Casa Coquí

VEGAN PUERTO RICAN

Welcome to Casa Coquí, a vegan Puerto Rican restaurant concept in Southern California. Check out our proposed menu, learn about our journey to opening our first location, and find out about our upcoming events. 

VEGANO SPOTLIGHT: David I. Frazier

David I. Frazier

Occupation: Graphic Designer and DJ
Vegan Since: 2015
Heritage: Mexican-American and Scottish

MY VEGAN STORY

The day after Thanksgiving 2014 , I woke up feeling like death. It wasn't only because of the huge feast I had the day previous, it was from all of the bad eating I did leading up to that day. Ever since high school I ate junk food, not knowing the damage I was doing internally. All of my friends were eating the same things and never really gaining weight, so I thought I was ok. That day after Thanksgiving 2014 I told myself I needed a real change. I told myself I would cut back slowly until I felt my best. First it was red meat and sodas. Then 3 months after that it was chicken. Then after another 3 months I took dairy out of my life. I finally ended my transition by cutting out fish, eggs and other by-products of animals. 

It's hard coming from a culture whose main dishes include a lot of different animal products. At first my family didn't understand it and even made fun of me for it. A few of them still don't understand my lifestyle almost a year later. It's fine with me because I know that some things are bigger than my pride, bigger than following the "norm" of my heritage and the eating habits they follow. I am doing this for me and no one else. I just know that I now feel amazing compared to the lifestyle I led before. Fortunately Mexican food does include a lot of veggies and fruits so I have been able to easily "veganize" a lot of traditional meals. Recently my family has become very accepting and supportive of me, and has even started changing their eating habits to a more plant-based lifestyle as well.

LIFESTYLE TIPS

Google is your best friend. It may take longer looking over ingredients at the store, but never be afraid to scour the internet for ingredients that you are not familiar with. There are a lot of animal-based ingredients that go by other technical and confusing names. When in doubt, Google. Remember that knowledge is power and change doesn't happen overnight.  If this is the lifestyle you choose (and I hope it is), know that in time you will reap the benefits of natural energy, stamina and a yearning to live life with no boundaries. A lot of people will not understand your choice to go vegan and may never accept it, but this life is yours and only you are living in your body everyday. Once you experience the benefits of this lifestyle, it will feel as if you have been reborn.