Plant Powered Living is honored to share with you our interview with HoopCharmer, CEO & Founder of Charmed Life Entertainment. Jennifer Quest, HoopCharmer, is creating amazing performances with her company and taking everything to the next level & beyond. Learn about HoopCharmer’s successful entertainment company, vision for the future, path of going vegan and all things fabulous. Love, Light & Aliveness
Tell us about your company, Charmed Life Entertainment. What was your inspiration to start it?
Charmed Life Entertainment was created out of a desire to showcase to the world the unique inspired artists that exist within our communities. It stands for real people, living and creating art in their careers, with a true passion and inspiration to share that gift with others. It represents not only an entertainment company, but it also represents a way of living your life, a Charmed Life. A life where possibilities are endless and inspiration is infinite. A place where we perform and express from our hearts, and share a unique energy with the crowds we dance for. As I built a career first as a hoop/fire dancer, I gradually realized the calling to create a company to help lead and give others a place to express their passions, while we all create abundance in doing what we love.
At Charmed Life we offer a variety of talent, from my specialty of hoop dance, to aerial artists, acrobats, fire dance, belly dance and other cirque and flow style arts. I am also honored to represent incredible DJs and musicians such as DJ Jonny Quest, Stone Train and vocalist Krista Richards. We create and perform unique themes and have a wide arsenal of amazing props, creating stunning imagery and sound possibilities.
What is your vision of the future of Charmed Life, do you have any long term goals yet to achieve?
There will always be new goals as long as I live. In the future I see Charmed Life leading the way as an inspirational performance art company, with branches working out of multiple cities, supplying entertainment on a global scale. I also see large scale event and show production in the future, uniting like minded artists worldwide, bringing people the kind of events that set their hearts on fire.
Tell us about your transition from The Standard American Diet to Plant Powered Living.
I was raised in the country and in the mountains… lots of farming and hunting. Cheese was my comfort food, and I have watched animals die and be butchered many times over the course of my life. We were a family with dear heads on the walls, ate meat pretty much at every meal, and my family sure did know how to make it taste good. When I think back, although I did partake, and even enjoyed the meat that I ate, I remember feeling my heart ache each and every time I really thought and became present to the fact that I was taking part in the death of any animal., which was usually when one was strung up in our garage being skinned. I have always loved animals and had a huge compassionate heart – a lover not a fighter sort. I now realize that back then I never realized I had a choice. I was taught to eat what was put on the table, not to be wasteful and not to ask questions. This lasted until I left the house at the age of 17.
As the next 2 years or so went by, I slowly became more aware of my ability to choose for myself just how I wanted to experience this life. I was introduced to PETA at some point and watched one of the “Meet your Meat” videos. This was really all it took for me to make the jump to vegetarian. I didn’t want to be responsible in any way to the taking of any life on this planet. It was pretty easy to give up meat. I just stopped one day. I made the choice and didn’t look back. Over the next few years I became more and more aware of the health benefits of cutting out all animal products from one’s diet and making the switch to vegan. For a while I resisted, giving up dairy was a much longer process, as I never wanted to give up the cheese or eggs, and kept trying to convince myself that vegetarian was enough. Again, cheese was my comfort food, and I was determined (for a while) not to give that up. My understanding of the treatment of dairy cows and chickens gradually built, and I realized that even a vegetarian diet lacks a full understanding of supreme compassion. The suffering humans inflict on animals and each other on a daily basis breaks my heart. After time, whenever I would eat any animal products, my mind and body started to reject it. I no longer got that same emotional comfort with cheese, in fact, the opposite. With my newfound awareness, I couldn’t hide from what felt like my truth, and I believe the truth that I hope will one day flourish on planet earth. I want to eat based on a love consciousness. A love for myself, for a long healthy life filled with vitality and a love for all living creatures. I realized, that for this to happen on a large scale, the change needed to start within. I needed to make the switch to all vegan. After 7 years of processing my feelings about all of this, I finally picked up and read “The China Study“, which I knew would be my last step before going vegan. Upon finishing the book, I felt affirmed in my choice to choose a plant powered life, and I believe it is the best choice I have personally ever made.
How has following a Plant Powered lifestyle changed your life as an athlete and a performer? What differences do you feel within yourself?
