Anna Weatherlake is a health and plant-based nutrition coach, Earth by Anna blogger, traveller, journalism and politics graduate, animal advocate and eco-warrior.
This beautiful vegan mentally resides in Melbourne, but physically resides all over the world with her partner, a plant-based athlete. As a lifelong vegetarian and vegan for the past four years, Anna combines her deep understanding and passion for plant-based nutrition with the advantages of living a healthier, more environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyle. She encourages and inspires people to make choices that help not only themselves, but other people, animals and the planet as well.
Anna is passionate, intelligent, positive and inspiring and we are super excited to have her as our April Featured Friend.
Firstly Anna, what does creating ‘a healthy mix for life’ mean to you?
Creating ‘a healthy mix for life’ to me is about finding the right balance (cliche, i know). But it’s true! Things like work, social media, various commitments or simply just not being able to find time for ourselves seem to dominate our existence these days. Finding the right balance in my opinion is key.
Personally, a healthy mix for life to me is getting outside in the great outdoors, eating a nutritiously balanced plant-based diet, laughter, surrounding myself with great people who motivate and inspire me, being active, and being kind to all the furry, feathered and fuzzy creatures we share this planet with. For me, those things all contribute to finding that healthy mix.
So for a plant based diet, what does your day on a plate look like?
I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life and switched to a vegan lifestyle about four years ago, so eating a plant-based diet focused on eating REAL food has been a staple for me for a very long time.
Every morning I’ll wake up and have a big glass of filtered water with lemon and then I’ll make a green smoothie. For the rest of the day I will munch on a stack load of fruit and salads. I try to focus on eating predominately raw food until mid-afternoon as I really feel raw food works well with my body. Dinner could be homemade pizzas, a stir fry, quinoa salad or raw tacos. Anything goes in my household! As long as it is plant-based, nutritionally diverse and delicious, then I am happy.
Speaking of nutritious, what is your ONE Super Hero Food that you cannot live without?
Chia Seeds. I’ve been onto these bad boys for many, many years and they feature in my diet on a daily basis. I love them! You can add them to anything and they are a great source of calcium, good fats, fibre, magnesium, maganese and protein.
Living a healthy life doesn’t just mean eating well … how do you keep your mind and body healthy?
I think variety is the key to life and whilst I think eating healthy and fueling your body with the right foods is essential, many other factors play a vital role as well.
I try to exercise about six days a week. Whether that is walking, doing my Barre class or doing some HIIT circuits, I like to mix it up so I don’t get bored. I also really enjoy getting outside in nature, soaking up some Vitamin D and adding more stamps to my passport. I think travel plays a big part in enriching your life.
I also keep my mind healthy by reading great books, surrounding myself with inspiring and like-minded people and focusing on things I am really passionate about, like animal rights and my entourage of rescue pets. If I’ve had an ordinary day, spending time with animals is a guaranteed way to lift my spirits. If all humans loved and appreciated animals as much as I do, the world would be a much better place.
Who is your health, wellness or fitness guru and why?
This is a tough question. I don’t think I really have a guru but I do have a rather large handful of people I admire.
Nutritional biochemist Dr. T. Colin Campbell is one man I have always looked up too. He is ahead of his time and over the years I’ve really enjoyed studying under him and reading his books.
David Wolfe is another one, as is Dr. John McDougall. I admire both of them immensely for various reasons.
In terms of fitness, can I be bias and say my partner? He inspires and motivates me every day. At an international level, his transformation on a plant-based diet over the past few years has been something I have watched in awe. He’s an amazing man.
One of my close friends, Roz Kelly, is also a constant inspiration to me. Her outlook on health and wellness is admirable and her constant support and motivation keeps my clogs ticking over. She’s a great friend, a wonderful confidant and a health and wellness guru in the making.
If you could share with the Raw Blend Family one piece of your wisdom what would it be?
I’m not sure if it’s really wisdom, more knowledge perhaps, but don’t believe the myth that the best sources of protein and calcium come from animal products. A plant-based diet can nutritionally provide you with everything you need.
Eat the right foods, think about the impact your choices have, and be kind to yourself, the environment and the wonderful beings we share this planet with.
We are lucky enough to have you share one of your favourite recipes with us, why do you love this recipe?
Quinoa is an ingredient that is used a lot in my household, so this salad recipe features quite regularly. It is a real crowd pleaser, nutritionally diverse and can be easily customised to cater for your favourite vegetables. And it’s delicious!
Quinoa is a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It has more calcium than cow’s milk, is rich in dietary fibre and iron and is a great source of potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, thiamine, niacin and Vitamins E and B6. Further, kidney beans and tofu are both full of protein, good carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
For the salad
- 1 cup quinoa (any colour), rinsed well
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed well
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 capsicum, diced
- 1/2 can of corn
- 1/2 cucumber, diced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 carrot, shredded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
- 3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 small bunch asparagus, sliced
- 200g tofu, sliced
- Sesame seeds
- 2 tsp coconut oil
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake until well combined. Place in the fridge.
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve under cold running water and then place in a saucepan on high heat. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the saucepan.
- When most of the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa looks ‘fluffy’, it’s ready. Approximately 10-12 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, melt 1 tsp of coconut oil in a pan and add diced red onion and corn. Cook until golden brown.
- Add capsicum, cucumber, spinach, kidney beans, carrot, coriander, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and cherry tomatoes to a mixing bowl.
- When quinoa is ready, add corn and red onion to the saucepan. Let cool for five minutes.
- Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to the pan and lightly panfry tofu and asparagus, turning when needed. Cook until golden brown.
- Add quinoa, corn and onion to mixing bowl and mix well with other vegetable ingredients.
- Plate up and top with tofu, asparagus, avocado and sesame seeds. Drizzle with dressing.
Serves 6-8 and will store in the fridge for up to two days.
Connect with Anna by visiting her beautiful website Earth by Anna or follow her journey through social media!