NAME: India Camiel
OCCUPATION: Live Food Lifestyle Coach, Special Nutritionalist, Gourmet Living Foods Chef
LOCATION: Los Angeles CA
WEBSITE: Back 2 Live Foods
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN VEGETARIAN? AND WHAT INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY?
I’ve been a vegetarian for going on 4 years now. If I had to classify myself, I’d say I practice a living vegan lifestyle. My journey into living vegan foods began when I was 24, I was diagnosed with what doctors called a “Chocolate Cyst.” It was the size of a grapefruit and was covering my left ovary.
The surgeon didn’t know if he could save my ovary. He did however, and after surgery and recovery, I was placed on birth control. I never had experienced taking birth control until this time in my life. However, the doctors said repressing my menstrual cycle would prevent the cyst from returning.
What doctors neglected to tell me was what caused the cyst in the first place. After doing a little research and completing the Olive Oil Cleanse, I began to look into vegetarianism. I experimented not eating animal products and was impressed with the results. I’ve alsways been sensitive to processing protein because of my compromised digestive system. So, giving up eating meat was easy. It was eating foods that contained animal products or animal-based preservatives, such as yellow dye that proved more difficult. Letting go of cakes, cookies and various sugar cereals like Captain Crunch proved even more difficult.
Once I felt the difference, however, I knew there was something more to living a vegan lifestyle. Before becoming a vegetarian, my menstrual cycle was difficult. I was always bloated. I experienced clots, lethargy and cramps on my cycle. Also before giving up eating all animal products, I suffered from migraines. However, nearly a month after changing my consumption patterns, I didn’t experience hardly any of the above symptoms. I was elated, and continued to investigate how eating related to my health. Eventually, I became a vegan living foodist. I’ve practiced this for 3+ years now. And it’s made remarkable differences in my health. It’s literally turned the age clock backward. With living foods I’m able to tap into an eternal fountain of youth.
HAS VEGETARIAN ENHANCED YOUR HEALTH? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Becoming a vegetarian has more than enhanced my health. I lost excess waste that I was carrying from the animal products that were stored in my body. I feel that more than anything not eating cooked foods or animal products has lent to enhanced physical abilities as well as my spiritual vibration. I am more aware of who I am and what my purpose is while I’m here on planet earth. I don’t feel this sort of connection could have been made while I was not a vegetarian. I don’t have the same health issues I had when I was in my 20’s. They have all disappeared.
IN RETROSPECT, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MEAT? OR DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON AMERICA’S MEAT INDUSTRY?
This question comes up quite often. I used to be softer in answering this question. But now that I know the truth about animal products I feel it’s important that I share nakedly. Simply put, eating meat is eating death. Period.
Nothing on planet earth, with the exception of scavengers and some confused human beings eat dead animals. Some may argue “Well, hunters in Africa eat meat …” This is true, and they definitely don’t eat an abundance of it. Usually it’s a special occasion that a group of hunters will go out and hunt for a single animal, which will later be utilized in its entirety to feed and cloth every member of the tribe or family. As far as the meat industry in America, well this is not the case. Most of the meat in America, especially if its not organic or free range, is full of toxins, preservatives, chemicals and hormones that have been scientifically proven to cause damaging health side effects. I know many people are transitioning out of eating animal products, which is excellent.
The simple truth is that we as human beings cannot and were never meant to process meat. Period. It does not digest and the left over waste products cause the temple, your body, to begin to malfunction. Over a period of time, meat that has not been processed by the body and has been stored in the intestine, begin to rot in the gut, causing an array of health problems, such as leaky gut syndrome and intestinal blockages. Since all dis-ease begins with the digestion system, we must begin to ask ourselves what are we eating that is causing all these problems. But most of us don’t want to even acknowledge that we are what we eat.
WAS THERE A COMMUNITY OF BLACK WOMEN THAT HELPED YOU ALONG YOUR MEATLESS JOURNEY? AND IF NOT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO CHANGE THIS FOR OTHERS?
Though not in a structured way, there was a small community of black women who have assisted me on my journey as a vegan. These women were walking, talking examples for me to follow. One woman is the naturalpath I went to go see at the onset of my journey into vegetarianism. The other woman owned a vegan restaurant and definitely having her around was helpful in knowing I had options.
Unfortunately, there is not a cohesive unit of black women promoting vegetarianism. It’s difficult to get together for various reasons. However, I am networking with other black women who are involved in the wholistic community. We are involved in community activism. We are also planning retreats and workshops together.
Collectiveness is what we need right now in the black community and because the planet itself is shifting and coming back to balance with the feminine, women are the ushers. We are the healers. We are the womb. And as black women, we are the beginning as well. So we must continue to band together to heal our communities and planet Earth.
Are you a vegan, vegetarian, or pescatarian? Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be featured in the Black Vegetarian Series. Check back every Tuesday and Friday for a new profile! Click to read past profiles here.
So inspiring thank you! I write a new blog for women of color on health wellbeing and spirituality called boxofchocolateforthesoul.com/, it’ will have more and more helpful advice and how to to maintain and create optimal glowing health. What a blessing. I’m a yoga teacher/massage therapist and have practiced meditaiton for many years and want to share this info with the community.
Namaste (the Divine within me honors the Divine within you)