By Alyce Collins
RATHER than bowing to the popular perception that non-carnivores are weak, these vegan fitness coaches are on a mission to prove that their 3000 CALORIES a day plant-based diet actually makes them STRONGER.
Online vegan fitness coaches, Amy (27) and Jesse Perry (28) from the Gold Coast, Australia, decided to turn their lives around and improve their health by going vegan, wanting to put a stop to the negative stereotype surrounding veganism.
Amy and Jesse knew each other for quite some time before they became an item. Eight years ago, Amy used to work for Jesse’s dad in his factory, and after they each came out of their respective long-term relationships they embraced the connection they had denied for a long time.
After watching the documentary, ‘Peaceable Kingdom’, Amy and Jesse, who were both already vegetarian, decided to try a vegan lifestyle after seeing the destruction of the environment and animals from the meat industry.
Jesse has now been vegan for four years, having been vegetarian for two years prior, and Amy has been vegan for three years after being vegetarian for a year before. Their protein-high diet includes nourish bowls, stir fries and curries, with their daily calorie intake being around 2000 for Amy and 3300 for Jesse while they’re lean bulking.
“We both decided to go vegan after watching the documentary because we had seen a few documentaries prior, but this was the last straw for us,” they said.
“We were both always sick and tired, lacking energy and motivation. We haven’t been on any antibiotics since going vegan and now we understand our bodies more and know how it can heal through diet and lifestyle.
“Veganism has helped shape our lives in our twenties and has opened our eyes in so many ways.
“The love of this lifestyle then turned into our passion. Our aim is to ‘break the vegan stereotype’ and prove that you can get protein through whole foods and plants, which is the healthiest way to live for yourself, the animals and the environment.
“We have both always been into health and fitness, but we saw there was an overall lack in vegan fitness online.
“Every part of our lifestyle is one-hundred-percent vegan – you can’t call yourself ‘vegan’ unless you do. We don’t have any animal cruelty in our cosmetics, toiletries, food or clothing.”
Amy and Jesse both admit that leading a vegan lifestyle has gotten easier with time as there are more vegan options in supermarkets and it is growing in awareness with more people talking about it. Although it can be a drastic change which can be quite difficult to implement, they found it easier as they did it together and had to learn all of the nuances together.
“What started as a journey to improving our health quickly turned into finding out a lot more than we ever expected,” they said.
“The toughest challenge was the lack of education and knowledge of vegan food at first, but it’s all about educating yourself and trying all the vegan options until you find what you do and don’t like.
“Veganism has led us to finding our passion and has completely changed our outlook on life. We will never go back.
“These days you can get anything veganised, the choices are endless from vegan pizza, pasta, burgers, chocolate, ice cream, waffles, pancakes, cheese and milk.
“We start our day with either protein oats or a big green protein smoothie. Lunch is usually salad and veggie wrap, then dinner is often curry or stir fry.
“We always make sure to have a carb fat and protein with all our meals.
“Our social circle has definitely changed because our goals changed and who you hang around with can affect those goals. We started having less in common and began meeting new people who respected our goals and wanted to grow with us.
“We are so happy with our lives right now and we wouldn’t change a thing.”
Amy and Jesse do weight training five to six days a week, and they feel that living their vegan lifestyle enables them both to stay leaner all year round and it has increased muscle growth, as well as having more energy.
Before going vegan, Amy had never trained in a gym and Jesse would train in the gym admittedly more for his ego than for strength. However, it has now become a passion for both of them. Although their workouts aren’t based around figures and specific weights, as a couple they enjoy training to feel the progression within their bodies, without lifting heavy weights.
“We like strength training, but we don’t purely train for strength, if we feel strong and healthy then we are happy,” they said.
“We don’t concentrate on weight and how heavy we lift, it’s more about form and feeling the contraction.
“As it was something we both had to learn about together, it made us closer by giving us a hobby as well as the gym. Then we started creating content for our YouTube channel and that became our job as well as our passion and lifestyle.”
Amy and Jesse will celebrate their two-year wedding anniversary in November later this year, after knowing each other for eight years.
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