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Name: Andrea Mays
Year of Birth: 
126 lbs.
Long Beach, Ca
Current Residence: 
Highland, Ca
Sports: Bikini 
Bodybuilding Competitor
Social Media: 
https://www.facebook.com/Veggielifefitness http://instagram.com/fit_mink_and_andy 

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have 

I’m am so lucky to be business partners with the love of my life Mink (Michael Lamette). We own a plant based personal training and wellness center called Veggie Life Fitness in San Bernardino, CA.  We  have a handsome and fit vegan toddler that we adore. I received my B.S. degree in Kinesiology from Cal State San Bernardino and Studied in the Exercise Physiology Maser's program at Cal Poly Pomona. I love to do anything active, especially with my loved ones! Dancing is my favorite physical activity. I have a passion for helping women keep it strong yet sassy. I love choreographing "Sexy Pump" fitness routines using dance, trampolines, pull-up bars, jump ropes, etc.  I also have a passion the holistic approach to fitness. I encourage total well being involving health and balance of the body, mind, and soul. 

Why did you become vegan? 
Becoming vegan was a slow transformation for me. In fact, when I first gave up meat, I didn't know it was going to be a permanent thing. My husband and I completed a 10 day fasting cleanse (The Master Cleanse) and never went back to eating meat.  It was initially Mink's idea. He had been thinking about it for years. It was never something I thought I would do but thought it would be a great idea to try it together. Besides, it would allow me to better advise my clients in the area of plant based diets.  The longer I consumed this meat free diet, the better I looked and felt. I also became more aware of the horrible treatment of livestock. The more documentaries I watched, the more my reason for giving up meat went from health to ethics. After seeing first hand that I could get proper nutrition without consuming animals, or animal products, the more I felt that going back to eating meat would be selfish. It didn't sit right with me eating meat just because it "tastes good." I transferred from vegetarian to vegan after I decided to become a bikini bodybuilding competitor. I was truly ready to let go of traditional ideas and fully become the enlightened person I envisioned myself as.     

When and why did you become interested in fitness? 
Ever since a young age, I loved to be active. In fact, my parents could hardly get me to sit still.  I always loved to play active games with my friends,  play organized sports, and participate in PE. When I realized The physical education was something I could study in college, it was like a dream come true. As I studied in college, I became intrigued with how longevity of life was influenced by our lifestyle. I became even more enthralled with having the power to not only prevent disease or slow again but to also build and improve my physique and physical abilities. 

How would you describe your nutrition program? 
I am best friends with my food diary! A typical day for me consists of planning my macronutrients and preparing my food in advanced. This allows me to be consistent in what I eat. My main food sources include: beans, brown rice, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, oats, peanut butter, cashews, avocados, tofu, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, soy milk, and whole grain breakfast cereal. Roughly 20% of my calories come from protein. 

How would you describe your training program?
I usually exercise 6 days a week. When I am in competition season, I lift more than I do cardio. I also do a lot of body workouts including burps, squat jumps, pull-ups, and all kinds of core exercises on the bar. I do HIIT training on the bike, trampoline, and treadmill for cardio. 

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?  
Other than taking "Raw Fusion" protein powder when I am 2 weeks out from a competition, I don't take supplements. I do try to get a multivitamin in every few days. 

How do people react when they find out you are vegan? People are always shocked to find out I am vegan. They always want to know how much protein I eat a day and where I get it from. Many say that they have never seen such a muscular, healthy looking vegan.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism? 
That you can't get enough protein. That you won't enjoy you food. That your cultural eating habits and "tastes" can't evolve, and that begin vegan is unhealthy. 

Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others?  If so, how did you go about it?
I feel the best way to successfully promote veganism is to be a living example. By being consistent and striving to be my best, my physique brings a lot of attention and therefore questions about my lifestyle. And once I am asked, I am always eager to share all the joys of begin a vegan. 

What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Balance. Often times, We as humans get so wrapped up in the physical that we do take time to focus our minds and nurture our spirits. Sometimes, a meditation is much more needed than an intense workout. 

What do you like best about being vegan? 
Knowing that I was able to let go of something I was raised in when I felt in my heart that it wasn't wrong. I love that I am standing on my beliefs no matter how hard it may be giving up the foods I use to love.

What do you like best about being fit?
That I am proud of the work I have put into myself and feel comfortable in my skin.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
 Set a goal, get a plan to get you to that goal, and execute the plan consistently.  

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?  Don't be lazy!  Cook you own food and get creative in the kitchen. You don't want to give up on it because you are bored with bland food or don't know what to eat. 

What motivates you in life? 
My family motivates me first and foremost. Being a mother, I feel the greatest pressure to be the best example I can be. My husband also motivates me as he is always pushing himself to be better in all areas of life. I HAVE to keep up! Lastly, my friends and family motivate me. Hearing how much my lifestyle influences or motivates them only makes me want to continue to be living proof that living healthy is possible. Seeing health spread to my friends and family, and then further to their friends and family, is amazing!

What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com?  Has it helped or inspired you?
It is great! It helped connect me with other fit vegans so that I could be surrounded by likeminded people (even if it is a cyber social environment). I enjoy learning from other vegans as well as the feeling of comradery from the vegan community. 

Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share? Thank you providing the platform to showcase fit vegans from all walks of life. It is definitely something the world needs to see more of so that it can be seen as more of the "norm."