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From Omnivore to Fit Vegan with Client Olivia – The Seeking Veganism Podcast

Translation of the Podcast Episode

Jess: I am so happy that you are part of my podcast. It is already your 6th week in the Plantiful Power Program and since then you have been having amazing results! I can’t stress enough how proud I am of you and that you are doing such a great job since the beginning and managing everything so well. You don’t make any excuses, even if you work night shift, you still do your workouts – and that’s what I love about you! I see that if you want something, you do anything to get it. And that’s not that common. There are a lot of people that make excuses and think: “Well, I didn’t have a lot of sleep, I won’t be able to work out today” – but you don’t ever do that.

Cool, I’d like for you to introduce yourself, please tell us where you are from and what you do.

Olivia: Alright, my name is Olivia, I am 23 years old, I graduated last year as a nurse, which means that I work as a nurse in the hospital and I have a lot of fun doing it. I live in a german state called Hessen. I always liked to do sports, but unfortunately I never really paid attention to my nutrition and I worked out without a real plan. That’s exactly why I am happy right now, because everything is working out so well.

Jess: Cool, thanks for introducing yourself. It’s awesome that you decided to look for help! That’s what most people do, they are without a goal, think they train right and eat right, but don’t see any success. 

You weren’t vegan before you joined my program. Why did you decide to join a program now, which is entirely based around a vegan diet?

Olivia: Well, I did make an extreme change. I wasn’t even vegetarian before. I just ate meat and animal products normally, but I was always interested in becoming vegan, but I think I had the problem most of us have. Some are just too lazy to really do some research about it. You think it’s probably just monotonous, it will limit me and I can’t do anything about it anyway. And so I always found excuses not to become vegan, even though I really like the idea of being vegan. There is nothing bad that can be said about it. I just love animals, I am the first one to cry when I see how animals are being mistreated. I thought to myself that I am being a hypocrite, because I thought it was horrible, but in the next moment I would prepare myself a chicken at home, even though I knew exactly where this chicken was coming from. I would just always ignore it when I went grocery shopping. But I knew that I needed to change it. And I thought with the coach and the program it will be the best entry into this new lifestyle for me. 

Jess: Very cool, thanks for clarifying. To be honest, I was in a very similar situation. Before I went vegan, I always tried to ignore it all, and just think – “well that’s how it is”. I thought the chicken that I have on my plate is different from the chickens I see on tv and so on. And I think it’s cool that you have decided to make this change and that you looked for support. I knew how it was with me. I wished I would found a person like me that could have helped me. I was of course also a bit clueless and I even gained weight.

Why did you decide then to be part of my program in particular?

Olivia: I followed you for quite a while already, and I always found you very likable and very human. You weren’t aloof – it was very personal. You could see that you really had a lot of fun with what you do and that you were doing it because of passion. I just really enjoyed looking at your posts and your account. And as said, what I really thought was important, it wasn’t aloof at all. You had the feeling that you mean it on an honest way and that you really want it and that you only do it for the money or want to show yourself. But you could see that you really wanted to help people and make a change. It was really pleasant and I just really liked what I saw. 

Jess: Thank you! It makes me really happy to hear that you have seen it this way and that you have decided to be part of my program and I think I contacted you in January or something and here we are now. 

What do you think has changed the most since you became vegan? 

Olivia: I would say, first and foremost the energy, that you feel. I would always be very tired and I’d always feel really sluggish during the day. And, a subject that a lot of women don’t want to talk about, but a lot know, is that a lot of women feel bloated quite a lot and generally just don’t good have a good sense of well-being. And that has completely changed. You wake up with a completely different feeling, you to go to bed with a different feeling, you feel more balanced and generally just better in your body. That’s the biggest thing for me. I think you also change your perspective quite a lot. You just feel good when you know that you do something good, you don’t hurt anyone or anything with what I eat or cook. I don’t have to feel bad about it and you have a completely different feeling during the day I think. 

Jess: What has been the hardest part for you since you went vegan?

Olivia: I think a lot of people might experience this if you used to eat everything else before you went vegan. You first think about all the things that you can not have even though you liked them. And your first thought is – gosh, there is so much I can not eat anymore. And I can’t order food anymore, like I used to. But I really think that this way of thinking is wrong. Most of the time you don’t even know all of the foods that are actually vegan. And how much you can actually still have. I experience this since I have started with the program – actually my nutrition is so versatile and I can eat so much. I have to be honest that there is nothing that I miss and you just get to know so many new things. Yeah, so the first week might have seemed a little more difficult to get into it and to realize it. But now I feel absolutely amazing, as I have realized how versatile vegan nutrition can be. 

