Save Money, Reduce Food Waste & Eat Healthier w/ Carleigh Bodrug

Episode Number: 368

Episode 368: Save Money, Reduce Food Waste & Eat Healthier w/ Carleigh Bodrug

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Save Money, Reduce Food Waste and Eat Healthier w/ Carleigh Bodrug

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Carleigh Bodrug is the CEO and Founder of PlantYou, a New York Times Bestselling cookbook author and self-taught plant-based chef. Carleigh founded PlantYou in 2016 after the World Health Organization announced that red and processed meat were now considered Group 1 and Group 2 Carcinogens which was especially shocking as Carleigh grew up on a “meat and potatoes” diet. With little-to-no cooking skills, and a tiny bachelor apartment kitchen, Carleigh started experimenting with plants. She began cooking vegan meals by simply replacing the meat in her favorite childhood recipes with plants. Carleigh’s mission is to help people to save money, reduce food waste and eat healthier than they ever have before.

In this conversation, we discuss: 

  • Carleigh’s journey from working in radio broadcasting to becoming a vegan chef and how a plant-based diet improved her digestion and overall energy levels
  • The health and environmental benefits of eating more plant-based foods & moral reasons for reducing animal product consumption
  • The importance of focusing on your health and diet as part of your overall wellness and wealth 
  • Tips for reducing food waste at home through proper storage, repurposing vegetable scraps, and being flexible with recipes + much more!
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Carleigh Bodrug 0:02

You know, there's no one size fits all diet that is going to be perfect for everyone. But I think that it is undeniable. Although the carnivores might tell you differently that eating more plants is going to benefit your health.

Intro 0:16

Second, welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host Jamila souffrant. As a money expert who rocks her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real Whoa. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom in

Jamila Souffrant 0:37


If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes. You'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode. Hey, hey, hey, Jaron yours. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast. This week, we have Carly Bo drug, who is the CEO and founder of plant you a New York Times Best Selling cookbook author and a self taught plant based chef, famous for her simple take on low waste and vegan recipes. Carly has been featured on Good Morning America, the Rachael Ray show, Martha Stewart magazine and more. She has over 7 million followers between all her social media channels. And she is really a proponent of making and teaching other people how to create delicious low waste recipes and make plants the star of the show. So welcome to the podcast, Carly,

Carleigh Bodrug 2:11

thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to chat. Yeah. So Carly,

Jamila Souffrant 2:15

I am just so impressed with the almost the Empire you've been able to build. And I want to learn more. So I think what I ever really inspired by and I hope that our audience gets to learn from you is your journey to this point, how you've been able to make such an impact doing something you love and seem to be also merging different interests and not only impacting the planet and your followers, but also just doing what you truly desire, which I feel like my listeners are all about that and wanting to live a life of freedom. So can you share a little bit about just a bit of your past and growing up and what you thought you do and then we can kind of go from there.

Carleigh Bodrug 2:55

For sure, so I grew up I still live in Canada. I grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada. My parents had a little hobby farm and grew up sort of humble. My dad was a firefighter. My mom was a stay at home mom for most of our lives. And my parents were huge animal lovers growing up which sort of incited that in me we had horses, chickens, dogs, but always ate animal products. I remember in high school I actually debated a friend who was vegan, about like the reasons not to be vegan. Never in my wildest dreams thought I would end up becoming plant based. And when I was 11 years old, my dad was diagnosed with Stage Two colon cancer and it shook our whole world at the time he went through chemotherapy, surgery and came out the other side still with us today. At the time, nobody mentioned diet, it was just you have colon cancer, we're going to treat you and then off on your way. So it wasn't until 2015 Now fast forward I had gone to university I had a degree in broadcasting and this world news breaks that the World Health Organization now was classing red and processed meat as group two and group one carcinogens. And this was really shocking to us because my dad again we had eaten such an animal product heavy diet and had not changed at all post his cancer diagnosis. And so we started watching all of the documentaries if anybody's interested in going plant based there was like what the health and forks over knives on Netflix and decided to shift as a family to a plant predominant lifestyle. At the time I was actually working up in northern Ontario, living in a really like a 400 500 square foot bachelor apartment didn't know how to cook. I was working as a morning radio host and I had never had a vegan meal in my life but I knew that this was something that I was really interested in doing. So I had to teach myself to cook from scratch and which was a messy experience. And I just immediately felt so great. And as I delved into the world of plant based eating, I always say it's like opening Pandora's box, because not only do you learn about the health benefits of eating more plants, you also learn about the environmental implications of animal agriculture, as well as make that connection sort of to your fellow animals. So that's when I just started sharing about it on Instagram. And it was like very much, oh, this is my journey, you guys should check out some plant based food, it's like really cool and can be life changing. I didn't know anything about this prior. And that slowly and surely gained traction. And now I'm in this podcast with you.

