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Name: Nathan Rosen
Year of Birth: 1990
Height: 5'81/2”
Weight: 170lb
Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
Current Residence: YMAA Retreat Center California
Sports: Tradtional Chinese martial arts, Crossfit
Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/SwonPeek , http://www.gofundme.com/YMAA-Retreat-Center

Tell us a little about yourself, what you do for a living, what hobbies / interests / passions you have
I'm 23 and I've lived in a Martial Center in North California for 4 months in order to become an instructor in Chinese Traditional Martial arts in the Yang Martial Art Association (YMAA). I love cooking when I'm not training.

Why did you become vegan?
In the beginning I had stop to eat meat because it was disgusting. My body was rejecting the amount of meat I was eating. I was vegetarian for a while because I was thinking, (like a big part of western society) where would I find my protein. But step by step I have been more concerned about animals right and a healthy point of view. So I came to understand that I could completely stop consuming animal products.

When and why did you become interested in fitness?
I really began to become interested in fitness 5 years ago. I've always praticed lots of physical activites (US Football, Roller slalom, fencing) but I wasn't really committed. But one day I decided to change my life, and my heallth. One day, you see, you look in the mirror and think "who's this guy? I can be better". And I don't talk just about what's out side - my body, what you look like. I'm talking about everything. And fitness was a part of this progression in my life.

How would you describe your nutrition program?
I recently started to pratice intermittent fasting. I have a body type which likes to store fat, and this kind of body type is well-known in indian medecine to be able to skip one meal easily. So I eat my first meal at noon (even if I wake up every day at 4:30am), a snack at 4pm, and then my last meal at 8pm. I live with at least 12 people, and it's not always easy to be vegan in this place.

Usually my lunch is composed of a big green salad (greens, chards, broccoli, carrot), quinoa, a handful of nuts, fresh fruits and some dried fruits. I try to avoid beans because my afternoon training is very long and I need easy digestion.

My snack is always the same: a mix of soy, pea, and hemp powder with one scoop of green superfood, a handful of dates, ¼ cup of oats, 2tbsp chia seeds and 1 or 2 fresh fruits (apple, pears, raisins)

I like to eat fresh fruit before my meal, as it helps me to control how I'm going to eat afterwards.

My dinner is essentialy the same as my lunch, except that I often add beans, sometimes tofu (not too much), pumpkin and sunflower seeds

In the YMAA Retreat Center we have to cook for everybody once a week, you can find my menu and some recipes that I cook in my blog.

I finish the day with some fresh and dried fruits.

How would you describe your training program?
In my center we practice 7 hours a day 5 days a week. Saturday is a working day, and the sunday is a rest day. Though I begin at 6am, usually the morning is more for internal training and technical training. The afternoon is the physical training. I start at 1:30pm. We have to run a mountain with a weight vest. I carry 90 pounds for 1 mile, with a hill of 35° - 45° . After that, we practice HIIT. Lots of bodyweight exercices (Squat Jump, Burpees & variation, pull up), and KB exercices (50lb) for 30min. I prepare the HIIT program every day. I like to use a combination of explosivity, cardio and strength exercises. After that we do 2 and a half hours of total body conditioning (muscle, ligament; tendons, balance, endurance, explosivity). At 4pm we have a break (30min) and after that, we train until 6:30pm with the same kind of training and some technical exercises & fighting exercises

What kind of supplements do you use if any, and why?
I use some vegan vitamin supplement (B12/D) and green superfood powder. I use a mix of hemp, pea, soy protein but I think that I'm going to use just pea and hemp in the future. When I can avoid soy products I try to.

How do people react when they find out you are vegan?
In America it's easier to be vegan. There's the vegan label, people are more aware of it. In France, being vegan is not always simple. People don't understand, and make bad jokes. I really like America in that way. Sometimes people are just interested to know why I'm vegan. But I've been to some parties where it was more like an attack on veganism than just a discussion.

What are some common misconceptions about veganism?
We are weaker than everybody, we can't exercise as much as other people.

Have you had success in promoting veganism / vegetarianism to others? If so, how did you go about it?
I''ve haven't changed anybody for the moment, but the place where I live, everybody is very into their meat. Since I've been here I've seen that they have actually begun to decrease their consumption of meat and they become more and more interested in the health aspects of veganism. So finally it might be a small victory.

What do you think the most important aspect of training is?
Self motivation, we can't wait for other people to work out for us. Regularity - it's better to workout 30 min every day than 3hours once a week.

What do you like best about being vegan?
I've discovered a world that I didn't know before. A world of food that lots of people don't know, because they consider the meat to be the main dish and vegetable, legumes, grains, like side dishes.

I also like to think that maybe I'm just one person but with my motivation and with a good community we can try to plant the seeds of the change.

What do you like best about being fit?
Feeling that my body can do things that I wasn't able to do before. Running with 90 pounds on 45° hills. And to know that it's a total philosophy, not just the training. To complete my goals, I have to think about my training, my diet, my morality, my mentality.

What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with training?
Take your time - I've made some mistakes with this. Don't burn the candle at both ends, just keep going slowly and improve step by step your performance.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of becoming vegan?
It's a long way, sometimes not easy, but finally it's just amazing. That's not just changing your diet, it's to be aware of lot of things that you didn't know before. You change your life

What motivates you in life?
I like to train, I like to wake up and meditate for 45min and train 7 hour a day. Be able to share what I learn, and practice very hard. I don't think that results come without hard training. The more you train the better you become. That's my motivation. I want to become good enough to be able to teach what I've learned and preserve Chinese Traditional Martials Art, and also help it to evolve.

What do you think of veganbodybuilding.com? Has it helped or inspired you?
I discovered veganbodybuilding.com when I read Brendan Brazier's books. I've really been inspired by Brendan and Chad Byers and it's helped me to keep going and to see that there is a big vegan community of athletes.

Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
Never give up, keep trying, again and again. I've often failed, but every time I've learnt. The most important thing is to do our best, not to be perfect.