Welcome to the first guest post on Hungry Vegan Traveler! You'll be hearing/reading from my friend Sarahfaé, who runs the raw vegan blog Addicted to Veggies. She's a whiz in the kitchen and a very creative uncook. When I asked Sarahfaé if she'd be interested in doing an interview about her sassy vegan self for my blog, she jumped at the opportunity. Enjoy!
Introduce yourself! Where are you from, what is your family like, pets, hobbies, interests, etc.
Hiya Constant Cravings readers!
I’m Sarahfaé, the writer/creator of Addicted to Veggies – a blog that solely revolves around plant-based recipes, and posting them as often as I can come up with new ones!
I live in a foggy little town on the coast of Northern California (Eureka to be exact), in a cozy vintage Craftsman style home with my two pups (Elmer & Lucy), two kitties (Lola & Flower), and most importantly my very supportive hubby; Mister AtV.
Most days you’ll find me in my kitchen, making some sort of food related mess, or scouring through my cookbooks looking for recipe inspiration. My happiest state is almost always after I’ve made a recipe that I deem successful – which is usually followed by ridiculous levels of excitement (on my part) and then going down a list of “taste testers” to call up. Have you ever done a “Drive-by-fooding”? If not then I highly recommend it! A “Drive-by-fooding” involves leaving a pretty package of really yummy food on an unsuspecting friend’s doorstep, and promptly driving away so as not to be caught. So much fun!
Non food related hobbies of mine include:
Fitness: I’m currently wrapping up the P90X program with Mister AtV, and I have aspirations to run at least a half marathon by the end of this year. Most of my “me time” outside of the kitchen revolves around some form of physical activity, but running is one of my most favorites.
I grew up in a very musical household, and began playing the guitar and piano when I was in my early teens. Songwriting is a big passion and very therapeutic outlet for me. Whether or not anything comes from the music I write, I don’t mind. Music is something I can always count on, and that’s pretty darn satisfying in itself. Although I have been caught daydreaming about being the front-woman in a Thin Lizzy cover band more than once.
I also have an affinity for all things Trains (more specifically Steam Engines), and probably think about them way too much for my own good. I just put the finishing touches on a “train themed” sitting room in my little house, and I’m beyond excited to have a new place to sit with my cookbooks. Maybe someday I’ll get around to building an actual model railroad in my backyard.
Alongside my love of trains runs a very deep love for Buster Keaton. If I elaborate on this I’m afraid I’ll start to sound like a crazy woman, so let’s just say that I think Buster is swell. Really really swell.
How long have you been vegetarian/vegan/raw?
When I was twelve years old I remember sitting at our kitchen table, while my doting mom made breakfast for the family: sausage, eggs, and potatoes. It was at that very moment when I realized I had been eating animals my entire life, but I didn’t have to. What a simple and wonderful thing for a twelve year old to realize right? Along with the support of my awesome parents I was able to start making my own choices about what I put into my body. Thanks Mom and Dad! That’s when I first embraced a vegetarian diet.
Tell me how you came to be veg*n and then raw. What exactly made you commit to this lifestyle? What was the hardest part of the transition?
Some years later, still being vegetarian I began to have some serious and scary health problems. After tons of misdiagnosis I started to look at my eating habits. Finding out that I was lactose and gluten intolerant made the choice to go vegan very obvious and almost easy. This was also around the time I met my now hubby, who was a then manager at our local Natural Foods store (to this day I tease about marrying him for his store discount!).
My health was on the mend after choosing a vegan diet, but there still seemed to be a missing link where energy, health, and honestly - a happy stable relationship with food was concerned.
How I came to raw food is a funny story…
I remember being online one day in early 2008, surfing some of my favorite food blogs. My very first introduction to raw food was via: What the Hell does a Vegan Eat Anyway? Check out their Raw Food Wednesdays and Thursdays posts. So creative!
