Interview with Heather Nicholds: Vegan Exercise Enthusiast
Written by Leigh-Chantelle
Created Thursday, 27 March 2014
Heather Nicholds is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, showing you how to have fun while making simple, fast, healthy and incredibly delicious meals that leave you and your family satisfied and full of energy.
She shares vegan recipes and health tips in her free weekly videos, and offers more comprehensive information resources - like nutritionally-balanced online meal plans and health-oriented video cooking classes.
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
How long have you been vegan?
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
What does veganism mean to you?
What sort of training do you do?
How often do you (need to) train?
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
What sports do you play?
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
What are your strengths as a vegan athlete?
What is your biggest challenge?
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
What is the most common question/comment that people ask/say when they find out that you are a vegan and how do you respond?
Who or what motivates you?
The way I feel – healthy, happy and energized – and the wonderful people around me (friends, family and clients/viewers) motivate me to keep being the best I can be.
Breakfast - a) smoothie with a banana, berries, flax, sprouts (or another green) and protein powder or b) porridge with flax and some fruit (apple, pear, plum, berries, etc).
Lunch - A big salad with lots of veggies, some kind of bean/legume (chickpeas and edamames are my favorites) and tahini dressing.
Dinner - A smaller salad or lightly steamed/sauteed vegetables with a cooked grain or sweet potato/squash and tahini or avocado dressing.
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - I love making my own chocolate-protein spread with some mashed banana, protein powder, cocoa and/or carob powder and just enough almond milk or water to make a spread. Then I put that on a rice cracker – sometimes I mix in some crystallized ginger or dried cranberries. If I feel like salty, I spread some nut butter on a rice cake, sprinkle with sea salt and serve with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber or sprouts. This is also really nice with avocado in place of the nut butter.
What is your favourite source of:
Protein - Beans, legumes, grains, greens, nuts, seeds, spices and every single plant food. I do use protein powders for an easy source of calories and to increase the proportion of protein relative to carbohydrates and fats. I like brown rice, quinoa, hemp and pea proteins.
Calcium - Sesame seeds, almonds, dried figs, broccoli, chickpeas, lentils, kale... again, beans, legumes, grains, greens, nuts, seeds, spices and every single plant food give a lot or a little.
Iron - Beans (chickpeas, lentils), legumes, greens (spinach, parsley, chard, beet greens), molasses, quinoa, cocoa, seeds (sunflower, sesame), cashews. The key with iron is to make sure it gets absorbed properly, so I also make sure to have lots of vitamin C, and not have black tea or coffee at the same time.
What foods give you the most energy?
Do you take any supplements?
What is your top tip for:
Gaining muscle - Training (with weights or bodyweight) is the way to gain muscle, and your diet can only be a support. You can't eat your way to muscles.
Losing weight - Keeping your diet in check with healthy whole foods in appropriate portion sizes is the key to losing weight. Training can support and speed up your metabolism and weight loss, but the key on this side is diet.
Maintaining weight - Make sure you get enough calories and nutrients to fuel and nourish your body.
Improving metabolism - Do cardio and strength training on a regular basis, and eat clean whole plant foods.
Toning up - Start where you can, in a way that you'll stick with it. You don't have to be crazy about it at the start, and it's far more important to keep training long term than it is to follow a specific
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
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