Gianna Simone is an American model, (mentioned by Vogue magazine as among the “Best Dressed” women), Hollywood actress, producer and an avid aerialist. She’s also a great ambassador of the plant-based/vegan lifestyle and her passion for this is clear in her dedicated Amazon Prime series “Love, Gianna”.
On her show, she has interviewed some of the world’s most eminent doctors, physicians (such as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard, and Dr. Michael Greger) as well as high-performance athletes such as Rich Roll, Scott Jurek, Nimai Delgado, Dotsie Bausch, Bryant Jennings just to name a few. They all share their insights in the fields of health, wellness and the connection between disease prevention, lifestyle, happiness and the key role of a plant-based diet.
As an actress she has featured in such movies as Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Mother’s Day (2016), I Can Only Imagine (2018), Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018), and various television series.
Gianna’s faith, which she openly shares -rare for a Hollywood celebrity- with us remains her absolute north-star compass for navigating her full, enriching, multidimensional, and busy life. She also established the Gianna Simone Foundation which rescues and supports abused, neglected people and animals with the love they so desperately need to nurture them back into wholeness and wellness.
The overflow of her of loving, compassionate energy has also recently flowed into the pages of her first cook book just published entitled simply, “Plant Love”.
In our exclusive interview, Gianna candidly reveals her troubled childhood; one of fear and survival as well as the triumph that enabled her to take the leap of faith – and a tremendous leap forward – into now living the life of her dreams, ideals, vision and purpose.
Join us as we explore Gianna’s views on health, veganism and diet, fitness, wellness and – yep you’ll probably pick up some stunning otherworldly vibes – too in Plant Love: An Interview with Vegan, Hollywood Actress — Gianna Simone!
It’s great to connect with you and we hope you’re keeping well.
Welcome to Keep Fit Kingdom and thanks so much for taking some time out to share with us. Just to get your views briefly: Our mission is to help a billion people reach 100 years of age happily and healthily, what is your impression about that?
I believe if one has a desire and will to live that long I pray it is a healthy, wonderful life! I believe eating a plant-based diet, and being filled with joy and purpose will certainly help get one there!
Totally agree on that. Thank you! Okay, so let’s start off with some basics.
You had quite a challenging childhood, can you tell us briefly about that?
I like to say things happen for us, not to us. I know everyone on this human journey goes through challenging times. Some are more challenging at times than others. I believe we walk through those times to refine us and have empathy and compassion for our brothers and sisters who are going through similar. To be a beacon of light and hope that if we made it through, and for the better, they can too.
I was placed into the foster care system at age 13, was bounced around from foster home to foster home eventually landing in a girls group home setting. It was an unpredictable, unsteady, scary time for a while. I slept with my phone under my pillow and my knife nearby every night. It was no joke, and taught me a lot of invaluable lessons.
It made me very grateful for many things that would normally be taken for granted. From the simplest things like a clean towel, to having a place to put my clothes and not living out of a trash bag stuffed under my bunk. God has changed my life and brought so many wonderful people into it. I am forever grateful to Him and to the people who have shown me love, kindness and true selfless care.
You never know what a person is going through or has gone through, so it’s always important we treat one another with kindness, compassion, integrity, truth, and love. Everyone has a story, and has a need for love. I want my story to help encourage and inspire people and that’s why I share it. Not to look back but to keep moving forward despite the past. With God ALL things are possible.
Thanks for sharing that. For those who don’t know much about your work, could you briefly tell us a little more about yourself, the “Gianna Simone Foundation” that supports neglected people and animals and what your main mission is?
I am an actress and producer. I have had the great pleasure of being in some incredible Hollywood pictures such as “Star Trek Into Darkness”, “I Can Only Imagine”, Garry Marshall’s “Mother’s Day” and “Unbroken Path To Redemption” to name a few. I absolutely love what I do. Feeling what it’s like being in your purpose is like no other feeling. It’s one of life’s biggest joys.
