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NBSV 100


Transcript of the No-Bullsh!t Vegan podcast, episode 101

NBSV 100!! Ten listeners each have a 10-minute chat with Karina on veganism, fitness, and much more

Karina Inkster: You're listening to The No Bullshit Vegan Podcast, episode 100. I have an extra special celebratory episode for you today with 10 guests, each speaking with me for 10 minutes.

Hey, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for tuning in. I'm Karina, your go-to, no BS, vegan fitness and nutrition coach. 

Today we are celebrating a hundred episodes of this podcast. So I started this show in April of 2018, and I honestly didn't know how long it would last, but now I have no intention of stopping and I would love to give a shout out to some of the awesome folks who have been instrumental to this show's development, starting with the K.I team, Zoe, my coach colleague, and our community engagement pro, Izzy, our podcast communications head honcho, and our executive ninjas Kaylin and Jess.

Props to our awesome podcast editor Fina, and my husband, Murray, whose voice you hear in the intro and outro of the show and whose technical expertise allowed me to start this show in the first place. And of course, thank you awesome listener, for tuning in over the past three years, sharing our episodes and supporting the show. It should go without saying that this podcast would not exist if it weren't for you. So thank you.

All right, today I present to you a 10 by 10 episode. By the way, 10 by 10 is a common training protocol whereby you do 10 sets of 10 reps of one move. And thank you to Zoe, by the way, for the idea for this episode. So I'm speaking with 10 listeners of this show who each bring to the table one of our past episodes that they connected with, and we use that as a jumping off point for a 10 minute discussion on whatever topics come up. Head to our show notes at to meet all our guests and connect with them at their websites and their social media profiles. So that's

So let's get things started with our own Zoe Peled. Zoe is a fitness coach with the K.I team and has a particular affinity for kettlebells, strength training, and calling out industry BS on the regular, especially if it's about food or what bodies ‘should’ look like. Currently she's training for a 75 kilometer hike and a thousand plus mile bicycle ride. She does additional work in marketing and community engagement, leads several local activism ventures, and founded the Vancouver Vegan Resource Centre in the fall of 2018. Zoe has been vegan for almost 12 years and an animal rights activist for almost the same duration of time. Hey, Zoe, thanks for speaking with me today.

Zoe Peled: My pleasure as always, and looking forward to busting some more myths with you.

Karina Inkster: As per usual, right. Businesses as usual.

Zoe Peled: As per usual.

Karina Inkster: Well, first of all, I have to give you a shout out because this whole 10 by 10 episode construct was your genius idea. So thank you for that. Absolutely brilliant. Loving it so far.

Zoe Peled: My pleasure again, and I'm glad that it's worked out and I'm really looking forward to hearing about the different responses from folks about the episodes.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. And just in case our listeners don't know, 10 by 10 is a legit training mechanism. It's called German volume training. So you're doing a hundred reps essentially of the same move, 10 sets of 10 reps. So it kind of works, right? Like the fitness thing, the busting myths thing. It's brilliant.

Zoe Peled: It all ties in.

Karina Inkster: I love it. So what episode are you bringing to the table today?

Zoe Peled: Okay. So I would also like to offer a disclaimer, and perhaps this is something that other folks will say as well. This is a really hard question to answer.

Karina Inkster: Right.

Zoe Peled: Simply because if you look back at your entire podcast history, you not only have so many brilliant episodes, but you cover such a vast range of subject areas. So just want to acknowledge those two points and celebrate you for them.

Karina Inkster: Well, thank you.

Zoe Peled: So I have selected episode 86 when you talked to Dr. Chana Davis, particularly around some of the problematic language that we encounter within the food realm, with things like processed food and the demonization of processed food. And also some of the discussion points that we can explore within whole foods, veganism and plant whole foods, plant based veganism rather, and kind of the prestige associated with that way of eating.

Karina Inkster: So many good points!

Zoe Peled: So many!

Karina Inkster: I loved that conversation, seriously. I mean, she's been on the podcast before, Dr. Davis, and I feel like we could probably do an entire series of like 20 episodes just with her, but I know that you have been using this particular episode as a resource for some of our clients when they bring certain things up. So in what kind of a situation might this particular episode speak to someone?

Zoe Peled: That point is accurate. I think it's safe to assume that I've not only sent it to many clients, but I've sent it to them perhaps more than once.

Karina Inkster: Excellent!

Zoe Peled: So with a term like processed food, something I mentioned previously is that there's kind of this notion of demonization around it, and there's a notion of shame. And I don't think that people who hear that dialogue, it's not just them, okay? This is a very pervasive dialogue that we're all exposed to. And it happens within the food industry as a whole. It’s not only vegan food or plant-based food. So we may find ourselves encountering situations in which someone eats a food, which they perceive as processed and therefore they may be navigating some certain feelings about that, whether it is guilt or shame or some anxiety. And one of the most important things that you address in that episode with her is there's really no arbitrary definition of processed food. When we talk about processed food, sure, some obvious things come to mind - maybe more junk food or treat food options, you know, foods that involve several, several steps to get to their final process.

But as is also discussed in the episode, how do we define what is processed and what is not, if we have something that may be a whole foods dish, and the components of those have gone through a level of fermentation, for example, do we also define that as processed? Because we should. It has gone through a process. So it brings us into these really murky spaces where we're conditioned essentially to feel good about eating certain foods and to feel bad about eating other foods. And the way that those groups are defined is also very murky, is very, very false, and for many obvious reasons is really, really problematic.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. So well said. There are so many aspects here. There's the piece that makes, or that demonizes processed food in the first place, which of course is one whole arena of bullshit. There is the group of folks that you just mentioned a couple of minutes back within the vegan, especially whole food plant-based realm, who are very often like an all or nothing -

Zoe Peled: Exactly.

Karina Inkster: You know, like you're either a hundred percent, whole foods plant-based, or you're doing vegan wrong, which alienates a lot of folks from veganism itself.

Zoe Peled: A lot.

Karina Inkster: But then there's a whole other level of okay so yeah, as we talked about in the episode, of course, a lot of this has to do with marketing and individual ideas within veganism about “what's right and what's wrong” - I'm using quotes by the way. So I'm interested in your own approach. Like how do you have delicious foods? You're like me, I believe in dark chocolate obsession level.

Zoe Peled: Every day.

Karina Inkster:  Right. Same here. 365, you know, every single day of the year, I'm having at least some dark chocolate. So how do you manage, if that's the right word, or balance, the more treat type foods? Which we all I think inherently understand are the super more processed foods than, you know, something like quinoa which is technically processed. But I think inherently we know that still counts as a whole food, right?

Zoe Peled: Yes!

Karina Inkster:  What's your method here? What are your thoughts on your own approach?

Zoe Peled: I have a multi-tiered approach, I suppose. I think that something really important with treat foods is not to position ourselves in this space of deprivation and complete avoidance. Because, you know, obviously I will give the disclaimer that if you choose to not eat a certain group of foods, because you know, they don't agree with your body and you don't feel good or there are medical reasons, that  is piece number one, that's a different dialogue. But I think when we arbitrarily decide, you know, I'm not going to eat any treat foods or I didn't exercise today, therefore I don't quote unquote deserve treat foods, and any statements like that, I think ultimately you're setting yourself up for failure because when we're deprived of anything, I'd say most human beings are going to want it more.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. The human brain, that’s  how it works.

Zoe Peled: The human brain, absolutely! So my approach is a little bit, probably every day,  and a great example is the dark chocolate piece, which is something I learned from you. The best pairing with my coffee, which I have every day at three o’clock, is a piece of dark chocolate. And obviously there will be days and occasions where I eat more treat foods - sometimes a little bit more and sometimes a lot. And it's not every day. I think the important thing about those days is acknowledging that when we have those days, they're not going to have a huge negative impact on certain goals or areas of focus that we might be working towards. Even though many institutions within these industries will tell us that, you know, they have thrown us off the rails or we're off track, or all of those lovely statements.

So I think eating what feels good, moving away from deprivation, and really consistently working against this narrative, that we've all been bombarded with our entire lives, and doing that by eating treat foods.

Karina Inkster: I Love that! Brilliant Zoe! Thank you so much. Let's leave it there. That's amazing. Thank you so much.

Zoe Peled: My pleasure! And again, I know we could talk about it for a long time, but those are the main points.

Karina Inkster: Love it. Next up we have Shanley Ten Eyck. Shanley is a professional organizer, KonMari consultant, reiki master, and certified personal stylist. Shanley's mission is to guide and teach clients how to live in a fully functional and streamlined environment for the rest of their lives. Shanley is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community and is a PEO sister helping women in their educational pursuits. Hey Shanley, thanks so much for coming on the show today and speaking with me.

Shanley Ten Eyck: Thank you for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

Karina Inkster: I'm excited to have you. So let's jump right in. 10 minutes goes by super fast. So we are going to talk about two episodes in our discussion. We're starting with the one on PETA, which is episode 70, I believe. So why did you choose that one?

Shanley Ten Eyck: I don't know a whole lot about PETA and of course it's sort of the thing that everybody talks about when you want to be a vegan - go find out about PETA and see what they have to say. They have an app where you can go and check out what are PETA friendly restaurants to eat at. And I think that I was a little surprised to discover that a full-on vegan athlete and coach is like, yeah, PETA, no- go and this is why. And so I was super intrigued by that. I was not disappointed at all by the reasons that you gave during that episode.

Karina Inkster: Interesting. You know, I feel like I'm not saying PETA is a hundred percent, you know, don't follow anything they do, because as I think I mentioned in that episode yeah, of course there are some positive things that have happened, but in general, I feel like a lot of vegans don't even know what the deal is and that was the case with me before I really started looking into it, and you too perhaps. I think a lot of folks who are in the same boat there.

Shanley Ten Eyck: Absolutely. Yeah. So I was shocked to hear like real numbers in the episode about how many animals they euthanize. That was stunning to me.

Karina Inkster: It’s pretty crazy hey?

Shanley Ten Eyck: Yeah. And so the idea there is that they also do a huge amount of lobbying for people to go do things like vandalize, burn things, and then they pay their court fees and all that money is coming from donations. Huh!

Karina Inkster: Yep. And I think a lot of folks who are donating to PETA don’t know that.

Shanley Ten Eyck: Right, exactly. Like if I was donating to any organization at all, of course it would be PETA. But that's not what I would want my money spent on is lobbying and, I mean, yes, probably lobbying, but I definitely am not going to be paying somebody to go burn a building down or set fire to a research lab. I mean that's not activism.

Karina Inkster: Yeah. It's not activism in my view either. That's vandalism.

Shanley Ten Eyck: Yes, exactly. Vandalism.

Karina Inkster: Well, so how does this kind of relate to your own way of presenting veganism to the world if that's what we could call it? Like, do you identify as an activist? Like, is it mostly an ethical stance for you? Like what's the kind of personal vegan connection here?

