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  • Legacy Profiles

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

    David Greditzer

    Name: David Greditzer
    Year of Birth: 61
    Height: 6 1
    Weight: 195
    Birthplace: Santa Barbara CA
    Current Residence: Concord CA
    Sports: Muay Thai, HIIT, power lifting
    Facebook: facebook.com/DaveyDoodle

    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    I am a 51 year old, 12 month vegan standing 6 1 at 195. I was 290 before veganism; 60 lost in the last year. I am a software solutions archtecht for a 4 BN dollar company. Single. Straight. Smart. Food and fitness and knowledge and sharing these are my passions. I am an amazing chef.
    Why did you become vegan?
    It started with my learning that I was Celiac. I started reading the research. Then I met Dr. Robert Lustig of UCSF and Sugar — The Bitter Truth fame. I gave up sugar. Then I learned about aracadonic acid and role of dairy, eggs and chicken in the COX C - reactive protein cycle (I got a BS in Bio from UCSB so I think I know something ) I saw FOK, decided to try for a week. My pain just stopped — I have had 26 surgeries — fractured neck, multiple stab wounds, fractured pelvis, yada yada, and was on a huge dose of Norco and Morphine. After 2 weeks I was off all pain meds. All BP meds. All meds. I was sold. I was done with animal foods.


    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I grew up on a small ranch, riding horses, running, playing, and being very active. When I was very young my sister married a Japanese karate master, and they lived with my family. I started Karate — serious, 6 days week stuff — at age 7 and just never stopped. I had some knee issues at age 15, and my doc suggested Nautilus. Never looked back
    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    Pristine. No processed foods. 90 percent raw. ALL fresh local organics — 40 pounds a week delivered to my door from a CSA. I am very lucky, and very spoiled.
    How would you describe your training program?
    I have a really insane workout that literally draws spectators. When I was coming back from the broken neck, I was introduced to the Yoga ball by a wonderful and gifted trainer, Rebecca Joy Schwanda- Clem. She saved my life. Now I do a non-stop HIIT workout which is 95 percent kneeling on or standing on the 30 inch ball, with weights or cables. It is described as nuts. I also do Muay Thai at UFC 5 days a week, so to support that I do very very heavy leg presses and hammer strength incline, bench and declines. Very. Heavy..


    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    I use Sun Warrior and a multi, as well as niacin and hi dose c. At my age, and with the extreme abuse I do in Muay Thai and during my 20 hours a week in the gym, I tax my body.
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    It is hilarious. I am the strongest guy in my gym and I am pretty big, and people trip balls. It is a wonderful vehicle to tell my story, which is the plant story, which is as much a spiritual as much as a physical catharsis.
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    That we are all weak, unwashed, bearded annoying anarchist hippies.


    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others?
    If so, how did you go about it? Facebook, and by wearing I am Vegan shirts. HUGE success. I get email every day, and have over 20 converts, and dozens of life changing stories of remarkable turns in health, day after day.
    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Love.
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    I feel good mentally, physically and spiritually. I SHRED 20 year olds, all day, every day. I am alpha in a gym of MMA alphas. And I am FULL of love. And happiness.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    Honestly? Besides feeling great, I love the attention and the opportunity it gives me to tell the plant story. If vanity is the vehicle, then God bless Narcissus.


    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Be patient. Go slowly. Love yourself. Focus. Break a sweat. Stay with it and make small moves. Small moves.
    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Start small. Start with 1 day a week. Then 2. Then try a week. Do not rush. The rest will follow — the love for the planet, the respect for all life, the whole beautiful thing. It is easy, and fun, I am a PIG and I get to eat all day, as much as I want, and I have NEVER eaten better, I was the guy with a 3 pound tri-tip eating over the q, six pack, and not a veggie in sight. I was 290.


    What motivates you in life?
    Spreading this message. Helping teach others about food and health. I would have settled for one life changed. Now I want to change 100 thousand, and I will get there.
    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or nspired you?
    I love seeing like-minded individuals and knowing I am not some dilettante extremist obsessive freak
    Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
    Tens of thousands.

    ---
    Here is a link to the beginning of David's Cook Book / Biography!

    Davita Parks

    Name: Davita Parks
    Year of Birth: 1982
    Height: 5'7
    Weight: 125
    Birthplace: TN
    Current Residence: TN
    Sports: WBFF Bikini/Fitness Competitor, Garden of Life Athlete, Yoga, Pilates, Weight Lifting, Dance
    Why did you become vegan?
    I was always more of a herbivore growing up. I never really cared much for meat and would lean more towards fruits and veggies, as opposed to meat (which is the exact opposite of my siblings). Following complications with my health in high school, I began focusing more on my training and what I ate. As I got older I began noticing that my body would respond negatively to certain types of foods and I began eliminating them from my diet. After a few years of following a vegetarian diet I began researching vegan diets and lifestyles, but at the advice of numerous competitors I kept fish in my diet. After my second season of competing I reached out to a couple of vegan competitors who graciously answered all of my questions and encouraged me to toss out the “standard” bodybuilding diet and take my nutrition in to my own hands. At that point I began phasing fish out of my diet and focusing on my body's individual needs. In addition to earning pro status, I am out to shatter the notion that you can't build muscle and compete on a plant-based diet.


