It took an intense work and study scheduled for Sophie Fisher from Coconut and Bliss to reassess how she fuels her body to stay energised. Inspired by Sydney’s healthy café scene, Sophie started playing around with her own vegan recipes, including raw caramel slice, smoothie bowls, vegan satay sauce and vegan pizza.
“The cafes were creating these delicious healthy alternatives and I was so excited by all these new options that I had never even tried or heard of." says Sophie. "I found it amazing that all these foods like acai and raw cheesecake tasted so good and doubled as being healthy. I was genuinely in awe.”
Pair Sophie’s recipes with her love for photography, and you get one enviable Instagram feed that will convert even the biggest vegan sceptics to a more wholesome diet. Today, Sophie continues to share her recipes and the healthy cafes she loves - be it around her local Inner West, Sydney or abroad - across her social feeds, and people are lapping it up.
Q&A with Sophie
Your top 5 vegan-friendly cafes?
You can definitely catch me at one of these places every weekend (if not all)!
Your favourite places to stock up on ingredients?
The Source Bulk Foods in Balmain is my number one go to. You cannot beat the quality and they have an insane range of granola and other snacks which is a great addition (their paleo granola is to-die-for).
About Life is great for stocking up on other essentials like frozen acai. They also have a great range of dips like pesto and hummus.
Fruitologist is perfect for doing a fresh fruit and veggie shop. They have an amazing selection and its always great quality.
Why do you think there has been quite a shift towards veganism?
In general, people are more health conscious which is why there has been a real shift towards this kind of lifestyle. But the discovery of healthy, vegan alternatives to ‘naughty’ desserts has shown that it’s possible to indulge whilst still making nutritious choices. Besides, fruit and vegetables fill you up but have nothing bad in them and the fact that you can also make them taste delicious is really enticing for people.
Have you noticed any changes in your health and body since converting to this lifestyle?
I know that eating super healthy, including a lot of fruit and vegetables and choosing a mostly plant-based diet has contributed to me feeling more energetic. As a result, I’m more motivated to exercise, see people, be proactive and take care of myself. It’s a cycle really.
Eating healthy with minimal amounts of dairy and gluten makes me feel lighter and just better in general. Some people don’t notice a difference but eating small amounts of these two things makes a real difference for me. As for meat, I have never liked it nor really eaten it so I personally don’t feel deprived not including it in my diet.
The 3 vegan friendly dishes that anyone will love?
Vegan Pad Thai
Your favourite places for a nice dinner out?
Teriyaki Boy in Balmain for really fresh, simple Japanese (try the wafu salad and avocado sushi)
Fish Bowl in Surry Hills, Bondi, Manly and the City. Do not be fooled by the name, you can order vegan tofu instead of fish! Try the ponzu dressing.
Fonda in Bondi (try the guac and corn chips, the brussel tacos and the kombucha margarita if you’re wanting to indulge!)