On being vegan.

Interview for Stephanie Rice '14.

Steph: Do you only eat Vegan? Why is this and how long have you been Vegan?

Amy: Yes, I’m fully Vegan. After I went vegetarian (around 5-6 years ago), I started to think a lot about my health. I was worried at first because it did seem radical to me, as I had never changed my eating habits much before. As I started researching, the transition to veganism followed, and within a few months my partner and I both discovered that veganism was easily one of the best decisions we had ever made.

After two years of living vegan we feel incredible⎯our digestion is amazing, our skin is glowing, we are lowering our risk of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and we hardly ever get sick anymore. In saying all of that, the choice was beyond food; there is no other lifestyle that brings so many benefits to the whole planet at once.

The meat & dairy industry combined have a devastating environmental impact, not to mention the horribly cruel treatment of animals. Protecting the environment, looking after my health and refusing to contribute to animal suffering are all extremely essential factors for my life, so veganism is simply the only reasonable option for me. I can honestly say that since going vegan my life is much richer, filled with awareness, love, passion, excitement and immeasurable hope for the future.

Steph: I know you are studying Nutrition at the moment, what is your goal behind this?

Amy: I would love to use the knowledge I have gained to show the world that living a Vegan/Veggie lifestyle is extremely beneficial for our health & wellbeing. Simply having a few Vegan or Veggie meals a week can create a dramatic change in people’s health; our bodies literally thrive on plant foods! I am also working on The Lush Scoop magazine at the moment where I write lots of Vegan recipes and discuss nutritional information. I’d love to take that part of my life much further.

Steph: Were you always interested in health and cooking or is this something that has come about recently?

Amy: I was raised in a household where everybody knew how to throw a meal together, so cooking was something that I picked up from my family at an early age. I moved away from home fresh out of high school when I was accepted into Uni, so I began cooking for myself quite young. As for health, I guess that came with maturity. I really began to research nutritional health when I first became Vegetarian, and my hunger for knowledge just grew from there. The switch to veganism really opened my eyes to using my creativity in the kitchen, I began discovering incredible fruits and vegetables that I had never even head of before.

Steph: Do you have a goal that you are trying to achieve by posting fantastic food photos or is it more of a passion?

Amy: Photography always has, and always will be a huge passion of mine; food came along a little while later and luckily for me they go hand in hand. Creating meals and taking photos are the two things that I love doing most, so my passion is definitely the main driver for pursuing them further, I’m just so happy that other people have been enjoying it too. I have a bunch of amazing friends working with me at the moment to create my vision; an Australian Cruelty-Free Culture & Food magazine known as The Lush Scoop.

Steph: Do you create your own recipes? Or do you get inspired by other Blogs and cook books and tweak them slightly?

Amy: To be completely honest with you, I am totally awful at following recipes! I do however get inspired really easily, especially by people who are passionate about what they do! Jamie Oliver was a huge inspiration to me when I was young and he is definitely the reason I started mucking about in the kitchen. I feel like once you’ve been cooking for a long time and you know your way around the kitchen, it’s much easier to be creative and come up with things you wouldn’t have necessarily seen before. I write all of my recipes myself, but sometimes I will tweak a recipe I have found and post credit for the original creator (family, friends or other bloggers). I’m truly a visual person; I get a lot of my recipe inspiration from the fresh produce at the farmers markets, looking at pictures of meals (I love Pinterest!), flicking through books, noticing an amazing colour-scheme or simply spending time with Mother Nature.