Shanley Ten Eyck:  Yeah, so for me, I became a vegan for health reasons. Because my body literally just rejects meat. It's very uncomfortable. And so I sort of discovered, oh, hey, maybe if I don't eat that I won't have cramps all the time. Gastrointestinal distress, it was just not good. So I stopped eating it and then that stopped. So, hey, that's good right? Let's try that some more. And then that slowly progressed to ethical reasons as well and for the animals and then also for like saving the environment. You know, the amount of gas that methane that cows could give off is astonishing. You know and the fact of how much food goes to feed cows. So it sort of becomes wrapped up in it.

I absolutely would not call myself an activist. And that's because I can't invest that kind of emotional energy into it, but what I will do is not buy Oatley milk because they, you know, raise Amazon forests, you know? So that's the kind of activism that I do. Like I won't shop at, like I don't eat at Chick-fil-A because they don't, you know, like that kind of a thing. So I, I literally put my money where my mouth is in that regard. And that's the activism that I do.

Karina Inkster: Yep. I can relate to that for sure. I mean, it also depends of course, on how you define activism. But we all are “activists” - and I'm using air quotes here - when it comes to how we use our dollars. We have a say in what's being supported or not supported. And I think that definitely counts and it does make a difference.

Shanley Ten Eyck:  And that's why it was so surprising in the PETA episode to hear that any dollars that I might have donated to PETA were going to things that I actively would not support.

Karina Inkster: Right. That's huge. That's a really important point. Yep. So how about the Bo Bennett episode? I mean, that's totally different. That's with a guest that's bringing on someone who thinks very differently from me. What's the deal there? What kind of drew you to that episode?

Shanley Ten Eyck:  Yeah, those were the reasons. Yeah. And so, you know, I tend to,  when I listen to your podcasts, I tend to gravitate towards the ones that are you by yourself because I see you as a content expert. And I know that you do the research that's required to understand your point of view. And it's not just like, oh, well, I'm a vegan because I love the animals.

Karina Inkster: And then that’s it, right?

Shanley Ten Eyck: Like, that's not how you operate right? So that's why I'm drawn towards like the, ask me anything podcasts and the PETA one. But the Bo Bennett one specifically inspired me to listen because it was an opposing viewpoint. And I was like, okay, here's the thing: if anybody knows how to interview somebody with an opposing point of view, it's going to be Karina because she's done her research. She's gonna rock this interview. She is going to know exactly how to call him out on his BS.

Which, I mean, if that's the name of your, podcast. Let’s just use it, you know? There were a couple of times when you were like, let's talk about that a little bit more. I was like, yeah. So your idea about sentio-centism and it's okay for you to eat chicken, and I loved how you like kept pushing the button on chicken because he eats chicken. I almost honestly think that you might have changed his mind just a little bit by the end of the interview. Like truly you could hear him maybe questioning himself a little bit. And I was like, go Karina!

Karina Inkster: Yeah, that’s so interesting you mention that because I have heard a couple other few listeners who said the same thing. They're like, it just kind of sounded, you know, like maybe there was something going on in there. And I came out of that interview thinking I should have pushed harder, honestly, which isn't really my style. It's so out of my comfort zone. But I think sometimes though, the kind of like poking, like you were just mentioning, poking, asking questions, hey, let's talk about this. Often it actually leads to more change than a full on like, dude you're full of shit.

Shanley Ten Eyck: Yeah! Which is exactly what the issue with PETA is I think. You sort of went in for me for that reason. Cause like PETA will put out those really horrific pamphlets that show like dead fetuses and things like that. And you talked about all the different ways that they body shame and use fat people. And I'm like, oh God, that's horrible.

And so I think the idea with not pushing the button with Dr. Bennett actually made it a more productive interview because you were very like calm about the way you were interviewing him and you weren't all up in arms, which you absolutely could have been because you're rightfully so a vegan, you know, and you have reasons why you're a vegan. But you were like, so here's the thing, you know, animals have thought processes too, and, you know, chickens can actually do arithmetic. And he's like, “oh… oh yeah, I didn't know that.” And you're like, “Uh-huh!” And like more thought processes than like three-year or a four year old person. So I just loved that and I think that's why I liked that that one so much is because you were just all about the facts and you knew what you were talking about, but you did it in a respectful and sort of, I hear you, but there's still this kind of way.

Karina Inkster: Okay. This is a really interesting point because I was actually wondering if we could sew together some kind of a connection between these two episodes and I wasn't really seeing the connection, but you just made it for me. You're brilliant! Yeah! So it's,  really about like how the message is presented basically, or how the argument is presented in this case. That's a really interesting point.

Shanley Ten Eyck:  And PETA is the extremism of that. Like the absolute extremism. I mean and you talked about this in that episode, that they absolutely turn people away from being vegans because of their very extreme approach to it.

Karina Inkster: A hundred percent! Yup.

Shanley Ten Eyck: And Dr. Bennett was like, well, so, you know, I might actually eat less meat now and I didn't know that about chicken, so maybe I won't eat chicken now anymore too you know? And you're like, okay. So that was awesome.

Karina Inkster: That’s so great. Well, thank you for your brilliance. Thank you so much for coming and speaking with me. It was great to catch up and I look forward to this episode.

Shanley Ten Eyck: Me too. Congratulations on a hundred. Woo!

Karina Inkster: Thank you. Now I'm excited to welcome to the show Peter Motykowski. Peter is a longtime vegans since making a year 2000 New Year resolution. Peter is an avid cyclist and is raising vegan kiddos with his wife, Stephanie in Denver, Colorado. Hey Peter! Thanks so much for coming on the show and speaking with me today.

Peter Motykowski: Hey! It’s great to be here.

Karina Inkster: Well, let's jump into your episode. Which one are you bringing to the table today?

Peter Motykowski: I decided to go with episode number 89, which is on setting goals or not, making and  tracking progress, and creating habits.

Karina Inkster:: Ooo! So much good info in this one. And so that's for listeners who want to check that out, that’s episode 89 with Tobias, and he is like my go-to guy when it comes to systems and habits, and like he gave me a kick-ass reading list of like 20 books to read after our conversation. It was fricking awesome. So what drew you to this episode out of others?

Peter Motykowski: I mean it was really the title literally jumped out at me in my inbox when I got the notification and it just arrived at a time when, you know, I was evaluating my own systems and how to track my own progress and how much to track, how little the track, how much to look for just directional guidance. So it was just well-timed.

Karina Inkster: That's cool. So have you actually changed or added to your systems after what we were discussing in this episode?

Peter Motykowski: I'd say yes. Like what I found is - and I've been into sort of the metrics of fitness and diet and all of that for some time - and I guess it used to refer to as the quantified self, like the ability to track everything about yourself and make small changes and see the results. So what it really helped me was just decide, you know, what numbers matter to me, what are important to me, which actually influenced my behaviour as opposed to trying to take on too much, track too much, and almost lose track of it because there's so much data nowadays.

Karina Inkster: That's a good point. It's kind of like what is important to you versus what you think you should track, and what you might hear is important, even though it may not apply to your actual situation.

Peter Motykowski: Exactly.

Karina Inkster: Huh. Interesting. So what are some of the things that you are tracking currently? So you’re a hardcore cyclist. You strength train most days of the week, like we're talking super active athlete here. So what are the things that are important to you that actually make you feel, I don't know if motivated is the right word, because I'm not really into motivation, but you know,  that keep you interested? Let's put it that way.

Peter Motykowski:  Yeah. I like to look at my week, you know, the seven-day week and how many active days did I have? And I always strive to have six active days, giving myself one rest day. So that's, you know, rather than looking at how many, how long was each workout each day, or how many calories did I burn each day - did I have six active days? And that's one thing that's really helped me feel good about having a productive week fitness-wise, but not obsess over did I get a 45 minute, a 60 minute or however long workout on each one of those days?

Karina Inkster: Ah, interesting. I like this. I do something similar for myself. It's one of the few things that I use still in paper and pen form versus like digital - writing down my workouts, no info at all, other than what I did, like swim, upper body, jump rope, crapload of squats, like whatever it is. And then you can just look at your week super simply right? I think that's brilliant actually, because a lot of people get into this, this whole calories burned rabbit hole, and it becomes more about that than the actual activity itself.

Peter Motykowski:  Yeah that and the results. Like it's hard to quantify how many calories do I need to burn to have a result that I'm seeking out? And I initially, before getting started with the program was, you know, getting acquainted with food tracking, and quite honestly, it was just, it was so difficult for me to track every meal and all that I just really found it really untenable. But what I was finding is the results I was having, the results I wanted. So I was able to really orient around the results, feeling good in the clothes I was wearing, picking out new stuff that I hadn't worn in a while. Those are the results I was after, not a spreadsheet of data that would tell me I'm trending in the right direction.

Karina Inkster: Good point. And I think that’s kind of what Tobias was saying in the episode too right? It's gotta make sense for your goals. You're not just tracking something arbitrarily because you can.

Peter Motykowski: Exactly. And even going to the book that was mentioned in the episode, the Atomic Habits, I forget the tenants of making a habit stick, but one of them is making it easy. So like, if something's easy, it’s  very much in front of you. You almost can do it effortlessly. Like I felt those were the ones that contributed most to sticking with my behaviours at least. That and the stacking. You know, putting two, maybe adjacent activities next to each other so that you always do them together and therefore don't neglect to do one or the other.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. Well, avid listeners of this show will know that Atomic Habits is one of my top three favourite books on the planet. It's pretty excellent.

Peter Motykowski: You mentioned it in the show and inspired me to read it.

Karina Inkster: Oh sweet!

Peter Motykowski: So I had another coworker mention it, that just put me over the edge. Once it was mentioned here, I'm like, all right, time to read the book.

Karina Inkster:  Game over! It’s happening now. That's so awesome. So how has it worked for you then with strength training specifically? So you're coming from a longterm cycling background. I mean, that's just something that's like, Peter's normal, right? You don't even think about it at this point, I would assume. But strength training when we first started working together, presumably was a newer activity and something that you maybe had to have it stack or schedule into your life a little bit differently than cycling. So how did that work at first? Was it really difficult to add this whole other type of movement and this whole other time commitment into your schedule?

Peter Motykowski: It was mostly from the time commitment standpoint. You know, doing a half hour to 45 minutes cycling session, and then trying to fit another 30 to 45 minutes either before or after is pretty challenging. And that's where I finally got to the point where I'm like, if I've had an active day, be it strength training or cycling, I feel good about that. I hit my goal.

Karina Inkster: Right.

Peter Motykowski: But when stacking them though, I found that to be most effective putting like the strength training before the cycling, because once I was done with the cycling, I, I seldom want to then go do anything else that's sweaty and I’m just sort of done. The strength training before it was the key for me.

