PLEASE NOTE: As of the beginning of 2015, Channa informed me that she's no longer vegan.
The below is an interview from when she was.
Channa Serenity is a WBFF Bikini Pro and Spiritual & Holistic Health Practitioner. She’s dedicated her life to studying the healing arts and holds certificates in Iridology, Herbal Studies, Homeopathy, Bach Flower Remedies, Natural Remedies, Aromatherapy and Natural Nutrition & Symptomatology and as a Reiki Master. She is also a student of A Course in Miracles. Her passion is to help women take control of their bodies, minds and spirits, and create balance and harmony in all aspects of their lives. She wants to empower women and children to make lifestyle changes necessary for their best possible health. She is the founder of The Chakra Healing Cleanse. She is a featured writer for OM Times Magazine. Channa has authored the book 12 weeks to Raw-some, Diva edition and forthcoming children’s book, Isadora’s Journey.
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
My love of animals first and foremost. I think it's cruel to consume animals. However, It was education that pushed me to go from vegetarian to vegan, I learned the healing properties of raw food and being a holistic health & energy practitioner I became overly sensitive to energies that were not my own.
How long have you been vegan?
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
I feel AMAZING! I have much more clarity, vitality and focus, and no guilt.
What does veganism mean to you?
It means choosing a compassionate, cruelty-free lifestyle that also gives me years of enhanced vitality onto my life.
What sort of training do you do?
I am a WBFF Pro Bikini Athlete. My training is always different to keep my body guessing, the program gets changed every 4 weeks. It’s a mixture of resistance, HIT and cardio.
How often do you (need to) train?
4-6 days a week.
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
Yes I do, I offer complete wellness online programs, which includes a fitness/nutrition programs, among holistic recommendations to harmonize the soul. I believe in working on all 3 levels as they are inter-related: Mind, Body, Soul.
What sports do you play?
Track and Kickboxing.
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
I told someone the other day that I was vegan, she looked me up and down and said, "But you look so healthy?" People think we are weak and scrawny and unhealthy. How do I address this? I run laps around them at the gym and lift heavier weights than they do. I think they get my point across better than if I were to simply describe how amazing I feel.
What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
I'm nourishing my mind and my body with every meal. Let food be thy medicine and not they poison. My personal strengths are my endurance and my quick recovery.
What is your biggest challenge?
I have moments when I find it challenging to be in involved in the fitness industry, people are always trying to conform me to their idea of normal and passing judgement on how I choose to live my life. If I catch a cold, everyone assumes it because I'm vegan, and it can be exhausting to feel like I need to defend veganism all the time. I also find it challenging to get certain perks in industry, when most athletes earn their pro cards they receive sponsorships, there isn’t many companies yet that are vegan friendly.
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
The majority of them are not supportive. Though some are constantly telling me what I am doing wrong. In their opinion, it’s that I’m not eating meat or indulging in whey proteins and countless eggs.
Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
Yes they are. They have been trying vegan and raw restaurants even when I'm not around now which I love.
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?
"Where do you get your protein?"
The protein requirement in a healthy adult is simply the amount to replace obligatory losses. Basically, the only way to be protein deficient is to be calorie deficient. In fact, the more calories you consume from raw foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, sprouts, etc, the less extra protein we require. Our body is an amazing recycling machine, and is able to turn over 100-300 grams of our own protein every day. Consuming 10% of our daily caloric intake from protein is sufficient. The RDA is 0.8 grams per kg of body weight.
Who or what motivates you?
Last year when I competed for the first time and won my pro card there were only 2 vegans on the stage. This year I am training 8 girls so far that will be competing as raw vegans and they all tell me that their former trainers told them they had to eat meat or they wouldn’t do well. We will show them this isn’t the case, as now they are going to rawk the stage, they look great and they feel even better. I'm able through example to be able to show competitors another avenue and create awareness and hopefully stop the slaughter of innocent animals.
Food & Supplements What do you eat for: Breakfast
- Fruit Smoothie with kale Lunch
- Huge salad with hemp/chia seeds, tahini based dressing. Dinner
- Raw tacos or raw "meatloaf", usually a gourmet raw dish Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy)
- Lots and lots of fruit, yum! What is your favourite source of: Protein
- Walnuts Calcium
- OJ Iron
- Spinach What foods give you the most energy?
Tropical fruits with some coconut milk on top
Do you take any supplements?
B12, vegan glutamine by North Coast Natural and Ashawagandha
What is your top tip for Gaining muscle, Losing weight, Maintaining weight, Improving metabolism and Toning up?
My tips are the same for all: eat clean, train hard, be consistent and have fun. When it comes to losing weight or gaining muscle, it’s about portion sizes and keeping the workouts consistent and intense.
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
I’m a wellness author, I wrote 12 weeks to Raw-some: Diva Edition
It’s about veganism and consists of a 12 weeks plan to optimize your health: mind, body and soul, and manifest your desires in reality. I also post recipes, photos, quotes on Facebook
and blog on my website
everyday. I’m also an active member of PETA. How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
If you're looking to transition to veganism or raw veganism, have an interest in fitness, chakras, vegan beauty tips and products, meditation, etc my book 12 weeks to Raw-some: Diva Edition
is an excellent guide. If you have additional question contact me through my website where you can find the link to PETA as well, It’s super easy to sign up and start saving lives.
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Published: 12 July 2012