Tuesday, February 13, 2018

LIT Vegan Kitchen wants to Help You Go Plant Based

Towards the end of 2017 I decided to transition to a plant-based diet. By the time 2018 had rolled around, I had tapered off all meat and dairy and officially began my journey as a vegan. Over the last two months, I have learned  LOT about food and found new ways to eat some of my favorite dishes, including finally finding a coffee creamer substitute that met my needs (shout out to Trader Joes and So Delicious for coming through).  But, the most important thing that I have learned is that going vegan is a process. First, you start cutting things out and then you start adding new things in. I have also discovered that I have a long way to go on my journey, so I have started exploring and asking around to learn more.

One of the first people I reached out to is Lea Addington, a vegan chef that owns a company called LIT Vegan Kitchen. Her meal prep and cooking services can help anyone transition to a plant-based diet. So, I reached out to find out more about her personal journey and her company's services. Check out what she has to say and consider incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet!
HID- Why did you decide to switch to a plant-based diet?
Lea Addington- "Based on the knowledge and information that has been made available to me via studying and independent research. Veganism is the healthiest, most ethical and least damaging to the environment. There have been several studies and examples illustrating the positive effects of a whole-food, plant-based diet including lessening the chances of dying from the leading causes of preventable death and contracting such illnesses as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure."

HID- Do you feel like switching to this diet has changed your life in any way? How?
Lea Addington- "Changing my diet has affected my life in so many wonderful ways! Physically, I feel more energetic, less sluggish, and lighter on my feet. In fact, I’ve lost 35lbs through my transition. Mentally, I am more aware of myself and my thoughts. When eating an animal-based diet, my ideas would be cloudy or would come and go. Changing to a plant-based diet allowed for a better fluidity of manifestation. Before I transitioned to a plant-based diet, my emotional reactions to events and situations in my life were much more intense. I found myself more “hangry” (hungry & angry) haha; however, now, I’m more carefree, humble, and less likely to find myself hungry or “hangry”. When you control what you eat and the energy you’re absorbing through your food, emotional control ties into my overall spiritual growth. With a heightened awareness, emotional and mental connectivity, and a clean and efficiently running body, I have a greater connection to my spirit and where it leads me in life."

HID- Was it hard to make the switch?
Lea Addington- "Hard? I wouldn’t say hard, but it does take discipline to change a lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to for such a long period of time. I started my transition years ago initially with red meat. Then, I shifted from pescatarian (only fish and some dairy), to vegetarian, then quickly into veganism/plant-based. For me, it wasn’t and isn’t just about the food. I’ve also changed the products I use at home such as body/face wash, toothpaste, and deodorant. These products have been found to have high aluminum and fluoride content which have been proven to cause cancer; more specifically breast cancer in women, and negatively affect brain function. Once I learned this information and experienced the difference in not using the chemicals on and in my body, and the effects of meat and dairy on the body, along with considering animal and environmental cruelty, my decision was easy to make and discipline followed suit."

HID- Do you ever miss meat or dairy?
Lea Addington- "Not at all! In all honesty, most people who eat an animal-based diet think their body is craving the taste of meat or even the “protein”, in all actuality, your taste buds and senses react to the taste and smell of seasonings. Plus, there are so many varieties of fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, etc, why limit your palate?!"

HID- What is your favorite egg substitute?
Lea Addington- "Typically, we use flax eggs as a substitute in our meals (mix ground flax meal and water in 2:1 ratio). However, depending on the recipe we may use mashed fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes or bananas."

HID- What are some staples that all vegans need to have in their homes to make the switch?
Lea Addington- "The plant-based diet encompasses heavy portions of leafy greens (such as spinach, collards, and/or chard) and plenty of fruits and vegetables, of all colors. Transitioning vegans should also have varieties of seeds and nuts, which are full of fibrous content! Also, chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) are a very versatile legume. They can really make it easy to create meals of different textures and flavors. You can roast them and enjoy as a snack, on top of a salad, or mash them and make mock meats such as tuna or meatless meatballs. There are so many options! Personally, my two favorite items to have in the kitchen are chickpeas and sweet potatoes!"

HID- How do you help your clients switch to a plant-based diet?
Lea Addington- "LIT Vegan Kitchen provides its clients with meal preparation services to make their transition to a plant-based diet and lifestyle convenient and affordable. Provide resources to assist those in search of options outside of the standard American diet."

HID- How does your meal prep work?
Lea Addington- "We provides our clients with 3-4 entree combinations for the week that are packed and ready-to-go, containing delicious, cruelty-free plant-based food. Our services are available to those aspiring to transition to a plant-based diet, those who are unsure about how to go vegan, and those who are simply looking for a cleaner and healthier diet. We strive to make our services available to everyone wishing to explore the plant-based diet and lifestyle in a convenient and affordable way."

HID- Do you cater?
Lea Addington- "Currently, we do not offer catering services; however, we do offer family style entrees by order only. Our most requested entree is the vegan lasagna made with our almond herbed “ricotta” and special tomato sauce."

HID- Do you teach others how to cook?
Lea Addington- "LIT Vegan Kitchen currently offers in-home cooking classes to assist you in putting together a menu and learning how to make basic meal combinations to support your transition."

HID- Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Lea Addington- "My best advice for your readers: learn what you can from others, research for yourself, then, make an informed and emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually backed decision that you are committed to. Doing these things should help challenge any preconceived ideas surrounding the plant-based lifestyle and offer a greater security for their decision to change. The most common comment that I hear is that “it’s hard”, but in reality, the hardest part is doing something you don’t understand or support fully. So inform yourselves!"

Contact LIT Vegan Kitchen and make a change to plant based today!


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