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NBSV 149


Transcript of the No-Bullsh!t Vegan podcast, episode 149

Entrepreneur and author Vangile Makwakwa on veganism, money, systems of oppression, & more

Karina Inkster: You're listening to the No-Bullshit Vegan Podcast, episode 149. Joining me today is author, podcast host, and founder of, Vangile Makwakwa. She shares her vegan story, how veganism factors into the retreats she leads, how different forms of systemic oppression affect personal finances and wealth, and more.

Hey, welcome to the show. I'm Karina your go-to no-BS vegan fitness and nutrition coach. Make sure you check out the free resources that my team and I put together for you, including a vegan-specific protein calculator, a vegan-specific portion guide, busting soy myths once and for all, A guide to being vegan in a non-vegan household, and much more. You can get all nine awesome and free resources at

My guest today is Vangile Makwakwa. Vangile is the author of three books: Heart, Mind, and Money: Using Emotional Intelligence for Financial Success, the Holistic Wealth Manifesto Workbook, and The Next Level You, Money, and Womb Journal. She has a finance honours degree from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the Simmons School of Management. She started her personal finance journey by paying off 60,000 USD in debt and living a cash life.

She's a full-time entrepreneur and the founder of, a company that helps women of colour heal ancestral money trauma so they can fall in love with their bank accounts, increase income, and live their best lives. The company does this through online coaching, it's online course academy, podcasts, and international retreats. Vangile is also the host of two podcasts, the Money Magic Podcast and the Property Magician's Podcast, an A to Z guide to Property Investing. Vangile's favorite meal is vegan Bobotie, which is the national dish of South Africa. Here's our conversation.

Hi, Vangile. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Nice to meet you.

Vangile Makwakwa: Oh, thank you for having me, Karina. It's so lovely to meet you as well.

Karina Inkster: I'm looking forward to learning about your work, and I did want to jump in first with your vegan backstory. So I know you were vegetarian first, then you came to veganism, but how did you come to this world? What does it mean to you?

Vangile Makwakwa: Oh man. So for me, being vegan has been such a beautiful experience, honestly. I mean, I feel like it means aging at a slower pace. It means how, it also just means compassion for all living beings for me, and I came into this world of veganism because I was vegetarian since I was 16, so I haven't eaten meat since I was 16. And one of my coaches when I was living in Boston and was, I remember it very clearly, it was right before my 28th birthday and I was signing up with a life coach and she said to me, listen, I offer 50% discount on all my services for anyone that decides to go vegan for the duration of our coaching. So if you do the six-month package and you go vegan, I'll offer you a 50% discount. I was like, “Yeah, sign me up. The only reason I'm still vegetarian is pizza and chocolate, but I'm lactose intolerant anyway and I don't like eggs, so let's go for it.”

Karina Inkster: Interesting.

Vangile Makwakwa: And since then I've never looked back.

Karina Inkster: That's so interesting. This is kind of a cool business move and also vegan activism at the same time to offer a serious discount to folks for going vegan. I mean, how cool is that idea?

Vangile Makwakwa: Yeah, she's really serious about this. Hey, I mean, it's just been such an interesting thing to observe how she operates as well. Also, the clients that she takes on, she's very serious about taking on clients that don't do anything in the meat industry. So she'll often say, if you're in the meat industry, I can't really support you. All those things. So I think I've also just learned a lot about doing business in accordance with your values. So for me, that's been very, very cool. Yeah.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, that's amazing. So did you notice a difference from when you were vegetarian to going vegan? Did you feel any different, did you notice anything making that transition?

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes, I did. I had a lot of digestive issues, lots and lots of digestive issues. So I struggled with a lot of childhood trauma and trauma in my life, and I actually didn't realize how much dairy was causing me a lot of issues in my body. So I struggled with eczema a lot and I couldn't understand what was happening, and I think my body was just kind of backed up, clogged up with trying to digest and integrate trauma from my childhood and then having to deal with dairy as well and cheese and all these other things.