Going plant powered has brought a profound level of energy into the equation. I never find myself tired after meals, in fact, usually the opposite. I eat a balanced diet packed full of life giving nutrients! I found that my body immediately leaned out, felt lighter and more alive. I feel faster, as well as more focused physically and emotionally. Ive noticed that I almost never get a stomach ache, digestion problems, heart burn, or any of the problems that usually come up with the standard American diet. Woo hoo! It feels awesome!
You must travel a lot to run your entertainment company, what is it like eating on the road? Have any tips for people who need to eat out often to find vegan options in non-“vegan friendly” restaurants?
Yes, I get a decent amount of traveling in. I usually pack an ice chest full of chopped cucumber and broccoli, some yummy hummus and dips, bananas, apples, vegan or raw crackers and other nutrient dense and yummy snacks for the road. It’s much easier to come prepared when you can. When I don’t have my own snacks, or when stopping at non vegan restaurants, I can usually always find something to eat by simply explaining that I’m vegan, and ordering side dishes, customizing them as necessary. At the beginning you may have to ask more questions, but gradually over time, you’ll find ordering to be easy as pie. In fact, I think shopping is much easier now. I want simple goodness! There is a great app on my iPhone to find healthier food choices while on the road… it’s called VegOut and it is powered by www.HappyCow.net. I definitely recommend it, as its helps me out quite a bit on the road.
What is your favorite and easy Plant Powered meal to cook at home? Have a quick recipe to share?
Sure! I have many favorites, so Ill just pick an awesome comfort food!
Recipe: Vegan Grilled “Cheese” and Avocado Sandwiches
First, I spread earth balance on one side of the 2 slices of bread for the sandwich, cooking the bread with the earth balance sides down, with a thin layer of Daiya cheese in the middle.
While that is cooking, I make guacamole, smashing the fresh avocados, adding salt, pepper, garlic powder and a touch of lime to taste.
When the sandwiches are fully cooked, I slice into sections, then dip the sandwiches in the guacamole.
This makes for a delicious warm, comforting meal… and for all the cheese lovers out there, this perfectly satisfies any cravings I ever get for a cheesy experience. Yay!
What is the best advice you can give to someone who may be “on the fence” about going fully Plant Powered?
First off, recognize that it is a process, unique to each of us. Don’t pressure yourself, but do educate yourself. Become aware of animal treatment, deforestation, and the amazing life giving effects of a vegan diet on human health. One step at a time, realize that you have a choice… Just because we were taught when we were young to eat a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s your only option. Reach out to other people making those choices and learn from their experiences. Find community support. Share your process with others. Ive found that to be one of the most helpful parts of my process… in fact, I’d like to acknowledge Dave Kemp, aka: Dave the Organism, Co-Visionary of Plant Powered Living, for his knowledge and pure love to inspire so many people on this plant powered path. The support he has given over the years has been tremendous!
What else do you do, besides having a phenomenal diet, to keep yourself fit and beautiful?
I have been bursting with activity my entire life. High energy, ready to throw down and get sweaty! I have been a runner since I was 12, and haven’t slowed down since. Although I have participated in many types of physical activities, my heart feels the most free and expressed when Im running or hooping/dancing. I crave that time to get in a strong flow with my breath and movement, to let go and rock out! In fact, I don’t feel balanced without it! Our bodies were meant to be expressed, to reach towards our potential with each breath!
I also drink a lot of water, in fact, besides fresh juice and tea, water is really the only other thing I drink for the most part. Stay hydrated! Your activity will be limited if your body doesn’t have enough water. Gotta love what we are made of!
Where can we find Charmed Life Entertainment, or yourself, performing next?
With only private events scheduled thus far on the calendar, stay tuned as we will announce the next night of our event CIRCUS, coming soon! Stay tuned to HoopCharmer and Charmed Life Entertainment on Facebook for regularly updated event info.
Anything else you want to add about your life, journey to Plant Powered, or Charmed Life?
I know I said this before, but Ill say it again. Choosing a plant powered life is the best choice I’ve ever made. I now feel aligned with my heart and my choices. My body feels healthier and more alive than ever and I am inspired to share this with the world! Grateful for this plant powered life!
Watch the latest HoopCharmer video on YouTube.