May 1, 2019

Raising a Vegan Family in Bali with Kallie

Kallie is our Co-Founder and Designer at 31 Bits. She gets to work hand-in-hand with all our artisans to create the beautiful pieces you can purchase! Kallie, her husband Adam, and their two daughters (Golden and Honey) live in Bali full-time, so she works with our artisans daily.

Kallie draws her inspiration from “nature, cultures, and colors.” She says she, “puts together a design board and goes from there! Uganda paper bead jewelry is all about color. In Bali, it’s a continual exploration of what Bali has to offer. There are so many artisans that do beautiful weaving, ceramics, and carving. Every artisan teaches me and broadens my creativity!”

We got the inside scoop on how she’s living and raising a vegan family in Bali. Bonus, she gives us her fave smoothie recipe too!

What do you enjoy most about living in Bali?

My favorite part of Bali is the people. Indonesians are very warm and beautiful people. There isn’t a part of my day that’s not filled with smiles and greetings. From our school drop-offs with the happiest security guard (or person for that matter), to the warm smiles from the rice farmer across from our house. There’s even a waitress at one of our favorite breakfast spots who holds baby Goldie the entire time, so I can enjoy breakfast, because she genuinely loves babies (now you moms know why it’s my favorite breakfast spot!!!) These interactions keep me motivated to do what I do, and charge me with life-giving energy throughout the day.

I also love the beautiful green jungles and warm water beaches of Bali. We enjoy doing trips around the island and its neighboring islands to see all the beauty that nature has to offer.

What’s it like being a mother and raising kids in Bali?  

There are positives and negatives about raising kids in Bali. The positives outweigh the negatives, which is why we continue to stay, but I think that anywhere you are there will be both.

I love having my children grow up around different cultures and people. The questions Honey, my four year old, asks me are so beautiful. She is surrounded by different religions, cultural practices, and interactions that are different than her own. I can see how she is becoming more open to people looking and believing differently than her, and how she sees them not so different at all.

The other day Honey asked me why a woman was wearing a hijab, and I told her it’s part of her culture and religion. Honey responded in saying “oh, so just like how Balinese Hindu’s wear special ceremony dresses?” She accepted the woman’s practice with understanding that people believe differently, but at the core we are all the same. I wish we could all see the world through those eyes.

I also really love how much nature is around us. We walk outside our house to rice terraces, cows, and ducks. I grew up on a farm, so it’s fun to see my girls also be able to be apart of nature and animals.

Negatives are being far from family and our friends in America. It’s a horrible 24-hour flight and shattering 11-hour time difference for jet lag. With two kids, we’re pretty much walking dead for a good week.

What are your reasons for going vegan?

It started out for health reasons, and I’ve never felt better, but then it grew into being more about the Earth and animals. Our Earth is in a bad spot… there’s so much pollution in the waters, deforestation, and global warming.

I wanted to do something, and found being vegan is one of the best ways a person can help the planet. I want to be able to do something to help my kids and their kids, so they can experience the beautiful world we live in.

In our travels, we’ve continually heard from farmers, fishermen, and guides that things used to be different a couple years ago. The weather was more predictable for farming, or the water used to be filled with beautiful fish. Things are changing, but there are ways that we can help.

Another reason I am plant-based is because our family enjoys it! It’s fun to get creative in making things you are craving. I didn’t become vegan because I hated the taste of cheese or meat products. I actually really enjoy the flavor, but there are really tasty ways to make similar dishes that are vegan. We make delicious cashew cheese and homemade coconut milk. Adam love of pepperoni, so king oyster mushrooms do just the trick! (If you are interested in these recipes, comment and I can send them your way!)

What’s it like being vegan in Bali vs. the U.S.?

It’s really easy to be vegan in Bali. There’s a large movement for health here in Bali, so most cafes offer lots of vegan and gluten-free options. Indonesian cooking is very vegan friendly. Tempe originated here, and tofu is widely used as well as coconut milk. It’s weird to go to a warung (Indonesian restaurant) that doesn’t have a large portion of the menu filled with veggies.

Plant-based eating is growing in the U.S. too. I am so proud of where it has come!! There are so many plant-based companies that are making it so easy to be vegan. Some of our favorites are, Beyond Meat, Oatly, and Kite-Hill.

What is your favorite smoothie recipe?

Here’s my go-to smoothie or smoothie bowl recipe! We eat some variation of this almost everyday. I am using the fruit that is available and in season in Bali, but you can use anything that’s available/in season where you live.

A good all-year-long option is frozen mango. I use it all the time when we’re back in California! But if you want to try Pitaya, you can also find it in the frozen section near the Acai in most grocery stores. It’s so pretty and has so many good nutrients! Try it out and let me know what you think! It’s simple, but YUM YUM!

Smoothie Bowl

–       2 Frozen Bananas (tip: make sure they are lightly spotted when you put them in the freezer so that they are sweet and so that they can digest properly)

–       1-2 cup(s) Frozen Pitaya (or any other frozen fruit)

–       Orange juice (tip: I love doing freshly squeezed but you can do store bought as well. Put in as much OJ as you want to get the consistency you prefer. If you want a drinkable smoothie put more or if you want thicker smoothie bowl add less.

–       Coconut Milk (tip: you can use any plant-based milk but my favorite is freshly made coconut milk.)  – Comment below if you want this recipe because it is so easy, cheap and delicious!

–       A handful of Spinach or Kale

–       TOPPINGS! If you are doing a smoothie bowl, I love to add granola, coconut flakes and berries on top. YUM YUM!!!

Additional Superfoods! I always love adding some superfoods to my smoothies to make it extra nutrient dense, especially for my daughter Honey. Here are a couple of my favorite:

Moringa – we use this a lot in Bali because it is locally made and super nutritious

Hemp Hearts – for that extra protein and fat

Maca – for hormone balance and energy

Reishi – for immunity

Lions Maine – for brain health

Spiralina – for protein and detox

Chia Seeds – for Omega-3 and antioxidants