Vegan chef and author Chloe Coscarelli made the decision to go vegan 17 years ago and has since been a leading influencer for the lifestyle. We asked her about that decision, and some tips for how to live a healthy and delicious vegan life.
What made you adapt a vegan lifestyle?
I went vegan about 17 years ago when I made the connection between the animals I loved and the animals on my dinner plate. My mom was always an amazing cook, so together we started veganizing some of her family recipes. The results were fantastic and I started to fall in love with the food. Over time, I realized how much better I felt eating vegan and never looked back!
How has plant-based protein evolved over the past few years?
Back in the day, plant-based protein pretty much consisted of tofu or soy protein powder. Now there are infinite sources of plant-based protein out there. From pea protein to brown rice protein to hemp protein, there are many different protein powder sources. And there are also plenty of ways to get protein straight from the food you eat! I love lentils, black beans, quinoa, and tempeh, to name a few awesome sources of protein.
What advice do you have for someone looking to transition to a vegan lifestyle?
My advice to anyone interested in trying out a vegan diet would be to start incorporating vegan food into your diet right away. Don’t get caught up in the all-or-nothing labels, or wait for that perfect time to dive in 100 percent. Instead, simply start enjoying vegan food and see how you feel. The more meatless meals you eat, the more you’ll get used to it. And suddenly, you’ll start noticing all the benefits and deliciousness of a plant-based lifestyle fall into your life.
What is your favorite vegan dish?
Hands down, vegan mac and cheese! Whether it’s a white cauliflower mac, a butternut mac, or a spicy jalapeño mac, there is nothing more cravable and comforting than elbow noodles swimming in a luscious vegan cheese sauce!
How do you make sure you get all of the nutrients you need in a day?
One tip to keeping a balanced diet is to eat the rainbow. I find that when I focus on eating a bright, colorful assortment of fruits and veggies, from red apples to oranges to yellow corn to green curly kale to blue spirulina, I feel more balanced and energized. Plus, it’s a pretty way to eat.