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Name: Tricia Kelly
Year of Birth: 1985
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 150
Birthplace: Mineola, NY
Current Residence: 
Austin, TX
Sports: HIIT, Strength Training and Conditioning

Websites:
beyondfitaustin.com/tricia-kelly.html
tkofitatx.weebly.com
instagram.com/tkofitatx

Contact
tkofitatx@gmail.com
facebook.com/vegantk
twitter.com/tkofitatx

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have.
I am a plant-based fitness coach in Austin, TX and am loving every second of it. By dedicating myself to an active lifestyle (full of deep squats and green juice), I have transformed my own life, mindset, and body by losing over 125 pounds.

Why did you become vegan?
My body has gone through some serious physical changes on the outside (and inside!) since adopting a plant-based diet about a year and a half ago. More importantly, I feel amazing and know how much this has improved my health, in just a relatively short period of time.

Early last spring, a friend recommended I read "The China Study" and watch several eye-opening documentaries including "Forks Over Knives". Extensive research has proven that many, if not all, degenerative diseases can be controlled and in some cases, even reversed b adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet. I could only wonder: if diet could reverse disease, what could it do for a seemingly healthy person? I put myself to the test and have not looked back ever since!

I am going the best thing for my body- not to mention environmental and ethical issues. I am full of energy and quickly recover from my intense workouts.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
A few years ago, I was going through a breakup and started jogging to get through it all. I found it to be a good way for me to tune the rest of the world out and just focus on myself. I became hooked. I started working out with a trainer and attended boot camp classes three mornings a week. Over the next few months, I took things to the next level. My friend, Chad Byers, offered workouts at the school where we both taught. Last summer, I became more serious about my training and nutrition.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
My nutrition program consists of whole plant based foods. I eat a variety of raw fruits and vegetables and consume a lot of fresh green vegetable juices and smoothies. My favorite meal is after a heavy strength training session where I will have a large smoothie with bananas, blueberries and pineapple. I also really enjoy watermelon in the summer!

How would you describe your training program?
My training program is comprised of both high intensity cardiovascular conditioning and strength training workouts. I focus on training my body as a whole; using compound multi-joint lifts 2x per week and metabolic resistance training 1-2x per week. Deadlifts and pullups are my favorite!

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
People are always surprised when I tell them I am vegan. Most people believe that vegans are thin, weak and lacking in energy. This is far from the truth! I do not judge others for the choices they make, but work to share my viewpoint and success story with them. Sometimes, I find myself frustrated by the choices others make - especially those who I love. As a nation, we are overfed and undernourished. We are overweight and sick. We are killing ourselves. People are addicted to foods that cause disease. This blows my mind! Medication and surgery are not the best ways to solve a problem; they are drastic measures taken to cover up what could have been prevented. When given the correct fuel the human body has amazing healing potential. As vegans, we must stand strongly united and continue to bring our message to the forefront while defying stereotypes every day!

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with veganism or training?
I advocate making small changes over time and believe that this is what leads to sustainable success. Begin by adding in a smoothie every day. Over time, your body will adjust to all of the delicious nutrients you are fueling with and you will no longer crave junk filled with sugar, salt and oil. Eventually, all of your meals will be plant-based (no vegan junk!) and you will feel and look the best you ever had. Who needs more than that!? Make time for your workouts and do not lose sight of your goal. There will be times when you want to quit. Do not stop. You will get stronger!