Interview with Amber Zuckswert: Vegan Professional Dancer
Written by Leigh-Chantelle
Created Thursday, 24 January 2013
Amber Zuckswert is a professional modern/ballet dancer, the creator of Virtual Pilates, holistic plant based nutrition and lifestyle coach, yogi, minimalist, raw foodie, planet romping gypsy wrapped into one tall package.
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
For my personal health and environmental impact and my love of animals.
How long have you been vegan?
What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
My energy, focus and connection to the planet.
What does veganism mean to you?
It's a compassionate lifestyle choice that will radically change your health and protect your only home, Earth.
What sort of training do you do?
I'm a professional dancer, Pilates and yoga instructor who cross trains with weights and hiking.
How often do you (need to) train?
Every day at least.
Do you offer your fitness or training services to others?
Yes! I teach virtually, in my home base of San Francisco, and retreats/workshops all over the globe.
What sports do you play?
Dance is my sport!
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this?
Lack of protein, muscle mass and angry ethical vegans. I share the facts about protein and lead by example.
What are you strengths as a vegan athlete?
I perform better and recover faster.
What is your biggest challenge?
Eating enough calories
Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not?
Supportive for sure!
Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle?
Yes, but they are not vegan.
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?
Protein question is first.
Who or what motivates you?
Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:
Breakfast - green smoothies, apples and almond butter, chia seed porridge
Lunch - massive salad or raw wraps
Dinner - kelp noodle pasta, raw entrees, smoothies, salads, veggies
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - fruit, nuts and seeds, salsa, guacamole and veggies, hummus, kale chips
What is your favourite source of:
Protein - chia, flax or hemp seed, spirulina, greens
Calcium - greens
Iron - seaweeds
What foods give you the most energy?
Quinoa, banana and almond butter, chia seed
Do you take any supplements?
B12 and Vitamin D
What is your top tip for:
Gaining muscle - increase your workouts, eat more calories from cooked grains
Losing weight - increase workouts, eat low fat raw vegan
Maintaining weight - maintain balance in workouts, eat high raw vegan, no processed foods, no sugar or oils.
Improving metabolism - move more, drink more water, and eat healthy fats
Toning up - lift weights, practice yoga/Pilates, move more in your day.
How do you promote veganism in your daily life?
How would you suggest people get involved with what you do?