I’m a Vegan Personal Trainer who runs 60-70 miles a week. I only eat plants and vegetables. Each of those sentences might shock some people. Read together, they might shock a whole lot of people.
I’ve been vegan half of my life, and am proud of the fact that despite what some people perceive as a restricted diet, I very rarely get sick and have plenty of energy for sports. I run marathons, swim, cycle, workout and Personal Train Clients 30-40 hours a week, this includes a lot of exercising.
My meat-eating friends maintain that however fit and healthy I am, I’d be fitter, healthier, faster and all round “better” with a bit of meat in my diet. Even though it is well learned that the three most common causes of death in our country – heart disease, cancer, and stroke – have all been linked to the standard Western diet, rich in animal products, refined carbohydrates, and processed food.
I turned Vegetarian when I left home and turned Vegan at University. It horrified my parents who (bear in mind it was 20 years ago) had no idea how to support or cope. I remember my first vegan shop with my housemates Rob and Matt in Sainsbury’s in Lancaster. Compared to now: labeling, selection and taste are so much better now.
We used an early addition of the Animal Free Shopper (still available from The Vegan Society) and consulted the internet on ‘dial up’ which was agony. The Vegan Society had plenty of leaflets (I later appeared as a model on one of them) to read about calcium, dairy free options, how to make egg free cakes etc.
Famous Vegans back then included Moby, Uri Gellar, Bryan Adams: all were a bit white and thin. I wanted to show that I could be fit, strong and sporty on a vegan diet. I played rugby back then and also ran a lot, it was great to show that I was faster, stronger and could train and train and train and recover quickly too.
Eating out has better options now too: chefs love the challenge these days but 10-20 years ago you were viewed as an awkward customer. I remember going to Pizzaland and being served the veggie pizza (with no cheese) with pepperoni on it: the chef and waiter didn’t know what pepperoni was!?!?!?
Over the years I’ve enjoyed cooking up some really tasty new meals and learning the joy of eggless baking. I regularly invite clients to dinner and to try my vegan cakes. This year I have opened a Vegan / Veggie Café in Cheltenham. We educate people how to eat properly and healthily. Our detox program really helps people break their bad habits of junk food eating.
Being a Vegan has changed my life: I have tons of energy, never ill etc. But I have also influenced others around me. They make more conscious choices like not using eggs or milk. Friends choose the veggie option at restaurants and tell me about new things they have tried. I encourage them to try fruit and veg they have never tried like sharon fruit, plantain, ackee, pak choi and even tofu.
I’d like to emphasize that it’s very important to use lots of fresh or minimally processed fruits and vegetables. My other refrigerated vegan staples include coconut and soya milk, tofu, and hemp.
I have probably impacted more people than I realize through being a good role model: people who now do meat free Mondays, pick the veggie option, cook treats for me, see my meals on Facebook etc.
When I left University I became a Personal Trainer and have trained people all over the world: some more accepting than others. Sometimes I tell people straight away, sometimes I wait. It’s interesting to watch their reactions. Usually it’s shock and they are amazed I’m not ill, pale and pasty. A lot of my clients use my detox and raw food diet for 3-5 days and are amazed at how it affects them: more energy, less bloatness, better sleeping, able to train harder etc.
My two children are Vegan when they are with me and Vegetarian when they are with their mothers. They don’t look sick and don’t get poorly either. Hopefully they can educate other children about the benefits of being healthy when they grow older.
Both have read ‘Vegan is Love’ and ‘That’s why I don’t eat animals’ by Ruby Ruth (both available on Amazon) and they often to choose these books over Peppa Pig and Wimpy Kid!
More importantly, over the years, I have been running faster, with less effort, sleeping better and finding my energy levels to be getting higher every year. Friends and Clients are amazed at my energy and my get up and go.
Nowadays there is a lot more support to help new Vegans and I hope this article encourages more people to change their life like it has changed mine
If you would like to connect with Dan click here
By: Dan Fivey
Dan Fivey has trained celebrities, athletes, and elderly and disabled people. He has worked in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK helping people build strength, posture and stability, enabling people to overcome the physical demands of everyday life. Services available at The Gym Cheltenham in Cheltenham include injury rehab, personal training programmes and sessions, boxing lessons, core and pre/post natal exercises, kids’ activities, running, TRX and SAQ sessions, vibration massage and circuit training.
He is a father of two children: Sam (11) and Daisy (3). They enjoy swimming and climbing with him and making sock puppets...
Dan also owns Not Just Juice: a healthy cafe and juice bar. It has options for veggies, vegans and gluten free diets.