I am vegan. I have been vegan for several months now, but did not want to really advertise it until I felt fully comfortable with knowing what it means to be vegan and understanding why I became one. For everyone that says they could "never" become one because it is too difficult, then I would like to introduce to you Holistically Veganic, this is a profile run by two of my best friends (Lauren Taibi and Ryan Aquafredda) where they talk about all the health benefits of being vegan, give you recipes for many meals, and even include some fitness routines.
Being vegan to be is much more than just knowing what you put into your body, it is an ethical decision as well. I have seen many documentaries (What The Health, Food Inc, Super Size Me) that have opened my eyes as to what food corporations do to food and how cruel they are to animals. Why would you go crazy if someone eats a dog but do not even care if someone eats a pig or a cow? What is the difference? If you are not really into documentaries, then I would highly recommend the movie "Okja" on Netflix, it had my crying by the end of it.
I have to say, becoming vegan has made me feel more energized, feel healthier, and happier. And I would really like to thank Holistically Veganic because I would have not been able to do it without the help of people as passionate as they are.
So, I want to dedicate this post to them! I spent an entire day with them so they could teach me how to prepare plant-based meals and give me some tips as to how to properly workout as well. It works out perfectly too because March is Nutrition Month! So what better way to learn how to be healthier?
We began our day by making Tofu Scramble and Vegan Pancakes. These are the two meals that I knew I would miss the most when making the transition to a plant-based lifestyle (eggs and dairy products) but there are many alternatives to recreate the same delicious taste. All of the recipes can be found on Holistically Veganic's Instagram.
I was very curious as to how to make vegan pancakes, so I was super excited to give these a try! The secret is to use oatmeal as the base of the batter and blend it with almond milk and other ingredients. As to the tofu scrambled, the way to make them look like scrambled eggs is to add turmeric! Once both are fully cooked, you can add your choice of vegetables for the tofu scramble and your choice of fruits and syrup for the pancakes.
For lunch, we prepared a zucchini and hummus wrap. I have always been a fan of sandwiches and wraps for lunch - and I used to include some type of meat but the hummus is a great substitute for a source of protein! We finished up the meal by adding a side of sweet potato fries with some syrup and cinnamon.
Holistically Veganic have their own fitness studio in Fenix Studios on Staten Island where they personally train people. I was honored to be trained for an hour with both Ryan and Lauren, and I can say that they kicked my butt! I do keep myself active and go to the gym every day, but I wanted them to show me new routines and help me workout muscles that I have not worked out too much yet.
Ryan and Lauren told me that one of the most important things when working out is to have the perfect form. If you are not positioned properly, then you will end up hurting yourself and that could pose a major issue later in life. I was happy to hear Ryan say that my form was already really good and that it did not need much improvement!
I essentially asked them to give me a full body workout, I wanted to not be able to move the next day. And they accomplished it. Ryan helped me work on my chest, back and arms, while Lauren helped me with some core strengthening workouts.
I highly recommend following all of Holistically Veganic's social accounts - both Instagram and YouTube - to further learn more about going plant-based. I will include some of their videos below so you can learn more about it.
Lauren and Ryan are two of my best friends and like I said, two of the most passionate people I know in the subject of health and fitness. To them it is not just a business, it is a movement to change the way people live their lives.
I was very satisfied with my Holistically Veganic day, it reassured me even more that THIS is the type of lifestyle I want to keep living. Be aware of what you are putting into your bodies, be aware of the cruelty that is happening in the animal world, and be the best version of yourself!
(Studio pictures of Lauren and Ryan by: Robbie Joseph)
If you are interested in knowing more about going plant-based, do not hesitate to contact Lauren and Ryan through their Holistically Veganic Instagram account!