How To Eat To Live: Top 5 Tools You Need To Become A Black Vegan
We know that intoxication – the consumption of harmful substances – is one of the weapons of white supremacy. Sometimes this intoxication is involuntary. Governments spray chem-trails over our heads, contaminate our drinking water with lead, or create food deserts in our communities.
Other times, intoxication is voluntary. We choose to drink sodas, eat fried chicken, and support fast food franchises.
But if you are coming into consciousness, you have either thought about becoming a Black vegan, or you have tried to make the transition in the past. Changing the way you eat is an important step in fighting back against intoxication and disease.
Making the change can be easy with the right advice, so we asked our Black Vegan members who have successfully completed the transition the tools they cant live without. These tools can make the difference between you living a life of energy and vibrant health, or suffering.
What Is A Vegan?
Before I introduce the tools to you, lets clear up what a vegan really is.
The definition of a vegan is anyone who lives a “cruelty free” lifestyle by refusing to consume anything that comes from animals. Vegans do not eat meat, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, or any other animal byproduct. Since the vegan lifestyle is centered on preventing animal exploitation, vegans also avoid using animal clothing, accessories, or furniture.
When it comes to dieting, Black Vegans consume nutrient-rich whole plants, seeds, legumes, and grains that include black and wild rice, beans, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Why Black People Should Go Vegan
You have probably heard the saying “the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation” . You have probably heard the advice from your ancestor Imhotep who said “let your medicine be your food and your food be your medicine”. But it seems like we are not getting the message. In the Black community here in the United States, here are some statistics that will wake you up:
- 4 to 6 of the leading causes of death in the Black community are health and diet related
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 57 percent of Black women over 20 are obese. 38 percent of Black men are too fat for their own good.
- 45% of Black women and 41% of Black men have high blood pressure
- And the top 3 leading causes of death in our community? Heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
All these statistics can be prevented by our diet!
Here are some of the benefits of becoming a Black Vegan:
- You will lose body fat and unhealthy weight – Randomized controlled scientific studies show that vegans lost more weight than those who followed other diets, no matter how much the vegans ate.
- You will avoid certain cancers – Eating legumes regularly may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by about 9–18% (source). Eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day may lower your risk of dying from cancer by 15% (source).
- You will look better – Vegan diets are rich in vitamins and minerals that lead to clearer, healthier eyes, nails, and hair. Dairy has been shown to cause acne, so cutting it from your diet will lead to clearer skin, too.
- You will feel better – Becoming a vegan fills your plate up with foods that give you energy and mental clarity. Vegans have reported feeling happier and less anxiety than those on meat or high sugar diet
- You will save money – Heart bypass surgery typically costs about $70,000. The total cost of a heart transplant can reach almost $800,000 or more. And researchers have estimated the lifetime costs of treating diabetes and its complications at $85,200 and up. As a vegan, your chances of avoiding unnecessary medical costs are far higher than non-vegans.
You might already be convinced that its time for you to become a vegan. but without a plan and the right tools, you risk backsliding onto a plate of rib tips. So we asked 10 Black Vegan members of United Black America what tools they used to make their transition and keep them on the path. Here are the top 5 they recommend that will help you eat to live!
How To Become A Black Vegan Step 1: Gather Your Tools
Before you empty your refrigerator and head to the store, you will need tools that will help you transition and stay on the path. These are the must have tools that Black Vegans have told us they cant live without:
1. A Food Processor
A food processor turns big chunks of food or ingredients into smaller pieces. As a vegan-in-training, I use my food processor to turn rolled oats into gluten free flour that I use for banana pancakes. I have seen people online use food processors to turn almonds into almond butter and chickpeas into hummus – all things you cant do with a blender!
2. Recipe Books
One of the hardest things about being a vegan is putting together random items into filling and flavorful meals. Lets be real, if it doesn’t taste good, you are not going to eat it. And if you dont know what to eat, then you are right back your old habits…
Let us save you from killing yourself with KFC. Here are the best recipe books that our panel of Black vegans suggested.
3. A Blender
Your blender might become your new best friend. Blenders open up a whole new world of smoothies and blends that you didn’t know existed. The down side of blenders is that they remove most of the fiber from fruits and vegetables – but thats where your food processor comes in.
But blenders do give you nutrition, flavor, and convenience with fast fresh blends. The only two blenders our vegans suggested were the Ninja and the Vitamix. Heres a comparison:
- The Ninja is the best option for budget conscious folks
- The Vitamix is quieter than the Ninja.
- The Vitamix is easier to take apart and the lid is alot easier to work with. You dont want to be struggling with a blender lid at 2am like I had to with the Ninja
- The Vitamix is faster in blending than the Ninja
4. A Toaster Oven
This whole Black conscious eating thing is about not killing yourself and not killing animals unnecessarily. So you might be asking why you need a toaster oven when you have a microwave, right?
Microwaves heat food from the inside out at the cellular level, destroying life in the process. In order to eat to live, you must eat living foods. You can only get life through plant based items that havent been cooked to death.
Toaster ovens cook food through something called ‘convection’ and food absorbs heat from the outside in. You can heat food in them just as quickly and easily as a microwave, food tastes better, and they fit on your countertop. Many of the recipes in the books above call for a toaster oven, so you will need one anyway. Here are our three suggestions.
5. An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot movement is real. Every vegan I have talked to owns one of these things. I was like “its a pot”. Nah – this is a tool that will change your life. If my house burned down I would try to run in to get my pot.
It takes an hour or longer to make beans and lentils. Trying to get black rice cooked just right is dumb hard. I want vegan jambalaya but I dont want to wait all weekend to cook it. And I am not a cook, so when you say medium-high heat, I dont know what you are talking about.
✅ I want steamed vegetables.
✅ I want fast cooking rice that comes out perfect every time.
✅ I want quinoa thats easier to make than it is to say.
For me, the instant pot is the answer.
It combines an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker and yogurt maker in one unit. All you do is plug it in and tap a button, and it does everything else. It’s as user-friendly as a Crock-Pot — except that it gets dinner on the table a day or so faster.
If you only get one tool on this list, make it an Instant Pot. There is a small version for 1 – 2 people and a large version if you are cooking for your family.
Once you have your tools together, its time to go shopping. In the next article we will give you a full food list, and where to shop to find everything you need in one place. Subscribers also get the United Black America food list and mini course, so 👉🏿 click here to subscribe!