With only about 2% of Americans identifying as vegan, it's no wonder many don't feel the lifestyle relates to them. I use Other Brown Vegan to profile famous and every day people living and loving this vegan life.
This week, Asana Hamidu shares her story....
*How long have you been a vegan?
I’ve been vegan since June 26, 2012
*What made you decide to embrace a plant-based diet?
In high school I was very depressed and was going through some emotional problems that made me unhappy. I remember feeling like I was living in a haze. Also, during my senior year in high school, I went in for a doctor’s visit and was told I was approaching obesity!! That was around the time I looking for information on natural hair (Hey naptural85!). Once I made the connection between what I ate, how I felt and looked, I was sold! I began researching the types of food I was eating and I remember being so disgusted by what was being put into the food and the conditions the animals were in. Most importantly I was shocked by how the lives of people living elsewhere and the environment was being altered by what I ate (i.e. the cutting of the Amazon forest).
I transitioned slowly by cutting out soda, red meat, chicken. I then decided to be pescaterian for a while then got tired of eating seafood. So I cut out seafood and became vegetarian one month before my freshman year in college. Once I embraced this lifestyle, I felt great because along with working out, I was losing weight and feeling better. I became interested in veganism when I got more in touch with my spiritual side; I started to see the connection between our souls/spirits, and how what we consume affects the way feel. Also, I felt very hypocritical knowing all I knew about that was in the food while eating eggs, cheese and drinking milk. So after examining how far I had come as a vegetarian, I decided to transition to vegan lifestyle on June 26 2012. I knew I wanted to be vegan and I was committed to this lifestyle …I was sure of it! I knew I would feel so much better. I was right! I haven’t looked back since!
*What was the hardest food (meat, dairy, eggs, etc) to move away from?
Surprisingly meat wasn’t hard for me to quit at all. Being from a Ghanaian family, every time my mom would make soup, some of the meat would go missing hehehe. The hardest foods for me to move away from was diary and eggs. I love dessert so most of the things I would cook and buy had one or both ingredients in it!
*Any advice for new vegans?
My advice for a new vegan would be trust the process and take it one step at a time. Another important advice is research different kinds of food and know what kinds of vitamins and nutrients are in it. Since this is a new lifestyle, you will start seeing some changes in the way you feel and look! Beware! This is normal too.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you err, mistakes are normal and are part of the journey. Also, don’t be afraid to tell others that you are vegan. I remember going to a traditional naming ceremony and fearing to tell my extended family about my lifestyle because I thought that they would question me or say something negative. But, it was alright, everyone was curious about what I ate and wanted to know what I could and couldn’t eat so they could serve me the right food. This brings me to my next point, which is always eat something before you go to an event or simply tell the host about what your diet is all about and they might be happy to accommodate you! Before going out to eat at a restaurant, look at their menu online or call in to check out the types of vegan options available. Remember, just because something is vegan does not mean it is healthy!
Eat a variety of nutritious foods to ensure that you are getting your daily vitamins! Don’t forget to workout out! You will feel and look great!
Remember why you are doing this, trust me there will be many people out there who will question your decision (and there are many who will support you) but you have to be your biggest supporter and be steadfast in the belief that this is the right thing for you.
Lastly, Stay True, Be You, Trust the Process and Live life to the fullest!
*What are some of your favorite books/websites on veganism?
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone - Great book!
Love Food Eat
Oh She Glows
Vegan Yum Yum
*Please share a recipe you enjoy.
Healthy Banana Bread (Whole Wheat, Vegan, Oil-free & Sugar-free) Ohh my goodness this is sooooo delicious!
If you're a brown vegan interested in being featured on the blog, send me a message on the contact page.