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Other Brown Vegan: Asana Hamidu

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.... 

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*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
 Sistah Vegan
 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!

 *How can we reach you?
You can reach me on my blog
Facebook page
Email: whatshetaughther@yahoo.com

Thanks, Asana!

If you're a brown vegan interested in being featured on the blog, send me a message on the contact page.  

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Other Brown Vegan Rhona Griffith

With only 2% of Americans identifying as vegan, it's no wonder most people don't feel this lifestyle relates to them. Other Brown Vegan features famous and every day vegans who enjoy this lifestyle. 

This week Rhona is sharing her story......

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*How long have you been a vegan?  4 years

*What made you decide to embrace a plant-based diet? I really decided to go vegan for health reasons. I wanted to preserve my good health (my family line has some diseases I do not want) so I explored options. Veganism was brought up again and again in my research so I decided to give it a try and then loved it. Afterward, the horrible treatment of animals came into play and I felt so sad that I was eating meat was creating so much pain and environmental issues. I am really compassionate about the treatment of farm animals and want no part of their slaughter. My influences are Dr. McDougall, Lindsay from Happy Herbivore and Tracye McQuirter from By Any Greens Necessary.
 
*What was the hardest food (meat, dairy, eggs, etc) to move away from?  Cheese was the hardest to give up but with so many great vegan options out there, hello Daiya, it was not too hard after a while.

*Any advice for new vegans? My one piece of advice is to cook your own food for the first few months to a year until you get a handle on new lifestyle. And, the more support you get from family and friends the better. Open up and let people know but do not force your opinion on others and do not become preachy.
 
*What are some of your favorite books/websites on veganism?  I enjoy websites Happy Herbivore, Vegan Cooking with Love (YouTube) and the book, By Any Greens Necessary.

*Please share a recipe you enjoy.  One of fav recipes is  - Vegan Peach Cobbler  My goodness, I could eat this every day.

Recipe:
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 15 ounce cans peach slices in light syrup (if you like, roughly chop them)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk

1. Put 1/2 cup of vegan margarine in an 8x8 baking pan.

2. Place the baking pan in the oven and preheat it to 350. It took me 15 minutes to melt the margarine, so if you do it in the beginning, once everything is else is ready, the margarine should be completely melted.

3. Drain one can of peaches.

4. Combine the peaches (including the syrup from 1 can), 1 tablespoon vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium high heat and bring them to a boil.

5. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and the milk and stir until it's smooth.

7. Remove the baking pan from the oven.

8. Pour in the flour mixture. Don't stir it.

9. Spoon in the peach mixture.

10. Bake it for 1 hour.

 *How can we reach you? My blog: Singularly Happy

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Other Brown Vegan: Ifayomi Victory

With only 2% of Americans identifying as vegan, it's no wonder most people don't feel this lifestyle relates to them.  Other Brown Vegan features famous and every day vegans who love this lifestyle.

This week, Ifayomi Victory is sharing her story..... 

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*How long have you been a vegan?
I have been vegan for 7 years.  The best 7 years of my life by the way!

*What made you decide to embrace a plant-based diet?
When I became vegan, I had already been vegetarian for 10 years. And even though I was fit, healthy, cooking most of my own food and embracing a compassionate lifestyle, I was diagnosed with a rare illness that almost cost me my life. After being released from a 2 week stay in the hospital, while laying in the bed on my back (because the pain was to excruciating for me to sit up), I read the book Natural Cures That They Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Treadau.  From reading that book I learned that no matter what the illness, “if you’re sick…you probably ate it.” That changed my life! And after a very strict 28 day detoxification process I embraced plant-based eating as a diet and way of life for me and have not looked back.
 
*What was the hardest food (meat, dairy, eggs, etc) to move away from?  
CHEESE…..CHEESE…..CHEESE…OMG CHEESE!

*Any advice for new vegans?
Because I believe transiting to a plant-based vegan diet is a constant process and is ALWAYS evolving (or at least it should be)…my advice would be practice patience with yourself and with others.
 
*What are some of your favorite books/websites on veganism?  
Oh my, there are soooooo many…but I will start with mine: www.ifayomi.com is my absolute favorite vegan website! However, without dissing anyone or any of the others, I have to say the Vegetarian Resource Group and Vegan Mainstream are two of my favorites because of their up-to-date information and services that accommodate plant-based eating and living.  Also, the Vegetarian Resource Group published and sells a book titled “The Vegan Handbook.”  I love this book because it’s informative, easy to read and caters to the novice or person interested in embracing a plant-based diet but don’t know where to start.  It even has recipes!

