So people always find it crazy when I tell them “I am a vegetarian”. Like as if the only people who practice this lifestyle is hippies and earth freaks… I’m far from being a hippie, but I do care about my Planet. However, this wasn’t the reason I decided to become a vegetarian.
If you didn’t know already, I began modeling in 2001 and in the beginning of my career, I was an average sized young lady. Standing at 5’10” and weighing in at 125lbs. It really didn’t help that I was doing Track & Field in high school and was lifting weights to tone my upper body. Well little did I know, after graduating high school my modeling would take off. I was getting the calls I wanted, different companies wanting to work with me, becoming a signature model for a couple photographers. I was doing quite well. One thing I did not continue to do was workout to maintain my muscle tone and eat well. Therefore, I become kind of like… the Amazon Woman, as they say- tall with a solid body frame, but still fit. If I was to name someone who’d remind me of this type, it is Gabrielle Reece. She’s such beautiful women too btw.
After a couple of years, I noticed I wasn’t getting as many auditions as I use to. I did get Fashion Week and some photo shoots here and there. I noticed more of the other girls were picked for more positions (along with some other reasons, but I won’t get into that) than I was and I wanted to know what was up… remember, I was getting paid for the amount of jobs I committed to. So without my agent pulling me to the side, I decided to approach the situation. She ended up telling me that I was too “thick” for the tastes of many designers and photographers. I wish someone would’ve told me this soon because I didn’t notice the difference. I was never a small girl. While talking to her and finding out ways I could maintain my weight, she suggested that I do core exercising or to become a vegetarian. Looking back on it, I’m not sure how she came up with this solution because it I was basically headed into a down spiral with my health and weight just because they intended on working with models who were under the size 2… size 4 was acceptable. I was a size 6-8.
I found out that transitioning to only vegetables wasn’t the hard thing for me… it was finding the time to prepare healthy meals, finding time through my schedule to go shopping, finding the money to re-up on meals when I was trying to do important things with my money and more. It was easy for me to change to this lifestyle because I wasn’t a big fan of pork and I rarely ate beef. Now, since I’m from the coast (Charleston, SC), I found it a little difficult giving up seafood- blue crabs, crawfish, snow crab legs, oysters. That was more of a challenge for me, but I did it. How I did this was finding meals that I enjoyed eating that didn’t contain any meat and basically ate that everyday. Since, I was a server on the side at an Americanized-Italian Restaurant, I found it easier to eat food there while on break which helped me choose more healthier things too- like eggplant with vegetables and whole wheat pasta. I was good- for now. Now I mentioned I was working at a restaurant. When I worked, I usually worked doubles and that ended up getting in the way of me eating too. Here’s how: I rarely found time to eat breakfast because it was hard to shop with my schedule. The only time I ate was during my break which would be around 3 to 4pm. When it was time to get off, the time was usually 11 to 12 midnight. During our shifts, we barely could eat anything because it we moved around too much to have that opportunity to stand in one place for one minute. Now, keep reading…
After about 4 years into this lifestyle, I noticed my health changing: I had migraines some days, my hair and nails would grow every other month or so, my vision started getting bad, I had no energy, I literally felt like my brain wasn’t developing, I couldn’t remember anything, my skin started becoming dry, my top layer of my nails would always peel, and a few more things. During this time, I moved away from home in order to get my acting career going (I retired from the modeling scene) and relocated to Atlanta, GA. At first, it was awesome. I then noticed that the job I transferred with wasn’t bringing in money anymore, so that meant that I had to cut back on acting training and more time making money. There wasn’t money, so there was no food. The only food I could afford was at the restaurant or processed foods and snacks that cost little to nothing and we all know that’s not health. During this time, I was not getting ANY nutrition. It was a horrible experience. Then, when I’d get sick (like the flu or cold), it got bad… fainting, drowsiness and no appetite. My body was crying for help and I couldn’t do much about it because I wasn’t making the money and I wanted to be where the scene was for entertainers. Long story short, after 6 years of being a vegetarian I decided it was time to incorporate something in the foods I ate. I chose this food because of it’s health benefits: Omega-3, Protein, Vitamin B & D, and necessary minerals like Phosphorous and Selenium. Where was all of this in my previous meal plans? I am still not eating pork, beef, or chicken and most likely I probably never will.
Below, are two of many dishes that I enjoy eating now. Let me say I do not eat like this every night and I’d consume [Salmon] at least 2-3 times/wk.
|Grilled Wild Salmon Seasoned with Lemon Pepper and Sea Salt. Side of Brown Rice and Sun-dried Tomatoes and Mixed Vegetables Including Sweet Baby Carrots, Cauliflower and Snap Peas.|
|1 Cup of Angel Hair with Olive Oil Mix (Recipe Coming Soon) and Grilled Wild Salmon Seasoned with Lemon Pepper,, EVOO and Sea Salt|
What I have learned about my body and the steps I took to being a vegetarian was that I did it all wrong in the beginning. I didn’t do my research. I thought I could eat anything I wanted just as long as it didn’t have any meat and I’d be fine. I didn’t have my daily dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber and all the essentials you need to maintain the perfect body. Maybe one day, I’ll choose to practice this lifestyle again. Who knows, lol? So, with everything said I decided to add salmon in some of my favorite dishes. Instead of eating out like I did most of the time, I’m cooking in-home more and paying attention to calories, fiber and fat percentage that’s in the foods I eat. I’m doing better. My mind literally feels like it’s functioning again. That sounds so weird saying it, but like I explained to my former manager , “I literally feel like my brain isn’t working- I can’t think, I can’t hold a thought, my brain feels like it’s drawing squiggly lines”. He thought it was funny when I said it, but in actuality, my body was breaking down and I didn’t even know it. My advice for anyone thinking of joining this lifestyle is to learn from my mistake. Research before actually committing. Understand that just because meat isn’t included, it doesn’t make it a healthy choice.
