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Inspiring change with Tammy Fry: Her story

Thank you to Conversations in Noosa for this awesome podcast, featuring our International Marketing Director, Tammy Fry. This wide-ranging conversation covers topics never heard before from Tammy herself, including what it was like growing up as a vegetarian alongside her father (Fry’s founder, Wally Fry) who was a goat trader at the time, marrying her husband who used to be a hunter, creating as self-defense courses for women, her health and her current diet.

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Inspiring change this Women’s Month

This month is Women’s Month and we are celebrating all women! With National Women’s Day falling on the 9th, we are celebrating the achievements and spirit of women throughout the month of August. Get to know the incredible women behind The Fry Family Food Co, Debbie, Tammy, Hayley and Stacey.

Debbie Fry

DEBBIE

What was your dream job as a kid and why?

I always dreamed of living on a farm and working with animals – I love the open spaces and just couldn’t see myself fitting into a corporate world.

Which woman inspires you and why?

Thuli Madonsela – she lived through the struggle in South Africa, educated herself and then stood up for the people by not being afraid to tell the truth.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

I personally think this is one of the most challenging times for women in the world! A time when roles are changing and blending in more with men’s roles – a very different world to the one our grandparents grew up in.

What would you say to your 15-year old self?

I am proud of myself that in a time when there were few vegetarians/ vegans and coming from a “meat-eating” family that I never waived from my meat-free diet.

What message would you like to share with women this Women’s Month?

Love yourself, be proud of who you are and take time out to enjoy quality “me” time.

TAMMY

What was your dream job as a kid and why?

When I was 5, I wanted to be just like my mom. I thought she was amazing!

Which woman inspires you and why?

The truth is that all women inspire me. I have met so many incredible women and it never ceases to amaze me how many beautiful qualities women have. My mother played an integral role in my life, as did my sisters, my “grannies”, my amazing friends, people I have met along my life journey.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

To fight the corporate world and the propaganda, to expose the truth of big industry, to fight hard for what’s right, and then to go back to being women again. To be so tough and then so soft – this will be challenging!

In your opinion, how do the principles of equal women’s and men’s rights align with vegan principles?

It’s about equality and respect. Men and women should be treated as equals, as should every creature that walks the earth. It’s about living a value-led and principled existence and standing up for what’s right. Human rights and animal rights are both rights!

What would you say to your 15-year old self?

Love and accept yourself for who you are – you are the perfect you.

What message would you like to share with women this Women’s Month?

Find yourself a woman mentor that is older than 85 and ask her for advice. Her wisdom may astound you.

The answer I got:

Indulge in the things that are the most important to you. Don’t strive for success, strive for happiness. Forget the to-do list and make a to-don’t-do list instead. Spend an extra 5 minutes every night cuddling your kids.

I am working on applying these to my life!

What inspired you to start the self-defense and functional fitness program, Tough Love?

This poem:

“She is a woman, she is mother, a daughter, a wife, a sister. She is a person, she is strong, smart, crafty, passionate and generous. Cooking barefoot is one of several superpowers. She is action, emotion, devotion. She has hope, beauty, power, she has a brain and she knows how to use it. She gives you life, she gives you respect, love, gratitude, she believes in you. She will nurture you and fight for you. She deserves nothing less from you.”

My motto is – “if you can, you should!” – I know I can help women in South Africa by empowering them with self-defense skills and so I try my best to do this.

HAYLEY

What was your dream job as a kid and why?

Anything to do with serving people, I have always loved looking after and nurturing people, I am not sure why it is – just who I am I guess.

Which woman inspires you and why?

No one woman, in particular, I am inspired by women who are fearless in living their personal truths. The ones that know who they are and are not afraid to own it. Women of today have great pressure to be perfect… the perfect mother, always present and patient; career-driven, while also maintaining a perfect home, and let’s not forget the perfect body, a good sense of style, and last but not least a good social media presence! I am inspired by the ones who don’t pretend to get it all right, the ones who are clear on their priorities and work hard to maintain those.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

I guess similar challenges to my generation… maintaining balance and choosing what is important to them rather than striving for it all. Defining their concept of success (not society’s idea of success) and then working towards that.

What would you say to your 15-year old self?

Do not follow societal norms, follow your heart, do not do what is expected of you but rather what truly resonates with you, scares you and excites you. Think clearly about what success looks like to you. This is easy to say now – but I doubt my 15-year-old self would have listened. Some things you can only learn with time and living.

What message would you like to share with women this Women’s Month?

Support one another in a real and authentic way; share your hardship stories openly so that you may give people the gift of learning from your experience; be vulnerable, this allows people to connect with you on a deeper level; learn to be with yourself and listen to your heart – meditation is a great way to achieve this. Find joy, by noticing the things around you, the sunset, the warm sun in winter, your daily cup of coffee, a stranger’s smile, all of it! Have fun, having fun keeps us alive too much adulting does not!

