Say Hello to Miss Sexy Bad Ass Vegan of the month. Not only is she beautiful but she is strong and good hearted. Her story proves that no matter how bad things may be, you can make it. Her story is one to share with anyone that has dealt with the drastic Cancer Epidemic. Her smile is proof of her outlook on life and by the way… you would never guess that this active beauty is 52 years young.
Name: Kat or Kath
Where do you live and where are you from? I live in Bedford in the mid cities area of Dallas/Ft. Worth but I’m originally from Miami,Florida.
What do you do for a living/profession? I referee teenage drama during the day as a high school guidance counselor but cater plant based food at night and on weekends to clients in Dallas and Ft. Worth. I am also a fitness icon for O’Neill 365 clothing (www.oneill365.com) and write a blog for them once a month.
What do you like to do for fun? Fun to me means weights or kickboxing at the gym, Bikram yoga, running around my hilly neighborhood and cooking up surprise concoctions in the kitchen in my spare time. I’m a workout junkie and live for the feel of blood pounding in my ears and chest. I feel most alive when I’m sweating! I occasionally relax, though, and that sometimes means sitting out on my back porch with my three retired greyhounds or stretching out on the couch with a great book my librarian friend, Carla, has loaned me.
How long have you been vegan? 3 Years!!!
Why did you become vegan?Literally the day after I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. Luckily for me, it was a small tumor that I found myself while showering. It hadn’t spread so I did 25 rounds of radiation and two lumpectomies. My diet was a phenomenal resource during that time and I literally ran in and out of the hospital for radiation each morning smiling and happy and feeling great. I never experienced a side effect of any kind. My radiologist just shook her head and said, “Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working.” No scarring, no redness, peeling, burns, or fatigue.
How was your transition? I loved the diet and cooking the food so much, I began cooking for friends and fellow yogis at the Bikram studio I attend and before you know it, I was teaching cooking classes, catering food and ended up certified as a Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). I also have a vegan student group at my school and we hold pot lucks and cooking classes there, too.
I craved cheese and oil for about a month when I was transitioning but that passed and since then, I’ve been a “clean lean machine” just craving more plants. The main reason I was able to transition so smoothly was that I had an amazingly supportive partner who changed his diet, too, washed dishes, ran to the store in the middle of the night and sat by my side through my surgeries and doctor appointments. A big shout out to Donn Havens for his love and kindness during that time.
What is the funniest misconception(s) that you have heard about vegans? The craziest misconception about being vegan that I’ve encountered is when a fellow co-worker asked me why I wasn’t afraid of osteoporosis since I don’t eat dairy. She eats cottage cheese and yogurt every day for lunch and was convinced I was going to break a leg running some day. I told her that kale and collards have more calcium than any glass of cow’s milk and that my calcium levels (which are checked every six months) are above normal. She still eats dairy but doesn’t ask me about calcium anymore!
What is your Favorite thing(s) about being a vegan? My favorite thing about being a vegan is that I feel fantastic every single day. I don’t get headaches, stomach aches, allergies or crash in the afternoons after lunch. If I don’t feel good, I can usually trace it back to not getting enough sleep, working out too much or eating something processed (like a frozen vegan soy cheese pizza). I have more energy than anybody else I know 10 years younger!
What do you think makes a Sexy Bad Ass Vegan? I think a Sexy Bad Ass Vegan is someone who is a great walking example…a bill board of eating plant based: lean, healthy, happy and positive. Lots of people (especially women in their 40’s and 50’s) ask me what I do to look and feel good at this age and I’m happy to share my success. I’ll even teach them to cook and take them to the grocery store! The standard answer from them, though, is: “Oh, I could never give up meat.” I just laugh and say, “Never say never! Anything is possible!”
What is the best vegan dish that you make in your kitchen? My favorite vegan dish is a simple garbanzo bean salad I make and mix with brown rice. Since it’s kind of pickled with vinegar already, it doesn’t spoil easily so I bring it with me when I travel and it’s always yummy. All of my clients love it and travel with it, too.
Garbanzo Bean Salad
Soak one cup of dry garbanzo beans overnight in water.
Pressure cook or boil until done the next morning. (Pressure cooked: 10 minutes on
high or 30 minutes on low after cooker comes to pressure.)
Mix cooked beans with 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian flat parsley, 1/2 to 1 cup of