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I have a special treat for you today! Instagram has a great vegan community, and through it I met Katy. I love her posts, when she said she was going to create a free guide to help people go vegan, I asked her if she’d be willing to share it here. She said yes (obviously), and also agreed to do an email interview (since we are 2 states apart). I think she has some great tips, and it’s always nice to offer a fresh point of view. Here’s her interview, with instructions for getting the free PDF as well.
Interview with Vegan_Katy
1. What made you decide to become vegan, and when did it happen?
I actually went vegan in 2006 because I was bored and wanted a hobby. The animal welfare was a bonus side effect. I was however, only 20. But, in 2009, I caved and went back to the SAD (standard American diet). The entire time since then until August 2016, I not only gained a LOT of weight, but I didn’t really like meat and most animal products started to taste gross to me. I eventually decided that I could go vegan again in August 2016. I figured that the restriction and the addition of more plant based whole foods would help with weight loss. The time in between 2009 and more recently, I still often ate vegan meals that I had loved before. I can now safely say I was young and stupid the first time, and I will now be vegan for life.
2. How difficult was the transition?
The first time it wasn’t that difficult, because I was excited about learning something new and I ate a lot of vegan junk food, not whole foods as I should have. The second time, I was much more informed and it was easy for me to transition back into not only vegan, but a healthier version of it. I learned to love my oven and parchment paper. They are now my best friends. (Veggies for days!)
3. What’s the hardest thing for you about being vegan?
Nothing is really that hard to be honest. I guess I would say that Ben and Jerry’s is making it hard by coming out with vegan ice cream that’s 290 calories for half a cup. 🙂
4. Is your husband vegan?
No, and he will never be. BUT, he is very open to eating vegan meals here and there as he has high cholesterol and knows it’s better for him.
5. What are some of your favorite vegan products/dishes?
I LOVE the blue bag of corn puffs by Earth Balance. The white cheddar vegan one. No kernels. I hate popcorn. I can’t eat it. I also love roasting potatoes (fry shaped) in the oven with garlic powder and paprika and dipping them in Trader Joe’s Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce. YUM! Buddha bowls are also great. Rice, veggies, greens, and probably that same BBQ sauce. 🙂
6. Do you get cravings for any foods that you use to eat? How do you deal with that?
I don’t really get cravings for any non-vegan food. That’s a bonus to switching over to healthy plant based whole foods. You start to crave them instead. If my husband orders a pizza, the smell is overwhelming and to be honest, smells very good, but I don’t really feel the urge to eat any.
7. I know you were testing a gluten-free diet. What made you decide to do that?
have had constant acid reflux every day for a long while now and I was getting tired of it. It’s NOT good for you and can lead to “top of stomach” or throat cancers. I somehow came across a video that blamed gluten for acid reflux, so I figured I could try it for awhile to see if it helped. It completely went away. Having recently gotten back into eating vegan, going gluten free forever as well was very daunting. So, I do still eat it here and there, but it definitely causes my acid reflux, so I know that’s the issue. When I eat vegan and gluten free, I feel great and everything moves along as it should! The first 2 weeks I was vegan AND gluten free, I lost 6 pounds. You’d think that would be enough to keep me on it!
8. How much harder is it to be both vegan and gluten-free?
Oh, I might have just answered that. I’ll get more specific here. Gluten free means no Taco Bell bean burritos made vegan. The tortilla is a no no. But honestly, that’s a good thing. I really shouldn’t be eating Taco Bell. It also means no bread and no vegan cakes or cookies or donuts unless they are gluten free as well. The one bakery near me that does both vegan and gluten free baked goods isn’t terrific, so it usually keeps me away from those. Honestly, going gluten free as well sounds like it keeps me away from the bad stuff mostly. I eat a lot of rice and veggies and green smoothies with kale and fruit and soy milk in them. Learning more about how no one should really be eating gluten also helped steer me away as well, but I’ll let you look that stuff up.
9. How easy or difficult is it to find vegan foods where you live?
I live in Seattle, so actually one of the easiest places in the country to do so. I feel so awful for those of you who live in “food deserts” or have no access to fresh produce or adorable vegan markets. If you can find deals on places that ship for really cheap or that ship free your first time, take advantage. But I do have grocery stores and a great vegan grocery store and many vegan restaurants I can go to. I feel very lucky that it’s so easy to do in Seattle.
10. Has your grocery bill changed since becoming vegan?
I will be honest I haven’t kept a spreadsheet or anything, but I KNOW I am spending less. I can’t just grab whatever I am craving at the store any more. I can’t buy bad foods all the time. I have a Trader Joe’s nearby and they are very affordable and carry MANY vegan products. When you eat a lot of veggies and potatoes, the bill is naturally going to go down. If you make your own rice instead of the individual packs I buy from Trader Joe’s, you’ll spend even less!
11. What’s one piece of advice you can give for anyone thinking of becoming vegan?
My one piece of advice is to just think about how CLEAN you will feel. When you are not putting animal products into your body and you realize and learn how UNNATURAL that is, you will feel so much better about eating a plant based diet. Humans were not meant to eat animals or their secretions, ever. I’m not here to pretend like I never ate those things, but once you learn about it, vegan is the only diet that makes sense.
12. How can people connect with you on social media?
I really only have Instagram for my vegan stuff, so vegan_katy over there. 🙂
Thanks so much to Katy for her interview! If you liked this post, please use the comment to let me know, and we can check back with her next year and see how she’s doing.
If you want to download Katy’s free guide
, you have two choices:
- Go to Katy’s Instagram Account (vegan_katy), maybe sign up to follow her,
then tap the link in her bio and follow the instructions for downloading (she has a post with instructions–don’t for get to check that out). Update: Katy has requested that we host the PDF solely here on Bike-Cook-Explore. Her Instagram link will just lead you back to this page, so please use the link below. But still go and follow Katy’s Instagram account!
- Or, click here for a link!