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LA Dunn spent years blogging about “mommylife” and “wifelife.” She celebrated the joys, ranted about the frustrations (fair!), and wrote about everything in between. That all changed in 2017 when Dunn, the founder of Black Girls Eat, started to experience pain throughout her body.
After taking tests and consulting with her doctor, she took a look at her diet and the ways in which certain foods cause inflammation (and the pain that comes along with it). Dunn started to learn about whole foods (aka, foods that have not been processed — not the grocery store, although we have an inkling she shops at Whole Foods too!), and began to adopt a plant-based diet.
“As I started bouncing around farmer’s markets, I realized that there were so many foods and food combinations that I never saw on my childhood dining room table in the Bronx,” she said on her site. “I realized that I couldn’t be the only one who didn’t know that Brussels sprouts started out on a stalk! Or that there was even an ‘s’ at the end of brussel!”
And so she turned her blogging focus to food and launched Black Girls Eat, a business that helps women make plant-based, nutrient-dense meals. Dunn shares her own recipes, blog posts, podcast episodes, and a (free!) e-book, 15 Plant-Based Mistakes to Avoid. She also offers a virtual class that takes students from “plant-curious” to “plant-focused” in just five days.
Even though she may not write about “mommy and wife life” quite as often, her family still plays a big role in how she thinks about her business.
“My hubby is a good cook, and our daughter Taryn is a foodie,” she said on Black Girls Eat. “Both of them were happy to be on the food journey with me. Taryn will absolutely walk into a party and ask if there’s any hummus onsite.”
Now that’s impressive. So just how does this supermom make this all happen? The recipe for raising a happy, hummus-loving pre-teen calls for more than just chickpeas. Ahead, Dunn spills the tea on the parenting essentials that keep her and and her fam satisfied in between their plant-based meals.
Is there a podcast you’re listening to right now — and if so, why do you love it?
Audio makes me sleepy! But when I have time, I listen to my friends like Jen Glantz of You’re Not Getting Any Younger. Always fresh, engaging, and helpful advice.
Is there a book you love reading to your daughter, Taryn?
We used to love reading The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt (also available on Amazon). We read it all the time until the pages were frayed. That lasted until she was around 9 years old. Now she’s into all things Broadway. So not so much reading books, but lyrics count, right? She has memorized the soundtracks to Hamilton and Six.
What book are you currently reading, either for pleasure or parenting-related?
Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour, Ph.D. (also available on Amazon).
It provides great insight and gives us cool metaphors to help us understand what’s going on with our girl. No spoilers, but there’s a swimming pool theory along with a hot potato one.
What beauty product do you never leave the house without and why?
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Kiss’r Luscious Lip Balm in Hint Hint. Hands down the yummiest. I have one in my bag, one in the car, one at my desk. It’s smooth and not sticky. Plus, my hubby’s family is from Barbados, so of course we support RiRi!
Are there any apps you use that make your life as a parent easier?
It’s old school, but Microsoft Outlook is everything to us! Outlook has saved our marriage and our lives. We put everything on the calendar, and it’s even color-coded. If it’s not on Outlook … it doesn’t really exist.
What music, if any, do you love listening to as a family?
My 12-year-old is hooked on Frank Sinatra. Don’t ask me why or how. We’ve stayed at the Fountainebleu in Miami a few times, and there’s an entire hallway filled with photos from Sinatra movies, stage performances and behind the scenes. She loves it.
Are there any TV shows that you actually enjoy watching together?
We just binge watched Wednesday together. I would have never imagined that she knew so much about the Addams Family! We also recently had fun watching a few episodes of Married at First Sight: Unmatchables. It’s not what you would expect from us, but Taryn’s good at pointing out insecurities and hang ups. Could come in handy one day!
What parenting-related accounts do you follow on Instagram and why?
None, really. I’m a scroller.
Are there any subscriptions you have for your daughter?
Just added a subscription to Teen Vogue as a Christmas gift because our girl is all about great looks and style.
Any favorite baby/kid bath/skincare products?
My pre-teen is all things Glossier, Dior Lip Glow Oil, and Neutrogena Body Oil Light Sesame Formula.
Is there a non-screen-related obsession that keeps your kid occupied for hours?
Monopoly is the all-time classic. She never gets tired of it. And believe it or not, there are times when we will color together.
Is there a product that Taryn can’t be without?
Food product: Takis. I have no idea why but the spicy, crunchy, leave-your-fingers-blue thing is a thing.
Beauty product: Vaseline. She told me to put some on my wrist and spray my perfume there so it would last longer.
Are there any under-the-radar kid brands (clothing, bath, etc) that you recently discovered and love?
Flare Jeans from a company called Vanilla Star. Fit her perfectly in Junior Size. We have found them at Macy’s.
Is there a lesser-known clothing brand you love for yourself that helps you ‘mom’ in style? Please include your favorite item!
Not lesser known, but you can dress me in anything DKNY. I think their models have the same body type as me. From wedge sneakers to hooded dresses to the cutest blouses for the office. DKNY all day!
To get even more parenting recommendations, read about the other stylish moms featured in our Momsessed series.
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