A dear friend and mother of three who has mastered the art of looking youthful (she doesn’t really have to try), and raising healthy (not to mention insanely talented) vegan children, Khepera Fleming is a beautiful soul residing in the Brooklyn area. If you’re wondering if her picture is airbrushed, that answer is no–that’s how stunning she is live and in the flesh. I caught up with her to find out how she stays on track with her diet and to glean advice that may be helpful for parents to hear about raising children on a vegan diet.
How long have you been a vegan? If you were a meat eater previously what made you decide to change your diet? What were some of the benefits spiritual mental or physical you received by changing your diet?I have been vegan for 18 years. As a child I suffered with constipation and poor digestion due to a diet of heavy starches and my inability to digest animal protein. In my teenage years I was very lethargic, consistently depressed and suffered painful menses. I became sick and tired of being sick and tired so I began a search which brought me to Chinese Herbalogy, I purchased and took a 14 day cleanse that shifted my paradigm. I was renewed with crystal clear understanding that I could not go back to my old eating habits. I realized my diet was killing me. For many years I felt imprisoned in a body that caused me a great deal of stress and as I removed the animal proteins, the denatured grains and introduced juicing and more living foods I emerged from the fires with joy, energy, conscious awareness of self in relationship to the plant animal kingdom and great deal of spiritual strength knowing that the power to heal myself is within me. There is wisdom in the phrase “Heal Thyself Know Thyself.”
What are staples in your diet? What are vegan dishes your kids enjoy? Greens of all sorts are a main staple, quinoa, sea vegetables. My children love lentils and beans. They love all the fabulous dishes that one can make with beans and lentils. Bean burritos or tacos with lots of veggies brown rice and plenty of guacamole. Chick pea or lentil patties, kale salad with seaweed, Tofu, whole grain pancakes with fresh fruit, power shakes with sea moss, spirulina, veg protein.
What supplements do you use regularly, if any?
Flaxseed oil, B-complex, Spirulina
What crucial advice would you give to mothers who want to raise their children vegan? Do your research and stay away from processed foods. There are a variety of vegan-packaged foods, which are quite inviting but are loaded with sodium, sugars and preservatives. You will have to put time and energy into food preparation and meals should be made from whole foods giving precedence to organic. You must keep in mind that children are growing and it is my belief that whole foods are best and if given a variety you don’t need lots of supplements. In our modern world we have come to rely on fast foods, which include packaged foods, and microwavable foods and both are deadly to the growing children as they are simply denatured. Keep it simple plenty of dark leafy vegetables, root vegetables, lots of seasonal fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts (watch out for allergic reaction to some) oils, etc. Most importantly teach your children so they carry the legacy of eating well and they do not succumb to peer pressure. Also, remember food is medicine so as a mother you’re also the healer in the family especially if you’re responsible for the meals so the healthier the meals the healthier the children.
Were you vegan during all of your pregnancies? How did your diet or supplementation change during this time? I was vegan throughout all three pregnancies with no cravings for animal protein. I always get asked that. The only difference is I ate more because my body demanded it. I ate basically the same but I included a prenatal vitamin and I increased my greens and liquid intake to increase my energy and flush my system.
Is it difficult for your kids to interact with the other children who have S.A.D. (Standard American) diets? Their interaction can be difficult because my children’s views on animal consumption involve a conscious understanding of their relationship between themselves and the plant and animal kingdom. They can become physically ill if they watch friends or family members consume animal products. Holidays can be tough, although now we are thought of and something vegan is prepared for us. I’ve come to find that many of their friends eventual try and end up truly loving vegan food. My 9-year-old daughter, Ajahee, who is a model and aspiring actress, is very vocal with her friends about her vegan lifestyle and she says she never feels indifferent about it. She loves it.
What is your beauty/skin care regimen like?For years I used products from the health food store just whatever appealed to my senses. Most recently I was introduced to a skin care line that promised definite results so I tried it and fell in love with Arbonne International, which is now my home based business; I am an independent consultant and district manager in the New York area. Arbonne’s 450 products are botanically base, pure and beneficial. I use the NutriminC re9 system, which is the best product I ever used on my skin. It gives hydration, luster and youthful skin. I love it.
I love the Arbonne natural foundation I bought from you! It’s so light and enhances natural glow. How do you define natural beauty? I feel natural beauty comes from ones soul. It’s a great feeling when you meet a pure soul I always walk away saying he/she is beautiful. Usually that person’s lifestyle explains their inner beauty; maybe they’re truly growing their souls through conscious eating, meditation, yoga, giving, loving but whatever it is it shows. Natural beauty defines itself there’s a certainty that whatever is good comes from nature (Neter) God/Goddess.
How long ago did you do a parasite cleanse and what did you do to cleanse? I contracted a severe parasitic infection upon moving to NYC and working long hours in Manhattan eating most of meals out even though I chose healthy meals. I did a parasite cleanse over 10 years ago. I was referred to a Naturopath in my area who put me a series of herbal flushes, a kidney liver flush every morning, followed by herbal tea concoction three times a day, followed by weekly colonic irrigation. I followed a strict diet of fresh squeezed green veg juices, whole grains, steamed vegetables and salads. I stuck it out for 30 days and was healed. I now maintain my body system with herbal bitters so I am not so susceptible.
What were your symptoms prior to cleansing?If you have never had one pray you never get one. Parasites rob your life force. I became lethargic, my skin broke out severely, I craved sugar, probably to increase my energy, my thinking was cloudy and I had itching in personal body parts. Not a pretty sight. I was IRRITABLE all the time.
I agree, it really is not pretty! How long did it take you to see improvements in your health?Following the protocol I saw results in two weeks and by months end I was completely healed. It’s not easy I had a great supportive friend at the time that helped through the rough periods. I remember taking relaxing baths and just seeing myself healed.
One of Khepera’s daughters: Ajahee, an insanely talented nine-year old who acts, models, dances, sings, and writes her own music and screenplays! Watch out world, this little vegan-in-training is going to be fabulous when she grows up.
Ajahee is currently represented by Product Model Management in New York.
Interested in finding out more about Arbonne? You can email Khepera at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking a raw girl vacay to start work on another film. Back on Monday with videos on sprouting, raw pancakes (yum!), and other goodies. Stay tuned!
– XoXo Raw Girl