My name is Helanah.💜 I am a 28 year-old black identified vegan, yogini, licensed massage therapist, writer and natural hair foodie, who is passionate about self-care and wellness. I launched Yogetree, a traveling live event series focused on creating self-care safe spaces for people from all backgrounds to center and nourish their mind-body-spirit. That means I use my skills and expertise to curate health and wellness experiences for artists, activists and educators.
More than helping people create and implement practical wellness strategies for themselves, Yogetree has grown into a vibrant community of conscious, health-centered and curious individuals. The workshop includes a unique flow between movement and mindfulness; you may walk in a little nervous, yet walk out with a new sense of community and determination. Our next stop is corporate wellness workshops and I can't wait to see where Yogetree grows to.
Why I'm VEGAN?
Being a plant-cased eater allows me a form of freedom I have always sought after. Being black, living in America, being a woman...there are a lot of challenges I have faced in my personal journey that have denied me forms of freedom I believe, everyone should have access to. My choice to be a vegan means I can eat responsibly, affordably and healthy, and most importantly, on my terms.
I know a lot of people feel like not consuming meat or dairy products must be super expensive. My answer? Yes, it can be, BUT it doesn't have to be. What do I mean? Well, to be honest I'm a scientist by trade (aka trained Linguist lol), and I look at much of my life choices from a very analytical perspective, so for me, being a black identified vegan is the easiest and cheapest way for me to feed myself and show up in my community around causes that are important to me and affect my human experience.
So what do you eat as a VEGAN?
As far as food goes, I eat a lot of legumes, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables. I drink a lot of water and smoothies, eat lots of salads and LOVE LOVE making soups in my #vitamixblender. Those who know what's up, know what I'm talking about. 😁
My friends and I always joke that the three staple items every vegan needs are:
1) Food processor,
2) Vitamix blender and
3) Pressure cooker,
and if you're being fancy, get a juicer and what I call a "zoodler," otherwise known as a spiralizer. They are seriously so cool and make raw vegan living a little more attainable.
My VEGAN journey?
I transitioned slowly and intentionally. I'm not someone who can do "cold turkey" when it comes to my emotional attachments to food. My top tips for someone interested in becoming a vegan? Do your research. Take your time. Be flexible with yourself. There will be times people will challenge you, ask you for answers to questions that seem obvious, even make fun of you for not eating mac n' cheese or BBQ chicken wings. No matter where your journey takes you, hold fast to your truths and don't let anyone shake your determination.
Find me using my gifts to educate, empower and encourage my community to connect to themselves through meal-planning, movement and mindfulness workshops.