My name is Laura Verbich, I am 25 years old, an Aries, a spiritual wellness warrior and self-love activist! I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and am of Italian descent ❤
What do you do for a living? I’m a health & wellness coach and I also work at lululemon in Montreal.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle? I’m just a girl who loves life! I love living clean and healthy, I love working out, I love sweating, I love getting OTHERS to love working out and sweating, and I love motivating and helping people! I’m fiery and passionate, I’m silly and a little absent-minded at times. I guess you could say I’m a free-spirit! I love to dance, I love to sing (neither very well, but I love it none the less), I love making friends, I love meeting new people. I love taking on new challenges, I love pushing myself, I love trying new things and learning more about life, fitness, health and spirituality. I live a vegan life and I love teaching people about what I do, how I got here, and how to keep moving forward! I LOVE, I LOVE, I LOVE – that’s basically it!
How would you describe your food philosophy? FOOD IS LIFE. FOOD IS FUEL. FOOD IS AMAZING!!!!!! DO NOT FEAR FOOD! Rather, make informed decisions. Learn about where your food comes from. Learn how it’s grown, how it’s taken care of, how it’s packaged. Learn about what this food does to your body, how it reacts once it’s inside, what benefits it will have. LEARN, LEARN, LEARN. I LOVE learning about food. I think the most important thing is to LISTEN to your body. It can be hard to truly listen and hear what it’s saying, but when you really tune in, it’s speaking to you. Your body loves plants. Your body was made to live off and THRIVE off plants. Your body needs you to take care of it. FOOD IS LIFE!!!! Period.
In what way do you tune into your own body? I find that the more clean, whole, plant foods I eat, the more my body speaks to me, and LOUDLY, and the more I can honour her wishes. When I was eating like crap and not moving, my body was so worn down and she was so depressed because I did not love myself, that I couldn’t hear what she was saying to me. I was lost, and I was clouded. When you make the CONSCIOUS DECISION to become in love with yourself, your mind will start to open. When you make the conscious decision to EAT HEALTHY FOOD, your body will naturally start waking up from years of sluggish sleep. When you totally nourish your body with real food, it will purge out the old and the bad, and clean you up from the inside out. The fog will lift, and you’ll notice subtle energy from inside your body. What once felt good won’t be in line with your truth anymore. For example, whenever I eat something with added sugar, about 10 minutes later I feel a wave of nausea and sickness. My energy drops, I start sweating, my heart races and I need to drink a lot of water and relax. I KNOW when my body is hurting, because I have cleaned myself out, and when something is wrong, it tells me RIGHT away.
Have you always been living and eating this way or what trigged the change? I became a vegetarian at the age of 15 after seeing a video of a cow slaugherhouse. I was so enraged and disgusted, I couldn’t bring myself to eat meat anymore. I decided right then and there, I would give it up. I knew from that day that I would one day become vegan, I just wasn’t ready to give up cheese yet (it was my major addiction). After having read the book “Skinny Bitch” four years later, I transitioned into veganism in about a month. On January 1, 2010, I went vegan for good and have never looked back!
Did you make the transition to a vegan and clean lifestyle all by yourself? Was it difficult and how did you find support? I made the decision and the transition to a vegan and clean lifestyle all by myself. I simply and honestly decided one day that enough was enough – I was tired of not knowing what was in my food, I was tired of feeling sick and tired, I was tired of not seeing results, I was tired not knowing what to do to reach my goals, I was tired of just passing through my life and not feeling like I was truly living true to myself. I picked up nutritional books such as “The Thrive Diet” by Brendan Brazier (the creator of Vega), started buying my own organic fruit and veggies, started eating REAL food, paying MORE attention to food labels (not just checking if they were “vegan”, but also checking added preservatives, salt and sugar, and ingredients I couldn’t understand), added much more raw food to my diet, created my own recipes and started meal prepping. I did a LOT of research on vegan bodybuilders, checked out blogs and got inspired by clean eating Instagram accounts. I began to notice my body changing, leaning out, gaining muscle, my taste buds awakening, and my mind becoming clearer and happier. I soon craved salads instead of candy. I loved my vegan protein shakes in the morning more than my usual peanut butter and jam toast. I eliminated my morning latte and switched to tea when I was in the mood for something warm. I didn’t find the transition difficult AT ALL. I knew what I wanted, I had my mind set on my decision, I was secure and happy in my decision to become a clean eater, and I received lots of support from my friends and family. Of course I got laughed at and called “extreme” for being vegan AND extra “picky” on top of that, but I always stood by my decision, made the choices I felt were right FOR ME and I just keep evolving and learning.
Since changing your lifestyle, what would you say are the greatest changes you have noticed in your life? Living a compassionate and plant-based life completely changed me. Thriving on plants and giving up all animal products makes me feel ALIVE. I feel harmonious, I feel happy, I feel true to myself and true to the universe. I feel like this is RIGHT and this is REAL. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it. Someone once used the phrase “it feels like I’m treading lightly upon the earth”, and I thought that was beautiful. That is EXACTLY what it’s like.
Have your way of eating and living affected you on your spiritual path? DEFINITELY. By eliminating animal products from my diet, I am honouring Mother Earth and all her divine wisdom. By eliminating my direct connection to suffering and death, I can help spread the word of how a peaceful diet leads to a peaceful mind, body, spirit and planet. I feel connected to the Earth, and the deeper I delve into eliminating my footprint (by eating organic plant foods, eliminating processed foods and excess packaging, by using eco-friendly cleaning products and beauty products, etc) the more connected I feel!