My name is Solita Heng and I am a 35-year-old Cambodian-American woman. I left the corporate world and decided to follow my heart and graciously built the courage to start a pop up making and selling vegan ice cream. I have been plant-based/vegan for about 5 years now. I am happily engaged to my soulmate, one of the most supportive, kind hearted, well rounded human beings ever. I am a dog mom of two very charismatic, fun-loving French bulldogs, Charlie and Scarlet. I am so grateful for what I have and for the people that surround me. The universe works in mysterious ways and it will take you on the path uniquely for you.
You just have to trust in it and go with the flow.
My parents found refuge in America fleeing the Cambodian Genocide. They endured something unbelievably traumatic and life changing. They learned to adapt in this new world and had to start all over. In this new life, they had seven children including me. Yes, very big family, but there was never a dull moment! Growing up my parents always told us to be grateful, “There are children who are starving and you have to appreciate all the blessings that have been given to you.” We were taught to finish every bit of food on our plate because we couldn’t be wasteful. Now this wasn’t hard because oh my mom can cook!
My mom wasn’t always naturally an affectionate person, instead she showed her love through her food. Food is my mom’s love language. You can definitely taste it in her cooking. That is why it was so very difficult for me to give up her food when I decided to become plant-based. I learned to experiment with plant-based alternatives and re-created my favorite dishes that my mom would cook for me. Surprisingly, I would get my dishes very close to her flavors and textures. I was ecstatic and started experimenting more. Becoming plant-based, it was difficult to find snacks, sweets, or any dessert that resembled the food you ate as a child. If you did find something, it wasn’t remotely close to the sweets you remember having. So, through trial and error I started to bake desserts and make ice cream, but mostly, I loved making ice cream.
It took me weeks to come up with the perfect ice cream base. When I first made the perfect batch of ice cream, I was grinning from ear to ear, anxious to share it with everyone. My favorite ice cream growing up was the strawberry shortcake bar, I had to try and mimic that flavor. Through so many failed attempts I finally had a recipe that I was satisfied with. I was so happy with the outcome and thought to myself I have created my very own cruelty free strawberry shortcake vegan ice cream flavor! I was like the kid who tried ice cream for the first time and is over the moon excited!
Giving up meat and any animal product was a real struggle in the beginning. Shout out to the real OG vegans who paved the way for us. It’s a lot easier for vegans now to find plant-based alternatives. We now have plant-based drive throughs and so many plant-based options in the stores and restaurants! The reason why I became plant-based was for my health and for the love I have for all animals. I followed the footsteps of my fiancé. He was struggling with health issues and was advised by his mom to meet with a nutritionist. He followed a strict 5 month long, raw plant-based cleanse alongside his brother. Raw! Now that is tough! A few months in I’ve seen tremendous change in my fiancé’s health and thought wow I want in! The human body is miraculous, just think about it, it heals itself. So, if you want to heal yourself, you have to feed it what it needs to do its job well with a nutritious healthy lifestyle. Yes, you can cure yourself with a whole food plant-based diet, which then becomes a lifestyle.
Stay Cool Vegan Ice Cream is my way of sharing my passion in providing a better cruelty free alternative for everyone and at the same time you’re helping save our planet. If we all do our part it will help tremendously. Let’s all build a more sustainable world. The kitchen is my sacred place, I pour all my love into my creations. I guess you can say I get it from my momma! My journey into becoming vegan and being able to share my vegan ice cream flavors with everyone is a dream come true for me. I love seeing people try my ice cream for the first time and am shockingly surprised how very close it resembles dairy ice cream, rich and creamy, but not too sweet. I guess what I’m saying is that you can have your ice cream and eat it too!
If you’re looking to make that transition to becoming vegan. Here’s a few documentaries I recommend watching:
The Game Changers, What The Health, Seaspiracy, and Kiss The Ground.
Additionally, a few readings I would like to recommend:
Atomic Habits by James Clear, this book really helped guide me to start building better habits to become a better version of myself.
Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life, Dr Wayne Dyer has helped me stay grounded and through his interpretation of The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu really guides me to tap into my spiritual higher self.
- Solita Heng