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  • Legacy Profiles

    Older profile pages of vegan athletes & models, from the original Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness website.

    Aura Andrew

    Name: Aura Andrew
    Age: 27
    Height: 5'4”
    Weight: 135
    Birthplace: CA
    Current Residence: Albuquerque NM
    Sports: bodybuilding

    Why did you become vegan?

    It all started when I read the book “skinny Bitch” I was raised a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and didn't realize the horror of the dairy industry until that book, then I really became interested in reading about the health benefits as well.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?

    When I was 16 I did my first tae bo video and I loved it! I didn't really get into weights until about age 22 when I picked up a copy of oxygen magazine, I wanted to look like the girls in there, muscular and beautiful, later I learned the health benefits of fitness and I continue to love it.

    How would you describe your nutrition program?

    Vegan, organic lots of fruits an veggies

    How would you describe your training program?

    I change it up quite a bit, been doing 4 days split front of body then back of body, working my legs every time to burn more calories. Cardio for 20 min after. But next week I'll probably be onto something new.

    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?

    There is a lot of controversy on supplements, some say as a vegan we are missing certain vitamins such as B12, some say we get enough through the food we eat, so I like to get as many vitamins as I can through fruits and veggies. My favorite supplement would be Vega. I also use rice protein.

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?

    That we don't get enough nutrients or protein, that all vegan are skinny and starving, that it's an unhealthy diet...

    What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?

    Health and well being

    What do you like best about being vegan?

    That I can eat healthy wonderful food that doesn't harm animals or the environmentI can help people see that this is the healthiest diet there is. I love that just by eliminating meat and dairy people can start to eliminate disease!

    What do you like best about being fit?

    The way it makes me feel, I have more energy and I look pretty good as well.

    What are your strengths as an athlete?

    I am best at weight lifting, which is my favorite part of working out.

    What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?

    Stick with it and don't give up, it takes time to build muscle and adjust to being vegan, if necessary start slow. Results will come with consistency and hard work

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?

    Do it! Just jump in, that's how I did it, one day I was eating cheese and eggs and the next I quit. You will feel more energy, of course you can take it slow too, but I think it is easier to get rid of the junk cold turkey, that way you can get used to new flavors and forget about old ones, if you do it slow you might find it harder to give up the flavors your used to.
    What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?

    Knowing that I am doing good for the animals, the environment, and myself, knowing and seeing the other vegan athletes success, and being a part of a community that cares about these things.

    How has the website http://www. veganbodybuilding. com helped or inspired you?

    Seeing the transformation of other vegans is very inspiring, veganbodybuilding. com has helped me to see that it is possible to have muscle on a vegan diet!

    Is there anything else you would like to add about your vegan fitness lifestyle?

    I just hope more people will get inspired to become the best they can be, I would love to teach people the benefits of a vegan lifstyle.

    Austin Barbisch

    Name: Austin Barbisch
    Year of Birth: Nov. 18, 1968
    Height: 5'11”
    Weight: 184 (off season) 174 (contest ready)
    Birthplace: Dallas TX.
    Current Residence: Austin TX.
    Sports: Ultra marathons/Bodybuilding/Physique
    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
    I am a full time personal trainer and massage therapist. I am interested in pretty much anything involving the human body (nutrition, postural correction and how the body adapts to different training techniques). I also love running, sculpture, photography, physorg.net, coffee shops and bookstores. My main passion right now, is to show how a vegan lifestyle can support our personal health, the health of our fellow animals and the world we all live in.
    Why did you become vegan?
    I switched to a plant based diet for ethical reasons. I had seen factory farming atrocities in the media long ago, but somehow managed to displace that reality from my everyday life. I met a few vegan friends, and started to realize that in order to live in ethical truth, just being kind to my neighbor was not going to cut it. Being vegan makes me feel like I am doing something kind for the world and the beautiful life forms running, flying and swimming on it. If my instincts don't lead me to kill an animal, then I have no place eating one.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I was pretty over weight as a child and developed a bit of a confidence issue. I was not happy with the way I felt physically either. One summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school I decided to put myself on a diet. Having two Lean cuisine glazed chicken dinners, one half a Hershey bar and a two liter diet coke daily. A terrible diet, but it worked. A few months later, I started to lift some weights in the spare bedroom of my parent's house. Just pull ups, push ups, upright rows and curls, but almost immediately saw the effect it had on my body. I became seriously involved in weight lifting in my early 30's. The running became a more serious interest in 2007 after I ran the Austin Marathon. I dove right into ultra marathons a couple of months later, and much prefer the camaraderie the longer distances produce. People tend to support your efforts at making the distance as opposed to beating you to the finish line. It's like a huge family on a 16-20 mile loop. Super cool!!

