Black Health Matters with Gigi The Vegan

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!



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 Vegan Life Coach Academy | Gigi’s Wellness Cafe | Connect with Gigi on Instagram|Connect with Gigi Facebook | Gigi’s Website


Grab the valuable gift we have for you HERE.

Have a question you’d like us to answer, or feedback you’d like to give us (we love hearing from you!)? Leave us a voice (or written) message HERE.

Interested in receiving a free coaching session to air on an upcoming episode? Apply HERE.

From Tragedy to Enlightenment with Bodybuilder Champion & Vegan Geoff Palmer


Some stories are so powerful and extraordinary they must be shared. And today’s podcast guest is no exception… Vegan Geoff Palmer takes us on his journey from tragedy to enlightenment.

vegan bodybuider

A veteran vegan of 35 years, Geoff Palmer, is natural bodybuilding and physique masters champion. He’s the owner of Clean Machine, plant-based fitness nutrition, vegan patent holder, and NEXTY winner for best supplement of the year in 2016 and 2018.

Geoff is also an author, national lecturer, and was selected number 40 of the top 100 most influential vegans by plant-based news.

Geoff created the first 100% vegan bodybuilding competition in the world. And on top of that, his company, Clean Machine, donates 10% of sales every quarter to organizations that promote a plant based lifestyle. 

His accomplishments are impressive. But it is the incredible story of his journey from tragedy to enlightenment that will leave listeners inspired. 

Geoff-Palmer vegan fitnessIncluding, how & why Geoff became a vegan 35 years ago. The life events and tremendous amount of suffering that sent him looking for change.  And how from that experience, Geoff gave away his possessions, traveled to 48 countries, and the journey that led him to where he is today. 

While his story is sure to inspire, it is Geoff and my discussion about the importance of being open to the world around you, and how to release patterns in your life that hold you back that will empower you to take action in your life.

We also discuss benefits of supplements, including why they are beneficial to our diets. As well as,  the part that permaculture, biodynamic farming, and veganic farming play in it.

This is a conversation not to be missed. 

Be sure to stick around for the light-hearted, and fun, Sprint Round at the end of the episode where I ask Geoff five questions and Geoff answers with whatever comes to mind. 

Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better then when you know better, do better.” Geoff Palmer helps people both know better and then know how to do better. 


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[email protected]


Grab the valuable gift we have for you HERE.

Ep #4: The Secret for Transforming Your Body & Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle you Love

transforming with vegan lifestyle

Are you tired of all the claims out there promising you transformation as you seek help on your path to adopting a healthy vegan lifestyle? (I know I am!)

The word “transformation” is often thrown around by personal trainers making promises about helping people achieve the lean, fit body they’ve always wanted. What these trainers are really talking about however, is change. 

We see the before and after images of the clients, following a strict diet and insane workout regiment, having made significant changes to their bodies.

What we DON’T see are images 6 months, a year, 5 years later, when 80+% of those people have gained all the weight back and then some. Their body changed, and then it changed back.

Transformation only happens when the ROOT issue as to WHY we’re not eating, exercising, and living in the ways that will bring us health and happiness is addressed.

Hence, this week’s Vegan Life Coach Podcast episode!

Get ready to learn the key to TRUE TRANSFORMATION in this empowering episode, which will help you on your path to a healthy, happy, and fulfilling vegan lifestyle you love. 

We keep it real and raw, and dig deep while leaving plenty of room for you to laugh and play with us on this and every episode.

We want you to be intimately involved in ways that will help you absorb the vegan-friendly transformational tools we teach and apply them to your life

Head on over to our Podcast page, where you can leave us a voice message with the questions you want answered (all things vegan, fitness, and mindset related), grab the awesome gift we have for you, AND even apply to be coached, live, on an upcoming episode!

Sending lots of love and high vibes your way.💚


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  • Learn more about the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program we reference HERE


Access a rough transcript of the episode HERE.

Ep #3: Hogs & Kisses Farm Animal Sanctuary

farm animal sanctuary

Learn the fascinating story about how Hogs & Kisses Farm Sanctuary founder Anne Molina went from living as an omnivore, to not only embracing a fully vegan lifestyle, but also making the decision to dedicate her life to caring for rescued farm animals!

