WELL DONE | MARGARET CHAPMAN FROM THE PLANT PHILOSOPHY
Posted on 03 November 2016
In honor of November – the foodiest month of them all – we’re talking with Margaret Chapman, the much-adored vegan food blogger behind The Plant Philosophy. Fans flock to discover Margaret’s latest kitchen creations—bright colors, bold flavors and lots of fresh, simple ingredients, skillfully combined to please every palette. Based out of Fort Worth, TX, with a cool following of 185k, Margaret has become a literal tastemaker in the plant-based world!
PV: Okay, let’s start from the beginning. When did you start “Plant Philosophy?” What inspired you?
MC: Originally I started out as Plant Strong Vegan, back in February of 2013. As of 2016 I rebranded to The Plant Philosophy. Long story short, I’m still advocating for a vegan lifestyle. Due to legal reasoning I had to change my name, but my content is focused on vegan recipes, mainly gluten-free too and sharing brands that create eco-friendly products.
I was inspired to launch my blog/brand after struggling with health issues that pushed me to go vegan. Once I educated myself on what that actually encompasses, I felt this overwhelming sense of passion to spread this message to others. The best way I knew how was through recipes. Why tell people to eat vegan when I could share recipes that just so happen to be vegan? That way you can find cruelty-free alternatives to your traditional meals. I promise they’re delicious!
PV: Has your entrepreneurial journey surprised you in any way?
MC: Very much so. In the beginning I did this as a creative outlet, I never had any intention of growing as much as I have over these few years. I’m constantly surprised at how well my content has been received. It’s allowed me to work with brands I adore and I’m still able to use my creativity in a very positive and empowering way.
PV: What would fans be surprised to learn about you?
MC: I’m overweight. It’s not something I openly talk about, but when I first started out I did. I suffer with a thyroid disease that affects my metabolism and some days are harder than others. When you’re a blogger that promotes a whole foods-based diet, people tend to be skeptical when that person isn’t “average-sized”. It’s never my goal to push this lifestyle as a cure-all, magical way to be thin and happy. Every body is different. I’m a typical girl that loves animals, I’ve just got some extra baggage - literally and figuratively. But that doesn’t make my mission any less credible or important.
PV: If you had to pick just a handful of recipes that would forever represent PP, which would you choose?
MC: That’s a tough one! I’d have to say that my select few would include: Rainbow Sweet Chili Sushi Burritos, Korean BBQ Zoodle Stir-Fry, Bowls Oil-Free Kale Pesto and Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake + Cheesecake Frosting.
PV: Do you have favorite foods or snacks that you are just obsessed with?
MC: I’m obsessed with pizza and sushi. As well as anything that’s Thai. I probably eat all three at least once a week - pizza is usually saved for date night with Netflix. Snacks I gravitate towards would have to be hummus and veggies, smoothies and/or anything covered in hot sauce. I LOVE hot sauce!
PV: Where do you get your motivation each day?
MC: I love this question! I’m a huge fan of music, it’s my life force when I’m cooking in the kitchen. I thrive when it’s quiet, but when I’m creating I need a funky, uplifting beat. I actually have a Spotify playlist I jam out to when I’m testing new recipes. It includes artists like; Miike Snow, David Guetta & Calvin Harris. But I’m also a huge fan of 80s music - my 80s playlist is pretty epic, I save that one for washing dishes and solo dance parties.
I’m also a huge proponent of lists. I have no idea why, but I’m motivated to get more done when I write out every thing I’d like to accomplish for the day. Some people aren’t a fan of that method, but it keeps me on track and pushes me to work harder.
PV: A lot of people claim to see improvements in their hair, skin and overall health after adopting a plant-based diet. What’s been your experience?
MC: When I first went vegan I noticed a huge difference in my skin and overall energy. However, I was coming from a traditional diet that was heavily influenced by fast food and take-out. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to try out different variations of the vegan diet, including; raw till four, fully raw, high-carb/low-fat, etc. After experimenting, I’ve noticed that I personally thrive on a higher-carb/lower-fat diet. Pursuing that has lead to insanely thick hair, a more even complexion and my energy levels have mellowed out. I’m consistently all of these things instead of fluctuating as I did in the beginning. It’s super easy to get caught up in the more processed vegan food items - those held me back in the beginning, but now I balance it out and stick to whole foods for optimal health. I feel fantastic! It’s so important to find what works best for you and your body.
