Health

She’s Vegan, He’s Paleo-ish: What The Couple Behind Vegetable + Butcher Eats In A Day

"Get ready for some CRAZINESS! (j/k, we’re pretty boring)."
Turner Hoff and Ariane Valle. Photo by Reema Desai.

Ariane Valle has been vegan for 12 years. Turner Hoff grew up in an Italian family—in Texas. When they started dating, she looked up YouTube videos on how to cook meat, and he ate his fair share of tofu. Now, the couple behind wholesome food-delivery company Vegetable + Butcher has found a way to satisfy their tastes and meet both dietary needs.

“Although our dietary preferences are often perceived to be completely contradictory, finding common ground is easy,” says Valle. “We both follow plant-inspired diets focused on whole foods made from great ingredients—it’s that simple.” Where’s that common ground? Saturday is a “celebration day” (they’re not fans of saying “cheat day”), which doubles as date night, and they often venture from their Northeast neighborhood to favorite spot Pizzeria Paradiso. “Pizza is a plant, right?! The truth is that we find our weekly indulgence to be an equally important part of our routine. Health and happiness for us is about finding the right balance between what has us looking, feeling, and performing our best in the present while preparing us for the same in the future.”

Take a look at what the couple eats on an average Sunday.

8AM: Pre-breakfast, or “mindfulness and gratitude”

Photos by Ariane Valle and Turner Hoff.

“Simplicity is our favorite ingredient. Sundays are technically the beginning of our workweek, but we allow ourselves time on the weekends to sleep in a little and enjoy coffee in bed—French-pressed organic coffee from MOM’s, of course,” says Valle. She and Hoff both practice time-restricted eating (TRE), which is similar to intermittent fasting, so they drink their coffee black to avoid consuming calories before their fast ends. “Before hopping out of bed to get the day started, I spend ten minutes meditating and Turner completes his five-minute journal. We’ve found that each of our practices, while different, achieve similar goals: [to] help us become more mindful, practice gratitude, and live with intention.”

10AM: Breakfast, aka “lots of acronyms”

“Since we both practice TRE, we don’t eat our first meal until around 10AM. I fast for 16 hours each day and Turner fasts for somewhere between 14 and 16 hours, which means we eat our last meal between 6PM and 8PM each night. The benefits of TRE are compelling. I’ve found the biggest relief has been a complete elimination of the irritable bowel symptoms (IBS) I’ve battled my entire life. Turner just loves the cognitive and creative boost he experiences when working in a fasted state each morning.”

Their Sunday breakfasts are similar (“until we get to the bacon and eggs,” says Valle). They both eat two to three cups of mixed greens or spinach with avocado (one-quarter for Valle and the rest for Hoffe). She tops her greens with a tofu scramble that includes kale, onion, peppers, coconut oil, and lots of turmeric (“the magic spice”). Hoff typically garnishes his salad with four pieces of bacon from Ayrshire Farm and three fried eggs from Vital Farms. They share a bowl of kimchi for a dose of fermented goodness.

1Pm: Lunch = leftovers

“We met a few friends for a home-cooked dinner Saturday evening, so we had a couple of Vegetable + Butcher meals leftover from the day before. Here we have our pad thai salad, which has chicken for Turner and tofu for me.”

5PM: Dinner and “a LONG night ahead to midnight” 

“Running a small business is no easy task, particularly a meal subscription service. Monday is our biggest delivery day each week, which means Sunday is our longest cook day,” says Valle. They enjoy being involved in every aspect of their business, meaning they’re in the kitchen prepping during their normal dinner hours, so they usually grab a meal from the Monday delivery and enjoy it earlier than normal. On a recent Sunday, they had their corn and black bean salad with mango relish and salsa verde. Hoff’s version included pork chorizo and Valle’s included a spiced roasted tofu.

They also oversee the pre-delivery picking, packing, and bagging process to help make sure everything runs smoothly—”while also sneaking in the occasional treat and handwritten note for a lucky customer—or three.”

Have a Food Diary you’d like to share? Email kolsen@washingtonian.com.

Consult with your doctor before beginning a new diet. Washingtonian does not endorse any diet without the supervision of a medical professional. 

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Kim Olsen
Associate Editor

Kim Olsen joined Washingtonian in 2016 after moving to DC from Pittsburgh, where she earned an MFA in nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Alexandria.