Spotlight: Marco Antonio Regil

Enfoque: Marco Antonio Regil

Ubicación: Sur de California

Ocupación: He sido un conductor de televisión por 30 años

¿Qué te inspiró a adoptar una dieta vegana?
Inicialmente, fueron los animales. Estaba aprendiendo inglés y contraté a un profesor de voz, y no sabía que él era uno de los más grandes activistas veganos en el área y un gran amante de los animales. Mientras trabajábamos juntos, poco a poco me dio información sobre los animales, el planeta y la salud. Sobre todo, fue la crueldad de los animales lo que me impacto más. Me dirigió a sitios web y documentales. Vi "Glass Walls" de PeTA, y eso fue todo-lloré como un bebé, me rompió el corazón, y no pude seguir siendo parte de ese estilo de vida.  

¿Notaste alguna diferencia mental o física después de cambiar a una dieta vegana?
Estaba saliendo de la dieta de Atkin cuando me convertí en un vegano, tenia acné y no me sentía bien. Luego perdí 30 libras y me sentí muy bien. Tenía más energía, y ahora es rara la vez que tengo un resfriado. Si miras una foto de mí de hace 9 años en comparación con ahora me veo igual, y  incluso la gente me dice que me veo mejor.

¿Estás afiliado con alguna organización relacionada con el veganismo?
¡Con Todas! Trabajo en estrecha colaboración con PeTA; juntos creamos PeTALatino.com donde hemos estado traduciendo una gran cantidad de materiales y publicando videos. Hicimos un video donde fuimos al este de Los Ángeles para romper los mitos de ser vegano y hasta ofrecí tacos de jackfruit a la gente. Hicimos un vídeo vegano de compras en el este de la ciudad para que la gente no pueda decir que el veganismo es sólo para la gente rica.

También trabajo con Mercy for Animals, una organización mexicana llamada Animal Heroes, Humane Society y Animal Equality.

¿Tienes un libro o una película que le recomendarías a alguien que esté interesado en aprender más sobre el veganismo?
Si se trata de la salud, Forks Over Knives, sobre todo porque la mayoría de personas se preocupan por su propia salud.

"Glass Walls" con Paul McCartney es sólo 15 minutos, y luego si quieres algo mas profundo, ve Earthlings.

Restaurante favorito: Trilogy Sanctuary en San Diego es increíble.

¿Dónde sueles comprar tus alimentos?
Voy a las cooperativas, Whole Foods, una cadena llamada Jimbo en el sur de California. Recientemente empecé a usar ThriveMarket.com. Últimamente me encuentro haciendo un montón de compras allí.

Dinos una de tus metas de la vida.
Quiero pedalear el mundo entero. Soy un ciclista y pronto haré mis primeras 100 millas por los animales en Cozumel.  Me gustaría viajar por todas partes con mi bicicleta y comer deliciosa comida vegana.

¿Qué es un consejo que te gustaría ofrecer a alguien interesado en la transición a una dieta basada en plantas?
Cuando quieras hacer cambios, si deseas que duren, tienes que comprometerte como si fuera un cambio de estilo de vida y no una dieta. Empieza a leer,  a ver documentales y encuentra apoyo. Tienes que ser paciente contigo mismo—sea que necesites días, meses o años. Cuando puedas reprogramar tu subconsciente, entonces el cambio durará y se hará automático.

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Name: Marco Antonio Regil

Current location: Southern CA

Occupation: I've been a Spanish-speaking television host for 30 years

What inspired you to transition to a plant-based diet?
Initially, it was the animals. I was learning English and I hired a speech coach, and little did I know, he was one of the biggest plant-based activists in the LA area and a big animal lover. As we worked together, he would sneak in information about animals, the planet, and health. It was mostly the cruelty to animals that shocked me. He would direct me to websites or documentaries, and I watched "Glass Walls" by PETA, and that was it. I cried like a baby -- it broke my heart, and I couldn't continue being a part of it anymore.

