Name: Andru Brozovich
Year of Birth: 1977
Weight: 160 lbs.
Birthplace: Seattle, WA
Current Residence: Seattle, WA
Sports: Road Running
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
Besides running, fitness and anything involving physical activity, I am a musician, artist and sometimes moonlight as a photographer. I've been lucky enough to release several tracks through the underground electronic scene, play numerous clubs and venues, tour, have art showings, and work with a variety of amazing and inspiring people in the process.
Why did you become vegan?
It started as what felt like a no-brainer after getting food poisoning from chicken twice within 12 months. Once I gave up meat, dairy made sense to stop consuming next. And the more I read about going plant based, the more I realized it was a good choice in not supporting the treatment of animals in factory farms as well as treating my body right. Best choice I've ever made (along with being 100% sober).
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
At the age of 12 I saw Andre Agassi in the beginning of his firstserious run. Being that I was a little rocker kid, I thought “Man,here is this guy all wild and long hair and such...I wanna be him!” So Istarted with tennis and my first year made varsity. In my teens and20's I focused more on music and art, but around my mid 20's I startedgetting back in touch with my inner athlete. After which I quit mypartying ways and went sober at 28. I started taking trainingseriously, learning everything I could about lifting weights. Thiseventually led me to learning to box at AMC Kickboxing in Kirkland,Washington. It was around this time I became Vegan. I watched mytraining, recovery and overall performance excel and knew I stumbledupon something that felt good and was working. Later down the road itbrought me to running, which I never thought I could have gotten sopassionate about. 2012 has been my best year with two 2nd placefinishes in short distance races, a 3rd place age division finish inthe half marathon, as well as taking part in the beautiful Victoria BCMarathon in October, finishing with a very respectable time. 2013 willonly get better.
How would you describe your nutrition program?
6 days a week I am very strict on what I am eating. I've been having the same protein smoothie for breakfast for what seems to be years and years. But it works. Starting the day with a big glass of plant based protein, fruit, Maca powder, greens, etc. Throughout the day it's Organic sprouted Tofu, quinoa, brown rice, various organic energy bars, fruit, hummus and at least one big salad with as many veggies as I can fit on the plate. My favorite "treat" meal is anything Thai or from local vegan restaurants.
How would you describe your training program?
My currenty Marathon training has been a 3 month program designed by Hannah Schultz of RunFresh Coaching. I am averaging around 33 miles a week with a long run ranging between 13-20 miles, a medium run of 6-10, one day of an easy 3-4 and a speed workout day at 5K pace. The longest run has been for endurance building, while the medium run I make sure to keep it at a tempo pace. The speed workout can be anything from Fartlekt style to 5x1000m at 5K pace. All in all, it's been an awesome program. Along with this, I've made sure to hit the gym with a HIIT circuit, using a lot of plyometrics and bodyweight exercises, along with at least two sessions a week of Hatha Yoga to keep my muscles loose and relaxed. I have never felt healthier and more ready to go in my life.
W hat kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
Plant based protein powders (Warrior Food, Vega and Life Source are my favorites), Maca Powder, Essential Greens, Whole Food Multi Vitamin, Various Pre-workout Energizers, Post Workout Amino Acids, Vitamin D3, Turmeric. I'm always trying new supplements out as long as they are top quality to see how they can help my training.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
When fellow athletes find out, they aren't surprised. When a lot of my non athlete friends find out they treat it like being vegan is a cult. I do my best to educate them however and slowly over time, when they've seen my results, and how happy and energized I am, more and more people come back to me to ask how to go about starting a plant based diet and lifestyle.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
The same misconceptions we've all heard. That vegans are skinny, weak, we don't get enough protein, etc. I usually just say “go look at the profiles at veganbodybuilding.com” and that zips their lips pretty fast.
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
So far so good. I educate people as best as I can with books and website information. The older I get and my friends get, the more they see I'm getting healthier and not aging as fast, while they start running into health complications, issue, loss of energy, loss of metabolism, etc. The best way to promote a plant based diet and lifestyle is to have one yourself and to do it well. People like Mac Danzig, Marzia Prince, Robert Cheeke, and the amazing athletes on this site are walking billboards for what a plant based diet can do for anyone. I try to be that as well. I usually get asked a few times a week about my diet, so I think us as vegans are all doing something right to promote the positivity that comes with it.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Consistency and knowledge: The more you train, the more you have to learn about your body and diet. The more you learn about your body and diet, the more often and better your training becomes.
What do you like best about being vegan?
Not aging. I feel better at 35 than I did when I was 25. The energy I have, the quality of sleep I get and the fact that I'm not contributing to hurting animals also are great. I've yet to find any downside to being vegan honestly.
What do you like best about being fit?
That I can do physically what I choose to do and not have to worry about not being able to succeed. Knowing I can hit the gym or run the track and excel at it is a huge confidence boost. Looking and feeling better with age also is a confidence booster.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Read! Ask questions! The more you know the better off you'll be. But information alone isn't enough; you have to WANT to improve yourself. No one is going to put your running shoes on for you. Find the activities that you like to do, whether it's running, weights, cycling, or yoga and lose yourself in it. Training is the best stress relief you can have.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Go look at the profiles here, and then look again. We did it, so can you! Best decision you could ever make for yourself. Also, try a vegan brownie. You'll never want a regular one again.
What motivates you in life?
Honoring my family name with being the best “Dru” possible.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
It's easily the best resource or starting point for a new vegan athlete or vegan looking for more information. You all do a great job with this site and I visit it often for news, links, supplements or anything else I might need for my lifestyle. Keep up the great work!
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
Find what you love to do, and if you don't have something you love to do, try everything you can until you find it.