In this thoughtful episode, Kimberly Winters, host of the ‘Did you bring the Hummus’ podcast, discusses protein sources, challenges with processed vegan foods, and the broader impact of conscious dietary choices.
Listen to the DidYouBringTheHummus podcast
Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we have with us Kimberly Winters.
Kimberly is host of the ‘Did you bring the Hummus’ podcast? I love that name, where she helps people go and then stay vegan. Welcome to the show.
And really, it's so nice to have you here.
Thank you so much, Jill. I'm really happy to be here.
So when did you start your journey into vegetarianism and veganism and why are you doing it? And?
Tell us all the stuff.
Sure, I love this question. I really believe that I started my journey to vegetarianism and then veganism, kind of from the very beginning. As a child, I was very interested in animals and.
I remember asking my mom at one point. I think I was probably around 8:00 or 9 about eating them.
And I remember her telling me it's OK these animals are raised for.
That, and I know that that's what she had been told. And it's funny. My mom is now vegan too, but back then she was not. And I just kind of took that and said, OK, I guess that's good enough for me now.
Not too long after that, I was flipping through a magazine of some sort. I don't remember what it was, but there was a.
An animal rights ad in the in the magazine and had a photo of a calf inside of a box and around this picture it said he only has three feet.
And what it meant was that the box was only, you know, 3 feet big. So this calf can't turn around and they can't experience any kind of enrichment in life. And I remember tearing it out of a magazine and putting it up on the back of my bedroom door. And I've never eaten veal once in my whole life.
I was just going.
To say that's how they make veal.
But right I no, but it didn't stop me from eating all the other things that I'd grown up eating like cheeseburgers and, you know, chicken sandwiches and that kind of.
Stuff and I hadn't put I hadn't made the connection.
But these little seeds seem to be planted like throughout my life. Then I get to high school and I start, you know, my girlfriends and I were going to bed, going to bath and body works. This is the 90s and we are, you know, buying all the products. And I remember reading the labels and I remember reading a label that said this finished product.
Not tested on animals.
So I had some questions. What does that mean? Because I'd seen other labels that said not tested on animals, but this one was very specific that the finished product was.
Not so. By this point I have some access to the Internet and I start poking around and I find out that that means that some things within the product itself, some of the ingredients, have been tested on animals, but the product at the end result had not been. So I said to myself, I'm not going to buy things anymore that have been tested on animals.
But I continued to eat them when I got to college, and I have a degree in Philo.
Fee and I was taking ethics courses and again more seeds are being planted. I'm learning about Sentients and I'm learning about the ethics around really. You know things like abortion and using animals and children who were born with.
Such severely developmental issues that they can never fully grow, and they're likely to just live in pain for a few years and then pass. And I start to put these ideas together.
But I'm still going to the college cafeteria and getting that cheeseburger.
Finally, in 2001 I got an issue of Pete's animal times in the mail. I don't know why it came to me, but I am so thankful that it did because I read it cover to cover and I was vegetarian overnight.
It then took me quite a few years. I went vegan for a little bit. I always knew that I wanted to be vegan once I understood what veganism was, I knew that that was my ultimate goal. But I cheese is very addictive and there are tons of studies that show that it's it essentially has the effect that, like opioids, do.
In your brain.
She's very addictive. I was trying to figure out who am I and what am I doing and who am I in this life?
And how am I showing up? So I was kind of on and off vegan for a long time. And then in 2015, I finally was like, Nope, I need to live within my values. What matters to me, and this is like the core of who I am at this point. So I finally.
I was like, Nope, this is it. And I've been vegan ever since, and forever and ever.
Very interesting story.
I, as a human being who has actually.
Killed and processed her own meat.
From animals that I have personally raised and know.
And then eating them.
I am here to tell you that if people had to butcher their own meat, there would be very few meat eaters and we certainly would need the quantity of meat.
That we eat.
I've been Privy to watching.
Means to these animals as they go through the butchering process we have, we live, we live in a dairy area. So dairies mean baby calves and you know you're talking about that three square feet thing. I probably saw the same image when I was a kid that.
You saw because I remember asking my mom about that. It's like this is horrific and.
They did serve us, Beal.
Was little, so I was like.
No, I don't really want that.