Did you notice any mental or physical differences after you switched to a plant-based diet?
I was coming out of the Atkin's diet when I went vegan, and my skin was breaking out and I wasn't feeling good. Then I lost 30 pounds and I felt great. I had more energy, and now I rarely get a cold. If you look at a picture of me from 9 years ago compared to now, I look the same, and people tell me I even look better.

Are you affiliated with any vegan-related organizations?
All of them! I work closely with PETA; we created PetaLatino.com where we have been translating a lot of materials and posting videos. We made a video where we went to east LA to crush the myths of being vegan and offered jackfruit tacos to people. We did a vegan shopping video in east LA so people can't say it's only for rich people. 

I also work with Mercy for Animals, a Mexican organization called Animal Heroes, the Humane Society, and Animal Equality.

Do you have a book or film you'd recommend to someone who's interested in learning more about veganism?
If it's about health, Forks Over Knives, especially since most people care about their own health. 

"Glass Walls" with Paul McCartney is only 15 minutes, and then if you want to get deeper, watch Earthlings. 

Favorite Restaurant: Trilogy Sanctuary in San Diego is amazing.

Where do you typically buy groceries?
I go to co-ops, Whole Foods, a chain called Jimbo's in southern CA. Recently I started using ThriveMarket.com. I find myself doing a lot of shopping there lately.

Tell us one thing on your bucket list.
I want to pedal the whole world. I'm a cyclist and doing my first 100 miles for the animals in Cozumel soon. I would like to travel everywhere with my bike and eat delicious vegan food.

What's one piece of advice you'd offer someone interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet?
When you want to make changes, if you want them to last, you have to engage it as a lifestyle change and not a diet. Start reading, start watching documentaries, find support. Be patient with yourself whether you need days, months or years. When you can reprogram your subconscious mind, then the change will last and become automatic.

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Spotlight: Vashron Chapple

Name: Vashron "Shawn" Chapple

Current city: Phoenix, AZ

Occupation: Wellness Program Manager

What inspired you to switch to a plant-based diet?
I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and have been living with it for almost 14 years now. The years before my change, I was struggling with the condition, and my health and well-being started to take a turn for the worse. In early November 2011, I had my annual physical and the results were depressing. My weight had ballooned up to 295, I developed hypertension, high cholesterol (Total 255, LDL 183) and my glucose was 105; physically, I felt horrible. Collectively, these events served as my wake up call. I had to make some changes. Here I was, already living with a chronic condition, multiple sclerosis (MS), and now other issues began to surface due to my obesity and unhealthy lifestyle.

What's one piece of advice you would offer to someone interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet?
Take it one day at a time; it’s a paradigm shift. The majority of us have been eating meat all our lives, some can drop it cold turkey, for others it’ll be a process. I like to tell people that everyone’s journey is different, one size doesn’t fit all. Take it one day at a time. Also join some plant-based groups that share knowledge and provide support. I went 100% plant-based for health reasons, which later helped me embrace the cruelty free side of it. Look and understand both sides. Do it for the animals, but also take care of self as well.

Did you notice any changes (mentally or physically) when you switched to plant-based?
Yes quite a few. After a year and a half, I lost 115 lbs. My total cholesterol dropped to 147, the LDL dropped to 96 (and at future screenings it was undetectable), glucose dropped to 86. Due to my lifestyle changes there were significant improvements in my MS. While I still battle with constant issues with the disease, I’m able to deal with them easier and even seem to recover much quicker since being on a plant-based diet.

Are you a member of any vegan-related organization?
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine. We’re an organization of health professionals with a mission promoting healthy lifestyle with the focus on plant-based eating as medicine. I’m looking to join other local groups as well.

What do you do to stay physically active?
I’m into obstacle race training, centered on preparing individuals for the sport of obstacle racing and general fitness. I train at Phoenix Evolution Fitness in Chandler Arizona. I’ve done quite a few races from Terrain Racing, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and a host of others. I’m currently training for a rematch with the World’s Toughest Mudder, which is a 24 hour extreme obstacle race scheduled in November in Las Vegas. Outside of obstacle race training, I like to row and cycle and do circuits. I’ve been having issues with my condition over the last year and a recent tear in my MCL, so all my training has been tapered down.

