Activist Rev. Al Sharpton is still a larger-than-life presence, but the body he’s using to deliver his message has gotten considerably more compact and a whole lot healthier. Appearing at July 1st’s 2012 BET Awards, where he was lauded as humanitarian of the year, the Rev. cut a slim, striking figure that he credits to vegetarianism, exercise, and old fashioned discipline.
Since cutting meat, his beloved fried chicken, and refined sugars and starches from his diet in 2010, Rev. Sharpton has gone from 214 to 167 pounds, according to an interview he gave Vanity Fair this April. “I was a chicken junkie,” confessed Sharpton. “I used to eat chicken three times a day.”
But being a junkie is no way to live. In late 2011, the Rev. drew the connection between the health of society and the health of the body, telling MSNBC “You can’t […] demand social justice when you are a prisoner in your own body.” He hopes to break those chains by bringing more readily accessible fresh produce to African American communities and reducing dependence on church kitchen fryers.
Sharpton isn’t mourning the loss of fried mac ‘n’ cheese, though. “I just love greens and grains. I eat a lot of salad and fruits. I feel like a new, improved me,” he explains. “A vegetarian diet has a way of absorbing the stress and gives you greater endurance.”
So, want to be happier, healthier, and more socially conscious? Fall in with the Reverend and say amen to one of these vegetarian soul food delights.
Photo Credit: Ira Bostic / Shutterstock.com