Nataly Velasquez is an eco-friendly, zero waste, vegan mama. I connected with Nataly after drooling over her healthy plant-based meal prepping photos on Instagram
. I love that Nataly and her daughter Aria are both vegan and living an eco-friendly lifestyle, you can read all about it on her blog
. The best part about social media is connecting with like-minded individuals and learning about their experiences. That is why I asked Nataly to be a guest on my "What I Eat
" series to show my readers how it's possible to raise healthy vegan children. I hope you enjoy Nataly's post as much as I did!
Hi everyone, my name is Nataly Velasquez. In August of this year, I will be celebrating five years of being vegan! I am also a mom of a wonderful 7-year-old named Aria, who is also vegan.
Ok, where to begin. I believe everyone experiences moments in our lives that lead us to take the paths that we follow. When I was a junior in high school, I caught a rare sickness that almost left me dead. Instead of my body helping itself fight this off, my body was attacking itself, and I was declining at an alarming rate. Thankfully I was saved!! I got a blood transfusion and was on a lot of treatment and recovered within six months. The doctors were amazed at how fast I healed, but I think it had to do with me being young and "healthy."
Well fast forward about five years, two years after I had my daughter, I began to focus on my health. I felt heavy (wasn’t overweight). I felt unhealthy; like I needed a change. I knew that I didn’t have the healthiest diet and needed to change it for the sake of my future and my daughters. I began researching veganism and BOOM within a week; I never looked back.
Aria started off being vegetarian. I wanted her to decide on her own and understand what veganism meant. On the way to school one day, at the age of 5, Aria told me she wanted to be vegan. I was shocked but so thrilled! I asked her why and she stated that she didn’t want to consume animals any longer.
Our health journey began together, and it’s been one of the best things. I feel like we connect in a lot of ways because of veganism, such as cooking, teaching, exercising. We do so much together, and it all revolves around a healthy lifestyle. Although I focus on a whole food diet, I still from time to time incorporate some vegan ice cream, vegan burgers, vegan junk food. Balance is key right!?
I transitioned my Instagram about a year ago to really show other moms and other people that living a plant-based diet is "easy" and so fulfilling. I found a passion for meal prep. With that, here is what a typical vegan day looks like for us:
Aria and I love smoothies to begin our days! There’s not a specific recipe we go by, but Aria prefers a chocolate smoothie.
If I have more time, I love eating overnight oats or simply making oatmeal in the morning.
- 1 c Frozen berries
- 1 Frozen banana
- 1 cup oat milk
- ¼ cup oats
- 1-2 tbsp hemp seeds
- Dash of maple syrup
Aria and I are obsessed with our snacks. We love a good chocolate bar and just on the go yummy goods. Bars I typically buy for us are the go macro brand, cliff, and Lara Bars.
When packing snacks, I like to pack things that I know will fill me up and hold me over until the next time I eat.
Snacks in the picture include mixed nuts, carrots, pears, apples topped with almond butter & hemp seeds, and roasted chickpeas.
Lunch is probably my favorite meal just because I love opening one of my meal preps. Food gets me so excited!! Who can relate!?
Although I posted this a while ago, it’s one of my favorites to repeat! It includes marinated tempeh, steamed broccoli, noodles, and green onions. I top it off with coconut aminos!
Steamed broccoli with coconut aminos, sesame seeds, cherry tomatoes, tangerines, cucumbers (her favorite), veggie bites, and chocolate bliss balls. Not pictured is her hot lunch. Her hot lunch usually includes a quesadilla, noodles with beefless grounds, or rice with veggies and beans.
For dinner, we usually have leftovers or anything I’ve meal prepped. We typically get home late, so it’s relatively simple and easy for us.
Today I ate leftover quinoa, tofu, and broccoli. Super delicious! Aria had broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, and vegan nuggets.
My meals are easy to make and follow. I focus on using whole foods, lower calorie, yet filling foods for nourishment! These meals are perfect for people who are into fitness and living a simple lifestyle. Thank you for your time!
Follow Nataly on Instagram
and check out her blog NatsPlantLife