FEATURE: Nicole Williams

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Hello fellow vegans, vegetarians, plant based people, and diabetics on Instagram!

I'm a mom, wife, and individual who suffers from many health conditions. Veganism Changed Me!

My vegan journey began in August of 2016, the last semester upon becoming a Certified Community Nutrition Specialist. I knew completing school was important, but health problems could affect it (I finished). It wasn't a hard decision to make because I knew something needed to change to lessen the stress and harm I was causing my body. I had enough of being sick all the time from diabetes, GI problems, high blood pressure, and other health conditions. By applying what I learned in school and research, I changed my diet to a vegan, plant-based low-carb diet, which would help alleviate many of the health conditions I was suffering from. My vegan journey has recently become healthier because I have started eating healthier nutritious foods, I've become a role model for my children and family, and I've gained purpose in life. 

For me, this has been an incredible journey because now I am able to share my personal story about veganism changing my life. By making a commitment to myself and my health, I have the control to change. I have some challenging days, but by going vegan, it has made a tremendous impact on my life. I can say, "It actually saved my life." Now I'm able to share with others that diabetes can be reversed or almost non-detectable, since that happened to me. My purpose today is to help others by encouraging, inspiring, and teaching others a new way to prepare, cook, and eat. I have now started my own health and wellness club called Veganladysoul Health and Wellness Club. 

My motto is: This world is too big to eat the same thing every day.

Social Media

Instagram: @veganladysoul

FEATURE: Chef Beverly Kumari

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Chef Bev Kumari began her meatless journey on September 3, 1989 when she became a vegetarian.  However, she knew at the tender age of 12 she had a special place in her heart for the animal kingdom, and didn’t see her kindred spirits as a source of food.  Not being able to choose this alternative diet because of the stern belief of her father, she continued on the omnivorous journey for another 14 years where she decided enough was enough.  Soon after she would relieve herself from all animal exploitation and become a vegan where she quit consuming animal products.

It was her trip to India that solidified her belief and stronghold with veganism where 70 % of the population are vegetarians and spiritually sound regarding ahimsa (the belief in not harming any life or soul).

Chef Bev attended Purdue University, where she studied sociology and journalism.  She decided on a career change in her early forties, and began attending Daytona State College, where she studied culinary arts and eventually would pursue a career as a Chef.

She has had the honor of preparing meals for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, senators, five-star general and military officiants, federal officers of courts, and other politicians as well as the comptroller of the United States.

She currently works as a sous chef at Marriott Hotels International in the Washington D.C. area.

Her new cookbook, Nouveau V: The New Renaissance of Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine, was released on May 22, 2017. It was co-written with Executive Chef Jonathan Layton, Executive Chef Abdellah Aguenaou and Executive Chef Douglas De la Reza. 

Current Events & Book Signings

*September 16, 2017

Williams Sonoma

University Park Village

Fort Worth, Texas – Cookbook signing & cooking demo

 

*September 23, 2017

Williams Sonoma

Rampart Commons

Las Vegas, Nevada – Cookbook signing & cooking demo

 

*October 28, 2017

Williams Sonoma

Beverly Hills, CA – Cookbook signing & cooking demo

 

Barnes & Nobles

North Atlantic Locations

Dates TBD

Social Media

Instagram: nouveau_vanguard  

Facebook: @NouveauVanguard  

Amazon: Nouveau V: The New Renaissance of Vegan & Vegetarian Cuisine

Barnes & Noble: Nouveau V: The New Renaissance of Vegan & Vegetarian Cuisine

Contact

Beverly Kumari Nouveau Vanguard 954-283-0529 bevkumari@nouveauvanguard.com

FEATURE: Alexis Carter

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I am Alexis Carter, I started my vegan journey due to a health issue. I had fibroids and the doctor asked me, "Do you eat chicken?" He later explained that the hormones injected into the animals create growths and cysts in the body once consumed. That was 13 years ago and my research to optimal healing has yet to stop. I am raising 3 amazing health conscious children in the same manner and spreading this sacred knowledge to my clients as a vegan doula.

If you can prolong your life, why not start with your health? You can control your health, you can heal your life.

Social Media

Instagram: Sistah Alexis Carter

FEATURE: Talmadge Spicer

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Sunny Goes Vegan Mid-Cheeseburger          

My name is Talmadge “Sunny” Spicer and I went vegan cold turkey mid-cheeseburger. Starting in February 2017, my vegan journey has done many things for me but more than anything else, it has liberated my mind to experience an “outside-of-the-box” lifestyle that has affected every aspect of my life.  7 months in, I am excited for the opportunity to share my green eating experiences with you.

Becoming vegan has always been something floating around in my subconscious only to surface recently at an “Art Of Conversation Event” by my friend Chris Bright. I remember a conversation about veganism and I, like most meat-eaters, respected the decision to be vegan but could not imagine giving up that one food. Mine was chicken. I argued that red meat and pork can and should be left out of my diet but I was married to chicken. In a room full of vegans I was quickly educated on what I was ignorant about.