The relationships we, as humans, form with animals is far from limited to pets! Anne’s inspirational journey will not only help you on your path to a healthy, fit vegan lifestyle, but it will also fill your heart with love and joy.

Ever heard of a “micro farm animal sanctuary”?

Anne fills us in on the growing trend for people to create their own, small sanctuaries on their own land, where they can care for a smaller number of rescued animals. Cows, pigs and goats need plenty of land to roam, so many people are opening up micro sanctuaries with smaller animals, like rabbits and chickens, who can live happily on a smaller plot of land.

One theme for this episode is, “Live in possibility,” which is how we (I’m on the board for Hogs and Kisses Farm Sanctuary) are helping finding a permanent home for the 11 pigs we talk about on the show (what a story they have)… And that home could turn out to be Hogs & Kisses!

Make sure to also visit the Podcast web page to pick up our gift to you, send us a voice message with your questions, and apply to be coached on the show!

Sending lots of love and high vibes your way.💚


Subscribe: Apple Podcast | Stitcher | Spotify |  YouTube


  • Want to help the 11 piggies we talked about on the show? Contact me directly: [email protected]
  • Learn more about the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program we reference HERE 
  •  Send us a voice message with your questions, apply to be coached live on the show, and pick up the gift we have waiting for you HERE


Access a rough transcript of the episode HERE.

Ep #2: Vegan Meal Planning is Out… Try Meal MAPPING

Vegan Meal Planning vs Meal Mapping

Do you find that vegan meal planning and prepping can seem daunting and exhausting?

In this episode we show you a way to make vegan easy with the concept of what we call “meal mapping.”

Personally, I find traditional meal planning tedious, time-consuming, and unsustainable, and I don’t even have human kids to take into consideration (my fur baby is easy to meal prep for ;)).

My co-host, Stephanie has a family with three children however, and she has mastered a system we’ve labeled, “meal mapping.” She breaks this system down, step by step on this episode. You’ll finish listening with a new sense of empowerment around your ability to consistently make healthy meals, without spending hours and hours researching, grocery shopping, or cooking.

Wherever you are on your path to a healthy vegan lifestyle, we’ve got your back with this practical and applicable episode!

Make sure to also visit the Podcast web page to pick up our gift to you!

Sending lots of love and high vibes your way!💚


Subscribe: Apple Podcast | Stitcher | Spotify |  YouTube


  • How to shift your method of vegan meal planning to what we call, “meal mapping,” which is much more flexible, takes less time, is less overwhelming, and makes vegan easy!


  • Web page to pick up our gift to you, to send us a voice message with your questions, and to apply to be coached live on the show
  • Sencha Shot: Japanese Green Tea (Ella’s fave)
  • Support the show without spending an extra dime by shopping from our Amazon link HERE (bookmark the page and know every time you shop, you are helping us continue to bring you valuable content without ads)!


Access a rough transcript of the episode HERE.

Ep #1: Rewriting Our Stories: Creating a Healthy & Empowered Vegan Life You Love

Celebrating Having Another Platform to Help People all Over the World Achieve a Healthy Vegan Lifestyle Through Empowerment!


Subscribe: Apple Podcast| Stitcher | Spotify |  YouTube


  • What we’re “bat shit passionate about”
  • How to identify the “stories” you believe to be true about who you are and what you’re capable of
  • How to take back your power, and rewrite your stories to create a lifestyle that brings you health, fulfillment, abundance, and freedom

We did it!!!🎉

I was shocked to get an email from Apple Podcast, within a week of applying, that our brand new show, The Vegan Life Coach Podcast was APPROVED!

I had been told to expect to wait 30 days, so to be honest, I thought I had plenty of time to thoroughly plan for the big launch.

That being said, Episode 1 has been released and I am SUPER excited to share it with you!

My co-host, Stephanie, and I wanted this first episode to be an opportunity for you to not only hear our unique life stories, but also to help you explore yours.

Stephanie and I share our “going vegan” experiences, as well as the personal challenges with food, body image, shame, and the lack of self-love we’ve each overcome in different ways.

