Interview with Vegan: Digital Nomad Sophie [Part 2, Transitioning Story]


You are watching part 2 of a chatty
interview series with a very good friend of mine plant-based Nomad Sophie.
Definitely go back and watch part 1 to learn our kind of fun story how we got
to know each other. In this part I’m going to ask Sophie
what was her personal transitioning story, what were her reasons and triggers,
was a partner supportive. At the end of this video
Sophie will be giving us four very valuable takeaways for when transitioning to WFPB diet or when making any lifestyle change really. Most of my life since I was nine years
old I was pescetarian or vegetarian. And it’s just before my birthday and I ended
up going down and I think they call it a rabbit hole. I had two sleepless nights
and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Basically you have the same waves! Yeah!
There was a lot more to those messages that maybe I’d been fooled a little bit.
I made the switch overnight and I never went back. I had to hold back on all the
things I loved! I didn’t allow myself to have fruit except for blueberries. For
sure I carried a lot more weight back then. And lousy becomes normal, so of
course you want to self-medicate with a substance. So he kept saying to me, well I
don’t think we get enough protein and he was doubting me and I was doubting
myself because they didn’t have all of the information in my hand. And if
people say I don’t get why you’re doing it, don’t understand you! It’s okay, you
don’t have to understand everything about each other’s lives. Okay, let’s
move on to how you became a plant-based eater in the beginning. — So I should start by saying that for most of my life
since I was nine years old I was pescetarian or vegetarian, so I haven’t
really ever been in big meat eater, but certainly fish and certainly
dairy and eggs. But that’s the kind of place that I came to it where I was never
really a big meat eating person. But it was in 2016 and it’s just before my birthday
and I ended up going down I think they call it a rabbit hole on YouTube and I
saw some videos with an ethical message about animal products and the animal
agriculture industry. — Did you see the Cowspiracy? — I didn’t, I saw that after
I went vegan actually about a month later I watched that with my partner. — I
never watched that and I never will. Because it’s I think it’s
horrible! — It doesn’t have any cruelty, Cowspiracy. — Ah, it doesn’t? — It’s within a message
about the planet basically. — Okay, then I might watch it. — Yeah, it’s perfectly fine
in terms of animal cruelty, but the message is upsetting about how we’re
killing the Earth that’s also quite distressing that… — I thought it’s full of
those clips from animal factories. — No, you might be thinking of Earthlings, which I also… –Oh, yes
yes yes I’ve confused those two at the moment! Okay. — So, but in the beginning I
did pickle my brain a bit with these videos and I went from one to the next
to the next and I remember we were in Lisbon at the time in Portugal and we’d
been working really intensely on a website and then we’d finish the website
and that was time for meetings but they were more spaced in between and we were
taking a few days to just have a breather and it was at this point where
I had time that I started investigating the videos. At the same time my partner
Ben had asked me: do you mind to eat vegetarian, because he decided he didn’t
want to eat fish anymore. We had eaten a little bit of chicken, which was a period
a short period of my life where I did eat white meat and he just asked me could we
just get rid of that from our diet please. — So you were basically, you had the same waves! — Yeah yeah really, and so I was researching a few more
vegetarian recipes to make, because I’ve got time and we’re in this new place
with different ingredients and I was just enjoying kind
of cooking and having that time resting after we’d been really intensely working.
So then these videos came up with the ethical message and I had two sleepless
nights and I couldn’t stop thinking about it
and it completely changed the way that I looked at things, things that had always
been kind of said to me as I was growing up about how we always need milk for
healthy bones and how we need meat to be healthy and eggs are for protein. I now had
this different approach to realize that there was a lot more to those messages
that maybe I’d been fooled a little bit. But it was only the very beginning of my
knowledge and so I made a decision the day after my birthday that I would go
vegan, it’s what I called it back then, what I would identify as and so I made the
switch overnight and I never went back. Initially I was focusing a lot on fruit
based meals, because anyone… — It’s the easiest? — Yeah, it was very easy actually yeah and it
was just a very simple meal that you could easily put together and it didn’t
take much prep not that I mind prep, because I do enjoy being in the kitchen,
but if anybody when plant-based or vegan around the same time as me they’d
probably remember that YouTube was littered with lots of messages about
fruitarian lifestyle and 2 meals of fruit a day and I just was trying it out
to see if it was fun and I did enjoy that. — And what was your experience with that?
