It's National Eat Better- Eat Together Month and we’re stepping up this year to celebrate and encourage others to participate! All month we are going around Orlando and interviewing people who we see inspiring and challenging one another to be the best versions of themselves in our Community. So without further ado, we introduce to you our friend Princess-Rose!
Q: Hi Princess Rose, Tell us a little bit about you!
P: Hey name is Princess-Rose Gary! I am 24yrs old and I’m originally from Lansing, Michigan! I moved to Orlando about 6 years ago and it has been one of the best decision of my life! I am the youngest of four, I have two brothers and one sister! I am a full-time student at Full Sail University studying Internet Marketing and I work part time at FYND Fashion, it’s a lovely boutique in SoDo District! I love ALL things orange and audio! So, when I’m not working or studying you can find me researching new podcasts to listen to, catching up on the latest albums released, practicing yoga, creating new content for my site or diving into a new book!
Q: Growing up, what were meals like for you at home?
P: Well growing up for the most part, my mom would try her best to make a home cooked meal and whenever she did it was amazing! But since both of my parents worked a lot sometimes it was a little more difficult to make a meal every night, especially with a home full of picky eaters. At times, we would resort to family sized boxed dinners. One thing I will say is that my brother taught me how to make the BEST spaghetti!
Q: What do meals look like for you now?
P: Now I live with extended family and we have a fairly large household yet we still have a delicious home cooked meal at least 4-5 times a week! Prior to living with them aside from spaghetti anything microwaveable was my go to meal. So, it’s been really cool learning how to cook healthy hardy meals for myself and others!
Q: What do you think “Eating Better, Eating Together” means?
P: The first thing that comes to mind when I hear “Eating Better, Eating Together” is support! For me a good support system is key to achieving any goals in life especially when it comes to healthy eating/living. When you have people around you to keep you accountable and cheer you on it makes things easier. And we all know that changing our eating habits can be difficult at times so having a good support system is definitely beneficial!
Q: Would you say “Eating Better, Eating Together” ties into Eating Healthier?
P: Definitely! Eating Better = Eating Healthier! Some people think that eating healthy means they miss out on all the “good food!” I think eating healthy means moderation! I mean I like donuts just as much as (maybe more than) the average person BUT a donut a day does NOT keep the doctor away! So even though I occasionally indulge in the cupcakes and donuts of life I do so in moderation!
Q: Do you feel inspired to Eat Better? If so, who or what inspires you?
P: My brother is one of my biggest inspirations! He is an ACE certified personal trainer and power lifting record holder! So, he is always trying to coach me in the ways of healthy living! He always tells me that what you eat is just as important if not more important than the number of reps you do at the gym. He really focuses on meal planning with his clients because his goal is for a lifestyle change not just a change in physical appearance.
Q: Lastly, why do you want to Eat Better?
P: I want to eat better because it has been proven time and time again that changing the way you eat can give you a better quality of life in the long run! In the meantime, if that means I’ve got to rise to the occasion by breaking my “eating comfort zones” and opting into some healthier habits I am more than willing to do that!
It's National Eat Better- Eat Together Month and we’re stepping up this year to celebrate and encourage others to participate! All month we are going around Orlando and interviewing people who we see inspiring and challenging one another to be the best versions of themselves in our Community. And who better to start this series with than Local Orlando Blogger, Amanda Smith! If you guys aren't already checking out her website www.astoldbyamanda.com on a daily basis or keeping up with her on Instagram @amandasmitthh, we recommend you do! She has an incredible outlook on life and never fails at portraying who she is and what she believes in. But enough about our obsession, let's get to know Amanda and how she Eats Better together!
Q: Hi Amanda, let's start things out simple! Tell us a little bit about yourself...
A: Hey guys, my name is Amanda Smith and I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. I currently have two jobs. I work full time for Brandstar Entertainment as a Social Media Monitor, and part time at Kids Nite Out as a babysitter. I love all things creative. Whenever I have any free time I am usually creating content for my blog, working out, visiting a local coffee shop, or hanging with friends. I love dancing, acting, writing, video making, and working out.
Q: That's awesome, we love our Orlando Bloggers! Now growing up, tell us a little bit about what meals were like for you at home!
A: So my mother was a single mom who worked multiple jobs at a time so it was difficult to get a home cooked meal every night. My mother was also not the greatest chef, so most nights it was pasta, a sandwich or some kind of tv dinner. Not usually the healthiest meals, but as I got older my mom got better and we started to cook meals that were both healthy and yummy.
Q: I think we can all agree cooking gets easier and better with age! So what do meals look like for you now?
A: Normally I try to prep food on the weekend for my week ahead. I like to prep brown rice, sweet potato, and precook any veggies. I usually have those three things in every meal or at least once a day. I work from home most week days so it could be anything from avocado toast to chicken, rice and veggies. I love making smoothies too, and I won’t lie and say I don’t occasionally have a bowl of cereal for dinner.
Q: That is great! We know Meal Prepping every week can be difficult so that's awesome you're able to keep it up! As you know, it's National Eat Better-Eat Together Month. What do you think “Eating Better, Eating Together” means?
A: It means that you are eating healthier meals and with people you love. Unfortunately, your average family doesn’t sit down often for meals, and that was something I rarely got as a child so I know whenever I can sit at a dinner table with people and share a meal I am my happiest.
Q: Would you say, “Eating Better, Eating Together” ties into Eating Healthier?
