Hello! I’m Olivia, a teenage foodie from New Zealand. Plant-based, wholesome food is my jam and that’s what I’ll bring you!
My passion for food
It began when, well – I can’t even remember. The thing is, I’ve been cooking since I could walk! Burning the oatmeal, curdling the chocolate sauce and fighting with my twin sister over who could lick the bowl (and who would be stuck licking the spoon 😳) was my mantra when I was a young spud.
I created my first recipe when I was eight years old. I still remember that day, sitting on my bedroom floor with recipe books (including my brand new “Cupcake Heaven” book that I won from a cupcake contest!!) scattered out in front of me. I really wanted to create a recipe for mini orange, apple and cinnamon puddings. And just that I did. (Well, I didn’t exactly get so far as to physcially making them, but I wrote the recipe down – so I guess that still counts…😹)
I was looking at different cupcake recipes, and combined quantities of flour, butter, sugar and eggs, and added some vanilla extract, orange juice, apples and cinnamon for flavour.
And as for the turning point that make these things puddings as opposed to plain old apple-cinnamon-muffins-with-orange-juice? I didn’t even get that far. But the thing is, I started – and that’s what counts right?
Shortly after this episode, me and my sister began alternating between who got to make pudding and who got to do baking each weekend. I remember looking at every single recipe book in the Moore house, bookmarking my faves and doing votes with my family to come to a conclusion of what I would make. It took HOURS, trust me. And this wasn’t just a one-off – it was a weekly event! 😃
Since then, I’ve been creating my own recipes and experimenting with others. I remember making a DESSERT LASAGNE (yes, weird, I know…) – I mean, I guess you could make a dessert lasagne taste nice… but not with the huge square sheets of lasagne you get from the supermarket + berry yoghurt + dried fruit (apricots, sultanas, prunes, desiccated coconut), nuts and melted chocolate.
It was the most disgusting thing my tastebuds have ever made contact with.
Fast-forward a few years
It’s then when I was about to face a huge turning point in my life. At the age of 11, my health took a huge turn. It didn’t just come as one big hit, it came in little waves. And that’s what made it harder to deal with. First of all, my gut decided to go into shut-down mode, basically.
I’ve been struggling with IBS for years now. At first, I was so upset and didn’t know what to do with myself. I was constantly bloated, doubled over in pain and felt constantly full, and my confidence levels plummeted. I reduced my food intake, as I thought, “if my body can’t digest food, why should I put it in?”
This became my life – at least for a while, anyway. By reducing the amount I was eating, I thought that I would be healing myself. Though over time, this led to disordered eating; my body image was low, and I became obsessed with being perfectly healthy.
I was obsessed with exercising hard-out for an hour every day – I didn’t believe in rest days. I became very obsessive about what I was eating, for example measuring the amount of food I would take to school (and would HAVE to stick to that exact amount every day). Whenever I ate at school, I felt like everyone was watching me and judging me. I would also measure amounts of water, pour them into my breakfast bowl and see where the water came up to, so I could get a gauge in my mind of an imaginary line in my bowl at which would be the maximum amount I was allowed to eat. It became very pedantic.
I’ve probably seen just about every doctor, dietitian, naturopath, nutritionist and pediatrician in town over the past few years, and I haven’t really gotten much out of those visits at all. I’d had blood tests and scans, but nothing seemed to be revealing anything. So many times, I became frustrated with myself for not being perfectly healthy.
One thing that I did get out of a dietitian, though, was that I needed to eat more to heal my gut. So eventually, I did try to eat a bit more, but kept falling back into the same old habits – letting my unhealthy thoughts control me.
I found veganism!
During those obsessive points of my life, I was taking loads of medications. I became very dependent on them, and it was exceptionally hard to get off them.
It wasn’t until the age of 13 when I first created my Instagram account @thatgreenolive. I instantly became fascinated by what these vegan foodie Instagrammers were posting – I’d always just thought they ate salad; and only salad. But now, I was seeing cheesecakes, burgers, cupcakes, cookie dough and pizza! These foods were much more healthy than their counterparts, and that appealed to me due to my obsessive-health-freak nature.
I basically spent that whole year trying out all these vegan foods, and loved it so much! I was truly passionate about veganism, even though I wasn’t a vegan. And then it occured to my: why am I not a vegan?
My parents knew I loved vegan food, but they weren’t particularly happy about it (as most non-vegans would say, “where do you get your protein?” 😩😒 ). I didn’t want to tell my parents that I wanted to go vegan, because I just knew they would say no. I originally thought that veganism would help me settle my up-and-down relationship with food, but then I began to see what the meat and dairy industry didn’t want me to see. I was absolutely mortified – the fact that people would be so disrespectful and plain cruel to animals, without even having a conscience to tell them that what they were doing was just sad and inhumane – it really blew my mind. I didn’t want to support this, and that really motivated me to just ask my parents.
As expected, they were skeptical. Very skeptical. They wanted me to trial vegetarianism for a month and see how I would go, but I was basically already vegetarian anyway and plus, I definitely did not want to continue eating dairy and eggs after what I’d just seen. So eventually, they let me go vegan. The precautions were taken, however: blood tests and visits to the dietitian, and eventually, they had faith in me as a vegan!
Ever since eliminating dairy, my pains have dramatically reduced! My other symptoms, however, are still in play, but I guess that just comes down to more of the annoying IBS intolerance symptoms. I am now *eventually* completely off the terrible medications I started out with. My “medications” now are natural supplements and, of course, plant-based nutrition (with a few tablets chucked in there as well – but definitely better than before!).
So yes, veganism has changed my life. By being a vegan, I feel like I finally belong to something other than my family or my school – the vegan community! I know I’m doing my bit to help the environment and the animals, and I hope to inspire others to make the change through my Instagram page and, of course, this blog!
So yes, I am SUPER excited to share my recipes, DIY projects and lifestyle ideas with you
This blog is my passion – creating recipes, taking photos, DIY-ing and writing are some of my greatest hobbies! I’m open to any suggestions you want to see here, because after all, I’m here to help you become a happier, healthier version of yourself (because trust me – food plays a VITAL role in your overall health, mental state and general outlook on life. After learning it myself the hard way, I want to help you skip through to your happiest, healthiest you!). So feel free to sign up to my mailing list, and let’s get on with this!