by Anna Corson
Story courtesy of Cuisine Noir
If there is one thing Tracye McQuirter, author of “By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat,” wants you to know it’s that healthy vegan and vegetarian food is delicious and nutritious and choosing this type of diet does not mean stomaching bland food for the rest of your life.
As McQuirter likes to put it “If you can make a dead bird taste good imagine what you can do with plant-based foods. It’s all about learning to use seasonings.”
A perfect example of this logic is her BBQ recipe for grilled veggie skewers braised with vegan BBQ sauce, which can be found on page 131 of her book.
Although growing up in Washington, D.C. in a relatively health conscious household, McQuirter didn’t become interested in the relationship between food and health until her sophomore year at Amherst College.
Dick Gregory, a human rights activist, who visited the college and gave a lecture about what McQuirter calls “the plague of Black America”, spawned her love affair with food and health.
Having already gained 20 lbs during her freshman year, Gregory’s lecture, which delved into the obesity epidemic plaguing African-Americans, fell heavily upon McQuirter’s open ears.
Gregory traced the path of a hamburger from the cow, through the slaughter house, into the meat processing plant and to the dinner table, explaining how meat and dairy were not only making people heavier and unhealthy but also destroying the planet due to being completely unsustainable.
After the lecture, McQuirter needed a little more information to convince her that a plant based diet with no meat and little to no dairy was not just a dietary choice but a necessary decision she had to make in order to keep the planet intact and most importantly to keep herself healthy.
McQuirter spent the summer devouring any information she could get her hands on pertaining to vegetarianism and veganism. By the end of the summer, McQuirter had officially converted to vegetarianism and by the end of her senior year at Amherst, became a full-fledged vegan.
In her new book, McQuirter explains the crisis African-American women are currently facing and how women can make lifestyle and dietary changes in order to remain healthy, happy, and quite literally alive.
According to McQuirter, 50% of black women in the US are overweight and 80% of these women are clinically obese. Obesity inevitably leads to heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and more.
McQuirter says, “We are in a health crisis and Black women need to be targeted. This is completely unacceptable.”
Her book is essentially a comprehensive, all-inclusive guide for African-American women who want to become healthier through eating a plant-based diet and provides all the information necessary to begin changing how you eat, think, and cook.
With soul food being one of her favorites, McQuirter has incorporated many recipes devoted to creating vegan soul food and she tells you where to shop, how to cook it, and how to make a plant-based diet affordable.
So, if you’re looking to make some lifestyle and diet changes or if you’re already there and want to learn more, look no further. Tracye McQuirter and her book, “By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat,” will have you looking good, eating well, and enjoying life as healthily as possible!
For more information about McQuirter, her book and recipes, visit www.byanygreensnecessary.com.
McQuirter is also the co-founder of the site www.blackvegetarians.org, which explores the environmental, ethical, and health impact of our food choices.