15 Inspiring Black Vegans You Need to Follow
Change is brewing.
Now, more than ever is a wonderful time to support and lift up the Black Community, and as a vegan, I wanted to highlight some inspiring Black Vegans who are putting out amazing energy, education and positivity into this world.
You won’t regret consuming the content, their updates and educational information put out by these incredible humans.
First of all, the most powerful thing to do right now is to not only show support, but to speak up, and take action.
Here are a few resources and areas for you to educate yourself, and go support in some way:
Places to donate:
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
Belly Mujinga’s family including her daughter
The Minnesota Freedom Fund (provides funds to pay bail for those protesting in Minnesota
The Bail Project, which provides funds to pay bail for those who have been arrested during the protests.
You can split your donation between the 39 bail funds clicking here.
The Movement For Black Lives to support Black organizations to conduct conversations about current political conditions.
North Star Health Collective (coordinates and provides healthcare services, resources, and training to those protesting in Minnesota)
Head here for a great list of Vegan Black-Owned Businesses to support.
Now onto 15 INSPIRING BLACK VEGANS
out there doing amazing things:
Jenné Claiborne AKA @SweetPotatoSoul
Vegan Chef, Cookbook Author, YouTuber, Blogger, Mother.
A bright light.
Tabitha Brown AKA @IAmTabithaBrown
Actress, Mother, Tik Tok star, and truly a gift to this world.
Torre Washington AKA @Torre.Washington
Professional Body Builder, Centr Fit coach, Public Speaker.
John Lewis AKA @BadAssVegan
Speaker, CEO Live Vegan Smart, Producer/Director Hungry For Justice Film. The Biggest Smile Around.
Danaé, Danya & Danielle AKA @DZVeganKidAthlete
3 vegan west coast sisters sharing the vegan lifestyle through gymnasitcs, acro yoga and dance.
Chef Charity Morgan AKA @ChefCharityMorgan
Chef for NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Featured on the Game Changers. She’s a 15 year culinary chef who makes ridiculously delicious vegan food!
Jasmine C. Leyva AKA @TheInvisibleVegan
Actress and Film Maker of the documentary, The Invisible Vegan chronicling her personal experience with plant-based eating. ** Look forward to her speaking at the Whistler Virtual Vegan fest June 20! AND, Listen to Jasmine on our first episode of Whistler Vegan Fest the PODCAST
Genesis Butler AKA @GenesisForAnimals
One of the youngest TedX Speakers.
Founder of Genesis for Animals and Activist at Million Dollar Vegan.
** Look forward to her speaking at the Whistler Virtual Vegan fest June 20 to raise funds for The Happy Herd Farm Sancuary and our Food Bank!
Domz Thompson @DomzThompson
Athlete, activist, founder of NYC based Crazies and Weirdos (eco friendly clothing), and Eat What Elephants Eat.Scruff McFly Dog Dad. I had the pleasure of sharing the Veg Expo stage with this amazing human.
Koya Webb @KoyaWebb
Yoga + Holistic Wellness teacher at Get Loved Up & Author of Let Your Fears Make You Fierce. A positive force of nature.
Rachel Amla @RachelAma_
Vegan recipe creator / blogger / youtuber. Most likely to be found in the kitchen dancing to loud tunes.
Afia Amoako AKA @TheCanadianAfrican
Vegan Blogger and YouTuber
Russel Simmons AKA @UncleRush
Record Executive, Fashion Mogul, Hip Hop Star Maker, Film Producer, Author of The Happy Vegan.
Dr. Judy Brangman AKA @ThePlantBasedMD
Health Coach, Internal and Lifestyle Medicine at New Well Health
Lewis Hamilton AKA @LewisHamilton
Formula One race car driver. Animal Lover. Purpose seeker. Positive thinker. An inspiration.
Tune into the Whistler Virtual Vegan Fest on June 20th to hear Jasmine Leyva and Genesis Butler speak among the epic line up.
All donations will go to the Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary and the Whistler Food Bank.
Thank you to all of these amazing vegans of colour speaking up and puting their energy into the world.
For more, follow @hookedonplants on instagram.
Hooked on People: Lauren Toyota of Hot for Food + Her Pesto Pea Linguine
She moved from being a MuchMusic VJ to starting her own YouTube channel in 2015. Since then she’s grown to 473,000 subscribers and over 36 million channel views. Her debut cookbook, “Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes To Feed Your Face” is officially a best seller! Not only is she an incredible chef with an awesome personality, but she’s authentic and so relatable.
