Name: Judi Gelman Year of Birth: 1961 Height: 5'7” Weight: 123 Birthplace: Abilene, Texas Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA Sports: Bodybuilding E-mail: [email protected] Social Media: The Visionary Vegan (facebook page)
Fabulous Fifties - A New Beginning (facebook page) Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have: I just retired after almost 25 years as a Special Agent with the FBI. I have always had a passion for fitness and nutrition. Just recently I became a vegan and have never felt better in my life both physically and morally! I will turn 53 in a month and I am always being complimented on what great shape I am in. I also have a passion to share with others my age, or any age, that it is never too late to start a vegan life of good health, fitness and happiness!
Why did you become vegan? The first reason I became a vegan was to do my part to help stop the suffering of animals. I have always had a passion for animals and nature but it wasn't until recently that I truly became aware of the atrociousness of what is happening to our fellow living beings and it breaks my heart. I have also seen several documentaries (Forks Over Knifes, 101 Reasons To Go Vegan, Food Matters, and many more) about the benefits of a plant-based diet and how eating meat is detrimental to your health, as well as the fact that milk is full of hormones and antibiotics, and that eating animal products of any kind is not natural. I have done a lot of reading and research. When and why did you become interested in fitness? I have been interested in fitness since I was 19 years old. I started with the Jane Fonda program and leg warmers! LOL! I have always loved bodybuilding as I see it artistically. It is a way to shape and mold your most precious asset. I have participated in numerous activities during my life such as Hapkido, rock climbing, mountain biking, road biking, running, boot camp classes, etc. I have completed one marathon, two duathlons and one century. I love to stay busy and active! It was also important to stay fit due to my previous profession of being a Special Agent with the FBI.
How would you describe your nutrition program? I have a lot of food challenges due to being allergic to wheat and soy. So, I eat mostly whole organic foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains (brown rice, rice pasta, oats) and healthy fats (almonds, avocados). I try to eat limited processed foods but if I do, I have to look for items that are vegan, soy free, gluten free and organic! Going grocery shopping can truly be an adventure! I always start my day with a bowl of oatmeal with flax milk, some type of fruit, and ground flax seeds. After my workout I have a protein shake with maca, a banana and flax milk.
I usually eat every few hours with items such as nuts, fruits, a bowl of rice and beans, a veggie burger, raw vegetables and hummus, olives, a tortilla wrap with veggies and avocado, pasta with a veggie sauce, etc. I also love my chocolate!
Since I am now retired, I have the time to focus on cooking which I love! I recently purchased a food processor, a pressure cooker and a juicer. Now I just have to learn how to use them all! LOL! I want to get to the point where I make most of my foods such as veggie burgers. peanut butter, nut butters, etc, instead of buying processed versions. I have become a cookbook addict! I laugh when people ask me “but what are you going to eat now that you are a vegan?” There are soooo many options!
How would you describe your training program? I weight train about 4-5 days per week with my husband at Gold's Gym in Venice, CA. We also run at the beach 1-2 days per week. Our goal is to stay fit and healthy into our 90's and beyond! My husband is also retired from the FBI as a Special Agent and as well just recently a vegan. We are on this path together!
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why? I used to take a lot of supplements but have now narrowed it down to protein powder, a multi-vitamin, B12 and calcium. I feel that if I eat healthy, I should be getting most of my nutrients from the food choices that I make.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan? The first question they ask is “how do you get your protein?” and then they may say “you are going to lose your muscle”. I have also been asked “but what will you eat?” LOL! Through reading and researching the vegan lifestyle, I have learned that these are typical responses. The reason I started my new Facebook page is I would love to dispel these myths. Often people will feel uncomfortable with someone who is “different” but that is ok and I don't judge. I just try to set a good example.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? That we are all unhealthy, skinny, pale and weak. This could be further from the truth! We are and can be healthy, fit, strong, active and happy! Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it? At this age I realize that you can't force someone to understand the message you are trying to promote. What works best is leading by example. I often have people asking me what I eat to stay so fit. I see this as success as to promoting the vegan lifestyle. I am always happy to share the knowledge I have learned. I also try to spread the word about the benefits of being a vegan on my two Facebook pages. My youngest step-daughter has even expressed an interest in this lifestyle which I attribute to the example my husband and I have set. I believe the younger generation is becoming more and more aware and they have the ability through social media to change the world! What do you think the most important aspect of training is? As one previous co-worker used to tell me: Consistency, consistency, consistency! It must be a lifestyle! And, to have a positive attitude! What do you like best about being vegan? The way I feel both physically and morally. I just feel like it is the right thing to do. I feel like I am doing my part to make this world a better place.What do you like best about being fit? Being energetic and active. I am almost 53 and I see too many people my age and younger suffering from diseases that are attributed to poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. I don't want to be in that category.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training? Go at your own pace, don't compare yourself to others, be consistent and learn the proper form of whatever sport you are participating in which could be learned through reading, getting a trainer or taking classes. It is about being fit and healthy but not getting injured. Take it slow and go with the flow is my motto! What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan? Read, read, read about the nutritional aspects of being a vegan. Watch the numerous documentaries that are available. The more educated you are about being a vegan, the more you will make it your lifestyle. Also, do the best you can and don't get down on yourself if you make mistakes. Everything is a learning process and no one is perfect. Enjoy the process!
