INTERVIEW: EARTHANDY


There is nothing better than catching up with incredibly genuine and authentic people and today we have to share with you just that! We caught up with the super inspiring Andrea Hannemann; founder of the Instagram account and website @earthyandy. With over 277k followers Andy has inspired thousands of people around the world with her colourful photos of vegan food, her family and Hawaii! Read on to hear Andy’s interview and all about her vegan story and more…


Hi Andy! Tell us a bit about your childhood and background and how you feel that has influenced you today?

Hey! Well, I grew up in the middle of Canada. In Saskatchewan we had extreme winters and I think in my case it was very motivating to move to somewhere hot all year around. Haha! My dad took us to Hawaii when I was 11 and I was shocked that a place like Hawaii even existed! It was the first time I had touched the ocean, it was the first time I had seen a palm tree or breathed in the salty sweet air. I was hooked for life and made it my personal goal to come back one day. I would walk on snow banks on the way to school looking at the sun day dreaming about Hawaii and loving the thought that this same sun shines in Hawaii. I saved my money and applied for college in Hawaii and when I got accepted there was no looking back! I grew up with 5 brothers, 1 sister and two parents who were big believers in following your dreams, being pro-active and working hard for what you want! I m really grateful for this mentality, love and support. My dad is German and my mum is Irish, both of their parents are immigrants and come from extremely conservative back grounds so it’s always a little surprising to think how open minded they have been with us! It is awesome!



When did you decide to go vegan and why?

It has been just over a year now that I went vegan. I have had health issues my entire life. I have been on different medications, and spent thousands of dollars on doctors and specialists; never having found lasting results or solutions. It was something I researched intensely. My dad then one day told me that I really needed to dedicate this year to figure out my personal health, and so I really began to focus on becoming an expert on my own conditions and become more open minded. I had been waiting for someone to give me the answers and so it was then that I decided it was up to me to figure out me, not someone else. This mentality is what set me up on the right path. Shortly after, I had the thought to trust in nature, to believe in plants over processed and go back to the basics of health. I believe in holistic health and a vegan lifestyle delivers this beautifully. When I am mindful of what I am consuming not only on a healthy level but on an ethical and environmental level it brings peace and a sense of well-being. I love that eating plant-based and vegan is good for the environment and eliminates the amount of waste we go through. It has softened my heart and made me more aware of my actions, to be honest. I went vegan for health but its much more than now. It’s a way of life, a mentality that I believe in and wish to support.


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How did you first find going vegan, especially with a family?

Well, the moment I decided I didn’t care what anyone else thought made going vegan much easier! I had the thought: people eat what they want all the time, so what’s the big deal. If someone is sitting there eating chicken nuggets, that’s their choice, if I want to eat a salad then that’s my choice. I went into it with the mentality that it’s not that big of a deal. It comes down to choices. I actually made it easier on myself by not telling anyone at first. To be honest my husband didn’t even notice until 3 weeks in and he ordered me a plate of calamari. He thought he was being super nice because it was gluten free and he knew I used to love that dish at this particular restaurant. I looked at him and said, “Thank, but if it’s cool I’m going to order something else.” He was surprised and said why, and I told him, “It’s because, I am a vegan”. He laughed, thought I was joking and challenged me not to eat any of it. I told him half laughing that I was serious and I didn’t eat it which he was very surprised but also intrigued! We talked about it and he was stoked for me. He could tell how much better I felt and I was happier, had more energy and my overall demeanour had changed! He was happy for me!

Going vegan was kind of exciting! I took it on like an adventure! Every day was a bit of a challenge but I just had fun with it, kind of laughed at myself when my dinner would be like 5 sweet potatoes and everyone else was eating pizza…haha. At that point I told myself, no thinking was allowed… just doing … that I was allowed an opinion on after I made 30 days of being vegan.

I opened an Instagram one night, super late, and ended up calling it @earthyandy. I told myself I was going to journal every day what I ate, how I felt and be completely honest with the process and journal it. At the time I was writing to no one but myself. I wasn’t’ expecting anyone to ever look at it but people were so kind and encouraging that saw it and that was so amazing. While the shifts I made towards this lifestyle helped me, it was also helping others; and that was extremely heart warming for me.

Health has always been a struggle for me and so I really feel for people. It blows my mind that I am on the other side of the fence, that it works and that it is working for others and that I can be a tiny tool on helping deliver information and support to others! It has been an extremely rewarding journey going vegan.


What do you friends and family think about you now being vegan?

They are interested and it has been really positive! They have seen the change… It is undeniable how positive it has been so they are stoked for me. A, so I am very light when conversing and if people are interested I let them lead the conversation. If they want to learn more about veganism I am stoked and open to talk.



What is it like raising kids as a vegan parent?

