Rediscovered: Body, Mind, and Spirit
Whole Foods is bustling with people on a chilly Saturday morning. Asha Foster fits right in with the crowd, donning cropped leggings and spotless Nike’s. Sipping on an earthy green smoothie and surveying “the cuties” she frequently sees there, Asha is particularly early for her engagement. This is a new occurrence for her, however, who emphasized that she used to be late for everything. And not just by five minutes, rather, the walk into class 45 minutes after it has started kind of late. A teacher’s advice recently resonated deeply in Asha when she told her “stop thinking you have time to do that one last thing- you don’t!” Ever since, Asha has strived to be earlier than necessary for all her affairs.
This newly developed quality is among many recently acquired for Asha, whose newfound love is kickboxing. Since she turned 20, Asha has made several lifestyle changes and has rediscovered herself, “mind, body, and soul,” she says. A vegan of over a year and a half, Asha feels that it is “not only a choice but a lifestyle.” She has become increasingly aware of genetically modified organisms, specifically in the typical American diet, as well as their effects on our children. Asha is an avid supporter of the Just Label It campaign and identifies with the 90% of Americans who believe in the labeling of genetically modified foods. Monsanto’s recent announcement about believing that labeling food should be done on a national rather than state-wide level has interested her.
Admittedly obsessive and paranoid over some things, Asha says food has always concerned her. After getting sick from too many hard-boiled eggs as a child, she developed a short, mostly psychological reliance on Alka-Seltzer because she was terrified of throwing up. Her veganism, however, has introduced to her diet new favorites such as curry chickpeas, baked vegan “chippies,” and salads sprinkled with baby corn. Since she graduated high school, Asha has dropped a whopping 40 pounds, a major adjustment for her petite frame, and she wants people to recognize that she is fit and in shape.
One aspect of her life that has remained a constant, however, is her relationship with God and practice of nondenominational Christianity. Her Trinidadian father is the pastor of Bible Faith Tabernacle in Brooklyn and her family attends mass three times a week. “The next guy that comes into my life has to understand,” she says, regarding her faith. “He must first have a relationship with God” and not use God simply as a way to woo her, a past occurrence that she has learned from and vows will never happen again.
When asked where she sees herself in the future, Asha’s thick lashes and defined brows raise high as she leans in and smiles, eagerly describing her goals to be a famous “makeup and fitness guru” on YouTube. She recently renovated her room for this ambition and she hopes to “inspire others through her actions.” For right now though, she is focused on getting to class and church on time, and maybe cutting winged eyeliner out of her routine once in a while because it might very temptingly be that “one last thing.”