Just over a year ago, while I was looking through the Instagram of Ariel Kaplan (Imogen Willis from Neighbours, or going a bit further back, Lisa from The Saddle Club), I found a comment from an account called "greengirlsgang". They were a group of gorgeous young women from Melbourne and Brisbane who joined up over a mutual love of health, happiness and good food. For a few weeks, they introduced themselves and shared a few plant-based recipes (such as Ally's banana and blueberry ice cream, which is very yummy) and met up to discuss their plans for the group. Unfortunately, they are now on hiatus for health reasons. One of the introductions described one of the group as "a self proclaimed 'human encyclopaedia of Lizzie McGuire episodes'" (one great show - I rewatched all the episodes in the summer holidays last year, I have a pin of the cartoon Lizzie that I got at Disney World when I was 11, and I realised in November that Lizzie McGuire is probably my fictional soul-twin). This girl is Kara Ready. I've only spoken to her a couple of times, but we brought down a Twitter troll who was denying gender inequality together, we're both feminists and LGBT rights supporters (and Lizzie McGuire lovers), and she gave me some great advice when I was struggling a few months ago with tiredness and not eating enough. I'll let her introduce herself in this little interview.
Where in the world are you from?I live just outside Melbourne, Australia in boring ol’ suburbia.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:2015 marks the year that I graduated from my journalism degree and entered the big, bad world. I’m very passionate about media and the journalism industry so at the moment I’m spending a lot of time working on my community radio show, writing for magazines on a volunteer basis and just generally figuring out the type of journalist I want to be. I’ve discovered that not knowing where I’m headed- although very daunting at times- is half the fun of getting there.
What is your food philosophy and lifestyle?I follow a vegan lifestyle and it’s something that I’m very passionate about on an environmental and ethical level. I guess you could say that at its core, my philosophy is to do as much as I can to avoid hurting others in every aspect of life. I’ve always felt that way but it wasn’t until late last year that I realised my eating habits didn’t align with those beliefs- so I changed to a cruelty free diet and lifestyle and haven’t looked back!
This wonderful vegan Chinese restaurant in Melbourne basically outlines my reasons for being vegan. We don't need to harm other for our food :)
How long have you been following this lifestyle and why?I have been vegan for just over 6 months now and was vegetarian for 6 months before that.
What is your favourite fruit [or vegetable]?My absolute favourite vegetable without a doubt is potato, preferably sweet potato but regular ol’ white potato is a winner too. Sometimes I genuinely think I could eat nothing but potato for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.
Food wise, what country have you enjoyed visiting the most?I absolutely adored my trip to India for a million different reasons and the food probably contributed to about half of them. The flavours, the variety, the fact that whole foods make up a very large part of their diet. It was just heaven and every Indian meal I’ve had since back in Australia has failed to match up.
Helping to make roti bread in a Sikh temple in India. I love the community and culture behind their food!
What are your views and tips for health and happiness?This is such a huge question and one that I receive quite often on Tumblr because so many people struggle with it. I think my first tip, and perhaps the most cliché one, is to listen to yourself- your body, your mind, your thoughts and try and teach yourself to respond to them with kindness and compassion. When you can be open, honest and supportive towards yourself and how you’re feeling, your perspective starts to change because you allow yourself the room to make mistakes and learn from them without beating yourself up and dwelling on it. Health and happiness go hand in hand- I really think that when you master one, you master the other and that’s a beautiful thing.
Plans for the rest of 2015?2015 has been a bit of an adjustment year for me so far as I’ve just graduated from university and entered the ‘real world’. This year has predominately been focused on writing as much as possible and searching for a job that will make me happy to go to work each day. Overall though, I’m just taking everything as it comes at the moment and trying not to put unnecessary pressure on myself by pretending that I ‘should’ or ‘need’ to be doing more than I already am.
My go to recipe is-Easy vegan strawberries and cream smoothie!
The best thing about smoothies for me is that you don't need to do much weighing or measuring and can instead just chuck everything into the blender as you go! Perfect for lazy meals or snacks when you can't be bothered preparing something.
This recipe is for a yummy strawberries and cream smoothie using only 3 ingredients. Don't be afraid to add in more than what I've written- I've made versions of this with almond milk instead of water, cherries as well as strawberries and I frequently double the ingredients if I'm feeling really hungry or halve them if I just want a snack.
Things you'll need-
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2-4 fresh bananas [or more depending on your hunger!]
- A couple handfuls of frozen strawberries
- .5-1 litre of water
- A blender!
Blend all the ingredients together until you get the consistency you like. I like mine to be thick and creamy but if you want yours a little bit thinner just add more water! I told you it was super easy!
This recipe is also great because it can be made into a delicious summer nice cream for those warmer days! If you want more of a thick, ice cream consistency, just swap out the fresh bananas for frozen ones and take out the water and you're good to go! For now though, in this awful Australian winter, I think I'm just going to stick to my smoothie...
Social media:Tumblr: eveningdreams.tumblr.com