One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to take a step and start to be more conscious of what foods you are putting into your body. You cannot do that without first educating yourself on basic human nutrition. You see, everyone’s bodies’ work differently and requires different diets for its healthy function. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle gives you the freedom of trying different diets and finding out what works for you. Veganism is of those diets. A vegan, is an individual who does use or eat animal based products.
Sounds pretty extreme huh? Well lucky for us, we have Paisley Dews. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting this queen at events all around the Bay and recently found out that she was a vegan! She posts super dope pictures of her vegan diet on Instagram and what is even better is that she is a Bay Area native so she can give us some insight on what it is like to live a vegan lifestyle in the Bay Area.
Avocado Basil Pesto Zoodles
What inspired you to become a vegan?
I’d never been a really been a big meat eater, for the simple fact that I absolutely hate to cook. I’d rarely even keep meat in the house, which made my consumption limited to about 1-2 a week when eating out. Eliminating that out of my diet almost felt like a second nature. However, my biggest vice was my love for dairy-based desserts. I’d recently been told to modify my diet because of a health condition I have, and was supposed to have minimal dairy and processed foods. So I was literally killing myself by eating ice cream, cheesecake, and pre-packaged sweets everyday. It feels like I just went on a super long tangent, but my ultimate reason for going vegan was for my life.
How long have you been vegan?
I was vegan as a kid (not by choice), and have been an on-again-off-again vegetarian since then. I just recently rejoined the lifestyle as a my New Year’s resolution for 2015.
Fav vegan blogs, books, youtube channels?
I tend to gravitate toward bloggers who are similar life stages as I am. So I do a lot of keyword searches like “college vegan” or “cheap vegan” just to keep things economical, quick, and easy to take on-the-go if needed. One of my favorite YouTubers right now is Essena O’Neill, she posts a lot of “What I Ate Today” videos.I also recently picked up a cookbook called “Isa Does it” which has every recipe you could possibly think of. Another good resource is PETA’s website, specifically their PETA2 website which is more so geared towards young adults. There’s a lot of general info, recipes, and even lists of vegan-friendly items on the menus of many nationwide chains.
What is a big misconception about veganism?
Every vegetarian or vegan is familiar with the the confused looks followed by the infamous question “…but how do you get your protein?” The biggest misconception is definitely that there’s some sort of deficiency within the lifestyle. When you eat whole foods, not professed and as close to their natural state as possible, everything is nutrient dense. So many plants are just naturally packed with protein. Legumes, whole grains, nuts, greens, seeds, and avocados are a few good and clean sources of protein that will compliment each in a well-balanced diet.
Favorite vegan spots in the Bay?
One of my favorite vegan-friendly spots is a restaurant in Berkeley called Long Life Vegi House
. You can find a lot of your favorite Chinese dishes there made with different meatless-proteins for around $5 if you catch their lunch specials. Sometimes, if I have a late night diner food type of craving, I stop by Saturn Cafe
. They have all the guilty pleasures, like vegan nacho fries and milkshakes.
Vegan Nacho Fries from Saturn Cafe
What are some staples in your kitchen?
Oatmeal and bananas are probably my biggest necessities. Both are surprisingly versatile.
Fav vegan meal?
I’m a breakfast person, so to keep it simple, steel cut oats cooked in coconut milk and topped berries.
Fried Plantain, Avacado and Peppers
6 Reasons to Go Vegan
1. There’s the ethical standpoint. The animals that are being used for meat, dairy, leather goods, and any animal based products live in dirty, overcrowded, and over all unnatural conditions. Then they are more than likely killed in a brutal manner.
2. Meat production uses an immense amount of energy and water, and with California being in a drought cutting down on consumption could be really beneficial to the environment.
3. Since meat and dairy are both industries that are driven by profit, there’s so many dangerous additives and hormones that go into those animals in order to maximize production.
4. Veganism increases one’s consciousness not only about their impact on the environment, but also the awareness of what is being put into their body.
5. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself.
6. It may possibly inspire others to do the same.
I would like to thank Paisley for taking the time to educate us about veganism. Be sure to follow her instagram, @paisssley
for plant based recipes! Like I said earlier, it’s pretty dope!
Peace & Love,