    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I grew up participating in dance, gymnastics and cheerleading. In high school, I experienced a major setback that would unknowingly change the course of my life. I was away at a cheerleading event when I began having chest pains and trouble breathing. What I later found out was that I was having a severe asthma attack that was closing off my airways. Grace doesn't even begin to describe what I received that night. The doctors in the emergency room described my attack as a double-edged sword; it could've taken my life, but it also saved my life because I had misdiagnosed with bronchitis. Later that same year I experienced another setback. I was hospitalized with pneumonia when my left lung collapsed. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was forced to give up everything.... cheerleading, gymnastics, dance. My body was completely broken down; I couldn't even breath on my own. Rather than succumb to my diagnosis, I turned this negative into a newfound source of motivation I knew that no one could improve my health but me.... I just needed to identify some new habits and practice them until I improved my health. This strategy paid off, as I have since gone on to compete in fitness competitions where I have consistently placed in the top ten and top three. Through this experience, I learned that being active begins with a choice and eventually evolves into a lifestyle.
    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    Steel cut oats, quinoa, almond/hemp milk, kale and fresh blueberries are staples in my diet. I'll pretty much eat any vegetable out there, and what I keep on hand is determined in large by what's in season. I don't count calories, but I do pay attention and adhere to portion sizes. I focus on eating a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
    How would you describe your training program?
    My goal is to maintain a slender and aesthetic physique. With that in mind, I've found that my body responds better to CrossFit or Tabata type workouts that include conditioning exercises and HIIT. I become bored with repetition very quickly so I am constantly mixing up my training routine in or to stay interested and keep my body guessing. My workouts are designed to include a combination of upper and lower body training with the goal of really stimulating each muscle group. With the help of a friend and colleague, I am now incorporating some olympic lifts into my regime.


    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    I use Garden of Life RAW Protein, BCAA's and all natural fermented L-Glutamine after my workouts and before bed. Since becoming a vegan I have learned how to obtain the majority of my nutrients from food. I'm not fond of having to take a handful of pills in order to stay healthy.
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    I tend to get mixed reactions, especially when people find out that I compete on a vegan diet. The number question is, “Where do you get your protein?” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that question, I could retire at age 30! LOL Each time I hear this question I get excited because that's my opportunity to use it as a “teaching moment” to educate people on the truth about veganism.
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    Where do I begin?! LOL The biggest misconception is that vegans do not get enough protein, vitamins or vital nutrients. Another would be that we can't build muscle without eating meat. Both of these are simply not true. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there, many of which are due to a lack of proper information and/or education.


    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    I understand that this lifestyle is not for everyone. My main goal is to educate and debunk the fear or myths surrounding vegan lifestyles. My “Meatless Monday” posts on my blog have been a huge aid in at least getting people talking and thinking about it. Other than that, I try to lead by example and make myself available to anyone who may have questions or concerns.
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    I love just knowing that I am fueling my body with the proper nutrients without the added hormones, fillers or artificial substitutes. I now have the satisfaction of knowing that I am making more educated choices when it comes to the foods I eat and my health.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    The most important aspect of being fit is striking a balance between physical, mental and emotional fitness. All three are important and rely on one another in order to function properly. I make sure that I have short and long term goals in place that will allow me to maintain optimal health in each of these areas.
    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    My first piece of advice would be to determine 'why' you are doing it, and be certain that it is for you and no one else. This may sound a little selfish, but at the root of it if you are not taking proper care of yourself and performing at your best, then you can't properly care for those around you. My second piece of advice would be to sit down and map out your goals and determine what it is that you want to accomplish or improve in each area of your health. Once you've done this, acquire the advice and/or help of a trained professional who can help you meet those goals.


    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Reach out to other vegan athletes. I did and I found an entire network of like-minded individuals who were there to answer my questions, encourage me when I had second thoughts and support me along my journey. I've learned so much from the experiences of others.
    What motivates you in life?
    My own personal struggles with my health are what motivate me to continue improving my life. Based on these setbacks, I believe that with drive and determination anyone can take control of the physical challenges in their lives regardless of circumstances. I have now combined my personal experience with my passion for health & wellness. Fitness completely changed my life, and looking back 10 years later, my journey is now focused on helping and inspiring others. When I am asked about my life as a competitor and personal trainer, I tell people that I have had a lot of success at young age, but I have also had my share of trials and obstacles to overcome. I choose to look at each chapter of my life as an experience and lesson from which I can learn something and then use to inspire or motivate someone else. Every experience has made me the person I am today.


    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    I stumbled upon this website when I Googled “vegan bodybuilding.” I can't tell you how ecstatic I was to find so many vegan athletes and competitors! I loved the idea of having a community & support system of fellow athletes who were willing to share their stories and
    information with the rest of the world. I took it as a sign from God and confirmation that I was making the best decision for my own individual health.



