Naturally Speaking:  Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Urban Naturale is pleased to present the first in a series of Naturally Speaking Interviews.

Our guest is Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD and author of Kale Yeah Cookbook.

Dr. Bradley is an energetic and engaging certified health minister. Through her work and passion for healthy eating and living, she decided to answer the call to become a health minister. Determined to break free from the Standard American Diet (SAD) which is known to do more harm than good, she set out on her journey to research food, diseases, and fitness. Her drive and determination lead her to become more involved in health and fitness. Her goal is to inspire others to lead the charge for healthy eating and exercise to enhance the lives of others.

Dr. Bradley is truly an inspiration. She leads an active lifestyle which includes working out at the local gym 4 to 5 days a week. Her workouts consist mostly of strength training and cardiovascular activities. As a vegan, her diet consist of 85% raw, uncooked, and unprocessed plant-based food, and 15% cooked plant-based foods. She also leads workshops on nutrition and offers individual health coaching to help people improve their health and lifestyles.

Learn more about Dr. Bradley’s own journey, mission and healthy, vegan lifestyle from this inspiring interview.

“Determined to break free from the

Standard American Diet (SAD) which

is known to do more harm than good,

she set out on her journey to research

food, diseases, and fitness.”


Naturally Speaking:

Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD

Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Naturally Speaking:  Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Urban Naturale: Tell us a little about yourself.

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
I am a native of Arkansas but currently reside in Maryland. I am the proud mother of two young adults, Ebony and Brandon. Currently, I am a Senior Procurement Manager with experience going back over 26 years which includes my military career while in the U.S. Air Force. In addition to my daytime position, I am a vegan health coach. I received this training at Hallelujah Acres located in Gastonia, N.C.

My goal is to inspire others to lead the charge for healthy eating and exercise to enhance the lives of others. Today, I live an active lifestyle which includes working out 4 to 5 days a week. As a vegan, my diet consists of 85% raw, uncooked, and unprocessed plant-based food, and 15% cooked plant-based foods.

In 2013, I completed my doctoral degree in Organizational Management. I received a Master of Human Relations Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2002; my undergraduate studies were completed at Wayland Baptist University in 1998. In addition, I am an active member with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Organization, which is led by Dr. Neal Barnard in Washington, DC.

“My mission is to encourage and inspire

others to lead the charge for healthy

eating and exercise to enhance the

lives of others.”


Urban Naturale: What motivated you to become vegan? Was it a quick switch or a gradual transition? Tell us about your vegan journey?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
I have always been a health conscious individual, who knew that healthy eating and exercise should always be a way of life. One day during a conversation with a friend, I told her that something was wrong with me. I was eating “healthy” and had increased my gym visits, but was somehow gaining weight. I thought that maybe I had a thyroid issue and told her that I was going to go to my doctor for a checkup. It was during this time that my girlfriend recommended a book called, The Hallelujah Diet by George Malkmus. I can recall laughing and saying, “What are they going come up with next?” Knowing that I had nothing to lose but weight, I decided to purchase the book. The book arrived on a Thursday and I finished reading it on Saturday, which is the day my life changed for the better. I was so amazed at all the information and knew I had to make a change because it all made sense.

During Lenten Season, which is a 40-day period of prayer and fasting, I decided to give up meat as my sacrificial offering. After the season ended, there was no way that I would return to eating meat again. I had lost over 30 pounds and was feeling better than ever.

Naturally Speaking:  Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Urban Naturale: How do you plan your vegan meals for the week? How do you make sure to meet your nutritional needs?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
My daily intake consists of 85% raw and 15% cooked foods. Dense living nutrients found in raw foods and their juices produce abundant energy and vibrant health which satisfies my cell’s nutritional needs and controls hunger. Although, a majority of the foods I eat are raw, I must make sure that I am getting the nutrients needed. Therefore, included in my daily intake are: Barley, B12, and Vitamin D. The reason I take such supplements is based solely on the fact that today’s fruits and vegetables are less nutritious and eating more as a means to increase nutrients is simply not feasible; the stomach can’t handle the bulk of food required.