So one of the things that I noticed instantly when I started going when I went vegan was that when I was eating, I was no longer getting crazy outbursts of eczema, so my eczema started to clear up, which is really, really interesting. So that for me was huge and I started to notice more of a shift in my digestion as well. I had to make the conscious decision not to be the vegan that just lives on vegan burgers and junk food and tofu and soya, and just also make the conscious decision to continue to eat vegetables and integrate and make sure that I have a very, very healthy diet. But overall, it was just beautiful. I also noticed, ironically that I have way more energy than most people, and I think that it's strange, but my sister always says to me, well, you kind of eat medicine. If you're eating-

Karina Inkster: That's a good way of putting it.

Vangile Makwakwa: If you're eating vegetables all the time and you're eating your greens and you're making sure you're drinking water, yeah. So those are some of the shifts for me. Definitely my digestion and the eczema. The eczema was huge for me because I struggled with it a lot and I can't even explain it to people. I had gotten to the point with my digestion where I was living on Pepto Bismol all the time, even though I was vegetarian, I hadn't really thought of it. I was like, what's the big deal? Why am I having so much acid reflux? I had acid reflux all the time. Then I went vegan and that kind of cleared up.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing. We hear things like that, people not really noticing that dairy has certain effects. People who have migraines or digestive issues or skin issues, there's no immediate link to dairy for most folks even in the medical field. I think that's changing nowadays. But it was like that for me. I used to get a ton of migraines. I had skin issues as well, even as a vegetarian. So this is mapping kind of well onto my own experience where then I went vegan and I was like, hey, wait a second, this is different.

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes. And then now I feel like I talk all the time about veganism as the path to good health, and I'm trying not to become annoying, you know, but I think it has been a huge part of that journey because honestly, the digestive issues were my biggest aha moments. And I will say it kind of happened over a month or two, and then I was like, wait, there's been like no Pepto Bismol in my life. What is happening and why am I not breaking out into eczema? And so then after six months, I wanted to go back to ordinary chocolate, and I was like, after I'd finished my coaching with my coach, my coaching package, and I was like, let's see. And I remember eating the chocolate and a few days later, my entire neck, I usually get eczema on my neck, my neck would, I started breaking out and I was like, that is insane.

Karina Inkster: Wow.

Vangile Makwakwa: That's like insane. So I was like, no. It means that my body isn't actually meant to have this product and I'm not supposed to continue eating it. So I just gave it up. And you know what, honestly, vegan food is incredible. The other thing is I got introduced to is vegan cuisine. I mean, I think it wasn't a huge shift for me because I had been vegetarian for so long and when I just went to being vegan, it was just like, well substitute certain things with coconut milk, all these things. So I won't say that cooking was a big shift. Really eating out wasn’t a big shift because most vegetarian places have vegan options. So I just went to the same restaurants and going to the same places I just asked for a few substitutes here and there.

Karina Inkster: Fair enough. That's funny you mentioned trying a non-vegan item because this is exactly what happened to me after being vegan for a month. I also had some chocolate. Funny you mentioned that, because I'm total chocolate person.

Vangile Makwakwa: Wow.

Karina Inkster: I had some dairy chocolate and all the issues came back my skin and just, I think I had joint pain. It's hard to remember because it was a long time ago, but it was kind of the same thing where I had an aha moment, like, okay, I'm probably not supposed to be eating this, not that I really missed it anyway. And yes, it's just funny because that's the exact same experience that I had.

Vangile Makwakwa: Wow, that's so interesting. I think it's the chocolate man. It just gets to you.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, I still eat chocolate every day. It's just dark chocolate now, obviously, not milk chocolate. So you mentioned living in Boston at one point. Are you in South Africa now?

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes, I am. I've been in South Africa constantly since December.

Karina Inkster: Okay, cool.

Vangile Makwakwa: Yeah, but I'm a nomad, so I'm leaving in a few weeks again, but I lived in Boston for five years, so that was fun. And that's when I became vegan and experimented with veganism.

Karina Inkster: Gotcha. Well, I was wondering what the vegan scene is like where you're at now is, are you in Johannesburg?

