Vegie Head Adele McConnell shares with us how a plant based diet is anything but boring!
Adele McConnell is the founder of Vegie Head, a website that was born after being constantly fed up and bored with seeing bland and uninspiring vegan recipes online – but Adele’s extensive list of accomplishments doesn’t end there.
Now a household name and inspiring business woman, Adele also offers online courses, workshops and e-books. She talks at leading health and wellness events,= and just recently launched her own range of vegan lipsticks, Dusk by Adele. We sit down with Adele to delve deeper into her journey and share some of her health and fitness tips.
Share your journey with us. Why do you call yourself Vegie Head? What first interested you in eating the vegan way,and then what inspired you to share your passion with the world?
I’m so excited to be here with everyone – thank you!
The name ‘Vegie Head’ was coined by my husband, who used to call me his “little vegie head” – and it stuck! It was a no-brainer for a business name!
I’d ‘officially’ turned vegetarian when I was 15 (after avoiding eating it pretty much all of my life!) and it wasn’t any surprise for my family. They had always known about my aversion – I guess we just didn’t understand why. Now I know I was listening to my body before I even realised. It was just intuition that guided me.
My love of cooking has always been super strong and when I moved out of home that’s when my skills flourished – I had no choice! I refused to eat bland, boring and unhealthy food, so my cooking techniques had to step up. I trawled the internet (which ten years ago is vastly different to today’s internet) and came across awful, faux-meat, gluten heavy, sugar heavy vegetarian and vegan recipes. I was totally uninspired. So I started to create my own recipes and decided to build my first website!
Vegiehead.com was, at the time, a space for me to share recipes and insights. It was a place for me to practice my food photography and connect with awesome people all over the world. But I had no idea when I started that I could ever turn it into a business. Now, it’s a household name, a place where people go to get a dose of judgement free plant based living, nourishing and healthy recipes, inspiring blogs and videos – as well as an online store where I keep all of my digital products. I have three online courses, two programs, free eCourses and a dozen eBooks. I also have a published book that’s printed in 4 languages and sold worldwide.
You’re passionate about changing the way people see plant based food, but what are some of the other things that you love to do?
Absolutely! I want to show everyone how simple it can be. Force of habit keeps us in the same situation a lot of the time, but by making simple changes that aren’t overwhelming for individuals and families, it can be easy!
I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love- so many of my passions have all merged together to create this life. I love teaching, in any capacity. I believe sharing knowledge and time are two of the most important things we can do as humans. Any wisdom shared is kudos gained. I love being in front of, and behind the camera- and as silly as it sounds- I just love my work so much! Vegie Head TV is my YouTube Channel and I share loads of great videos there.
I love being outdoors, walking my dogs, meditating, swimming, and having long brunches with girlfriends!
What are some of your top wellness tips and healthy habits?
Self care is vital – however that looks for you. Self care is where I focus, and for me that’s:
- Making sure I make time for myself and ‘shut down’ regularly
- Sleep. It’s so important and something that many of us are missing out on!
- Meditate daily. It changed my life
- Exercise daily. I walk with the dogs for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, and set aside 30 minutes to do a low impact workout at home. I don’t love jumping around, so focus on weights and toning. I LOVE the kettle bell!
- Buy organic. I do my very best at every point to choose organic food, produce and products. It’s just the best
- Cook from scratch. There’s no need for jars and pastes and packets. We innately know how to cook, sometimes we just need some inspiration.
What are some of the myths about eating a Vegan plant based diet that you want to dispel?
That it’s bland and boring! And yes, some recipes are – but so are some non-vegan recipes! Vegan food can be nutrient dense, packed with flavour, healthy fats and oils, clean protein and anyone can do it!
What are a few of the easiest changes people could make in their daily lives to begin to reduce their consumption of animal products?
I’m all for adding instead of subtracting. Add more vegies to your plate. Eat more fruit. Add nuts and seeds to your salads. Make delicious smoothies. Enjoy plant based treats in moderation. Fill yourself up with so much good stuff that there’ll be no space for the other stuff!
We have noticed in the last six months you have launched a vegan lipstick range called Dusk by Adele, were at the Natural and Organic Super Show in Melbourne talking about Natural Beauty, you launched an online course for bloggers called Make Some Real Dough and you were travelling through Australia in a caravan and sharing your adventures on Instagram. How do you juggle so many different projects and what’s your focus for the year ahead?
Yes! Dusk by Adele was conceived many moons ago. I was sick of trying to find bright red vegan lipsticks that just weren’t red enough. Standard red lipsticks used cochineal (the red colour is called Carmine) and it actually comes from dried, crushed beetle shells. So we’ve been selling out and shipping all over the world! It’s been amazing. And yes- I do have a lot on my plate – but I love it!
I am so multi-passionate, and I thrive when I have more than one project on the go. I find that when I have a few things happening, I’m forced to laser focus and get the job done. I’m not really one for setting things on a calendar, but I do like to have goals that I strive to meet. Consistency and persistence are key.
Finally, what advice would you would you give to your younger self?
That absolutely anything is possible. Nothing is off limits if you want it bad enough.