We discuss the power you have to rewrite the stories that aren’t serving you, so that you can pave the way to an empowered vegan lifestyle you love.

We keep it real and raw, and dig deep while leaving plenty of room for you to laugh and play with us on this and every episode.

We want you to be intimately involved in ways that will help you absorb the tools we teach and apply them to your life, so we encourage you to…

Learn more about the Plant-Empowered Coaching Program HERE

Join our Empowered Vegan Life tribe HERE on Facebook to connect with us and our incredible community of like-minded people eager to support each other as we work toward becoming the best versions of ourselves.

Sign up HERE to receive my Top 5 Latest Badass Discoveries, Insights, and Explorations (Books, Podcasts, Food, Workouts, Gadgets, & More) Delivered to Your Inbox Each Month in “The Way Wednesday” Newsletter.

Sending lots of love and healthy energy your way.💚



Access a rough transcript of the episode HERE.

Top 2 Reasons Yogis are Going Vegan in 2017

yogis going vegan

It’s easy to leave our yoga practice behind on the mat, but for a truly integrative approach to health and spirituality, more and more yogis are going vegan.

Because of the belief in ahimsa, non-violence, and karma, the idea that all of our thoughts and actions have a reaction in the universe, many people of the Hindu faith have been choosing a vegetarian lifestyle for thousands of years. Today yogis are taking up this ancient practice to benefit their health and enact compassion.

The health benefits of a plant based diet can’t be denied anymore. A diet low in cholesterol, which a vegan diet naturally is, and high in fiber can do wonders for your heart health, especially when combined with yoga. If you have a family history of heart disease, a vegan diet is something you should seriously consider. Yoga teaches us to honor our bodies and be mindful of how our choices affect us. Once you become deeply in tune with your body, you’ll realize how certain foods affect you. Do you feel sluggish after eating meat for lunch? Do you break out after eating cheese? These are some questions you should ask yourself to get in touch with how meat and dairy are affecting your body.

The other main reason so many yogis choose to become vegan is because of their ethics. Yoga instills in us a sense of stewardship of the world around us. In 2017, we need to make a serious commitment to the health of our planet. Of all of the ways that we damage the environment, livestock production is one of, if not the worst way. When 1 in 10 people don’t have access to clean drinking water, it’s a hard fact to swallow that livestock productions uses 1/3rd of Earth’s fresh water, while contributing to much of its pollution. And if you’re worried about deforestation, livestock production is one of the biggest contributing factors.

Yoga encourages us to recognize our connection to all living creatures. Once we take this message into our hearts, it’s hard to accept that you are inflicting pain on another creature for your own momentary satisfaction. And it isn’t just the animals that suffer in torturous conditions. In the US, workers in the meat industry face some of the most unsafe working conditions in the country.

One of the fundamental beliefs of yoga is that our mental, physical, and spiritual health are all connected. Through yoga, we try to care for all of these aspects at once. Don’t undo the progress you made on your mat once you open your refrigerator; take your practice of mindfulness into the kitchen instead. If being a vegan isn’t for you, that’s okay! You can still spend some time thinking about what you’re eating, whether it was sustainably sourced, and what it will do to your body. Regardless of what you decide, the best way to be a good yogi at the dinner table is to feel gratitude for whatever it is you have the privilege of eating.

How To Rid Your Life of Excuses and Take Your Power Back


Life happens and there are a million reasons (a.k.a excuses) we come up with to talk ourselves out of getting in our workout or preparing a healthy lunch to take to work…

Good news! There’s a simple tool that can help you take control of your excuses. A tool that empowers you to take action and do what’s necessary to reach all your goals in life. I call it, “Owning Your Schedule.”

In the following video I explain the concept of “owning your schedule” and how you can flip the switch and turn your excuses into empowerment! This is a tool my clients learn and practice as part of my VEGANS TASTE BETTER® 8-Week Plant Empowered Coaching Program.

For anyone wanting to make a lifestyle transformation, understanding and implementing the “Owning Your Schedule” tool sets the stage for lasting change.

