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Name: Alicia “Diesel” Ziegler
Height: 5’5”
Weight: 115
Birthplace: Oxnard, Ca
Current Residence: Los Angeles
Sports: Cross Fit, Running (Marathon), Weight Training

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
Well, in truth, there are several passions that move me through my life. One of them of course is nutrition and fitness. At an early age, seeing young children that were already obese really got me desiring to learn everything I could to help educate parents on raising their children more health conscious. I have become so charged by the interaction with those looking for a better lifestyle and in turn I always learn more about myself. I am now certified ISSA trainer and looking to deepen my knowledge further.

My acting career is another big part of it. Since I was 14 years old I have been auditioning and working as an actress and a model. I love the energy and creativity of film sets, and like my health career, it brings me great joy to be participating in the field. I just shot an episode of Hawaii 5-0 for example and while on the island, I use the energy of new places to motivate my training. In that case I would run the white beaches while sharing my knowledge with an eager film crew (a future book I’m working on, as a matter of fact).

My family and friends are of course the overall fuel in my life and having a better relationship, as well as a longer one with them, is part of my incentive.

Why did you become vegan?
In grade school, I saw a video on how the meat gets to our plates and was horrified. That started the ball rolling for me and so my first long term vegan experience was at a pretty young age. I stopped again for a while and went back on meat. But as I got into a much more fitness-oriented lifestyle, I began in my research of nutrition to see the benefits of eating vegan again for my athletics. The cleaner fuel along with the slower processing time of the nutrients made for an intelligent choice of diet. So you can say my first go round was more of an animal conscious slash sanitary reaction and my born again approach was founded by my new discoveries via sports.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
At 13, discovering gymnastics and the effects it had on my own personal exhilaration got me thinking about the correlation between fitness and happiness. So as I progressed into high school and read books like Sears’ Enter the Zone, I began to make exercise and training a daily part of my existence. Soon it became more than just a routine, but a passion that I read and studied about. I took classes in college as well, educating myself further on all the subjects.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
Food for fuel. In other words, as much as I love taste, I am very conscious of how my food serves my activity. Is it early in the morning and am I about to work out? That will dictate one kind of meal. Is it late in the evening and I am nearing sleep time? That will require a different set of nutrients. So even though I will still gravitate towards food that I love, it has to still fit into the parameters of what I need in that time frame.

How would you describe your training program?
Hard. I pretty much make use of my time when I train rather than turning the gym into a social event or “look at me” exhibition. My workouts are comprised mainly of weights. Probably 80%. I have a pretty high rep with minimal rest routine to keep my calories burning. That means generally planning two exercises for instance that I superset, back and forth. Push ups with triceps extensions, for example, I will do back to back and then maybe between each “set” I’ll continue doing knee-highs s to stay active. There is such a science and art to discovering what works for your body, that the gym becomes like a science lab. I also add running into my workouts several times a week. Three to five miles of street running. Yoga and stretching also fits in there to keep my flexibility and circulation healthy. I have begun including martial arts and boxing into my routines as well. I keep learning.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
That you can’t get enough protein and is all high carbohydrate is a common one. I have been training cross fit, even completing an 8-minute plank, all the while surviving on a vegan diet and maintaining all my muscle. You may have to be smarter about your combining and selection since its not as easy as shoveling some chicken into your mouth, but if that is your only concern, you can rest easy. I’m proof.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
Be patient. Focus on your goals and don’t stress about the results. There are times where we struggle and don’t achieve the results and goals we are looking for, but through knowledge and time you will start to see the results of a lifetime investment. Forget the quick diets and instant weight loss pills. Look, you are willing to invest money in clothes and cars, but the same work that went into making that money can go right back into your body and you will have lasting results that will survive the fabric and the wheels!

Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Awareness and change takes failure and success. Ask questions. Don’t get too focused on the day-to-day change you see, but me more aware of what you feel. The body changes gradually as do all the other effects on your mind and energy. Find people in your life or in the news you can use as inspiration and paste their images or words on a vision board to keep you on track. Just remember why you are doing all this and let yourself know its okay to keep doing it and you have no one else to answer to but your own self.