Lou Dwan is the Gold Coast-based blogger behind Fridge Scrapings, and also a doting mother of one and enthusiastic home cook. She loves experimenting with non-animal based foods, such as healthy yet unbelievably tasty desserts. Her blog documents her every new hit dish and baking fail.
By
April Smallwood

9 Jul 2012 - 4:34 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Lou Dwan is the Gold Coast-based blogger behind Fridge Scrapings, and also a doting mother of one and enthusiastic home cook. She loves experimenting with non-animal based foods, such as healthy yet unbelievably tasty desserts. Her blog documents her every new hit dish and baking fail.

We chat to Lou about her changing attitude to food since becoming a mum, her top five tips for curious omnivores, and how feeling good is linked to our food choices.

How have your food habits changed since becoming a mum?
I’ve always been relatively healthy, but being pregnant forced me to consider every single thing that was going into my body. It’s important to me to inspire Sid to enjoy healthy, whole food. I’m really conscious of setting an example these days, and teaching him the benefits of REAL food. Another issue has been dropping down to one income – it’s really taught me some valuable lessons in "smart shopping". People use the excuse that healthy food is too expensive, but, really, if you're organised and know where to shop, being a vegetarian or vegan can be a lot cheaper.

What motivated you to become vegan?
Diet is such a personal thing; what makes one person feel healthy and vibrant could do the complete opposite to somebody else. After Sid was born, making the transition to a completely plant-based diet just felt right. I started out on a month-long trial to see how I went. One week in, I felt incredible, and a few lingering skin issues had cleared up. This choice is right for me; I also feel a responsibility to not contribute to the harming of animals.

Got five tips for someone considering veganism?
1. Don’t feel as if you have to dive in, cold turkey. My own vegetarian-vegan journey has evolved over 10 years. Do what feels right for you. 2. Don’t think about what you can't have. 3. Do your research and be a responsible vegan – get blood work done and learn about what supplements you may need to take to stay on top. 4. Go to the library – cook books, food philosophy books – there is a heap of information out there – it’s fascinating! 5. Don’t be a lazy vegan and live off fake 'meat" substitutes. Get inspired and get cooking.

You aim to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Do you think this is a concept that’s largely lost on Australians?
It’s definitely lost on the general public. We live in such a fast-paced society that revolves around convenience, particularly when it comes to food. I admit, cooking and eating real food that's close to its natural state does take a little more time and organisation, but, as I always say, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

Name some documentaries that opened your eyes to the importance of what we eat?
Food Inc is a frightening watch, [but] in a good way. It makes you realise the impact of large food companies on how we eat. Fast Food Nation is a fictional representation of a similar topic, focusing on the meat production industry. If you still need extra motivation to cut down on your meat consumption, and improve your heath, check out Forks Over Knives – it’s really showcases the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Share three healthy dessert recipes you and your family love.
My partner is a meat lover, so he is my non-vegan 'tester." It’s good, in a sense, that my tastebuds have grown used to super-healthy fare, and what I think tastes excellent, may be likened to grass clippings by others. Based on his recommendations, and considering the following are super simple, I would have to say: mango coconut mousse; nutty protein squares; and slow-roasted peaches with vanilla "labneh" and sweet balsamic toffee syrup.

In what ways has your relationship with food evolved over the past five years?
Creating and eating wholesome food has become such a passion for me; food is not just something to chew! In a word, I have become more conscious of food. Today, I am conscious of what makes me feels good, conscious of what is in my food, of where it comes from, and how it is produced. I think it’s the way to be, putting good things into your body is only going to make you feel great.

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