Vangile Makwakwa: Oh my gosh, yeah. I have a vegan chef here in Johannesburg. His name is Zeus. We actually just ordered from him today. He just delivered,. I had ordered some meals for the day and I was just telling my boyfriend that actually, I was like, you have to taste this chocolate cake because he just went vegan about last September. So it's been longer than six months actually. And I was like, you have never tasted cake this good, even cake with eggs and milk and everything. It is so good. So South Africa has had a whole thing of just vegan food just coming up, just coming out of the blue, chefs, vegan chefs. I swear some of the best food I've had in the world has been in Cape Town, some of the best vegan food. I want to go back to Cape Town mainly for the vegan food. Honestly, the restaurants there are insane. Vegan food is really, really thriving in this country.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing. Yeah, it's interesting to hear what is happening in the vegan shift around the world. Some places are really embracing it. Some cultures already have veganism, not officially, but just kind of by default as normal, just plant-based diets. But in other areas it takes a little bit more of a shift.

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes. So for example, in the village where I live in Pumalanga, it is quite normal to eat meat mainly on Saturdays and Sundays as people try to save money because meat is more expensive. So the diet tends to be more vegetable based. But the crazy thing is in South Africa now because of that culture, more and more people for the longest while, would see eating meat as being the status symbol of being wealthy. So more and more people would, as they get more money, aspire to have more meat and sometimes not even the healthiest meat options they would aspire for your KFCs, your McDonald's, all those things.

So slowly though, it is shifting, I think as more and more people are learning about the vegan lifestyle, more people are trying to explore it and it is becoming a thing here more and more. And I think maybe people are not going fully vegan, but they're at least doing pescatarian and doing meat-free days and things like that. So it helps.

Karina Inkster: Oh yeah, everything helps. Absolutely. Any shift toward more plants and less animal products is a bonus for our planet and for the animals. So I think that's a positive. You've mentioned a couple things around having a coach, this coach who gave 50% off for being vegan. Is that a financial coach? Because we want to transition into talking about finances and money and some of the beliefs we have around that. But is this, can you think of it as financial health in a way? Is that kind of a way of looking at things?

Vangile Makwakwa: It is. I hired her for finances, but she is a very interesting human being. She works a lot with - she did relationship coaching as well - but she also fortes in depression. So when I started working with her, I was in the midst of my depression. I'd just come back from Vipassana and I was really, really going through it. But when I'd been in Vipassana, I went to Vipassana, I had suicidal ideation, and Vipassana is very much vegetarian slash vegan, and they also promote, they have no meat products when you do a Vipassana sit. They'll only offer dairy. That's it. So I went there and then I came back and I started working with her and one of the things she said to me was the food that you eat and also just meat products, it impacts your emotional wellbeing and your mental health, which I'm a true believer in.

I mean, I don't often share this and publicize it because I think sometimes it makes it seem like, oh, you're just being ultra-vegan and trying to promote the lifestyle. But I truly do believe that when you are eating something that is flesh, and it's a life force that was taken and then you are putting it into your body, that's literally death coming into your body. So I would rather just not. So it was one of the things that I worked with her on was really on my mental health and my emotional well-being. And then we did a lot of work on my finances as well, but so in a way, it was tied more to emotional wellbeing.

And I mean, I don't know if it could be the - I definitely believe it's Vipassana that helped me with my depression, and I know it is Vipassana, but I also think just not killing or participating in the industry of where animals are being killed and where I am now having to eat something that had a life force and then contributing to that has also helped too, I don't know, for my karma, if you want to say. And for my spiritual well-being and my mental health. At least that's my belief system.

Again, it's not something that I openly share all the time. I think this is the first time I actually shared it publicly. But for me, that's really, really important as well. I think it has, there's a lot to do with mental health because we're talking about spiritual stuff and karma and there's a lot, if you are participating in any type of killing of any animal, human, whatever, it affects your karma. It affects your spiritual well-being.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, that's a good way of putting it. Can you, for our listeners who might not know what Vipassana is, can you enlighten us? I think it's a meditation retreat, but I don't know a ton of details.

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes. So Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation retreat. You go for 10 days. The first time you go, you have to do 10 days, and then you take a vow of silence for 10 days. You don't talk, you just meditate, morning, afternoon, and evening. And they don't believe in, - so all Vipassana centres are anti-smoking, drinking, killing of animals. So you will have a vegan slash vegetarian diet. The only thing that is not vegan about it is just that you get dairy and they use dairy sometimes in the food, but for the most part, everything is very much vegan and the dairies are optional and you just meditate for 10 days. And it is life-changing.

