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Interview with Nate Guggia: Vegan Exercise Enthusiast

Nate Guggia is an exercise enthusiast from California who now calls Salt Lake City home. After making some much-needed lifestyle changes over four years ago, Nate has turned what began as a health move, in to the greatest passion of his life. Nate runs Smoothie SLC and has made over have made over 3,500 (and counting) smoothies for friends, family, co-workers and himself in the past couple of years.

Nate_Guggia

Why Vegan?
How and why did you decide to become a vegan?
I decided to become vegan first for health reasons. I had already given up dairy due to digestion issues and was really only eating chicken and maybe some turkey sandwich meat. My then girlfriend, and now wife, was a vegetarian. I became vegetarian for a short time and then quickly became 100% vegan after reading the China Study. That was over four years ago. It was a very short transition for me.

How long have you been vegan?
Over four years

What has benefited you the most from being a vegan?
Normalized weight
The vegan "glow"
Compassion for all animals
Education galore
Amazing, deep relationships
I have a life philosophy so much deeper than just what I eat
Increased athletic performance

What does veganism mean to you?

Veganism is a way of being in this world.  It's more than just a health choice. It is a lifestyle that benefits the planet, the animals, our community, our relationships and ourselves. It is living with meaning.
 
Training
What sort of training do you do? 
High intensity, interval, body weight training, running and yoga.

How often do you (need to) train? 
Daily!

Do you offer your fitness or training services to others? 
No.

What sports do you play? 
None.
 
Strengths, Weaknesses & Outside Influences
What do you think is the biggest misconception about vegans and how do you address this? 
People think you cannot get enough protein without eating animals. I explain that no food can exist without protein, give an example, and let it go unless someone wants to engage deeper. It's not my job to change people. I just want to be a living example and offer education when it's asked for.

What are you strengths as a vegan athlete? 
Quick recovery. It takes virtually no time for me to recover.

What is your biggest challenge? 
I don't see one.

Are the non-vegans in your industry supportive or not? 
Yes.

Are your family and friends supportive of your vegan lifestyle? 
My parents are very much. My sister and brother in law have been vegetarians for years. My in laws think we are nuts. I have virtually zero vegan friends and they basically don't want to hear about it.

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?
“How do you get your protein?” I give the same answer as above.

Who or what motivates you? 
Progression. To always progress.
 
Food & Supplements
What do you eat for:

Breakfast - 40oz fruit/veg smoothie
Lunch - fruit or a big salad
Dinner - fruit or a cooked vegan dinner of some kind
Snacks (healthy & not-so healthy) - fruit. 1 day per week I have cashew ice cream with a vegan cookie from my favorite vegan bakery.
 
What is your favourite source of:
Protein – fruit, vegetables, greens
Calcium - fruit, vegetables, greens
Iron - fruit, vegetables, greens
 
What foods give you the most energy?
Fruit

Do you take any supplements?
Vitamin D3 during Winter
 
Advice
What is your top tip for:

Gaining muscle - strength training
Losing weight - eat as much raw fruit as you can and do high intensity interval training
Maintaining weight - eat as much raw fruit as you can
Improving metabolism - eat as much raw fruit as you can
Toning up - move your body! High intensity, interval training.
 
How do you promote veganism in your daily life? 
By being an example. With the way that I eat, it's inevitable that it leads to a conversation.

How would you suggest people get involved with what you do? 
Reach out to me on my website or Twitter.

 

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