When you go through something that helps you get healthier, you want to help other people do it too. Once I found out how to make healthier food choices, the first thing I wanted to do was share what I was learning. That’s how my journey as a plant-based advocate began. For the past few years, I’ve been exploring new veggies, grains and proteins.  I want to help others add more plant-based foods to their diet, so they can see the benefit of eating this way. That's why I started Black Girls Eat.

A few years ago, I had serious joint pain, fatigue, and inflammation. I went to a rheumatologist who helped me by suggesting that I take a look at what I was eating. I was not a particularly terrible eater back then but I had zero understanding of what whole foods plant-based nutrition was. When I ditched meat and dairy, lowered my sugar and processed food intake, and started to cook more plant-based meals, my body immediately responded. Gone were my joint pain and fatigue, and at the same time, I felt much better, more energetic, and like a new person.

Ever since, I've been an advocate for moving toward a more plant-based lifestyle, and as a mom, I try to help my daughter eat more plant-based too, especially when she comes home from school and wants a quick snack. When she was a baby, I made her food from scratch. Last year, I looked at her in the rearview mirror of the car and she was eating a huge bag of spicy corn chips. The backseat revealed that we’d been to donut shops and fast-food restaurants at least twice that week. I had to turn everything around, I realized. I now make healthier plant-based snacks at home like roasted chickpeas and tostadas that are easy to make and delicious.

That's what my blog, Black Girls Eat is all about: Encouraging people to put more plant-based foods like vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and nuts and seeds on their plates. Now I am joining The Beet as a contributing editor and will share videos that feature my best tips from my kitchen in the Bronx. I want to help other busy moms learn how to remix their plates and go from plant-curious to plant-focused while taking everyone in the family along for the very delicious ride.

As a working wife, mom, and entrepreneur, I know what it means to feel like a selection of healthy, fresh plant-based foods are not always readily available or convenient, and when time is short and everyone is eager to sit down to a meal it is tempting to take the easiest route to put dinner on the table. But making even the smallest effort to eat healthier is going to pay off, big time.

I am excited about sharing my remixed plant-based recipes and strategies for making healthier food choices every day. Follow my progress and let me know how it's going for you.

The Beet: We are so excited to have you on board! How did you first decide to focus on plant-based nutrition?

LA Dunn: After a visit with a rheumatologist, I discovered there was a lot of inflammation in my body. When I started researching what triggered inflammation, I was introduced to whole foods plant-based nutrition as an alternative.

The Beet: What were some of your initial concerns about going plant-based?

LA Dunn:  Like most people who enter a brand-new world, I wasn't sure how it was all going to work out. I wondered if I would be able to find what I needed in the grocery store and if I would still be able to make meals that were really yummy.

The Beet: What was your biggest challenge?

LA Dunn: When I was transitioning to a plant-focused diet, my biggest challenge was snacks. My snack game was terrible. I was in love with anything cheesy or sugary. 

The Beet: Who helped you on the journey? Did someone inspire you?

LA Dunn: There are so many in the vegan/vegetarian community who inspired me back then and continue to do so now. I really enjoyed taking classes with the Center for Nutrition Studies and of course, I love what The Beet is doing.

 The Beet: What are your 3 best tips to go from Plant-Curious to Plant-Focused?

LA Dunn: Try these three tips today: 

  1. Choose one meal today and ramp it up the veggies, grains and a healthy protein like black beans or avocado.
  2. Organize your fridge and put all of the plant-forward items on one side so that you get in the habit to look there first!
  3. Try a new plant-based recipe like the ones I found in Fix it With Food by Chef Michael Symon.

The Beet: Love the term "Plant-focused." What’s your mantra?

LA Dunn: I don't have many rules when it comes to cooking but if I had one it would be if it's not burned or salty... then you probably did okay.


I am excited about sharing my remixed plant-based recipes and strategies for making healthier food choices every day. Follow my progress and let me know how it's going for you.


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