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Jenné Claiborne

Jenné Claiborne

Jenné Claiborne is a Vegan Chef and lifestyle Blogger behind the blog Sweet Potato Soul. She's also Co-founder of the online vegan meal planning service Buddhalicious. She has been featured on several media outlets including the Today Show, Shape, The Huffington Post, and InStyle. She also has a YouTube channel, which is an extension of her blog with over 120,000 subscribers and nearly two million views and growing. [0]

Jenne about herself:

"I’m a Georgia Peach living in NYC, with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and chocolate.

Lately I would add matcha to that list <3"[1]

Early life

Jenne in black

Jenne in black

She was born and raised in Atlanta, GA.

"Since I came into this world I have loved food!

My Nana, a true food lover and fabulous cook, would let me play in the kitchen for hours whipping up concoctions with whatever spices, flours, oils, and liquids I could get my hands on.

Nothing was ever edible, but it was a fantastic creative outlet for an only child.

I’d even make mud pies in the yard with my friends and “cook” them in Nana’s mailbox.

Those were the days!"[1]

Though food was a major focus in her household, her family didn’t place much emphasis on health.

She hated most veggies and fruits, and "happily stuffed my face with pop tarts, store-bought cookies (Chewy Chips Ahoy were my faves), kool-aid, and Chik-fil-a."

She discovered healthy eating in college, and haven’t looked back since.

"Now my whole life revolves around food that makes me feel happy, energetic, and nourished."

[1]

Becoming vegan

Jenne watching goats

Jenne watching goats

She became Vegan because she thinks it’s wrong to exploit animals for their meat and reproductive processes. Even though she didn’t give up Animal products for her health or happiness, both have greatly improved.

"Since I’ve become vegan these things have happened:

  • I discovered a new, exciting, and lucrative career path as avegan chef, health coach, and cooking instructor.

  • I’ve become friends with the most compassionate and kind people.

  • My terrible digestion became great.

  • My acne cleared up, and my skin is now clear and glowing.

  • The clinical depression I was diagnosed with has dissipated, and I no longer rely on anti-depressant drugs.

  • My hormones and menstrual cycle found balance.

  • My fatigue disappeared." [1]

Education

She received a BFA in acting from Boston University. She also studied nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and is a voracious consumer of nutrition science and behavioral psychology. [3]

Career

Jenne's fashion

Jenne's fashion

Jenne in a red bandana

Jenne in a red bandana

Jenne baking

Jenne baking

Jenne didn't initially plan to become a vegan chef.

In fact, she wanted to be an actress, so she moved to New York to pursue her career. In the meantime, she needed a paying job that also allowed her the freedom to go on auditions.

“I got a job at a restaurant because that’s what actors do"[2]

She became a Vegetarian in 2011 because of her love for animals—which meant that she wasn’t comfortable handling meat. So, she started working at vegan restaurant Peacefood Cafe.

“Before I worked there, I didn’t [fully] understand the difference between vegan and vegetarianism, but working there, I learned so much about the ethics of [eating] animals, so after a year, I became fully vegan myself.”

[2]

This shift majorly shaped her identity and future plans.

A month into being a full-time Vegan, she started her blog, Sweet Potato Soul, in order to share recipes.

“I became a vegan for ethical reasons, but physically I really did feel better.

And I loved experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.

Plus, the whole acting thing wasn’t really working out.

I thought, Why don’t I do something with vegan food because I love it so much?

A couple weeks later, I was all in.”

[2]

By this point, she had gotten a new job at Pure Food and Wine, which she says was her favorite restaurant at the time.

But even still, she wanted to do something bigger.

With a friend, she launched The Nourishing Vegan, a personal chef business that developed original menus and prepped weekly meals for up to six people.

“My friend and I thought it would be this easy, fun thing we could do on the side.

It was not easy.

We were so, so wrong.”

[2]

Still, it was fun, and did give her the creative outlet and drive to pursue vegan cooking professionally.

“As soon as I landed my first client, I quit my job at Pure Food and Wine.

I just wanted to do my own thing so badly!”[2]

Her business continued to grow and a couple years later So Buddalicious, a vegan meal plan service was born.

She was thriving, not only as a vegan chef, but as a chef in New York City—period.

Still, there was a moment when she almost gave up.

“Last year, my boyfriend and I broke up and I had this time of confusion.

Like, what am I going to do next?

I just wanted to change my whole life, maybe go back to school and get my master’s.”

[2]

She explains that while the breakup played a big role in her quarterlife crisis, it was also because the line between her personal and professional life was so blurred, she had no separation.

