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Relaxing and Reflecting at Esperanza Alta

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

By: Ariann Thompson

Hummingbirds darted past us flitting all over the beautiful foliage that surrounds the garden.

Four of us were at the scenic Esperanza Alta for the morning to explore and take some photos at this beautiful location.

Jeunesse and I were still on a high from the launch of the first issue of our magazine, 'From Plants to Plates' and we were taking a little break from planning the next issue to relax and reflect a bit in nature.

The idea for the magazine, which launched in October 2021, evolved quite naturally. Many people, myself included, wanted Jeunesse to put out a cookbook with her delicious and innovative recipes. At one meeting, I suggested that while we start to gather the recipes and take photos of the food, we could conceptualize a magazine that used the recipes in the meantime, as we worked toward the future goal of The Youthful Vegan cookbook!

Jeunesse was game and we started to flesh out the ideas and articles we wished to include, making sure we had a clear idea of our motivation and the type of product we wanted to create. We wanted to provide a space that promotes healthy eating through plant-based recipes and also shed light on sustainability, discussing the choices we could all make toward being more eco-conscious while living in T&T and the Caribbean. Vegan food can be delicious and with all the health issues we have in T&T, we felt compelled to get that message out so that others may try to include more plant-based options in their diet! While relaxing and munching on some goodies Jeunesse packed, we started chatting:

Ariann: I'm sure you love the whole magazine, but what was one of your favourite articles from the first issue we created?

Jeunesse: Deena's 'Profile of a Vegan' article because I loved her answers and appreciated her honesty on this topic. The article also had some funny bits that I quite enjoyed.

Ariann: Yes, I liked her article too! I really enjoyed the insights that Jenna shared in the Fitness Chat! I am always wondering what I should fuel my body with before and after a workout. I think this is a topic from which everyone, plant-based or not, can benefit.

Ariann: What is one topic you want to write about for a future issue?

Jeunesse: I would like to write about raising vegan children because I often get questions about this topic. I get requests for tips all the time on getting kids to eat more veggies and fruits. I believe that this topic can benefit many parents who would like to try raising vegan children or incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet.

Ariann: Oh, that’s a good one Jeunesse! I think I would like to write an article about the best nutrition for people on a plant-based diet, including what supplements we should all consider. My brother and his wife’s doctor told them about a particular supplement that they should take when they started eating a plant-based diet. I was already taking a similar one, but theirs was much better for vegans for a whole host of reasons! I am glad they shared the info and I would love to learn more.

Ariann: We have come together to work on this project we both hold dear. What do you think about collaboration? Is it something that you do often or enjoy?

Jeunesse: Since my blog, I've done a few collaborations on projects I really enjoy. I think collaboration is important and beneficial, and working together on this magazine was a lot of fun. Having a different point of view, creative ideas and skills, is what made this project possible and come to life. I enjoyed every step of developing this magazine with Ariann.

Ariann: I think it’s been a lot of fun for sure! I also agree that certain projects are really enhanced by collaboration. I enjoy the fresh perspective that this brings and I think what could come out of it could far surpass what one could accomplish alone.

Ariann: What is your favourite part of working on this magazine?

Jeunesse: Creating the recipes, helping to set up and stage the food for photoshoots, and writing about the topics I am passionate about. I also enjoy seeing the amazing photos after, because Ariann takes the best photos and her images and creative skills are really what makes the magazine come to life.

Ariann: Other than getting to hang out with you (lol), I enjoy doing the photography (and getting to eat the yummy food after). I also love laying out the magazine. It’s always so fun doing the layout! Going from a blank page to starting to figure out the design to making everything fit perfectly - that really excites me!

Ariann: We are both very excited to release issue 2 next week. Is there a sneak peek you want to share with everyone?

Jeunesse: I don’t want to give too much away but my family is featured in the photographs of one of the articles that showcases some delicious plant-based products from Tru Valu Supermarket! I am so excited about it all and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!

A big thank you to Esperanza Alta for having us at this breathtaking venue. The garden, the hummingbirds, the view, our morning with you was such a delight! Located in the St. Anns Valley, Esperanza Alta conducts educational tours for both children and adults. Be sure to check out their website to find out more about them and the tours they offer!

'From Plants To Plates' Online Magazine

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