Jamila Souffrant 5:45

Yes. And I did fail to mention, you know, your new book plant, use scrappy cooking 140 Plus plant based Zero Waste recipes that are good for you, your wallet and the planet is coming out. And so I wanted to just mention that because it's primarily what we're talking about. And one of the things that I thought just now to pull out from what you said, was, you talked about debating your friend about being vegan versus not being vegan. And I'm just curious, I'm sure we'll get into a bit more but about the positives or just different sides to it. But what was like one of your strongest arguments. Do you remember back then?

Carleigh Bodrug 6:23

I mean, I think it was such a high school argument. And probably my biggest point was that I can't imagine not eating meat. I'm a huge foodie. So food do I derive so much joy from food? So having never eaten a vegan meal in my life? And I hear this all the time from people now it was like, how can you possibly live without cheese? How can you possibly live without like a steak dinner. So I think my strongest argument that a life without animal products would not be as fun and delicious, which I have now proven myself wrong. But it is funny to look back because I very much was one of those people who was like not anti vegan, but just like not with it at all.

Jamila Souffrant 7:11

This can I think go for any topic or subject matter is that the ability to change our mind and like to go to the total opposite of something we thought we'd never do or never want or never like. And it's just like you never know, what can lead you down a different path.

Carleigh Bodrug 7:27

It's so funny you say that, because when you think about it in life, like I even think and I'm 31 now, right? And I think about some of my ideologies and the way I lived my life when I was 20. And it's so different. So I think in this life going PLANT BASE has taught me that you you need to be open to new experiences in life and also meet people where they're at. Because when I was I was a teenager, I didn't have the worldview and the education to ever think about going plant based. And then that changed, right? I don't expect anybody to go vegan anybody to go plant based, and I carry no judgment with the way people eat. This is just the way I have chosen to. But I think we can all lead a more compassionate world if we kind of meet people where they're at. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 8:14

Tell me a bit. You mentioned you were a broadcaster, and you went to school for journalism. That is fascinating to me, because I find that sometimes what we think our career will be so we could talk about what you thought you do in school and what you graduated to do versus something you do, just as part of your lifestyle, like eating vegan turning vegan, obviously, that eventually emerged to be your career. But talk a bit about your broadcasting career where you thought you'd go with that. And then when that shift started to switch to do what you do now? Yeah,

