Mon | May 27, 2019

Vegan by choice

Published:Thursday | April 25, 2019 | 12:05 AMJessica Harrison /Gleaner Writer
Sea moss and sorrel blend smoothies are perfect for hot summer days ahead.
Healthy snacks are always welcomed, especially in burger form.
Yummy lentil pie with vegan cheese and mango salad to remind you that you’re in the tropics.
Saturday is soup day and we think this Okra Soup on every level and hits the spot.
Your Sunday doesn’t need to be very different from your regular. Try curried tofu with Jerusalem rice and peas.
Salad – Ital vegan goddess!
‘So Divine’ is what they’ve named this dish. Seasoned sweet potatoes (base), tofu and string beans sautéed with parsley and vegan cheese
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No stranger to the media, Ama Donna, also known as the Ital vegan goddess, was excited about sharing her story with Food. Donna grew up eating meat like the average Jamaican, and as she got older, she gravitated to Rastafarianism in the early ’80s. She sat by the feet of the elders who helped her along the way, learning and blossoming into an ‘empress’. Of course, a change in diet came with it.

She wasn’t always a full-fledged vegan though; for the past 40 years, she was caught between veganism and vegetarianism.

“The first decade in, I was vegan, but it was hard to be a mother balancing work life and prepare all my meals. I wasn’t comfortable eating vegetables from just anybody. I am a picky eater so to ease some of the stress I had with food I would eat fish here and there,” said the beautiful motherly goddess.

The vibrant soul expressed that her inspiration to toy with different ingredients to produce top-notch recipes for all to enjoy, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, comes from just being Jamaican and experiencing the endless possibilities of Jamaican food.

“We have been creating these recipes since the ’80s, long before social media, but society didn’t accept it because of its association with dreadlocks and Rastafari. We don’t only eat greens. We have lots of protein,” she said.

The Business

The Westmoreland native spoke about the business with a smile. She prides herself on making people happy at lunchtime, and while she enjoys the feedback, making money is also a priority. She understands the need for money and leaving a legacy behind for her descendants to enjoy. Balance is key in all things. Once you learn to balance and enjoy the presence of balance, all things will fall into place accordingly.

Donna also has a few well-known Jamaican customers like Neville Bell, Khalia and Emprezz Golding. Each customer is like family and she ensures that she provides only the best for them.

Ital vegan goddess operates as a delivery-only food service business using Delivery World Ja (IG: @deliveryworldja). She expressed that she could not have survived the last couple of months without them and their effective efficiency. Together, they work to ensure that you are able to enjoy vegan cuisine seven days per week in the comfort of your own space.

Vegan food is for everyone and should be prepared in such a way where everyone can enjoy just like any other popular cuisine. It is nutritious and can kick-start a healthier lifestyle, causing one to feel energised.

“Most of my customers are not vegan, but because of the service, presentation, quality and the health benefits they support the business,” she said.

To learn more about how you can get your hands on a plate of Ama’s vegan eats, simply call her at 876-307-9396 or follow her instagram @italvegangoddess

jessica.harrison@gleanerjm.com