What motivates you in life? Being fit, healthy and happy! I want to make a difference in the world by following a compassionate, kind humanitarian lifestyle. When my day comes at the end of the road, I want to feel good about what I have done in my life. It won't be by how much money I made or by how many possessions I have. I will be at peace with my life by how I affected others in a kind and compassionate manner and how I influenced others to lead a healthy life both nutritionally, physically and morally.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you? Veganbodybuilding.com has been an invaluable asset to my education and motivation! Being passionate about fitness, it has dispelled the myth that you can't be active and be a vegan. I have more energy now than I have ever had in my life! Thank you veganbodybuilding.com! Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? Yes, go make a difference! Spread the word by being a positive, healthy, happy, kind and compassionate example! Make each daycount and enjoy the process of life!
Name: Juliane Klotz Year of Birth: 1993 Height: 5'2" Weight: 138—147 lbs Birthplace: Italy 39100 Bozen Current Residence: Italy 39100 Bozen Sports: Breakdance, Bodybuilding Social Media: Dance since September 2004, Bodybuilding since summer 2010 Website(s): www.bgirl-queen.com E-mail: [email protected]
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have Professionally I am known as Bgirl Queen. I am a female succesful breakdancer from Italy. At the age of 4 I saw this extraordinary type of dancing for the first time in Vienna and was instantly fascinated by it. At this time, breakdance was totally unknown in the north of Italy and, accordingly, there was no possibility to learn it. At nearly 12 years old, in September 2004, I began to try all kinds of moves; with success. I soon mastered the headspin (rotation on the head), which is extremely good, and which is my trademark. I never had a teacher. After 2 months of intensive training, I took part in my 1st contest, the regional breakdance championships, and won 1st place. I easily shrugged off multiple injuries brought on by dancing and training.
I dance in the highest category (A-Superstar), the only girl who was able to enter into the highest spheres of this male-dominated domain. In this dance-form, no difference, no division is made between male and female. All dancers have to battle in the same category. In 2007 I became vice-master at the European championships, and soon after I danced to the 4th place at the world championships, again as the only female. Unfortunately, 2010 I recently had to take a 6-month-break because of a serious sports injury In time, I became interested in fitness as well as bodybuilding and in in summer 2010 I started actively doing it. In bodybuilding I have a trainer, she names Claudia and she was Mrs. Olympia in the 90's. I am a certificated beauty therapist and personal trainer. Since 2007, I have been working as dance-sports-trainer and since 2010 also as personal trainer. I opened my own dance school named “Dance Emotion” in the Bozen (Italy).
TITLE LIST OF IMPORTANT CHAMPIONSHIPS Regional championships 2004: 1st place Italian championships 2004: 2nd place Regional championships 2005: 1st place Italian championships 2005: 1st place European championships 2005: 5th place Regional championships 2006: 1st place Italian championships 2006: 1st place World championships 2006: 5th place Regional championships 2007: 1st place Italian championships 2007: 1st place European championships 2007: 2nd place World championships 2007: 4th place Regional championships 2008: 1st place Xtreme Cruisin Contest 2008: 1st place Internat. World Bboy Games 2008: 6th place Regional championships 2009: 1st place Internat. Playground 2009: 1st place Regional championships 2010: 1st place Coppa Italia 2010: 1st place Internat. Progressive dance contest 2010: 1st place Regional championships 2011: 1st place Italian championships 2011: 1st place World championships 2011: 5th place
Why did you become vegan? Vegetarian since 2004, Vegan since 2006. It is wrong to kill animals, it's a legal crime in a strange world! Initially 2006 I switched to a vegan diet and some time later I adapted a vegan lifestyle, which gave me more endurance, strength and energy. The longer I danced at a breakdance contest, the more I developed energy, while the adversaries were mostly K.O. after a while. From this moment, my interest in nutrition science and the perverse dealings of the health industry grew. The food guide pyramid and all the other suggestions of the health industry are a farce! The health industry live from the illness of people, trough they can make a lot of money.
When and why did you become interested in fitness? In summer 2010 I started bodybuilding. I was always enthusiastic about bodybuilders and in future I would like to participate at contests if possible.