She’s on a bit of a spiritual journey as well, and has a beautiful perspective on life. So let’s get to know Lauren a little bit more …
Photo credit: Vanessa Heins
Hooked on Plants: But first: what’s Snickles doing right NOW?
Lauren Toyota: Sleeping and dreaming of the next time he will be eating!
HOP: Do you remember the day you decided to switch from MuchMusic gigs to YouTube? What’s one tip you can give someone jumping into a new scary change or challenge?
LT: Well I sort of didn’t decide this. I was part of a company wide restructuring and lost my job at Bell Media in 2014. By that time I had launched the new incarnation of hotforfoodblog.com in February 2014 about 6 months before this happened. It had gained some momentum and I had already built a good following on @hotforfood IG as well since 2013 so when I was left without a full time job I figured I would just blog and create social content full time since I felt I had something to work with. That was as far as I thought. I didn’t even think about going on to YouTube until a couple months after the layoffs. If you find yourself in a similar situation or you’re trying to decide if you should make a career leap my advice is you probably should and NEED to. Life is calling you, but that’s just fear whispering to you about all the reasons why it won’t work. You have to try and work with it but kind of push it out the way. Push through the fear if you can and take the risk. The reward is always much better when you put yourself in these uncomfortable situations. It’s how you grow and expand as a human. You need to push beyond your comfort and safety zone.
HOP: Let’s chat meditation for a sec.
For those who haven’t dabbled at all… what’s your tip for starting?
LT: Just start. Again it’s kind of the same annoying voice trying to convince you that you don’t NEED this practice or that it’s BS or silly. It’s that ego self, the small self, trying to keep you small and protect you. But it’s not serving the higher version of you that you desire to expand into. Meditation WILL allow this process to unfold. It will help ease that resistance and allow you to flow. There are many many ways to meditate and many practices and so I get that it’s intimidating but you might as well start with something, see if you like it, and you can always keep exploring until you find something that resonates. I always recommend going on YouTube and just search meditations or you can get a free app called Insight Timer. There is SO much content out there and you’re bound to find something that lights you up and resonates, but you have to take the leap or step in that direction and then it’s just a personal intuitive exploration from there. You’ll start seeing the momentum behind it and you’ll be guided to new things to try or you’ll read something or you’ll end up meeting someone. As you notice all these signs and synchronicities being revealed you’ll feel like you’re aligned to something higher. But you did it for yourself just by starting a new habit or practice. It really starts to take on it’s own life and you flow with it, discovering more and more about who you really are.
HOP: As for manifesting your reality: this is something I try to practice daily by focusing on the things I’m grateful for, rather than the things I lack.
But, for someone who may feel this is ‘woo woo’, what’s the best tip you can give to them that will help them open up to this powerful perspective on life?
LT: Well I’m finding more and more that the idea of these practices is becoming less taboo or ‘woo woo’ so that’s a nice shift. I feel like I’m noticing people from all walks of life speaking this language and identifying their own power. Gratitude is a powerful practice and can help shift perspective from victim stance to creator stance. A couple of small things one can do to open up is writing down 5 things each day that you appreciate and are grateful for. It can start making dramatic shifts in how you see the world. I think spending time in nature is also key. Nature is so abundant but we don’t always see it that way if we focus on problems like climate change and the negative effects of fossil fuels, but if you can walk in nature or spend time in grass even. You can see how abundant it is. There are infinite blades of grass just in your immediate vicinity or what appears like thousands of trees, leaves, and insects if you’re walking through a forest, say. Notice that. Appreciate that. It’s very powerful to see the world with those eyes.
HOP: You’re one of the first recipe bloggers I started following when I was exploring veganism, so THANK YOU for the ongoing inspiration.
How long have you been vegan now?
LT: Thank you. That’s so cool! I have been vegan since January 1, 2010. I started transitioning in the fall of 2009 but set the start of a new year as my “no going back” date!
HOP: What was it that inspired you to make the switch to veganism in the first place? And what is it that makes it easy for you to stick with it?
