FEATURE: Lindsay Cottin

Lindsay is a professional dancer, Shiatsu Therapist, fitness trainer and Therapeutic Recreation student from Toronto, ON. She is constantly working to help others mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Being vegan for over a year, she now implements her vegan lifestyle into all areas of her work. Whether she is creating dances, fitness training or healing others with Shiatsu, she is continuously advocating for others to take on a more vegan lifestyle.

Prior to becoming vegan, I was an extreme healthy and chemical free vegetarian. When I decided to go vegan it was for spiritual and cleansing reasons. I felt in order to be whole mind, body, and spirit that it only made sense to cleanse myself of all animal flesh. My friends and family are used to me going to the extreme in my life, so going vegan seemed natural for me. I have even now inspired some of my friends and family to slowly transition to go vegan. 

Veganism is a vital component in keeping your body healthy on the inside and outside. As a fitness lover, dancer, and trainer I feel so much more energised since I became vegan. What's important to remember is that going vegan does not mean instant healthy bliss. The fact is you need to avoid junk food, processed foods, and chemicals as much as you can; just as when you are not vegan. 

 I think being vegan as a black woman can be very influential and is really important to help rid the black stereotype of our inability to live without eating chicken and other flavorful foods. If we consider the Rastafarians who live an "Ital" way of living in which they utilize and only eat from the earth, this would suggest that veganism has nothing to do with being a "white' fad or trend right now. 

In regard to veganism being expensive, I would tell people to go in their fridge and look at what they are already spending their money on. Most people spend more then enough money on meats (eggs, chicken, bacon etc) as well as other processed foods that just sit in their cabinets. Going vegan means you will buy a lot of veggies, fruits, legumes etc, however you will no longer be buying all that meat and processed foods. So as far as being expensive that won't be the case, you would either be spending the same amount, or from my experience and after helping others to transition, you can actually end up spending a lot less.

On a final note, as a black dancer and woman I think we have to work much harder at advocating and bringing awareness about veganism and racism. I use dance performances as a means to tell a story and through that hope to influence other black women to understand how beautiful and how much power and influence they can have in this world. 

Both physically cleansed and at my highest state of spirituality, going vegan was the best decision I have ever made.

Social Media

Instagram: lindsay_dance_fitness

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindsay.cottin

Website: www.lindsaycottin.wix.com/dance

FEATURE: Sonia Moise

Hi! My name is Sonia Moise and I go by the name the_humble_vegan on IG. I became a vegetarian about 7 years ago because, ironically, my daughter learned how meat was actually brought to the store and onto our table. She was absolutely mortified! I was shocked as well because I thought she knew the process. My  daughter, Katherine, is the cook in the family and after she explained what her eyes witnessed she said to me "Mommy, I'm not touching meat anymore, I'll make fish but not meat."

From that day forward, we both became vegetarians. I too, shared her views after I saw the look in her eyes and the compassion in her voice. The slaughter of animals for our own selfish consumption is heartbreaking and unethical. As a Registered Nurse, I also find that meat is the cause of so many illnesses, such as gastrointestinal issues, circulatory problems and heart disease. Prior to being a vegetarian, I had digestive issues and my cholesterol had increased to the point where my physician wanted to start me on an anti-hyperlipidemia drug. He knew how I personally felt about drugs of any sort so I had no choice to change what how I ate. Once I changed my eating habits, my digestive issues went away and my cholesterol came down dramatically.

My only downfall, still, was dairy and seafood. I found that dairy has too many pesticides and antibiotics which can influence many illnesses as well and the water in which the fish and shellfish swam is also tainted. My vegan journey began 3 years ago and I've never felt better. My energy is up, my skin is bright and my temperament is much better. With the practice of veganism and yoga, my balance in life has never been better. Namaste!

FEATURE: Dexter Scott King

Dexter Scott King, son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, is a civil rights activist and chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. (the King Center in Atlanta, GA). Dexter was only seven years old when his father was assassinated, yet continues to spread his mother and father's message of peace and change. 

He's also an advocate for veganism and animal rights and even convinced his mother to go vegan in 1995. He became vegan after being introduced to the concept by Dick Gregory. King famously said:

“If you’re violent to yourself by putting things into your body that violate its spirit, it will be difficult not to perpetuate that onto someone else.” 

