There’s no way you’re not obsessed with health and fitness guru Andrea Hannemann of @earthyandy. And you’re not alone — her 1.3+ million followers on Instagram love her simple recipes and epic Hawaiian lifestyle inspo. Fact: You can’t follow her without wanting to book a flight to Hawaii and/or start drinking your beverages out of coconuts only. The Plant Over Processed author dropped by The MomForce Podcast to talk about how to save money by going plant-based, easy recipes the kids will love and so much more!
How did you end up in Hawaii?
It was a childhood dream of mine for sure. I grew up before social media, before you could look anything up, and so I would go to Blockbuster and look for movies that were based in Hawaii or even had glimpses of Hawaii. I grew up in the middle of Saskatchewan, Canada, which is one of the colder parts of the world with long winters. Then in the year Y2K, flight prices were really low, so my dad booked us tickets to Hawaii. I remember when we were returning home from our vacation, I was crying silent tears thinking, “I’ll never be a part of this again.” It was already too good to be true that I went there in the first place. My dad encouraged me to save money and get good grades so I could go to school out there. I didn’t realize that I could have that kind of control over my future, and it motivated me. I ended up going to school, meeting my husband and this is where my life unfolded.
What set you on your plant-based food journey?
It wasn’t intentional at all, actually. I didn’t have a concept of social media and I wasn’t intending on starting a whole channel dedicated to health, but I had been struggling for a while with my own health. I had been doing a lot of research and I saw a few things about plant-based eating. I was pretty intimidated, but I thought that I just needed to trust in nature, cut all-man made products and eat naturally. My goal was to do this for 30 days and not have an opinion about it until I was done. It was definitely a roller coaster of how I felt until I hit day 30. That’s when I started posting about my experience.
I ended up getting asked a lot of questions, and I would try to answer them all, but it was more than I could handle. So I started a website and a blog, had it approved by a doctor and have been trying to support others in their plant-based journey ever since.
How can parents get their kids excited about a plant-based lifestyle?
There's so much more that you can eat than you realize when you go into the plant-based world. But my biggest piece of advice is just have patience with it. The food that continually shows up on their plate or they see in the fridge will become normal. And that doesn't happen overnight. It happens over a consistent lifestyle. When I first started, it was just switching out random things like organic peanut butter for high fructose corn syrup peanut butter. Instead of fruit snack gummies, I would give them slices of apples. Out of sight out of mind is very powerful when you're a kid. It's definitely a consistent thing. It's something that you have to be motivated for, but there's such a huge reward in so many ways that I was shocked to experience. Even just a kid's demeanor or an energy will change.
Can you tell us what some of your favorite easy dinners are?
Well, I love one pot meals. We are in a stage of life where you want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible so that you can go play and surf and do all those things. And so we love our soups and curries. We eat tacos quite a bit, a lot of Mexican food. I’ll cook a pot of black beans with onions and cilantro and garlic and we’ll use that for a few days as leftovers.
Some people say going plant-based is a more expensive way to live. Can you convince us otherwise?
We actually started to save money, and the reason was we weren't buying so much snack food. Meat and cheese is really expensive. Dairy products are expensive. And I think processed foods never make you really feel satisfied. That was the one thing that I noticed when we changed to plant-based food was that we had become more satisfied. You just feel good and enjoy your meal.
If you want to eat healthier and you start buying all those expensive powders and processed vegan foods, your grocery bill will rack up really fast. And so I don’t really think people need any powders or anything like that. If you're going to change, stick to foods that are in season, foods that grow from the earth like lentils, beans, rice, organic pasta. These are relatively very cheap items that you can fill a base of a meal with. Finding foods that are in season are usually cheaper.
Any advice on how to make these changes last longer than the month of January?
Knowledge is power would be my number one piece of advice. You need to know why you're doing this. So get educated, understand what the benefits could be, and what you should expect. Continue to focus on what it is you're trying to change. If it's eating more plant-based foods and to change your health, dedicate that portion of your life to becoming a bit of an expert on it and understand how foods work in your body and what foods benefit you. If you have a true understanding for yourself, you won't be reliant on other people's information, and you'll know how to take care of yourself and to feed your family. The biggest thing is to stay inspired by learning.
If you want to hear more about plant-based eating and our conversation with Earthy Andy, check out her episode on The Momforce Podcast!