I went to the past Nam really extremely on the verge of taking my life. So trigger warning - and just extremely depressed. I didn't know what to do. And ironically, a tarot reader read my tarot and he was a friend and he said, I feel like you're on the verge of taking your life, but you've booked yourself for this 10 day retreat. Give it a try because I see in the cards that after that, your life is completely different. And when I say I have never once thought of taking my life in the last 10 years since Vipassana, it's been wild for me.

I've never had a bout of depression in 10 years. And I would just get sad like other people get sad, and I would always be that person from my teens, from the age of 13, where my sadness was always crushing and always felt like it would never end. And I would just cry for no reason, all that. And that just doesn't happen to me. No matter how hectic things get, it no longer happens that way. So that's why I say Vipassana completely changed my life and saved my life probably.

Karina Inkster: Wow, that's powerful. That's amazing. I'm happy to hear the difference before and after that experience. That's massive. Amazing. So what you do is around finances and you've written books and you have an MBA. Can you tell us a little bit about the work that you do and how you help people?

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes. I help people heal ancestral money trauma. So one of the things that I realized when I was depressed was I struggled a lot with money. That's why I hired the coach. Also why I went to Vipassana, I thought it was all about money, but obviously when I got to Vipassana, I realized that no, there's so much more that my thoughts weren’t constantly around money. I was always worried, I was always scared, always had fear. And then I started asking myself after a while, why did I feel these emotions? Why were they so crushing? And a friend of mine said one day to me, have you ever considered that the emotions that you feel are not just your own? That the depression that you felt so crushingly wasn't just your own? Because in the past, now we go into the body to feel the sensations in the body and unlock memories and all those things in the body.

And I was like, this is so crazy. And he was like, well, you come from a family of shamans and healers, you might want to consider the fact that maybe it's also ancestral stuff. So I started looking into it and started exploring, and I realized that actually families have similar money patterns across generations and that a lot of our behavioral patterns come from somewhere. We didn't just wake up and have the beliefs, the stories, the emotions that we have around money, they all come, they all have a root, and it's probably passed down from one generation to the next. For example, I didn't understand why I would always have panic, why I would always have fear and panic whenever I made money, but I had seen my uncle go through the same thing, and I had seen how my grandmother would get scared of money.

So I was like, no, there's something here. Why do we all behave this way? And when I did research, I found that they did research on mice and they introduced the scent of cherry blossoms to a group of mice, and they would electrocute these mice every time they smelled cherry blossoms. After a while, they stopped electrocuting them, but every time the mice smelt cherry blossoms, they would shiver and shake and freak out. Then when the mice gave birth, their children were never electrocuted, but the scent of cherry blossoms was introduced. But they would shiver and shake. Next generation the grandchildren, same thing, never electrocuted, but they just had a violent fear of cherry blossoms. So every generation of mice had fear, only one generation had been electrocuted when they smelled cherry blossoms. But every other descendant of the mice had never been electrocuted but had this violent fear of cherry blossoms.

So as I was reading the study, I was like, this is crazy. And that's when I started to realize that some of us are behaving with money in a particular manner and our grandparents, great-grandparents, everyone has behaved that way, but we don't know why. And until we start to regulate the nervous system when it comes to money, and we start understanding where this ancestral trauma comes from and actually start connecting with our ancestors. So using the research from the West, but also using what I know from my ancestral lineage, so African healing methodologies and all that, and just really connecting with ancestors and understanding how we heal this, we will continue to perpetuate behavioural patterns that we don't even understand the root cause of. So one way to heal that is to go and call on the people that started it and start to heal it, and also start asking them to help us connect to our ancestral wisdom.

Karina Inkster: Wow, that's powerful. So your company,, is that aimed specifically at women of colour and kind of healing money trauma in that group?

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes, it is. But I do have white women as well as my clients. So I mean, I say women of colour predominantly because I'm a woman of colour, but I have men, I have white women as well.

