Untitled Document

Name: Dr. Catherine Divingian aka Dr. D/Spartan Diva
Year of Birth: 1968 – proud to be 43 and never want to be “young” again!
Height: 5’6”
Weight: 125 lb.
Birthplace: Phoenix, AZ
Sports: I do Figure and pull-up comps; and am interested in CrossFit comps in the future.

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I am a professor and research scientist; and am starting a supplement and peak-performance consulting company (Tier 1/Breakthroughs in Organic Technology). I’m passionate about cuisine for athletes, bodybuilding, the Argentine tango, travel, fine wines, reading, and animal rights.

Why did you become vegan?
I love animals, and found it unconscionable to harm them.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I wasn’t one of those girls that grew up to be athletic. If they had a weight-training program back in the day, it may have been a different story. However, when I signed up for Army ROTC in the late 80s, my competitive nature took over, turning into a lifelong habit. It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I started training seriously for figure comps.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
Six days per week, the diet is clean and disciplined. Not only is there the challenge of preparing vegan (occasionally vegetarian) meals; but also avoiding soy, flax, gluten, and excess carbs and sodium adds an extra dimension to contend with. The daily goal is 50% raw and 100% organic. Friday is blessed reward day, and the restrictions are off for sugar, fat, carbs, and gluten.

How would you describe your training program?
Raw and natural is the only way to go. I’ve been going more for higher volume and muscle burn to enhance sarcoplasmic growth. Calisthenics and a few high-intensity exercises are added in to enhance strength. I try to get in at least 25 minutes of cardio per day. Stretching is also a key component.

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I’ve been developing my own line of supplements; and use them in addition to a full suite of products currently on the market. They help with strength, focus, stamina and energy, and recovery.

How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
One of my coaches can’t handle the truth! He stays out of my diet. Others are intrigued.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
Come on, let’s face it, most of society thinks that vegans are wimps. We know otherwise; and we’re on a mission to prove that vegans can be strong and fierce. We protect those that are weaker (especially animals). We’re not afraid to be scoffed at. We are proud to be unique.

Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I’ve posted a few blogs on bodybuilding.com. Only the people who are already on board with veganism respond well. However, veganbodybuilding.com is a better place to show athletes the possibilities, since they are already open to it.

What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
The most important aspect of training is mental strength. It starts with focus. The gym could burn down around me, and I wouldn’t know it. You won’t see me chatting once the workout is under way; and my cell phone stays in the locker.

What do you like best about being vegan?
I like living with a clear conscience. There’s nothing that feels better than protecting animals.

What do you like best about being fit?
I love having an unusual physique and abundant energy, especially for someone who’s over 40. It’s important for me to show other women that there are no excuses. I’ve overcome a lot of medical conditions, including osteoporosis, fibroids, and chronic kidney disease, through healthy living.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Be consistent. You must put yourself first; and never allow excuses to get in the way of training. Be a student that never stops learning. Set goals; and never stop having that burning desire to be the best.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
To become educated on the subject through veganbodybuilding.com; and go for it. Don’t waste too much time nuking every little detail. You’ll learn as you go, make little tweaks, and will find a way through. Today’s technologies, including the vegan protein isolates (rice, pea, hemp, pumpkin seed, and more), are amazing. We’re living in the perfect time to do this.

What motivates you in life?
There’s no better motivation than to serve as an inspiration for others. If I helped someone clean up her diet, start exercising, overcome health challenges, and even step on stage as a competitor, it’s worth it. I’m a passionate ambassador for peak performance!

What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
It’s wonderful to meet virtually with like-minded individuals. I would love to see the website expand to the point in which it eclipses others of its genre. Thanks, Richard and Rob, for being so inspiring!