Healthspotalk with Justine

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I originally turned towards veganism for health reasons. It didn't really have anything to do with animal rights or the environmental impact; I was just thinking of my own health. But now, the more I educate myself on the matter, the more I begin to understand the profound impact a vegan diet and a vegan lifestyle can have on our planet. There are a million and one reasons why going vegan is the right choice from a moral and environmental perspective, and I'm starting open my eyes to these important matters. But about that in a later blog post..

Today I want to introduce you to Justine, a vegan blogger friend who doesn't only report about vegan food but also about cruelty-free fashion. Her mission is to show how fashionable vegan fashion can be; and hell she's doing a good job! When I scrolled through her feed for the first time I didn't even notice that all clothes are vegan. She's inspired me to start thinking about not only where my food comes from, but also where my clothes come from. I hope she will have the same impact on you guys!

What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?

The truth is: I just didn’t feel well in my body. I was thin but often I ate one or two bars of chocolate in a row. I had to change something but I didn’t know anything of dates, coconut sugar and all the other healthy alternatives. Even when I went vegan I did not stop eating unhealthy food. The real catalyst was when I realized that so many diseases are created or not created based on what you eat. I’ve read a lot about nutrition and came across vegan people which inspired me to not only eat vegan because of the animals but also because of my health. By this time I stopped eating gluten, wheat, soy, seitan and refined sugar at home and I felt so much better on this diet.

Why do you eat the way you eat?

I may have answered this question ahead but to sum up: I turned vegan because I just couldn't continue supporting the harming of innocent animals anymore. As a side note: eating vegan does not always mean healthy. I had to educate myself a lot to have a healthy vegan diet, not a junk food vegan diet. I now understand that nutrition is not just something that fills you up but something that will change your personal health but also your frame of mind significantly.

Describe your day on a plate.

Every day looks completely different depending on my mood, seasonality etc. I mix savoury and sweet meals during the day, just the way I like it! We often have vegetables with quinoa or lentils at home - black beluga lentils are my favourite. RawBites, dates, fruits and other healthy raw bars then usually satisfy my hunger between meals. Apart from that I loooove baking a slightly customized version of the life-changing bread. We eat that with roasted tomatoes and tahini. A sweet treat I totally love is selfmade banana bread which I like to combine it with coconut yoghurt, nut butter and a little bit of coconut sugar. When I am too lazy to cook I just throw some vegetables and lentils or quinoa in a pot and make a one pot dish!

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What are the 5 things we will always find in your fridge/pantry?

Coconut oil, quinoa, vegetables (zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes and onions are all time favorites), fruits (oranges/bananas) and chickpea flour. I’m totally crazy about chickpea flour because it’s so versatile. I make pancakes, pizza, vegan scrambled egg or even short pastry out of it. It’s my perfect alternative for wheat!

What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you are always having to clear up for people?

I think it is all about fat. People hear “fat” and what they see is obese people and diabetes. I think that association is caused by trans fatty acids and there is plenty of them out there. Natural, cold pressed, plant based fat is something that can really change your wellbeing for the better. I can not stop to recommend coconut oil to people. Heated up oils that just should never ever be heated can do more harm than most people can imagine. A small change like swapping your usual cooking oils for coconut oil can make a big impact on your health.

Tell us about your workout routine.

To be honest I don’t have a workout routine at the moment, but I'm working on changing this. I do sit ups and stretching exercises from time to time but this is definitely not enough. I just bought a cross trainer recently, so hopefully that will give me some motivation.

You only buy vegan fashion. Please tell us a bit more about this – why, how easy/hard it is to find vegan alternatives…

I initially thought it would be really hard to buy vegan fashion only. But in the end I got used to it quickly and it has become normal for me to not buy any wool, leather, silk, down or fur now. Thank god there are lots of amazing shoes and bags made out of fake leather out there.

What are some of your favorite vegan fashion brands?

At this time it is not only important to me to buy animal friendly -so called vegan fashion - but pieces that were produced under fair conditions as well. I find myself asking more and more: "Where do my clothes come from?" " Who made my clothes?". Those who really look at the facts will find out the truth about the fashion industry: most products are produced under brutal and inhumane standards for the workers. Some of my favorites when it comes to so called fair fashion brands with an adequate variety of vegan clothes are:  JAN `N JUNE, Stella McCartney (did you know that all Stella McCartney shoes and bags are made out of vegan leather?), HessNatur, Wunderwerk and Greenshirts.

What does living a wholesome lifestyle mean to you?

A wholesome life means to live a healthy lifestyle at all levels. Of course nutrition is a big part of living that kind of life. Obviously it’s a good idea to listen to your body instead of devouring everything quickly. To get information about healthy food, about all the alternatives you can use instead of bread etc. is an important step in order to become a healthy foodie. But food isn't everything. In my opinion it’s also important to feed your brain positive stuff like positive thoughts, to read the right books and to listen to audios which educate you and help you grow your personality. It is all about balance in the different parts of your life. Just keeping up with one of them will never make you live a wholesome, happy life. The third part definitely is to learn to love your body. While the realization of nutrition and personal development really went quite well in the past, developing a workout routine makes me explore my limits at the moment. Loving and respecting my body is harder than I thought it might be. I think developing a workout routine will be really beneficial for me, so it's on top of my to-do list at the moment.

A recipe from Justine - Baked Pear with raspberries and crumble

I decided to share a recipe which really is an autumn-like one. It’s soooo delicious and easy to make: Baked Pear with raspberries and crumble on top.

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Baked Pear with raspberries and crumble

Ingredients for four halved pears

Two soft pears
Raspberries
Two-three bananas

Ingredients for the crumble

5 tbsp of melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons of coconut sugar
3 heaped tablespoons of chickpea flour
3 heaped tablespoons of coconut flour

Instructions

The cooking depends on how soft the pears are. In case you got really soft ones you will not need to cook them at first. You got some firmer ones? Cook them for 15 minutes in hot water first. You can not try this recipe with really firm pears.
Now you can cut the pears in two halves and remove the cores. In the hollow you can place the crushed raspberries and cover them with the crumble. Make the crumble by mixing the ingredients together. If it’s too crumbly just add some coconut fat. If it’s to mushy add some chickpea flour. Now you can put the pears in the oven at 170 degrees. The pears need to stay in the oven for 10 minutes or a bit longer. Have a look at the crumble, it should be browned.
Have the banana ice cream ready to enjoy your pears with it right away.
Put the bananas as they are in the freezer for two hours. Remove the skin and blend them. Enjoy!

Thanks Justine for this lovely interview. Guys, go ahead and check out her Instagram & Facebook!