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078: Adopting a Plant-Based Lifestyle with Kate Galli

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Whether you’re curious about going vegetarian or vegan or have already embraced one of those paths, today’s guest is an expert on adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

Kate Galli has spent 15 years helping thousands of individuals sculpt a body and life they love and over the past 4-5 years has focused on Vegan Health Coaching. She specializes in creating the mindset that makes eating and exercising choices simple and sustainable. Kate is qualified as a master personal trainer, life coach, NLP practitioner and has also completed the eCornell Plant Based Nutrition Certificate program.

Today she’s giving us her top tips for going vegan, tactics to avoid overwhelm and much more!
My first question for her is how she chose veganism: what drew her to this path? Initially it was her ethics: she didn’t want anyone dying from her food choices. Although she admits she wasn’t always healthy in her initial vegan choices, she did become much healthier in her late 20s when she got into fitness.

And a few years ago she made the plunge into a 100% plant-based vegan diet. She was reluctant at first because she was concerned she’d be sacrificing her health and vitality, and it would be hard to create delicious meals. But by following some great people online she found many wonderful, easy-to-make dishes that were both nourishing and delicious.

I was also curious to know what obstacles she faced early on and Kate says the main obstacle was her ignorance, first and foremost. Early on she focused on what she had to eliminate, as opposed to what she was adding to her diet. Her advice to others is to pay attention to all of the diverse and varied foods you are adding to your diet now rather than the things you are taking out. Doing so will help you enjoy your food more and help you switch to a more abundant mindset.

That is just one of the many suggestions she gives today for adopting a plant-based lifestyle, we also talk about the misnomer around protein and how she works with her clients.

She also describes how to substitute plant-based foods for meats in recipes you already cook, why mindset makes such a big difference, and some great tips on how to navigate eating out when you’re adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

Join us for that and so much more on this episode of Awesome Health Podcast!

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with another episode of the Awesome Health podcast. And I have joining us from a way down on there. It's early in the morning, over there. It's in the afternoon here, and it may be the evening where you are, but we have none other than Kate Galli to join us today on the podcast. For those who don't know who Kate is, she is relentlessly focused on creating a fit, strong, healthy, compassionate, vegan world. She specializes in creating the mindset, well, when are we going to get into this one, that makes your best eating and exercising choices, simple and sustainable. We're going to dive into some of the way that she got into it. But bottom line is Kate is a master personal trainer, life coach, NLP practitioner, and has also completed the ECornell plant based nutrition certification program. And she also has a cool podcast called the Healthification podcast and she describes it best is "I designed this tool as well to scale the motivation, support, and accountability that I provide my one on one personal training clients." We'll get into more of these details. We're going to talk about some things like 10 tips to make adopting a plant based lifestyle easy. 11 plants strong standards says, our good friend, Tony Robbins would say: you are defined by the standards in your life, which is much different than goals. And then 9 overwhelm overcoming tactics. Kate, welcome to the show.

Kate Galli: Wade, it's such a huge pleasure to be on the podcast with you.

Wade Lightheart: Great to have you here. Thanks for getting up so early to be on this. So let's go maybe into your background. I think there's a lot of people and I had to overcome this stigma early in my career, cause' I've been a plant based guy since I haven't eaten any flesh since 2001. I'm not a vegan vigilante or anything like that, but I think there's a lot of stigma, a lot of projections and I think a lot of people in our industry don't do a good job of representing the product and the service. In other words, they're condemning other people for their food choices, which is not a way to invite people to improve them. How did you get involved into this plant based lifestyle? And of course, if you go to her website, which is just, you see the pictures of what's possible and the physique that you're able to create on this, it really smashes a lot of myths to be this fit, this healthy, this vibrant, and to do so on a vegan diet. How did you get started and all that?

Kate Galli: I guess I just went vegatarian first at the age of 16, which is you know, like 27 years ago, and that was the ethical reasons. I didn't want anyone dying from my food choices and I didn't do it all that healthily from the get go actually, to be honest. And I got into fitness, you know, in my late twenties actually and at that point I'd kind of nailed, you know, after a couple of decades, I guess I'd nailed how to be vegetarian and lean and strong, and fit and healthy, and I hadn't really come across the whole vegan side of things at that point. I think, you know, I guess to backtrack a little bit, before I got into fitness, I did some fundraising that the charities, amazing charities like Greenpeace and the World Society for the protection of animals.

Kate Galli: And, you know, I worked five years in that sort of job and I probably felt a little bit of incongruency so far as, hey, I'm vegetarian for the animals, but you know, maybe there's a little bit more exploitation happening behind the scenes that I'm not aware of. That let's not look at that because I'm pretty happy with how my health is traveling right now and all that sort of thing and it might be hard or restrictive or unfun you know, eliminate even more food products from my diet. That was my mindset. That was my mindset going into my twenties and thirties, and then only four and a half, five years ago, I watched "Cowspiracy" as so many people did. And I had that kind of that big, that big click that, Hey, there's so much more to it, there's so much that's been hidden from me that I've been ignorant of.