What did you experience in your body? Where there any changes? — Yeah,
definitely, I felt I quit caffeine at the same time
and I felt that I was very sleepy. I found the fruit meals if I had enough
that I wouldn’t be hungry that I found it very heavy at the time and then that
they would digest quite quickly and then I’d be hungry again so you go through
these kind of like sleepy troughs and then like peaks of
like high on sugar and then down again. So that was interesting to get used to.
— So maybe, I was just thinking that maybe you had too many sweet fruits? — I’m sure!
— And maybe, I guess your blood sugar was fluctuating a bit. — Yeah, I’m sure it was
yeah. — And of course the caffeine as well
might be the reason. — Yeah, and I’d actually come at things like I always had an interest in health
food and I’d always loved vegetables and fruits and lentils and all the beans and
I’ve grown up, my parents are very sympathetic to me being vegetarian, but
they just requested that I was pescetarian, that I ate fish, but we always ate
very healthily and they were never really into meat, so I was one of the
lucky ones that got introduced to things like hummus when I was a child and
different fruits and beans and pulses and these kind of things and my mum’s
into whole foods and she was a health fanatic in the 80s when you would fry
with oil and things like that so I had learned a lot of stuff and I always had
this kind of slant on things and then growing up I in my early 20s I was
interested in whole foods and I learned about the importance of having whole
grains and beans and pulses and all of that kind of stuff, which was great but…
— So much ahead of me, yeah continue! — Kind of, but actually if I’m completely honest I was
also really kind of held back by the idea of low carb and by trying to keep
in shape with low carb, so loving… — So, you had this misconception about the carbs? — I did and I
thought I had to hold back on all the things I loved! I didn’t allow myself to
have fruit except for blueberries and I love sweet potatoes with a passion and
brown rice and they were like you could only have them as a treat and I had… — And you learned this were? From where, newspapers, online or how was it communicated? — It was
actually to call out the book it was a book called Clean and Lean and this is
what dr. T. Colin Campbell talks about in his course and he asked the question why
is it that science, the knowledge that we know from scientific background from
scientists is pushed to one side and the messages that we receive from marketing
and sales people are the ones that we listen to. And the answer is I think
because it’s a bit more sexy. And this book Clean and Lean had all these
different beautiful celebrity women that were endorsing it. They were all
photographed throughout the book and the guy,
his name’s James, he was this you know ruggedly surfer handsome guy from
Australia with a beautiful wife and they they taught about whole foods and I
learned a lot from them, but it was also with high fats kind of focus and high
protein and keeping the carbs to its minimum. So that was why I think I was
really focused on, but we have to eat animal products, because I didn’t
understand how I could do that ratio mmm only on plants and so it really held me
back, which is so sad. I look back now I think of all the times I could have had
those beautiful foods and not been worrying about my cellulite and that
kind of thing. For sure I carried a lot more weight back then. — You did? — Yeah yeah,
I mean no not hugely, I’ve always been a slim person naturally I think , but had
cellulite, I had more weight on my stomach and I was definitely a couple of
dress sizes bigger. — Really? — Which is still slim and I’m not saying that it’s a
problem at all, but just that when you’re eating the high fat dairy foods and
things like that of course you’re going to maintain the fat on your body, because
that’s what they’re comprised of. So that’s the sad thing is that I held
myself back with knowledge that now I know is not correct or maybe to rephrase
is not something that I wish to follow. If other people wish to follow that then
no judgement, but I feel sad that I didn’t learn until my 30s the real way that my
body loved to eat, in the real way that we could genuinely be healthy, so I
always came into this lifestyle with a desire and a certain direction. But
before I wasn’t in possession of all of the facts. So I was quite willing to
really throw myself into this new world of information and it being okay to eat
carbs and thriving on them and having this abundance like it just felt… — What a
relief right? — It was a relief! It was a huge relief and and we’ve got the
massive nutritional kind of side of things as well, which we’ll talk about
that also this kind of spiritual and I don’t want to sound too hippy, but this
kind of spiritual lifting of my spirit like something lifted inside me, some
kind of it’s hard to explain not saying that it’s enlightenment or something
like that, but for sure I lifted out of a place that I was and I and I felt higher
and not in comparison to anybody else that’s not what I mean, just in myself I
just felt lighter and more spiritually at peace. — I think it’s
something to do with what we discussed yesterday on a walk about the alcohol
and plant-based diet. That we both felt that we didn’t want or need alcohol
anymore. That you didn’t neet the wine to make you feel good. — That’s so true yes! — Because the food does all that already. — Yeah, and you can look at it in the sense of feeling
well gives you a high, which I’m sure it does. I’ve had some of my best highs
after climbing a mountain or just you know, having those most… — I’m getting
goosebumps now! — Yeah, having the most beautiful in season fruit in
Thailand or just by waking up in the morning doing the yoga and just feeling
incredible like I’ve had some of the best highs in that way and you’re right
that you don’t need to see a high from… — And you feel good all the time! — Yeah!
