Tabitha Brown is dishing out a heavy helping of wisdom in her first book, Feeding the Soul (Because It's My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom — which yes, also includes a handful of plant-based recipes.
While discussing her mental health, Brown says switching to a vegan diet helped restore not just her physical health, but her mental well-being too.
"I was having major anxiety and panic attacks and I was suffering from depression," she says. "And after going vegan and starting to feel better, it's like I stopped having panic attacks. I mean, I was having severe, manic panic attacks, like 50 a day sometimes, where I just couldn't breathe. That disappeared, and the depression just lifted. Light just overtook the darkness.
"My hope and my mission is always to simply share my life, so I share what I eat," she says. "I share my journey with the hopes that other people say, 'Oh, I'm kind of curious about that. She makes it look a little appealing. Let me try it.' I hope that people try [veganism] for their health, for the animals, for the planet. Even one meal a day changes how things are... it can help your body, it can help animals, it can help the environment. So my hope is always that I'm making a difference and that someone is willing to give it a try.
TABITHA BROWN: First and foremost, put yourself first in everything that you do. Because you got to fill your cup up first so that you can be important to others. And when you get back to yourself, you don't want to be empty. I'm Tabitha Brown, I'm most recently known for sharing my food recipes with people with inspiration. And then of course, one of my videos went viral. Lord, have mercy, changed my life eating a sandwich in my car.
It has led me on an amazing path to so many wonderful things. Life is full of so many surprises. Some of them are great surprises. And some of them are disturbing and sad. I got really sick. And I think that was the lowest point of my life. When you're sick and you don't know what's wrong with you, it really messes with your head. And for me it caused me to be very depressed.
I was having severe, many panic attacks, like 50 a day, sometimes where I just couldn't breathe. After going vegan, I started to feel better. I stopped having panic attacks. And the depression just lifted. Light overtook the darkness and it was like God reminded me of the old saying, you are what you eat. I don't usually talk about this because I never want people to feel like I'm judging them or making them feel bad about their choices.
But I thought about how animals are so depressed and they have so much anxiety because they're afraid, and they know they're going to die. I was eating the depression. And I was eating the anxiety. And when I stopped eating that, I started eating light and plants, things that don't have those emotions. My depression and my anxiety went away.
I hope that people try it for their health, for the animals, for the planet. Even one meal a day, your body feels good, your mind feels good as well. Mental health is so important. I think we all should have a daily regimen of something that we do for ourselves.
In the evening before bed, I always check in with myself. Are you carrying anything from the day into your sleep that did not serve you well? And if I haven't let it go, why? What is it that you need to do to release it? It is very therapeutic to have a conversation and check in with yourself and I do that very often. My mission is always to simply share my life. Now I have wrote a book and I'm a whole author, Feeding the Soul, Because it's my Business.
I hope that when people read the different stories and different things I've been through, it would make them look at their situation and say, OK, I know I must be going through this for a reason. All the things that I have went through in my life have taught me things would not always go as planned. It has taught me that I'm enough, just as I am. However old you may be, honey, you can still dream. You can do something with it. It ain't ever too late.