Within a months time, I decided to give it a try half way through an Italian cheeseburger that, in all honesty, wasn't all that tasty. Step 1 was to Vegucate myself. I hopped on Netflix and watched Vegucated and my eyes were opened and I gained an intense hunger for knowledge on the subject. YouTube offered a wealth of information and thoroughly changed my perspective. I knew that I would be successful as a vegan but you couldn't tell that to anyone around me. They said things like “You bugging, what are are you going to eat?”, “I don't want you passing out at the gym!”, and “We need protein! Where will you get protein?” These comments ironically confirmed that I was making the right decision as I cleansed my cabinets and fridge of all animal products.   

Becoming aware of the benefits and opportunities I had as an individual converting to veganism made the transformation almost effortless. I learned of the factory farming tragedy that my former meat eating diet was contributing to. I learned how it causes the highest levels of Co2 omissions over the world's transportation being the number 1 contributor to global warming. I learned that the plants and grains we feed our food could be fed to other people and potentially end world hunger. Finally, I learned of the individual health benefits I would experience as an individual. Knowledge of these three aspects made becoming a vegan and educating others a no brainier.         

My vegan journey also led me to refocus my social media marketing agency, Growth 4 Green Eats, to exclusively cater to Vegan restaurants. Now I help vegan restaurants connect with local vegans all across the country using their social media accounts and am in love with what I do and the purpose behind it!       

All in all, I consider my journey unique to me as all vegans should. I've been opened up to a whole world of new foods I had no clue existed, my cooking game has skyrocketed, and I've been able to help others see the transformation first hand and helped inspire them to try it out. I love being vegan and hope to promote my lifestyle any way I can.

Social Media

Instagram: @ourunclesunny

Instagram: @growth4greeneats

FEATURE: Alicia S.

My path to veganism began with disease, Type II Diabetes to be specific. After 30 something years of eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) my life changed in the summer of 2012. Just like the title of one of my favorite documentaries I was fat, sick and nearly dead. I was on the highest dosage of Metformin and my doctor had just informed me that my blood sugar was still too high and that I would need to begin to take insulin! I was horrified, I mean I didn’t feel great but I didn’t feel that sick!!

I didn’t want this to be my destiny: my grandfather was a double amputee due to his diabetes and every other older person I knew who had diabetes was dealing with serious medical complications as a result. So I began a mission to reverse my disease! I began to research cures and every book I read, website I visited, documentary I watched was clear: animal products equals death!

The first thing I did was buy a VitaMix, and yes, I am a kitchen appliance junkie. I started making green smoothies and began to cut back on meat. Unfortunately, at that time we were heading into the fall holiday season. Needless to say, my blood sugars and A1C remained high so back to the drawing board. I then discovered juicing...to be more specific...juice fasting. Fast forward to Christmas 2012, I actually bought a really expensive prime rib roast and all the fixings for Christmas dinner. This was going to be the last time I ate meat after all.  I wanted to go out with a bang.

I was planning on starting my juice fast on New Year’s Day!!! I couldn’t hold out till 1/1/2013 after days of eating prime rib, rich foods, and desserts. I started my juice fast on 12/28/2012. I spent the first several days locked in my bedroom under the covers crying and trying not to smell all of the fast food my kid was buying since I wasn’t strong enough to cook for him. This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done.  With a lot of tears, dreams of eating fast food, and journaling, I completed a 31 day juice fast! Me! I felt amazing and had completely lost my appetite for meat and dairy! More importantly, when I went back to the doctor in the spring, I had lost almost 50 pounds and no longer needed medication.

I have had a few slip ups along the way and gained some of the weight back. I usually struggle around holidays, work events or other social functions but I always pick myself up and get back on the wagon! I’m still working on reversing my disease, but that is not the only reason I remain vegan. I am very proud to say that I am vegan for the animals now too. I no longer want to contribute to the needless slaughter of sentient beings. I have grown so much in these last few years and learned so much about why buying organic is so important and how GMOs are destroying our farms.  And don’t get me started on the BEES!  I still have much to learn and hope you join me on my journey to health and wellness.

Social Media

I just started a blog: www.thezengoddess.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thezengoddess/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aliciajcs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thezengoddess/

FEATURE: Kenny and Kristen

Veganism is deeply rooted in our family infrastructure. My husband Kenny and I have enjoyed being vegans for quite some time now. It has been about 6 years for Kenny, and going on 3 years for me. I had tried being vegetarian during college after watching "Vegucated" - however, I failed after 6 months and went back to eating white meat, as many often do. Although I had a natural inclination towards wanting a more plant-based lifestyle, I must admit that meeting and falling in love with Kenny gave me the extra motivation that I needed. I was young, fresh out of college, and ready to learn how to cook and try new things. It did not take me very long at all to make the transition! 

