Chef Ahki Talks Beauty, Tradition & Culture
Chef Ahki isn’t your average celebrity chef. In fact, she says that being a chef is only 10% of what she does. The Oklahoma City native has only been working in the culinary world for eight years and to many she was just a colon therapist and nutritional counselor dedicated to her clients wellbeing.
View this post on Instagram
I started this company 8 years ago to show people that they could enjoy clean food and even cure disease through mindful eating. I also wanted to prove that you didn’t have to be a patchouli wearing, hairy armpit kinda gal to “be down” with the plant-based lifestyle. (no shade) I think I’ve done well.
“I was working with people who have horrible diets and they just didn’t know how to eat or what to eat how to change their diet and so that was my inspiration” says Ahki.
Since that decision, Chef Ahki has built an audience for her health and wellness advising and creating meals for plant based diets. This sort of lifestyle may be unorthodox and seemingly impossible, but Ahki has been immersed in a community of plant based consumers for quite some time. By the time she was 18, she’d moved to Dallas with her friends and started her plant based diet and spiritual exploration.
“My sister tribe was a major part of helping the transition become easier for me because my family, my immediate family did not understand this change.” Chef Ahki says.
With the social climate we’re in today, things are a bit different and the celebrity chef wonders if her family would have transitioned to plant based diets sooner. With documentaries like “ What The Health” and “ Supersize Me” notoriously pointing out how what we eat effects us, who wouldn’t want to make such a lifestyle change?
View this post on Instagram
From trumped up health benefit claims and the “weak estrogen” farse to phytoestrogen cancer nightmares and early osteoporosis—I could go on.. The research has been done..you CANNOT convince me that soy is healthy to consume. Slide to the next page for research notes and articles. #doyourresearch
“We need food that comes from the earth. We need things that are safe for our consumption and that help us to thrive” says Ahki. As we spoke on food culture, Ahki notes that the main reasons people won’t make the transition to a plant based diet is due to finances,tradition and the thought process that vegetables, fruits and nuts can’t be filling. However, there’s much evidence that Ahki’s on the right track physically.
“There was some weight loss near the beginning, I looked sickly because I was so skinny” Ahki went on to say,” I was letting go of a lot of toxic waste so the weight loss was one [benefit]" She mentions that her energy, smell and skin changed significantly. She rarely needs to wear deodorant and one of the largest differences she's been aware of is changes in her menstrual cycle.
The health and wellness influencer mentioned that she had gone from intense cramping and bleeding for seven days in her teens to no cramping and at most a three day period. Ahki doesn’t even have to worry too much about wearing deodorant due to how her body smell has changed.
Ahki is keen on breaking tradition and generational curses that surround food and the culture of health and wellness. In many disenfranchised and marginalized communities, what people consume is largely due to what is accessible and affordable. Furthermore, we went on to discuss food resources for families with lower incomes and how to eat right when living in a food desert. (We’ll include a list of alternatives according to Chef Ahki soon)
Yet, with all the resources and knowledge in the world, Chef ahki, an astute problem solver has often run into one major issue-- women loving the benefits of their diet, though resenting the fact that they may be loosing too much weight.
It’s understandable in the age of Instagram and the reign of The Kardashian Effect. Women of all cultural backgrounds feel the need to acquiesce to whatever the right body type is in order to feel beautiful. Right now, to be feminine means to be curvaceous and women are feeling the urgency to consume fats to become more voluptuous.
“Fat can be accomplished but it needs to be a healthy fat” she says, and even goes on to mention the women she encounters who the diet has worked for in getting rid of huge problems like thyroids—wanting to cut back due to this fear of becoming less curvy. “Women have to remember to prioritize health and then building muscle and healthy fat” is what Chef Ahki says and this belief holds key for her.
In her world, beauty and health are one in the same and she aims to let women all over the world know that they can be beautiful and health conscious. Moreover, this interview with Ahki asks us, why are we so willing to put our looks over our health? How can we ensure that beauty and wellness are intertwined and what can we do to break traditions and societal demons (systems of oppression)— cultural norms that keep us from living our best lives?
This interview has been edited and condensed. Click here for Chef Ahki's beauty foods.