My next guest blogger contributing to my Vegan Resources! Click here to see all of the contributors and read their stories!
Cissy Lala is a vegan mama of three, living in San Diego, CA, and spreading the vegan message both through her Instagram account and new business, So Cute Co. I came across Cissy on Instagram when I first started my account, through Ellen Fisher, and I have been following her ever since. What I love most is that she is real and straight to the point about her life and her beliefs. She shows families just how easy and important it is to raise your children with a foundation of knowledge in nutrition. She even includes kid-friendly recipes in her posts, like the one below that you guys will love!
Without further or do, let’s meet Cissy and make some muffins!
Why did you initially go vegan?
My daughter, Piper broke out in severe eczema when she was just a year old. When I took her into the doctor to have her checked, the doctor immediately handed me a topical prescription and orders to apply daily. I felt a little lost and decided to research more about eczema and why my daughter had it. Once I learned that eczema can be caused by an allergy in your diet, I had to know for sure. At the time, we were on a standard American diet f(SAD), eating mostly organic if possible…yet still clueless about GMOS. Through months of diet eliminations I was still not given much clarity as to what was causing Piper’s eczema but my eyes were opened as I was researching our food industry.
I was following Ellen Fisher on Instagram. I fell in love with her family pictures and lifestyle and we became IG friends. I noticed she was eating a raw vegan diet and emailed her that I was interested in learning more and possible giving it a go. Going vegan was actually never my intention, I simply thought I would “detox”, and go back to my SAD diet. After reading the book 80/10/10 and watching food documentary after food documentary, the decision to go and stay vegan was easy for me. My husband followed just two weeks after, and we are now just upon our two year veganniversary as a family, in January.
So basically I went vegan for our health, but now I’m a vegan for so many other reasons. Love for ALL being the main one.
What was most challenging aspect of the shift for you at the start?
From the beginning the most challenging part for me was cooking. Going vegan cold turkey was hard. My husband and I had to get over the protein misconception. I had to re-learn how to make dinners, desserts, smoothies, etc. I read a lot of vegan blogs, I watched a ton of YouTube videos, and I even started an instagram account dedicated to being vegan. Support in the vegan community is vital in any ones transition because it can give you the confidence you may need when you least expect it.
Vegan during pregnancy is often unconsidered because of the “risks” doctors present with it. In my personal life, I have heard a lot of family members advise away from it because of doctor recommendations during pregnancy. Did you go through the same sort of disapproval from your doctor and or family? Could you provide any advise as to what you would do in the situation, and/or how women can educate themselves on the topic?
Penny was about 4 months old when I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle so I didn’t experience a vegan pregnancy, although I wish I had. If I had another baby, I will most definitely have a vegan pregnancy. I think because most doctors know very little about nutrition as a whole, they are so quick to advise against it especially while pregnant. Most doctors study medicine. I think if most doctors were to learn about prevention as opposed to management, our health as a planet would improve vastly. It’s sad to me because so many illnesses are capable of being treated with diet, yet doctors are so quick to hand out the drugs. My recommendation to anyone interested in a vegan pregnancy is to inform yourself. That way if you are in the situation where someone might oppose your choice, you can stand up for yourself with confidence.
How do you stay grounded through all of the negativity that may come from raising a vegan child, and how do you respond to it when faced with it in public?
Raising vegan kids definitely has it’s challenges. I don’t get much negativity now but as we transitioned we were faced with lots of questions. Mostly it’s “where do your kids get their protein?”. Of course, right? I mean if I had a dollar every time I heard that. Like I said in the previous question, staying informed is your number one weapon against negativity. Do your homework.
Could you share your 3 top tips/advice to parents wanting to transition themselves and their families into a plant-based diet, (or those who simply want to maintain and succeed)?
1. Do your research and trust your feelings
2. Buy the foods you love. Like with my girls, just because we are vegan I don’t force them to eat the foods they dont’ like, offer their favorites or let them help you shop. Make food fun for the littles.
3. Find or join a vegan community, online or on instagram etc. Having support is very important.
“A Day in The Life” is often requested, could you share a short run down of a day in the life of Cissy Lala?
Our days go so quick right? Right now in the winter days we spend a lot of time at home. We do lots of art, crafts, cooking, imaginative play, and family time. My husband works late hours and we share a car so there quite a few days we can’t get out. I try to make the most of it for my girls. We have a yard to enjoy, and we try to keep it simple. Our days are filled with laughter and togetherness.
Could you share with us a go-to recipe in your home that is both adult and kid-friendly?
Yes! Vegan. Banana. Coconut. Dark Chocolate Chip. Muffins. (Mmm! See recipe below)
Connect with Cissy!
Vegan Banana Coconut Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 12 mins
- Total Time: 17 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes
- Category: Snack
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 2 cup flour of choice
- 1/2 cup non-dairy dark chocolate chips
- 1/3-1/2 cup flaked coconut (reserve some for top)
- 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (about 2 medium) bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed, 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- You can either mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then combine, or mix them all in one. I mixed all of the wet ingredients, then sprinkled the dry over.
- Scoop dough into lightly oiled muffin pan or use liners.
- Sprinkle with coconut and bake 12 minutes.