Finally we get to the next part of my vegan series! I just like to keep you all waiting in anticipation. This week’s interview is with my wonderful friend Camilla Sanderson, who also just happens to be one of the brides whose wedding I recently attended. Camilla is fresh off the vegan boat, having switched her diet just 3 months ago – yes, she went vegan 3 months before her wedding. But that is very much who she is – when she decides to do something she just does it, no flapping about or fluctuating indecision. Her absolute conviction is so inspiring to me. Here’s her story.
1. How do you define your food choices? (vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, transitioning, etc)
My food choices are vegan, however I would say transitioning when it comes to the clothes/products etc.
2. How long have you been eating this way?
Since December 2017
3. What inspired your choice?
I think I’ve always been badly effected by the videos you see on FB from PETA, but I tried not to think about them and tried to convince myself that as long I was eating organic or grass fed then it was OK. The moment it dawned on me was when I was riding past a field of baby bulls. All had visible marks where their horns had been burned off, however other than that they were in good condition. I dismounted my horse and went over to the fence. They were so friendly, licking my horse and suckling my fingers. Once I had remounted they followed me in the field. I broke down. It was obvious these bulls were being raised for slaughter. I felt so hopeless and asked myself, what could I do? That’s when I thought, I could go vegan. It’s a small step but hopefully if more of us convert we can save these beautiful animals. You see, it doesn’t matter how great the animals life is while it’s living. They all go through the same slaughtering process to end up on our table.
4. How long did it take you to fully embrace your choice and did you do any research beforehand?
It took me a month to fully research and understand how to go about being vegan. I bought a lot of books. I still had cheese and yoghurt for the first month until I discovered the amazing alternatives!
5. Describe a typical day in meals.
The one thing about being vegan is you eat so much fiber, you’re actually not very hungry. I used to constantly snack – now, nothing at all! Breakfast is usually smoothie of oats, banana, blueberries, flaxseed, chia seeds, vegan protein powder, water and cashew milk to thicken it slightly. Lunch: an apple and cashew nuts, peanut butter on rice cakes or violife cream cheese and avo on rye. Dinner: usually one of these dishes – stir-fry with rice, sweet potato with baked beans, bean enchiladas, bean curry and rice, meatless spaggi bob or mushroom sausages and mash.
Your taste buds reawaken once you’ve cut out animal products – food tastes insane!!!!
6. What, if anything, do you find difficult about your lifestyle? Was there anything especially hard to give up or to find?
I don’t really find anything too difficult. Just when I’m invited round for dinner I’m conscious that I’m the awkward vegan they have to cater for lol. The only thing I miss is sausages, but the substitutes are pretty damn tasty too!
7. What do you love about it?
I’ve got back into cooking, it seems my taste buds have reawakened! Veggies have never tasted soo good!! I’m not snacking and I’ve gone from 61kgs to 54kgs in 7 weeks without even trying.
8. What’s the one question you get about your lifestyle that really annoys you – and what’s your answer?
Where do you get your protein? Don’t you miss cheese?
9. Any advice for anyone wanting to switch to a plant-based diet?
DO IT! It’s not difficult once you figure out meals. There are so many great alternatives to animal products – you really don’t need to consume animal products!! Read The Lean by Kathy Freston. It’s a fantastic book that holds your hand through the vegan journey!