Karina Inkster: I hear you, yeah. Yeah. It always works that way where we have the population that we are most suited to working with or the population that we started out with. But the bigger your company gets, the more folks are going to be like, hey, I want that in.

Vangile Makwakwa: Exactly. Exactly. And I feel like it feels very, very interesting for me because there's some things that, so there's certain services that I will not allow white women or men to be part of, for example, with my retreats, because I feel like there's certain things that when we do retreats, I want to unpack more deeply like racial trauma and sexism, and I don't want to have to deal with anything else, but just focus on this community. But for my courses and one-on-one coaching, everyone's welcome.

Karina Inkster: That makes complete sense. So I'm sure that this is a loaded question, but there must be a lot of connections around money, specifically when it comes to systemic racism and the patriarchy and all these other forms of oppression that directly affects folks and their finances. Right?

Vangile Makwakwa: Oh my gosh, where to start? I have my next book, is actually unpacking this more in-depth. Yeah, definitely. I mean, let's just start with, I do a lot of work on the womb and connecting the womb and money and womb trauma. So people with wombs that have moved through the world and identified as women for centuries will have had a completely different experience to people that are identified as male for centuries. So the stories that would be passed down from generation to generation, in that case, would be completely different. And what we would store, and if you could not easily express your anger, your fears, your anxiety, often you would store them in the womb and guess what, that's where your babies would sit. And then if we think about trauma as something that is passed down through the bloodline, also through DNA, not just through stories and belief systems and a nervous system, co-regulation, then you can imagine the things that we were taking on from female members of our family, and then what we were also storing in the womb and how that now comes up when we have to come and make money.

Stories, I talk about simple things for women most times. I had a client the other day who said, “I don't understand when I do the meditations and I'm going into the womb and I'm doing stuff, I keep linking being pretty and making more money. How does that link?” And I was like, well, it's quite simple, for women in the past, if you were not pretty, you probably couldn't land a particular man to marry, like a wealthy man. And that means that suddenly your choices were limited and that affected your money. But if you could use your pretty privilege as a woman to level up, then that affected your money. You had more money because you had a wealthy man. And that's how most of us moved through the world. And also we live in a world.

And then just another thing that affects women and black men as well is this whole idea that because of the colour of your skin or because of your gender, somehow people throughout time have assumed, in particular, white men have assumed, that somehow your brain cells are not as functional. And so the messaging that you got through time is you are not good enough. You are not good enough.

So I always say to people, do you think that women or even black people were looking at children after getting that messaging and going like, baby, you are good enough, you can take over the world. You can be anything you want. No, because what you're probably preparing your children for is a world that will tell them that they are not good enough. And so they then internalize that and they take it on and they go on to have children and they pass on that message to those children. And so you end up with the cycle of people that believe that they are not good enough, and when they show up to negotiate for salaries, now in this day and age, we carry that within our DNA.

So for most women, it's common that you'll walk into spaces and you'll be like, oh my gosh, I don't believe I can make this salary. Can I negotiate for this? Am I actually going to be good? So all that self-doubt, and people will be like, well, women are so neurotic. No, we're not. This is called systemic oppression. When you've been given the same message over time, then it literally sits in your body and in your DNA. So how you show up is from the space of all these stories that you carry within you. And it's the same even for black people. And I say now, intersect all those messages with being a black woman, and it becomes a different story for a woman of colour. So now you're dealing with oppression on different angles. And let's not even forget about ableism and sexism, I mean sexuality. So if you have someone, it's even different if you are a black woman who's also lesbian. So that's just like, it becomes much more hectic.

Karina Inkster: There's a lot of parallels here in what we see in the fitness industry too, and the messaging that we have about what is a so-called ideal body size, and what forms of women especially are represented in mainstream media, in fitness, and it's generally one skin colour, although in the past couple years it's getting a little better. But a lot of that is posturing, I find from a lot of companies. But yeah, there's a lot of parallels in what we're told, what we assume is normal, what we assume is desirable, it's exactly the same. And all of these systems of oppression that you mentioned, sexism, homophobia, racism, these things are rampant everywhere in every industry. And so it affects both of our industries in different ways. But there's similarities too at the same time.