 

 

FEATURE: Coco Kapfer

Aloha!

I’m Coco and I live in Portland, Oregon with my partner Bubba. The two of us live a vegan lifestyle. While diet does play a huge role in being vegan, I see it as a lifestyle because it expands much further than what I eat. It is a day to day commitment that I make to the animals, my health, my community and the planet… but it’s also about the food, let’s not forget the food. 

I am truly obsessed with food. Let’s rewind a little. - Leaves in my hair, a diaper full of sand, a smile that took up most of my face, proudly holding a platter of “food” that I had prepared for my mom from flowers and water. It’s not only my first memory but also the moment I knew that my world was going to revolve around food. - See? Food has always been at the heart of it. 

Food is my medicine, history, art, sustenance, treat, culture, politics, love and joy.

I have not always been vegan. Growing up I was a vegetarian and pescetarian. Making the connection that pigs are pork and cows are beef was simple. Making that same connection with eggs, milk, and fish took longer...much longer. 

To be completely honest I looked into eating a plant based vegan diet for health reasons. I had a lack of energy, my body ached and after leaving Hawaii for Portland, I also had severe seasonal depression. 

One day while on Youtube I stumbled upon a vegan video. It was a short little video of a mama and her son eating an abundance of raw fruits and veggies. The health, vitality and happiness that the two of them were so effortlessly radiating got me hooked! So I made the change. 

I went from eating TONS of eggs, butter and cheese to eating a diet of ripe fruits, fresh veggies and whole foods overnight. My partner did too (thank goodness, the support was so vital). I felt the change in my health right away. 

I was however still craving animal products, missing ‘flavorful foods’ and was now comparing myself to thin white women with blond hair. While the online vegan community propelled me into veganism I knew something deeper and more personal was going to engage me to stay with the diet and eventually blossom it into a wholesome lifestyle. 

I started taking matters into my own hands. I found vegan meet ups, talked to seasoned vegans, read books about animal agriculture’s ties to the environment, watched movies that tugged on my heart strings, tried cooking my favorite dishes vegan and asking questions that made most vegans uncomfortable to hear. Research was the key for my success. It still is. It also made me realize that my voice and story was important. 

That realization gave me the motivation I needed to start Eclectic and Vegan. Eclectic and Vegan is aimed at vegans and non-vegans alike. Its a place where questions are welcome. Just as the name implies we pull from a variety of sources and delve into veganism with curiosity,  wonder and joy.   


S O C I A L M E D I A

Youtube: Eclectic and Vegan
Instagram: Eclectic and Vegan
Twitter: @eclectic_vegan
Tumblr: http://eclecticandvegan.tumblr.com/ 
Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/eclecticvegan/ 
Blog: http://www.eclecticandvegan.com/?page_id=2

FEATURE: Kevin Durham

Kevin Durham is a Hip Hop artist who just so happens to be on his vegan journey. Kevin Durham began to transition to a vegan lifestyle during a curious time in his life. At the time, he separated from his girlfriend of six (6) years as well as his job of six (6) years to pursue his passions. Although living in Houston at the time, he moved back to his hometown Killeen, Texas --where he would discover a book called The Secret. In addition, he was introduced to documentaries such as “Hidden Colors” and “The Cosmos. A Space Time Odyssey”. During his time of solitude and transition, Kevin Durham began to practice tai chi and other meditational arts. Throughout these practices and studies, he found that eating alkaline foods increased his meditation experiences to a level that was hard to ignore.

He began slowly cutting out meat from his diet until finally consuming balanced alkaline meals. His friends and family have admitted to seeing positive changes in his lifestyle. As a result, a few of those people experimented with the transition. To Kevin, this was a testament to the power of leadership through action and conduct as opposed to words alone. In time, Kevin and his girlfriend eventually rekindled their flame. Importantly, Kevin Durham strengthened his relationship and found a new perspective on life. Many aspects of the one life change created more depth and comfort in Kevin’s music.

