Episode 15: Vegan Fitness – Why You Can’t Outrun Your Fork

vegan fitness

I was recently asked to give a talk about vegan fitness. I had to think about what valuable information and insights I bring to an audience… I mean, who doesn’t already know that it’s important to make consistent exercise a part of your lifestyle?



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Exercise has been a part of my life since I was 5 years old, starting on the swim team, gymnastic team, dance classes, and later, after my growth spurt, volleyball in high school. 

From there I became a gym rat and personal trainer. I even won first place in the bikini division of the Fame World Championships, which I did to prove that it was possible as a vegan in fitness, at a time when many people didn’t even know what the word vegan meant, and those who did, thought of vegans not as fitness buffs, but rather as scrawny hippies who grew armpit hair and didn’t wear deodorant. 

What I found, working in fitness, was that the industry had very little concern for true health. Instead, it was all about what you looked like on the outside. And for me, having become a walking billboard for the strong, lean physique that was possible to build as a vegan, I put a ton of pressure on myself to stay in fighting shape in order to inspire others to go vegan. 

I became programmed to believe that my worth was based on the shape of my body and it sent me down the road of disordered eating and a distorted body image. 

To the world I looked like the shining example of a healthy, fit vegan, but I felt like a fraud, because I was not healthy mentally or emotionally. 

Maybe you have that voice inside your head that says, “I’ll be happy when… (fill in the blank). I’ll be happy when I lose this weight, or when I’ve got the body I’ve always wanted.”

Well we’re here to tell you that happiness is not on the other side of weight loss. It’s actually the other way around! Weight loss is on the other side of happiness.

It’s important to change your mindset around exercise and (vegan) fitness from what most people use as motivation… a means to lose weight, to a means of being strong, healthy and active into old age with weight loss often being a welcomed side effect.

In this episode we give you three shifts that you can make starting today to create a vegan lifestyle that will result in a strong, healthy, fit, body for life. These are shifts we help people make permanently through the Vegan Life Coach Academy membership.

Shift #1 is based on the philosophy that you can’t outrun your fork. What I mean is that no matter how insanely hard you workout, if you’re not fueling your body with nutrient packed whole plant foods, you won’t achieve a healthy, fit body, at least not for long. 

First off, you can only over-train for so long before your body starts to break down, from overuse injuries, to acute injuries, to adrenal fatigue. (I have experienced all three thanks to all my years of over-training).

Second, let me ask you a question: You know what burpees are right? 

Well most people, myself included have a love hate relationship with burpees because they are one of the toughest, yet most effective total body exercises that exist. 

How many burpees do you think it takes to burn off the calories in just 3 Oreo cookies (which are accidentally vegan by the way)?

Over 100! Yes, that’s right, so if you’ve ever eaten something, thinking, “It’s okay, I’ll burn off these calories at the gym tomorrow,” good luck! Constantly working out for the purpose of burning off calories you feel guilty about consuming will keep you spinning your wheels, frustrated, and exhausted.

So I encourage you to use food and exercise as complements to each other. Use food to fuel your body so that it can perform at it’s best, so you can be energized and feel strong day in and day out.

This leads me to Shift #2: Loving yourself unconditionally is a prerequisite for changing your body. In other words, transformation occurs from the inside out. 

This can be a tough concept to wrap your head around right? 

We spend so much time and energy doing research and trying to find the right meal and workout plans to finally get us in good shape. But ultimately what happens? How often do you eat something, knowing very well it’s not going to help your cause? 

How many times do you find yourself in a cycle of self-sabotage, where you are super motivated, stick to a strict diet, and exercise like a crazy person, only to eventually find your willpower has run out, your life is completely out of balance, and you end up “falling off” the wagon, overeating, under-exercising, and ending up back where you started or worse off?

Well what if we spent that time and energy first learning to respect and accept ourselves exactly as we are? 

What if we truly loved ourselves, and started listening to our bodies, and making the choices that will serve us and our bodies best? 

What if we started eating and exercising because we LOVE our bodies, not because we hate them?

I’ll tell you, because we have helped hundreds of clients do just that.

I’ll tell you about Mary, who enrolled in my program because she was pre-diabetic, had hypertension, and a decent amount of weight to lose. 

She, like so many, said to me, “I’ve tried EVERYTHING” to which I asked, have you tried NOT dieting, and NOT trying to lose weight by burning calories at the gym? Have you tried overcoming the mental and emotional hurdles you may not even know are standing in your way? 

Well, she had been through some individual therapy for some serious trauma she experienced as a child and teen. Despite the therapy, she was still carrying around the weight of shame, and the beliefs that she was unlovable and unworthy. 

We gave her a safe space to be vulnerable, and the tools and coaching she needed to build a foundation of self-love, and when she did, everything else began to fall into place. When she began eating and exercising out of true love for herself, 25 pounds melted off, and she regained her health. 

And finally, Shift #3: Get curious and find the fun in vegan fitness!

Let me tell you about my boyfriend Christian.

Christian grew up a band geek (his words not mine), so music was his thing, whereas vegan fitness and sports were mine. 

Before I met him, he had the goal of getting up to 185 pounds by building muscle (don’t us women love it when men complain about not being able to gain weight?!). 

