There so many misconceptions about vegans and veganism. Many people tend to think we are protein deficient, always ill, weak, or spend our lives just eating salad! The truth is, veganism isn’t a sacrifice and it doesn’t stop you from achieving your goals. You only have to search for vegans on Instagram to see thousands of examples of healthy, happy vegans. And the same goes for vegan athletes and bodybuilders – there are loads of them out there smashing the myths.
A few weeks ago I contacted Korin Sutton, a Miami based vegan bodybuilder, to ask for his own perspective on veganism and to share some pearls of wisdom for anyone wishing to take up bodybuilding or wanting to build more muscle. Korin served in the US Military before becoming a ‘Master Fitness Trainer, Health Coach, Online Coach and Pro Bodybuilder’. Vegan for six years, Korin promotes a plant-based lifestyle and shares videos on vegan nutrition, lifestyle and exercise via his YouTube channel Vegan Live Fit.
Read the interview, below:
1. What or who inspired you to go vegan?
“I went vegan sometime in 2012. I was influenced by a Gary Yourofsky speech that he did in my class room live! From his speech, a lot of things I related [to] was the violence and cruelty that was put on animals was [comparative] to all the violence I encountered when I was in war. Just too much blood shed; too many people dying and suffering from violence. Violence and pain to any living being is not good! I always wanted to be a hero and make the world a better place to live. So, from all the suffering I experienced from war, I realized that I needed to change my mission for animals, because if we can love another being equally as animals then there will be more respect and peace within ourselves!”
“I served in the United States Marine Corps for 4 years active duty… then served [in the] United States Navy Reserves for another 4 years. I’ve seen a lot of violence and now just want to see peace.”
2. What would be your top tip for bodybuilders who are considering becoming plant based / vegan?
“If you’re a bodybuilder then the best tip to give you is definitely get a coach that is vegan like myself – just because there are a lot of coaches that are out there and they will give you just a basic plan like tofu and veggies to eat, which will not give you all the nutrients you need to perform at optimal level. You want someone who is living the lifestyle and also very experienced in the field of plant-based nutrition, so you are getting all the nutrients that you need and not stuck eating boring food throughout your prep.”
3. What motivates you to stick with a plant-based / vegan diet?
“Well with me there is no real motivation because this is not a diet for me; this is more a lifestyle change. This choice, being vegan, is not just a fad so I can be healthy, it is also a movement and a conscious decision I made for myself for the rest of my life.
Once I realized the pain and suffering of what other living beings have gone through before they reached my plate, I decided, for myself, to [contribute] the least pain and suffering as I can for my food, clothing, and everyday products I use. So, with me, this is something that I choose to do forever.”
4. What are your top three favorite bodybuilding foods?
My Clean Green Protein Morning Smoothie, Meat-Less Crumbles, and Watermelon.
5. Since becoming vegan / plant-based, have you noticed any health benefits? If so, what?
“Before I was vegan I always held about 18 percent body fat [and] no matter how ‘healthy’ I ate it wouldn’t go away! Plus my recovery time was slow and I would be sleepy after each meal, especially if I ate beef or pork. Now, being on a plant-based diet, my recovery time is faster, libido is extremely great, I gained more muscle and my fat percentage is always 10% or lower all season round for competition and/or off season.”
You can find out more about Korin and his vegan lifestyle on his Youtube channel, Instagram and Facebook page. He also offers an 8 week ‘Building Muscle’ or ‘Fat Meltdown’ program via his website veganlivefitcoach.com.
Check out one of my favourite videos from his channel, below:
A huge thank you to Korin Sutton for taking part in this interview and for being such an inspirational vegan ambassador!