    What are your recent physical accomplishments?
    April 13, 2013 MRI Texas shredder
    2nd place in masters bodybuilding
    3rd place in masters physique
    April 27, 2013 INBF DROP ZONE
    2nd place open bodybuilding
    2nd place masters bodybuilding
    2nd place open physique Running:
    Februrary2, 2013
    The rocky raccoon 100 mile
    Time:22 hs 35 min
    December3, 2012
    1st place 115.32 miles
    Run like the wind 24 hour race
    December3, 2011
    1st place 60.76 miles
    Run like the wind 12 hour race
    June 2011
    Hells hills 50 mile race
    Time:11hr 34min
    April 2011
    Nueces 50 mile race
    Time: 12hr 4min
    February 2011
    The Rocky raccoon 100 mile race
    Time: 23hr 10min
    December 2010
    2nd place 59.32 miles
    Run like the wind 12 hour race
    November 2010
    San Antonio Rock and roll marathon
    Time 3hr 19min
    2007 Prickly pear 50K
    Time; 5hr 14 min
    2007 Austin marathon
    Time: 3 hr 32 min

    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I usually start my day with a Proto-mocha-latte. This is a breakfast concoction that I have been relying on for the last 10+ years to start my day. It is comprised of 2-4 cups of coffee, a cup of almond milk and Plantfusion protein powder. Sometimes I add a 1/2 cup of oatmeal for additional carbs. I snack thoughout the day on various nuts and fruits. I also try to get one or two nice big salads into the day (mixed greens, chopped apples, pears, steamed cauliflower, broccoli, nuts and a good dressing tossed with lots of nutritional yeast). I usually make a smoothie with protein powder, frozen bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and some type of green like Kale, spinach or frozen broccoli after my workouts.

    How would you describe your training program?
    I train on a five day split with chest, back, shoulders, arms and legs having their own day. I train pretty intensely, trying to break prior weight or rep records every time if possible. Starting with a few warm up sets, I get up to my heavy lifting with low rep sets, finishing up with lots of drop sets or high rep burnouts.

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    When I first started this journey into a plant based diet, I was fairly sure that my running would probably get better, but my bodybuilding would suffer. I feel that most people currently feel that vegans are not very athletically competitive, and will go back to eating meat after they get tired of being weak and lethargic. I have been breaking all of my previous running and lifting records since turning vegan.

    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
    I would tell them to buy a good vegan cookbook and learn to ask the right questions at restaurants. I would also recommend a healthy dose of nutritional yeast to supplement the vitamin B12 that is lacking in most vegan diets. Herbivores can thrive if they keep a variety of plant based foods in their diet and stay active in their chosen sport. Recovery from strenuous exercise seems to improve with this diet, so they can probably work out harder and longer as their body becomes more alkaline.

    Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
    I'm just really happy that this website and others have helped keep a community of healthy vegan athletes together. It is awesome to see the shift that our culture is making toward a plant based lifestyle as the medical evidence of its benefits continues to be realized.

    Avi R. Lehyani

    Name: Avi R. Lehyani
    Year of Birth: 1960
    Height: 6'
    Weight: 200 Lbs (91Kg) .Compete weight: 193 (88Kg)
    Birthplace: France
    Current Residence: Israel
    Sports: Bicycling, WeightLifting
    Why did you become vegan?
    Reasons were ethical, health and responsibility towards the environment in that order. I Tried to become vegetarian already at age 13 but pressure from family and even family doctor did their thing and I reverted to meat eating shortly thereafter. At age 20, my then girlfriend, herself a semi-vegetarian, convinced me to do the right thing. I kept consuming eggs and dairy until a few years later (I then lived in VA), when after conversing with one of the PETA founders, I understood that was no need for dairy to keep strong bones, as I thought at the time, a victim of the dairy industry propaganda. I never turned back.
    I have since "given up" all processed foods including cane sugar and I bake my own bread so at least I know what is in it for sure. I have to add that my family background drove me to behave ethically from early age. In fact my father, himself an ordained rabbi and ritual slaughterer always did his best to educate his children about "God" and of course the creation, so we always appreciated the living things around us.
    A couple of things I like to remember are that when I asked him once why he just "did" chicken, his response was that slaughtering cows was too painful for him. Also when on a visit to the processing plant where he mostly worked, I witnessed a very harrowing event; the processing line always being kept as fast as possible for obvious reasons, my father had to work hard to keep up. I then, saw him run to the plant manager and ask him to stop the line , he was frantic and had a hard time explaining the reason for his request. He had missed one of the chicken and the poor thing was now going to be scalded and de-feathered alive. He was told that there was no way the process was to be interrupted for one lousy chicken, and that they just had to add the unlucky one to the non-kosher pile. He was so distraught, he broke down in tears, he couldn't stand the thought of such a painful death "even" for a chicken.
    I believe that even though, my parents, at start, did not approve, they actually were the catalysts for those decisions. Today, they realize the validity of my choices and they themselves try to reduce their intake of animal products to a minimum.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    This is interesting because originally, as a kid, I was very disconnected from any kind of sports. I was a short, chubby bookworm that was more interested in the etymology of words than the number of pushups I could perform. That changed the day, when at the age of 13, during a physical education session, I was to jump up in the air, swivel my body around and fall back softly on my feet and then roll forward on a mattress. I was so scared of screwing up that on the landing part I forgot to straighten my feet and so I fell on my knees. Everybody laughed, including the coach. From that point on, I decided that NOONE would ever laugh at me for lack of fitness. I took up bicycling and judo and slowly improved my fitness and self confidence to where I also found the need to increase overall strength and physical size. In France, at that time (1975) lifting weights was still an obscure, misunderstood activity, as it was said to stunt growth, to be dangerous and nowhere near any little jewish boy should be found. I eventually located a small (very small indeed) gym where I learned the basics . Eventually at the age of 17, I started olympic weightlifting and that was when I finally fell in love with iron and the amazing feeling of being stronger than the average Joe. At age 19, I moved to Israel where I found it much harder to keep lifting for lack of infrastructure but I always tried to keep fit. I had to give up olympic weightlifting but I always managed to improvise and used everything from furniture to concrete blocks in order to keep up. Eventually (in1984) I moved to the US, and finding a proper training facility was no longer an issue. I am now back in Israel, doing the thing I dreamed about for a long time. I own a small gym where health and strength are the prime movers, muscle size come as a side effect of that. Of course being a vegan and still remaining the strongest guy around makes people incredulous, so I don't usually go around trumpeting those facts. I have managed to slowly induce doubts into my members' mind concerning their unrelenting belief in "meat for muscle" dogma. I hope to make my mark eventually as I participate in national powerlifting meets. I am the masters contender for Bench press and Dead lift for the 90k category. I am planning to improve my performance enough to beat the above 90Kg current champion . We shall see.....

