Jaynee Ruiz is the blogger of “Vegan Ilokana”.
She’s a thrity-something year old Filipina (Pinay) who was born and raised in California. Besides Veganism and being proud of her Filipino roots, she enjoys music, art, film photography, reading, cooking, snowboarding (since she was sixteen and proud of it!!!), practicing Bikram Yoga, and running.
AstigV had the chance to interview our fellow Vegan Pinay blogger.
From dispelling myths to sharing personal stories, Jaynee Ruiz shares her world of being a “Vegan Ilokana”.
1. How did you learn Filipino cooking?
Growing up, my parents and grandmas always cooked Filipino food, in particular, Ilokano food. I LOVE food and tasting all the flavors and elements of a dish. My parents and grandmas taught me the basics of cooking Filipino food and I basically took off from there.
2. Was it hard to veganize Filipino food? Why?
For the dishes that I posted on my blog, it wasn’t hard to veganize at all. Although, Ilokano vegetable dishes has been really hard for me to veganize because most of the vege dishes incorporate a particular kind of bagoong that I have yet to try to attempt to veganize.
It took my family some time to get used to me being Vegan. I was teased a little in the beginning about being Vegan but they got over it. Also, being Vegan to them meant that I still ate seafood because it wasn’t “meat” to them. This made it hard to eat at family parties because I had to constantly explain to them what being Vegan meant and that I didn’t eat seafood. It took time for my family to understand what it means being Vegan but now they totally understand the lifestyle and are very supportive.
My friends and Husband are extremely supportive of my Vegan lifestyle and are always accommodating whenever we have dinner parties or go out for dinners.
4. What does being vegan mean to you?
I created the Vegan Ilokana blog to document my recipes and my favorite restaurants. At the time, there weren’t many Vegan Filipino Recipes out there and I just wanted to share my creations with other folks searching for Vegan Filipino recipes. I recently decided to take down my recipes though because I want to eventually launch a cookbook. As for now, my blog is still evolving.
My favorite Vegan Filipino dish on my blog are my Vegan Empanadas.
8. Additional comments?
I also run marathons and I’m always training for the next race. I’m able to run fast and run hard on a Vegan diet. Being Vegan helps me stay strong, energized and healthy for running full and half marathons.
Thanks Jaynee for breaking it down for us and sharing your perspectives on the vegan lifestyle. More power to you sistah!
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