“I started to judge myself by things like how many Instagram followers I had.

And if I didn’t have enough it meant I should be doing something else because something was obviously wrong with me"[2]

She stuck with it, but learned how to create boundaries so she didn’t define herself solely by her professional wins and loses.

“I need separation so if I have a setback at work, I don’t think I suck!

I have to have hobbies.

I have to be able to say, this is all the work I can do today.

Now, I’m going to watch TV.”

[2]

A couple months ago, an email from the By Chloe team popped in her inbox.

The brand wanted to work with her.

“I saw By Chloe in the subject line and I opened it so quick.

I didn’t even read the whole email before I replied saying, ‘Okay, yeah—I’m in!'”[2]

Now, she’s an official contributing chef, working with Chloe Coscarelli and Samantha Wasser, writing for the By Chloe blog and crafting recipes for the brand.

“It’s been so much fun.

[Coscarelli and Wasser] are really creative, and the ideas they send sparks my creativity.

For National S’mores Day, you know By Chloe isn’t going to want just a typical campfire s’more; they’re going to want a s’more smoothie or pie.

It challenges me to think outside the box.”

[2]

Now, she's working on her book Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy, Healthy, Delicious Recipes for Vegan Soul Food, which is expected to come out in 2018.

Blog name

Jenne eating sweet potatoes

Jenne eating sweet potatoes

She developed her love of sweet potatoes while growing up in Atlanta, GA.

"As a picky kid, they were one of the few healthy foods I would eat.

Candied yams, sweet potato pie, and a good ol' baked sweet potato; when I think of soul food, these come to mind."

[1]

Now as a vegan chef sweet potatoes are still her favorite food, and one of the most delightful and soulful ingredients.

Awards

She won a VegNews Bloggy Award for 2016. [1]

Interesting facts

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  • [[INLINE_IMAGE|https://everipedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.com/NewlinkFiles/16791385/2531d4d9-0/JenneKitchen2015SMall-364x205.jpg||Image|h113|w200|caption-img]] Happy Jenne Her favourite books are Song of solomon by Toni Morrison and Scarcity by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir [3]

  • She played in the Death of a Pop Star (2011)

  • Sunday to Tuesday she's usually in someone’s kitchen, cooking up a storm — she prepare meals for people for the whole week

  • She changes shirts multiple times a day. She wears one to cook for clients, a different one to take a yoga class, and then she’ll put on something really cute to shoot her cooking videos

  • She takes style inspiration from people I see on the street

  • She doesn't work out (besides Yōga), but she's very active — she ride her bike everywhere

  • Her boyfriend is a musician, and they love going out to hear music

  • Her apartment is in a high-rise building that’s on the site of the original Savoy Ballroom. Her home and personal style aesthetics are similar: clean and contemporary with dark, organic shapes and fun pops of color

  • She loves scarves — she has a million of them and always puts one on whenever she goes out in the fall and winter [4]

References

[1]
Citation Linkfamousbirthdays.comJenne's short bio
Jun 25, 2017, 6:07 PM
[2]
Citation Linksweetpotatosoul.comAboute Jenne from her blog
Jun 25, 2017, 6:15 PM
[3]
Citation Linkwellandgood.comJenne about her career
Jun 25, 2017, 6:41 PM
[4]
Citation Linksusieschnall.comInterview with Jenne
Jun 25, 2017, 6:49 PM
[5]
Citation Linkrefinery29.com+40 lifestyle essentials from a vegan chef
Jun 25, 2017, 7:08 PM
[6]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne baking
Jun 25, 2017, 7:23 PM
[7]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comHappy Jenne
Jun 25, 2017, 7:23 PM
[8]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne drinking
Jun 25, 2017, 7:24 PM
[9]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne with a papaya
Jun 25, 2017, 7:25 PM
[10]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne in a red bandana
Jun 25, 2017, 7:26 PM
[11]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne in black
Jun 25, 2017, 7:26 PM
[12]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne watching goats
Jun 25, 2017, 7:27 PM
[13]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne's photo on her blog
Jun 25, 2017, 7:27 PM
[14]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne holding sweet potatoes
Jun 25, 2017, 7:28 PM
[15]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne in Japan
Jun 25, 2017, 7:28 PM
[16]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne with a vegan meal
Jun 25, 2017, 7:28 PM
[17]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne's fashion
Jun 25, 2017, 7:29 PM
[18]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne eating
Jun 25, 2017, 7:29 PM
[19]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne in red
Jun 25, 2017, 7:29 PM
[20]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJenne holding Bio-K
Jun 25, 2017, 7:30 PM