. Iconic Climber. Dedicated Yogi. Vegan.
Interview: Kaiulani Kimbrell, CoFounder/ Director of the Hollywood Food Guild
Kaiulani Kimbrell: Stephanie, you are an incredible woman. Not only are you a household name in the climbing world, but you also hold a Master’s in English, and are an author and blogger. What are you most passionate about right now?
Stephanie Davis: I’m most inspired by wingsuit base jumping, climbing, and vegan cooking— right now, I’m making a lot of fermented foods, tofu and raw desserts, and energy bars.
KK: What led you to veganism? Do you find the culture in beautiful small town Utah supportive to a vegan lifestyle?
SD: Moab is great for food! We have several local organic farms and a great independent health food store, the Moonflower Market. There’s also a weekly farmers market in the town park. Moab’s first economy was peaches, so fruit trees grow well here, and I always have great basil (pesto!) and tomatoes in my yard in the summers. We also have some great restaurants that give a lot of attention to vegan options as well as using local produce.
KK: In your opinion, what is the biggest problem in America when it comes to food? And how do you suggest we address it?
SD: Many people don’t seem to care about what they put in their bodies, and there is what I could only call an epidemic of sugar consumption in America. I know this is extremely controversial, but I was hugely in favor of the mayor of New York’s attempt to outlaw soda. That’s essentially poison, and it creates disease and really ruins people’s lives. I’ve read several articles about the difference between American school lunches and European school lunches, France in particular. I think it’s the government’s responsibility to eliminate fast food, soda, and candy from schools and to dedicate a lot of resources to feeding children healthy foods that don’t include added sugar.
KK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned over the years when it comes to staying in ideal shape?
SD: Food is fuel: it should be clean, simple, and high quality. Doing some yoga every morning, even if it’s only a couple of sun salutations, always seems to jump-start me to a productive day.
KK: As a writer, what’s the main message you’d like your readers to walk away with?
SD: Life is change. We don’t decide what happens to us, but we decide how we feel about it.
KK: What does THRIVING mean to you?
SD: Having a healthy body and healthy mind, and appreciating everything!
KK: Anything else you want to say to Thrive readers?
SD: We’re all creatures, and we need to take care of the animals.
Steph’s resume of climbing achievements spans 25 years, including being the first woman to free-climb the Salathé Wall on El Capitan. Steph has written two memoirs, High Infatuation and Learning to Fly, and curates a blog: stephdavis.co. She also owns and operates Climb2Fly Productions in Moab, Utah, a climbing and base jumping stunt company.