Kathrin: Welcome and thanks a lot for joining our Vegan Fitness Blogger series. Can you introduce yourself to our community?
Sarah: Hello, I am Sarah! I am a 37 year old wife, mom, full time digital marketer with @21handshake and food blogger @badtothebowl.
I have always loved cooking and being in the kitchen. Having a list full of kitchen to do’s makes me happy! I am a very routine person though and a type - A so I have a hard deviating from routine. This makes it great for keeping to a fitness routine, not so great for rolling with the punches that life seems to throw at you!
Being a mom of an 8 year old and 6 year old makes life fun but busy. We are a very active family and I love that I am hopefully installing good active habits in my kids. We are involved in after school activities from piano to soccer to tumbling. We also just love to be outside exploring, but living in a colder climate in Michigan, which is located in the northern part of the United States, this can make being outside not so great over half the year! So we have to find ways to be active inside - which is doable but can be tough.
Kathrin: Did you grow up with sports?
Sarah: My love of being active was installed in me at a young age. My mother was a former college tennis player and physical education teacher. When I was very young she was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. Being active though helped alleviate her symptoms. As a kid, I just thought we were super into exercise - spending all day at the pool during the summer and bike riding and walking after dinner every night - but as I grew older, I could visually see how it kept both my mom’s mental and physical states in check. Whereas, my mom has passed on now, those qualities that she impressed upon me at a young age, have always stuck with me.
When did you become vegan and what were the reasons behind?
Sarah: A few years ago, we were in a car accident. I suffered severe whiplash. After being to multiple chiropractors and physical therapy, I decided I did not want to keep taking Ibuprofen daily - which oddly enough seemed okay with my general doctor.
So after researching many diets (Whole 30, Paleo), I settled on researching Plant Based Diets. This was not by happenstance though. My niece, who is the other half of Bad to the Bowl inspired me to go vegan!
At this time, she was involved with her high school cross country team and had sustained multiple injuries - going plant based had really helped with inflammation issues. I thought, what was to lose? I had already cut out dairy a few months before going all the way vegan to help with some ongoing sinus issues, so really it was not that far of stretch to stop eating other animal products.
Let’s talk about sport. What are you passionate about?
Kathrin: Have you always been a fit vegan or when did your fitness journey start? How do you motivate yourself to stay on track even when days are busy?
Sarah: I grew up with a mom who was a former physical education teacher and very active in her own life. I guess you could say, she was a great example of staying active to help with both your mental and physical state. In college, after taking a running class for a physical education credit, I really enjoyed that for a few years! I completed a local Michigan 25k a few times and even a few half marathons.
Life changes though, and when that happens you must have a plan to roll with the punches though or you will fall of track! So as life happened and I moved farther and farther out of a more metropolitan area, I really had to take fitness into my hands! No longer was it convenient to just hop and the car and head to the local gym before work, and on a country road running before light can be a bit daunting.
So my husband and I invested in an elliptical and I started collecting a few exercise DVD’s. We even set up a specific room in our house as the designated workout room - I think this is very important - it puts you in a fitness mindset when you enter that room - you better be prepared to work out! I still tried to run as often as possible but again living in a cold climate and running in the dark, made this happen less often than I would have wanted.
Kathrin: I totally agree! We have a small fitness room ourselves with an elliptical, spinning bike, some dumpbell, weights and pullup bar. I have to pass the room to get to my office. We started to play the game that you always have to do a pullup when passing the bars :).
What changed after becoming a mother?
Sarah: Again life evolved when I had kids! I took time off work during their younger years and invested in first a single jogging stroller then a double jogger. I didn’t have time to do races anymore, but at least I could head out with the kids in tow for a run around our country roads - a win for everybody, out of the house and getting fresh air!
When life started to pick up again, though, as the kids approached school aged, I really decided that any working out needed to happen before the day began for the kids. Life just go too busy after they woke up, and I knew if I did not prioritize fitness as my ‘me time’ in the early morning hours, it probably would not happen the rest of the day. So, I adjusted my schedule once again.
Kathrin: In our first chats you mentioned this famous workout series you fell in love with ... can you tell us more about it?
Sarah: Sure, it was the Beachbody program! I was first introduced to Insanity, a Shaun T, Beachbody workout. It was so different than other workout videos I had done. It was fast paced and introduced many exercises I had never done before and while I was sore, I was super excited in the morning to keep challenging myself to finish.
And when my husband noticed that my arms were getting toned from all the push-ups well that just furthered me to keep going! From there, I went on to complete p90x - and this from a girl who attested that I had no upper body strength. Again, I fell in love with the program and learned I loved strength training. I loved that it laid out in a calendar what my program for the day was. I loved the upbeat instructors on Beachbody and I loved that someone was teaching me proper form as well as motivating me to hold that stretch, rep or plank for a few seconds longer. I am a member of Beachbody on Demand, which streams all the Beachbody programs - which is great as the choices are endless from beginners to advanced
Kathrin: This is great! That's kind of the same experience I had myself when starting freeletics four years ago: body weight exercises, a weekly plan with a fix number of workouts. I never felt so sore before but seeing how you become stronger week by week and than suddenly being able to do a propper pushup or even a pullup was awesome.
What are your fitness goals currently?
Sarah: I still toy with the idea that I would like to complete a marathon someday, but for the phase of life I am in right now - busy school aged kids - I have to be realistic that timing is everything. I have found a routine that works for me and while some days, I am tired when I wake up and not necessarily ‘in the mood’, I head downstairs to my workout room and tell myself, if I am ‘still not in the mood’ in 15-20 minutes, I will just stretch and call it good. By then, usually my heart rate is up and I am ready to tackle the workout though!
How important do you think is meal timing?
