Over the past week I’ve been sharing some thoughts around inspiration on A Fashion Friend. I was really amped when they asked me to be one of their featured bloggers because I really love their website and I think they are one of the few online magazines in South Africa worth reading. If you haven’t heard of them check out their site here.

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One of my posts that went up this week was about two people and a whole lot of food that inspire me every day and are the little angels on my shoulder telling me to step away from the snacks. I’ve spoken about The Kitchen Thief before but they are so awesome I’m sharing a little bit about them again!

For very many years I was know as the Barone and Redbull girl. I could chug a Redbull and stuff a Barone down my throat before 8AM almost every morning and be good to go for the rest of the day. Obviously, this was not sustainable. Towards the end of 2015 I got quite sick and it was all to do with my ridiculous diet. 

I met Dani and Nicole when we all worked together for the same advertising agency. Dani is Vegan, Nicole is a Pescatarian (I like to joke and say she’s Presbyterian), regardless of their wider choices with regard to food, Dani and Nicole are above all interested in eating healthy. So, about a year ago they started The Kitchen Thief, an Instagram ode to eating easy and healthy. I caught with them to chat about eating, and I seriously think we could all take a leaf out of their book. Now, step away from the doughnuts and read on.

1. What is the kitchen thief and why should people care? 

The Kitchen Thief is our little corner of the internet where we celebrate animal-friendly food. People should care because not only is it a kinder, more sustainable way of eating, but our photos are flipping pretty and we have so much fun running the account. It’s an excuse to meet up with friends over a meal and to spend time exploring spots around the city, the country and the rest of the world. We started it as a platform where we could educate family and friends about just how easy and delicious our way of eating can be. It’s far more than just salads and green smoothies!

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2. 2016 seems to be the year of eating healthy, what changes have you seen around you that you wouldn’t have a few years ago? 

It’s  much easier to find healthier options than ever before. So many fresh produce markets that have opened, big retailers are taking note and restaurants are designing healthier menus. People have become much more demanding when it comes to what goes into their bodies, so food labelling has also improved a great deal, making it easier to avoid the gross things and stick to the things that will nourish your body.

3. There are some pretty weird perceptions about being Vegetarian/Vegan, what are some of the strangest? 

“Wow, you look very healthy for a vegan?”, is the funniest. People think that by cutting out meat that you’ll automatically be sickly. We’re healthy, strong, and have been known to come back from our December holidays with chubby cheeks. Another thing is that people think they can’t do it. We always encourage people to attempt a meal. Just one. When they do and realise how easy it is, they’ll attempt another, and before you know it they’re having Meat Free Mondays or even going vegan for Lent. 

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4. Eating healthy can be pretty hard, do you have any tips to help people back away from the Barone’s and onto the Berries? 

It’s important to stay informed and learn about how different foods affect your body. We don’t always limit ourselves but rather try to strike a healthy balance. Here are some tips:

1) Don’t buy crap! If you have crap in the house then you will eat it. Fill your fridge with colourful, fresh food and you’ll be less inclined to reach for the oily chips. 

2) Pack lunch! Not having a healthy meal on hand when hunger hits will cause even the healthiest of nuts to indulge in gross, beige food. 

3) Don’t be too hard on yourself! Eating something bad doesn’t mean the day is a right-off. Eat something better for the next meal, drink some water and move on.

5. Name a place, person and thing that inspires you. It can be more than one of each if you want. 

Place: Woolworths. Everything from their amazing trolleys (yes, this makes our shopping experience so smooth), to their magazines (Taste is incredible), to their products inspire us. We generally stick to the first few aisles where the food is fresh and the shelves are colourful, but they have so many vegan options that we’re venturing deeper into the Woolies forest with every visit (For soy milk, tofu or caramelised onion hummus).

We also love eating (obviously), so any place that we can eat at inspires us. This includes friend’s houses (and sometimes even their parent’s houses), restaurants and even just the lunch table.

Person: This might sound cheesy but we inspire each other. We are always talking, discussing and challenging each other about food. We share pictures, recipes, and ideas daily, allowing us to keep each other accountable and force each other to have fun doing it.

Thing: Instagram has been a huge inspiration for us. Here we’ve joined a community that love to share and encourage. We’re constantly pushing ourselves to be better, try new things and have more fun all because of the accounts we follow and the people that follow us.

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