Thriving and Inspiring: Lauren

thriving-inspiring-lauren-01 I had the great pleasure to connect with Lauren from BlondeVeganHippie for my Thriving and Inspiring series. I met Lauren a few years ago (3 years or so) through a mutual friend and connected with her on Instagram. I've followed her through her journey to veganism, the start of her blog and I am continuously inspired by her actions. She is a beautiful soul inside and out, and I'd like to share with you a glimpse of her vegan journey, her future plans and her tips and tricks for eating in season (and on the go).

lauren-blonde-vegan-hippie-05

Tell me about yourself (i.e. how you started your blog, your accomplishments, etc.) Hi there! I’m Lauren, the girl behind blondeveganhippie.com. You can check me out on my blog, Instagram or Facebook account, all under the same name ☺ I am a Teacher Candidate, completing my Bachelor of Education degree in Primary Studies. I graduate in June 2015 and I couldn’t be more excited to finally finish school and jump start my career! My dream would be to work in a private school, until I decide to have children. Once I have children, I want to stay home with them and eventually homeschool them because I believe it is so important to teach children with an “outside the box” mentality, incorporating nature, yoga, meditation, art,  physical education and much more!

I have been vegan for almost 2 years (on January 13th) and it truly was the best decision I have ever made. The moment I became vegan, I felt an ease in my soul because my lifestyle finally matched my morals and ethical beliefs. The same month I went vegan was the last time I ever dyed my hair! It is so freaking liberating not having to spend money every 1-2 months to touch up roots and to have my natural hair almost completely grown out. I gave up coffee the month after, which was a massive accomplishment considering I was heavily addicted to the caffeine….yikes! Wearing makeup has become a rare occurrence, I never use heat on my hair (it’s been over 6 months since I even curled my hair!), I don’t use a microwave, and most recently, I have given up processed vegan junk food! I just try and live my life as clean and pure as I can, as Mother Nature intended us to live.

I started my blog in June 2014, so not too long ago! It’s still a work in progress, as I find time to post between school, placement and work, but it is definitely one of my focuses for 2015! My blog is a vegan lifestyle blog that offers reviews, recipes, my favourite products, interviews with some inspiring vegan babes, and much more! I will be dedicating more time to blogging so keep an eye out for new posts!

lauren-blonde-vegan-hippie-07

How would you describe your philosophy about food and living well? My philosophy around food is simple – Eat vibrant foods straight from the Earth aka plants! I believe in eating a clean, vegan diet with a high emphasis on whole foods. I don’t believe in harming animals in order to enjoy a meal, which I why I abstain from meat, fish, dairy, eggs and animal by-products. I know that it is fully possible to thrive on a plant based diet, consuming an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and sea vegetables, without ever having to send an animal to slaughter. Now, my philosophy on living well is much the same. In order to live well, it is important to live a clean, natural, toxin free lifestyle that focuses on positivity and happiness. It is important to exercise and move your body, even if it is only 30 minutes each day! Meditation is also very important because it is a great way to detach from the real world and reach higher consciousness which will ultimately help you in staying grounded. At the end of the day, it is all about finding balance and peace and making yourself happy!

What sort of tips can you share to keep us eating right while on the go? It is so important to be prepared! If you know you are going to be out and about all day, but you want to eat healthy, plan ahead! Prepare some cut up veggies like cucumbers and carrots, make some raw crackers or blend up a giant green smoothie and take it with you! Simply keeping some nuts and an apple in your bag will keep you from straying from your clean eating. And ALWAYS stay hydrated. Most of the time people aren’t even hungry but dehydrated! So drink water on a regular basis throughout the day to keep your hunger in control!

lauren-blonde-vegan-hippie-04

What's your typical meal for... I have been on holidays for the past few weeks so my “typical” meals have been thrown out the window as my schedule is not structured whatsoever. However, I start back with placement and school in a few days which means back to meal planning and preparation! So, a typical day for me will look like…