    Current #'s. ("Raw")
    Bench Press: 180Kg Note: I lifted as much as 430Lbs before a shoulder injury in 1998.
    Squat: 192Kg
    Dead lift: 250Kg
    Rack lift:(below knee) 380Kg

    Rack lift:(above knee) 465Kg

    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I am not a person inclined to culinary quests, I keep my diet to the most simple ingredients. My staple foods are whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, and beans. I consume very little soy as I find it very hard to cook and the whole phytosterol controversy makes it suspect for the moment. I do not consume oils per se but I will always include fat containing foods like tahini, olives, avocado, nuts etc. I don't concern myself with calories except making sure I eat enough for the day. Vegetables are a must and always in quantity but I don't really look for the much more expensive organic kind.
    So in other words:
    Carbs 65%

    Protein 20%

    Fats 15%
    Atkins is probably turning in his grave right now

    How would you describe your training program?
    I am not a bodybuilder so I concentrate on strength. I consider proper training, a workout that is going to utilize the body as a unit and not as unconnected muscles. So there is almost never the so-called isolation exercises like preacher curl. Yet a few times a year I will perform extreme cheat speed curls partially using legs and trapezius with as much as 100kg. So in other words, Squat, Dead lift, Bench press, Standing military press and pullups (or pulldowns) are the "founding fathers". Of course I will add other significant exercises like barbell bent-over row, cable row, pull over, flies, upright dumbbell rows, heavy shrugs etc.. so I don't develop a lack of balance within the different muscles.One thing I am sure will get a lot of eyebrows raised is my being adamant about not doing any direct abdominal work. For most practical purposes, I consider it completely useless ; after all I am not trying to be an acrobat or beat the world record for sit-ups. Still squats and deadlifts will get the abdominal region in line with the rest .To those still unconvinced about my contentions I tell them to do some heavier pull-over work, that will stretch and exert their six pack way beyond anything they can achieve on a mattress or other abs contraption.
    A usual weekly workout schedule will be as follows:
    Day 1 Squats or Deadlift
    Day 2 Rest
    Day 3 Bench Press(Incline or flat) + Heavy flies
    Day 4 Back (cables and free weight)
    Day 5 Rest
    Day 6 Shoulders (Military press + Standing -dumbbells or barbell- rows)
    Day 7 Rest
    I will sometimes add short workout sessions on "rest" days for Shrugs stiff legged or high-rep bench press sets, the type of things I can't include on regular workout days because of the high intensity workload.

    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    I tried creatine a few times and I can say it helped. Also, I tried a NOx formulation with no true effect except the permanent sensation of blood pumping through. I am not a supplement fan as I consider that if its not naturally in your food, then it's not meant to be ingested but of course I won't negate any possible aid that might help the athlete get to the next stage as long as the research proves its efficacy as well as its safety.
    When asked by members what kind of supplement they should take, I just tell them to eat more. I think that for most people, especially newbies, the addition of protein powders of any kind is unnecessary. This said I realize that some will have difficulty to manage additional meals in an otherwise busy schedule and the easily prepared protein drinks can be effective.

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    We all suffered the ignorant stares, comments or even taunting from the "real people" (from the "Beef ,real food for real people" campaign) and I am not going to expand on that. I will say though that, generally the most common question would be " But where in the hell do you get your protein from ??" To which I retort politely that protein although important is way overrated, especially by newcomers. I do say to them, also, that the energy that makes the muscle contract and push the weight comes mainly from carbs or fats not protein. I finally add that lentils have 26% protein, beans have 22% even the lowly bread is up to 12% protein, so how much do you really need?
    I believe that vegans use proteins and other nutrients more effectively than meat eaters and that daily requirements for those should be elucidated in a scientific study using vegans and non-vegans as 2 distinct groups .

    What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?
    Self confidence, increased strength, healthier life.

    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Having become a vegan in a fairly early stage in my life has given me more of an impetus to educate first myself of the positive consequences of such a decision but also become an effective advocate so others might realize the full ramifications of their daily food choices.