Sarah: Everyone is different when it comes to meal timing and I think you must know yourself, sounds cliche but is true as what works for me might not work for you! I am sure there is better expert advice out there that says you need to time when you eat etc. but I honestly just go with ‘how I feel’.
I know that if I don’t eat within 30 minutes of my workout I get super shaky and my legs get that ‘jello’ feeling. I don’t like that! So I try to eat right away when I am done working out.
Kathrin Do you think supplements and protein shakes are necessary?
Sarah: Vegans must take B12 - it is the only vitamin you can’t get from animals. Other than that, I take an oil of oregano capsule during the ‘school’ months (September - May) and a turmeric, calcium/magnesium/zinc combo and a Vitamin D supplement. These work for me!
Vitamin D is very important as I live near Lake Michigan, which creates many cloudy days most of the year and during the winter, we may not get any sunshine multiple days in a row.
When I started P90x, I started supplementing with Shakeology -Beachbody’s best selling vitamin shake by Darin Olien . After drinking it for a few months, I found that I really did feel better! It was loaded with vitamins and super nutrients. And again, I fell into a routine - the vitamin shake blended into a smoothie every morning.
When I went vegan, I switched to Vegan Shakeology and now have switched to only Vega One. I really like the extra boost of vitamins and how quick I can blend up a smoothie in the morning while I get the kids school lunches and breakfast made. Here is my favorite way to use Vega One:
Sarah's favourite vegan protein shake
- 1 scoop Vega One (Current fav is mocha flavor)
- 5 ice cubes
- ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 10-12 oz of water
- 1 frozen cauliflower floret
- 1 spinach ice cube
- 1 frozen chunk of watermelon
- ¼ piece of frozen banana
- 1 frozen apple or peach slice
Blend until smooth and creamy. Not only are you getting loads of vitamins you are also hydrating with all that water!
I also love to nibble on this protein granola from our blog
What are the top five vegan foods you recommend our readers to go for?
Sarah: Again, everyone is different and what I like to eat, may not be what you like to eat! I think it is Dr. Fuhrman of the Nutritarian Diet who has said something like - eat a green, a bean and a grain at meals. So I follow that loosely - my main dish at dinner usually is a big bowl of salad greens, topped with more vegetables, some type of bean and either quinoa or sweet potatoes. So my top five would be:
- Sweet Potatoes
5 is one of those universal foods - I think about everyone like crunchy baby carrots! Of course, you can always look for recipe inspiration on our Bad to the Bowl blog. We have a range of options from breakfast to snacks to dinner - all vegan, all plant based, mostly gluten free and mostly all healthy (a few treats are sprinkled in).
Celebrate national cereal day with this vanilla almond butter protein granola! No added oil or refined sugar. Great to add to a smoothie bowl, throw in trail mix or snack on by itself. Yum!🙌 👉 Recipe link in profile. #nationalcerealday #plantbased #granola #healthy #cleaneating #vegan #whatveganseat #foodofig #foodpic #snack #protein ⠀ http://buff.ly/2mfEA2v
Tell us about the trending vegan foods and restaurants in your area.
What would you recommend our fit vegans to check out when coming to your city?
Sarah: This is a hard one as I live in a very rural area - the closest ‘larger’ cities to me would be Grand Rapids, Michigan and Kalamazoo, Michigan. And quite honestly, I don’t get the chance to go out much between work and family get togethers. I have heard these are popular though:
- Maria Catrib’s, Grand Rapids
- Electric Cheetah, Grand Rapids
- Brick Road Pizza, Grand Rapids
- Central City Taphouse, Kalamazoo
- Fuze Kitchen and Bar, Kalamazoo
Thank you so much for giving us insights into your fitness lifestyle.
Before saying goodbye let’s play the famous game of 10 questions in 10 seconds.
- Music or silence while doing a workout? Sarah: Music all the way - but since my son’s bedroom is right next to the workout room and I workout before everyone is awake, it has to be on super super low!
- Fake meat – once in a while or a no-go in your kitchen? Sarah: I have not tried many fake meats, but would not be opposed to trying Beyond Meat.
- Girls with six pack, hot or not? Sarah: If you have it flaunt it, if you don’t dress appropriately. I think it can be attained through diet and exercise - but one should really know why it is such important goal to them in the first place or I think a more destructive than helpful habit could form while seeking that perfect six pack.
- When missing cheese you go for … Sarah: I don’t really miss it! But "It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken Stretchy Mozzarella" is pretty amazing!
- Counting calories is … Sarah:
I struggled all throughout my teen years with anorexia, so I say no for myself, anytime I start to count calories it can quickly spiral out of control. But for some, that works. I think it again comes back to your goals of why you are counting calories and what your overall long term health goal is.
- Your favourite fitness gadget is … Sarah:
Right now I am really into the exercise loops - I am doing 80 day obsession with Autumn Calabrese and those are a big part of many routines.
- The best vegan milk alternative is … Sarah:
Cashewmilk hands down.
- Cheat days are … Sarah:
I am not a fan of cheat days. That being said, don’t get me wrong, I used to indulge them - but for myself it sends me on a downward spiral of some unhealthy habits. So, I always just ask myself daily - am a I hungry? Do I need a nibble of something sweet? Do I want the ‘cheat option’ that is even being presented? I think my friend at Cake and Kale Lifestyle would call this ‘Intuitive Eating’.
- The best gym buddy is … Sarah:
I am such a loner workout gal! I really like the time to myself so I can focus with what I am doing and let my mind wander and be creative (some people say the shower is where they have inspiration - it is always in the workout room for me!)
- The best kitchen gadget is … Sarah:
So tough! I will say three :) My Keurig, Blender and Food Processor.
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Mehr Informationen zum Theman vegane Supplements findet ihr in der Supplement Übersicht im Vegan Fitness Guide