Vegan enthusiast and author, Maisha Wynn, will demonstrate two original vegan recipes using Plantiful, our new dairy-free, probiotic drink at the 39th annual Taste of Chicago. The native-born Chicagoan battled obesity at a young age. It was the unfortunate and untimely death of her mother that served as a wake-up call for her to live a healthier life. She has since become a vegan and believes in the power of probiotics. Her lifestyle brand, LiveToWynn, serves as a platform to inspire, ignite, and initiate change in others.
How do you plan to inspire and ignite the lives of your audience at the Taste of Chicago?
I have a lot of energy, a lot of passion, and I have music that will inspire everyone on Friday. We’re going to play Chaka Khan, “I’m every woman” and Beyoncé’s “Shining.” I have two yummy, vegan recipes that infuse ingredients that most people wouldn’t normally use. In the pineapple blueberry bliss smoothie, I use blueberries because they are a great source of antioxidants, and pineapple because I think of a beautiful beach in Mexico when I eat it. I also have prepared banana rum pancakes. Everybody loves pancakes, whether you’re two years old or 80 years old. I added a little bit of rum to the pancakes because it reminds me of Jamaica, one of my favorite destinations. People like to think that vegans eat like rabbits, like carrots or celery, but I want to show them that being a vegan is more than just eating vegetables, which is why I created these recipes.
How have you incorporated probiotics in your lifestyle?
I come from an obese family. Over the years, I’ve come to be a human yo-yo with my weight. I’ve learned to incorporate probiotics into my diet because my tummy was a major problem area for me. Now that I have incorporated probiotics into my diet, I am “wynning” from the inside out because my tummy looks better than ever. I now very regularly use the restroom.
Who inspires you?
My beloved mother is my inspiration. She died from stomach cancer eight years ago. I am forever grateful to her because she created a rich and vibrant legacy for me. She gave up her life for me to live my very best. When I attended Spelman College, she used her 401k to be able to move down there with me and I don’t think a lot of parents would do that for their children. She is the biggest motivator for me to live my best life. I have learned that my best life begins by my state of mind followed by what’s on my plate.
How do you practice self-care?
I am a huge believer of meditation. I begin my day with a moment of gratitude and then focus on my breath. I also am very mindful of what I eat on a daily basis. Some of my favorite foods that I like to incorporate in my diet are broccoli, asparagus, pineapple, strawberries, and apples. I have also learned to listen to my body. If my body tells me that it needs rest, then I will listen and take a nap. We have to listen to our bodies. I’m also a huge believer in being active. I love walking and becoming one with nature, I practice pilates because it strengthens my core, and when I really want to splurge, I will go to the spa.
What are some tips you may have for those who struggle with their diet?
My number one tip is to never beat yourself up because we are oftentimes our own worse critic. We need to learn to be more compassionate to our minds. There is such power in personal affirmation. When you find yourself comparing yourself to others on Instagram and social media tell yourself, “I am beautiful. I am happy. I am a ray of light.” Repeat that to yourself every morning and you will become that mantra.
It’s not about competing with others; it’s about celebrating who you are. I also believe in writing down your goals every day, realistic goals, because seeing is believing. An example might be, instead of drinking eight glasses of orange juice every day, you set a goal to replace drinking juice with four glasses of water every day. Another example is instead of going vegan in one fell swoop, you start out by making Monday, “meatless Monday.” It’s so important to pace yourself. Slow and steady “wynns” the race! And when you accomplish your goals, celebrate them because every victory is a “wynn”.
Don’t miss Maisha Wynn’s Taste of Chicago Plantiful cooking demonstration on Friday, July 11 at 11:30am in Grant Park. Can’t make it to the Taste? Recreate Maisha’s vegan recipes on your own: Banana Rum Pancakes & Pineapple Blueberry Bliss.
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