It’s Veganuary! This month, we’re encouraged to go vegan for 31 days or make some swaps and substitutes in our diet. Here at Hype, we love celebrating students and the things that they do. That’s why, this Veganuary we sat down and spoke to Maisy, a 23-year-old Food Science and Nutrition student at the University of Leeds who shares her fave vegan meals on her Instagram, @amaisingmeals.
Hype: Hi Maisy, it’s great to talk to you this Veganuary about your Instagram. Can you tell us briefly tell us a bit about yourself?
Maisy: I’m a huge animal lover and environmentally conscious so eating vegan fits my lifestyle choices. I don’t always have time to cook the healthiest meals as a student, but they’re always tasty.
Hype: So, can you tell the readers about the kind of Instagram content you make?
Maisy: I like to make casual content sharing amazing meals I make and new foods I find, as well as posting cute pet pics on my story!
Hype: What was your journey to veganism like?
Maisy: If I’m going to do something, I need to fully commit to it first. I went cold-turkey after watching the documentary What The Health, and 4 years later I’m still eating this way. I think that documentary opened my eyes to the health benefits of being vegan, but I also really resonated with the animal cruelty, and realised for that reason I didn’t enjoy meat very much anyway.
Hype: You’ve made a variety of incredible, yummy vegan meals on your Instagram. What are your top vegan cooking tips?
Maisy: Loads of garlic, lots of Unami flavours, nutritional yeast, basically plenty of seasoning to make your food tasty! Hype: What is one meal that is on your to-do list to be made vegan?
Maisy: I really want to make my own seitan, and experiment with making some of my own vegan meats! Also, us vegans really need a decent vegan cheese to make mac n cheese.
Hype: During Veganuary, people are encouraged to take up the vegan lifestyle for a month. What would be your top tip for people making the change?
Maisy: Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up and don’t give up because of it, even if you just cut down the amount of meat in your meals, you’re contributing to the cause. Also, not everything vegan is labeled vegan, you can check your foods by scanning the ingredients list and most non-vegan ingredients are highlighted in bold!
Hype: What is your go-to easy, lazy but yummy vegan food/snack/meal?
Maisy: Snack-wise I’m obsessed with salt n vinegar crisps, the really strongly flavoured ones e.g., squares, popchips, and flava-rings hula hoops. Meal-wise it’s either mushroom pasta or a Mexican buddha bowl – both can be found on myinsta! Also, I can’t forget the Chicago town vegan pizzas which are by far the best vegan supermarket pizza out there.
Hype: As someone who studies Food Nutrition and Science, what changes would you like to see within the food industry within the next 5 years?
Maisy: I’d like to see some of the big corporations in the food industry stop greenwashing and actually commit to more sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.
Hype: We all know that a meat heavy diet is not the most sustainable. What advice do you have for those who aren’t ready to go Vegan just yet, but want to be more mindful of having a sustainable diet?
Maisy: I think cutting your meat intake is the most important thing, if you can cut that down even by a few meals a week you’ll be making a huge difference!
Hype: Finally, what are some of the best ‘accidentally’ vegan snacks you can recommend?
Maisy: Biscoff and breadsticks, flavarings salt and vinegar hula hoops (or just most crisps in general – just check the ingredients!), coop jam doughnuts, jelly tots.
You can check out Maisy’s Instagram here, for some yummy vegan food finds and creations.