Tell us about yourself.
I am Ivy and I am the owner and recipe developer of the vegan recipe blog GoGuacYourself.com.
I’ve always loved cooking and baking ever since I was allowed in the kitchen. My mother was my teacher and inspiration. She not only trained me on the core skills, but also taught me what food creation is really all about: It’s about generosity, sharing, and making people happy (and full, of course!).
Even though I have always spent a lot of time in the kitchen, becoming a professional chef was never my intention–it was just something I loved to do as a hobby. Another passion of mine is art, digital and analogue. I graduated from College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Design. Upon graduation, I worked for various high-profile advertising agencies as an art director where I helped lead large-scale campaigns for various international brands. Although I enjoyed my time in the industry, there came a point where I simply just got tired of sitting in front of my computer all day. Whenever I got the chance, I’d flee from the digital world and spend every available minute in the kitchen.
For how long are you a vegan and why did you become one?
Before I became a vegan, I was a vegetarian for a year. My journey to a greener lifestyle began in 2014, when I became friends with a co-worker, who was a vegetarian. She took the time to educate me about the cruel business of the dairy lobby and the horror that hides behind my dinner–Schnitzel.
I couldn’t fight the overwhelming arguments she had for veganism and so I challenged myself to not eat meat for a week. A week turned into 2 weeks, 2 weeks turned into a month and so on. I was surprised by how easy it was to just NOT eat meat and I stuck to it. In the meantime, I went deeper into the topic and educated myself on factory farming, the effects it has on the planet and our bodies. I couldn’t deny anymore that there is only one way to not be part of the problem, but to become part of the solution: going vegan! I’m vegan for the animals that don’t have a voice. I’m vegan for this beautiful planet that gave me life. I’m vegan because veganism is the future.
When did you start to make vegan dishes and how has the journey been so far?
I started posting my vegan dishes in 2019. My foot was broken and I really couldn’t do much. I always loved cooking, so I just placed a chair in front of the oven and cooked. Since I had more time than usual, I made my plates look extra pretty and started to post the photos of my meals on my personal IG handle. I got a lot of positive feedback for my dishes so I decided to create a professional account, which to this day is @GoGuacYourself.
I like to share what I create. I met some amazing people through sharing my meals. I truly believe that happiness comes from giving and sharing, not buying and having. Whatever it is you have, it’s more fun when you enjoy it with others. In this case, it’s my recipes.
Till now how many vegan dishes have you made and can you name your personal favourites?
I exclusively eat vegan and so does half of my family, which means I’ve made countless delicious vegan dishes: from rich soul food to vegan meat substitutes, sugary goods of all kinds to healthy meals. There are no limits for me when it comes to cooking. I love to make meals that leave people in disbelief when I tell them it’s 100% vegan.
My top 3 favourite Recipes are:
- My Vegan Spicy Ramen (I’m a sucker for Asian cuisine)
- My Vegan Skewers
- My Marvelous Vegan Breakfast
Any struggles you had after becoming a vegan and how did you overcome/Any benefits you got after becoming a vegan?
I am very disciplined and I know that change and success comes from a set mind. I know why I am vegan; I know how my choice to live helps the earth to be a better place. Knowing that is all the motivation I need to continue this wonderful path. It was never challenging to me, I love being vegan and I highly recommend to try it, if you haven’t yet.
My soul feels lighter, my body healthier and my mind clearer, because since I’ve started reading labels and developing an urge to know what my food is and where it comes from, I feel way better about spending money, because I know I am giving it to companies and people that don’t use it to hurt other beings.
How important you think it is for all of us to go vegan?
Like I have stated before I know that veganism will and MUST be the future, if we want to save this planet and make it a better place. We can’t expect the planet to heal itself while we pollute the environment and create islands of plastic in the oceans. We can’t say we want peace and love while killing more than 200 million animals for food each and every day. We must change in order to literally save the planet. If you are interested in this topic I can highly recommend watching “Cowspiracy”, “Seaspiracy” and “Game Changers”. Great educational documentaries that will give you more insight.
Lastly any message to our readers who are both vegans and non-vegans?
For all of you who are already vegan, I want to say, Thank You. Every single one of you is a real hero in my eyes. Every single one of you has a huge impact on this world. Keep being amazing!
For all of you who aren’t vegan (yet):
1. DON’T Be Scared
Don’t get overwhelmed by all the new ingredients/foods you see in the store, that you have never paid attention to before. Instead of being afraid of something new, embrace it! Enjoy all the new possibilities and the experimenting!
- DON’T Be Prejudiced
Get rid of the old and welcome the new. Yes, vegan milk doesn’t taste exactly like cow’s milk. But why should it? It only is the standard because you didn’t grow up with rice milk.
We humans are habitual beings and it takes persistence and mindset to leave a learned routine and create a new one. You need to leave your comfort zone, only that helps you to be open-minded and embrace all the new tastes and flavours – which you might like even better after all.
- DO Take The Time To Think About Your Eating Habits
We are so consumed by what to wear and how to wear makeup and style our hair but when it comes to the decision on what we put IN our bodies, most people stop caring. Food is the gas to our engine, literally. It demands how good we feel (physically and mentally). It can be the cause for disease and the medicine to heal–develop interest: The more we know, the smarter are the decisions we make.