    What do you like best about being fit?
    Always forgetting that I am approaching fifty.

    What are your strengths as an athlete?
    Challenging myself, always.

    What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?
    Ignore the skeptics comments.
    Eat more .
    Find a workout partner
    Always strive for improved performance (Rep and weight).

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Learn proper nutrition- your local supermarket is geared toward meat-eaters and it can be daunting task to figure out a vegan balanced diet.
    Learn the effect of animal products/foods on your body, on your soul and on the environment as these three aspects of your choice' repercussions will mutually reinforce each other so you will have a better chance of staying the course.

    What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?
    Results in health, performance and peace of mind.

    How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?
    I once though that I was the only vegan weight lifter. It helped me learn that others went through the same difficulties, uncertainties but eventually also the same satisfactions as I did.

    Bill McCarthy

    Name: Bill McCarthy
    Year of Birth: 1981
    Height: 6'1”
    Weight: 110k
    Birthplace: New Jersey
    Current Residence: Maryland
    Sports: IPF/USAPL Drug Free RAW Powerlifting
    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    I'm a Strength and Conditioning Coach and run my own Powerlifting Team Called “Get The Lift Powerlifting”
    Why did you become vegan?
    I actually tried the Engine 2 Diet 28 day Challenge 3 years ago and have never looked back!
    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    Played Division 1 College Football so I have always lifted weights Starting in like 8th grade

    How would you describe your training program?
    Very High Intensity Close to competition and very high Volume in between Comps
    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    B-12 everything else I get through my food intake.
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    That cant believe that I am as big and strong as I am, the reactions are always fun!
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    Everyone always asks me “So what you only eat salad?” Haha

    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    Yes, I have had acouple of my clients try it because of the results I had and all of them have never went back.
    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Being Flexible and Proper Technique! If you can do a proper rep then how can you get stronger?
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Knowing that I am going to live longer then all of my friends!
    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Repetition, Repetition, Repetition! The more you practice your lifts, the better you will be at them and once your form is down pat, you can concentrate on the strength aspect,
    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Try it and see how your body reacts to it.

    What motivates you in life?
    Wife, Family and Health.
    Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
    My best Competition lifts are
    606 lbs squat,
    390 lb Bench and
    630 lb deadlift.

    I am competing at The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, OH in March and this will be my 3rd time qualifying for this International Event

    Name: Billy Prusinowski
    Year of Birth: 1984
    Height: 5'10”
    Weight: Off-Season 195, Competition 175
    Birthplace: Syracuse, NY
    Current Residence: Santa Cruz, CA
    Sports: Cross Fit
    Blog: www.billyprusinowski.blogspot.com
    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    8th Grade Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher in Watsonville, California. I have my own Boot Camp and Personal Training Business called Herbivore Athletics that I do when I'm not teaching, and also run a wildly popular Santa Cruz fitness class called Billy Bad Ass Cardio
    Kickboxing www.facebook.com/billybadasscardiokickboxing
    Why did you become vegan?
    Earth Crisis was a band from my hometown of Syracuse, NY that inspired generations of youth to go straight edge and vegan to better themselves, their planet and the lives of animals. I began to listen to them and Propagandhi with several friends around 2000 and over ten of us went vegan and straight edge to celebrate our newly-borne convictions that year.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I lived in Portland, OR in 2006 and 2007 while I was doing animal rights activism full-time, learning about VeganBodybuilding.com from NWVegFest and other people in the area and decided it would be fun to have weightlifting as a hobby, since I didn't party and get drunk like some of the other activists I was close with. LoPrinzi's Gym was on my street and their owner, Sam Hill, inspired me to develop a serious routine that lasted for years. I moved to Santa Cruz in 2009 and got my first real job as a personal trainer at Gold's Gym Santa Cruz, which helped me develop a following and now my own personal training business which I run with no affiliation to any gym any longer.
    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    To prep for competition, I followed a 12 week program set up by Ed Bauer, champion vegan bodybuilder also from my homestate of New York, but now operating his fitness business in Portland, OR. www.edbauerfit.com Otherwise, I'm a 3,000-4,000 calorie per day strict vegan, heavy on supplements and mock meats.
    How would you describe your training program?
    I have been doing CrossFit for over a year, but chose to follow a strict bodybuilding routine for six months while I trained for the San Jose NPC Men's Physique Competition in July 2012. Currently I am teaching cardio kickboxing (working out while I do it), CrossFitting two days a week and bodybuilding two days a week.
    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    Met-Rx Creatine, Glutamine and Carnitine, Vega Pre-Workout Energizer and Performance Protein, Gaspari Nutrition Viridex Natural Testosterone Enhancer, Chia Seeds, Flax Oil
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    I don't dress the part of an “activist” or “animal rights advocate” anymore, so they are very surprised. Santa Cruz has a lot of vegans and vegetarians, but they all “dress the part.” People ask how I have muscle tone or then “why?” since they realize I am very normal like them, and they can frankly ask me that question whereas they might not be able to ask an edgy-looking punkish activist the same candid question with comfort.
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    That you have to look like a vegan to be a vegan! I “looked like a vegan” for ten years, but as I became part of the teaching profession and interact with many adults on a professional level or via my website, I chose to mainstream my image. Now a lot of people don't think I'm a real vegan because I look like an everyday guy.

