Boss Insight: Why many of our team are living vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.

Vegetarian week has inspired us to dig deep and find out why so many of Team Boss have made the ultimate decision to ditch their old ways and become a part of the vegan and vegetarian community. We have documented some individual journeys for you – and of course yummy recipes too.  Scrumptious! 
 
Alex Walker – Boss Model and vegan champion
I chose to go vegan around 6 years ago now, I wanted to eat healthier organic food and decided that a vegan diet was a good fit not just for me but, for the animals and the environment too.  Since I have spoken at events around the country about my journey and have lead food demonstrations and workshops, I have just returned from working as a chef in Mallorca for 2 yoga retreats and now I am back in Manchester I aim to do food markets and some more workshops over the summer.
 
My go to recipe is my sweet potato, spinach and chickpea curry with sprouted brown rice and smashed avocado on organic corn cakes with a tomato salsa that I make from scratch too!
 
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Tristan Gage – Booking Assistant
 I try to avoid meat a lot because whilst I don’t necessarily have a problem with humans eating animals, I have a problem with farming them and the industries that take away their rights and treat them horrifically. As well as this, I don’t think that humans need anywhere near as much meat as is typically consumed, and when I spent a month last year without eating meat, I felt fresher in myself compared to when I ate meat a lot.
It’s baby steps for me! I’m progressing towards as much of a meat free diet as possible.
As for a favourite recipe, anything chickpea related is a winner for me – full of protein and flavour, fab in curries or salads or made into falafel!
chickpeas-in-a-bowl
 
Ksenija Selivanova – Food Stylist and Model
I absolutely love to make vegan and vegetarian treats. For me it’s all about not supporting the meat and dairy industry. It’s cruel and unnecessary. I do not think that everyone has to turn vegan , but  I just wish people would do their research and source their produce locally and ethically. Buy organic, free range and you will already make a big difference. Also vegan and vegetarian food can be very tasty and SO good for you ❤️
 
Some of my most popular recipes include my cruelty free cheesecakes which are super tasty here are both of my recipes for you to try for yourselves!
 
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Cheesecake Base:
1) Blend 2 tbsp ground almonds, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey, 1 tbsp melted coconut oil and 1-2 tbsp water.
2) Press into a form.
Filling:
1) Blend 150g soaked cashews ( drained), 2 tsp lemon juice, 125ml coconut cream, 40 ml melted coconut oil, 80 ml maple syrup or hone, pinch of salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp cocoa powder. Consistency needs to be smooth, without lumps.
2) You can put a few raspberries on the base an then put the filling on top. Smooth out. Put in the freezer for 2 hrs.
3) Thaw for 10 minutes before eating. Decorate with berries and mint.
 
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Matcha raw cheesecake Recipe
 
Base layer:
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cup soaked and drained dates
1/2 cup cocoa powder
 
•Blend nuts in a food processor or blender until fine crumbs
•Add cocoa powder,pulse again
•Then, add the dates and process until a sticky dough is formed
•Spoon mixture into cake tins or lined square baking tin and smooth with the back of a spoon
•Place in the refrigerator to set for a minimum 1 hours.
 
Matcha cheesecake layer:
1/2 cup cocoa butter (melted) or coconut cream
1/2 cup soaked cashew nuts
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp matcha powder
1/4 cup coconut cream
2 dates (soaked & pitted)
 
•Combine melted cocoa butter, maple syrup, matcha and coconut cream
•In the food processor add in cashew and dates until combined then add cocoa mixture and process until smoothie
•Remove chocolate brownies from the fridge and spread matcha cheesecake over the base
•Place back in fridge to set for 4 hr
•Let thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving
•Enjoy!

 

 

Thalia Heffernan – Model

When did you decide to become a vegan and why?

I started as a vegetarian, learning more about the meat, poultry, dairy, fish and egg industry prompted the ease I found in changing my diet to adhere to my belief in what these industries were doing was wrong. This spurred my change from vegetarian to vegan. I think that small steps are key in transitioning between any diet change, especially if you want it to become a lifestyle.

