Why did you become a dietitian?
I was always obsessed with nutrition from a very young age. I was an athlete, and I was always trying to find ways to become a better athlete, so this led me to experiment with my diet and food. I could really see how different foods made me feel a certain way, train better, train differently so it just was super fascinating to me. So, I said hey, why not just make this my job.
What inspired you to start your plant-based journey?
I really started my plant-based journey for two reasons. The first one was that once I was no longer an athlete, even though I was eating a “healthy” American diet, I was really struggling with my weight and I couldn’t seem to get to the point where I wanted to get to. The second reason was that I have a really strong family history of breast cancer, I even carry one of the breast cancer genes, so I went out on a mission to find any way to reduce my risk and a plant-based diet kept coming up in the research. Once I looked into all the animal cruelty and the way factory farms are run and animals are treated it was simply a no brainer for me.
What do you think is the most underrated/misunderstood part of a healthy vegan diet?
I think the most underrated thing about a vegan diet is how powerful it is for your long-term health. I think a lot of people when they hear the word “diet” just think they will go vegan for a short amount of time and lose some weight but if you make it a lifestyle and choose to go plant based for life you are reducing your risk of every single chronic disease and you are improving your health in so many ways that your future self will absolutely thank you for.
What’s a common inaccurate myth about vegan diet?
I think the biggest myth of vegan diet is that you can’t get all the nutrients your body needs, especially protein when in fact all protein originates from plants which a lot of people don’t know. As long as you are eating enough, and you are eating a variety of plants you can absolutely get everything your body needs and more. You can feel even more fantastic than you did on a standard American diet.
What is your favorite vegan nutrition “hack?”
I think my favorite vegan hack is putting nutritional yeast on everything. The name makes it sound not that appetizing but it’s so cheesy, its super high in vitamin B12 and protein. You can put it on veggies, tofu, you can mix it into sauces to make cheesy sauces. Its super versatile and just makes everything super delicious.
What’s something every person starting a plant-based journey should know?
My best advice for someone starting a plant-based journey is to not just remove animal products from your diet but making sure you’re replacing them with vegan alternatives. A lot of times when people go vegan, they just take things out of their diet and they just end up going hungry. That’s why it is important to replace things, so you are feeling full and satiated
What advice would you give someone trying to go vegan?
As a dietitian, my best advice for someone going vegan is to take your time. You are relearning how you’ve been taught to eat your entire life. It is a learning curve to learn how to cook new things but take your time, take it day by day and you will get there, I promise.