He had hired a trainer and was meal prepping as his trainer recommended. Side note… When I first looked in his kitchen I was horrified, I mean absolutely horrified… from turkey burgers and canned tuna, to terrible protein and other supplement powders, to diet coke and seltzer water sweetened with aspartame and sucralose). 

He was working his ass off at the gym and was seeing very little results. 

He was beyond frustrated, and not long after we started dating, he got on board the vegan train, but fell off the wagon when it came to exercise. “What’s the point?” he asked me. 

Well, I threw a lot of points at him! I told him that getting big muscles was one aesthetic reason to workout, but what about all the benefits that would set him up for a lifetime of activity? The strength, mobility, flexibility and agility you can get from different types of exercise. The heart health he could experience as he prevented heart disease. Fending off back problems and osteoporosis as well. 

What if he could find motivation in wanting to feel his best and enjoy a high level quality of life into old age? If you really think about it, our looks are going to change regardless. We get older, we get wrinkles, we get age spots, things sag, but if you’re able to continue to move with ease and access the joy and freedom from within, the golden years really will feel golden!

That being said, I like to get creative and have fun, which often means mixing things up. 

I go through phases where I’m really into one type of physical activity, let’s say training and sparring Muay Thai, and then I’ll go through a phase where I’m into calisthenics, and then heavier lifting, or cycling, the possibilities are endless. 

So recently, Christian and I came up with a competition between the two of us. I’d call it a friendly competition, but we’re both competitive so there’s a lot of friendly shit-talking taking place let me tell you! 

And what will happen after our competition? I’m not sure! Maybe Christian will be in the flow, feeling so good from the inside out he will keep it up on a more moderate level. Maybe he’ll be achy and ready to join me for some yoga. Maybe we’ll take couples yoga classes, or I’ll join him for some workouts at the park or track since. We’ll see! I’m not worried because there’s always a solution when you think outside the box.

So ask yourself, “What could I do to make working out something I WANT to do?” Give it some thought!

Here are some ideas: 

  • Take on fun challenges.
  • I’m a huge proponent of classes, though right now with the Pandemic they may have to be virtual. I really like the Social/community aspect of classes, the energy, and accountability. Have you tried (Kick)boxing classes, indoor cycling, or bootcamps? 
  • What about yoga, which has become a moving meditation I can’t live without. (And if you “hate yoga” I get it. I resisted it for years until I found the style and instructors that worked for me at which point it was life-changing!)
  • There are also programs that last a certain number of weeks/months which make it possible to really test your progress if that motivates you.
  • And what about recreational sports like tennis, volleyball, cycling, swimming, that you could make part of your weekly routine?

Don’t think, just do! You talk yourself into going to work, and doing things for the people you love, not necessarily because you feel motivated, but because it’s a responsibility you’ve chosen. Time to choose exercise as one of those responsibilities!

I’ll finish up here with this thought… 

You are not a body. You have a body. You are a soul. Take care of your body, so you have a healthy vessel for your soul to reside while you navigate this game we call life.

We encourage you to join our uniquely powerful and compassionate Empowered Vegan Life group on Facebook for more coaching and support around this topic.

We’d love to hear about your experience listening to this episode, and how helpful you found it to be (or not to be)! Email [email protected]. I read and reply to every email myself because your feedback is so incredibly valuable… This podcast is for YOU!


Vegan Life Coach AcademyEpisode 4


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From Tragedy to Enlightenment with Bodybuilder Champion & Vegan Geoff Palmer


Some stories are so powerful and extraordinary they must be shared. And today’s podcast guest is no exception… Vegan Geoff Palmer takes us on his journey from tragedy to enlightenment.

vegan bodybuider

A veteran vegan of 35 years, Geoff Palmer, is natural bodybuilding and physique masters champion. He’s the owner of Clean Machine, plant-based fitness nutrition, vegan patent holder, and NEXTY winner for best supplement of the year in 2016 and 2018.

Geoff is also an author, national lecturer, and was selected number 40 of the top 100 most influential vegans by plant-based news.

Geoff created the first 100% vegan bodybuilding competition in the world. And on top of that, his company, Clean Machine, donates 10% of sales every quarter to organizations that promote a plant based lifestyle. 

His accomplishments are impressive. But it is the incredible story of his journey from tragedy to enlightenment that will leave listeners inspired. 

Geoff-Palmer vegan fitnessIncluding, how & why Geoff became a vegan 35 years ago. The life events and tremendous amount of suffering that sent him looking for change.  And how from that experience, Geoff gave away his possessions, traveled to 48 countries, and the journey that led him to where he is today. 

While his story is sure to inspire, it is Geoff and my discussion about the importance of being open to the world around you, and how to release patterns in your life that hold you back that will empower you to take action in your life.

We also discuss benefits of supplements, including why they are beneficial to our diets. As well as,  the part that permaculture, biodynamic farming, and veganic farming play in it.

This is a conversation not to be missed. 

Be sure to stick around for the light-hearted, and fun, Sprint Round at the end of the episode where I ask Geoff five questions and Geoff answers with whatever comes to mind. 

Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better then when you know better, do better.” Geoff Palmer helps people both know better and then know how to do better. 