Well my husband is not vegan. He goes for months at a time and then goes back to old ways here and there. His family runs burger restaurants for crying out loud! Me going vegan was definitely a different path than what this family was use too. I shop vegan and cook vegan at home but I would not consider my kids vegan. If they are at a friends house or their dad wants to buy them what he wants, then that is his choice and my kids choice on what they want to eat. My focus is having my kids diets plant-based; helping them build a good relationship with food, to educate them from where it comes from, its benefits, and hope that they will learn enough to make good decisions themselves one day.


What’s your one health tip?

Aim for a life of balance and positivity and when its comes to food and adapt the model: plant over processed. If you do these things consistently it will make your choices a lifestyle instead of a fad regime. Consistency is key to any lasting success.


What’s it like being vegan in Hawaii where you live?

Pretty awesome actually! We live on the North Shore of Oahu. The mentality is very free and there is a lot of support for natural living. Everyone kind of does their own thing and pretty much everything goes! People just seem to respect each others decisions and are not quick to pass judgement; at least this has been my experience. I used to live 15 minutes down the road and I could say the complete opposite. I used to live in a neighbourhood that if I went for a run, I would hear about it all day long: “why did you go for a run” “do you think you are fat” aren’t you too skinny” haha. Health was a bit “Weird” to neighbours. I prefer living amongst likeminded or should I say open minded people. Its quite freeing! When I lived in the area that was more close minded I found myself becoming embarrassed of being healthy and that is where a lot of my bad habits started to develop… simply to fit in. Eventually my health got so bad that I just decided enough of this, I need to stop worry about what people might think and just do me! I found that people respected that and ended up being interested, curious and even wanting to join me! This was years ago. At this point I was not vegan, but thought I was eating pretty good. I thought diet coke was a health alternative to coke… haha. I was raised super healthy but I adapted some pretty bad habits after I got married and well I have never found true health until finding the vegan lifestyle. Its been extremely healing and rewarding.



Why do you think there has been such a rise in veganism over the last few years?

Social media gives people a voice and truth rings on loud bells! Social media has given people a chance to share personal experience and knowledge openly and at no cost. Social media makes everything spread fast and health is a hot topic for good reason. Health is desired amongst everyone. There is not a person in this world that would choose to feel sick over feeling healthy. Unfortunately, we live in a time where convenience is a huge selling point, mixed with the notion that we are meant to ‘have it all’ mixed with a million different choices and all sorts of information leading us countless different directions.

 

Now that there is so many health problems, people are starting too see through a lot of these money-driven fad diet companies and are starting to think for themselves and look for real answers. What a great time!! Power to the people! There is a lot of support in the vegan and health community. In the end people gravitate to what’s real. No one needs to convince you, the proof is in the ‘pudding’, it becomes easy to see the multi faceted benefits of adapting a vegan lifestyle.


We love your Instagram! What made you decide to start it up?

Desperation…Honestly! I had been to a doctor or specialist every single week for months straight with full efforts to fix my health once and for all. My dad was supporting me financially to seek professional help and I just was not seeing the results. I opened @earthyandy after another day at the doctors. I had gotten back my blood work once again and there was no improvements. I had been following and reading a lot about veganism and plant based diets and always thought it wasn’t for me because at that point a bite of fruit was enough to make my stomach go ballistic, cramp up and even throw up.

 

Anyway, something in me was saying give going vegan a try, just for 30 days…just give it 30 days of eating plant based, HCLFV style. It was then amongst my tears that I opened an account and told myself 30 days, each day at a time and I will document it and use this page as a place to be honest about my experience, with myself and just use it as a creative outlet. At the time I thought if I told anyone I actually knew I would be embarrassed and convinced not to do it so I kept it’s a secret and used that Instagram page as a place to journal and follow accounts of people who were eating vegan and plant based. This is what made it exciting for me and not like I was the only person in the world eating this way! After 30 days I started seeing results, was ecstatic, my blood work was reading amazing and I continued on! I have now become the biggest believer in becoming an expert on oneself, choosing plant over processed and a life of balance. I have this Instragam to thank for all the positivity and support I received. I now only wish to make it a place to be a support for anyone out there that needs it! That’s why I created www.earthyandy.com as well. I wanted to add to all the great information that is out there on veganism and adapting a plant based lifestyle. Ill forever be grateful for the support I have received… its changed my health and as a result my quality of life! THANK YOU!!!


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Can you tell us a bit about your website and what it stands for?

I designed earthyandy.com in hopes of being a place where someone can learn about a vegan plant based lifestyle and provide guidance for anything interested on how to adapt this type of lifestyle. All health claims have been approved by a doctor for the readers security and confidence. I was getting hundreds of emails on how to start and loads of questions so I thought it would be a good idea to answer all questions openly and create a place that was supportive and informative! My hopes were to only add to the great information that is out there and support that.