But I still ate chicken and stuff.
And I do eat meat. Not a lot of it, though, and it's losing its appeal. I don't know if that makes sense, but my taste buds have changed over the years. Like I really don't like chicken it. I've butchered lots of chickens.
And it's a lot of work if you do it yourself.
But yeah, you just you reach a point where.
You're just like.
Maybe not. Yeah.
Can totally see it.
I love the name of your podcast.
And I do love hummus.
And you want to.
Talk about the ways that you can.
Get protein in your diet without.
Having to resort to animals.
Yeah, sure. So
Everything all plants have protein in them. Sure, you know, not every plant has a ton of protein, but when we're eating a balanced diet, which I know is not so common in the United States for sure. But when we eat a balanced diet, we're eating a variety of things. So even if we're mixing.
You know, vegan junk food and healthier, you know, straight up plants. If we're doing a variety of things and eating a variety, then we're meeting all of our nutritional requirements for the average person. If you're an athlete, if you're a growing child, you know there's different.
Things there and I'm not an expert on those, but there definitely are resources out there for people who are in those different types of groups. But I love beans. I love lentils, tofu, peas. There's protein in rice, there is protein in broccoli and strawberries and.
When we're combining all these things and it's not about combining to meet nutritional requirements like you don't have to eat a certain.
You know certain items within a meal in order to meet your requirements. It's a matter of just having that. Yeah, that's not a requirement. That was like an old thing that happened in the 70s. One lady said it. Everybody jumped on it. And they're like, oh, if you don't eat them together, it's not. It's not complete protein, completely untrue. But when we're when we're eating a variety.
Beans and rice.
And there's so much out there now, and it doesn't have to be the vegan convenience foods because they can be pricier. But when we look at the cost of animals, we have to remember, is subsidized by our government here in the US.
And also we're not paying the full cost of the of what's truly happening to the animals involved in the in the agricultural system and also to the people who are involved in it. There's a huge cost overall.
But when we, you know. So if we're comparing whatever a family would spend on.
Buying animal products, you know, to feed themselves for a week versus buying the vegan versions of those things. It might end up that the vegan versions like you know, a roast like a Turkey roast from one of the vegan companies might be more expensive than a Turkey you would buy at the grocery store, but that's.
That's just kind of the way it is at the moment with the you know the.
We're. I'm getting all I got seven thoughts in my head and they're all trying.
To come out at the same time.
So we're looking at processed and packaged and convenience foods versus foods like lentils and beans and rice and veggies and fruit and nuts and seeds. Those are all much more affordable than even.
Animal products, we can buy that have been subsidized by our government.
Real food, yes.
We were designed to eat the more natural thing. The closer you can get to actually where it came out of.
The more nutritional value it's going to have for you and having a wide variety, and we live in a time when you can get stuff all year round from all over the world.
And there's really no excuse to like not find stuff that.
Is good for you and really.
You can be a vegan and eat junk food. I mean it is possible.
A different kind of junk.
You know, Doritos totally falls into the vegan category, but Doritos are still not good for you.
Right. Yeah. So it was fun when they released the.
Just because you say you're vegan doesn't make it.
Exactly when, when? And. I'll admit when Doritos released their vegan flavors, I was I was in. I was like, let me give these a try.
Uh, but, but yeah, no one, vegan or not, should have Doritos as a main portion of their meals each day. Or, you know, kind of a standard that they're eating on a regular basis. So yeah, we can be junk food vegans, and it can be really fun. There are lots of restaurants out there now.
I live in New Jersey and you know only about an hour away from New York City. So between those two areas, I have tons of options and a lot of them include things like Mac and cheese and veggie burgers and desserts. So many decadent vegan desserts.
But just like you would tell someone who was trying to eat healthily if they were eating animals, you would say, hey, don't eat that Mac and cheese every day, don't have dessert every night. It's kind of the same thing. So when people are like, oh, vegan food is unhealthy because there's also this idea of plant based versus vegan and there's.
Like that whole idea that you can be plant based and healthy, and if you're vegan, you're junk food eater. That's not necessarily true. I mean, it can be, but it's not necessarily true.
I've tried going vegetarian at times in my life and that's.
That's where the whole Doritos thing came from.
Like it's really.
