I went on my social media (mainly Instagram. Follow me @zoaawoaaw and @saltedbutter_theblog if you missed out on asking questions and you really want answers) and asked my followers to please ask me any questions they would like to be answered and they did. You asked some great questions and now I’m going to answer them.
I feel like I said “questions” and “answers” too many times in that paragraph but that’s what this post is about so don’t @ me. Unless you want to ask a question.
@kimberleykrieger: What was your main reason to go vegan?
I used to look at vegans in the past and think that were really weird for not eating meat and dairy but I figured there must have been a reason why they didn’t. So for the year of 2016, I thought I would try out veganism myself in an effort to understand vegans and to see what being vegan felt like and how it affected my body. It was just an experiment that has now turned into my life.
@lucas._.social: What are some tasty and quick vegan snacks to make?
Anything with avo or hummus is always a winner. Avo toast is really easy. You could make guacamole and eat it with nacho chips or a tortilla wrap cut into Dorito like chips and baked in the oven for a couple of minutes until they brown and crisp up for a homemade version. If you want to be a little healthier you can dip raw veggies instead. Same thing goes for hummus (shop bought or homemade). To make hummus blitz chickpeas, salt & pepper, garlic, tahini, chilli (optional), little bit of cumin and paprika, lemon juice, and dijon mustard in a food processor or mash it by hand (which will be more difficult and will take longer but is doable and I’ve done it before). For sweeter snacks dates are always great or what I like to do is make “peanut butter and jelly” energy balls by mixing peanut butter, oats, and chopped cranberries and rolling them into balls. If you want more snack ideas, comment below and let me know.
@lauren_straitonx: What’s the most challenging thing about being vegan?
I would say, dealing with ignorance. It doesn’t happen often, most people are open to the idea of being vegan, but sometimes you will encounter some real jerks who will spout a lot of ignorant talk with zero scientific evidence to back up their claims about why being vegan is stupid, unhealthy or both. It’s frustrating dealing with such people.
@_.damn.mamii._: Why did you become vegan and what inspired you to do so? How has life been as a vegan so far?
I kind of already answered the first part of this question but I guess it would be my curiosity that inspired me to go vegan. I’ve been having a really wonderful time. I’ve learnt so much about being vegan and the impact that it not only has on my body but also the environment. It’s also opened up a whole new world and community of really cool human beings trying to spread positivity and compassion. Plus the food is divine.
@antheaaaa_: How did your family react to you going vegan and how did you deal with it?
Luckily for me, my family was kind of already used to weird diets and lifestyle changes. I remember growing up there was a point where my mother was a vegetarian and she was eating tofu all day, every day, so my family was already exposed to the “alternative lifestyle.” I also have a vegetarian cousin so I guess it’s in my family to have weird food choices. However, they were still kind of surprised yet very supportive in the sense that they didn’t judge me for my decision and they just accepted it in a, “Whatever. Do you, boo” type of way so I’m blessed. There was never an issue to deal with.
@thelongweekenddd: What exactly is your career path? And are your parents accepting of this?
This is tough because it’s kind of complicated. Right now, I’m in the food service and hospitality industry studying to become a chef but I don’t actually want to be a chef. Next year I’ll be going to university to hopefully study food science. I guess my parents are assuming I’m going to be a food scientist or something but I don’t know if that will be the reality. I would very much love for blogging and the works to be my actual job because I receive the most satisfaction from positively impacting other people’s lives through my art.
@tuwe1o: Please, tell me where you get vegan junk food? (Like chocolates, sweets.)
There’s no special vegan junk food shop anywhere so I just hustle to find junk food by looking at the labels and searching for animal ingredients. I have discovered that Oreos are vegan. So are many chips flavours including sour cream and chives, surprisingly. However, not all brands so read carefully. Romany Tarte cookies from Baker’s Biscuits are also vegan and so are the Digestive biscuits. The only vegan chocolate I have found is dark chocolate but not all dark chocolate. Only those 70% and above dark chocolates are vegan. Check the ingredient list because some dark chocolate, even from Lindt, is not vegan. Woolworths has gelatine free jelly sweets suitable for vegans and there’s this German brand of sweets called Katjes (found at any German influenced supermarket in Windhoek) that has non-animal derived gelatine in it. The label says vegetarian but I don’t see any animal ingredients on the list. Perhaps my German is just not good enough to see why it would be vegetarian and not vegan.
