Trying to find a Vegan is at times like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Just when I think I may have to skip my weekly feature someone comes out of the blue and gives me their responses to my silly questionnaire and makes me feel the warm and fuzzies all over my incredibly pasty body. The weirdest thing about the beautiful Vegan I am featuring today is she was right under my nose. I work with this great guy John who like me is a bike enthusiast and almost more like me is like 97 percent Vegan. I didn't even know John worked with me when I met him. We were having a work Christmas thing with free food in our break room and he was back there with his children hanging out. I thought he was just another really happy Trader Joe's shopper who goes in the break room and hangs out with the crew. Later in the week I saw him working a register and was overcome with joy! Awesome, another cool person to work with. The more I talked with John the more I like him and the more I got to know about him. His children are raised Vegan and the best part, his gorgeous wife is Vegan too and she was kind enough to allow me to share her with all of you! Allow me to introduce Tiffany Sellwood...
Name: Tiffany Sellwood
Location: Ahwatukee, AZ
Website: None, isn’t that horrible? Particularly since I’m an online marketer.
How long have you been Vegan? 8 years
What made you decide to go Vegan?
The book “Diet for a New America” converted me to a vegetarian in the matter of two chapters. That winter, a massive sinus infection led me to a homeopathic doctor who told me to get rid of dairy altogether. I had been eating so many cheese sandwiches since going vegetarian, I had developed a dairy sensitivity! After being on the elimination diet for a few days, the sinus pressure was gone. I haven’t eaten dairy since.
How do you feel health wise with this diet choice?
The best I’ve felt in my life. After going vegan, I noticed a huge difference in energy level, particularly in the afternoon. I’m a runner, and coincidentally I became faster and more efficient with less training on a vegan diet. I’ve also had two wonderful, uncomplicated pregnancies. I feel like a million bucks!
Are you open about your Veganism? Heck yes!
If so, are you involved in any activism i.e. protests, leafleting etc…
If I didn’t have two young kids that consume every free minute, I would definitely be out there. The only activism I partake in is posting informative articles on my Facebook profile, hoping that a few people just might find them intriguing enough to check them out.
What does your family, friends, co-workers think about your diet?
Most people in my life think it’s interesting and certainly everyone respects it. My husband is an amazing cook and has shown our friends and family how great vegan food can be. We’ve shared recipes with meat eaters who come over and want to make our dishes in their own homes! I’ve been thrilled to see some of my closest friends experiment with vegetarianism, and some became total veg heads!
What advice would you give those interested in becoming Vegan?
Before buying a cookbook, I would first recommend reading some books about the benefits of veganism. I think the chances of success are better if you really understand the health, environmental, and political reasons for going vegan. Our society has been so brainwashed by the food industry that the truth about dairy, for example, is usually shocking to most people. When you become enlightened with the truth, your vegan journey will be so much more meaningful. Not to mention - you’ll be so outraged, you’ll want to share the truth with others and get them inspired to try it, too!
Would you eat at Mc Donald’s if they carried a Vegan burger?
No. McDonald’s is the epitome of what’s gone wrong with the American diet. They make millions of dollars serving heart disease and obesity on a plate, and yet they’ve perfected their artificially-flavored “food” so well that we can’t seem to get enough of it. Meanwhile, their business model maintains the factory farming phenomenon, which is not only horrifying for animals, farmers and slaughterhouse workers, but it’s sickening us even more with hormone and antibiotic-laden meat. If McDonald’s were to offer a vegan burger, it would be completely disingenuous, as they could care less about our health. Rather, they would be doing so only to cater to a new market to boost sales. Now if McDonald’s decided to completely turn their business philosophy upside-down and commit themselves to offering healthier food (which means they’d have to remove or modify best-sellers from their menu and offer ONLY organic meat), then I may take them seriously with the vegan burger. In the meantime, I refuse to even buy a cup of coffee from them.
What is your least favorite question that you are asked about your diet?
There’s always the “Then what DO you eat?” question that makes me chuckle, but I think the question I like the least is “How do you get enough protein”? I know it seems cliché – as I’m sure this is one of every vegan’s least favorite questions – but the reason I loathe it so much is because it takes me too long to answer it well. There is a HUGE misunderstanding about protein in our society, and you kind of have to start there. Given our accessibility to such a variety of food, it’s practically impossible for a vegan to consume an inadequate amount of protein – but there IS such a thing, however, as TOO MUCH protein.
What is your favorite dish?
I guess my absolute, eat-it-any-day favorite would be my hubby’s vegetable lasagna, made with spinach, mushrooms, white sauce and homemade tomato sauce. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
What do you typically eat at Thanksgiving?
Everything but the turkey, really! We pretty much make all the traditional dishes, we just substitute vegan margarine for butter, veg stock for chicken stock, and soy milk for milk. We even make a green bean casserole with a homemade vegan cream of celery soup, and I made my first vegan pumpkin pie last Thanksgiving. It was so good, it converted pumpkin pie haters to lovers!
If I could make you any flavor cupcake in the world what would it be?
Now that we’re talking about Thanksgiving, I’m thinking pumpkin cheesecake. That’s one dessert I do miss.
Please share your favorite Vegan recipe.
Here’s a quick and easy spaghetti Bolognese that pleases vegans and meat-eaters alike!
1 packet of Yves veggie meat
½ cup celery
½ cup carrots
1 med onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp white wine
1/3 cup soy milk
½ jar tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
Pinches of dried basil, oregano, sugar, s&p
2 tbsp olive oil
Heat the oil in saucepan. Add onion, sauté until soft. Add garlic. Continue sautéing until fragrant, then add celery and onion and let them cook until slightly softened. Add the packet of veggie meat and stir on medium heat. Add wine, and let the “meat” absorb it before adding the soy milk. Add soy milk, tomato paste, and seasonings. Finally, thin it out with the tomato sauce. Let cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with whole wheat spaghetti or penne. Enjoy!
Isn't she the bee's knees folks?