Interview with a Vegan Ballerina
Last Fall an apprentice at the Texas Ballet Theater graced the stage with a lead role (hand-selected by an elite choreographer) in one of the world’s best contemporary ballets, the hypnotic, DGV. Samantha appeared so amazingly strong and I even overheard a few conversations by male ballet dancers talking about how she was stronger than they were.
Later, when I noticed pictures of homemade vegetable dishes and vegan hashtags on her Instagram posts, I knew Samantha would be perfect for FREE SOPHIA readers.
We caught up with the ballerina for an interview:
FREE SOPHIA (FS): How long have you been a ballet dancer?
SAM: Well, I started dancing when I was 2 since my mother owned a studio and started me in classes young. Luckily, I loved ballet and started dancing professionally with Cincinnati Ballet when I was 14.
FS: Oh, wow, did you move to Texas straight from there?
SAM: No, I danced in Las Vegas with The Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater for a year before moving here.
FS: And have you been vegan your whole life?
SAM: No, I was raised in a family that was all about eating meat and junk food. But I’ve always looked at meat as a corpse so when I was about 10 I became vegetarian and my family was extremely against it. I moved out when I was 17 and that’s when I became Vegan (because I could.) So it’s been about 4 years now of being 100% vegan.
FS: So you were really little!
SAM: Yes! I was young when I decided I never wanted to eat a dead animal again, but it wasn’t until I was self sufficient that I decided I would never help fund any industry that hurt animals. So I never gave any money to dairy or meat industries
FS: Awesome. Did you find it difficult to cut out dairy and eggs?
SAM: No, not at all, I was always slightly repulsed by the idea of consuming them. I just had to eat them before because that’s how I was raised. So, it was a very liberating experience to cut animals out of my diet completely. However, I did have to read up on nutrition and learn how to properly fuel my body with plants since it was all new to me.
FS: Beautiful. And do you still get asked what you do for PROTEIN?
SAM: Haha yes!! All of the time! But I’ve adapted my diet to FUEL MY CELLS. I read up on cellular function, what molecules are needed for the processes, and which foods to get those molecules from. I found that carbs were essential! Without a sufficient amount of carbs and glucose the body can’t even synthesize protein molecules. While protein is important, you need a much larger amount of fruits and carbs to process protein. So, I keep a close watch on all of the nutrients I consume to make sure I get a proper amount of everything to feed my cells. And since gaining this understanding and applying it to my diet, I’ve never felt better!
FS: Oh nice, how interesting! I’ve never heard about that before. So, can you tell our audience what a normal day’s MENU looks like for you?
SAM: Well, I usually start my day with a swig of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR since it’s great for oxidation in the blood. Then I either have a smoothie or a few pieces of fruit. Throughout the day I eat FRUIT (mostly bananas!) to keep me energized. Lunch can either be a big salad with a cliff bar, or an exorbitant amount of fruit. (I’ve found fruit makes me feel amazing during a full day of dancing.) At night I make a huge plate of sautéed veggies with beans or vegetable curry with quinoa (really anything with VEGETABLES as the main course.) But I try to change it up everyday to have as much variety in my diet as possible.
FS: Yum! Is there any ADVICE you’d like to give readers who are wanting to become vegan or even vegetarian but don’t know where to start?
SAM: I would say just keep experimenting with food and see what works for their body. Also if they don’t cook with nutritional yeast, start! It’s high in B-12 which is kind of hard to get in a vegan diet. They can just throw it on or in anything!
Thank you, Samantha!
I think more and more people’s consciousnesses are raising and are feeling a pull to eat more vegetarian/vegan. Are you vegan or trying to go vegan? Please leave us your story in the comments!