A: Yes, Eating Better to me means that you are looking at the food you put into your body and aim to have the healthiest meals out of them. You are looking at your portion sizes. You are checking to see you have both protein, veggies, and all the essentials food groups in every meal. I also feel that health goes beyond the food on your plate that it stems from your mental and emotional state as well. Like I said before, sharing a meal with people you love gives you a chance to talk about your day, catch up on life, and get other people’s opinions and perspectives. I know that makes me happy and I believe that’s a string part of my overall health.
Q: Do you feel inspired to Eat Better? If so who or what inspires you?
A: I do feel inspired to eat better. I recently tried being vegan for two months and was surprised I could stick to it. I right now am no longer vegan, but it did bring my attention to everything I put in my body. I now read all labels before I purchase anything, and I make sure that everything I do eat is organic and have not been touched with any hormones or chemicals. I feel inspired to change my eating habits after watching a few documentaries on Netflix and seeing how sluggish I was at work. I now pull my motivation to stay healthy through Pinterest meals, Instagram accounts, and people around me who are also trying to eat better.
Q: 2 months is a good amount of time to be a Vegan! I've tried myself and only lasted a few weeks. Well, thank you for doing this interview with us! We'd like to wrap things with one final question if that's alright. Why do you want to eat better?
A: Growing up I was super active. Not necessarily in sports but in my schools Theatre or dance which I did both for 14 years. So once I got into college and didn’t have much to stay active I noticed my body slowing down. This got super normal to me until the last year when my skin was always breaking out, I had headaches unless I had coffee, and it seemed like my body would fall apart without these horrible things I was putting into it. I hated that my body relied on these things, so I wanted to make a change. I right now, feel so much more energetic and rested to take on every day. I have the strength to work out each week and I can see the results even physically. Overall, I want to be a happy and healthy person. I want to go on hikes, and crazy adventures and I don’t want my body holding me back. Long term I am also doing this to be healthy for a future family and a long life.
Did you know it’s National Eat Better, Eat Together Month?
Everyday, hundreds of thousands of people all around the world are making the decision to change their ways and live a healthier lifestyle. Which is great! But what they don’t always realize is how difficult the adjustment can actually be. So many people give up after a few months, sometimes even after just a few days and we believe it has a lot to do with the lack of support and motivation they’re getting. Changing your lifestyle is not easy! It can be both physically and emotionally draining. Think about it. We could probably all agree that it’s hard to eat a salad when the person next to you is eating a double cheeseburger. Right? And that going to the gym alone doesn’t always sound fun when everyone else you know is sleeping in. It’s tough.
Which is why we’re stepping up this year to celebrate and encourage others to take part in National Eat Better, Eat Together Month! And what better way to do so than with the people of Orlando who are inspiring and challenging one another to be the best versions of themselves by eating better- together!
Tune into our Blog Series all Month Long and Contact Us if You Would Like To Share Your Story!
Photo: Princess Rose, Blogger of Princess Rose 2 The Occasion
By: Nikki Namdar | Creator of the Blog Orlando Vegans
After becoming vegan in the summer of 2011, I became obsessed with food. Obsessed is an understatement. I always had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was overweight, under-ate, and over-exercised. As someone with Hashimoto’s hypothyroid disease, that’s a no-no. But for the first time in my life, I actually started to enjoy food—its decadence and deliciousness. The savory taste of veggie burgers on my tongue, along with the sugary sweetness of pastries. I ate more, I ate often, I felt better. I was actually healthier. Yes, veganism comes with its ethical standpoints, but the healthful benefits are an added perk.
I began the Orlando Vegans blog in 2013 as a WordPress account. After nine posts, I was basically done. It wasn’t until a year later when I took a writing class at UCF that I relaunched it. We had to market our writing, something we are passionate about and use a digital platform to deliver it. I mostly did it to earn my A, honestly, but the Instagram followers started to mount up. So I felt that because I wanted to help people, I kept it going. Then I decided it was time to meet my fellow Orlando vegans. So I rounded up about eight of us at a local restaurant known for its organic foods and tasty teas, Dandelion Communitea Café. It was such a success, I wanted more. I wanted to meet every vegan in town. Fast forward to 2017, I’ve met so many and it hasn’t stopped. There are so many! Every day more and more people are turning to plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles. Recently a documentary What the Health revealed the shocking truths about the meat and dairy industry and how they are developing declines in our health. Prior to this film, documentaries about animal cruelty weren’t a big enough push for meat-eaters—it was the HEALTH risk that gave them a nudge!Thankfully at this time, there are a ton of plant-based options that can replace virtually any food or drink that people will miss. With companies like ToYou Snacks, a healthy, cruelty-free life is even easier. With no preservatives or gluten and diverse flavors from piña colada to goji cranberry, you can eat them as an on-the-go or pre-workout snack. Goji berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s truly an underused fruit, and ToYou utilizes it deliciously. After getting my first vegan variety pack, I was hooked (especially to the piña colada, ermagerd) and I knew I had to share. On my Orlando Vegans Instagram account, I will be launching a contest where one lucky winner will win a whole bundle of the bad boys! The giveaway will begin Friday, Sept. 22. Follow Orlando Vegans on Instagram, “like” on Facebook, subscribe to the YouTube Channel, and sign up for the emails. If you’re already a veghead or interested in becoming one, be sure to join us for the biggest vegan festival in Central Florida, Veg Fest, on Oct. 28! Mark your calendars and spend a day eating from our 20+ food vendors. For more details about the group and event, visit www.orlandovegans.net.