Name: Mindy (MJ) Collette
Year of Birth: 1986
Current Residence: Oregon
Sports: dance, weight lifting, yoga...
Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
Currently work in a medical office& getting things lined up to start pursuing my degree...
I recently joined a local dance company!! It's a wonderful challenge since I've taken 5 years off from dancing in a group setting! I used to perform with a dance company called Traduza, then went off to college and took as many dance classes as my schedule would allow. Since, however, I've had to cut back a great deal, and am stoked to be getting back into my favorite sport. I love cooking, baking, cleaning, and being active!!
My passions are primarily helping people and health, if I can sum every one of them all up. I think the best way to combine the two will be to study preventative medicine, to in turn become a registered dietitian. I want to help people feel good, by knowing what to eat, so they can learn to be free to really LIVE!!
Why did you become vegan?
It started out due to health reasons, and has quickly become so much more! I've always loved animals and the more I heard about the cruelty involved in animal derived products I became extremely passionate and determined to do my part in making positive changes for those lovely creatures!!
When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I was in swimming lessons when I was younger, and got into dancing around 5. After that, I couldn't stop. In dance I remember looking at my arms during plíes and wanting more definition. Then the focus began...more strength!! I want muscles!
How would you describe your nutrition program?
I try to avoid "white" things: sugars, flour, & dairy (which being vegan makes this SO easy!) Also, avoid bagged/packaged & processed "food items". I stick to primarily veggies, fruits, Vega, and tofu.
How would you describe your training program?
I would have to say it's getting shaken up right now! Since joining the dance company I'm feeling different, and really excited about the changes I'm going to see!! I'll continue to lift 4-5 days a week in conjunction & do cardio as often as my schedule allows :)
I do legs 2-3 days and upper body 2 days a week, & one day of total body...
What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
Currently Vega sport protein, and my backup is NitroFusion protein. Protein is the only supplement I'm currently taking. *Unless vitamins count? I take a prenatal & olive leaf....
How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
Usually people are just in awe because they assume it must be so difficult to eat. Which is terribly untrue!! I eat way better tasting (and, of course healthier) foods than ever before!!
What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
That everyone loses tons of weight, never get enough calories, unhealthy, only eat lettuce.... Let me make you a meal. Then, let's talk ;-) I assure you, you'll be completely satisfied.
Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I definitely promote the health benefits. If you have high cholesterol, why are you eating meat? And dairy? I try to be as gentle as possible to hopefully remove the stigma that vegans are "crazy"....or whatever the stigma is ;o)
What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Diet. Weights. Cardio. Sleep.
If we are faithful to our bodies, our bodies will be faithful to us.
What do you like best about being vegan?
A)I feel amazing.
B) I love knowing I'm not taking lives.
C) I am constantly learning more & more about nutrition, because it's forcing me to modify recipes and so on!!! Which I LOVE!
What do you like best about being fit?
Again, feeling good. Being healthy. Looking good! Being able to be active and not feel like a Mac truck ran me over!! :)
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Set a goal. Start light. Be consistent.
*Attn. women: DO WEIGHTS!!! Your bones will thank you later in life. (men usually dig girls with a little tone anyway :)
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
Educate yourself. Know why you're doing what you're doing. And be sure you are aware of the nutrients, vitamins, etc.
And, thank you! ;-) I'm proud of you!!
What motivates you in life?
My future. I don't live for today. I live for tomorrow. I don't anticipate what I do to drastically change lives today, it's about the future. It's about my future kids, it's about future animals lives, it's about our earth....
Be healthy. Recycle. Don't live in excess!
I think it's awesome! I think more people need to know this is legit. That being vegan doesn't equal being weak!! It’s encouraging to have the forum to discuss things with other vegans, and to have the opportunity to encourage others!
I love it!!
Has it helped or inspired you?
Definitely! I met Robert Cheeke a few years ago when we were both competing in a Bodybuilding & Figure show (above photos). He definitely was the fuel to my fire, & veganbodybuilding.com
was a HUGE asset to me in my growth and development as a vegan!!
Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
I want to gently educate others with what I know, and continue to learn In doing so, I will continue to grow as a person, as a vegan, and as a health interested individual. I want to do my part for sparing the innocent lives of animals, AND to spread the health benefits of being animal friendly to the rest of the world!!