Carleigh Bodrug 8:44

so from an early age, probably early high school, I always wanted to be a news broadcaster, like I would watch the five o'clock news and be like, Oh, my goodness, that would be the coolest job. For some reason. This is what I thought. And I think I more wanted to kind of get into maybe being a foreign correspondent or doing documentaries. And so I went to school. It's called Western University in Canada. It's a big university and I took a program called Media Information and techno culture, were getting a dual diploma in broadcast journalism, and loved it, loved it, learn to write, learn to broadcast, learn to write scripts, all of which really support my work today. Graduated, went up north and started working as a morning radio host in just it was grueling. In terms of that. It seemed there was such an overturn in the industry, people would get fired out of nowhere. As a woman, you would see women get older and almost there was this sense that there was like an age limit to how long you could be on television, which was like this terrible prospect. And the pay was not good. Until you got to like a huge ranking and you were expected to move all over the place to get like I was Living up, I had my boyfriend now husband at the time, living like six hours away. So it just, it wasn't as glorious as I had pictured. And then I remember there was this point moment where I came into work one morning, and there was a fire down the street. And the host I was working with was like, Carly, you should really go on the scene of that fire and do like a real kind of reporting thing. And I thought to myself, I really just don't want to be the person who is on the scene for people's worst day of their lives and be asking questions about that. And so that was a wake up call to me were in that moment, I was like, Okay, I don't think I want to do this. But I'm sure the skills are transferable to something else. So I had always been entrepreneurial starting like new little things. I always thought maybe I'll do a social media business or really like social media, I ended up getting into move back home and got a job working as a marketing manager for a Hospital Foundation. So all the hospitals in Canada have charities that they raise money for hospital equipment, so I was writing like patient stories, fabulous job, had a pension, all this stuff like your mother dreams of that your child would have, I thought it would be there for the rest of my life. And then slowly and surely, well, this was all going on this transitioning career, plant you the Instagram page. And now I had a like a little blog was like slowly growing. And I felt so called to it. It was like this innate feeling that this is where I what I needed to be talking about and what I needed to be doing. And I remember one time, I was like really struggling, I kept saying to my parents and my my now fiance, it's like, I think I might like jump and try and do this. And my parents, my mom thought I was crazy. My dad thought I was a little bit crazy. And my my fiance was like all back you, you should do it. And I remember my dad one day was at the gym. And they had this stack of books that was free. And he grabbed this book and it was the Alchemist and I don't know if you've ever read it. But he read the back of it. And he he gave it to me and he said, I read this, I read this book like found me and it sounds exactly like you and what you're going through. And the Alchemist is a fabulous book for anybody listening. But it's about somebody finding and pursuing their true purpose in life. This is wonderful story. And I read it and like a couple of weeks later, I took the jump and left my job. However, I will say I would not recommend to anybody listening that you take a jump and just leave your job with no plan in action. So to this point, I had built up an Instagram following of around 100,000. This was in around 2016 2017. That was a lot at the time. And I had also launched a subscription service. So I had this meal plan subscription service where I was sending out weekly meal plans for 799 usd per month. And I had enough subscribers on there that I was making an equitable pay to what I was making in my day job. However, there was still this fear because I didn't have like a promise of a pension and benefits and all of that. So it was definitely still this like, big risk in my mind. And I finally made the jump after reading that book. And then a couple of months later, I was approached by a literary agent and signed my first book deal. So it really reinforced, like those few months there. I was terrified. But once I signed the book deal reinforced that I think I had made the right decision. And now obviously I feel strongly about that. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 13:45

So when you were growing your following? What did you think it would be at that point? So what were you talking about on your pages as a vision just because sometimes you have an idea, you're interested in something? And then you're like, Okay, what's next? So for you at that moment, what were you thinking about? Yeah,

Carleigh Bodrug 14:02

I was just winging it. And at the time, it's funny because I was sharing infographics. And the best way to describe this is, and I'm not sure if you've seen my books, but they follow the same concept and an infographic would be like, it was these pictures of like a finished dish, but it had all the individual ingredients up above it to show what was in the components of the dish. And I would do like before and after infographics. And people didn't even know there was a specific person behind the page. I remember I would get messages where people thought I was like mail, they didn't know who I was. And then everything changed around that 2017 point where Instagram rolled out reels. And I remember being like, oh my gosh, what am I going to do like these infographics? These faceless infographics would perform and kind of go viral some of them so it was like mad about it. I'm like now I have to change my entire or content plan, and I just left my job. And definitely at that moment, that's when the broadcasting experience really benefited me because I kind of jumped into creating reels and voiceovers and scripts with two feet in full. So simultaneously on tick tock, and started filming. And if you go back on my, on my page, it is a clear example of how far you can come because those first like probably 30 videos I did, were just absolutely horrendous, like terrible, terrible quality, shaking, I have a tremor, my hand was shaking, I didn't have a tripod, the scripts I was using some weird broadcasting voice. So it was a whole thing. But it's funny, it's it's great to look back and see how far you've come, right? Because it's really just kind of getting your hands in there getting messy and doing the work. But over time, that's really when I became known personally as like a cookbook author. And then for really easy plant based recipes were these kind of tangible. So in a way, the biggest curse where Instagram switched from photos to videos was my biggest blessing in the end, for my success of my career thus

Jamila Souffrant 16:10

far. Well, it's so funny, you're saying that because it sounds like you're your Instagram pretty, pretty large with just not even showing your face, which there's so many people who are like, well, if I could start a business without showing my face and not being the person on the front of the camera, that sounds like a dream. So I'm wondering, it sounds like you actually appreciated that switch to be more forward facing and match your past and your experience in broadcasting. But I'm wondering, knowing what you know, now and maybe what you think you want to do in the future? If that's something you feel like you want to continue to be the face of your brand, or do you foresee or would like being behind the scenes and the pros and cons to both as a business owner,