Kate Galli: That was when I made the transition to full vegan, 100% plant. Based. And to be brutally honest, I thought I would be sacrificing my own health and fitness, and vainly my physique. I thought I'd be letting all of that go for the ethics, for the 100% vegan lifestyle. And I was completely wrong. It wasn't hard. It wasn't restrictive. As you pointed to there's so much deliciousness on my website and I'm a lazy cook, and I'm not skilled in the kitchen, but I've kind of built up a repertoire of delicious recipes by following some amazing people online. So I guess I've seen every angle, you know, I've been the meat eater that absolutely loved the taste of meat and everything else. And I've been the vegetarian, that like, not pretty restrictive about finally after two decades, learning how to kind of sculpt the body I wanted and fitness I wanted. And then most recently I've been vegan and I'm not lying when I say it's like the easiest and the most delicious enjoyful of all the approaches.

Kate Galli: And even more so it feels the most congruence, you know, there's no pressure so far as, or what's behind the scenes that I'm possibly ignoring that I don't want to look into, cause' it's going to force me to take some actions. It's absolutely the most congruence approach for me and it's a constant battle. I'll be honest with you. It's a constant battle, not being that preachy, vigilante vegan, Wade. That's probably my heart. I'm probably an animal rights activist at heart, but as you said, it's not the most effective approach to be super judgmental.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. It's one of those things that's really an interesting fine line, because it's, you know, when I went to vegan lifestyle in 2001, I did it as an experiment for two weeks and then two weeks more happened. And then I went another month and it was at two months I was like: okay, I guess I'm done with that. And for me it was a relatively easy trend just as now. Maybe that's my genetics. Maybe that was my psychology. Maybe it was, because of my meditative practice. Who knows what those factors are. And I do know that a lot of people struggle even though emotionally or ethically they have that drive to do so. I was in a relationship with a woman who made a really strong attempt to do that and suffered physically from it. But then she kinda digressed back and I remember it was a challenge within my own relationship.

Wade Lightheart: It was a challenge within my relationship, is here we were on a plant based program and then her health started degenerating and she just went up to an animal based one. Like she started taking animal products, but for me, there was a certain, and I think for her too, there was a disassociation that happened in the relationship and I think that it was a good for me to experience, because it really made me realize some of the emotional and social dynamics that come out of these components. And of course I've been passionately pursuing, how do we optimize a plant based diet lifestyle in today's world? I do believe that there is a lot of value in it. I think there is certainly environmental values. I think there's ethical values. I think there is also some very distinct health advantages if it's done right.

Wade Lightheart: But I think you alluded to this really early in what you're saying, and I want to have this for our listeners. And that is when you started out, you weren't doing it from a healthy, and I think that's part of the stigma around plant based diets or vegan diets, or vegetarian diets. We will category. Like we'll broaden that thing. You know, I went all the way to what raw food diet, right? I didn't even cook food for two years. Is that oftentimes when people translate, maybe they've got their fitness program, I'll go from my backyard. They've got their fitness program, they've got their macros, this much protein, this much carbohydrates. They try to make the plant based jump. And I always try to say that they apply a meat eating mentality to a vegetarian based diet and it's almost always a fail. You end up in the vegan junk food section and out of control eating. What were some of the obstacles that you had early on when you're making that transition? Of course, it was a long time ago and we didn't have the resources and availability and like all this stuff that we have now today, what was some of those challenges that you experienced?

Kate Galli: So, vegatarian first, the challenges were probably my ignorance to be honest, and I just focused on what I needed to eliminate as opposed to everything I was cutting out of the animal products as opposed to what I was adding. So my advice very strongly now is to focus first on the diverse range of foods that you're giving your body. So it's coming from a working with your body in an abundance type mindset and all the diversity and the macronutrients and micronutrients that you're giving your body rather than everything that you're missing out on. So I didn't do that. I was just all about everything I wasn't going to eat. And then later when I transitioned to be vegan, you know, I had a point to prove, because I worked in a gym by that stage. I'd worked in a gym for a long period of time.

Kate Galli: I worked with mostly male personal trainers who, Wade you'll relate to this, were the huge proponents of the keto diet. And they'd kind of like, they were just assuming I would fail that, they, one of them said: goodbye, lean muscle mass. You know, they were waiting for me to fail and I kind of had a point to prove that I wasn't going to be this weak sickly vegan, that I would be at least as strong and fit, so at that point I hunted down all the micronutrients that I knew I was eliminating with the additional animal products, with the dairy and eggs that I was leaving. I hunted them down and I guess to get back to your point, other mistake, initially, I was all about the micronutrients and the perfect whole food plant based meal. I tried my very hardest to make it low carb and high protein, cause' that's what I'd been doing as day job. And I had the perfect meals, but they weren't amazingly delicious, you know, they weren't super joyful. And so over the past few years, I focused on making those foods, yes, light nutritionally, high value, but also super delicious as well, because that's the only thing that's sustainable for me. And I found in my activism to bring it back to the activism. It doesn't matter how knowledgeable I am about why you should become plant-based or vegan. The most effective thing is actually just to live with delicious food.

