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Tess Begg is Not Your Average Tree Hugger

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on October 19, 2015

Before becoming a health conscious super vegan, young Sydney-sider Tess Begg was gorging on take away foods like McDonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks. Fast-forward 12 months, and this Instagram superstar is inspiring thousands, with over 80k followers and a beautiful array of stunning plant based food imagery. This unwavering herbivore is determined to show the world that veganism can be convenient and super fun by quashing the claims and rumours attached to her lifestyle.

“It is often said that vegans are weak tree hugging hippies who only eat lettuce, and that’s far from correct,” states Tess Begg, Instagram’s latest vegan sensation. With 85.3k followers, Tess is on a mission to show the world that being a vegan is not just about eating leaves, but rather a vibrant lifestyle filled with delicious food, compassion towards others and appreciation for the world around you. Don’t believe me, just check out her Instagram account!

“Before going vegan I had terrible digestion including constipation and bloating, and let me tell you not being able to do your business is the worst feeling,” Tess laughs. She went on to tell me that instantly after cutting out animal products she started going to the toilet regularly and never felt better!

“Suddenly I was alert, vibrant and full of life.”

Tess begins her day with 1 litre of water and a smoothie bowl filled with bananas, mangos, berries, watermelon and plenty of greens! The rest of her day looks just as delicious, filled with more fruit and vegetables, high quality vegan proteins and healthy fats.

And if she does feel like dessert, Tess usually goes for a treat that she has made in her own kitchen.

“I often get creative and make my own desserts- something I would recommend to everyone. You can pack them with veggies and without even noticing they become super-nutritious!”

Becoming vegan hasn’t only effected the way Tess eats, but has changed the way she relates with the world by making her more “compassionate and understanding.” She used the example of setting a spider free into the wild rather than simply killing it. “Just because they’re small it doesn’t mean they’re insignificant.”

But this super vegan has not always been so mindful. Tess confesses that she lived on a unhealthy diet of “fast foods like McDonalds, KFC and Hungry Jacks almost every day.” Turning to a plant based diet gave Tess the nourishment and nutrition she loves.

“I have finally realised that food is not there to make me unhealthy or unhappy and it is not your enemy. It is fuel and it is full of nutrition. Life is too short to stress out on what is “good or bad.” If its plant based and you love it go for it!”

Dealing with absurd claims seems like the way of life for vegans, and Tess expressed that she has heard some ridiculous allegations, including that animals are insignificant and unintelligent and have been put on this world to be eaten, that veganism is expensive or that vegans destroy ecosystems. Another that she comes across often is people questioning her protein intake.

“Oh that makes me laugh,” she grins. “Protein is the easiest nutrient to get on a plant based diet especially when 1 cup of lentils is packed with 18g of protein!”

Putting all that aside, Tess stands by veganism, claiming that it is easy, nourishing and enlightening. She made a point of telling me that she still enjoys her favourite foods, such as pizza and burgers, but empowers her choices by making these foods herself and loading them up with vegetables and plant-based alternatives.

“Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to eat spinach and bananas all day. You can eat a variety of plant-based foods, ensuring you enjoy the foods you love. Don’t stress about being perfect. Do research, find vegan cafes, or even join a vegan meet up group and connect with like-minded people.”

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