Carleigh Bodrug 16:50

I think coming from a broadcasting background in this sense that I always was very into acting to that I like being forward facing. So I don't envision that for myself stepping back behind the brand, I think there's an intimacy. And it's easier also, to connect with your audience when you're an honest human behind the brand. With that said, I know lots of food bloggers who take a step back and want to take a step back and allow their food to speak for themselves. So I don't think there's one right way of doing things. For me, I always envisioned myself sort of at the forefront, because I just liked that aspect of it. It's fun to me to talk to my audience. And I feel like in a way, it's a friend relationship. My audience is almost entirely female between the ages of 26 to like 34. So they're like, right in my wheelhouse of like friendship. So that's really cool. And I like that aspect of it. But I if somebody's listening in, they're like, I don't want to be this front facing like talking head per se. I don't think you have to be I know so many successful incredible people who have careers built either their food, food bloggers or business people who make like faceless videos that have nothing to do with like their their looks, or whichever else. Or they're posting videos of food that don't have the minutes. So the possibilities are endless. But I will say it's easier to make a connection with your audience, when you are kind of up there front facing and honest about what you're going through in your life.

Jamila Souffrant 18:28

It also sounds like when you left at least you did have some income through the subscription business for your company. And then I saw relate to the confirmation of getting a book deal and making you feel like okay, so now I have something to work towards. Because I felt that way a bit, I got my book deal. But before I quit my job, I also solidified a working relationship with my agent at the time. And I hadn't really booked any deals, but the fact that he wanted to work with me, I was like, Okay, this is a good sign. Like I think I'm on the right track, even though for I wasn't earning as much money or any money before I quit my job. But I love the confirmation in that. And a lot of that is stepping out in faith. But going back to setting things up for yourself. Did you have like any savings or a backup plan if something didn't work? It sounds like you had a partner, which I didn't know if that was a support system. Also financially. I know for me, I was married at the time, so I could be on his insurance. So that was one less thing to pay for. But I always want to talk about this for people thinking about leaving their jobs, because there are so many things that may be in place that helped us to do that versus what we could have done differently.

Carleigh Bodrug 19:36

I think it takes an incredible amount of privilege to do what I did. And I want to acknowledge that I did have a partner who was like, well, if things go south, I've got you he had a really he still has a really steady job. And he also exactly what you said he had benefits. So as soon as I left my job, I was hopping on days benefits for my dental and my eye care. And I mean that's privilege that I was in that position I think I did have some savings at the time I I've always been a very kind of like thrifty, scrappy, for better lack of better words like saver. Even now, I just, I like experiences and more of the humble things in life. So I wasn't, I wasn't spending a lot I was saving. So I'm sure I had some padding in my account to make that confident of a jump. And also, like just knowing that I was pulling in monthly income that was not going to completely disappear. It wasn't like I was reliant exclusively on brand partnerships, which you will never know if one's coming the next month or, or not. So if somebody is listening, I think it is important to build something that you see sustainability for in a future, if you have some sort of subscription idea or some monthly guaranteed income coming in, that's certainly helpful. Or if you do have a partner or somebody who, who is going to back you my backup plan was always, okay, I got this job, I can surely get another one. If things go south, that's kind of how I felt that like my skills are capable enough, I was confident enough in my skills that if things didn't work out, I could always go back and get a regular job, which, in some sense, sounds freeing, because, uh, you know, as an entrepreneur, like, as soon as you make that jump, it's all on you. And there's 24/7 That's like, what you're thinking about is okay, like, this is all on me. Now, I'm not clocking out at 5pm. And not thinking about my job until the next day. So yeah, you have to weigh that and think about what type of life you want to cultivate, because I don't think it's for everybody. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 21:40

And I think the type of business to most of us start out as solopreneurs. And stay that way. And maybe we hire contractors. But even in that case, you do have to manage people in a way and maybe not always full time. But then also, too, if you start to have a business where you have employees, that you need to manage people, and some people are just not made to or don't like managing people don't like necessarily being on a strict schedule. And sometimes the job gives you that like it's it tells you where to be it tells you what you need to do. And even though you might not like it, depending on your personality, it may work and then jumping into entrepreneurship, where it's all on you. And now you are the person calling the meetings, and the so called boss can feel a little off for some people. Yeah,

