The Plant-based World Traveler: Darja 

Everyone’s vegan journey is different in some way and at Vegan life Nutrition, we aim to help make the process of adapting to a vegan lifestyle easier as well as help long time vegans throughout their journey.

While San Diego is one of the best places to enjoy life as a vegan, many of our vegan journey friends come from places that don’t offer as many vegan options as lovely California does.

Our friend Darja Smirnova is originally from Lithuania, but has traveled all over the world and experienced vegan cuisine in many different places. Aside from California, Darja has also been fortunate enough to explore the vegan lifestyle in Bali and Indonesia. 

Being Vegan in Bali

Bali has a lot to offer when it comes to food options, with a large focus on health and wellness. For starters, it is home to traditional cuisine that is extremely vegan-friendly on its own with many of the restaurants offering delicious vegan options. In fact, both tofu and tempeh are used frequently in local dishes. It’s considered by many to be one of the best places to eat on a vegan diet!

Being in a place where health and wellness is heavily prioritized has allowed Darja to not only experiment with new vegan foods, but has also helped her expand her horizons in certain areas of exercise, specifically yoga. Darja is a trained and certified yoga teacher (RYT® 200), aerial yoga teacher, and Himalayan Kriya yoga teacher. Darja credits her vegan lifestyle, exercise routine, meditations, and breathwork for helping her in all aspects of her life.  

She says, “Yoga, Meditations, Kriya, Breathwork help us to bring this connection to the true self. And you can experience this connection at any moment by being present in the here and now.” 

Darja is also a certified nutritionist and says that switching to a vegan lifestyle has not only changed her diet, but her entire personality. Her mood and outlook on life is more positive and she simply feels better. 

Favorite Vegan Foods

In order to maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle, Darja makes sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day, as well as beans, nuts, and seeds. Eating a variety of these foods provides her with a wide range of important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and protein. One of the fruits she consumes on a regular basis that is unique to Asia is durian — a unique tropical fruit that is strong in smell, but incredibly nutritious and delicious. 

Darja says that although she couldn’t eat it at first due to its strong smell that comes from the presence of volatile sulfur compounds and fatty acids, she has grown to love it and says that Bali does it best. Some of the health benefits of durian are improved mood, treatment of sexual dysfunction, better sleep, help with skin pigmentation, wrinkles and aging, healthy bones, nergy boost, and regulation of blood preseure and prevention of cardiovasclar disaese. 

Another treat that Darja has incorporated into her everyday routine is consuming celery juice at the start of her day. She began noticing the many benefits of consuming celery juice just after a few days, such as clearer skin, improved digestion, less bloating, sustained energy, better mental clarity, weight loss, and a more stable mood.

Advice From Vegan to Vegan

As a nutritionist and friend to the vegan community, Darja’s advice to others who are looking to become vegan is to remember that “food is energy” and that it’s up to us what kind of energy we want to put into our bodies. The more alive and fresh the energy is, the better it is to consume and the higher the impact it has on our physical body and energy levels. 

Her advice is simple, “If it grows – eat it, if it does not grow – don’t eat it.” She says that learning to eat in a healthy manner will have your body thanking you. 

Last but not least, Darja advises her fellow vegans to say yes more often! “When you say ‘yes’, when you are carefree because you trust that the universe is working in harmony with you, you attract even more yeses, more joy, more generosity, more abundance.” So say yes to traveling the world, say yes to only putting good ingredients into your body, and say yes to going vegan! “It’s never too late to go vegan! You can start today!”

At Vegan Life Nutrition, we believe in the importance of taking care of your body and allowing only good ingredients in. Our products are made with 100% plant-based and all natural ingredients and are always free of toxins, allergens, and unnecessary ingredients. How? We strictly examine raw ingredients and fully-vet each final product. Quality is our top consideration, and we adhere to the guidelines of some of the toughest regulatory authorities in the world.

Would you like to share your Vegan Journey with us for a chance to be featured on our site?  Provide your contact information below, and we will reach out to you.  

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