You may have already seen Tyger Lyons’ sun drenched Instagram snaps, or maybe you know him for his inspiring Tyger Talks series. He also happens to be a whiz in the kitchen! This month, Cocobella Ambassador @tygerlyons shares with us one of his go-to meals, Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Coconut Curry, and we got to chat with him about eating plantbased on the road, community, and what inspires him to create, from photography to podcasts.
Hi Tyger! Your photos and stories are constantly inspiring us, and we love keeping up with your adventures. Between training for triathlons, producing your podcast, and travelling around the world, how do you find a balance in life?
Haha, it really sounds like a hectic life when you put it like that, doesn’t it! I love immersing myself in whatever I’m passionate about. To be completely honest, I don’t really believe in balance right now… It’s not what I’m looking for in life at this time. Anytime I find myself even thinking about sitting still, my mind gets occupied with a thousand ideas of other things I could be doing instead. I’m lucky in that I don’t have any commitments outside of myself, so I think it’s the perfect time to be totally enthralled in the journey, wherever that takes me.
You have a lot of travel experience under your belt! How do stay healthy while on the road? Do you have any tips and recommendations for other travellers wanting to try plant-based eating?
Yeah it’s a tough one – definitely something I have strived for, and I think I’ve done pretty well, but it has taken a lot of self discipline as there is always a local “must try.” My biggest tip would be to shop at supermarkets and keep it super simple (it is also really cost effective.)
My typical diet regardless of where I am in the world consists of porridge and banana for breakfast, snacks throughout the day of local fruits, nuts and seeds and then a basic, minimal ingredient dinner. A lot of people find vegan living expensive or difficult while travelling, because they’re looking for the jazzy cafes that are polka dotted throughout big cities and all around Australia. Sure, this would obviously be ideal and the most obvious choice, but they aren’t sustainable for long trips and not always on offer. Keep it simple, keep it fresh, keep it local.
What’s in your shopping trolley, no matter where you are in the world?
Crunchy Peanut butter… Always. I can’t live without it, but it has to be crunchy! Smooth just isn’t quite the same, haha!
You’re currently doing triathlon training, now that you’ve planted roots in the Gold Coast. What does your training routine look like? What are the benefits you’re experiencing as a result of this structure?
Firstly, how amazing is this part of the world!? The beaches, the hinterland, the rainforest, the mountains… it’s so beautiful, and I feel very lucky to be here. Training is everyday. We start from about 5:30am and stack sessions until about 9am, then rest until the next day. I kind of knew that it was something I wanted to get into for a variety of reasons, and the more I do it the more I feel like it was the right decision. The way it anchors my every day provides me with a super refreshing structure… I find my thoughts are a lot more collected and the direction of my energy is a lot more purposeful and productive… Really enjoying all aspects of it.
After a big day, which meal do you like to whip up for energy and nutrition?
Ooo, that was one of the first things I realised when I started training – the importance of energy and nutrition! To be honest, it’s one of my favourite times of the day – getting artsy in the kitchen, haha! My go-to at the moment is a big bowl full of roast veggies (I’ve been having sweet potato, potato, onion, garlic, beetroot) with some brown rice, spinach and avocado, little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper – then voila, you’ve got yourself something pretty special!
You love to keep it real by sharing ‘bad daze’ moments, such as when you had a cycling crash. What advice do you have for people who are recovering from an injury, but don’t want to fall out of routine?
Always… I think slowly people are becoming more aware of the detrimental effects of social media – there are so many positives and people keeping it real, but it can be hard to not compare your lives to people on there. Being real with myself and what my life is like is definitely something I pride myself on. Crashing my bike that was an opportunity to show that. There’s no doubt it got me down because it limited what I was able to do on a day to day basis, but as I’m sure many people who have experienced way more hectic crashes than me will tell you – staying positive is the biggest key! Looking at the recovery time as an opportunity to rest and revitalize, and looking at the scars as a tattoo from life was what I took away… Hope that helps some people!
Over the last couple years, you’ve taken your followers around the globe to some beautiful places! How did you begin this lifestyle? What prompted you to take the leap?
Funnily enough injury as well… When I was 18 I wanted to be a cricketer – I went to the UK and ended up breaking my shoulder. When I came back for the Aussie summer, I was still unable to play, so I decided to get away from the scene and moved to an island off the coast of WA called Rottnest Island. It was there that I discovered this creative side to myself that I didn’t know existed. I started documenting life on ‘the rock’ with my friends and it all just kind of snowballed from there.
Across your Instagram, Tyger Talks podcast, and blog, you’ve shared so many inspiring stories and moments. What motivates you to share your life with others?
I just love people. I love conversation. I love sharing. I love everything that social media was created for, and just feel pretty privileged that it came about while I was the age I am now. I guess being exposed to the opportunities that “making the leap” into the unknown has provided means I can empathise with how hard it is to do it. The idea of encouraging other people to do the same, whether that be through a conversation with someone I’ve just met, or a photo I’ve posted on Insta G. It’s really just a matter of where people find it easiest to resonate, because I just love it all!
We love your recent post about making new friends around the world thanks to social media. What have you learnt about friendship and the social media community over the years?
Long story short, I built a brand with my friends a little while ago, and mid-way through it when things were really taking off we got locked out of the account. I was so devastated because I thought we hadn’t built anything tangible and our lives revolved around this silly little app, but when we re-launched the brand, the news spread, and to see the way which those people we had met responded made me realise that we had built something much more important than a business… We’d built friendships. Friendships with people from ALL over the world, meaningful ones too. People we had shared incredible moments of life with and to think that we would have never crossed paths with if the internet didn’t exist. It just put it into perspective really. There are a lot more positive things that come of social media than negatives, not the least of which is the like-minded individuals that form part of the online community. That’s what’s really special.
Which Instagram accounts are your favourites at the moment?
@saltywings – great blokes with epic photos that always remind me of home.
@richroll – a huge mentor in a totally indirect way. Love his passion and his message, the energy he goes about life really resonates with me too.
What’s next on the horizon for you? What are you enjoying working on?
After the all-go 24/7 of the last few years, it’s been nice to get back from training and just sit down to think about my day and work on my ideas. I haven’t really had a chance to look inward the last couple of months and realise what it is that just makes me happy.
Thanks for chatting to us, Tyger!