How would you describe your nutrition program? Mostly I eat too much, i should drink more tea, but I do not follow a specific diet. I do not eat processed foods. I try to follow the advice of Jim Morris. I do not eat sugar, no salt and no oil. I avoid too much soy, yeast, sunflower seeds, oranges and some others because I try to keep my testosterone level as high as possible. Sometimes I have a cheat day (2-3 times a month) where I eat fast food, sweets and junk food like veggie cheese, chips, pizza, ice cream, chocolate... I like Brown/Black Rice, Oatmeal, Amaranth, Quinoa, Patatoes, Sweet Patatoes, Buckwheat Noodles, Kamut and Kamut Noodles, Rice and Mais cakes, Bananas, Figs, Apricots, berris, Mixed Salad. I love Seitan in all variations. Seitan sausages, burgers... broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, all types of mushrooms, Tempeh, Kale, Lupins, Tomatos, Onions. Sometimes a piece of tofu or soy yoghurt. Sometimes I eat beans, lentils or peas. I have always a big, large supply of nuts and seeds at home such as dried fruits (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pistachio, hazelnuts, chestnuts, peanuts, cashew. Seeds: flax, hemp , pumpkin, sesame, poppy, sunflower) If I am on diet I eat only brown rice, broccoli, tomatoes, tempeh, tofu, seitan(only in the first weeks), and about 2000-3000g of mushrooms daily + 1000-1500g spinach to push up my metabolism and my testosterone level. How would you describe your training program? Years ago I trained Breakdance 2-3 times a week and made fitness 3 times a week. In the last 2 years I made a break with dancing and focused on bodybuilding. I don't know why but in the last years my passion and motivation for dancing was more and more lessen. For the moment I train in the fitness studio 5-6 days a week for 1,5 hours. 1st day (abs, chest, shoulders, triceps, squat) 2nd day (abs, back, biceps, the backside of the legs) 3rd day(legs only). I hate cardio training. I don't need to do it because while working as personal trainer / dance teacher I have enough cardio all the week.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why? I do not use any supplements. I try to push my testosterone level as high as possible for example with spinach, mushrooms, dried tribulus terrestris, maca If I am on diet I use a lot of green tea and coffee.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan? They are shocked xD they can't believe it, but the vegan diet gave me more energy, more endurance, more strength and a better, clean feeling. The most part of important successful athletes have a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? Some people think that vegans eat all bio or organic products. I hate the discussions with omnivores. They are blind and numb! Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it? I avoid this kind of discussions because I always get angry about the stupidity of people.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is? Don't stop, go your own way straight ahead. Don't try it, do it. What do you like best about being vegan? It makes me feel happy. And it makes me happy if I met other vegans or if I go to veggie celebrations or to veggie restaurants. What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan? Junk your old life and start from 0. Read a lot (not from health industry but books like “china study”) Veganism is a motivation for a better life, for a better world. For peace and for yourself. Go on and fight for Veganism. What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you? I love this website and I like to read about so many vegan athletes! Thanks! Juliane Klotz Studio danza - Tanzstudio DANCE EMOTION Tsv
Name: Julie Henderson Height: 5'6" Weight: 135 lbs Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Current Residence: Buffalo, NY Sports: weightlifting, running (5k's, marathons and obstacle mudruns), P90X Email: [email protected] Website: www.HendersonFitness.com Tell us about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have. I am a fitness coach and a NY state licensed massage therapist and esthetician. I love working with people and I love animals as well! I do TNR (trap, neuter, release) for local feral cats and I also run a facebook page for pets that are lost in Western New York (facebook.com/WNYpets).
Why did you become vegan? I have been vegan since 2009. I have always had sinus problems and decided to give up dairy to see if that would help. I noticed a difference with my sinuses almost immediately after cutting dairy out of my diet. While researching all the reasons to give up dairy I started finding more and more information on being vegan. I am embarrassed to say that until then I had never completely made the connection between animals and what I was eating. The more I researched, the more I knew being vegan was something I wanted, and needed, to do. I honestly couldn't find a reason NOT to! From then on I've been vegan and have never looked back!
When and why did you become interested in fitness? Through middle school I loved swimming and was a certified SCUBA diver, but once I got to high school I wasn't very active at all. It wasn't until I graduated that I joined a gym and started lifting weights and was hooked. A few years after that I started running. It wasn't until I became vegan that I really started pushing myself athletically. I now had something to prove, that vegans could be athletic! Since then I've run countless 5k's, five obstacle mud runs, five 1/2 marathons and two full marathons.
How would you describe your nutrition program? I try to eat as many whole foods as possible. I love veggies, but I also have a sweet tooth. I make a lot of green smoothies, veggie stir-fry's, hummus wraps, soups and lentil and quinoa salads. I try to make food ahead of time if possible so it's ready when I'm on the go. Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones? I drink Shakeology everyday. I also use Vega products like their Sport Recovery and Recovery Protein powders. I occasionally take a B vitamin and I take vitamin D in the winter.
How would you describe your training program? I get bored very easy, so if I'm not constantly changing things up I won't stick with it. My training varies depending on what my goals are. If I'm training for a marathon I'll do strength training three times a week and run 3-4 times a week, usually with one long run. If my goal is to put on more muscle then I won't run as much and I'll change up my weight lifting. I like to add in P90X, Body Beast, yoga, swimming and cycling, too. What are some common misconceptions about veganism? I think the most common misconception is that you can't be athletic or have muscle on a vegan diet. I'm constantly asked where I get my protein, calcium, iron, vitamins, etc. Most of the time it's from people who honestly just don't know. Another misconception is that I can't eat anything, which couldn't be farther from the truth. I get to eat the best foods available! I get told a lot, "You don't look like a vegan". I think some people think vegans are skinny and pale.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training? Don't listen to the naysayers. The second you become vegan everyone becomes a nutrition expert. They will be so concerned over what you're putting into your body, but not what they're putting into their own body. Do your research. Some of my favorite go to vegans are Robert Cheeke, Brendan Brazier, Tim van Orden, Kris Carr and nomeatathlete.com. Forks Over Knives is a great documentary and the Engine 2 Diet and Skinny Bitch are great books. Try out different recipes. Just because you don't like one recipe doesn't mean you won't like any vegan food. And most importantly, find like minded people! This way you won't feel totally alone and you'll be able to talk with others that share your passions and ideals. Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? My goal is to be the best face for veganism that I can personally be. I try not to just "preach it", but to also "live it".