I’ve purchased several copies of “The Vegan Handbook” & Natural Cures That They Don’t Want You to Know About just to give them away to friends, family and strangers.  

*Please share a recipe you enjoy.

Mango/Banana Ice Cream

1    med to large ripe mango cut into bite size cubes
1    small to medium chopped frozen ripe banana
1    ½ cup coconut milk*
1    ½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of nutmeg
Dash of Cinnamon

In a high powered blender (Vita-mix, Cuisnart, Kitchen-aid etc.) add the mango, banana and vanilla. While slowly pulsing the blender on high in 3 to 4 second increments add your coconut milk. Continue to pulse, stirring occasionally until creamy to your taste. Enjoy!
*For creamier ice cream add more milk.

 *How can we reach you?
www.ifayomi.com
The Boogalafini Vegan…Organic Soul Kitchen Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Linkedin
Skype
Email
Remember…”You Are What You Eat!”

 

Thanks, Ifayomi!

 

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Other Brown Vegan: Vegnspiration

With only 2% of Americans identifying as vegan, it's no wonder most people don't feel this lifestyle relates to them. I use Other Brown Vegan to showcase famous and every day vegans who love this lifestyle.

If you're a brown vegan interested in being featured on the blog, send me an email and I'll email over the questions. :-)

 

This week, Vegnspiration is sharing her story....

Check out     Vegnspiration     on Instagram and her weekly posts on   Empowerment Queen TV

Check out

Vegnspiration

on Instagram and her weekly posts on

Empowerment Queen TV


*How long have you been a vegan?  I began transitioning to veganism almost 3 years ago.

 

*What made you decide to embrace a plant-based diet? For health reasons, I initially decided to become a strict vegetarian. It started with finding out I was lactose intolerant. Then I found out my cholesterol was high, which I thought was odd for someone my age. Being predisposed to high blood pressure and diabetes also weighed in my decision. There was no way I could allow these things to overtake me and wreak havoc in my life as I had seen them do to so many I love. I knew the best method to evade such ills would be to make a drastic change to my diet. I started to do some research and was fortunate to participate on a 21-Day detox with a Facebook group. This fast-tracked me into plant-based living. 

 

*What was the hardest food (meat, dairy, eggs, etc) to move away from?  Honestly, I thought chicken would be my struggle. J But with all I had learned about the meat industry, giving up all meat was easy (as I had already stopped eating pork and beef about 15 years ago). Cheese was a breeze, too, since I was never really a cheese fanatic. I struggled a little with eggs, but the high cholesterol issue aided in my decision to give it up permanently. It took a few months.

 

*Any advice for new vegans? Simply approach food by doing what is familiar to you. Don’t dive in headfirst (unless you have a successful pattern with this approach). Start with baby steps, making the same meals as usual, just without meat. Keep educating yourself about the benefits of plant-based living and find a community (locally and/or online) to grow and learn with. The more you become aware, eliminating animal byproducts will be a no brainer. Over time, your preferences will change and the journey will become second nature. Just embrace your unique experience with going plant-based and don’t expect it to look like anyone else's.

 

*What are some of your favorite books/websites on veganism?  Honestly, food documentaries were my main source of education in the beginning. Forks over Knives, Vegucated, Food Matters, Food Inc. All these documentaries (and a growing list) heightened my awareness on the benefits of veganism/plant-based living, as well as the health risks of eating animal flesh and byproducts. Also, random goggling sessions on veganism have been a great source.  The China Study has proven a reliable resource as well. Otherwise, there are a few vegan foodies I follow on YouTube, such as yourself :-), but Instagram is my main source of inspiration these days.

 

*Please share a recipe you enjoy. Sweets have always been my weakness. Here's my Sweet Potato Pancake recipe. Enjoy! 

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In a large bowl, stir dry ingredients together. Next, pour in melted #vegan butter (I use soy-free @earthbalance), vanilla extract. As for the milk, I didn't give measurements because you will add little by little as you stir the ingredients, until the #ingredients are well blended and the consistency is a thick batter. You don't want them runny. As for the sweet potato, for quick prep, pop it in the microwave (potato setting) until done. Once it's ready, split open, place butter inside (for taste, moisture and pliability), add vanilla extract and nutmeg. Mash and stir around (while still in potato skins) until #flavor is evenly distributed. Then take scoops of potato and incorporate into pancake batter. I do not use a blender, as I wanted a certain #texture. You may if you please. ;-) Mix well abd pour them into a skillet, on a griddle, or whatever you use. Serve them up however you please!

 

Thanks, Vegnspiration!

 

 

I'm blogging M-F this month for Vegan MoFo

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