Baya’s Food: Vegan Video Survival Guide
When did you become interested in making healthy food and creating your channel?
After my first modeling trip to Tokyo, where the food didn’t cooperate with my digestion, I started experimenting with healthy options. I always took a picture to show what I came up with and that’s kind of how it started.
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What is your earliest memory of cooking?
It's funny because I was never into cooking or baking, I actually told my mom I will never cook. But I remember helping my grandma with decorating Christmas cookies when I was around four years old or so.
You’re very proud of being vegan - why is this important to you?
I believe veganism is a way to go. It's good for the environment, vegans save incredible amounts of water and land, the diet helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes and your energy levels are up in the sky, and of course I feel better not contributing to animal suffering! I think it's not my choice to decide if the animal should or should not live. For anyone interested into this topic I highly suggest watching Cowspiracy and Earthlings.
Your protein pancakes look amazing! How do you make them?
Thank you! I mix chickpea flour with water, cinnamon, "chia egg" (1tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3tbsp water), some sweetener like coconut sugar and optional but recommended rice protein powder (or any other plant based protein like hemp or pea protein), and a little bit of vanilla or cinnamon. Then I fry it on the pan until nice and golden.
As a model, why do you think a healthy nutrition plan is important?
I think that a healthy nutrition plan is ideal for everyone, but especially with modeling, it is helpful for keeping healthy in the long term and to get a fit body. I get lots of recipe ideas from Instagram, there is a huge vegan community.
Is it hard to stay vegan when you are a model?
Sometimes it can be challenging on the jobs because clients don’t offer vegan food, but because of that I always take something with me. The trick is always being prepared, and checking out vegan restaurants in the cities where I go beforehand. I always pack boxes with chia puddings, nuts, fruit, bliss balls, some bean cakes like peanut butter blondies made with chickpeas, steamed broccoli, baked sweet potatoes, carrots... So many options.
Is there anything you find is an easy vegan snack that keeps you full for shoots?
I find that chia pudding provide me with energy for the longest time so they are perfect for breakfast and for the snack, homemade granola bars are perfect. My favourite vegan restaurants are Raw mantra in Milano, Nama foods in London, Wok it in London, Flax&Kale in Barcelona.
What is your latest cooking discovery?
That you can make brownies using black beans, cacao powder, banana and almond butter, they taste great and are so nutritious! And I’m obsessed with roasted spiced chickpeas.