Are you Vegan or thinking going vegan soon? Check our interview with gorgeous Pro Surfer and Vegan advocate Tia Blanco and fitness enthusiast and vegan ambassador John Lewis. We chat about they’re Vegan lifestyle, they’re favorite vegan recipes and more.

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You can follow Tia’s and John’s Vegan life and tips at @tiablanco & @badassvegan

And check out VeganSmart at @livevegansmart

Tia Blanco’s interview

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How long have you been a vegan? 

I have been vegan for 3 years now and I have never felt better!

What inspired you to adopt a vegan lifestyle? Do you also only use vegan approved beauty, health and home products?

My Uncle inspired me and my family to go vegan… He is a doctor and has always been health conscious! After my Uncle watched a couple of eye opening documentaries, he shared the information he gathered with us on why being vegan is better for your health. I use all the essential oils for beauty and health!

What is your favorite resource as a vegan advocate that keeps you motivated and inspired?

I really love to follow @lonijane on instagram… Her life looks amazing and her food looks very delicious.

What are your 3 favorite places to eat Vegan food in the world?

New York, Hawaii, and L.A

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What is your favorite vegan recipe?

Banana Ice Cream (Blend in vita-mix)

4 Frozen Bananas
Almond Milk
Vanilla extract
Vanilla VeganSmart protein powder

You can eat this like ice cream and pile on any toppings you desire

Bliss balls (Blend in a food processor)

Vanilla VeganSmart protein powder
Oats
Coconut Shavings
Dates
Maple syrup
Hemp Seeds
Cinnamon

You can shape this mix into balls and bring them on the go for a snack!

How do you manage to get your protein needed for all the surfing you do? What products or practices do you recommend for our readers considering going vegan? 

I honestly never think about my protein intake… I just eat what I crave and have never had a problem with it!

Follow Tia Blanco at: @tiablanco

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John Lewis aka “Bad Ass Vegan” interview

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How long have you been a vegan?

I have been vegan for 10 years now. The best decision of my life.

What inspired you to adopt a vegan lifestyle?

My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and it really made me research the causes of the disease. During my research and discussions with the doctor I discovered that animal protein was not only related to colon cancer but so many other forms of cancer as well as a host of other diseases and ailments

What was your diet like before you decided to go vegan?

Well I was 315 lbs back in high school so it wasn’t the best. And it wasn’t 315 pounds of muscle, it was the result of the S.A.D. (STANDARD AMERICAN DIET). I ate everything from ham sandwiches, pork chops, fried chicken, you name it. Philly cheesesteaks were my go to junk sandwich and let’s not even go into sweets and baked goods.

What is your favorite resource as a vegan advocate that keeps you motivated and inspired?

My favorite resource for me is my daughter… I want her to encompass love and compassion in her life and what better way to teach her than to be that example for her and for others to see that it is possible to display love and compassion in a world that doesn’t promote it like our news outlets promote violence, hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

Do you miss eating meat or animal products?

Actually I don’t miss it at all… i think it has a lot to do with being vegan in 2016. Back in the 80’s all you had was salad and berries… now you have so many options that mimic the taste of animal based foods and are just as comparable in macros ( macronutrients such as protein, fats & carbs)

What advice would you give someone who was about to make the switch to a plant-based diet?

Don’t be so hard on yourself! As perfect as we like to think we are, you will mess up. The key is not to beat yourself up about it. If you slip up and eat cheese at 11:59 make sure you are right back on the path at 12:00. Don’t waste time beating yourself up because of that mistake. Get right back on the path to a healthier lifestyle!

Follow John Lewis at @badassvegan

Photo Credit: Tyler Wolff