Hi, I’m Surraya. Welcome to Vegnifico – a website dedicated to all plant-based and oil-free recipes. My goal is to share with you healthy and delicious meals that will help you feel great from the inside out.
I am a wife, and a busy mom of two beautiful children. I always had interest in living a clean and eco-friendly lifestyle. My strong belief in a holistic approach to wellness that treats mind, body, and spirit as a whole allowed me to pursue a degree in this field. I recently graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness and completed the certificate program in Plant-Based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies through Cornell University.
My journey to the plant-based diet did not start until later in life. I have spent most of my childhood in Eastern Europe and grew up on foods that were rich in high-fat meats, oils, and sugar. Every meal always consisted of some meat and dairy product in it. Veggies were never the main meal, and I hardly ever ate any. When my family moved back to the U.S., I ate what every teenager would eat, mostly unhealthy foods. My favorite places to eat were Taco Bell, KFC, and McDonald’s. I always felt bloated, tired, and had low energy after every single meal. In 2006, when I was pregnant with my first child I have decided to eat healthier and buy only organic foods. Meat and dairy were still part of my diet; however, I have switched to “organic” meats, eggs and dairy, thinking it was a better option. I have always shown interest in a vegetarian diet but had no clue what to prepare without meat, besides pasta and salads, so I never really stuck with it.
In 2012 my father was diagnosed with rare stomach cancer. After researching more on the type of cancer he had, everything kept pointing to high consumption of meat. When I look at his history of eating habits, it just made sense. My father consumed a lot of red meat, smoked beef, lamb and processed meats. I can’t ever recall seeing him eating a salad. The meat was part of his every, single meal. At that moment I knew I had to change my eating ways. I became a vegetarian in 2012. I have tried to introduce my father to more vegetable-rich meals, but he never had an interest in it. Sadly, my dad passed away in 2013. I often think about him and believe that he might have had a longer life if he only changed his diet.
Two years later, in late 2015, I came across some documentaries on dairy factory farming, and that quickly shifted my diet towards vegan foods. The food I eat now is plant-based, oil-free and unprocessed. Ever since I have changed my diet, I have more energy to wake up in the morning, my mind is clear, and my concentration improved. I feel lighter, happier and overall healthier.
I did enough of my research on what animal protein does to the human body and all the diseases that are caused by it. I have also made a conscious decision that I do not want to be part of any animal suffering and torture. I believe we as human beings can live with love and compassion if we only open our hearts to all living creatures on this planet.