Common Talks Veganism and his Holiday Must-Haves: Cookies, Green Juice, Eggnog, and Christmas Catfish

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31:  Actor/rapper Common attends Nighttime: TAO Downtown Lounge on January 31, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 31: Actor/rapper Common attends Nighttime: TAO Downtown Lounge on January 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

During the holidays, the Grammy and Academy Award winning star must have absolutely one thing. Hint: it comes from his mama!

Feeding Young Minds

I believe that what you eat affects the way you feel, the way you think and how beautiful you can look, so I’m really passionate about introducing kids to a holistic, healthy, good life. That’s why my foundation, Common Ground, offers nutritional programs where chefs come in and talk about eating healthfully.

Superhero Drink
I like green juice, especially one called Green Machine, because it gives me that kick I need. I almost played the Green Lantern in a film, but maybe Green Machine should be my superhero name.

Music Lessons
I grew up in Chicago eating everything: barbecue, hamburgers, bacon. Then I heard rappers, like KRS-One in “My Philosophy,” say things about not eating meat, which was a real education, especially since it was coming from somebody cool. That stayed with me and made me want to learn more.

Finding Balance
As soon as I removed meat from my diet, I started to feel a clarity I didn’t have before. It sounds funny, but I feel like I was rapping better. I was vegan for a while, then came back to the middle and started eating fish and seafood.

Holiday Hankerings
Food is a big part of celebrating Christmas. Eggnog is one tradition I really enjoy. I’ve found some nondairy versions that are pretty good, especially spiked with a little liquor. My mother has learned to cook healthy food for me, but she also makes me her fried catfish. I know it’s not the best for me, but I love it.

Sweet Rewards
I’m a cookie monster. I like the gluten-free, sugar-free ones from Erin McKenna’s in NYC. I’ll come home after working hard, and they’re my treat—I’ve earned them.

SOURCE: ESSENCE / FoodAndWine.com