Karina Inkster: Interesting. So it's not just about stacking, it's actually the order in which these things are happening.

Peter Motykowski: Yep. I felt once having done the 45 minutes cycling, I seldom wanted to do anything else. So it was key to doing it before.

Karina Inkster: That makes total sense. And I mean it's different for everybody, but I think the basic concept is part of making it easy.

Peter Motykowski: Yeah. And it's a very different movement. It served almost as a warmup in some way, bringing my heart rate up, you know, generally halfway, if not three quarters to what I would get my heart rate to on the cycling. So it actually ended up complimenting my cycling workouts quite well.

Karina Inkster: Hey, have you noticed any sort of performance differences in cycling from strength training?

Peter Motykowski: Well, I've hit PRS. So I would say either a coincidence or directly related to becoming stronger.

Karina Inkster: Well, this is like an N equals one scientific study here. So, you know, we can't be a hundred percent sure, but it is a little suspicious though - the timing here you know?

Peter Motykowski: I'd say!

Karina Inkster: That's so awesome. And sometimes it's not about even measurable results, right? Like maybe it's just about going on a harder than usual mountain bike trek or something and feeling like it was less effort. Like even these kind of more subjective things.

Peter Motykowski: I mean, there is that, and you know, I'm cycling with folks who aren’t on the same type of regiment as I am. I've noticed here we are early season and folks are like, how are you getting up that hill? And like, we're rolling a few weeks into the season and you're killing it up these hills. And it's like, huh, I think maybe the training regiment over the winter months helped.

Karina Inkster: I think Peter has a secret weapon here.

Peter Motykowski: Don't tell anyone.

Karina Inkster: No! So what are some other ways, if you have some, that you have made working out in general, whether it's cycling or strength training, easier for yourself? Like, I feel like I have all these things that I try to do to outsmart my own brain, to make it easier to like get my ass into workout mode or get my ass to the pool or whatever. So do you have some kind of environmental or little habit things that you do? You know, how some people put out their shoes like the night before and then they get up and their gears all ready to go? Like, do you have any of that where you're kind of making things easier for yourself?

Peter Motykowski: Yeah. I'd say one is like the schedules are published for the live Peloton ride. So I pick out on Mondays, hey, which live sessions do I want to do? Cause they have a lot of excitement and anticipation with those. The other would be sort of the accountability partners aside from my fantastic coaches, having friends who are also doing the same things I'm doing and, you know, kind of ribbing each other on by having a little bit of competition here and there.

You know, the one thing that was mentioned in the podcast as well as sort of this idea of time of year, like, oh, I'm going to start my diet on New Year's or I'm going to start it -

Karina Inkster: Oh yeah right!

Peter Motykowski: I’d say the only thing that's sort of comes of those times of year is you pick up maybe some new accountability friends who are like, oh hey, I'm going to finally get myself in shape this year. And you can like, all right, let's do this together. Let’s -

Karina Inkster: Assuming they stick with it!

Peter Motykowski: Yes. True. But it does, it gives you an opportunity to maybe even bring more people into sort of your fitness community every time that calendar cycles right? And folks kind of do the resolution thing.

Karina Inkster: That’s a great point. Again, people who listen to this show know that I have many regular workout buddies. There is no way that I would be as consistent as I am with my workouts if I didn't have four different folks keeping me accountable. It's set in stone schedule. It's the exact same every week. You know, my friend Vanessa shows up three days a week to my gym. All of these things are in place. So I think you're onto something here for the accountability piece. It can be coaches, it can be friends, it can be the Peloton schedule. That's all a form of it.

Peter Motykowski:  Yeah and we all serve as just sort of gentle reminders to like, hey, if you've lapsed, you know, get back on the bike or pick the weights back up. It's fantastic, you know, to have that community support. And I definitely lean on that for motivation.

Karina Inkster: That is so awesome. Well, Peter, thanks so much for being part of our hundredth episode. Great to have you on the show, much appreciated. And it was fantastic speaking with you.

Peter Motykowski:  Likewise. Thanks for having me.

Karina Inkster: Welcoming Michelle Singleton to the show. Michelle is the founder of A Home For Hooves Farm Sanctuary, which started in September of 2017. They provide a forever home for over 70 rescued farm animals who have been neglected, seized, surrendered or abandoned. Michelle also works full-time as the team leader of operation support for the laboratories of Island Health, and she has a five-year-old daughter. Hey Michelle, thanks for joining me today.

Michelle Singleton: Oh you're welcome. Thanks for having me.

Karina Inkster: Of course. Let's jump right in. You're bringing episode 11 to the table, which is some serious  bullshit busting about soy and related myths. So why did you pick that one? Why is that on the top of your list?

Michelle Singleton: I think I picked that one because I've been vegan for probably four years now and that's what people talk to me about all the time as if I'm concerned about soy consumption. If it's going to cause cancer, lots of different - like it's going to impact my health and that it's not healthy for me to consume soy. So to listen to everything that she had to say, especially within fertility. And when you hear where that information actually came from, it was kind of mind blowing that people think it’s based on infertility, but it was what the sheep were eating in such a high, like so much that - I can't even think of the word right now, but -

Karina Inkster: Like concentration.

Michelle Singleton: Yes. It was so highly concentrated. Like a human would never consume that product. So it's not going to have an impact on your fertility, but so many people think that it is going to, so they're cutting soy out of their diet when it really is a healthy product that you can and should be consuming.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, absolutely. And before we started recording, you also mentioned the beer aspect.

Michelle Singleton: Yes. I was howling laughing when I was listening to that because it is so packed with phytoestrogens and everyone is so concerned about man boobs if they eat tofu, but these guys are drinking like six-packs of beer on a regular basis.

Karina Inkster: Nobody seems to care.

Michelle Singleton: They don’t care, they don't know, or they choose to not listen to that fact because they enjoy that product so much.

Karina Inkster: Right. And also the study that showed like, you know, in the one case where it did happen, this dude was consuming like pounds and pounds every day of soy products.

Michelle Singleton: Yeah! Like a lot! Like you would never be able to sit down and eat that much. And there was one case where they thought possibly it was linked to man boobs, but there was no history of that patient. There is no look back and see what medications they had. What his other medical history was to see if that was a contributing factor. So there really are no case studies on this. It's just a myth that's out there that people seem to believe.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. And like we talked about in the episode, like we don't even really know where it comes from. It just exists. It's kind of crazy.

Michelle Singleton: And people just take it as fact. But when you actually deep down look into it, it's not true. But  that belief is rampant.

Karina Inkster: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So you mentioned that folks have brought this up when they find out you're vegan or when you have a conversation about it, they're like, oh, soy, you better make sure you're not eating too much. Blah, blah, blah. Does that also affect like your choice of food, you know, for your kid or for your family? Like, do people actually make their opinions known about this stuff?

Michelle Singleton: Oh, absolutely! Everyone. So my daughter's five and everyone's asking me like, oh, you're raising her vegan? That's not safe. You know, she's going to have developmental issues. She's not going to grow properly. All of that stuff is not true. She consumes soy on a regular basis. That's the main milk that she drinks. We eat a lot of tofu in our home. She's incredibly intelligent. We just had our parent teacher meeting. She's just turned five today, actually.

Karina Inkster: Aww! Happy birthday!

Michelle Singleton: We had our parent teacher meeting, I don't know, two months ago. And we were told she's above kindergarten level and she's in preschool right now. She's six inches taller than the kid next door who's a week older than her. Like she's a giant, she just turned five, she's in size eight clothes. Like don't tell me that feeding her a vegan diet is impacting her overall health because it's not. She's thriving. She's doing so well. Like I have no concerns whatsoever.

Karina Inkster: No kidding. So you've been vegan for what was it? Around four years?

Michelle Singleton: Four years.

Karina Inkster: So did you actually transition, like when your daughter was really young? Like about one?

Michelle Singleton: Yeah so she was one. So what happened when I had my daughter, I was vegetarian for six years. I went on a tour at a farm sanctuary and learned about the dairy industry. And for me, I mean, I’d just had my daughter, I'm breastfeeding her, and just to hear how calves are removed from their mother immediately after birth or very close after birth, to me that was heart-wrenching because I know, especially at that time, I just, I still remembered that experience of when I had her and how close that connection is. And I couldn't even imagine having her removed from my care and how distressing and horrible that would be. And the fact that we're doing this on a regular basis to dairy cows, just so we can have their milk, like so many people don't realize that these cows are being artificially inseminated in order to have babies, in order to produce milk. And this is a yearly activity for them. So for me, once I heard that, I'm like, well, I'm not consuming dairy anymore. Literally the next day I cut it out of my diet.

So yeah, I was done. And then obviously I learned about eggs and different things like that. So I went vegan literally the next day after learning a lot of key information about just how animals are raised for food. And I just didn't want to be a part of it.

Karina Inkster: And now look where you're at, where you're actually running a sanctuary for those animals. Like that's amazing.

Michelle Singleton:  Yeah it was pretty crazy. Like my husband's head was spinning because I literally went vegetarian, vegan, three months later, started a farm sanctuary. So he's like, what just happened?

Karina Inkster: Wow. I didn't realize it was so soon after you went vegan!

Michelle Singleton: Yup!

Karina Inkster: Damn!

Michelle Singleton:  Yeah. It was like bang, bang, bang. I actually happened to lose my father two months after I went vegan and it really, it had a significant impact on my life, and it made me realize, you know, I need to do something with my life. I need to make a difference. Animals have always been very important to me. And then now just following the vegan lifestyle and recognizing that they do need help. And there really isn't a lot of help out there for farm animals, just rescues in general not too many of them exist, and they also aren't protected through our legal system as well. So just being able to bring those animals in, provide them with a good life and then also educate the public as well in the hopes that they will transition to a vegan lifestyle too.

Karina Inkster: Well, I think you're doing all of those things and more! I mean, I've told you so many times, but just so our listeners know like Michelle is a frickin superhero, like honestly! It's ridiculous, but it's amazing. It's so interesting how all those things kind of come together and how you're now inspiring so many other folks, whether it's through social media, seeing what you're doing or whether it's through volunteers who are actually working with the animals - you know massive impact there, which is amazing. And hey, we were going to challenge ourselves to squeeze in another mention of a podcast episode. And it actually kind of goes with what you were saying about your daughter, right? I mean, she essentially is growing up vegan and you know, folks have said like, you know, make sure you don't feed her too much soy milk. It's going to be bad for her, et cetera. And the other episode that we were going to mention is actually bullshit busting on raising vegan kids, which I think we need more of, obviously, in the vegan arena. So that was episode seven with Dr. Reed Mangels. So what kind of brought that to the table for you?