Wade Lightheart: Very, very good point. I'm very fortunate I live just a couple blocks away from one of Matthew McKinney's restaurants, who's one of the premium vegan chefs in the world. And he runs a number of restaurants, which are extraordinary. If you get a chance to go check out one of them, of course, he came to public light. I think when him and his former wife wrote Raw World, Real World food, I think it was or something. They had Pure Food And Wine out on New York and now here he's, I think more West Coast, got some places around the world. If you get a chance.

Kate Galli: He's got a restaurant in Sydney I've been.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. And the thing is, I routinely take people who are not plant based dieters, who like fine dining, who liked to really get into the taste and the textures and the refined points and we take them over to that restaurant and they have an experience. And I watch how the light bulb goes off, because so many people in the culinary arts world don't believe it's even possible to get that. And what I always say is, well that's, because you have a sample core of millions and millions of people and millions and millions of chefs probably who are working within certain constraints and they haven't had the time and experience to kind of work in these other food possibilities or these kinds of standardizations. And of course, Matthew is breaking that ground with his chef schools, culinary schools, and there's $1 spring ups and spinoffs off that.

Wade Lightheart: So he's doing a great job inside of that. I'll have to get him on the podcast soon. But there's two factors. There's the taste factor. There's the, okay, I'm going to eliminate, which I think that's a whole other rabbit hole. We'll enter that in a second. But there's the taste factor, but then there's the functionality. So we have aesthetics, performance and health. So yes, there's a performance thing, or a health component, but I want to look a certain way. And so many people believe that I can't be lean, I can't be ripped, I can't have that, you know, a physique that shines on a cover, on a stage or on a bikini in the beach, but you've overcome that. What were some of the key elements that you've learned in regards to that?

Kate Galli: I guess as I said, like hunting down the micronutrients that I know you need to be aware of with a vegan diet.

Wade Lightheart: Can you give us some examples?

Kate Galli: Of course, of course. So the common ones are like your iron and your B12 and your omega 3 and zinc, there's also calcium, they're kind of the common things to look out for and initially I kind of like went down the whole list of where would I find these foods and how much do I need on a daily basis, and how do I incorporate this into every single meal? And, you know, that took a bit of time and I don't expect everyone to do that. I've probably chilled out a little bit and definitely there are a couple of supplements. You should take your B12 thing one and algae based omega 3 probably being anotherI'm not as pedantic about getting all those micronutrients in every single meal now, because I think more as one of my previous podcast guests Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, that the gut health MD says it's more about plant based diversity. So if I'm kind of, you know, eating the rainbow, that's a cliche, but if I have huge diversity in my meals that's going to be really advantageous. What are some of the other things that I did? That was the question, wasn't it? How did I overcome…

Wade Lightheart: Partly. And then we're going to ask the next one, which was kind of where you're coming from, the training background and the ketos. And that's the big question that every vegetarian… Where do you get your protein?

Kate Galli: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Got that. That's the easy one, right. So much protein and it's out of control. I think a lot of it is actually doing your due diligence so that you're not blindly following the propaganda that's put out there by mainstream media you know, large animal agriculture the other interests, I guess. There's so much propaganda that I used to believe, where do I get my protein, that sort of thing, that I'd fade away or be skinny, fat or whatever it would be. I spent a lot of time seeking out mentors online that I respect, who have the qualifications I don't have, you know, people like Dr. Michael McGregor and Dr. Neal Barnard, and you're seeking out these resources. So I knew what I needed to look out for and when not to waste my energy. Cause' it has to be easy, right?

Kate Galli: For it to be longterm it can't feel like a part time job, how you're planning your food and your exercise. It needs to be something that is sustainable and that you're consistent with. I guess that's another another thing that worked for me, I just brought forward everything that had worked over my years as a vegetarian. And that's the consistency with the food prep. That's the consistency with the training. I mean, we can make it as complicated or simple as we like, right? Often it's the unsexy things like the consistency and the meal prep that works so far as those results,

