We are so excited for our listeners to hear this episode!
We have a really fantastic guest today who has a fascinating story about how she healed her body with food as her medicine. She didn’t stop with her own health though… She started a health movement in Kansas City, focusing on the Black community in particular. Her name is Annette Jones, but she’s better known as Gigi The Vegan.
Gigi is leading the way for black women entrepreneurs and vegan businesses in the Kansas City Area. Stephanie came to know Gigi through her line of kale chips. (They are SO delicious!)
This week is Gigi’s birthday, and she is opening Gigi’s Vegan Cafe where she will not only be cooking up delicious and health-promoting meals, but also growing her own produce and providing a sanctuary for healing through meditation and other types of practices. Gigi is a beautiful soul and she is not afraid to tell her own story which includes her journey to becoming a vegan and healing her body from cancer.
In this episode, Gigi really opens up the conversation concerning systemic racism that has led to inadequate education and healthcare for the Black population in our country, in turn this has created a generational pattern that Gigi is fully committed to changing in her community.
In August of 2015, Gigi was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her doctor told her that she would need surgery but Gigi felt that she needed to find an alternative. At that time, she had a lot of stress in her life and wasn’t conscious of how she was eating, and wasn’t truly taking care of herself. That is when she decided to educate herself on cancer and how to make her body stronger for surgery.
But what happened was remarkable! After educating herself, Gigi decided to go the holistic route with an all raw, vegan lifestyle. She learned to combine different herbs together to heal her body, and now, Gigi has been given a clean bill of health!
It was more than just her diet Gigi changed. She also changed her mental health and stress levels. “It pretty much changed my entire life and my lifestyle. And since then, I decided to help others. I went to receive training through Parkinson’s Health Institute, as well as Dr. Campbell. And here I am. It wasn’t an easy journey for me, but it was the journey that I needed to take to make myself whole again. I’m getting another opportunity to do things over again with my children and grandchildren, inspiring them to change and live their best lives.”
At Vegan Life Coach Academy we place a high level of importance on mindset work. Mindset is important to Gigi as well, and meditation is now a vital part of her life. She had to reconnect with self and with God.
In a world where we are so busy taking care of other people, we often forget about ourselves. Gigi said she always tells people when they first start on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle, that the first thing they need to do is, “spend time with yourself. Get quiet.”
“Fill yourself up with so much love for yourself, and then we can distribute that to others.” And we couldn’t agree more. Gigi helps people become centered in quiet, and embody a state of peace.
Gigi attributes the success of her business to the mind, body, spirit connection.
“It doesn’t feel like a job. It just feels like something that I am supposed to do and I never get tired of doing it. I feel honored to be able to assist people, and their lifestyle goals and changes that they want to make in their life, and inspire others.”
Gigi’s desire to make a difference in her community is visible in everything she does . Gigi believes not only that black lives matter, but also that black health matters. She believes that African American health is in a state of emergency.
African Americans are leading the numbers when it comes to COVID deaths, high blood pressure and diabetes. Forty percent of African American men are hypertensive, and forty four percent for African American women. Thirty-seven percent of African American men, and fifty six percent of African American women struggle with obesity.
“So, for me, I think that there has to be a focus on black health care because black health care matters.” Gigi says. “I’m just here as a vessel to do the work, the information that I have, I just want to be able to give that to my community.”
And that is exactly what Gigi is doing with the opening of her cafe, Gigi’s Vegan & Wellness Cafe, where they grow much of their own food, as well as her line of Kale Chips, and her 21 Day Detox program.
It was an honor and pleasure to have Gigi on our show. Her story is so very inspiring. We want to wish Gigi the Happiest of Birthdays and massive success for her restaurant!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Vegan Life Coach Academy | Gigi’s Wellness Cafe | Connect with Gigi on Instagram|Connect with Gigi Facebook | Gigi’s Website
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