Viva La Vegan!

Torre Washington, is not your average Body Builder - he is one of only a few Professional Vegan Body Builders and has been since 2009. He went vegan in 1998, and has been Vegetarian since, always! Healthy living has been a continuous part of his life. His earliest memories are of playing with iron weights at his Grandfather’s home in Jamaica. Torre attended high school in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA and began serious weight lifting in the school’s gym. He also worked out every day, after school at a local gym. After witnessing a close friend’s win in a 2008 professional competition, Torre knew it was time to achieve his own dream of just competing, knowing life is short. Within a year, Torre placed 3rd in his first competition, and an amazing 1st Place win in his second competition 6 months later, taking home his Professional Body Builder title. Full of determination, and fueled by his Vegan diet, Torre went on year after year, placing in the top 3 - sidelined for only a short time after ACL surgery.  

“Something I learned from a very wise woman: ‘to try is to make an attempt to fail.’ So, in life, you either do it or you don’t.” - Dani Johnson.  He encourages everyone to be healthy, go after your dreams and be passionate about what you do!

Torre_Washington

Why Vegan?
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
I became vegan by choice, to take the Rastafarian lifestyle of being "Ital" to the next level and removing fish out of my eating regimen.
 
How long have you been vegan?
I have been vegan since 1998, and did not know it was called being "vegan".
 
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
I tend to recover from everything much faster whether it is lack of sleep, immune system attack of heavy training.
 
What does veganism mean to you?
To me it is about living a lifestyle that is more in tune with the human body and the universe.
 
Training
What sort of training do you do?
I do a body building style of training along with a little track field specifically 100m sprints.
 
How often do you (need to) train?
I only train about 5 days a week.
 
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
Yes I do, and only to the very serious and determined individual as I do not take "excuses."
 
What sports do you play?
None at the moment, but I do enjoy football (Soccer), and track and field.
 
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
The biggest misconception is that we will not be able to get enough protein to build quality muscle. I address this by walking softly and carrying a big stage presence!
 
What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
I do not have to cut out or dehydrate as some body building athletes do and I recover very easily.
 
What is your biggest challenge?
Sharing my lifestyle with the world in a positive light and not having to be confined to one voice.
 
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
Yes, for the most part they are very supportive as they are astonished to see what I have accomplished without animal protein.
 
Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
Yes, and I do get the random joke that I need is tree bark and grass to survive.
 
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?
What do you eat? And where do you get your protein? I want to say, “Isn't it obvious that I get enough?! “I kindly state some staples of mine eg beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds etc.
 
Who or what motivates you?
The opportunity to get better at every show motivates me to keep going and the support that I have received form the vegan community is amazing as well - for example I am responding to Viva la Vegan! right now and this is very exciting!

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Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast – Oatmeal, Tofu, Spinach
Lunch – Tempeh, beans, tofu or seitan with asparagus and sweet potato salad
Dinner - Similar to Lunch
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - Similar to Lunch (or a some variation)
 
What is your favorite source of:
Protein - Tofu
Calcium – Kale or Spinach
Iron - Black strap molasses
 
What foods give you the most energy? - Blueberries
 
Do you take any supplements?
Yes I do take supplements, but am not taking supplements right now other than a multivitamin. My off-competition season supplements are protein powder, Creatine Monohydrate, L-Glutamine, I will also start Cell Block 80.
 
Advice
What is your top tip for:
Gaining muscle - Increase force to the muscle and it has no choice but to grow to match the force. Get plenty of rest and also eat.
Losing weight - Weight training and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Maintaining weight - Drinking at least half of your body weight of water in ounces.
Improving metabolism - Eating at least 4 meals per day including breakfast.
Toning up - Not much of a variation to gaining muscle, maybe not as much emphasis on heavy weights.
 
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
I promote by being myself - my lifestyle is more of an eye opener to people more than I could ever have imagined.
 
How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?
By starting and taking the first step to being physically fit, walk around your neighborhood and start doing pushups.
Follow Torre on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube.

 

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