10 April 2012

TDIV Interview: Vegan bodybuilder LaQuesha McClain

TDIV: When did you first decide to go vegan and why?
McClain: I went pescatarian in July of 2011, and vegan in October of 2011. My journey was initially for health purposes. When I went pescatarian, I immediately felt lighter and I felt really good. I was not eating much dairy at the time, but I had not completely nixed it from my diet. Then I started reading more books on how food is raised, and my boyfriend and I took on veganism for a 30 day trial...well, it has been longer than 30 days and I do not plan on going back!

TDIV: Were your friends and family supportive, or did you experience any negative energy?
McClain: I have been on my health journey for the last 3 years. My diet has gradually changed since then. So friends and family were not surprised at my change. I am very lucky.

TDIV: What effects has veganism had on your body and mind?
McClain: My body and spirit are body literally lighter. Almost immediately my body started to lean out, my 6 pack started to show, and my recovery time between workouts decreased. My mind became clearer. It seemed like I was able to receive what the universe was sending and very important people seemed to just appear at the exact right time.

TDIV: You are a figure competitor, did you have any issues finding a trainer that could accommodate your lifestyle while helping you achieve your fitness goals or was it a self-assisted journey?
McClain: I trained myself, so that was not a problem. I did get assistance with my diet. To my surprise, there are vegan body building sources out there. And I was fortunate to meet a woman who was local, vegan, and doing the exact same show!

TDIV: On that same subject, what are your favorite exercises and physical activities?
McClain: I workout with my boyfriend every day. I love that we keep our workouts varied. We box, sprint, weight train. It keeps things interesting. A couple of my favorite exercises are deadlifts, pushups, and pullups.

TDIV: What’s in your pantry/refrigerator?
McClain:I have tons of fruit and veggies in my kitchen. I love smoothies and salads. I also have beans and rice and different spices to round out the pantry.

TDIV: Favorite meal to eat and cook?
McClain: I LOVE green smoothies. Obviously I don’t have to cook them, but they are a full meal.

TDIV: What vegan misconception or stereotype gets under your skin the most?
McClain: That we have a very limited diet. And that we are skinny and frail. (I am neither.)

TDIV: Do you use vegan hair/body care products, if so which ones would you recommend to other vegans?
McClain:Trader Joe’s has a vegatarian shaving cream that I like. And I also use natural toothpaste.

TDIV: One of the things that I first got as I became vegan was “You’re the first black vegan I’ve ever met!” Have you had similar experiences?
McClain: I haven’t gotten that reaction, but I was the person saying that…just last year!! I didn’t know this way of life existed until recently. And I certainly didn’t think you could be a bodybuilder and a vegan.

TDIV: As a personal trainer, business owner, and figure competitor, you must have a packed schedule! How do you find time for yourself, and making sure that you’re healthy physically and spiritually?
McClain:My boyfriend and I workout each day before my clients. I also go to yoga each Sunday to keep my body flexible and my mind clear.

TDIV: What is a motivational quote or phrase that you try to “live” by, or that inspires you?
McClain:There is no TRY, only Do or Don’t DO!

Dani Hicks | Blog | Facebook
Pennsylvania Dani was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is currently a student at Allegheny College studying Creative Writing and Poetry. She has been vegan for seven months now, and was vegetarian for two years prior. Dani's passions are writing, health and fitness, and living a compassionate, cruelty free lifestyle. Her favorite quote is “What will survive of us is love” from a poem by Philip Larkin. It is a reminder that we are not survived by our possessions, but what we give and how much love we put into the world. Give a little more everyday. :-)

Photo credit: Dani