I first met Amanda in 2015 at Pro-blogger, an annual event for bloggers and with our love of running and good vegan food we hit it off straight away and have been friends ever since. Amanda has a wonderful blog featuring easy to make, mouth-watering recipes that even non-vegans will love so be sure to check out her social media links at the end. Amanda is such an inspiration to me: she fits so much into a day and has a really positive, happy outlook on life. Read on to see what exciting events she is planning over the next few years-I can’t wait to follow!
How long have you been vegan?
I started a 30 day vegan challenge in August 2012. I didn’t find it a challenge and I stayed vegan.
What made you decide to become vegan?
I was vegetarian for two and a half years before becoming vegan. I was travelling through Europe and loaded my iPhone with lots of podcasts – mainly from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and I educated myself on what I was eating. I realised that the only reason I was eating animal products was because of habit, so I decided I didn’t want to contribute to any animal cruelty again and the best way for that to happen was to follow a vegan diet.
What differences have you noticed with your training or lifestyle?
My skin is definitely clearer. I have lots of energy, I recover quickly and people tell me I look younger now than 10 years ago.
Tell us about your chosen sport
I run, I cycle and I do triathlons. I’ve always played sport. I started with netball when I was about six or seven, then at 10 swapped to football (soccer). I played for around 30 years and took up running to improve my on-field performance. It was then I realised how much I love running.
I then started cycling and took up triathlons because it looked like fun. I run on roads and trails and love the idea of challenging and unusual events.
How often do you train?
Anywhere from 5 – 8 times per week. Usually every morning, although Monday is my sleep in day. I wake up at 6am and then will go to the gym later in the day. When I’m training for triathlon I usually have 2 days where I train twice per day. I have a rest day every now and then when I feel like my body needs it, and always have a few days off after an event.
Tell us about some of your achievements to date?
I’ve done a few half marathons and 10km races. I’ve also done a Tough Mudder and a Spartan race. I’ve competed in a few Olympic triathlons. Earlier this year I ran in the Ultra Trail Australia which is a 50km trail race through the beautiful but extremely hilly Blue Mountains. Last year I had planned to do a half marathon in Amsterdam. I went to enter 10 weeks before the event only to find out it was full, so I had to do the marathon, which was not ideal training time. I ended up training in 5 countries over 3 continents. I figured I wasn’t trained enough to push out a fast time so I might as well enjoy the event and do some sight seeing and ended up taking over 120 photos during the event.
How do family and friends react to your vegan lifestyle
Most people are intrigued. I’ve never had family or friends speak negatively about it, they are very supportive and can see it is working for my very active lifestyle. Complete strangers on the other hand tend to be less encouraging and more blunt with their questions. I just take it as an opportunity for education.
How do you promote your vegan lifestyle?
I believe that you can’t make anyone do anything, so my vegan lifestyle is promoted purely by me being active, participating in and enjoying life. I do love to share recipes via my food blog at www.sweetsangreens.com.au
I know that time is tight for everyone and so I love to share hearty nutritious meals using simple ingredients that don’t take forever to prepare.
What do you eat in a typical day?
Banana nice cream with granola or oats and fruit for breakfast. Dinner is usually a combination of lots of veggies, nuts, seeds, tofu, beans, lentils, rice; and lunch is leftover dinner. I snack on fresh fruit. I love to cook but during the week I don’t spend a lot of time cooking. I also love eating out and usually do so once or twice a week.
What is your favourite food or recipe?
Hot chips and beer! But I don’t eat that very often. My favourite depends on my mood – it could be my banana nice cream that has hemp seeds, peanut butter and granola; or a bean pasta dish; or chocolate; or pizza. My blog is called sweets and greens because I love sweet more than savoury.
Do you take any supplements?
I try but I always forget. The ones that I have in my cupboard are B12, zinc and iron.
What advice would you give to people thinking of going vegan?
One of my favourite quotes is by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and it’s ‘Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something, anything’
I think it can be overwhelming for some people to switch to a vegan diet because they think they are giving something up. But my advice is swap one thing at a time e.g. swap dairy ice cream for dairy free ice cream; swap cow’s milk for a plant based milk; swap one meat meal a week for a plant based meal. You don’t have to do everything at once but do something, anything.
What do you do outside of your sport/training for fun?
What? There’s more to life than sport/training? Seriously, I love to read, I love to travel, I love to learn – I’m currently learning Spanish and I’m halfway through a vegan chef and lifestyle training course at www.veets.com.au Oh, and sleep. I love to get 8 hours a night.
Who are your biggest motivators in life?
A couple of old guys that I run and ride with – One is 82 and still doing triathlons and one is 76 and a world duathlon champion. Usually anyone who is older than me and active. They prove that an active life is a fun life. Oh and my mum. She is 80 and just started her own YouTube channel!
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I’ve just set myself a few goals – an Ironman triathlon in Cairns 2018 and I want to run a marathon on every continent. I’ve done Europe, and have my sights set on Antarctica in 2019, then the Big 5, the Great wall, the Inca trail and I have to look at what to do in the US and Australia.
My other favourite quote comes from Woody on Toy Story. It’s simple and everyone can understand it –
‘Just play nice.’
I think if we were all a little nicer to ourselves, to others, to animals and to the planet we can improve our world for every being in it.
If you would like to follow Amanda on social media (and I highly recommend that you do as her photos are amazing and inspirational) head on over to the following links:
Thank you so much Amanda. Keep an eye out on the blog every Fitness Friday for more vegan athletes.