Today, we meet Christy Morgan from The Blissful Chef! I’ve been following her for a very long time and I absolutely love her website! She’s not the regular vegan blogger with a food blog. I love that she encourages people to be active and work out too! On her website you’ll find lots of useful resources, from delicious vegan recipes and health tips, to fitness coaching services and online cleanse courses.
Also, besides being delicious, healthy and vegan, many of her recipes are also macrobiotic! If you want to know more about the macroiotic diet, you can check out my Macrobiotic Diet 101 | Everything you need to know about macrobiotics! article.
She’s such an inspiring person and I believe we all have so much to learn from her! Here’s her story 🙂
What inspired you to start a food blog?
I was working as a chef in Los Angeles after culinary school and then started teaching cooking classes. I knew a cookbook would be the next step in my career so I started a blog to share my recipes and create my fan base.
Back then food blogs were just becoming a thing and I really had no idea what I was doing. There’s so much excitement when you get that very first comment on your blog. You know how it is. After starting the blog I discovered how important it was to create a whole social media presence and hired Vegan Mainstream to teach me the ins and outs of it all. With Stephanie’s help I learned all about Twitter and Facebook and started growing my community. And it continues to grow everyday. I love my online community!! My blog has ebbed and flowed over the years.
My focus now is more fitness based and fueling the vegan athlete, but I still share recipes and cooking videos.
How did you discover your passion for cooking?
I never grew up cooking next to my parents or grandparents. I see cooking as a lost art on my generation and the ones after me. That’s one reason why I began teaching and spreading the message that cooking is fun and attainable for everyone.
Going vegan is what initially got me enthusiastic about cooking. My cooking repertoire included spaghetti and turkey breast sandwiches so I had to teach myself how to cook to survive. In 2002, there was not the amazing array of vegan restaurants we have today. So I printed out recipes from the internet and got my butt in the kitchen. I was pretty hopeless but I loved feeding others. So I switched paths and decided to go to culinary school.
How did your vegan journey begin, and also what inspired you to follow macrobiotic diet & lifestyle principles?
A friend showed me the Meet Your Meat video on PETA’s website and that was all I needed to go vegan overnight. I had no idea what was happening to animals for our food. As I said above I started teaching myself how to cook and wanted to learn more about it.
I had no idea what macrobiotic meant at the time but there was a natural food culinary school back in Austin where I went to undergrad that was affordable (it has since been changed into a different school) and it happened to be macrobiotic.
In your opinion, what do you think is the most important macrobiotic diet principle everybody should follow?
I really love a lot of macrobiotic principles. Many of them are practical and relevant for today; mainly the emphasis on eating local, organic, seasonal foods. Even though my diet is more wide and varied than a typical macro diet those principles have stuck with me and that is what I’ve always taught in my classes/programs.
The grocery stores of today are seasonless, making foods flown thousands of miles easily accessible. We really have to think about the resources it took to get that food to our plates. If we all tried to eat more local, seasonal foods we will do the planet a great service!
What were the most important changes you experienced after becoming vegan?
I was young at the time, only 23 years old, so I didn’t experience the many amazing health benefits until many years later. Honestly, the only thing I experienced at first was a deep spiritual connection to everything. It probably sounds completely cheesy but I felt at peace knowing I wasn’t contributing to the death and violence of so many living creatures.
Every year gets better and better as far as my health is concerned. And now that I’m an athlete and bodybuilder I’m shocked at what I’m capable of physically. After being vegan for 12 years now I can say without a doubt that it was the best decision I ever made in my life.
How did your friends and family react when you changed your diet? Did you succeed in convincing them to eat healthier and maybe even go vegan?
Family gatherings were hard the first few years as a vegan. The first year I made all my own food and no one ate any. The second year my grandmother made a special stuffing for me and I brought a few simple things. The third year I brought leftover Thai food and then I stopped going to family functions that revolved around food all together. Their health continued to decline as their waistlines expanded and they wouldn’t listen to any of my advice. So it just wasn’t worth it anymore. Instead around the holidays I spend it with my vegan friends and eat a huge delicious feast.
A few years ago my dad had a cancer scare and did go vegan to get better and prevent it from getting worse. I cooked for him and he really enjoyed it. After a year I moved to Austin and he has since fallen of the vegan wagon. I couldn’t get him to stick with it on his own.
Many vegetarians struggle with the transition to a vegan diet. Do you have any tips on how they can make the transition smoother?
I encourage people to start adding in the good for your foods and then you crowd out the not so great for you foods. Make easy transitions at first (like replacing your dairy products with dairy substitutes), but really learn how to cook properly and forming a balanced meal on your plate is the most important thing for those transitioning.
Take some vegan cooking classes if you can or do my 28-day Wellness Reboot cleanse. It will teach you everything you need to know about making a successful transition to a vegan plant-based diet!
I love that besides eating healthy you also live a fit life. How would you encourage a lazy and busy person (like myself :)), to start working out?
There are so many great free workouts on YouTube that you can do in the comfort of your own home with little equipment. Some of my faves are Fitness Blender, Melissa Bender, and Zuzka. And then I wrote this blog for anyone starting their fitness journey.
The main thing I want to get across to women in particular is the need to lift weights. Not only does it help with bone health as we age the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest and the stronger you will be. It’s quite empowering!
What are your top 3 favorite recipes from your blog?
Spring Kale w/ Sweet Mustard Miso Dressing
Popeye Cakes with Curry Avocado Sauce
Lemon-kissed Brussels with Squash & Toasted Almonds