    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    Currently I am holding bi-weekly “Healthy Hangouts” after my Billy's Boot Camps and Billy Bad Ass Cardio Kickboxing classes, where up to 20 of my class members have come and enjoyed entirely vegan meals together, and have had amazing success promoting the lifestyle and information about vegan cooking through these gatherings. All of my old punk and hardcore shirts are now gym shirts, so a lot of them have slogans about veganism printed on them and conversations happen on the gym floor a lot of the time. I've been vegan so long that it's very easy to talk about.
    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Keeping your hormones balanced. That is the all-encompassing umbrella which then includes your sleep (melatonin flood), your emotional balance the following day (serotonin and dopamine), your food-timing (leptin), your muscle-output (testosterone), and on and on.
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Knowing my existence isn't the cause of millions of animals suffering in their factory farms.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    Compliments and questions from people wanting to achieve what I've achieved. I love being a role model and trying my best to put others on the same course.
    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Follow the Gradual Process approach (Mike Mahler's theory) and don't rush things. You are developing a lifestyle, not a vacation-week physique that disappears.
    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Find a support network. People-watch at a health food store or vegetarian-friendly restaurant and get to know other vegans. It's so much easier when you're not alone.
    What motivates you in life?
    The idea that I will help generations of children with becoming lifelong critical thinkers and that I can inspire children or adults to live healthy lifestyles just by living my own positive life (acting positive, looking good, having a muscular physique, eating broccoli and seitan out of reusable containers everyday rather than ordering fast-food).
    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    It's been a great community to meet other people in our movement. This past year it hooked me up with the CrossFit Vegans and Vegetarians Facebook Group which is an INCREDIBLE support for all of us resisting the paleo-cults at our boxes. When I was considering skipping this year's competition, I also thought, “Well I'll never make it onto veganbodybuilding.com if I don't have professional stage pictures!” So that helped me stay the course.

    Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

    I am featured on:
    My personal youtube channel:
    Santa Cruz Power Fitness:
    My Twitter:
    For more photos along with fitness tips from BIlly Prusinowski

    Brahmanya Devi

    Age: 28
    Height: 173 cm
    Weight: 62 kg
    Birthplace: germany
    Current Residence: germany
    Sports: savate and freefight, body building, gymnastics, yoga asanas, mountainbiking, running, swimming

    Why did you become vegan?

    I became vegetarian in 2004, when I started yoga, and I later became vegan because the meat and dairy industries are connected. I also saw that there is no need to use any animal products, and that it is even healthier to be vegan. I don't want to support the captivity of animals, and I don't think we should take their products, which no one really needs anyway.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?

    I became interested in fitness 7 years ago when my body started to get fat ;D Seriously, I never was really fat. I started jogging at that time. Bit by bit I added some more sports over the years. I love to be healthy and I love action. it gives you simply a better feeling.

    How would you describe your nutrition program?

    I try to go raw as much as possible for me. I love a wide variety fruits and eat lots of them. Also nuts, especially cashews and hazelnuts (in raw food quality of course). Additionally, I take algae (spirulina, afa, chlorella), maca powder and wheat germs. I also often eat germed oil seeds and quinoa with guacamole and raw crackers. Sometimes I go to the garden to eat wild greens - I love them and they are so healthy! I always have carob beans at home. They've got much calcium and sugar - for lots of power!

    Even if I am eating a lot of raw food, I hardly ever drink pure water. mostly I drink green tea, lapacho tea or ayurvedic ginger water.

    if I don't eat raw, I try to live gluten free, because if I eat it, I feel the negative effects, similar to the effect of consuming dairy. I like to cook, for example asian potato soup with garlic, ginger and coconut milk, or quinoa with colorful vegetables and curry. But I don't ever eat much of that cooked stuff at one stroke. sometimes I buy really delicious vegan fingerfood based on vegetables and tofu at my local organic dealer.

    How would you describe your training program?

    Right now, I do martial arts 3 times a week, running 1 to 2 times, body building (3 split system) 2 to 3 times, gymnastics and yoga 4 to 6 times, mountainbiking whenever I go to the city and studio (in summer I went for a ride 75 km one time a week), swimming once a week if i'm not too frazzled.

    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?

    Maca powder because it's full of minerals and protein, mikro algae (same reason), sometimes magnesia and lapacho tea.

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?

    Not really a misconception just about veganism, but about everything in life, is to fight things when people are against it. What people probably don't realise is that they strengthen exactly these things by fighting them. you only need to go for what is right and ignore the bad things.

    What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?

    That's easily: the healthy effects to body and soul and the better feeling. We got our body to move it!

    What do you like best about being vegan?

    the idea, that the count of vegans is rising every day : )

    What do you like best about being fit?

    it's just fun to do the right thing, especially with others together.

    What are your strengths as an athlete?

    I think that's my versatility and coordination.

    What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?

    Less is more, especially at the beginning.

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?

    Don't talk much about it with non-vegans - just do it! Keep the raw amount in your nutrition always as high as just possible for you. Buy whole organic foods. Try to drop gluten (wheat) and sugar.