Name: Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT Year of Birth: 1975 Height: 5'3" Weight: 118 Birthplace: Los Angeles Current Residence: Los Angeles Sports: Weight training, running, spinning, stretching, cardio, circuit training Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have: I am also known as The Plant-Based Dietitian, and I am a passionate advocate of the miracles associated with following a whole food, plant-based diet-the established effects of which provide positive healthful benefits. I'm the author of the best-selling book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, and the nutrition columnist for VegNews Magazine. I am also co-author of the brand new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, which I wrote with Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett. I counsel a variety of clients throughout the world from my Los Angeles, California-based private practice including elite athletes, adults, and children with various nutritional and/or medical concerns. I was recently featured on The Dr. Oz Show and Reluctantly Healthy, in numerous radio shows, and have lectured extensively internationally. I am published in prominent journals, magazines, blogs, and newsletters. As co-producer and star of the “infotainment” documentary To Your Health, I interviewed a host of the plant-based world's most respected doctors and researchers to bring this important information to film and television audiences. My work as the Executive Director of EarthSave, International, has also provided an opportunity for me to bring whole food, plant-based nutrition to the forefront of efforts to improve the current global health crisis.
Why did you become vegan? Initially, I became vegan for the animals....when I found out how an animal or its secretions ended up on my plate, I didn't want anything to do with it. But I was concerned because I didn't know how to eat vegan healthfully (I was a teenager without resources like the internet). Then, after finishing my masters degree in nutrition and became a Regsitered Dietitian, and when I learned that it was actually ideal for optimal health, I was 100% committed and have dedicated my career to sharing this information with as many people as possible. Since then, my clients actually reverse disease, get off their medications, and my athlete clients get stronger, faster, better, and healthier. When and why did you become interested in fitness? I was always passionate about fitness. I taught aerobics to my friends when I was 5 years old, then in college at UCLA, and finally became a personal trainer while in college. I worked full-time doing in-home and in-club training for 12 years and put myself through graduate school. I love sharing fitness, nutrition, and health with others,
How would you describe your nutrition program? I eat an entirely whole food, plant-based diet. When I stray, once in a while, it is because I am craving French fries or vegan pizza... How would you describe your training program? I train for my sanity and maintenance of strength and cardiovascular endurance now that I am a busy working Mom. I try to do something every day...usually either an hour of cardio with some strength and stretching afterwards or else a full circuit strength/endurance workout. What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why? I sometimes take a B12 supplement.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan? I have had all sorts of reactions. Typically, people are shocked and can't believe that a egan can look healthy! And I have been pleasantly surprised to see how contagious veganism is becoming...people become aware and then slowly start making changes without me even saying anything. Role modeling is the most effective tool available, which is one of the reasons I love this website! What are some common misconceptions about veganism? So much! But mostly that we will be deficient and weak and wither away without animal products! Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it? YES! Role modeling, counseling, answering questions. My book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, has been the best tool ever because I can hand over all of the science and tools in one handy book and get anyone motivated and excited to get started because they see how easy it really is...no matter your age group, health status, fitness level, or lifestyle.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is? To include all components of fitness: strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, balance, and agility. What do you like best about being vegan? Everything! I feel so connected to other people, animals, and the Earth simply by the choices I make with my fork. What do you like best about being fit? Having boundless energy and being able to do things without pain or effort. What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training? To be persistent. Consistency is the key to success. Just do something every day and watch your body, health, and energy change in amazing ways. What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan? Think positive...focus on all the new foods you can try...not one what you are taking away. Travel your own path by making new choices and not judging yourself. Every bite counts!
What motivates you in life? Helping others find health...I wake up every morning and am fueled by the desire to make a difference. What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you? It was one of the first sites I found when I began changing my diet and it inspired me immensely to see that you can not only still be fit, but that you can surpass your personal bests as a vegan. Love the site!
Name: Justin Laign Year of Birth: 1988 Height: 6'1'' Weight: 171 Birthplace: Canton, OH Current Residence: Newport News, VA Sports: Mountain Biking, Surfing, Rock Climbing, Running, Crossfit, Bodybuilding Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have. My name is Justin, most people call me Jay. I am an active duty enlisted Air Force Network Systems Administrator. I am currently finishing up school to become a Physician Assistant. I enjoy anything that has to do with being outdoors. I am interested in all genres of music and movies. I have very little interest in people that don't care to learn.
Why did you become vegan? I recently chose to go vegan from being a vegetarian after doing a lot of research and watching documentaries. We are constantly reminded of the risk factors involved in choosing to not eat and live a healthy lifestyle that I decided to completely remove myself from having said choice. This is one thing that I have complete control over and I refuse to throw it away.
When and why did you become interested in fitness? I have always been involved in some type of physical activity and physical training. I have been a physical training leader for the Air Force for six plus years. I did not start bodybuilding until 2009.
