Next up in my 2011 Veggie Girl Power Interview Series is Anya, the talented woman behind the raw, vegan website G0lubka. Some of the most beautiful food photos and recipes I have ever seen are on Anya's site. Find out what inspires this creative blogger!..
Raw Vegan. I always like to include at least one raw vegan blogger in my series each year. In 2009 I interviewed Sarma of Pure Food and Wine fame. Then last year I had Gena from ChoosingRaw and Ani Phyo of cookbook fame. Actually, I have to thank Sarma since she is the one who introduced me to G0lubka's fabulous website via twitter.
Light, Love, Beauty. I'm talking food people. Anya's food radiates all those things and more. Such gorgeous photos can only be accomplished with food that is pure, inspiring, living. Anya's raw vegan blog is filled with recipes that even if you don't end up making - are still incredibly inspiring. Check out the photos from Anya's latest blog post. She never misses - every post is amazing!..
Photos from Anya's latest post Caramelized Onion Bread with Green Olive Tapenade..
What's behind the name G0lubka? Anya says this, "Golubka means "dove" in Russian, my native language. I have had lots of links with golubkas and doves throughout my life. My maiden name is Golub. Back when paper letters were the primary means of communication, my mother used to sign each one with a custom-made dove stamp instead of a written signature. You could say it's our family amulet! My younger daughter's name is Paloma, Spanish for "dove," we couldn't resist that one. And I very much like the bird itself, as a symbol of peace or just a free creature in the sky."
Green Kid Inspired. Anya and her friends recently did a video about their kids drinking green smoothies: Green Kids. Super cute video, play below..
Why the video? Anya says "We're passionate about feeding our kids nourishing food and very concerned about the state of school lunches in our country. Since then, we've decided to start hosting interactive gatherings called 3D Dinner, Decor, Delight, where our guests do both the cooking and the eating, all the while learning about healthy ingredients. The profit from these events will be sent to Jamie Oliver's Foundation, which works a lot on improving school lunches." More info about 3D.
Onto the VGP interview!..
2011 Veggie Girl Power Series Interview: Anya, of G0lubka.com
Q1: Sunrise, what is the first food and/or drink you reach for to start your "Veggie Girl Power" day?
Anya: A glass of purified water, followed by a green smoothie or green juice.
Q2: As a Veggie Girl Power trailblazer you inspire many girls, who or what has inspired you?
Anya: I'm endlessly inspired by amazing food bloggers like David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories and Coco from Roost. Sarma Melngailis influenced me the most in linking creativity with food and lifestyle. When I first read her cookbooks and learned about her restaurants, I felt like I discovered a whole new world of possibilities. My older daughter, who is the creative editor of Golubka, has always inspired me with her wisdom, high ethics, and talents.
Q3: When you first went vegan, what was the most challenging aspect of your new lifestyle? How did you overcome those obstacles?
Anya: If following the principles of a vegan lifestyle precisely, going out with friends can be a bit of a disappointing experience, at least in the Tampa Bay area. Even a good vegetarian dish is not always available in common restaurants here. When it comes to particular items, giving up cheese is the most difficult for me.
I constantly experiment with new flavours and like to learn about new foods, which help to keep my meals exciting and make overcoming cravings easier.
Q4: When people ask you why you 'went vegan' what is your usual response?
Anya: I like the idea and challenge of a vegan diet. Our blog is devoted to vegan food almost exclusively, but we don't like to label our food as vegan, raw, or anything else, but would rather focus on it being tasty, vibrant, seasonal, and fresh.
Of course, I find myself in situations when people assume that I eat nothing but vegetables and ask the famous protein question. I've yet to find the simplest answer to it, so I often refer to books like Eating Animals or Crazy Sexy Diet, and movies like Food Inc. I try to avoid arguments and focus on the pleasure of good food and a nice time at the table. I find that the laid back approach attracts people's attention in a much more effective way.
Q5: What is the one message that you always try to project to your fans/followers?
Anya: Healthy food can and should be delicious and visually pleasing, and therefore appealing to everyone.
Q6: Vegans love to share their knowledge about food and nutrition, what is an interesting food fact you love to share with people?
Anya: Most of the time, I leave the nutrition facts to specialists. But because I love green leafy veggies so much, here is one - they have the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food.
Q7: Vegans don't live on carrot sticks and hummus alone, give us your most creative/delicious vegan snack idea!
Anya: I love my homemade sprouted pecan butter on fruit, crackers, or raw bread. Also, thinly julienned zucchini with a drizzle of macadamia oil, or any fruit in season sprinkled with buckwheat crunchies. Nothing beats chia pudding or anything with cocoa. Oh, I am a Libra and can never pick one!
Q8: Words to live by: what is a favorite life tip or quote of wisdom?
Anya: From Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals - "If nothing matters, there is nothing to save."
Q9: How do you respond to negative comments from those critical of a vegan lifestyle - both online and in the real world?
Anya: I find that it's best to avoid telling people what they should or should not eat, that also helps keep negative comments to a minimum. What is right for one person is not necessarily perfect for another.
At Golubka, we often like to mention that first of all, we love how our food tastes and looks, and the fact that it makes us feel healthy and is better for our planet is a wonderful bonus.
Q10: What vegan ingredients and/or vegan products have you discovered that you simply couldn't live without?
Anya: It has to be Irish moss. That doesn't mean that I like to chew on it, of course, but this seaweed's ability to improve the texture of many dishes is amazing. The culinary possibilities it provides, from raw preserves to breads, are truly endless, and the health benefits are great.
Connect with Anya and G0lubka:
Facebook - G0lubka
Website - http://g0lubka.blogspot.com/
Check out all the interviews in this year's VGP series! more ladies to come.
(Linked ladies have posted already)
Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart
Portia de Rossi