    What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?

    If you wanna be capable, you need to get really good fuel. Furthermore, I don't need any motivation to know that i'm doing the right thing with vegan nutrition. It's so clear.

    How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?

    I love the positive charisma on the site and the forum. There are lots of really interesting topics on the forum and such nice people!

    Visit Brahmanya's website: http://www.exciplex.de
    Her photo gallery is here: http://www.exciplex.de/galerie/

    Name: Brandon “Vegan Badass” Bohn
    Year of Birth: 06/25/1985
    Height: 5'10”
    Weight: 195
    Birthplace: Hinsdale, IL
    Current Residence: Downers Grove, IL
    Sports: Disc Golf, Bodybuilding, Yoga
    Disc Golf: PDGA Master, Longest Drive (on flat ground) - 660ft, Longest Hole-in-One - 525ft
    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    You only live once, so live life to the max - That's my motto. I am a professional disc golfer, this year being my first year in the PDGA tour, recently gaining Master status. I went to The Avery Coonley School, Benet Academy and Valparaiso University. I am a musician who plays multiple intstruments and am into everything from Heavy Metal to Jazz Fusion, Funk and classic rock. I am a substance abuse counselor and advocate for Veganism. I frequently volunteer for Mercy For Animals, Action For Animals, Wedrose Acres Animal Sanctuary and Unitarian Universalist Church of Hinsdale. I have only been vegan for a year, but have been trying to be the change I wish to see in the world since I made the overnight switch from omnivore to vegan.

    Why did you become vegan?
    After my blinders had been removed from bearing witness to the atrocities our animal brothers and sisters are subject to every second of every day (as shown by MFA's Farm to Fridge) , blindly and unconsciously consuming was no longer an option. I could no longer contribute to the suffering and injustice in the world, and felt compelled to take immediate action to start reversing the status quo. Veganism was the philosophy I implemented and activism the tool by which I was able to make this ideology my reality.
    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    Before adopting a plant based diet, I weighed 255lbs, my blood work was quite poor, including cautiously high cholesterol and hypertension, and I couldn't escape the shackles of chronic fatigue. After going vegan, my chronic fatigue disappeared, my LDL cholesterol level dropped 100 points (going from very high to optimal) and was motivated to improve my health in every way I could. I wanted every cell in my body to reflect how my mind and my soul had become. I joined my town's gym, started lifting and running, and never looked back. Here I am, 60lbs slimmer, perfect bloodwork, perfect blood pressure, benching over 300lbs with more energy than I know what to do with!

    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I start my day off with green tea, with lemon and ginger added to get my metabolism warmed up. I eat a little fruit after my morning routine to springboard me into the day. I generally eat seitan kale salad with a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger and nutritional yeast every day for lunch and some variety of vegetables, mostly fibrous, usually in a stir fry with tofu. My snacks throughout the day consist of some almonds or walnuts. I also supplement protein shakes every day and after workouts. I have tended to lower my carbohydrate intake a lot the past few months to increase weight loss. However, depending on how much energy I feel like I've needed or muscle recovery my body craved, I have adjusted the intake accordingly. As I have become more in shape lately, I have found myself reintroducing more whole grains, like quinoa and brown rice, and more beans.
    How would you describe your training program?
    I work out every day, alternating muscle groups so that I give each group of muscles generally 48-72 hours of recovery time. I disc golf when I am not working or working out. I practice confidence putting, so that I can put within 15 feet with my eyes closed, and hit at least 95% of putts within 30 feet. Sometimes I will go out to a field and make my own “driving range” where I will throw all of my drivers over and over to get my muscle memory brought to the foreground before competitions. Of course I like to just go to courses (yes, disc golf courses are free, with a few exceptions for amazingly kept pro courses out of state) and throw a few rounds with some other friends of mine, a few of which who are also pros.

    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    I drink ( Vega) protein shakes after my workouts to assist in muscle recovery. I definitely am getting an adequate amount of protein to keep up with my muscle's demand for growth, but drinking protein shakes definitely hastens recovery time.
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    If they aren't 100% sure of what Veganism is, they'll generally ask “Oh, do you eat fish?” or something silly, but upon conquering that hurdle, I find that people generally turn back
    and look at themselves almost immediately upon receipt of this information, saying “Oh, I could never do that, I love my meat” or they will go into some reason why they think Veganism is wrong. One reaction I no longer get after getting into shape is “Where do you get your protein,” because looking at my chest or arms, it's apparent that I'm getting it from plants that I put in my mouth and become my muscles!
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    “Oh, you're vegan? That means you can't eat meat, dairy, eggs or honey, huh?” Of course I can! But I choose not to, because what I can't eat is the buffet of lies that commercialism, consumerism and the general speciesist attitude of this modern zeitgeist. Yes, there is protein in everything. No, vegan food is delicious and I have not encountered such creative and exotic food as I have since going vegan. No, I don't wear the skin or fur of any animal, nor do I want to use, exploit or harm any animal as I would not want that treatment. It's a matter of extending compassion towards not just other humans, but all non-human animals on earth. Do no harm and be the change we wish to see - It's just good karma, people.