Wade Lightheart: You make a great point. What did you notice when you made that transition and you're in that motivation to prove people wrong? What were some of the shifts or changes that you experienced that both perhaps on the negative side, but also on the positive side that you found that was working well for you?
Kate Galli: I think I was really lucky, because I came from primarily a whole food vegetarian diet style so I know a lot of vegans, initially, they might struggle with some gut situations and some bloating and that sort of thing as their microbiome kinda evolves and adapts and learns to deal with like an influex of high fiber food. I was pretty lucky in that regard, cause' I was eating so much fiber anyway. So that was kind of cool. My energy was already really hight so I am not going to lie and say: woah, you know my energy skyrocket through the roof which has happened to my dear mom, when she went on plant based diet 18 months ago. So proud. My strength actually improved and that surprised me. So I actually could lift a little bit heavier in the gym and that was the happiest surprise, no idea why. You know there weren't really huge changes, but that was my goal, cause' I was in the place where I was happy with my fitness and my body composition, and my energy levels. My goal was actually to maintain all of that, so maintain the results I already had, but just to cut off animal prodcuts and not to touch any of the food joy. That was really important to me. I am an emotional eater, I love food. I want to enjoy every single meal and don't want to feel restriced ever.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. It's interesting. I noticed when I made the shift years ago, the things that I noticed the most was my sleep time cut down significantly. I didn't mean. My sleep time went from like 8 hours to 6 hours. So that was a big one for me. I just think I was spending less energy on digestion. I did notice that I had to reregulate how many calories I ate. I found that like I had to dial down, because I just wasn't spending as much energy on digestion, which is a big aspect when you're trying to digest meat. There's a lot of calorie expenditure and the digestive process. And then the third thing was I felt less aggressive and more empathetic of course, coming from a relatively rough and tumble part of the world. And aggression and violence was just part of growing up on testosterone levels and playing sports, and being in a rough world where, you know, sometimes I had to fight and things like that.

Wade Lightheart: It was just kind of a normal aspect of just being a young guy. And I channeled a lot of that into working out, which was great. I think a lot of people don't understand what it's like to have raging levels of testosterone rollings in your veins. It's a very, very complex biochemical response that I think is really underrated and misunderstood. And there's this whole concept of toxicity and all those sorts of toxic male story, but they're like, you know, go get your testosterone levels at 1000, 1100, 1200 or something as a young teenage boy. And you see how it affects your brain chemistry. It's rough and sports are a great way to channel that in a way that's not so destructive, which you can be. Those are the things that I noticed. And then as you evolved your diet, what were some of the things that you began to kind of upregulate and integrate in order to continue to have success? And what are some of maybe the recent integrations that you've been able to make?

Kate Galli: Yeah. Great. So I came from that stereotypical, like personal trainers, scared of carbs kind of mindset. Like I was very high protein and low carbs as a vegetarian for 20 odd years or so. And then when I transitioned to vegan, I tried to hold onto that and it was pretty hard work actually. Initially there are really super high protein, so much more than I need, and really kind of scared of carbs. You know, like I hardly ate much fruit as a vegan, or certainly didn't go near legumes or potatoes or any of that. And gradually, as I noticed that my body didn't change as a vegan, I noticed that, you know, I didn't get all skinny fat, I didn't lose all my muscle. I gradually worked in more of those whole food carbs and also a fair amount of those good fats as well.

Kate Galli: And bit by bit, I just introduced, I guess, you know, more diversity, but I was scared of like legumes and chickpeas, and all of that sort of stuff. I worked it in and it was beautiful and nothing changed with my physique. I didn't chuck on extra fat. I didn't lose muscle. My gut wasn't in chaos. It's just been an experience of adding, and adding, and adding, not adding the vegan junk food, you know, that's there for the very odd occasion and it's beautiful and I'm glad it's there, but it's not something I rely on, but just adding more and more whole foods stuff that I'd stayed clear for maybe 20 years with only positive results,

Wade Lightheart: Really, really great. What's it been like, working as a professional in the fitness industry as a vegan coach and, you know, people coming to you and are you attracting people who want to make the transition or are your attracted people are surprised that you're doing that, or what's the typical client that's coming to you and what's their experience around that?

Kate Galli: Do you know? I love it so much because as much as I want everyone to be vegan, generally, I'm the only vegan in the space. And I do wear my singlet at work every day that advertises it, you know, I will always be advocating for the animals. So before I was vegan, when I was vegetarian, people would often make comments in the gym so far as how I trained and I'd get compliments a bit.

Kate Galli: And so I figured now that I'm vegan and it's unknown, you know, it's still unusual. It's a perfect opportunity to always be advocating, to let anyone who might be looking at that girl doing unassisted chin-ups or whatever it is, you know, to let them know that, hey, she's plant strong, fueled on plants. I absolutely love that. I've been at capacity so far as my one on one clients for years and years now so I'm not taking on new clients. However, what I love is so many of my old clients who were initially vehemently opposed to the whole vegan thing, they've seen my transition. They've seen their fit, positive, full of energy, vegetarian trainer, eliminate all animal products and stay as fit and strong, and positive, and full of energy.

Kate Galli: And they notice how often other people in the gym may be off work or sick, or not training. They see that I'm consistent. Even my colleagues have pretty much had to admit that, hey, you never get sick. Even when yesterday was like, hey, how come you're the only one that never gets injured? You know, there's a bit of luck to that, I'm sure. But I love being the vegan personal trainer. I love advertising it and if I were to take on new clients, basically it's a really easy qualifier. I now say I only take on people who are interested in adopting a plant based lifestyle, because in my heart, I can't have that conversation with an individual who wants to transform their body if they want to do it using animal products, it's just not my path. I can't support them on that anymore.

Wade Lightheart: That's great. So what are the top 10 tips that you have to making and adopting a plant based lifestyle easy?