— Not that when you have that wine you feel good, otherwise you feel lousy, right? — Yeah! — Next morning or you feel dizzy or kind
of disoriented or.. — But you get used to feeling lousy and lousy becomes normal.
So of course you want to self-medicate with a substance. Oh, I’ll drink some strong
coffee and I’ll be up and then ahh… and now we’re
gonna have something sugary that you shouldn’t but I need it and then
some wine later on or something. It’s so true. From a nutritional standpoint that
definitely is true. And then also I think sort of emotionally for me and
spiritually it felt that I’d lifted away from kind of contributing to things that
weren’t good for the world and good for myself as well. So it was just a double
whammy of great feeling and for sure and this is my character, that when I’m into
something I will just throw myself into it, just into the deep end that like yeah
it’s like you’ve crossed the line and just everything changes cold turkey and
I realize that’s not the case with many people and… — Me too, I’m cold turkey!
I go cold turkey, I went to the candida cleanse cold turkey as well,
which actually I now don’t recommend people to do because of the die off
symptoms. Yeah, I’m same kind of person that if I learn that something is bad for me to consume or to do, then I don’t want to do it anymore. — Yeah! — As simple as that! — I suppose
it’s easy for us isn’t it? I, as soon as I learned the truth about animal products
and that includes the planet, the animals and the nutritional side of things, there
is no desire for me to eat them anymore. However, in doing this video, I think it’s
really important to say that we realize that not everybody is like this and that
we want our experiences to help other people that maybe don’t kind of jump in
the deep end, because I think it’s more of a normal thing to just go step by
step and that’s perfectly fine and we’re not expecting anybody to be as hardcore
maybe as we are, because maybe I think we are in the minority, but yeah I feel the
same as you that once I’d had that knowledge, it was easy for me to make the
change and never look back. And certainly yes to maybe try to
recreate certain dishes I used to love in a plant-based way, but to not crave
anything from the past and yeah to just feel high on all the new things I was
learning and how I was feeling. — How did you start
cooking or how did you know how to compile your plate and how to get all
the nutrients, vitamins, minerals? — So initially I was doing my research in not
really the right way, which in the plant-based nutrition course they teach
us the right way to research proper information and… — You’re talking about
eCornell plant-based certificate course. — Yeah, right. From our old friend dr. T. Colin Campbell, who
is a legend. But yeah, he comes from a science background and he explains how
to do real research and to check your sources. And before I did the course I
was just doing research in a laymen way, which was to check things online and
reading blogs and things like that and listen to anecdotes from people I was
around. So I kind of had like a basic knowledge about how to balance nutrition,
but I was going down the fruit kind of route and I was throwing myself into
things and being influenced by people around me. And so my cold turkey really
was a crazy cold turkey, because I gave up alcohol, caffeine, sugar ,salt, oil. — All
at once? — All at once yeah! Like refined flour, even vinegar and some spices like…
— I even didn’t do that! Yeah I actually remember you asking
me back then three years ago about salt. — Yeah. — That how I feel about salt and then I said that to sprinkle some salt here and there every now and then, to me is fine. — Yeah, that’s right, but the people I was with at the time had the influence that you
should be as pure as possible, which I think is a wonderful thing if you if
that’s how you want to live and if that’s what makes you feel good. — It’s
not very everyone. — It’s certainly not for everybody and actually it’s not
necessarily advised either from a scientific standpoint. There’s lots of
benefits that you can get from fermented foods. So to stay away from vinegar or
ferments is crazy you know, it’s unnecessary. Also we don’t need additional
salt in our diet, but actually to add a little bit if it’s you know proper
natural rock salt or sea salt is perfectly fine.
