Looking to turn back the hands of time and rock the aging process? Join the club! Elysabeth Alfano, host of the Awesome Vegans Influencer Series, sat down remotely with power vegan couple Richard Marx and Daisy Fuentes to talk going vegan, anti-aging, and staying fit. Here are these lovebirds’ top tips.

Tip 1: Pay It Forward

Pay a little extra for organic now rather than pay even more for doctor bills later. It’s your health and longevity after all, and no one wants to crawl into their older years. Daisy admits, “When I was younger, I would look at exercising, eating, and dieting from a vanity standpoint or just because I wanted to look good and fit into clothes - it was a good motivator.

“When I got older and looked at anti-aging and health, I do it - still for vanity - but more for longevity. Because as I get older and look at the pattern of aging, and the problems everyone has as they get older...we’re still having surgeries, going to hospitals, and still having the same illnesses we’ve always had and it comes from the foods that we’re eating. So, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why would I not want to change that? Why would I wait to get sick to change that?”

So, spend a little extra care on the foods you eat and go for that huge salad or whole grains bowl rather than the chicken wings. You might rock your 40s and 50s with sexy in your step, just like these two.

Tip 2: Get Your Discovery On. Channel Your Creative Side.

Veganism isn’t so much about sacrificing what you know, but about uncovering and gaining what you never knew! “I don’t miss (animal products),” Daisy explains of her vegan diet, “because not only have I replaced all the flavors that I love, but I have discovered an array of foods that I didn’t even know existed before.” Richard chimes in, almost incredulous, “Why was nutritional yeast never in my life?”

In addition to finishing each other sentences so seamlessly that it’s hard not to wonder if being vegan also makes one fall and stay in love, Richard couldn’t be more right. Nutritional yeast, also known as ‘Nooch’, is a nutty, ‘cheesy’, savory flavoring with heaps of benefits like protein, fiber, many of the B vitamins, and is a great cheese replacement.

Tip 3: Go At Your Own Pace.

It’s not a zero-sum game and you don’t have to go vegan overnight. “It’s important to remind people that it’s not an all or nothing thing because it can be very intimidating at the beginning...you don’t have to (cut out all meat and dairy) from the beginning,” Daisy says. Start out doing Meatless Monday and then graduate to Meatless Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on.

She adds, “The more that you do, the better it is for yourself. If you want to be vegan 98% of the time, that’s fantastic. If you want to be vegan and one time you want to have pizza with cheese on it, that’s okay. That doesn’t make you a horrible person. That’s part of your transition.”

Tip 4: Less Is More.

You don’t need to have personal chefs or personal trainers! This chill couple certainly doesn’t! Richard and Daisy cook at home for themselves and exercise by walking. “We’re both pretty fit because we go outside and hike. Anybody can do that...you don’t need to be wealthy or successful to do the things we are doing,” Richard clarifies rather understatedly.

Tip 5: Get Zen.

Perhaps the best reason to cook plant-based for yourself at home: de-stress! Cut out the daily pressures by chopping up your favorite veggies! Richard agrees, “It’s very therapeutic...we always have music on and Daisy gets lost in the process, it’s very meditative.” Here are a couple of easy, vegan recipes to start your on your journey:

1. Plant-based Gyros (Believe It!)
2. Hearty Stuffed Peppers (also featured on the Amazon Prime TV Show, New Day New Chef)
3. Chicago-Style, spicy Italian Beef

So, take the pressure off yourself and enjoy the transition of going plant-based for your health and longevity. Enjoy the discovery process of cooking at home. You may be amazed how quickly your taste buds will start craving new veggies and spices and how great you feel. Add in a little fresh air and exercise and you are on your way to feeling and looking your best, regardless of age. Falling madly in love not guaranteed.

For the full interview, click here. To watch and listen to other vegan celebrity interviews with Elysabeth on her podcast, go here.

Elysabeth Alfano is a plant-based expert for mainstream media, breaking down the plant-based health, food, business and environmental news for the general public on radio and TV.

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