Is there a book or film you'd recommend people check out in regards to veganism?
I think everyone should watch Forks Over Knives. It’s a good documentary for people interested in the plant-based approached. Also, Earthlings is a great documentary showing why we embrace the cruelty-free approach. My favorite book is “How Not to Die” by Dr. Michael Greger. This book basically provides evidence showing how we can prevent early death from a variety of conditions by following 100% plant-based approach. I’d also recommend his website: nutritionfacts.org. He did all the work for us and compiled all the evidence. No need for us to provide faulty information when we have facts at our disposal.

Favorite restaurant: This is a tough question. There are many locally here in AZ and across the country that fit the bill. The question is, what is that one restaurant that I think about all the time? That one I must have when I’m near. I have to go with Veggie House by Chef Ken in Las Vegas.

And now that I've visited The Herbivorous Butcher, I have a new favorite place. All I have to say is...those ribs (and everything else too).

Favorite place to buy groceries: I shop at Sprouts, Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Frys, farmer’s markets and a few others. I don’t limit myself to one store as I can find plant-based gems everywhere. I’ve even scored some pretty good stuff at the 99 cents store!

Tell us one thing on your bucket list: I’m originally from the south (Georgia) and I love experimenting with food and creating weird concoctions focusing on flavor and not “pretty.” So I want to write a simple recipe book using my quirky approach to food with a little southern flair. 

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Spotlight: Chelsea Hassler

Name: Chelsea Hassler

City: Champlin, MN

Occupation: Program Director for Animal Rights Coalition. ARC is one of the oldest, grassroots animal advocacy groups in the country. We're a volunteer-run organization and work again any form of animal exploitation, whether it's food, entertainment, etc. 

What inspired you to switch to a plant-based diet?
My best friend ate basically meat, cheese, and potatoes. Then she read Skinny Bitch which made her go vegan overnight. She called me the next day to tell me she was vegan, and I said, "What's that? It sounds like a cult." A few days later, I went vegetarian because I read stuff that she sent me. Several months later, I went vegan too.

Did you  notice any mental or physical differences after you made the switch?
I felt lighter, and I've heard other people say this. In addition to the food being less heavy most of the time, it feels like you can eat a lot more and not get that heavy, icky feeling. And of course, eating ethically feels like you're living in line with your values.

Are you a member of any other vegan-related organizations?
One of my biggest goals at ARC is to foster more cooperation among the various animal advocacy groups in town. So I'm trying to build bridges because we're all better if we can come together.

What do you do to stay physically active?
I have two little kids, and they keep me on my toes. I'm a gym-goer; I've been a gym rat my whole life. I love yoga and running.

Is there a book or film you would recommend about veganism?
We love to screen documentaries with ARC. Some of our favorites are Cowspiracy for the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, Forks Over Knives because of the nutritional component. There are so many that talk about ethics: Speciesism, Peaceable Kingdom.

As far as books, I really loved The China Study. It really got me over the edge because I'm really science-based. When I read that, I was like, "Oh, this isn't a cult. Actual science backs this up." 

Favorite local restaurant: I really love Jasmine 26. The Salt & Pepper Tofu is the best ever. I can't make it myself, and I've tried about 100 times. It's just not the same.

Favorite place to buy groceries: I do a lot of cooking for myself and for ARC, and I do a lot of my shopping at Aldi. They have a ton of accidentally vegan stuff, and you can get your basics there for probably half the price of anywhere else. I'll do some at Target, and a few things that I can only get at Whole Foods or the co-op.

Favorite animal: Sea Turtles -- I just went to South Padre Island and got to go to Sea Turtle, Inc. which is a sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center. It's amazing.

What's one thing on your bucket list?
My passion is food, so I would love to do something ultimately with a restaurant or vegan bakery. 

What's one piece of advice you would offer to someone interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet?
My biggest advice is to find a community. It's really easy to read things and see the films, and then when you make the switch, you may not have a community. It can be easy to fall back on what you're accustomed to. If you have a community, you can bounce ideas off of people, find people to help you buy groceries and find places to eat. It makes the transition a lot easier.

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