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From Disordered Eating to Plant-Empowered Living: Part 4


Part 3 of my journey left off when I was somewhere around 26 or 27 years old, managing the Flamingo Athletic Club, living it up in South Beach with my Muay Thai crew, while struggling behind closed doors with disordered eating cycles, depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, and insomnia…

Boating Fun

When I put my situation out there like that you’d think I was miserable! But again, when I think back to those days a huge smile takes over my face. In the midst of inner turmoil, I just had SO MUCH FUN! As they say, I am happy I went all out and “got it out of my system” at an “appropriate” age. This could not be said for everyone.

Fast forward to today, when I was chatting with my mom about how I was able to stay grounded in the midst of the craziness. She said to me, “It’s because being vegan is who you are. No matter what you’ve been through, or how easy it can be to get caught up in “the scene”, your foundation as a vegan overpowers all else, and it’s what you have and always will go back to as your rock.” Moms know best!

Somewhere in the mix I had formed a second set of friends from the other gym I trained at. For the longest time I scoffed at most fitness classes where they used light weights and did tons of reps. I believed strongly in the effectiveness of heavy weight training… It went well with my “tough persona”. I actually felt embarrassed at the thought of trying out a class. I kept hearing about this one teacher, Lani, who had a huge following made up of such a diverse fan base that I finally had to check it out.

I hid in the back of the class and we started by doing overhead presses, to the beat of the music, for an entire song without dropping your arms. I was horrified… Everyone else seemed to be getting through it relatively easily. They were having a blast, and I couldn’t make it all the way through the song with THREE pound weights!

This experience hit my “I can do anything” nerve, and that was it. I was addicted to the class and Lani became my fitness idol. I was tough, but Lani was an alpha, ten years older, skilled trainer, super strong, and ironman finisher with self-confidence like no other.

Thanks to Lani my exercise regiment morphed into more of a functional training-based routine. Becoming functionally strong was both humbling and exhilarating. In case you aren’t familiar, functional exercises are ones that translate to movements of daily living. A squat is the perfect example of a functional exercise. How many times a day do we sit down and stand up? That’s a squat! Whereas a leg press, leg extension, or hamstring curl machine have no place in “real life”.

I also found myself oddly attracted to Lani on multiple levels. I looked up to her and admired her skill and confidence, and it morphed into what one might call a “girl crush”. It’s funny because with my Muay Thai crew, we would go out, and I would be, what my one guy friend called, “chick bait.” This meant that I would go over and start talking to hot girls. Then, my guy friends would come by and I would introduce them. On occasion the girls would end up hitting on me though, which, as you can imagine, would really piss my friends off (I thought it was hilarious)!

Ella Night Out

I was a wild, happy drunk. On crazier nights I would make out with girl-friends for fun, which would usually result in free drinks. I wasn’t sexually attracted to women on an intimate level. Kissing and playing around with other girls as part of a night out was simply part of the erotic South Beach culture. It was just fun!

With Lani it felt different though. I think it was in large part because she had such intense male energy. I started working my way up to the front of her classes. You see, she had such an intense group of followers in her class that everyone had “their spot,” and fights would literally break out when someone tried to take someone else’s spot (I’m not exaggerating!)

It took some time and a calculated strategy, but I eventually made it to the front row of class and established my own spot. Lani took notice of me. When she invited me to her birthday, I got butterflies in my stomach, something I hadn’t felt since I met my fiance years back. Lani’s birthday party marked the start of what would become a tight and complicated friendship. Attending the party also opened me up to a whole new world of people and experiences in South Beach. I could write a whole book on this chapter of my story, and maybe I will, but I will save that story for another day.

I haven’t mentioned it, but the whole time I was managing the Flamingo, I was also fitness modeling, doing personal training, and offering my services as a wellness coach who also helped people with diet. Keep in mind that many people were unsure of what vegan even meant at that time.

fitness-modelingI continued to spread the good word by maintaining a strong, lean body. Why did this work? Because women would just see me and say, “I want to look like you… How do you do it?” To which I would reply, “I’m vegan!” This would get some people veg-curious and open to learning more, while others would immediately feel threatened and write me off. Men would ask too, either because they were genuinely curious, or as a way to hit on me. It didn’t matter to me. If I got an opening to talk about being vegan, I took it.

It’s funny, because I barely remember actually training people. Why? I think it’s because people hired me because I had a body they admired. They wanted to build a strong, toned body, and they were willing to workout hard for an hour a day for it.

While they were quick to take my exercise advice, they generally had no interest in changing the way they were eating or even consider moving in the direction of a plant-based diet. My work with them therefore felt superficial. It was a temporary fix. “You can’t outrun your fork” I would relay to deaf ears. I therefore felt resentful that my work started and ended with telling people what exercises to do, counting reps, and throwing out motivating words. This job did not feel satisfying in the least.

You may be asking, “If you were so passionate about animal rights why weren’t you out there taking action and protesting?” Great question. And there is an intriguing answer coming up in Part 5!

From Disordered Eating to Plant-Empowered Living: Part 1

Kick Disordered Eating Out

The time to share my journey from disordered eating to plant-empowered living has come! 

Part 1: Intro

I’m ready to come clean…

Disordered Eating Vegan

What you are about to read is Part 1 (an introduction) to the multi-part “coming out” series I am going to be sharing with you over the next few weeks. I will be telling you parts of my journey that I’ve never shared openly before. I’m thrilled that I am in a place in life where I’m able and willing to get REAL and RAW, which means being transparent about the struggles that have made me who I am today!