Urban Naturale: What do you eat/drink for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in a typical day?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
Breakfast
– Upon rising, I drink a cup of warm lemon water. I squeeze lemons daily. At least 15-20 minutes later, I take one serving of BarleyMax (Barley supplement). This supplement contains the widest spectrum of nutrients and trace mineral. Barley helps the body build new, strong, healthy, and vibrant cells.
Mid-Morning – I drink an 8 ounce glass of fresh vegetable juice.
Lunch – At least 20 minutes before lunch, I have another serving of BarleyMax. Then, I have a large raw green salad with lemon, apple cider vinegar as dressing.
Mid-Afternoon – I drink another glass of juice.
Dinner – At least 20 minutes before dinner, I have another serving of BarleyMax. Then, I have another green salad and cooked food. This could be steamed veggies, whole grain pasta, beans, etc.
Evening – I usually drink more juice or have a nice nightcap of turmeric with warm almond milk

Urban Naturale: What have been your greatest challenges as a vegan? How do you handle social situations?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
At first my greatest challenge was giving up chicken and dairy products. During the season of Lent, in which, my sacrifice was to give up meat, I often daydreamed about chicken wings and couldn’t wait for the season to end. When the season ended and to my surprise, I didn’t want any chicken nor did I crave chicken. I haven’t had any desire for any animal products.

Urban Naturale: Is your family vegan as well? If not, how do you juggle the dietary preferences of family members?

Dr. Brenda Bradley: My significant other is not a vegan but he is a vegetarian which makes it easier for me. I have two children and they both live away from home. My daughter is a vegetarian and my son still subscribes to the Standard American Diet; however, when he comes to visit, he does eat what I eat and he likes it.

Urban Naturale: When you want to dine out, what are your favorite vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
There are several restaurants in the DC metropolitan area: Rasika Indian Restaurant, Woodland Vegan Bistro, Native Foods, and Everlasting Life that are good restaurants that cater to vegans. I don’t dine out often because I enjoy experimenting and cooking my own food. This way, I know exactly what’s in the food.

Naturally Speaking:  Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Urban Naturale: You shared a 7 Day Juice Cleanse. How do you include juicing as part of your healthy lifestyle?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
I drink juice on a daily basis. Fresh raw vegetables are the best source of mineral nutrients and fresh raw fruits are the best source of vitamins. Juicing is the most effective and efficient way to get nutrition to our cells. Juicing also separates the juice, which contains all nutrients and living enzymes, from the fiber. Drinking fresh extracted juice makes the most of nutrients in an easy to assimilate form. For example, drinking an 8 ounce glass of carrot juice will give you the equivalent of eating approximately one pound of carrots.
I often recommend the 7-Day Juice cleanse for those that are transitioning from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and to those that are looking to lose a few pounds. This is an excellent way to kick start and get the body off to a good start.

Urban Naturale: What is your professional mission/vision? What are you hoping to achieve?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
My mission is to encourage and inspire others to lead the charge for healthy eating and exercise to enhance the lives of others.

Urban Naturale: Are you also a vegan health coach? What is your background? How/when did you become a vegan health coach?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
Yes, I consider myself a vegan health coach. I received my training from Hallelujah Acres, located in Gastonia, N.C. in 2013.
This training gave me the necessary tools needed to:

• Help people to eat well and live a healthy, vibrant life.
• Educate people on the importance of real nutrition.
• Provide practical, hands on application of how to eat to live.

Urban Naturale: Tell us about the services you offer.

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
I offer the following services:

• One-on-One Consultations
• Personalized meal planning
• Getting organized and shopping tips
• General nutrition advice
• Provide cooking and juicing recipes

Naturally Speaking: Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Urban Naturale: How do you work with clients? What is your philosophy? What is your basic approach?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
I provide one-on-one coaching sessions which are conducted over the phone and usually last about 30 to 60 minutes. I focus on an individual’s goals and needs in order to help achieve success. After the first session, I provide regular coaching sessions which last about 15 to 30 minutes. Each individual gets unlimited email support and brief check-in calls or emails.