Kate Galli: I'm sure that that few fine, rather than one main event. So the one main event used to be, hey, like what sort of meat are we having tonight that we focused our whole meal around. I felt like that when I was a kid, you know?

Wade Lightheart: Everybody does, right? I mean, it's kind of the concept that goes out. Even when I go to a place, they try and create a quote, unquote, meat dish to go eat the meat substitute dish. Right? I see the chefs struggling with it.
Kate Galli: Right. Yeah, just doesn't work if it was like, oh, so my one main event is my mushroom and then I have a bit of beans and a bit of potato on the side. That is a boring as, so instead we want to build the meal around fibrous food first, I think. Especially from a plant based diversity and from a point of view for the individual who might want to minimize their body fat and maintain their lean muscle mass. So build your meal around fibrous food, lean plant based protein, which is often like a grain, you know, it might be a tofu or a 10 pay, but it might be like a chickpea or a quinoa, and good fat. That's tip number one. I like to make them actionable as well, these steps. And I realize we mightn't get through all of them, but, you know, an action steps so far is that first tip is to start with the meals that you already enjoy that are almost vegan.

Kate Galli: So, you know, that might be some healthy version of our curry that used to be like lamb or beef, or whatever it is, and it turns into a lentil cauliflower curry. Really, it's only that meat component swapping out for a lentil or other component, like start simple. Point two is to prioritize the one ingredient, whole food. So, you know, those substitutes, those meat and dairy substitutes they can be great transitional foods however for longterm sustainability and health, I think we need to prioritize one ingredient, whole foods. So your fruit, your bread, your nuts, your seeds, your legumes, all of that jazz. And again, to make a start as an action step here, I think it's a nice place to think of your favorite plants strong protein for each, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So for example, a plant strong protein I might love at breakfast time could be tofu, tofu scramble. At lunch it could be chickpeas and hummus. And for dinner, it could be lentil and curry. So I keep powering through….

Wade Lightheart: Yeah, keep coming out. These are great tips and we don't often get actionable steps. So I think our listeners would really be delighted to continue on with that. That's great.

Kate Galli: All right. Well, I love the actionable. So point three is to buy quality produce and give it the same respect that you used to give meat. So I'm in respect so far as the seasoning, the marinading, the cooking. So often what I loved about my meat based meals was the way that they were cooked, you know, the roast chicken or the barbecued steak, or the marinaded this or that, or seasoned. So buy a really quality food and find a few, that the action step is to find a few part seasonings that you really, really love, that really enhance the flavor. So as dr. Greger would say, hese are kind of the more red light foods that you don't eat in abundance, but they just make their meal go down better. So it might be vegan or a nutritional yeast or serratia, whatever it is.

Kate Galli: Tip number four, really important for me this one, don't be disheartened by a recipe flop. If you're not so masterful in the kitchen think back, you'd had a plenty of meat flops as well, right? Sodon't be too harsh on the first vegan meal that you either make yourself or eat out that is disappointing be persistent. And to do that, I would say follows some people online Pick up limes is amazing on YouTube, Avanse God vegan is amazing, Hot for food is amazing, Wicked healthy, so many people on YouTube. Find some people to follow. Tip number five. This one is happy tip, you might have to eat larger meals to be more satisfied. Often your plant based meals have a lower caloric density. So if you were to swap out steak for spinach that would be really boring and unfun, and just not satisfying.

Kate Galli: So you might have to eat larger meals and I would say another point here, don't be afraid of good fat. I used to be terrified of fat when I was a skinny fat little teenager and your good fat, I mean, not your avocado. You might have to add an abundance of that. To get actionable I would say find three high value whole food fat swaps for your meals. So, you know, you might swap out yet your butterfat avocadoyour, whatever. It may be processed chips, the kale crisps, whatever it may be. So we power on to tip six?

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. This is great stuff. I think these are the kind of tips that people can go out and apply and say: hey, oh, I don't, I'm not doing that, I never thought of that.

Kate Galli: Yeah, absolutely. So tip number six is to find creative alternatives for those meals you used to love as a meat eater. So again, it's all about the abundance. It's all about loving every single meal that you eat. You don't want a wasted opportunity for a meal that was disappointing, right? So whichever struggle street kind of replacement, you're looking for, like maybe it's pancakes or omelets or whatever it is, I recommend jumping on say Instagram and doing hashtag vegan and that meal. So vegan pancakes, or vegan omelets, vegan donut, whatever it is. There is an abundance of recipes out there for free and just beautiful, like food porn pictures so much inspiration there. Tip number seven, find plant based protein pimps to add to any meal. Some of the meals out might be a little bit lightweight. As you said, Wade, they don't always understand when you're eating at restaurants, they might just remove the animal products and just leave you with everything else, can be a little bit lightweight. So it's a matter of finding the protein pimps that you can add to your meals at home, or your meals out. Your nuts, your seeds, especially your hemp seeds, your lentils and legumes and not cheeses. All of that.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. I know. For myself, oftentimes, if I'm going to a restaurant, maybe on a business thing or with friends that, or going to a meat based restaurant, and I haven't been there, I'll drink a protein shake before I go. And that way I'm cool. Maybe they got the protein substitute, maybe they don't. But if they're not, I'm not sitting there going out of my mind, cause' I'm hungry and I'm not feeling good and I feel like I got ripped off in the meal.
Kate Galli: Oh, usually, yeah. You do. You feel like you're paying the same price for like a much less satisfying meal. Maybe you just have to demolish all the fries and then you feel bad and…

Wade Lightheart: The pet peeve of the plant based diet.

