What motivated you to start a plant-based diet?

After having auto immune disorder symptoms such as rashes, itchiness, and random allergies, I decided to eat foods that were easier for my body to work with.

Do you find it difficult to maintain a plant-based diet as a bodybuilder?

Being a vegan while building my body is definitely one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my life. However, I still manage to get the appropriate nutrients needed, including proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Feeling better must help overcome that hardship! What are some common questions you get about your diet from other competitive body-builders?

“How do you handle eating vegetarian?” And I just say, will power. When people ask me how I get what I need through plant based proteins, I just explain that plant-based foods are the best and who wouldn’t want to eat double or triple the amount of food?!

What do you mean by eating double or triple the amount of food?

When it comes to comparing animal protein with plant protein, I do feel like it’s easy for others to think that animal protein is superior because it doesn’t take much chicken, steak, beef, or milk to fulfill a wide array of muscle building nutrients, when on the other hand it may take double the serving size of plant based protein to get the same amount of nutrients.

That makes sense. Supplements generally play a part in the diets of competitive athletes. Can you tell us more about how they impact your diet?

Supplements, like vitamins and minerals in capsule form, I believe, are extremely necessary for the first 1 – 2 years of lifting, but after this time I would personally recommend getting most of your needed vitamins and minerals through foods and Amazing Grass whole food powders. 

We agree that whole foods and whole food supplements are the way to go long term. Do you allow any sweets or treats in your diet?

Watermelon. I have a major sweet tooth so I eat about 1 whole watermelon a day. [Austin’s favorite Amazing Grass Berry whole food nutrition bar also helps curb his sweet tooth, he later explained.]

Wow, a whole watermelon! That’s impressive.

Lastly, what tips or advice would you give people who want to incorporate vegan or plant-based meals into their diet but are still concerned about performance?

Make sure that you get a dynamic range of whole food protein sources, along with the nutrients required to have a proper functioning, healthy body.

Great tips Austin, thank you for sharing and best of luck!