Singer Chaka Khan has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two years, crediting a new way of thinking about food and exercise for her vastly improved health. The star, known for her ’70s funk-soul hits, lost 60 pounds and was able to get her high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes under control to the point that she no longer requires medication for them.
Khan credits a strict liquid diet, and thereafter veganism, for her weight loss.
“I felt like I need to heal my body, so I would just fast and eat no meat, no dairy. I’ve never been a fan of meat, dairy and sugar. And when I developed diabetes last year I said, ‘Oh OK, I’m not going to be here long. A change is coming,” told Khan to lifestyle website Essence.com.
Once she identified that her diet and lifestyle habits needed to change, Khan took some drastic steps. “I went on a radical change of lifestyle. I was on liquids for a year, and that gave me a good jump-start. It sort of changed my whole way of thinking. You have to get the mindset first,” Khan said, reports The Detroit News.
Khan spoke with Wendy Williams about her vegan diet and said a main reason she abstains from animal products is because of her reservations about their safety. “I just don’t trust the USDA,” she said.
She also gave details about her liquid diet. “When I first started last year, for two whole months, I didn’t chew a thing. Me and my Vitamix were there, and it was my best friend. Everything I just put in the Vitamix and I drank. And I exercised.”
After her fast from solid foods, Khan used a simple rule for committing to eat vegan. “I went vegan and went off meats and all dairy and anything with eyes,” Khan said. “I’ve mostly been doing a lot of high-protein foods and a lot of vegetables and exercise.”
The 59-year-old, now almost as slim as she was at the height of her fame in the 1970s, decided to improve her well-being for several reasons. She realized that her excess weight, high blood pressure and diabetes were a lethal combination.
Khan also recognized that her busy lifestyle had no room in it for health management problems. She has permanent custody of her 11-year-old granddaughter, as the child’s parents were deemed unable to care for as a result of their drug addictions. “I have to be there for her,” she told Essense.com. Her daughter recently had a baby, and she enjoys seeing her new granddaughter as much as possible. Add that to her busy worldwide tour schedule and rolling out new albums and products and Khan’s schedule becomes jam-packed.
The “Queen of Funk” plans to release a new Chaka Khan album next year, in celebration of her 60th birthday and 40 years in the music business. A “Khana Sutra” fragrance and “Chaka-lates” chocolates are due out around Valentine’s Day.