Who we are + how we got here
We have not always been on a path of cruelty-free healthy living. In fact, it is all rather new to us! We grew up in northern California with our mom, dad and great grandmother. Our father is a meat cutter, and an extremely good cook. He learned how to cook from his Spanish mother, and we learned from both of them. Animal products were always a staple in our household. We ate it, and we enjoyed it! I always had a passion for cooking and even wanted to be a chef as a child. Angela was more of the eating type than the cooking type..she almost burned our house down trying to make frozen potstickers! Oh, how things have changed..
Along with our love of food, we have also always been passionate animal lovers (I also wanted to be a vet as a child). We were not run-of-the-mill animal lovers that loved our pets as pets. We loved our pets as family, but we loved ALL animals and could not stand to see anything bad happen to them. Eating animals never really made much sense to us. I realized that cooking could be a hobby, but helping animals was my passion. It wasn’t until later that I realized we could combine the two!
Angela has been on a different path. She has always loved art, computers, creating and learning. Anytime she gets an idea in her head you better watch out, and whatever you do, NEVER tell her that she can’t do it. She is an amazingly talented graphic designer, food stylist, photographer, esthetician, and now, vegan cook!
Angela’s college years consisted of terrible eating habits, no exercise, high stress and weight gain. She was by no means the picture of health, and it was taking a toll on her. She needed to make some big changes and she needed to do it fast.
We have always considered ourselves “mental vegetarians”. It was difficult to commit to that lifestyle as children, dependant on our parents to cook for us. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I made the decision to go veg. It took a long time for people to accept and believe, and I spent most of my time defending my decision, but it was worth it. It was all so new to me. I hadn’t done much research on balanced diet and the importance of nutrition. It was trial and error. How do I get full? Eat lots of bread. What is quick and cheap? Taco Bell bean burritos. Frozen veggie nuggets and top ramen became staples in my diet. After 4 years I became quite unhealthy. My hair had thinned, I was sick all the time and I was exhausted. My family convinced me to start eating meat again. I spent the next year and a half eating meat, but not feeling any better. I was still indulging in bad-for-me foods.
Then Angela discovered greensmoothiegirl.com and our whole lives changed. We began reading and experimenting, purging kitchens and restocking with weird things we had never used before. I was living with my parents, so it was much more difficult, but gradually, they began to embrace some of the changes. Angela revamped her whole kitchen to set her up for success. She cut out meat and started exploring the kitchen. She suddenly found her cooking voice!! Before she knew it, she was cooking up a storm. After lots of reading, Angela did a vegan cleanse. She felt good and saw that it wasn’t as hard as she thought. Before we knew it, Angela was letting her vegan flag fly and has not looked back. Angela’s husband has even shifted to a predominantly vegan diet (mostly because Angela does all the cooking).
They recently had their first child. After a healthy vegan pregnancy, with no prenatal vitamins needed due to Angela’s commitment to eating a balanced diet, she is now the proud mother of a healthy vegan baby girl, Violet! She is a happy, wonderful, and HEALTHY child and we look forward to teaching her about animals, nutrition and delicious food.
As for me, I had since returned to the vegetarian route while Angela was discovering the new her. After learning about nutrition I felt it was right for me to try again and do it right. While I had been feeling much better, there was still something off. I had been supplementing my diet with lots of eggs and cheese (did I mention that I have been incredibly lactose intolerant since childhood?). I knew I had to do more. I had been really enjoying trying new dishes and cooking in a different way with my sister, and suddenly vegetarian just wasn’t enough. I have transitioned to strictly vegan diet and lifestyle, and have never felt better- in mind, body and heart.
We hope to teach you some of the things we have learned along the way, and show you a new and exciting way to look at vegan food.
Written by: Jessica Gonzalez