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Scott Shetler
Kim, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Why don't you start by telling our readers a little about yourself.

Kimberly Marie
I am a 21 year old, 170lb, vegan living on Long Island New York. I come from a small town in Brooklyn where the rest of my family is currently living now. Being raised in a big Italian family, I was taught old traditions that were carried through many generations. I was inspired by my parents to attend college to accomplish my goals of becoming a physical therapist. I also have a desire to take many psychology courses to learn about the human brain/function. As of now, I am working full time at a retirement home, and have been for the past five years or so. 

Work and my education are my top priorities but my life outside of that consists of heavy training in the gym and going out with a few friends. 

Writing is another hobby I enjoy doing to clear my mind and get everything out in the open.

SS
Why did you become vegan? 


KM
As mentioning of being brought up in an old fashioned Italian family, I was raised to believe that milk will give you strong bones and that meat will be your number one source of protein. Meeting a friend that was a vegetarian at the time, when I was fourteen opened my eyes to the meat industry. I decided to cut meat out of my diet along with fish. Being that young with no money or a job, I was struggling to keep meat off my plate. 

Finally, going back and forth, at seventeen years old I completely stopped eating any living being. I did my research on a lot of animal testing/fur/meat industries but was unsure of the dairy industry. At nineteen, I was suffering from some stomach problems and had some tests done and nothing was found. Desperate, I searched everything I consumed and wanted to know how everything that was on my plate was processed. 

This lead up to the dairy industry research that completely blew me away. I was shocked that I didn't educate myself on what was going on sooner and from that moment on I pledged to stop taking from animals. That being said, my stomach issues went away and I found a greater appreciation for life. Being Vegan was the best decision I made for myself.

SS
Have you ever competed in any strength sports? If not do you plan to? 

KM
I have never competed in any strength sports or any competitions. I tend to track back to powerlifting competitions to study the competitor's form and find motivation if I need too. Once my deadlift and squat numbers get higher I will seriously considering competing.

SS
How has being vegan helped your performance? 


KM
My plant based diet has done my body wonders. I wasn't a vegan when I was a runner but when I stepped into the gym and started weight lifting I cut out dairy. I felt stronger and not so sluggish when I was eating whole foods compared to consuming milk/eggs ect. My motivation was to prove that you can gain muscle on a plant based diet and achieve your goals.

SS
What does your diet look like? 

KM
I changed alot of the foods that I consume over the past two years. It's pretty simple and sticking to the basics is was works best for me. A lot of oats, grains, beans, legumes, tofu, greens, fruits & peanut butter is what keeps me energized. I love Sun Warrior's protein powder mixed in my oatmeal in the morning! I play around in the kitchen from time to time when I crave pancakes or vegan meatballs. Keeping it interesting helps me stay on track. Oh, did I mention my love for Clif Bars?

SS
What is your favorite healthy food? 


KM
My favorite healthy food would have to be strawberries! I love all fruits but strawberries are my go to.

SS
What is your favorite cheat food? 


KM
Cheat meal would have to be my recipe for vegan chocolate chip pancakes that I usually have when I feel like my body can use it.

SS
What does your training plan look like? 


KM
I focus on my two major lifts which are the deadlift and squat. Typically splitting those two movements up I'll have one heavy squat day, focusing on legs/glutes/hamstrings and one major deadlift day where I focus on back. Then the other days I have delts/biceps/triceps ect.

SS
What is your favorite exercise? 


KM
I have always said that the deadlift is my favorite exercise because it's an all or nothing movement. If you fail you fail, unlike the squat where the spotter can save you if you fall. The squat is another favorite so it's difficult to chose.

SS
What is your least favorite exercise? 


KM
Not a fan of lunges, they work great but it can get a bit boring even if i switch to using the smith machine or dumbbells.

SS
Cardio---yes or no? 


KM
My experiment of cutting out cardio completely has been a success. When I had cardio in my routine twice a week, I did HIIT sprints. Great for metablosim but I felt I wanted to completely focus on getting my numbers higher on my deadlifts and squats. HIIT exhausted my body and cut that time out where I could have been lifting heavy.

SS
What are your current best lifts as well as your goals for those lifts?

KM
My best deadlift is 275 pounds and my squat is 235 pounds. I'm pushing for 3-plates, 315 pounds, for my deadlift and 250 pounds for my squat. These are just some short-term goals to keep my strength progressing, and around that time I would like to start attending some powerlifting competitions.
SS
Are there any vegan athletes you look up to or inspire you? If so, who? 

KM
Two Vegan athletes that I completely find inspiring are powerlifter/strongman Patrick Baboumian, and bodybuilder Frank Medrano. Both of their strengths are completely incredible and they are living proof that you can be strong as an ox on a plant based diet!

SS
How important is it for people to consider a plant-based diet and lifestyle? 


KM
Learning about a plant based diet can be difficult to take in depending on the person. You have your facts on the meat/dairy industry then the facts of what you benefit if you cut those two components out. Having an open mind is important but learning the significant, positive, change you can go through is life changing.

SS
What inspires you? 


KM
My inspiration comes from the people in my life. Making sure they are taken care of and happy is what I live for and that alone strives me to become a better person. Inspiration also comes from my reflection, that I believe that I can push my mind to places it's never been before.

SS
What are your future goals? 


KM
Like my inspiration, my goals is to become a stronger version of myself, mentally and physically. Also to become a person that helps other people realize that they can achieve anything they want too. Being a voice for the animals will always be my goal. I'll never stop being a voice for the voiceless.

SS
Rumor has it you like heavy music, who are your favorite bands? 


KM
Music time! I love all music but I love my heavy music. I've been going to shows since I was twelve years old getting into mosh pits! Bands like Killswitch Engage, Atreyu, August Burns Red, Volumes, Miser Signals, Avenged Sevenfold, Emmure, Staind, Evanescence, Pantera, In This Moment and All That Remains is basically what I listen too.

SS
If we stole your iPod what would the top 5 songs be on your most played list?
 

KM
Five top songs to be played on my iPod would be Up All Night by Volumes. Becoming the Bull by Atreyu. No Knock by All That Remains. Forever Again by Recongize and Tulips Are Better by Atreyu.

SS
If people want to follow you on social media where should they go? 


KM
Tumblr- barbiielifts.tumblr.com 
Instagram- barbiiedeadlifts

SS
Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers? 


KM
Being vegan is about being compassionate and taking others into consideration. Its not just about food, its about life. Thinking about other living creatures besides humans, shows that you are grasping the idea on life in a different aspect then someone that eats meat. It wasn't difficult to give up the foods that I was raised on. I'm not thinking about myself, I'm thinking about them, the animals.

SS
Thanks Kim! I sincerely appreciate your time, best of luck to you in your future endeavors!


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