Kate Galli: So I guess further to the eating out scenario tip number eight is when you're eating out, scan the menu for those easy additions to your meal. If something's on a menu, but it's not in the vegan option, it's still there for the having, right? If this roast pumpkin or walnuts, or avocado on another, I'll have some of that. And I also am a huge believer and the more often we politely ask for adjustments to the menu, we've got to let them know. We can't just be satisfied with that boring salad, let them know politely and in future, hopefully very soon, those satisfying delicious options will be part of the menu.

Wade Lightheart: To that point just as interjection point. This is one of the things that I've discovered recently, and well not recently maybe a decade or so, I would go out to nice restaurants again, you know, you go out to these events and there's all these people and they want to go to a fancy restaurant and stuff. And then I would say: hey, look, I don't eat flasher meat or anything like that. Can the chef whip up something for me that would satisfy that? And over 50% of the time they bring out something truly extraordinary, cause' the chef is excited, the chef is expected to do something different than their regular fare and they create this beautiful thing and everybody's like: Oh wow, what is that? And so I'm always a believer in attraction marketing. Let's just be soft on the intro, but the magnitude of what's happening happens on that experience or when I go to whole foods before COVID or Air one, I would make these ginormous beautiful salads. And every time I'm in line, someone's like: Oh my God, that salad looks so good. There's an instant surprise, cause' they've never made a salad like that. I mean these rainbow salads, as you alluded to earlier. Continue on with these points, these are great.

Kate Galli: So true. The last two are my favorite, actually. Point number nine relates to the more certain you are of your choices, the more certain your loved ones will be. One of the hardest things about adopting, I would say the only hard thing about adopting a vegan lifestyle is pushback you get from loved ones. It's interaction with non vegans. However, the more certain you are of what you're choosing and why you're choosing it, the more they will respect that we teach other people how to treat us. If I say yes to that dessert that's got an egg and butter in it, because my mum baked it for me prior to her being plant-based and you know, it's like such an insult to her for me to not have it. The more I say, yes, she's going to keep doing it.

Kate Galli: She's going to keep, you know, tempting me, keep not respecting my decision, because I'm weakening. So anyway, certainty is point number nine. And as an action step there, I would just say, decide on your action, decide on your strategy before you're in that situation. So before you're at your best friend's house and there might be cake or before you're at your grandma's place and she might've made something you don't eat, decide what you're going to do and decide how you're going to communicate that effectively without judgment. Tip number ten, maybe the most important tip, is everything counts, move at your own pace. There's no such thing as failure or a bad vegan. Absolutely everything counts and I would say further to that I guess that the action step is to seek out the mentors the people to look up to, who are living their happy, healthy lifestyle, who have the solid medical advice the athletes, whoever it is, seek out the mentors and they get really, really super crystal clear on your why. Why you are doing it? What is the compelling? Why, whether it's ethics, environment, health, whatever it is. Because as with any huge lifestyle change, there are going to be struggle times, you know. There is going to be social inconvenience. There is going to be pressure. So most important, you need to be really clear on why you're making this lifestyle change.

Wade Lightheart: Really, really great tips. I think that was well thought out and a lot of experience going behind those things. One of the things that I think we've kind of danced around, but I think it's important to dive into, and that is your approach to mindset. And how would you categorize what mindset means to you? How you go about it? How you teach it and how you apply it in your own life?

Kate Galli: Yeah, for sure. Mindset is everything, you know, it either makes everything harder or everything easier. As I said, the way that you think can make your best eating and exercising action, simple and sustainable, that's my goal. Or it can make it, oh, absolutely, a constant struggle. You know, you can fight yourself so far as the actions that you need to take to get the results or the goals that you're striving for, or hey, you can just make it fun and simple and sustainable. And that is my approach. Obviously it's a constantly evolving process. There's always something I'm working on. There's always something I'm struggling with. And I think that's really, really normal. However, there are so many tools that we can use so far as our mindset. And I think it's one of the good things with age as well.

Kate Galli: Often it's kind of said that staying in great shape is harder as you get older. And you know, I mean, I'm in my forties now and people told me in my twenties: oh that's all right, cause' you're in your twenties that once you hit 30 and then in my thirties, they were like, well, that's all right, you're in your thirties, but once you hit 40, then it will be so hard. Maybe it is a little bit harder to stay in shape as you get older, but what is easier, is you've got decades of experience so far as the mindset, the thoughts and the strategies, and habits that work the you as an individual, like what do you respond best to? And that's why I'm such a huge fan of leading with mindset first.

