Most bodybuilders, fitness experts or gym-goers are convinced that you need animal products particularly meat and dairy products to be have a complete nutritional diet. So we tracked down Ella Magers, a personal trainer who doesn't think the any animals need to be harmed for a completely healthy, nutritious diet. Excerpts from the interview:
Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get into fitness training and veganism?
I have been passionate about two things from a very young age fitness and animals. I began with gymnastics and competitive swimming at the age of 5 and haven't stopped moving since. I also played volleyball, danced and practised taekwondo growing up. When I was 7, my compassion for animals led me to a vegetarian diet. Although my parents thought it was 'just a phase,' I only became stronger in my desire to save animals from suffering. Learning more about the meat & dairy industries, I became vegan at 15 and began organising social actions to raise awareness in my community.
After college I moved to Miami (I wanted the year round warmth and sun!) and was able to put my two passions together with a career helping people become fit and healthy through exercise and nutrition. It was at that point that I found my love for muay thai, which I have been practicing ever since. I couldn't feel more fortunate!
After years of coaching one-on-one, I am now expanding my career through my new website, www.sexyfitvegan.com. My goal is to support a broader population of people in their transformation to adopt a plant-based diet and active lifestyle that they love! I have great information for anyone who is interested in moving in that directions including free ebooks, sample meal plans, product reviews, etc.
People live under the assumption that you need milk and other animal products for complete nutrition. What do you have to say to them?
We have been trained since birth to believe we need animal products for complete nutrition. Unfortunately, this is due to the powerful influence the meat, dairy, and egg industries have on our society, NOT unbiased scientific research as we are led to believe. It was not until recently that the facts on the detrimental effects animal products have on our health have begun to surface into the public eye. It is slowly becoming common knowledge for instance, that animal protein is directly linked to our top killers including heart disease and cancer. And that a healthy, plant-based diet can not only prevent, but also treat and even cure many of these diseases! It is my mission to expose the truth about how a vegan diet can save people's lives while at the same time allowing them to live compassionately and be environmentally responsible. People deserve to know the truth so they can make educated decisions about what they put in their mouths. Without knowing about the incredible, life-changing benefits of a plant-based diet, how can anyone have a fair chance to look and feel their best for years and years to come? (10 reasons to go vegan)
Do you train clients who don't follow a vegan diet regime?
I provide personal training to any individual who commits to putting forth their full effort during our sessions. If that's all the client wants, that's all I will provide, and what they do the other 23 hours of the day is left to them. I share with them information about why and how a vegan lifestyle could better their lives, and if/when they are ready to get help beginning a transition to a healthy plant-based diet I am thrilled to be there for them!
Do you have a specific training regime for your clients?
I create a brand new program for every client because each one is starting in a unique place and has different strengths, challenges, needs and wants to take into consideration. I create custom programs for people all over the world, communicating through email, phone, and video conferencing.
Does the Masters Degree in Social Work help you with training your clients?
Attaining my Masters in Social Work and specializing in counselling was one of the most helpful things I have done to advance my career helping people transform their lives! There is no way around it. This process goes way beyond the physical demands. It is equally mentally and emotionally challenging, and with my Social Work degree I feel equipped to handle it.
Could you share an amazing client transformation with us?
I have many great success stories from clients I have worked with over the years. As awesome as if is to having success working with clients one-on-one, who have hired me and are ready for change, it is an even more amazing feeling to find out I have positively impacted a larger number of people without necessarily knowing them individually. Through teaching classes, and through my website, I am able to share my life and my message with a huge number of people all over the world. When they choose to contact me to share their life story and how I have inspired them, and how I have impacted their lives for the better, it is immeasurably rewarding. I find that what I put out, comes back to me tenfold it's incredible!
A typical Vegan diet:
I have created a set of guidelines to follow for an ideal 'Sexy Fit Vegan Diet':
Eat 3-4 Meals (solid or blended) + 1 Fresh Green Juice/Day.
Eat dark leafy greens & other veggies daily (make sure a portion of them are raw).
Eat primarily organic foods. (Organic whenever the option is available.)
Eat grains in moderation (I count quinoa and buckwheat as grain-like SEEDS and recommend them as a great grain-substitute!) The more active you are, the more you may need whole grains to fuel you!
Low in/free from gluten (gluten free if you are intolerant, allergic, or have Celiac disease).
Eat a variety of raw seeds & nuts daily in moderation, soaked & sprouted when possible.
Soy in Moderation- ALWAYS ORGANIC (& non GMO).
Eat legumes daily for protein & fiber- Soak & Sprout When Possible
A piece of fruit makes a great snack. Eat fruit on its own (not at the same time as other foods) when possible for optimal digestion.
Smoothies and Protein Shakes are great ways to get lots of nutrients into your body. Kale & spinach can be added to them without changing their flavor! Hemp seeds and flax meal are also powerful super foods to add to shakes/smoothies. Raw vegan organic protein powders, can also be good if you are on the go (add water in a shaker bottle and you have a perfect snack.)
Take a B-12 Supplement
A sample day may consist of:
- Meal 1
Organic fresh berries with cultured coconut & raw granola (containing buckwheat, hemp seeds, flax seeds)