MEET: Annabella Asvik, Vegan + Beautiful

Annabella Asvik is a sweet friend and one of the most beautiful people I know – she has an amazing, bubbly personality and is always thinking positive positive positive. I love that about her! In addition to being model-gorgeous, Annabella is also a healthy vegan and keen on bringing awareness to animal rights – read on.

Hi Annabella! Can you tell our readers a little bit about what you do? I’m a host, producer and director, focusing on fashion and lifestyle content on TV and video. I do anything from creating and producing shows for the likes of MarieClaire.com and directing online commercials for luxury lifestyle brands, to hosting fashion segments for various channels.

What’s a typical day’s worth of food for you. I went vegan a year ago, after being a vegetarian for 20 years. I wanted to eat in the most healthy, environmentally friendly and ethical way possible, so I gave it a try. To my surprise, I have felt better than ever.

In the morning, I have coffee with soy creamer and oatmeal with blueberries, bananas, flax seeds, cinnamon and almond milk. For lunch, I always have a salad with tons of different fresh vegetables with balsamic vinegar, which I often pair with a slice of olive bread (which I dip in virgin olive oil!).

For dinner, If I’m doing takeout, my favorites are lentil soup from my local gourmet grocery store or veggie meatballs or vegan green curry paired with black rice with edamame from Rice. if I’m eating out and not at one of my favorite vegan restaurants (more about them below!), I might have pizza without cheese, with some truffle oil at a great Italian place.

How do you stay in such amazing shape? Do you workout? If so, what’s your exercise regime? Thank you! But I have to say, my diet has a lot to do with my shape. When I went vegan, the first change I noticed was how much easier it was to stay fit. I take regular Pilates and circuit training classes 5 times a week, but being vegan on top of that gives you the defined body you always wanted almost over night. Everything I eat is very easily digestible (if you want to try this, make sure to take it very easy with any soy products and seitan, which is wheat glutein), so I’m always very energetic and my body feels great.

What are some of your favorite restaurants (in NY and LA) and what do you usually order there? There are so many! New York is vegan’s paradise. For more casual dining, I love Sacred Chow. I always order the vegan melted cheese and grilled western tofu sandwhich or the 3-dish tapas plate (Orange Blackstrap BBQ Seitan, Baby Root Vegetable Latkes, and Sautéed Shiitake Mushroom are my favorite combo). Caravan of Dreams has vegan nachos and seitan quesadilla (yum!). And I always have the scallion pancakes at Wild Ginger.

For something a bit more upscale, I go to Café 79, my absolute favorite. It has so many incredible options, I try something new every time I go there. Kajitsu has a set menu, where every bite is pure bliss. The raw lasagna at Pure Food and Wine cannot be beat. Gobo has great Asian-Western fusion dishes with organic saketinis, and Franchia that’s vegan Korean, Blossom, and Counter are also amazing.

For quick lunch or bite around town, I like Jivamukti Café, East-West Café, or S’Nice (I never leave without one of their vegan cupcakes). To satisfy my sweet tooth, I go to the vegan bakery Babycakes.

Do you cook much? If so, what are some of your favorite recipes and cookbooks? I’m just learning to cook! I can make vegan enchiladas, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and waffles. I get my recipes and cooking guidance from my dear friend Joshua Katcher of TheDiscerningBrute.com, a blog for the ethically handsome man. His recipes are easy to make and out of this world (thediscerningbrute.com/recipes/).

What are three things you cannot live without? Love, fresh veggies and a positive attiude!

What’s one thing that would shock the world about you? I was a competitive figure skater on a national level in Finland. But I had to quit at 13 when I just couldn’t get my axel right. But that’s before I went vegan, I bet I could jump now!

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