May 18th, 2018

Vegan Biker Chick: Mandy Davis

As an inquisitive third grader in Southern California, Mandy Davis asked her mom if the chicken on her plate was ever “walkin’ around.” After hearing the answer and the traumatic realization that meat once had a face, Mandy began her picky eating journey.

During her adolescent years, Mandy was a lacto-vegetarian (a vegetarian that doesn’t eat eggs). And in 2014, as an adult living on Oʻahu, she completely eliminated dairy from her diet – becoming 100 percent vegan. From her health to the inhumane treatment of animals to environmental benefits to being “uber picky” (She doesn’t eat seaweed because it reminds her of fish.), the reasons for Mandy adopting a vegan diet were many.

Mandy, right, with her identical twin sister, Brandy, who is also a picky eater – a vegetarian. PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

Then the next path in Mandy’s vegan journey began: she got her motorcycle license and purchased a Ducati bike. But that bike had a leather seat. 

“I realized quickly that the demand for vegan motorcycle parts, accessories, and apparel isn't exactly overwhelming,” she explains. “That made me wonder, as a female eating a plant-based diet in the 21st century, could I be doing more? Should I be more of an activist? Should I become more technically versed in plant based living and actively spread the news? Am I the #worstveganever?”

Hundreds of pictures of vegan plates and her motorcycle in front of landscapes later, Mandy has found her way to contribute. Through her personal journey, she has become a proponent of a plant-based diet and her Instagram (@mandolindavis) provides a survival guide for eating on Oʻahu.

“Posting pictures of gorgeous cuisines prepared by other people of food I enjoy and am inspired by is how I feel I can move the conversation forward and share the innovative and relevant options for plant-based eating,” she says. “At times I feel it isn’t enough, but if it encourages one person to try a vegan brunch or skip the meat for a Meatless Monday, then that’s something.”

Mandy’s posts prove being a vegan is not depriving oneself. “I eat amazing foods every day and don’t put restrictions on what I eat,” she expounds. “I’m literally eating the rainbow. There are cheeses made from nuts, and exotic foods like jackfruit and taro that can be found on island.”

Her pictures also display a wide variety of foods with protein, including vegetables, beans, quinoa, buckwheat, Quorn, soy, and seiten. “I have never had an issue in 26 years with getting enough protein,” Mandy says. “I’ve got 99 problems, but protein ain’t one.”

From Mandy’s Instagram posts, here are Six Satiable #Vegan Dishes found on Oʻahu:

(1) Breakfast Polenta at Juicy Brew, Kaimuki

Cheezy polenta features portobello mushroom and shiitake "bacon" bits, roasted Moloka'i pumpkin, asparagus, bell pepper, sautéed local greens, sweet potato, chickpea scramble, cumin pumpkin and sunflower seeds, salsa roja and pickled beets. The vegan brunch items on the menu change every weekend.

PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

(2) Medi Bowl at Ai Love Nalo, Waimanalo

Kalo falafel, fire-roasted babaganoush, beet hummus, and millet tabbouleh over a bed of greens drizzled with a special creamy balsamic dressing is a must if you love Mediterranean food. 

PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

(3) Avocado Dream at Vegan Hills, Kaimuki 

The country bread open sandwich with organic tofu ricotta, avocado, and spicy chickpea with a side of potatoes is truly a dream. 

PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

(4) Baked Potato Specialty Pizza at What It Dough, Honolulu

This delicious 100 percent plant-based pizza with cheddar, potato, seitan bacon, and sour cream is made with local, organic ingredients. All cheeses and meats are made in-house.

PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

(5) Crispy Burrito at Umeke Market, Downtown Honolulu

An IndianLife tortilla is filled with brown rice, red lentils and organic cashew queso - crisped in coconut oil and topped with creamy cilantro, macadamia nut sour cream, and Mama T’s hot sauce. Organic cabbage slaw on the side.

PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

(6) Sauerkraut Tacos at Leahi Health, Kaimuki

Corn tortillas filled with beautiful sauerkraut, cabbage, and avocado, topped with Leahi Health’s special dressing.

PHOTO: Mandy Davis @mandolindavis

These are a few of the already available delicious dishes that Mandy shares, and she encourages fellow plant-eaters to continue to request vegan dishes at omnivore restaurants. 

“When there is a demand, the options for us all increase,” she says. “When I was growing up fast food places didn't have options for vegetarians or vegans. As a child, I once ordered a cheeseburger – hold the meat patty, and the voice on the microphone laughed hysterically. Now there are drive-through plant-based restaurants like Herbivores on the Big Island. What a time to be alive!”

And Mandy hopes the demand for vegan motorcycle products also increases. She concludes, “If anyone wants to start a vegan company for motorcycle parts and accessories, I'm in. This may not be a thing now, but it will be soon!”