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Interview with Leigh Drew – Author of Greenlicious – 101 Ways to Love Your Greens


A month ago I was invited to celebrate Leigh Drew’s new cookbook, Greenlicious, 101 Ways to Love Your Greens. It was a marvellous event! I was able to eat ALL of the food for once.

You see, when I go to events, as you can imagine, most times it is a non-vegan event. I’d often get a special meal and most times people are very accommodating of my dietary needs but there’s nothing like the freedom of being able to eat everything on the table without having to check the ingredients or interrogate the waiting staff. I shared some photos from Leigh’s event in my weekly recap video – you can check it out here.

Now back to this cookbook. Greenlicious shows all the different ways you can eat more greens and illustrates just how versatile and delicious veggies can be. It was a real pleasure to meet Leigh in person, she is so warm and friendly and passionate about her food. The book is also co-authored by Amanda Benham, an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist, which makes her ideal to answer any questions surrounding plant-based nutrition.

I bought the book, got it signed, and I felt healthier already. I asked Leigh and her publisher (Arbon Publishing) if I could interview her. Here’s how it went down.

PS: Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the page for an exciting announcement.

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Interview with Jess Bailey from The Cruelty Free Shop

the team by Noah

If I had to list 3 things that play a crucial role in my early transition to a plant based diet, vegan cheese would top the list, followed by vegan chocolate and then soy milk. I don’t think I could live without them, or maybe I could, but I don’t want to. Life’s too short.

Last month I had the opportunity to interview Jess Bailey. A really lovely lady and an awesome animal welfare activist. Jess is the founder of the all-vegan grocery shop The Cruelty Free Shop. If you read or watch any of my product review posts or videos, you’d be familiar with the name. It is where I buy most of my vegan goodies from, it’s a vegan shop heaven!  She started the shop 13 years ago with a mission to make it easier for people to become and stay vegan. She also founded the annual Sydney Cruelty Free Festival with the goal of showing people how to make small changes in their every day lives in order to make great change for animals.

More recently Jess created the Vegan Day Out events in Sydney and Melbourne which encourages restaurants to offer more vegan meals on their menus and to allow non-vegans a chance to try vegan food (and to give existing vegans a fun day out too!).

So without further ado, here’s Jessica.

Hi Jess, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I found out about your store just after I started my transition to a plant-based diet. I went shortly after and I was like a kid in candy store. You have a huge variety of vegan products! It really has made my transition a lot easier. You’re also very involved in the community, advocating for animal rights and sponsoring the annual cruelty-free festival. How did you get started?

It makes me happy to hear that we helped make your transition easier – that is exactly what we aim to do!

I first became aware of animal rights issues when I came across an Animal Liberation stall at a festival and picked up a heap of their flyers, I read them all cover to cover on the train home. Until then I’d been blissfully unaware that I’d been supporting animal cruelty every day, like so many others I just hadn’t thought about it. Once I had all that information in my head I had no choice, I could no longer go on being responsible for animal suffering so, over time, I phased out all animal products from my pantry, bathroom cabinet and wardrobe. Deciding to become vegan is the best thing I have ever done, I am no longer responsible for suffering – that feels very good! The fact that it’s also better for the environment and my health are just the icing on the cake.

As far as starting the shop goes, when I first went vegan two things struck me; firstly the inordinate amount of time I spent reading labels to find all those hidden animal ingredients, and secondly the amount of people who said “I used to be vegan but it was too hard”. These comments inspired me to create a shop that would make it easier for people to become and stay vegan; a place where people could shop safe in the knowledge that no animals were exploited or killed for any of the products on the shelves.

I mentioned earlier that you have tons of vegan products in your store. How did you manage to get your hands on so many different products?

That’s the fun part of my job! I trawl overseas websites, blogs, wholesalers and importers for those hard to find vegan products and then I get to try them all! I love finding hard to get products like vegan fish sauce, marshmallows without gelatine and, my favourite, cheeses without dairy.

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Interview with Maz Valcorza from Sādhanā Kitchen

Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Maz to interview her about the launch of her new cookbook Uncooked.

To say that I was excited about this interview is an understatement. I’ve been a huge fan of Maz and her cafe, Sādhanā Kitchen (Sydney’s first organic raw foods cafe) for a long time.

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Now, the Raw Food Jedi is sharing some of her secret to raw food success through her new book Uncooked. Maz is such a passionate and lovely person to talk to. We talked about her journey to veganism, the story behind Sādhanā Kitchen, and her new cookbook. Check it out. Read more