Easy to substitute.
Junk for real food when you're just learning how to.
Eat more naturally and.
Like when you walk around the perimeter, unless you stay in like the.
The Bakery vegetable section.
You're pretty much relegated to going up and down the aisles, and that's where the danger zone is. Almost anybody you talk to is like walking up and down the aisles. And then there's.
People don't really understand how things are made. A lot of times when it comes to packaged food and you know some of that packaged food is.
You're better off eating the packaging than the food substance that's in.
It there's more nutritional value to.
It and that happens with vegan stuff too.
Have to be really.
Careful, but if you cook and if.
You, you know, do enough research on it. It's like any.
Any eating pattern that you think you're going to undertake?
You need to.
Really examine all of the INS and.
Outs of it.
You can't just say. OK, well, today I'm going.
Vegetarian or vegan and I'm never going to eat meat again. Well, that's fine, but.
You don't understand how much.
Animal products go into the things that you're.
You're not even.
Yeah, when I first.
Refried beans and.
Pork fat. Yeah. So when I first went vegetarian, like I said, I went. I was vegetarian overnight. I was. I was up sick all night thinking, like, physically sick. After I read that magazine.
Thinking about what I had eaten that day and every three times a day, every day before that for my.
And I didn't know how to cook.
And I did not like vegetables.
So I was in a bit of a.
Conundrum, but I had this bigger, deeper why than I'd ever had before. I it wasn't about me. It was about.
The suffering of the animals and it was that I didn't want to contribute to that anymore.
So that made it that I needed to learn how to feed myself, how to cook, how to follow recipes. And so I did. I went to the library, I went to the bookstore, and I got a bunch of stuff, and I started reading. And during this time, I'll admit, I was living on a lot of pasta.
Covered in cheese because it was filling and I knew how to make it. It was very rare that I was.
Going to mess that up. So I ate that a lot, but while I was reading and learning, I started incorporating other things. I started to.
And I was open to it because it mattered to me so much. I had this really, and it's still there now. I have this really deep want and desire to be a compassionate being in all areas of my life, and that drives it. So I learned how to read labels and now, Oh my gosh, if you go vegan.
Now so much easier because there are apps out there on your phone which you have with you at the grocery store anyway, right? Your shopping list is probably on your phone, but there are these great apps that you can download onto your phone that will you can scan a bar.
Code and it will tell you is this product vegetarian? Is it vegan? And if it's not or if it has some like kind of wonky ingredients, it will point them out and so you'll know. OK, I'm not going to buy this. I need to find a different option. So it's a matter of learning. And if you think about someone who eats a standard American diet and decides I'm going to take better care of myself, they're not looking to be vegetarian or vegan.
They also have to learn.
How to eat and how to feed themselves so it's the same process whether when we're making this big change so it's not special to going vegan or vegetarian, that you've got to relearn some stuff. So my how I like to encourage people who have this feeling that like I want to do this and I want to be vegan, I want to be vegetarian.
And of course, for me, I'm like, go vegan, just do it, go all the way there. Just, you know, Foster, that feeling of why you're doing it. Always remember the why.
And be open to learning because the more curious you are about the food, about how to cook, it becomes an adventure.
To me, being vegan is the most beautiful life and it's the most beautiful decision I've ever made. And every day I get to bask in that. And that is so awesome.
I yes, I can totally relate to that and what you're saying about any anytime you make a decision about how you're going to restructure your eating.
Your feeding system, just like you have to go through a learning process like people that go keto.
That's all whole different like. Yeah, it's a learning process. You have to learn how to create the things that fall within the spectrum of things that you want to intake into your body and.
What we do eat?
Really becomes part of that.
We take on that energy and you have to make a lot of decisions about, you know, you gone are the days when you can just blindly eat whatever set.
In front of you.
Because it's going to have ramifications and you know.
I talked about the Doritos well.
You know, Doritos are manufactured foods.
Distance. They're designed to get you to have a certain reaction when you eat the first one.
To continue eating way too many it bypasses your signals in your brain.
That you're full.
And you'll over eat every single time, yeah.
But there's a lot.
Of food out there that's created that way.
Right. I mean, there's a whole food science.
