Today I am so excited to share my interview with my lovely plant-based blogger friend Ashley. Ashley runs an awesome lifestyle blog Lipstick and Berries and instagram account where she shares everything from plant based recipes, to health and beauty tips with her 182,000 followers. She is such a beautiful person inside and out and has the coolest hair I’ve ever seen (major hair envy over here!) Ashley is working on so many exciting and inspiring projects, including writing a dessert smoothie e-book (okay, YUM!) and developing a new online magazine, so I thought it’d be great for you guys to get to know a little more about her ▷►▹▸
Q: How did your vegan journey start? What were your main inspirations and influences?
A: Actually my journey started by accident. I always had really terrible acne growing up, and I literally tried everything. I was never overweight, but my weight fluctuated quite often. Even if you are not overweight, it is still very frustrating to worry about your food. I felt like there had to be a way that one could eat and be satisfied AND healthy! I stumbled across information on a plant based diet on the internet, and I thought it seemed pretty cool! I decided to experiment and work some magic in the kitchen, and VOILA…my health, my skin, my weight…everything balanced out! No more acne (dairy is the worst thing for acne prone skin), no more weight fluctuation, and I felt pretty damn awesome!
Q: Are any your friends and family vegan too?
A: My husband and my mom eat a plant based diet, and so many of my friends are vegan! I am very blessed to be in a healthy family and have a great support system!
Q: What would be your top tips for someone who wants to transition into a plant based lifestyle?
A: I would recommend for people to do their research first. It is very common for people to radically switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, but they fail because they were not prepared (then they say that their body isn’t capable of surviving only on plants…not true…they failed because they did not do their homework). I would recommend for people to clean out their pantries of “crap” food, restock with healthy snacks (dried fruit, hummus, low fat crackers, lots of fruit…). Also a big thing that people need is Vitamin B12, which cannot be provided on a vegan diet. Another tip is to tell them to EAT ENOUGH FOOD!! We are not meant to survive on only lettuce and cherry tomatoes. A plant based diet is much more than grass, lol! Lastly, I would tell them that it is natural to feel “less energetic” or lethargic the first couple weeks entering a plant based diet. People need to remember that meat & dairy are ADDICTING, and their body will go through withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms will subside relatively soon. 🙂
Q: I absolutely LOVE your blog lipstick & berries! Tell us about your blogging journey and the inspiration behind it.
A: Thanks Jade! I had always thought it would be cool to start a blog, although I knew nothing about it. Years ago, I had thought about starting a Hair blog, but that never came to fruition because I owned a hair salon at the time. I sold my hair salon in 2012 and shortly after became involved in the plant based lifestyle scene. Fortunately, at this point in my life, I had the available time to start my blog, and I decided to incorporate al the things I love…health, beauty, style, and wellness. I am not your typical vegan, so I wanted a blog that wasn’t the typical (or should I say, stereotypical) style. I love my glam veganism style, and I want to show the world that vegan has no stigma. If more people start realizing that we can all be uniquely our own, then more & more people will feel comfortable being a part of our plant based world! 🙂
Q: I’m so excited for your new website & upcoming ebook – can you share any more details about these with us?
A: Yay, thanks!! I’m super excited too! 🙂 As I have said, Lipstick and Berries covers a lot of territory, Health, Beauty, Style, Wellness, Nutrition…. it’s a lot for a girl to handle. I have met so many wonderful people through the plant based world, that i decided to remodel Lipstick and Berries and turn it into a “community effort.” Im planning for it to be will be a Women’s Healthy Lifestyle Online Magazine! (woohoo!!) I have a group of contributors that will be writing articles, recipes, and posts for Lipstick and Berries, (as well as myself still).
That being said, I decided to create a brand new website that is only focused on Food & Nutrition! It will be called, www.AshleyDiana.com (yay, my name). I became certified as a Plant Based Nutritionist through Cornell University, and I wanted to zone in health skills into one separate website thats all about food.
My upcoming ebook is called “Marvelous Milkshakes!” It is SOOOO delicious….ok I’m bragging, but it IS totally awesome! 🙂 The book contains 20 recipes for healthy milkshakes inspired by your favorite desserts! They actually taste like the real thing!! I’m talking…Red Velvet Cake, Peanut Butter Cup, Carrot Cake….oh my I’m hungry now!
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
A: Hmmm that’s a really tough question! I would probably eat a huge bowl of 45 Fresh Medjool Dates. Yep, that would be perfect for me! I’m obsessed with dates; they are nature’s perfect candy!
Q: What is your favourite cruelty-free beauty/hair product?
A: I really love Derm Organic Leave In Oil Treatment! It is a wonderful product and it smells amazing! I have used Derm Organic on my hair for years, and this was the top selling hair product in my salon in Dallas, Texas. It’s perfect for every hair type, and it instantly becomes a favorite!
Q: Going vegan has been an incredibly healthy transition for me, what positive effects has adopting a plant based lifestyle had on you?
A: Oh gosh, so many wonderful things here too! I always feel refreshed, light, and happy! I feel like going vegan changed my perception and views on so many other things than just nutrition. I feel like I am more passionate and I understand my own feelings on a deeper level. Something about connecting with the earth and people, truly opens your eyes! There are no downsides to a vegan diet, only positives!
Q: Describe a day in the life of Ashley.
A: I wake up whenever (although i prefer it to be early). I make hot tea, drink a huge glass of alkaline water, then I do morning yoga stretches. Next, I do my social media for about one hour, then I have breakfast. I usually have a big green smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal, or a huge fruit platter. I work from home, so the rest of the day I do one of three things: create recipes, photograph food, or work on computer blog/emails all day. It sounds simple, but let me assure you…I never have enough time haha! I basically have like 4 full time jobs. I try to work out 2-3 times a week; I love zumba! (I used to workout daily, but honestly, there aren’t enough hours in my days now with 2 websites and ebooks and managing it all!) In the evening, I often go out for dinner – there are some great places for vegan food in Las Vegas where I live. That’s about it!! I love every part of my day because I’m so happy and passionate about what I do!
Q: Do you have a favourite inspirational quote to leave us with?
A: “Work for a cause not applause. Live life to express not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed just make your absence felt.”
Thank you so much Ashley for sharing your story. Be sure to check out Ashley’s awesome blog/soon to be online magazine at: lipstickandberries.com ♥