Hi! I’m Alina, a registered dietitian and
I’ve started Veggies & More as a platform to share sound science and practical nutrition tips with busy parents wishing to raise their families on a plant-based diet!
As a busy mama myself, I’m well aware of the million and one ways that life can get in the way of eating well.
Between diaper changes, sleep-deprivation, marathon feeding sessions and cleaning up after our little ones, it can sometimes be difficult to nourish ourselves as well as we’d like.
Yet, I feel that focussing on this now is more important than ever. As busy parents, we need to eat well so that we remain alert and energized enough to care for our little ones.
But more importantly, our eating habits will, for the most part, dictate our babies’ future ones. And passing on healthy habits from the start is one of the best lifelong gifts we can share.
I, myself, haven’t always had the best eating habits. Although I have no amazing weight-loss story to share with you, I can assure you that before studying dietetics in university, my eating habits were very substellar.
A bucket of ice cream rarely lasted longer than two days in my freezer and having a bowl of cereal with milk for dinner was a common feat. I rarely cooked and believed that intense workouts and strict meal plans were the best way to maintain my weight.
Since graduating almost a decade ago, I experienced first-hand what nutritious foods can do for you. I went from worrying about weighing my food and counting my calories to cooking and eating intuitively.
I no longer worry about gaining weight while on vacation nor do I stress about whether I should or shouldn’t order dessert when eating out.
I still exercise, but now, I do it because I enjoy the activity rather than because I think it’ll help me fit into a certain pair of jeans.
Why I Became a Vegan Dietitian
A few years ago, my view on food changed drastically. The change was sparked by a little black furry bunny that my partner and I adopted and named Willem.
Willem is a lively little creature who’s free to roam in our home just like a dog or cat companion would. He likes to hop merrily around the living room and waits patiently in front of the fridge come 7 o’clock requesting to be served his fresh veggies for dinner.
One day, while eating my own dinner, I glanced down at Willem sitting quietly at my feet. Although rabbit meat is something I’ve had in the past, I couldn’t imagine myself ever eating him.
Then it hit me — if I felt this way about this rabbit, how could I not feel this way about every rabbit? And how could I not feel this way about cows, pigs, horses, chickens or any other animals for that matter?
These animals likely had a their own personality, likes, dislikes and emotions, just like my little furry Willem did. It no longer felt right to discriminate. And the idea of eating animals in a context where I didn’t really have to for health or survival reasons began feeling weird to me.
Long story short, that little bunny turned my world upside down! He brought to the surface an ethical vegan standpoint that I didn’t know I had in me.
Of course, being the dietitian I am, I didn’t want my new ethics to mess with my health. I wanted to make sure I still continued to provide my body with all the nutrients it needed to thrive.
When done right, a plant-based diet can offer tremendous health benefits. But the other side of the coin is also true; a poorly planned vegan diet has the potential to be very detrimental to your health and that of your little bundles of joy.
So I learned everything I could about plant-based diets and adjusted my own way of eating accordingly.
And when I became pregnant, I started learning everything I could about plant-based diets for mamas and babies too!
The Inspiration Behind Veggies & More
It’s apparent to me that increasingly more people are interested in increasing the proportion of plant foods in their diet.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find reliable, science-based nutrition information online. And even less so when it comes to vegan diets for pregnancy, babies and children.
The internet is full of good-intentioned vegan advocates. But despite their clear passion, very few have the right educational background to provide sound nutrition advice.
In fact, some of the nutrition tips I’ve personally come across on forums and blogs had the potential to be very detrimental to mamas and their little ones. And I find that unacceptable.
That’s in big part what inspired me to create Veggies & More.
My wish was to create a platform on which I could separate the good nutrition tips from the bad. A platform on which I could share sound, science-vetted nutrition advice that could easily fit into any busy parent’s life.
Are You Ready to Eat Better as a Busy Parent?
The info you’ll find here has a strong plant-based focus. But the advice and tips you’ll encounter are meant to help you regardless of whether you chose to exclude animal products from your own diet or not.
This is an all-inclusive and non-judgemental space for all busy parents alike! So please feel welcome to browse around and to get in touch with any questions you may have.
Also, if you’d like a little more support, I encourage you to sign-up to the Veggies & More Newsletter below. I’ll use it to share practical nutrition tips devised exclusively for busy parents like you.