be my leave-in conditioner from Live Clean! I use it every single time I wash my hair. I put it on damp hair and let it air dry. It leaves my hair feeling very soft and replenished. Not to mention it smells heavenly and is inexpensive!”
- If you could travel anywhere, all-expense paid, where would you go? Why? “Oh wow! What a great question. I would have to say Bali, Indonesia! After watching Eat Pray Love and researching the country, I fell in love! Not only is it extremely beautiful, but it is also extremely vegan friendly and offers a very zen atmosphere. I am hoping to travel there next summer, so fingers crossed!”
- Who or what inspires you? “This is going to sound cheesy, but my mom inspires me. When I see her, I see superwoman. She has done everything for my sisters and I our entire lives and I can never repay her for all her selflessness. She has gone through so much in the past few years and to see her hold her head high is extremely inspiring. I always tell her, if I can be half the woman she is one day then I know I have succeeded in life. She is amazing.”
- Any advice or words of wisdom for new vegans or people who are considering making the transition? “For starters, congratulations on considering to live a cruelty free lifestyle! The animals certainly thank you 🙂 This is a great question because one of my friends from high school is starting her journey towards veganism and has been asking me a ton of questions because I am the only vegan she knows! I would tell anyone the same thing I have told her – take it day by day. Not everyone can change their lifestyle and diet overnight! REMEMBER veganism is not just about how you eat, it is about how you live. It is important to keep that in mind when you are transitioning because it affects many areas of your life. Go to your local library and borrow a bunch of vegan cookbooks or read different vegan blogs and test out some of their amazing recipes. Slowly incorporate more vegan meals into your day. Eventually, try being fully vegan for 1 week, then 2 and before you know it you will have completely made the transition. Just remember to do your research! Read a lot! Watch as many documentaries as you possibly can so that you are educated on your new lifestyle.”
- Three words that describe you! “Hard working, positive and inspiring!”
- What does natural health mean to you? “To me, natural health means living a life that is as clean and natural as possible. This means eating things from the earth, like plants, and not consuming heavily processed meals or snacks. It means nourishing your body through your food choices. It means accepting your natural beauty and not masking who you are behind a face full of makeup. It means finding ways to stay active that fit into your daily routine, like walking or at home dvds. It means connecting with nature. That’s what natural health means to me. It is living simply, living naturally.”
- Anything else you’d like to share about yourself (the spotlight is on you!)? “I am halfway through Teachers College, working toward my B.Ed in Primary Education Studies. After officially becoming a teacher, I hope to work in a private school. I love the philosophies behind private schools, as they really align with my own teaching philosophy. Once I have children, I would love to stay home and unschool them for as long as possible. I believe in a very non traditional way of teaching and I want to be able to expose my future children to that! Who knows…Maybe one day I’ll have my own little school! 😉 Another one of my goals is to combine my passion for nutrition with my love of education. I hope to one day create a workshop for children and teenagers to educate them about a plant-based lifestyle and all the benefits associated with them. I would also love to have a school program that focuses on that same thing!”
- Social media outlets – where can people find you? You can follow my blog at http://www.blondeveganhippie.wordpress.com – I also have a Facebook page called Blonde Vegan Hippie and an Instagram account as well @blondeveganhippie!
Thank you, Lauren!!! It was great learning a little bit more about you; I appreciate you taking the time to share!
Thanks for stopping by!