Jess: Yeah I think that is like the biggest problem the people have that are thinking about going vegan. They are scared that all of a sudden they can not eat anything – and all they can eat are salads and tofu. And I mean, we are living in the year 2020. You can literally find anything in a vegan form. I mean I live here in Berlin and I can even get a Vegan Doner if I want to. I can eat anything. For example, when corona happened, I could see how many people are vegan. I usually go to a supermarket close to my place and the whole vegan section was completely sold out. In the beginning, I was a little upset of course, but then I thought it was quite cool to see that there was such a big demand for it. Many more people are living a more conscious life and I think it’s really cool that you have also made the switch and decided that you don’t want this anymore. And that you feel that there is nothing that you miss. The better you eat, the less you will crave the other stuff as well. 

Do you sometimes still feel like you could have meat, eggs, or cheese?

Olivia: I would have to lie if I would say right now that it is completely gone as it has only been 6 weeks. Very seldom do I have like a quick thought about it, but it is not a feeling that I really need it or that I really miss it. And I also think that the thought about it is also going to be less and less. And I think the positive thing about it is that veganism is becoming a trend and as you said, you find really good vegan options anywhere. 

Jess: How did your family and your friends react?

Olivia: First, they were surprised, as they knew that I was always thinking about it and I talked about it every now and then. In the beginning, they were just thinking that all I do is talk about it, but after all those weeks they have realized that I really mean it. And they really think that it’s cool. My brother has been vegan before and wants to go back to it as he really loved it. I also have 2 friends now that just recently went vegan and that’s really cool as we can connect and exchange info and I am just happy to have a vegan friend. So no one of my friends has really said something bad about it – they are rather curious to know what I eat and want to see the recipes. They always look, especially at work, what kind of food I brought. And it’s actually fun.

Jess: Did you have anyone that reacted negatively?

Olivia: Actually no.

Jess: That’s awesome! I remember how it was with me. I was completely new to veganism and I really didn’t know anyone who was vegan when I went vegan. I had no friends in real life or virtually. And it wasn’t that easy. I was working in a company of about 300 people and these people would always make jokes about me. And sometimes I really felt excluded. And that was more than 2 years ago. I really hope that this has changed – it has been in Spain back then. 

What would you have told yourself one year ago if you wanted to go vegan, but you were scared?

Olivia: I would have just told the person to just do it. Because you just overthink it and you worry so much about the possible negative stuff, which is complete nonsense, as it doesn’t have any. You always look for excuses why you don’t do it yet, why you just take the easy way to just continue doing it the way you were doing it before. I would just tell myself to do it, that you will feel so much better and you will feel changes in a short amount of time, you won’t be feeling bad about it anymore, and this is so much worse than the thoughts about the possible exclusion. I rather have this kind of challenge in front of me than to feel bad about causing so much harm to animals with the way I eat. And why do you do it? You don’t actually need it. You can eat things that are even tastier, without having to harm anyone and you can help make a change. Because a lot of people like to say that as a single person won’t change anything, but that is exactly that mistake. Because the more people say that they can make a change, the better it will get.

Jess: Cool, that’s actually like the biggest argument that people have. As soon as you change something about yourself, you become the inspiration for others, and sometimes we forget about that. Our own actions can influence or inspire others, like you are probably inspiring your friends, family, and colleagues indirectly. They see your food, they will probably ask and somehow they will be processing it and probably think that it’s so much easier than they thought.

So when it comes to the the Plantiful Power Program – it’s not only about becoming vegan, but it is a program that will help to achieve your health goals, no matter if it is weight loss, weight gain or just becoming a healthier version of yourself. Could you tell us what has changed for you since you joined the program?

Olivia: Yes, mostly it is of course the physical aspect, which has been extreme. It is going so well, and I would have never imagined it that it will happen so quickly and so well. I am a person that needs her guidelines and I will follow those thoroughly. What I really like is the fact that you should walk around 10k steps a day, because it motivates you to go out for a walk. Every day you are outside in the sun consciously, which has many benefits and it just makes you feel better. And afterward you are just happier that you got to move and that you were outside. 

I have a lot of fun with the workouts, because all of your body parts are being targeted. When I used to train myself, I sometimes just skipped a couple of exercises and only chose the one that I liked more. And this is something that I can not do anymore. Also, I really love the aspect of always being able to beat your personal best with the app that you work with. 

Generally, I can see the difference in the mirror, I can see the difference on the scale and the exercises are becoming easier and the execution is cleaner. I have developed a different body awareness when it comes to working out, as before I didn’t have any guidelines.

Jess: An argument that I hear a lot is that online coaching is not as good as one on one personal coaching. What’s your opinion about that?

Olivia: I have to say that I am super happy with it, because first of all – it’s not only about control, but you have to want to do it. If you decide to do it, all you have to do is follow the program. On top of that, we also have to take progress photos every couple of weeks, which means you can’t even lie to the coach saying that you don’t do it, because you see if there has been a change or not. 

