Profile of Hope: Tony Hillery shares what he likes about his vegan diet (part 7 of 8)

Editor October 23rd

After Tony Hillery began his vegan diet to lower his blood pressure he learned how to cook different food than what he was used to. Hillery is the founder of Harlem Grown, an independent, non-profit organization that transforms abandoned community gardens and lots into vibrant urban farms in partnership with local public schools and the community. While he has spent the past two years teaching children about healthy lifestyles through Harlem Grown, in the summer of 2012 Tony realized that his own health was not very good as he found out he had high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Here Hillery discusses his favorite vegan meals and how his family has joined him in adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Q: What are your favorite vegan meals?

A: Every morning, for breakfast, I make a smoothie. My favorite smoothie ingredients are oats, almond milk, wheat bran, flax seeds, frozen bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. For lunch or dinner, I will have a nice salad. My dinner is usually a sauté of this and that. For instance, I throw a little olive oil and garlic in a skillet with tofu, nuts, rice, and a whole lot of veggies like kale, and brussels sprouts. It’s so good and it’s so easy! I don’t snack much anymore, but I like nuts or maybe a protein bar with no dairy. I buy Kind Bars and Clif Bars are good. My favorite meal is spinach, olive oil, garlic, and whole-wheat pasta, it is the best! My rule of thumb is that if I purchase packaged foods I don’t buy anything that has more than five ingredients. It’s that simple.

Q: Did anyone else in your family join you in your vegan diet? 

A: Yes, my wife, Mary. She got tired of making separate meals! So she just started eating vegan also. I think her favorite meals are about the same as mine, she cooks my food everyday. We like couscous and a lot of Indian food now! We never ate Indian before! I started noticing her weight loss about two months after she started the diet too! She has lost close to 25 pounds so far! It’s crazy because she has tried so many different weight loss diets in the past, like Weight Watchers, and none of them have worked until now!

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