Changing one’s daily nutrition routine creates a whole new aspect of life. Food affects the body, mind, and spirit, Grammy Award-winning vocalist and songwriter, LaTocha Scott-Bivens from multi-platinum R&B singing group Xscape, found that to be true after she committed to healthier decisions and making internal changes within her lifestyle. With her new plant-based cookbook, ”LaTocha’s Planted Lifestyle” she explores the significance of cooking with soul and health in mind.

Coming into the limelight with her fellow artists of the group, LaTocha was standing out for reasons other than her singing. Under the scrutiny of the world, LaTocha was known as the “big girl”. She stated, “I was a little heavier than the other girls in my group, so people referred to me as ‘the Big Girl;’ it was hurtful.” LaTocha did not want her weight to be a part of her hard-earned title of being a world-renowned singer.

LaTocha needed to change her image, not for the approval of others, but for herself. She found that a plant-based diet was the solution. The award-winning singer found that altering what she ate did not have to come at the sacrifice of taste. Just like in her music, LaTocha found a way to put her soul and uniqueness into cooking plant-based cuisine. She found a way to spread the meaning of self-love within her family and friends all around the globe.

The Grammy Award-winning songstress realized that a lot of her energy was spent on stage, with the spotlight on her talent and also how she looked. LaTocha reflected on the hurtful times she was criticized for her weight. It added to her skewed mentality and negative self-reflection; that’s when she started to seek more and wanted to change her life from within, starting with her daily routine.

LaTocha beginning to prepare a plant-based pasta dish, Photo by Madelynne Ross

In her vulnerability, LaTocha shared she no longer wanted to be the one that was standing out for her appearance. She stated, “That bothered me …” LaTocha continued to explain her internal problem with what she was allowing into her body. She said, “What I didn’t understand was food; growing up, you ate what was around you.” The singer/songwriter stressed the re-conditioning it took to change her aspect around nutrition.

LaTocha made the conscious decision, “I don’t want to be known as the big girl anymore.” According to the multi-platinum music artist, that was the first initial mindset she needed to set her on a mission to change her image and aesthetic. She stated, “I wanted them to know my name—I want you to know my name is LaTocha.”

From that point on, her innovation to create a healthy lifestyle took off. LaTocha also credits her husband, who encouraged her with the truth. She reflected on his words that gave her the power to do something about this, to make the change. Together, they began to work out; LaTocha started to look at what she was putting into her body. She analyzed what was weighing her down and stopped eating certain foods; the transformation took form.

LaTocha stated, “I found that the more meat I eliminated, it made me less foggy and I had so much more energy.” Her light source for her passions began to beam through, as her body and spirit felt lighter. She described her thoughts about life began to change. The Grammy Award-winning vocalist summarized her journey to one simple truth, “It’s about finding out what works for you.”

Plant-based Mac and Cheese, Photo by Madelynne Ross.

When the stage called her back in 2018, the fans and everyone she worked with were amazed at the sculpted body LaTocha created for herself. She said some of the responses were, “Oh my God, what did you do? Did you have surgery?” LaTocha advised them that the secret lies within the resources she was putting into her body; her eating habits. Taking notice of LaTocha’s new form, observers wanted to know how they could join a similar journey to their new body goals.

One of the most weighted anchors that goes into the body is meat; LaTocha is living evidence that real transformation happens once that particular resource is limited or taken out completely. She stated, “Just eating better allowed me to go longer in the studio as well.” LaTocha made the comparison to her former days when the focus was not on her health and the differences were polarizing. She stated that before her lifestyle change, she would eat and feel lethargic; she would crave sleep right after her time in the studio.

Now, she’s able to record for hours and have plenty of energy to work out after studio time, and still meet her duties as a mom with joy and a feeling of productivity as she also design looks for her clothing line, MADE. LaTocha noticed that the gates to her creativity were a lot easier to open with the clarity from a plant-based diet. Even down to her first channel of talent of singing, the master vocalist realized her breathing was extended and she can hold a note longer.

Overjoyed by the transformation, the world-renowned singer wanted to bring this energy to everyone who follows her career. The ones that are closest to her can’t get enough of her plant-based cooking. Group members: Kandi Burruss, Temeka “Tiny” Cottle, and Tamika Scott can describe the flavors and delight LaTocha adds to her health-conscious cuisine. In addition to other celebrities like music producer, award-winning songwriter, Jermaine Dupri who helped bring together the tactful concepts to add to LaTocha’s new plant-based cookbook.

 plant-based Spinach Artichoke dip, Photo by Madelynne Ross.

LaTocha reminisced over a time she made Tiny a plant-based spinach dip. She received a call every other day from Tiny to come to make the dip again. The dish is just that good and has the added shock of no dairy products. It’s these types of memories, surrounded by the love of a home-style meal, that LaTocha curated in her book, “LaTocha’s Planted Life Style.” She understands the milestones within the journey and added a journal portion to the book for those who need to see their transformation unfold.

This plant-based cuisine book includes options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with additional sweet-treats that the whole family can enjoy. LaTocha expressed this book as being a spiritual and mental journey in finding herself happy in her body. She wanted to pass down singing as her legacy, in addition to this new self-discovery of the limitless possibility of renewed energy for life.

LaTocha went on to explain the times she and her grandmother would bond in the kitchen; these were the moments she remembers learning how to cook. She stated, “I have a recipe in here from my grandmother I incorporated just from being around her, the fried green tomatoes.” LaTocha took away much more than instructional cooking; her grandmother showed her how to cook out of love. She reflected on different times of being in the kitchen with her mom and other family members; their memory lives on through the aroma of the dishes that she cooks for her family now.

The multi-platinum artist closed by stating, “I want people to make their own memories … I want people to be more aware, especially with COVID being out. I wanted to instill in people’s minds that there is a better way of eating.” LaTocha continued, “If you find time to find out that there is food that is good for you, try them, one dish at a time.” One can purchase this map to renewed energy on the website and can pre-order gift these journey-filled recipe books for the holidays.