STACEY

What was your dream job as a kid and why?

Growing up I always wanted to be a vet because I absolutely loved animals and could think of nothing better than working with them all day.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

I feel like communication would be a big challenge for the younger generation as technology and social media have taken over. I often see a group of teenage girls out at dinner and they are all on their cellphones. I think we need to focus on human interaction and face to face communication as nothing beats this.

What would you say to your 15-year old self?

I would say, don’t stress about the small things. There are so many obstacles that you have to overcome throughout your lifetime so just take it one day at a time. Tomorrow is a new day.

What message would you like to share with women this Women’s Month?

Be bold and humble. Do not be ashamed of what you stand for and what you believe in.

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Mimi’s Story: How a plant-based diet has improved my health and lifestyle

This is my story of how a plant-based diet has improved my health and lifestyle, as a cancer fighter and survivor of 2 years. Before my cancer diagnosis, I led a healthy, active lifestyle and enjoyed cycling, yet I ate animal products occasionally. I wondered what changes I should make towards a plant-based diet and how I could implement this in my life but I never actually went through with it.

A sore throat, flu and cough led me to visit my doctor at age 26 in 2014. I couldn’t walk, breathe properly or chew and swallow fish, chicken or meat that I regularly ate.

My physician found that my lungs were compounded with litres of water stored and a lymphoma cancerous tumour was growing on my lungs, slowly crushing them.

There was also water found on my heart, and immediate heart failure was a risk I was facing. I only had hours to live, with a very weak body, which needed nutrition.

During the ICU surgery and chemotherapy in hospital, soft, nutritious foods were recommended. These were the only foods my body could swallow and digest. I switched to only eating vegetables, which felt softer on my throat.

It’s amazing how much extra energy it takes to swallow and digest animal food, in comparison to a spoonful of butternut.

I managed to eat healthily, be patient for the tumour on my lungs reduce in size with chemotherapy and I learned to breathe alone without a ventilator. I maintained the plant based-diet during chemotherapy and fought my cancer tumour.

I have now been cancer-free for two years! I’ve followed Fry’s online recipe books and I’ve now managed to maintain a plant-based diet with the help of Fry’s and many Vegelicious articles. I am healthy and I swam a mile in 50 minutes this year!

I love sharing all the links to Fry’s online recipes and I’m so grateful to Vegilicious for recommending places to eat out. My work colleagues, friends, and family understand and witnessed living proof of the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Fry’s recipe books, online recipes and colourful boxes make it healthy and user-friendly at the same time!

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Fry’s and well I am 6:12 weeks and life-long change!

It’s time for well I am 6!

I’m Lisa Raleigh, and I’ve been working in wellness for over 15 years now. In 2011, I decided to create a wellness challenge – with a difference!

I love the era of fitness challenges we have been growing for the last decade, and have always wanted to create a community of health that inspired individuals to THRIVE. Challenges are such a team effort, and the power of motivation, incentives, specific goals and TEAM SPIRIT does wonders for one’s health and fitness!

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The idea behind well I am is to keep things realistic. Well I am is accessible, online, flexible, balanced, holistic and long-term. No quick fixes, unsustainable habits or restrictions here! Well I am is a way of life that serves you beyond the challenge’s start and end date.

When you sign up to our challenge, the R499 entry fee earns you: a wellness kit, two health screenings at Dis-Chem, weekly training programmes from our coaches, a choice of weekly nutritional plans from certified dietitians, an exclusive online community that offers incredible support daily and free wellness events held around SA! there is a life-changing R20 000 cash AND additional prizes for 4 of our winners (Transformation and Physique), as well as great incentives for our runners-up. Well I am doesn’t conflict with any existing fitness challenges – online or other. So you can enjoy being on other challenges at the same time – and double your chances of winning!

Well I am 6 starts 5th September (just in time for summer prep!) and we are so honoured to have Fry’s Family Foods on board! Sponsors play such a valuable role in what well I am offers the public, and brands that reinforce the message of holistic, long-term health – not just results – are what make well I am so special. With Fry’s joining the family, we’re excited to be offering more plant-based meal inspiration, tips for eating clean and consciously, and – of course – plenty of incentives along the way!

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While there’s no denying the value of a life-changing cash prize, I want to emphasize the real gain that well I am offers – healthy foundations that will last a lifetime. Health is our real wealth – realistically, we have nothing without it! Exercise and nutritious foods are the leading preventers of chronic disease and yet are so often underestimated and under-utilised. Together with Fry’s, we want to encourage people to start THRIVING, not just surviving. That means relishing delicious, healthy meals, enjoying action-packed activities as part of a lifestyle, not just necessity, and really pushing our bodies to reach the healthy potential they are designed for.

