Special Guest: Claire Buchanan of Cruelty-Free With Me

•I love you already. But tell us a little about yourself.

Aw, shucks, thank you! Well, my name is Claire, no middle name Buchanan. I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and I now reside in the coldest place on earth, Calgary.

I have a blog called Cruelty-Free With Me, which is my heart and soul. What will you find in this blog you ask? Delicious plant-based recipes, fair-fashion, which eliminates all animal products including leather, fur, down wool, and silk. All of my favourite go-to beauty products without the cruelty of course, meaning free of animal testing! It’s essentially a hub to inspire you to start making more conscious and kind decisions.

If i’m not writing about any of the above, you will find me at The Sweat Science boxing studio, where I train to fight those who are mean to animals, ha!

•When did you create Cruelty-Free with Me and what inspired you to do so?

It started about 3 or so years ago, I had recently become vegan and had so many questions about the lifestyle I wanted answers too. Once I started researching and gathering all this information over time, I wanted to put it all in one place that others could find too! It started as a Tumblr account, and than over time as I started noticing how many people were actually interested in what I was writing about, I put it onto a more professional platform, WordPress and that’s how it came about!

•It’s obvious to your followers you are passionate about health and fitness. What is your favourite work out? Can anyone do it?

My favourite workout is BOXING! Yes, anyone can do it! It’s a full body workout, and the best stress reliever ever. I mean what could be more therapeutic than hitting things, am I right?

•What’s a good exercise and diet routine?

I think it’s important to move daily, whether that’s going for a walk, doing some cardio, lifting weights, doing a class, whatever it is that your body can do, do it. Exercise is not only good for losing weight, but it lowers the risk of diseases, and regular activity can improve your quality of life overall, mentally and physically.

I’m not a huge fan of the word ‘diet,’ I think it’s important to MAINTAIN a healthy lifestyle. Think long term, not short term. Following the 80/20 rule can’t do anyone wrong, eat healthy 80% of the time, and than have those cheat meals 20% of the time. Important to note that this needs to coincide with a workout regime. You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet!

•Stress is a common occurrence in anyone’s life. What are your favourite ways to unwind?

As I said earlier, boxing is the best stress reliever! Roll with the punches, nothing rids the brain of stress quite like whaling on a punching bag. Not your thing? For me personally, any form of working out brings me back to life.

•Favourite nourishing meal?

I have an obsession right now with oatmeal, crunchy peanut butter, raspberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds. The perfect amount of sweet, and that crunch, YUM!

•Do you have a morning routine?

Wake up – get my butt to the gym before anything else, even before the sun comes up and then my day really begins!

•What does “balance” mean to you?

Well, balance comes in all forms, it could be physical, emotional, spiritual, so it’s tough to say. I feel as though balance could also mean living in peace, which is definitely how I try to live my life. I live a vegan lifestyle because it’s a ‘harm-free’ lifestyle. I don’t want to contribute to any suffering of any living creature and that truly makes me feel at peace.

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