mommy chats: sarah lemkus

I hope you're all enjoying the Holidays! I'm still in a sort of shock that 2015 is almost over... However, I'm really looking forward to what 2016 has in store for our growing familia and this little blog!
Today I'm excited to introduce you all to Sarah Lemkus a both inspiring mother and vegan blogger from New Zealand! If you don't already follow her blog or her on Instagram do yourself a favor and FOLLOW here and here!

Sit back, relax, grab your favorite beverage, and let's chat! 

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself! 

Well, I'm Sarah. A mum and wife from New Zealand (it's 'mum' here as opposed to 'mom'). My husband and I have a 14-month-old daughter, Bethany (Beth for short). I'm a bit of an alternative, holistic mum with a passion for health and nutrition. I've had a vegan pregnancy, home birth and I'm also an extended breastfeeder. When I'm not carrying out my housewife/ mothering duties you'll find me either making food, eating food or writing recipes for my blog. Yes, as you can tell, I love food! I am also an adventure gal and love spending time outdoors either at the beach, in my garden or hiking. I hold my faith very close to my heart and consider church a very important part of me and my family's life (even though it's a bit harder to get there on time every Sunday now!) I also graduated from university in 2013 with a Bachelor of Communications. Even though I don't work now, it helped me start my blog and Instagram

2. I've loved following you and your beautiful family on Instagram! I am so inspired by your joyful view on life and your vegan lifestyle. Can you share with my reader's a little bit about your Vegan journey? Is everyone including Beth (your daughter) Vegan? If so how has that experience been for you? (by the way I love seeing Beth gobble up all of her smoothies on Snap Chat! haha!) 

Thank you Keila! That warms my heart :) 
My vegan journey began after having suffered from a number of health problems. I struggled with weight gain, hormonal imbalances/PCOS and some very negative body image issues that were the result of modelling at a young age. At the end of our first year of marriage, I was really looking to help fix my hormonal imbalances and I stumbled upon the vegan diet. Pretty much everything I had ever learnt about dieting was a lie! Since then, I have never looked back. For those of you who are interested in reading it, my full story is on my blog. I have never felt better or looked healthier. Finally after years of calorie restricting, I can eat as much as I want and never have to worry about gaining weight. Now my husband and I, as well as our daughter are thriving off a plant-based diet. 

3. What is your biggest piece of advice for someone who would like to become Vegan?

There are a few tips that I can share. First of all take it slow! You don't have to instantly go vegan overnight. Going vegan is a process. It's important to educate yourself on nutrition and what your body needs. A lot of people go vegan and get sick because they lack essential macro and micro nutrients. I was just talking to one of my followers today, and they said the hardest thing about the transition is finding good dinner recipes - which I hear all the time. Surprisingly there are hundreds of vegan food bloggers on the internet and most recipes can be 'veganised'.

The next bit of advice is to buy a high powered blender! I could not be a vegan without mine as I use it, at least, four times a day. I make everything from scratch - pretty much anything you can think of (e.g.smoothies, sauces, and baby food),

Lastly, it makes it a lot easier to adjust to a vegan lifestyle if all the reasons are there. There are three documentaries that have radically impacted me which I would encourage you to watch. They will give you a better understanding of health and nutrition, animal well-fare and the environment. You can find these on my blog in the  FAQ section

(ALL Recipes and Photos can be found on Sarah's Blog here!)

4. New Zealand seems like such a stunning country! How would you describe it?

Talk to anyone who has been to New Zealand, and they will only have good things to say about it. It's one of those destinations that you really have to visit to be able to appreciate it's beauty. As New Zealand is made up of two Islands, it's an easy drive from one coast to the other; you are never too far from the beach. I've personally never lived more than a five-minute drive to the beach. I highly recommend you put a visit to New Zealand on your bucket list. The east coast is lined with tranquil white sandy beaches and the west, black sand surf beaches. There are no deadly snakes or spiders in your backyard, so most kids are brought up climbing trees, and running around barefoot in their local neighbourhood. It's the best place in the world to raise a child and bring up a family.

5.Your daughter Beth is just about the cutest thing ever! How has motherhood changed you? 

Motherhood has been a little bit of a roller-coaster for me. I suffered post-natal depression for the first four to five months. It's something I would've never talked about at the time, but I am more open about it now.
I think I had this romantic expectation of what motherhood would be like. I felt like this because I'd previously had a lot of experience with young children and babies - I'd probably changed more nappies than most dads. Once my daughter was born, though, my hormones kicked in and the lack of sleep threw me. But it was a great learning experience! Now Beth is 14 months old, I feel like I am much more confident. And as I had to figure it all out on my own, I feel like I could handle anything now. Tough times, make you a better and stronger person and I am very grateful for that. 

6. What are you most loving about being a mother?

I honestly love having someone there to make me laugh during the day. I get a lot of energy out of having a good laugh - and Beth is just the funniest little character. I am so blessed to have her in my life. I cannot have asked for a better child - apart from her sleeping. We are still learning to sleep through the night over here. But, I've learned to not let it get to me. There much worse things than a bit of broken sleep. 

7.Anything else you want us to know?!

I first got to know you when we were pregnant together with Cristian and Bethany. Even though we are worlds apart from each other, I absolutely loved just having that connection with you. I think it's so important for mothers to reach out to each other. It really does take a village to raise a child. And Keila, you are doing an amazing job at connecting mum's together and making them feel totally 'normal' with whatever way they choose to parent. 

Thank you for joining Mommy chats, Sarah! Wishing you and your family all the best in the New Year! xo!