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Name: Natasha Seeto
Year of Birth: 03/06/1986
Height: 1.59cm
Weight: 50kg
Birthplace: Queensland, Australia
Current Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Sports: Bodybuilding – Bikini Athlete
Social Media: Facebook: Natasha Seeto – Vegan Bikini Athlete & Instagram: @tashseeto
Website(s): www.natashaseeto.com
E-mail: tash@natashaseeto.com

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I am Australian born to an Aussie Mum and Chinese Dad; making my younger brother and I an exotic looking mix of two cultures. I love to love and will give all I have to those that I love and care for deeply. I take full accountability for my life by embracing change and growth while maintaining an authentic expression of who I am. Life constantly amazing me, we truly are blessed to live in this day and age.

Why did you become vegan?
Initially I became vegetarian by trying different diets I could potentially be placing my clients on through nutrition consults. After researching the health benefits of a vegan diet and being exposed to documentaries such as Earthlings, I didn’t want anything to do with harming or exploiting animals for human consumption (food or beauty products); so I converted to a plant-based diet.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I have always been involved in health and fitness. I began dancing from an early age, which I continue to this day. I dabbled in netball and athletics in high school and began weight training when I started university. My body thrives on movement; it has always grounded me. To feel energy move through my body brings balance to my life.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
My nutrition program is constantly evolving due to new information I learn; it also adapts to my bodybuilding goals. I am discovering more and more what works for my body and what doesn’t. In saying that do prefer to eat a more wholefoods diet, which means I eat minimal processed foods. I ensure I receive all my marco and micronutrients by eating a varied diet, which includes all vegetables, legumes and minimal grains. I eat a rainbow! I do occasionally consume soy based products, however I prefer to eat legumes as my main protein source. I find that my body prefers legumes than soy. Though I do love me some tempeh!I am also an avid juicer! I love my green juice and have 1 litre every morning before I eat any food. I am a hardcore juicer and only juice vegetables and citrus fruits. I also enjoy green smoothies, which I love to add bananas and Medjool dates to.

How would you describe your training program?
I like to be active everyday. When I am not training in the gym I will opt for yoga, dancing or walking. Body movement every day is extremely grounding to me and assists my mental focus and brings clarity.In the gym, I like many different methods of training. I enjoy isolation days and well as whole-body circuits. At the moment, I am performing more whole-body circuits as per my coach’s instructions. Cardio wise, I don’t specially have cardio sessions scheduled in my current program as the circuit requires high intensity output. However, if I am coming into a show and want to drop some fat I prefer a mix of steady state and high intensity intervals. I love a good sprint session!

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I don’t tend to use a lot of supplements as I prefer to keep it as natural as possible. But I do use a plant-based protein powder (I don’t have a favourite as yet), liquid chlorophyll, glutamine and a greens powder.

How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
People are usually quite surprised when they find out I’m vegan. I have quite a vivacious presence, and am quite animated, also my skin and eyes glow, which surprises people. I am in great shape, which appears to be intriguing to most people as the outdated weak and frail vegan stereotype is usually expected. People are quite supportive, and become interested in how I thrive on a vegan diet, generally they then go on to ask for tips on how they can integrate some plant- based principles into their diet.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The usual malnourished, weak, all vegans are tree-hugging hippies is a major misconception. Another prominent misconception or stereotype is that all vegans are angry and judge or look down on people that don’t follow a plant-based diet. As with all stereotypes there is a kernel oftruth amid the entire population of a particular stereotype; however throwing a blanket over an entire group of people is quite ignorant.

Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I believe by acting with integrity and transferring my beliefs into congruent actions; I am standing as an example of how to thrive on a vegan diet. My approach isn’t directly an active one; I appreciate those that do participate in activist endeavours; however in my experience fighting fire with fire has not achieved anything for me. That does not mean I don’t speak my mind, I certain do; though I prefer the stealth health approach when advocating a plant-based diet.

What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Discipline. There will be times when you are tired, physically, mentally or both. Remember you made a promise to yourself when you set your fitness goal. Push through the mental BS and pick up the iron. Move your body! I promise as soon as you get your body moving, your mind will stop pestering you and get on board the endorphin train ;)

What do you like best about being vegan?
My energy! I don’t just survive in life I thrive. My body feels clean, my mind is clear, my energy is bountiful and my vitality is off the chain! I love that all my food choices do not require a living being to be killed to provide energy for me. Straight up - Dead energy is dead energy.

What do you like best about being fit?
The best thing about being fit is how strong and empowered I feel. I am directly taking control of how I show up physically in my life and it’s the most amazing feeling. This sense of empowerment transfers to other areas of my life and before I knew it I was achieving fitness and non–fitness goals quite easily!

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Before you start, step back and look at the bigger picture. Map out your goals and know that with time and dedication you can, and will achieve all the goals you set. Whether they are for aesthetics or strength or both. Weight training isn’t just about training the muscle. It trains your mind, and sculpts your mental landscape. There are no shortcuts in weight training, if you want to build muscle you have to do the work. Each time you start a training session set an intention to give it your all; to go that one extra step outside your comfort zone. That extra step will expand your comfort zone and it will help shift any stubborn negative beliefs on what you think you are able to achieve.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Do it! At first it may seem quite overwhelming; I get it, I’ve been there. Take it easy, transition at your own pace. There are quite a lot of fantastic resources available to assist you in converting to a plant-based diet. This website is a fantastic resource for a newbie vegan; I also have a page of resources on my website to get you started - www.natashaseeto.com.au/resources Join a group like the Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness group on Facebook. Having a support network makes a huge difference. Just knowing there are others out there looking to assist you in your new plant-based adventure is a great comfort!

What motivates you in life?
To always strive to be the best I can be and to live a blissfully full life, one of love and joy. My motivation will change throughout my life with regards to goals, but to always be true to myself and follow my bliss, will always be a necessary motivation in my life.

What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
Veganbodybuilding.com is a fantastic resource for all vegan and non-vegan athletes. Seeing really is believing and there is no shortage of powerful plantbuilt muscle on this website! I find the articles written by vegan athletes regarding training and nutrition to be quite helpful and inspiring.

Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Remember to be kind to yourself. Always. It is fantastic to be inspired by another’s physique and to strive to sculpt your own body; but it can be very easy to have an image of what you want in your mind’s eye and to not see that in the mirror and berate yourself for it. The physique that you want is right there, it’s looking back at you in the mirror. You have everything you need to attain your goal. Hold the vision and trust the process. If you have the will, apply patience and dedication and that goal will become a reality! Also, you gotta love the process and enjoy the journey... and it’s all about the journey. There is no finish line. Believe me, you will continue to set new goals when you achieve those you have already set. Fitness is a lifestyle and an addictive one at that ;)