As one of the media partners of VegFestUK Bristol, taking place at the Amphitheatre on May 21st and 22nd, we are doing one special series of interviews with celebrities and special guests that will be speaking or performing during the event.
Dave Sheahan is a plant based vegan triathlete, High Performance Coach and Founder Go Vegan Grow, working with individuals and corporations in achieving sustained high performance and realising their full potential. He will be speaking this afternoon – at 3pm – in the VegFestUK Bristol and I had the chance to ask him a few questions:
You come from a bodybuilding and personal trainer background. How did this impact on your decision to go vegan?
This had a huge impact on my decision to go vegan in terms of it delayed the process considerably. Coming from a bodybuilder and personal trainer background I was conditioned to believe in the necessity of animal protein, dairy products, whey protein shakes and all kinds of supplements in order to achieve physical results and for better performance and recovery. I was conditioned to believe soya and plant based foods were terrible for any muscle gain or performance. So when my wife started nagging (in a good way) me about going vegan about 12 years ago, when she went from veggie to vegan, I took no notice and took it as just another diet fad and I saw it is nearly cult like due to how passionate and insistent she was about it.
So for a couple years I took very little notice and when our son was born and she told me he was going to be raised vegan I freaked and feared the worst. However watching his development in his first few years made me take notice and begin to watch documentaries and read material and books related to the benefits of the vegan lifestyle. And on January 2st 2012 I went 100% vegan having moved that direction more and more in the previous few years. During those years I experienced improved results and performance on a vegan diet so it became a no brainer in the end.
I still see many men thinking it’s hard for them to go vegan and get “big” or fit. Considering your experience, what would you tell them as part of your educational work on veganism?
This is always going to be the reaction of anyone who is into training or who plays a sport due to our conditioning. As I shared above I was the same. What I would say to guys is that they need to be totally openminded despite initial reaction. Look into the information out there. Read some books, watch some documentaries, look through Youtube and the many websites and blogs. Make sure to check out others who are vegan and have similar goals as you. So looking at sites like Vegan Bodybuilding will show you that it is possible to gain muscle and get lean and fit on a planet based vegan lifestyle. Look at endurance athletes like Rich Roll and Brendan Brazier for what they achieved on a vegan diet. Once you have an open mind and take time to look at information while questioning everything you will inevitably see that it makes sense. Also do like I did: make some small changes. Cut down or eliminate dairy for a month and see how you feel. Have a met free month and see how you feel. The results, energy and improved performance will speak for themselves.
Your son is vegan, right? How old is him now? I have a page in my website for Vegan Families and I’m also speaking about raising a vegan child in the VegFestUK. Do you find raising your son vegan a challenge in any aspect?
Yes, my son has been raised vegan since birth. He is 10 right now and will be 11 in July. That is fantastic that you have a page for vegan families as this is a difficult and challenging area for parents due pressure from their families not to go the vegan route with their kids. This is the main challenge in raising a vegan child. Remember everyone is conditioned to believe we need dairy and dairy formulas and then dairy after breastfeeding. We are conditioned to believe that we need meat. So anyone will experience a very negative reaction from family when they announce they are raising their child vegan. My wife experienced this in a huge way from both our families and to a lesser degree from myself. But stick to your beliefs and don’t get swayed. I am thankful to my wife for sticking to her beliefs when most would have buckled. The only other challenge, to a much lesser degree now than 10 years ago, is keeping the right variety in the child nutrition and making sure they are eating a balanced nutritional plan. Other than that you will have a super healthy child and it will stand to them as they grow and develop and into adult years.
How the Go Vegan Grow was born and what’s its main goal?
When I went vegan in January 2012 my main reason was for achieving optimal healthy and improved performance and recovery for my sport. Being totally honest animals and the planet were not considered much in my reasons at that stage. However I continuously studied plant based lifestyle and learned more and more about the truth behind the food, dairy, supplement, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries and their impact on animals and the planet and I became very passionate about spreading the truth. This is when I decided to set up Go Vegan Grow with the mission of educating, motivating and inspiring people to adopt a wholefood plant based vegan lifestyle. And in doing so as our tagline says “Save yourself. Save animals, Save the planet.” Each of the 3 parts are so important. So we educate via our social media and regular emails as well as online and offline seminars. And we also have a program where we walk people step by step in successfully adopting a plant based lifestyle providing unlimited support, access to 100s recipes, documentaries, videos, blogs and more.
You’re speaking at VegFestUK Bristol today. What can we expect from your talk?
Yes, I am very much looking forward to it. My seminar is today at 3PM and the title is “Why Dairy, Animal Products, Processed Foods and Synthetic supplements are like petrol to a fire when it comes to Cancer. How adopting a Plant based lifestyle can prevent or possibly eliminate this rampant disease.”
Cancer is rampant and killing humans on an increasing scale despite billions being spent on “research” and finding a cure. Prevention, cure and elimination are simple – plant and alkaline based nutrition. It is time for the truth to be known and the lid to be lifted on the cancer “industry”. So during my seminar I will be revealing the truth behind the food, dairy and supplement industries and how these foods impact cancer. I will share simple lifestyle changes to prevent and eliminate this disease. This will be a very important seminar for not just all who attend but also everyone they know and care about as they will leave the seminar armed with the knowledge they need to win this battle!