By Emma Purvey

From the outside it looks like a glamorous life but the work behind the scenes is non stop. And the primary focus of that work is our instrument and maintaining it. We have to always be ready. Finding the right balance and consistency is what it’s all about and becoming a vegan gave me that. I can confidently say it’s the best choice I ever made. What you eat affects your mood as well as your skin, hair and body.

So it’s a joy to share my story and the impact this choice had on me, both physically and mentally. As a Model my skin is expected to stay flawless and eating a plant based diet gives me that, along with a more lean body.

My journey as a vegan began at 14 years old, side note: my first campaign was at age 7 for Tesco school Uniform, when my only objective was being slim and cutting out fatty red meat. This slowly evolved into cutting out poultry and the biggest change in my body happened when I cut out dairy. While living, and modeling with the Michele Pommier agency, in Miami Beach I made the choice to cut out cheese. I’d already erased milk from my diet earlier in my teens. The impact it had on my skin and health was life changing. My skin was more even toned and glowed and my body completely leaned out effortlessly with a little help from exercise.

Fish was the last thing to go as I was a lover of sushi (which is not healthy at all) and I have to say those trips to Nobu at The Shore Club were just as enjoyable as a vegan. Most good chefs will accommodate you and fine-tune the dishes as needed. Personally I don’t believe in “diets”, because to see the results on the outside the focus has to be on the inside consistently. Living a healthy lifestyle erases any need to ever diet. If this is something you’ve been thinking about here’s my advice. Eat fresh and organic, avoid anything packaged and watch out for sugar (they even add it into salads at wholefoods so read the ingredients), and avoid eating late at night (this one was a challenge for me at first).image1

Start slow and let yourself feel and see the benefits, it’s a journey so enjoy the process. I guarantee your body will thank you. Socially you adapt and I’ve found my friends want to eat more healthy if they don’t already and the love of my life insists we only go to vegan restaurants. You’ll be amazed at how people who care about you respond and respect your choice. As we become more educated and aware and focus on prevention in our health this lifestyle is becoming more and more popular.I live in NYC where there are a few high end vegan restaurants and lots of on the go vegan options. I have to say when I travel I always find vegan options, most cities have hidden vegan gems. My favorites in NYC are Blossom and Candle 79.

The question I’m asked most is where do I get my protein from? Well plant based protein is actually better for the body and it’s abundant in my diet, from quinoa to my protein smoothie to kidney beans to pumpkin seeds to name just a few. There are a lot more options then you think to get your protein fix. My hair has grown more since becoming a vegan and hair is made up of protein so that speaks volumes…literally. Wink to the camera.

Evolving into this lifestyle has also had an enormous impact on my mindset. Our body, mind and emotional health are all interconnected. As I became more aware of what I was putting in my body, I noticed a life changing shift in my mental and emotional health. I fell in love with myself more everyday as I became more connected to my body and therefore my mind and my self worth. This obviously has a tremendous impact on anyone however as a Model who is judged daily by her looks it boosted my level of self confidence. I felt more grounded and was able to own my beauty and embrace my uniqueness. I also felt more balanced and consistently happy. The connection you feel to your body and the way I look at my body on the inside and the love I show it, is simply reflected on the outside.

I am still fine tuning and learning,, like anything as you learn and evolve you elevate to the next level. To see the results is so fulfilling it gives you the discipline needed. Yes it takes work but so does anything worth having in life and our body/health is our greatest investment.