We chatted to influencer and longtime advocate for veganism and animal rights, Lucy Watson, who has recently opened her own plantbased restaurant
I usually wake up and have a cup of green tea with added lemon juice and infused ginger to boost my immune system. I have much more energy since becoming a vegan – my nails are stronger and I feel the healthiest I have ever been. I made the switch for ethical reasons a few years ago and I’ve never looked back!
I kick off my day with a delicious bowl of W.K. Kellogg cereal, chopping and changing the flavour depending on my mood. The new cereal range is plant-based and consists of a lovely blend of grains with oats, barley, spelt and rye, plus no added sugar. It’s perfect for a quick breakfast fix. I love lots of colours on my plate, so I top it with fresh fruit and coconut pieces.
At lunchtime, I tend to opt for vegetable-based soups, as they aren’t too heavy. My favourite is butternut squash with some fresh black cracked pepper. If I’m really hungry, I have some seeded wholemeal bread, too. My meals are packed with a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, which I love. Being vegan is not as restrictive as people think – I eat such a wide variety of foods, and some of the UK’s favourite dishes are made from plant-based recipes
I don’t stick to normal mealtimes. Being so busy, I think it’s important to listen to what my body is telling me. Banana and dark chocolate with roasted almond butter on toast has to be one of my go to afternoon snacks, if I fancy one. Alternatively, I have a slice of avocado on toast with a drizzle of sesame oil and topped with pumpkin seeds
Due to my busy schedule, I sometimes eat dinner later in the evening when I’m hungry – it depends on how I’m feeling. One of my favourite dinner recipes is mushroom mac and cheese. The sauce is made from a mix of delicious vegan Parmesan cheese, vegan cheddar cheese, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, flour, dairyfree butter and almond milk, as a plant-based alternative for the béchamel sauce. Then, after I’ve prepared the sauce, I simply add chestnuts, wild mushrooms, garlic and thyme leaves into wholewheat macaroni pasta.
If I feel like treating myself to dessert, I love an avocado-based chocolate mousse topped with ganache and caramel, or a cashew-based vegan slice of cheesecake.
Nutritional therapist and author of The Balance Plan Angelique Panagos (angeliquepanagos.com) gives her insight into Lucy’s day.
Lucy has really embraced her vegan lifestyle. Eating a plant-based diet has wonderful health benefits – but you need to ensure you’re still getting plenty of vegan protein. For breakfast, I recommend switching to whole rolled oats and having them as overnight oats, in a homemade granola or cooked with almond or coconut milk. These are high in B vitamins for added energy. In addition, some form of protein would really benefit Lucy. This could be nuts and seeds, or nut butter.
I’m pleased to see essential fats in Lucy’s diet. However, I’d like to see her enjoy more omega 3s. In a plant-based diet, these come from foods such as flax seed, chia seeds and linseeds. I’d suggest that Lucy adds in some leafy greens, broccoli, spinach and kale, which we should all aim to eat daily. She could add a handful of spinach to her lunch soup! It’s important that Lucy ensures she’s getting enough iron and vitamin B12, too – these can be tricky for vegans to get enough of, and a vitamin B supplement is needed for many. She could also switch up her afternoon snack busy schedule, she needs to ensure she’s eating enough!