Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Two Strong Women and Their Vegan Blogs

What a creative name for a muscle and vegan-themed website! Samantha Shorkey, my PlantBuilt teammate and first ever vegan WNBF bikini pro, runs Jacked on the Beanstalk from all the way up in frozen Alberta, Canada. Her Ebook with the same title informs its readers about optimal plant-based foods to eat for contest-winning fitness.
"Building strong, lean muscles on a vegan diet is not as hard as you might think! Jacked on the Beanstalk is a how-to guide for preparing healthy, high-protein and low-sodium meals suitable for any vegan strength or endurance athlete." 
Personally, I think it is pretty awesome that people like Sam are still doing blogs, because her insight about vegan fitness and vegan modeling is hugely appealing to people wanting the look that gets the touch (excuse my Finesse commercial reference). There is a wealth of volunteered advice from people who don't necessarily have the look and though they might be knowledgeable about their trade, the info just doesn't sell. Being your own advertising is the bottom line in the fitness industry. My experience with personal training and group fitness instruction at Gold's Gym and Toadal Fitness in Santa Cruz is that the more shredded the trainer is, the more clients he or she will get. 

PlantBuilt Teammates 2014 and 2015

Having had the pleasure of spending the 2014 PlantBuilt meetup/competition with Samantha, I can attest to the fact that people definitely be askin' her, "How do you do that?!" 

Her response: "Read my book bitch." 
Well, she doesn't quite say it that way. But if she did, she would be doing that person a favor. Jacked on the Beanstalk is where it's at in 2015 for fitness/nutrition blogs. Got a competition coming up? Get your learn on with Team PlantBuilt's Samantha Shorkey. 

You can also follow +Samantha Shorkey on Instagram 

BUTT wait, there's more!

My favorite vegan restaurant in the country is Strong Hearts Cafe, located in Syracuse, NY. They opened their doors in 2008 and have been wildly successful in the business world while not compromising their ethics whatsoever. Syracuse, NY does have a large vegan community, so they had that going in their favor, but it was Nick and Joel (the co-owners of SHC) who took the risk of trying to open this business after the Great Recession, in a down Syracuse economy. I helped them out where I could, but it was the message and the persistence of the people behind Strong Hearts that made it into the vegan pillar it is today. 

Vegan Pillar and Syracuse Award-Winning Eatery

The Strong People Behind Strong Hearts

Oh deary me, I forgot to mention Laura Ryan, the manager of Strong Hearts! Nick Ryan (co-owner) was my college roommate for two years, and we both had younger sisters that we tried to be positive role models for. One of the positive messages we both conveyed to our siblings was the idea of animal liberation and that we shouldn't be eating our fellow sentient beings for lunch. My own sister navigates between different versions of plant-based diets nowadays, but Laura has become a vegan chef, blogger and nutritionist. Impressive specs. 

My sister, Laura, and me
Vegan Heartbeats is a frequently updated blog with delicious plant-based recipes for dishes ranging from coconut cheesecake to strawberry gin. I am not the chef that Laura is, but have semi-attempted a recipe from Vegan Heartbeats, which despite having only half the ingredients for, still ended up as a delicious and nutritious post-workout treat. 

Along with tons of recipes, organized very nicely in the side column of her blog, she includes Vegan Writing and Societal Writing, which make me super-stoked because I am one who affirms that animal rights is part of a greater worldwide movement toward total liberation. If I were to break my own writing down into two categories, it would probably also be vegan and societal. And ya know, if I had a third, it would probably be about exercise. Which, ironically enough, is the other section Laura features on  Vegan Heartbeats! 


Go ahead and click on any of those links (because I believe it will connect directly to her blog) or stay here and enjoy drooling over some genuine Vegan Heartbeats creations below. Whether you're into this for plant-based performance nutrition for sports and exercise, or just want some delicious cruelty-free recipes, these two blogs are worth your while. Laura is humble, in my not-so-humble opinion, and may be surprised to hear what an inspiration she is to myself and a lot of others in the vegan scene. I first and foremost admire her endless support for her brother, Nick, because he and I have shared so much over the years, and I know that to do what he does, with his excellence in execution, he needs the support of loved ones. People seldom realize that by being someone's steadfast support network, you are equally responsible for all the good that they do. To take it to the next level and become the second-part of a ONE-TWO-PUNCH (like Laura did with this blog) is extra special. Between Strong Hearts and Vegan Heartbeats, Syracuse is becoming a Vegan Mecca, and I am proud to say I am one of their loudest cheerleaders.

Chunky Vegetable Soup 

More about Laura from her blog:

 I am a woman. 25 and counting. Vegan. I have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from Syracuse University. I work as a restaurant manager for Strong Hearts Cafe, TWO all-vegan restaurants in Syracuse, NY. 

I have the sweetest puppy named Rigby and a super loud, super independent kitty named Stella. I live with my boyfriend, Josh. We do lots of stuff, like hike and camp and go to concerts. And eat. I have a really cool, super supportive family. 

Contact me: Via tumblr (lots of old content here!): 

Via email:

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