Interview with Rising Vegan Star, Jane Olivia

Jane Olivia

Jane Olivia is an 18 year old high school senior getting ready to start her own vegan business as a Health Coach. In May, she will officially have her health coaching certification from Institute of Integrative Nutrition. As a young adult, she feels she has a lot to offer in terms of inspiring other young people who want to get into the health and wellness industry and/or become vegan. She has encouraged and supported a lot of people to become vegan, as that is the main focus of her career.  She shares many topics on her blog, http://www.janeolivia.com/, such as plant-based recipes, vegan city guides, the importance of the zero waste movement, and how to convert to cruelty-free products. She also has a YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/JaneOlivia) where she shares ‘What I Eat In A Day’ videos, thrift shopping videos, recipes, and more. Jane has so much passion for what she does and wants to reach out to as many people as she can to inspire them to become the healthiest and happiest version of themselves.

How long have you been vegan and why did you go vegan?

I have been vegan for almost 3 years and have never felt better. I originally became interested in veganism and health when I was 15. My whole life I had LOVED animals, as most kids do. I had always wanted to be a veterinarian and help all animals as my career. I somehow ended up watching a PETA video about the cruelty of animals in slaughterhouses and labs. I was instantly moved and outraged. I went vegan on the spot. Cold turkey, no more meat, dairy, or eggs, ever. There was no way I could continue to let animals suffer and die for my plate. I watched a few more documentaries and was totally convinced and started to influence my friends and family by just talking about it. I had taught myself to bake before I went vegan and even started my own online bakery called Love Cafe. I had to completely start from scratch on my baking skills and transformed that business to be all vegan. I started baking for more and more people and then they realized how good vegan goodies can be. That lead to to me learning how to cook more and more and sharing those recipes. I started my blog Jane Olivia and gained a few more skills in photography. And that’s where my passion started. I started sharing more and more of what I believed in and helped inspire people to change the way they look at the food on their plate.

What results and benefits have you seen by going vegan?

I have noticed a total shift in my fitness and mental capabilities. I have never been as strong as I am now and I give my diet all the credit for that. I have never had a faster recovery time after workouts and have never had more endurance during my runs. I have been able to train and recover in record time and build muscle like never before. Another benefit I have noticed is my skin. My skin has cleared up almost completely aside from the occasional breakout every once and awhile. My skin is literally glowing. I have healed all gut issues I had previously and have perfect blood work. I have so much energy all day long and have the deepest sleep. Aside from all my physical benefits, I have changed my outlook on the world and have been able to become more zero waste in attempt to lower my carbon footprint even more.

Jane Olivia tacos

Are there any foods you miss?  If so, how do you deal with it?

People ask me that all the time and my answer is always: “I don’t miss any non vegan foods because I don’t wish to cause any being pain or suffering because of my mere craving. It’s not worth it.” So no, there really aren’t any foods I miss. There is nothing I crave that I can’t have vegan. Of course every once in a while I crave a sweet treat but I am able to satisfy that craving easily with a vegan version.

Do you have any favorite vegan food brands?

Yes! I am a big fan of the Siete brand. I regularly have their chips, tortillas, and cashew queso in my pantry. I love how simple and clean their ingredients are. I also love Jem Organics. They make hands down the best nut butters ever. Also made with amazing ingredients. I often shop at Trader Joe’s and love their unique vegan products as well.

Do you find any challenges being vegan?

I definitely faced some challenges earlier on in my vegan journey. When I first went vegan, my family was not super supportive. I had to start prepping and preparing all my meals, not to mention trying to convince my family that I wasn’t going to die from a protein deficiency. I also struggled in social situations when I would go out with my friends or family. I didn’t know what restaurants had vegan options which offered quite a challenge. But all those things never added up to all the benefits I have experienced since becoming vegan.

Jane Olivia breakfast

What is your typical breakfast?

My typical breakfast consists of either oat pancakes or a smoothie of sorts. When I eat my breakfast, I make sure I have no distractions. I don’t allow myself to watch anything or look at my phone while I eat. I feel that being distraction free while I eat enables me to fully enjoy my food and listen to my body for signals like satisfaction and hunger. I follow my recipes from theblog for most of the meals I eat just because they are so easy and simple. I have many breakfast recipes on there that I make on a weekly basis and share new ones all the time.

What are some favorite vegan “treats” you allow yourself?

I allow myself to eat pretty much whatever I am craving. I focus on following and promoting intuitive eating in order to allow food freedom and a healthy relationship with food. There are so many people out there today who have an unhealthy relationship with food which creates quite a stigma around it. One of my goals with my business is to help people overcome the stigma and learn to look at food in a healthier light. Food should be seen as nutrients and fuel for your body and not labeled as good and bad. All vegan food is good and you need to learn what food works best for your body.

What’s your favorite quick energy snack to tide you over if you’re hungry between meals?

I always go for raw nuts or dates with almond butter. I love pecans and cashews in trail mix and I am addicted to fresh dates!

Have you been inspired by any other vegans?  If so, who and why?

Yes! I have been influenced by people like Amelia Whelan and Caitlin Shoemaker. I also love Tess Begg and Ellen Fisher. They all are so unique in their own ways which makes veganism such an inspiring community. They all post and create amazing content that they truly believe in and love. They have each inspired me in completely different ways.

Jane Olivia lasagna

Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of going vegan?

I always tell people to think about all the benefits of veganism. Think about the health benefits you could experience, all the animals you could save, and how much you can impact the planet with your dietary choices. I have been able to stay vegan because of the environmental and animal issues that come from the standard, meat and dairy based diet. Knowing that I make a difference in the way animals are treated and the planet is treated have put my choices in perspective. You vote with your dollar and if a company or product does not go along with your morals or beliefs, you should not be paying and supporting it.

Do you have any favorite vegan fashion brands?

I love Matt and Nat. They are one of the leading vegan companies taking over the leather industry. They have made huge strides in the fashion community by designing and producing high end, well made vegan goods.

Do you have any favorite vegan cosmetics brands?

I love 100% Pure. They color all their vegan makeup products with natural pigments. I also love colourpop. They are so affordable to everyone and they create amazing products. I use Osea Malibu products every single day and give them credit in helping me clear my skin.

What are your plans for the future after high school?

I am not planning on attending college as most high school graduates do in this day in age. In May I will get my certification in Health Coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I am able to take on clients now since I am more than halfway finished with my schooling. I am working on building my business and finding clients right now through my multiple social media platforms. It is my passion to help people become the best version of themselves and reach their health goals. In my practice I want to encourage and help people transition to veganism, overcome all the challenges related to becoming vegan, help curb caffeine and sugar cravings, increase better sleep, and manage stress. I will have sessions over the phone and through facetime calls on the computer. I want to host workshops on how to transform your kitchen and home to be a healthier living environment for you and your family. This includes swapping to all cruelty-free and natural products, converting to compostable and reusable containers and bags, and learning how to shop vegan on your budget and what to cook with your ingredients. There is so much information for me to share with people who want to change their life and that is what I am setting out to do with my Health Coaching business, YouTube Channel, Blog and Instagram.

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