Make sure to take a look at Mr. September! You all will love this months Sexy Bad Ass Vegan… If you have ever followed his Instagram or Twitter Page you will see that he is pretty private, but being such a great photographer you can see that he lets his art speak for itself ! Well today I have a treat for you all, @verydarius opens up for us to learn more about his life and his world. So without further delay I give you Darius, Mr. September!
Name: Darius Jenkins
Where do you live and where are you from? I grew up in California but right now my time is split 50/50 between California and Arizona.
What do you do for a living/profession? I’m a Photographer.
What do you like to do for fun? Travel, spend time with my family, compare beaches, eat, discover new music.
Why did you become vegan? I was Pescatarian for over 10 years, gradually cutting meat groups out of my diet in an attempt to prevent health issues common to African American men (heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes) and possibly extend my life. I removed pork and beef from my diet as a teenager, then poultry, eventually seafood. I thought I was living a healthy lifestyle until I realized that Vegetarianism was not allowing my body to perform at its best because I was still ingesting milk, eggs, and fish. The only way to truly “eat clean” is to adopt a 100% plant based diet.
How was your transition? Easy! I missed cheese for the first couple months but I kept reminding myself that it was coagulated puss and blood. That pretty much cured my pizza craving. There was a lot of label reading. I spent a lot of time in grocery aisles until I learned the different names used for milk (ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, rennet casein, demineralized whey, lacto globulin, lactalbumin phosphate, whey protein concentrate/isolate). Even some vegetable broths and items labeled ‘Vegetarian’ have beef extract listed as an ingredient.
What is the funniest misconception(s) that you have heard about vegans? That we will try to convert every meat eater. Well… that might be true. haha
What is your Favorite thing(s) about being a vegan? Looking in the mirror and seeing the results of living a plant-based lifestyle. Feeling the strength, energy, and stamina of a healthy system. I just wish I made the decision earlier.
What do you think makes a Sexy Bad Ass Vegan? Showing compassion toward all life, inspiring others to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, and smiling!
What is the best vegan dish that you make in your kitchen? Spicy Curry Cilantro Cauliflower! Any one that has ever tried this loves it. It can be served baked or raw.
- · 1 Tbsp. Curry Powder
- · 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- · 1/2 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic
- · Sea Salt
- · 2 Lemons
- · Cilantro
a. Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl.
b. Add the curry powder, garlic, and sea salt. Allow to sit while the oven heats to 350*F. This will allow the salt to dissolve into the lemon juice.
c. Clean and cut the cauliflower into quarters. Uniformly cut pieces will cook evenly.
d. Add olive oil to the liquid mixture right before tossing in the cauliflower. Toss and coat the cauliflower.
e. If you are preparing to serve the cauliflower it raw, chop the cilantro and toss with the cauliflower. If you are going to bake the cauliflower, do not add cilantro until after the cauliflower is out of the oven.
f. Once the cauliflower is evenly coated, pour it all into a shallow baking dish, (even a pie tin) cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 10 min.
g. After 10 min, remove the foil and cook for another 5 min to brown the cauliflower.
h. Enjoy! OPTIONAL: To make this ‘Spicy Curry Cauliflower” add 2 tsp. Cayenne Powder to lemon, garlic, curry mixture.
What is the best Vegan Restaurant you have ever had the pleasure of eating at? This changes every couple weeks. It used to be Green New Vegetarian in Downtown Phoenix but they changed the recipe to my favorite item on the menu: vegan buffalo wings. The texture was just like chicken breast, very realistic. It’s too bad they changed the recipe.
The Raw Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake with Macadamia Crust from Pomegranate Café is the best I’ve ever had.
My current favorite is Native Foods Cafe in Orange County, CA. Every dish I’ve tried so far has been perfect! Sweet Potato Fries, Buffalo Wings, Chili, Tofu Moroccan Bowl…. All Excellent!
What advice do you have for those that are thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle? Take a little time to educate yourself on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. There are documentaries on Netflix, seminars and presentations on YouTube. medical journals and articles online:
- · Stanford School of Medicine:
- · The US Department of Health and Human Services:
- · The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition:
The cure to many clinical diseases is grown in the earth and I have a sense of karmic peace that comes from knowing that no lives had to be taken to fuel my body.