Wade Lightheart: What are some of the things that you think trip people up where they kind of opt into a plant based or vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, and then they kind of regress backwards and they say: you know, I can't do it or whatever, it's not fun? Like, what have you noticed are the points where people fail?

Kate Galli: Yeah, gosh. I guess I would say too much pressure and not enough pressure actually. So the all or nothing kind of black or white dichotomous approach, I must be perfect. You know, you're setting yourself up for failure. Not that many people can kind of go black or white overnight and not that many people can kind of eat a perfect meal, every single meal, you know, we need to… I'm a huge fan of including indulgences, whatever you love. I kind of like a bit of what I love every single meal that certainly not every single day and every single week you know, within reason. So people can start out too hard with too high expectations with any lifestyle change. It can be advantageous to just lower the bar, to just have a little bit more compassion for yourself and a little bit more patients with your style.

Kate Galli: Equally sometimes people don't put in enough effort, initially, to do the background mindset work behind the scenes so far as really getting clear on their why. And I would say even more importantly, aligning their values and beliefs with their why. I'm a huge fan on that. So your values are those states that you seek out before everything else, maybe their freedom, integrity, passion, whatever they are for you. It's so powerful to align those align achieving those states with that goal that you're working towards and also your beliefs. What do you believe about yourself, your personal identity beliefs? There's so much work that you can go into to get really clear on that, to get really clear on who you are as a person and how that aligns to your goal, and the actions you need to take to achieve your goal, how those actions are aligned with those beliefs? And also how not taking those actions are not aligned with those beliefs.

Kate Galli: You know, if I believe that I am a person of integrity and I have a goal to lead a vegan lifestyle because I don't want animals to suffer for my taste and convenience, when I'm tempted to eat that, whatever it may be, because it's convenient…. I never am. But if I was, supposedly, tempted to eat that non vegan protein bar, cause' Hey, it's there and I'm starving. That would be a really incongruent, lacking in integrity type of thing for me to do. So I'm not going to do it, cause' I got clear on my values and beliefs. But there's a lot of groundwork for people to do and it seems like a lot of work upfront. However, as with anything it's saves you time and effort, and frustration down the track if you put that effort in so far as your mindset.

Wade Lightheart: You bring up something, I think kind of inadvertently, but traveling… How do you manage traveling on a vegan lifestyle? Like, cause' that's a big factor for a lot, if you'd go to resort, you go to places and there's nothing or certain countries is 'forget about it'. What are the things that you do when you're traveling to prep yourself in order that you can get the food that you need, particularly the high quality, like you can get low quality vegan, but high quality health promoting vegan lifestyle?

Kate Galli: Yeah. I think, again, it comes down to standards to a degree and getting really clear on what your standards are and what you will accept and what you won't. So I'm pretty locked and loaded on what I will and won't eat. I'm not really going to be tempted and luckily I don't struggle with being overly polite. That's one of the mistakes that new vegetarians and vegans can make, where they're too polite to kick up a fuss.

Kate Galli: I'm not too, I'll politely, you know, say: is there another option? I don't mind being the odd one out, but further to that, I'll take the time to do read the research prior to traveling. So jump online, see what's going to be near your destination if you're not staying with family and friends, if you're staying at the hotel try and get one with like a mini fridge and you know, find out where the nearest, whatever it may be, whole foods supermarket, where you can do a little shop. It's going to be healthier and cheaper, and often, you know, more delicious buying what plant based restaurants in nearby or more so what restaurants might have, good options. It's fun finding the new foods that you can try. Know that when you go to those restaurants, it's not rude to ask for an adjustment to the menu.

Kate Galli: You're letting them know what there's demand for, right, you're doing them a favor. Be really polite, be really appreciative. I used to, as I mentioned beforethe most of my travel that I do is home to see my parents in Queensland. And dad used to work for a meat business, he used to own a meat business and he's still feeling mentally opposed to the vegan lifestyle, but mom was a very staunch as a meat eater as well, I think to support dad. And she became plant-based about 18 months ago. So the first few years when I'd go home to visit them, I would take many packets of my potatoes, my hemp seeds, my protein powder, my spirulina, like my nutritional yeast, like all of this stuff, like half my suitcase, you know, all my carry on would be all these protein pimps and high micronutrient value easy to transport. Foods that I would take with me. So I recommend that. That's good if you can. Now I don't have to, there's an amazing vegan pantry at home thanks to mom, so I'm very, very lucky, but there are a few of the tips so far is as your travel, but I would say it does start with your standards, like what you're willing to tolerate. Know that you're the only person in charge of what you put into your body. So it's not selfish or stubborn to not be open, to consuming some food, it's aligned with your values and your beliefs.

Wade Lightheart: Some really insightful information for our listeners who are making that shift and the kind of transitions that you have that naturally occur and of course eating is a big social occasion and of course is navigating the delicate social interactions that happen in a way that's positive and I bet you did it very eloquently. Before we wrap up, I've got couple of things. What's your favorite plant food that would you say are plant-based meal? And then what would you say is your favorite decadent, like thing that might not be what people would expect from you?

