Tell us a little bit about yourself and how your health & fitness journey began…
I had a typical relationship with the gym when I was about 21 years old. I would go and do some machines maybe twice a week. I lacked the motivation and knowledge of what it could do for my body and mind. I was much more focused on partying and having fun – like any young adult, I had a blast!
Fast forward a few years and I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t working full-time or even part-time. My savings was draining and finding a job proved to be especially difficult. I started working out everyday to feel normal. As the weeks went, a bodybuilder named Ron Williams (who was being trained by Ronnie Coleman & Jay Culter) who competed for decades took me under his wing and trained me.
He gave me the knowledge, motivation and strength I needed to really push myself. During that time, I became more passionate to dispel myths and misconceptions people have around veganism and bodybuilding .
What is your training philosophy and how do you like to move your body?
My training philosophy is lift heavy weights! I was always afraid of “getting bulky”, but when I realized it’s nearly impossible unless it’s your goal and you dedicate yourself to years of training, I became hooked! I also started jujitsu back up and hope to compete in the next few years! Another favorite way to move my body is going on walks, hiking with friends and rock climbing!
What are your beliefs about nutrition? Can you give us an example of what your daily diet might looks like?
Although I live an ethical vegan lifestyle, the benefits of a vegan diet is undeniable. I can eat an unlimited amount of [quality – NOT junk food] food and I never have to worry about calorie restriction or be afraid of carbs! I also never worry about protein.
An example of what my daily diet looks like is:
NOTE: Since I’m not on a cutting diet, my “diet” varies week per week.
I also eat several meals per day so it’s hardly ever a “breakfast”, “lunch” and “dinner” scenario.
- Meal Idea- Oatmeal (rarely), protein pancakes (made from scratch), frozen bananas, almond milk, raw cacao smoothies (I’ll add protein powder very rarely). Vegan sausage or tofu scramble with plant-based cheese.
- Snacks- Smoothies, Nuts, Clif bars or Lenny and Larry’s cookies (YUM)
- Meal Idea: Quinoa, lentils, rice, beans, some sorts of veggies. PLUS chocolate almond milk.
- Meal Idea: Pasta, sometimes I do plant-based meats with rice and veggies or pan-fried tofu (I’m obsessed). If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll make a quinoa, cheesy lasagna or a pot pie!
Throughout the day I’ll drink lots of water (though I always need help with getting enough)
How do you stay focused, disciplined and committed to your healthy & empowering lifestyle?
I stay focused and disciplined because it helps so much with my mental health. It saved me from my depression a few years ago.
I am committed due to my chosen obligation to the animals to show everyone that any results you want can be achieved through a vegan diet. I am also committed because I love the changes of my body! My body issues pre-bodybuilding has disappeared!
What is your biggest achievement when it comes to mind-body health so far?
I would say my biggest achievement when it comes to mind-body health so far is my self-esteem. I no longer has the same issues with my body (too flabby, obsessed with having abs, etc). I even don’t care about certain changes that occur when women start lifting (the biggest one is breast size). I trust the process and I’ve learned there’s more to me than just one body part!
What are your current and future health & fitness related goals and projects?
My current goal is to inspire more people to take back their health and show them out to do so to the best of my ability. My future health and fitness goals are to compete in a jujitsu match and possible a figure competition and expand my blog and instagram pages. I also want to become more involved in the vegan bodybuilding community.
What advice would you give to people who are struggling in staying committed and reaching their health & fitness goals?
The advice I would give is to remember why you started and don’t listen to your feelings of laziness. There are times I don’t want to go, but I do and I’ve never regretted it. Also, get a support group! It could be friends, family or even people online! You would be amazed how powerful this little action is!
What are your top 2 favorite exercises?
My top two favorite exercises are:
- Deadlifts (all kinds)
- Drop sets
What’s your all-time favorite food?
My all time favorite food is pasta!
Can you give us 3 Fun Facts about yourself?
- I can make an elephant sound!
- I am fanatical about zebras and pigs.
- I am highly suggestible (which is why I don’t go to scary movies or haunted houses)!
Stay tuned for next week’s Food & Nutrition post by Kimberly Moffatt!
to Optimal Performance in Sports & Life!
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