Carleigh Bodrug 22:24

I feel that in my day to day like I very much love to be in a creative zone where I could spend all day like creating videos or testing recipes or writing books. But there is this a large aspect of my job, which is managing and doing financial taxes and accounting for expenses and thinking about your next business steps. So there is that all to consider when you're making the jump for sure. And I'm just really fortunate how my path has gone. I've really been lucky with the people that I've had as contractors have just been incredible. And I think I've heard so many bad stories that I feel fortunate to have worked with some great people who have supported me along the way, and gotten me to where I'm at. Yeah,

Jamila Souffrant 23:10

I want to also note that it's not like I'm not advocating for people not to try out entrepreneurship, either. I think you can figure this stuff out. I think sometimes you don't know until you do it, what needs to be done. And there are ways in which you can maybe find a partner, or find other people to do the other tasks that are just not your zone of genius, if the creativity is your zone of genius. Most of that can be figured out I'm just talking about for people who think that it's all roses, and so easy when you do kind of own your own thing that there is a price and cost to that to consider or at least acknowledge as you go into it.

Carleigh Bodrug 23:47

Yeah, and I think most entrepreneurs will agree when they reach a certain point as they reflect back on their business journey that they wish they had hired out earlier. Because I remember for at least a couple or three years, maybe I was just doing everything by myself. And I had this like expectation that I was going to put out a recipe video almost every day it was bonkers. Well, managing everything else. And there's this resistance at first. I don't know if you felt this way where you're like, Oh, I'm too nervous to hire and start spending a lot of money because I'm so nervous that this could go south at any moment. So it takes a while to build up that confidence to start hiring out and actually paying but once you do you just see like so much benefit for both your mental health and your business. So I think there's exactly what you said I don't think entrepreneurship is something that people should shy away from if they want to do it, but have some considerations about where you excel and where you could possibly outsource things if you have the potential to do so.

Jamila Souffrant 24:51

I Jamila here host of this podcast and author of the book your journey to financial freedom a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness. Just a few years ago, I was in a job I didn't like with a long commute. feeling stuck, I knew there had to be a different better way. Then I found the pathway to financial freedom and financial independence. Today I have more money, options and freedom than I ever thought was possible. And in my book, Your journey to financial freedom, I'll show you how you can achieve that too. You will learn how to spend and save responsibly, all while enjoying that spicy Margarita and extra side of guacamole. To determine where you are on the journey and evaluate your spending and saving goals accordingly. Quit your job, retire early, or reach financial independence. My book your journey to financial freedom a step by step guide to achieving wealth and happiness is out now and available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more, you can leave and listen to the audiobook narrated by me go to your journey to financial to get a free bonus when he ordered the book and see all the places to buy it. Once again, go to your journey to financial I want to talk a little bit about being vegan and the benefits. I know there are a ton from your end that you can share with us. I want to talk about maybe the misconception. So as someone who is not vegan, but tries to eat healthy, and add more greens, my kids I'm like, Oh my gosh, there's no greens, we have to like get to some greens on this plate. You know, I am conscious of that. What are just some misconceptions maybe about being vegan and like maybe cost wise or effort wise that you want to dispel. And then maybe we could talk a bit about if someone does want to try out some of these recipes or things to become more healthy what they can do. For

