Jeff Cody is a fitness trainer (@scotiawest_fitness) on Instagram and a strong advocate of living a vegan, plant-based lifestyle. He is also completing a program to be a Certified Plant-based Nutritionist. He believes more people need to see the positive side of health and wellness. Here we interview him about his vegan journey.
When and why did you go vegan?
My journey to going vegan started just over a year ago when a friend told me about 2 documentaries he heard of (What The Health and Forks Over Knives). I downloaded them in the airport waiting to board my flight curious of what I was about to watch. I was astonished by what I learned in those few short air born hours about life, health and the world in general.
Was it a sudden change or a gradual transition?
My change to going vegan instantaneous, I landed from my 5 hours flight starving and now not quite sure where my path was going to take me. I opted for a giant salad with lots of veggies and nuts (hold the dairy on the sauce of course) and looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Boom within a matter of hours I had changed my entire outlook on the food industry and what I assumed to be a healthy diet.
What benefits have you experienced?
At this point in felt uneducated in the kitchen and had to revisit my cultural way of food choices and preparation. In saying that the first few weeks I predominantly went raw vegan to detoxify my body from the years of what I thought was healthy food. After 2-3 weeks I felt visual and mental clarity which is really hard to explain in words until you actually feel it for yourself, it’s almost as if the fog had lifted that you had become accustomed to over the years. My sleep was great, I felt fully energized rolling out of bed and that energy and peppiness continued throughout my entire day. My skin felt great and looked lively, any minor imperfections and issues went away. My physical strength has improved along with endurance and cardio which has also led improvements in other aspects of my life.
Have you been inspired by any other vegans? If so, who?
When I switched to being vegan, I had no idea who was vegan or what the market looked like for vegan enthusiast. Since my passion in life is fitness I started looking at vegan fitness enthusiast and one person who kept appearing in my searched was Torre Washington who has been vegan for over 20 years and has won numerous fitness competitions.
Are there any foods you miss? If so, how do you deal with it?
Honestly I don’t miss any type of meat, poultry, fish or dairy. I think my understanding of where the food comes from and how it affects your body has completely put me off from any cravings. However my fiancé Janice and I absolutely love a great homemade vegan pizza.
Do you find any other challenges being vegan?
My initial challenges were understanding how to create a balanced healthy vegan meal, however a few cookbooks and attempts in the kitchen quickly overcame that. Also understanding your body and how different foods affect it was a challenge at first.
What are 3-5 foods that you eat the most?
Oatmeal, Kale, Tofu, Avocado and Banana
What’s your typical breakfast?
My typical breakfast is Oatmeal, whether I make overnight oats or fresh on the stove. I generally top my oatmeal with fruits and seeds for some flavor. Also I love a good avocado toast with hot sauce and hemp hearts
What’s your favorite quick energy snack to tide you over if you’re hungry between meals?
We normally have fresh veggies (celery / carrots / peppers) chopped in the fridge and just add hummus or peanut butter as a dip.
Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking of going vegan?
Do some research on being Vegan as a whole (Animals, Food, Health and our Planet) and if you have the right mindset on being able to overcome the way our culture has groomed us you will quickly see the light at the end of the tunnel and make the change.