Imagine: you are loved by your familiy, you look good, you are healthy and are helping people getting more out of their lives, let’s say you are quite happy with all this and the people all like you and beside: you are a committed vegan. Wow. And then? Then you take part in Peta’s „Sexiest Vegan Next Door“ campaign. And you win. This happens to Ryan Bate who is a lifelong resident of Rhode Island. He and his wife Danielle are running the excellent South County Adventure Boot Camp for Women. Which they regularly use to raise money for the local animal shelters. Ryan now has sit down and answered some questions. I’m sure you enjoy reading as much as I did.
Since when are you vegan? Just hit 8 full years!!!
What brought you to a vegan diet? Educational videos such as Peta’s “Meet your Meat”, “Forks over knives”, the book The China Study all influenced me to choose a vegan lifestyle. I then additionally learned how I can save 100 animals per year from cruelty and or death with the lifestyle combined with all the health benefits of weight loss, increased muscle, more energy, less stress, better sleep all while helping the environment, I knew it was the way for me, and I have not looked back since. It’s the best decision I have ever made.
Is you wife vegan, too? Yes my wife Danielle is vegan and has been for the past 8 years with me. We have recently – last week – just welcomed our first son to the world last week (his name is Xander) and we are planning to raise him vegan as well.
How do participants in your boot camp react when they learn that you are vegan? Our boot campers are always amazed at how much energy we have and how we feel, our positivity, confidence and the way we look. With that being said they are always inquiring about how it’s done. We have experienced that our campers are very interested in the lifestyle and are not only open and willing to learn about it but many of them have decided to adopt a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle just by seeing us lead by example and providing them with helpful information, facts and EASY to make and DELICIUOS recipes.
Do you recommend the diet to people? 100% !!!! If you have struggled to loose weight, increase muscle, increase stamina, get better sleep, decrease stress, decrease the risk of disease, have more positivity, think clearer all while saving animals from cruel conditions or death, then why continue to struggle? My recommendation if you are thinking about making the switch is to go to PETA.org and order your “VEGAN STARTER KIT”. It will help to jumpstart you. Don’t overwhelm yourself and try to make a change all at once. Be sure to make small realistic goals and build from there.
What is your prefered vegan meal? (Do you cook yourself?) Wow, what a great question! I have never eaten SO MUCH VARIETY when it comes to food since choosing a vegan lifestyle so I have so many that are my favorite. I can cook, but I cannot compare to my wife Danielle who is the best VEGAN cook I know! She can veganize any dish! I guess if I had to choose I would say black bean and sweet potato enchiladas we make at home. Ya can’t go wrong.
Vegan and fitness, how well does that go together? It’s a perfect match! Any component of fitness that you want to achieve in or improve in whether it be strength, endurance, body composition, flexibility.. etc. All can be achieved EASILY with a Vegan Lifestyle.
Ryan, thank you very much.
Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchilada
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 TBS olive oil 1 Large garlic clove minced
1 small, fresh hot chili, seeded and minced
1 and 1/2 cups cooked or one 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 TBS chili powder Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Cups salsa 8 large flour tortillas 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a lightly oiled backing sheet and roast until tender, turning once, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees F. Heal the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. Spread a thin layer of salsa over the bottom of a lightly oiled 9 x 13 baking dish and set aside.
4. Place tortilla on a flat work surface. Spoon a portion of the sweet potato mixture down the center of the tortilla and roll it up. Place the filled tortilla in the baking dish seam side down and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling mixture. Spoon any remaining filling mixture on top of the enchiladas, top with remaining salsa, and sprinkle with onion. Cover and bake until bubbly, about 20 minutes, serve hot.
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