To continue our Pre/Post-Workout Nutrition series, we chatted with a nationally qualified bikini competitor who fuels herself quite differently than majority of the bodybuilding world – with a vegan diet! Rebecca Winn is a 25 year old certified Personal Trainer at RISE PT Studio who has competed in two Bikini Competitions and will be celebrating her 3-year Veganiversary this Christmas. Being active for most of her life, doing MMA is high school and running in college, it wasn’t until she discovered weightlifting that she truly fell in love. Rebecca became gradually more dedicated to the lifestyle, but in coherence with going vegan, she discovered the important relationship between physical performance and diet: “After going vegan I lost a lot of weight and had to re-train myself how to fuel my body and muscles without meat, dairy or eggs.” While not the easiest task, she managed to build herself back up in time to enter prep for her first show right out of college. In a bodybuilding world saturated with grilled chicken, egg whites and whey protein, Rebecca goes against the status quo to prove that you can achieve your best performance and appearance by consuming plant-based whole foods.
Aside from nutrition and exercise, Rebecca also shows that true passion is a large factor in whatever you do in life; that your mindset is incredibly important for your own success.
I do what I do because I love it, I want to change people’s lives and show them how strong and capable they really are and what they can do if they don’t let up. I want to help people become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves.
She may receive questions and objections to her eating a vegan diet with the sport she’s in, but staying true to herself and her beliefs are what drive her to succeed.
Typical Pre-Workout Meal:
Normal bodybuilding diets tend to give an abundance of carbs a bad rep, but that’s not the case here. “Mybody loves carbs, so my pre-workout meals are a bulk of my carbs: 3oz of tempeh, ½ cup of rice, and ½ cup of beans or veggies depending on what body part I’m working so that my body has enough fuel to burn.”
Typical Post-Workout Meal:
Remaining a tad more ‘typical’ in choice here, shakes are a great option to refuel your muscles quickly and to best-utilize carbs and protein for muscle growth. “Post is usually a protein shake with berries/ fruit along with a smaller carb source so that my body continues to burn the fat on my body and not the food I’m about to give it. This is what seems to work for me.”
Rebecca’s Outlook on Healthy Living:
Similarly to our past featured athletes, balance and focusing on properly fueling your body for performance are key objectives in Rebecca’s definition of ‘healthy’.
Healthy is a balance of how you feel, move, eat, and think. If you eat according to what your body needs and thus fueling it based on the activity you do to keep your body strong, it allows you the opportunity to feel accomplished, cared for and confident. For me, that’s eating the food that’s going to fuel my workouts and build a body that will blow the judges away. Also destroying any stereotype that vegans can’t build muscle.
Rebecca also emphasized the importance of being in touch with your body, and truly listening to it. “Listen to your body, if it screams for rest, then rest. If it says feed me then feed it. But also pay attention to when to stop eating and start moving. Your body will tell you, but it’s up to you to listen. […] If you aren’t happy with your form of exercise then it won’t do you any good. And love the food you eat and keep it as simple as possible. Less processed foods and more whole foods, your body will know just what to do with them.”
Lastly, she wants you to trust your own journey: “Everyone has their own journey. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, but how many more times you stand back up. I’ve dedicated my life to showing people that they are strong enough to do so. Find your happy and kick butt doing it!”
To see what Rebecca’s up to, hear some inspiring words, and see some clean vegan eats, check her out on Instagram @miss_fitt__ !