Thing right? Where that's people, that's their focus. What's the bliss point? How do we get people to be like, oh, this is the best I've ever had. And I can't stop eating it. Yeah. People dedicate their whole lives to that. And that makes me.
Kind of sad.
It makes me really sad too, because then when people want to do something ethical, like, you know.
Meat that's been processed in these horrendous ways and it is horrendous.
The meat tastes different.
If you if you buy meat, that's.
Manufacturer processed through like a processing plant where they lined cattle up.
And the one behind can see the one ahead dying there. There's a chemical that's released. It's called adrenochrome.
It gets released into their system and it changes the flavour of the meat and.
When you butcher your own animal.
When it's by itself and it doesn't.
Know any differently? And it's lived a really great life. That meat tastes different.
Have that weird after flavor to it.
Most people don't realize that because most people have never tasted the difference.
Yeah. I certainly haven't. And you know, for me, from my perspective.
It's also about the fact that that animal has an interest in their own life.
And no matter how nice we think their life had been leading up to the moment we decide to take it.
I can't justify that.
You know, I respect that a lot.
Part of the reason why I don't eat that.
Much meat is.
Because I know I think about that and it.
It makes a difference to me and I look at chickens, you know, when I was young.
A chicken breast was.
Three, maybe 4 oz. Now you get these mega chunks of meat from these Franken birds that are raised to grow these huge breast pieces.
Breast muscles, because those are muscles and.
They get so big they can't really even stand up. They reach that point by the time they're about 12 weeks old, maybe 16 at the most. Their hearts can't handle it. They live in, in.
Really tight quarters.
Like they have no life. It's really gross.
Is what it is.
The turkeys are raised the same way, and it it's just like.
And the meat tastes.
It just tastes bad.
And so I kind of like what's the point?
Of eating it.
And you would say yeah, exactly. Give it up.
Join us. Join us on the green side.
You know, I may be really close to that. Like had a few people come on and they were talking about.
A life without alcohol and I embraced sobriety. About a month ago.
Oh, yay. Congratulations.
It's been remarkably easy and it.
It's just like I feel good.
I like it. I'm glad that I've made that choice and I've got so many other options now because of.
That choice and maybe I'll embrace veganism. I've talked to other people about it and.
And like I said, I have all of this life experience around animal husbandry, and I know what goes into it and it's not.
It's not pretty, so.
No, it's not.
What would you suggest?
For people that are just starting out.
My favorite thing is to think about the foods that you love already and veganize those first.
Food is so emotional.
We have so many connections. There's tradition, there's culture, food is significant in human for humans. So when we decide to change that, sometimes there can be a lot of emotions that we don't expect. We're feeling really good about what we're doing when we think about the ethical side of it.
But then we remember how much our grandmother loved to prepare.
That included animals and how much joy it brought her and how loved you felt when you ate it. And there's a lot of that stuff comes in where you can almost feel guilty. Well, I'm never gonna eat grandma's apple pie again. Or, you know, there's a lot of other stuff that comes up. So when we can find a way to find the foods that we know we already love, it serves multiple purposes.
One, it helps us realize we can still have the foods that we have these deep connections with. They're just a little different now and two.
It softens that learning process and allows us to learn other things that we're not already familiar with while we're bringing in the vegan options into our life. And so I love things like if you were to tell me I love vegan chicken, I love chicken parm.
I need to find a vegan version of that.
From, you know, breading tofu to buying, you know, chicken patties, vegan chicken patties from the grocery store. However you love it. Make it that way, you know? And now you've got this option where you can make a vegan version of a chicken parm, and it's hitting those. Those things, the fat.
From the cheese, you know the texture from the meat, the sauce like.
It will satisfy a lot of the stuff that you're expecting from that dish. Now, of course, it's not going to taste exactly like it did before.
But when you have that want that desire that's fueling you to make that change.
It's OK and it doesn't mean it's not good because a lot of people have said this is better than the version that I used to eat about anything. So it's not that, oh, it's just not as good. It just isn't the same because it's not the same, you know. But I love helping people veganize their what? You know what their favorite animal based recipes.
Bar because I think that's a really.
Helpful way to start to get into it. Not everybody goes vegetarian overnight like I did. I didn't go vegan overnight, so you got to find your. You got to follow your journey and honor that and get to where you.
