Fashion is more than dressing up in the latest trends. It primarily centers around one's' own self image. Self image can also reflect a person's overall health. I find it interesting that one only considers the importance of overall health when you age or when a health crisis occurs. I can relate to being that person. I've experienced my own personal health issues at a very young age. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good burger every now and again, but as an adult, I am more conscious of not only what I put in my body, but also how much. As a result of choosing a healthier lifestyle, I am able to express my comfort with my own self image through fashion. In furthering my curiosity on health, I got to interview Sixx Williams of The Ratchet Vegan. She talks about her vegan journey, her biz, and views on women's health today.
- Why the Ratchet Vegan?
I started calling it Ratchet Vegan years ago because when I became vegan I noticed there weren’t a lot of people who acted like me or looked like me who were vegan. It was always relegated to hippies and stoners. And I was like oh the singer Mya is vegan and Wocka Flocka is vegan. The name was just to make it relatable so it won’t be so spooky and weird and out of the way. And I am a huge fan of trap music and it let me incorporate that.
- Dedicated vegan or you just eat vegan food?
I guess I’m not a full fledged vegan because political reasons, I still go hunting, I still wear leather and I still go fishing. I don’t believe animals are more important than I am. I did it for health reasons and not political.
- What started your vegan journey?
Someone that is really important to me that was doing a 30 day fast and it was completely raw. We only ate veggies, fruits, & smoothies. He was already like mostly vegetarian vegan but sometimes he ate fish. But I at the time, I had gone from eating pork, and beef, steak, and raw meat and transitioning into this fast. Then when the fast stopped and I tried to eat chicken afterwards it made me sick. During the fast I was learning so much about our food and how it was made, how it was grown, and raised, and just how it wasn’t good for me. The stuff we put in our bodies really does affect us.
- How did your family/friends respond to your new lifestyle?
They make fun of me on a regular basis still. I mean they are still pretty supportive. But I know I need to bring a lunchbox with me to family events! And I know they are going to make fun of me but I also know they are going to ask me 8 million questions about stuff. They give me a hard time anyway just because. We are Black Carribean. So me not eating pork is already an issue!
- Any health problems that made you go vegan?
I use to be bigger but I lost weight. I was 250 and like 5’2. It wasn’t like outrageous or a sudden health crisis. I think I was tired all the time, my skin was getting bad. I will say I don’t have allergy issues anymore at all and I haven’t had a cold in over a year. It’s like my body can take care of itself. I don’t need medication for anything. I don’t get headaches or menstrual cramps. My period is lighter and I sleep regular. My mother has said I didn’t use to sleep through the night when I was a child. I get full eight hours of sleep now. My skin is also brighter.
- Favorite vegan products and places to buy them?
I try to make sure that everything I use is affordable because I post most of what I am cooking on to my Instagram. And because I am not rich yet. I do go to Kroger. I eat vegetables and I don’t eat a lot of stuff out of a box or bag, PERIOD. I wasn’t really doing that before. My favorite vegan food is diet cheese because it tastes like and melts like cheese. Vegan mayonnaise is delicious! People always seem to forget that bread is not vegan! The milk and eggs in bread though. Rudy’s Bakery makes the best vegan bread ever so I can still enjoy sandwiches. They have potato bread which saved my life. There are always chickpeas at my house because of flavoring. There’s a bunch of different flavors of amazing vegan protein shakes, which is about time if I don’t feel like cooking. I have to cook a lot because as a vegan you have to cook because there is not a lot of stuff that you can just throw together.
- Advice on someone starting a new health journey?
Be easy with yourself. And take the time to read and question everybody because everyone has their own agenda. Just know what works best for you and your body. Don’t ever let some say “Oh you don’t need carbs.” NO! Yes you do need carbs. You can’t not eat carbs because that’s not a thing. Don’t look into fad diets. And just don’t even like the word “diet” because you are changing your lifestyle. Do things that can last and cutting back on things. Never go full Kanye. Do things one at a time and be nice to yourself.
- What is your opinion about health and women of today?
I feel that we are to dependent on medical systems. I think that we forget that our grandparents or great grandparents living till 90 years old having never stepped into a doctor’s office. When your grandmother says drink this tea you will feel better, she is not making that up. I think that a lot of time what we put into our bodies affects it. The type of oil you put in your car effects how your car runs. The food that you put into your body effects how your body runs, and your systems work and your brains works, how your thinking, how your sleeping. Whats coming out of your body. A lot times we think that just because we are eating “healthy” we forget that, “What did what I am eating, eat?.” You can still be healthy and eat meat, but my thing is that I don’t know what I am eating, ate. We as women some of us want to take care of others and we quick to run and get some Tylenol when the baby is sick instead of finding out why the baby doesn’t feel well. Veganism to me is, I don’t feel good. Why don’t I feel good and let’s fix it. Let’s figure out “WHY” first so I don’t feel this way again.
- Goals you want to accomplish personally and for your business?
Moving out of selling personal food and moving more into catering. That is my goal or the Ratchet Vegan is to get a constant catering flow. For events, cookouts, birthday parties for people. Vegans and vegetarians are becoming more of a popular lifestyle and having options like these can be important. Sometimes you might not know what to make and want to have something more interesting than a salad such as making some tofu or other couple of dishes. That is important to me business-wise right now along with more pop-up shops.
- How did you turn health journey into a business?
I do this alone, but I have always been a pretty good cook. And people would ask me questions on how did you make that or how did you make this and I got sick of them asking me that. I eventually started posting short videos on my own personal Instagram. But how I did it people would be like you need to turn this into something. It came to be like if I didn’t post for like a week or two people would be like. “Hey when are you going to do recipes again or when is your next video?” And people would be disappointed when they didn’t see it. I saw that this could be a thing and it did which is kinda cool. With calling it The Ratchet Vegan a couple of years ago it became this new way of figuring out food.
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