In this feature, we chat to gym owner and plant-based advocate Annelise about her journey to a kinder and healthier lifestyle. She shares some of her influencers and favourite eateries, much like you will see on her account @mykindofawesome. Enjoy the chat.
So, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Annelise, I’m a gym owner who lives in a little country town an hour and a bit south east of Melbourne.
Why do you advocate for a plant-based lifestyle?
I stumbled across veganism and plant-based eating as a way to improve my health and in a bid to do more for the environment. I used to get so sick all the time. It wasn’t unusual for me to have 6-8 bouts of tonsillitis in a year, sometimes ending up in a hospital because my throat had closed over. I was always tired, run down and sluggish and transitioning away from animal products was the first step. Fast forward 3 years and I have never been healthier. It sounds unusual but only once I was in a few months did I seriously notice the impact on the animals and now I advocate for them as well as the benefits to our health and the planet.
You own a gym, tell us about that and what fitness & diet have done for your life.
My background is in hospitality and retail management but I have grown up playing netball, always being an outdoors kid and active for my whole life. A friend (who is a PT) and I came up with the idea of starting a gym in our town – with me looking after the admin/management/marketing side and her the fitness. Then we got busier and I got my qualifications and in just over a year and a half we have grown to employ 3 other staff members.
It’s the best job in the world being able to positively impact people’s lives. My own struggles with health (even though I’ve always been extremely fit) and my business partner’s busy life (Mum of 5 kids) served as a base for wanting to help others make similar positive changes to their lives.
Amazing! Do you stock any vegan protein or snacks we should know about?
Yes, we stock the Prana On protein range and Clif bars. We choose to only stock vegan products that we love, for our own dietary requirements and for those who may also be vegan, coeliac, or lactose intolerant.
What is your personal favourite plant-based eatery in Australia?
Oh, so many to choose from! My favourite local would have to be Mr Black Juicery in Berwick, but in Melbourne, I also love Smith + Deli, Matcha Mylkbar and Soul Press.
(Vegan) cheat day meal or snack of choice?
I love dark chocolate, hot chips or donuts!
Who inspires your vegan journey?
So many wonderful people – quite a lot of people whom I follow via Instagram.
But there are so many vegan girls and guys in Australia who I’ve had the luck of meeting on Instagram and I love the work they do in spreading positivity about a vegan lifestyle like @brodiecross.v and @daisylevis.
Who should we interview next?
Any of the above! 😉