What’s key to a great photo?

Natural soft lighting which you usually can find in the morning or during the golden hour before the sunsets). It is easy for food to look good if you take the pictures from straight above. I am no photographer but I do like bright beautiful imagery and if I can capture that once in a while I am stoked. Stay away from florescent lighting. Natural is best in food and in people! I love taking pictures of kids for instance because they are just so natural.. they are just them. Their body language is real! I love that!


What inspires you?

LIFE! The fact that we are here on this earth right now and we live in a time where we have choice and the ability to dream and take a shot at shaping our own realties is incredible! I love the outdoors, its fuels me, the love I have for my kids and husband fuels me and I am very grateful for the positivity that comes from these things. I believe in keeping my expectations low while aiming high! This has been the formula to avoid any disappointment while I reach for my dreams and just live life. I am inspired by other people being themselves and doing them. Authenticity is beautiful and I am drawn to that! I love to travel, its my passion and I am so very grateful and spoiled to live across the street from the ocean. Every day I am in the ocean and it’s a cure all. The ocean is an extremely special and inspiring place for me. When I lived in Canada.. the mountains had this same affect.


What’s your average day like?

Our day kind of revolves around the weather and surf! If there is surf we try to find a way to get in the water. Almost every day we are at the beach even if it is just for a quick 30 minutes dip! I feel like the day isn’t complete if we don’t walk across the street and soak in a bit of beach. I always think my kids will sleep better too if we do that! But as far as our routine…

I wake up around 4 – 5 am to get work done before the kids wake up at 6:30 am. I then make breakfast for us, usually a smoothie or smoothie bowl with toast for the kids and hubby. We ride our bikes to drop Tama off at school, go check the surf, head home and usually go for a run with Ira or a hike, something active and then to the beach with some friends and swim with Ira or doing something educational at home. For lunch Ill make a big salad, and eat a bunch of fruit like mangos. Ira then takes a nap, and Ill clean my house, maybe get some more work done etc! Then we go pick up Tama, have a snack like a smoothie or some fruit or veggies, maybe a granola bar, and skateboard a bit or play soccer with the neighbour kids. Then we all  go to the beach, surf, go home do homework and make dinner, which is usually one pot meals with a salad like curry, soup or a stir fry and a nice big green salad with some rice or quinoa. Then we just chill or go back outside and enjoy the night until its time to put the kids go to sleep!  Then Shem and I have our time!



Do you think you have a work/life balance?

Not always buts its definitely on my forefront always. I am a huge believer in balance. I have learned in the power of the word “no” . We can’t do it all, so choose what you are going to do and do a good job! Opportunity is super awesome on all aspects but if your giving something up that is important… then one needs to revaluate. Naturally I am a people pleaser so I have a hard time saying no but I have found the rewards of this word! Priorities… gotta re evaluate and always make sure priorities are in place. At least that’s what I keep telling myself haha.


What’s the best part of your job?

Supporting what I am passionate about knowing it has a chance to help and uplift others and in return uplifts me. I am so grateful to be part of the health message. Its extremely fuelling and rewarding to connect with so many incredible people. I wish I could do more and create more support but at the same time I have little kids at home so I am quite protective of that time with them. I am really grateful everyone I work with supports the health message, and also supports that I am a mom and supports me while I both.


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What words do you live by?

“where focus goes energy flows.”


What’s next for you?

Who knows.. I am just going to continue trying to be a support for the vegan health community and focus on being a friend to those who need it. Outside of family and my own normal life, this is what matters to me most.

 

Some fun stuff coming up… I am going to Canada in a few days with the kids and then my husband and I are going to the Mentawaias Islands for a surf trip while my parents bond with my kids in a few weeks! We are very stoked. I hope to write a cook book this year! That would be a really fun project. I am also going to Tahiti in September to help out with an ocean camp to bring awareness of the health of our ocean! Life is quite unpredictable to be honest but I am grateful for opportunity and to connect with people and companies like you so thank you for letting me be a part! ALOHA!!


Loved hearing about Andy and her vegan lifestyle just as much as us? Learn more about the HCLF vegan diet with recipes, a daily meal plan and all the info you could need to get started at http://www.earthyandy.com

If you are a vegan brand, blogger or individual and are interested in being interviewed as part of  {in conversation} please get in touch at contact@theveganedition.com.


All images by @hbgoodie and via Earthy Andy.

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1 Comment

  1. January 22, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    just saying that everyone hates JuibinBester hes a good singer becasue he got noticed!?!? BE HAPPY FOR HIM, he was so young when he was noticed isnt that an achievement! I wish u girls were a girl version of him, you would have guys wanting you and you will be one of the richest tennagers so remeber that!

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