I was floored! I’d never before heard of the “raw food” world, and up until that moment I knew absolutely nothing about it! As I always do with new and interesting things, I jumped head-first into researching raw food. In fact that very same day I found and purchased my current dehydrator on craigslist. For those of you wondering I use a L’Equip.
I don’t claim to be any sort of expert on eating raw, but from the bottom of my heart I love it. I love what it’s done for my health, and my all-around relationship with food has changed massively due to the way I eat now.
The only difficulty with eating a predominantly raw diet for me is the cravings. Those cravings were (who am I kidding, they still are) coming from a very strong starchy foods addiction. Honestly though, I’m learning to love and appreciate those cravings, and I hope they don’t ever go away because they are the fuel behind some pretty damn tasty food creations.
As a raw foodist, how do you prepare for eating while traveling?
Good gosh! This is one of my vices that I’m thankfully getting better at the more I travel. My eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’ve been known to over pack. One thing I can honestly say to avoid when prepping food for travel: Don’t pack prep/pack your food when you’re hungry! Eat, then pack your food!
I’ve got quite a booming collection of coolers that have become my favorite travelling companions (after Elmer and Lucy of course), so I always start there. Depending on the length of travel I’ll make a basic meal plan/calendar. Next I’ll convene with the hubby (if we’re travelling together) to plan what days and for what meals we’ll be eating out. I can only ever assume that eating out will provide me a salad, so I always try to eat something before going to a restaurant. There have been times when restaurants won’t even cater to my simple salad request (snobby chefs!). This is when I open up my purse and bust out a banana, home-made trail mix, or mixed nuts.
Mixed nuts: don’t leave home without ‘em! Also ladies, big purses are your friend! There’s rarely a moment when I don’t have a snack in my fancy leopard print shoulder bag.
Tell me the story behind Addicted to Veggies: the blog, and your blossoming catering business.
After falling in love with raw food in early 2008 I began researching to my heart’s content. Researching turned into making tons of recipes, which then turned into posting my recipes all over Livejournal (my first web home). My confidence in the kitchen really started to take shape.
Last year at this very time - no joke - I took a trip to San Francisco with my kid sister. We ended up doing an impromptu and pretty silly photo shoot featuring yours truly holding a Carrot like a Cigarette. Later on I had the pleasure of meeting a very talented young artist who we showed the photo too. The three of us chicks began joking about what a great alternative to drugs and alcohol veggies (and fruit) can be. That quickly evolved into a silly marketing campaign idea, and later on it turned into Addicted to Veggies - the blog. I’ll admit, at first I had some pretty grandiose ideas about AtV, but it all came down to the food and recipes. I just want to make good healthy approachable food, and share it with anyone who is interested. Too often there can be a lot of dogma behind healthy lifestyles and eating habits – I don’t want any part of that…what I do want is to give people tasty food, and make them want more.
How did you prepare to open up AtV for catering business?
I’ve been so fortunate over the last few months to have had the opportunity to bring my food out to the local home-town crowd, but catering on a large scale isn’t something I plan on pursuing with AtV. Preferably I’ll be focusing on small and intimate settings where catering is concerned. I guess to answer this question – AtV isn’t technically a Catering business. So far I’ve only made that service available to a few local business and events. I’ll be focusing on doing small event catering in the future as it comes to me, but no solid plans yet.
What do you foresee in the future of AtV?
Lots and lots of new recipes!
AtV’s primary focus will always be making and sharing good food. This is what makes me most happy; the gift of giving you could say. My plan over this next year is to make lots of connections with talented foodies in the blogosphere, to get a you-tube channel up and running, and to do a bit of travel (AtV being the reason behind that, of course). Where my work is concerned I’ve always been a problem solver. This is why I love food so much: It’s versatile! You can do anything! I’m always looking at food that I can’t eat, for example; Deviled Eggs, Corn Chowder, Crème Fraiche, Cottage Cheese…These are the foods that move me in the kitchen. These are the foods that make me go: “I want to eat that” then “How can I eat that?” and hopefully resulting in a new recipe that fakes-out taste buds and makes new friends!
Sarahfae - AtV