We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacqueline Vigil and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jacqueline, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I started my blog to honor myself and my community. Being so focused on the state of the world (climate change) brought a lot of stress and worry. It seemed like all the news was sharing was detrimental. I know I’m doing my part to lessen my carbon-footprint but I wanted to take it a step further. I wanted to encourage this lifestyle to others without forcing it down their throat. So, I figured the best approach would to be to lead by example. Through my social platforms and my blog I’m able to share the food I create, the sustainable products I use, and to share new information as I learn it. I find having these platforms helps me by holding me accountable to my choices and decisions: hence the name Be Real Vigil. I wanted to show how realistic it is to live a sustainable life. I wanted to show the happiness you can gain and the impact it has on the world. I share the reality of how easy it is. All it takes it is making better decisions. This can look like deciding your next meal and choosing plant-based options. It could also look like buying glass containers at the grocery store, instead of plastic. Each better decision leads up to building a healthy and quality life.

My family raised me to be this way. There was a period of time in my childhood where I was living with my grandparents and my mom. They had a whole garden in their backyard where they taught me that food is my medicine and what we put in our bodies has purpose (not just to taste good). From there, I valued nutrient-dense foods and eventually started consuming/buying with purpose, too. I consume with a conscious and avoid buying new or anything plastic wrapped.
Seeing how easy it was and that I did not sacrifice as much as I thought to live like this, I knew it had to be shared with others. With just me, the world will not change much. Together? We can preserve what’s left of this Earth and work on reversing the damage that has been done.

I first became vegan about 5 years ago with my (now) fiancé. It was one of the best decisions I ever made and I will never look back. Now, I live in Downtown Phoenix where I rarely drive (bike or light rail is the preferred option) and my job is a walk away. If I can adapt, I truly believe others can, too! They don’t have to do it my way, either! I will continue to emphasize that one decision at a time will make the biggest impact on their quality of life and the planet.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve just recently started back on social media and published my blog as of a month ago. Starting fresh has proven to have it’s challenges but I’m creating new connections every day. Mostly other vegans but it’s helpful to see how they share their veganism. I’m observing reactions to certain topics and taking notes as to not offend and to present information to be better consumed. Everything I write and share about has been researched. Not my own typically but I will fact-check to make sure I am sharing facts and not just an opinion.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man! There are so many things to see and do in Phoenix and it’s growing all the time. There’s murals and art galleries for the creatives; live music and comedy shows for those seeking entertainment, and all sorts of unique bars to hop to and from. Here are a few places I would recommend for everyone:
1. Her Secret Is Patience- You can easily find this sculpture in the heart of downtown thanks to it’s floating design! It hangs 145 feet in the air and has special lights to view it at night. Fun Fact: I was proposed to at this location!
2. The Compass Room- I had my 21st birthday in this rotating restaurant! It’s slow rotation allows you to see a 360 degree view from the 24th floor. Alternatively, if you get motion sickness easily, you can check out Floor 13 for appetizers and drinks. The view here is spectacular as well.
3. Arizona Center- This one is for the selfie-takers! Head towards the parking garage and take the elevator all the way up. On that level, you can get photos of the city and Camelback mountain without a lot of people nearby. This is one of my favorite places to take photos.
4. Vegan House- This one of a kind vegan restaurant serves the best Thai food I have ever tasted. Josh and I have become regulars here and love stopping by for lunch. I’ve taken many friends and family who are not vegan and they raved about the food as well.
5. Roosevelt Street- If you’re in town on the first Friday of the month, Roosevelt Street is the place to be! It hosts all kinds of vendors, artists, and food trucks with performing artists all along the street. It is kid and pet-friendly.
6. Stardust Pin Bar- This may be more adult-friendly due to the booze but if you’re looking for some night-time dancing and drinks, this place is a lot of fun! You’ll enter through their pizza parlor and through a secret back door you’ll find the club that has a lit up floor and pinball machines!

There’s so much to do downtown, it’s worth going to and exploring all it has to offer!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout the following people who have truly helped me be who and where I am today:

Joshua Vigil- My love, my friend. You’ve entered this journey with me without complaint and for your support I am ever grateful. You continue to keep me out of my comfort-zone and challenge me to experience life in new ways. My world is vibrant and growing because of you.

Sarah Long- My close friend. I’ve never met someone (outside of the family) so interested in holistic beauty and health. You introduced me to the documentary What The Health that exposed the corruption and abuse of animal consumption. My body and conscious has healed because of you.

The Pullems- My grandparents, my mother, my aunts and uncles. Had you not planted the seed of holistic knowledge, I doubt I’d be on this journey today. My body is strong and healthy because you took the time share how to take care of it.

The Vegan Restaurants on 7th Street- My go-to’s and my bridges. You provide convenient, delicious vegan food when I cannot cook for myself. You offer a place to bring family and friends where we can bond over life, not death. Many of them choosing more plant-based options because you helped prove that you do not give up good tasting food by choosing vegan/plant-based.

Website: berealvigil.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/b_real_vigil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/the_real_vigil_

Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@berealvigil?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1 Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/berealvigil/

Image Credits
Celeste Carbajal (for the cactus image)

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