Hello love and welcome to my space! It’s Friday, so it’s time for another celebration. Shamelessly Fabulous Friday was born out of my desire to share and celebrate folks that inspire me, uplift me and add a little sunshine to my day in the hopes that they do the same for you!
Today I’m sharing and celebrating Malinda creatress of Kindred Vegan Souls! I have been following Malinda for quite some time! The thing that stands out about Malinda’s Instagram page is her beautiful food photography and drool-worthy veganized favorites!
Malinda also showcases her favorite vegan and cruelty free beauty products, which is super helpful for folks that are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. I also love that Malinda uses her platform to talk about social justice issues and gives clear ideas on how to be helpful.
I asked Malinda about her favorite quote and she shared this beautiful and motivating poem with me:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The sliver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worse
That you must not quit.
I asked Malinda why this poem was so impactful and she shared:
“I’ve had it since high school. It carried me through college law school and lawyer life. It reminds me that showing up is huge in determining the outcome!”
I sat down for a Soulversation with Malinda and here’s what she had to say.
I like to start with obligatory but not to be rushed over, how are you?
2020 has been a lot. My job has been really busy, covid has not slowed us down at all. Also, things on Instagram have been growing significantly and with that, starting to work with more brands and focusing more on my branding, so it’s been busy there as well. Overall, I really enjoy working from home. I find myself more centered in that sense. I’m able to get up and do some yoga. I’m cooking more, which I love to do!
Can you share your vegan journey with us?
I went vegan is 2017 after watching What The Health. I feel like there are lots of vegans out there because of that documentary. Overall, I was thinking about my future, I was gaining weight, I didn’t have control over my diet. Also, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes run in my family, whether its genetic or diet related, diet has a big impact on that. I was focused on my health and What the Health made it very clear I can’t keep eating meat and dairy.
As you know, I am vegan for the animals. Not very long into my vegan journey, I read the book Eating Animals and that really opened my eyes to what we’re doing to animals in factory farms. Not only is eating meat and dairy bad for us physically, its terrible for the animals, it’s terrible for the environment. I always say I stayed vegan for the animals. If it was just for me, selfishly, I probably wouldn’t have stayed vegan. I always tell people to think about your why. I don’t want animals to suffer because I find them tasty.
What were the things that helped you along your vegan journey?
I watched a ton of YouTube. I watched What the Health and then 2 days later, I told my husband I’m going vegan. And that was it. I would say the big things that helped were YouTube Videos to see what vegans eat. I also spent a lot of time walking around grocery stores, especially Whole Foods, just checking out whats out there. Another big help is doing a meal prep service. You can do things like Green Chef or Purple Carrot and it helped me learn how to cook vegan. There are tons and tons of cook\books and recipes out there that make it pretty easy.
What I usually tell people is to replace the meat with a vegan substitute. You may not want to use those substitutes forever but they are great for transitioning. In the end, you make a decision and then you act on it.
Did you notice any spiritual/emotional changes when you stopped eating animals and the products that come from animals?
I don’t know if it was a spiritual thing, it was more of an emotional aspect of it because you just don’t realize how much damage you’re doing by eating animal products. Its more like guilt. You phrased the question like it may be a positive thing but more than anything, I just felt guilt and pain. Thinking about how much pain I caused animals through my eating habits, unknowingly. Honestly, just being willfully ignorant because when you make the connection then it makes a ton of sense. Like, eating a pile of chicken wings and asking how many chickens had to die for this?
What is one of your favorite quick meals?
Its always some iteration of rice and beans. Simmer some canned beans in a sauce, like a BBQ sauce, add in other veggies and throw it over rice and that’s good to go. The interesting thing is, I didn’t really like beans until I went vegan. Now I eat them all the time and I love them. Soups and pastas are great too!
Did you have any problems transitioning your skin care when you went vegan?
I did not transition my beauty products immediately. I started with the food and then I started on the beauty and clothing aspect of it. There are so many products out there, it’s not that hard. You may want to look at Ulta, Sephora and Whole Foods!
What are some of your favorite vegan cruelty free product/brand?
My favorite brand is Pacifica Beauty because they have really good ingredients and they are really affordable. They also have very trendy products which I love. My favorite is their coconut probiotic moisturizer. That’s my holy grail product. I give it as gifts, It’s just awesome. They also have makeup and perfume as well.
Another brand is Truly Beauty. You have to buy it online but they have really cool products. They have a butt mask for if you get pimples on your butt. It can smooth it our for the beach.
Another one is a Korean Beauty Brand called Good Molecules. They have really great products. I use their toner, I have one of their cleansers. Those three brands are my favorite right now!
One thing I will say about vegan cruelty free products is that I had a bias that they wouldn’t be as effective!
How are you staying grounded these days?
I absolutely love doing yoga. It’s one of the few times that I focus on me, my body, the moment. I also use the calm app, they have short meditations and meditation programs which I find very helpful.
Who inspires you?
A lot of people inspire me. I would say because of her passing recently, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She’s one of the reasons that I wanted to become a lawyer in the first place. She’s so inspirational. She speaks up for what she believes in and didn’t really care what other people thought. Shes just so strong, through her whole life. Being a woman and attorney in her generation was incredibly difficult. You had to fight for jobs. You had to fight for everything. It puts things in perspective for me when I’m overwhelmed or there’s too much going on, I just sit back and try to appreciate what I have.
What is a book that has had the greatest impact on your life?
Eating Animals Jonathan had a huge impact. I don’t know if I would have made the full connection between eating animals and the ethical reasons not to eat animals without that book. It was really enlightening.
What is one song that makes you want to move your body?
What are some simple things that bring you joy?
Going for walks with my husband. Doing yoga. I love looking at trees, the moon, just observing nature. Getting my nails done. Self Care is huge for me, just doing my skincare routine in the morning and at night, I find it really relaxing.
Speaking of self care, what are some of your favorite self care practices?
I touched on most of them already, skin care, yoga, journaling and therapy, I know it doesn’t get talked about enough but I do have a therapist and therapy is huge. I really think everyone should have a therapist.
What are your best practices for getting through challenging times?
I am not perfect by any means but having a routine is huge! Making sure I wash up and get dressed when I get out of bed. Rather than laying in bed on Instagram or going straight to my desk to start work. Doing yoga and having coffee before I go into my work day is helpful. Exercise! I grew up playing sports, into college, but i didn’t realize the effect of consistent exercise on your mood, your self esteem, your body image. Exercise is so important.
What are you grateful right now?
So many things. I’m coming up on almost a year of buying our home so I’m really grateful to be able to do that. On Instagram, I really appreciate all of the brands that I have been able to work with. I always dreamed of getting paid to take pretty pictures of food, and create recipes so I’m really grateful for that right now. At my job, I’m really grateful that I’m on vacation this week!
What gives you hope for the future?
It gives me hope to see how many people have gone out and voted! It’s 10 times more than it has been in prior years and that’s just in early voting. I hope that we can come back to a more centered perspective.
Where can we find you?
I had too much fun sharing and celebrating Malinda today! Definitely