Hitting Rock Bottom: How a Girl Struggling with Health Became a Vegan Lifestyle Guru

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by | Updated: December 11th, 2018 | Read time: 4 minutes

Many people struggle with their health, or have struggled with it at some point in their lives. Trying to eat and live healthier can be quite a challenge with both internal and external forces of temptation pushing and pulling at you from all over. What if the struggle worsens and turns into an all-out battle? What if you hit rock bottom? For Margaret Chapman, when she was at her all-time low, she picked herself up, dusted herself off and finally decided that enough was enough.

Margaret gave up meat and dairy and turned to a vegan diet over four and a half years ago. Though she went vegan for health concerns, as a lifelong animal lover, she decided to maintain the lifestyle for ethical reasons.

Since then, she’s made it her mission to show others how affordable, accessible and delicious this lifestyle can be. Through her popular blog The Plant Philosophy and subsequent social media accounts, she shares easy-to-make, easy-to-modify plant-based recipes, favorite products and lifestyle tips. Sometimes, you might even see a picture of one of her adorable rescue animals!

We reached out to Margaret to get the scoop on her favorite “cheat” foods, how she stays motivated and her must-have vegan products.

1. How do you stay inspired? What motivates you?

I stay inspired by surrounding myself with positive and uplifting people. I’m motivated by anyone that’s making an effort to try to better themselves or level up with each passing day.

2. What does a typical day of eating look like for you?

I typically start my day with a smoothie of some sort. Followed by leftovers for lunch and usually a bigger dinner consisting of potatoes and greens. It varies season to season, but I feel my best when I stick to a whole foods diet that’s high in fruits, vegetables and legumes.

3. What’s your favorite splurge/cheat food?

Chocolate will forever be my sweet tooth obsession. As well as peanut butter. I can’t live life without the both of them in some form every single day. For a day of indulging, I like to try out new vegan products, like mock meats and cheeses. Everything in moderation works for me.

Açaí Bowl with Berries, Coconut & Almond Butter | Vitacost.com/blog

4. How often do you exercise? What’s your favorite way to exercise?

I try to get physical activity in daily. Usually by walking or practicing an hour of yoga. Yoga has definitely become my favorite way to move. It’s always a great workout and sets me up for a better day with a clearer and calmer mind.

5. What do you do for a living? What’s your “dream job”?

By day I’m a recipe developer, by night I’m a vegan food and lifestyle blogger. I’m thankful to say my dream job is exactly what I’m doing now, with rescuing animals on the side. I would love to expand that and run my own animal sanctuary one day as well as writing and self-publishing my own cookbook.

6. Are you married/do you have kids? Do you have pets?

I’ve been married for 6 years. My husband and I have 5 rescue animals – all of which we think of as our children. Two dogs, two cats and a rabbit.

Vegan Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce on White Plate | Vitacost.com/blog

7. Is there a role model you look up to?

My role model in life has always been my father. He works hard every day and has instilled in me that everything in life worth having requires work to be had. I look up to him and his work ethics. I always strive to stay focused and work towards my goals because of him.

8. What’s the hardest part about healthy living for you?

The hardest part of any living is always balance. Finding a way to keep yourself nourished internally, physically active and mentally fulfilled. You have to take it day by day. There’s no one way of living, but I believe we’re all capable of living healthfully in a way that works for us individually. It’s all about trying new things and listening to our bodies in the process.

9. What’s your favorite way to relax?

Yoga is very relaxing for me. Also meditation in a quiet space. Usually listening to an audiobook or going for a walk relaxes me as well.

Vegan Cheese Sauce in Bowl Surrounded by Tortilla Chips | Vitacost.com/blog10. What are your top 3 must-have products from Vitacost and why?

  • Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub: It keeps my skin soft and it’s gentle enough to use every single day.
  • Lemon essential oil: I diffuse it daily to keep my home smelling fresh and I also add it to a homemade cleaner I use for everything.
  • Raw cashews: If you know me you know I make vegan cheese sauce every single week. I love to stock up on cashews regularly for that since it’s the base for my sauce. As well as nutritional yeast

11. If you could advise someone who is just getting started on the path to healthier living, what would you tell them?

Investing in yourself is the most important thing you can do. You have to have a solid foundation before you can begin to lift others. Remember to take time to yourself and know that every day is an opportunity to better yourself. Take it one day at a time. Focusing on making little changes gradually that will become healthier habits over time.