Kate Galli: I love a variety. So like my last meal, my favorite meal, it would have to be a variety of some like beautiful kind of crispy plant based burger, like made from scratch, not like a bought one. It'd be like some mushroom and black bean type burger and it would have some crispy type of like roasted smashed potatoes or, you know, something like that, and it would have some huge like plant based salad with lots of leaves and an awesome dressing, and maybe some like seeds, and macadamia cheese, and roast pumpkin and it would be huge. And then I'd go back for seconds as well. The decadent…

Wade Lightheart: I want that right now.

Kate Galli: How good, right? Yeah, the decadent meal, like I'm more of a savory person than a sweet person, but I really do love some of the amazing plant based pancakes that you can get. So huge pancake stack. It's going to have a lots of fresh fruit and often here in Sydney, down by Bondi, you get like the coco whip with it. Pancakes with coco whip. That's pretty good.

Wade Lightheart: That's a pretty good choices. They're all around. Let me ask one other aspect before we go and that is, what's your fitness routine? How do you stay in such great condition?

Kate Galli: I'm lucky to work in a gym and weights are my love. I love lifting weights. I'm not so much a cardio girl. I walk every single day and I lift weights. Used to be six days a week. In covid, I was in lockup in Queensland's or locked down in Queensland for 12 weeks with access to only a really cumbersome 20 kilo kettlebell, nothing else. And so I did a lot of body weight routines, and that nearly killed me. I'm very excited to be back in Sydney, back in the gym and I'm trialing weights just four days a week. About four hours a week weights and walking and that is it, because I am just not a cardio queen.

Wade Lightheart: I'm with you on that one. I went through the lockdown and we're still in lockdown in Los Angeles. It's opened up a little bit. I actually exited to Sedona, but now I've built a gym on top of my house here at the Bio home. Soi'm training outdoors with the power rack and dumbbell sets, and the whole nine yards here as it makes. If you ever come out to California, you have to come by the Bio home. We'll do a good old weight training program. I think for particularly, it's now becoming much more vogue and that is weight training for women and how it is the best way. There is bar none, there is no better way to maintain your shape, your curves, the aesthetic pleasingness, and also your strength from a longevity and performance side. And yes, you can do this on a plant based diet, you're living example of that. Can you reach out and let everybody know where they can find you? How they can connect with you? And then of course, any final words that you'd like to leave our audience as something that you would like to kind of communicate to everyone on this today.

Kate Galli: Amazing. Thank you so much. Best place to connect with me, your listeners obviously love podcasts. So Health Advocation is my podcast. Search Health Advocation, wherever you listen to podcasts. Website is There's heaps of plant based deliciousness and mindset focused short actionable posts, and I'm strongbodygreenplanet across all the socials as well.

Wade Lightheart: Love it. Any last words for our listeners?

Kate Galli: I would say compassion. This is something I work on myself with myself in a daily basis. So to your already vegan or plant based listeners, you have so much compassion for the animals. Thank you. That is amazing. I would urge you to have compassion for yourself as well. It's something that we can struggle with. There's so much heaviness with the knowledge of the cruelty that humans might inflict on animals and it can be hard being a vegan living in a non-vegan world. It's really important to prioritize self care and compassion. To your non-vegan plant-based listeners, thank you so much for those of you that have listened this day. You have an open mind for listening this style, and I really appreciate that. Please know that I'm here for you if you have any questions and please know that everything counts so far as any changes you make to your lifestyle, and it is not as hard as you might expect. In fact, it's so much easier than you might expect

Wade Lightheart: Beautifully said and thank you for sharing your wisdom and your experience as a long time vegan and fitness enthusiast. You look great and you have a lot of insights, and I love those top 10 tips. And for all of our listeners who have listened today please check out Kate's podcasts. All everything is in here in the show notes, along with those top 10 tips and for our non vegetarian place listeners, I think it's a great idea. I think go out on a limb, try it for two weeks, try it for a month. Do an experiment to see how it goes, you know, check in with Kate's podcast or check in with some of the other podcasts that are out there around that and just try it as an experiment and go out and pick 10 of your favorite foods that you normally like and find 10 high level substitutes for them, and just go out and experiment them and openly try and see what you think.

Wade Lightheart: And you might be surprised that you'll be joining us on the plant based promotionary cycle, because I never imagined I would go down that route. You know, my business partner is a keto guy, I'm a plant based guy. We're at the polar ends of the spectrum here. And I respect all people and all choices and of course all sentient beings, but more importantly, we respect you, the listener, for taking the time to be here. Thank you so much Kate for joining us. And for all of our listeners at BiOptimizers that's another Awesome Health podcasts. Please come back and join us. Get in your comments on YouTube, Facebook, you know where to find us. We love hearing from you and hopefully all of you will be able to drop into the bio home very soon, pretty extraordinary place. Thank you very much for joining us. We'll see you again next week.

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