In this feature, we chat with Daniela McTaggart a vegan travel blogger about her journey to veganism and finding the connection between loving yourself and loving others (including the planet). She also shares where to find great vegan on the Gold Coast.
Enjoy the chat.
Tell us about your journey to veganism
It’s been a long journey but a great one.
I originally went vegan when I was told by my doctor that I needed to take antidepressants and having my father who died from mental health I didn’t want to go down this path and so I reached out to my friend who was vegan. He was my only vegan friend I had & when I told him what my doctor said he told me to give veganism a go and so I did..3 yrs later I feel amazing, have lost 16kilos and gained a huge amount of knowledge & confidence.
Going vegan was the best thing I’ve done for me and my family, I’ve become a whole new person.
Self-love and veganism, tell us about the connection here?
Well to me there’s a lot more to veganism than just the planet, saving the animals & health .. I think overall you have to love and appreciate yourself first before you can actually understand what veganism is all about. If you don’t love yourself how can you expect to love & care for anything else? With that, I mean your health, our planet & the animals … personally I believe that how you love yourself is how you teach others to love. Self-love radiates outwards.
We love that, that’s a fantastic way to look at it! Now you live on the Gold Coast, where is the best Vegan food or eateries in GC?
Well, I do have a few favourites my current favourite is “plant-based cafe” in paradise point their ice coffee and their cauliflower buffalo wings have to be my favourite dish there & also Balboa Italian In Coolangatta I love their vegan pizzas it’s my go-to place for “Date nights”.. Last but not least Saiko Teppanyaki they have a vegan option veggie & tofu stir fry with hot & spicy sauce and a side of steamed rice, it’s delicious.
You write about beauty products, what are some of your go-to vegan brands or products?
Beauty tofu is my go-to beauty product I love all their products however my current favourites are the vitamin C super serum & T3 tip to toe organic temple detox.
I’m also currently loving the Botanist aromatherapy essential oil rollers, in my travel bag I have… Self-love, Relax & sleep they come in very handy always.
Who inspires your vegan journey?
My children because I’m a huge believer that to bring good humans into the world you need to set an example & as a mother of two boys age 10 & 7 I want my boys to look at me and say if mummy can do it so can I.
What do you hope people will find diving into the Pure Vegan Existence website?
Inspiration to be themselves & make a change in this world..: I want people to look at my journey and see that if I can do it, they can too. We are all unique individuals and we all do things differently it doesn’t matter how we do it as long as the outcome is still the same. Together we can change the world & become better human beings.
You are a keen traveller, where are some memorable vegan places or experiences you have had?
San Francisco there’s a place called vegan camp, they make the most amazing vegan burrito it’s big enough to feed two people I can never finish the whole thing.. it’s sooo delicious I can’t even describe it! To make it even better it comes with a side of vegan Mac & cheese it’s delicious. I visit vegan camp often when I’m in San Francisco and I try to try something different from their menu whenever I visit. But I must say that the burrito is my favourite.
What is your go-to vegan meal at home?
Red lentil bolognese on mashed potatoes or pasta that’s a weekly meal in our household because it’s so damn good.
The other it’s a potato & chickpea curry which I now make in my new pressure cooker.
What advice would you give to someone new to veganism or thinking about it?
Educate yourself is my top advice because once you have knowledge then you will understand better. I think it’s very important to understand why & how… nutrition is also very important to understand.
My second tip would be experiment with flavours, get on Pinterest and try different recipes, once you find the flavours you love, cooking will become easy.
My third tip and most valuable one I think is don’t doubt yourself.. if people decide to not be your friend because all of the sudden you went vegan, don’t worry.. with this journey you will gain and attract better people in your life. Remember that when things change inside you, things will change around you.
Who should we interview next?
Daniela, thank you so much for the chat, we love the answer to the connection between self-love and veganism, this is a wonderful way to look at how we treat ourselves and the world around us, and it’s never been more important.
To follow Daniela’s journey and get all of her fantastic tips, reviews and recommendations you can follow her blog Purely Vegan Existence Here.
And for more Vegan Chats, be sure to check the link HERE with all of our amazing interviews and guests.