Name: Leon Eugene Jackson III
Year of Birth: 1991
Birthplace: Bordentown, NJ
Current Residence: 584 US Highway 206 Trenton, NJ 08610
Sports: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Social Media: Instagram: @Vegan_Jiu_Jitsu, Facebook
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I’m 23 years old and I’ve been in the military for five of those years. Currently I am serving in the New Jersey Air National Guard at McGuire AFB as a full time Aircraft Technician. For me Jiu Jitsu is my passion, I could train all day long if time allowed it. Fitness and healthy are also some of my biggest interest other than gorillas I would say (lol).
Why did you become vegan?
I wanted to change myself and make a change at the same time. I did some research on Veganism after my last deployment and came to the conclusion that this was a much healthier life style. Prior to becoming vegan I was heavy into powerlifting and the disgusting diet that came along with it. That was an unhealthy life style and I needed a quick change.
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I’ve been into fitness all of my life. I’ve been competing every since I can remember, whether it was football, basketball, or baseball. I always wanted to be a professional athlete in something.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I typically eat five meals a day keeping my macros around 2500-3200 calories 180-225 grams of protein, 290-350 grams of carbs and under 60 grams of fat. It sometimes varies but those are the numbers I like to hit.
My favorite meals are.
Meal 1: Before Gym (0400) Plant Fusion Protein shake and banana
Meal 2: After gym/ Breakfast (0700) Plain Oatmeal with a pinch of cinnamon and pineapples
Snack 1: Cliff Builder Bar with strawberries
Meal 3: Lunch (1130) “Meatball” Sub with peppers and onions and a huge salad on the side
Meal 4: Before Jiu Jitsu (1530) Broccoli and brown rice with garlic sauce
Snack 2: Plant Fusion Protein shake
Meal 5: Dinner (2100) “Catch up Meal” which means if I’m low in any of my macros, I’ll find something to fill them with.
How would you describe your training program?
I workout 6 days a week, Strength and conditioning four times a week, Jiu Jitsu practice 5-6 times a week and cardio three times a week. My strength program is focused on compound movements that usually range from 6-12 reps depending on the exercise. I train Jiu Jitsu in the evening mostly. Training is very intense and can last for up to three hours. I run when I’m not doing strength and conditioning. I don’t have a routine; I just do whatever I feel like doing at the time.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I only supplement protein shakes currently. I’m a big fan of Plant Fusion
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
People don’t typically believe I’m vegan because of my size and strength.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
I’m always asked how I get my protein! People aren’t aware that you can get enough protein being vegan.
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I created a Vegan Jiu Jitsu page on Instagram that currently has 1,200 followers from all over the world. People look at me for inspiration and advice. Several of my friends are now vegan/ vegetarian or have considered change after seeing me go through the process.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
I believe that attitude is paramount in training. If your mind isn’t involved then you can’t put out your full potential.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I love the variety of the vegan diet. I love the thought that what I’m doing is making a difference. And I love the people that I’ve connected with within the vegan community.
What do you like best about being fit?
This may sound sick, but I love the pain I’m in from training. I would much rather suffer from a great workout than to be someone who’s in pain just from waking up every day from an unhealthy life style.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
The hardest thing about training is being consistent. You have to just show up every day and give it your absolute best. Over time the pain is numb and is now enjoyment, because you were able to overcome your biggest obstacle.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Do some research about the lifestyle and see if it can fit you means. Anyone can become vegan; you just have to be prepared. Meal plan, map out vegan friendly locations near you. Most importantly seek guidance from others.
What motivates you in life?
I want my life to have a purpose. I want to be remembered by the things I accomplished and the lives I changed.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
Veganbodybuilding.com has been great for me. It has helped me connect with some great people and I was able to view some great products while visiting the site.
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
I think that the website is running great and it gets better each time I visit