With over 123,000 subscribers you have probably already heard of Hot for Food. When I first found their YouTube channel last year I sat and watched every single delicious video all at once. The food Lauren makes is incredible – Vegan Mac & Cheese, Cauliflower Wings, Hot Fudge Sundae, Vegan Crab Cakes, Coconut Bacon – so you can see why they are my favourite!
Lauren is often joined on camera by her boyfriend John Diemer who is the other half of Hot for Food. If you haven’t seen any of their challenge videos then clear some time in your schedule, grab a cup of coffee and watch them all! Grab a notebook first though, because your head will be brimming with ideas of things you want to cook.
I also live for Lauren’s “Recipe?” videos. Born from a constant stream of “recipe?” comments on her Instagram feed from people whenever she posts a new food pic of something she just made up as she went along whilst cooking. In these videos Lauren will turn the camera on, open her fridge and go from there, making it up as she goes along. She epitomizes the joy of cooking!
To say I was pleased when Lauren agreed to be interviewed for the blog would be an understatement! (Not least because it meant a peek inside their brand new enormous fridge!!)
About Me: youtube, vegan lifestyle ambassador, cat person
Favourite Animal: my cat Snickles!
When did you go vegan?
I went vegan on January 1, 2010
Why did you go vegan?
I spent years as a vegetarian and then years flip flopping from vegetarian to an omnivores diet and ultimately never felt right or good in my body and soul – physically and mentally. I was already lactose intolerant but just ignored that and always had this immense guilt about eating meat and animal by-products. Finally after reading too many books and watching documentaries on the subject, like Food Inc., I decided I had to make a change and take control of how I feel. I decided to transition to a vegan diet.
What have you found challenging/difficult?
In terms of diet and food I really haven’t found it to be difficult. Even at the beginning. I really found freedom and variety in eating vegan. I was excited by the changes I was making, mainly because I had never felt better! I think the challenges came much later as I evolved as a vegan and had to start implementing the vegan lifestyle fully by changing other aspects of what I was consuming… beauty products, clothing etc. It was more overwhelming to me than the diet part.
What product most surprised you when you found out it wasn’t Vegan/Cruelty free?
When I discovered that some alcohol is filtered using animal bone or isinglass (fish bladder) that surprised me! But luckily there is a great online resource at barnivore.com that makes it easier to be aware of that and look into the products that are free and clear for vegans!
( Easy Vegan Chilli – recipe here )
If you could say anything to your previous non-Vegan-self what would it be?
You’re addicted to cheese you moron! STOP IT! Maybe a little harsh, but that’s my internal voice that now knows better!
What are your favourite Vegan restaurants/cafes/shops?
Here in Toronto we have a lot of great options! We’re very lucky. One of my main go-to’s is Hogtown Vegan which serves vegan soul food/comfort food like chicken and waffles, mac & cheese and rueben sandwiches. There’s also an amazing vegan pizza shop where you can buy by the slice called Pizza Apiecalypse and in terms of vegan bakeries there are so many great ones like TBC Vegan, Bunner’s, and Bloomers.
What is your favourite/best Vegan documentary/book/Instagram account/blog/YouTuber?
I always recommend Cowspiracy. Thank goodness for that documentary! And I really think Skinny Bitch is a good read. Is easy to digest and it’ll really snap you our of your insane eating habits!
Which well-known vegans would you have at your fantasy dinner party and what 3 course meal would you serve?
Gene Baur, Waka Flocka Flame, and Ellen. Oh man, you want me to come up with a 3 course meal on the spot! haha
It would have to include all types of vegan cuisine. I think something raw vegan, gluten free and sugar free for Ellen maybe in the dessert round. Then something with vegan chick’n and mac & cheese for Waka Flocka, and something more in the middle of junk food vegan and strict healthy vegan for Gene. I honestly need more time to plan the dishes!
( Gingerbread French Toast Sticks – recipe here )
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about going vegan?
Just go vegan. I don’t mean 100% over night, but try it at one meal, then another, then another. Start with your typical go-to foods that contain dairy, eggs and/or meat and try to make a vegan version or seek out a product that could replace it. You need to start branching out how you think about food and where you wander in the grocery store! Or go to a vegan restaurant and see what you think of the food. Maybe you can’t cook that yourself right away but it will give you some inspiration and motivation to reach that place one day! I am all about the transition to eating vegan.
Please can you show us a picture of the inside of your fridge/cupboards?
Any further comments or anecdotes to share:
Thank you for having us on your blog!
( The Best Damn Vegan Burger – recipe here )
If you would like to appear on the blog, please contact me here with your answers to the above questions. I would love to hear from you.