To Recap…

Do you use any of these common excuses?

  • I don’t have time…
  • I can’t give up my favorite foods, what would I eat…
  • It’s too hard…
  • I crave cheese too much…
  • I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable when we go out to eat…

Check out how you can turn those common excuses into empowering statements!Client Owns Her Schedule and Becomes Empowered

  • I don’t have time…
    • I’m going to make time because I’m making my health my top priority.
  • I can’t give up my favorite foods, what would I eat…
    • I’m giving myself the opportunity to discover new foods that I’ve never tried before… How exciting!
  • It’s too hard…
    • I’m taking on this challenge because I’m strong and determined.
  • I crave cheese too much…
    • I’m so lucky that there are so many cheese alternatives to try!
  • I don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable when we go out to eat…
    • I’m happy to give others the opportunity to open their minds to eating in a way that could save their lives and help them feel good about making compassionate choices.

Now it’s your turn to put the “owning your schedule” tool to work like my client did during her time in the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program!


Let’s do this!

Fit Vegan Program Makes Going Vegan FUN!

It’s here… the VEGANS TASTE BETTER 8-Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life, designed to help people create a fun, fit vegan lifestyle that is practical, balanced, and FUN!

I Bet You’ll Agree With Me When I Say,

“I want it all! I want a strong, lean, healthy body. I want to enjoy the food I eat. I want preparing meals to be quick and easy. I want a great social life and wholesome relationships. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and cocktails when I go out with friends.  I want to love my workouts. I want to feel energized and empowered. I want to have a fit vegan lifestyle. I want to love my life!”

Here’s My Take..

We CAN have it all! A fun, fit vegan lifestyle does NOT involve counting calories or giving up the glass of wine you enjoy with dinner or cocktails with friends. Why? Because a “lifestyle” by definition is SUSTAINABLE! Who wants to count calories, count macros, or be fearful of a night out with your friends because you don’t want to “fall off” a diet you’re on? No way!

The Bottom Line…

You CAN have a strong, healthy, sexy body eating and exercising in a way that’s enjoyable and practical. You CAN gain lean muscle, get stronger (physically AND mentally), and have more energy than you’ve ever imagined on a plant-based diet. You CAN stay true to your values of compassion for animals and concern for the environment with a fit vegan lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed or deprived.

I’m living proof, as are my clients!

Here’s The Deal…Vegan Fitness Plant-Empowered Promo

After 22 years as a fit vegan, and 14 years as a vegan fitness expert, I’m psyched to be rolling out the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8 Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life coaching program to guide people with a structured, step-by-step process for making the transition to a healthy, fit vegan lifestyle that works for them. I introduced my 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program in 2016, and after having over 30 people complete the program, I decided to do a revamp to make it even MORE comprehensive, holistic, and FUN!

I Can’t Emphasize Enough…

Why more holistic? I can’t stress enough the importance of several key factors for successfully transitioning to a fun, fit vegan lifestyle

  1. Developing an empowered mindset
  2. Improving emotional health
  3. Focusing on adding healthy foods to your plate (as opposed to focusing on the foods you’re taking away)
  4. Finding balance in your life
  5. Making your own health and happiness top priority

My newly revamped vegan fitness lifestyle program emphasizes gaining not just knowledge, but also the tools you need for optimizing your mental and emotional well-being. Without mental and emotional health, all the knowledge in the world will not create a lasting fit vegan lifestyle transformation!

Is This You?

My coaching program is designed to help people who know that adopting a plant-based diet with the right exercise routine, if done right, is the way to go for a strong, healthy body (and compassionate way of life) BUT they don’t seem to have the all the tools they need to pull off the transformation on their own.

Why? Because of one, or a combination of several reasons. Can you relate?

  1. They lack knowledge of what a well-balanced, healthy vegan diet plan looks like.
  2. They are addicted to sugar, processed foods, and/or animal products.
  3. They fear losing muscle, strength, and other gains they’ve made in the gym on their previous dietary routine.
  4. They lack the knowledge of how to exercise in a way that’s in line with their goals AND is enjoyable.
  5. They lack the motivation/mindset to stay consistent with the changes they want to make to their habits long enough for it to become a lifestyle.