    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    I have 12 personal vegan conversions (including one former hunter). I leaflet events and give literature to local businesses whenever I can, and always make people aware of my lifestyle choice, because you never know when your life or your story may change the life of another person, help to write their story and like dominos, continue to affect change throughout time.
    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    NEVER GIVING UP!!! “Obsessed” is juat a word that the lazy use to describe the dedicated. Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. Even if you cannot receive immediate gratification from your efforts, I assure you - change is occurring. NEVER GIVE UP!!!
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Living the most healthy and intended lifestyle for our species and the world, and doing so without causing harm to other species and the world.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    The contrast of being fully alive compared to waiting to be dead.
    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Whoever said “Practice makes perfect” wasn't grasping the big picture. Practicing the wrong technique will allow you to do the wrong technique perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Technique is huge, but it also isn't everything. Allow it to be your guide, and allow yourself to adapt technique to YOUR style. When you develop your style, adhere to it with every electron of consciousness in your being. Be an individual, but master it and let nobody tell you what you can and cannot do.

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Just try it. Even if your ethics aren't in line or you feel the reasons you have for becoming vegan aren't in line with what you perceive of Veganism in general, it is one of the greatest things you can do. Just try it out and you will see the difference it is causing within you and within the world. Then, perhaps you will see the reasons you had were in you all along, because they were in reason itself.
    What motivates you in life?
    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    It's unique, but so comprehensive. I am inspired by the other like minded individuals, feeling a little less alone in our small but growing community and helped by the strive to join the ranks of the exceptional individuals so that I may too one day inspire others to do the same.
    Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Species the most popular separatist movement in all of history, and in my opinion is at the root of all segregation and isolation experienced and felt in life. If we cannot view the value and equality of all living creatures, how can we view it between other people. The world is one living organism. We must unite with each other with one mind - if we divide, we will be conquered. We are at a pivotal point in history, where we have a chance to change the world. We must be the change we wish to see. We must be love so we can be free.

    Check out these vids of Brandon in action:

    Brayden Green

    Name: Brayden Green
    Year of Birth: 29/12/1992
    Height: 180cm
    Weight: 88kg
    Birthplace: Albury, Australia
    Current Residence: Cranbourne, Australia
    Sports: Rugby

    Why did you become vegan?
    I became Vegan for the animals. First year out of school I got a job at the meat works because of my Dad and I thought it was disgusting, cruel and just insane, so I saw the season through and never went back. It made me think so much about humans and animals living on this planet, we all deserve the same rights and why can't we live as one, they are meant to be our friends there is no difference between them and our pets. They have feelings, thoughts and emotions just like us so I couldn't imagine what sort of life they must go through in the slaughter industry and I wouldn't like it if that were me so how could I support the industries that do that to them.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    Ever since I was 16. I tried for the 1st XV Rugby team in my college in Year 12, I was told I was good but to small. I wasn't going to take that for an answer so I joined the 2nd XV school Rugby team, joined the gym and worked my butt off. Half way through the season there were injuries in the 1st XV team and my efforts worked off and they asked me to come in and I played till the end of the season for them. The next year and was also my last year at school I made it straight into the team in the starting line up. Ever since leaving school I have kept it up and Been playing Premiere Rugby, which is the top level of Rugby in my town. I am also trying to get into modelling, fitness modelling or even better a Vegan Representative, that would be my dream!

    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I am very strict on my diet even with vegan products because not all are healthy like soy products for example, so I try to cut back on them. I don't ever have a weak moment for dairy products because I always think of the animal that had to suffer for that product. I still have sweets but it is not hard to make your own healthy sweets and on the plus side you don't feel guilty afterwards! I always want to be at my best so I always try to give the nutrition that my body craves for to keep it at its peak and healthy.

    How would you describe your training program?
    Very intense. Always working hard, always changing it up. If I am not walking or crawling out of that gym in pain and sweating I haven't worked hard enough. No pain no gain right!

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    That we have nothing to eat and can't get the nutrition our body needs to live and grow. Its crazy when the proof is out there!!

    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
    For people who are wanting to go Vegan, most people find it easiest to build there way into it because its not that easy to go off the foods they love straight away. I went straight Vegan because for me personally I knew it was what I had to do for me and the animals of the planet, it just felt right. Training is the same, build your way into it. Don't go kill yourself on the first month or you will just be thrashed and loose your motivation to keep going. Most importantly just do what is right for you!

    Brendan Brazier

    Brendan Brazier
    Professional Ironman Triathlete

    Height: 6' 2”
    Weight: 168
    Age: 30

    Reason for becoming vegan:

    Athletic performance. Most think I continue to improve as an athlete at a fast rate in spite of being vegan — that's not the case. A highly alkaline, easily digestible, mostly raw diet is without a doubt the best diet for performance. Then of course there are all the other reasons; environmental, ethical, political. Those can't be ignored once you start to learn more.

    Favorite thing about being vegan?

    Better athletic performance. Nutritionally, therefore physically, of course that's clear, but also mentally. Just knowing that I'm not contributing to so many things that I dislike makes living easier.

    Favorite foods to eat?

    Apples, hemp, chlorella, spinach, mangos.

