Who are you and what do you?
Hello, I’m Amy. I’m 23 years old and I’m from London. I am the creator of the Amy’s Veggie Diary Twitter and Instagram accounts. I love to support new vegan companies and review new vegan products. I aim to show people how easy it is to be vegan and the variety of plant based foods and cruelty free cosmetics that are out there. I am currently working for a chemical distribution company, but I have previously studied a degree in business management and I would love to one day have my own vegan business. I love to travel, sampling new vegan foods and restaurants along the way.
How long have you been eating plant based foods and what made you get into plant foods?
I have been vegan for just over a year now, although my journey here was quite a slow one. I have been vegetarian for around 10 years now, making the decision to do this as soon as I was old enough to make my own choice and cook for myself, as my family were unfortunately never supportive. A couple of years ago I developed IBS and due to this I was no longer able to tolerate dairy without getting really ill. After cutting out dairy and researching dairy free recipes, I found myself constantly stumbling upon vegan recipes and as I was almost there, I decided to go 100% plant based. The more research I did, the more I realised I wanted to become vegan. I was already there with the diet, but I gradually switched out my cosmetics and fashion items for cruelty free alternatives. Veganism was something I had always considered but I never realised how easy it would be until I tried it. I haven’t looked back and now can’t imagine not being vegan!
Do you like making food and what are your favourite foods?
I absolutely love cooking, it is something I’ve always enjoyed, but going vegan has really brought out my passion for it. I love to experiment and produce vegan versions of classic recipes. I like to cook a variety of cuisines, but Mexican, Chinese and Italian have to be my favourites! Lots of my favourite foods are fruits and vegetables, but I also love vegan pizzas, burgers, roast dinners, and nothing beats a large slice of chocolate cake!
Describe your day with plant foods.
If I’m at work, breakfast will usually be fruit, yogurt and granola, porridge, snack bars or a smoothie. At the weekends I often have a ‘bacon’ or ‘sausage’ roll, full English breakfast or freshly baked pastries. Lunch can be a variety of things, sandwiches, salads, fruit, pasta, risotto, couscous and vegetables, soup, or simply anything vegan I can find in the local shops! In the evening, unless I’m going out for a meal I cook dinner every night. I have such a wide variety of foods, I could only name a few such as pasta, burgers, tacos, salads, risotto, pizza, fajitas, potatoes, stir fry, curry and roasted/stuffed vegetables. I usually eat something totally different every night! I don’t tend to snack a lot, but if I do I’ll usually have fruit or a snack bar. Throughout the day I drink a lot of water and green tea.
What’s your favourite kitchen tool/gadget?
I would say definitely my Nutribullet, I use it mainly for smoothies, but it’s also great for milkshakes, sauces, houmous and making oat flour for cookies and muffins. Also, there’s no better tool in the kitchen than a good quality set of knives and chopping boards, it makes chopping vegetables so much easier! And I think my spiralizer would come in third place here!
What one food could you not live without and which food do you miss the most since switching to plant based foods?
I couldn’t live without bananas, they are always a good go to snack for on the move or when you need some energy and they are cheap and easy to get hold of, even when other vegan options are limited. Also, spring rolls, a strange pick but they are my absolute favourite! The food I struggled giving up the most was mayonnaise, I used to eat it on everything and I’m yet to find the perfect vegan alternative.
What do you consider the most important foods in your diet and why?
I would consider fruits and vegetables the most important foods in my diet, I eat so many and they really are good for you! I do believe it is important to eat a balanced diet and eat a variety of foods. My diet is usually high in carbohydrates, but is probably quite low in fat. I do eat a variety of meat and dairy substitutes as they can contain nutrients I may have a lower intake of, but only a few times a week.
Would you say your look and feel more healthy?
100%. My skin is so much clearer since becoming vegan and it has helped me to maintain my weight, as I am eating much more healthily. It has also really helped with my IBS, my symptoms are improved and less frequent. I generally have a lot more energy and feel less bloated a lot of the time, I think this is also due to a healthier diet. All in all, I definitely feel healthier all round!
How has eating plant foods changed you?
Eating plant based food has really brought out my passion for food and love of cooking. I have definitely improved my cooking and baking skills! It has given me something to focus on, and it encouraged me to create Amy’s Veggie Diary, which can be a much needed distraction from stressful working life! Through this I have met so many great people and have gained so many new experiences. I now love going to vegan festivals and events, and have gained the confidence to make new friends. It has made me more compassionate and has helped me to find who I really am as a person.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting into plant based foods?
Give it a try and you might be surprised how easy it is! I would also say you don’t have to do it all at once. For me it was a gradual process, so simply cutting down your consumption of animal products, or removing one type, such as meat or dairy, at a time could make it much easier. Don’t be disheartened if you try one substitute product and don’t like it, there are so many out there now just keep trying and you’ll find a favourite. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way, everyone does! I still occasionally do now! The important thing is not to give up if you have a bad day, or accidently eat the wrong thing, just brush it off and keep going! Finally, do your research and connect with other vegans, they will always give you advice and it’s such a strong and supportive community. I am always looking to help people make the transition, so feel free to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram for support and advice.