STEFANIE Moir is a vegan lifestyle blogger, avid gym goer and fitness website owner. Since 2015, the 26-year-old has shared tips on how to become stronger, healthier and happier on her blog, YouTube channel and Instagram. She has now written her first book, Naturally Stefanie, which will be published this week.

“You do not have to go plant-based overnight, nor do you have to go to the gym and have a six pack, to benefit from my book,” she says. “My aim is to help you incorporate more plant-based meals into your life, and help you look and feel better along the way with workouts and routines aimed at people of all fitness levels.

“A plant-based lifestyle is not a diet – nor is the gym the only place you can successfully, and happily, get fit. I do not advocate diets in any way, shape or form. I believe in eating whole plant-based foods that are good for the body and soul and leave you feeling and looking your absolute best.”

Moir, who grew up near Glasgow, has always loved sport and exercise. “I was part of my local swimming club for more than 10 years. I went to university to study psychology in 2012 and it was around this time I moved on from swimming to weight training at the gym. I’ve been hooked ever since.

“As I progressed with my training, I started looking into how to complement my new gym regime with a healthy diet – and found veganism. I soon found I was feeling better than ever before and started my blog and Instagram account, to document my vegan and weight training journey.”

During her time studying at Strathclyde University, Moir’s love of fitness and nutrition continued to grow. “Once I’d graduated, I decided to put my heart and soul into my Naturally Stefanie brand. I now run my vegan fitness site – – which has built an amazing community of like-minded individuals from across the globe who have all been inspired to transform their health and wellbeing.”

Here, Moir answers some common questions about veganism and attempts to banish the myths.

What about protein in a vegan diet?

People often ask this in relation to nutrition or training, without quite knowing what protein does and how much we actually need. I’ve found that it’s not difficult to meet your protein requirements as a vegan and there are plenty of quality food sources to choose from.

If people are still unsure about my health, my response is to ask (with a smile): “Do I look undernourished? Do I look like there’s not enough protein in my diet?”

But what about cows ...

Dairy farming is centuries old, but factory farming, and farming on the huge scale that exists now, obviously isn’t – and this is where the problem lies. Whether you are concerned for animal welfare or climate change, the demand for beef and cheap dairy products is taking its toll on the environment and on the wellbeing of the cows themselves. There are plenty of readily available plant-based sources of calcium to choose from instead – an optional, more ethical approach.

How will one person going vegan make a difference?

In an average lifetime, a meat eater in the Western world might well eat more than 7,000 animals. By choosing to reduce your meat consumption, animal suffering is reduced, and the world’s resources are saved.

In its simplest terms, the rule of supply and demand means that when demand decreases sufficiently, so does supply. As more people buy fewer animal products, supermarket chains will gradually reduce their orders, and so fewer animals will be bred and killed, and fewer resources used.

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The key is reduction – if you can cut your meat and dairy consumption down to once or twice a week rather than once or twice a day, you’re hugely decreasing your impact on the planet and on animals.

But isn’t veganism expensive?

Most of your cupboard essentials – such as pasta, rice, beans, tinned tomatoes, lentils and fresh seasonal or frozen veggies – are relatively cheap, and you’re likely to be buying those anyway whether or not you’re eating a plant-based diet. Granted, meat alternatives can be expensive but if you compare the price of tofu to responsibly sourced meat, you will notice that in most cases the tofu will be cheaper.

Isn’t veganism too extreme?

Livestock farming contributes more to climate change than all the cars, planes, ships and trains on the planet combined. It is also a significant factor in deforestation.

A plant-based diet is kinder to the earth and all its animals, including the human race, while also having lots of health benefits. Unless you consider pasta, beans, peanut butter and bread to be extreme... there is nothing really extreme about not eating animals.

Instead of asking: “Why don’t you eat meat?” perhaps the question should now be: “Why do you eat meat?”

Veganism is so restrictive. I can’t eat my favourite foods.

When people tell me that they can’t go vegan because they’ll miss meat or cheese too much, I usually say:

  • You don’t have to go “cold-turkey” and become a vegan overnight. You can take your time, gradually add more plants into your meals and slowly get used to living animal-product free. Think of it as eating in abundance, you’re adding food to your diet rather than taking it away.
  • You don’t have to be vegan. There, I’ve said it. I’d be so happy if what you take away from this book is the inspiration to reduce your animal product intake, to really begin to love plants and yourself more. Small changes are just as important, and in making them you are still reducing your consumption and living a healthier lifestyle.
  • Many of your favourite food items may already be vegan. I once created a popular series on my YouTube channel where I hunted down my favourite “accidentally vegan” junk foods and showcased them in videos to demonstrate how many of your everyday favourites might already be animal-free.
  • With the vegan movement growing more and more each day there are now alternatives to just about everything. My supermarket freezer section is exploding with dairy-free pizza, meat-free sausages and burgers. I don’t know what restrictive means to you, but this sure isn’t it.