I founded The Gianna Simone Foundation”, which works closely with foster youth, sex-trafficked women and animal rescues. I started it with the intention to see significant change happen, in the areas I felt called to help with. Recently in the past several years we’ve been taking foster youth on field trips to farm sanctuaries; Uniting abused or neglected kids with abused or neglected animals, to promote healing for both parties.
That is a great combination. What things have proven helpful to you in making the most of unpleasant situations – things you think others could also learn from and apply?
Honestly the most valuable thing I’ve done is have a relationship with Christ. My faith has saved my life, and improved my life tremendously. Going to a great church that empowers us, reminds us and teaches us that we are loved beyond measure by our creator is so important in overcoming challenges and having hope. The opposite of fear is faith. Having faith in Jesus will always steer us in the right direction. Listening to the word of God and reading it, brings on hope and improves our outlook.
Keys to Healing
Some other important things that have helped with healing are:
- Working out and moving my body is also an incredible way to feel good
- Therapy with a therapist I connect with
- Listening to empowering words and music
- An abundance of plant foods – our diet has an enormous impact on our mood!
Agree. For me meditation, breath work, exercise and creativity are key elements. What’s the main focus of your particular work right now, what are you aiming to accomplish?
It’ll always be making movies and acting. It’s my calling and what I enjoy most. I hope to always encourage people to step into what they feel called to do and to believe they can! What we believe, we can achieve.
No limit to our potential. So, what does a day in the life of Gianna Simone look like from the moment you wake until you go to bed?
Then I do some work, which can range from interviews, calls and meetings. A lot of virtual stuff lately. I always prioritize working out whether it be training aerial silks, to just creating a workout, I always get it in! This past year my dear friend and business partner Andrea Logan and I have been working tirelessly on a new whole food plant-based cookbook called “Plant Love” that JUST launched.
“Love Gianna” Now Showing on Amazon Prime
I also have a show on Amazon Prime called “Love, Gianna” that we are in the midst of editing and shooting. The days go by so fast when they are filled with lots to do and enjoy!
Yes, time flies when you have work you love. What’s the most challenging and most rewarding part of your work?
The most challenging part of my work is getting the work! Getting to set and actually making a movie is a feat in and of itself, anyone in the industry will tell you this! Then being on set is the fun part.
Depending on the role it can be very emotionally taxing, but SO rewarding when completed. It’s truly giving life to something, a creation that comes from within. Then when the film is completed, celebrating its release to the world is an absolutely thrilling process. Every part of the process is a gift that I treasure, and am awed by every time.
Gianna on Film & TV
Great to create something new and watch it grow. You had featured in “Star Trek Into Darkness”, what’s your most memorable moment from working on that?
Working on “Star Trek Into Darkness” was such a thrilling experience. Every moment on set was my favorite! Every day was a celebration. Director J. J. Abrams would have a new guest on to entertain the cast and crew quite frequently.
For example, one day a YouTube star was invited to set, who played this fascinating, colorful square music instrument, to then having an ice cream truck one day (I wasn’t vegan at the time) and a celebratory day with a cake and candles when Mission Impossible 3, that J. J. Abrams had also directed, made $100 million at the box office.
Being on the bridge and walking through it every day was like a dream. Working with such exceptional people was and is a gift. It’ll always be one of my most favorite films that I’ve been a part of.
Being a bit of a Trekkie myself, I can totally understand! You were featured in other films such as “Mother’s Day” starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Julia Roberts, what was your most memorable highlight of working on the film?
A day or so before I was going to start shooting, I had stopped by set to say hello to director Garry Marshall and the team. Garry said to me “If anyone gives you any trouble you come tell me! I said “Garry, if anyone gives you trouble you come tell me!” He was a gem and always will be an icon.
Your other films appear to be more Christian-themed. Can you tell us a bit more about the message you want to convey there?
