Model, stylist, vegan, beauty with a conscience. Sundal Roy is more than a pretty face. Follow her on Instagram @sundalroy and you’ll find inspirational quotes, vegan factoids, and information about ethical practices in the health and beauty industry. She also has a Youtube channel with vlogs on model life, travel and veganism. This girl has transformed her life and her mindset. But don’t let me break it to you. Read it in her own words.
Beauty is when your actions fall in line with your values. Beauty is living your purpose with honesty, authenticity and integrity. Beauty is self-love and compassion for all beings.
Ugliness is apathy, moral relativism, hatred, ignorance. Giving over one's sovereignty to an external authority and then feeling resentful when your life is not going the way you want it to. Ugliness is envy, greed and the desire to exert one's will over another.
Were you always so fit?
No, I was always a very awkward child. I could never seem to get mastery over my body and I allowed my fear of it's inadequacies paralyse me. It was only when I started learning how to surf when I was 20 years old that I committed to using my mind to get over this mental obstacle and get my body to do what I wanted it to. We are the controllers and our strongest muscle is the mind, we need to train that first and the body will follow. Now I love training my body and learning new skills. In the last few years I have really started focusing on improving my yoga, surfing. I recently started learning snowboarding and also took up weight training again for the first time in years. I used to be scared of taking up physical pursuits ’cos I hate to suck at stuff but now I've realised it's not about being better or worse than other people, it's all about how much fun you have and how much you can progress every time you practice. You're only ever in competition with yourself.
Because it's the only solution to reversing ourselves of disease, the damage we are doing to our planet and the damage we are doing to our consciousness by supporting an industry that enslaves and systematically tortures and murders other sentient beings. Not only do we not need animal products, the damage they do to our bodies and to our planet is karma in action.
Please share a delicious vegan recipe.
One of my favourite things to make is raw vegan sea salt caramel ice cream. The ice cream is frozen bananas blended either in a high speed blender or I push them through my Norwalk juicer which I prefer as often you need to add a little water to the blender to get the blades moving but it's not necessary with the Norwalk. The caramel is made using dates, almond butter, a little water, a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and a sprinkle of sea salt. Blend that up and stir through the frozen banana ice cream. You can re-freeze this and get it out for dessert and it also makes a super healthy meal replacement topped with some granola, as it's all whole foods, just fruit and nuts :). It also goes great with vegan apple pie (switch out the butter for coconut oil or vegetable shortening).
What were the changes you felt when you turned vegan?
The changes were quite drastic even though I was already vegetarian for 14 years before I turned vegan. I had some quite intense detoxification symptoms, my skin broke out for a few weeks and I also had some powerful emotional detox. Emotions I hadn't felt since I was a teenager started coursing through my system and I was getting really easily triggered. It was crazy but I knew it was linked somehow to the changes in my lifestyle. Not many people realise but a lot of traumatic emotions get stored in our fat cells, particularly if we try and self-medicate by using food. When we clean up our diets and stop using food to mask over these painful emotions, they release and it can be quite intense for people going through this. I also have found that the longer I have been vegan, the more you start to think differently. You start to ‘see’ further as your pineal gland decalcifies (especially if you cut out fluoride and other toxic chemicals that poison your system). You start to be able to connect the dots, see how your actions affect the world around you and vice versa. Not just when it comes to the food you eat but also the clothes you buy, the media you consume, even the thoughts you think. You literally start to see the flower of life and how we are all connected in this giant web. You start to feel much lighter and less dense and neural pathways open up. I also have increased ESP which has been quite interesting, but it can be a lot to cope with when you live in a big city like London, so it's important to get out and be in nature to reset every once in a while.
What is your diet like currently?
I'm currently doing IF (intermittent fasting) so I skip breakfast and just have a black coffee, maybe with some coconut oil (vegan bulletproof coffee). Although I'm obsessed with breakfast food and sometimes have it for lunch. I love crumpets with vegan butter or olive oil and marmite and I also love a good vegan fry up with Linda McCartney sausages, beans, mushrooms and hash browns. But these are occasional treats. If I want to go for something healthy then a smoothie bowl is awesome, just frozen bananas maybe with some frozen berries as well and some acai or spirulina, topped with granola, fresh berries, chia seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries, sunflower seeds, the works! For lunch or dinner it really varies, a green salad with quinoa or butternut squash, avocado, beetroot, maybe some tofu or tempeh, red rice, edamame...or I might do a soba noodle stir fry with mushrooms and tempeh. Falafel salad, or one day I might have a chickpea burger with homemade fries and a green salad on the side...I also love a good bagel and I fill it with so much yummy stuff like cashew butter, raw vegan cashew cheese, maybe some maple tempeh 'bacon', lots of salad, hummus, whatever condiments I have in the fridge. I also love asian food, anything from Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan. I also love Middle Eastern food as well...the possibilities are endless and I have never felt like i was missing out. Pretty much whatever you eat as a meat eater I can veganise.
What’s your fitness routine?
I'm living at the gym most days when i'm not shooting at the moment. I try and do half an hour on the treadmill power walking (it's great for slimming thighs down doing low intensity cardio), then I spend a bit of time practising my headstands, handstands, forearm stands etc. And then i'll do some kind of HIIT routine with weights, resistance bands, kettle bells or my own body weight. I also love the TRX. Afterwards I’ll do the ashtanga closing sequence to stretch out my legs and back. A few months ago I was doing ashtanga primary series every day but now i'm really enjoying hitting the gym and feeling myself get stronger every day. Sometimes I go for a muay thai class, which I started doing when i was living in Thailand. It feels amazing afterwards when you've released all that pent-up aggression so I think it's a really good one for people to do if they are trying to heal any trauma. It's as effective as yoga, just in a different way.