Up until recently, I put A LOT of pressure on myself to be the shining example of a fit, healthy (physically and emotionally) vegan. It’s been my mission to bring veganism into the mainstream for over 20 years, and up until recently, the misinformation about plant-based nutrition, and the stereotypes about vegans in general, were so intense I purposefully made it my job to focus on only positives.

I’ve been vegan 22 years (vegetarian 30 years), and in large part, when I got sick or didn’t feel well, people were quick to blame it on my vegan diet. As ridiculous as that is, (I mean really, how many omnivores get sick and don’t feel well sometimes… ummm… everyone!), I did everything in my power not to give people any reason to associate anything negative with being vegan. I felt this is what I needed to do to help the most people become motivated and inspired to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle.I felt my own personal struggles were irrelevant, since they had nothing to do with me being vegan, and everything to do with my mental and emotional health.

Well, times have changed, and so have I!

Jump ahead to 2016 for a moment (don’t worry, I will be sharing all the juicy details about my years of disordered eating shortly)…

Last year I began a new chapter in my life and career. I created and launched my first online coaching program, making it possible to coach people all over the world through a structured process for transitioning to a fit vegan lifestyle. This was also exciting for me because it was an opportunity to finally put my counseling skills (from my Master’s in Social Work) to use. The program is holistic in that we work on nutrition, fitness, and emotional health together, since each affects the others.

The program also gave me a great deal of insight into the issues people face on their journeys to simply be healthy and happy. One such issue includes different types of disordered eating. The diet mentality, and the pressure society puts on us to have the “perfect body”, is so ingrained in our culture, that most of us have totally lost touch with our innate ability to eat without trying to follow self-imposed “rules” that dictate what, when, and how much food we consume. If you really stop and think about this concept, it’s mind blowing!

Countless people, who understand logically that diets don’t work, feel totally lost without a “diet” to follow. Most are also fearful that they will lose control of the shape of their bodies without self-imposed dietary rules. They are scared of “getting fat” and/or losing muscle. These fears are heightened when switching to eating plants exclusively since this usually means more carbs and less protein (in this carb-phobic protein-obsessed world in which we live)!

Disordered eating story

These disordered eating issues are certainly not exclusive to omnivores. Although I’ve been plant-exclusive for my entire teenage and adult life, I too have struggled with disordered eating and an impaired body image. I could truly relate to these people I was coaching.

It has been a long, agonizing journey for me to come to terms with, and work through, my disordered eating issues. At one point in my twenties I played the, “how lean can I get” game, in a subconscious attempt to gain control of my life. I am strong and lean at 120ish pounds, so can you imagine what I was like at 99 pounds? Looking back at photos is quite terrifying to me now.

In fact, as healthy as I am now, I consider myself in recovery still, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I continue to feel I’m “recovering” for the rest of my life. To me, this simply means I am empowered to continue to practice existing and new tools for emotional growth to which there is no ceiling. It also means I couldn’t be more excited to be launching my new Plant-Empowered Coaching Program. Here the focus is learning to eat consciously, mindfully, and intuitively as part of building a PLANT-strong body, heart, and mind.

My purpose for sharing my story, and putting my heart into this coaching program, is to empower people with similar disordered eating issues to “come out” and get the help they need to become PLANT-Empowered too!

I invite you to stay tuned for Part 2 of my story. I dive into what went on behind closed doors all the years I was drowning in my own diet hell…

Vegan Fitness Challenge for August 2017


Time to announce our Vegan Fitness Challenge for August, 2017!

If you want to get and STAY motivated to challenge your body and mind, and you have not joined our Vegan Fitness Challenges Facebook group yet, now’s the time!

Our Vegan Fitness Challenges Facebook group was formed in May, 2017, and so far, we’ve completed challenges for the months of June and July. (If you haven’t read the first blog post introducing the group, you may want to read that post before continuing.)

Hey everyone, Ella here, and we are getting ready for the August Vegan Fitness Challenge!

Fitness Component:

I want to first introduce what we are going to do for the workout component. We will be doing 100 lunges, that’s 50 lunges on each side, every single day. There’s going to be a different type of lunge to perform for each of the five days that we’re doing this vegan fitness challenge. In addition to those 100 lunges you’ve also got 100 plank jacks per day to perform.

Take a look at the video above for a demonstration of each of the five different types of lunges. Keep in mind I’m giving you these options to, number one, add variety to your workouts. Number two, to work your muscles in different ways in order to build functional strength and tone. And the third reason is to increase the difficulty of the challenge for our more advanced participants.

Also remember, if you are a beginner, and a basic lunge is challenging enough, you’re free to stick to one type of lunge during this vegan fitness challenge. I always set the bar high so that you have something to work towards, and so that the more advanced participants will be challenged as well. Last, keep in mind that the other way to step it up is to add weights/dumbbells.

Diet Component:

For the diet part of the vegan fitness challenge we are of course going to eat vegan, but we’re going to step it up a notch this month. I want a minimum of five servings of green vegetables eaten every single day for those five days. For optimal vegan nutrition, we should ideally be doing this anyway, so if you’re not in that habit this is a great opportunity to practice getting in tons of greens every day!

