You may know Krista Allen from her numerous television appearances on Days of Our Lives, Baywatch Hawaii, X-Files, Dirty Sexy Money, Two and a Half Men, Friends, Monk, CSI, Smallville, Spin City, Just Shoot Me, What About Brian and the critically acclaimed HBO series Unscripted or her film roles in Anger Management, Paycheck, Liar Liar, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and The Final Destination 4. But, what you may not know is that Krista is a certified Yoga instructor and a vegan who is very conscious about her lifestyle choices and how it impacts people, animals and the planet. YES, she’s a Green Monster!
We caught up with Krista to chat about her vegan pet peeves, her new role on the CW Network show, the L.A. Complex, what’s cooking in her kitchen and more!
One Green Planet: What inspires you to be a green monster?
Krista Allen: It just feels good! Regardless of what I’m “specifically” focusing on when it comes making conscious choices and striving for a kinder way of living, the key for me is being of service and giving back to the community. With all the problems in the world, who doesn’t want to be a part of a solution? There is something so cool about being an agent of change — there’s a sense of purpose that comes along with that, which I hope more people try and experience. What’s amazing is it’s so easy and people can start by even just cutting down on the animal products they consume, or perhaps choosing organic produce or maybe trying to buy from companies that are doing good. Just small steps in the right direction can make a lot of difference on a large scale. Moreover, giving back, and supporting companies that are inspiring social consciousness simply feels great! If everyone would love the planet, animals, and people as much as they love the one they believe created it all, the world would be a different experience for everyone.
OGP: What do you love (and hate) most about being vegan?
KA: Well, let’s start with what I dislike. Something that sends my def con 5 radar into sirens is the insidious preaching aspect that is associated with the word “VEGAN.” It’s tough, because who the heck wants to be judged for eating animals? We, as a country, come from a long line of omnivores and the logic behind NOT eating meat and dairy is lost on a lot of people. “What can you eat?? Where do you get your protein???” are very common questions. People are never concerned with your protien intake until you tell them you’re a vegan! Look at the commercials on TV and the menu options in restaurants or the quick and easy fixes that are stacked in the grocery store — it’s so convenient to just eat what is readily available, and it seems logical to eat what is familiar. The trick here is to want to learn about where your food comes from. Very few are going to make the choice to eat a vegan diet if they are being told by a preachy granola-munching hippy that they are awful, cruel, and ignorant. But, that’s what happens. It’s like a battle of the food egos! Those who want to make a change, will be open to learning and will eventually figure it out. It’s that simple. I think it’s just as damaging to be a vegan and carry a soap box around while spewing resentful comments to the meat eating world, as it is for the far right to go around spewing hate filled Psuedo-Christian comments at the “heathens” of society.
For me personally, I have such a deep love of animals and I just can’t eat ’em. I care about the quality of life that all living things have, and this also goes for a carrot or a peach! But, that’s me. And I don’t think anyone sucks because they don’t think that way. What I love about being vegan is that it reflects who I am as a person and my outlook on the world. I also love that when people are curious, I get an opportunity to educate them with my own still-evolving education and personal experience on the subject of plant based eating. If it can flow on and on, then that’s cool with me. So here’s a little suggestion from my vegan journey so far: take it or leave it. … When speaking to someone about not eating so much meat and dairy, try using the words “Plant-based Diet” … it takes down the Vegan Police barrier and won’t seem like your beating them over the head with a PETA brochure!
OGP: We hear you’re quite the chef. You’re having friends over for dinner — what are you cooking?
KA: HAHA! Yes! I LOVE feeding people. I adore the reveal of “This is not meat” when people think they are eating a meat dish. Burgers and Fries are my specialty. I am a Texas gal so the grill is my significant other at this point! I also have been doing some very cool raw dishes and I’m enjoying that, too. So, I have a group of hungry beach goers coming over at 8, and I am making some Hang Ten Burgers (a Veggie Boom Boom original) and super crispy oven baked steak fries. I’ll maybe throw in a cool micro brew for the drinkers and some organic sparkly soda for the non-drinkers and I usually do some chocolate chip cookies for dessert, or some fresh organic fruit with mint if it’s hot outside.
OGP: What are the favorite vegan restaurants you frequent and eco/vegan products you can’t live without?
KA: I love Native Foods here in LA. and Veggie Grill. I love The Rock Line from Crystal Deodorant. I love The Organic Farmers Markets (anywhere) on Sundays. I Love LTR brands bamboo line. Tiffany Parros is a genius designer and makes the coolest, sexiest yet so feminine clothing. My guilty pleasures are… Nacho Bean & Rice Chips from Beanfields, Jalapeño Garlic Havarti from Daiya, New Vegenaise flavors from Follow your Heart, Vegan Chicken Patties from Gardien, Egg-Less Egg Salad from Hodo Soy Beanery, Vegan Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread from Noiseraie Productions, Vegan Pie Slices from Pure Market Express, Almond Milk Ice Cream from So Delicious and I love anything from VEGA! … Phewwww!! I have a list that could go a mile long! There are great resources these days for a vegan diet! It ain’t just celery and hummus, anymore!
OGP: Tell us more about the L.A. Complex and your character specifically.
KA: SO fun! The second season airs on July 17 on the CW network. My first episode is on air the following week. My role is Jennifer, an A-List actress who wants to find her path out the the nearing dark pit of irrelevancy…. she needs to do something drastic to get her star meter up and running. I want to say more, but that’s all I can tell you! …Are you hooked yet? I hope you tune in, the cast is so talented and it’s so spot on about Hollywood. The cast is truly amazing and I was blown away by everyone’s kindness and humor and how much fun we had filming… and they were open to eating vegan food, too!
OGP: What’s next for you as an actress (and beyond)?
KA: I am loving my life. Every day is a new day to learn something different. I am a plant-based warrior and a lover of all living things. I am working with some fantastic charities for abused women and run away children as well as helping to promote a kind life style through different venues on the web. I am a proud mom of a gorgeous and hilarious 15 year old son and also to my two pups, Jack and Lola… a beagle and a yorkie. I love surfing and teaching Yoga and Stand-up paddle boarding. I also get great opportunities to do what I love to do, which is act. I took a few years off and it’s so nice to be back! I also love writing so I’m putting that to good use too! All in all, I’m having a freakin’ blast!
Don’t forget to catch Krista on the new season of the L.A. Complex, which airs from July 17 onwards and stay tuned for more green monster awesomeness from Krista on One Green Planet in the near future!