Chefs People Vegan Personalities

Lauren Toyota from hot for food

We were lucky enough to get these responses from Lauren Toyota of hot for food!
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I started transitioning to a vegan diet late 2009 and set a goal that by January 1, 2010 I’d be vegan!
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Michael Pollan, Tal Ronen, Alicia Silverstone, and the authors of Skinny Bitch.
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Sometimes I feel like the title of vegan lifestyle ambassador really says it all. But I encourage and motivate people to live a vegan life or adopt a plant-based lifestyle by creating recipes and cool content that is approachable and entertaining.
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Currently I work with a local videographer dude named Alex Dale. It’s just him and I in my home kitchen. Often we’ll be able to shoot 2 videos in one day. The actual taping takes 2 to 4 hours per video and then the pre-production and post-production probably takes another 4 to 8 hours depending on how much testing a recipe needs. I do all the recipe testing, photography, styling, food prep, and editing.
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Thank you, and just know that I started using an iPhone and was very intimidated by cameras. I’m self-taught and I just think that it’s a matter of practice and hours. When I started using a DSLR camera I couldn’t have explained to you my settings or why I was doing something. I just sort of played around with trial and error until I got a picture I liked. You need to play. Don’t be scared and just go for it. You also don’t need a fancy camera. Phones will actually do just fine in most cases so just start with whatever you have. When in doubt, shoot overhead!
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Well ain’t nobody got time or resources to get fancy when you’re panicking about the world ending so I’d probably just make a quick vegan mac & cheese. I’d add in whatever veggies I had lying around… frozen peas most likely and then bake it with a bread crumb topping to get it crispy.
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Oprah because she is my guru. Jason Sudekis because he’s hot and funny. Ellen Degeneres because she’s vegan.
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For me personally being vegan has expanded my world and been a major facilitator in having an awareness of the mind, body, spirit connection. It’s hugely important in my life and has affected ALL aspects of the way I live, the decisions I make, and how I feel all the time. It’s also something that’s become essential and second nature for me to do, but what’s cool is it has a major positive ripple effect on the whole big picture and that’s a really good thing. I also think it’s a journey and the openness and willingness to look at the big picture constantly changes the decisions you make and how you evolve so I just have an awareness of that and it’s living a vegan life that has opened me up to that idea.
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If you’re thinking about it, just do it. Listen to that inner call. My only regret is that I didn’t go vegan sooner. You don’t have to feel pressure to go full-on hardcore vegan overnight either. First just pay attention to what you’re eating and how it makes you feel. Start reading labels and noticing what’s in your food. That’s really the first thing. Becoming more knowledgeable about your food and where it comes from. Then I always recommend making a slow transition because you will notice changes in so many ways and then when you’re feeling those positive changes you’ll be more encouraged to stick with it and keep going. Rather than overwhelming yourself with having to change everything in your life at once. You don’t have to do that and no one who is vegan should be pushing that message. Eating LESS meat and animal byproducts is still a step in the right direction and starts you on the path. I also feel like nowadays there’s no excuse to not eat mostly plant-based or to go full vegan if you want to. There’s so many options when eating out, there’s so many bloggers, cookbooks, and resources to make your own great food and learn how to cook. There’s also SO much food and variety available to us that you’ll never get bored!
photo credit: Vanessa Heins

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