Carleigh Bodrug 26:44

sure. I think it's important off the top to make a separation between plant based and veganism. So to me a plant based diet really means that you're eating the majority of the things that make up your place in a day are plants and to me and some people might not agree, but I think somebody could eat still animal products and eat a plant predominant or plant based diet. And I have no disillusions or expectations that people are all going to go plant based. I think we can all benefit by eating more plants, though. So that's where my focus is, is just helping people integrate more plant based meals into their life. I mean, there's no denying the benefits of eating more vegetables. It's kind of like what you said, the greens and when more of these things sort of crowd out the animal products on our plates, I think we only stand to benefit from both a financial and a health perspective. So there's a lot of misconception that switching to a plant based diet is very expensive. And in reality, I'm not going to lie to anyone that groceries are expensive period these days, especially in Canada, it is bonkers. So like no matter if you're eating vegan or you're a carnivore, you're not getting out to the grocery store for a penny. But with that said Whole Foods are typically less expensive than things like cheese and meat. So swapping your beef perhaps for beans like a can of beans and sticking to these whole plant based foods, vegetables, rice, pastas, whole grains, they're generally going to be more affordable. A big mistake I see a lot of people make when they go plant based or vegan is they'll go to like the freezer section and they're making one to one replacement. So maybe they love sausages. And now they're buying a vegan sausage or they love like chicken fingers and now they're buying vegan chicken fingers, that's going to be expensive. For some reason the vegan like mock meats are very expensive and not very good for you either. So you're better off sticking to the whole foods and sort of crowding out. I always say treat meat as if it's like a side dish. And I think that's a great place to start. I also think transitioning slowly is a really great way to do it. I always tell people if they want to go plant based, maybe take an audit of what you normally eat in a week and then see how you can make simple swaps in your diet to maintain that familiarity within your diet. Well, also eating more plant predominant. So one simple swap would be maybe you love cereal in the morning. Change your dairy milk for soy immediately. It's like not a switch you're necessarily going to notice from a taste perspective but makes a big difference. Maybe you typically have ground beef and your pasta sauce and you're gonna try lentils this week Right? So making those simple swaps building familiarity over time sustainable changes are kind of the way to go. When we talk about plant based first veganism I identify as both plant based and vegan so vegan is really speaks to the moral standpoint than it does diet. And there's so many reasons to go vegan, right. Number one probably is thinking about the animals in factory farming and how what a drain that is on like our fellow sentient beings, but also the animal agriculture is really a huge drain from an environmental perspective. And there was a big study that was done that said the single biggest way we can reduce our environmental footprint As individuals is by reducing our animal product consumption, so there's something to be said there. So there's a difference. And I, I just really encourage people not to think of it necessarily like if you're starting from ground zero like you're you're an omnivore, just like I was growing up, it takes a while, if you want to go plant based, and that's okay. It's a journey, not a race. If you're gonna like switch overnight, I think you're in some sense, sometimes setting yourself up for failure, because there is a learning curve.

Jamila Souffrant 30:29

Yeah, and I think the depending on which road on the internet or research you go down, that could stumble upon the the meat eaters like the I forgot what they call them, and they only eat meat. I know, there's like a name for them. I forgot the carnivore diet. I think carnivore diet. Yeah. And it's like, literally, I know this, like Lady, I think she only eats like steak, no vegetables, just steak. And I'm like how I don't understand. But it does have to be a choice. But it is something like you said, you can try out. And what I love to do or think about in ways in where I'm switching things up is it can be an experiment, like it can be something you try, right, not a permanent switch. But something you try to see how it works for your body if you're not feeling well. And so I do want to talk a bit about, we talk a lot about finances here and financial freedom. And while that can be external and is usually external about the money that you have, I believe a lot of our wealth is in like who we are, like us is our biggest asset, your bank account, like the markets can change, things can fluctuate, things can be taken from you. But I really do believe like your mind and body, as much as you can protect it and nourish it are important. And so many of us don't focus on that, because we're trying to do all the external things that ultimately don't matter as much. So I'd love to speak to the health, even just from you as like, you know, your health or wellness journey, and focusing more on like who you are as a person from the inside to help you with your wealth in a way. Absolutely

Carleigh Bodrug 31:57

your sentiment about that rain, so true. And when someone gets sick, whether it's yourself or a family member, you quickly learn that the only thing that matters in life is being well. So I think what you say about being wealthy, that is in our health. And I mean, I'm guilty of this, like burning myself into the ground as like a workaholic. And at the end of the day you reflect on it and think this is not worth it. Because if we only live once, you need to take care of the vessel that that you have. And I think eating more plants is just a wonderful way to do that. So my personal story was, I hope we can talk a little bit about poop on here. But I was constipated when I was a kid like severely to a point where I went to the doctor and they just put me on laxatives and I always thought, okay, just Carly have a slower digestive system, which was a painful experience. I'm sure anybody who who's been there can relate. And then when I switch to a plant based diet, all of a sudden, this was alleviated. And this was a problem I had dealt with for like a decade. And I was like, Why did no one sense that I wasn't getting any fiber in my diet. And it's so funny because as a society, we hear protein, protein, protein, protein, and almost all of us, barring a unique health condition, eat more than the daily recommended protein come out. However, 95% of the people walking around in North America are not not meeting their daily recommended intake of fiber. And where does fiber come from? There's no fiber and cheese, there's no fiber and meat, there's fiber in plants. And we keep hearing more and more about how important fiber and plants are to our gut microbiome, which is this incredible, diverse bacteria in your gut that impacts every aspect of your health, from your mental health to your physical health to obviously your digestion. And there was this great study done. In it said that eating 30 or more diverse plants per week typically lends to a healthier gut microbiome. So when you think about that plants include, so don't worry, if you're hearing this, you're like I gotta eat 30 vegetables per week. I don't even know one different type of kale. Plants include things like rice, grains, seeds, spices, you can get that 30 plant count up pretty quickly. But if you do that, if you focus on eating 30 diverse plants per week, we're going to achieve what I talked about earlier, which was that we're crowding out a lot of the crap on your plate and replacing it with really diverse foods that are going to nourish your body and personally, now I've been vegan for around seven years, I just find I have great energy. I don't deal with much issues with my skin, good weight maintenance. I feel like it's effortless at this point. And I know a lot of people struggle so I think, you know there's not a one size fits all diet that is going to be perfect for everyone. But I think that it is undeniable although the carnivores might tell you differently that eating more plants is going to benefit Your Health. And then I will add this in here because I think it's so important. I had a sick family member the last two years and I kind of gave up a lot of my healthy habits to take care of what was going on. And, you know, I got back into working out like physical activity the last maybe six months. And I cannot tell you the difference in mental health that working out even a few times a week makes. So if you're somebody who wants to make a change in their life, or you feel like you're so busy even taking a half hour out of your day, like three times a week, they say it's like, the most affordable lower blood pressure pill or antidepressant is not saying I'm not against medication, I think it has a great time in place. But that physical activity and eating more plants in your diet, it's just such the simple things will make such an impact on your health. Oh, as