In listening to Kevin Durham’s Skiez mixtape available on www.kevinxdurham.com you will hear stories about mental, spiritual, and physical growth. Later on, in his Blue Lotus mixtape, you will hear an air of certainty and clarity. In 2017, Kevin Durham is set to release four (4) bodies of work via iTunes. To learn more on Kevin Durham, you can visit his website at www.kevinxdurham.com. For serious inquires on booking, interviews, and collaborations you can contact his manager DaSean Jones at 832.374.1598. 

Social Media

Facebook: Kevin Durham

Instagram: kevinxdurham

YouTube: Kevin Durham

Twitter: @kevinxdurham

Snapchat: Kevin Durham

FEATURE: Tomi Makanjuola

I’m Tomi Makanjuola, a Nigerian-born writer, food blogger and chef who currently resides in the bustling city of London. To find out more about what prompted me to embrace the vegan lifestyle, you can read my story here. My decision to go vegan three years ago while at university has had a remarkable impact on how I live my life today and what I choose to do for a living.

As well as working in a dream job as a chef in a vegan restaurant in Central London, I also develop and share recipes on my website The Vegan NigerianWhen I’m not lost in the world of food, I’m usually scribbling works of fiction.  For me, both forms – writing and cooking – allow me to express myself creatively. By allowing these hobbies to inform my career and personal projects, I am able to design a life for myself that overflows with a sense of joy and fulfillment due to doing the things I love every single day. 

As the name suggests, The Vegan Nigerian is a space where readers will discover a range of vegan dishes that are inspired by my culture and background. This could be in the form of ‘veganising’ traditional meals or using well-known Nigerian ingredients in new and innovative ways. From time to time, I also like to share product or restaurant reviews in order to introduce readers to new brands or show them what exciting vegan places/things are out there to try. Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, my website has been able to attract a mixed crowd of people who are either fully vegan themselves, looking to reduce their meat consumption, or simply looking to add healthier, plant-based options into their diet.

Growing up in Nigeria, I was constantly surrounded by boldness, fearlessness, colours, and most relevant in this context: flavours!  My hope is that the recipes I share are full of this same kind of life, which in turn can show people that vegan food is appealing, fun and worth giving a go. Simultaneously, I want to bring Nigerian cuisine to the fore and give people the chance to discover what I consider to be one of the greatest cuisines in the world (of course!). If people are inspired to go vegan because they see how easy it can be to put flavourful meals together, then my blog would have served its purpose. 

Lastly, there are so many wonderful reasons why I would passionately encourage everyone to go vegan. Not only will you see an improvement in your health and energy levels, but you will also be taking a stand against animal cruelty and exploitation. On a larger scale, you would be eating in a way that is sustainable for the environment. It is quite simply a kind and compassionate lifestyle which, far from benefitting only you, benefits the many other lives that dwell on this planet. Look it up; carry out some research; have fun along the way and discover the many, many delicious recipes that prove you do not have to feel deprived by making this decision!

Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/VeganNigerian

Twitter: www.twitter.com/vegannigerian

Instagram: www.instagram.com/vegannigerian

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/VeganNigerian

Recipe Book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nice-Cream-delicious-dairy-free-recipes-ebook/dp/B00MH868RM 

FEATURE: Helanah

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.

RESOURCES

Find me using my gifts to educate, empower and encourage my community to connect to themselves through meal-planning, movement and mindfulness workshops. 

Instagram: @hellohelanah
Twitter: @hellohelanah
Facebook: @YOGETREE
Youtube: Hello Helanah
Website: www.Yogetree.com

FEATURE: Neon Prince

Photo credit: Andreas Knüttel (Dynamic Eye Studios)

Photo credit: Andreas Knüttel (Dynamic Eye Studios)

Aloha!  Through veganism, together we can reshape our world in the image of peace, unity, and love. As a vegan for 10 years, I see the lifestyle as a constant  prayer for peace and harmlessness. I see the deep spiritual connection that exists between all beings on this planet - humans, plants, animals, earth, wind, water and fire. We are truly all connected! In my desire to see peace prevail through all people, places, things and events of this world, veganism was a missing peace (piece). I am Neon Prince, an avid vegan, musician and free-energy scientist residing here on the Hawaiian Islands. I am honored to share some thoughts with you about my experience with veganism and how the practice has been a positive, healing and purposeful and central aspect of my life.

