Let me introduce you to one of the vegans who will be competing in this Saturday’s Washington Natural Body Building and Fitness competition, Ed Bauer. Ed has been vegan since 1996 after reading “Diet for a New America” by John Robbins*. Although he is as healthy as horse, he came to veganism for his compassion for animals. Supporting torture and murder for food just didn’t make sense to him. I hope tons of vegan athletes in Seattle can come out and support Ed and Derek (another vegan bodybuilder competing) – would be so cool to see a pack of other strong and healthy vegans in the crowd.
Vegan Score (VS): When did you decide to become a body builder?
Ed Bauer (EB): I started lifting weights with my dad when I was 15, I went vegan at 16, and I found a way to mesh the two. I had lifted weights for 15 years when I met Robert Cheeke. He worked out at the gym I was a trainer at in Portland, OR. We became friends and he inspired me to step on stage and take the challenge of a bodybuilding competition. I competed at the NPC Bill Pearl High Desert Classic in Bend, OR on May 8th, 2010. I took 1st Place as the Novice Middleweight Champion.
VS: How many hours per week do you work out?
EB: As a personal trainer, I am at the gym already, so it is convenient for me to work out a few times each day. Preparing for this competition on July 30th, I work out 7 days a week. I do 30 to 40 minutes of cardio before breakfast. I lift weights for about an hour mid day. Then in the evening, I do another 30 to 40 minute cardio session, or I practice my posing routine.
“The average meat eater in the gym gets protein from meat, eggs, whey protein, and maybe peanut butter. My protein sources include rice protein, pea protein, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, spirulina, lentils, black beans, hummus, almond butter, tofu, tempeh, seitan, peanuts, oats, quinoa, soy milk, and all green vegetables.” – Ed Bauer
VS: What do you love about being a vegan body builder?
EB: The thing I love about being a vegan bodybuilder is breaking stereotypes and expectations. When the average person in our culture thinks of a vegan, the out of shape image still comes up. Most people still associate strength and size with the consumption of meat and animal products. I enjoy the surprise people get when I tell them I am vegan.
VS: What is the silliest thing a non-vegan has said or asked you about where you get your protein?
EB: “You must eat a lot of soy!” Though soy foods are still in my diet, my protein sources are way more diverse than theirs typically. The average meat eater in the gym gets protein from meat, eggs, whey protein, and maybe peanut butter. My protein sources include rice protein, pea protein, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, spirulina, lentils, black beans, hummus, almond butter, tofu, tempeh, seitan, peanuts, oats, quinoa, soy milk, and all green vegetables.
VS: I am sure working out takes a lot of time, but what else are you into?
EB: Lately, with the time commitment of multiple workouts and training clients, I haven’t been volunteering as much as I’d like. I have volunteered a few times at Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Scio, OR and I am looking forward to my next time out there. I miss the goats! I also work with www.TryVeganPDX.com on occasion and host seminars on fitness and nutrition. I am scheduled for a seminar at Portland’s Vegan Mini Mall behind Foodfight Grocery on Saturday, August 6th.
VS: What advice do you have for anyone looking to get involved in this type of athletics?
EB: Learn from those who have succeeded in putting on muscle on a 100% plant based diet. There seems to be more successful bodybuilders and fitness experts promoting a vegan diet. myself, Robert Cheeke, Derek Tresize, Jimi Sitko, Giacomo Marchese, Mike Mahler, Brendan Brazier, Jon Hinds, the list goes on and on. [editors note: lots of vegan women too!]
Thanks for the info Ed! Well there you have it vegan friends. Maybe bodybuilding competitively isn’t for you (trust me, I get it), but building muscle in general will make you much healthier, so don’t be afraid to pump a little iron. For more info on vegan bodybuilding, Ed Bauer, and vegan fitness visit: www.veganbodybuilding.com, www.edbauerfit.com, www.veganmuscleandfitness.com.
Come out and support Ed and Derek. Definitely wear a t-shirt that says VEGAN loud and clear.
Date: July 30th, 2011
Time: Evening Finals start at 5pm. Derek and Ed may not be on stage until 6pm.
Location: Moore Theater 1932 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
Side note: Does anyone else think it is odd that the after party is at the Cheesecake Factory? Why not Thrive, Healeo, Chaco Canyon or any place with healthy food for healthy athletes?
*”Diet for New America” is also one of the major reasons I went vegan in the early 90s. The book came out in the late 1980s but was very influential and important. If you haven’t read it, I consider it a “must read” for animals, the environment, and info on health.