Whether we’ve been a full-fledged vegan for decades, plant-leaning for years thanks to our vegan college roommate, or newly on the plant-strong bandwagon, we all arrive here for different reasons. Some of us eat vegan for our health, others try a vegan diet for our waistlines, and still others go plant-based to lessen our impact on the environment. Even more of us are eating plant-based or vegan for animal welfare, or a combination of factors. (For more on what motivates people to make a shift, check out the reasons nutritionists changed their diets to go plant-based.

One of the biggest thrills is the inspiration we get from watching our favorite celebrities go vegan and tell how much they love this approach. Right now we’re inspired by rapper and reality TV star, Safaree Samuels, of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and his wife and fellow musician and Love & Hip Hop star, Erica Mena Samuels.

“She made me stronger, find you a real [one, it] makes life better. We went vegan and it feels great‼️” Sarfaree captioned an Instagram post of the two looking strong and happy in workout clothes beside a pool in mid-June.

Erica Mena Samuels went vegan back in 2018, after watching What the Health

“I saw What the Health and prior to seeing What The Health, I was in LA in the midst of finding myself, I just became so into myself that the gym every day sometimes twice a day just became this happy place for me,” the Bronx native explains of why she initially went vegan back in a 2018 interview with DJ Smallz.

The documentary she references, What the Health, is a 2017 film from executive producer Joaquin Phoenix and directors Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, which takes a hard look at the meat, eggs, and dairy industry and promotes a vegan diet to prevent chronic disease. It was so powerful it led her to go vegan, at least temporarily.

“Being in the gym and getting so [much] more into my health and how to build muscle, all the logistics of taking care of my body started to come into play," she said. "And then What The Health hit, and people were talking about it and I popped it in and watched it. In LA it’s easy to make that transition, doing the six months was easy.” (Speaking of which, singing star Lizzo just told her fans it's "easy" being vegan, just days after she wowed us with her Juneteenth spread from Black-owned vegan restaurants in the LA area. 

The documentary inspired her to go completely vegan the next day and she stuck with it for six months. “I love to cook, what made the transition fun for me was [the idea of] ‘now I’m going to learn how to make all these vegan dishes!’ I made it fun! And I think that’s why I was able to last that long. I really wish I would have [gone] longer. But started moving around, I hit the road, that’s what made my relapse happen. But if you’re able to meal prep, stuff like that helps you stay away from all the bad stuff,” she continued.


Later in the interview, she says that her son King from a previous marriage is vegetarian and helped motivate her to stick to a vegan diet during her six-month experiment, along with the support of her best friend who did the vegan challenge with her.

She is asked if she thinks she’ll ever go vegan again  “When I get pregnant,” Mena Samuels says with a smile.

Clearly, given the caption on her now husband’s recent social media post, she made true on that promise—and even took her partner along for this crazy, wonderful, plant-based ride.

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