Michelle Singleton: For me it was just kind of affirmation that, you know, how I'm raising my daughter, I don't need to feel guilty about it. I don't need to feel I'm putting her health at risk. It was just like, it just solidified it for me being like, okay, this is a professional. She knows what she's talking about. She's just confirmed my beliefs and you know, now I kind of have a stepping off point when I do talk to other people. I can mention her name. I can say, you know, go look at her information. You can see I'm not putting my daughter at risk. And I mean, she's been vegan now for almost four years. Like I said before, she's growing, she's thriving.

Karina Inkster: That's four fifths of her life!

Michelle Singleton:  Yeah exactly! So I have no concerns, but it was kind of just confirmation for me because there is so much feedback from family and friends, you know, that I am harming her health when really, yeah, I’m not.

Karina Inkster: Well you know, you bring up a good point though, because a lot of folks do know that veganism is what they want to do for themselves, but then once they have children, they're like, ah, maybe I should check into it. Or they just kind of feed into some of these myths a little bit more. So were you, like when you had your daughter, did you know right off the bat, what you were going to do, did you have some reservations? Like where were you at at the beginning?

Michelle Singleton: Yeah I definitely was concerned because I hadn't heard anything to say that was safe and that it was okay for her to do this. Like I had friends telling me like her brain's not going to develop properly. So for me that was terrifying. Like, am I really going to harm my daughter by the food that she eats? But like I said, based on how she's doing right now, I have no worries whatsoever. I mean, we eat a healthy diet, a varied diet and you have to be very conscious of the food that you eat. But as long as it's a healthy, balanced diet it’s going to be fine.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. And you and your daughter are absolute living proof of that.

Michelle Singleton: Yeah.

Karina Inkster: Amazing! Well Michelle, thank you so much for speaking with me. Thank you for coming on our amazing hundredth episode show and we will be in touch soon.

Michelle Singleton: Great. Thank you very much.

Karina Inkster: Next up we have Marisa Pothier. Marisa is a business owner living in Chilliwack, BC. Her Honest Cleaning and Services business keeps her busy, challenged, and focused on future goals. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking and being outside with nature and animals. Hey Marisa, thanks for speaking with me today. Great to have you here.

Marisa Pothier: Yeah, thank you so much, Karina. I'm happy to be here!

Karina Inkster: We're looking forward to diving in. Let's get right to it because we are short on time, of course. And you are bringing to the table, your current favourite podcast episode, episode 94 with Robert Cheeke. So what's the deal? Why'd you choose that one?

Marisa Pothier: Yeah, I think recently when I started your program, I started to be a little bit more aware about what I'm capable of doing and just really diving into fitness and taking an interest in the vegan bodybuilding. I think it's so amazing that people push themselves and are capable of doing that. So I've just taken a huge interest and that podcast really stuck with me about my journey and Robert Cheeke as well.

Karina Inkster: Well, if you're cool with sharing, it would be great to hear a little bit about where you're at. I mean, you're not a newbie vegan and you've been active for a long time, but maybe this particular focus in strength training is that what's new to you? And just background for any listeners, Marisa is on our team. She's one of our awesome clients, kicking ass with strength training. So yeah. Can you tell us a little bit about this? Like, is strength training new to you?

Marisa Pothier: Yeah, I’ve always been interested in fitness and a couple of years ago I was really, really involved in fitness and and then, yeah, just like over the years just kind of lost interest and wasn't really you know, working on myself and then I also started a business. So working on my own fitness and health kind of took the back burner. But yeah, this past year with COVID there really has not been much to do. So I just took the opportunity to really work on myself and learn about strength training, learn about fitness and just see what I'm capable of doing. And now it's like I'm really into it and I don't want to stop.

So it's a great feeling and I'm really happy with your program and just seeing the results and feeling the results and I just want to keep going. So yeah, this particular podcast, I feel like he also talked about, you know, the work hustle and that was really huge for me because that's been my life for the last two years, starting and running a business. So…

Karina Inkster: That's a really good point. And I mean, two years in the business area is still new. That's a new business still, right? And by the way, you're killing it in the business realm. And also the fitness realm. Like seriously, you're the one who's putting in the work here in both of those areas. So you should be super proud of yourself. You've built up something amazing in both of those realms. It's absolutely incredible.

But yeah, so the hustle thing is part of you focusing on fitness more now, trying to bust out of that, and like take some time back for yourself and prioritize your own health? Is that kind of the motivation there?

Marisa Pothier: Yeah. I just I have a great team and they've taken on a lot of responsibilities and so I've been able to really set aside the time and, you know, like nothing else comes in the way of that now. Like I have my set gym time and everything else can wait. Like, you know, it's the time that I've dedicated for myself and that's what I need to do on a daily basis just to feel good and to continue on this path and routine. Like I'm somebody that does really good with routine. So yeah, I would say I have just made it a priority and my business is always going to be there. But I need to take care of myself first as well.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. You know, I feel like, especially with a lot of newer entrepreneurs, I don't mean like two years in, but like, you know, the first six months, that piece is forgotten. And I guess for a lot of folks that's just normal and maybe even necessary in a lot of cases, but I'm glad that you're realizing this now and not like 12 years in.

Marisa Pothier: Definitely.

Karina Inkster: It makes a big difference. So where does veganism factor into all of this? Is it a factor in your business? In like your fitness? Do you talk about veganism with folks at the gym? Like where's the vegan piece fit in with Marisa's awesomeness?

Marisa Pothier: So I've been vegan four years in July and I definitely don't see myself going back. I feel really good about where I am in my health and fitness right now. And the reason I started this fitness journey with you and just in this past year in particular, is because I really just want to be a good role model of what a healthy fit vegan is and to spread the vegan message. So whenever I go to the gym, I always try to make sure I wear some sort of like vegan activism, just to kind of, you know, start a conversation about it and show people that, yeah, like I am vegan, I'm capable of doing what somebody else is capable of doing. And yeah, I want to show people that I can be strong and I'm ready this year to kind of transform so to speak. So I have the time, I'm putting in the work and I’m just you know, looking forward to the next year about my growth.

Karina Inkster: Love that! love that! A lot of listeners are going to be like, oh man, I should take a page out of Marisa's book. Hey, question for you - what keeps you going? Like you're putting in an insane amount of work, first of all. So like consistency, intensity of your workouts, looking at your details for your nutrition. Like there's a lot going on here, but what keeps you going day to day? Like even professional athletes don't wake up every morning saying, yeah! I want to work out! Like there are days where we have to haul our asses into the gym, right? So on a day like that, what gets you there?

Marisa Pothier: I think, yeah, just, you know accountability with you guys. And then tracking is really something I benefit from. So, you know, I see my progress and I'm really motivated right now with COVID like, there's really not a whole lot going on. So, you know, I can be focusing on this and I don't have anything else to do so. But overall like, it's just, it's a feeling, you know? Like I want to keep going. I want to see that growth. And I want to see you know, I want to look back on the pictures from four months ago and be like, holy smokes! Like, this is what the hard work is paying off for. So yeah, just overall, like for me, it's a feeling like you know, my clothes aren't fitting and I never want to wear those clothes again. So yeah, just I'm excited, I'm excited and I feel good. And I want to continue that.

Karina Inkster: You know, what you said about it's really a feeling that keeps you going that I think is huge. A lot of people don't tune into the current how I'm feeling now, how energized I am after a workout, how great it feels to put in the work at the gym. Like that's all present moment stuff, right? We're often very focused in. Well, what am I going to look like in four weeks? You know am I going to drop weight on the scale, which is a whole other conversation obviously about how the scale is not great, but anyway, I think that's really important, is focusing on what's happening right now. How's it making you feel and including the vegan piece, wearing your vegan awesome attire at the gym.

So Coach Zoe and I know, but our listeners probably don’t, the gym that you train at is actually really awesome. Like they have built an amazing community. It's a smaller scale, like non commercialized kind of facility, right? So have you had conversations there with folks about veganism specifically, or do people kind of like approach you when they see you wearing your vegan gear?

Marisa Pothier: It’s so funny you say that because so there is one other female vegan at my gym. So you know, we go actually separate times, but in the last couple of months that I've started going regularly I go at the same time - you know, you schedule the time. And so I see a lot of the same people and just last week a guy approached me and said, you know, I've seen you here for the last couple of months, the same day, the same time, and I just want to say, like, I can't believe how you look now compared to when you started. I was like,

Karina Inkster: No way!

Marisa Pothier: Yeah! I just, like, I went home with like such a huge smile. I was like, holy smokes. So you know, and I just was honest, you know. I said, I've been focusing on vegan nutrition. I've been focusing on just changing it up to with my workouts, not doing all the same things, but consistency. So we had a conversation about that. And obviously like when I come to the gym, my vehicle has advertising on it. So people are very aware that I'm vegan and I'm happy to talk to people about it. And if that one person just noticed the change, like I'm just excited like I said for the next couple of months to see where I go and I want to continue on this path.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing. And you're right, because one person came up to you, there's probably another 15 at least who are noticing the hard work you're putting in, the vegan messaging, and just aren't saying anything, but it's percolating, right? But it's in their brains. It's making a difference. Did you say you have advertising on your vehicle? Is that for your business and vegan or is it both kind of together?

Marisa Pothier: It's for my business, but I have a vegan house cleaning business. So I want to show people that yes, house cleaning is possible and you don't need products that are tested on animals and it's eco-friendly cleaning, it’s better for the environment. So yeah, that's my purpose of my business. But I think overall, like I try to, you know, spread the message as best as I can. And like when I go grocery shopping, it's the same thing. You know, like yesterday I had a conversation with a lady about tofu. I said, why is all the tofu gone?

Karina Inkster: It's totally a thing right now. The tofu shortage.

Marisa Pothier: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I just, I try to, you know, make people aware about the changes that are happening in the world and how we can better take care of this planet and animals and yeah.

Karina Inkster: Amazing. Well, Marisa, you're part of the solution and I'm so glad I got to speak with you. Thanks so much for coming on.

Marisa Pothier: Thank you so much for having me.

Karina Inkster: Now I'd like to introduce James-Paul Luna. James-Paul is a mindful Mexican American hard rock and heavy metal vocalist. He's been vegan since 2011 and has toured North America, Europe, UK, Japan, and Australia, while maintaining a vegan diet and promoting a vegan lifestyle. Outside the heavy music world, JPL has a passion for meditation, animal activism and mindful movement. Hey James-Paul, thanks for speaking with me. Welcome to the show.

James-Paul Luna: Thanks Karina. I'm glad to be here.

Karina Inkster: I’m excited to have you as part of our crazy hundredth episode. So let's jump right in. You're bringing to the table the, well, actually we're going to talk about two episodes, so we're going to see if we can tie them into our conversation. So one of the episodes is Ren Jones, episode 45, busting bullshit around scale weight and BMI. And he's got four gates of health that we can talk about. And then we're also going to tie in, because this relates to what you do as a touring musician - episode… okay, I already forgot the number! was it 58? Around bullshit busting travel?

