Mira Weiner was born to two creative and talented entrepreneurs, she grew up in the picturesque village of McGregor located in the Western Cape and her passion for food was instilled in her from a young age.
Mira is an entrepreneur, foodie and plant based advocate who is passionate about conscious living, whole foods and holistic healing. She’s a networker, creative cook and country pumpkin who hopes to inspire people to eat more plants which is better for the planet, animals and our bodies.
She’s used a combo of plant based nourishment and holistic therapies to kick start her healing journey with adrenal fatigue, burn out and anxiety.
Who is Mira Weiner in 3 words?
“Mira is love.”
How long have you been vegan for?
“I have been vegetarian since the womb and very grateful to have grown up in a veggie friendly household with influences of macrobiotics and Ayurveda. But the idea of giving up dairy (mostly cheese) was always a struggle for me. I think most people find cheese the hardest to ditch when going vegan – it literally is addictive. As part of my healing journey from adrenal fatigue, burn out and anxiety I switched from a vegetarian diet heavy in refined carbs and dairy to a vegan keto diet. At the time, I honestly thought I would only do it for 3 weeks and it was the longest 3 weeks of my life, haha. I ended up doing vegan keto for 6 months and then transitioned into a whole foods plant based lifestyle. So even though I have never eaten fish, chicken or meat before I have only been vegan for a 1.5 years now.”
Why are you vegan?
“Veganism is about more than just a dietary choice for me. It’s a commitment to a conscious lifestyle where you aim to live as cruelty free as possible taking into consideration both animals and the environment. I personally like to think of it as living a life that is kind, compassionate and respectful of all beings while treading as lightly as possible on the Earth. It relates to all things that you take in from what you purchase as clothing, décor, beauty and personal care products to cleaning materials, household items and garden supplies as well as the kinds of brands that you support. I believe it is my responsibility to vote with my money as much as possible, to support brands that are in alignment with my personal ethos and values when it comes to protecting the environment and the beings who live on it.”
There is definitely a huge move towards veganism. Do you think this is a trend?
“Veganism is an unstoppable trend, especially with regards to the plant based movement. But it is also more than just a trend as it isn’t going to fizzle out and disappear, if anything it will continue to expand and grow even more. The benefits of being vegan and more specifically whole foods plant based for your health, animals and the planet is something that is only going to grow in years to come as we all become more away of the detriment to our health, other beings and the planet if we don’t start making serious changes to our current lifestyles. Especially with the last year of lockdown and the current pandemic, people are becoming more and more aware of how important our health is and to prioritize our wellness now so that we aren’t forced to make time for our illnesses later. Documentaries like David Attenborough’s recent, A Life On Our Planet brought home the devastating effects and environmental destruction we have had on our planet. Attenborough managed to communicate an overwhelming reality with an invitation to collectively restore the damage that has already been done by instilling hope and inspiring individual and collective change. Those changes can start so simply with what we choose to fuel our bodies with and the brands we choose to support from both an ethical, sustainable and environmental perspective.”
What are your intentions for the coming year?
“I am looking forward to this new journey working in the health and wellness space. I am going to be whipping up delicious wholesome, plant based, whole food recipes that are also free from all the things including grains, gluten, refined sugars, dairy, nuts and oils. My food philosophy is simple, food should be delicious, nutritious and nourishing while helping to fuel and heal your body, mind and spirit. I love recreating allergy friendly food so that everyone can enjoy delicious food regardless of their allergies or intolerances. I am looking forward to working with more plant based, ethical and sustainable brands this year for recipe development, product testing and to consult on creating vegan friendly menus in cafes, restaurants and hotels.”
What would your advice be to someone who is interested in going Vegan but unsure of where to start?
“Just start, small changes will create big impacts. If it’s brand new to you, incorporate a Meat Free Monday once a week, make 1 meal everyday plant based or swap some of your dairy choices like milk to plant based milks – there are lots of different kinds and you can find your favourite. For some people starting slowly is easier for them and others prefer to go cold turkey, you are unique find your own way and know that you don’t need to be perfect. Just keep going, small changes lead to great habits and better choices in the long run. Start where you are with what you have and sign up for Veganuary – they’re encouraging everyone to take the month long Veganuary pledge by trying vegan this January and throughout the year. You will get daily hints and tips, meal plans and recipes plus information about the benefits of a vegan diet for health, animals and the planet. You’ll also be part of a global community of vegan pledgers!”
Often it is said that becoming vegetarian or vegan is intimidating because it’s hard to know what to cook. What are you top go to easy vegan dishes you eat on the daily?
“I love that many food products are ‘accidentally’ vegan and it takes time to get used to it but start reading labels, not just to know if what you are buying is vegan but to learn what is in our food and to know what we are putting into our bodies daily. It might shock you!
Her favourite quick dishes that are my daily staples:
- Asian noodle, tofu and vegetable stir fries
- Quick pastas
- Loaded sweet potatoes
- Rice, dhal and vegetable based curries
- Broth bowls
- Hearty salad bowls
- Wholesome sarmies
- Whole food pizzas and burgers
Everything chickpea from omelettes, flatbreads and pizzas to hummus, falafels and curries. Mira is an original creative and loves recreating beautiful replacements for some of her favourite dishes that heal instead of hurt. Her recipes are often allergy friendly and free from dairy, gluten and refined sugar free as well as some nut free and oil free recipes too.