At just 19 years old, Haile Thomas is already an international speaker, wellness activist, vegan advocate, and the author of Living Lively: 80 Plant-Based Recipes to Activate Your Power and Feed Your Potential. Needless to say, we are thrilled that she is joining us on Our Hen House this week. Haile is the founder and CEO of HAPPY (Healthy, Active, Positive, Purposeful, Youth), a non-profit organization—founded when she was only 12 years old—that seeks to redefine youth empowerment through education and offers affordable peer-to-peer plant-based nutritional education. The youngest person to graduate as a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in the United States, Haile spreads her message of empowerment and happiness from within everyday on social media with the tagline “Let’s Grow Together.”
On today’s interview, Haile shares her story of how she became passionate about holistic wellness and how the foods we eat deeply affect us in so many ways. She talks about her journey thus far (including the frightening event that motivated her to research the benefits of living plant-based), and the inspiration behind HAPPY and its work to nurture and guide the next generation towards becoming happy, informed, and active world citizens. We also discuss what we mean, and what we should mean, when we talk about “self-care,” how to find ways of taking care of yourself that actually work for YOU, and ways to help you avoid succumbing when you feel overwhelmed.
In this week’s “Our Hen House Supports Vegan Businesses” segment, we’re shouting out Misha’s Kind Foods and Lily’s Vegan Pantry, both of which are open for online ordering and shipping. Misha’s is a Black-owned plant-based company that makes artisan non-dairy cheeses and cheese spreads. Lily’s Vegan Pantry is a family owned and operated business located in the heart of Chinatown, New York City. Their goal is to offer a wide range of healthy, delicious and enjoyable vegan alternatives. Formerly known as May Wah Market, it was one of Jasmin and Mariann’s favorite shopping haunts when they lived in NYC!
“Veganism has been the catalyst for my spiritual growth and finding what really aligns with me. I think that is what veganism encourages and supports, really stepping into your own unique path, listening to your body, and finding what works for you.“
– Haile Thomas
This Week in Our Hen House:
- The three keys to the HAPPY philosophy and why Haile feels they are central to her purpose
- Why Haile chose to be vegan and how that connects to the HAPPY philosophy
- How Haile sees the connection between self-actualization and authenticity and boycotting the exploitation of animals
- What she sees as the barriers to veganism
- The HAPPY Academy, its objectives, and how and why it will be expanding in 2021
- How COVID-19 has impacted events and programs in 2020
- Haile’s book, Living Lively, and its message of nourishing from within
- What it’s like to be a young person with a huge social media following and how she feels about being labeled an “influencer”
- Favorite recipes from the book
- What gives her hope during these challenging times
Connect with Haile Thomas:
- Living Lively: 80 Plant-Based Recipies to Activate Your Power and Feed Your Potential by Haile Thomas
- The HAPPY Organization website
- Haile Thomas’ website
- Haile Thomas on LinkedIn
- The HAPPY Organization on Instagram
- Haile Thomas on Instagram
Connect with Our Hen House:
This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.
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Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.
The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.