Alexandra is the founder of Fivesec Health together with her partner Pontus. They work towards the vision that veganism one day will be the new normal. Together they run the popular vegan app Fivesec Health, which not only comes with recipes and meal plans but also a learn section of nutritional facts and other handy tools for beginners. Alexandra mainly use Instagram and YouTube to spread inspiration about eating more plants and about the vegan lifestyle.
Daily you inspire others to eat more plants, but what made you explore veganism yourself?
At first it was health reasons, because I read a lot about the benefits of eating more plants. After watching several documentaries on Netflix I understood the ethical and environmental aspect of it all. I made a decision almost five years ago that since we don’t necessarily need animal products to meet the nutritional needs, why should I then be a part of killing them and contribute to the environmental issue.
Was it easy or difficult to transition to a vegan diet?
A behavioural change is never easy, I grew up eating a diet heavy in meats and processed foods, so this transition didn’t happen overnight. Luckily my boyfriend made the decision with me so I wasn’t alone in this. The most difficult times were on social occasions, there will always be people that have questions so be prepared for that. The more I cooked vegan recipes the easier it became, I thought it was (and still is) fun to explore all the new flavors and produce that I hadn’t had before.
Did the transition to a vegan diet change your body in any way?
I came from a meat heavy diet with lots of processed foods, so first months I lost some weight. Which reminds me about it’s important to eat enough, plants have less calories per volume than animal products so make sure you’re eating enough to fuel your body! Anyway, another change I noticed was that my skin became a lot better with less pimples and bumps on my face and arms. A big change was that after a meal I didn’t feel tired anymore, before that was a thing that happened a lot.
How do you think when you put together a vegan meal, is it easy?
I’m an advocate for a whole food plant based diet, which means that I rather eat whole foods such as healthy fats from avocado, nuts and seeds instead of vegan cheese substitutes. I prefer whole foods because they are packed with vitamins and minerals which often is not the case with vegan processed substitutes. When I put together a meal I make sure that it has protein, carbs, fats and greens. A protein source could be legumes, tempe, tofu, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, nuts & seeds. When I look for a carb source I aim for potatoes, whole grain or whole wheat. I choose nuts, seeds, avocado or nut/seed butter for a fat source. My go-to meal is a stew or curry packed with veggies and a legume like lentils served with brown rice. A simple rule that I also have is to eat diverse, to get as many nutrients as possible.
Earlier you mentioned that we don’t need animal products for nutritional needs, can you explain your thoughts on this?
All nutrients can be found in plants (except vitamin D from the sun and B12 which is a bacteria) which often blow peoples minds. Take omega-3 for example, that comes from algea in the ocean, fish eats algae and therefor has omega-3. The same goes for other nutrients, animals don’t produce them, they eat plants which have the nutrients and then we get the nutrients by eating the animal. So the animal can be seen as the “middleman”, and why not skip the middleman and go straight to the source?
How did your path cross with Sproud?
I have lived in Malmö city for a while, where I once held a seminar on how to build a community on Instagram. In this seminar there was a student who worked at Sproud at the time, it was actually he that brought me and Sproud together! I have known the Sproud team for almost three years now. In the beginning of this year I became their ambassador because I really love their products, the team and they are a company that shares the values that I have. I believe that we together can get more people to eat more plants!