Jamila Souffrant 35:53

someone who does work out and is very active in that way. I think one of the misconceptions for me is the fear of being hungry because I'm expelling especially because I lift and so expelling all that energy and wanting to replenish it and feeling like if I eat you know, maybe something that's plant based with no meat, then I'm gonna get hungry quicker and then going to the side where then I'm not even eating healthy. You talk about this. So you mentioned it is that there's a way to eat healthy being vegetarian or vegan because there there are people who I know that are that way like eat and they're not they're not eating healthy. They don't look healthy. Yeah,

Carleigh Bodrug 36:28

oh, there's certainly you can be vegan and be the unhealthiest person walking around. I mean, I could be vegan and my diet could consist of Oreos and vegan chicken tenders. Right. So there is certainly a right way to do it. I think some excellent plant based protein sources to kind of your point about like working out and then being starving is your tofu, Tam pay your beans, some grains for carbohydrates, and you'll feel more saturated. But this is not to say that that animal products can't have a place in a healthy diet. I don't agree with that. But when you go to the moral side of things as a vegan, that's when you're like, oh, I don't want to eat any animal products. Right. But I think that they can have a time in place and support people's health or or their moral life, depending on how they live their life. Right. Yeah.

Jamila Souffrant 37:17

And I think to the whole look, I should clarify too, because there are people who it's not necessarily how like your weight or anything, because I know people who are also seemingly look fit or are slim, and then even just from what they're saying or how they feel, it's like their diet is not all that great. So I do think one of the things that so many people don't focus on but should as part of their wellness journey in all aspects is just their health and diet and finding out a solution that works for you. So what does that look like? Right doesn't mean that you're totally vegan or vegetarian, but like, how do you have a more balanced diet?

Carleigh Bodrug 37:54

Yeah, I love that. One thing I do want to mention, because I think it's really pertinent to this conversation is, the reason I wrote my latest cookbook is because I learned this statistic that 30 to 40% of the entire US food supply goes to waste. This is a terrible thing for our environment, food waste, it's actually creates more emissions in the airline industry, which is crazy, because you think about in school, we learn all about, like what is contributing to environmental destruction. And I feel like we're talking about planes, trains and showers. Meanwhile, it has a lot to do with what we're eating. But beyond that conversation, I think about when we're talking about financial wellness, if we as consumers are often throwing away 30 to 40% of the food we buy, that is astronomical. So if you're wanting to make a impact on both your health and your wallet, I think a great place to start is to also start thinking about food waste. So this can be a simple, you don't need a cookbook, you don't need an app, you don't need anything. This can be as simple as being more intentional about meal planning, which is going to benefit you from a health perspective as well home cooked meals almost always better than eating out. And this can look like sitting down on a Sunday for 10 minutes and writing out what you're going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week and then going to the grocery store with a plan for those ingredients as opposed to heading aimlessly because we're also busy and like grabbing things from the shelf in desperation, then heading home and you get to the end of the week and you haven't eaten any of it. So that's one big tip that I want to drive home is that like food waste is draining your bank account and also potentially contributing to bad health. I

Jamila Souffrant 39:34

love that you bought your book up at this point because I'd love for you to share maybe some tips you just shared like a very important statistic I think that people need to know because I'm sure they're doing some of it their own household including myself. So what are some other tips or some other ways we can repurpose food that we currently have in a healthy way?

