Liz Thomson is an author, blogger (I Heart Vegetables) and health coach. Her recently released cookbook titled, The Truly Healthy Vegetarian Cookbook is an amazing source for nutrition information and delicious plant based meals.
“Now I pay attention to the ingredients and fuel I’m giving my body, rather than THE number of calories.”
Congratulations on the release of your cookbook! I was lucky enough to get a copy for review and I’ve been loving all your amazing recipes! How did you become so passionate about living a healthy vegetarian lifestyle?
I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 18, but for the first few years, I really wasn’t healthy. I counted calories thinking that was the answer. I ate so much processed food, 100 calorie packs, and “healthy” version of junk food. It wasn’t until I went vegan in 2010 that I started paying attention to labels and ingredients. I only went vegan for 6 months but it was long enough to transform the way I thought about healthy food! Now I pay attention to the ingredients and fuel I’m giving my body, rather than the number of calories.
“Once you’ve gone meatless one day a week, you might find it’s not nearly as hard as you think!”
Changing the way we eat can become quite overwhelming. What are 3 easy changes someone could make to be more plant-based? What are some pantry items you always have on hand?
1. Don’t think about taking away certain foods, think about adding in good ones! Add an extra serving of green vegetables to your dinner. That could be a little salad, some frozen broccoli, or some sautéed kale. It doesn’t have to be complicated!
2. Try going meatless one day a week. You’ll learn new recipes and discover some new favorite foods! Once you’ve gone meatless one day a week, you might find it’s not nearly as hard as you think!
3. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you want to eat more plant-based foods, you don’t have to go completely vegan on day one. Trade that package of pretzels for an apple. Switch out your breakfast sandwich for a smoothie. Small changes make a big difference!
I’d imagine with your love of cooking that you also love to entertain – what are your go-to recipes from the cookbook that you’d recommend for a summer gathering?
The easy ratatouille is a great one! It’s full of vegetables and it’s delicious served with crusty bread! I also love making the black bean enchiladas because I can pop them in the oven before people come over and then I’m not distracted trying to finish dinner while chatting with friends! For dessert, serve the chocolate chickpea cookies and I promise no one would ever guess they’re made with chickpeas!
Beyond food, what are some of your favorite health and wellness tips and tricks? Is there a natural beauty product you swear by or a favorite workout? Give us all your secrets.
Don’t underestimate the power of rest! I like to stay busy and I’m terrible at planning down time in my schedule. I downloaded the Calm app on my phone and I use the meditation timer to force myself to slow down and take a few minutes each day to think. I also try to go to bed at a consistent time every night. I feel so much better when I’m well rested so I definitely prioritize sleep!
I’ve spent so much time thinking about what I’m putting into my body that it’s made me more aware of what I put on my body! I’ve switched over a lot of my beauty products to more natural options. I love Maven Made facial serum. (It’s totally transformed my face!) and I’ve started using S.W. Basics cleanser which is so gentile on my skin.
For workouts, I’ve tried everything under the sun and I like switching things up. I’ve been trying to be more consistent about weight lifting and resistance training but on busy days I usually just pull up a quick workout on YouTube. I love Tone It Up and Blogilates. They have tons of free, quick workouts that I can do in my living room!
You can find Liz: