Ask Em von Euw, the award-winning creator behind This Rawsome Vegan Life, to define “healthy,” and the tahini lover will remind you of the most important aspect: that there is…
Ask Em von Euw, the award-winning creator behind This Rawsome Vegan Life, to define “healthy,” and the tahini lover will remind you of the most important aspect: that there is no one definition. The blogger and cookbook author knows that being healthy is practicing self-love and knowing a healthy mind and body looks different for everyone.
We had a chance to chat with Em, who started the blog in 2011, about the importance of a plant-based diet, how to make the world’s best sweet potatoes, and how to stay healthy on the go.
Tell us a bit about your health journey. What led you to create This Rawsome Vegan Life?
Since I was a teenager I’ve been interested in eating foods and developing recipes that make me feel energised, balanced, positive and nourished. I began experimenting with vegan baked goods, and raw treats.
I wanted to share these recipes with the world because they excited and inspired me. I am grateful that veganism is a diet I can practice without feeling that it’s restricting. If anything, it’s a source of joy for me.
Define what a healthy diet/lifestyle means to you.
For me, health means eating foods that make me feel good, mentally, emotionally, and physically, in both the short term and the long term. Healthy living is allowing myself the self-respect and space to say no to exercise or arbitrary food rules when they do not serve me. It’s accepting my body, spirit and mind as I am now, and recognising that we all *unconditionally* deserve love, peace, comfort, safety and joy.
Why is a plant-based diet so important? Why should everyone consider adopting one?
It’s an important part of my identity and life because it’s a choice I can make that often does less harm. From a nutrition standpoint, veganism offers up many of the most nutritionally-dense foods we know of, foods that have been proven to promote longevity, fight disease, prevent cancer, and reduce inflammation. If it is an option for someone, and they feel safe and supported about making that switch, I would highly recommend veganism!
If you could only cook one recipe for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would have to say baked sweet potatoes with tahini, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It’s divine. If you wanted to go in the other direction and make it sweet: serve the sweet potatoes with almond butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Heaven in my mouth.
How do you think a healthy diet can help people feel empowered?
The better I feel thanks to what I eat, the more inspired I am to continue living this way. I am thankful I have the privilege to have access to these foods. But it’s more than just “diet”, self-care means focusing on routines that center my mental and emotional health as well. We are all unique in how we define “health”, and in our choice to value it or not be concerned about it: this is beautiful and valid.
Healthy nutrition tips for busy people?
- Try matcha tea! It’s a magical way to start the day, and only takes a second to brew. It’s full of anti-cancer properties.
- Experiment with adaptogens. I love ashwagandha, astragalus, maca, and mushroom blends. I add them into creamy chocolate smoothies with dates, cacao, cinnamon almond butter, coconut milk, banana, and frozen zucchini.
- Eat green stuff! Cruciferous vegetables are some of the most nutritionally-dense and powerful foods that have been researched.
What other lifestyle tips factor into a healthy mind and body?
- Don’t stress about how “healthy” your “diet” is. Eat what you want. Trust your body.
- Research and practice intuitive eating, body-acceptance, and joyful movement. Be kind to you.
- Practice meditation.
- Seek a therapist or counselor.
- Allow yourself the space to say no to things, and to draw and communicate boundaries. You deserve to be and feel safe, comfortable and supported in all you do.
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