Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what's on their menu in Deglazed, a series about food.
Monét X Change is changing the way she looks at food by dabbling in plant-based eating ... and she's encouraging others to do so as well.
"I'm not fully plant-based," she tells Yahoo Life. "I still dabble in meat-eating. You know, for me, it's unrealistic for me to become fully plant-based."
One thing that's helped Monét in her journey to becoming a more plant-based eater is to try different meat alternatives. While she does still eat meat about five days a week, she's found some delicious meatless options that have helped her to transition to a more plant-based lifestyle. But the RuPaul's Drag Race alum says finding meat alternatives she enjoyed was a struggle at first.
"I cannot tell you how many times I have bitten into a quote-unquote 'real chicken nugget' and been disgusted by the taste," she says. "But then I tried one type of plant-based chicken nugget and I'm like, 'Oh my god, this tastes better than the real thing.'"
While she's not into eating red meat right now, chicken and fish are still on her personal OK-to-eat list. "Doing the show, I have gotten more information about meat," she says of her new YouTube series with plant-based food giant Alpha Foods, "and that's something that has definitely deterred me from certain types of meat for right now."
During each episode of the Plant-Based Way, Monét hosts a celebrity guest to talk about their latest projects and their overall approach to health and wellness.
After moving to Los Angeles, Calif., Monét found that plant-based eating was easier than in New York City. "In Los Angeles, there are so many nice restaurants," she says. "You have a keto breakfast place, a paleo lunch place and keto burgers. There's so many places where you can have healthy and plant-based options."
"And it's not as expensive as I found in New York," she adds.
When she can't be dining at her L.A. favorite Crossroads Kitchen or getting take-out from another restaurant, Monét says her go-to snack is bananas. "They give you lots of energy and they are filling," she says.
While recording her YouTube series, she also learned that instead of throwing away banana skins, people make pseudo bacon with them. "By looking at it, if no one told me, I would think it was a piece of bacon," she says. "But I can't attest to the taste: I've not tasted the bacon but it surely looks like bacon and I want to try it."
Another favorite plant-based item Monét tried recently was a birthday cake from a local bakery in Los Angeles. "At this birthday party, there was a vegan cake," she recalls. "And I was thinking, 'Girl, not this vegan cake. I came here for birthday cake. This is ridiculous.' But the cake was so good. So that's another myth is that you can't have good desserts that are vegan or plant-based."
When it's time to host her own party, Monét says the secret is good music. "I don't mean the music has to be blasted but just a nice underscoring for the party," she says, adding that keeping the volume low allows people to engage without having that awkward dead air moment.
One of her current favorites for parties or even cooking at home alone is Frank Ocean. "I'm just coming into the Frank Ocean multiverse and he's great," she says.
If the party is being held at someone else's house, Monét is bringing macaroni and cheese. "It's always the talk of the party," she says of her version.
Monét's secret to perfect macaroni and cheese? Using two types of noodles: She keeps normal elbow macaroni but adds some penne into the mix as well. "It helps to distribute the cheese evenly," she explains.
Another cheesy thing she craves is a really good pizza. "I love pepperoni and cheese," she says, "and I don't like a lot of sauce."
As a self-proclaimed picky eater, Monét says the one food that stops her in her tracks is chocolate. "When I walk down the Target aisle and I see that Cadbury milk chocolate is so hard for me to not pick up three," she says.
Chocolate is also part of her perfect food day. If she could travel the world in a 24-hour period to dine, Monét would start off her day in Mexico with breakfast tacos. "Then from there we would get into a portal and go to China where I would love to have malatang (a spicy Chinese hot pot dish that combines mouth-numbing sauce with noodles, meat and veggies)." she says.
She'd end the day in Italy with a pasta dinner. "You cannot go wrong with pasta," she says. And dessert, of course, would be "anything chocolate." As for drinks, she'd order anything with tequila. "Tequila will make everything go down very smooth," she says.
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