    Name: Deborah Bartlett
    Year of Birth: 1972
    Height: 5'4
    Weight: 127
    Birthplace: Sunland, California
    Email: [email protected]
    Website: www.beachbodycoach.com/deborahbartlett
    Current Residence: Quartz Hill, California
    Sports: Yoga, Weight training, P90x, Les Mills Pump, Hiking

    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
    I love weight training , learning and using about holistic , alternative therapies, meditation, yoga and cooking vegan and raw vegan recipes. I am an independent Team Beachbody Coach helping people get to their fitness goals using Beachbody programs like P90X and Les Mills Pump. I am also studying to test for my personal trainer certification and studying holistic nutrition & wellness coaching through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Fitness and nutrition have been a huge passion of mine for as far back as I can remember.



    Why did you become vegan?
    When I was about three or four years old I witnessed our neighbors dragging a very large pig behind their truck, it had a head injury (their attempt to kill it for slaughter) and it was still alive and squealing at the top of its lungs in pain and fear. I was very young but I realized at that moment that animals have feelings and suffer the same pain as any human. This was the day that changed my life. I went vegetarian at age fourteen and vegan soon after. Its been 26 years.

    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I started working out at home after the birth of my daughter in 1992 to get back in shape after gaining 85 lbs during my pregnancy. I got a gym membership and started yoga and weight training later that year and have been hooked ever since.

    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I usually start my day with a glass of lemon water or Kombucha, then I'll have a super food bowl that has been soaked overnight with chia seeds, hemp seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, Raw cocao nibs, Maca powder, goji berries, blueberries, Sun Warrior protein and almond milk. I eat a lot of green vegetables and stick to local organic seasonal produce for preparing meals.


    How would you describe your training program?
    Currently I do Les Mills Pump three days a week, cardio three days a week and yoga twice a week. I am also a huge P90x fan.
    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    I use Sun Warrior, Vega and Shakeology Tropical vegan protein powder for post workout protein shakes. I use a raw multi vitamin from Garden of Life and I also take B-12. I also use Vega recovery drink for post workout weight training days, it helps greatly reduce the severity of doms from my weight training.

    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    I'm a bit of a hippie so when people learn that I'm vegan they don't seem surprised. Then they usually have a ton of questions about vegan foods, diet and recipes. Of course I always hear the biggest question of all “Where do you get your protein?”

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    That all vegans are scrawny pale sickly looking people or that vegans do not get enough protein with a plant based diet.



    Have you had success in promoting veganism/vegetarianism to others?If so how did you go about it?
    I have a couple friends and family who have become vegan or vegetarian with my guidance. I never push or preach about my lifestyle. I am proud of my lifestyle and I'm always happy to talk about it with others or answer their questions about it whether its nutrition or the ethical reasons why I am vegan.

    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    I feel that consistency is the most important aspect of training regardless of the program you're doing. As with anything if you're consistent you're going to have the best results.
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    I love living a cruelty free, guilt free lifestyle and I love the way I feel eating a vegan diet.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    The ability to cope with stress better and my immune system is stronger then it has ever been.



    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Never give up.We are all a work in progress... always changing,always growing and improving.
    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Don't be afraid to try new things and try not to compare or judge new foods based on your old way of eating. Be open minded and enjoy the journey.
    What motivates you in life?
    Living a compassionate and healthy lifestyle and helping others to learn about living a healthy plant based life.



    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    I love veganbodybuilding.com . I've really enjoyed following some truly inspiring athletes through the years and learning some new things along the way. I love that it has been such a great source for networking , educating people who are just starting out on their plant based journey and so much training information. Such a fantastic site!


    Deborah Nasmyth

    Name: Deborah Nasmyth
    Year of Birth: 1980
    Height: 5'8"
    Weight: 125 - 145
    Birthplace: Nelson, BC, Canada
    Current Residence: Nelson, BC, Canada
    Sports: Figure bodybuilding
    Website: facebook.com/LeanPhysiqueDeborahNasmyth

    Photo credits: Adam Lockwood

    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
    I am a piano teacher and own a music school in Nelson. I know, its not really a macho muscle or fitness type profession. Nobody would ever imagine that there's a totally ripped piano teacher out there. I'm also a residential landlord.
    I'd say my only passion is animal rights, but other interests include primitive cartooning and competitive figure bodybuilding.

    Why did you become vegan?
    I became vegan in 2008 after 20 years of vivid disturbing nightmares of animals being killed. I don't know of any one event that caused the nightmares, I was just a kid becoming aware of what happens in the real world.




    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I failed the physical education classes when I was young in school. I hated sports. Hated moving. Hated myself. In 2005, at age 25, I was having a bad year and started going to the gym purely to burn off rage after a bad relationship and get myself tired enough to fall asleep at night so I wouldn't cry all night long. The fantastic physique and health benefits were unimportant byproducts of my hard workouts. I just wanted to sleep.
    The serious bodybuilding started a few years later, when the wife of a friend of mine - who thought we were having an affair - came over to verbally attack me and at one point grabbed my arm, held it out, shook it, and declared I wasn't his body type of preference. I then told her something important about her body type which I'm sure I'm not allowed to say on this website... but that for me was a turning point and I decided I couldn't have any more old ladies shaking my arm and declaring me scrawny. NOBODY dares shake my arms now!



    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    Typical bodybuilders diet. Eating every 2 hours. Lots of protein throughout the day. I don't know how to cook so my diet is pretty basic and its purpose is to fuel me, not for enjoyment. I do chart my macros (carb/protein/fat/calories) every day. And take Vega whole food optimizer to cover vitamins and minerals.

