You all ask great questions! Here are the answers to your most frequently asked questions…
What does Live Simply Natural mean?
The name is far more than a blog, it’s a way of living. After I realized the dangers in a lot of the food and products being sold now, I became obsessed with all things natural. My goal was to get as close to nature as possible with everything still being simple and easy for everyday life. When I and my WHOLE family brainstormed blog names, the word Natural was a must. I also wanted something that was catchy and represented me best and since I am a simple person, contrary to what my husband may think, Simply just seemed to fit. The word Live came from the idea that went beyond a beating heart and the breaths I take, it is something we all must pursue so that when we look back on our lives, there won’t be anything more rewarding than to know that we truly LIVED! To this day, this name has so much meaning in my life and my hope is that you absorb it into your own life as well.
What is the Live Simply Natural lifestyle all about?
The #LSN lifestyle is more than just plant-based eating, it’s about wholistic living! From nourishing your body, to letting go of limiting beliefs, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, using natural products and practicing mindfulness in every moment. All the things that encourage you to be the best version of you! Learn more about The LSN Philosophy.
How do I start now?
It’s so simple and you don’t need to give up on anything cold turkey or overnight! Start by incorporating MORE fruits and veggies and you’ll naturally eat less of the not so good stuff. An easy way to start transitioning is to start your day with a LSN Green Smoothie Energy Blast– it’s loaded with fruits, veggies, greens, nuts and seeds! Remember that I love supporting others through there journey, so if you need a little guidance and meal planning help, please email me at Vanessa@LiveSimplyNatural.com.
What foods should I eliminate from my diet?
This quote says it all. “If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it’s made in a plant, don’t.” Foods that are high processed, genetically modified, or cause inflammation in the body should be eliminated. Foods that are “fat free”, “low fat”, “reduced sugar”, etc. These are all high processed foods. Most of these items are loaded with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and food dyes/colorings. Foods high in refine sugars like sodas, candy, prepackages baked goods, things in a box/wrapper/container.
Check out our recipe page for ideas and meal planning.
Where did you go to school?
Many people ask me if I’m a certified nutritionist. I am currently working on my certification as a nutritional therapist. I love learning about health, natural living, parenting, spirituality and personal development. Good food is my foundation for all of that. Primarily, I use books, the internet and the wealth of knowledge from others to expand my knowledge. I also have many personal mentors that I look up to and for them, I am forever grateful.
How long have you been vegan?
We are technically not vegan. Yes, that’s right. Even though we promote the lifestyle, we can’t officially say we are fully vegan. We do not go out of our way to exclude certain items from our lifestyle that were there prior to us becoming vegan. For example a gifted leather jacket, or leather seats on our car. If someone chooses to label us, we prefer “conscious eaters”. We try to stay as close to nature with foods that are organic, sustainably grown, harvested and produced. So we can say that we have been vegetarian for close to seven years now and almost vegan for four of those seven years.
Do your children have the same diet you have?
We each have a different diet. Our daughter eats more cooked foods and sometimes vegan treats like cookies and chips. We don’t stop her from eating them. We allow freedom of choice in our home. Our son eats more raw foods than cooked, mostly fruit and mono meals. My husband right now eats a variety of raw vegan and usually sticks to the raw till four philosophy. I eat a high raw, water-rich diet, mostly fruits during the week but on the weekend eat cooked meals with the occasional sweet treat. I always try to keep it clean, whole foods, plant-based. Want to know what we eat in a day?
Do you count calories, and if so how many do you eat?
Calorie counting has a time and place, when you’re starting to transition to a whole foods plant powered lifestyle, the goal is to focus on the nutrient density and quality of the food rather than all the numbers.
I personally do not count calories. What I eat varies based on the recipes I’m working on at the time. Sometimes I’m developing new and tasty desserts and these have higher sugar and carbohydrates content. Other times, I focus on juices and smoothies. You can get an idea of my typical meals by checking out my recipes page.
If you want to figure out how many calories some of my recipes have, simply use myfitnesspal.com to add a recipe to the database by entering in the recipe URL.
What do you eat in a day?
