Professional triathlete Madi Serpico is all about life as a vegan athlete. "I did some research and watched Forks [O]ver Knives and Earthlings and decided that I didn’t want any part of animal cruelty, not to mention putting poison in my body,” she told Viva.
What was the hardest thing about starting a vegan lifestyle?
Being an Elite athlete it was hard at first going through all the up’s and down’s in my energy level trying to figure out what to eat and what would best sustain me for my workouts everyday.
Was there any food that was particularly hard to go without at the beginning?
Surprisingly no and I thought it would be at first coming from an Italian background. I just found that plant based food was so much more enjoyable and there are always meat substitutes that have way more protein better for you.
What’s your go-to vegan meal?
I call it the “Vegan Sushi Bowl” – Brown or white rice, sweet potato, cucumber, onions, avocado, sesame seeds, nori, veganaise, GF soy sauce and hot sauce! It’s the best go to meal and super easy to make!!
Any advice for people thinking about giving veganism a try?
Try going on a plant based diet for a week and then after that slowly start to eliminate meat and dairy products. There’s no surer way to guarantee failure than to go into it with a bad attitude. Unfortunately, this is not something that’s easy for many people to do especially athletes. If you think that going vegan is going to be a punishment or that you won’t last, then it will be, and you won’t. Start with an open mind!
Barny du Plessis is the world’s first vegan bodybuilder and Mr Universe 2014, amongst other national and international titles. Du Plessis went vegan after retiring from bodybuilding in 2013 due to an ever-growing list of health concerns which included hernias and acid reflux. After adopting a vegan lifestyle, the bodybuilder saw his fitness radically improve and he returned to the stage — winning the prestigious Mr Universe title in 2014. "These days I train half as much, do half as much but get better results. Why? Only one answer, going vegan, GMO free, and organic. My body is running perfectly," du Plessis told the Metro. On getting back into competing after turning vegan with his partner, Josie — World’s Strongest Woman 2010 — du Plessis said: "We now have a point to prove and a massive incentive. We are representing the vegans of the world, all the animals and the environment. My crusade is to show the world that we can live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life without exploitation of innocent creatures."