James-Paul Luna: Yeah, 58.

Karina Inkster: Okay, so let's start with the travel aspect. So this is something that you have done, you've been vegan for a decade. So you're living proof that you can be vegan pretty much anywhere, as a touring musician. So what are some of the pieces that stood out to you from that travel-related episode?

James-Paul Luna: I think it was just reaffirming that it's like, okay, yeah. It's like, I'm not the only one that's been able to do this. But I think the thing for me, I was vegetarian on tour and then at home I would eat vegan. I was just afraid I wouldn't be able to like, take that step, that next step and next plunge. And it was just like this one time I was like, all right, I'm just going to try being vegan on tour. And then it just kind of worked out and I just always want to expand like, oh, any more tips I can get cause when you're out there, you're kind of fending for yourself. And if I only have like an hour to find a meal within walking distance or Uber distance of a show or a venue that I'm performing at, it can feel real limiting. But also I've turned it into like an adventure. So I liked a lot of the tips that they gave there, you know, like just having your staples, protein powder for sure. And just like a lot of those staples, and just kind of getting to know like Ethiopian, Indian, Thai, Mexican, those kind of spots, you can usually get stuff modified vegan, you know?

Karina Inkster:Yeah, absolutely. Well, like I said, you're living proof that the excuse of travel to not be vegan is bullshit.

James-Paul Luna:  Yeah. It really is. And I thought Japan would be the hardest, but I mean, there were a lot of vegan restaurants. But there was just like this stuff that's kind of already accidentally vegan or like onigiri, it's just like vegan before it was even a thing, you know? Like it's just vegetables 

and rice.

Karina Inkster: I think that's the case in a lot of different cuisines. You know, stick to the basics, legumes, grains, some kind of a protein source, if you got it, and you're pretty much good to go. So that's awesome. Now as a touring musician, this is something that you mentioned right before we hit record, the aesthetics piece kind of comes into play as well, right? You're a front man. So what are your thoughts on kind of, you know, tying into what Ren Jones was saying in his episode? What are your thoughts on this aesthetics kind of maybe expectations that are put on you?

James-Paul Luna: Yeah. Well, for me it was like this idea of the tracking weight and how BMI is bullshit and just really it's like the mental state that it puts me in to track on a scale. It just kind of led to body dysmorphia and distorted eating patterns and like, just trying to live up to this image of what, you know, a cut ripped, like performing guy looks like from the eighties, like an eighties mentality. And he talks about that too. It's like a lot of people that want to look like these lean fit, eighties rockers. In my image, it's like, yeah, maybe there's a way to do that's more sustainable.

And I'm glad I connected with, you know, yourself and like your team, and Coach Zoe. And yeah, it's more about just, I think the way he said it, there's these other gates to get to. And like the last gate is that aesthetics gate, which is so great. And it's really about the ideal weight is like Ren said, like when you're strong and you don't have to struggle physically, sleep well, and you're not batshit crazy. And I was like, wow yeah, that's so true! It's about my sanity. And I like in there too, it mentions about the thing about a good sweat as an indicator of a good workout. And I used to think that too, but like, wow, just kind of debunking a lot of these old thoughts and ideals that I had of fitness and what a good physique looks like or how to track that, you know?

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. And you know, what's interesting is that aesthetics in Ren's four gates of health - which by the way, all our listeners should go back and listen to that if they haven't yet - the last kind of construct that you go through is looks, but what usually gets people to start is looks and they're, kind of going through these stages in the wrong order and I don't really want to use the term wrong, but you know what I mean? Like it's not super effective to start there and then get to the other things like how you feel and are you batshit crazy? Like, that's a legitimate question.

James-Paul Luna: Yeah. Exactly.

Karina Inkster: Interesting. So have you, like, how have you worked on some of these things? Like, it sounds like you came from a place of, you know, looking at the scale, focusing on body image, this kind of stuff, which is super common. I mean, especially in the fitness industry. So like what kind of work have you done to move away from that?

James-Paul Luna: Well, yeah, I mean, a quick short synopsis, like I put on a bunch of extra weight during COVID being very sedentary. And I just worked with different trainers and I just kinda found this lose a bunch of weight really fast kind of like thing. And it made me really spiral. And then from that, like finding a different approach, working with yourself and Zoe, it was like, okay! And I was afraid I was going to put that weight back on, not focusing on the scale. And it was like, once I kind of stepped away from it and just kinda like I had to take a trust fall into your guys' program. And it's like, oh, okay, it's just more about how I feel. It's more about my mental state and how I feel.

And then the strength that I feel like, oh yeah, I can lift more weight now. And just like the natural progression of that has become more important than this short-lived thing of I hit this weight, cause weight will fluctuate, but I think he even said how you can measure, you'll drop a few inches in your waist, but your weight has gone up. And that could just be cause you have more muscle mass, you know? And that's just goes to say that same thing, it's like the BMI is bullshit. It was not intended for personal assessment. And it’s just like weight is just a relationship of mass to gravity. And I mean, that's really it. And so like, yeah.

Karina Inkster: I love what he said about if this box, if the number on this box is dictating your emotional state, it's an abusive relationship and you have to break up with a box.

James-Paul Luna: Yeah. And that quote that you mentioned - I think it was Laurie Morgue - I've forgotten, but there’s no number on the scale worth sacrificing your health for. But also like this box telling you whether you're going to have a shitty day or not. I was like, wow. That’s so important.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. Yeah. Hey, you're a fellow meditator. So is mindfulness part of this picture as well? Keeping in touch with like how you're actually feeling and like feeling empowered that your strength has increased? I mean, I'm not saying that aesthetics or looks are unimportant. Like we're human. We all want to look awesome. Perfectly fine. But I feel like it's a kind of a bonus side product of other things. So is that a piece for you? Like where does mindfulness, if at all, or meditation fit into this whole picture?

James-Paul Luna: Oh, a hundred percent. I actually had set a new year's resolution in January of 2020 to just meditate for 10 minutes a day. And I did not know how valuable that would have been during pandemic, but it was really a lifesaver because I started to expand and as much as I wanted to go outward and you know, do more physical stuff, I somehow was like, let's just go inward more and just kind of like work from the inside out. And that has really shifted majorly. And I'm up to like 30 to 40 minutes a day now of meditating.

Karina Inkster: No way!

James-Paul Luna: Yeah!

Karina Inkster:  Wow. Good for you. Holy crap!

James-Paul Luna: It's like somebody told me, shared this thing once, instead of trying to find time in your day, structure your day around your meditation and try and find meditation like into your day, you know? And that was like, yeah. And for me it's RPM: rise, pee meditate.

Karina Inkster: Ah, I like that. You know, I saw a quote recently. I just read Dan Harris's book. He wrote about, he's the 10% happier guy. And so this is his newest one and he has a quote in there from someone else, that's something like everyone should meditate for 10 minutes a day, and if you don't have time to meditate, you should meditate twice a day.

James-Paul Luna: Totally! Yeah!

Karina Inkster: Right? So that's brilliant. And I actually didn't know until you sent your bio over that you also meditate every day. And now that I know I'm like, dude, we’ve got to talk about this some more. I'm on year two now. It's been, I think two years and two months, but I have not done longer than maybe 20 minutes. Like I'm doing it daily, but I don't do the long sessions and I that's something that I want to get into. So you’re planting that seed for me, which is awesome.

James-Paul Luna:  Yeah. It takes a minute to build that too, just to be comfortable just sitting in, you know, doing whatever you're doing, like depending on what kind of technique or method, but yeah, that's great.

Karina Inkster: Exactly. That’s awesome. Well, James-Paul, thank you so much for coming on the show. Happy to have you as part of this project.

James-Paul Luna: Of course. Glad to be a part of it. It's an honour. Thank you.

Karina Inkster: Now I'm excited to bring onto the show Hannah Michnya. Hannah is a writer and administrator for a local nonprofit in Honolulu, Hawaii. She's been vegan for years, vegetarian before that, and loves to create recipes in her free time. She has a new found love for all things training and lifting. Hey Hannah, thank you so much for coming on the show and speaking with me today.

Hannah Michnya: Yay! Thank you for having me. I'm so excited.

Karina Inkster: Me too! And you're bringing to the table one of my, I would say top four or five favourite episodes. Not that I find it very easy to pick, but can you tell our listeners which one you are choosing for a jumping off point today?

Hannah Michnya: Yes, of course. So it's number 91. It's called the K.I team on weight loss first fitness, vegan and BMI BS busting, our training goals and more. And it's just, I mean, it's my number one favourite. Like you said, it's so hard to pick, but I mean there's just 10 trillion goldmines in there of like just good information and it's also feel good because you guys are friends and have a really good relationship. So it’s the best.

Karina Inkster: Well, before we started recording, you were mentioning that there’s a point in that episode where Coach Zoe does this awesome, don't really want to call it a rant, but it kind of is. It's just like mic dropping basically, non-stop right? And what was, what was that about? I feel like there were a couple moments there, but which one were you mentioning?

Hannah Michnya: The mic drops are abundant, but one that I was talking about was I know that this was recorded around the holidays. So back in January, and I think she was talking about in December when the like Instagram influencers and fitness coaches start talking about like all the food that you're going to overindulge on and, you know, without using these words, but basically telling you like how you need to punish yourself afterwards to get rid of that food and to get rid of all that you've overindulged in and whatever. And Zoe was just calling it out for the bullshit that it is and saying, you know, she's seen a lot of people saying like in the New Year, you got to start your new workout routine, you got to get on whatever, and get rid of all of that holiday bloat and holiday weight that you gained and et cetera. And it's ridiculous, first of all, just as a tactic, and second of all, it's just like, so anti-everything that I feel like you guys tell us, not only us, but like your Instagram and your podcast and everything. And Zoe called it out and I just loved every single second of it.

Karina Inkster: That's amazing. You know, I feel like the fitness industry is very slowly moving in the more vegan direction, in the more fitness at all sizes, fitness at all body shapes direction, but it's so fricking slow. Like there's so much more work that we still need to do here.

Hannah Michnya: It is. And I also think when you said that it brought up a good point of people are kind of, I don't want to speak for everyone, but kind of weaponizing, like plant-based, as like it's so healthy and whole foods, and if you eat, you know, one processed food, it's just, it's all goes out the window and just all this kind of stuff where like, I think that veganism and plant-based is super healthy, that is part of a small part of the reason that I do it. And it's true. Like, it's not my opinion, that's scientific, but I feel like it gets used as like a, you know what I'm saying? Like a health craze which also A: does not bring more vegans. It just brings people who will quit more often. And then B: brings people who have like maybe disordered eating or like bad relationships with their food. And I dunno, and it's just used as like this is the way to be healthy, and this is going to make you lose a bunch of weight. Like veganism is not to lose weight. We do veganism for the animals and then all the other stuff on the side.

