Healthy Lifestyle How-To: An Interview With @VegInTheValley

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On Alive with Anna, I typically focus on leading a healthy life through a healthy mindset. But - the mind and body work as a team and its more difficult to have good mental health if you're lacking in physical health. Today, I am interviewing Taylor, a vegan and heathy lifestyle junkie to answer all our burning questions about how we can actually "be healthier" physically! You can also find her on Instagram (@Veginthevalley)Anna:How long have you been vegan for?

Taylor: I have been practicing a Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle for about 8 months now, starting in July.

Anna:What got you started?

Taylor: I remember it so well! It was July 8th and I was on a family vacation. One day we decided to watch the documentary What the Health on Netflix directed by Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn. That documentary was all it took for me to make the lifestyle change. My change was highly impacted by the health aspect of the lifestyle.

Anna:I know you, like most of us, are a busy, working woman. Personally, I rely on animal protein to keep me full longer throughout the day. What do you eat and how often to make sure you're not hungry all the time?

Taylor: More like what do I not eat haha. I eat all throughout the day, a large, wide variety of things. I eat typically every two to three hours. Eating a diet full of veggies, legumes and fruits keeps me full and happy throughout the day! On my normal workdays I will begin the day with a herbal tea and a green juice, loaded with veggies and spices. Then I pack a full bag for me to eat and snack on throughout the day. In that bag I’ll have overnight oats (packed with seeds, fruits and cinnamon), a jumbo orange, an apple, greens to go with my lunch, tons of roasted veggies, chopped up carrots, cucumbers and other raw veggies. Then I will head to the gym (eating a snack on the way). For dinner I love to mix it up! Curry, tacos, veggie medleys, and more! I always finish off the night with something sweet too. I love having dark chocolate and almond butter on a coconut tortilla!

Anna: How would you describe your relationship with food?

Taylor: What a great question. Honestly, my relationship with food was always rocky. Looking back 4 years ago I was eating horribly. I would limit my calorie intake, only eat certain foods (repeating the same meals every single day), and would get down on myself for over eating or eating things that were bad for me. After going plant based I feel like my relationship with food truly means something now. I live by the motto “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine bethy food” quoted from Hippocrates. It is true food is my medicine, it is what keeps me going each day and allows my body to preform its functions. I need to nourish it with things that will help it do so. I love eating! Like I said I eat all day long. Eating things such as oranges and apples make my body so happy and energized now.

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Anna:Any good tricks for avoiding tempting foods that aren't good for you?

Taylor: Yes, don’t surround yourself with those tempting foods, especially if you are just getting into the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. Keep yourself busy and active. Take a walk, go on a bike ride, call a friend, read a book. There are so many options to busy the mind especially when it is craving things. Does this mean I don’t eat things that I crave? No, I eat dark chocolate daily! You just have to know how much your body needs and be aware to not over indulge.

Anna:So. You've kept up your vegan diet in Europe and in Disneyland. How did you do it?!

Taylor: Hahah I know it sounds crazy! But there are so many plant based options now days that it isn’t hard to do! In Disneyland I packed 1000 snacks I kid you not. I had carrots, an orange, a power bar, apple, chocolate, Budda popcorn and MORE! I supply myself with snacks so I am not tempted to cheat. In Europe, there are like I said plenty of options to eat plant based and the meals are simply delicious! Also, when traveling I allow myself to try things. For example when in France I am not about to turn down a macaroon or cheese! In a Whole Food Plant Based diet you CAN allow for these things on special occasions!

Anna:What is your favorite go-to workout?

Taylor: There aren’t a lot of things I enjoy more than my morning walk. I get up before work and just go walk. It gets my body ready for the day and focuses my mind. It also relieves a lot of stress if I have any pent up. After work I have been going to Daniel Hartmann, known as @AzFitPro on Instragram, who creates killer workouts. A lot of body weight training mixed in with weights. I love feeling stronger after I leave!

Anna:What is the key to making sure you get your workouts in?

Taylor: Typically I would go first thing in the morning. Going early was just something that worked best for me personally because I have the most energy in the morning and it energizes me for the rest of the day. Now with work I go right after work. In ensure I get to the gym I prepare my workout clothing and snack the night before so I can take it to work with me. Not only is it a reminder to go but it also holds me accountable.

Anna:What advice would you give someone who is just starting out with a new workout routine?

Taylor: Understand and accept that it is going to be challenging. Getting into a new routine, especially one that is going to push your body, will be difficult. But it IS worth it! You are going to change every step of the way, even if you don’t see it. Take progress photos and don’t give up. Never loose sight of the fact that you are creating your best self.

I don't know about you, but that was so inspiring! If you like what you heard, she now has an entire Instagram account dedicated to documenting her lifestyle and inspiring others to be the healthiest versions of themselves. You can follow her @VegIntheValley