How would you describe your nutrition program? My nutrition program is very simple, but unique. I eat a lot of red and garbanzo beans for the majority of my protein and fiber intake as well as lentils and soybeans for my high protein choice intakes. An example meal is garbanzo beans over brown rice with 1 cup of edamame (raw soybeans) and arugula salad with assorted sliced vegetables and olive oil. All beans are boiled to texture of choice and simply seasoned with raw sea salt and black pepper. For my fruit intake I usually have 3-4 smoothies a day with assorted organic fruits. The basis of the smoothie is simply ice cubes, water, choice of fruits, and I either use coconut milk or rice milk as well. Now, for my pre and post workout smoothies I add 1 to 2 scoops of “spiru-tein” protein blends or hemp blend by Nutiva, as well as a full tablespoon of peanut butter. One of my favorite side dishes by far is mashed sweet potatoes. With a high source of fiber, this is definitely a powerhouse choice of mine, all by simply adding a little bit of olive oil and coconut milk to mix. The main areas I focus on are my healthy fats and oils, which I get from olive oil and peanut butter, my protein intake, drinking a lot of water (no less than 1 gallon per day) and my carb intake, which I get from rice and whole grain breads.
How would you describe your training program? I have a very dynamic take on my training program. I do a high intense training regime 2x per week and the remaining training days are geared towards bodybuilding. I finish each work out with a core routine for my abs. Yes, I do workout 7 days per week, with one day of all lightweight and low reps which is considered my resting day. One full week training regime usually looks something like this; Monday: Chest and biceps. Core
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? The most popular comment I receive is “how do you plan on maintaining a bodybuilder physique and being a vegan.” This is probably the most overused/overhead statement and misconception about veganism today. I smile and continue making gains.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training? Don't get discouraged. Live the lifestyle to make sure you can teach your great great grandchildren the ways of being fit and a vegan.
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? Stay Fit. Stay Vegan. Stay Focused
Name: Karen Rose Birthplace: Regina Current Residence: Toronto Sports: Professional Contemporary Dancer/Choreographer; Yoga Teacher; Pilates Instructor. Website: karenrose.ca Facebook: Be Yoga/Ahimsa Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have I work as a professional contemporary dancer and choreographer. I also teach Yoga and Pilates. I love cycling, swimming and weight training. Why did you become vegan? For the love and respect for animals. It is a diet and lifestyle based on peace, love and compassion. And the physical benefits are AMAZING!
When and why did you become interested in fitness? I have always been interested in fitness and health. I competed in track, cross country running and cross country skiing, winning many awards. I also swam, and worked as a lifeguard. When I was 18, my first big paycheck went to purchasing weights and a weight bench. The athletic and artistic pursuit of dance is and always has been a huge part of who I am. How would you describe your nutrition program? A Vegan diet consisting of nutrient dense real food like fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, grains, nuts, seeds and other whole foods. It is easy, not complicated, quite natural. I have however, been known to dip Vegan chocolate into a jar of peanut butter. How would you describe your training program? I train everyday as a dancer, ... which means a dance class every morning in ballet or contemporary, and then a rehearsal for 3 to 5 hours. I also practice yoga, swim, and lift weight once or twice a week. I cycle everywhere I go. Training is so much part of who I am.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why? I love Vega! Vega tastes good and it is so convenient. I also add it to my smoothies, with bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, flaxseed and almond, soy or rice milk. I also use Amazing Greens, Sun Warrior Protein, Maca Powder, Chia Seeds, Udo's Choice Oil, Spirulina, and Chlorella. How do people react when they find out you are vegan? I think people become defensive. They know deep inside themselves, there is a place of compassion, and they have disconnected from that place. Mostly everyone wants to believe they are kind to animals, that they would never hurt an animal, but a kind of compartmentalization occurs, where they no longer think about the animal they are consuming. Talking with me, and seeing how vibrant I am, how much energy I have...gives them a reason to think more deeply about the choices they are making.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? Probably the 'lack of protein' myth, which is so ridiculous at his time!!! It does not take any time at all to research this!!! There is no excuse any more! All plants have an abundance of protein in the most simple and easily digested form. Kale rocks! Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it? I set an example in how I live my life. In my yoga classes I always extend, and offer my students the philosophy of Ahimsa — non-violence and non-harming. I give them the space and peace of mind to think for themselves, and to realize how their choices can affect the rest of the world. I teach people how they can become more aware, more at peace with themselves, which leads to empathy and kindness.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is? The love for it, and that leads to discipline, which will in time, give you freedom in your body. What do you like best about being vegan? I know I am living to my full potential — physically as well as spiritually. I have a clear conscience and I know my choices are making a difference. What do you like best about being fit? Everything! I could not imagine living without having strength, flexibility and endurance. I will be the same when I am 95!
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training? Find what you love to do! And then it will all become easy, fun and joyful! There are so many rewards to committing yourself towards the joy of moving! What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan? Do it! There are so many books to help you if you are unsure. Be patient with yourself. It comes from love — for others and for your self. It will give you more energy, vitality, and an inner peace that radiates from the inside out. What motivates you in life? Knowing that I doing my best in everything that I do. And ultimately, this is reflects from me towards others, creating a positive vibration, so to speak. We have to want to make the world a more peaceful place.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you? It is great to see so many wonderful people who believe in living to their full potential. And without harming others in the process! It is fantastically contagious and delicious! Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? In every day life, kindness and respect is so important.
Ignorance is not bliss, educate yourself about the world, and how you can contribute to it in a positive way. Smile, love, laugh, be kind to each other, and spread joy!
