“I think being vegan makes me healthier," she told Great Vegan Athletes. "I certainly believe that vegetable carbs and protein along with all their nutrients build better, cleaner bodies, including muscles, without all the bad-for-you animal fats. And trying to avoid causing pain and suffering along the way is a great thing too.”
“At first, it was basically just for the health benefits,” Neshek said. “I was intrigued by the 2005 season when I cut a lot of that stuff out and got a lot better. It really changed my career.” Neshek has also remarked that he likes knowing his diet is more humane since going vegan.
As the first ever vegan bodybuilder since birth, she told Meat Free Athlete that she considers veganism a lifestyle, and not a diet. Plant-based foods like couscous, vegan chicken, and tofu help her recover from tough workouts. When asked about the advantages of being a vegan athlete, she told Plant Built: “For me, it’s breaking all the stereotypes and barriers that vegans can’t bodybuild.”
Champion boxer and social justice advocate Adewale founded Black VegFest in Brooklyn, NY in 2018 to primarily address food sovereignty and the lack of plant-based nutrition information and food options in communities of color. The event has since expanded to the Bronx borough of New York, bringing together vegan presenters, restaurants, and catering businesses to advance the conversation around healthier solutions within the community.