    How would you describe your training program?
    Definitely intense. Last year I was at the gym 316 days. 2 workouts a day almost every day. (Sometimes 3!). Over 600 hours I'm sure. It helps that my music school is across the street from the gym.



    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    What I find frustrating is the number of people who assume I'm malnourished and I must not be getting enough of this or that in my diet.

    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    Usually their eyebrows go up, then they ask how I get protein in my diet. Then they assume I'm malnourished and lecture me on B-12. Its pretty annoying. Do I look malnourished? One friend of mine recently said he was "intrigued by the idea that a vegan might actually be healthy." Some people outright mock me to my face and tell me to go eat some meat, thinking it's a funny joke, and that really bothers me. Online I occasionally get hate mail for being vegan from people who read my public profiles and my dietary views. And just this week in the local newspaper there was an anonymous slam against "vegetarian (vegan) hippy girls who have animal-friendly lifestyles that suck". This kind of stuff motivates me to promote veganism more aggressively.



    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    That only skinny hippies are vegan. Vegans are weak and malnourished. That it's a silly fad and not a serious diet.

    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Daily commitment and intensity. 99% of people who go to the gym don't make any noticeable difference to their physique because they don't understand these 2 principles. Diet is also critical.



    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Other than peace of mind and self respect. I'd have to say I love being the underdog and being part of a specialty group of people. As an adult I am exactly the person my childhood self would have wanted me to become. (And way more cool than I predicted I'd turn out to be)

    What do you like best about being fit?
    That I never need to call guys to help me lift heavy stuff . I can do my own chain sawing, lift sheets of plywood over my head, move rocks that are hundreds of pounds. I love the practical uses of being strong!

    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    The daily commitment and intensity are key. If you slack on either one you're wasting your time. But also...your success will be 50% dependent on your diet and macro ratios.



    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Every meal that you delay is costing an innocent creature its life. Be prepared for an intense learning curve. The 4 food groups of the 1950's are far outdated. Initially there will be some sacrifices of foods you like, but before long it will all be worth it.

    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    I had no idea anything like this existed until a year ago. Finding like-minded people was amazing. I've made friends, gotten great advice, found a place to vent frustrations... perfect for a mountain girl in a small town that isn't very vegan friendly.

    Debra Simpson

    Year of Birth: 1981
    Height: 5'6
    Weight: 125
    Birthplace: Kentucky
    Current Residence: Orlando, FL

    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    I teach yoga for my career along with modeling. I enjoy doing anything active, but I most love doing martial arts, yoga, and tough hiking. I have a passion in educating others about being vegan and eating a healthy whole food diet.
    Why did you become vegan?
    I became vegan 12 years ago when I decided I no longer wanted animals to be killed for me to
    eat.


    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    My entire life I have been active and doing sports. I first started lifting weights when I was 20. I became serious with yoga at 24 after getting an overuse injury from not stretching enough.
    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    I eat all of the healthy whole food vegan food I want. I love Vega products. Spicy Indian or Thai foods are my favorite meals to prepare. I just use less oil than normal to prepare them. I drink lots of water and never sodas.
    How would you describe your training program?
    Personally, I need variety and fun in my workouts, but also a set schedule. I always do at least some yoga everyday to keep my body flexible and relaxed. I have set days for running so that I keep on schedule. I have more fun out of the gym doing military type training. Dancing or martial arts training are apart of my weekly training. Yoga and intention are the two biggest things that make a difference in ripping my body up.


    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    Vega smoothie because it has so many beneficial things in it that I feel like it is an all in onefor me. I take a multi-vitamin everyday since people (vegan or not) do not always get all of our nutrients through food.
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    Normally, they are surprised because they expect vegans to look unhealthy and I am in great shape.
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    The food is boring, vegans are malnourished, it is far too difficult


    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    I have organized vegan festivals, done public speaking, cooking demos and a tv segment, and radio shows. I have found the most influential thing I have do to promote veganism is to include vegan knowledge in yoga workshops as part of diet and non-violence toward
    self and others. Yogis come to classes and workshops ready to make changes. When they understand why not eating animals has been taught for thousands of years in yoga, they are likely to make diet changes.
    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Mindset is the most important thing for training along with life in general.
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    I love feel great being in better shape than I ever would in a standard meat eating diet.
    What do you like best about being fit?
    I love being able to do any sports and compete because I am so fit. I never have to get in shape before doing something.


    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Stick to a schedule. Have fun working out. If you do not like something then find something that you do. Eat a healthy diet to give you plenty of energy.
    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    If you are hesitant then try going vegan for a month. You will find it easier and more fulfilling than you think.
    What motivates you in life?
    Being the best person I can be motivates me.
    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    Veganbodybuilding.com is awesome. It has inspired me for a long time. It is great to see so many vegans setting examples for others.




    Denise Nicole

    Name: Denise Nicole
    Height: 5'5”
    Weight: (approx) Competition Weight 104, Off competition 110-114
    Birthplace: Salisbury, Maryland USA
    Current Residence: Ocean City Maryland USA

    Why did you become vegan?