Karina Inkster: A hundred percent. And I fully agree. I think, look, there's nothing wrong with more folks going vegan for whatever reason they have. But like you just said, if the main reason is weight loss or even personal health without the other pieces, like ethics and environment, I feel like it's not very likely that you're going to stick with it long term.

Hannah Michnya: You're exactly right. Exactly. And you're right. All those things are good. Like I do think that people often lose weight when they eat more plant-based foods. And that's great and that's a good thing, but it's just not gonna -are you really going to keep doing it in 20 years, you know?

Karina Inkster: Exactly. So what's, what's your story? Can you share a bit with our listeners about how you came to veganism?

Hannah Michnya: Sure. I'd love to say that I went vegan in 2018, but that was full of a lot of slip-ups - not slip-ups, purposeful slip-ups - where I just was not fully committed because I actually wasn't in it for the animals at first, and that's why it didn't work for me. So in 2018 I met two vegans actually, and they just kind of told me everything. I didn't know that much about it. I kind of knew like the jokes on TV about like hippie vegans, and I was like okay.… but at the time I was like, I don't even like animal products that much, like they're not a big deal, so I'll do it. Why not? These two people are vegan. I'm going to do it. I'm going to be like them. And it was hard at first just because I was so unfamiliar.

I was also buying bad alternative brands. You know, now that I know Gardein and Gardein has a special place in my heart, I think I'm good, but just all that kind of stuff. So anyway, it was 2018 and there were two friends who were vegan and they inspired me. And I didn't fully commit until January 2019. But yeah, since then I haven't had a single animal product and I have loved every second of it. I never liked cooking before then. Now when I'm bored, I cook, I don't bored eat, gosh, but when I'm bored, I cook, when I'm sad, I cook, you know, cooking is like my favourite thing in the world now that I'm cooking with vegan food and I don't have to like clean raw chicken and like all that kind of stuff. So anyway, it's just been the best.

Karina Inkster: That is so awesome. I think everybody of course comes at it from a different angle, but once you're committed and I think once you have that background of ethical environmental reasons in the mix somewhere, I feel like that's going to stick for sure. And we've been working together. So we know that you've built these habits. Like we know you have bulletproof nutrition habits. You’ve been working out consistently. Like you're still going to be kicking ass with this stuff when you're 97 and a half. Like there's no question.

Hannah Michnya: Oh, yep. You're exactly right. I remember the first time you and I met when we were kind of getting ready for me to start your training program. You had just made an offhand comment about being like 98 or something. And I was like, oh, I'm just letting you know, I fully plan to live to be a hundred years old. And you were like me too! Exactly! And I was like, I know I can get there with just the good things that we're putting in our bodies. And also now I've added the piece of working out and just training and, you know, moving my body in ways that feel really good, thanks to you really, because I was a little bit before, but not in the best ways. So yeah, so of course I'm going to live to a hundred.

Karina Inkster: I don't know if I mentioned at the time, but my grandma is 95. Her sister is almost 101. She lives in Germany. My grandma lives in Ontario and my grandma strength trains three days a week. She's completely independent. She lives in her own apartment. Like that's who I want to be when I grow up, basically.

Hannah Michnya: What a badass! Yes me too!

Karina Inkster: Yeah! And strength training is honestly a huge portion of that. Like, does she spend her entire life at the gym? No, it doesn't have to be like a crazy investment of time, but it's consistent and long-term, we're talking something you literally do for decades, which I think is what you've set up for yourself, which is super exciting.

Hannah Michnya: Yes, yes, exactly. And large part thanks to you. So yeah. That's awesome. What a, crazy awesome story to have that as your grandma and I’m jealous actually.

Karina Inkster: Hey, she spent her 90th birthday on the beach in Mexico. Like how awesome is that?

Hannah Michnya: Wow! See, yeah. That's my goal. That's exactly what I want.

Karina Inkster: Yup! So how has this been going for you? I mean, you're not coming from square one. You've been active before, you have experience with this kind of stuff. But now I feel like there's a different level of commitment and strength training maybe in particular. Like what has changed for you in the past couple months?

Hannah Michnya: You know, I think that this might be really common for other women. When I would work out, I would run, even though I have chronic ankle issues, I would do it anyway, cause I thought that that was what I was supposed to do. And I would just bike and that was about it. And I would do yoga and I still do yoga. I kind of dropped the running cause it's not good for me, and I've learned that now, it's not good for my ankles, but anyway, I was just afraid of weights. Why? I don't know. I feel like maybe part of it is being a woman, but also just not knowing, just not ever having been around anyone who was like that just in the gym. I felt uncomfortable. I felt like I don't even know how to change the weights on these you know, on the removable barbells and dumbbells as well when they have those.

I don't even know what weights to start with. Everybody else has like a 45 and I'm going to pick up like the 10, you know? So just a lot of fear around it. And then you guys have introduced me to resistance bands, which are just perfect in every way. Just my favourite exercises are the ones that are resistance bands heavy. But then also I did just get, I think you guys know this, a removable interchangeable barbell dumbbell thing, which is just awesome, who we call Bumblebee because he’s black and yellow and just gorgeous.

Karina Inkster: Yes! Bumblebee!

Hannah Michnya: But anyway, adding the weights and the resistance bands into it, just, I love it first of all, and it feels so good where it was never feeling like that for years before when I was trying to be active. So that just unlocked like a whole, I dunno, a new perspective and a new feeling honestly.

Karina Inkster: That is a huge point. You know, I feel like a lot of folks listening to this are going to have a light bulb moment saying, you know, like we have all grown up probably with certain ideas of what we're “supposed to be doing,” like supposed to is in air quotes here, for fitness, for nutrition, whatever. But when we really tune into what makes us feel good, what makes us feel empowered, what is going to last decades till we're a hundred still kicking ass you know, like it might not be the same thing. Like I too, don't run because it's not great for my low back. I've got chronic low back issues. 

So, you know, I could, I guess force myself, but would it be enjoyable? Would it make me feel good? Hell no! So it's super important. And I think the fact that you have now tuned into what actually makes you feel good and what is fun too hopefully for you to actually go and do and look at your progress and all that, that's massive. That's a huge, huge win right there.

Hannah Michnya: And you just said the word empowered, which I forgot to mention because I feel like a true bad-ass and I'm in the middle of these. Sometimes before starting, you're like, I don't want to do this, but then when you're in the middle of it, I'm like -

Karina Inkster: We all do.

Hannah Michnya: I'm like the most bad-ass person alive, honestly.

Karina Inkster: And we know, I mean, we have eyeballs on everything. We can see what kind of numbers you're putting in there and how long it takes you to do your workouts. Like we're creeping on everything. And I can tell our listeners, like Hannah is a serious badass for sure. You should get like a badge.

Hannah Michnya: Yes! Yes! Oh my gosh.

Karina Inkster: Anyway, on that note, Hannah, thank you so much for speaking with me. Much appreciated. And thank you for being an awesome listener of the show.

Hannah Michnya:  Yes! Thank you so much. You have the best podcast ever, and I appreciate you so much.

Karina Inkster: I'm excited to welcome back to the show Setareh Bateni. She was our guest for episode 97. So make sure you check out that episode. Setareh is the owner of a vegan jewelry line: One Thing Lockets, with a masters in philosophy. She's always pondering questions like why are we doing this? Who is it helping? And how will it change our world in the future? She turned to veganism because she felt it's her moral duty to the earth. Hey Setareh. Thanks so much for coming back on the show for our super special hundredth 


Setareh Bateni: I’m very excited! I'm very excited that it's your 100!

Karina Inkster: Ah, you know, I was just about to say our thousandth episode. Like, okay, well that is coming up at some point, but not quite yet.

Setareh Bateni: It doesn’t go by that fast.

Karina Inkster: No. Thankfully, because that would be a little scary. So you have chosen Bradie Crandall's episode. He's actually been on the show a couple of times, but the one that we are going to use as a jumping off point is episode 79 where he's myth-busting, bullshit busting, around climate change and specifically animal agriculture and how it relates to climate change. So why does that one stand out for you?

Setareh Bateni: Well, I think it has the most compelling data and most compelling delivery as well. I think the one line in there that just like literally solidified and changed everything for me and gave me the ability to communicate or promote veganism to others was when he was talking about if you do like, it was obviously not a prescription, but it was like, if you did nothing else at all, if you've never even recycled a single bottle, if you used a gas car, you know, all those things and you just went vegan, that would be enough. You would be done, you could hang your hat up. And it was so like, you know, it was so interesting cause here we are like trying to do our very best for the world in every little way and like shaming yourself for throwing things out and you know, all these things and it's like, wait a second. I've had this amazing power all along!

Karina Inkster: Yeah!

Setareh Bateni: And it made it so much easier to communicate to let's say my husband, because he's trying to do all these things that are for the environment. And it's like, well, you know, there's this one thing that could have a huge impact. Even when he was saying something, and I keep thinking of my husband when I think of this, but it's like, if you just ate fish or like out of all the meats or whatever, or if you cut out beef, like you could do so much more impact or leave so much more impact. And obviously the goal is to be a hundred percent vegan if you can.

So that's why it was just the most compelling. Like, he used data with the best kind of delivery to kind of allow someone who's on the fence about being vegan to just kind of go that extra step. Cause I think there's a whole lot more of us concerned about climate change these days than typically veganism. And so it's just, my husband's a great example, it makes it so much easier for him to be able to commit if I can deliver it as well as Bradie did.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, absolutely. Not that we shouldn't do the other things obviously. I mean, like you guys have an electric vehicle, you're doing way more than just the diet piece of course. But yeah, I see your point. He did put it very clearly. Like if you're only going to do one thing, then make it this thing. So have you had conversations with other people, like whether it's at your store or in your family or, you know, friends specifically centring on this climate change piece and being like you know, you have a lot of say with your diet?

Setareh Bateni: Yeah. I mean I had, or try to have that conversation with my husband. It's harder to crack. I don't know how you do it, but I'm trying to learn from you. You know just play your podcast and background.

Karina Inkster: Uh-huh, nudge nudge, wink wink.

Setareh Bateni: And I also had this conversation with my mother yesterday, so it's yeah, definitely something that I'm doing more and more. And I think that episode was the one that set it all off for me, like it enabled me to make the most changes possible.

Karina Inkster: Interesting. How does it go when you're speaking with someone like your mom? I mean, is she on board with the  general theory of how it all works?

Setareh Bateni: Yes. And it's really interesting. It's the group that's like willing to listen, but doesn't have right information, which then we can actually inform and help motivate to bring about change the easiest. And sometimes it's not having the right data and delivery. And with my mom, because she's able to listen to me and willing, then it was just give her the data and give her some time to absorb it.

