with Tabitha Brown
Tabitha Brown likes a good Whole Foods TTLA (tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, and avocado) sandwich. Just watch her vibrant Facebook Live video that went viral and prompted Whole Foods to pick her up as an ambassador. Tabitha is also an actress, a mom, and a fashion designer. MFA talked with Tabitha about delicious vegan food, the power of social media, and her infectious energy.
Did you think your video would go viral?
I had no idea that it would go viral at all. It was never my plan, like literally that morning I was driving for Uber, and I stopped by Whole Foods. And I was like: “Oh, Whole Foods be having vegan options. I’m gonna go over there and get me some breakfast.” I went in and saw the TTLA on the menu. Add a pickle on there, and I’m going to try it out. I ate the first half, and I was like: “Oh my God, this is so good. I have to tell my people about it.” Did the video. Posted it. Didn’t think about it. By morning it was at 50,000 views. Then 100,000.
Within three or four days Whole Foods reached out, and honey, the rest is pretty much history.
How has eating vegan impacted your life?
First of all, I feel better. I was sick for a year. I had no energy. I was going back and forth to the doctor, and they couldn’t tell me what was wrong with me. I was in a really dark place. After starting a 30-day challenge to become vegan, I noticed instantly that I was starting to feel better. I’m normally a happy person, and I was just like, “Oh, I got my light back!” That’s one of the things people always say, “You have a light!”
But what I love the most is that it’s contagious. If I walk into the room and I’ve got light, I came to bring light, and I try to give that to everybody else.
What type of meals do you enjoy making for your family?
I love to cook. One of my favorites is making taco meat out of walnuts or pecans and sundried tomatoes with some mushrooms and onions. I blend it all up with cilantro. Nobody was harmed in the process.
Any tips or advice for other plant-based parents?
Do not force your child. Just have fun with it. You could say: “Look what Mommy’s having. Try this.” Make it sound fun, and make it look good. But please also make it good. Let’s be honest now. If you are not the best cook, this might not work for you.
Later you can gently tell them what it is and why you’re doing it.
What gives you hope for the future?
My honesty. I feel like if I’m honest with people, they will be honest with me. And I always say, if you want somebody’s heart, honey, you get it through their stomach. It’s like soul food, right? If you get the stomach, you get their heart, and if you get their heart, you can get their mind.
Lead with love. Love conquers all. I think the world would be a better place if we all just focused on love in everything we do.