Urban Naturale: Congratulations on your wonderful Kale Yeah Vegan Cookbook! What motivated you to develop this book?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
After I made the decision to become a vegan, I panicked! I didn’t know what to cook. During the first few weeks, all I would eat is a plain baked potato and a large green salad (everyday). I really didn’t know what to do. I started utilizing search engines in hopes of finding other vegans who would share and guide me down this food path. During one of my searches, I stumbled across an article about a woman named Tracey McQuirter, who had been a vegan over 28 plus years. I immediately visited her website and to my surprise, she offered cooking classes. It was during her cooking class when I had an “ah ha” moment, which was to continue cooking the foods I enjoyed, but choose healthier alternatives.

Urban Naturale: Tell us about the types of recipes you included? How did you choose the recipes to include in this book?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
Most of the recipes are recipes that I have prepared and cooked in the past before I became a vegan which included animal products. Now, that I am a vegan, I, simply substituted the unhealthy products with healthier ingredients.

Urban Naturale: What are your favorite recipes in the book, and why?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
All of the recipes are my favorites, but if I had to choose only one, it would be the “Curry Chick’n Dish.” I have always been a fan of chicken curry, but when I stop eating meat, I thought that I would no longer be able to enjoy this dish, but I was wrong.

Here’s a sample recipe:

Curry Chick’n Dish

Naturally Speaking:  Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

Ingredients

• 1 bag of Gardein Chick’n Strips
• 1 medium onion, sliced in pieces
• 2 carrots, cut in pieces
• 1 medium potato
• ½ cup of green bell pepper
• ½ cup of red bell pepper
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp. coconut oil (this is used to sauté’ chick’n)
• 2 tbsp. curry (I use Jamaican Curry)
• 1 tsp Turmeric
• 1 tsp Ginger
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 can (14 ounce) seasoned butter beans – optional

Instructions

1. Sauté’ chick’n using the oil and add the curry spice. Once chick’n is browned, take out and put to the side (Remember, this is not real chicken so it doesn’t take long to cook).

2. Using the same pot, add the onion and bell pepper and sauté’ for another 2 minutes or longer. You might need to add some more oil, but not too much. Don’t overcook. Next, add the carrots, garlic, and all spices and sauté’ for another minute or two. Now add the chick’n and coconut milk. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, but keep stirring, to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pot.

3. Next, add the bay leaves, potatoes and the entire can of butter beans with liquid. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Note: I serve this dish over brown rice.

“We all know that

change can be challenging

but if we truly understand why change 

is necessary, it lightens the load.

Therefore, I tell them to take it

one day at a time.”


Urban Naturale:
 What tips or advice do you have for people who want to transition to a plant-based diet, who are worried that it will be difficult to give up their favorite foods?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
For anyone who has spent years on the Standard American Diet, I often tell them that this transition will be a lifestyle change. We all know that change can be challenging but if we truly understand why change is necessary, it lightens the load. Therefore, I tell them to take it one day at a time. As for giving up their favorite foods, they don’t have to give up harmful foods, just replace them with creative, healthy alternatives. You can replace your favorite foods with a healthier version that will support the body rather than detract from good health.

Urban Naturale: How can our readers learn more about your information and services?

Dr. Brenda Bradley:
They can visit my website: www.drbtbradley.com
Naturally Speaking: Interview with Dr. Brenda T. Bradley, PhD, Author, Kale Yeah Cookbook

If they would like to contact me they can send a request via my contact page.

Thank you for sharing your journey, lifestyle and wealth of knowledge with us, Dr. Bradley.

We value and appreciate your insights.

 

What has your vegan journey been like?
What are your biggest healthy lifestyle challenges?
Have you ever worked with a vegan coach?
Please share your thoughts and comments with us.

 

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