Category Archives: Plant-Based Coach/Educator

IMAZ 2014 Journey!!!!

Our Ironman Arizona (IMAZ – 140.6 miles) journey began over a year and a half ago. My husband (Matt) and I began training together and quickly embarked on two half Ironman (70.3 miles) races in 2013-14 in Boulder, CO. As athletes throughout our lives (Matt was a multi-sport athlete who also dedicated most of his life to being a hockey player; I was a competitive swimmer/ballet, tap, jazz dancer/and pretty much experimented in all sports thanks to our supportive parents), I suppose we decided the next ultimate challenge would naturally be to sign up for a full Ironman distance race, right? Little did we know that this would end up being one of the most incredible physical, emotional, and mental challenges we could experience together.

Ironically I dreamed of competing in an Ironman practically my whole life. Before meeting Matt in 2007, I fell in love with spinning during college and became inspired by an instructor (Denise Druce) to do a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) century ride and another Breast Cancer fundraiser ride before even owning a bike. I ended up borrowing my cousins road bike that fortunately fit perfectly after simply training via spin classes (I didn’t have the slightest clue how to use the gear shifts, breaks, etc before the century ride). I felt great on the road keeping up with some strong and inspiring women, giving me confidence to pursue future events. While different life circumstances seemed to prevent me from signing up for more events (e.g., right knee injury/surgery resulting from a torn meniscus when training in 2005-07, right shoulder tear from years of competitive swimming particularly in the 200 IM, deviated septum procedure in 2010, a major feminine medical issue, moving often due to academia/professional career dedication), I felt thrilled to eventually get back into the sport.

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Main Street Vegan Application

As part of my movement toward a holistic Plant-Based Coach/Educator/Practitioner, I’ve included my recent training application through Main Street Vegan Academy:

‘Dine gently. Live wisely. Make a difference.’ Victoria Moran

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT MAIN ST. VEGAN ACADEMY? We attended a class facilitated by JL Fields who attended Main Street Vegan Academy and wrote ‘Vegan for Her’; she expressed great enthusiasm about the program and felt that with our passion for the plant-based lifestyle, we’d be positive candidates for further education.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FOOD ALLERGIES OR OTHER DIETARY RESTRICTIONS? IF SO, PLEASE LIST: I’ve been lactose intolerant since birth which is one of the many reasons the plant-based lifestyle fits so well for me. I’ve also been trying to determine whether I may have a gluten and soy intolerance, due to endometriosis symptoms, though undiagnosed at this time. We have been considering going raw for sometime to determine our reaction to different foods once completely removed.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH OR MOBILITY ISSUES THAT MIGHT PREVENT YOU FROM WALKING THROUGH NEW YORK CITY (SOMETIMES IN INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS) OR CLIMBING STEEP SUBWAY STAIRS? If so, please describe: N/A – we would be thrilled to walk and take the subway; our dream is to live in a larger metropolitan area where we don’t require personal vehicles.

YOUR OCCUPATION: I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Co, Az, and UT; I’ve practiced clinical social work and psychology combined for about twelve years. While I really enjoy my field and feel that my wealth of experiences have been enriching, I aspire to continue developing my private practice that is based on a holistic/wellness perspective. When I embarked on the plant-based lifestyle I realized that it would be an incredibly useful tool to be more aware of options for clients, families, and friends alike; particularly after my mother experienced a stroke last year and agreed with medical advice to take on the challenge of a plant-based lifestyle; my father also agreed to join in the journey and make changes as he’s experienced instability with diabetes since being diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago. My brother also experiences great difficulty with gout and is open to ideas including meal plans, preparation, etc. While I’ve felt that the resources shared with them in their journey have been useful, I wished often that my knowledge and experience could be backed up with credentials as it seems that others understandably have more confidence in an individuals educational background.

EDUCATION: BS (Psychology), MSW, and PsyD

LIST ANY TRAINING OR CERTIFICATIONS IN FOOD/HEALTH AREA: I’ve mostly relied on self-education and my husbands participation in the Integrative Nutrition program. We are soon to complete the E-cornell course that includes a comprehensive review of T.Collin Cambell’s The China Study. I’ve also complete Rich Roll’s training via Mind Body Green.

PLEASE BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT DIET: I’ve practiced a plant-based lifestyle for approximately five years and have felt it has been one of the best decisions of my life. While my husband and I had different vantage points when initiating the plant-based lifestyle, we’ve continued to take a collaborative/team approach to cooking, experimenting with recipes, and continue to share similar future aspirations. My style was to almost immediately become plant-based because it simply clicked for me. My husband took a more progressive lean in approach. He decided to fully embrace the lifestyle, without pressure from me, after simply discovering over time the enjoyment of many options and creative recipes that were quite flavorful. He’s now the smoothie and salad guru of the household and enjoys the entrée and desert experimentation that we continue to find satisfying.

WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN THE VEGAN LIFESTYLE? After my husband purchased The China Study in 2009 when he saw an interview with an NFL player (Tony Gonzales), I found myself reading the introduction out of fascination. It was to my dismay that I absolutely couldn’t put the book down until I read the entire text. I was struck by my lack of awareness and felt that there continues to be a tragic misleading of the public about nutrition. I found an instant identification with the philosophy from a preventative perspective due to being predisposed to multiple medical problems in my family including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, strokes, vascular dementia, and more. I was able to instantly cut out all meat/dairy products and while it was a tremendous learning curve I was refreshed by the alternative options and the way I felt with a clean diet; additionally, I felt more energized in my exercise regiment and noticed a change in my appearance (improved acne) and medical problems (endometriosis, previous meniscal repair for my right knee, and speedy recovery following a deviated septum procedure).

DO YOU SMOKE? I don’t currently smoke; though I did experiment during college.

