Name: Dr. Harriet N. Davis
(Board-Certified Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Physician).
Year of Birth: 1971
Height: 5'2 1/4"
Weight: 110 lbs. (competition);
115 lbs. (Off season)
Birthplace: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
Current Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Sports: National NPC Bikini Competitor
Why did you become vegan?
(What were the contributing factors, was there anything in particular which made you aware or changed your way of thinking etc?) I have always had an aversion to consuming meat. When I entered college, I chose to cut all meat from my diet, I became vegetarian (1989). Over the years, I started to develop several "intolerances" to different foods including dairy/eggs and therefore, in 2007, I decided to become a gluten-free, vegan foodist and never looked back!
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I am a 42 year physician and National NPC Bikini Competitor who recently starting competing in June 2013. I have always been driven by fitness. Prior to becoming a NPC bikini competitor, I was an avid distance runner. I ran track in high school. During college, medical school, and residency, I maintained my fitness and conditioning by running 20-25 miles/week. Since 1998, I have run 4 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and numerous 5, 8, 10, 12 and 30Ks.
Through the years, my weight has fluctuated (pregnancy/childbirth) but, I have always been able to maintain a fit physique by running. However, in July 2011, after celebrating my 40th birthday, I started to recognize changes in my body that were not typical of the past. I began to notice less muscle definition in my legs (and more adipose tissue). So, over the next year (2011-2012) I increased my weekly running mileage (25-30miles/week) and as a result, I developed a stress fracture in my foot.
Feeling frustrated with my physical appearance, in December 2012, I decided to hire a vegan personal trainer. This was beneficial because the trainer was able to help me identify several nutritional issues that were contributing to me gaining fat rather than building muscle. After 3 months of nutritional revisions, and personal training, my body had started to respond the way that I desired. Because my first personal trainer was not experienced in competition prep, I decided to start looking for a personal trainer who could get me "stage ready."
In February 2013, I found "that person": the experienced trainer who was able to help me lean out and build muscle (especially in my lower extremities because of my distance running, there was not much muscular definition in my quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc.). We started our competition preparation training in March 2013.
After 3 months of intense personal training, I graced the stage, on June 8, 2013 feeling confidence and standing fearless in my faith! I placed 3rd in my class of Masters bikini 35+ and 7th in open bikini (B class)!
Since June 2013, I have competed in 2 regional shows and 3 national shows (NPC 2013 Team Universe, NPC 2013 GNC Masters Nationals, IFBB North American Championships) and I placed in the top 10 in all of them!
How would you describe your nutrition program?
During my "no" off season I do cardio twice a day (60 minutes in the morning/fasted cardio and 45-60 minutes at evening). I train in the gym 5 days a week and I do one day a week on the track (sprints, stairs, etc.). I avoid "bad" saturated fats but I add MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) back into my diet. I consume 6 meals a day all year however, I rotate my carbohydrate intact during competition season. I typically drink 1.5 gallons of water a day all year. A typical day for me includes the following meals:
Meal 1: quinoa, almonds, Humapro protein drink, water
Meal 2: grapefruit, water
Meal 3: Garden of Life Raw protein shake, sweet potato
Meal 4: salad and asparagus (no dressing), almonds, water
Meal 5: Garden of Life Raw protein shake, apple
Meal 6: asparagus, black bean spaghetti, opinions, mushrooms, Humapro protein drink
How would you describe your training program?
Monday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: legs (quads, inner/outer thighs), abs
Tuesday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: shoulders, arms (biceps, triceps), abs
Wednesday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: (hump day): glutes, hamstrings
Thursday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: total body workout.
Friday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: legs, abs
Saturday: cardio (am/pm). Track workout.
Sunday: REST DAY!
I use many different supplements to help with muscle recovery, joint health, muscle building and to support my immune system. My list includes...
BCAAs: I use Humapro protein powder (I like to mix grape and pineapple). I also use Iron Tek's L-Glutamine.
Complete Protein: Garden of Life's Raw protein powder for my shakes.
Vitamins & Minerals: NOW, Solaray and Country Life.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Because of my muscular definition, when people find out I'm vegan, they are usually shocked! People also become curious to learn more about my vegan lifestyle.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The most common misconceptions about veganism that I encounter include: vegans are thin and emaciated; vegans can't build muscle because vegans protein deficient. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others?
If so, how did you go about it? I am very successful in promoting veganism. Being a family medicine and sports medicine physician, I am able to promote a plant-based diet on a daily basis. I emphasize the importance of a plant-based diet with regards to primary prevention of many medical conditions. I also stress the importance of a plant-based diet in disease management. Many of my patients have transitioned from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a plant-based diet.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Self-discipline is definitely the most important aspect of training. One must possess the innate ability to consistently train regardless of the external circumstances. Without self-discipline, it is difficult to stay on track.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I love being able to educate others on vegan nutrition. I started a blog this year mainly to dispel myths and education others on the benefits of consuming a plant-based diet. www.veganbikinidoc.wordpress.com
What do you like best about being fit? I love being able to motivate others by being a living example. Fitness has played a major role in my life since childhood. Fitness helps me maintain optimal health and overall wellness. I love living in a body that feels good (physically and emotionally) almost all of the time. Being fit affords affords vitality!
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
No matter what your personal health and fitness goals for are, you need to take certain steps in order to meet those goals. Sometimes people start off on the right track and then get sidetracked, never finishing what they set out to do. Yet, if you have a clear plan of what success & achievement mean to you then you will easily be able to reach your goals.
1. Have clear goals (write them down).
2. Think positive.
3. Don't let setbacks get you down.
4. Stay focused.
5. Be consistent.
6. Take progress pictures.
7. Enjoy the journey.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Do your research. If you don't have a clear understanding of vegan nutrition, educate yourself! For most of us vegans, this lifestyle has been a journey. I didn’t just become vegan overnight. It was a process of listening to my body and educating myself.
What motivates you in life?
My motivation is the same as my purpose in life...to encourage others to be active, to inspire optimal health and well-being, and to strive to make a difference in someone's life daily!
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com?
Has it helped or inspired you? This website is amazing! It’s a great way to connect with other vegans and it provides a wealth of information!!!
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. Perhaps reading my profile will help others evaluate their lives. Hopefully my story will positively influence someone to make a change in their own lifestyle.