Name: Karina Inkster Height: 5'6” Weight: 125 lbs Birthplace: Burnaby, BC Current Residence: Vancouver, BC Sports: Strength training, swimming, jump rope & sprint conditioning. Website: http://www.karinainkster.com Why did you become vegan? My veganism began with vegetarianism. At the age of 11, I decided I wanted no part in the inhumane treatment of animals, and I aimed to enjoy a diet that had as small an impact on the environment as possible. To me, veganism is the respect for and the celebration of all life on Earth. Veganism is a diet, a sense of interconnectedness with the web of life, a form of activism, and a lifestyle. When and why did you become interested in fitness? I had a fairly active childhood but began consciously thinking about fitness in 2003. I started weight lifting as part of an overall fitness regimen, and fell in love with it! Being fit keeps me happy, healthy, focused, and motivated in all areas of my life.
How would you describe your nutrition program? My nutrition isn't a 'diet' or a 'program', it's a lifestyle. I eat about 3000 calories per day of delicious plant-based foods that fuel my chosen athletic disciplines, without worrying about tracking everything. I think about food a lot, and it's not always in a good way! I have many food allergies I need to be constantly wary of, including a severe allergy to raw fruit. As a vegan, that's a challenge! I have to cook all my fruit before eating it, which takes up a lot of time. I'm also allergic to tree nuts, so I need to ensure I get sufficient healthy fats from other sources. How would you describe your training program? I train between 6 and 8 times per week, on a maximum of 6 days per week (so I always have at least one rest day). I lift weights 4 days a week (2 upper body days and 2 lower body days), with a few conditioning sessions added in — usually swimming or jump rope.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why? The only supplement I use is brown rice protein powder, a few times a week. I try to get my nutrition from real foods instead of supplements, but I find protein powder extremely convenient as a quick snack in a smoothie, or as a protein-booster in recipes like energy balls. What are some common misconceptions about veganism? Unfortunately some people think that veganism and athleticism don't mix. On the contrary! A well-planned and balanced plant-based diet can support an athletic lifestyle very well, whether it's focused on endurance, speed, or strength. The “But where do you get your protein?!” question is thankfully becoming old news! What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is? For me, balance and enjoyment are tied for first place. Balance applies to both physical fitness (developing all aspects of fitness, including strength, cardio, and flexibility) as well as the fitness lifestyle (balancing workouts, personal time, family time, and work). Enjoyment should speak for itself!
What do you like best about being vegan? I like knowing that I'm eating a diet that's best for me — physically and psychologically — as well as for the planet. What do you like best about being fit? Being fit affects all aspects of daily life. For me, being fit means I'm energetic and driven; I sleep better, stress less, and know that I'm decreasing my risk for countless health problems later in life so I can still run around like a crazy person when I'm 92. What are your strengths as an athlete? My strengths are in speed and in muscle strength. I'm a fast swimmer but wouldn't last in endurance events, and my love of weight training translates into strong muscles. (Also, I can beat all the female and most of the male trainers at my gym in pull-up contests.) What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out? Consistency and intensity are key. Stick to a regular training program over time, and make sure you're challenging yourself with each workout to see progress. Also ensure your vegan diet is complementing your training (e.g. sufficient carbs for endurance athletes; sufficient protein for strength athletes, etc.)
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan? Sometimes it seems less daunting to commit to only a month of being vegan. This is how I started, and I felt better than ever before during that month! Needless to say, I never looked back. I've also created a free 10-day e-mail course, How To Go Vegan, that simplifies the process and provides lots of resources. Enroll at www.karinainkster.com. What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete? Feeling and seeing the results of my lifestyle are great fuel to keep it going. I feel great, and want to keep it that way! I also want to help others — whether or not they're vegan — to achieve their own results, which is motivation for me to be my best. How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you? This site is the definitive resource for vegan athletes, and I've referred often to the articles and discussions. I like that veganbodybuilding.com connects vegan athletes from all over the world, building a community where we don't feel so alone!
Is there anything else you would like to add about your vegan fitness lifestyle? I'm passionate about supporting others in leading healthy and active lives, and I've worked hard to overcome significant barriers to engaging in physical activity myself. I deal with a potentially life-threatening condition called food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, which prohibits me from training after having eaten within 8 hours, in case a food triggers a serious allergic reaction when coupled with exercise. I also face severe seasonal allergies and asthma that limit my activity for 5 months each year, as well as weekly allergy shots after which I can't train - again due to anaphylaxis risk. This means I have to carefully schedule all my workouts, and always train in the mornings (sometimes at 5am so I can get it in before work) after having eaten only oatmeal — a known “safe” food. I also went through full time graduate school while working 3 jobs and still managed to train 6 days per week. I'm motivated to help others to overcome their barriers, too! Check out my site at http://www.karinainkster.com.
Name: Kelly Colobella Year of Birth: 1976 Height: 5'5" Weight: 175 Birthplace: Salt Lake City, UT Current Residence: Salt Lake City, UT Sports: Football, Power lifting, triathlon Facebook: facebook.com/KellyColobella54veganAthlete
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have. I have owned "Cakewalk Vegan Bakery" for 5 years and provide the country with "Dillos vegan snack cakes" (vegan "twinkies"). I am currently studying to become certified as a personal trainer, and nutritionist (probably to absolve my guilt of the sugary treats I sell). I have a (vegan) son, am an activist, and play semi-pro women's tackle football. I am interested in getting into "Strongman" competition, I think this will be my next athletic progression.
