Here's what the wife, mom, author and viral vegan food influencer had to say about her favorite go-to meal, healing her body through veganism and more.
Advertisement
Tabitha Brown on designed background
Credit: Getty Images WireImage / Momodu Mansaray

Tabitha Brown, referred to by fans as "America's mom" is known for her warmth, charm and catch phrase "like so, like that!". Watching her uplifting videos in her thick North Carolina accent feels something like receiving a warm hug through your phone. In addition to showing off her skills in the kitchen, Brown is passionate about sharing words of encouragement, positive affirmations and humor online. As someone who struggled to reach her career goals for nearly two decades, working as an Uber driver in 2017 and falling mysteriously ill with chronic autoimmune symptoms, Brown knows a thing or two about perseverance. 

Brown also recently collaborated with McCormick on a new product called Sunshine Seasoning, and EatingWell got a chance to speak with her at her launch event in New York City (we're thrilled to report that she's just as lovely in person as she is online). Guests enjoyed small bites inside an intimate vegan restaurant where we sprinkled her flavorful, Caribbean-inspired seasoning on various dishes. Brown was in full mom mode greeting guests, passing out cocktails and making sure everyone left full and happy. Here are her thoughts on veganism, her favorite meal to cook and more. 

Q: What are some misconceptions about being vegan?

"That it's expensive and we don't get any protein! [People think] that all we eat is salad, although we had salad tonight that was very good. But it did have mushroom bacon!"

We agree with Brown that there are ample sources of vegan protein, like beans, nuts, whole grains and soy. And while we love a good salad, we also love these vegan comfort food recipes.  

Q: Can you tell me about your struggle with mental health and how becoming vegan helped you overcome it?

"Before going vegan I was chronically ill in addition to battling depression and severe panic attacks. After going vegan, all of those symptoms started to leave me. I no longer have chronic pain and I haven't had any panic attacks. One night I was in prayer and God revealed to me that you are what you eat." 

Brown said that after giving up animal products, it really affected how she felt and thought of herself. "And now I have joy every day," she continues. 

While there isn't research showing how a vegan diet can help with depression or anxiety, we are thrilled that Brown was able to find a way of eating that works for her and helped ease her symptoms.

Q: What was your inspiration behind Sunshine Seasoning?

"I created it during the height of the pandemic while people were stuck at home. I wanted them to feel like they could take a vacation right in their kitchen… to feel sunshine, Carribean vibes and flavors from pineapple, mango and ginger, so they felt like they were somewhere! It's salt-free which is important to me. I try my best to limit salt especially since the Black community struggles with hypertension and high blood pressure. I want people to feel the sunshine and be healthy and alive to do it!"

Q: What's your favorite thing to cook when you don't feel like cooking?

"Tacos! They're so easy to throw in a pan. All you need is some jackfruit, onions and sunshine seasoning. Throw your little fixings on there and you're good to go!"

Q: What does eating well mean to you?

"Eating to feel well—inside and out. Food is usually attached to a feeling and sometimes how you feel can affect how you eat. I want to feel joyful and happy, so I eat that way to help me continue to feel that way." 

Bottom line

Whether you're sticking to a plant-based diet or not, we can all take a page out of Brown's book when it comes to mindful eating and increasing our consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. After spending time getting to know Brown and tasting her versatile seasoning that's delicious on everything from salad to soup and tacos, we're left feeling the sunshine.