Plant-Based Living & Conscious Pregnancy with Tania Joy Gault
In this editorial we had the pleasure of chatting to health coach, photographer and content creator, Tania Joy all about how she navigates a plant-based sustainable lifestyle. Tania shares with us her journey to veganism, how she is finding pregnancy, her tips for conscious living and her favourite pieces from REV!
“Pregnancy has really taught me the art of slowing down, of listening to my body in ways I never had before.”
First of all, what has driven you to live a more sustainable life?
The realisation that our beautiful home, our planet earth is deeply hurting. It really all started with me changing my lifestyle around by going vegan over 3 years ago. At first it was because I wanted to improve my health and vitality, and very quickly became very much about taking a stand for the environment. I couldn’t unsee and unlearn all the information I had come across, and it was evident to me that I had to make some powerful changes. This began with my diet (which is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your impact on the planet!), and slowly phased into my every day actions, looking into zero waste options, composting, recycling, shopping consciously and/or second hand, using cleaner products, making my own, growing some of my food… It had the most beautiful ripple effect!
Where is home for you and can you tell us how you ended up there?
Home for now is in East London, I live here with my fiancé, our rescue dog Nemo (and a baby on the way!) but home is also the South of France. This is where I was born, and where I grew up. My parents still live down there in a little town in the middle of the French countryside. It’s always a joy to go back, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. As cliché as it sounds, home is where my little family is, London won’t be forever and I’m excited to see where life takes us next…!
How has being pregnant changed your daily routines?
Pregnancy has really taught me the art of slowing down, of listening to my body in ways I never had before. My daily routines haven’t changed much (especially now that I’m in the wonderful 2nd trimester… my 1st trimester was all over the place as I was feeling quite unwell), but I would say that I eat a lot more often! I also make sure to incorporate some movement every day whether it’s a long dog walk or a pilates/yoga session in my living room. I have also very much embraced the art of self care, taking long warm baths, looking after my skin, lathering myself in delicious oils. Watching this body of mine nurture and grow life is the most magical feeling in the world, and something I am grateful for every day.
How are you beginning the mornings to start the day off right at this time?
One of the key components of a good morning for me is to leave my phone on airplane mode until I’ve done my morning routine and I’m ready to sit down and work. On the days when I don’t, I can see such a change in my mood and how the day unfolds!
But these days I wake up when the sun is just rising, I like to meditate before I get out of bed (I love the Calm app, and have also been loving the Expectful app!) I then sit with my fiancé with a cup of tea and a nutritious breakfast, starting our day together talking about our plans for the day is my favourite! Then after I’ve eaten that’s when I try and move my body in some way, I love doing Melissa Wood’s prenatal classes, or going for a dog walk at the park. Then I shower, do my skincare, and get ready for the day with another hot drink, of course..!
What would you tell someone who thinks “they could never go vegan?”
I would say, “I said the exact same thing 3 years ago, I understand!” I never thought I could, I mean I’m half French! I grew up on cheese! But here I am, 3 years in and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. It took me years to get to the point where I felt I was ready to make a change and it all ‘clicked’. I first went vegetarian for almost 2 years while I continued to read, learn more about nutrition, watch documentaries that made me question a lot of my beliefs. I took the time to educate myself on our food system, on the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, on our health and on the life of billions of animals.
You have to find your WHY…it all starts somewhere, and everyone has different reasons. Find yours. Educate yourself. When you feel ready, make small changes. Trying to change everything all at once is not setting yourself up for success. Start slow, for example find your favourite plant milk to swap out your regular cow’s milk with, go meatless one meal a week, then one day a week, find vegan recipes of your favourite dishes and add them to your rota… I have a free guide on my website with lots more advice about transitioning to a plant-based diet with ease, if you’d like to check it out!
How do you incorporate sustainability into your cooking?
Cooking with plants only is my biggest stance to living in a sustainable way. Growing a few veggies in the summer on my London terrace. Shopping from my local farmer’s market or CSA farm. Cooking with whole foods, and limiting processed packaged foods. Composting! These are a few of the ways I incorporate sustainability in my cooking.
“I believe that being a conscious consumer goes beyond what you shop, it’s a mindset and lifestyle changes that create lifelong habits which have real tangible impact.”
Do you have any personal life hacks for getting through the day in the most conscious way possible?
I don’t know if they are life hacks, but as I mentioned above, just consuming wisely and consciously. This goes from what you eat, what you wear, what you put on your body, what you read and watch. I believe that being a conscious consumer goes beyond what you shop, it’s a mindset and lifestyle changes that create lifelong habits which have real tangible impact.
What are life’s small pleasures for you right now that are helping to keep you inspired and optimistic?
Oh so many! I love this time of the year. Crisp morning walk in the golden leaves. Making hot chocolate at any moment of the day. Curling up on the sofa with a cosy blanket and said hot chocolate. Lighting a candle. Reading an uplifting book. Listening to music. Baths, they make everything better. Inspiring podcasts. Movie night. I could probably keep going for hours, I seek beauty and joy in the littlest moments in our every day. It’s what keeps me grounded and present, which I believe we all need more of in these strange times.
How are you winding down at the end of the day?
My no phone rule, also applies in the evening, after 9pm all screens are tucked away. I like to keep all the lights in the house low and warm (no overhead lights!) light a candle or 3, I’m a keen salt lamp user..! This helps my brain to slow down and get ready for bed. I wind down looking after my skin and getting ready for bed. I like to make myself a cup of herbal tea, take my magnesium supplement and get tucked into my cloud-like bed. I love to read for a good half an hour before dozing off to sleep.
What is your go-to to dinner recipe for eating well, with the environment in mind?
One of my go-to is my vegan lasagna with a big green salad. It’s always a hit with everyone, vegans or not! A good glass of red wine to accompany it is always a good idea (when not pregnant!), and then ending with either my 5 ingredients chocolate tart, or a fruity seasonal crumble with a vegan custard. Delicious soul food, all made with plants for a lighter footprint. (recipes are on my blog if you’d like to check them out!)
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me means being a conscious consumer in every area of my life, as much as possible. Being aware of my personal impact on this beautiful planet. Making small changes in my every day life that align with my beliefs, of protecting mother earth. It all goes back to simplifying, going back to basics, slowing down. It doesn’t have to be complicated!
We’d love to know your three favourite pieces from REV!
3!! That’s very difficult to narrow down, I love pretty much every single piece on Reve en Vert! But if I must chose I’d go for the General Sleep wrap pyjama set in gingham, shorter days means more time in our pyjamas and this one is a thing of beauty!
Then the beautiful Arkitaip linen jumpsuit, because with this pregnancy jumpsuits seem to be the most comfortable put together outfit I can find, and the wonders of linen never cease to amaze me.
Lastly I have to say this adorable Co Label baby suit Eddie in forest green, because I’ve only just started browsing baby clothes, and oh my I am in so much trouble! I want it all!
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