Jessica, 29 years old from Dublin, fitness enthusiast and business owner, believes in choosing your food carefully as it can determine health, performance and wellbeing:
„When I realized 2.5 years ago that my beliefs were not aligned with my actions , I switched from a vegetarian to a vegan diet not only to show my love for animals, but also to do good for my body.“
Did you cook before you turned vegan? Do you cook your own food now? If so, do you cook now more? Where do you buy your food?
I always cooked, but I have become far more interested in flavors and the use of whole organic foods since becoming vegan. I cook about 90% of my meals, occasionally eating out. I prefer home cooking now that I’m vegan.
Do you eat more food now then before? What do you eat on a normal base?
Since I practice intermitted fasting, I set myself 2 eating windows per day. One in the morning and the other in the evening. I eat 5-6 fresh fruits including watermelon (eat half a melon everyday), 2 servings of berries, 2 servings of dark leafy greens, 4-5 servings of vegetables. I also include rice or potatoes everyday and oats once or twice a day:
Can you give me an overview what 1 day of eating would look like for you?
For breakfast for example, I usually eat 3-4 pieces of seasonal fruits, a serving of nuts or seeds, plant based yoghurt and a slice of homemade fruit cake. My mid morning meal/early lunch is a bowl of protein oats, homemade oat bars, a protein smoothie or cold pressed juice with toast. For dinner I usually have a bean based dish such as chickpea curry with brown rice and a serving of fresh dark leafy green salad. As snacks I alternate between nuts, seeds, fruits, bowl of oats, homemade cake or oat bars.
Wow, that sounds all amazing and the results speak for themselves- you look amazing, Jessica! Do you need to calculate macros to look like that and do you need to meal prep your dishes?
I don’t calculate macros or count calories. I eat intuitively.
If I know the week ahead is busy I will prep in advance, but no more than 2 days. I like my meals to taste very fresh. It sounds like more work than it really is, practice makes perfect! I can batch make some of my favorite dishes, which is usually chickpea curry, lentil dahl, or vegetable chili.
How did it affect your body? How did it affect your emotional state? Do you have new habits now?
Going vegan did wonders for my recovery between sessions. My quality of sleep has improved. I also have more energy and better mental clarity.
I focus more on organic whole foods than ever before. I read more and try to improve my knowledge about a plant based diet.
Have you checked your blood before and after you went vegan? Do you take supplements?
Yes, I did. I had anaemia, when I was not vegan. Now as I am vegan my blood results are 100% perfect.
For supplements, I add pea & hemp protein to my oats and I take a food derived multivitamin.
Is there anything that would’ve been helpful for a smoother transition in your opinion?
Not really! The biggest struggle I had initially was eating enough. Plant based foods tend to be higher in volume & lower in calories. I needed to introduce more starchy carbs and fats to my meals which is easily resolved.
Why do you recommend to go vegan and what’s your biggest advice?
It’s the best decision you can make for yourself, the planet and for the animals. There is no catch. It’s all positives!
Best advice: Don’t overcomplicate the transition. Make all of your favorite meals, but with vegan ingredients.