Oh and by the way, my nails are growing sooo much faster now that I’ve decided to change in eating habits. It’s annoying how many times I have to bring out the nail clipper lol.
|Top: New Look – Joggers: River Island – Bag: Nine West (Macys) – Shoes: Bebe – Earrings: Kay – Watch: Adidas (The Iconic) – Nail Polish: Essie – Necklace: Glassons|
You’re welcome. Look at this awesome new outfit featured this week. I told you, I am having a small obsession with River Island (I had to give it a smooch) and I’m not afraid to say I’d rock it. I’m not a huge fan of Rhianna, but some of her pieces and R.I. additional pieces have me biting my tongue.
I’ve seen it from time to time before anyone really noticed, but what’s trending are Joggers with heels. You’ve seen this look on celebrities like Cassie, Karruche and Rhianna~ so yes, ladies you can pull off the sweat pants look with heels now and not be talked about. WELL HOL’ UP… I was joking so don’t pull that look together unless you’ve got it right. With this pants, it has the slim look but loose around the derrière to the calf. I don’t care what people say, but hip hop really influences damn here or close to 90% of the fashion that’s out. Like it or not, who cares.
I paired one of my favorite tops with these joggers and in my favorite fabric~ sequins! She’s very cute. What I love most about her is the high neck and high midriff, which will allow you to wear the waist slightly high or low (I’d recommend low, that is if you have that gut tight). I decided this time to add the satchel because I always choose a wristlet or clutch. I’m the type of woman that needs to have all hands free and something that’s not really in the way. Besides, all I usually carry with me is small things that can be held in hand or in my back pocket. However with this look, I believe the smaller choice wouldn’t have made this style… stylish.
When pairing it with shoes, I chose the geometric pattern heel from Bebe that matches the joggers, but some plain black pointed toe heels will also do the trick. Choose something that shows more skin than shoe, nothing clunky. So something with a slim, tall heel looks best. I added my favorite birthstone, Ruby and to introduce a bit of a sporty flair… I bought an Adidas watch and large link chain (I had to make it hip hop).
So now that I’ve showed you, you can now #stylemystyle
|Top: Rings: River Island – Skirt: London Boutiques – Shoes: Selfridges – Bag: Oasis – Watch: Karen Millen – Bracelet: Boticca|
When picking out an outfit, always start with your favorite color. With my favorite color being yellow, it is easier to mix and match colors because it’s a primary color (red, blue, and yellow). Let’s say you’re playing around with the color purple, dark/light purple, black and/or would be the safest colors to make your outfit work. However, if you are one of those who aren’t afraid to try something new, you’d choose red, blue, pink, metallics and patterns.
When choosing a skirt, the A-Line type seems to fit most body frames. The A-Line named after it’s shape should keep it’s shape versus the form fitting skirts that hug the body. If I can count all the skirts I had in my wardrobe, I’d say 80% are A-Line. When shopping for an A/L skirt, I usually search for the skirts that have the high waist. When you have the higher waist, it tends to make the torso appear slimmer and longer… which would make you appear taller and slimmer in photographs! That’s the best part.
Anytime you wear an article of clothing that is high waisted, pairing it wear an awesome cropped top will always do the trick. It could be strapless or strapped, cropped or tucked, loose or tight. You may even be able to pass off a cute capped sleeve/crew neck tee (blouse) for that not so dressed up look. Once again, I’d pair it with the rings and a color blocked watch and a thin bracelet… nothing too bulky. A metallic handbag does that trick. If you do decide the have a colored bag, to tie in your entire outfit, try matching the hardware from the bag to the hardware on your shoes, bracelets and jewelry.
|JUMPSUIT: MISGUIDED, HEELS & STUDS: RIVER ISLAND, CLUTCH: LONDON BOUTIQUES, BANGLES: LIBERTY|
Pulling of this look together is not a hard task. I’ve seem to take a liking to Rihanna‘s new clothing line, River Island. I didn’t think I’d like any of her things because our styles don’t match up… or at least I thought. This look can be a date night, drinks with the girls, casual dinner look because it’s just simple… with the touch of shine to give it the 1UP every simple look needs. Personally, I go for simple looks because you can never screw it up. In fact, if you do screw up a look like this, then you’re just a lost causeLOL!
Try to find a color you really admire and bring this look to life. Now, if you’re trying to play it safe and just keep it clear like this, you’ll be fine. I’d wear this look with accents of yellow, turquoise, royal, lavender, and silver. However, don’t get color-crazed and blend all these together (that is if your going for simple look).
The prices listed for the collection are a bit pricey, but finding these items in your department stores and local boutiques are quite easy. These bangles, which are 22-ct Gold Plated Sterling Silver, can be substituted with bangles you would find at your local kiosk in your mall (Piercing Pagoda for example). My friends ask me all the time: “HOW DO YOU PAIR YOUR JEWELRY?” When it comes to jewelry, I [personally] only pair two together. Say you have rings, necklaces, and bracelets. I will pair rings to necklaces, bracelets to necklaces and rings to bracelets. That is just my choice to never go for TOO much.
And you know what would make this outfit look even more cute? A gold gold chain- something simple, the link style! #STEALMYSTYLE