Karina Inkster: That’s kind of cool because yeah, you're right. I think nowadays, like even in the last three to five years, I would say there's more folks who are coming to plant-based eating or plant forward eating, if they're not entirely plant-based, for climate change reasons like primarily. So knowing how to discuss these things as longer-term vegans I think is super useful.

So what about the other episode? So you were going to bring to the table I think it's episode 98, which was super short, a solo episode where I'm basically just bullshit busting around cheat meals. I actually saw, I think his name is James Smith. I could be getting it wrong. Our mutual friend Sylvana sends me a lot of his videos on Instagram. He's a trainer who is like the most hilarious character, super potty mouth. I love him. And so he actually did a two minute like Instagram reel video recently about cheat meals. And I'm like, oh man, I wish I did that for that episode.

Setareh Bateni: Well you did a mighty fine job yourself though.

Karina Inkster: Well, thanks. Why was that kind of on your radar? That was one of our more recent ones. I mean, we're at a hundred, so it's only two episodes ago.

Setareh Bateni: Yes. Well, I was on one of your episodes and I talked about how my way of thinking comes from primarily disordered eating. And so obviously this episode is really interesting to me, but through my so-to-speak journey I've had various doctors tell me and family who are doctors as well, that your body is a tool. You know, it is your greatest tool. And even if you go so far to be a mother, you will realize that. And like it kind of, you hear it, but it doesn't really register. And for the first time, the way you talked about treat meals, as opposed to cheat meals and treat food, I was actually able to also better understand what it means that my body is a tool.

And like literally even on my walk, just before this call, I had times where I was really proud of my body and that has never, like, I have times when, if I go now to think about how I think about my body in a negative way, I can catch myself in that moment and revert back to a more healthy way of thinking. And I think it's because you changed the dynamic of the conversation. You know, cheat and you said  it yourself, and that one phrase that if you're going to eat something that's tasty and maybe “unhealthy” quote unquote, you're actually doing it to gain some pleasure. So why go that extra step and give yourself guilt and take away even the pleasure so all you have is unhealthy food?

Karina Inkster: See, you bring an interesting piece in here though, because you know, I wasn't talking about anything even adjacent to disordered eating because I feel like, yeah, this kind of overall approach is useful, but what about folks who come from very different and not very psychologically healthy relationships with food? Like I don't feel equipped to deal or to speak about those things knowledgeably. So what would you suggest? Like, is it a one size fits all approach? Is there something else that we could do as fitness professionals specifically for those who are coming from disordered eating backgrounds?

Setareh Bateni: Yeah, I mean, one time in my life, I think it was with interactions with an indigenous person and I learned that they call food or lunchtime as it was at the time, nourishment. And you have to think of food as you know, molecules that are going to nourish your body is very much in line with what you said about like it's treat foods, never consider food as negative because  even if it's a Mars bar or whatever, right, it's still like the molecules are meant for nourishment.

And so I think that the most positive thing that I took away from your episode that helped with disordered eating is that just think about food as a positive, you know? And do that for your children. And just talk about if there's a time that they need a treat, a treat is still a positive word, right? Like a differentiation between a treat and something that you're doing for maintenance, which is presumably more healthy, but keep it positive because that sort of perfectionism and perfectionism has negative thinking involved in it. And so when you hit on the negative and you’re a perfectionist, you just want to do everything you can obsessively to make it positive again.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. Yeah.

Setareh Bateni:  So lay down the groundwork that it starts off from a positive perspective that food is for nourishment.

Karina Inkster: I love that! That's such great advice and you know what, just so our listeners know, I did just look up this dude because everyone needs to follow him. It is James Smith. So he's @JamesSmithPT on Instagram - total potty mouth. So if you're not into colourful language, not your thing, but I absolutely loved his latest video which is very well timed because it came out like right after this episode, basically. And he's like, you know, he's going on about we're grown adults. We wipe our own asses. We don't need to have cheat meals. Like you can call them whenever you want. You can call it fuckin’ Chuck Norris, but don't call it a cheat meal. Anyway, you have to watch it, cause it's fricking hilarious!

Setareh Bateni: I will!

Karina Inkster: But thank you so much for coming on the show again, always awesome to have you here. We're going to link to your previous episode as well in our show notes so people can go and listen to our full length deal, and thanks much for being part of our celebratory hundredth episode.

Setareh Bateni: Thank you and congratulations! Here's to 200!

Karina Inkster: Oh, Thank you! Now I'd like to bring on Daniel Weiss. Daniel is a nutrition and lifestyle coach, helping athletes of all levels thrive by helping them understand nutrition and put it into practice. He loves coaching people, learning about nutrition and human behaviour while enjoying a cup of coffee, training for Spartan races, and cooking. Hey Daniel, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Daniel Weiss: Thank you for having me.

Karina Inkster: Of course. And thank you for being a long time supporter of the show as well. Super appreciate it. So what episode are you bringing to the table? I know that we're going to challenge ourselves to talk about two of them, but which one are we starting with?

Daniel Weiss: Yeah, right. I wanted to talk about maybe like endurance training. The episode was with Heidi Strickler.

Karina Inkster: So, I think that was episode 49 If I'm not mistaken. Heidi Strickler was talking about - she's a registered dietician working with athletes - and she's talking about smart supplementation and kind of like endurance performance, if that's the right word.

Daniel Weiss: Yeah. Endurance training and also the vegan diet in endurance training. Yeah.

Karina Inkster: Why did that stick out to you? I mean, I know this relates to what you do personally as your own training and also what you do as a profession. So what kind of stuck out to you about this?

Daniel Weiss: Yeah, definitely. I mean, the reason why it stuck out with me is because like you said, it's something that I'm intimately connected with, but I also spoke with Heidi on my podcast. So she also appeared there. And I think that there's, you know, all those things that she mentioned that were like maybe interesting or beneficial because also most of your episodes are about some more diverse, general fitness and more diverse people who are like want to build muscle. Endurance training is something that people can think of as something that is different right? It's a completely different audience.

Karina Inkster: So is that most of the folks that you work with? Are they mostly in the endurance?

Daniel Weiss: Right. I mean, it's part of the training and a pretty huge part of the training in this community. Mostly like runners and these people. It's kind of interesting because when we look at this demographic of vegans, people who are trying to improve their health, performance, they usually lose weight. They usually start withdrawing.

Karina Inkster: Mm-hm. Yeah. That’s true.

Daniel Weiss: So it's kind of interconnected. And then, yeah, I mean, I work with a lot of runners and they find out that they feel like light and they can perform better, run better, when they don't consume all these heavy processed meals. And they usually find themselves thrive on the vegan diet.

Karina Inkster: That makes sense. So are all of your clients already vegan when they come to you or is part of why they're working with you to go vegan?

Daniel Weiss: Well actually neither of those.

Karina Inkster: Oh! Okay. None of the above.

Daniel Weiss: No, none of the above, but I try to lead them to this route, to  this kind of diet because when we think about runner's diets or athlete’s diet in general it should include a lot of carbohydrates, I mean, compared to a normal diet. And these people usually already eat a low dose. Let's say a lot of cheese, a lot of meat that has quite a lot of fat and they are typically low in carbohydrates. So actually steering them towards more plant-based diet will actually also make them feel light, make them perform better, and stay on top of their glycogen stores.

Karina Inkster: Hey, that’s a really good point actually. And a lot of our listeners right now, I know their ears are perking up. They're like, wait a second. It's possible for someone to not get enough carbs? Which is, I mean, if you think about carbs and that word, it has been completely bastardized in the fitness industry and vilified where people are now afraid of eating carbs. But if we're talking about even just general health, but especially athletes and especially especially endurance athletes, you need your fuel and that is coming primarily from carbs. And if you can get them from plants, why the hell not?

Daniel Weiss: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's like when I get the person that comes to causation, doesn't even need to be like endurance athletes, but most athletes they eat, let's say generally speaking, four or five grams per kilogram of body weight in carbohydrates, which is very low for their training. So they should be at about seven, sometimes eight to nine grams.

Karina Inkster: Per kilo, right, of body weight?

Daniel Weiss: Per kilo, yes, depending on their training, right? But generally speaking like 80% of them vegan or not, they are not eating enough carbs. Vegans are usually better in general.

Karina Inkster: Yeah. Just by default because we're eating more things that happen that have carbs. Yeah. So where does the Ren Jones episode that I know you wanted to integrate come in here? So Ren Jones he's been on our podcast a number of times, but I think the episode that you were bringing up was episode 45. Which if I had to choose, and I know it's hard, but if I had to choose, that's one of my top three favourite episodes of my own. So you chose that one and he's talking about body image, BMI, bullshit busting around, you know, body composition. So how does that fit in with talking about this endurance based stuff that we've been discussing so far?

Daniel Weiss: Right. So endurance athletes, when it's like runners, they have this message constantly shoved in their face. That, you know, lighter is better. So they think, or often they think that to run better, run faster, they need to lose weight. And they are chasing that image of a lean body with a six pack. And we know that not every body is created like the same way. We have genetic predisposition to how much fat we store, where we store it. And I like to say that like at the finish line, nobody's going to measure your fat and give you a metal based on that.

Karina Inkster: Oh, that's good. I like that!

Daniel Weiss: Yeah. So sometimes athletes do better when they are not like their leanest - quite the opposite. So you want to have somebody fat because of the hormones, because of the performance. And it helps them just to thrive and endurance athletes or athletes in general, they are afraid of gaining fat. They are trying to manipulate the carbohydrates. So we are biggest carbs and they try to limit to them. So this hinders their performance, their recovery, and their end results. So they are not recovering properly. They are not making good progress in their training. Then they are frustrated and they might be even storing more body fat and you know just underfeeding with carbs.

Karina Inkster: Well, that's a really interesting point. I was wondering how those two concepts were going to be connected and I think you're absolutely right. Even in the non-athlete world, it's really about fat loss first, performance and feeling good second, right? It's kind of like this fat loss first approach just in the general population, but also for athletes. It’s almost like fat loss at all costs, even if it costs you how you feel day-to-day and your performance, if you're an athlete, which is kind of crazy to me.

Daniel Weiss: And do you know,  that gave me just another point of view, that athletes have like higher tolerance for pain just based on their training. So they can get very good at actually ignoring their hunger or just pushing it down. And even if they feel bad, they think like, okay, so I just need to push harder.

Karina Inkster: Oh that’s an interesting point. Right. Which interestingly actually might be working negatively when it comes to performance.

Daniel Weiss: Yes, it works against in that case.

Karina Inkster: Yes, exactly. That's the word I was looking for, the phrase. So how do you then, how do you approach this concept with the folks that you work with? I know it's kind of a loaded question and we only have a minute, but what are some things that you can kind of bring to the table for someone who is coming from this fat loss first at all costs mindset?

