Interviews

Vegans of the Internet – Interview with Ashley from VeganCookbook.com

There’s no doubt that the popularity of the internet continues to have a major effect on our culture. Those who want to learn about a particular topic or lifestyle have the means to do so, at least as long as there are people who care enough to create websites and blogs that explain those topics. Fortunately for those wanting to research veganism, they have numerous online resources to draw from – as it turns out, vegans care a lot about their cause.

Meet Ashley Woodward – Founder of VeganCookbook.com

Ashley Woodward is one such vegan who loves to discuss the vegan diet online. As the founder and writer for Vegancookbook.com, Ashley is driven to share her passion for animal rights, environmental causes, and the vegan lifestyle. Discover how Ashley became vegan, why she’s driven to expand her website, and where she sees the state of veganism in the future.

Taking the Plunge – Ashley Becomes 100% Vegan

Since Ashley was vegetarian early in life, transitioning to veganism came naturally. But even then, she admits that she had her fears at first.

[porto_blockquote]“Being vegetarian before adopting a fully vegan lifestyle helped quite a bit with the transition. The biggest fear that I had was that becoming vegan would be too restrictive on my lifestyle or require a strict diet that was hard to follow. But after making the switch, I found it to be the exact opposite! I get to try new, different foods every day and have stumbled onto new bloggers that are always introducing me to even more great recipes and ways to prepare my foods.”[/porto_blockquote]

What’s the Best Part about Living as a Vegan?

When asked about the best part of being vegan, Ashley discusses how the lack of guilt and the overall simplicity have greatly enhanced her life. Plus, with the endless recipes available on the vegan diet, she remarked on how much her palette has expanded since going vegan.

[porto_blockquote]“My life has become more simplified since I’ve gone vegan. I’m able to eat bigger portion sizes of the foods that I love without having to worry about negative impacts on my body and the world around me. There are always new recipes to try out, new flavors to explore, textures to taste, and many things that I never considered before becoming vegan. I discovered that there are vegan recipes from different cultures all around the world, so my palette has definitely improved.”[/porto_blockquote]

Founding and Writing for VeganCookbook.com

Unlike many vegans, Ashley has a wide-reaching outlet to express her thoughts on the lifestyle. As the founder of Vegancookbook.com, Ashley can share the many recipes that have made the vegan diet such a positive part of her life. But recipes are only a small part of it – on Vegancookbook.com, you’ll find commentary on a wide range of issues that involve life as a vegan. Ashley explains what drove her to start a vegan website:

[porto_blockquote]“My primary goal for Vegancookbook.com is to stay flexible and reach people where they’re at right now. I want to help people learn more about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, how to cook delicious tasting recipes and connect with other people who share my passion for veganism.

It’s crucial for me to educate, motivate, and inspire. I want to teach people what veganism is, and give them the tools needed to adopt a vegan lifestyle on their own.”[/porto_blockquote]

With dozens of articles and an ever-expanding list of info that is priceless to vegans, it’s clear that Ashley is educating and motivating readers to try the vegan diet.

Ashley’s Top Article She Wishes for Everyone to Read

Since Ashley is the author of a substantial amount of content on Vegancookbook.com, it’s fascinating to wonder which piece of content she’s most proud of – if one of her blogs could be read by everyone in the world, this is the one she chose.

[porto_blockquote]“One of the most visited pages on my blog, and for good reasons, is the post that I’ve written on Transitioning Into Veganism. It is packed full of advice, tips, and steps that you’ll need when you’re thinking about making the transition.”[/porto_blockquote]

Ashley goes on to highlight the valuable content found on her website, including 12 plant-based diets, 20 frequently asked questions and addressing 20 common myths about veganism.

The Difference Between a Diet and a Lifestyle

The vegan diet is often referred to as a lifestyle, but what separates it from diets such as Atkins or the South Beach Diet? Ashley explains this distinction as it applies to the vegan diet.

[porto_blockquote]“Diets tend to be started and stopped. People can start a diet plan, and a workout plan, but most of those people aren’t going to follow through because diets will usually have an end goal — i.e.: when I lose 10 pounds.

A lifestyle is a new way of life that’s better for you and easier to maintain over a long period of time. Eating a vegan diet doesn’t always mean you’re a full vegan, either. Veganism helps you adopt a complete lifestyle – from the foods that you eat to the clothes that you wear, to how you clean your house, and even more.

I created the “Vegan Lifestyle” category to show people how much of an impact their daily choices have on the world around them, and help them lessen the impacts of those choices by taking a whole approach to their life. Two great examples from the posts are about holding a vegan wedding and becoming a vegan while being in college.”[/porto_blockquote]

Is there a Link Between Mental Health and the Vegan Diet?

When perusing Vegancookbook.com, one of the articles that stuck out pertained to the link between veganism and depression. Ashley was adamant that there is a strong connection and explained this link to depression:

[porto_blockquote]“Diet plays a major role in the chemical processes inside of our body, with depression being linked to the foods that we eat, among many other factors.

