Q&A: Jenny Murphy talks veganism

Jenny Murphy is a former Ireland Rugby International, Captain of Old Belvedere Women’s Senior XV, Barbarian and Virgin Media’s newest rugby analyst. An all round athlete who is slowly building a more plant based diet. Today we ask Jenny a few questions on her experience of Veganuary and transitioning to a more plant based diet.

Jenny, you’ve just completed Veganuary, how do you feel?

Pretty good to be honest, I’m definitely going to keep a good chunk of my meals plant-based in the future. Physically, I feel in good nick plus knowing the positive impact going vegan has on the environment is never a bad thing plus it’s not as difficult as people think.

What’s your experience with veganism and what motivated you to introduce more plants into your diet?

My two brothers are vegan and have been for over 2/3 years. I wanted to give it a try to firstly see could I do it, but also for environmental reasons. 

As an athlete do you notice a difference in your performance and recovery?


“It’s a bit of a random one, but the only difference I’ve noticed is my knee (which I’ve had numerous surgeries on) doesn’t swell or get inflamed after games. No idea if that’s related to veganism to be honest but I’ve always had to ice it after games or tough on-feet sessions.”


Are you a user of ‘Meat Free’ alternatives that are becoming more popular in supermarkets?
There are some that are ok, others are just really processed foods that aren’t my cup of tea. I haven’t come across a decent vegan cheese yet but I think the beyond meat burger is great. Chickpeas, sourdough bread, avocado,  an array of hot sauces, noodles, coconut milk, and a heap of veg (butternut squash, kale, peppers, anything really-  except aubergine)! 
What are your cupboard & fridge essentials when reducing your meat intake?
 Chickpeas, sourdough bread, avocado,  an array of hot sauces, noodles, coconut milk, and a heap of veg (butternut squash, kale, peppers, anything really-  except aubergine)!  
At Green Outlook we encourage people to review their diet from an environmental perspective. Would you share your favourite plant based meals or recipe resources?
There are a few – Vegan Ramen was my favourite but also really liked this vegan curry
My housemate also made up this recipe which I’ve stolen. 
You roast a tray full of halved cherry tomatoes and sliced red and yellow peppers (season these with S&P). 
In the same try, wrap a full head of garlic in tin foil (whack some oil on it first). After 20 mins in the oven, add in 2/3 cups of balsamic vinegar to the tomato, pepper mix. This will reduce down a lot (another 35 mins). 
Boil some gnocci (a lot of shops have gnocci with dairy in them) and when they start to float transfer them to hot pan with oil olive. Get the gnocci a little crispy, Then pour the balsamic tomato mix to the pain, squeeze out all the garlic cloves into the pan too. Mix this up, tear in a handful of fresh basil, and you are done 🙂 
Thanks so much to Jenny for her time. If you look closely at the All Ireland League Winners Old Belvedere, pictured below, you’ll see Jenny and our Founder, Fiona back in 2014. We wish her and Old Belvedere the best in the season ahead. 
We hope this interview will inspire you to look at your diet as a means to climate action. You can read more Sustainable Living Tips on our blog.