LT: It was really how I felt that sparked the change. I was pretty good at ignoring my body for years, but eventually enough was enough. I didn’t feel good physically, mentally or emotionally eating animals and animal by-products. But it’s conditioning that makes us good at ignoring things. I remember watching Food Inc. and then reading Omnivore’s Dilemma and that’s what changed my mind. The fact that I got so INTO my new way of life that I started blogging my transition from the beginning as hot for food, helped me stick with it. I was really excited by trying so many new foods and cooking techniques so that’s what made it stick. Once I saw how delicious it could be and I was really in control now of how I could feel, it just made sense and I never even considered switching back.
HOP: Would you tell people to go vegan overnight? Or take their time?
LT: I think everyone is different. I’ve heard many vegans tell me they just did it overnight. But I always recommend to take it at your own pace. You have to do what feels right for you. For some people, like me, if you force yourself to do something before you catch up mentally then it doesn’t’ work. So don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or telling you to do. You gotta do you!
HOP: When will your new book be out?
LT: I’m hoping February 2021. The exact date isn’t set yet.
HOP: People can check out your YouTube channels (Hot for Food and Lauren Toyota) for TONS of What I Eat in A Day Videos… but short n’ sweet, what is a day in quarantine in food language sound like for you?
LT: Breakfast: coffee
Lunch: salad with roasted potatoes and a creamy dressing
Snacks: homemade cookies, salt & vinegar chips, oranges
Dinner: pasta with veggies and sometimes beyond meat sausage
Dessert: more homemade cookies
Fave Quarantine Recipe?
Excerpted from hot for food Vegan Comfort Classics. Copyright © 2018 by Lauren Toyota. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
If you make this, tag @hookedonplants and @hotforfood so we can see your creation!
Have you signed up to my bi-monthly emails packed with updates, veg tips, discounts, and all things hooked on plants?
Need help with eating more plants? 80/20 Plants app is where it’s at.
Don’t forget to follow on insta:
@whistlerveganfest @hookedonplants @8020plants
New Vegan? Here Are 5 Tips from a Veg-Curious Writer
Going vegan is one of the most fulfilling decisions you can make, but many are scared to take a plunge because they think it’s too difficult to begin. Spoiler alert: going vegan isn’t scary! Read below for some answers to common questions on being a new vegan.
1) Will I need to take supplements?
If you find yourself eating more veg and fruit as a result of your new diet, chances are you’re getting a lot of vitamins and minerals that you weren’t before! However, our bodies have evolved over time and adapted to a lifestyle of eating processed foods and the like. Our B12 stores are an example of how our bodies have adapted, and this vitamin can be hard to come by on a vegan diet. It’s important to keep in touch with a nutritionist who will help you decide if you need to take supplements alongside your vegan diet.
*Note from Hooked on Plants: Fave supplement to cover the bases? Complement Plus (use ‘hookedonplants’ for a discount)
2) What about my protein intake?
This deserves its own subheading, as it’s one of the most common questions out there. As you continue to do research and find ways to move towards a vegan diet, you’ll find that there are tons of vegan protein sources that are equally as yummy as your favourite meat dish! Tofu is often cited as an alternative, but chickpeas and beans are equally great sources of meat that are also quite versatile kitchen staples.
*Note from Hooked on Plants: Every essential amino acid is found in the plant kingdom. Simply eat enough calories, and you’ll be getting enough protein! Don’t worry about it:) The people who do need slightly more than the recommended 0.8g/KG of body weight are body builders, teens, and seniors. Check out these athletes who are far from protein deficient
3) Do I have to eat everything raw?
While vegans do love salad, it’s far from the only thing you get to eat! In fact, new vegans are at a great place to start experimenting in the kitchen and creating fun alternatives to their daily food staples. For instance, did you know that you can make your own almond milk at home? Culinary experimentation is one of the fun by-products of going vegan that most people don’t know about. Adopting a new diet is the perfect way to exercise those creative muscles while doing a bit of research, too!
*Note from Hooked On Plants: Just because you’re going vegan, doesn’t mean you have to put pressure on yourself to all of a sudden go raw vegan, 100% whole foods, be the next best endurance athlete, quit drinking, or simply try to be perfect in every way. Being vegan should be fun, casual, normal and super enjoyable. We love raw foods, but eat cooked to… it’s all about veganizing old fave’s and eating as much variety of fibre-rich plants as you can to diversify your microbiome (right Dr. B?)
4) Low-carb, high-carb, why the confusion?
