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.
My first contact with Darren and Georgie from VeganFitness.com was in the beginning of 2015 when I was launching the Vegan Families page here on All About Vegan Food and they were one of the first families to contribute to it. I had the change to met them and their girls during the VegFestUK in Brighton in March 2015 and keep following their work at VeganFitness.com very closely and it’s a pleasure to interview them now just before their talk in the VegFestUK Bristol happening this weekend (May 21 and 22). They will speak on Saturday at 1pm, just after my talk.
Many things seem to have changed at VeganFitness.com since you guys wrote to our Vegan Families page. What are your main focus and goals now?
Our main focus has been on simplifying things in our lives which is reflected in what we now promote on the site too to show that becoming a fit vegan is so easy. Our understanding of exercise physiology and nutrition continues to develop and as such we have made lots of changes in the pursuit of long-term health. The biggest change we made was switching from daily long distance running to instead performing brief and infrequent high intensity style weight lifting sessions. Not only does this change mean we have a lot more time for life, but it also strengthens the bones, increases insulin sensitivity, prevents sarcopenia, optimises the hormones and results in a lean and athletic physique. We have switched up our diet a little to support this too, so while it is still mainly comprised of nutritious whole foods, there is more of an emphasis on including beans and greens with most meals as these help support lean muscle development and these food groups also appear in the longest living populations around the world so it’s a win-win!
One change I’ve seen on social media is that you guys now have an YouTube channel. How’s the VLog experience going?
It’s so much fun creating videos so we’re really enjoying it! There’s a really high amount of interaction which you get to have with your audience that way too. We found that with writing articles there is much less of a community feel, whereas when you make videos people get to know you a little more so you can forge deeper relationships. We’ve only been doing it for six months and it already feels like we have lots of friends who regularly contribute to the conversation and we can all learn and grow together as we share our experiences. The only drawback is that it is very time consuming, having to always be ready with a camera in hand and then sometimes up to ten hours editing each video. But that is the beauty of doing something which you feel so passionate about, the more time you get to spend doing it the better and we’re forever grateful that we found this compassionate way of life so we really enjoy getting to share it. And even more so now that we’ve simplified our routine too, because before when we were trying to promote eating 30 bananas a day and going out and running for 15-20 hours per week was very unattainable for most, whereas eating a bean curry, going for a daily walk and lifting weights for 10 minutes per week is achievable even for the busiest of people.
Do you try to get the girls into your daily physical activities? If yes, how to adjust it to their ages?
Our girls aged 4 and 11 are very active too. They go to dance club and play on the park often, but their main form of exercise is walking as we all walk a lot as a family since it is our main method of transport. This averages out to about 2-3 miles per day, but some days more, for instance yesterday Georgie and 4 year old Sienna walked a 7 mile round trip to drop her older sister off with her grandmother. In terms of adjusting it to their ages, if we are in a rush to get somewhere so we have to walk especially quickly we will carry Sienna, but most of the time she asks if she can run anyway! Children like to imitate their parents so as they both can see how passionate we are about healthy food and keeping fit they feel that same passion too. We are all so grateful that we get to live this fit vegan lifestyle that we can’t help but feel so enthusiastic about it!
You will be speaking at the VegFestUK in Bristol this weekend, what can we expect from the talk?
At VegfestUK Bristol we are going to talk about our incredibly unhealthy pasts including alcoholism and drug addictions and then our subsequent dramatic health transformation, our running achievements and experiences (including sub-3 hour marathons!) and lastly the three most impactful changes which we have made on our fit vegan journey and how others can incorporate those changes too.
What are your plans to VeganFitness.com for this year and the next years?
With VeganFitness.com I would like to continue simplifying things to make it as easy as possible for the first time visitor to see the exact process to go through starting from whatever stage they are at in their life, to go all the way to becoming a fit vegan. I have started doing this but it needs redesigning so that it follows a step-by-step approach. We also have a free 7 day vegan fitness meal plan complete with 21 recipes and a shopping list already available on the site which is the perfect start for those looking to transition, or even to add a health kick to their existing vegan way of life! Our ultimate goal is to make veganism accessible and feasible for the majority, as we continue to grown a tribe of fit vegans, showing that it can be incorporated as part of your lifestyle with ease regardless of how many other commitments you have like business and family.