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I became vegan about 11 years ago, when my best friend gave me a copy of Diet for a New America by John Robbins. By the time I was done reading about factory farm conditions and the environmental impact of animal foods I’d cleaned out my fridge of every scrap of it and never looked back. Although motivated to do so by ethics, at that time I was about 75 pounds overweight - wearing a size 18 - and getting bigger every day in spite of frequent exercise. Changing to a healthy plant-based diet was the key to better health and a better physique for me! I’ve now been bodybuilding for about four years and have seen ever greater gains in muscle as I’ve gradually replaced processed foods and oils with vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.

Currently I operate a personal training and nutrition consulting business, Root Force PT, with my husband Derek Tresize and frequently post recipes and other training and nutrition advice on our website, www.veganmuscleandfitness.com. We strive to advocate a plant-based diet in all things, from simply spreading the word at the gym to hosting documentary screenings and “plant-based potlucks” and helping to represent vegan bodybuilding at vegetarian festivals. I’m also a full-time graduate applied mathematics student and teach a few undergraduate math classes at our local university…taking every opportunity to promote a plant-based diet to colleagues and students, as well as get started in what I hope turns out to be a lifetime of nutrition research!