Alexandra Andersson is a vegan who was born in cold Siberia and now lives in Germany. She told how she raises three children, teaches them love of plant nutrition and at the same time spreads veganism as a tool to prevent climate collapse.
You have 3 children and all vegans. Usually relatives react negatively to this, how are you?
Initially, there were complaints from my husband’s relatives, but I just printed out the Swedish health advice on vegan nutrition for children (they are Swedish), which highlighted the benefits of plant nutrition for the child and the peculiarities of making the right diet. At the same time, I made it clear that this topic is closed, because my mother-in-law is still in a negative mood. My mother fully supports me and became a vegan a few years ago.
Are my relatives trying to feed me something harmful?
If they don’t respect my rules, I won’t go to such relatives. And the harder it is to dot all the i’s from the very beginning (no matter how difficult it is), the easier it is to go on. Since everyone knows what they eat, there is no misunderstanding or doubt. Over time, the storm in the glass will calm down, no matter how incredible it may seem at the beginning of the journey!
Do children ask questions about why they do not eat certain foods when they are eaten by other children?
Yes, they do, it is very important to me that they understand the essence of veganism. I tell them about all three components: animals, the planet, health. I’m often asked how old you can talk about it. I think it’s never too early to start instilling a sense of responsibility in children, firstly, they will feel the trust and respect of their parents and secondly, they will become aware of their importance, because their actions lead to concrete results. Don’t underestimate your children, they’re getting to the bottom of it better than you think.
How did you instill in your children a love for the right products?
The eldest Yulia in early childhood loved to drink freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning. Contrary to doubts, that it is impossible to eat an empty stomach, instead of breakfast it is impossible and other things, I all the same did not refuse it to her. Result: now she drinks smoothies most readily for breakfast (for example, beetroot, defrosted berry, banana, orange juice, chia seeds, chlorella powder) and generally likes all raw. It seems to me that this is precisely because I encouraged her love of oranges, over time it resulted in a love of other raw materials, as the microflora was already accustomed to raw materials.
I made it a rule never to limit my children’s desire to eat fruit. I buy them any fruit they want in the shop. They will also never hear from me, “That’s enough, you’ve already eaten enough.
That they usually ask if you want something sweet and forbidden?
Chocolate. I accustomed them to the dark (it is not forbidden in our country), but sometimes I also buy vegan milk (forbidden). Nicky and Axe – lovers of flour, mostly buy wholemeal bread and pastries, but sometimes in kindergarten (or from her husband) they get white flour products, on vegan.
What about schools and kindergartens? Cook everything with you?
First, talk to the principal or the supplier in the canteen. Yulia is the first vegan at school, and after several phone calls I managed to get vegan food, albeit at a higher cost. Soon Nicky will go to the preparatory group at the same school once a week with meals, so there will be two of them – then I will ask for a price reduction. The kindergarten refused to cook for us. I signed some document that the food brought with me meets all hygienic standards and I give the younger ones dinner with me, however, they eat it cold (by the rules).
I am glad to see that my children have never missed a garden because of illness, while others are sick with tutus. Hasn’t anybody noticed so far?
Do vegan children get sick less often?
Fiber and antioxidant levels in children’s diets are very important. Fibre is not available in animal products in principle, and on average there are 64 times less antioxidants in animal products than in plant products. Moreover, the only factor of longevity of people all over the planet specifically in terms of nutrition is legumes, they are generally super useful (there is a lot of fiber). And children are also people, that’s why I have accustomed all my children to love legumes, perhaps you have seen how they are weaving chickpea in my videos for both cheeks.
What should I do if my child suddenly falls ill?
Read Mendelssohn’s pediatrician “How to raise healthy children against doctors” on this topic. In short: bed rest, no doctors, no medication, plenty of water (or other liquids such as soy or coconut milk, compotes, freshly squeezed juices).
How do you feel about vaccinations?
Negative, however, as all people who have read about them at least something other than scary news about the measles outbreak. Following the same logic as from a “miracle”, antibiotics have turned into a potential nightmare. Are vaccines and viruses threatened by a similar fate? We are already seeing mutating viruses within the framework of total artificial immunity. And if in 1900 children died of pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis due to poor hygienic conditions, now 54% of all children in Russia are chronically ill (according to Rospotrebnadzor). There is a lot of research linking children’s infectious diseases with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer (It is useful to get overdose with natural children’s infections! But the vaccine not only takes away this advantage, but also carries the risks in itself), as well as proving the connection of vaccines themselves with various complications, both instantaneous and after decades. Somewhere in the area of the beginning-middle of XX century people were born, who without problems experienced all acute infectious diseases in view of then already better living conditions, and who were not changed natural immunity to artificial one.
And how does your husband feel about children’s nutrition and this way of life? Is he a vegan?
He is a vegan ally, which means he fully supports me as a non-vegan. Although he doesn’t eat animal products at home, he wouldn’t stand up to my gaze (smile). Recently, I took him to a movie theater for the premiere of The Game Changers. I think it’s been a turning point, at least for the last 6 years of my veganism, it’s never been so pervasive.
You’re the mother of three.
children, do you have time for yourself?
According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018, if the problem of global climate change is postponed for the future, irreparable damage to the planet’s ecosystems may be caused by 2030, i.e. in 11 years. What time are you talking about? I will fight for the future of our children every second.
And how do you keep yourself in such amazing shape? Is it necessary to limit oneself severely?
Restrictions are doomed to failure. I have never been a nurse and look at my results: 3 pregnancies, during each of them the increase in weight of 20 kg, and as a result I weigh my 55 kg, diastasis has almost gone, has returned to its former sports form. Everything is much simpler, and there is no need for any restrictions: a complete plant food, a lot of wholemeal, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, buns and harmful things do not pull (believe me, this was not always the case – the microflora was rebuilt). I do not use a car, all day long on my feet or on a bicycle with children in the trailer (even in winter, if it turned out to be snowy, with winter spikes) – this is the basic load. A couple of times a week, twenty minutes of stretching and strength exercises on the balcony, for more time not available.
Sometimes you want to share your knowledge with the whole world. What do you do to
…people started to think about the ethical way of life?
I’m giving them Michael Greger’s book Don’t Die (or his recipe book), or Davis Gert’s book Protéinolica, and I’m going to refer to The Game Changers. It’s for people I know in real life, but I have my own YouTube channel. Changing society is a very difficult task, and no method of animal rights activism should be neglected. And if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.
Do you participate in any movements or actions?
Fridays for the future is an international social movement founded by 15-year-old Greta Tunberg, whose members are demanding that politicians “act quickly and decisively” to combat global warming. For example, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025. Let me remind you that so far the countries have not been able to implement even the requirements of the Paris Agreement, and they are far from being as tough… Ratification of the Paris Agreement is rather a demonstrative gesture. After all, they will not start reducing emissions until 2021.
What are the plans and objectives for the near future?
A million subscribers on the channel and the widespread use of veganism as the most effective tool to prevent climate collapse.
What kind of motto would you like to share with our readers?
Don’t do anything, because you can’t do everything – do something!