Name: Hayley Marie Norman
Birthplace: Thousand Oaks, CA
Current Residence: Hollywood, CA
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I'm an actress (Hancock, Fired Up, Crash (Starz original series), Deal or No Deal, etc.) blessed to be living my dreams! I have very little free time but when I do, I enjoy anything involving animals whether that means visiting the animal sanctuary Animal Acres with my friends, hiking with my dogs, and of course nights on the town dancing seem to find their way to me. ;) I'm a big homebody though, I love laughing and relaxing at home with some good company and good conversation.
Why did you become vegan?
One of the closest people to me is vegan and even though I was always open to eating the food, it wasn't something that I ever considered for myself. Mostly because I didn't understand it. I think as human beings, we tend to reject things we don't understand and that's why education is so important so that we can be more open minded, accepting, and aware. I randomly got my hands on a book about veganism cleverly titled "Skinny Bitch." Had I known before I read it that the diet was based on a plant based one, I probably would have written it off without giving it the chance it so obviously deserved. For me, it was as simple as "Once you know, you can't un-know." My eyes were totally opened to the myriad of reasons why adopting a vegan lifestyle is truly the only healthy way of living. However, veganism quickly became an integral part of my life, one of the aspects of it that I am most passionate about, because of the severe and disgusting conditions of the factory farms and the unjust torturing of these innocent animals as well as the environmental repercussions . I hold myself to a higher standard in life than knowingly allowing myself to be part of such an atrocity. Like the old adage says, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem."
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I've been a dancer all my life and so I've always held myself to a high standard physically. Fitness helps you feel great on every level (spiritually, emotionally, physically) and because it was something that was introduced to me early in life, when I had times that I fell out of my fitness regime, I could intensely feel the difference...and it wasn't a good one!
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I eat as healthy, organic, as whole as possible, and of course %100 plant based! I don't have a lot of time to cook because my lifestyle is so on the go with very little downtime, but I'm still acutely aware of everything I put into it. I stopped counting calories when I became vegan and instead started focusing on eliminating harmful additives, etc and it has since made all the difference in my overall health, weight, and fitness.
How would you describe your training program?
My dad was a professional baseball player and because athleticism runs in my family, I'm pretty strong and tend to bulk up easily, which I try to avoid. I've been focusing on more ballet focused workout techniques with light weights and lots of cardio.
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
B12 shots baby! That's it.
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
"But....you don't look like a vegan!" Always cracks me up!
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
I think most people who are unfamiliar with the lifestyle view vegans as scrawny hippy extremists who don't shower and just eat tree bark. Although, I suppose I am sort of a hippy in my own unique way, I don't look like I'm dying of malnutrition at all. I don't walk around barefoot hugging trees but instead I've been known to rock a kick-ass pair of stilettos on the regular and definitely shower...at least once a week. Haha...kidding. I promise I shower everyday.
Another common misconception is that we only eat salads and the same bland, boring food everyday. There are soooo many amazingly delicious vegan foods!
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I have luckily had a tremendous amount of success in the area. My whole family is almost 100% vegan, and definitely vegetarian now. I am very passionate about the topic and try to stay as educated about it as possible which I believe aids in helping others transition or at least pique their interest because when they ask, "Why vegan?" I can give clear, specific reasons that I can back up with reliable research and sources. I also tweet and Facebook about veganism quite a bit and because I am an actress, I luckily have a bit of a wider umbrella of people all over the world who might not be familiar with a plant based diet, and I have been able to open up some eyes about the topic who who were not previously aware of what exactly it means to be a vegan or had many misconceptions about it.
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
It probably sounds over simplified, but I'd have to go with consistency and always working at whatever your 100% is.
What do you like best about being vegan?
I feel AMAZING! I've never met a vegan I didn't like (ok, one actually but we can forget about her), so I love that I'm part of this educated and compassionate club that is always welcoming new members. I wish everybody in the world was a vegan! It's also provided me with a much higher purpose in life than just something self serving, which runs rampant in my industry and current place I call home, Hollywood. It's put a lot of this nonsense into perspective and it's helped me realize what is truly important in life and what it really means to make a difference in this world in a way that really has no benefit for me, other than the satisfaction of knowing that I helped raise awareness and therefore have saved hopefully countless animals lives.
What do you like best about being fit?
Heart disease is very common in my family and knowing that I can help stop that cycle from continuing is very important to me. I also believe in perpetuating positive energy and I think being fit sends a message of love and self worth to oneself which helps manifest and proliferate more and more positive energy into many more areas of the world outside of just yourself.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Just do it! No excuses!
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Same as above.
What motivates you in life?
I've always been very focused and motivated in life. I love being an actress and continuing to work in that field and exciting myself creatively keeps me extremely motivated. I'm currently taking meetings to develop and produce some of my own TV/film projects that I care deeply about. However, since I have become vegan, I've found a lot of my motivations have switched to being more universally concerned such as helping to bring knowledge about veganism to the masses and overall helping to rectify a lot of the atrocities that happen everyday in the world while spreading as much positivity as possible.
What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
Yes!!! It helps me win a lot of arguments with men that are carnivores who give me 101 reasons as to why they can't be vegan because they are men, or they will lose muscle and nonsense like that. As soon as I show them veganbodybuilding.com, they have nothing to say!
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Follow me on Twitter @xohayleymarie