Michelle Gindi leads a plant based life in Brooklyn, New York and is forever working on her own pursuit of wellness. Along the way, she has created an army of fans who follow her meals, recreate her recipes and are hungry for information on living well. She has taken this knack for for helping others to the next level by completing a certification as an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (find out more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition here). She now helps clients worldwide to achieve her dream of making the whole world feel well! She also enjoys teaching culinary classes to all level cooks, helping them on their journey to more nutritious eating. Michelle is passionate about volunteering and can always be found speaking at many local organizations, from preschools to senior centers, teaching them the foundations of a plant based diet and its benefits.
IG handle: @buddhabowlsandburpees
How did you become vegan?
Several years ago, I was suffering from several ailments- severe debilitating anemia, irritable bowel syndrome and hormonal issues. I was feeling very unwell. I quit my job as an attorney to stay home and learn everything there is to know about my body, nutrition and wellness. I spent several years fine-tuning my own diet, throwing out most of the processed food in my house and slowly eliminating animal products as I learned what was really going on in our bodies and in factories. Slowly, I began to see plant- based veganism as the only viable solution for my health and the planet- and my body certainly thanked me! I have been retested by hematologists and functional medicine doctors who have each seen improvements across the board. Even more importantly, I ACTUALLY FELT GOOD! Once I saw what wellness felt like, I never went back!
What is the most common question you have to answer about veganism and how do you answer it?
I think people are afraid to dip a toe into veganism because of how limiting and restricting it seems. However, I don’t even need to answer with words- a picture is worth a thousand words! I just point them to my Instagram where they find delicious meals at their fingertips! And when people attend my cooking classes, they are floored by the yumminess of natural plant ingredients! They are amazed that much of my food is gluten free, sometimes grain- free, allergy friendly and good for people wth many dietary restrictions.
What is your favourite quick to fix vegan snack?
This may sound like a funky combination, but half an avocado and half a mango with a drizzle of tahini is my favorite snack ever! Don’t knock it till you try it!
What is the perfect breakfast or first meal of the day?
The first thing I have each morning is a hot glass of water with lemon, and a blend of turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. I really like to get my digestion going! Then some of my favorite breakfasts are protein pancakes, paleo oatmeal and coconut yogurt with homemade grain- free granola (I’m even giving you guys the recipe here!). As you can tell, I don’t really do boxed products, so things take a little more time in the morning, but I make up for it by doing a lot of batch cooking and freezing! I also eat a ton of fruit in the morning with my breakfast!
What is your favourite vegan place?
My house of course! Nothing compares to the feeling of knowing what you are eating and how its prepared. When I want to indulge, I love Sun in Bloom in Brooklyn. The food is so so good!
What is your favourite vegan product?
Please share your favourite tips on vegan cooking?
Great question! I think people are scared of my style of cooking because it looks like it would take them a million hours in the kitchen and end up with a huge mess! But the truth is, the best tip I tell people is “Keep it simple.” Buy a huge quantity of plant foods that YOU love best and experiment with different ways of preparing them! When you find something you love, put it in a recipe saver app (I use Pepperplate– free on Itunes) and incorporate it into your weekly food rotation. Thats how I built an arsenal of yummy recipes that are my weekly go-tos!
Do you take supplements if yes please explain?
Yes. As a health coach, I often tout the benefits of probiotics and believe in taking care of our gut. I also take a multivitamin with B12 and vitamin D supplement, since I never spend time in the sun. Funny story- I recently had my antioxidant levels tested and was found to have the second highest antioxidant levels in a room full of 100 people! The testers were astonished! The only person who beat me was a raw vegan friend of mine! Because I know there is so much that plants are doing to protect me from sickness, I don’t mind adding some supplements for specific areas of possible deficiency.
One of Michelle’s favorite recipes: Double Chocolate Grain Free Granola
1 cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup almonds, chopped
3 tbsp chocolate chips or cacao nibs
2 tbsp cocoa powder, or more if you love chocolatey things!
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 250. Mix all ingredients and pat down in one layer on parchment lined tray. Cook 30-35 minutes rotating and flipping over granola at the halfway point. Allow to cool and crisp up.
Get in touch with beautiful plant based coach Michelle Gindi and give a try to Plant Based living.
IG handle @buddhabowlsandburpees