DO YOU EXERCISE REGULARLY? I exercise daily and often include 2-3 workouts per day; particularly after we signed up for our first half-ironman in Aug 2013, second Elephant Rock century ride June 1st 2013/2014, repeat half-ironman in June 2014, and full Ironman in Nov 2014.

WHAT KIND OF EXERCISE? I’ve fully embraced the intensive Triathlon training of swimming, biking, and running. I find great passion in exercise and nutrition. I also balance the demanding tri training with yoga at least 3-5 times per week. I was a ballet, tap, and jazz dancer by trade and enjoy any alternative outdoor activities. For example, I grew up skiing the slopes in UT and continue to love the sport in CO. We’ve picked up on Stand Up Paddle boarding as of late and even attempted SUPYO (yoga on the paddle board).

WHEN DID YOUR INTEREST START TO DEVELOP? During the fall of 2009 I found myself desiring more education, training, and resources to successfully and progressively lean into the plant-based lifestyle; little did I know that it would lead to long-term success and inspiration to others (many friends and family have reached out to me for help and made changes to their nutrition).

WHAT BOOKS, FILMS, CLASSES, OR EXPERIENCES HAVE BROUGHT YOU TO THIS POINT? Many resources have brought me to this point of a plant-based lifestyle including Texts such as The China Study, Finding Ultra, Thrive, Whole, Main Street Vegan, Veg News Magazine, The Veganist; Documentaries including Forks over Knives, Vegucated, Food Inc, Earthlings, The Last Heart Attack, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead; and Podcasts such as Rich Roll, Ben Green Field Fitness; Zen and the Art of Triathlon, I am Talk, Eckart Tol-The Power of Now; researched a plethora of websites and much more personal education/research; we’ve taken JL Fields Class on veganism and learned about the Main Street Vegan Academy via her experience as a graduate, we attend Whole Foods demonstrations, attended the VegFest of Colorado and joined the vegan society and meet up of Colorado Springs (truly we crave any identification with like/open-minded individuals). I’ve explored additional resources and developed a list for family and friends that will be incorporated into another post.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BECOME A MAIN STREET VEGAN LIFESTYLE COACH? I’m passionate about becoming a vegan lifestyle coach to implement all the tremendous resources into a holistic/wellness practice in helping others become their true/authentic selves.

Plant-Based APPS

VFFT – Vegetarian food for thought – Colleen Patrick-Goudrea
Gardein recipes
Go Vegan – Sarah Kramer
Gourmet Live
Happy Cow
21 Day Vegan Kickstart
The Real Food Daily Cookbook
Meat is for Pussies
Ani’s Raw Food Essentials
The Conscious Cook

PCRM Application

As a psychologist I have a great passion for sharing the wealth of abundant research-based knowledge about plant-based nutrition. My professional and personal goal is to integrate an ongoing holistic/balanced lifestyle that can potentially contribute to prevention, reversal and/or substance for family/friends medical/psychological well-being. The opportunity to coach and teach will truly be and instrumental avenue in supporting my goal. I’m a licensed psychologist and maintain current standards in CO, UT, and AZ (while temporarily inactive I plan to continue maintaining active status in AZ). I practice in Co though I’ve also practiced in Ut and Az. I work full-time for the Department of Defense while also maintaing a part-time private practice doing psychotherapy. My expertise in mind, body, and balance compliments my desire to provide education about plant-based topics. During the past 5 years of making the transition into a plant-based diet, I’ve completed the Main Street Vegan Life Coach and Educator training to become a plant-based practitioner, taken the T. Collin Campbell E-Cornell nutrition course, read a plethora of texts, journal articles, and scientific studies, watched many documentaries and nutrition talk shoes, viewed cooking classes online that have helped solidify my understanding of the wealth of information available. While I haven’t obtained formal cooking training, my husband and I practice almost daily with new recipes, ingredients, and take pictures/tweet/FB/instragram to share with the public via social networking capacities. I’ve been fortunate to maintain a private practice before beginning employment with DoD which afforded me the opportunity to become familiar with running a business and become an entrepreneur with social networking as a primary source of advertisement/education. I’ve written for a local yoga journal and initiated a personal/professional blog/website that help me connect with like-minded people. I’ve found that with dedication and perseverance a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet has helped me achieve increased athletic endurance (e.g., the Vega products that aid in preparing, sustaining, and repairing), improved my holistic perspective in my psychology practice with clients, and help family members who have been dx with chronic conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, heart disease and CVA. I’m passionate about the positive benefits that a WFPB diet provides for any age, culture, background/genetic predisposition and more. Moreover my partners progressive transition to a WFPB diet helped me enjoy our separate yet parallel journeys/learning process immensely. My inspiration via research helped me share information in a positive and supportive way with family and friends who continue to express interest in a compassionate lifestyle. My continued feeling of balanced health while helping others achieve overall wellness inspires me to continue training for an Ironman.

Online Plant-Based Resources

Rich roll
Jai Lifestyle
Mind Body Green
One Green Planet
Vegan body building
VegNews Magazine
Vegan Fitness
Forks Over Knives
Local Harvest
Elizabeth Kucinich
Meatless Mondays
Choosing Raw
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Engine 2 Diet
Colin Campbell
Dr. Dean Ornish
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
Dr. John McDougall
Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk Ice Cream
So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Cookies
Sweet and Sara Vegan Marshmellows
Ellen Degeneres tv show web has recipes

Additional Websites:

Carrots and Flowers

Make Art. Have Fun. Eat Plants.

Heal Grow Blossom

A Blog Dedicated To All Things Good For People, The Planet and Animals

Empower to Inspire

Dr. Bittle - Holistic Plant-Based Practitioner

From the Ice to Ironman

Living a life that can't be defined in pursuit of the ultimate me!


This site is the bee's knees

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

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