Vangile Makwakwa: Totally. For years, it's so crazy. When I started Wealthy Money, for the longest while, I believed - I had to actually actively work on this and get my coach to work on it with me - I truly believed that nobody would hire me and nobody would take me seriously because I was a black woman. I would be in my head, I was like, it would be better if I was a black man or it would be better if I was any, I wasn't a black woman because everyone that I was seeing that was talking about finances and money and money mindset, and at the time when I started Wealthy Money, no one was really talking about money trauma and trauma at the deepest levels and tying it to money and ancestral stuff. So I was just like, well, everyone that I see that is has a six-figure business or more looks is either a black man or white man or a white woman.

So I was like, I am neither of those things. So I really, really had to work through that limiting belief, for months on end, that said that. And then there was also this belief that I had, I guess taken on from South Africa and just being in a country that just got rid of Apartheid like 29 years ago, which is that black people can't afford to pay coaches a certain amount of money. And that in particular, a black woman would never buy courses.

So I had to work through all those things, which ironically turned out to be very big lies. And I remember one day being like, what if that is my greatest strength, that I am a black woman in an industry where most of us are not being shown and where things are not being talked about from an African perspective and ancestral trauma is not looked at from an African lens, and our ancestors are not being examined from that? Not just in terms of DNA and scientific research, but what does it mean to be an ancestor in the African landscape and how does that look like when you're doing rituals and things like that?

And I was like, wow, this is amazing because it means that I can get my voice to stand out. I can actually work with that. But it took me at least about a year and a half to get to that point because I was like, well, nobody's going to take me seriously anyway. Nobody's going to pay for me. Nobody can afford it. Because all the imagery that I'd seen in particular of black people on the African continent, even though I knew this was not true, but what I had, what was consistently being fed in the media was that we are these poor people who cannot afford anything.

And then like the shock of shocks. I was like, wow, I can price as I want. I can do business as I want. And it's been incredible and extremely freeing to have to work through that. And I realized that even those things - I call them soul fractures - it's not just systemic oppression and systemic trauma. The way that I look at it, I call it a soul trauma and a soul violation, basically. It's almost like your entire life is being gaslit so that you do not see yourself as a divine soul on this planet. You are constantly doubting your own divinity, and that is human. This is something that was created by humans and is being perpetuated by humans. That is, for me, one of the greatest violations that one can do to another human soul.

Karina Inkster: That is very true. And we see that in a lot of different ways, I'm sure, across all sorts of different industries. So this is huge. I mean, this is an experience I don't have, of course, but I think you as someone in a leadership position with a business specifically about finances are sharing this message now with a lot of different folks. And clearly there are a lot of clients out there who are looking for this kind of work and looking for the service that you offer. And it's pretty amazing to see.

Vangile Makwakwa: Yes, it is. And I feel very, very blessed that I get to do this work and that this work, I've also had to sit down with my mother because one of the things that we don't talk about is also just what happens in systems of oppression, be it sexism, be it racism, be it slavery, Apartheid, colonization, is that we lose the link to our ancestors. Women are written out of history in the same way. Black people are written out of history. But not only that, with people being moved from their land, especially in South Africa, we've lost a lot of the connection to who our ancestors are. So before, people could trace their ancestry way, way back, seven to 10, even longer generations. But as people get moved and our families were torn apart by Apartheid, that ability to trace your family tree has been lost because suddenly people are like, well, I'm from the city of Johannesburg. It's like, no, not really, because ancestrally, your people would've come from a village somewhere.

But we have lost a lot of that. So this work has also given me this beautiful gift of sitting and talking to my mother and writing down, oh, okay, we are these people. This person gave birth to this person, this person gave birth to this person. Which interestingly enough, is very important for us to know those surnames, who those people are, the clan names, how to call them, because this is how you call them in the ancestral plane and how you ask them to support you and stand with you ancestrally. So it becomes a bit challenging when you don't have that link and it's being lost more and more.

