For this week’s nutrition segment, I interviewed Lucy Cruz, the CEO and Founder of The Rooted Miami. In our interview, Lucy shared her journey to veganism and how it enhanced her relationship with food + her relationship with herself. She also offered best practices for people who are new to veganism and how they can set themselves up for success.
Lucy’s journey to veganism was birthed from her desire to live a healthier and more balanced life. Prior to committing to her new lifestyle, Lucy conducted research on the benefits of being plant-based and uncovered topics that ultimately altered her perspective on pursuing veganism. Lucy's findings expanded her focus to a more comprehensive understanding of the benefits of veganism. She established an awareness for the environmental impacts veganism has on local communities-- along with the challenges Black and Brown communities face with nutrition due to the lack of access to healthier foods and food education at large.
Lucy’s decision to pursue veganism also ignited a deeper and healthier connection to food as well as herself. While most people view veganism as restrictive, Lucy saw opportunity learn, to try new recipes and explore the origin of foods. Essentially, her relationship with food became more sacred. With that, her relationship with herself followed suit. She grew more mindful of the food she consumed and gave herself room to make mistake. After all, this was a new lifestyle change and giving herself grace was the only way she could remain motivated and authentic to who she is.
Lucy also uncovered the not-so good side of veganism. Its culture. Plant based eating is often glamorized and perceived as elitist, as it tends to exclude communities of color who often do not have access to plant based resources. After learning about the transformational benefits of veganism along with its perceived elitist culture, Lucy sought out to be a reframe and inspire others to pursue conscious consumerism. So, she started Rooted Mami to bring practical information and inspiration to help people incorporate more plant-based foods and processes in their day to day life.
Listed below are a few tips and best practices from the Rooted Mami for aspiring vegans + current vegans
- Keep the vegan options of your favorite meals
- Google "how to veganize" recipes
- Incorporate seasonings and herbs and spices from your favorite dishes
- Have fun. Healthy nutrition is all about balance
Nutrition is a critical component to the care we give to our bodies. Establishing healthy nutrition habits enhances our well-being, increases our energy levels, improves our gut health, improves our memory, and maintains our immune system. Whether it is pursuing veganism or incorporating more vegetables into your diet, the food we give our bodies is essential to how we function daily.