Want to make a difference on Earth Day? Go vegan.
Though it may not be as well celebrated a holiday as King’s Day or Sinterklaas, one of our very favourite holidays is upon us: Earth Day. And when we think about how we treat the planet that serves as such a wonderful home for us, we often come up feeling as if we’re letting it down. Sure, we try to remember to bring our own bags to the supermarket. We may even have gotten rid of single-use plastic all together. But in reality, we all could do a little more to make our earth happy.
Luckily, we have a lot of fantastic people to look up to when we need a little guidance, many of whom also happen to be dedicated Ro’riders. Anthony Tevreden is just such an eco-inspiration. This hairstylist is also an incredible vegan cook and workout lover who’s dedicated to minimising his environmental impact. Keep reading to find out how Anthony is a true friend of the planet.
Hey Anthony! Happy Earth Day! We’re so glad we got to speak with you about your life and the importance of reducing your ecological impact. Could you introduce yourself?
Hiya! I’m Anthony Tevreden, I’m 42 years old and I have my own salon, Blue Steel. I’m also a sports addict. Well, not an addict exactly, but I like to strive for that discomfort in my body that gives you a certain sense of power and drives you to do it all over again the next day! And as of April 1st, I have been vegan for three years.
Woah! Three years is a long time. We love that you are living your best vegan life. Can you tell us how you came to this way of eating?
Thank you ☺. Well it’s funny because it actually all started with a friend of mine (a true Rocycle addict) about three years ago. He said he was going to do the vegan challenge on an interval, so one day vegan and the next not. For a month. I thought ‘Nah that’s not going to do it.’ It’s either all the way or nothing. In the end, we had nothing to lose, so I said “F*ck it. Let’s do this for a month straight.” And yeah, for the first couple of weeks, the struggle was real. Because what do I eat? A close friend of ours helped out with the meals until she said, “Yo, I ain’t going to do this no more.” Haha so fast forward three years, and I’m still vegan today.
We love that it all started with a fellow Ro’rider. Could you tell us what you ate like before you became vegan? Were you a healthy eater?
Oh, haha, I wasn’t that healthy. I thought eating a sultana was healthy. I didn’t know anything about healthy living. I used to eat a lot of spare ribs and was actually in search of the best ones in the ‘dam! And chicken! I frequented a chicken restaurant and always ordered buckets at Van ‘t Spit, always bringing my friends with me. I thought I was the chicken Oprah. You get a bucket and you get a bucket and you! Hahaha, talking about this, I can see I was not so concerned about the impact I had on the environment. I just lived and didn’t concern myself with the impact I had on others or the world. I’m glad that I’m more conscious.
Speaking of conscious – and since Earth Day is here – we wanted to know what you think the best ways are to reduce your impact.
I recently read an article that talked about how New York City had banned single-use plastic. So what I always do when going to the supermarket is bring my own bag! Reusable things are key here. Don’t drink with a plastic straw, please. Just sip on the glass. It’s ok, we don’t have to be that high class ☺. Just think about it. There is so much plastic! For example, those eat ripe avocados are in a double layer of plastic. Why?? Avocado’s skin protects it already!! And doing the dishes. Don’t let the water run. Or take too long under the shower. In five minutes you can be done unless you have hair that reaches your butt. And no food waste. Don’t just throw away your food. Just make a delish meal from the leftover veggies you have. Be creative!
All excellent tips. We will certainly be taking them on board! Can you talk us through what going vegan was like for you?
Before I went vegan, I did a little check-up and a blood test to see if my vitamin levels were ok. And it turned out they weren’t. I had a few deficiencies, which was a bit of a struggle in the beginning. You have to adjust, and I wasn’t aware that there were so many ingredients in the products that I was buying from the supermarket that had animal products. I was stunned when I found out that there was animal product in chips just for the flavour? I felt completely lost before finally thinking ‘Fuck it, I’ll do it myself. I’ll make my own damn products!’ Finding out how the industry really worked opened up a whole world that I had ignored so intensely before. I suddenly felt sorry for the person I used to be, and I began watching tons of documentaries and reading books like How Not to Die. Friends also helped me immerse myself in the lifestyle.
It is pretty insane where you can find animal products. Even in wine! That really blew our minds when we found it out. Do you have any great resources for those of us who may want to try veganism?
Well, I’m actually in the process of working on a book about this right now! Because I get this question a lot. There’s always the question of where to begin or what do I eat. Otherwise, I always say Pinterest. Or books.
Oooh we can’t wait to read it when it comes out. As important as nutrition and fuelling your body well is, we also like to treat our bodies with exercise. Do you work out? What do you do, besides Rocycle, of course?
Oh yeah! I work out a lot! I try to get in a workout five or six times a week. And sometimes on Sunday and Monday, I’ll go twice in a day! I do CrossFit and boxing! I do that at Vastberaden, Vondelgym and Underground.
And how about food? What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Since I became vegan, I discovered the joy of cooking! That means I like to try out new recipes on a daily basis. And the thing is, I like pancakes in the morning, so I’m always hunting for the best pancake recipe there is! So let’s grab pancakes together someday! I often cook too much the day before so that I have enough food to bring to work the following day. As a snack between meals, I make a shake (cherry, avocado, spinach, peanut butter, protein, plant-based milk, raw cacao powder and a date). I always try to mix it up but end up adding a spoonful of peanut butter no matter what. I can’t help myself. In the afternoon, I have a slice of banana bread, fruit a handful of nuts or a fresh juice. And then dinner sort of depends on what recipe I’ve found that day. But two of my favourites are curry and pasta. And when I have pasta, I always my own pesto!
Sounds like we should be coming to your house for breakfast! And lunch. And dinner… So how would you define wellness?
That’s a good questions! Really makes me rethink how I view it. I think that you have to do what feels good for you. When we exercise, we want to nourish the body with a healthy meal. I found that what I eat really works with how I exercise and live. It’s in balance now! But wellness for me is also reducing my footprint. Knowing my impact on the environment is as small as possible gives me a sense of wellness and conscious living.
One last piece of advice?
Try to balance it out. I know it’s a routine that you have to break through because you’ve been doing it for years. But being aware of what your impact may be is already an eye-opener. And try to change up your routine just a little bit with everything you do. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t fit into your routine that day. The effort is already there! And ask yourself if you want to fill your body or nourish it.
And must-see: Our Planet on Netflix;)