Marius, a 34 years old personal trainer from Romania, a competitive bodybuilder for over 18 years and member of the Romanian Vegan Association went vegan about 1 year ago. He explains why.
Marius, you definitely let the results speak for themselves – you look amazing. We all know that muscles are broken in the gym, fed in the kitchen and repaired while you sleep. Food & nutrition must be one of the biggest parts of your life. And here you are going vegan, one would say. Why?
That is very true. Nutrition is one of the most essential parts in my life, without the right food, I would not be able to reach my body goals.
And yes, I decided to go vegan. In the beginning, it was more for ethical purposes.
I really had no idea what veganism entitles, nor how I would feel. I was very worried about getting weaker and not being able to grow stronger or even maintain my muscle. But there was always this thought about how we dehumanize animals. It is normal to go to the store and buy a piece of chicken without even realizing it’s a dead animal. There is a huge disconnect in my opinion. And I could not stop thinking about that. Until one day when my entire family came together for an Easter dinner and I just could not touch the meat. That’s when I made the conscious decision to go vegetarian before I finally switched to being vegan.
Coming from Romania, I am sure like many other countries meat plays a big role in the daily diet. Getting rid of that must have been very challenging. How was it for you?
There is definitely a social pressure involved from family and friends, who are used to a certain type of foods and did not understand why I would do such a big change. For sure. The most challenging thing though was to fight the dogma about veganism. Things like, that can’t be healthy, you don’t get enough protein, it’s not sustainable and you have no variety. You have to challenge what you know or think you do. You have to UNLEARN a lot to accept new information and facts and therefore learn new things.
So, Marius. As a huge fitness and health enthusiast, how often do you eat and what is your main source of protein?
Since I am a bodybuilder and work out a lot, I burn lots of calories. I eat a lot. I have usually 5 meals a day, which was the same before I went vegan. My meals are oatmeals packed with berries, bowls with plenty of legumes & vegetables and like every other (even not vegan) athlete protein shakes.
You have been vegan for a year now. Can you see any change?
First of all, I did not lose any muscle, which is really great news for me. Before I went vegan, I had a hard time with my metabolism, always crushing 2-3 h of cardio each day. Doing a vegan diet the right way, helped me with that for sure as I am noticing my metabolism to be working way faster and more efficient. Also, my mood got better, I have more energy, I sleep deeper and my digestion is improved.
Do you recommend to go vegan and if so, what is your biggest advice?
Research. Research a lot, question things and what other people say. I always try to see both sides of the argument, that way I don’t blind myself and are open for gaining new knowledge outside of what I know. And do not worry about what other people say or believe. Be different and be proud of that, you do not need validation from anyone except yourself.
Meet Marius on socialmedia: IG: mariusgymfrk