Rich Sievewright is a mad man when it comes to working out, pushing himself and pushing others. I first met Rich when he and I were LuluLemon ambassadors. He puts on killer work out classes to get Whistlerites in shape for playing in the mountains. Rich is totally in tune with his body and how to fuel himself to perform his best. A lot of people go to Rich for diet and fitness advice, so I’m excited that he’s found going vegan for performance to be the best thing he’s done! Read on to learn more about being a vegan athlete, his plant-fuelled Ironman training, his new business (Richlife), and his simple, satisfying and nutritious post-work out smoothie recipe!How long have you been eating plant-based?2 years
Why did you make the switch?I watched Cowspiracy and decided that I didn’t want to be a part of the environmental problem that our planet is facing. I switched so I could be a part of the solution instead.
What are the main differences/benefits you’ve noticed after switching to a plant-based lifestyle?
1) Buying groceries is quick and simple. I go to the produce section and bulk nuts & seeds, thats it.
2) No cravings for dairy or meat, which was surprising after being a heavy carnivore my whole life.
3) I lost weight, but maintained/increased strength when it come to lifting weights!
4) Endurance level has increased. I feel lighter and faster than ever before.
5) A big difference is having to constantly explain my diet to every man and his dog. I used to hate answering the question, as I felt like I was offending people, but not now. If they ask why, I tell them straight, and if I’m met with a defensive attitude I lift my shirt and show them my abs and say it works for me, haha.
You are officially an IRONMAN. Wow! How long did you train specifically for the ironman?I trained for a year but it didn’t really get specific until 4 months out. A solo training camp in Mexico in April kicked me into ironman overdrive.
What was a typical training day like leading up to the Ironman? Work outs and food?A typical training day was: eat, work, eat, train, eat, work, eat, eat and sleep. My diet is always the same:
- oatmeal with nuts and seeds in the morning
- quinoa salad 2-3 times a day
- a protein smoothie
- and snacking on nuts and nut butter
I’m not one for calorie counting, as I find you can get obsessive with it. I’m very in tune with my own body as I’ve been training for a long time. I eat intuitively when I feel hungry and I drink when I feel thirsty. I had no budget when it came to food, and still don’t. It’s the most important thing to spend my money on…that and rent!
How AWESOME was it crossing the finish line?!
It was incredible, 20 Lululemon babes and close friends screaming (literally) my name was so heart warming and almost brought me to tears. It also signified the end of an era in my life. Friends, family, community and connection are more important to me than a race that significantly diminished the balance and overall health of my life.
What part was the hardest?Physically, there is no doubt the run was the hardest (in particular the last 10km). Mentally, the bike was the hardest due to the boredom and uncomfort (my lower back and the crown jewels were in a bad way).
What did you listen to during your long biking and running hours?I listened to podcasts by Joe Rogan. I always enjoy zoning into the intriguing people on the show, from doctors and physicians to trainers and elite athletes.
If you were to choose just one work out to do the rest of your life, what would it be?Definitely a short and intense metabolic workout using dumbbells, barbells, plyometrics and thousands of burpees. I love being close to the heart attack zone. I find these workouts are the most efficient way to improve my physical and mental fitness. For some crazy reason I find them really fun.
What is a day in your life like?It’s hard to say as I’m adapting to a big change in my life. I now own my own business and I’m currently adapting to a new lifestyle that has opened up much more time for me. On a Sweat Camp day, I’m up at 4.30am and out of the house by 5. I unload the weights from the van and teach two classes before 9am. Generally, I will then train myself and the rest of the day is whatever I fancy. I’m enjoying getting into the world of social media, I eat, I nap, I go for walks in nature and I catch up with friends…it’s Whistler so that usually entails some kind of outside activity.
What do you eat on a typical training day?Similar to every other day. I’m a low maintenance eater, as long as I have a constant supply of quinoa and veggies then I’m a happy boy. A long endurance workout requires fuel to take with you, so my weapons of choice are Nak’d bars.
Favourite pre-work out meal and post work-out meal?I don’t need a pre-workout because i’m eating constantly through the day which helps to keep my energy level consistent. Post workout is definitely a smoothie with banana, avocado, water, vegan protein powder, coconut oil, and nut butter.
Do you practice intermittent fasting? If so, what kind of results have you seen from it?I have tried it and have seen great results. The way I do it is to eat all my food within a 9-10 hour period and nothing but water for the rest of the day. I prolong when I eat breakfast which I always thought was a big no-no, but it works for me. I find that when I eat this way, I’m more mentally alert in the mornings and my body fat percentage starts to drastically fall.
Who is your inspiration in the plant-based world? (what athletes, docs, influencers, bloggers?)
- Rich Roll is an incredible plant-based athlete and human being. His story and transformation into a vegasaurous is very inspiring.
- Leonardo Di Caprio is a hero of mine because for me, eating a plant-based diet was initially due to environmental reasons. Using his fame to raise awareness and influence governments is a huge step for the planet.
- Frank Medrano is a vegan athlete who does crazy calisthenic training. The guy is completely jacked and does some offensively impressive things with his body.
- Documentaries I continuously watch are: Cowspiracy, What the Health, Food Matters, Forks over Knives.
- There are so many vegans out there who are under the radar, it seems to be growing…even Mike Tyson is a vegonator!
Name 3 podcasts we should all be listening to:
1) Kelly Brogan on the Joe Rogan experience (health psychiatrist)
2) Rich Roll on the Joe Rogan Experience (vegan transformation and endurance athlete)
3) Dr Rhonda Patrick on the Joe Rogan Experience (humbling me in the workings of the human body)
You’ve recently started the Rich Life! So exciting. This is all about ‘creating a community through health and fitness that uplifts, brings togetherness and a sense of belonging’.
Tell us more, in a nutshell, about what The Rich Life is!RICHLIFE is a fitness program for Whistler residents that combines strength and conditioning classes, yoga and social gatherings to enhance your mountain life. RICHLIFE delivers on-going 4-week Sweat Camps at The Audain Art Museum and Whistler Creek Athletic Club. The fitness classes are three times a week at either 6am, 7.30am, 11am, or 5.30pm from Mon-Fri. It includes free yoga classes, three times a week at the Sundial Hotel. People can sign up on my website www.richlifewhistler.com or on my Facebook page Richlife Whistler.
Rich’s Pre-Workout Protein Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 avocado
- 1 scoop vegan protein powder (Iron Vegan, Veg Essentials, Vega)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- water (amount varies depending on the consistency you like)
- Peel your banana, and scoop out your avocado
- Blend all ingredients on high
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