Vegan Interrogated: Holly from The Veg Dancer

Holly is one of the sweetest girls I know. I met her about 6 months ago and was instantly drawn to her warm personality and incredible sense of humor. I used to be a dancer years ago, so I deeply admire her commitment to the art. Read on to hear about her journey to veganism and other aspects of her life! 

Name: Holly Haynick
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Where Can We Find You on the Web? 
My blog, The Veg Dancer (http://thevegdancer.blogspot.com/)
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/holly.haynick)
Instagram and Pinterest (@vegdancer)

Fellowship of the Vegetable Holly Haynick Veg Dancer 2

Photo credit Brady Cook

What first turned you on to veganism?
Well, before going vegan, I was vegetarian for about 2 1/2yrs. During that time I began to read more articles, educating myself further about where my food came from, and the nutritional benefits of cutting out dairy. I slowly began to cut out a lot of dairy products, and for about a year I had cut out all dairy except cheese. Cheese…something I feel stops many from taking the plunge! Everytime I ate cheese I knew I didn’t “need” it, I just “wanted” it, and began to feel guilty about continuing to eat it. At that point, I went out, bought, and read “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone, a book recommended to me by a friend. I began reading it as soon as I got home, and within the first 25 pages, decided that I was going to go vegan! Several days later I made the change, and have never looked back!

You’re very into dancing and yoga, how does that tie in to your vegan lifestyle?
I’ve danced my whole life, literally – since I was 2, and staying healthy, fit and thin has been something I have always had to worry about. I am not a “tiny” person, so my weight has been something I’ve always struggled to keep down, especially during the 10yrs I was dancing professionally. I began practicing yoga (seriously) about 3 years ago, and currently practice 4-5 times a week at Yogaworks. I’ve always eaten healthy, and loved my fruits and veggies, but since I’ve adopted a vegan lifestyle my whole life has changed! My body has naturally found it’s ideal weight, I’ve become more energized, and my performace as a dancer and yogi have elevated. Dancing and yoga really have you look within yourself, and be comfortable with who you are, and veganism has allowed me to finally be at peace with who I am. I feel happy about what I am putting into my body, and my body has rewarded me for doing such!

You’re throwing a dinner party, what do you serve to wow the guests?
That’s a hard one…I have many vegan and non-vegan friends so I would want to make something that I know would blow EVERYONE’S mind! I would begin with my Massaged Raw Kale Salad with a Lemon Garlic vinegarette (I could, and have, eaten a GIANT bowl of this in one sitting!!!). Main course would be Vegan Lasagne. I make a quasi traditional one, with homemade marinara and tofu ricotta, lots of veggies and of course slathered with ooey, gooey “cheese”!! Cocktails would be a homemade red sangria, and for dessert (because who doesn’t want dessert?!?!), my favorite, snickerdoodle cupcakes!! No one ever leaves my house hungry, and I always send my guests home with leftovers!!

What is your favorite vegan restaurant and what do you order there?
My god!!! How does one choose?!?!?! Truly, L.A. vegans are spoiled by the vast amount of amazing restaurants we have at our disposal, and there are still SO many that are on my list to try, but these are my faves:
DOOMIES!!!! (When I want to feed my inner fat-girl). I always order the same thing, because it’s THAT good, Vegan Big Mac, light on the onions extra special sauce with Onion rings, ranch on the side, washed down with a Stella Artois.
Cafe Gratitude – For an Appetizer I get I AM PRESENT, which is a seasonal bruschetta, and it’s always bomb. For Entree, I get I AM AWESOME, a cornmeal coated eggplant parm panini with too much amazing stuff on it to write, but be sure to add the hemp seed pesto; you won’t regret it! For Dessert, I get I AM ADORING, which is THE BEST Tiramisu I have EVER had in my life. Seriously.
Sage Organic Vegan Bistro – I die for their Soft Pretzels, served with nacho cheese, habanero cream cheese and maple mustard dipping sauces. They also have an amazing selection of Organic Craft Beers. And I love beer!

What has been your biggest take-away from living a more health conscious/compassionate lifestyle?
It may sound corny, but it has made me a much more compassionate human being. I’ve always loved all animals, but I see them in a different light now. I strongly believe they have feelings, spirits and emotions, just as we humans do. Knowing that everyday I am contributing to saving animals, and spreading awareness gives me a sense of inner peace that I didn’t have before. I also have a deep love for Mother Earth, and through veganism feel that I am doing all I can to keep her safe, healthy and thriving. Most importantly, it has allowed me to love myself, and to be proud of the choices I make daily. I go to sleep each night feeling at peace; mind, body and soul.

Tell us a joke.
This is not my joke, just one I think is hilarious…

Did you hear about the vegan devil worshipper?
He sold his soul to seitan!

Fellowship of the Vegetable Holly Haynick Veg Dancer 1

Photo credit Daniel G. Lam

I just have one more question for you – when can I come over for dinner?!?! Thank you Holly for being part of Vegan Interrogated!

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