But will veganism make me feel better?

For many of us, our relationship to food is complicated. Deciding to no longer eat certain foods that you love, that bring you comfort, or that your body has come to rely on, is hard.

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However, as you transition to a more plant-based diet, the benefits of eating this way will eventually start to balance out the sadness you feel at no longer eating a meaty cheeseburger ... trust me, I’ve never felt better. And, surprise, you can still enjoy vegan cheeseburgers.

In her book, Moir shares a series of recipes. Here are a couple of her favourites:


Serves 4

I love this hearty burger patty with a salad or with some homemade fries. These burgers last well in the fridge for up to three days and are also great in a nourish bowl or wrap.


1 x 240g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ block tofu (approx. 150g)

½ red onion

60g jalapenos

30g oats or plain flour

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

½ lime, juiced

For the sriracha mayonnaise

1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

1 tsp sriracha

To serve

burger buns

lettuce leaves

chopped tomatoes

extra jalapenos


1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

2. Add the chickpeas, tofu, red onion, jalapenos, flour, paprika, cumin, coriander, lime to a food processor and pulse until the ingredients combine to form a loose “dough”.

3. Using your hands, make four patties.

4. Place the four patties onto the tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the burgers after 15 minutes to ensure they’re cooked evenly.

5. Make the sriracha mayonnaise by simply mixing together the sriracha hot sauce and mayonnaise.

6. Once the burgers are cooked, add the burgers to the buns, layering in the lettuce leaves, tomato, extra onion, jalapenos and top with sriracha mayonnaise.

READ MORE: Burnistoun star Robert Florence on his new BBC Scotland show The State Of It


Serves 8

I made this on Valentine’s Day for my hubby, Marco, and it turned out to be quite a success. But it doesn’t have to be limited to Valentine’s Day, I love making this on all special occasions.


230ml almond milk

1 tsp vinegar

120g plain flour

90g coconut sugar

60g mashed banana

40g cacao powder

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

For the ganache

90g cacao powder

60ml melted coconut oil

60ml pure maple syrup

200g fresh strawberries (or any fresh berries of your choice)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

2. Mix together the almond milk, vinegar and mashed banana in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cacao, baking powder, salt and coconut sugar.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until fully combined to form the cake batter.

5. Pour the cake mixture into the lined tin and cook in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the centre.

6. While the cake cooks, melt together the ganache ingredients in a saucepan or in the microwave.

7. Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin and turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

8. Transfer the cake to a plate or cake stand before pouring over the ganache and topping with the strawberries.

9. Place in the fridge to set for at least an hour before serving.

Why exercise?

Exercise is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle. Many people view exercise as a way to look better, either to lose weight or change their body shape in some way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it is important to have reasons to exercise other than just the aesthetic benefits. If you only view exercise as a way to lose weight, the chances are you are not going to stick to it.

I was previously a swimmer and, as a teenager, I never viewed my swim training as exercise or a way to achieve a certain physique. I viewed it as a social club where I made friends, as a competitive sport, as a hobby – and it was fun.

Don’t get me wrong, the training was hard going, but I enjoyed it. This is why I also enjoy weight training in the gym because it is a challenge for me mentally and physically – and I can push myself to do things I couldn’t do before. Of course, I do train a certain way to gain aesthetic benefits from my work at the gym but that is not my only reason for going.

Exercise is often sold to us as a way to lose weight, burn calories and get in shape for summer. But, to really benefit long-term from exercising, it is important to shift your mindset and focus on all of the other health benefits it can provide. Focusing too much on weight loss and aesthetic goals can have negative effects on how you perceive exercise and will impact on the duration for which you actually stick with it.

Thinking of exercise simply as a means of weight loss can lead us to feel guilty if we do not stick to our exercise regime – and this guilt can result in over exercising and restricted eating behaviours. In addition, it is typically found that the majority of individuals who do lose weight via exercise will regain it again because they are more likely to stop exercising when they attain their “target weight”.

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Yo-yo dieting can have detrimental effects on both our mental health and physical health; thus focusing purely on weight loss as a reason for exercise can actually have negative effects on our overall health. Physicians often tell patients to work out to lose weight, lower cholesterol or prevent illness such as diabetes. Unfortunately, it can take months before any physical results of your hard work in the gym are apparent, which means that many people give up on exercise.

With this in mind, let’s shift the conversation around exercise onto the many other benefits it can provide. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the rewards of working out. Research has suggested that small amounts of exercise can make a significant difference across all ages and fitness levels.

Naturally Stefanie by Stefanie Moir is published by Black & White on Tuesday, priced £16.99