    Brief training history?

    Started running in 1989, cycling in 1990 and swimming in 1992.

    Brief contest result history?

    2003 Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion 2002 8th Ironman Utah 2001 3rd in Canadian Long course triathlon Championship 2001 11th Ironman Canada 1999 3rd Royal Victoria Marathon (2:29 Personal best time) 1998 2rd Royal Victoria Marathon

    Companies you work for or represent?

    I'm very fortunate in that I have some great sponsors.

    I'm most involved with Sequel Naturals. They are the makers of Vega which is my formula for a vegan meal replacement. It's a replica of the blender drink that I've made for myself since 1994. Complete info about Vega can be found here: http://www.myvega.com/index.htm

    Nature's Path is another sponsor of mine that I work closely with. They are the largest producer of organic cereal in the world. They make a line of cereal called Optimum for athletes. Rebound, their new cereal within the Optimum line will launch at Expo West in Anaheim in March. I'm on the box.

    Any Other Sponsors?

    Bike — Isaac Athletic shoes and clothing — Saucony Casual clothing — Of The Earth Casual shoes — Shoes with Souls Yerba Mate — Aviva!

    Why should Athletes follow a vegan diet?

    I don't like to say 'should' at all, but if done right it will help.

    Your Future plans?

    More of the same. Continue improving as an athlete. Expand the Vega line and write more books. Be open to new opportunities.

    Next book project?

    Thrive: a guide to optimal health and performance through plant-based whole foods was launched in September of last year and became a Canadian bestseller in five months so I have just released a second edition. It contains 32 more pages including 15 recipes. It is now available.

    I'm working on a recipe book now. I hope to have it out be the end of the year.

    Anything else you'd like to add?

    Just because a huge number of other people do something is not an indication that it's the best way. As with most people who know this, I learned it the hard way, but at least I know it now.

    You can find more info about my projects at: www.brendanbrazier.com

    Brian Duda

    Name: Brian Duda
    Year of Birth: 1975
    Height: 5'4"
    Weight: 165
    Current Residence: Lisle IL
    Sports: Bodybuilding
    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    I'm a tech support specialist for a software trading company in Chicago. I also co-own a vegan baking business called Canary Confectionery. In my spare time I participate in animal rights activities I'm a huge animal lover and support causes for the better treatment of all animals.

    Why did you become vegan?
    I first became vegetarian about 11 years ago as a dare with a friend that was going vegan. She wanted me to understand what is meant to be a vegetarian. When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I have always been interested in bodybuilding and weight lifting, my dad used to take me to the gym when I was young and I just thought that's how people were supposed to be, big and strong and healthy.
    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I don't have a program that I follow. I basically listen to my body, if I'm sore I eat more protein, if I feel tired and weak I take in more carbs. I do make sure that I have my protein shakes in the morning when I get up, after working out and before I go to bed to help with recovery while I sleep.

    How would you describe your training program?
    I usually train 3 days a week breaking up the muscle groups each day. For example:
    Mon- chest, triceps, shoulders
    Tues- legs and abs
    Wed- back and biceps and forearms
    I give my body as much rest as needed and don't stick to a schedule written in stone, if I'm too sore to workout I rest. Rest is the actually time that the body recovers and grows, so I don't want to hinder the recovery process.
    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    The only supplements I really take are protein powders and a vegan multi-vitamin. Other than that I just eat normal vegan foods.

    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    Most people are surprised. They think that vegans are skinny and frail, so it's nice to show that it's possible to be strong, muscular and athletic as a vegan. Anything is possible as a vegan, it's not a liability, it's an asset to your health and wellbeing.
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    Most people think that being a vegan means not having muscles, energy or strength.
    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    I have had success in promoting veganism through people that I meet while working out or just out and about when they ask how I got my big arms.
    I also created a website, www.strongvegan.net to help people get started in vegan bodybuilding.
    I was lucky enough to participate in Chicago Veganmania's “Powered by Plants” fitness panel. I also shared the stage with other wonderful vegan athletes including Robert Cheeke. That was such an honor and a lot of fun!

    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Desire and willpower, those two things alone will allow you to overcome anything
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Not harming or contributing to the suffering of animals is what it's all about for me.

    I also love answering the question “Where do you get your protein and how much chicken do you eat a day?” with... “I'm vegan”. My favorite moments are when I'm training at the gym doing dips with 200lbs on my waist andpeople asking me what I do to get so strong.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    I like feeling strong and healthy, and having the energy to do all the things I enjoy.
    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Don't be afraid to ask for help, whether it's a spot or asking what exercises work which muscles. Remember no one started out looking they way they do now, so don't feel embarrassed or intimidated by others. Push yourself and do what you can do. Remember there are people bigger and stronger. There are also people smaller and weaker too, and to them you are going to be the big, strong person that they want to be!
    Be competitive, but show respect, and don't put others down.

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Join vegan groups in your community or even online, those are great places to meet supportive people. Usually those groups have get-togethers and share dishes and recipes, and you get to meet people with common interests.
    What motivates you in life?
    Making others happy, and caring for animals.
    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    I think the site is really great! I love that there is a site to show the world that vegans are fit, strong and athletic.

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