Photos of Sanita & her family by the talented Ricard Isacsson!
I absolutely adore this series, Vegan Italy magazine & all the mothers who are participating in the interviews.
Thank You Sanita for being the very first!!
Vegan Mother Interview Series
Mother: Sanita Ločmele
Vegan Italy magazine
I was introduced to Sanita through her bright, delicious and unique Instagram page @vegkid and we soon began a great dialogue on issues related to motherhood, veganism and life in general. Sanita is a truly inspiring mother with a passion for fitness as well as a great commitment and enjoyment of her work as a full time employed administrator for an international company developing unmanned aircrafts. It is my pleasure to begin this interview series on vegan mothers around the world for Vegan Italy magazine with Sanita!
Annika: Where are you from?
Sanita: I was born in Latvia, a little but proud country by the Baltic sea. I was raised in the countryside (in a meat and dairy eating family), but close to nature. We went to pick wild berries, mushrooms and greens out in the forests.
The last 10 years I have been living in Sweden and just once a year going back to Latvia and visiting my family and friends.
Annika: Where in Sweden do you live?
Sanita: We live in Linköping. A cozy, very family friendly and socially active Swedish city. We travel on a regular basis. My partner is French with family roots in Spain, so south of Europe is frequent travel destination.
Annika: What would you say are some key differences between the Latvia and Sweden concerning public perception, understanding and acceptance of veganism?
Sanita: It’s like day and night. Generally speaking, in Latvia everything is fried in butter and salads are made on a dairy base. The capital city Riga has its differences. Some raw food and vegan restaurants have opened, plant milk and vegan cakes are sold in coffee shops, animal right activism is more heard in public space than ever and he local vegan community is growing. It’s a promising uprising. Small towns and rural areas are another story. One must trust their knowledge and read all food labels.
In Sweden on the other hand vegan lifestyle is accepted at all levels – politics, society, production, business etc. To be a vegan is no longer a scary thing. Information about the vegan lifestyle can be easily seen and found in public space.
Annika: When did you become vegan and why?
Sanita: Around three years ago my partner Guillermo and I watched some videos on YouTube. You know, those about factory farms and the cruel and money making business of fishing destroying seas and oceans and so on. We immediately decided to stop eating meat. The transition was short. Directly after watching videos we started to educate ourselves. I took up health and nutrition issues, Guillermo the ethical aspects. We read loads of books and information available online then discussing it helped us grow as humans, as a couple. Cheese was the product we had the hardest time to exclude from our diet. The feeling of a “wine and cheese” atmosphere held us back. Very selfish, right? Vegan cheese and awareness of what damage dairy does to one’s body made dairy disappear forever.
Annika: Did motherhood have any influence on your vegan outlook?
Sanita: Of course! That moment when you hold your most precious thing in your life, your baby, you think – I will give him best I can! And every mother gives the best she can!
Annika: What are some of your child’s favorite foods?
Sanita: He is BLW (baby led weaning) trained from 6 months older so he loves everything he can pick with his fingers. Beans in tomato sauce, all kind of nuts and seeds, smoothies and oat milk (one particular brand we have in Sweden- Oatly) you can give him any time and he will ask for more.
Annika: I love your Instagram feed! When and why did you decide to start documenting your vegan child’s meals?
Sanita: Thank you! I appreciate your words! I started it in March 2016. Chadye started to attend full-time daycare and I thought it would be good for me to leave a note-to-myself of what he was eating. To keep track of his nutrition intake because it can easy slip into only “rice and broccoli” dishes every second day. Instagram was my choice. It keeps me structured, creative and more aware of choices I make for his best interest.
Annika: Do daycares and preschools there often have a vegan option for children?
Sanita: Linköping’s municipality has decided to serve vegan food even at pre-schools so my son started a new preschool in September 2016 and has vegan meals! The preschool has a contract with catering company (serving lunch) and he gets a separate vegan marked meal. It’s not always very creative (pasta, soy sausage, salad, veggie burger etc), but its vegan, so I’m happy.
Annika: Favorite meals to make for your family?
Sanita: When I cook – it will be very simple, but very balanced in nutritional way. I will see that we eat nuts and seeds and greens at every meal, but when Guillermo cooks – it will be a complicated recipe with professional look and the outcome is delicious.
Annika: Any further comments on balance and nutrition in a vegan diet?
Sanita: Vegans or omnivores should treat their body with respect and knowledge. Everyone who decides to become vegan (and not just vegans) should have basic knowledge about nutrition in order to be able to take care of their body in the best possible way.
Annika: Thank you Sanita for taking the time for this dialogue. This will be the first in a series of interviews with vegan mothers for Vegan Italy magazine and I am so happy to do it with you- a fit, intelligent, loving and communicative woman!
Sanita: Thank you Annika for your kind words! I feel honored to have this chance to spread a word about plant based lifestyle from my own experience!