Mindset Component:

Now for the mindset component of the challenge. We’re going to work on turning every negative thought into a positive one. For example I came down with a cold the other night so I’m not feeling my best. I could easily focus on how crappy I feel, how my performance is suffering, and how annoying it is to work out when I can’t breathe well. OR I could turn that around and say, “You know what? This is a perfect opportunity for me to take it easy for a couple days and let my body rest and heal.”

I have a tendency to overtrain, and I’ve got a shoulder injury that I’ve been struggling to heal completely. Spending less time training will not only give my body a helpful break, it will also allow me more time to get tons of work done.

Just like in my example, I want you to work on catching yourself when you have a negative thought. Once you catch yourself, you can then take a step back in order to become the observer of your own mind and the watcher of your own thoughts. Only then can you consciously make the choice to create a new, positive thought to replace the negative thought. We often can’t change our circumstances, but we do have total control over the thoughts that we have about those circumstances. Our thoughts are what cause our feelings, our feelings dictate our actions, and our actions lead to our results. If we start by taking control of our thoughts, we are suddenly empowered to reach our goals through our actions. See how that works?


We start the Vegan Fitness Challenge on the first Monday of every month, so this month we begin on August 7th. I’m giving away a copy of my book, The Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan, to the person who not only completes the challenge, but also puts effort into sharing their experiences throughout the week with our Facebook group, with their own Facebook friends, and on Instagram (#veganfitnesschallenges @sexyfitvegan).

Let’s Do This!

Vegan Fitness Challenge Group: Fit Vegan Living Made Fun!


If you’ve ever been stuck in a food or fitness rut when you needed some extra vegan fitness motivation, join the club!

No really… Join the Vegan Fitness Challenge club!

Starting next month, June 2017, we will be taking on a vegan fitness challenge the first five weekdays of every month. Whether you’re feeling unmotivated or bored with your current routine, or you want to prevent getting to that point, this closed Facebook Group is the perfect way to evoke some excitement and add variety to your current food and/or fitness routine.

I want to take this opportunity to introduce the group, invite you to join, and get you stoked for our first challenge which begins June 5th, 2017!

Here’s the Dealvegan fitness challenge group at Sobekick in Miami

Many of us thrive on challenges. We all want to be our best selves, but often times we get lost when it comes to implementing a structured approach to improving ourselves. Challenges provide a structured process for stepping outside of our comfort zones. And guess what… We need to get uncomfortable in order to make true changes to our bodies and our lives. This goes for both food, fitness, and mindset.

Vegan Fitness Challenge group to the rescue!

Bottom Line

Having a supportive community to guide you through a vegan fitness challenge truly sets you up for success with motivation and inspiration.

Our group also adds the accountability factor. When I ask clients starting my 8-week coaching program, “What are you missing?” The number one answer is accountability followed by guidance and knowledge.

How it Works

Every month I will be announcing the details of the vegan fitness challenge. The challenge always begins on the first Monday of the month and lasts through Friday (5 days).

Each vegan fitness challenge will be made up of 3 parts.

Part I: Eat vegan and post at least one food pic or video each day.

Part II: Complete the workout I provide and post a picture or video of you working out each day.

Part III: Complete the mindset exercise I provide each day.

What You Need

The drive to challenge yourself and the desire to be fit, strong, and healthy from the inside out is all you need to succeed as part of the Vegan Fitness Challenge group.

What You Don’t Need

Equipment. The vegan fitness challenges will not require any special equipment so that everyone can participate no matter where you are or what you have access to.

You also don’t need to be vegan to challenge yourself to eat plant-exclusive for 5 days out of the month. Anyone can do it and I’ll be there throughout the process. I’ll be answering questions and giving tips on vegan nutrition, preparing your own vegan snacks and meals, and how to eat out as a vegan.Vegan Fitness Challenge Group award

It Gets Better!

Every month I will be awarding one participant my book, The Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan! I will be shipping the book to the person who has goes above and beyond with their posting throughout the 5 days of the challenge!

How to Join

Our Vegan Challenge Facebook group is closed, meaning you can request to join and I will be approving the requests. I’m choosing a closed instead of public group because I insist that the group be full of positive juju! A supportive community of like-minded people ready and willing to support, motivate, and inspire one another. The group is a judgement-free zone. Anyone violating the awesome vibe of the group will be removed immediately.

Maximize Your Vegan Fitness Challenges Group Experience!

Step 1

Learn more about the Vegan Fitness Challenges Facebook group HERE and request to join HERE.

Step 2

Let’s Do This!

Fit Vegan Program Makes Going Vegan FUN!

It’s here… the VEGANS TASTE BETTER 8-Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life, designed to help people create a fun, fit vegan lifestyle that is practical, balanced, and FUN!

I Bet You’ll Agree With Me When I Say,

“I want it all! I want a strong, lean, healthy body. I want to enjoy the food I eat. I want preparing meals to be quick and easy. I want a great social life and wholesome relationships. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and cocktails when I go out with friends.  I want to love my workouts. I want to feel energized and empowered. I want to have a fit vegan lifestyle. I want to love my life!”

Here’s My Take..

We CAN have it all! A fun, fit vegan lifestyle does NOT involve counting calories or giving up the glass of wine you enjoy with dinner or cocktails with friends. Why? Because a “lifestyle” by definition is SUSTAINABLE! Who wants to count calories, count macros, or be fearful of a night out with your friends because you don’t want to “fall off” a diet you’re on? No way!

