#LunchBreakLIVE with Gina Lee Shansey, a fitness enthusiast and vegan with experience in health and wellness. In this episode, she will show us how to make vegan simple spiraled zucchini basil pesto. Yum!
We asked Gina to tell us a little about herself and her story. Here is what she had to say:
Taking care of our minds, bodies and spirits is my passion. I have been a fitness enthusiast since childhood and worked in the health and wellness field as an Esthetician, Master trainer of Sales and Services plus General and Regional Manager for 20 years.
I was inspired by Eastern philosophies in my 20’s and began a regular meditation and prayer practice that I still practice today. The Eastern philosophies also attracted me to a holistic approach to health & wellness which lead me to a passion for skincare, bodywork and spiritual health and healing.
My relationships and love for animals has always been one of my biggest and most memorable traits amongst those who know me. So it makes complete sense that with my love for animals and passion for health and wellness, I am today a vegan. But I wasn’t one of those overnight vegans that sees a documentary and flip’s a switch and is vegan from that point on. It would have been nice but that’s not my story. I first went vegetarian at 11 when my sister and I saw a cow being slaughtered on TV. I meant well but being so young and with basically no support, that round of vegetarianism didn’t last long. Then in my early 20’s I was inspired by a friend and went vegetarian again and remained one for approximately 12 years. I still didn’t have any support and none of my other friends or family were vegetarians and as much as I loved animals it was difficult plus not to mention all the brainwashing, marketing, tradition and manipulation that we are all exposed to on a daily basis and eventually I became weak and fell back into my old habits of eating animals. Its almost as if my brain had a way of washing away all that I knew to hide from the pain of the facts. I didn’t want to disappoint my family and partner. I was weak. For a number of years after that, I would go back and forth. Trying to reclaim my vegetarianism. I would, but then I would start eating fish eventually, then back to vegetarian.
Eventually, I started joining groups on social media and started learning more about the industry and how horrible it was and that was when I knew I would never eat another animal ever again. I had support through these groups! Then I started learning about the dairy industry. Omg!! I was definitely convinced I couldn’t live without cheese! It was easy to go vegan with milk, butter, yogurt, etc but cheese was hard for me as it is for a lot of people. And here it started again….. Vegan for months then I would blow it with some cheese and back and forth. Finally, after about a year and a half of that, I must have seen or heard something that truly registered because one day I said that’s it and I never allowed dairy in my life again and I’ve never looked back. There was no specific defining moment that triggered me to stop eating cheese in one moment but more of an evolution and a journey for me. And I don’t miss it in the least. Plus there are so many delicious vegan cheeses these days.
Today I am a proud and passionate animal and health loving vegan who is in the process of building a retreat center with yoga, meditation, sound baths and vegan gatherings for all to heal, learn and grow with future plans of creating an animal rescue and sanctuary.
So that’s my story and I think there are a lot of people out there who can relate. People with great intentions on their own journey. Just keep on keeping on and live your truth. Your heart will lead you to your right timing. ?
SIMPLE BASIL PESTO
- 3 cups basil moderately packed
- juice of one small-medium lemon
- 1/3 c pine nuts
- 2 large garlic cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the olive oil. Pulse until evenly chopped. Slowly add in the olive oil through the top of the processor. Pulse until evenly combined, but not completely smooth.
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Donna Dennison is an UnchainedTV writer, graphic designer, video editor, and IG contributor. Donna is also a creative in the film industry.