I have found being vegan to be a powerful unifying force in my life. Making the choice to honor all animals on this planet as sacred and as equals has been an ever evolving heart opening experience for me. To me, veganism represents co-existence, allowance, respect and harmlessness. It has definitely been a spiritual journey!  My heart, mind and eyes have been continually opened, clearly  seeing the beautiful spirit, soul or god-essence within animals, plants and all of nature!  As time goes on, maintaining my discipline and devotion to the lifestyle, I notice my connection to other humans, plants and animals ever increasing.  As I sit in nature, meditating or simply being, I cannot help but to feel the blissful, peaceful and balanced energies vibrating  all around me. The trees, birds, insects and land animals all seem to speak to my soul. I feel a unity or a Oneness with nature. I also feel that everything is in a divine balance set in motion by a higher power. Going vegan accelerated this humility within me.  A humility that prefers not to disturb the divine order. Harmony is the way! Interestingly enough, as this harmony, peace and unity increased through the lens of vegan harmlessness, I also noticed my fear of animals, humans and nature dissolving. I began to feel eternally safe within this bubble of vegan harmony and peace. My heart began to remind me that we are one with nature. Nature loves and supports you!

Going vegan has been key in helping me to create a healthy, happy, strong and agile body. Being vegan can be a pure and positive energy source for the body. I now eat only organic foods and 100% raw foods - fruits and green vegetables. The human body is remarkably powerful and magnificent, yet it appreciates simplicity. I drink plenty of alkaline water and only consume the highest quality local, organic, and consciously grown foods. Grateful to be living in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, I am able to eat plenty of fresh coconuts from local trees, mangos, avocados, bananas and citrus fruits are also abundant (to name a few). We are able to grow kale and lettuce in the garden and live almost entirely off of the land. I encourage everyone vegan or not, to grow as much food as you possibly can as this practice is loving, sustainable & responsible to our planet. Growing also provides local minerals, and high quality nutrients. My body feels amazing when I eat foods that have been harvested within an hour or two of consumption. These local foods maintain vital life force energy, enzymes and connection to their source. Food is medicine, and activating a harmonious vegan consciousness can provide us will all the knowledge we need to maintain a vibrant and youthful body for as long as desired!

As a musician and imaginative free-energy inventor, my vegan connection to Gaia our mother and source has provided me with unlimited clarity and creativity. Eating clean and deepening into my vegan conscious awareness of unity with nature and harmlessness has helped me to love my body and love my soul in ways that I cannot put into words. I began practicing daily meditation, yoga, qi-gong, cycling, hiking & other natural activities as well as maintaining a clean and consciously organized Zen-like Feng shui living space. All these things I attribute to my vegan consciousness of peace, love, equality, harmony and gratitude. So, energy, light and ideas flow to and through me from nature and from source/creation which I have lovingly embraced as an extension of myself.

I presently oscillate between fruitarian, raw-vegan, liquidarian (drinking only water & tea) and a sort of breatharian taking only water and sun gazing.  I find constant inspiration in my 5 year old son Djxani, and 3 year old daughter Soleil who are both born vegans. They share an amazing creativity, vibrant health and light that brings me priceless joy!

Our planet and the universe are unlimited and abundant. There is no lack or competition and there is enough for all to thrive joyfully without harming any other. The energy of vegan or harmlessness itself is nourishing. I travel light and  bring peace and clean water wherever I go. The vegan ethos lives in my soul. I share the vegan spirit through my intentionally uplifting music. I also invent and share free-energy, plasma energy, and quantum healing solutions as a service to humanity in collaboration with the Keshe Foundation Spaceship Institute. This is also an expression of my personal embodiment of the vegan spirit as we create a New Earth of true freedom, abundance, health, balance and unity.  "One Planet, One Nation, One Race".

You are invited to check out my all vegan/vegetarian world music band SolStar, and please link up with me via Instagram, Facebook and my website! 

--- social media LINKS ---

Instagram: @OnlyLoveCanLimitUs

Website: http://charmz.cool

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/starzoen.sz

Bandsite: (SolStar Vegan Band): http://solstarmusic.com/