Meet Mark, a plantbased personal trainer in London. We first fell for his great smile on Instagram (check him out at @markloveslife) and needed to know all about those abs...err...I mean, inspiring workouts. Keep reading to find out how compassionate living has impacted his life and workouts.
Tell us about about yourself. I'm Mark, born and bred in London and I'm a health and fitness consultant.
Before 2010 I was skinny-fat (overweight with no muscle), I couldn't do a pull-up, would struggle to perform 10 full press-ups and I didn't even know what 'squat' meant. I was a party animal, I would break the law and live that hyped up sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle. I won't go into detail but it was a troubled time of my life and it wasn't until 2010 when I realized I needed to make a change and turn my life around for the better. That's when I discovered the fitness world.
Was there a moment you realized that you wanted to go vegan? I think I became aware that I needed to make a change over time which was a slow process-- it wasn't overnight. I would do things I thought I liked doing, like eat animal products and would realize the short term gain wasn't out-weighing the long term negative effects. I got into meditation which I found very beneficial for becoming more self-aware. I was pescatarian for a few years before that and didn't eat much dairy so the transition was easy. Watching some documentaries also helped open my eyes to the horrors of the meat industry
How long have you been vegan? Two years.
Why is being vegan important to you? It's great for my health, animals and the earth so it's a win win for every body.
Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other? Vegan community on IG is cool
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like. I share my plant based journey and how it's benefited myself. I try not to be a vegan nazis, you can't push a piece of string.
What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it? I hear some people say that vegan's are skinny, weak and can't build muscle, I respond and say, "Well I have!"
What’s your favorite vegan restaurant? Cook Daily London.
Do you have a favorite vegan recipe? Vegan cookie dough. 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, 1/4 cup dates, 1-2 tbps peanut butter, and 1/4 tsp vanilla exact.
Some encouraging words for new vegans? If all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail so get my tools (knowledge) and you'll find the plant based life style is a piece of cake.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Choosing to be kind in everything you do.
What is the toughest vegan item to find that you need? Beyond Meat.
Has there been a time when you struggled with your veganism? One time some people of an older generation had cooked for me and couldn't understand what not eating animal products meant.
What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Where do you get your protein from? lol
Please check out his website, plantbasedgains.com for great workouts, posts and plant based inspiration.