Mom's Night out with @neuroticmommy and Rituals

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Nothing could stop us from trekking out in the rain for a night of pampering with our host, Jenn Rossano a.k.a. @NeuroticMommy. We enjoyed hand massages and a relaxing meditation complete with aromatherapy by Rituals.

In between pampering and healthy bites, Jenn shared her transformational story of choosing a vegan lifestyle. She spent time answering our questions and inspiring us with her advice. Here are highlights from the Q&A below:

What’s the difference between your first pregnancy and your second?

With my first, I wasn’t healthy, I gained 80 pounds, I was eating like crap. I was very, very scared and nervous. And now, with having Oliver, I really loved my pregnancy. I wanted to be afraid...and then I just felt really good. I only gained 50 pounds as opposed to 80 pounds and I realized that that’s how my body handles pregnancy and I need to accept that!

What was it like to go through all of your transformations as a wife?

My husband and I were on two different journeys and I did feel like I went on my journey alone. I’m grateful for my husband because he gave me the room to do that. He wasn’t judgemental. He was there when I needed him for support. It wasn’t perfect but we did it together. And then he went through his own journey and we both grew separately and together as a married couple.

Have you "veganized" any Puerto Rican or Italian recipes?

YES! I grew up Puerto Rican and Italian, it was all meat, cheese and bread! Italian food for me was very easy because you can use the cheese substitutes and make all the vegan cheeses. It sounds intimidating and overwhelming but then when you dive into it and realize how easy it is, it becomes second nature. For Puerto Rican food or Spanish food, I make papas rellenas, where I use vegetables and tofu instead of the meat!

What are the quicker, easier vegan meals you can make?

I would say vegan mac and cheese. It sounds like it’s not healthy but it is! My go-to is made with carrots and potatoes. You can put that on nachos, you can put that on pasta, you can have it as a soup. Everybody loves mac and cheese. I love making anything with chickpeas like gyros...I like tempeh, you can make tacos with it.

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