Want to go?
So many food combinations out there that don't have meat in it and that are they really heavy on spices and flavors that most people never really experience because they don't go beyond the basic, you know, cheeseburgers and Mac and cheese.
And those kinds of things in life.
You know you're talking about vegan desserts.
I love baklava. It's like.
Yeah, so kind.
It's so good and.
Can be vegan.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. And, you know, people think sometimes they hear all about being vegan. That's so restrictive. I can't eat all these things, but.
You're saying about foods that have so many different spices and different experiences because you're not just, you're going beyond that. Your standard 5 meals that you've always eaten your whole life.
Veganism has expanded for me like I eat so many different cuisines now, because I didn't even know existed and the flavors are incredible. They're easy to make at home, and it's just like my palette is so much happier now. Yeah, even vegetables.
You know, a lot of people are, like vegetables are awful, but when?
When you combine them and when you, you're cooking with them and you're mixing them with other things and adding flavors to it. That pair really well. Vegetables take on a whole new experience, and they don't have to be just, you know, your bland, steamed broccoli.
Right, that's boring. Whether or not it's like, Yep.
And eating things in season is another secret, I think, to eating more plant based stuff in your life because there's nothing like a tomato.
Out of the.
Garden, you know.
It has a flavor that is just like all its own, versus buying a tomato in the middle of winter in the grocery store that tastes.
I don't know.
Cardboard with water.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I'm pretty spoiled here in New Jersey. Our tomatoes are incredible. I do not buy tomatoes in the winter time because I just won't do that.
To my mouth, right, I.
Think people are.
Starting to wake up to that idea of.
Eating in season and you know in the.
Summer time you.
Got lots of fruit. Enjoy it. Yeah.
You know, really.
Other than oranges in the winter time, it's not. It's not a time for fruit, and it won't taste the same because it's not. It's not in season so.
What are you? What are you doing with the coaching aspect? I know you have a podcast that you give tips but you also do.
Interviews with people.
Yeah, yeah. So the podcast, did you bring the hummus? The mission of the podcast is to inspire listeners to go vegan through powerful stories and meaningful conversation.
Storytelling is so important.
And it really is how we can communicate.
So many things and connect with one another in so many different ways. So my all of my guests are vegan. I don't interview anyone who isn't. I don't interview anyone who was vegan and isn't anymore. And the reason for that is because I want people to hear, hear stories of people who have done it.
And who are doing it? And because I know they'll hear themselves in one of those.
People and they'll say.
This person sounds a lot like me. Their life is kind of similar to mine.
I like what they're saying. If they went vegan, I think I can go vegan.
Too. I also of course have to ask about hummus. That's how I close every single episode, every interview. I ask people to share their favorite types of hummus, and you'd think that maybe we wouldn't have a great conversation about hummus. But we have great conversations about hummus.
And then yeah, depending on, you know what they're an expert in or what they're working on at that time. We talked about all kinds of animal rights issues and vegan topics. And it's just a really fun way to get.
The word out about veganism and as far as like the coaching goes, I certainly offer one on ones I'm always available for that I also am currently working on kind of a self-paced course that would be, you know, just kind of settled onto my website so people could pick that up and kind of get a high level introduction.
To veganism, it's a four week program.
Them where they learn about the like the definition of veganism, understanding what it is. You know, we've talked a lot about food here today. The veganism is actually it's your entire life. It's not just what you eat, it's the products you wear, the products you use, the clothes you wear, the entertainment you'll pay for. So it does every decision that we make is influenced by veganism.
And that, I think, is what makes it so incredibly.
Well, I also talk about food. I talk about products and then I talk a bit about things like intersectionality, how, you know, there's some racism, a lot of racism in our food in, in our food industry. And that's kind of how that closes out. So it's a high level introduction to kind of all things vegan.
I occasionally offer a course that's called veganize it where you show up with me on zoom, you bring your favorite animal based recipe and I help you veganize it. And that is super fun. And I love that. I plan on offering that a little later this year.
I also do so this will seem a little out of left field, but it's totally not. I also do things like healing circles. I am a trained Reiki practitioner in both Yasui and Angelic Reiki, and those the reason why I think they come together. I know they come together.
Is because I talk a lot about the energy of food.
