Viva La Vegan!

Tia Blanco is a vegan surfer who loves animals and yoga. She is a member of the USA surf team, who surfs with power and style, and took 3rd overall in the 2014 World Juniors. At just 17 years old, Tia became one of the most talked about amateurs in women’s surfing, winning both the NSSA Southwest Women’s under 18s and Surfing Prime America Women’s under 18s seasons. Also an outspoken vegan athlete, Tia has become an ambassador for PETA2 and is frequently featured in vegan, vegetarian and health media as a role model and athlete.

Tia_Blanco_surfing

Why Vegan?
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
I am vegan for the animals, for my health, and for the environment.
 
How long have you been vegan?
I have been vegetarian my whole life and vegan since 2013.

What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
There have been so many positive benefits: my surfing performance, saving animals, spreading the word, and being enlightened to a cruelty free way of living.

What does veganism mean to you?
Veganism means love.

Training
What sort of training do you do?
I surf, practice yoga, run, and practice surf training.

How often do you (need to) train?
I like to stay active everyday!

Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
Haha no. I can teach someone to surf, but not as a fitness trainer.

What sports do you play?
Surfing.  
 
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
Protein! I get that question almost every single time my diet is brought up. I try to explain to people that it is the quality of the protein, not the quantity.

What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
I feel lighter and always energized.

What is your biggest challenge?
Traveling with the vegan diet, but I always make it work.

Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
No, most of them don't think I get enough protein. I try to explain to them I get more than enough. Too much protein produces toxic ketones, increase your chances three times of getting cancer, promotes kidney failure, and is hard on your liver making it very hard to process. Animal protein is also very acidic to the body. Even though protein is essential, it is important to eat the cleanest and healthiest protein and that is plant-based protein (Everything plant-based has protein, even fruit).  Pound for pound, kale and spinach have more protein than a piece of steak. How do you think the strong vegan animals like gorillas get their protein? GREENS.

Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
My immediate family is vegan, so yes.

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?
And again the protein misconception…

Who or what motivates you?

When I see that veganism is trending it inspires me to keep the ball rolling. Every time I look at the hashtag #vegan on Instagram it goes up 1,000,000... Crazy. When I saw Ariana Grande’s Twitter post about veganism it made me want to re-post, and to inspire and be inspired.  

Tia_Blando_with_surf_board

Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast - Green Smoothie with any kind of leafy greens like kale, any kind of frozen fruit like berries, chia seeds, bananas, coconut milk, spirulina, mint, sage, parsley, and hemp seeds.
Lunch - Stuffed bell peppers (stuffed with quinoa )
Dinner - Lentil soup
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - Snack on fruit throughout the day.
  
What is your favourite source of:

Protein - Quinoa
Calcium - Almond milk
Iron - Leafy greens and chocolate!
 
What foods give you the most energy?
BANANAS
 
Do you take any supplements?
No, not really.
  
Advice
What is your top tip for:

Gaining muscle - Yoga
Losing weight - Vegan
Maintaining weight – Eat until you’re full, and no more
Improving metabolism - Eat throughout the day and never deprive your body
Toning up - Yoga
 
 
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