@tchissola_de_jesus: Zoa, why do you swear? 🙂
Swearing has become part of my general speech and how I express myself. I use swear words to create emphasis and express my passion. I also use it as a filler word when I don’t know how else to describe things. Swear words have this ability to make you understand things using minimal words and I dig that. If I swear when I’m talking about something then you know I’m pretty passionate about it.It’s either that or I just don’t know how else to describe the thing and that swear word just epitomises the essence of whatever it is I’m describing.
@carlheinvisser: How is the Ritter Sport vegan chocolate? *emojis*
Ay, that chocolate was tasty. I try looking for it at the shops but haven’t seen it anywhere. I miss the chocolate and I’m upset that I finished so quickly but it was so delicious. Thank you, once again, for blessing me with them.
@bradleymassen: I love the way you flourish! What do you find most challenging and/or rewarding as a Namibian blogger?
Firstly, thank you so much, Bradley! Secondly, I would say that the most difficult thing would be finding an audience and getting my work out there. Getting that exposure is quite difficult but I don’t know if that’s a “Namibian blogger” problem or just a general “blogger” problem. But finding the audience is difficult. The great thing is that I’m discovering this community of amazing Namibian bloggers and creators which is pretty exciting.
@marcia_hiveluah: How did you stay committed to being vegan?
Once I wrote it on the blog and basically told everybody I know that I was going vegan there was no way to back down. The fear of failure and embarrassment was my initial motivator. Now, having been educated about the vegan lifestyle by watching numerous documentaries, mentally and physically knowing and feeling that this lifestyle is so good for me is my main motivator to stay vegan. I just never want to lose the good feeling and effects veganism has on my overall life.
@beautyboois: What do you do outside of blogging?
Well, I’m studying the culinary arts in Cape Town so that’s basically my life down there. Right now, in Namibia, I’m working at the Stellenbosch Wine Bar and Bistro which takes up most of my time.
@nama.fu: What item in your closet do you like the most and why?
This is hard because I can only choose one and there are a million pieces that I love but I would have to choose my white vans. They’re super comfortable so if I’m going out for the whole day those are the shoes I wear. Moreover, they fit with almost everything, not only because they’re white (that’s inaccurate because they’re really dirty) but because of the shape and style of sneaker they are. I can’t describe them in proper fashion terms but basically, they’re a timeless essential piece and I feel that everybody should own a pair of comfortable closed white shoes.
@ndamononghenda1: Quinoa what is it? I know it’s yummy. I’ve eaten it, but how do you prepare the perfect quinoa?
Quinoa is a grain that is gluten free and high in protein. That’s basically why it’s so popular. It kinda looks like couscous but it takes much longer to prepare and the texture and taste is a little different. I’ve found that the best way to cook quinoa is to soak it first for about an hour or two just so that the cooking time is faster but my mother told me that soaking stuff, in general, is good. I don’t know why though. You don’t have to, however. To cook quinoa perfectly, place 1/2 cup in a small pot with 1 cup of water and bring it to the boil. Once it’s boiling reduce the heat and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes if you haven’t presoaked them or about 10 minutes if you have until it’s soft with just a little bit of a bite and it’s translucent with a tiny white dot in the middle. Season.
@nama.fu: What plans do you have for Salted Butter The Blog?
I don’t really plan things fully… I plan for the beginning and then start winging it once I know that I can survive and keep then going with my intuition till the end of time. It’s worked out pretty well throughout the years so I’ll be applying the same method for the blog. My big plan is to take the blog onto YouTube, start a channel and make a bunch of videos because there’s so much I want to say but people don’t like reading long stories so hopefully, they’ll listen and watch.
@ndamononghenda1: How do you remain committed and focused to being a vegan like Marcia asked? Or is it because you love it, that it doesn’t really require “work” and “effort”?
Being vegan is such an automatic thing now I don’t even think about it. My habits have changed and my whole mindset has changed in the way that I look at, buy, and prepare food and I think that’s what happens to many people after they’re vegan for a while. It becomes an unconscious habit. The one thing though, that refreshes my mind and reminds why being vegan is even worth it is watching documentaries. The four documentaries are Cowspiracy, Earthlings, Forks over Knives, and Food Choices. There are a bunch of documentaries you can watch on Netflix and the one next on my agenda is What the Health.
These questions were so much fun to answer and I want to thank all of you for asking them. If you want to do something like this again please comment below and let me know or let me know through my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account.