—Systemic change begins with personal change—

282: Vanessa Hering, part 2: Food, fitness, fun, and winning


Who doesn't love food? Vanessa also loves whole, fresh vegetables and fruit. If you haven't seen the movie The Game Changers, about athletes who love vegan food and still compete at the highest levels, well you don't need to because Vanessa is living it. Changing diet and changing environmental habits have a lot in common. Vanessa found the joy, community, and connections in food that I did, and she won a bodybuilding competition. We also talk about environmental action. Still fun. Vanessa and my second conversation might look long, but I suggest it's worth it. She's shares herself personally and openly, so I chose to let it go long. She shared what many people go through---the internal resistance and reasons not to act, for example, and who doesn't know about making excuses not to act? You'll also hear her say why to act on diet, so you can hear about habit change on both sides from the same person. Her openness helped me to where I think I'm opening up and speaking more naturally. Her challenge worked in some ways but not others. This podcast isn't designed to say it's easy, only to share their experiences. I think many would envy her results. She's not superhuman. On the contrary, she's every bit as human as anyone. What she did most of us can.

271: Vanessa Hering, part 1: Champion body builder, vegan, Ivy MBA


Vanessa's original post said she Wanted to be a better advocate for veganism: so I trained 1.5 years and won the University of Pennsylvania body building competition. When asked why, she wrote For the animals, for health, for the environment. Never thought I would have the amazing privilege to be educated at an Ivy League school like University of Pennsylvania, but being there I had to use the opportunity to showcase the possibilities of a plant based diet: and how you can thrive with this lifestyle! My peers will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, ceos, and I wanted them to see me on stage winning this as a vegan. My classmates come to the show with signs that said #plantprotein because that is what I always hashtag on my Venn Hering Instagram  I also wrote my masters thesis on plant based diets and the link between toxic masculinity and meat consumption. It was selected by a panel of academics as the best in the class! Progress is happening and I wanted to be a part of the movement :) So I asked her about these things, the back story, the results, the hopes, and the dreams. Her food pictures in Instagram are incredible, by the way, different but similar to my famous no-packaging vegetable stews, so I loved them. Also watch her videos.

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