Interview by Natalie Tabone
Photos by Shannon Hickman & Vegan Travel
Where do you live?
What do you do?
Designer at VeganTravel and Freelancer
What does veganism mean to you?
Veganism means living to feel good, not just in terms of body but also in mind and spirit. It of course means having to deal with less health complications as a direct result of our actions. However, to me it also means feeling more in-tune with myself and the world around me. I think everyone deserves to be here, both human and non-human animals.
What is your most memorable dining/eating experience?
I’d have to say Expo West from last year. I actually grew up in Orange County, so going back to my hometown is always heart-warming. I got to meet so many people I follow online, and they were all so down-to-earth. It’s amazing that the Internet has the capability to bring so many people together. It helps me remember that even living in a world that might not be so vegan-friendly, there are always people out there who get you.
It’s amazing that the Internet has the capability to bring so many people together.
If you could invite 3 people (historical or current) to dinner who would they be?
Jonathan Safran Foer (one of my top favorite authors)
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (someone whose podcast and books have really helped keep my faith in veganism)
My mom (because I’m so proud of her for making the switch to veganism over a year ago. Plus she loves my cooking!)
What would you serve?
I’d probably make a Kale Caesar Salad, some of my homemade White Bean Alfredo and the Dessert Crepes from the Joy of Vegan Baking.
Sweet or savoury?
In general, I have more of a sweet tooth than a taste for savoury things. Anything with chocolate or peanut butter (or both) is kind of my weakness.
Where is your favourite food destination?
As of now, definitely NYC. I think that is the epitome of vegan comfort food, and I hope everyone gets to visit someday!
What’s your speciality dish?
This probably sounds incredibly lazy, but I’d have to say smoothies and/or protein shakes. I kind of got hooked on them last year when I made every single one of Kathy Patalsky’s 365 Vegan Smoothies. I love the versatility of ingredients and getting to make dessert-like healthy treats when it’s too hot outside to cook (though I’ve been known to make them in the dead of winter as well). Plus having a Vitamix doesn’t hurt either!
What food best describes your personality?
Probably chocolate layer cake. On the outside, I am very friendly and I try to be kind to everyone. On the other hand, I definitely have some hidden talents and interests that not a lot of people know about me. It’s like when you cut open a cake and notice how many layers there really are, but you can’t tell just by looking at it. Plus cake is one of my favorite desserts!
Sweets are kind of my weakness.
What’s your favourite thing to eat on a hot summers day?
Green smoothies, fruit salad (or regular salad), ice cream, and pretty much anything else that’s cold.
On a cold winters night?
Green smoothies! Actually lately it has been chilli or curry, which are both super warming and I almost always have leftovers.
You’ve been asked to contribute a recipe to an upcoming cookbook. What is it?
I’d probably contribute something like a healthy (or not-so-healthy) dessert shake. Sweets are kind of my weakness.
If you were a vegetable what would you be?
Probably cauliflower. I think I come across as fairly unassuming on the outside, but when people get to know me they see how versatile and creative I can be.
Describe a normal day in the life of Shannon.
Just a heads up, it’s not super glamorous or anything. Mon-Fri I work 9-5 in an office as the designer at VeganTravel. After work, I hit the gym and dream up something for dinner while I’m exercising. When I get home I like to watch my favorite shows on Netflix as I have dinner, and I’m usually accompanied by my cat Dahlia. Then I pretty much unwind with either movies, playing guitar, knitting, listening to music or reading. My days are pretty low-key, but I’m happy about it.
Positivity goes a long way, and being mindful helps me to see that everything is perfectly fine at the current time.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sometimes I like to sit at home alone on Friday or Saturday nights with a big bottle of kombucha, some snacks and old episodes of Degrassi. It’s practically become a tradition!
What did you have for breakfast?
Today it was overnight oats with apples, cinnamon and walnuts
You’re on death row and it’s your last meal. What do you eat?
If I’m going out, I’m going with pizza, burgers, fries, milkshakes and donuts. Hopefully there isn’t a quantity limit.
My love for food is almost equal with my love for travel.
What are your plans for 2016?
I think my biggest goals for this year are to live with more patience for where I’m at in the moment. Positivity goes a long way, and being mindful helps me to see that everything is perfectly fine at the current time.
Anything else you’d like to add?
My love for food is almost equal with my love for travel. If you ever find yourself traveling around Colorado (specifically Denver and Boulder) and are in need of a vegan food buddy, let me know and I’d be happy to join you out for a bite!