We recently had a baby girl, Ida Billie (she is now 4 months), and we will be raising her as well as any future children on a vegan diet as well. I had a very healthy vegan pregnancy, successful natural home birth, and am exclusively breastfeeding Ida without any issues. Plants have fueled me well into motherhood, and they will continue to do so.  

I grew up eating the standard American diet. As a child and teenager, I regularly struggled with miserable seasonal/animal allergies, sinus infections, eczema, and my nose was stuffy almost constantly. I now know that animal products, especially dairy, was to blame for a lot of that suffering. I am no longer on western allergy medications that merely mask symptoms rather than actually heal and eradicate the root issue. I have not had a sinus infection since going vegan, and I can enjoy hours of fun time with cats and dogs without any suffering. Kenny, on the other hand, was raised vegetarian and decided to go vegan on his own at age 28. While he was not as sick as I was growing up, his health has improved dramatically after eradicating dairy and eggs as well. 

I am still constantly learning about nutrition, plants, and the human body. In addition to the peace of mind and relief that comes with eating a green and cruelty-free diet, I must say that my favorite part of being vegan is the way in which it has lifted my consciousness in other aspects of my life as well. When my seasonal allergies do occasionally still bother me, I now reach for nettle tea or infused onion water rather than a Zyrtec. When I am feeling stressed, I know that lavender and chamomile will lift my mood in no time, rather than feeling desperate to have a glass of wine in order to get through the day. This week, I finished straining my very first batch of Fire Cider, which I will use this fall/winter if I get a cold rather than Dayquil. And if I do ever get another sinus infection - I will be using essential oils, not antibiotics and steroids. 

When you love the plants, they will love you back. 

Social Media

IG: @kandkveg (food inspiration), @afroveganmama (vegan & natural parenting)
Facebook: Afro Vegan Mama (vegan & natural parenting)
Store: (Radical Vegan t-shirts & more to come): kandkveg.bigcartel.com

FEATURE: Ebere A.

My name is Ebere, I'm Nigerian, 19, and a Biomedical Sciences major. I'm currently residing in Orlando. I went vegan about six months ago. It was something that always interested me, but like many other people, I had my excuses, with "I love meat/cheese too much" taking the cake. Initially, it started as a challenge with a friend intended to last a month, but I began to feel way more clarity both mentally and physically along with more energy, so we continued on. I'm still growing and learning as a vegan.

I watched Cowspiracy and What the Health a couple months into the journey and was so shocked to learn how much I didn't know. I can honestly say that I do not ever see myself going back to a carnivorous diet. I hope to be able to interact with other black vegans, and spread the good word to every willing person. 

When I first went vegan, my friends teased me. I remember when they first found out, they said things like "I could never!" or the stereotypical salad jokes. Over time they started to accept that I wasn't giving up on the newfound lifestyle and even they started to try new dishes. I got some friends to watch What the Health, too!

My family reactions varied. The most extreme reaction came from my mother, who said that veganism is bad for you and that I should "at least eat fish", as if fish is healthy (oh, mother), and even complained about "the expenses". The most accepting people have been my sister and auntie. I also have 3 brothers, one of them has a vegan girlfriend, and all three of them looove my BBQ jackfruit sandwiches!
 
To my fellow black vegan prospects, just the simple interest is worthy of praise. As far as expenses go, I'm a college student and proud member of the broke life! I'm fortunate to have a mother who financially supports me. Every two weeks, she sends me money for groceries/gas/miscellaneous. She sent the SAME amount before I went vegan as she does now. If you want to make it work financially, you'll make it work! And I did so with no problem. I try to shop locally. Stores that have bulk sections are golden because it cuts down costs A LOT. My grocery bill always comes out to roughly the same, if not less, than it was before. 

As for difficulty, I was able to make the switch cold turkey but as with many things, this is NOT a race. If you need to adopt vegetarianism prior to veganism, do that. If you need to start with one vegan meal a day, do that. Everybody has their own unique path and will experience this journey differently.  If you have any questions, I'm always down to help to the best of my ability. 

Social Media:

Instagram: @ebereajo

Twitter: @ebereajo

FEATURE: Chris Hooten

Chris Hooten is a non-profit professional with extensive community service, education, and event planning experience. His youth development and education experience ranges from teaching English in rural Rwanda to serving on the state board of Circle K, a statewide collegiate non-profit encouraging students to engage in public service. He has earned multiple awards and honors for his community service and commitment to youth development, including the Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award and Community Service Leader Media. He has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA working to engage youth from under-supported communities. He graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Gender Studies.

Chris has been vegan for over three years and regularly mentors others in adopting a plant-based diet. He also coordinates a Vegan and Vegetarian Meet Up for LGBTQ+ individuals called VegOut in Washington D.C. He is passionate about creating gender, racial, environmental, and economic justice by supporting leaders who challenge and combat oppressive systems in their communities.

Chris can be reached at thehooten1@gmail.com. 

Social Media

Twitter: Veganoire12
Instagram: Veganoire
LinkedIn: ChrisHooten
Youtube: Veganoire