And you know I learned a lot when I was in Japan about the different types of
salt that you can have there, which is from miso, which is broken down and
fermented, which is actually very healthy for you. — Yeah, miso is one thing
that’s very interesting that even dr. Greger, the author of How Not to Die
describes as a beneficial source of salt, because not beneficial, but
actually the benefits of the fermented soy are greater than the disadvantages of having salt. So even he does have miso soup for example. — Yeah. — So if dr.
Greger is having miso soup, you can too! — Yeah, and this sounds really geeky and
that was actually the video that made it okay for me to have some miso like I
started to have miso that was the first kind of salt that I started. — After I read that, I
started to use up my miso paste that has been in the fridge for ages. And started
to use it more than I used the tamari sauce. — Yeah. — It’s all miso now. — Yeah yeah yeah
miso is so incredible and it’s can add so much depth of flavour and there’s just a
huge variety of it. In Japan, you probably can imagine and maybe if you go
into like place where you could get large amounts of corn and grain and
oats in like a big health food store, where you can scoop things out of a big
barrel. They had one of those it was just miso with maybe 20 or 30 different
buckets, huge buckets of different varieties and I had no idea that it
could be this huge big world of different flavours and it’s actually
really incredible. That’s a whole other video! — Yeah. — But yeah so my point being
that initially I was very very strict on myself and actually I’ve become a lot
easier on myself and relaxed so much about my diet now that I have the
knowledge. Now that I have something solid to fall back on, I understand
what is a scientifically proven healthy way to eat.
I’ve completely relaxed. Now I understand how to put together a plate whereas
before I was being overly strict, because I didn’t really have the knowledge and
so… — And you gained that knowledge from the course you took? — Yeah and that gave me
confidence to be honest, that really helped me to be able to have confidence
in my conviction about speaking to other people, confidence about knowing that my
plate was balanced. Initially my partner Ben who was always very very supportive
of this lifestyle, he’s been conditioned in the same way
that I had that protein was really important and this is something that
haven’t really talked about in a while but for sure in my old life protein was
a huge focus when it came to nutrition and… — And protein equaled animal protein. — That’s right yeah! Pure protein, not in a combination of protein and carbohydrate
like you’d find in the bean. Oh no, you couldn’t have that because that’s got
carbohydrates! So he kept saying to me, well I don’t think we get enough protein
and I think we should go for blood tests and is this a healthy lifestyle and he
was doubting me and I was doubting myself, because I didn’t have all of the
information in my hand. And actually now he’s relaxed so much and I’ve relaxed,
because I always have an answer for every concern he has or used to have and
now anybody that came to me that wanted to discuss this, I have all that
information now. So it’s much much easier for me to A feed myself and people I
love and B to communicate about it to anyone who’s interested to listen. So I
would really recommend it in every sense to just do the research, get the
knowledge and maybe you don’t need to do the course like we did. — There are so many
there is so many like free resources online. — Yeah. — To get your knowledge
about balanced plate. — Yeah and just to make sure that it’s something with a
scientific backing that you put your faith into as opposed to something with
a gorgeous sales message that’s not necessarily backed by real scientific
research. Just to be smart, just to be sensible about it and we’ve mentioned dr. T. Colin Campbell and dr. Greger and
they’re both brilliant sources, they have lots of free resources on their site so
if you have any doubts or any questions then… — Nutritionfacts.org it’s a great
place to start. — Yeah, and if anybody’s asking you a question as well, it’s okay to say I’ll
find out and come back to you. It’s not kind of crumble or feel embarrassed or
not have the answer and to go and do your research, because it’s very
empowering and it builds your own confidence. So. knowledge knowledge
knowledge! Like if you feel that you’re wavering on feeding yourself healthy or
on your ethical standpoint on whether you want to eat different foods, just
make sure that you have the knowledge and that makes it so much easier to have
a strong resolve in the lifestyle, sticking to the lifestyle that you want
to. — So, just summarize this video, what would be your main takeaways to people
transitioning to plant-based lifestyle? — So my main takeaway really overall it’s
something that I’ve touched on so many times already in this chat. It’s just
knowledge knowledge knowledge. Like to have that knowledge, to have that resolve
to know exactly why you’re doing the things that you’re doing, to be able to
have the confidence in how you put together a dish, to have the confidence
in how you march through life and how will you handle discussions with other
people about it. It’s really really really so important to have that
knowledge and and it can seem like a big task at the beginning, but it’s so worth
um getting the knowledge, it’s so worth learning and just take it day by day not
expected to know everything straight away overnight.