Use this as a time to embrace whole grains such as brown rice. This switch from refined white rice to brown is easy to make, as the rice cooker reviews and guides on this website prove that today’s modern rice cookers aren’t just made for white rice. If you’re going vegan as a way to maintain overall health, don’t be afraid of complex carb in-take (potatoes, whole grains, legumes, fruits and veggies should be the base of your healthy vegan diet).
* Note from Hooked on Plants: Carbs get a bad reputation because refined carbs are lumped into the same category as complex/whole carbs. They are far from the same. Refined carbs include things with white sugar and flour, stripped of their fibre and most of their nutrients. Complex/Whole Carbs are in their natural state with fibre, vitamins, minerals and all, like nature intended. Eat your potatoes! (And, whole grains, legumes, fruits + veggies). They’re life-giving packages of goodness.
5) Is a vegan diet okay for athletes?
Of course! If you’re someone who likes to keep an active lifestyle, you can rest easy knowing that a vegan diet can still give you enough energy you need to power through a workout. Some athletes even credit the mental health benefits of going vegan. As your body adapts to your new vegan diet, you’ll find that you may be feeling less fatigued and more energized all the time. That’s a huge win!
*Note from Hooked on Plants: Eating more whole food plant based benefits athletes greatly and helps injury recovery too. The food is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help combat chronic fatique and helps you recover from your last work out so you can get back to training sooner, too. Watch the GameChangers on Netflix if you haven’t yet, for inspiration!
While any new lifestyle change comes with some growing pains, the journey to becoming a vegan is a fun time to re-visit your relationship with your body and where your food is actually coming from.
Exclusively written for hookedonplants.ca by Jade Blossom
*Note from Hooked on Plants:
Check out 80/20 Plants, our new app with 1:1 coaching (with me, Plants First Nutrition, Clare Minded, Esther and Matt), video lessons, meal planning and recipes.
We just launched our new look in the app store!
5 Vegan Easter Treats that will Blow Away Your Bunny Ears
Painted Easter Eggs, a string to follow that would lead me to the hidden chocolates under the couch and behind pillows, then a big kids Easter Egg hunt all over the forest with one mega, sought after chocolate bunny prize.
Why that doesn’t happen on Easter day anymore as a young at heart adult? I DON’T KNOW. Bring it back, please. When did we all grow up and think we’ve outgrown easter egg hunting? We’re all kids at heart, and that kinda stuff should continue on whether it’s for the new generation of kids, or just for yourself. Because you deserve to be a kid always, and forever.
Anyways… I thought I’d bring some Vegan Easter Treats to you that will complete your weekend from some of my favourite veganista blogerellas. Hopefully this brings some nostalgia back to your Easter, or at least amps it up with a bit more deliciousness.
Peanut Better Balls by Oh She Glows
Why I love em’:
- 7 ingredients
- Taste like Reeces pieces
- Finger food heaven
Vegan Chocolate Creme Eggs by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Why I love em’:
- Just look at the creamy rainbow falling out of them!
- They’re just fun.
- Just like Cabury MINUS the dairy
- Playful and perfect for making with the kids
Vegan Easter Cookies by Vegan Family Recipes
Why I love em’:
- They’re coloured with turmeric, beet and matcha powder
- They’re totally dip-able
- They’re ready in 20
- They wake up the creative side, and I’d most def’ be making them with my Grandma if she made a visit this weekend
Cashew Cream Egg by Nest and Glow
Why I love em’:
- They’re on the healthier side (so we can all eat more)
- Look how pretty they are!
Vegan Sachertorte by Moi and Mom
Why I love it:
- A fool proof, dense, chocolate cake that is loved by all every time
- It’s chocolate heaven
- It’s ridiculously easy
ok…NOW I’M DROOLING.
Here’s a few more Egg-y and Chocolate-y tips:
- Check out Pamela Fergusson’s blog post for a dozen things you need to know about eggs (this will enlighten you about the reasons why I steer clear of them…even on Easter)
- Ready to eat vegan Easter answers:
- Sjaaks makes delicious vegan chocolates (even white chocolate!)
- Vegan Supply online store has a ton of options.
- Here are some great chocolate egg molds for the kitchen.
- These No Why No No’s are pretty dang delicious.
- I’m pretty in love with these Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups.
If you make any of these, tag me and the blogger so we can see your creations!
Have you signed up to my bi-weekly emails packed with updates on everything going on, plus tips from yours truly Hooked on Plants loves?
Need help with eating more plants?
80/20 Plants app is where it’s at.