PV: Do you have a favorite vegan restaurant? Favorite vegan-friendly city?
MC: Living in Fort Worth, we only have the one vegan restaurant (Spiral Diner). However there are a ton more vegan options popping up around town. I love Spiral for what it is, but I adore Blue Sushi for their vegan menu. You HAVE to try the Cow Girl roll, it’s the greatest thing ever in my book. My favorite all vegan restaurant would have to be Native Foods Cafe, mainly because I haven’t had the opportunity to try out a ton of other places. That one is more widely known and available when I travel.
Portland would have to be the best veg-friendly city. Every restaurant has a vegan option and the Portland only spots that are vegan are always top-notch. If you’re ever in Portland, you have to check out Homegrown Smoker - best vegan BBQ EVER!!!
PV: What’s the one thing you wish skeptics could understand about a plant-based diet?
MC: There is no sense in raising animals, feeding them grains/veggies/greens/etc. when we could save the animals, the land and just eat what they eat. There is no need for meat or dairy in your diet, you can replace anything with a animal-free alternative that’s cholesterol free and healthier overall. While you might not want to eat a vegan diet, it never hurts to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. I wish more people would try harder to educate themselves and aspire to live life more consciously. You’re not on this planet to trash it, you have one chance to make the most of your life and life’s too short not to go vegan. It makes sense from every standpoint. Ethically and economically, think about future generations to come.
PV: How has a vegan diet affected other aspects of your life?
MC: It was a bit of a barrier for me and my family, coming from a restaurant background that serves bbq. Not everyone agrees with my lifestyle and that’s okay, I’m not here to force anyone to change. Merely the opposite, I want people to thrive in whatever way they choose to. I love to talk to anyone interested in learning more about this way of life. It’s a conversation starter for sure, when someone looks at your basket of groceries and says how “healthy” it looks. I’ve become more open to striking up a conversation when I see others picking up vegan products. It’s made me a more social adult.
PV: Now, let’s jump into self-care! What’s your AM routine like?
MC: I like to start my day by putting up my hair, going to the bathroom and brushing my teeth. I love to use Wellscent’s “Watch Your Mouth” essential oil blend with my Brush with Bamboo toothbrush. I always follow up with putting on deodorant cream from Meow Meow Tweet, alternating between the scents and I usually go without makeup if I’m working from home. If I am going out, I like to use a powdered foundation from Gabriel Organics for a very light/minimal makeup look. I always fill in my brows and throw on some E.L.F. bronzer. I follow up with starting my diffuser and sitting in a quiet space to do a little meditation. Acknowledging my gratitude for everything in my life. Then I pour a glass of water to take with vitamins. That’s my usual start to the average work-day from home.
PV: What’s your PM routine like?
MC: I’m a fan of showers before bed, I know most people prefer morning showers but that’s not my style. I usually wash my hair twice a week using the EVOLVh line and afterwards I go through my skincare routine. Starting with my Vitamin E serum, I pat that into my face and neck and let that absorb for 1-2 minutes. Topping with my Cocokind Chia Oil & Matcha Moisturizer. About one to two times a week I like to exfoliate with their Sea Moss Exfoliator as well. Following up with brushing my teeth using my Wellscent “Watch Your Mouth” essential oil blend and my Brush with Bamboo toothbrush. I’ve used this combo for about a year now, swear by it if you have sensitive gums and/or fillings.
PV: And finally, what’s some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?
MC: Always work hard for what you want most in life. Never go to bed wearing your makeup!
PV: Well thank you so much for sitting down with us! We wish you every success!
For mouthwatering updates and more, follow Margaret on Instagram or Facebook @theplantphilosophy or visit her incredible blog The Plant Philosophy to keep up-to-date with her latest recipes.
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