    My fitness pursuit began several years ago. I wanted to pursue a fit and healthy life and found better ways to feed my body and thus I began to pursue exercise. My pursuits for a healthy diet eventually lead me to a vegetarian lifestyle and finally a vegan lifestyle. I began to enjoy the benefits of healthy vegan foods also including many raw foods as part of my meals. Becoming vegan has changed my life for the better in so many ways, aside from meeting so many people with like dietary lifestyles from so many diverse backgrounds, I have enjoyed living a compassionate lifestyle knowing I am helping to lessen the amount of animal suffering. I have enjoyed more strength, less sickness, clarity of mind, and am at peace with my lifestyle choice.



    I grew up in a meat eating family and ate as they did, eating all that greasy food and lived on a lot of fast food. Weight lifting and exercising was not something my family pursued. I watched them begin to become sick with headaches, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I was told this “runs in the family” and knew I could expect the same fate as them. This was when I began to lift weights, run and adjust my diet. I did become healthier then I was, but still suffered from headaches and fatigue. One day at a routine physical, I was given the dreaded news that I too had high blood pressure and high cholesterol; I too would have a lifetime of medicine. I was shocked that after my efforts I would suffer the same fate as them. I had eliminated a lot of animal products from my diet by then, too much fat, too high in cholesterol. I had read a bit about vegetarianism and decided I would pursue it. I did and my levels came down. When I became a Vegan my levels were awesome. No medicine for me, I had beaten my perceived fate! My Vegan diet eventually pored over into the rest of my style of living. Becoming educated on the fate of animals in factory farming has changed my life forever.

    *As an added update on this. Shortly after writing the above, my sister, and only sibling, who consumes a SAD (Standard America Diet) suffered from a massive brain steam stroke at the age of 39. She of course thought it would never happen to her. She is wheel chair bound and has partial paralysis. Unfortunately, she refused to change her eating habits of fast foods, high sugar and high fat foods and suffered from high blood pressure. My thoughts and prayers of course remain with her and her family. What happened to her, I am positive, would have been my future had I not changed.


    When and why did you become interested in bodybuilding?

    I was modeling on the side as a hobby at the time and was a “cardio queen” to stay fit for bikini type modeling. I began lifting weights and becoming serious when several people told me I should compete.
    At the beginning of 2007 is when I became serious about my lifting and have now competed in several shows in the Fitness Model and Figure Divisions.
    As a result of the competitions the modeling contracts began to pour in, and I now Model / Compete / Train and Tour as a career.



    How would you describe your nutrition program?

    Very high protein, low carb. Everyone is different. However, I found a high protein diet low in processed carbs was the best fit for me. It keeps my energy up and helps me to build and retain muscle. I do not consume any bread products or root vegetables. And rarely consume beans and legumes. I allow myself a “re-feed day” (caloric boost of healthy food), once per week unless I am 2 weeks out from a comp or shoot.


    How would you describe your training program?

    Constantly changing but always hard-core! I change up according to my needs at the time. I weight train 3x's per week and do cardio 2x's per week unless preparing for a comp. When pre-paring for a comp, approx 2 weeks out I'll do 1 hour of steady cardio every day except on “leg day”.

    The biggest challenge is remembering the last few reps, the one's that really hurt and you are struggling with.. are the one's that count the most! The second thing I learned was that little 2.5lb plate is the best tool I have as well as a good training log. I can keep track of my training and numbers, and use the little 2.5lb plate to increase them.


    What kind of supplements do you use?

    Same as most Bodybuilder's Mainstream or Vegan. A muti-vitamin, Iron supplement and Vit C supplement. I cycle creatine now and use green tea extract to help when cutting weight for comp.
    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    Most of them! Honestly, people are floored to find out I am vegan. Apparently I do look like what their perception of a vegan is. I'll go out to eat a few times with people, before they even realize I am vegan . They just thought I was a “health nut” when I ordered food .... Although I am that too


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

    Consistency, patience and a very strong will. It takes all of these to make it happen. If you mess up, no worries .... Go from there. Don't schedule a new “start date”. I see too many people who mess up and have “start dates”, such as “I'll start again on Monday”; somehow Monday is the magic day. It doesn't work that way. We all mess up, suck it up and move on right away!


    What do you like best about being vegan?

    I look and feel the best I have my entire life! There are no words that can truly describe how that feels.


    What do you like best about bodybuilding?

    Being the best “me” I can be. No one can move those weights for me, and the iron does not lie or forgive. Only I can do it for myself, and I get to benefit from the results of pushing myself to the limit.



    What are your best muscle groups for bodybuilding and strength?

    Strength: legs This is not necessarily a good thing; it takes a lot to stress them and thus takes a lot to make them build. My shoulders are my weakest, but have been the easiest to build since I can stress the muscles very easily.


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

    Get yourself a log and work smarter not harder. Although you push yourself hard on your training days, growth is in the recovery days! Make sure you have your eating as well as your training in check and stick to it! It takes a while to get into a routine. So don't worry if you fall on your bottom a few times. Get right back into the game, it will come together before you know it.


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

    Get educated on it and find a support network, which helps the transition easier. There are several forums, such as this one, who are more than happy to support and give advice to a new vegan.


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

    Continued challenges and successes. I set goals up for myself and meet and exceed them. When I meet the next one I continue the process.


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

    Extreme support. The members of VBB have helped me from day 1 .... Now that I am more in the public eye, they continue to support me. By far one of the best forums online.