Daniel Weiss: Education is part of the problem or solution rather. So knowing like what carbs do to you and then diving deep to that mindset. And of course it’s like, it can be a long process for a person to process all this information. And often they know, okay, I need carbs, but they are afraid because even if you are like severely restricting them, then you get more carbs, you start packing on glycogen, you start storing more body water, and it shows on the scale. So they get scared at this point. So there really needs to be like guidance and maybe not looking at the scale, but making these people, these athletes, focus on like performance, how do you feel? How do you perform? And when they start focusing on these performance goals, then they can see the difference right there.

Karina Inkster: So I think the two main points, well, you have a lot of really good points, but the two that just stuck out to me are number one, education. So we, as fitness professionals can provide that. But number two, it's a process and it's not going to happen overnight. This is part of why we do the kind of constant feedback type of coaching is because it's a process, it's not going to happen immediately with someone whose mindset is changing. And I think that’s pretty huge when we're working with people on their, on their overall habits.

Daniel Weiss: Totally. I fully agree on that.

Karina Inkster: Awesome! Well Daniel, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thanks again for supporting, and I'm really happy to have you as part of this awesome celebratory hundredth episode.

Daniel Weiss: I'm very happy to be here and I wish you another, at least 100 great episodes.

Karina Inkster: Thank you so much. And last, but certainly not least we have Cathy Perez. Cathy has always had a passion for health and fitness, being organized, and sharing her curiosity for life, with anyone who would listen. She's a certified healthy eating and weight loss coach, a certified yoga instructor and the hundred and fifty-ninth worldwide certified KonMari organizing consultant. Cathy helps women create a healthy relationship with anxiety and stress with healthy habits that she took over 20 years to learn and hone to walk harmoniously with her own anxiety disorder. Hey Cathy, thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Cathy Perez: It is my pleasure. I'm so honoured. Thank you so much for having me.

Karina Inkster: Of course! As a long time listener, and you've supported this show basically right from the start, I am super excited to have you on - yay! So let's jump in. What is the episode that you are bringing to the table?

Cathy Perez: So thank you so much for bringing this one up. It was number 77 and it was with your friend Ren Jones, who is also my friend on Facebook now. But it was very, very, very poignant. And I want to just give you so much kudos and just, I'm so proud of you for bringing that to the forefront.

Karina Inkster: Well, thank you. So for folks who haven't listened to it yet, that is episode 77 Coach Ren Jones on race, equality, and inclusiveness in the fitness industry. And I was just saying to Cathy before we hit record, it's probably one of the most important episodes we've done. I mean, I don't like to choose favourites, but this is touching on everything. It's not even vegan specific. It's like fitness industry bullshit busting and what is wrong with it as a whole you know? so what are some things that you kind of got from this conversation with Ren?

Cathy Perez: So one, him and I are generation X, no one ever mentions gen X. We just kinda go from baby boomers to millennials. But what I was not aware of, and I'm a person of colour, I'm what you would call Latina - Mexican American. So I was not aware that even in my generation, he was the first of his family to be able to legally vote period, no questions asked. And that blew me away. I'm like how far - I thought I was so far removed from that, but no, it was our generation that had no technical barrier. So it was just that very poignant moment when I'm like, holy moly, my experience as a person of colour is quite different from any other person. And so it was just, it was heartfelt. And knowing that this is pervasive in the fitness industry, really as a Latina makes me want to just prove no, everyone deserves to have an equal footing to be fit, to be healthy, and to live a very active life.

Karina Inkster: A hundred percent. And this is something I feel we're still working on. Like, this is something that needs a lot of work still. I'm sure you would agree. Have you experienced personally any sort of inclusivity issues or kind of like some of the stuff Ren was talking about with was more about the like high profile racism cases that we've come across, but have you had any personal experiences like that?

Cathy Perez: You know, I can't, again, other than when I was a teenager and people are always going to be able to discriminatory towards teens, but because I've actually lived with other people of colour, it didn't occur to me, and just in general, but I can't really say that I felt ever weird in a gym or ever felt like I was being singled out. So I have just had a very, what I want to call just a very okay experience with fitness in general, but on a, to just pick up a different notch even was, but as a female, as you always say, that's what's really gotten me to be so confrontative about the whole situation. But on an actual, just racial equality, social justice type of thing, I can't say that I've ever felt inadequate.

Karina Inkster: Interesting. So that's, I mean, that overall is great news, obviously, even though we still do need to work in this area, but interesting point about gender. So how does that play out? Like, is this in person when you're actually at a gym, is it kind of interactions that you have with folks online? What’s the situation?

Cathy Perez: Well, I would definitely say that, you know, for sure when I was in a gym that on, and this was back when I was younger, but you know, definitely when you go to the, let's say the stacked weight, you know, like you're expected as a woman in some cases to not go to certain areas. And so even just a year ago, before a year ago, when I was going to the gym, you would still get those little snickers or looks by the men who will see me going to the, you know, to the squat rack. And I'm like, no really, you don't need to help me, okay?

Karina Inkster: I know my shit here, dudes!

Cathy Perez: I'm not going to take that as simply them being, oh, she can't handle it. They're just trying to be what they were taught. They were trying to be polite and helpful. So I'm not going to take it as, okay, because I'm a woman they're treating me different, but I do sense it. You can feel it, you know, and you know, it's getting better, but I definitely know that it's still there.

Karina Inkster: Here's a question for you on this topic. I have very mixed feelings about this. So I'm just, that's the caveat here, but what are your views on the women's only areas of gyms?

Cathy Perez: You know what, I don't really see the point in that. And again, this is my personal opinion, but I mean, if we, and that's a women's only gym, right? I mean, there's no reason for me to be excluded or just only in one place. I just don't really understand that. If I want to go to gym, I actually want to be able to intermingle as much as possible because I know that people have different strengths and I want to possibly pop in and ask them right? So I don't want to feel any exclusion whatsoever in a gym. So I choose to definitely want to intermingle with both female and male.

Karina Inkster: Totally. See, I have a lot of mixed feelings. I feel like I could do a whole podcast episode on this and maybe I should, but you know, like in one sense, it's actually great to have a space where females can go if they don't actually feel comfortable elsewhere. But then in the other case, it's very stereotypical. Like you're going to have the pink five pound weights in the women's area and not the squat rack. Like I've seen that so many times, like, it's ridiculous. Plus then you have, you know, it's not addressing the gender spectrum at all.

There's lots of problems with that, but I see your point. Like if you're going to go to a gym, at least you personally, and me too, if I'm going to go to a gym, it's a free for all. Everyone is welcome. I want to see who else is there. I want to be able to like spot or help or ask anybody who's there basically.

Cathy Perez:  Absolutely.

Karina Inkster:  So what is your connection, just to kind of change the subject to veganism a little bit, with plant-based eating? So not everyone who's on this show, as you know, is even on the spectrum, like Ren Jones, right? He's been on our show three times. He's not even vegetarian. So there's like, there's different kind of areas within this plant-based realm, but I know that you're kind of on it somewhere. So what's the connection?

Cathy Perez: I would say that I am a, so I aspire to be whole food plant-based. So when we're allowed or when I choose to go out - it just doesn't happen, even before the pandemic - I like to, you know, make sure I'm eating the way I want to eat. But when I do go out, I do my best to always go with the vegan or vegetarian options. I always, you know, I'm always cognizant of what I'm ordering and, you know, I don't remember the last time I bought meat for myself. So I would probably say I'm a wannabe, let's say veggie/vegetarian only because I do still eat, you know, on occasion animal products. 

But overall, I see that the way that I want to live is the fact that I want to do with the least amount of harm to our earth, as well as treat my body. So I'm a wannabe vegan in the fact that I eat whole food plant-based for my health. So it’s on that spectrum of, okay, it's not necessary because I mean, I know it's more ethical. I know it's just awesome, but I know that one: it is the best for me and it helps the environment the most. And then obviously it has a very powerful ethical background as well.

Karina Inkster: Well, as you've probably heard on the show too, I mean, a lot of folks come to plant-based eating or even just like mostly plant-based eating from the health perspective, which is entirely legitimate and very research-based by the way. It's a legit reason to go and change your diet, but then, you know, down the road, people are like, oh, but it's also great for the environment. Oh, there's also this ethical piece. And it just becomes this huge kind of sphere, right? Like Kevin Smith who went vegan because he had a heart attack in his forties, which is scary shit, who went vegan I think because a doctor told him to, and now he has a vegan podcast with his daughter talking about like all of the vegan issues. So like, you never know, right?

Cathy Perez: I was just saying that one way or another, you get to it for your own reasons. But then when you see the spectrum, it just opens up your mind to what's available.

Karina Inkster: Totally. So where has this show been in this whole journey for you? I mean, not to get too, like, you know, toot my own horn here, but like you have seriously been on it since literally day one, like first episode. You were on our street team of people who were like putting the word out that this show even exists. So first of all, thank you for that. You're the best. And second, like where has this show been? And what has it done for you?

Cathy Perez: Okay. So one, thank you so much. I am so grateful for this podcast. And mostly, again, for that reason, I was already on the whole food plant-based kick right? Okay. It's bad for my body, but your show put it in such a way that knowing that everyone, because you do bust so many myths, that's a big reason. So you're always going for the science. You're always going for the overall viewpoint, right? And you take other people's opinions into account, but more importantly, you're giving the side of veganism of just like, okay, this is a wide range. Where do you want to fit in?

So I never ever felt like I was being talked down to. I never felt like - but I'd learn so much all the time. So thank you so much, Karina. Again, being someone who is a wannabe vegan, I just feel so included right in the conversation, and knowing that I'm learning something new. Even if it's something that you've talked about before, just in a different version, you're always putting it a perspective on it that I didn't think about before. And so it makes me feel good because I'm like, I'm learning, right? I'm taking baby steps to become more aware and in some small way I am helping the movement.

Karina Inkster: Whoah! That is so cool! This is really good to hear, honestly, for me, because sometimes when you're in something it's really hard to know how other people are taking it or, you know, am I doing the right thing? Is this even worth it? Like all this kind of self-talk right? And the fact that you said you feel included is massive to me because that’s honestly, one of the things I feel is not great about the vegan movement is exclusivity, and all or nothing thinking, and kind of this insular, like you're either in or you're out, which is not gonna do the planet or the animals any good. So that's so awesome Cathy, and thank you so much for speaking with me today. It was fantastic.

Cathy Perez: I’m so blessed. Thank you so much.

Karina Inkster: Thanks so much for listening to our extra special 10 by 10 episode today, and thank you to all 10 guests who spoke with me for the episode. Make sure you check out our show notes at nobullshit to connect with all our guests. Thank you for celebrating the No-Bullshit Vegan’s 100th episode with me here's to the next 100 and I hope you'll join me for them.

Download your free vegan strength training ebook by Coach K!

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