Miss September 2012

This month’s Sexy Bad Ass vegan is from the beautiful land of Canada. She loves to stay busy by working on computers and also dabbles in modeling. But she enjoys the most is Cooking great delicious vegan food.   Make sure you check out Miss September… Serena!

Name: Serena Lee, nickname Night Sprite

Where do you live and where are you from? Canada, B.C., Victoria

Age?  31

What do you do for a living/profession?   I am a software developer for a company in the network technology space, working on the analytics development team. I also model and have recently been taking steps towards acting.

What do you like to do for fun?  Cook! I just adore making delicious messes in my kitchen as I test out new recipes. I also love playing soccer and muay thai kickboxing, Magic the Gathering, adventure races (I recently completed Tough Mudder Whistler 2012 – HooRah!), bodypaint modeling, volunteering, and of course, traveling.

How long have you been vegan?  Roughly 3 and a half years.. maybe 4.

Why did you become vegan?   I had several food intolerances and in an attempt to determine what bothered me, I decided to try a RAW food diet. I lasted the summer (about 4 months) and I felt amazing. When the weather turned to wet and cold, I craved hot soup after soccer practice. Since I had seen and more importantly FELT the benefits of the RAW food diet, I decided to fall back to vegan. SInce then I have spend a lot of time educating myself on the practices of the animal industry (fashion, scientific research, pets, food and entertainment) and what I discovered is completely unaligned from my moral compass. There is no going back. It started off being a completely heath driven decision but has since transcended into a matter of ethics.
How was your transition?  Actually it was surprisingly simple. I have always been interested in expanding my culinary craft and i saw the transition from a regular diet to RAW as just that: exploring new grounds, new flavors, new textures and new combination. I was introduced to so many healthy alternatives it’t now wonder I stayed vegan (mostly RAW). I feel better than I ever have in my entire life. More energized. More glow to skin. More bounce in my step.
What is the funniest misconception(s) that you have heard about vegans?  That we are puny weaklings. I really don’t get this one. Brendan Brazier, George Laraque, Carl Lewis, Mac Danzig… the list goes on and on…
What is your the best vegan dish that you make in your kitchen?  Right now I am hooked on Quinoa Fruit Salad.
1 C quinoa (cook it up and let it cool), chopped up strawberries, mango, blueberries, drizzled in a dressing made of agave lime and mint…. served cold. delicious.
Also hooked on RAW Brownies. Toss the following into a food processor and blend:
1C pecans, 4 tbs raw coco powder, scant of salt, 2 tbs agave, coconut (optional), I C dates.
When it’s all blended, press down into a pan using fingers, refrigerate, enjoy 🙂
What is the best Vegan Restaurant you have ever had the pleasure of eating at?   This one is a tie between Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco and Gorilla Food in Vancouver, B.C. They are both vegan raw, both reasonably priced, both healthy, great ambience, good people, the works! Oh… can’t forget Green Door or Zen Kitchen in Ottawa.
What advice do you have for those that are thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle?   The transformation to vegan is so much easier than you think. Grab a recipe book and don’t be afraid to experiment. Try it for a determined amount of time (a month or more), like REALLY give it a try, and pay attention to how your body feels, inside and out. I wish I could say that veganism IS the right way to eat, but I am a firm believer that eating habits are a personal choice. I have learned that a vegan lifestyle IS the right thing for me. But I have always valued being connected to my food – knowing where it’s from, and how it made it’s way to my plate. If I can’t personally bring my food to the table, and I mean grow it, nurture it, pick it, pluck it, kill it, drain it, skin it, chop it, then I don’t think I should be eating it.
Do you have a website to share with the BAV nation?   
My modeling page is www.facebook.com/littlenightsprite. If the link does not work, you can copy and paste the url in the address bar.

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