UPDATE: Since writing and researching the following article, I found myself, meal-by-meal, choosing only Vegan foods. And now, it’s well over a week and I haven’t eaten ANY animal products! You don’t understand- I NEVER thought I could do that. I admired Vegans and smiled at them from a distance as though they were these super hero advanced-souls (I was probably right.) It is absolutely shocking to me HOW EASY IT IS! Just choosing other options. I think it is a BLAST, it’s totally changed my life and I have more energy, I feel lighter, I’m hardly hungry (I was always hungry before!) and I feel more at peace.
**UPDATED UPDATE: The VEGAN interview is still so exciting to me because it really did propel me and my family into a new, healthier chapter of our lives. I’ve never been PROUDER of anything I’ve ever done. It’s now been 7 months (although I slipped there for a minute, until I learned of the film WHAT THE HEALTH https://youtu.be/4iJ-rGJCsn4 and that put me and my family back on the right track, hardcore.)
As a spiritually minded person- I’d always felt the tug and desire to go Vegan. I tried vegetarian and pescatarian for many years, but to my amazement- going Vegan is MUCH easier! Vegetarian is still hard because the eggs and cheese are pretty much still meat. “Dairy is the WORST sugar for your body” says Anthony Williams, the medical medium.
Being Vegan, I’m not as hungry. I look at EVERYTHING differently. I feel like I’m helping Mother Earth AND all of the creatures of the Divine in this very special club.
I find it fun and easy, take it meal by meal. There’s pretty much a Vegan substitute for ANY food craving and we should eat mostly FRUITS and VEGETABLES anyway. The biggest gift I think, is seeing how happy (and strong!) my children are being Vegan and knowing that we don’t have to pick and choose which animals we murder and which are our friends.
And the energy! I love all of the Vegan BODYBUILDERS and ATHLETES in the film. Being Vegan means you are eating living nutrients, not sad sick tortured animals that have NO nutritional value and actually are THE reason why most people have health problems.
Below are the peta.org‘s top 10 reasons to go vegan this year
1. Slim down and become energized: Is shedding some extra pounds first on your list of goals for the new year? Vegans are, on average, up to 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters are.
2. It’s the best way to help animals: Did you know that every vegan saves more than 100 animals a year?
3. A healthier, happier you: A vegan diet is great for your health! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans are less likely to develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure than meat-eaters are.
4. Vegan food is delicious: So you’re worried that if you go vegan, you’ll have to give up hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and ice cream? You won’t. As the demand for vegan food skyrockets, companies are coming out with more and more delicious meat and dairy-product alternatives that taste like the real thing but are much healthier and don’t hurt any animals.
5. Meat is gross: Meat is often contaminated with feces, blood, and other bodily fluids—all of which make animal products the top source of food poisoning in the United States.
6. Help feed the world: Eating meat doesn’t just hurt animals—it hurts people, too. It takes tons of crops and water to raise farmed animals. In fact, it takes up to 13 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh!
7. Save the planet: Consuming meat is actually one of the worst things that you can do for the Earth. It is wasteful and causes enormous amounts of pollution, and the meat industry is also one of the biggest causes of climate change.
8. All the cool kids are doing it: The list of stars who shun animal flesh: Joaquin Phoenix, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Al Gore, Flo Rida, Tobey Maguire, Shania Twain, Alicia Silverstone, Anthony Kiedis, Casey Affleck, Kristen Bell, Alyssa Milano, Common, Joss Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Carrie Underwood.
9. Look sexy and be sexy: Vegans tend to be thinner than meat-eaters and have more energy, which is perfect for late-night romps with your special someone. Plus, what’s sexier than someone who is not only mega-hot but also compassionate?
10. Pigs are smarter than your dog: Although most people are less familiar with pigs, chickens, fish, and cows than they are with dogs and cats, animals used for food are every bit as intelligent and able to suffer as the animals who share our homes are.
SPECIAL THANKS TO Samantha for agreeing to share her story with us and to Andre Silva for photographing Samantha. For more FREE SOPHIA see the rest of our blog at https://plus.google.com/107287050579003737566 or on the FREE SOPHIA Facebook page or FREESOPHIA.com!