At the Chicago Vegan Fest a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to hear Miss Chicago 2012 speak about her experience in veganism. But a few days later I learned that this woman is so much more than “just a vegan.” She is a powerhouse singer, athlete and has incredible passion for everything she does! She was kind enough to do a brief interview as she prepares for her upcoming Miss Illinois competition, and I look forward to sitting down with her in the coming months and getting to know her more!
Get ready to meet this amazing woman, Miss Chicago 2012, Marisa Buchheit!
“I’m a 22 year old Chicago native pursuing an opera career. I graduated 1 year ago from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a vocal performance degree, and I’m back in my home of Chicago just trying to make big things happen! I’m a longtime vegan, a fitness enthusiast/marathon runner, I play guitar and write songs, and I have an adorable Chihuahua named Alfi.”
Can you tell me how/when you became a vegan? From what I remember at the Vegan Fest you said you were 12?! That’s a pretty major life decision at any age, much less while trying to navigate adolescence! “I became a vegan 10 years ago (I just celebrated my 10th anniversary in March!), so yes at age 12. There was a bit of family influence. My dad has always been a health conscious eater, and I had an older female cousin that was vegan. I was going through a rebellious, dark phase in junior high and considered myself a Goth. I had been a vegetarian for several years, as I was always an animal lover, and then a good friend of mine and I decided to try out the vegan diet – I supposed to be cool and different. Lo and behold, it turned out to be the best decision of my life. In 3 short months, I had lost 30 pounds. I felt like a new person, and I finally started to gain some confidence in myself. I started exercising, put on brighter colored clothing, and started developing into the cheerful, confident woman who I consider myself to be today.”
How long have you competed in pageants? You are currently Miss Chicago 2012, do you hold any other titles? “I’ve been competing within the Miss America system for almost 5 years now. This entire time, it has been my DREAM to become Miss Chicago. This is the city I’m from, and I personally think it is the greatest city on earth. Before this title, I held the Miss West Cook County 2008 title and 2 other titles in Ohio where I went to college (Miss Maple City 2010 and Miss Greater Cleveland 2011).”
Will the competition be televised? How can we follow your progress in the Miss Illinois pageant? “Unfortunately it won’t be televised. There is a possibility it may be webcast. Readers may visit my website (www.MariSings.com) or subscribe to my facebook page.”
oh yes, this girl has her own album!!!
What do you do in these last few weeks prepping for competition? Any major changes in your diet or exercise? Hopefully you get to do a lot of relaxing and mentally preparing… “These last couple weeks, I do exercise pretty intensely. I am super careful about what I eat, and I’m actually doing a 90% raw vegan diet at the moment. I may do a juice fast for several days because I felt so refreshed after completing Karyn’s Raw Detox class recently. Relaxation and mental preparation are huge, but I’m not able to get too much of these right now! There is just too much to do!”
“I would love to make history as the first vegan Miss Illinois, and perhaps even the first vegan Miss America! I feel it would be great for vegans nationwide, and it would send a positive message of health!”
keep in touch with Marisa through her evolving and up-to-date website http://www.marisings.com/
Congratulations and best wishes to Marisa as she competes in Miss Illinois this week!!! Thank you to Marisa for taking time from her crazy schedule for this interview!
Much love, SweatpantsandSuperfoods.