Why did you become vegan? When I was younger (probably 6 or 7) I was served my pet "Squiggly" the pig. I didn't go vegan right away but this made me understand that food is animals and sparked the idea that I did not want to eat them. I became vegetarian at 12 years old and vegan a few years later. Knowing the horrors of what happens to animals who are exploited for the food industry to me, is unbearable.
When and why did you become interested in fitness? I've always been athletic but after my son was born I wanted to be a good example of fitness and health to him so I got more serious competing in triathlon. I won a few races and discovered that my physique is better suited for strength sports and began lifting and playing football. The sport of women's tackle football has changed my life, I love every thing about it, especially the fact that I get to be a part of history in the making.
How would you describe your nutrition program? I eat very similar foods each day to ensure I am getting the right/ enough nutrients to sustain my body through the amount of training I do. Protein, greens, slow carbs, fats... Six meals a day. I am trying to drop a little weight so I try to be as cautious as I can with my nutrition. Being a baker sometimes makes this difficult.
An example of how my day might break down: Breakfast: oatmeal, berries, and flax Lunch: Giant salad with tofu, chick peas, lots of lettuce, and other veggies Dinner: Greens, sweet potatoes, Beyond Meat Snacks: Apples, Vega meal replacement shakes, raw veggies
How would you describe your training program? I lift heavy 3 times a week in the mornings, in the evenings I add some high intensity training, sprints, hill sprints on my bike, run bleachers, do high intensity functional fitness, and yoga.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? I feel that people believe information from unreliable sources such as Doctors (who are not trained in nutrition), articles online, books written by imbeciles, and advice of friends. Just listen to your body, it will tell you everything you need to know. There's no reason you can't get everything your body needs from the Earth.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training? One of my early problems was thinking that I knew everything about nutrition. I was not eating enough food for my training and almost ruined my metabolism. If you feel tired more often than you should, aren't losing the weight or building the muscle you feel like you should, it doesn't hurt to seek the advice of a professional nutritionist . Also, make sure you get enough sleep so your body can properly recover, and don't over train. These are all mistakes I made when I started getting serious with my training.
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? Listen to your heart, and your conscience... always follow your dreams. Follow me on Facebook: facebook.com/KellyColobella54veganAthlete
Name: Kelly Hanner Year of Birth: 1987 Height: 5'5' Weight: 135 Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio Current Residence: Toledo, Ohio Sports: HIIT Workouts, hiking, swimming, fitness instructor, lifting Website: tubbytotoned.com/ Instagram: instagr.in/u/tubbytotoned Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have. I am a fitness instructor and a health/fitness coach with a degree in dietetic technology. I enjoy blogging, cooking, tree hugging, animals (especially my border collie Zoey and German shepherd Nya), being outdoors, working out and helping others reach their goals. I am also very passionate about the fight against GMOs and Monsanto.
Why did you become vegan? I read Skinny Bitch, which was my gateway drug into researching about the vegan diet and looking up the benefits of a vegan diet. I also read the China Study and did a final on the benefits of a vegan diet for my dietetic technician courses. I later ended up watching documentaries like Hungry for Change, Food Inc., Vegucated and Genetic Roulette.
When and why did you become interested in fitness? I became interested in fitness after my 22 birthday, by doing the P90X videos. One day in the midst of working out, I heard my mom scream and went into the room where she was at. My dad was having a heart attack. He thankfully survived but that incident reinforced the idea that I needed to make fitness and not just nutrition, something that would be unwavering in my life. Up until that point, I used to be someone who would start working out and if I didn't lose 10 pounds in the first 5 days, I would quit. I had unrealistic expectations.
How would you describe your nutrition program? I have anorexia and bulimia in my past. I find that in order to help keep my demons at bay, I need structure in my nutrition plan or else I crumble and let old habits creep up again. So my eating plan is structured around clean eating principles- which include no processed foods, no unfermented soy products, no GMOs and mostly foods made from scratch.
Here is what I eat on a daily basis:
Breakfast- Mixed fruit dish of organic cherries, blueberries and kiwi
Post workout- 1 cup water 1 scoop protein powder (usually Vegan Chocolate Shakeology) 100g frozen banana 1 scoop powdered wheat grass 2 cups spinach L-glutamin
Lunch- 1 organic sweet potato with 1 tbsp peanut butter or coconut butter and .5 oz cacao nibs 3 oz block of tempeh topped with tomato paste, 1/4 of an avocado and kale, wrapped in a nori sheet
Snack- 2 protein balls and a small handful of nuts or protein ice cream
Dinner- Vegetable stir fry of eggplant, purple cabbage, napa cabbage, tomato, kale and portabella mushroom topped with nutritional yeast, a 1/4 of an avocado, dulse, tomato paste, fresh lemon juice, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Himalayan salt, tumeric, cayenne pepper and cracked pepper
Snack- Pea Protein Mousse
How would you describe your training program? I lift 5-6 days per week and include two-a-days of HIIT cardio, in the comfort of my own home. No gym membership here.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? That we are malnourished, not strong, have a hard time building muscle, don't take in enough amino acids and we don't get enough iron, calcium or B-vitamins.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training? Find other vegans on Facebook or Instagram to reach out to and mentor you. If all else fails, please reach out to me, I would surely help. Also, the more you immerse yourself into information that comes from legit sources, the better you will be equipped to set the record straight when other people question your vegan lifestyle.