The Bottom Line…

You CAN have a strong, healthy, sexy body eating and exercising in a way that’s enjoyable and practical. You CAN gain lean muscle, get stronger (physically AND mentally), and have more energy than you’ve ever imagined on a plant-based diet. You CAN stay true to your values of compassion for animals and concern for the environment with a fit vegan lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed or deprived.

I’m living proof, as are my clients!

Here’s The Deal…Vegan Fitness Plant-Empowered Promo

After 22 years as a fit vegan, and 14 years as a vegan fitness expert, I’m psyched to be rolling out the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8 Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life coaching program to guide people with a structured, step-by-step process for making the transition to a healthy, fit vegan lifestyle that works for them. I introduced my 6-Week Plant-Empowered Coaching Program in 2016, and after having over 30 people complete the program, I decided to do a revamp to make it even MORE comprehensive, holistic, and FUN!

I Can’t Emphasize Enough…

Why more holistic? I can’t stress enough the importance of several key factors for successfully transitioning to a fun, fit vegan lifestyle

  1. Developing an empowered mindset
  2. Improving emotional health
  3. Focusing on adding healthy foods to your plate (as opposed to focusing on the foods you’re taking away)
  4. Finding balance in your life
  5. Making your own health and happiness top priority

My newly revamped vegan fitness lifestyle program emphasizes gaining not just knowledge, but also the tools you need for optimizing your mental and emotional well-being. Without mental and emotional health, all the knowledge in the world will not create a lasting fit vegan lifestyle transformation!

Is This You?

My coaching program is designed to help people who know that adopting a plant-based diet with the right exercise routine, if done right, is the way to go for a strong, healthy body (and compassionate way of life) BUT they don’t seem to have the all the tools they need to pull off the transformation on their own.

Why? Because of one, or a combination of several reasons. Can you relate?

  1. They lack knowledge of what a well-balanced, healthy vegan diet plan looks like.
  2. They are addicted to sugar, processed foods, and/or animal products.
  3. They fear losing muscle, strength, and other gains they’ve made in the gym on their previous dietary routine.
  4. They lack the knowledge of how to exercise in a way that’s in line with their goals AND is enjoyable.
  5. They lack the motivation/mindset to stay consistent with the changes they want to make to their habits long enough for it to become a lifestyle.

What Exactly Do You Need To Succeed?

In order to discover if my program is a good fit, I always ask potential clients the question, “What do you need to be able to get on the right track and STAY there so that your new habits become your new fit vegan lifestyle?”

What’s your answer? Is it one or more of the following?

  1. Education about what a well-balanced healthy vegan diet looks like and/or what sustainable fitness routine will help you achieve lasting results.
  2. Accountability/having others to answer to when you either fulfill or fall short of your commitments.
  3. Guidance and support to help you get on a plant-based nutrition and exercise plan that works for YOU so that it is sustainable.
  4. Gaining mindset tools that will facilitate their ability to overcome life challenges and feel in control of the decisions they make about what they put in their bodies and how they move through the world. (Becoming empowered!)

The Real Story…

I have to say that selfishly, I am LOVING guiding people through the 8 weeks of my VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ plant-empowered coaching program. Why? Because I’ve set the process up to be do-able and enjoyable. Seeing clients through such an empowering experience is priceless for both me and them.

Judy is one of the most recent “graduates” of this vegan fitness program, and here’s what she had to say…

I contacted Ella, the “sexy fit vegan” a while back because I just was not feeling well and was very dissatisfied with my diet and body. I have never been crazy about eating meat and just like Ella, I am a true animal lover. With compassion especially for dogs.

Ella was extremely sincere and patient with me and adapted very easily to my schedule. Basically she made herself very available for me as I needed to start her plant-empowered program. 
She never hesitated to share her knowledge, resources, and experiences with me. Her enthusiasm is contagious!
Ella gave me all the tools that I required to help me attain a fit, vegan lifestyle. As the program is nearing the end for me, I feel AMAZING and I am loving the lifestyle.
I have taken a new lease on life and feel energized, recharged and I can honestly say that this lifestyle works!
Thank you Ella for not pressuring me and for all of your encouragement, support and understanding of my own schedule. 
I give Ella my highest recommendation as a great accomplished coach to help anyone interested in a fit, vegan lifestyle that truly works. I am thrilled that I had the great fortune of finding her.
 As part of the program, we have an awesome secret Facebook group just for program members… Check out what Lilly said after just 3 weeks in the program. I do not allow people to weigh themselves during the program by the way (which is why Lilly is showing her loose pants instead of talking about pounds). Why? Because I require the focus to be on THE PROCESS of gaining the vegan fitness tools you need for a LIFETIME of health and happiness. Weight loss will simply be a side effect of learning those tools!vegan fitness program testimonial by Lilly
I’m thrilled to say I’ve got tons of success stories to share! Feel free to check out more HERE.

That’s Not All…

I’m offering FREE one-on-one consultations (what I like to call discovery sessions) for anyone who may be a good fit to work with me. I have a strict policy that I will only accept people into my program who are a good match and who I believe will finish the 8 weeks THRILLED with the success they’ve had and the confidence they’ve gained to continue with their newly created fun, fit vegan lifestyle. So, in order to make that determination, I speak with every potential client myself.

Let’s Do This!