    To contact Denise Nicole, write: [email protected]
    To follow Denise Nicole's progress and upcoming events:
    http://www.denisenicole.com

    Derek Tresize

    Derek Tresize was born and raised in San Diego California where he lived until attending university in northern California. Derek first converted to a plant-based diet at the age of 19 when he began reading about the vast health impacts of eating this way through the works of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Joel Furhman, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and several other prominent researchers and clinicians.
    Throughout his high school and college career, Derek participated in a wide variety of sports and activities including football, cross country, track and field, powerlifting, martial arts, swimming, surfing, and kayaking. When he converted to a plant based diet, he found his
    performance in these areas approved across the board, and he began promoting this diet to everyone around him.



    Since obtaining his bachelor's degree in Biology, Derek has been working as the Director of Personal Training at Gold's Gym in Richmond Virginia where he also works one on one with clients to help improve their diet, fitness, and overall health. He is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and Cornell University.

    Derek has been weightlifting for 10 years and has been strictly bodybuilding for the past 5 years. He has been a bodybuilding/fitness model in the Richmond area since 2009. Derek was voted into the top 20 semifinalists of the Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel 2011, and plans to compete in his first bodybuilding contest over the summer of 2011. Whenever Derek trains or travels he promotes a plant-based diet for health and athletic performance, and he plans to do so to a greater extent as his bodybuilding recognition grows.


    For more information on Derek, visit his blog at http://www.veganmuscleandfitness.com/, or to contact him directly send an email to [email protected] or [email protected]

    Despina Rosales

    Name: Despina Rosales
    Age: 38
    Height: 5'
    Weight: 115lbs
    Birthplace: Nicosia, Cyprus
    Current Residence: Sydney, Australia
    Sports: Yoga, Pilates, Bellydance, walking/skating/cycling/swimming with my dogs Website: www.despinarosales.com

    Why did you become vegan?
    For me, it dawned on me in this way: I asked myself what I'd do if there were suddenly no (so-called) farm animals to eat. Would I then kill, skin, cook and eat my dogs? The answer was (obviously) no. An ad by Mercy for Animals: www.mercyforanimals.org explains my epiphany best: "Why Love One But Eat The Other?" So, from that point I decided that I'd love all animals and eat none of them! And from that (ie. being vegetarian) I worked my way towards being vegan, and officially became vegan about a year later.


    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    When I was 15 my school took us to an aerobics class and I loved it. I was interested in fitness from that point on.

    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    Balanced: lots of good stuff and a little bit of 'bad' stuff (in other words I have a sweet tooth!).

    How would you describe your training program?
    Varied: a mix of Yoga, Pilates, Bellydance, walking/skating/cycling/swimming with my dogs. I don't like to follow a specific routine as I get too bored.

    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    None.

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    That it's impossibly hard. That you are relegated to a boring diet of only celery and tomatoes all day long. I sometimes find it challenging because of my (acursed!) sweet tooth...but there are loads of alternatives so I get by just fine. It's a simple matter of choosing compassion over greed.


    What do you think the most important aspect of fitness is?
    There are many ways to interpret that question, but the way I interpret it is this: the most important thing you can do for your own fitness is find the fine line between challenging yourself and pushing too hard. In other words: to listen to your body and know when to go easy in your exercise or rest completely and have a day off.

    What do you like best about being vegan?
    Being able to look into any animals' eyes and know in my heart that they and ALL their relatives are safe around me. (I also lost 10 kg from being veg and then vegan — and you've gotta love that!!)

    What do you like best about being fit?
    The energy it gives me! It seems like a paradox, but the energy you put into your exercise gives you back energy.

    What are your strengths as an athlete?
    I don't consider myself an athlete - I consider myself a fit person in my personal life who also works in the fitness industry. So I guess my strengths involve two things: One, in using my fitness to keep my dogs in shape and give them an active life within the somewhat restricted environment of a city/suburbs setting. And two, in helping others get fit through teaching.

    What advice do you have for vegan athletes who are just starting out?
    Assuming the 'starting out' refers to the vegan aspect of things (rather than the 'athlete' side of things): eat well so that you can be the picture of vegan health. One common misconception is that being vegan makes you emmaciated, unhealthy and unwell. So the more fit, vital and vigorous vegans are around, the better the 'advertisement' you are for a vegan lifestyle. Be a walking billboard for veganism!

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Slow change is safe (and permanent) change: overnight changes (like crash diets) usually lead to backslides, so ease mindfully into a vegan lifestyle. Have a plan and stick to it.

    What motivates you to continue to be a successful vegan athlete?
    I stay vegan to help animals. Looking into my dogs' eyes I remind myself that I am, essentially, looking into the eyes ALL of the non-human animal kingdom. My dogs therefore continue to motivate me to be a fit vegan!

    How has the website www.veganbodybuilding.com helped or inspired you?
    It's just great to know about other fit vegans! It makes you feel like you're part of a community. Vegans are in the minority (but hopefully not for too much longer!!) so it's great that cyberspace can bring us together on sites like this.


    Is there anything else you would like to add about your vegan fitness lifestyle?
    Being fit is the only way to be — you're only given one body so treat it well! Being vegan has enriched me spiritually — it's made me feel better about myself in every way and I would recommend it to anyone.

