April 28th, 2020, Atlanta, GA / Giselle Ave. Media. — As we approach month two, and day 40-something of quarantine life, we can all agree that this entire experience has been life-changing. Some people are dealing with the loss of a job or a loved one, while others are awaiting stimulus checks, while researching preventative ways to build up their immune system. This global pandemic has impacted all of our lives in one way or another, especially when it comes to what we eat.
According to CNN Business, multiple meat processing plants across the United States are closing due to the pandemic. Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at Syracuse University, Julie Niederhoff, suggests that meat production is impacted by COVID-19, but it won’t be long-term:
“There is a disruption currently in some percentage of our meat processing and that is potentially going to cause some short term disruption to the availability of meat, but it’s not going to cause a long term disruption because the animals are still there.”
— Julie Niederhoff
While meat is still being sold in grocery stores nationwide, I foresee a growing number of people seeking alternatives to eating meat and consuming animal byproducts on a daily basis. And this, is why I wrote this blog post.
Journey to Plant-Based Living
Personally, our family decided to become plant-based this year, and not just for the obvious reasons of meat potentially being exposed to COVID-19. For us, it was a personal commitment to aligning ourselves with ourselves– mind, body, and soul. We’ve been doing a lot of the mind and soul work, but we weren’t as intentional or committed to cleansing our bodies so that we can receive the spiritual, mental, and physical benefits of social distancing during this global lockdown. While this challenge has not been easy, it’s been getting better everyday. I’ve become more adventurous in the kitchen, and I’m more conscious of the colors I cook with because I know the powers of eating real, raw, colorful foods. After all, we are what we eat!
We’re a little over 30 days into this plant-based life, and this is what has happened so far:
- We lost 5 pounds each, during the first week of plant-based eating, FIVE WHOLE POUNDS!
- We feel much lighter and more energized, in general.
- Eat colorfully, and your plate will be just as hearty as it used to be– with meat!
- I don’t miss meat, but I do miss the convenience of it. Lots of “meat alternatives” require a lot more ingredients, so…..
- You’ll keep adding to your pantry and list of recipes to try!
- Dairy, oh dairy, how I love thee.. There are some alternatives and they taste just like cheese!
Meet Tiffany Evette, Founder of Wow That’s Vegan
Earlier this month, I spoke with Tiffany Evette of Long Island, New York. She is the founder of Wow That’s Vegan, — a plant-based lifestyle brand on a mission to empower communities seeking natural alternatives to better health and meal wellness.
Checkout my interview with Tiffany to learn more about her plant-based lifestyle:
Giselle: Hi Tiffany, first let everyone know where you’re from, and what you do.
Tiffany: I’m Tiffany Evette, I am from Long Island, New York and currently reside here in Long Island. I’m the Founder of Wow That’s Vegan and I’m a plant-based coach. I help people transition into a healthier lifestyle by sharing recipes and guides that help people turn their favorite meals into vegan dishes.
Most of all, my goal is to make the transition to going vegan both simple and relatable to the client. A lot of people have been trying to go vegan, but I try to reintroduce it in a more custom, less intimidating way.
Giselle: How long have you been vegan/plant-based?
Tiffany: It took me three times to really commit to it and I’ve been vegan for the past 6 years. There’s so much pressure to maintain a vegan lifestyle, but just keep trying because everyone’s journey is different.
Giselle: What inspired you to go vegan?
Tiffany: I had a lot of stomach pains and I was always bloated. My doctor said that maybe it was my diet, but there wasn’t an official diagnosis. So, I decided to stop eating meat, just to see if it would help with the stomach pains and bloating, and it did. I saw a lot of progress from not eating meat.
Of course, I did my own research, too and came across Dr. Sebi and learned how certain foods can detoxify your body, especially when you don’t have meat or dairy in your diet. I also became familiar with Dr. Llaila Afrika and pretty much became an international student of how herbs– across continents and countries, have such enormous health benefits. Once I started doing my own research, I became more in tune of why I decided to go vegan in the first place! If you’re thinking about going vegan, you have to have a purpose or mission — bigger than yourself, or you’ll quit. Think about why you want to go vegan, that’s the most important step.
Giselle: What are some of the rewarding benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle?
Tiffany: I love to introduce my family and friends to vegan foods, it’s my form of giving back. Sometimes, I’ll talk to my grandmother about vegan foods I’m eating and she actually asks about it and wants to try it! I also make elderberry tea for my dad and he always enjoys it. The most important thing is to lead by example and to witness other people’s progress, even if they’re not fully vegan. My favorite vegan dish to cook for family and friends is my fried “chicken!” They love it!
Giselle: How’s dating while vegan, are you single, or are you preparing vegan foods for your entire family?
Tiffany: Right now I’m single, and I’m looking for a Vegan Bae! Before quarantine life, one of my favorite places to go out on a date was Hartbreakers in Brooklyn. They have amazing vegan dishes, and I remember my date was so surprised at how good it was! I don’t know many single vegan males, but when I share that I’m vegan, they think it’s cute and attractive– for me, but not for themselves.
Giselle: How do you think COVID-19 will influence our daily habits?
Tiffany: With the coronavirus going on, we have to be intentional about boosting our immunity. Even if you’re not 100 percent healthy, adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet is a good habit to have. Regardless of how bad things are right now, it’s pushing people into the right direction.
In addition to eating better, you can easily add push-ups, jumping around, dancing, and just really dedicating a few minutes of your day to being active, push -ups even work. Also, intermittent fasting is a good way to regulate your digestive system. Sometimes, I’ll start eating around noon and eat up until a few hours before bed.
More energy, faster metabolism.
Giselle: Do you have a quick/easy recipe you can share with us, right now?
Tiffany: Yes, let’s get into this Vegan General Tso Cauliflower
What you’ll need: Head of dry cauliflower, cut it into small pieces
Wet Mix: I use chickpea flour, water, oat milk, or whichever plant-based milk you like to use, sea salt, red pepper, cinnamon, sweet paprika, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder, milled flax seeds
Dry mix: Panko breadcrumbs with plain breadcrumbs, add sea salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon
- Dip the cauliflower into the wet mix, then dip into the dry mix
- Add grape seed oil to the pan, fry your cauliflower
- Sautee red onions, white onions, fresh ginger slices, scallions, splash of red wine vinegar, teaspoon of soy sauce, or aminos (just a very little)
- Fry the cauliflower, add the sauce, and you’re good to go!
I usually buy a general tso that’s vegan from the store. You can toss the cauliflower in the sauce, or you can add it to the pan. This dish is best served with veggie fried rice, or salad, or really anything you’d like to serve it with. Simple, quick, and easy.
Giselle: How can people connect with you and your brand, Wow That’s Vegan
Tiffany: I’ll be launching the Wow That’s Vegan Official Website & Store on May 22nd, until then you can join my community on Instagram, at WowThatsVegan_. Through my website, I’ll be selling authentic, customizable wellness items including authentic sea moss, vegan recipes, and CBD-Infused wellness products.
Giselle: It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and to learn more about your plant-based lifestyle. Thanks so much for sharing, and I’m personally looking forward to trying this General Tso’s Recipe PLUS shopping wellness products on your website that’s coming soon!
Tiffany: No problem, thank for having me! Most of all, I love when people try new vegan foods and after their first bite, they say, “Wow, that’s vegan?!”