Her Recipes Convinced NFL Players To Go Vegan – Meet Charity Morgan

Her Recipes Convinced NFL Players To Go Vegan – Meet Charity Morgan

Game changers It is the most popular documentary ever sold on iTunes and was watched by millions on Netflix. You will remember Charity Morgan as the chef featured in the film, famous for feeding 19 Tennessee Titans football players vegan food and seeing their health and performance shine through. This January, Charity will release her first cookbook, Incredibly Vegan – 100+ Life-Changing Herbal Recipes, packed with recipes that you seriously won’t believe are vegan. We spoke to Charity about plant-based food for beginners, the word she added to the English language, and how she gets her skin to radiate that way. Join us to meet our new FACE of the South, Chef Charity Morgan.

Chef Charity Morgan

Meet Charity Morgan, our new FACE of the South! Image: Rachel Breakey Photography

“Vegan” and “plant-based” are often intimidating words to the common American. Tell us about the new term you have coined: “Plegan.”

I saw that there was a lot of judgment in both the vegan and plant-based areas. I wanted to create an inclusive space that made people feel welcome. One day, a player with a multi-million dollar contract with Nike came up to me and said, “I’ve been eating your meals for a month. What should I do? What do I say? People ask me about it. “It occurred to me on the fly. I just said,” Tell them you’re a pimp! “I wanted to create a space where there were no judgments and I didn’t have to meet the expectations of others. Ultimately , I wanted to inspire, encourage and empower people by showing them kindness and compassion.

I can’t help but notice how radiant your skin is. Were you born that way, or is there a specific part of the plant-based diet that has had a direct impact on your skin’s radiance?

What we put on our body is a very important factor when it comes to how our skin looks. I can look at someone’s skin and tell them how they eat. For a time, I escaped being a chef and trained at the Aveda Institute in New York City. There I learned that the products you use are also a big part. I take care of my skin, but I really believe that there are two factors that have the biggest impact: 1. What you put in: phytonutrients and chlorophyll are very important. 2. The products you use. The internal parts of your body can become inflamed and people are used to that, but they forget that their skin can also become inflamed and that is where things like cystic acne can appear.

Charity posing in doorway in green sweater and black pencil skirt

“I wanted to create a space where there were no judgments and I didn’t have to meet the expectations of others,” says Charity of her vegan and plant-based approach to living. “Ultimately, I wanted to inspire, encourage and empower people by showing kindness and compassion.” Image: Rachel Breakey Photography

RELATED: What ‘Eating a Plant-Based Diet’ Really Means (and How to Get Started)

We read that you really were going against the grain trying to be a plant-based chef at Le Cordon Bleu. Health is certainly enough, but are there deeper convictions that have guided your decisions?

Everything is health. I woke up every morning thinking, “I’m so young. Why do I feel so bad? My energy was low. My digestion was bad. It took me a long time to go to sleep and then I would wake up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. My husband was excited about having the best sleep of his life and was talking about how good he felt because he had been eating plant-based for a month at the time. He knew he needed something different and he really needed someone to help him prepare his food. I was using a food delivery service and it was disgusting. So we helped each other and that’s how it started.

What advice would you give a married person who wants to try the plant-based diet, but whose spouse disagrees?

Start with that person. Don’t prepare your favorite food; manufacture his favorite food. When a client comes to me, I give them a questionnaire. I ask him, “What is your ultimate favorite dish?” That one food tells me a lot about what they like. Is it rich, spicy, comforting, clean, layered? That gives me a lot of information. Then I ask, “What is your favorite dessert?” If you like chocolate, then you like rich, bold, and deep notes. If you like fruity desserts, I know you skate for the flavor, but fall in the middle with desserts. If you like cheesecake, it tastes rich and creamy.

Chef Charity Morgan

Charity attributes her glowing skin and energy levels to her plant-based diet. Image: Rachel Breakey Photography

What do you think it was about? Game changers Who spoke to the modern American public?

Debunked myths and shot down marketing. It made people ask, “Why have we been buying propaganda?” Since the 60s and 70s, people have believed that you had to be a skinny, scrawny Caucasian surfer to be vegan. They thought you had to eat hemp seed and tofu cookies. This new information comes from data collected over the last five years, it is not just my opinion.

Which of the recipes in your book do you prepare most often?

Macaroni and cheese, because a lot of people saw it in Game changers, that’s why they always ask about it. A popular new one that I personally love is my Jambalaya Creamy Pasta. What I like best about my book is that at the bottom of every page, there is a little slug called “Be Creative.” It offers ways to change a traditional recipe and make it more interesting. So for my traditional jambalaya, I’ve taken it up a notch to make this pasta, and people just love it! It’s smoky, meaty, hearty, and creamy even though it has tomatoes in it. It’s one of the things that I’m doing a lot right now.

Nachos from the 'Unbelievably Vegan' Cookbook

Charity’s cookbook is packed with plant-based recipes that are hearty, satisfying, and totally drool-worthy. Image: Emily Dorio

True or False: Eating plant-based is insanely expensive.

Fake. I know it gets expensive when you start shopping for meat alternatives. I advise people to buy in bulk. A two-pack of Beyond Burgers is $ 5. But an 8-pack is $ 17. So buy the bigger pack and freeze what you need to freeze to stretch your dollar. The other thing I often mention is that the closer to nature you are, the cheaper it is. So try to stick to the things that are natural.

RELATED: 3 Easy Recipes for the New Vegan

What is the best advice you have ever received?

When I was a child, my dad gave me the best advice and has made me unapologetic charity. He said, “Never worry about what other people think.”

Outside of family, friends, and faith, what are the three things you can’t live without?

I really only have one thing: I can’t live without learning every day. I think a lot of people take their brain and their learning for granted. I have a family member who is battling Alzheimer’s disease, and what I wouldn’t give to even remember his birthday … so that’s something I can’t live without.

Cover of 'Unbelievably Vegan' by Charity Morgan

Cover image of Charity Morgan’s new cookbook. Photo by Emily Dorio.

Check out Incredibly Vegan: 100+ Life-Changing Plant-Based Recipes for more plant-based eating tips and of course great recipes that you seriously won’t believe are vegan.

Thank you Charity!

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Read more interviews with our inspiring faces in our archives!

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