If you think you may be a good fit for the VEGANS TASTE BETTER™ 8 Weeks to a Plant-Empowered Life coaching program, I’d love to speak with you! Simply apply for your free discovery session with me HERE today.

Looking forward to connecting with you!


Tri Training During the Winter Months


Training for triathlons is an excellent way to get and stay in shape, since learning to become a better, faster, and stronger athlete across three sport disciplines is a significant physical challenge.

Depending on where you live, though, triathlon training can be much more accessible and feasible in some parts of the year than others. It’s a no-brainer that you’ll want to swim out in the open water and run and cycle out in the open roads when it’s warm and sunny outside, but what about all those other months of the year when it’s cold, wet, dreary, snowing, or freezing?

Figuring out how to rock your triathlon training year-round, but particularly in the winter months, takes some planning and research, but I think it’s completely doable, provided you manage your expectations accordingly. With a little research to find out what your available options are, and a lot of patience – you may be asking yourself if winter will ever end!? – you’ll be able to get through your winter while still also posting significant accomplishments in your tri training.

Below, you’ll find some of my tips for managing triathlon training during the winter months.

Swimming: commit to masters each week.

Most triathletes I know, as well as people who swear they have no interest in tris, always say that their weakest sport is swimming, and it’s probably with good reason. Compared to the other two disciplines, swimming is arguably the most technical, and it’s no surprise, then, that enlisting the help of a swimming coach – or at least going to the pool when others are there who can help critique your form – will do wonders for your skill.

Obviously when it’s cold outside, you probably will have no interest in swimming outdoors, but you can at least commit to attending masters each week for the duration of the winter. Even if you’re not putting in significant volume when you’re swimming, you can still reap the benefits of instruction and feedback from the masters coaches. Plus, with other people also being there, you can commiserate together.

To further incentivize it, maybe as a reward for working hard at masters all winter, you can treat yourself to a long weekend away to somewhere warm where you could post some open-water swimming at the end of the winter.

Cycling: the trainer will become your new best friend.0002378_tacx_bluematic_turbo_trainer

When the roads are impassable or simply unsafe to ride, you’ll quickly find that your trainer will become your new best friend. Many triathletes I know loathe the trainer, yet at the same time, if it comes down to riding on the trainer for a few hours or not riding at all, they’ll suck it up and do it.

There are many new online training programs available that will help you more easily pass the time on the trainer, such as Zwift Watopia, that will allow you to virtually ride on courses all over the world. If you’re so inclined, you could even pass the time on the trainer while binge-watching movies or Netflix.

One nice thing about using the trainer is that you are in charge of the climate control, so if you’re training for a race in a warm and humid location, you can adjust your home temperatures accordingly while you’re on the trainer to begin to mimic what you’ll experience on race day.

Running: bundle up with a buddy or stick to the treadmill.

Of all the sports in triathlon, running is probably the most durable, in that you can do it year-round outdoors. Provided you dress for the elements correctly, you may find that winter running is actually a lot of fun!

Obviously, don’t do anything that will jeopardize your health or well-being – if there’s a band of sub-arctic temperatures coming through, it’s probably not a great idea to venture outside – but there’s something to be said for running through some freshly-fallen snow or making snow angels outside after you finish a run. If you’re not all that interested in running in the snow, then naturally you can stay indoors on a treadmill and watch TV while you run in place. I personally love running through the snow, but I realize that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Escape to a hot yoga class.

Even with all the different sports inherent in triathlon training, triathletes will still benefit from devoting some time each week to flexibility and stretching work. If it’s sub-zero outside, you may find the thought of escaping to a yoga class – particularly a hot yoga class – especially enticing. It could be a fun way to mix-up your triathlon training routine, and provided you listen to your body and scale the stretches accordingly, if you’re having any difficulties, your body will likely thank you for the flexibility work, and you’ll leave feeling refreshed and renewed.

Find an indoor triathlon mid-winter.

Finally, I know that some gyms offer their members a chance to participate in indoor triathlons throughout the winter. While it’s obviously not the same as an outdoor triathlon, it could still be a lot of fun to have little time test trials throughout the winter so you can obtain several benchmarks for how your training is faring, without having to wait until the temperatures warm up enough to complete a triathlon outside. Gyms will usually only offer these opportunities to their members, so do your research well in advance if you think you’d want to participate in the event.

While waiting for spring to come might seem like a Sisyphean task when you’re in the middle of triathlon training during the cold, dark, and dreary winter months, know that a little planning will go a long way. It will behoove you to be creative while you wait for spring to show-up, but all the work that you do in those early months will surely pay dividends later, when you’re back outdoors in the open waters or on the open roads.



5 Advantages of Using a Desk Treadmill at Workplace

treadmill desk

Many people who were used to working while sitting all day long have now adopted the use of a treadmill desk, and the adoption rate is increasing day after day.

A treadmill or a standing desk can make you healthy by limiting your sedentary way of life. With the number of Americans today who are spending around 9 hours sitting, the prevalence of certain cancers, diabetes, and other kinds of health disorders continues to escalate each year.

That is merely the start. There are lots of advantages of working while on a treadmill desk. Here are at least five of them:

  1. You Are Far Away From Sitting Diseases and Painsdesk-treadmill-1

Sitting disease, in other words, is a winding down of the metabolism that happens when a person sits for a long period of time. The lowering of the basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the most direct consequence of this. Assume that it is your heart rate when you sitting still. You burn lesser calories just to keep your vital organs working, exercising your brain cells, etc.

