SYT: Tell us about yourself.
Danielle: I am Danielle C. Henry. I am a Dreamer, a Culinary Educator, a Plant-Based Healer, a Food Blogger, Vegan Cooking Show Host, Speaker, and Community Activist. Coming from Jamaican descent & growing up in Long Island, NY, I have always been a natural in the kitchen and an overall creative spirit. I have always embraced my culture, but used food as a way to bridge the gap between other cultures worldwide by uniquely and boldly combining different spices and flavors so I and others can “taste the world”. My food is my art and a way of expression. My dream is to spread love and positivity in the world, using healthy plant-based food as a channel, and show people that their mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected.
SYT: Have you ever struggled with your perception of beauty?
Danielle: Absolutely. I used to practice self-hate without realizing it. I used to find ways around embracing SELF by wearing clothes I felt others would like, by straightening my naturally kinky, curly, beautiful hair, and I’d even walk and talk a certain way that I felt would be accepted. Every day. I operated outside of my natural state of being and kept SELF in a box, deep, deep, within me for fear of being looked at as different. Not realizing that my differences could and would bring change in the world. Beautiful, positive, noteworthy changes. I wore this mask so well that at one point I realized I actually didn’t know myself. It was through solitude that I found her again. And when she arose, and I saw her light, and what her light can do for others, I made a promise with the Almighty to never, ever lock her away again.
SYT: What is your personal definition of beauty?
Danielle: Natural state of being. Beauty is at the soul of you. The core of you. Beauty is when you wake up – before you wipe the crust off your eyes. Beauty is the way each and every hair follicle on your head grows outward. Beauty is everything you are and everything you were born to be. Beauty is embracing all that is. The way it is. Naturally.
SYT: Do you have a side hustle? If so tell us all about it.
Danielle: I’m Jamaican honey. I was a born hustler LOL. I do pop-shops, I sell food, baked goods, I teach cooking classes, live cooking demonstrations, I offer personal chef services, I create personalized meal plans for people according to their health, fitness, and life goals, and I pretty much do anything else that allows me to express LOVE through a channel that aligns with me and the brand I have created.
In all honesty though, since I’ve made the conscious decision to only do things that move me, and since I make every move a purposeful one, it’s hard to call anything that I do a side hustle. It’s my life. Everything I do is intentional. I put a lot of energy in my work, every day, and the money and blessings I receive in return is merely an exchange of the energy put in, every day. And when I say every day – I mean, it wakes me up at 5/6am. It keeps me up at night. Purpose is deeper than a side hustle. Purpose is my why.
SYT: Best piece of advice you would give to another women of color as she navigates through life?
Danielle: Be yourself. UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Whoever she may be. And know, that you have a tribe of folks routing for you, always. Including me. Know that you are loved. Know that you are love.
SYT: What are some of your goals and aspirations?
Danielle: My goals change, grow, and advance every day. But one goal that will always remain the same, is to impact every single soul I come in contact with. If it’s not me directly, it’s my work. My goal is to leave my mark, my legacy. My goal is to beat and master time. From the moment I was born to the moment I transition out of this lifetime, I’ll still be here. Changing lives. Impacting people in ways that they cannot truly explain but only feel.
SYT: Products on your bathroom sink? (Black women are the beauty industries biggest consumers, often times our bathroom sinks become a reflection of our consumer habits)?
Danielle: COCONUT OIL! Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Raw Shea Butter. Essential oils. Shea Moisture Leave-ins & Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Peppermint Infused Shampoo. Bentonite Clay + Apple Cider Vinegar. Raw African Black Soap. Organic Lavender Infused Hand Wash. Candles!
SYT: How do you practice self-care? (Yoga, reading, spa etc.)
Danielle: I practice self-care by practicing mindfulness. Being aware of my breath, making sure that I am BREATHING. I read a lot. Meditation and prayer first thing in the morning before I even open my eyes or touch my phone. I practice self-care by laughing. By being intentional about the music I listen to and the lyrics I am ingesting in my subconscious (lots of roots reggae music). By going to the farmer’s market (ONE OF MY FAVORITES THINGS TO DO!) and being humbled my mother nature’s gifts (and getting to play with them and nourish others!). Affirmations. I talk to myself all day every day. I communicate with the Almighty every day. Oh, and I write. A LOT. I’ve found a lot of revelations though my writing.
SYT: Top 5 beauty products you can’t live without.
Danielle: WATER (for Life), Raw Shea Butter (for my lips), Coconut Oil (for my body), Rose Oil (for my Face), & fresh fruit every day … keeps my skin clear.
SYT: Song you currently have on repeat?
Danielle: I love this question because music is such an integral part of my every day life. Right now in this moment I am listening to Humble Mi – by Jah9… over, and over, and over. Also, Give Thanks & Praises – Bob Marley is an every day listen.
SYT: How are you using your voice to change the status quo? (How do you plan to use your platform, voice or actions to create change)
Danielle: In the beginning of my self-love/self-realization journey – and when I first started my Brand, Let’s Talk Food, I believed that it was just cooking food that was my power. That what I have to offer the world was limited to cooking in the kitchen. I realized quickly, as I started to dig deeper within myself, that along with food being my artistry and my power, my power is TRULY in my voice. It is the message of love that I have for people and the way in which I choose to deliver it. It is the way in which I emphasis certain words in my sentences and look people in the eye that creates change within them. Which in turn, will create a domino effect of positive change in the world. All change starts on an individual level. When I learned how to act as a mirror for people, to show them who THEY are at THEIR core, I realized this is my purpose and what I will do for as long as I am here. I will continue to use my voice - whether it be in the grocery store waiting on line to pay for my groceries, teaching a cooking class, cooking for a private event, or on a platform with a mic in my hand speaking to thousands of people, I will always remain true and deliver the message the way it comes to me. I will not be afraid to look someone in the eyes and give them truth, or send loving energy through my food. I will continue to BE the change I want to see in the world.
SYT: Anything else you would like us to know?
Know that if there’s anyone who loves you, it’s me!
Keep up with Danielle!
Facebook: Let’s Talk Food