DARILYN TYRESE WILLIAMS
POSTED AUG. 22ND, 2017 | BY MICHAELA P. SHELTON
Darilyn Williams, 33, is a plus sized and plant passionate Vegan Advocate from Washington, D.C. Last week she sat down with CSUITEMUSIC for an interview about her lifestyle and advocacy:
FIRST AND FOREMOST, WHAT IS VEGANISM FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO IDEA?
Veganism is basically eating nothing from an animal or from a secretion of an animal. Instead you eat fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, rice, beans, pastas, potatoes, soy ice cream, etc.
SEEMS LIKE YOUR LIFE HAS DRASTICALLY CHANGED SINCE YOU WENT VEGAN 5 YEARS AGO. HOW SO?
My skin has improved, my sleep, I just feel better overall and I can do more. My mom used to tell me I seemed irritable sometimes and sometimes I seemed okay. It was hormones in the food I was eating that had my mood up and down.
I KNOW THERE’S A LOT OF REASONS YOU WENT VEGAN, BUT WHO INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY THE MOST?
I am a health advocate, because I saw my mom die from being Diabetic (which led to her being a double amputee), having High Cholesterol and Dementia. I was her primary caregiver and her life showed me hey, you have to make changes.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE PEOPLE JUDGE YOU FOR BEING A PLUS SIZED VEGAN ADVOCATE?
Yes definitely. A lot of people have a thought of what Vegan is and they say no you're not a Vegan. There's a misconception that all Vegans are white and rich. If you see someone overweight don't assume they are home eating bon bons and hot cheetos. Since people judge me I just come 10 times better. When I open my mouth I'm educated and I have the data to back it up. But regardless I'm excited to say Hey no matter what size you are you can always improve your health and that's not always where you'll be. There is a huge stigma attached to being plus sized, but if Martin Luther King Jr. waited to be MLK there would be no movement. You can't wait to be the "right size" before you start a movement.
WHAT MAKES YOU QUALIFIED TO DISCUSS VEGANISM?
Growing up my grandma always had fruits and vegetables, but I would go home to my mom who didn't like to cook so we would have things like chips and dip, nachos from 711 and Stouffers lasagna. I think I'm a good advocate, because I've seen both sides.
WHAT NEW PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
I am currently working on beauty and skin care products that will be handmade by me. I want to sell these products, because what you put on your skin is important, but what you put in your body reflects how your skin looks. You can't eat Doritos everyday and expect your skin to be glowing. I want to incorporate natural products with everything I sell and I want to include cards about keeping skin nice with fruits and veggies as well. I'm also working on some t-shirts and accessories, but I don't want to give that away!
HOW CAN SOMEONE TRANSITION INTO BEING VEGAN?
Someone considering going Vegan should start with a raw vegan diet which is only eating fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds plus nothing heated above 100 plus degrees. I did it for lent in order to detox.
WHAT IF SOMEONE IS BROKE , IS IT STILL POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO GO VEGAN? WHAT’S THE MOST COST EFFECTIVE WAY?
There are definitely ways to be Vegan on a budget that are cost effective. If you look at the food in the grocery store the meat is the most expensive. I have been on EBT and still able to maintain this lifestyle. One of my services includes grocery store tours to show people good Vegan options and help them in the transition.
SO WE HEARD THAT VEGAN FOOD IS NASTY. BE HONEST WITH US, IS THAT TRUE?
Not at all! It's all about finding a way to enjoy more fruits and vegetables. For example, there's brussel sprouts with olive oil you can grill them, char them, ooo I'm salivating! It's all about how you present it. Thing about being black is we know how to season our food and make our food with love, it's so refreshing! There are also so many good options like Sushi, Mediterranean food and Thai food.
HOW WAS YOUR ‘LAST DAY’ BEFORE YOU MADE THE DECISION TO GO VEGAN?
This is kind of an abrupt story. I went to a Jamaican restaurant and I ordered red snapper fish. When I got home and was about to eat my food I could see the indentation of eyes and gills! That was the day I went vegetarian. I was sick to my stomach and disgusted seeing little Nemo in my box! I went Vegan, because I went to a seafood restaurant, ordered a ceasar salad and ended up with the worse diarrhea I EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. I hadn't had anything dairy for a week so my body was like no what are you doing?!
WHY WON'T YOU DATE SOMEONE WHO ISN'T VEGAN?
I won't date somebody who isn't Vegan, because it's so much apart of my life and I want to raise my kids this way. I don't want to be with someone bashing my lifestyle.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOUR BRAND?
I promote my brand via my blog which I've had since 2014. I also promote my brand via Instagram. Every post on IG is thought out and strategic. I make sure I'm representing this movement, myself and this kingdom of God. Some people will sell their soul girl, but I did it my way.
YOU ARE EXTREMELY CONFIDENT AND WE LOVE IT! WHAT WAS A LIFE CHANGING EVENT THAT MADE YOU BUILD CONFIDENCE?
In grade school I got teased mercilessly, but in 4th grade something clicked. There was a group of girls who picked on me and my mom taught at my school so I would run to her and cry. She said they talked about Jesus Christ so they gon' talk about you so you're gonna have to get over it. The next day I started talking crap back and I got sent to the principals office. All I thought was Darilyn you gon' go through life crying upset or be yourself. There was also confidence coaching the school put on which included a puppet show. The puppet said "I love myself, I'm worth a lot," and it stuck with me. My confidence was definitely found in 4th grade. I'm fine with myself, it's not about the look, it's about going up those stairs. I have issues with a whole lot of stuff, but confidence ain't one.
Michaela P. Shelton is Managing Editor of
Read more from Michaela at Darealmichaela1.com