EASY CHANGES TO HELP YOU BEGIN A PLANT-BASED LIFESTYLE ft. ONIONWIZARD | 2019

So, who is ONIONWIZARD?

Amber is a variety pack that works in an office setting by day, cooks and documents by night and spends some weekends freelancing/photo styling for a hemp farm. Fiancé of Harrison’s Bff: Jesse + has been living a plant-based lifestyle for a year now. 

How was onionwizard created? When I decided to go vegetarian a few years ago I didn’t have many restaurant options where I live. I knew it got better than pizza, black bean burgers and salads, so I started cooking vegetarian at home. We quickly transitioned into vegan grocery shopping and only consuming dairy at outtings until we finally landed in beautiful, vegan world and never looked back. Onionwizard is a form of activism and art for me and that’s what keeps me sharing. Nothing is more exciting than someone telling me they’ve made dairy swaps or given up certain products after seeing my recipes and photos. 

What inspires you to create these dishes + where do you find inspiration for meals or do you just make it up as you go?? 

Starting out, I would mostly reinvent non-vegan dishes I loved and it eventually evolved into a mix of my own. I find ways to cook what I’m craving, plan something new, or sometimes happen upon something amazing just from throwing together whatever is about to go bad in the fridge. Instagram and YouTube are my favorite ways to get inspired. Go ahead and search vegan -insert the food you’re craving here- and someone is making it online. 

What are some easy changes you recommend for someone who doesn’t know where to start eating more plant-based?

  Be realistic. Some people could turn the vegan switch on overnight and stay consistent, but if that’s not you that’s ok! A friend of mine started one meal at a time and has now been vegan for years. She started with eating vegan for breakfast. Next, she added also eating vegan for lunch. Finally, all of her meals were vegan and she completely changed her lifestyle with these slow changes without ever feeling drastic. 

  •   Keep it simple starting out. Vegan junk food is amazing, but you’ll save money and see the health benefits of this lifestyle if you mostly shop in the bulk grains/ produce section at the grocery store. As far as restaurants go, if you’re in a rural area or a city that isn’t offering enough plant based options, PETA.com has a huge list of what you can eat at most chain / fast food restaurants. 
  •    Don’t get hung up on protein. Many athletes have switched to a plant based lifestyle because plants have protein too + better benefits! Instead of obsessing about where we can get protein, we should worry about where we get our fiber! 
  •   Lastly, if you want to go vegan overnight watch these docs on Netflix/YouTube: 1)What The Health 2) Cowspiracy 3) Forks Over Knives 4) Earthlings 

Do you have any tips for alternatives on daily food choices????

The two easiest product swaps, in my opinion, are dairy milk for a plant milk and plant-based butter. For meat alternatives, definitely try them all and see what you like. There’s an alternative for just about every type of meat in stores and they’re only getting better. 

Are there any things many of us overlook (maybe grocery shopping or not realizing isn’t plant-based) that you can shine a light on?

Companies are sneaky! Reading labels is important if you want to avoid all animal products. For example, refined powdered sugar, most chewy candies, and even some meat alternatives may contain animal products. If you’re supplementing with vitamin D3, always buy vegan to avoid a product derived from sheep’s wool. Honestly, reading labels and taking interest in what these strange ingredients are should be enough to make anyone want to switch to a plant-based diet IMO. It’s scary out there! Gelatin, milk and non-vegan natural flavors pop up a lot and avoiding them gets easier, I promise! 

What are some of your favourite dairy/meat alternatives?

I try to limit processed meat alternatives these days, but there are some tasty ones out there so I always encourage people to try them all to figure out what they like. Impossible brand is undeniably close to meat, so definitely start there if you think you’ll miss burgers! When cooking unprocessed, I like using mushrooms. They can easily replace meat and even be enjoyed by non-mushroom lovers. Cashews also have magical capabilities, especially paired with nutritional yeast to make things cheezy. 

Can I be an onionwizard too? 

Yes!!! Or a carrot wizard, mushroom wizard and beyond!

All photos used are directly from the official onionwizard instagram, I encourage you to follow along to be inspired and don’t be alarmed if you get hungry while scrolling!!

Have you been making any changes toward a plant-based lifestyle? I’m curious!
Let me know <3 xx messypot