A couple weeks ago, we introduced you to Victoria Eden, a fitness influencer and animal welfare activist from the North Shore of Massachusetts. This week, read part two of her interview discussing more about why living a life of health and sustainability is important to her.
The opinions expressed in this interview are Victoria's own and do not reflect the view of GreenChoice.
What do you think is the hardest part of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle? How do you think being vegan affects these two things?
It takes some effort to get started since there’s research involved in cutting out animal products, getting started at the gym, or choosing to buy from ethical companies. Thanks to technology, this information is always at our fingertips. There are so many conscious companies popping up endless resources online that can teach you all about living a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. If you’re willing to do a little bit of work, it actually becomes very easy quite quickly. I think being vegan has helped me because I have already had to be conscious of my choices for so many years. Getting started on this lifestyle can seem a little overwhelming, but I promise it’s easier than it seems with all of the amazing resources available now!
What are you looking for when you make your food choices?
The most important piece of information for me is always, “is it vegan?” because that’s my one requirement no matter what. After that I look for fresh healthy foods. I try to eat a rainbow every day and cook 95% of my meals at home from scratch. I mentioned earlier that I have now spent this whole year tracking the food I eat. I use an app to log all of my foods and count the amount of carbs fats and proteins that I consume. I have a goal to hit each day so I need to be able to find healthy food choices that fit my needs. It has actually been really fun experimenting with food and teaching myself how to cook and eat fresh nutritious meals. I love knowing exactly what I’m eating and knowing that there’s no unhealthy additives in my food.
The packaged stuff I still buy are simple things like oats, rice, bread, plant milks, granola, tempeh, tofu, etc. A good rule is usually to try and stick to things with smaller ingredient lists and words you can pronounce. I totally still treat myself to meals out and sweets like vegan ice cream, but even then I still try to get the healthiest options that I can. I am happiest and feel my best when I’ve stuck to my healthy eating and had a wonderful workout so that’s how I live my life most of the time. I am a massive fan of shopping local as well, I frequent my local health food market and love going to farmers markets. You know when you shop at these places that you are getting really fresh organic, healthy, and yummy food. It’s so important for me to fuel my body with clean energy. Put loving food in and you’ll reflect that love. Whole plant based foods are the key to wonderful health and can fix so many problems that I see people suffering through. The future is vegan!
What piece of advice would you share with someone who wants to live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle?
Check out some healthy living blogs and groups, this is what really made the difference for me. I cannot reiterate enough how valuable and amazing it is to have so many resources available to us online. I joined a fitness challenge in January of this year and having guidance in the gym, healthy recipes to cook, and people to talk to and get support from really kept me going.
Once you start to see the positive physical changes and feel the incredible mental clarity and happiness that comes from taking care of yourself, it won't feel like work anymore. You need to make sure you find balance; go out with your friends if you want to, enjoy a nice dinner out with your loved ones, don’t deprive yourself of things and experiences that make you happy, that’s no good. If you’re on track 80% of the time, the other 20% isn’t going to hurt you.
Find the foods that you like and the workouts you like. If you hate your routine, you will never stick to it. That’s why I hate all of these fad diets, stay away from them! Just find healthy foods you love, play around in the kitchen and try new things. Try some classes at the gym or some outdoor activities. It is so key to figure out what you enjoy doing, that’s when it will become your lifestyle.
Exercise and healthy fuel for your body is absolutely everything to me. I love the food that I eat and my time in the gym every day but I still make time to be social. We have one life and it’s incredibly short and I want to be here for as long as I possibly can, enjoying all that this beautiful planet has to offer.
We need to take care of our planet and ourselves in order for everyone to have this opportunity. The hardest part is just to start, so get over that hump! Every positive change that you make helps, and no matter how small it may feel, you are a making a difference with each smart and compassionate choice. We all have a chance to make the most of our lives, I want us to start thriving not just as individuals, but as an awesome unified planet.
Interview conducted by GCNow Content Writer Rilee Dubilo.