By standing, you can significantly increase your body’s BMR since the heart needs to work harder to keep your body erect. Slowly walking at a pace of one to two mph will raise the BMR even further, and with that, your background calorie burns. You can estimate such burn rate at around 100 to 130/hour.

  1. It Reduces Stress and Increases Productivity

Exercising regularly can help improve your mood and lessen anxiety through the release of the brain of endorphins to the body. The endorphins can lessen your sensitivity to pain and stimulate a positive feeling to your body. When using the treadmill desk, you are already able to exercise on a regular basis.

Apart from that, a study also concluded that the performance of employees while using a treadmill desk did not decline after an initial, short adjustment on its use. As a matter of fact, it was found out that the overall health and productivity of employees have improved. Stating that mental performance, time management, and work quality all improved when the employees use the treadmill desk.

  1. Calories Are Burnt and Results in Healthy Body Weight

Like any other kinds of exercise, walking burns calories. Although not as many calories as biking or running burns, but walking still needs energy and thus offers a calorie burn. For losing weight, increasing the level of intensity, increasing walking or incline level for longer periods will burn lots of calories. However, when utilizing desk treadmill workstation for the first time, you should start gradually and slowly increase your speed as well as walking duration after several weeks.desk-treadmill-2

  1. Improves Fitness, Health, and Creativity

Studies show that engaging in exercise enhances health and fitness, and is directly connected to connectivity. The study even found evidence that using a treadmill desk at a workplace can enhance memory and increase creative thinking. It may also help the brain to work better by boosting the functional connectivity among the areas in the brain.

  1. Maintains Blood Pressure and Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

We all know that walking can help improve blood flow which in turn lessens blood pressure. According to also to studies, people with hypertension have lower bp readings for around 22 hours after a session of working on a treadmill desk. This effect is also beneficial to those who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. Through the use of the desk treadmill, there are able to exercise and that helps reduce the levels of blood glucose and which will help them avoid long-term complications later on. 

In addition to these 5 advantages, using desk treadmill at workplace also promotes a healthy lifestyle. Many users are reported to obtain moderate weight loss as an outcome of this new routine. Crash exercise programs and crash diets can give negative effects hence a very slow weight loss rate is really an ideal thing to aspire. The main objective of using a desk treadmill should not, however, be losing weight but instead the prevention and reversal of sitting diseases.

– Jack

Marathon Training: Cross-Training Exercises Best for Runners


“For many marathon runners, there are plenty of training programs out there, but one that really helps you prepare is cross training.”

It’s early on an October morning. The sky is tinged with a cold, slowly warming pink as the sun begins to wake the rest of the sleepy, dark world beneath it. Below, there are a few who have chosen to forgo another hour of rest and instead opted to get up and test their limits.

Breaking the crest of the hill is my best friend, running at a steady, loping pace that she could keep up for hours if she had to. She’s training for a marathon, and I offered to come out and run with her, partly for the exercise and partly for moral support.

I had done a couple of laps but (at the time) I was no runner, and was now sitting on the pavement next to dewy grass stretching. Since I’ve started stretching she’s passed me a couple of times on the track. As she continues her training, she is looking for more and more ways to push her limits so she can achieve the best time while being able to actually finish the run.

For many marathon runners, there are plenty of training programs out there, but one that really helps you prepare is cross training. Cross training involves runners, or any other type of athlete, partaking in a combination of exercises from disciplines other than their own. The purpose of this is to improve overall fitness, and for runners it can have other benefits as well, such as quicker recovery time, the prevention of further injury, rehab of an old injury, and it can be a great way to change your routine up if you get bored. Here are some tips to remember when choosing what kind of cross-training you want to do.

  1. Low to No Impact Exercise: Running is a high impact exercise, which means that it can be hard on your body. The reason for this is the range of movement you complete as you run. While most exercise involves the contraction of muscles, running actually requires the extension of muscles, specifically in the knee, to support other muscles being stretched. When cross training, it’s a good idea to choose an exercise that is low to no impact. This will give your muscles a chance to rest.

Recommended Exercises: Swimming, Cycling, Yoga, and Pool Running

  1. Exercise New Muscles: It might be tempting to find an exercise that will strengthen the muscles that you use to run, but in reality cross training is a great opportunity to exercise muscles that you don’t normally use when running. These muscle groups could have been neglected as you’ve been marathon training, so they’re not all that strong. There are plenty of exercises that offer the opportunity to exercise new muscles.

Recommended Exercises: Swimming, cycling, yoga, strength training

  1. Injury Recovery and Prevention: What’s great about cross training is that many exercises can help you recover from injuries. The easy way to do this is to choose a low to no impact exercise, like the ones listed above. By exercising unused muscles, you can lower the risk of them having to overcompensate while you’re running your marathon. Luckily, there’s a ton of exercises you can do to recover from and prevent injuries.

Recommended Exercises: Low to no impact exercises, new muscle group exercises.

Whichever exercise you choose, know that cross training is a great way to prepare yourself for the enormous undertaking of a marathon. By cross training, you will give your body a chance to recover, grow strong, and it may even help you beat a personal record!