    Name: Dr. Catherine Divingian aka Dr. D/Spartan Diva
    Year of Birth: 1968 — proud to be 43 and never want to be “young” again!
    Height: 5'6”
    Weight: 125 lb.
    Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
    Sports: I do Figure and pull-up comps; and am interested in CrossFit comps in the future.
    Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
    I am a professor and research scientist; and am starting a supplement and peak-performance consulting company (Tier 1/Breakthroughs in Organic Technology). I'm passionate about cuisine for athletes, bodybuilding, the Argentine tango, travel, fine wines, reading, and animal rights.


    Why did you become vegan?
    I love animals, and found it unconscionable to harm them.
    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I wasn't one of those girls that grew up to be athletic. If they had a weight-training program back in the day, it may have been a different story. However, when I signed up for Army ROTC in the late 80s, my competitive nature took over, turning into a lifelong habit. It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I started training seriously for figure comps.
    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    Six days per week, the diet is clean and disciplined. Not only is there the challenge of preparing vegan (occasionally vegetarian) meals; but also avoiding soy, flax, gluten, and excess carbs and sodium adds an extra dimension to contend with. The daily goal is 50% raw and 100% organic. Friday is blessed reward day, and the restrictions are off for sugar, fat, carbs, and gluten.


    How would you describe your training program?
    Raw and natural is the only way to go. I've been going more for higher volume and muscle burn to enhance sarcoplasmic growth. Calisthenics and a few high-intensity exercises are added in to enhance strength. I try to get in at least 25 minutes of cardio per day. Stretching is also a key component.
    What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
    I've been developing my own line of supplements; and use them in addition to a full suite of products currently on the market. They help with strength, focus, stamina and energy, and recovery.
    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    One of my coaches can't handle the truth! He stays out of my diet. Others are intrigued.


    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    Come on, let's face it, most of society thinks that vegans are wimps. We know otherwise; and we're on a mission to prove that vegans can be strong and fierce. We protect those that are weaker (especially animals). We're not afraid to be scoffed at. We are proud to be unique.
    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
    I've posted a few blogs on bodybuilding.com. Only the people who are already on board with veganism respond well. However, veganbodybuilding.com is a better place to show athletes the possibilities, since they are already open to it.
    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    The most important aspect of training is mental strength. It starts with focus. The gym could burn down around me, and I wouldn't know it. You won't see me chatting once the workout is under way; and my cell phone stays in the locker.
    What do you like best about being vegan?
    I like living with a clear conscience. There's nothing that feels better than protecting animals.


    What do you like best about being fit?
    I love having an unusual physique and abundant energy, especially for someone who's over 40. It's important for me to show other women that there are no excuses. I've overcome a lot of medical conditions, including osteoporosis, fibroids, and chronic kidney disease, through healthy living.
    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    Be consistent. You must put yourself first; and never allow excuses to get in the way of training. Be a student that never stops learning. Set goals; and never stop having that burning desire to be the best.

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    To become educated on the subject through veganbodybuilding.com; and go for it. Don't waste too much time nuking every little detail. You'll learn as you go, make little tweaks, and will find a way through. Today's technologies, including the vegan protein isolates (rice, pea, hemp, pumpkin seed, and more), are amazing. We're living in the perfect time to do this.




    What motivates you in life?
    There's no better motivation than to serve as an inspiration for others. If I helped someone clean up her diet, start exercising, overcome health challenges, and even step on stage as a competitor, it's worth it. I'm a passionate ambassador for peak performance! What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
    It's wonderful to meet virtually with like-minded individuals. I would love to see the website expand to the point in which it eclipses others of its genre. Thanks, Richard and Rob, for being so inspiring!




    Name: Dr. Harriet N. Davis
    (Board-Certified Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Physician).
    Year of Birth: 1971
    Height: 5'2 1/4"
    Weight: 110 lbs. (competition);
    115 lbs. (Off season)
    Birthplace: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA
    Current Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
    Sports: IFBB Bikini Pro
    Website:
    www.veganbikinidoc.wordpress.com
    www.mybikinimd.blogspot.com
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Why did you become vegan?
    (What were the contributing factors, was there anything in particular which made you aware or changed your way of thinking etc?) I have always had an aversion to consuming meat. When I entered college, I chose to cut all meat from my diet, I became vegetarian (1989). Over the years, I started to develop several "intolerances" to different foods including dairy/eggs and therefore, in 2007, I decided to become a gluten-free, vegan foodist and never looked back!




    When and why did you become interested in fitness?
    I am a 42 year physician and National NPC Bikini Competitor who recently starting competing in June 2013. I have always been driven by fitness. Prior to becoming a NPC bikini competitor, I was an avid distance runner. I ran track in high school. During college, medical school, and residency, I maintained my fitness and conditioning by running 20-25 miles/week. Since 1998, I have run 4 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and numerous 5, 8, 10, 12 and 30Ks.
    Through the years, my weight has fluctuated (pregnancy/childbirth) but, I have always been able to maintain a fit physique by running. However, in July 2011, after celebrating my 40th birthday, I started to recognize changes in my body that were not typical of the past. I began to notice less muscle definition in my legs (and more adipose tissue). So, over the next year (2011-2012) I increased my weekly running mileage (25-30miles/week) and as a result, I developed a stress fracture in my foot.

