As Iâ€™ve gotten older, Iâ€™ve become more concerned with maintaining good health and eating habits.Â Health ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, high cholesterol, and obesity have all affected my family in some form and I am determined to do what I can to avoid having these issues.Â As we all know, maintaining a healthy weight and good, nutritious diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential to staying healthy.Â On a mission to discover new ways to eat, I have started looking into the vegan lifestyle.Â Now, Iâ€™m not saying this is something I can convert to right away if at all.Â But interestingly enough I have discovered that thereâ€™s much more to â€œbeing about that vegan lifeâ€ than eating lettuce, carrots, and apples everyday.
There are SO MANY DELICIOUS vegan options to choose from….many you can purchase from local vegan restaurants or some grocery stores while many others you can try making yourself at home!Â All it takes is the time to research these options and also change your mindset that you need meat and foods that come from animals, which you do not.Â Concerned about lack of protein intake?Â Replace meat with Quinoa, which is full of protein and free of gluten.Â Think youâ€™ll miss meat in your fave stir-fry?Â Then try replacing the meat with extra firm Tofu instead, which has a texture similar to soft meats and soaks up the flavor of whatever it is cooked with.Â Canâ€™t go without your cheese?Â Then maybe you should try vegan cheese to see if you like it.Â My point is there are MANY vegan options to choose from that could make the transition a bit easier if this is something you choose to try for a few days, few weeks, or for life.
Seviin Li is a â€œquadruple threatâ€ performing sensation embracing the music industry who continues to mesmerize audiences around the world!Â But what many of her fans may not know is how she maintains her banginâ€™ physique!Â Seviin Li does more than strenuous workouts that we expect from many celebrities.Â In addition to consistent workouts, Seviin Li is also â€œabout that vegan lifeâ€.Â After noticing health ailments that affected close members of her family, she decided to make some serious changes to assure that she would not face the same issues.Â Although not easy, her dedication to a different lifestyle and healthier diet became her priority while being determined to show others the benefits of choosing the vegan route.Â I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Seviin Li to find out more about her journey and how she has been able to maintain the vegan lifestyle as someone in the industry with a hectic schedule.
Please read on!
– So how long have you been a vegan and why did you choose to become one?
13 yrs. I started considering it after feeling overweight for my height. Also, my family had a history of diabetes, including a family member who is on dialysis today as a result of poor health choices. This inspired me to give up the bad foods I had become accustomed to. Then one day I was eating some chicken that was bloody inside causing me to immediately stop eating it. After that incident, I was turned off by chicken and I stopped eating it for good.Â But what really changed my mindset was a movie called â€œChew On Thisâ€ that turned me off from meat and any foods that came from animals. After becoming vegan, I have also found myself eating less as a result of my stomach shrinking and, therefore, spending less money on food.
– After becoming a vegan did you notice any differences such as with your hair or skin?
Yes, my skin improved greatly after giving up fried foods. I also enjoyed other benefits such as finding it easier to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. I rarely get sick and find that it is easier to maintain my overall health.Â When I get sick I know itâ€™s generally something I ate such as food cooked with a different type of method than I have become accustomed to (such as fried foods).
– Did you maintain the same workout routine or were you able to cut down on exercising since a vegan diet is lower in calories and fat?
I found that I had an increase in energy that resulted in it being easier for me to work out more often. I also found that I can go longer without working out and not deal with adverse effects such as gaining weight than I could before becoming a vegan.Â But regardless, I still try to stay consistent with my workouts.
– What is it like being a young, black vegan? With the traditional “soul food” meals and other foods that are not the healthiest yet very popular in the black community do you experience a lack of support for your vegan lifestyle? Â Or do you find that people are more than willing to accommodate your vegan preferences by having vegan dishes?
Starting out, people didnâ€™t really invite me to gatherings because it was difficult to understand how to accommodate me. They even became frustrated with me sometimes. Now I tend to take my own food or eat before I go to events making it much easier on everybody.Â Some have also tried to accommodate me by having vegan dishes as options.
– I have read mixed reviews on the veggie food products such as veggie burgers, veggie chicken nuggets, etc. What are your thoughts on these products?
In some opinions, too much of the soy products can be bad and that is what many of the â€œvegan meatâ€ products are made of. But it is all about not having too much of anything. People should also consider trying to make their own vegan foods with different veggies, beans, nuts, and seasonings. People can even make veggie burgers with these ingredients.Â Itâ€™s all about trying new ways to cook and youâ€™ll find that there are plenty of vegan options to choose from.
– What are your thoughts on raising children as vegans and what advice would you offer parents who want to do this but find it too challenging?
I can definitely see kids facing some challenges at school due to the menu options. But in my opinion if the parent makes the choice to live a vegan lifestyle then the children should not be given a choice. This doesnâ€™t mean that they canâ€™t still enjoy eating things that kids love.Â But you just have to search for new, healthier ways to prepare those foods to help them become accustomed to the vegan lifestyle. Â If you choose to eat differently to maintain a healthier lifestyle then you should want the same for your kids and have them eat as you do.
– Considering meat is a great source of protein, what alternative sources of protein do you recommend?
Quinoa is a great source of protein and I would say even more than tofu since it has no soy, which is generally high in estrogen. Almond milk is also a good source of protein without the soy. But tofu is still a good choice for those interested in a vegan food that soaks up the flavor of whatever you cook it with.Â You just have to remember that too much of anything can be bad.
– What is your fav vegan dish and what are some restaurants in St. Louis you’d recommend to vegans or those interested in becoming vegans?
Kale is definitely one of my favs, which I cook like greens. Vegan restaurants or those with vegan options I really like include Mokabe’s, The Melt (recommended their waffle with sausage scramble dish), Prasino where they bake everything with vegan options, Treehouse restaurant, and Fridas (which features an entire vegan drink menu).
In addition to this great information from Seviin Li she is also planning to release a vegan cookbook soon so be sure to look out for that!
I hope that you all can find this information helpful on your journey to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.Â Even if becoming a vegan is not the route you choose it does not hurt to try some of the vegan dishes.Â You may find that you like them and can include in your diet as additional, healthier food options.Â It is all about what works well for you and, most of all, what benefitsÂ your health.