Ready to change? Have a look at well i am online for more on what we offer.

Follow well i am now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Love plants, love yourself

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by Wilma Tarr, Plant-Based Cook, Nature Lover

Living in a world where our priorities are unbalanced we often neglect our health and especially our diet. There are so many factors at play, not least the role of stress, eating junk food, careless substance use and chasing the skinny ideal. We use unhealthy shortcuts and chemically-laden products to clear up bad skin and add shine to our hair, we medicate symptoms and we simply ignore the tell-tale signs that reveal the truth about our health! We eat food that advertisers tell us are ‘healthy’ without questioning their motives.

This lifestyle leads to health problems and frustration over the general condition of our bodies, taking us down a dangerous path of illness and destruction.

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True health means feeling energetic, balanced and vibrant on the inside, while seeing the positive external changes as well.  Following a balanced plant-based diet, exercising, spending time in nature, getting adequate sleep and staying hydrated are all extremely beneficial for overall health and well-being.  In addition to good nutrition and dramatically reducing your risk of a broad spectrum of diseases (including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes), following a plant-based diet also provides many physical benefits. You will truly enjoy the immense health benefits and see positive external changes as well.

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A balanced plant-based diet provides all the nutrients your body needs, ensuring that your nails, hair and skin always look their best. Because of the high water content of a plant-based diet, it will supply your body with constant fluids, keeping your skin hydrated, smooth and healthy.

Whole grains, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans contain antioxidants and phytonutrients from real, whole, plant-based foods which are anti-inflammatory and filled with fibre. The mixture of proteins from grains, legumes, Fry’s, vegetables, nuts and seeds (nutritional powerhouses), provide a complement of amino acids and antioxidants. These have been shown to promote hair growth, healthy hair and skin.

This diet is not only rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients essential for health, wellness and beauty, but it is also alkalising, delicious and a powerful medicine that we all have access to every time we eat.

If you have a hard time eating greens, include them in smoothies and juices that the whole family will enjoy. Fresh juices like carrot, celery, apple and cucumber will deliver hydration and skin-nourishing vitamins and minerals. Include avocados and bananas in your smoothies for extra benefits and a supply of healthy fats for glowing skin. Variety keeps things interesting and there are infinite and oh so many delicious recipes and ideas available!

You will find that by adopting this lifestyle and making smarter, educated choices, you can eat delicious meals that are healthy and nutrient-dense, providing everything you need to feel healthy and look your best.

Wilma is a nature lover, plant-based cook, keen photographer and mother of two teenage boys. She has always loved expressing herself in a creative way not just through cooking but also through styling, writing and photography. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram to find our more about Living a Vegan Life in South Africa.

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Three new year’s resolutions you can stick to

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Each year people make a commitment to be a better person with an array of New Year’s Resolutions. That commitment usually lasts until the 10th of January when the couch is a better place to be than running on the beach. This is also about the time when junk food is “easier” to eat than veggies and charity really does start at home. In 2016, why not make your goals attainable and start small then grow them! Instead of saying “I am going to lose 15kg’s” rather say “I am going to eat healthier”.

Drastic change is not always sustainable so this year why not keep it simple and try these New Year’s Resolutions?

1. Eat Healthier

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Choose plant proteins over protein that comes from animals. Eat more fruit and vegetables each day while drinking plenty of water. These are simple tips that our parents told us from day one… so why don’t we listen? Don’t be hard on yourself when you have a cheat meal but don’t make them the norm. By making a conscious decision to eat mostly whole foods and swapping meat out for Fry’s, you are doing good on yourself. There is a body of research that suggests following a plant-based diet is the best way to manage your weight, improve your health and well-being.

2. Be More Active

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Simply saying “I am going to get fit this year” is not going to get you off the couch but saying “I am going to win Comrades” may not be helpful either. Small steps (like take the steps and not the elevator) are ways to get yourself in the mindset you need to become more active. You don’t have to go out and buy expensive Lycra and join a running club, just start with doing Parkrun each week! Then make the most of your mornings with a quick few sit-ups and squats to start the day (check out these morning routines) and join that yoga class you were meaning to go to. Need more tips? Check out these 15 from former couch potatoes.

3. Give Some of Your Time

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“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane 

We all want to do good. We want to change the world and “be the change” we want to see around us. Often, this global view may be to your detriment because you can feel powerless in the face of the great challenges that are facing animals, people, and our planet. Instead think small and help out in your immediate community. Help out at the local animal shelter once a week, donate blood or do a beach clean-up with some friends. These may seem small but it has been said that a butterfly can start a storm! So why not go from a lazy caterpillar to someone who is out there making a small but meaningful difference?

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you agree with our list?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!