From banging with Beats by Dre to jet-setting with your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, if you’re someone who wants to be in the know, then you’ve already got your eye on Karen Civil. This digital influencer doesn’t just report the trends, she creates them, and has been since her days at Hot 97 as FunkMaster Flex’s intern. But beyond the glitz, glamour and jealousy inducing wardrobe, there’s more to the proud Haitian beauty, philanthropist and author of ‘Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose.’ Civil recently embarked on a personal and challenging journey towards wellness when she decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle. And the new glow from the inside and out, hasn’t been lost on anyone. EBONY caught up with the boss lady herself to hear more about her #bodygoals and how she’s living life Civil.
EBONY: You already appeared to be very healthy, what made you decide to transition into a vegan lifestyle?
Karen Civil: I did it for personal reasons, I felt like I looked a bit unhealthy… and I was turning into an emotional eater. If I had good news, I had ice cream.. Bad news, I’d stuff my face with Pizza. I wanted to purge bad eating habits out of my system and transition into a healthier eating pattern.
EBONY: Most people find the transition from a meat based diet to vegetarianism or veganism extremely tough. How did you ween yourself off of meat and stick to it?
KC: The first week was the TOUGHEST for me, but as I continued to progress on, I started to think less about what I was missing out on, and focusing on new cooking receipes, restuarants and Vegan options I could try. It was a whole new world for me to try and I wanted to explore every chance I got.
EBONY: What physical and/or spiritual effects and changes have you noticed on your journey?
KC: Clearer skin, lost weight and I have more energy, the most important part.
EBONY: Were friends and family supportive? Did anyone join you?
KC: My friends were definitely supportive! I clung to my vegan friends for more support than anyone because they helped guide me and made the transition much easier. My family was a bit skeptical as they felt like I wasn’t getting enough protein in my vegan diet.
EBONY: You are very much on the social scene. How do you stick to your healthy eating goals while out at restaurants or events?
KC: I make sure I eat before I go anywhere just incase they don’t have a vegan friendly option.
EBONY: What’s your favorite healthy dish to eat or cook?
KC: I love Vegan tacos… SOOOO good! I invite friends over to have some and they can’t believe they aren’t eating real meat.
EBONY: What sweet treat do you miss eating the most? Do you allow cheat days?
KC: Yes I have cheat days. I love french fries, that is my weakness.
EBONY: Though you were always fly, your body’s transformation has been amazing! How have you upped your workout game?
KC: My boyfriend is a big part of that. He makes sure I stay on track with my workout routine and is a great gym partner. I go to Karpe Deem gym, where they offer an array of different workout routines, recipes, and they honestly make the gym feel like family.
EBONY: How do you stay fit while on vacation?
KC: I take yoga classes, do a mile run and of course take part in some kind of water sport.
EBONY: How do you feel about your body now versus before your lifestyle change?
KC: I see the difference in my face and body. I love it and I’m happy with the changes.
EBONY: I saw on your IG that you’re designing workout gear with Ethika, congrats! How did that come about and what can we expect from your designs? Is there an in store date?
KC: I’ve had a great relationship with the Ethika guys for some years now and with where I am in my life now, it only made sense to partner with them. The collection will consist of three different designs to make every girl feel comfortable. The line is set to hit shelves this summer and will be sold exclusively on Ethika.com.
EBONY: From business to body, you are definitely #lifegoals for many young girls and women. What advice do you have for anyone who needs help taking the first step in making a tough life change?
KC: Believe in yourself! Be your biggest cheerleader when taking that first step. No one loves you more than you (and God), so win for you!