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08/16/2016

The Land of The Peculiar: Eating Plant-Based For LIFE!

Did you know you are peculiar?

Eating vegan or plant-based is all about LIFE! Your life, your family's life, the life of our brothers and sisters around the globe, the life of animals, and indeed the life of the planet as a whole. By joining the vegan food revolution you are having a profound impact all around. I want to congratulate you and thank you for making that commitment to yourself.

Eating vegan also puts you among the peculiar.

flowergirlMost of my life I have felt peculiar. This journey into the vegan and raw food lifestyle is just the one of my latest steps into peculiarity. My birth itself was peculiar in the late 50s. Inter-racial marriages were still illegal in many states, although not in Illinois were I grew up. My family looks like the Rainbow coalition as a result of many interracial marriages and transracial adoptions. My life continued to be peculiar as I grew up.

My religious upbringing was basically nonexistent. I spent years trying to make sense of what I intuitively felt about the presence of the divine spirit in my life. My early education was unconventional. I attended a small mixed race private school in Hyde Park, a funky and peculiar neighborhood in Chicago. I had a little afro hairstyle in the early 60s, well before they were popular.

I was basically shy and being peculiar only added to my feelings of being outside the norm. I've often hidden some of the peculiar parts of me because I thought they made it harder for me to fit in, to find my place. Instead, I've discovered the opposite is true.

Being outside the mainstream has given me a different perspective.

It has led me to questions what others simply accept as truth. It has sent me searching deeper to uncover what is often hidden from view. My peculiarity allowed me to be open to the road less traveled— and I have chosen that road many times.

I home schooled my oldest daughter for years because I didn't want her natural inquisitiveness and love of learning dampened. I sent both girls to alternative schools where their own peculiarness could flourish.

I explored the world of spirituality as I worked for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church for a while on a quest to find my connection to the divine. I embraced the nature girl in me, grew my locs and got a tattoo. Left the UU church. Moved from Ann Arbor to Atlanta. And now I am here in the Motherland, having moved to northern Tanzania.

Through all of that I've learned the power of the peculiar.

When I let the peculiar show, I find folks out there who are like me. People who like me, not in spite of but, because of my peculiarity. I form stronger connections to others who also travel a different path. Each time I fully embrace and celebrate an aspect of myself that I have hidden because of it's peculiarity — I grow. I feel more confident. I feel more at ease. I feel stronger. I feel happier.

IMG_7068And here I am today. Vegan, embracing my Afrikan heritage and consciousness, committed to helping others on this journey into being peculiar. I've learned how to stand strong in my peculiarity while still staying connected to my family and long-time friends. Some don't understand. Some aren't comfortable with my continued travels on this road. Many have no interest in this way of life. A few are interested and have made some steps towards that less traveled road. And all of that's ok with me.

From a very young age I have been drawn to creating spaces where true learning and growth can occur. Where people can reach deep down inside themselves and discover the gifts and strengths, and power within. Where they can bring forth these riches to become the person they were meant to be. To fulfill their Ori or their "head" as it is understood in the  Yoruba tradition.

This spirit was embodied in the day care home I ran for 12 years. It was there as a part of the lifespan religious education program I directed  for 15 years in the UU church. It was in the two-year long research project I did on ministry for youth and young adults of color for the UU Association.

This spirit is at the core of what I have been doing here at Food For The Soul.

AmaNeedAHelpingHandMy vision is to be a helping hand for people who are aiming for greatness. People who are ready to embrace their peculiarity so they can make a real difference in their own lives, the lives of their family, and the wider world.

At FFTS you will find what you need to make your journey on the less traveled road of the plant-based lifestyle less rocky. You'll find a road map of what to expect, the inspiration you need to keep on moving ahead, or a safe rest stop where you can refuel and pause before the next phase of your journey. My mission is to be your sister/Mama/teacher/guide on your road less traveled to becoming Plant-Based For Life!

You have something important to offer the world.

You have a special gift, a talent, a role to play in changing the world for the better. We need you! Your family needs you! We need you to be strong, to be healthy, to be clear-headed and connected to your divine purpose.

I want to help you to uncover your power and strength, to renew your commitment and be true to your peculiar self. I want to walk with you into your future of being Plant-Based For Life.

If you're ready to step fully into who you are meant to be and to blast away the roadblocks that have been getting in the way of your success — then this is for you!

That's why right now I am opening up a few slots in my coaching program for folks who are ready to take charge of their lives. To find out more about how my coaching program can help you, schedule a 50-minute in-depth Plant-Based For Life Coaching Session at no cost! During this powerful, one-on-one coaching session, we'll work together to...

=> Create a crystal clear vision for the ideal life you'll be living in your new, slim, energetic, & healthy body.

=> Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your efforts and keeping you struggling to stick to eating plant-based.

=> Leave this session renewed, inspired, and ready to finally say goodbye to the starting and stopping - once and for all.

Claim your special "Plant-Based For Life" coaching session today! Simply fill out the form below to reserve your spot. I have limited space so don't wait. The first 5 people to join my coaching program will be in. Once these spots are full I won't be opening them up again until later this year.

Embracing and committing to a plant-based or vegan lifestyle is a big change for most people. Unfortunately, big changes are rarely easy. Especially when everyone around you is headed in the opposite direction. You take steps towards embracing a vegan lifestyle and even do pretty well for a while, then blamo! Something knocks you off stride. Next thing you know you are going the wrong way again. You struggle to get back on the path.

I don't want that to happen to you any longer! Claim your spot for your Plant-Based For Life coaching session at no cost now and find out how this coaching program can make the world of difference for you! Let's celebrate being peculiar together!

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

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