BESTFIT Issue 19 – Why Vegan?
Stephanie Jane Rowdan
WBFF Pro, Fitness Model, coach, chef, co-director/owner of Fittsisters®
“As a bodybuilder, I feel much more energetic during training and I’m now lifting heavier than I ever have since I turned vegan.
“I eat such a variety of foods and in large amounts. I eat clean during the week, limiting processed foods. I have oats with chocolate protein powder and curries, tagines, sweet potato, huge salads protein bars and protein powder. Saturday is my high-calorie day, so I may fit in some vegan ice cream and a vego bar.
“I became vegan because it just felt right, I just didn’t want to each meat anymore. I stopped eating meat overnight, then cut eggs and dairy out a week later. It was a really exciting and rewarding time of my life, and still is. Being vegan is really beneficial for our health, the lives of animals and the planet. It’s such a rewarding choice to make and easier than people think with the help of sites such as www.veganbodybuilding.org. Visit www.fittsisters.net or follow @stephaniewbff (Twitter), @Stephanie_vegan_wbff_pro (Instagram).
Anastasia Zinchenko. Cambridge
“I am vegan because I don’t want to support something I consider as being wrong or unnecessary. For me, veganism is about doing the least harm possible, to respect all living beings, the environment and ourselves. Being vegan helps me make healthier food choices. Eating lots of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables helps my recovery and performance.
“As a powerlifter and bodybuilder I feel really well eating a lower carbohydrate, higher protein and moderate fat diet. Strength athletes don’t need lots of carbohydrates to perform. People following a plant-based diet need a slightly higher protein intake (about 16% more) than omnivores. To optimize muscle gain I eat 30-40kg of protein every four or five hours. I love creating healthy, protein-rich recipes for my blog. My favourite foods are protein doughnuts, protein pancakes, post-workout chocolate desserts, tofu sandwiches, chickpeas, blueberries and lots of leaft greens.” Visit www.veganbodybuilding.org or follow @Anastasia_vegan_warrior (Twitter).
Darren and Georgie Watford
Founders of VeganFitness.com “We used to be incredibly unhealthy, but in 2012 we learned about the way animals are used in our society and decided to become vegan. As we started to learn and implement plant based nutrition we went through a dramatic health transformation, with us both becoming sub-three hour marathon runners within three years and we are now even trying our hand at bodybuilding! We believe eating whole plant foods is the future because it is the only sustainable diet for the planet and it also leaves us feeling light and full of energy, while simultaneously keeping us lean and strong.
“Some of our daily staples include oats, beans, grains, berries, green leafy veg and flax seeds. We use these plant foods to create smoothies, curries, ‘nice cream’ and more!
“We started http://VeganFitness.com as a way to document our journey into becoming fit vegans and we now even share our recipes and fitness tips on YouTube at https://www.YouTube.com/VeganFitnessCom”
Matt North London
“I have been vegan for 17 years and normally train every day. I am a keen club runner, normally race around 50 times a year and have won over 30 races as a vegan. I also enjoy weight training. Typical foods for me include porridge for breakfast, vegetable stir fry perhaps with tofu or tempeh, chilli con carne or bolognese made with soya mince, vegetable curry, houmous and pitta bread, falafel wrap, beans on toast, jacket potato, chips and mash with vegan burger, sausage or pie.
“There are some great meat replacements on the market now. Sometimes I will have a hemp or soya protein smoothie post expertise. I snack a lot on flapjacks and dried fruits nuts. Many foods are surprisingly vegan and I still enjoy chocolate, biscuits, crisps etc. I don’t feel so ‘heavy’ and bloated after a meal without meat. Yes, I do get enough protein, too!”