Last night I was watching movies with Hubby when he hit pause. We do this often... like 'put a pin in that' so we don't forget to do stuff or revisit things later. Anyway, this particular interruption was to remind me that I needed to call Chrisette because he had just seen her on somebody's red carpet looking 'good as hell'. So yeah, I caught up with her today! Homegirls' 'feeling so good' and has taken this whole year to be very introspective- mind, body and soul.
I became very interested in the raw food movement so I went out and purchased an Angel Juicer. I fell in love with juicing and feeling really clean and started off by juicing the first 60 days of the year. Not only did I lose 17 pounds in those 60 days, but I lost a lot of emotional weight too. It was a great mix for me.
After that, I went vegetarian and started writing a bunch of recipes to keep myself interested because I have ADD and get bored, fast. There are a ton of farmers markets where I live so it’s perfect… I’m always so excited to try new things- I even had purple basil one weekend!
So about three months into vegetarianism, I was feeling so long, not necessarily lean, but just taller. I remember I was looking through my closet and I saw my tap shoes and my brother was like, ‘yo Chris, why don’t you dance anymore?’ and I was like, ‘you know man, you’re right I gotta get back to that’. So I went to my favorite dance school in New York, Peri Dance, and also went to Broadway Dance Center and started taking tap and ballet again and modern dance... everything! I began to really just sweat like mad. I’d take two or three classes a day if I could. And that really helped me detox for real. For some reason, working out sucks for me [Laughter]. I think that I get angry! I get upset and I think that stress contributes to weight gain, because my body would just be like, ‘I am not going to lose weight. I don’t care what you do! I hate this place!’ I mean, I had a beautiful trainer and she was working so hard with me… we were running back and forth for two hours, 5 days a week, and I just couldn’t understand… I was like, ‘why is my body not budging?’ But the combination of dancing and vegetarianism really got things moving for me.
Midway into that, I did a 21 day detox because I really wanted to just shed everything… emotionally, spiritually. I began praying and meditating and being really close and paying attention to myself. I was still taking trips and I was still performing. I went to Anguilla and 4 cities in the states during that time and I can remember my makeup artist standing on the side of the stage in Anguilla, with like saltine crackers saying, ’you are so gonna faint, it’s 100 degrees outside you’re gonna die!’ But I was like, ‘no I’m doing this, I’m doing this for myself.’
Anyway, it was a great detox. I actually hate calling it a detox because it sounds so boring. I kept it really simple. I’d just go to the store and buy all my favorite fruits and veggies, throw them in the juicer and see what feels best. For me it was spinach. I'd wake up everyday and juice, eat watermelon, apples or other juicy fruits, and have hot tea. I’m telling you, I felt so clean it was ridiculous. What was most exciting for me was that my spirit just felt so much better. I started going to a new church, Hill Song NYC, which I adore. It’s funny because I have a lot of tattoos, well not a lot, but a few, and when I’d see other parishioners of the church with tattoos, I was like, wow, I could just tell it was a different place. Hill Song has definitely contributed to me feeling better.
At the end of the day, after that detox, I decided to take cheese and eggs out of the equation… even fish… and go vegan! And the bizarre thing is that around that same time, PETA came to me and asked me to pose nude for one of their campaigns. And I just happened to be vegan! Isn’t that weird how things happen?… it’s all the matrix. [Laughter]
So here I am now, vegan. And my voice just got 4 notes higher to the point where my mom is like, ‘who is singing on this track?!’. I was at my mom’s the other day, looking in the mirror, and she’s like, ‘you’re totally disappearing’ and my dad was like, ‘can you please have some chicken?’, And I said, ‘absolutely not!’ Not because I don’t like chicken. And by the way I do read the books like Animal Factory and I watch the documentaries, so I do understand, but that wasn’t the reason why I did it, I did it because it felt good. And I ended up losing 30 pounds.
My hair was braided up that whole time. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken your hair out of braids and then combed it out…. I was like, holy f’ing moly! I couldn’t believe the growth. So I sent my stylist all the pictures of my big afro and of course I couldn’t wait until my salon visit. My stylist Keith Campbell was so excited and wanted to dye it and shave it and I told him he could do whatever he wanted as long as he didn’t take anything off the top. I showed him all the pics I’d taken in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels as well as pics of Grace Jones' and Angie Stone's cuts. By the way, there were all these Black girls Nikki, with all this glorious natural hair and I didn’t expect that! The last time I was in London I didn’t see that. Things are changing. There were products… even in Brussels! Even though I was there looking for Audrey Hepburn’s house, I had to go to the hair braiding party of town to see where we was at! It was so refreshing and amazing to see. While there, I was talking to some of the Congolese women that I met, and we didn’t speak the same language so it was a little hard, but, I was asking about the bleaching cream and she said, ‘oh you don’t need bleaching cream, you’re already beautiful’. Already beautiful? I told her, ‘you’re beautiful, I love your skin’, and she said, ‘oh no, its better to be light skin’. I was so shocked. I didn’t expect that because everyone I met had darker skin and I was looking at all these beautiful people and they were looking at me… so it was kinda weird. And that’s thousands of miles away from here, so the struggle is everywhere.
Anyway, I saw the Grace Jones cut, the Angie Stone cut, and came home and shared it with Keith, and he did the American version. I call this cut, the box cut, ‘the rich hipster’. Also, check out Keith’s new book, Dare to Be Beautiful, it was just released yesterday.
I’m putting out new music for this Audrey Hepburn audio visual presentation beginning in November. So every weekend, we’ll release a track. What’s so hilarious is that I was going to all of these countries to find out about Audrey and don’t you know with my ADD self , I’ve found out stuff about myself! I’ve met people from everywhere! The tour guide in Brussels taught me about the African Slave Trade and how we were traded from Africa to the Dutch land as a pit-stop on our way to America. I was like, maybe this was really for me to see myself. Anyway, the release date for the entire presentation is on December 8th, which is my birthday.
My album Bettter will be out next spring. I’m super excited about that and I’m sure you guys are going to love it!
Also, I’m working on a book for PETA called Fat Vegan because the beautiful skinny vegans are very nice but I’m not one of them. Fat Vegan is a cook book I'm working on dedicated to dolls who wanna experience an easy, quick, and delicious vegan meal every once in a while. I offer you a sneak peak at my most FAVORITE recipe!
-Turn on your oven to about 350 degrees
-Measure with your heart, the following ingredients:
- Jalepeno (Be careful honey! Take the seeds out if you're a lightweight! I certainly am.)
- Any color tomatoes
- Red Onion