And I think also, we don't talk a lot about what happens when people are colonized or when women are written out of history, is that, how do you know that female ancestor? How do you go back and retrieve her wisdom if you don't even know she had that wisdom? I have to go and find out that there was actually a writer in my family, there was this person in my family who could do this. And then that is part of the wisdom that is innate within you that you can ask those ancestors to invoke and remind you how to tap into that wisdom.

Karina Inkster: Wow. There's a lot of layers to this, and I'm sure we're only even scratching the surface at the moment. Do you ever include veganism in the type of work that you do? Is that part of it or your coach that you had, or does that not really come out?

Vangile Makwakwa: Oh yeah. Everybody knows.

Karina Inkster: I mean, I'm kind of assuming it does.

Vangile Makwakwa: It does. I don't include it in the way that my coach does, but I host retreats in South Africa and internationally, and all my retreats are vegan. So it's kind of hilarious because people arrive at my retreats and some of my retreats are 10 days long and people will be on some, we ate a whole bunch of meat the night before because we knew we wouldn't have food.

Karina Inkster: Uh-oh.

Vangile Makwakwa: Like they say food for four or 10 days and people will come and say, we expected leaves. That's all we expected to be fed. So interestingly enough, a lot of my clients go vegan after my retreats, mainly because I think most people have this idea of the vegan lifestyle being one of living on carrots and lettuce. And so when they do experience good vegan food with chefs and they realize that the desserts are incredible, you can have incredible vegan ice cream, you don't lose out on snacks, all those things. It's amazing. And almost everyone at my retreat says the same thing. My digestion has never been this great before.

And I also recommend for people that do my courses when we are doing a lot of heavy work, especially on healing trauma and certain meditations that they do, because everyone does it at their own pace, I recommend going vegan for when the work gets too heavy because I explain that as your body, your cells are processing, you want to be giving them compassion and support by giving them foods that are not heavy and hard to digest. So over time, a lot of, I want to say a lot, but maybe 40% of my clients, which is not bad if you consider that I have about 500 clients.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing.

Vangile Makwakwa: Some of those clients become vegan and they choose to explore the vegan lifestyle. So yeah, it does kind of form part of my work.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. Well, sometimes that's what it takes is actually showing people what vegan food can be and what it is other than just eating leaves and bamboo shoots and carrots and nothing else.

Vangile Makwakwa: Yeah. And I think it just kind of helps when people see and feel it for themselves, because I think three days at a retreat or 10 days at a retreat is enough time, especially for 10 days, it's enough time when people start where people start to see the shift. Because I know when I do the seven and 10-day retreats, people will be like, my skin has cleared up. That is usually the big thing, right? It's like, I can't believe how my skin looks. I can't believe how my digestion feels. I can't believe how I'm sleeping and I'm waking up really feeling refreshed. And people will say things to me like I sleep. And usually when I sleep, I will wake up still feeling heavy.

So I think the best case for helping people understand the vegan lifestyle is for them to really experience it. And ironically, especially in South Africa, some people sign up for my retreats just to experience what other people have been talking about with the vegan life. They're curious. So they come for that, but they get the trauma and money work.

Karina Inkster: Interesting.

Vangile Makwakwa: It becomes a thing that they're like, we heard from so-and-so that they came here and it kind of helped them make the transition to a vegan lifestyle. And I also obviously share my recipes when I'm there, but I also share my chef's details so people can hold of him and work with him.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing. Well, I have to let you go, but we're going to have show notes to your website and your books and all the courses you offer and the coaching. Is there anything last minute you want to leave our listeners with?

Vangile Makwakwa: No, I just want to say thank you to everyone for listening to the end, and thank you so much, Karina. This is so awesome. And yeah, I don't always hop on about veganism except when I'm like hosting retreats and everybody kind of knows about that. And when I'm on Instagram and I'm taking photos of my food.

Karina Inkster: Of course.

Vangile Makwakwa: So it's been nice just to talk about what this has been like for me and this journey.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing. Thank you so much Vangile for coming on the show. It was great to meet you.

Vangile Makwakwa: Thank you.

Karina Inkster: Vangile, thank you again for speaking with me today. Head to our show notes at to connect with Vangile and check out her books and courses. Thanks for tuning in.

Download your free vegan strength training ebook by Coach K!

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