Sunday, June 15, 2014

Q&A with Rea Frey, author of Power Vegan

What is something a lot of vegans miss in their diet that they need to have?

Many vegans assume if they cut out meat and dairy, then all their nutritional bases are covered, but this isn’t always the case. Being vegan comes with a bit of responsibility. You have to do your homework. Unfortunately, our food isn't as nutritious as it used to be (thank you, processed devils!), so you have to be aware of lacking nutrients. Ask yourself: Where do I get vitamin B12? Nutritional yeast and Kombucha. Vitamin D? Shiitake mushrooms and sunshine. Iron? Beans, greens, raw cacao beans, dried fruit, sea veggies, and molasses. Calcium? Seeds (chia and sesame), collard greens, beans, and pseudograins. Popping a vitamin doesn’t always do the trick, so know your sources.

Are there any new vegan products which have come out lately you are a fan of?

I’m really impressed by Better Life cleaning products (so safe, you can actually ingest them!). What we eat is so important, but what we clean with, what we wash our clothes with, what makeup we use, what styling products we use… these all contribute to our overall health. In terms of eating, I’ve always been a fan of Garden of Life. I enjoy their Raw Protein products. Vega is always pushing the boundaries as well, especially for those who want to live extremely active plant-based lives. I’ve never found a more complete supplement line for active individuals - Vega has it all.

What would you say is the breakfast of champions for vegans?

Starting your day with a giant green smoothie is one of the best ways to supply your body with easily digestible fruits and veggies, as well as flooding your body with vitamins and minerals. Blending kale, parsley, romaine, apple, lemon juice, banana, chia, hemp or flax seeds and some nondairy milk can wake up the body and “cleanse” after fasting all night. Following that up an hour ater some delicious nondairy pumpkin hemp protein pancakes can’t hurt either.

What are the best sources of protein for vegans?

People so often focus on not getting enough protein as a vegan, but it is extremely easy to bypass the fake meat and get more than you need from natural sources. Remember that all plant foods have protein (50% of most greens’ calories are made up of protein!), and plant-based proteins are cheaper and easier to digest. My go-to list: soaked and sprouted legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, quinoa, teff, amaranth, hemp-pea-brown rice protein, greens, organic, sprouted tofu, and tempeh (for those with no soy aversions).

What new projects are you working on?

I’m currently writing a new book called My Daughter, The A**hole. It is a very comedic account of my first-time pregnancy and foray into motherhood. All the mishaps, emotions, and ups and downs that come with being a new parent are on full display. I guarantee if you've thought about it, I'm writing about it. It's good to be honest about how tough being a parent can be. Each chapter also supplies a recipe for pregnancy, post-pregnancy, infancy and even plant-based recipes for those picky toddler years.

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