I am a Christian and so thankful I am. The battles I’ve faced could not have turned out the way they did if it weren’t for Jesus. He came here to tell us and show us that ALL things are possible to those who believe. We can do ALL things with Him. Having a close relationship with our creator is the most beautifully profound thing, I believe, one can experience throughout this life.
The movies I’d like to make more of would be films that evoke passion, love, and raw emotion in people. Whether it be action films, love stories, thrillers or heavy dramas. They are all my favorite genres to watch and act in.
Sounds good, emotion can be a powerful driving force for sure! You mentioned your show “Love, Gianna”, (available on Amazon Prime), in which you’ve interviewed a wide range of medical professionals that actively support vegan / whole food and plant-based living. Which of your guests stood out to you the most in terms of the knowledge they shared and why?
Firstly, I am so honored and humbled that all of these legendary doctors shared their time, knowledge and experiences with me, and ultimately – you all! From sitting next to Dr. Esselstyn totally freaking out and pinching myself, learning from the great man Dr. T. Colin Campbell himself, to sitting with my friend Dr. Scott Stoll who is also a Christian and shares so many similar ways of thinking; such as the importance of organic agriculture, and how faith ties to food. They are all so very special, each and every one are my favorites!
We are now in season 2 where we interview some of the top plant-powered athletes. I am super excited to bring these new episodes to you all, and inspire more and more people!
We’re looking forward to those! Based on the dozens of interviews with high-level doctors and health professionals that you’ve done, what would be your top 3 tips to live happily and healthily to a 100-year goal?
- Eat whole food plant-based
- Let love be the motivating force for everything you do
- Walk in God’s will for your life, staying true to your purpose.
Thank you. There have been many changes happening globally with the COVID-19 pandemic – what do you feel is the upside to all of this?
Every trial can make us stronger if we search for the upside. Makes me think of Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. We can grow, get wiser, tougher, more compassionate, more loving, more connected to God, each other and ourselves.
Gianna’s New Book: Plant Love
Powerful lessons to learn these days. You mentioned the new book that you just released, called “Plant Love”, what is it about?
My best friend and business partner, Andrea Logan and I co-authored our plant based cookbook titled “Plant Love”. It is a whole food plant-based cookbook. Free of refined sugar and oil. Every recipe has simple whole food ingredients, and easy to follow instructions; making healthy eating fun and simple! This book was created to “plant love” in your life, and for you to “love plants”!
On Health & Yoga
Sounds like an inspiring book. As for inspiration, what are your thoughts on meditation – do you meditate? If so, what method or technique works best for you?
I pray and visualize.
Do you believe meditation influences or affects health? If so, how?
I think everything we engage in mentally and spiritually affects our health. Our spirit, mind and body are not separate, but one. What we think about, we become and also comes about.
How do you think the landscape of health will evolve in the next 5 years?
I think veganism is on the rise and I’m so happy it is! The animals need us, billions die each year from horrible deaths unnecessarily, someone dies from heart disease unnecessarily every 37 seconds from eating them, and the earth needs us to make the switch. We need the evolution to a plant-based diet on a global scale and it’s a privilege doing the work with many others, helping us all get there.
Gianna Simone on Fitness
It’s happening! You’re an avid aerialist and post videos of yourself doing it effortlessly on your Instagram page – can you tell us a bit more about that – what made you get into it? How long have you been practicing, and what would you say are the top 3 benefits you gain from it?
I’ve been doing aerial for about 9 years now. I love that it’s another form of artistic expression. I did gymnastics for a while and have a lot of upper body strength and flexibility, and I also love dancing. It’s a combination of all of my favorite things.
Some benefits are; staying in shape, expressing myself artistically which is therapeutic; challenging me, making me stronger mentally and physically. It makes me face my fears, and helps me grow by learning to trust; there’s a time to hold on and a time to let go.
Diet & Lifestyle
What does Gianna’s typical diet look like these days? What are your regular day-to-day foods?