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? Stay plant strong and know that they compassion you are showing towards animals and the world will be rewarded someday.
Name: Korin Sutton Year of Birth: 06/07/1985 Height: 5'10 Weight: 175 Birthplace: Bronx, NY Current Residence: Pompano Beach, FL Sports: Stand Up Paddle Boarding “SUP”, Competitive Bodybuilding,Waka Kickball, Racquet Ball, Recreational and Competitive Shooting Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have. I'm a ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, Mad Dogg Athletics Certified SPIN Instructor, and right now college student majoring in Exercise Science. I'm a Iraqi War Veteran that served OIF III and IV and was in the military for 8 years, 4 years Active in the United States Marine Corps Hoo-rah!! and 4 years Active Reserves in the United States Navy. ANBF 1st Overall Novice, 2nd Men's Open/ NPC 1st Overall Open Novice, 2nd Men's Open Middle Weight, DFAC 3rd Men's Open Heavy Weight
Why did you become vegan? I became vegan because of Gary Yourofsky. June 2011, I listened to his speech at Broward College and he totally open my eyes. I always had a misconception on how animals were being treated and raised for human consumption. I also had a big misconception on animal nutrition. From that day on I decided to become vegan. It wasn't easy at first, I stopped eating all land animal products and for 2 years I was 80% Vegan and 20% Pescatarian. Now I've been Vegan for a year and it feels great to not be involved with any type of animal killing or cruelty and being on a plant-based diet.
When and why did you become interested in fitness? Fitness was always a passion for me. I started lifting when I was 16 years old, but never gained any true size because I was in the Marine Corps for 4 years active; once I went to the US Navy Reserve I had time to put on mass. Once I got out of the service everything just played its part, being vegan.
Since I was 7 years old I was into fitness and sports. I played multiple sports growing up, at 7 the first sport I played was baseball. Played baseball for about 2 years, then transition to tennis. I actually was enrolled in a summer tennis camp which boosted up coordination and technique. Once I was done with tennis I started to play racquet ball and I played that sport for years until I left the military.
How would you describe your nutrition program? 6-8 meals a day. It would consist of : Morning: Organic oats, organic brown rice protein shake w/ almonds, peanut butter and almond milk, 2 tsp of truvia or raw sativa.
Morning Snack: Almonds and 2 Boca vegan patties on organic brown rice bread, and any type of organic fruit source.
Lunch: Organic brown rice pasta w/ Tofurkey sausage and organic tomato sauce and any type of organic vegetable source.
Lunch Snack: Almonds, 2 Boca Chik'n patties on Brown Rice Bread, and any type of organic fruit source.
Dinner: Special dish I make myself baked in a slow cooking pot. It's all organic quinoa, mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes, tofu, and a little bit of vegetable broth.
Dinner Snack: Organic brown rice protein w/ almonds, peanut butter, almond milk, and 2 tsp of truvia and homemade vegan brownie that I will have occasionally.
How would you describe your training program? 3-4 days out of the the week I would do my normal bodybuilding routine workout, which consists a lot of failure drills and pyramids. 3 days out of the week will consist of strength conditioning workouts. Cardiovascular workouts every day. There is a mixture of low impact cardio for example, stair master or walking on the treadmill on a high incline. And High impact cardio for example, sprints and SPIN classes. 1 day out of the week which is my rest day where mostly I would do yoga and myofascial release on a foam roller.
What are some common misconceptions about veganism? Where do you get the Protein? I get asked that question every single day especially as a personal trainer. A lot of people are misguided on protein and where you can get it from. There are so many different sources of protein you can retrieve without harming a single soul. The Earth has all the nutrition we need to survive and become extremely strong and healthy individuals. Another misconception especially for most men that workout is "I will lose my muscle mass". I tell most of my clients that yes you will lose some muscle mass but, the size your at is not natural. I myself used to weight 220 pounds and I was fit. The difference now is that I'm way cleaner, less sluggish, more cut, and my mental clarity is ridiculous. My energy levels are always high, my libido increased a lot, and I'm actually 10x stronger in the gym when I workout. I'm currently 175 and I never looked or felt better. It's all about the quality of your strength, power, and stamina your body can produce not just how big you are.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training? You have to crawl before you can walk. You're trying to break a habit that you've been doing since you were born. It is going to be hard at first, but remember why you are doing it and the cause you're doing it for. My cause was to say no to animal cruelty and yes to life preservation. Start off with vegan alternatives food products; this will be extremely helpful and will give the taste buds time to adjust from all the high sodium and saturated fats that you're used to eating.
Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share? Being vegan is great and to me it's not just a diet, it's a lifestyle. If you're starting veganism remember you still have to replace the calories and nutrition that are missing from animal bi-products. This is one of the reasons why a lot of people fail trying to become vegan. My motto is just eat more vegetables, fruits, and grains. The nutrition is there, just increase your meals and you'll be in tip top shape.