Niamh O’Mahony runs a blog and instagram page entitled Plant Based Niamh. She is passionate about leading a vegan lifestyle and she shares how easy it is to be vegan as well as promoting fitness and health.
I decided to interview Niamh following my decision to take part in Veganuary next month. I have dabbled with Veganism over the past few year and ate a plant-based diet for six months. After watching countless documentaries I’ve become more invested in the ethical reasons behind veganism as well as the health aspects.
Niamh is amazing at supporting others who are looking to try veganism. She always offers words of wisdom and advice to her followers and has a sense of humour that makes her page even more appealing.
You can find Niamh on instagram @plantbasedniamh and on her blog
1. Why did you decide to go vegan?
This is kind of a hard one to answer as there were so many contributing factors as to my decision! I would say that my main push to go vegan came from watching ‘What the Health’ on Netflix. I went completely vegan the day after I watched it and haven’t looked back since!
2. Did you notice any changes in yourself after becoming vegan?
At first, the changes were slightly negative. I had no energy, and felt really tired all the time. This is due to the fact that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t eating enough at all! Plant-based foods tend to be a lot lower in calories than animal based foods, so you need to eat a lot more on a plant-based diet to sustain your energy levels.
I turned this around by introducing avocados and nut butters to my diet, while also upping my starchy carbohydrate intake (potatoes, rice, pasta). Now I feel all the benefits of the lifestyle. I have a really strong immune system as a result of Veganism, my skin has remained super clear, I have tones of energy, and I feel amazing most of the time!
3. What is the most difficult thing about being vegan and why?
I wouldn’t say that anything in particular is ‘difficult’. However, sometimes eating out can be a bit of a bother, especially when you’re on holiday and there’s a language barrier there!
There’s also the issue of restaurants not taking your request of meat and dairy free food seriously (which has happened to me a lot), and they serve you animal derived products anyway.
There’s an upside to traveling as a vegan too though, as you get to try vegan foods of other countries that you might not have tried before, it’s always exciting.
4. What are your staple vegan ingredients?
Oats, berries, nut milk, peanut butter, potatoes, chickpeas, broccoli, soy sauce, spinach, agave syrup and most importantly…..Bananas!
5. What does a typical day in your diet look like?
I start every single day with a bowl of oats, then I either have an early dinner or light lunch, so either soup or a sandwich or air-fryed chips with veggies and homemade hummus.
If I have an early dinner I will have a snack in the evening like a big bowl of nice-cream, or more chips, or some leftovers etc. I usually have my last meal at about 8 or 9pm, but I always incorporate some sort of desert, whether it’s dates or some granola and fruit – I have to include something sweet.
6. What are some of your favourite store bought vegan products?
I’m not really a big fan of processed foods, I eat a very much plant/based diet. However, I’m absolutely obsessed with B&J’s ‘chunky monkey’ vegan ice cream. For Savoury food I love the Strong Roots Kale & Quinoa burgers.
7. What is your favourite thing about being vegan?
Knowing that I am saving countless lives every year, and having a positive impact on our one and only planet earth. I also love the cooking side. Becoming vegan has made me appreciate my food so much, and I am so grateful for that.
8. What is your all time favourite recipe and why?
Oh this is a hard one!!! I would say either my Peanut Butter cookies (on my blog), or The Happy Pears Beetroot Wellington – I made this last Christmas and it was to die for!
9. What non-vegan food do you miss the most and have you found a good replacement?
– I don’t miss any non-vegan foods to be completely honest. I absolutely adored gravy and mashed potatoes before I was vegan, but I have had the best mash and gravy since I have went vegan, so I don’t miss it at all!
10. Why should people consider taking part in Veganuary?
Just give it a go! What have you got to lose? It’s one month out of your whole life If anything. There’s so many outlets out there that can help you now, be it instagrammers, food blogs, cookbooks, apps or websites, there is so much out there to help you along the way. This is your chance to help the innocent animals of the world. Take one month of your life to try cook new foods! The benefits are endless, give it a go for sure.