Terri and her husband, Doug, live in New Sharon, Maine with their two dogs, Cooper and Bentley. They have four grown children and eight grandchildren all living here in Maine. Terri works for Eagle Elevator as a Branch Manager covering Maine and New Hampshire. When not working, Terri is actively involved with the Farmington Rotary Club and is a Board Member for the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area. Terri also loves gardening, hiking, running and spending as much time as possible with her family.
1. How long have you been vegan? Almost 2 years.
2. What made you decide to go vegan? I was a vegetarian until having kids. Eating vegetarian 25-30 years ago was pretty challenging! The pressure that you were not giving your kids enough protein was pretty heavy. Once the kids were gone I went back to a mostly vegetarian diet because I felt much better eating that way. I started having health issues and the doctors immediately put me on various medications, which I was trying to avoid. I’ve always felt there is a strong relationship between our health and our diet, so took a close look at what I was eating and what might be causing my symptoms. I eliminated all possible inflammatory foods from my diet for several months until all of my symptoms went away. I then slowly reintroduced the foods and found that dairy and gluten were my issues. I am now completely symptom free and know immediately if I accidentally eat either dairy or gluten!
3. What are the benefits eating vegan have done for you? I have a lot more energy, and stamina. I also feel a lot better about what I eat. I have real concerns about what we eat and the impact that is having on our planet.
4. What did you find to be the biggest challenge of eating vegan? The fact that I also can’t eat gluten makes eating out very difficult. We almost never go out.
5. What are your go to foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Breakfast: My go to breakfast is oatmeal with fruit (apples, banana, dates, blueberries or raisins), nuts (walnuts are my favorite) a little cinnamon and maple syrup. I travel a lot for work, so if I have to hit the road early, I put together a protein drink (Arbonne is fantastic! Gluten free, vegan and no funny stuff) with fruit.
Lunch: I’m usually on the road so pack my lunch. A wrap or thermos of soup (I make and freeze my own) along with fruit or carrot sticks is my favorite. I love the No Tuna Salad Sandwich mix featured on Forks Over Knives https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-no-tuna-salad-sandwich/#gs.fjtko2. I will often make a batch and eat it throughout the week in wraps or on a toasted GF bagel. (I really like the bagels at Trader Joe’s.) I usually pack a protein bar (again, Arbonne’s are gluten free and vegan) or almonds for a snack.
Dinner: I will put together a curry or stir fry. I keep red and yellow curry paste on hand and always have coconut milk in my pantry. I will just cook or roast whatever vegetables I have, make a curry and put it over rice. Quick and easy! One of our other favorite quick meals is a risotto. We will sauté up whatever veggies we have in the fridge, add Arborio rice and slowly add veggie stock until it is cooked. It takes about 20 minutes to cook, but is nice and creamy. Authentic risotto calls for lots of parmesan cheese, but I’ve never missed it!
6. Do you have a favorite cookbook, tip or recipe to share? I have a couple of tips that have really helped me. 1) Keep a well stocked pantry. I’ve always done this, but having things like tahini, nuts, beans, stock, etc. on hand at all times, makes life a lot easier. Everyone’s pantry is different, but figure yours out, keep a list and make sure you keep it stocked. 2) Make a menu each week and shop for the items you’ll need ahead of time. Knowing what you’re having for dinner and having everything on hand makes dinner time much less stressful and ensures you will eat a healthy, well balanced dinner and not just grab whatever you can out of the cabinet. I have a ton of favorite recipes! One thing about eating vegan is that it has really encouraged me to be more creative in my cooking. My husband is a chef and works long hours. On his days off he usually does the cooking, but I cook throughout the week. He loves coming home to see what I’ve prepared and is never disappointed! He eats mostly vegan at home and almost no meat at work.
7. Do you have a website you would like or would like to promote? I love the Minimalist Baker https://minimalistbaker.com. This is my go-to website for recipes! Her recipes are bold, creative, multi-cultural, and usually, quick and easy to prepare. Not all of her recipes are vegan, but she gives vegan options when meat is included. I’m never disappointed in her recipes!