Gretchen Tseng is a woman who has a strong passion for healthy living and loves sharing her passion with others. Through a plant-based lifestyle and embracing a Vegan culture, Gretchen has overcome a series of health conditions and is feeling and living better than she has ever been. She is currently a Brand Ambassador for NEXT By Athena and wholeheartedly represents what NEXT is all about: a modern, active, and confident woman! SwimSpot sat down with Gretchen for a fun Q/A and to get some insights on her Fall favorites.
(Lisa Vogel, Suzanne Yeo, Gretchen Tseng)
SwimSpot: What is one of the biggest misconceptions on vegan/gluten-free food?
Gretchen: That vegans eat only salad, aka "rabbit food"! While I love salad, I eat a more varied diet as a vegan than I ever did when I ate meat. Prior to becoming vegan, I had a tendency to eat the same 7-8 dinners on rotation. As a vegan, I have branched out and tried so many different foods. With eating gluten-free, it has also forced me to try a wide variety of grains and beans that I probably would have never thrown into the rotation otherwise.
(Lentil Salad In A Bell Pepper Bowl)
SS: Go-to snack after a workout? (In your NEXT attire, of course).
G: Of course in my NEXT attire! I'd have to say a piece of fruit because fruit is packed with natural vitamin-enriched carbs. My personal go-to after workout snack usually is banana, but I also keep Peter Rabbit Organic's squeeze pouches in my car for those times when I haven't thought ahead and brought snacks with me. They are amazing! My kids love their fruit pouches, but I am partial to their veggie blends. Sweet potato, corn, and apple is my absolute favorite!
SS: With Fall season starting soon, what do you look forward too? Fashion trends, weather changes...?
G: I can't wait to start making soups and chowders. It is so comforting to come in from the cold and eat soup with corn bread for dinner. Chili is also high on my list when it comes to favorite Fall meals. With regards to fashion, I do love a good pair of boots. I live in my Hunter boots once the rainy season starts.
SS: And any favorite Fall-inspired recipes?
G: Back to those chowders! One of my favorite chowders is corn chowder because it bridges the gap between Summer and Fall. If you make the chowder at the beginning of Fall, you can still find some amazing fresh corn to use in the recipe. But the chowder still tastes good when you make it with frozen corn. I am also a HUGE fan of persimmons. I can't get enough of them and love all varieties. I also make a killer Fall Persimmon Smoothie and eat that for lunch throughout the Fall season.
SS: Lastly, what is one of your guilty pleasures?
G: Pinterest! I don't have a lot of extra time and once I find myself on Pinterest, before I know it, I have been sifting through the site for an hour. It is a MAJOR time-suck for me, but I get so many great ideas from it! As far as food-related guilty pleasures go, I try to stay away from them if possible because it tends to snowball with me. If I stay away from sugar, I am fine, but if I have a little bit of it, the cravings return with a vengeance. So Delicious does make some incredible vegan ice cream and we have it for birthdays and special occasions, but I need to keep a tight hold on that. I am a bonafide sugarholic if I allow myself to be.
A big thank you to Gretchen for sharing those vegan recipes with all of us! I think we all have a new appreciation for the Vegan lifestyle and food. For more information and recipes, visit Gretchen's blog: Veggie Grettie.
Until next time,