Welcome! Thank You For Stopping By!
My name is Natalia, a 22-year old living in Western Washington. I absolutely love the Pacific Northwest area, and despite the constant earthquake and volcano threats that I’ve been reading about on Facebook, I am feeling pretty secure here.
I want nothing more than for everyone to be their happiest and healthiest, and to enjoy life in the simplest of moments, hence the name “Simply Overjoyed”.
Simply Overjoyed started about a year after switching to a 100% vegan diet. My goal was to show that a healthy vegan lifestyle can be both easy and satisfying.
This is still very much my goal, but it took trial and error, lots of writing, and brainstorming to figure out that my mission is so much deeper.
I have successfully lost 55+ lbs within a year of going vegan. I struggled (and still struggle) with my weight for the majority of my life. In the Summer of 2015, I completely hit rock bottom. I was obese, had high blood pressure, and felt down about myself constantly. In July 2015, I decided that changes needed to be made. When researching healthy diets, “plant based” was a term that came up quite frequently. I initially never thought I could follow such a “strict” diet, but after the term just kept coming up, I eventually started researching and watching videos about plant-based diets. After learning about all of the health benefits, I felt compelled to try to be vegan for 3 days each week. I tried several recipes, and I surprisingly liked them. Still, I needed the push to go vegan 100%.
One night, I was exploring Youtube, and in my recommended video section, I saw a video titled, “100 Reasons to Go Vegan”. After watching it, I was blown away by all of the information: all the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a vegan diet. I decided to watch Gary Yourofsky’s Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear, and after being absolutely speechless for the entire hour, I decided that I just had to be vegan. The lifestyle just made too much sense to me and I had zero excuses.
Over the past year, I have learned so much about the vegan lifestyle, and I am still convinced that it is the best way to live. I love living an ethical lifestyle, and I love knowing that I am helping the environment. I never knew how easy it was to make a difference!
In terms of the health benefits, After about a month of being vegan, I started feeling absolutely amazing. I was used to feeling awful, and having so much energy and feeling so happy was a new experience.
Not to mention, I loved the food. I quickly found that I enjoy food more than I ever did, and I was eating vegan stuff!!
People around me couldn’t understand why I was living the way I was, but I was so happy, and everyone could see it. I realized that people’s view of vegans were less than positive, so I decided that I one day wanted to show as many people as I can that a vegan lifestyle is satisfying and super easy. So, I started a blog!
I do not think that anyone deserves to feel unhappy with their current diet/lifestyle, and I hate fad diets. I hope that show that a vegan lifestyle is healthy and satisfying because you can enjoy food without guilt, but still enjoy many health benefits. In a year, I was able to cure my high blood pressure, lose over 50 pounds, give up caffeine (90% of the time), and take up exercising and yoga. My story is not unique, and I think that the vegan movement needs as many people as possible spreading positive messages. I do not believe in excessive calorie restriction, eating low-carb or low-fat, etc. I just believe in eating a mostly whole foods plant-based vegan diet. Sustainable weight loss takes time, but it is worth the wait.
Initially, my goal was to just talk about my vegan lifestyle, but I ended up discovering my love of developing recipes. Before going vegan, I knew almost nothing about cooking, but I was a committed baker. Once I went vegan, I was constantly looking up recipes and trying different cooking/baking techniques. After awhile, I found that vegan cooking is the best! It required creativity, and you learn that anything can taste good if you make it right. I had started creating my own recipes, so I decided to share them. I did not know that this would be the main focus of the blog, but I am happy to share all the recipes that I’ve tested and perfected. One day, I hope to have a huge collection of well-rounded recipes that everyone could benefit from. In the meantime, I have a small collection of delicious recipes to offer.
Most of my recipes are healthy, but I also like to show that “healthy” and “vegan” are far from synonymous. I don’t like the stereotype that vegans only eat grass, so I try to include indulgent recipes when I can. Plus, as much as eating healthfully has made my life so much better, I like to have “cheat” days all the time. From my observations, I can eat something that is less healthy, but still vegan, and continue to reap the health benefits of the lifestyle! It’s a total win-win for me.
All of my recipes are 100% vegan. Always. I do try to include as many allergen friendly recipes as possible, so if you have any particular requests, let me know and I will happily do what I can!
Along with recipes, I also talk about beauty and lifestyle, particularly my obsession with makeup, yoga, and more! I like to think that there is something here for everyone.
To me, Simply Overjoyed means enjoying life in the simplest of moments. It’s self-explanatory, but it truly is my main goal of the blog: to spread positivity and happiness, even if it’s just sharing vegan recipes and health tips. I believe that the little things in life add up. I hope that you will join me in my journey for happiness and self-growth. Sure, I may be the blog author, but I never claim to have it all figured out. I am still learning and growing, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Let’s figure it out together!
More About Me:
As of now, as much as I would love to be a full-time blogger, I actually only do this part-time. I am a student first. I study psychology at a Washington University, and I plan to earn my BA in psychology. Eventually, I would like to become a clinical psychologist and study the correlations between feeding behavior and human behavior and the mental process. This will require a PhD, so I’ll be in school for quite a long time.
Currently, I am volunteering in a behavioral unit at a hospital. It feels like home to me. I just love getting to talk with patients and learning about what it’s like to be a therapist. I absolutely love it. I plan to stay above and beyond my required time because well, I love it so much. I am also a mentor, a research assistant, a sexual assault advocate, and a former intern at a juvenile detention center. It’s a busy live, but I love what I do.
I have been with my boyfriend, Matthew for 3 years. He is my best friend and is the most supportive and kindhearted person I know. We’ve been living together for 2 years and I basically couldn’t imagine my life without him. He is also vegan. We tried the lifestyle together, and we love it! He’s lost over 35 pounds, and is feeling so much healthier, even though he still eats junk food whenever he wants. Matthew has made the ethical and environmental connections that I have, and because of that, we will always be vegan. Plus, we have tons of fun trying creative recipes together. We both get a kick out of the lifestyle and absolutely love vegan food.
In June of 2015, Matthew and I adopted a cat named Tetra. No, she is not named after a fish. No, she is not vegan.
I absolutely love all animals. I love living a compassionate lifestyle, and I am happy to say that I do not currently support animal cruelty.
To be clear, I do still own some animal tested cosmetics and clothing. These were all purchased before going vegan and I have decided to use up all of these products. This is widely accepted in the vegan community.
I have been practicing yoga consistently since June of 2016. Yoga has made my life better in so many ways. I am more disciplined, better at honoring myself, and I try to apply the lessons learned on the mat to my life off of the mat. I find myself becoming more flexible, balanced, and strong. An aspiration of mine is to become a yoga teacher one day (beginning in Feb 2018!!), but I would like to further my personal practice for a couple more years before guiding others.
What I may not cover in the blog is that I love music, and I try to go to raves whenever I can! To be clear, I do not do drugs at raves and do not advocate for drug use in any way. I think you can have fun at those events without drugs.
My favorite TV shows are Girls and Game of Thrones. I also have an unexplainable obsession with Adventure Time.
My blog and makeup are my main outlets for creativity. Most everything else in my life is either academic, work, or purely recreational.
I love traveling, and everywhere is on my list!
I am a nice person at heart, but can be very introverted and shy when I am around people I don’t know-I’m working on that.
If I could have a chocolate smoothie every single day of my life, I would.
Matthew and I bond over football. I love the Seahawks, and he is just a fan of football in general, but is totally a closeted Hawks fan.
I love Fall and Winter, and the Summer minus the heat.
My life is busy all the time, but I feel like it’s all going to be worth it!
I hope that you enjoy my blog! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org