Because you and you mentioned it too, how an animal feels when they're on that line when they're about to be, when they're about to be killed, there's a lot happening in those moments. That is an energy that you are consuming, that you are taking in every time you eat. Every time you eat animals. And so there's.
The difference between even when we look at a plate, we think about a plate that has a piece of steak on it with some mashed potatoes and some gravy. It's very Gray. It's.
Very, there's not a lot to look at. It's not very exciting. It has a low vibration feeling to it. When we look at a dish that, let's say, a stir fry of vegetables over some noodles or over some rice with some sauce.
There is a beauty in that.
Not just that our eyes perceive, but there's a higher vibration in it and that food that we're consuming.
Is more appropriate for our digestive system and it also is just still so full of vibrancy and a life that just isn't possible in a dish with animal products. So I talk a lot about that energy. The difference between what I call the difference between consuming someone and something.
And so that has led to offering things like healing circles and that combines my angelic Reiki training. So we do a guided meditation to settle in. We do some cord cutting with Archangel Michael and then and then we do some angelic Reiki and we just kind of work through whatever's coming up. I find that.
Ricky really help.
Helps move the energy around, especially for someone who is very new to vegetarianism or veganism. There's a lot of emotions, you know, things come up when you realize what you've been contributing to because most people are not buying.
You know, they're not like you said, most people are not butchering their own animals. They're buying from the grocery store, which is come from the factory farms come from these large processing plants. These slaughter these slaughterhouses.
When you see what's happening.
That's a lot to take on.
And we've got to move that energy around to keep going because being a super depressed vegan who isn't getting out there and kind of showing the world how amazing veganism is.
That's not helping the animals. I mean, it is a little bit because you're still not eating them, but not in a way where we can show people like, hey, this really is, this is the next best thing. So just come on board, let's do it and.
It's great to have somebody out there that.
Can just like.
Help you navigate it because it's not, it's not intuitive and it's really easy to get started and then just like don't.
Know what to do or just give in to like the process because it's convenient, it's easy and that's what you know.
That's what you were raised with.
So yeah, I was just thinking about when you were talking about the energy of animals and all the things that are put into these animals just to keep them alive long.
Enough to get.
Them to the butchers.
Place. I mean it's and you're consuming all of that along with it. All the hormones, all the they're. They're not healthy. Yeah, they're not healthy animals to begin with. And some of them are even back fed like the waste. They've become cannibals. That's why we have the mad.
Cow diseases because?
The feeding practices on some of those feed lots.
They're not good, but.
How do people get in touch with you?
So they can get in touch with me through my website. They can follow me on Instagram or Facebook. Both of those are at did you bring the hummus?
And you can shoot me an e-mail too, which is did you bring the hummus at
Gmail dot com.
And yeah, I'm happy to answer any questions you.
Know talk through.
Working with someone you can book a free coaching call which is not a sales call at all. It's literally just we spent 30 minutes talking through whatever it is you need to.
Through that's the best way I think, to get to know me outside of listening, you know, to me on a podcast like this.
That is awesome.
So what's the?
One thing you'd like to leave the.
Audience with today.
I would like to leave the audience with.
You can do this.
Being vegan sometimes can seem.
Too big can seem really hard, and especially if you are in a situation where the people with whom you share a household are not into it, however.
There are lots of people out there that are doing just that. They live in a divided home, if you will, and they are successfully living a happy vegan life. And no matter what it is that feels like it's in your way.
You can do it and I believe in you. So. So that's all you need, but that is the one thing. Like it is beautiful, it is meaningful and it really to align with your values in such a deep, consistent way can change everything.
I just encourage people to do it.
I love that.
And it is so true just sometimes just making a decision to embrace something rather than to say I'm never doing that again, or I don't do that just to embrace veganism as a practice and a lifestyle rather than just.
It often is and how we frame things in our heads.
And you know, when you're learning something new and you're embracing something.
Sometimes you know things are going to happen and giving yourself grace to continue on, even though you may feel like, oh, I screwed that up.
All right. Tomorrow's a new day. Try again.
Yeah, it's a learning experience. Exactly. Yeah.
Thank you so much, Kimberly, for joining me today. This has been awesome.
Thank you, Jill. Yeah, it's been a great time.