For the last three years, Farin Montañez had attended the annual Central California Women’s Conference.
And each of those years the food blogger and certified holistic nutritionist who is passionate about helping others prevent chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity through a plant-based diet and active lifestyle, would envision herself up on the stage someday.
However, back then Montañez didn’t know what she would talk about, but she was definitely sure that she wanted to inspire women in some way.
And she did inspire women this year, as Montañez was at the CCWC 2018 ‘Be the Difference’ conference on Sept 25, not only as attendee but as one of the many speakers of the sold-out conference held at the Fresno Convention Center.
Her session on ‘Easy Plant-Based Eating: How to Meal Prep in Two Hours per Week’ was at full capacity and a sign at the door that read ‘Session FULL Seating is available in the theater’ was posted a few minutes after the session started for those who were still trying to get into the session.
“Today, I was so humbled by the full-capacity room of amazing women who were interested in what I had to teach: Plant-Based Meal Prep,” wrote Montañez on social media while sharing photos of the room full of women. “Yes! A full room!!! This is what speakers dream of!!! Omg I’m still on a high. That was beyond exciting and fulfilling.”
“I cannot believe that I had a full packed house. I didn’t even bring enough handouts because I thought no one is going to show up to my talk. I am a newbie, this is my first time so I was really surprised,” said Montañez. “I am really humble that a lot of people wanted to come to my talk. It’s exciting.”
The three main points Montañez stressed were: Incorporate more plants into your diet, reduce dairy intake, and, that meal prep doesn’t have to be hard.
“Definitely, just to eat more plants. I know I am not going to convert everyone into a vegan, but I just want them to incorporate more plants into their diet,” said Montañez, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and journalism, and is an avid ultramarathoner.
Montañez said she was a meat eater herself for 28 years of her life, but now that she has converted to a plant-base diet, she says she has seen that it is much better for herself, the animals and the environment.
Sharing her personal experience about by eliminating dairy from her diet eliminated her migraines for the last two years, Montañez said “I would definitely say too steer away from dairy product. That is probably the other big message that I have. Steering clear of dairy products helped me get rid of my migraines, I have that personal anecdote that I really want to convey to other people.”
As a busy mom of two, Montañez aspires to help women live a long, healthful life while spending less time in the kitchen and more time doing activities they enjoy.
“Third is that going vegan and doing plant-based meal prep doesn’t have to be hard. It’s super easy and super fast,” said Montañez, who was born and raised in Fresno, and graduated from Edison High School and Fresno State.
Montañez worked as a columnist, reporter, and copy editor at The Madera Tribune before becoming the editor-in-chief of The Clovis Independent.
In 2017, she turned a layoff into lemonade by launching her blog Spiritedvegan.com and publishing her first cookbook Spirited Vegan’s Thanksgiving Cookbook, a guide for preparing a delicious, plant-based Thanksgiving meal that includes more than 40 traditional recipes made without meat, dairy, eggs, or honey and that vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike would enjoy.
Her second book, ‘31 Green Smoothies: a Wholly Prep’ recipe book has recipes with nutrient-packed smoothie featuring leafy greens, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and a boost of fat and protein from nuts and seeds.
Montañez is adding the final touches to an online course, Wholly Prep Boot Camp, which will teach busy people how to prepare an entire week’s worth of whole food, plant-based meals in two hours.
For those who want to eat healthier, Montañez said “just make one change. I just one everyone to try to make one change in their diet, to more toward plant-based diet so that means doing a plan-based breakfast or cutting out dairy products, or cutting out meats. Just one thing at a time to start with something.”
María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782