Welcome everyone to my new blog series The Mother Hen meets…
A corner of my blog where I will be featuring some of my favourite bloggers, Instagram and YouTube accounts. Hope you enjoy!
First up is the wonderful Jemma from Feeding My Mini Girl Gang. Jemma is Mummy to two beautiful girls Aria and Lia. I came across Jemma’s Instagram and blog when I started out on my vegan journey and I have been a loyal follower ever since. Jemma is a genius in the kitchen and even though she is extremely sleep deprived with two little ones, she still manages to create and cook delicious family recipes. Here Jemma tells us more about her vegan family lifestyle.
Hi Jemma, welcome to The Mother Hen so tell me.. what made you follow a vegan lifestyle?
I come from a meat loving family and until last year never considered being vegetarian, let alone vegan. I have struggled with IBS since I was a teen and it was a daily battle. Last summer on my birthday we had ordered a Chinese, afterwards I felt so bloated and sick which was a daily occurrence. I had tried different medications but nothing had worked and I was really struggling with it. I had heard about a documentary called What The Health that looked at the links between the food we eat and our health. After it finished I decided I could do longer eat meat. I used to be the girl who would dip her chips in the juice from a steak so it was a big shift. We were already dairy free as both of my girls have CMPA so after that it was a gradual process to give up eggs and fish. We have been Vegan since the beginning of this year and are absolutely loving it!
Are there any misconceptions about raising a vegan family that you would like to dispel?
There was a lot of judgement from family and friends when we told them we had decided to go Vegan, especially as we are bringing the girls up Vegan. I find a lot of people think you are in some sort of weird cult. Growing up we have been fed this idea that we need meat and dairy to be healthy so I can completely understand why people have concerns. A huge common misconception seems to be that you can’t get enough protein or calcium eating a vegan diet. There are so many fantastic vegan sources of everything our bodies need and I find it so exciting learning about new foods and ways they can support our health.
How do you make sure you and your family are getting a balanced diet?
This is something I was very concerned about before going Vegan but surprisingly it has been really easy. I make sure the girls are having fortified cereal and plant milk a couple of times a week. I also put nutritional yeast on EVERYTHING. It has a lovely nutty, cheesy taste so works really well in pastas and risotto.
What has been your most surprising discovery since becoming vegan?
So many things are accidentally Vegan. To name a few of our favourites, Oreos, Co-Op jam donuts and Sainsburys value Jaffa cakes (can you tell I have a sweet tooth!) Also I was very surprised at just how much you can eat. I think a lot of people assume that all you eat is salad when in reality pretty much any ‘normal’ family meal can be made vegan. I’ve absolutely loved discovering vegetables in a whole new way. I used to view them as just a bit on the side when really they can be the star of the show!
What is your favourite veggie family meal?
Our favourite family meal as got to be fajitas. It was a favourite before we went vegan and it’s a firm favourite now! I love a good get stuck in meal and this is perfect. We use roasted veg as our main bit then usually serve with crispy iceberg lettuce, refried beans, spicy salsa and creamy sweet potato. The girls love this meal, especially our fussy 2 year old, Aria. I find she eats more when she gets to help herself so this is ideal!