You also ask for videos, to see if the exercises are executed correctly. I also had a couple of exercises, which I didn’t know how to execute properly, and you helped me improve my form. 

You also have the app where you have to tick everything that you have accomplished in the day. For example I couldn’t just tick something to pretend like I have done it. 

And I also think that the weekly check-ins are great because we talk about everything that is going well or isn’t going well and I think because of that it is working out very well. 

Jess: It makes me happy to hear that! Because of course there are a lot of people that will say that they rather have a personal coach, or a personal nutritionist, face to face and not virtually. But with online coaching the biggest benefit is that you can always contact the coach as you know as well. You can always reach out to me and that’s almost impossible if you have a face to face coach or nutritionist, as you will see the person once a week or so, they will have you a plan and then you are on your own. I definitely think that this makes a huge difference. 

And of course, no one can lie to me as I see everything. Until now I didn’t have anyone that pretended to do something, but of course I see if a person doesn’t do it.

And then I get really mad, haha no, that’s a joke. But of course, I then reach out to the person or send a voice note to check in if everything is alright with the person. It’s the same with you, if I would see that something has been missing in the calendar for 3 days, I’d reach out to you.

As, just like you said, you decide to change your life, and to invest in something that is important to you, then do it. And that’s something that you have been showing.

We are almost at the end, but I would like to ask you what your personal and health goals are for the future?

Olivia: I would like to continue feeling the same way that I do now, that I continue having this energy, that I continue following the structure – I am a big fan of that. It’s not only the workouts, that’s also something very important I would like to mention about the program. Mindest is also one of the aspects, that is covered in the program, which I really like. I believe there is not a lot of programs, which include that. Most programs only cover nutrition and fitness and that’s it. And in this program you really care about the whole health aspect. You make sure that the person is going well mentally. And I have started really changing in those aspects as well, such as the fact that I started meditating, that I write down positive affirmations, that I have created a different daily routine, and because of that I can definitely sleep better. In the evenings I don’t spend my time on the phone anymore, but I rather journal. And I think this is a huge plus in the program. 

I can definitely say that after 5 and a half weeks I feel more balanced, I feel better, I have created a different daily routine, I am much more productive, and that is something that I’d like to keep. I continue feeling as good as now. 

And another thing that I wanted to say about online coaching, which I think is great, is the fact that you are not only a coach, but also a friend. And I have the feeling that when I talk to you, I can also tell you more about my personal stuff and we have some good laughs together. And it’s not that you just sit there strictly, do your thing and that’s it. It’s the opposite – we can laugh together and make jokes together and that is super beautiful. 

On top of that you are always super quick to reply. I have the feeling that whenever I write you, you are immediately there, you don’t ever have to wait long. 

Jess: Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear this and also that you see it this way. 

As for your goals, I am sure you will be doing amazing as you are very determined. I am looking forward to the next couple of months. You are doing a good job with your mindset and creating a routine that works for you. Especially because you are a nurse and you work different shifts, and that is not always easy, when you have night shift for example.

Before we get this to an end, I wanted to ask you how you are doing it, how are you handling it. There are a lot of people that say that they don’t have the time to be healthy or work out. Is that true? Would you say you don’t have time when you are very busy? Or how are you managing it?

Olivia: I have to be honest, I think it is complete nonsense when you say that you don’t have time or use the excuse that because of different work shifts, it is not possible. I can understand if someone has 12 hour-long shifts. But I remember you telling me that you have worked with a nurse before who has worked those shifts and she still made it happen. 

And for me, with the different shifts, I work – I believe if you really want it, you will make it happen. You just have to plan it out well. I just know how it is with me, I make sure I plan the workouts around my shifts. Sometimes I also work 7-8 days without a break or have a complete chaotic change of shifts, but I was always able to do it. And those weeks working with you, I never skipped a single work out. And for me it is even part of my balance. I need the workouts after or before my work to relax and calm down. For me it is a great addition to my day and I always look forward to it. I don’t ever say that I have to do it, but I want to do it. 

That’s why I can really recommend it!

Jess: Exactly, it comes down to your priorities – otherwise you will keep finding excuses.

Olivia: True! If you know you are going to have a lot of busy days, you can just meal prep and prepare your food beforehand. And then you eat the same thing 2-3 days, which I don’t have a problem with as I really like everything on the meal plan. With this you have already saved a lot of time, and then you don’t need to plan even more time and you only need the time for the workout, which is like an hour a day. And you still have enough time to relax, and watch some Netflix. 

Jess: Cool! Any last words you would like to say but didn’t get to say yet?

Olivia: Only, that I would really recommend this program because you really cover all aspects, which I think is amazing. Sometimes you even send emails, with extra information about interesting topics. You just really get so much in this program and what I also really think is valuable is the personal support that you offer.

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