Hello love and welcome back to my space! Its Friday, so that means it’s time for another celebration! Friday is the day that I share and celebrate someone that inspires me, uplifts me and adds a little sunshine to my day! Today I am celebrating the creatress of Exotic Bites, Nelly! I have been following Nelly’s journey for a few years and I have loved watching her raise the bar and thrive at life. From her workouts to her messages of self love and self compassion, I can truly see that she is living her best life!
I had the pleasure of watching the rebirth of Nelly’s brand Exotic Bites! I love that Nelly had a vision for getting herself into the farmers market well before she ever knew what she would be selling there! She started of selling plant based milk and a friend of hers tasted her queso and encouraged her to start selling her queso at the farmers market! I am so excited to celebrate and share Nelly!
I had the pleasure of having the most lovely Soulversation with Nelly, for the full Soulversation click here.
Would you mind sharing your vegan journey with me?
My journey started as I was working in corporate America and I was fat, sick and nearly dead. I’ve always been into health and fitness. I had to remove myself from that situation because it was no longer serving me. I knew that I needed to take the time to focus on my health. My contract ended and I started my healing journey. I tried all of the diets, so this time I asked myself what I was going to do differently. I used to live in California so I’m very familiar with the vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.
I thought to myself I had never really tried veganism, so lets do it! I started researching, I got on Instagram and I hadn’t even watched any of the documentaries. Day one, I cut out meat, then day two I went and bought a poke bowl. I love fish and sushi so that was going to be tough to let go of. So I said, if I’m going to do it, I gotta do it all the way. Then that was it, I went cold turkey and believe that day I totally cut out dairy too. I went cold turkey buy everyones journey is different, the important thing is that you start.
I wasn’t much of a cook but I got my ass in the kitchen and I figured it out. I committed to getting in the kitchen everyday. I bought two Intsapots, I just started playing with things. I removed the dairy and removed the meat and I had an abundance to play with.
What is something that you wish you knew before going vegan?
I wish I would have known I’d gain LIFE. I didn’t know I would feel this good. I feel light and I don’t have depression. I feel internally better.
Did you notice any emotional/mental/spiritual shifts when you stopped eating animals and animal products?
Yes, I used to be very angry and irritable and 75 pounds overweight. I became more compassionate and I just saw people in a different light. I like to tell people that it’s a total lifestyle change. We are here to serve people! We are here to give people a gift! It’s not about the things that we acquire, it’s about sharing our gifts.
Are there any foods that you avoid?
I avoid faux meats, I don’t eat a lot of bread.
What is your favorite food?
I cannot live without garlic.
How did you get started with Exotic Bites?
I was a Baker in Chicago, I had my own catering company that was called Exotic Bites. I had my cookie bars in restaurants. When I started making this queso in Chicago, I wanted people to know that there are healthy dairy free options available. When I moved from Chicago to Dallas, I knew that I wanted to get into the farmers market! I didn’t know what I would be doing there but I wanted to get in there. So I started selling plant based milks.
My friend came over on New Years and I was making taquitos. She tasted my queso and and asked why I wasn’t selling it at the market. She encouraged me to start so I did!
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting your business?
I wish that I was vegan before because I feel like I could have done so much more. I just wish that I knew more back then. Now is the prime time to be taking care of your health and our immune systems.
Who inspires you?
I inspire myself because in order to inspire others, I have to be inspired. I have to know that I am a goddess. I’m here to plant seeds of love. I’m also doing this for my child knowing that he will do it for someone else. I’m inspired by the change that has taken place within me and that I’m able to give the gift to share with others.
What are some simple things that bring you joy?
Nature, shopping for spices. My new thing is that I have been growing micro greens! This is my life, I’m excited about growing life! I’m working on healing people on a cellular level so that they are getting those vital nutrients. Every product that I have, I want you to be able to get those vital nutrients.
What music are you listening to?
I’m listening to Indian instrumentals and Caribbean music. And the song Paramore, Ain’t It fun.
What are some of your favorite self care practices?
Gaia, meditation, cooking, setting intentions, creating new recipes and working out.
What are your best practices for getting through challenging times?
Remembering that nothing is unattainable. I try to remember that I’m where I need to be and whatever I don’t have is right around the corner. Meditating, if I can’t solve a problem, I’ll just sit on it. Walking in Nature.
What is something you are grateful for?
I’m so grateful for this platform! So many people support me! I am so grateful that I learned about veganism, its a gift.
What gives you hope for the future?
I believe we’re in a time where we are cognitive about what is going on around us, we know that there’s change happening. This was planned out long before we were ever conceived. We have to be uncomfortable to be comfortable. I believe that we’re in a good space, we’re in a place that we need to be aware of healing. We know that we have to heal internally, we know that the revolution starts in the kitchen! We have to all take ownership of whatever we have, we we should no longer rely on corporate entities to nourish our bodies. There’s really no barriers but the ones that we hold in our heads. So I’m very hopeful and mindful!
For the full Soulversation, click HERE
I hope you enjoyed this celebration of Nelly as much as I did! Be sure her out, her sauces sound amazing! Thank you so much for stopping by and until next time, stay fabulous!