Meet one of the owners of Pura Vida, Shalindra Kawilarang. Pura Vida is Indonesia’s first overnight oats that was established in 2014. Pura Vida means “pure life” in Spanish, infusing every healthy element in a jar, from Cacao Spiced Hot Cocoa, CREMA Pure Peanut Butter, Schnikers Chia Parfait, Blueberry Parfait, and many other. The ingredients are mostly oatmeals, fruits and berries, non-dairy chocolate and other natural components.
Shalindra made the recipes herself. Living in New York for 7 years, Sha learned how to cook and in doing so, Sha paid close attention to what she consumes. Though she initially majored in fashion design school, Sha chose to further study baking. The proud vegan is also planning to open a vegan restaurant soon in Bali! But first, let’s get the insider’s tips on healthy lifestyle.
Could you share us the reason you decided to be a vegan?
“I watched a documentary in Netflix on how animals were slaughtered just for human’s consumption. And it’s really painful to see, especially how the little chicks hatched from the eggs, and they killed them rightaway and the hens are forced to spawn eggs. And for cows, they only use female cows to produce milk, and if they gave birth to baby cows, they separated them rightaway, and put the baby cows to small cages.”
“So after all those documentaries, I decided to be a vegan. I was like, this is ridiculous, this is how we treat animals and how about if we were treated the same? You know it’s very unfair. And the saddest part is they are voiceless, they can’t chose the life they want to and scream it out loud.”
“So I became a vegan seven months ago just because I wanted to be a better human being and to support these animals. And by that, I stopped buying leather. But I was a vegetarian for six years before that. Being a vegetarian, you still eat dairy produce like milk, cheese, and eggs. I once was a pescatarian, I only eat fish and not meat, then I was vegetarian. Now that I’m a vegan which basically I only eat vegetables and fruits.”
What is the most challenging thing of being a vegan?
“I don’t have a challenge to be honest, maybe because I can cook so I can prepare all my food at home. Challenges come when I eat out with my parents, because usually Sunday is a family day. And let’s say they want to go to a steak house, then I’ll just go to another restaurant. My sister always makes the decision where to eat and stuff, so I have to double check the menu again.”
You’ve been consistent in living a healthy lifestyle, could you share your thoughts on the concept?
“I think everyone should really consider food not just as a trend. We all need food, but there are people who think food as a trend, they eat a lot and savor the food excessively. Let’s say salted egg croissant, it got big and everyone just had to eat it without knowing how bad it is for you. People should really know that all these trends may not be as healthy as you think. I don’t fall to that trap. Frankly, I’m one of those people who get easily bored when I’m working out, I used to be really into gymming and lifting weight and then it got me pretty big. Then I started running, but now I’m doing yoga. I’ve been doing yoga everday so it’s good for me, just move your body four times a week to maintain your healthy lifestyle. When I was at the gym and did the body building thing, I used to work out six days a week, even on Saturday! Right now, I want to be lean, so now I’m doing yoga instead of all that heavy lifting. It’s better for my brain too, it makes me calmer.”
Now about Pura Vida, please share us the story behind it.
“It was established a couple years ago, I had an Instagram account called ‘anorexsha’, because I was anorexic and bulimic. I was struggling with my eating disorder, then I started posting healthy food, especially oatmeal. I was eating oatmeal every single day just to make myself healthy. Whenever I posted one, everyone was like ‘Oh make me one’ or ‘Deliver to my house’ and I was, ‘The recipe is right there, you go make one, don’t be lazy’. So my best friend had an idea, ‘Listen, we can make this work’, I was a bit skeptical because Indonesians eat rice and they don’t eat oatmeal. I mean me and my family are very westernized, my dad eats peanut butter and jelly sandwich every morning. And we were the first one to make it. I guess with the help of my account back then, people were happy that I finally selling my oatmeal. So I decided to change my Instagram name to theoatlady.”
Do you have a guilty pleasure these past months as a vegan?
“People asked me that all the time, like ‘don’t you miss eat this and that’, well they do have a vegan version from croissant, chocolate cake, to basically anything, even vegan burger! That’s why I love it cause all I eat is vegetable and that’s what I like. If I eat steak, the next day I would feel sick. Because meat stays for two days in your body, whereas vegetables would flush out immediately in a day. It’s the digestion. That’s why it makes me feel lighter and better, more positive I guess.”
Now tell us about the chocolate vegan that you just mentioned.
“Chocolate has two versions: milk and non-milk. And of course I eat the one without milk, like Lindt chocolate, it’s a vegan one. I also make chocolate chip cookies and it made out of dairy free chocolate chips. And in Pura Vida, we just released a new smoothie line, it’s called double shot chocolate and it’s vegan. Everytime I go to the supermarket, I also look at the ingredients really closely.”
So you really do pay close attention to everything you’re about to eat.
“You make your body healthy, you basically do good in humanity by itself. For you, for the environment, even the animals. It’s not that hard to be a vegan. And if you have low blood pressure, then you need iron a lot, just eat broccoli instead of red meat, it’s high in iron. My iron is always steady because I eat a lot of dark leafy greens.”
We noticed that you used to have a long hair, and now you have a fresh new look with your short hair.
“This is quiet funny, I was born in February and so an Aquarius is a rebel. I’m a rebel, I’m the youngest in the family, so I’ve always been really mischievous I guess. I have 11 or 12 tattoos, and I shaved my hair. People be like, ‘you are a girl and you need a long hair’, and you know what, I wanna be different. So that’s why I used to dye my hair in all type of colors. I went blonde, purple and now I decided to have a barbershop short. I literally went to the barbershop and I left it to the barber man. I was watching television, and by the time it finished, he gave me this haircut and I love it. Too bad it’s growing back already and I’m trying to find a barber here that can do it for me. And for now, I’m okay with this kind of hair, it’s easier to maintain.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Photographer: Vicky Melly
MUA and Hairdo: Nadia Renata
Stylist: Hilarius Matthew
Videographer: Moody Elisha
Video Director: Mario Raymond
Digital Imaging & Graphic Design: Gigih Wiryana