Do you miss any of the food you have cut out of your diet?

For sure, it can be challenging at the start especially when you realise just how many foods that you’re used to eating contain animal products but, once you open your mind and discover alternatives it makes life a lot easier. It always comes down to mind over matter. Veganism is on the rise, and with that comes more restaurants offering alternatives. Supermarkets are also bringing out replacements to what you would have always assumed you could never live without, and that for me is incredibly exciting.

Is it easy to still create yummy recipes whilst being a vegan?

Definitely! I love nothing more than cooking up a feast for my family or friends and enjoy shocking them all when they find out it’s entirely plant based! Linda McCartney does an amazing range of vegan friendly sausages and sausage rolls that rival their meaty counterparts. Brands like Tesco and Lidl have a range of dairy free ice creams, as does Ben and Jerry’s which I’ll always have a stash of in my freezer.

Is day to day snacking difficult?

Thanks to big brands noticing the growing demand for more vegan friendly options it’s easier now than ever. Tesco have just launched their own entirely vegan range of ready meals, wraps and sandwiches called ‘Wicked Kitchen’ which has been hugely successful and sold out in certain stores upon it’s arrival. When in the need for something quick, easy and healthy in any store, my main tips is to quickly proof read the ingredients list as they still don’t always state if certain products are entirely vegan friendly. M&S have brought out a range of vegan friendly meals, as have Supervalue and many others. For more on the go snacks, things that may surprise some people are Pringles, certain doughnuts (check the labels first), bagels, certain crackers (including Jacobs cream crackers), Cliff energy bars, Oreos, falafels, hummus, Jelly Tots! There are so many foods out there that many already consume that are ‘accidentally’ vegan friendly making changing your diet to plant based much easier.

Is a balanced diet a struggle as a vegan?

I was brought up being told drinking milk and eating meat was the only way I’d grow big and strong therefore, this change went against everything I’ve ever known. But, when I saw the bigger picture and made the choice to cut these things out of my diet I never felt like it impacted me negatively. It’s always recommended to consult a physician before changing your diet and that is important across the spectrum but, I’ve been lucky that so far I’ve had no problems and needed no supplements to gain the nutrients that I for so long I believed I needed to obtain from meat and animal products. The American Dietetic Association and the British Dietetic Association both state that appropriately planned total vegetarian and vegan diets are healthful nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention of certain diseases.

Has your change in diet had any influence on your appearance/beauty regime?

It can, I modelled for years as an omnivore, and have found that despite eating more food now on a plant based diet, I do have to pay less attention to levels of fat and cholesterol in what I consume. I think looking after yourself is a conscious decision that people make themselves, I train and diet to suit my modelling career and to be as healthy as possible. That hasn’t changed, all that differs now is that I’ve eliminated certain foods and adopted new ones in their place! I have had many people say that the quality of my skin, hair and nails has improved massively.

Do others enjoy the recipes you cook for them?

Absolutely. I’ve cooked for some of my most speculative friends and family and so far I don’t think I’ve disappointed, well not that they’ve told me anyway! It’s about subbing what you’re used to having as a main component of your meal, say meat, with something nutritionally dense and filling, say lentils, beans, pulses, legumes. It hasn’t failed me yet.

Do you think others are more understanding now when it comes to a plant based diet?

I think with the rise in conversation and education about what we’re eating and what’s happening in order for us to do that, attitudes and stereotypes are evolving. Plant based diets are absolutely obtainable and they’re becoming more and more so. I think a lot of people are questioning themselves and what they’re eating and I think that despite what they do with those questions it’s healthy for them to be asked. I’m not expecting the world to go plant based, but I do hope that people take responsibility in what they are doing when they consume certain products.

Would you say the idea of being a vegan is now more popular in society?

Social media, television and news are updating people constantly, all of these platforms are contributing to the conversation. I turned a blind eye to it for so long, and eventually I couldn’t do it anymore. I’m so thankful for the above for giving me and so many others the easy access to real information about what we’re doing to the planet, ourselves and animals.

 

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