American singer-songwriter, Erykah Badu, is known as the queen of neo soul. She has produced six albums, and released many popular singles. Her work has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. She’s also played a wide range of supporting roles in movies as an actress.
Erykah has been vegetarian since her senior year of high school back in 1989 and has eaten like a vegan since 1997, although she chooses not to call herself a vegan since she says, “I don’t subscribe to any type of organizations. It’s just what’s best for my body.”
Her favorite foods are mostly raw salads, with avocados, fruits, and vegetables. Health and vitality have always been a priority for her, since for her vegan food is soul food in its truest form. “Soul food means to feed the soul,” she said.
At the 2017 Naturally Fit Games in Austin, TX, recently, athletes were challenged in various fitness events including kettlebell, powerlifting, bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting, and CrossFit. Thirty nine of the thousand total participants were members of a special team of vegan bodybuilders. Coordinated by the nonprofit bodybuilding organization PlantBuilt, this team won 32 medals, 22 of which were for first place, and one member, Sara Lee, set both the world and American records for kettlebell.
Plantbuilt was formed with the goal of proving that animal product consumption is not necessary for building muscle. So far, more than 100 vegan athletes from countries around the world have competed with the PlantBuilt team and have raised $20,000 to support vegan outreach organizations, non-profits and farmed animal sanctuaries.
Twenty-eight year old British actress, Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays “Missandei” on the hit HBO fantasy television show Game of Thrones, loves to talk about being vegan. “I started eating a vegan diet about four years ago and even after a week I felt amazing. I had so much more energy,” she says.
She enjoys keeping fit, with yoga, distance swimming, boxing and running, and is living proof that you don’t need animal products to stay fit. Her favorite post-workout meals focus on quinoa, greens, veggies and beans, “simple and packed with natural proteins.”
She enjoys making protein shakes too “I’ll make something that’s packed with calories. I’ll put a banana in it, a bit of almond milk or coconut water, spinach. I also like a bit of matcha powder in there – all of that fun stuff! Add a bit of vegan protein powder and that would be my shake.”
She’s also quite the cook. Following her Caribbean roots, her signature dish is a vegan version of a Caribbean dish called Ackee and Saltfish.
Well done, Nathalie!
Mayim Bialik has a PhD in neuroscience, but is much better known as an actress who played Blossom in the early 90s, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s girlfriend Amy Farrah Fowler from “The Big Bang Theory.”
However, offscreen, she focuses on her passions one of which veganism. She explained how she’d always been an animal lover, and became vegetarian at age 19. As she gradually cut out most dairy in college, she found that her health improved. But it wasn’t until she read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer that she became fully vegan, embracing all the environmental reasons, nutritional and health reasons, and the ethical reasons for staying clear of animal products.
As a busy working mom, raising two boys, she tries not to spend too much time in the kitchen, so she cooks food that can be frozen and reheated, or simple foods that can be assembled easily, such as burritos with beans and rice, with a little vegan cheese and sliced avocado on top. She’s even found time to write her own cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours, in which she shares many ideas on how to eat as a vegan family.
RZA (also known as Bobby Digital, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah, Bobby Steels, Rzarector, Abbott, and Prince Rakeem) is an African American hip hop producer, rapper, composer and actor. As a member of the hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, he has produced their albums, including the album A Better Tomorrow.
As a longtime animal advocate, RZA explained how for him, a better tomorrow is a vegan tomorrow. RZA subscribes to the mantra that you are what you eat. Before being sent to slaughter, cows are, as RZA says, “stressed, dumbfounded, sick,” and all that stress will eventually be consumed right along in your hamburger.
When it comes to eating animals. RZA said “I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body.” He goes on to point out that there’s “nothing on this planet that doesn’t want to live.” “I had animals as friends …. They was happy to see me in their own animal way. I’m quite sure they did not want to be on my plate.”
Strength and Endurance – Scientists tell us what we already know
Scientists at the University of Arizona have just confirmed through a rigorous study what many vegetarian athletes already knew. Vegetarian athletes have just as much peak muscle strength, and even more endurance than their meat-eating counterparts. This is borne out by the many athletes who are choosing to be vegetarian or vegan these days, because they find that it improves their performance.
David Carter, defensive lineman with Jacksonville Jaguars
Take football player David Carter, a defensive lineman with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and formerly with the Oakland and Dallas teams, for example. He became enthusiastic about his vegan diet after seeing the results and learning about the effect of his food choices. Eating an entirely plant-based diet, David experienced more energy and his stamina went through the roof. All his numbers in the weight room actually went up. Read more
Being a cast member on Vanderpump Rules requires a certain obligation to creating booze-fueled drama, which Kristen Doute balances out by living a mostly holistic but fully vegetarian lifestyle.
The reality star, who recently launched her vegetarian lifestyle blog Vegiholic, is now dedicated to teaching others her healthy cooking secrets — which she tests out on her cast mates. “They like to eat whatever I make for them. That’s the rule,” she says. “My whole mantra is just to be open-minded and try new things. You can train your own brain to like the things you thought you wouldn’t.”
It’s a move that’s been 22 years in the making for Doute, who gave up meat at age 11. Though she ultimately followed a quite different career trajectory, she originally wanted to be a marine biologist. “I loved animals so much; I couldn’t imagine eating one,” she says. “It broke my heart. I couldn’t do it anymore.”