Carleigh Bodrug 39:55

Yeah, and I will say like even as a food blogger myself, I still have food waste There is no such thing as perfection in this. So don't be listening to this and feeling guilty if you're somebody who wastes food. I mean, I am certainly guilty of it myself, but we do our best. So there's some like really easy tips. So meal planning is number one storing your food properly. So if you buy a box of spinach every week, one thing I like to do is just add a paper towel or a clean cloth to the box and it will absorb some of that moisture to prevent mold. Spinach is a big wastage, someone who buys herbs, you can store them like bouquets in the fridge, making sure your potatoes are in a cool dry place. But beyond storage and access of buying, there's things you can do in your household to reduce waste as well. So a lot of the things we buy in North America we throw away because we just think we can eat them. So one of them is like broccoli stems if you're paying for broccoli stems by weight, and throwing away half of the broccoli, it's crazy because they're delicious. So you just need to peel out the really rough outer edge. And then the inside is tender. I like to slice them into like little fries and bake them I have a great broccoli stem summer roll you like slice them into matchsticks and put them in summer rolls in my book, you can add them to soups, you can just slice them up into stir fries. So that's one of them. Another big one I love is radish tops and beet tops, they make excellent salad greens, you can blend them up into a beautiful pesto of a scrappy pesto recipe for this in the new book. And one big tip I have for people who are wanting to reduce their food waste. And I think it's like the most practical is that most of us in life in our cooking lives make the same meals most weeks. And this is even true to me as a cookbook author is I'm usually making some sort of curry some sort of pasta and some sort of soup every week. And a really simple way to deal with this is once you have these foundational recipes, which you can derive from my book or the internet or wherever you want, like I have a peanut butter curry that lends itself really well to this in the book. But you you can interchange the vegetables and the protein sources in these for what you have on hand. So my whole goal kind of now as a cookbook author and a blogger is to empower people to learn how to cook so that they feel confident enough to interchange the vegetables that they have in their fridge into recipes of my own. And stop wasting food. Because I think so often we get caught up in like the rigidness I get so many messages per day. Can I interchange the sweet potato for butternut squash and 99% of the time? The answer is absolutely stakes are low when you're cooking with plant based food and it's going to be just fine. So I hope I can empower people to do that. Because that's really the crux of food waste when we get caught up in something and don't know how to use those vegetables that are going bad in our fridge.

Jamila Souffrant 42:48

Yeah, like and being able to improvise and having the confidence to, to experiment to take the tools that you're learning and to use them in different ways. Exactly.

Carleigh Bodrug 42:57

That's, that's the whole thing. And I think that it's one of the gifts of cooking plant based because the stakes are really low. And that's what I found out when I started on my own journey is that you're not so worried about under cooking the chicken and getting sick, like the salmonella being on your table. It's like the plants you got to sue you over salted it add some more broth, it's gonna be just fine. So the stakes are low when you're cooking with plants, which is cool because I think it empowers people to be a little more risky with switching things up, which is what I want.

Jamila Souffrant 43:29

Alright, Carly, now I have to try one of your recipes. I can't wait to get my hands on your book. Thank you so much. Can you let everyone know where to find out more about you and where to pick up the book?

Carleigh Bodrug 43:39

Absolutely. So you can find me on any social media channel other than Snapchat. I'm not on there yet. But it's plant while you so plant you. And my cookbook is called plant you scrappy cooking and it can be found at scrappy Or if you follow me on any of my social channels. I'm sure you'll see me talking about it. So thank you so much. This has been a blast. Great conversation.

Speaker 1 44:01

Thank you so much for coming on. Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to or click the description of wherever you're listening to this. And you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show. One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this in Apple podcasts, rate review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review number to follow me on my social media accounts. I'm at journey to launch on Facebook Instagram and Twitter. And I love love love interacting with journeyers their three support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you, sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So show them some love for supporting your girl for and last but not least share this episode is podcast with a friend or family member or co worker so that we can spread the message of Journey to launch. Alright, that's it until next week, keep on journeying journeyers

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