This vegan bodybuilder is an example of how 41 is the new 31.
“Stretching after a hard training session is often overlooked, but I make sure to do it because I have found that my muscle recovery is a lot quicker and I rarely experience muscle pain due to heavy lifting.”
Name: Kristine Lee MacIntyre
Occupation: Canfitpro Certified Personal Trainer
City/Province/Country: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Type of Fitness: Bikini Competition
Weight/Competition Weight: 128 lbs, 122lbs
Fitness Accolades: Quebec APQ Coupe Espoir 2014 competition placing 2nd in master bikini competition and
3rd place open class D
Q: If your life had a theme song what would it be?
If my life had a theme song it would be Imagine by John Lennon. As I have grown older, this song in particular resonates with my being and the values that I uphold for myself.
Q: Who is your hero?
My grandmother Rose is my hero. She was Armenian, born in Syria in 1920, her parents and siblings survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
She grew up very poor and in those days the best scenario for her was to get married at a young age and learn to be a good housewife. Because money was scarce, any opportunities were reserved for the boys of the family.
But she always had a strong will to not allow herself to fall victim to poverty and wanted to go to college to educate herself for the opportunity of a better future.
She did not marry young, instead she worked and put herself through college and learned how to speak both English and French. She also taught herself how to sew and in fact years later, she would become a very successful seamstress.
Moving to Canada with my grandfather and their two children in the early 60’s, they only had a couple of hundred dollars saved up to start their new life in North America. Both my grandparents worked two jobs to make ends. Eventually they saved up enough money to buy a building and open a business.
My grandmother took care of everyone and when she became a widow at the age of 50, she continued to take care of her family, running the business by herself and often sending financial support to her family in Armenia.
My grandmother is my hero because I admire her courage, her strength and her perseverance through the most difficult of times.
“She had an incredible will to survive and succeed and she had an excellent work ethic and business skills. Any time I feel like giving up I think of the hardships she went through and it always gives me the strength to keep on and to not give up so easily.”
Q: What are your personal passions outside of fitness?
I enjoy creating vegan baked goods and high protein, nutrient dense vegan meals. This has become life altering for me, as I have discovered that there are countless ways to nourish my body with plant based foods. Right now I’m in the process of perfecting my recipe for vegan french macarons and hope to market them in the near future.
I have also volunteered several times at the SPCA annexe for the animals who are in rehabilitation and not quite ready for adoption. I can honestly say that those hours were some of the most humbling and heartwarming moments of my life.
Q: What uncommon activity do you schedule into your daily routine?
I try to take a 20-minute power nap at least 5 days a week. I find that when I unplug from the world, it helps to relieve stress and gives me the energy and focus I need to take on the rest of the day.
Q: Tell us about the path that led you to vegan bodybuilding?
About two years ago, I was looking for a new cookbook and I stumbled upon a vegan cookbook by renowned author Colleen Patrick Goudreau. It wasn’t that I was specifically looking for a vegan cookbook, but as I leafed through the pages, I saw recipes that I thought I might like to try.
Once I brought the book home, I began reading about the way the dairy and meat industry produces much of the animal-based foods we eat and I was immediately horrified.
“I was in disbelief and I was angry and I felt that a terrible secret was being kept from the general population about what goes on behind the locked doors of slaughter houses.”
I resolved to change my lifestyle one day at a time, one meal at a time. My beliefs about animal cruelty now extend to the clothing I wear, and to the household products and cosmetics I use. I do not like labels and I do not consider myself a vegan, a vegetarian, a pescetarian or any other food related lifestyle label.
I will say however that I consume absolutely no dairy products and no animal based proteins or foods other than fish three days a week. And there have been times when I haven’t consumed any fish in a two and three-week period at all.
My goal is not to be perfect but rather to be mindful and compassionate about the choices I make every day, and to continue to educate myself as well as my family.
I don’t know who said this but it is my favorite quote of all time and it has become my motto in life: “Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can change the world.” I think that if we could all just reduce our consumption of animal-based foods and products, the world would be much more balanced, compassionate and healthier place.
Q: Sample meal plan for leaning out:
My meal plan for eight weeks leading up to a competition:
- Meal 1 & 3: Vegan protein powder prepared with water and a half cup each frozen berries and baby spinach.
- Meal 2: 1/3 cup oats or cream of wheat prepared with 1 cup water and half a banana, dash of cinnamon.
- Meal 4 & 6: 4 oz tofu or other vegan protein such as tempeh, soy based ground round or veggie burgers, or white fish (such as sole, cod or halibut), 1/2 cup carbs (such as 1/2 cup sweet potato, brown rice, bulgar or quinoa) 1/2 cup greens (such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli or brussel sprouts). Remember to omit the use of seasonings containing salt and fats.