I’m not at all about pushing my beliefs on people. Straight up, I love food, more specific, I love plant food. I love the way it nourishes my body, the way it makes me feel, the energy I get so that I am able to show up as a wife, a mom, a mentor, community activist, an entrepreneur, and all around good person. I love how the food we eat connects us as a culture, socially and emotionally at times. On the technical side, I stay away from animal products, gluten, refine sugars and eat anything that’s grown from the ground, so vegetables, fruit, greens, nuts, legumes, seeds! I also love hot tea, chocolate and coconuts, I’m kind of cuckoo for coconuts.
Do you buy mostly organic food?
Yes, we do believe that organic food is an investment in our health and the environment and we try to buy organic whenever our budget allows. I also focus on getting local homegrown produce, which is far better than organic. I also rely on the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list to guide my purchases. We like to spend our money on good quality food and make cutbacks in other areas of our lives. We buy used whenever possible and always try to find good deals. This is how we have been able to Buy Produce On A Budget and live the lifestyle we want.
How has you’re eating evolved over the years?
I grew up on hamburger helper, frozen dinners and canned veggies. Home cooked meals were few and far between. My parents both worked full-time, so quick and easy meals is what we got. Once I started having children, that is when we started doing our own research into what we put on our plates. We cut out each meat slowly, were pescetarian for a while, then vegetarian and now vegan. It wasn’t hard shifting to a plant based diet because we took it one step at a time.
I was always a baker. Mostly I made desserts and wedding cakes as a hobby, but once I started going high raw vegan, I fell in love with creating delicious & healthy plant-based recipes and sharing them with other people and now on this site. My goal is to show others that “vegan” isn’t gross, unappetizing food! Whatever your current diet is, I hope you’ll be inspired to incorporate some of my recipes into your life and that they bring you closer to health and healing.
Where can I find the products you use every day?
I created a list of my favorite kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and some food products I use here on My Amazon Store.
What is your must have appliance?
Hands down, it’s a blender. I have both the Blendtec and Vitamix. I use it probably three times a day. High speed blenders have been the perfect kitchen appliance not just for smoothies, but I also make soups, nut butters, nut milks, hummus, sauces, dips, ice cream, and much more. Check out my full review on both of these in my Vitamix vs. Blendtec post. For more must have kitchen tools check out my kitchen reviews here.
When did you start Live Simply Natural?
I started Live Simply Natural in January 2014. You can read my first post Here!
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I started this blog with hopes of sharing my recipes and other food information with family and friends that were very curious about our family’s diet & lifestyle changes. I didn’t intend it to be something I would openly share with the world, but I got enough support and with a little push…here it is! Even though it felt terrifying to talk about our lives, it ended up being very empowering for me.
How many hours a day do you spend on your blog? How often do you post?
Making sure I am whole and happy is my main focus. If I’m not feeling myself, I usually don’t do anything on the blog and the times that I forced myself to push through, I typically have never liked what comes out so I end up having to do it over again. I will usually put in around 15-20 hour a weeks. But, there might be a week I crawl under a rock, living off smoothies & cuddles with my kids. I post 1-2 times a week. I also home school my kids, for which I feel so blessed. Some days they work independently and I get lots of blog work done, and some days we just hang out, talk, do creative project, watch documentaries and have intellectual conversation, which means no blog work, just priceless loving time with my kids!
Can I use one of your recipes on my own blog?
Of course! I love it when people share my stuff. Just be sure you link it back to my page. If you changed the recipe, just say inspired by Live Simply Natural and again link it to the original recipe. I often get inspired by other recipes and if you use one of my recipes as inspiration, it’s an honor.
Can I use your pictures on my blog?
I do not permit the use of my photographs without consent. If you ask me, I’m usually fine with it, pending proper credits are given. I always encourage others to get creative, make the recipe, and take beautiful pictures of your own creation!
Have more questions? Send the me an email at Vanessa@LiveSimplyNatural.com to have yours answered!
This blog is intended as a platform to share my thoughts, ideas, and knowledge on all things health with you! Therefore, I’m not a dietitian, not your physician; always check with your physician before engaging in any change. These ideas are of my own.
Live Simply Natural © 2016. Please do not repost my recipes/content as your own or onto any other website without direct links, shares, and credit to Vanessa Cassani from Live Simply Natural. Thank You.