What about supplements?
I have always taken supplements since i started modelling. The nutritional profile of our food nowadays is so poor compared to what it was 50 years ago as industrial farming has caused our soils to become depleted. Taking supplements is a really good way to make sure you are getting everything you need as people lead busy lifestyles and don't always have time to make sure they are getting everything. I often forget to take them, but I try and take a hair skin and nails combination supplement with biotin as I specialise in hand modelling as well so my nails need to be in tip top condition, as well as my hair and skin. I also take a probiotic (essential if you've ever taken antibiotics to rebuild your gut flora and combat candida overgrowth) and a B12 supplement as well. Sometimes I take certain herbs or superfoods if I'm trying to slim down from time to time. Sea kelp is a good one for that, as is acai, it's great added to smoothies. If you eat animal products it's definitely advisable to supplement as since so much of your calorie intake will be taken up by calorific nutritionally-poor animal products, you'll be missing out on quite a few vitamins and minerals that you'd otherwise get from plants (which are calorifically low but high in minerals and vitamins).
As a vegan, where do you get your protein?
Protein is really not something that you need to worry about as a vegan but surprisingly, it's the number one question we all get asked. So much so that a lot of vegan apparel brands will always have a 'ask me where i get my protein' T-shirt and then a picture of a hippo or a panda or some other herbivorous animal. Animal products are not the only source of protein and in fact, they are actually a very poor source of protein as they contribute to tumour growth (source: T. Colin Campbell, The China Study). Protein is the building block that makes up living things and it's abundant in plant-based foods. Broccoli for example, contains twice as much protein per calorie as steak. Spinach is also a great source of protein, as is rice, quinoa, tempeh, peas, beans, seeds, mushrooms, nuts even fruits have protein in them. Many of the degenerative diseases today are caused by too much protein, not too little. In fact, there is no scientific term for a protein deficiency because it does not exist. As long as you are eating enough calories, you will meet your protein requirements.
How much water do you drink?
Not enough! I guzzle it throughout my workout but I'm terrible the rest of the time. I drink a lot of tea though and I love Pukka herbal teas so I manage to have a couple of those a day.
Favourite vegan restaurants?
Ooh there are so many! 222 Vegan in West Kensington is amazing for healthy all-you-can-eat plant-based West Indian cooking at a really reasonable price. Wild Food Cafe in Neal's Yard does the best raw vegan desserts - I think their banoffee pie is one of the best I've had anywhere, even before going vegan. Fed by Water in Dalston does the best Italian food, their pizzas and lasagnes are delicious. And of course CookDaily in Boxpark is legendary, super casual, no frills take out place with a hipster vibe and every bowl on their menu is like an explosion of flavour. I was not surprised to hear at all that the owner was a Michelin-starred chef prior to his vegan awakening. El Madural in Barcelona does the BEST tapas and The Seeds of Life in Ubud, Bali is one of the most incredible restaurants I’ve been to ever. The food is all raw and so high-vibrational that I would be bouncing off the walls with joy after eating there, it nourishes your body and makes you feel that good, i'm not exaggerating. Food is not just there to keep us alive and to tantalise our tastebuds, it's also meant to nourish our bodies and our minds and when you eat really good food, you can literally feel the difference as your mood improves and that brain fog clears.
What do people not know about veganism?
- People don't know that not only is it possible to meet your nutritional requirements, it's much healthier and you can help to reverse many illnesses (including cancer, diabetes, etc) by following a plant-based diet.
- People don't know that animal agriculture is the single biggest cause of greenhouse gases (more than the entire transportation industry), the largest cause of ocean dead zones (if our oceans die, so do we) and also the number one cause of rainforest destruction, which give us our oxygen and also half the world's biodiversity. If both those go, so do we. We are literally destroying our habitat for the sake of our palates.
- People don't know how many amazing dishes you can create just using plants. If they could see that they would not be missing out on anything and that a whole world of flavour awaits them, I really don't think many people would continue to keep justifying the animal slavery industry. It's only because they're so emotionally invested in their perceived comforts that they will continue to justify abhorrent, immoral acts which is why it's so important to give people accessible alternatives. We're working on it and we have a way to go yet, especially in some areas (certainly if you live in a more privileged neighbourhood, veganism is much easier to follow), but I have confidence that we will get there and veganism will be accessible to all soon.
What are your favourite cruelty-free beauty brands?
Oh I love products from Odylique, Hourglass, Lush (their pigments are amazing for making up your own formulations), Becca does amazing highlighters. Ren cosmetics are also fab and I'm currently loving the clay mask from Sukin. For hair I love Kevin Murphy products and I would not be without my macadamia hair oil. And also I use coconut oil everywhere! It's amazing for an overnight hair treatment, incredible instead of body lotion and makes a perfect makeup cleanser as well. I use pure rosewater as a toner and I make my own hair mask from banana, coconut and olive oil. There's a (very old) DIY tutorial on my youtube channel that talks you through it, it's the best thing i've ever used on my hair:
I mainly try and make sure my products are as natural and kind to the skin and to the planet as possible. For people in the UK, naturisimo.com is amazing for natural skincare and cosmetics products.