Usually, I’m too busy to make breakfast and lunch on Thanksgiving Day. My family likes to save their appetite for the big feast, anyway. My Vegan Thanksgiving menu included; A Celebration Roast (made by the original maker of grain ‘meats,’ Field Roast) surrounded by roasted vegetables, cornbread dressing (with gravy), macaroni and cheese, sautéed cabbage, collard greens, string beans, and cranberry sauce. Fo dessert, I made an apple and a couple of sweet potato pies.
HS: What would breakfast, lunch and dinner be for you and your family on a ‘typical weekday?
Our day starts very early on week days, so our appetite is minimal. We don’t eat our first meal until 10 or 11 in the morning. Our daughter takes her vitamins and may bring a bagel on her bus ride to school. As far as myself and my husband, we workout at the gym in a fasted state. It works well for us and we seem to have a lot more energy that way. Eating before training, slows us down. Our first meal would be a vegan, soy-frree, protein shake such as Garden Of Life, Raw Organic Protein. The chocolate flavor is our favorite! We mix it with almond milk and may add a banana to the shake. Afterwards, we’ll have avocado toast which is delicious and very simple to make. Just mashup a ripe avocado, add a little seasoning like garlic or onion powder, and some sea salt. Spread it on your bagel or toast and enjoy. Midday, I’ll enjoy a cup of Matcha. This Japanese green tea powder is the perfect alternative to coffee, in my opinion. I make it as a latte. For dinner, I try to keep things simple and quick. I’ve made tacos using refried beans or pea protein crumbles, like Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles with Spanish rice, pasta primavera with a salad, vegan pizza, quiche (made with garbanzo bean flour), and a vegetable stir fry over noodles or rice.
HS: Now that your daughter Maysa is now a teenager in high school do you prepare lunch for her or does she have access to vegan meals for lunch at her school?
I do make lunch for her everyday, however some days out of the week, her school may have something on the menu that she can enjoy. It’s still an issue where many schools can accommodate vegetarians but not vegans. We have to keep the lines of communication open with the school’s chef to help the staff understand the difference between the two. It’s a slow, but steady progress.
HS: We know that you composed the music and lyrics for your new single ‘Inclusion’, we are curious about the process. Which came first the music or the lyrics? and was this a typical process for you or was it different and if it was different how so?
It started out with an idea for the subject matter, but I didn’t have any lyrical ideas. Typically, I start programming the drums and finding the right tempo to fit the mood. I knew I wanted it to be upbeat. I’m driven to music that makes you want to move. I came up with some chord progressions for the verses which inspired the lyrics. Once the verse ideas were complete, I was able to come up with a strong chorus and it’s lyrics. It’s a typical process for me, but It really depends on the individual song.
HS: As the producer as well how did you choose which musicians to use in addition to yourself? Those horns are banging as well as the drum sounds and percussion.
Thank you! I usually choose talented musicians that I’ve worked with before, whether it’s on stage or in the studio. I can only depend on musicians that work fast and efficiently. Sometimes, I have to work with them remotely. Such as the horn players, who are from Argentina, I had a gut feeling that they would be right for the song and would be able to deliver the sound I wanted. To accomplish this, I composed the horn charts and sent them with a demo of recorded synth horns parts. In this way, I was able to alleviate any misunderstanding and wasted time. It’s a lot of work, but it was well worth it!
HS: This country, actually the entire world currently seems to be divided . Was that part of your inspiration for a song like ‘Inclusion” or was it something else?
Ultimately, it was. I wanted to write a song to celebrate our uniqueness as individuals and speak to those who are being bullied or are bullying. Right now, immigrants of color are being bullied and being told that America cannot be their home because of where they migrated from. It’s frustrating to see how many individuals in this country are clueless (and ignorant) as to how this country came to be. Without getting too deep, we ALL came from somewhere with the exception of our Native American brethren. To balance out the hateful messages and rhetoric i hear or read, I use music to help bring us together, even if it’s for 3 or 4 minutes at a time. We should all be treated as equals. The title “Inclusion” seemed to be the most fitting for this song.
HS: A little birdie told me that you and your husband work out together regularly. Please share on how did that come about
Yes, we do. We both enjoy being active, but when one of us isn’t feeling motivated to go to the gym, the other will push for the both of us. As we grow older, neither one of us wants to leave the other behind (smile). We want to look good TOGETHER. Aside from that, we care about each other’s well being. We need each other to be healthy and strong, especially for our daughter.
HS: In addition to your own , what music do you listen to while working out and while cooking?
I love listening to house music anywhere at anytime, but I do enjoy listening to a lot of hip hop when I’m at the gym, lifting weights. It seems to make me workout more intensely. While I’m cooking, I’ll listen to podcasts or Youtube videos about health. I find it relaxing and I’m more focused on retaining the information.
HS: Before we close what can we expect musically from Angela Johnson in 2019
Well, you’ll definite will be hearing more music from me. While working on my next album, more singles will be released. I also plan to tour abroad. I love visiting other countries and performing my music. It’s incredibly gratifying!
HS: The same little birdie informed us that you have a natural solution to temporary relieve a toothache. Please share.
It’s called oil pulling. I use this Ayurvedic practice as a morning ritual that can help prevent dental issues down the road. Some have used it to whiten teeth, relieve toothaches, or heal gum tissue problems. I take a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil in the mouth and mix it with 3 drops of organic oil of oregano and 3 drops of organic clove oil. I swish it around in my mouth for a maximum of 20 minutes. Beginners can start with 10 minutes and increase the time, gradually. Once you’ve finished, spit it out into the garbage. Spitting in a sink will eventually clog the drain. Next, I rinse my mouth out with warm salt water and brush my teeth as I normally do. It gives my mouth such a clean and healthy feeling. I tell everyone to give it a try, but do their research on all the benefits of oil pulling.