Vivian has been customer of Eat by Alex for more than 4 years now. In this interview, we get to know her a little better.
Could you please start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Hi I’m Vivian, I've been living in Zurich for 14 years, I'm originally from the US, and I work here in private banking for an American bank in Zurich. I've been vegan and overall interested in healthy eating for about, gosh, 20 years already. So it's a very important part of my my life.
How did you find Eat by Alex and why were you drawn to it?
I heard about Eat by Alex, actually by chance, at a vegan restaurant. I was sitting next to someone that had gone to one of her workshops when she just started. I felt very connected and very aligned to her message and to what she was doing. And I was curious! So, I tried a few weeks in the beginning, and fell in love.
I thought the food was great, it just made my life so much easier – just that one week.
I just remember thinking, gosh, life is just so much easier like this, because I know that I'm getting something healthy, and I'm getting something vegan. I'm also gluten free, and I try to avoid processed foods, and so it just felt like I had a personal chef at a price that I could afford. So, I really appreciated it.
How would Eat by Alex fit into the lifestyle of someone with a corporate job like yourself?
That's challenging, to be honest. In my personal life, I definitely have friends that are more into healthy eating and a conscious lifestyle. And at work, it's just a different kind of group of people. To say that you're going to have a meal and that there's no meat protein in it, I find has always been a challenge. My whole life of being a vegetarian and a vegan, yeah we're a small minority. People have a disconnect, actually. I turned 48 this year, and people looking at me saying that, oh, you look so much younger. I’d never guess! And I'm like, yeah, primarily because I'm eating a vegetarian, vegan, plant based lifestyle for the past 20 years. And they can't understand that. They're like, no, it's your genes. Yeah, no, it's definitely what I eat. It's a big part of why I'm able to totally feel and look so young.
Maybe people aren't realizing how powerful food is in their overall health and maybe how it could even affect their performance at work and productivity and mental focus and things like that as well. No doubt in Zurich, people want high quality, but they also need it at the right price, what they perceive value to be. So people perceive high price and value in going to certain restaurants and being served a certain way. And I don't know that they necessarily, again because they're disconnected, know what's actually on their plate. They don't understand… yeah, but there's no meat, why is it so expensive? It is also hard for them to make the connection.
I have a friend of mine that says, pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later. I love that quote. I'd rather pay a little bit more for best quality and not have to worry that I'm going to have a heart attack in a few years or take cholesterol pills or all these things. That's my priority, and usually people don't see that until it affects them at some point later in life.
Do you find that Eat by Alex fits in well to your work day?
Yeah, usually I do have my meals at work! So I'm not a big breakfast person, so I don't really have breakfast, I push it back later in the day. So I bring my breakfast and my lunch and my snacks to work. It is a challenge if people invite you for working lunches or if people invite you out. Actually, it happened today, so a colleague asked me out for lunch, and I said, no, I brought my own. But if you go and get yours and we'll eat together! That's how I work around it. So people go and get their lunch, and I'm heating mine in the meantime. And then when we come back, we'll eat in the courtyard together, so it fits well! I'm covered, I've got things taken care of, I don't need to worry.
And then you have a bit of a snack or something for the afternoon. I don't have to worry about it. I'm not stressed out. I don't have to think if it's healthy. I don't have to think if there's ingredients that I don't like in it. I don't have to make a bad choice because I'm hungry and I can't find anything, and then I grab something that I don't really love, but it's the only thing available. I have my little bag. It's in my special drawer in the fridge at work. And everything is there. My shot, my lunch, my power snack, my smoothie, and I'm much less stressed becauseI know this part is covered, it's taken care of. Then I can stress and focus on other things.
Amazing knowledge, thank you Vivian!