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Name: Nathane L. Jackson
Age: 34
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 215lbs
Birthplace: Fonthill Ontario, Canada
Current Residence: Toronto Ontario, Canada
Sports: WBFF Pro model & Physique Competitor, Karate, Kettlebell, Yoga & Meditation, University Basketball Player

Nathane not only manages his own Corporate Wellness Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada but he also runs his international online coaching program that has seen hundreds of people get into the best shape of their lives. You can read more about Nathane’s health & wellness services here at http://www.nathanejackson.com

Why did you become vegan?
It was a combination of things that lead me to becoming a raw vegan athlete. For many years I had been following the typical meat eating bodybuilder nutrition plan and even though I looked great aesthetically I just did not feel the same way internally. I switched to an organic version of the same nutrition plan and instantly felt much better. However, as much as my body thanked me I felt I could go further.

At this time, my mom was extremely ill and fighting a long battle with cancer. The research I put in to try and help her was leading me back to nutrition as the cure. I started learning more and more about super foods and the true healing power that nutrition can play in our lives. Vegetarian/vegan based approaches were continually being applauded for their healing nature and combined with what I was learning about creating an alkaline environment in our body for a balanced pH level, I was convinced that plant based nutrient rich nutrition was the way to go.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
Ever since elementary school I have always participated in sports and different activities. However, I would say my sophomore (2nd) year in High School is when I got the bug to compete. Having grown up in Canada I was not involved in as much organized athletics as my friends to the south were from an early age. When I moved to Illinois at
the beginning of High School I realized I was so far behind athletically than the rest of my teammates. I had a tough first year in football, basketball and baseball and didn’t see much playing time, even on the “B” teams. I was told to get stronger during the offseason if I wanted to have a chance of playing sophomore or varsity sports. So, I hit the weight room and started to eat more. Of course, I knew nothing compared to what I know now as a Strength & Conditioning coach but it didn’t take much for me to get stronger than I was as I had never lifted weights before.

By the end of my second year of High Cchool I was being groomed to play Defensive End at the Varsity level for our football team so the current DE could move to Linebacker. With Basketball, I had started a bunch of games at Center for the sophomore team and was finally getting the head of the bat around on fastballs and getting some quality playing time at First Base in baseball.

The rest is history as I have been involved in fitness ever since.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
I would say that I am roughly 90% Raw Vegan with the remaining 10% vegan. My plant based nutrient rich nutrition plan consists of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, soaked nuts & seeds and I include superfoods such as spirulina, chlorella, goji berries etc.. I truly believe in “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

As a professional fitness model I have to be ready to shoot on a moments notice. I have listed what I consume to maintain my current condition of 6-7% body fat year round as

well as being able to perform at my best ability in what ever activity or sport I am playing
at the time.

A typical day for me looks like the following,

1L lemon & cayenne water
Green Juice

Large salad with soaked nuts & seeds and a homemade raw dressing

A fruit smoothie such as banana/mango/date. This is also my pre workout meal.

Post workout shake with Sunwarrior’s Sprouted Brown Rice protein and dates and goji berries.

Dinner is where I have more time so I like to change it up daily. Meals such as nut or mushroom burgers, zucchini hummus on flax crackers, walnut taco’s, seed pates.

If I am hungry between meals I always have lower glycemic fruits near by such as cherries, berries, apples and grapefruit.

How would you describe your training program?
Being Strength & Conditioning coach and Personal Trainer for the past decade I like to use a variety of different approaches and equipment when training. With my knowledge I am able to properly design programs in phases (periodization) to get the most out of my body. I am also a kettlebell trainer and love to incorporate KB’s during my strength and endurance phases. However, I take more of a bodybuilding approach when it comes to my hypertrophy stage.

Having become a professional fitness model and competitor I usually need to keep my body in photo shoot shape year round. I do this my combining all of the above approaches into more of a hybrid/maintenance phase when I don’t have a specific goal in mind.

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
The only supplements I use are from Vega and Sunwarrior. I always try to get my nutrients from a wide variety of raw foods but it is nice to know that if I am stuck traveling or I need a quick snack/meal I can rely on such nutrient dense whole food products.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The #1 misconception which is the question I get asked on a daily basis is with regards to protein consumption and where do I get it from?

People don’t realize that leafy greens and vegetables have an abundance of amino acids which is protein in its simplest form. Fruits and other foods like grains, legumes, lentils, beans, sprouts and bee pollen are all high in amino acids as well. Plus, the enzymes we consume from a variety of raw foods help our body to assimilate the amino acids which repair and rebuild our muscle tissue.

What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?
The most important aspect of fitness is making fitness a lifestyle and not just something we do for a contest, vacation, the summer etc. Also, I strongly feel there should be more in depth evaluations in big box gyms around the world to assess people and how they move. I myself realize how important this is and have been fortunate enough to have been taught to properly screen people for dysfunction and misalignment. The last thing we want to do as trainers or people in general is to add fitness to dysfunction.

What do you like best about being vegan?
Since I am mostly a raw vegan, I love the fact that I am feeding my body live living foods all the time. The large variety of food I am able to eat is so fulfilling and it provides so many variations to things like salads and homemade juices and/or smoothies. I know that I am feeding my body what it needs in order to thrive and in turn it is helping me stay disease free and functioning optimally.

What do you like best about being fit?
I love being fit because of the way it makes me feel. I have so much energy and it gives me a confidence that there is nothing I can’t do or try. So many doors and opportunities have come from my fit lifestyle and I am extremely grateful for all of them. As a raw vegan, strength & conditioning coach and fitness professional I have the ability to help so many people around the world find their inner athlete so they too can thrive in life.

What are your strengths as an athlete?
My strengths as an athlete spill over into my life as they are my strengths there too. I have a great work ethic that I thank my parents for instilling this in me. I have the courage to do things that I know may take me outside of my comfort zone but I know it is these times that help me to grow as a person and as an athlete. Plus, I watched a lot of underdog movies when I was a kid, que the Rocky soundtrack.

What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?
I would suggest educating yourself first and foremost. Yes the benefits of being a vegan are important but how to do it properly and safely transition into being vegan is key. I have had my ups and downs but there are people out there like myself who are willing to help and who have books, dvd’s and such to make the transition an easy one.

Once you have allowed your body to transition and cleanse itself of the toxins that have been accumulating within, then you will feel so much more alive than ever before and be able to thrive as an athlete.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Same as above….athlete or not, seek out help from someone. Do your research as there are many great leaders in the vegan and raw food community. There are different philosophies so make sure you compare and contrast especially if you yourself suffer from any condition, illness or disease.

What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?
I love how I feel on a day to day basis and the opportunity to show others that vegans can succeed athletically is so rewarding. I know my lifestyle can inspire others and that motivates me each and every day!

I have coached so many successful people through my online program that each of their journeys to success provides inspiration for me to continue to share.

How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?
Robert has provided a great source of reference for everyone who wants to learn more about being a vegan and how to incorporate exercise into ones daily routine. Personally, the nutrition programs that have been posted helped me a great deal in the beginning and I came back to veganbodybuilding.com time and time again for info and ideas. Now I would like to give back by sharing my journey as well as offer my expertise to others who happen to stop by the site.

Is there anything else you would like to add about your vegan fitness lifestyle?
My vegan fitness lifestyle has done so much for me not only nutritionally and athletically but mentally and spiritually as well. I am more in touch with my body and environment than ever before. I now walk around with a keen awareness to my surroundings and others in my life which provides me with a gentle happy calm.