    Feeling frustrated with my physical appearance, in December 2012, I decided to hire a vegan personal trainer. This was beneficial because the trainer was able to help me identify several nutritional issues that were contributing to me gaining fat rather than building muscle. After 3 months of nutritional revisions, and personal training, my body had started to respond the way that I desired. Because my first personal trainer was not experienced in competition prep, I decided to start looking for a personal trainer who could get me "stage ready."

    In February 2013, I found "that person": the experienced trainer who was able to help me lean out and build muscle (especially in my lower extremities because of my distance running, there was not much muscular definition in my quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc.). We started our competition preparation training in March 2013.

    After 3 months of intense personal training, I graced the stage, on June 8, 2013 feeling confidence and standing fearless in my faith! I placed 3rd in my class of Masters bikini 35+ and 7th in open bikini (B class)!

    Since June 2013, I have competed in 2 regional shows and 3 national shows (NPC 2013 Team Universe, NPC 2013 GNC Masters Nationals, IFBB North American Championships) and I placed in the top 10 in all of them!



    How would you describe your nutrition program?
    During my "no" off season I do cardio twice a day (60 minutes in the morning/fasted cardio and 45-60 minutes at evening). I train in the gym 5 days a week and I do one day a week on the track (sprints, stairs, etc.). I avoid "bad" saturated fats but I add MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) back into my diet. I consume 6 meals a day all year however, I rotate my carbohydrate intact during competition season. I typically drink 1.5 gallons of water a day all year. A typical day for me includes the following meals:
    Meal 1: quinoa, almonds, Humapro protein drink, water
    Meal 2: grapefruit, water
    Meal 3: Garden of Life Raw protein shake, sweet potato
    Meal 4: salad and asparagus (no dressing), almonds, water
    Meal 5: Garden of Life Raw protein shake, apple
    Meal 6: asparagus, black bean spaghetti, opinions, mushrooms, Humapro protein drink

    How would you describe your training program?
    Monday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: legs (quads, inner/outer thighs), abs
    Tuesday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: shoulders, arms (biceps, triceps), abs
    Wednesday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: (hump day): glutes, hamstrings
    Thursday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: total body workout.
    Friday: cardio (am/pm). Gym: legs, abs
    Saturday: cardio (am/pm). Track workout.
    Sunday: REST DAY!

    I use many different supplements to help with muscle recovery, joint health, muscle building and to support my immune system. My list includes...
    BCAAs: I use Humapro protein powder (I like to mix grape and pineapple). I also use Iron Tek's L-Glutamine.
    Complete Protein: Garden of Life's Raw protein powder for my shakes.
    Vitamins & Minerals: NOW, Solaray and Country Life.



    How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
    Because of my muscular definition, when people find out I'm vegan, they are usually shocked! People also become curious to learn more about my vegan lifestyle.

    What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
    The most common misconceptions about veganism that I encounter include: vegans are thin and emaciated; vegans can't build muscle because vegans protein deficient. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

    Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others?
    If so, how did you go about it? I am very successful in promoting veganism. Being a family medicine and sports medicine physician, I am able to promote a plant-based diet on a daily basis. I emphasize the importance of a plant-based diet with regards to primary prevention of many medical conditions. I also stress the importance of a plant-based diet in disease management. Many of my patients have transitioned from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a plant-based diet.

    What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
    Self-discipline is definitely the most important aspect of training. One must possess the innate ability to consistently train regardless of the external circumstances. Without self-discipline, it is difficult to stay on track.



    What do you like best about being vegan?
    I love being able to educate others on vegan nutrition. I started a blog this year mainly to dispel myths and education others on the benefits of consuming a plant-based diet. www.veganbikinidoc.wordpress.com

    What do you like best about being fit? I love being able to motivate others by being a living example. Fitness has played a major role in my life since childhood. Fitness helps me maintain optimal health and overall wellness. I love living in a body that feels good (physically and emotionally) almost all of the time. Being fit affords affords vitality!

    What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
    No matter what your personal health and fitness goals for are, you need to take certain steps in order to meet those goals. Sometimes people start off on the right track and then get sidetracked, never finishing what they set out to do. Yet, if you have a clear plan of what success & achievement mean to you then you will easily be able to reach your goals.
    1. Have clear goals (write them down).
    2. Think positive.
    3. Don't let setbacks get you down.
    4. Stay focused.
    5. Be consistent.
    6. Take progress pictures.
    7. Enjoy the journey.

    What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
    Do your research. If you don't have a clear understanding of vegan nutrition, educate yourself! For most of us vegans, this lifestyle has been a journey. I didn't just become vegan overnight. It was a process of listening to my body and educating myself.



    What motivates you in life?
    My motivation is the same as my purpose in life...to encourage others to be active, to inspire optimal health and well-being, and to strive to make a difference in someone's life daily!

    What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com?
    Has it helped or inspired you? This website is amazing! It's a great way to connect with other vegans and it provides a wealth of information!!!

    Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?
    Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. Perhaps reading my profile will help others evaluate their lives. Hopefully my story will positively influence someone to make a change in their own lifestyle.

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