Pre-breakfast... 8oz of warm lemon water and a large cup of peppermint tea

Breakfast... A green juice {spinach, pineapple, carrot juice, mint, lime juice}

2nd Breakfast - A giant green smoothie {spinach, mango, pineapple, mint, lime juice, hemp/flax/chia seeds}

Snack... Granny smith apple, persimmons or mangoes

Lunch... A super green salad with sprouts, sunflower seeds, avocado, cucumber, chickpeas and hemp seeds, dressed with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar

Snack... Some assortment of veggies (usually carrots and cucumbers) with hummus ** I always bring several tea bags with me to school or placement, to sip on between meals which keeps my hunger under control

Dinner... Corn pasta with homemade tomato sauce + nutritional yeast {and sometimes veggies} or a rice dish, like stir fry! Sometimes it’s a vegetable soup… Just depends on the day, but those 3 are the usual suspects ** I try not to snack past dinner, which means I usually drink a cup or two of tea after dinner until bed time so that I am not lurking around in my cupboards.

How do you adjust your diet to reflect the changing seasons? Seeing as it is winter here in Canada, my body craves heartier, cooked foods like soups/stews, curries, rice dishes, pasta and potatoes. I feel my best on a raw till four diet, so I am trying to keep my cooked foods for dinner only but I don’t beat myself up if I want to have soup for lunch! When it’s warmer, I eat A LOT of fruit. I will eat an entire cantaloupe or 5 mangoes for breakfast, no problem, and then a giant green smoothie. Again, it is all about balance and listening to your body!

lauren-blonde-vegan-hippie-06

What #1 advice would you give readers who want to adopt healthy habits? My advice for anyone who wants to adopt healthier habits is…

  • Make sure your diet includes at least 50% of raw fruits and vegetables
  • Drink half your weight in water!
  • Have a green smoothie for breakfast
  • Clean out your cupboards and pantries and get rid of anything that has ingredients you can’t pronounce
  • Eat a diet that incorporates whole foods
  • Try out a predominately plant based diet, it is better for you, the animals and the environment!
  • Exercise daily

lauren-blonde-vegan-hippie-03

What are three ingredients in the kitchen you can't live without? What a tough question! I feel like there are so many ingredients, depending on the scenario! For baking, I cannot live without ground flax seeds, brown rice flour and tapioca starch. For smoothies, I cannot live without spinach, frozen mangoes and limes. In general, I cannot live without peppermint tea, whole grain carbs (like corn pasta, brown rice, quinoa) and nutritional yeast! Just way too many to only pick 3 haha!

Do you have any DIY skin care products you'd like to share with our readers? I absolutely LOVE DIY skin care products! There are so many amazing products that can be made in minutes with items in your fridge or pantry. One of my favourites is an all-natural face mask using bentonite clay, avocado, jojoba oil and water! It makes your face feel absolutely amazing! Another DIY product I love is lemon-sugar face scrub. Squeeze some lemon juice on a cotton pad and then put a teaspoon of organic raw cane sugar on the cotton pad and rub it all over your face! Your skin will feel heavenly afterwards…I promise you!

lauren-blonde-vegan-hippie-01

Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years? Any big plans you want to share? Hmm, where do I see myself in the next 2-3 years? Beautiful question lady! I will be 25/26, so I see myself being engaged to the love of my life, planning a wedding, teaching in a private school, living in my own place with a rescue dog or two, travelling as much as possible, and growing “blondeveganhippie” and expanding my audience! I am hoping to create my very own eBook this year! I want to create one that focuses on a whole foods, plant based diet with recipes, tips, pantry staples, etc.! So stay tuned for that ;)

Thriving and Inspiring series is my way to share inspiring stories and connect you to like minded individuals. If you (or someone you know) would like to share your story, let's connect! Email me at hello@thrivewiththeseasons.com.

Stay tuned for my next interview!