I eat whole food plant based, no refined oils or sugar. I don’t have cheat days. I don’t need them or crave them. No alcohol or coffee. I have a green juice in the morning, eat oatmeal and/or smoothies depending on if I’m cold or hot, pancakes, and waffles.
Snacks range from kale chips and cookies, to hummus with veggies/whole grain crackers and fruit is the perfect fast food. I try to avoid dried fruit. For lunch, salads, soups, vegan sushi, etc. For dinner I’ll sometimes have pizza, stews, air fries, stir fry, so many options to list. My favorite home-made recipe dishes are pizza, gnocchi, brownies, and pancakes. A lot of what I eat is in our “Plant Love” cookbook,
What are your preferred go-to foods that help keep you at your energetic best?
Oatmeal to hold me over for hours and fresh fruit for a pick me up.
Tips & Advice
Great to hear that. What’s your best energy management tips to:
1. Quickly shift a low mood?
Praying, visualization, gratitude, working out, and eating fruit!
2. Keep momentum up?
Enjoy what you’re doing, the drive will come from within.
Very true. What are your views on human potential briefly?
Philippians 4:13 “We can achieve all things through Christ, who gives us strength”.
A few quick fire questions now:
What’s one geeky thing about you that people don’t really know?
I love organizing.. everything!
That’s very useful too though! What are some of your hobbies?
I do aerial acrobatics, acro, target shooting, knitting, reading, listening to audio books, painting, and love playing with my pups! I also love a good shopping spree, what gal doesn’t really!
What’s your favourite music?
Praise and Worship, Country and love songs
Titanic, The Notebook, Sliding Doors, The Goonies, Back To The Future, Christmas and Vegas Vacation, Unbroken Path To Redemption
What are your favourite books that have inspired you most so far whether in the areas of veganism, health, self-development or spirituality?
The bible, “Letting Go” by David R. Hawkins; “How Not To Die” by Dr. Michael Gregor; “Alive!” by Dr. Scott Stoll, and of course our new cookbook; “Plant Love” that we poured so much love into!
Insights & Reflections
What’s your proudest accomplishment so far? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? What are you eager to achieve?
I feel my greatest accomplishment is living true to my beliefs and my mission here, maintaining integrity, watching life unfold and learning to enjoy it all. I’m so grateful for everything; Jesus, friends, and walking out my purpose
Before we sign off, What two or three life quotes or motivational sayings have inspired and motivated you to be and do your best so far?
“For I know the plans I have for you says God, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“There I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24
“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
Gianna’s Message for Keep Fit Kingdom Followers & Fans
Inspiring quotes. What special message would you like to share right now with Keep Fit Kingdom readers and those that follow your work around the world?
You are loved beyond measure, you are never alone and God is always with you, even now. There is no one like you, and there will never be anyone like you. Only you can do what you are here to do. God has extraordinary plans for your life! Believe it and it WILL be yours.
Thank you, Gianna, for your kind participation in this interview, we really do appreciate you taking the time to share your valuable gems of wisdom, and experience.
Thank you all for asking all great questions, and also for your patience!
We hope you found this interview with Gianna Simone inspirational and encouraging for your own journey whether that’s for going plant-based/vegan, or helping you dial into your own worthwhile goals and to live your dreams!
Find out more about Gianna’s work and connect with her via her website, Gianna Simone.com, definitely check out her just published whole food plant-based cook book: “Plant Love” as well as her social media pages: Instagram: @gsimone, Facebook, Twitter: @GiannaSimone1, and YouTube. So, what’s your health and wellness transformation story? Are you thinking of going plant-based or vegan? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!
If health and healing is your thing, check out these interviews with doctors such as Dr Michael Dixon, Dr Gemma Newman and Dr Niall Campbell. Fitness more your cup of (green) tea? Then check out our interview with 3 x Mr. Olympia Frank Zane, and other fitness articles!
Communications & coordination by Marleen Lam.
Editing by Raj Khedun.