By helping people become more aware of what they are putting into their bodies, I also wanted to help them become more aware of how what they eat affects the chemical processes happening in our organs – our brain, specifically.

When we’re not aware of what is going into our bodies, we tend to throw off our natural chemistry which can lead to much bigger issues – like depression and anxiety.

As a vegan, being more aware helps us understand the nutrients we’re consuming and ensures we’re getting proper supplementation to help keep our body’s natural chemistry in balance and alleviate the symptoms that are caused by improper dieting and consuming unnatural products.”[/porto_blockquote]

What’s the Driving Force that Keeps Her Motivated to Grow Her Website?

Whether you get up each day and go to a construction job or you write passionate content for a cause you believe in, it takes a good deal of motivation to stick to a goal and continue to give it the attention and care that it needs to grow. Ashley explains what gives her that motivation to write and continue to build Vegancookbook.com each and every day.

[porto_blockquote]“After converting to a vegan lifestyle, I’ve absolutely fallen in love with helping people. I love hearing stories from readers about how much they’ve achieved, how much better they feel, and how they are lessening their impact on the world around them.

I strive every day to make the Vegan Cookbook even better because I want to do my part in breaking down the myths and misconceptions that many people have about vegans and veganism, and show them how adopting even small parts of the vegan lifestyle into their own life can have huge positive impacts on their health and well-being. Plus, it helps them be more compassionate to the world they live in.”[/porto_blockquote]

What’s Ashley’s Favorite Vegan Food?

Asking experienced vegans what their favorite foods are often provides interesting responses. Ashley was posed with that question and revealed her love of vegan desserts.

[porto_blockquote]“I love my desserts. If I had to pick just 1 vegan dish, it would have to be vegan brownies on ice cream with blueberries and strawberries sprinkled on top.” [/porto_blockquote]

Typical Vegan Dinner for Ashley Woodward

What we eat each day to sustain ourselves says a lot about who we are and what we like. Ashley told us what she had last night for her vegan dinner:

[porto_blockquote]“I like to keep things simple. To give you an example, last night we had Lemon Fettuccine Alfredo. Noodles with a lemon sauce, some cilantro, and a green tea. It was delicious.”[/porto_blockquote]

Most Highly Recommended Vegan Recipe

The first step to getting non-vegans interested in the vegan diet is to show them that the diet contains really awesome food and interesting recipes. As the founder of a website that has the word “cookbook” in its name, we’d be remiss to not ask Ashley what the most popular recipe on her site is.

[porto_blockquote]“I know the Chili Mac ‘n’ Cheese is usually a hit with most people that I recommend it to. I always suggest people start with the simple recipes that they already know and love so they can transition into eating vegan. If they attempt to go too fast or try recipes that they wouldn’t normally eat, it could be harder to make the transition and stick with it.”[/porto_blockquote]

Vegans in Society – Where Do You See Veganism in 20 Years?

There is no doubt that veganism is at a unique place in society. With everyone from celebrities to MMA fighters rapidly embracing the vegan lifestyle, it’s clear that it’s gaining traction as a viable and popular lifestyle in America. As a dedicated vegan, Ashley has passionate thoughts on where she’d like to see veganism in 20 years.  

[porto_blockquote]“Ideally, I would love to see the vegan lifestyle being more readily adopted in the world around us – To know that we have more options at the store, at the restaurants we frequent, and that the companies that create the foods we eat are understanding the impact they’re having on the world and doing what they can to lessen the damage they cause in every way possible.

I want to see veganism reach mass appeal so it’s not just another “fad” or “trend” that causes some people to look down their noses at vegans and people who are looking to adopt the vegan lifestyle for themselves.

If I had to sum it up, I would say that I want to see more acceptance and support for vegans and veganism.”[/porto_blockquote]

Ashley’s Final Message to Young Vegans

As someone who’s taken her love of the vegan lifestyle and turned it into a multi-faceted website that serves as a resource to anyone who’s considered veganism, Ashley has already done a lot to educate people on the benefits of a plant-based diet. But she has one last message for young vegans:

[porto_blockquote]“If there was one message I could give to young vegans, it’s to always try new recipes. There are some truly amazing foods available, and with a bit of creativity, you can create even better recipes than what we already eat. Work veganism into your life however and whenever possible, and spread the message of the benefits you’re receiving to people around you without being pushy and overbearing.”[/porto_blockquote]

Vegancookbook.com and Bhu Foods – Dedicated to Smart Eating

Everyone has to eat, but with so many poor choices, fast food options, and misleading labels that encourage you to make poor decisions for your body, it’s refreshing to know there are companies who care. Value-based companies and websites like Bhu Foods and Vegancookbook.com are crucial in normalizing veganism in society. Join Bhu Foods and motivated vegans like Ashley Woodward in making this change a reality.

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