Gretchen August 8, 2012 2

When presented with the opportunity to interview Renee Olstead of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, I got out Netflix and watched a few episodes.

I had been hearing for a long time what a great show it is, but quite honestly I don’t watch a ton of TV.  I would, but it always feels like before I know it the day is gone and I have to choose between TV and sleep.

There is one place that I watch TV consistently, and that is the gym.  I found a trick a while back that helps me slog through cardio…find a show you really like and ONLY ALLOW YOURSELF TO WATCH IT WHILE DOING CARDIO.  That makes for some major workout incentive.

Having very recently finished all of the Friday Night Lights episodes, I was in search of a new cardio show…looks like I found it.  Two episodes in and I am hooked.  Lucky for me Netflix has 90+ episodes for me to work through…that’s A LOT of cardio!

Renee is such a cutie.  She is so endearing and finding out that she is vegan is a major bonus.  In addition to being an actress, Renee has some serious pipes.  She has two albums under her belt (both produced by David Foster…impressive) and another on the way.  Click HERE to sample some of her music.

I couldn’t wait to learn more about what makes Renee tick.  I hope you enjoy our interview of vegan actress and singer, Renee Olstead.


CV – Chic Vegan readers love to learn about what motivated others to become vegan.  What was your motivation and was it an overnight switch or more gradual shift?

RO – I went vegetarian at age twelve and flirted withveganism a bit in my late teens. I finally made the transition to ‘committed vegan’ a little over a year ago now. I even got by boyfriend to go vegan too  & he loves it!

CV – Tell me a little bit about what it’s like to be on The Secret Life.  Does craft services cater provide vegan options for you or do you bring your own food to the set?

RO – We’re really lucky at Secret Life. Our craft service does have a lot of great options like individually packaged veggie bowls & seaweed snacks (my fave). Plus our caterer always has a juicer available in the mornings that I love. I bought one just like it, a Breville.

CV – I recently read on your Huffington Post blog that you will be running the half marathon to raise funds for PETA Pack.  How is the training going?

RO – I am! I started training a month early, since I definitely run at a ‘beginner’ level. I’m so excited to be running to raise money in support of PETA’s lifesaving Investigations & Rescue Fund, a program that responds to cruelty to animals calls & works with undercover investigators to expose and stop many of the worst abuses of animals. I encourage all of your readers to sign up for the PETAPack at or make a donation on the PETA website (or my PETA Pack fundraising page: )

CV – As if your life isn’t busy enough, a little birdy told me that you will be releasing your next album this month?  Tell us a little about the album.

RO – Yes! Well the EP will be out soon, but my first single “She’s Got Your Name” drops July 24th & will be available at digital retailers everywhere.

CV – Walk me through a day in your life.

RO – If its a day onset at Secret Life, I usually wake up at 4:45 or so, shower and head into work. Then its hair & makeup and back to the trailer, where I usually end up hanging out with my best friend and co-star Camille Winbush until its time to rehearse. After we’re done shooting, I usually come home, play with my wonderful rescued puppies, maybe head out to the gym for a bit, and then come back home to work on music with my wonderful musician/producer boyfriend Tommy King. On weekends I go to school, I’m finishing up my undergrad right now. I also enjoy sleeping, watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, hanging out with friends, & trying my hand at new vegan recipes.

CV – What do you typically eat in the span of a day and are you a snacker?

RO –  It depends. I almost always eat breakfast. Usually a raw bar of some kind of fruit smoothie. Lunch and dinner can vary, but I’m trying to replace snacks with my new vegan protein shake. Its made from all plant proteins & is pretty tasty.

CV – What is your favorite vegan indulgence?

RO – The Vegan Brownie Torte from Hugo’s in LA.

CV – When people learn that you are vegan, what is the #1 question they ask and what is your response?

RO – “Where do you get your protein” I usually answer something about how vastly the average American over consumes protein and how many cruelty free, plant based options there are available to help you meet (and even exceed, if you wish) what your body needs to function.

CV – What vegan product could you not live without?

RO – I LOVE Isabella’s V-Chip Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

CV – In your wildest dreams what will your life look like in 5 years?

RO – Love. Kindness. Music. Cookies & (Rescued) Puppy Dogs.

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  1. Lindsay August 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm -

    I LOVE Renee Olstead!  I had no idea she is vegan, so this interview was very exciting to read.

  2. VeggieGrettie August 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm -

    We love her too! She is such a sweetheart…and MAN CAN SHE SING!!!

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