This post is part of an interview series in which I ask fellow bloggers and noteworthy people ten questions about themselves, their work, and their top advice for those living a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle. Are you a business or brand who’s doing cool things and interested in being interviewed? Please contact me to chat further.
It’s crazy to think back a handful of years, when I was working a very uninspiring desk job and bean burritos were about as involved as I was getting with my cooking most nights. I don’t remember exactly how I came upon Oh She Glows, but I can vividly recall sitting in my windowless and dreary cubicle, feeling sad and not sure what I was doing with my life, and pouring over Angela’s posts about how she had been in a similar spot with her career and had worked incredibly hard to make some really big life changes.
Angela was inspiring to me at a time when I was feeling very low, and as I continued to read her posts every day at my desk when no one was looking, I grew more and more sure that I needed to make some changes and that I too could muster the courage, slowly but surely, to create a happier life. Aaron and I started plotting our cross-country move to California shortly after, and I’ve continued to be inspired by Angela’s warm writing and soulful recipes each week for the last handful of years.
Today, as a blogger, I am consistently blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness she puts into each and every blog post. I’ve made many of her recipes over the years and every single one, without exception, has turned out well. As a reader, I definitely wasn’t able to fully appreciate the amount of time that Angela puts into producing this level of quality content, but as a blogger, it makes Oh She Glows that much more impressive. And to top it all off, Angela is one of the sweetest people around.
It’s no wonder Oh She Glows is often the resource people cite when they talk about their transition to a whole foods, plant-based style of eating. I’m so honored to be sharing my interview with Angela today.
1. What is your food philosophy?
Eat food that makes me feel energized, happy, and balanced. The more natural and unprocessed a food is, the better it tends to make me feel so that’s why a plant-based diet works well for me. I always make room for dessert or daily indulgences though! I will never be someone who shuns all sugar or oils from my diet. I’ve learned that my sweet tooth and veggie tooth can live harmoniously. Aside from the food itself, I’m also passionate about animal welfare so I love that I can thrive on a diet that inflicts as little harm as possible.
2. If you could give one piece of advice to new vegans, what would it be?
I don’t like to sound preachy because everyone is different, but this is what I’d tell myself when I was just starting out:
You don’t have to rely on imitation mock-meat and dairy products. Many of them are filled with heavily processed ingredients (such as soy protein isolate) and are actually quite expensive. When I first went vegan, I ate a lot of those products (thinking that’s what I had to eat), but I quickly learned that they made me feel pretty crappy and sluggish. That’s when I found a passion in whole food vegan recipe creation. The food I make at home is not only more nutritious and affordable, but much tastier!
Take some time to make sure your diet is balanced. I think this can be the pitfall of many on a vegan diet. Sometimes all it takes is a couple modifications to the diet to feel great again. I’ve learned that I feel best taking daily iron and B12 supplements and I also pay attention to getting enough protein and healthy fats at each meal.
3. Why do you blog?
I started blogging as a creative outlet during a time in my life when I was bored and uninspired with my full-time career. Over 6 years later, it’s still my biggest passion and I can’t imagine not having this outlet. I also love how blogging has connected me with so many great people. Interacting with readers, meeting friends in day to day life, and exchanging ideas and experiences is by far the most rewarding part of blogging. I learn so much from it. Nothing beats the human connection.
4. If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers, what would it be?
Figure out what your passion is (the work you’d happily do for free) and then find a way to translate your passion into a blog.
5. If you had to choose a favorite and a least favorite word, what would they be?
Favourite: Not sure it’s my absolute favourite, but I sure like espresso – it’s just so sexy. Also, shenanigans. It just fun to insert into conversations.
Least: mucus/phlegm, vibes
6. If you weren’t you, who would you be?
I’m naturally shy and not a big risk taker, so it would be fun to be totally wild and adventurous in another life. I’ll go with a skydive instructor/pilot who travels the world and writes books/vlogs about the adventures.
7. What is your idea of happiness?
Feeling excited to start my day when I wake up in the morning. That’s when I know I’m on the right track.
8. What makes you unhappy?
Watching/reading too much news. I like to stay on top of world events, but it’s a fine line. Sometimes I’m just like, damn, how am I going to explain this mess to our children some day? I always make sure to focus on the positive stories as much as I can.
Also: home renovations. I’m so over them. My husband and I have done so many renovations over the years, and I’m really just looking forward to not having any going on for a while. On the plus side, I think we can get through anything now that we’ve almost finished a major kitchen renovation during my 3rd trimester of pregnancy…haha.
9. What is your best-kept beauty secret?
Eating a lot of healthy fats. They make your skin glow better than any cream. Nourishing the skin from the inside out does wonders for the whole body. I eat a lot of chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut oil, algae oil, and avocado each day. People frequently comment on how soft my skin is and ask me what lotion I use, but I honestly think it’s mostly due to eating lots of good fats. Also, happiness. A smile goes a long way.
10. If money did not matter, how would you spend your days?
I’d probably be doing what I am right now – sharing delicious food, photography, and writing – minus the tedious business tasks like taxes and whatnot. I’d also devote more time to growing my own food.
Angela Liddon is the writer, photographer, and recipe developer for Oh She Glows, an award-winning healthy vegan recipe website. Her New York Times Bestselling cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, features plant-based recipes and drool-worthy photography that will please vegans and omnivores alike. She also has an M.S. in Social-Personality Psychology and enjoys helping others find happiness and health through a plant-based diet.
P.S. Thanks for bearing with me on the technical issues the last couple of days that removed the option to comment (among other frustrating things). I’ve re-published the Open-Faced Vegan Caprese Sandwiches post, and everything should hopefully be back in good working order.