Nobody expects that. Give yourself time, but find it fun you know, there’s so many
great things that you can learn and all these things open up. Oh my
goodness, the world’s very different place than what I’ve been led to believe and
it’s so much better to be enlightened than there’s to be in the dark. So knowledge knowledge
knowledge is my first step! So the second takeaway about
changing your lifestyle, making this transition for me would be to, if you
have a mindset of oh my goodness I can’t have all these things, I’m gonna lose all
these things, I’m gonna stop being able to have my favourite breakfast that I’ve
eaten since I was you know for ten years or something like this. You need to kind
of try and flip that attitude the other way around and something that we both
talked about earlier is that what could have been a restrictive lifestyle
actually the reality of it turned out to be a very abundant lifestyle and we both
have discovered this whole world of ingredients that are out there and
luckily very available to us now in today’s modern age. — It widens the horizon, not
the other way around! — Exactly, it really does! So, if you just
try and adjust your outlook on things to think it’s not about what I’m losing
it’s about what I’m gaining. It’s not about saying goodbye to my favourites,
it’s about saying hello to new favourites. And I promise you, so many more of them
so many more of them! It’s about seeing what you’ll gain as opposed to what
you’re losing, because it’s in every area of your life and it’s really really
worth it. So if you can to just try to change that mindset that attitude and
to be more open is really another key I think.
So the third takeaway that is again something that we touched on earlier and
I just wanted to wrap it up is about growth self growth and about evolution.
And if your focus is improving yourself and improving the way you live, your life,
your happiness, your health, the people that you surround yourself with, the life
that you lead in general, then let that be your guide really. Don’t fall back on
willpower, don’t fall back on forcing yourself or finding it hard. Fall back on
growing, fall back on improving yourself, because if that’s your focus then
everything else will follow! And that doesn’t just go for your diet or something that seemingly it’s just one side of your life. It really has a ripple
effect in lots of different areas and you’ll grow as a person and you’ll grow in
confidence and you’ll grow in knowledge. And your mind will expand. So if you keep
that focus I think that will really keep you on track. If that’s your goal to
improve, then it will come and you will make it happen just naturally as you progress through life. And the fourth and final takeaway
is to really just have compassion for the people. It’s really important, because
not everybody’s coming from the same place as you. Not everybody is in the
same mindset. Most people don’t have the same knowledge that you do and most
people don’t really understand the reasons why you’re doing it and that’s
okay, it’s fine and it’s okay for people to not to understand your life and if
people say don’t get why you’re doing it, don’t understand you! It’s easy to think
oh my god I’ll have to make you understand and actually you don’t! It’s
okay, you don’t have to understand everything about each other’s lives and
it’s okay to have compassion to understand where they’re coming from
with that rather than getting upset or frustrated. And it actually makes life a
lot easier if you don’t feel like you’re being attacked by other people, because
when you change how you live, it’s very very much about you, but it’s also about
the people around you and how it affects them. So if you can just put yourself in
other people’s shoes and have compassion for them. I think it will make it easier
on yourself if you find people push back or you have people want to debate with
you or people want to try and trip you up or whatever, it may be any kind of
interaction you have with other people if you can just have compassion and
empathy for them. And it sounds wishy-washy, but I do want to see think
it will make it easier for you. So if that’s something that you can remember, I
do you think that will help. — So thank you very much for sharing your experience
and wisdom with us! Especially for your beautifully flowing
British accent on my channel. –My pleasure! it’s just been so enjoyable to talk and I
really appreciate the opportunity. — Thank you! In my opinion the next video
is very very exciting, because it’s about Sophie’s travels! She’s been all around the
world, in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Bali, Portugal, the States, UK and she will be
sharing her tricks and tips how to continue eating the way you eat (in this
case whole food plant-based) while traveling and on the go. — And I’m here to
tell you that it’s something that you definitely can manage. And we went South
Korea which is much more difficult. Where there’s a will there’s a way and you can
be creative and you can see it as a game. It’s not about closing the doors, it’s
about opening new ones.

One Reply to “Interview with Vegan: Digital Nomad Sophie [Part 2, Transitioning Story]”

  1. Enjoy Part 2 of interviews with lovely Sophie! There's so much wisdom! Don't forget to watch Part 1 https://youtu.be/JAlp9KS3Qzc Next video will be so exciting — it's all about her travels and tricks and tips when on the road!

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