FEATURE: Renee Winters

BVR-headshot.jpg

My journey to veganism started about thirty years ago. I remember being very aware of how food made me feel. I realized that certain foods would slow me down or make me feel congested. So I started removing various foods from my diet and saw an immediate improvement in how I felt. I hadn’t committed to vegetarianism, but was starting to realize the food- body-mind connection. While studying in Syracuse, I became involved with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). This really gave me a different perspective on the meat and food industry. I decided at this point to become a vegetarian. I immediately began to feel the difference in my mind, body and spirit.

I was a pesco-vegetarian for many years. The option of eating fish on occasions really seemed to work for me. However, in 2011, I reached a milestone and decided to stop eating fish. This really helped to free me and led me to where I currently am as a vegan. Along the way, there were some twists and turns with dairy, but it has only made me stronger and a more committed vegan. Once dairy was completely removed, I have never looked back.

Being a vegan has given me clarity of vision, freedom of spirit, and a love for all living beings. I have always been an active individual, however, being a vegan has brought me to new levels of energy. For my 50th birthday, I decided to compete in a bikini competition. It was amazing. I love being fit and feeling energized! Every day, I want to inspire others with the importance of positive thinking and staying physically active. I find that positivity, setting goals and smashing them is the only way to truly experience life.

Bikini Comp picture-trophies.jpg

I want to help spread the word about the value of a plant based diet to everyone, but specifically those within the African American community. We are suffering from high mortality rates and startling obesity percentages. As a people, we are also plagued by the societal issues of racism and injustice. Unfortunately, these outward racial injustices have plagued us for centuries, but in order to be “battle ready,” we must take time to fortify and strengthen ourselves…not just mentally, but physically. As a people, we must incorporate and spread the message about a plant based lifestyle. This will strengthen our minds and spirits. As the VeganSoulSista, I work to be a part of the solution for our community, as we free ourselves from a history of oppression and self-hatred. My journey as a vegan continues every day.

IG: Vegansoulsista

FB: Vegansoulsista

Website: www.vegansoulsista.com

Fitness trainer, plant based educator and online wellness coach

Available for speaking engagements-email or DM me.

BVR