What Exactly Do You Need To Succeed?

In order to discover if my program is a good fit, I always ask potential clients the question, “What do you need to be able to get on the right track and STAY there so that your new habits become your new fit vegan lifestyle?”

What’s your answer? Is it one or more of the following?

  1. Education about what a well-balanced healthy vegan diet looks like and/or what sustainable fitness routine will help you achieve lasting results.
  2. Accountability/having others to answer to when you either fulfill or fall short of your commitments.
  3. Guidance and support to help you get on a plant-based nutrition and exercise plan that works for YOU so that it is sustainable.
  4. Gaining mindset tools that will facilitate their ability to overcome life challenges and feel in control of the decisions they make about what they put in their bodies and how they move through the world. (Becoming empowered!)

The Real Story…

I have to say that selfishly, I am LOVING guiding people through the 8 weeks of my VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ plant-empowered coaching program. Why? Because I’ve set the process up to be do-able and enjoyable. Seeing clients through such an empowering experience is priceless for both me and them.

Judy is one of the most recent “graduates” of this vegan fitness program, and here’s what she had to say…

I contacted Ella, the “sexy fit vegan” a while back because I just was not feeling well and was very dissatisfied with my diet and body. I have never been crazy about eating meat and just like Ella, I am a true animal lover. With compassion especially for dogs.

Ella was extremely sincere and patient with me and adapted very easily to my schedule. Basically she made herself very available for me as I needed to start her plant-empowered program. 
She never hesitated to share her knowledge, resources, and experiences with me. Her enthusiasm is contagious!
Ella gave me all the tools that I required to help me attain a fit, vegan lifestyle. As the program is nearing the end for me, I feel AMAZING and I am loving the lifestyle.
I have taken a new lease on life and feel energized, recharged and I can honestly say that this lifestyle works!
Thank you Ella for not pressuring me and for all of your encouragement, support and understanding of my own schedule. 
I give Ella my highest recommendation as a great accomplished coach to help anyone interested in a fit, vegan lifestyle that truly works. I am thrilled that I had the great fortune of finding her.
 As part of the program, we have an awesome secret Facebook group just for program members… Check out what Lilly said after just 3 weeks in the program. I do not allow people to weigh themselves during the program by the way (which is why Lilly is showing her loose pants instead of talking about pounds). Why? Because I require the focus to be on THE PROCESS of gaining the vegan fitness tools you need for a LIFETIME of health and happiness. Weight loss will simply be a side effect of learning those tools!vegan fitness program testimonial by Lilly
I’m thrilled to say I’ve got tons of success stories to share! Feel free to check out more HERE.

That’s Not All…

I’m offering FREE one-on-one consultations (what I like to call discovery sessions) for anyone who may be a good fit to work with me. I have a strict policy that I will only accept people into my program who are a good match and who I believe will finish the 8 weeks THRILLED with the success they’ve had and the confidence they’ve gained to continue with their newly created fun, fit vegan lifestyle. So, in order to make that determination, I speak with every potential client myself.

Let’s Do This!

If you think you may be a good fit for the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8 Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life coaching program, I’d love to speak with you! Simply apply for your free discovery session with me HERE today.

Looking forward to connecting with you!


Why We Went Vegan: Inspiring Documentary!

I was recently honored to be included in an inspiring new documentary featuring 31 (one for every day of January 2017) Miami locals telling their stories about why they went vegan!

Planted in Miami is a podcast I’ve been a guest on, that’s about conscious living in the Magic City (Miami) where they interview inspiring locals who are pushing the city forward through their actions.

The founders, Jeanette and Alex, are two of the most positive, energetic, generous, and mindful people I know. I’m so excited to present their series to you. 

You can see Jeanette and Alex’s intro, and my feature below. Check out the rest of the vegans featured on YouTube as well. Everyone has such different experiences leading them down the path of veganism. Each is motivating and inspiring in their own way. Check them out!

Listen to, connect with, and contact Planted in Miami!

Download on iTunes, Stitcher, and GooglePlay Music.


Email: [email protected]