- Meal 5: Vegan protein bar (either homemade or bought such as Square Bar, 22 Days or Vega Sport) or my homemade Vital wheat gluten muffins, and half a vegan protein shake.
- Meal 7: Vegan protein shake and six natural almonds.
- Make sure to drink at least five to six glasses of water a day.
- Coffee or tea with unsweetened non-dairy milk and no sweeteners.
- I do allow myself to have one cheat meal a week limiting the calories of this meal to 400.
- The diet does get stricter at six weeks out, and then again at two weeks out with no cheat meal.
You really have to love what you’re doing to keep this up, and for the most part I really do. I’m excited to see the changes in my body as I continue to lean out over the next six weeks.
Q: Favorite post-workout meal?
Though I haven’t had this in a while because I’m currently preparing for my next competition, my favorite post-workout meal is a big bowl of pasta with tofu-based rosee sauce and a warm bread roll for scooping up the sauce.
I have also learned that the best time to consume “empty calories” is right after workout, so this is the time I might indulge in my favorite desserts like coconut cake or chocolate cupcakes.
Q: Philosophy on supplements and which ones you take?
Their macro and micro contents are perfectly suited to my needs. I make sure to read the nutritional facts carefully, some protein powders although very good, are too high in carbohydrates and especially sodium to be suitable for leaning out.
I do take a vegan daily multivitamin and a teaspoons of vegan glutamine in my shakes twice a day. I was taking BCAA’s for several months but since I stopped taking them I haven’t noticed a decline in my performance or endurance levels. I’ve discovered that a good cup of coffee and an apple for pre-workout do wonders for me!
Q: Describe your training regiment:
I train 5 days per week for about an hour or so.
Every session begins with a light warm up on the treadmill for 10 minutes and ends with about five minutes of stretching all the muscles that I worked. These are habits that all exercisers need to incorporate into their routines to ensure that both the body and mind are prepared and focused. Stretching after a hard training session is often overlooked, but I make sure to do it because I have found that my muscle recovery is a lot quicker and I rarely experience muscle pain due to heavy lifting.
- Day 1: Hamstrings, Quads, Glutes & Calves
- Day 2: Chest & Shoulders
- Day 3: Back
- Day 4: Biceps & Triceps
- Day 5: Hamstrings & Glutes
My abdominal muscles are very developed from working them with weights.
I only work them once or twice a week now by doing three sets of 25 hanging knee raises.
“Ever since my trainer put me on a twice a week leg regimen, I have noticed a significant change in the overall shape of my legs.”
In fact, leg days are my favorite training days because the results have exceeded my expectations and this only motivates me to work even harder.
An exercise that I like to do twice a week is a chin-up. Two years ago, when I first started vegan bodybuilding, I couldn’t even do one. I would only see men attempting this exercise and I could only do them on the assisted pull-up machine.
After a couple of weeks of building up my strength, I started with two sets of just two or three reps unassisted. I was so determined to do chin-ups and now after two years I’m able to perform four sets of seven. You can say I feel pretty badass when I’m done!
Q: What tips can you share that have led to your success in vegan bodybuilding?
“One thing that I have learned to do is to be patient with myself. Just because you don’t see results right away doesn’t mean you will never see them.”
A lot of consistency with your training and diet are key to bodybuilding success as is maintaining a positive attitude. And in other aspects of my life, I make sure that I enjoy whatever it is I choose to do.
Another aspect of bodybuilding that is of extreme importance is proper technique. I see many bodybuilders focused on lifting heavy weights as opposed to focusing on proper form. Sooner or later, this will inevitably cause disastrous results leading to all kinds of injuries and time off from the gym.
I always make sure to be focused on things like keeping my abs tight, my back flat on the bench, no knees passing the toes, no locking the knees, my elbows tucked to my sides and to watch out for using momentum or compensating with my back.
Q: Where do you think vegetarian bodybuilding is going in the future?
We are fortunate to live in an age where there is so much information about plant-based diets at our fingertips. Over the past couple of years, I have noticed an ever growing community of people seeking change.
Now we are seeing alternatives to the traditional North American diet and exposing truths about the dairy and meat industry and the food and drug industry as a whole.
I think vegan and vegetarian bodybuilding will grow to be the norm in the future. Because more and more people are tending towards reducing their intake of animal-based products, and because the bodybuilding industry is now beginning to accept as well as promote bodybuilding as a reflection of good health both inside and out.
Q: What’s next for you?
My short-term goal is to begin my new career as a personal fitness instructor. Another short-term goal for next month, is to place in the top three at Quebec’s APQ Natural Bikini Competition.
Finally, my long-term goal is to open my own gym/studio with a healthy food bar, where I can offer my clients personal training sessions in a great atmosphere and introduce them to a variety of plant-based foods. And, let’s not forget the incredible vegan desserts!
For more vegan bodybuilding tips, watch this video – How to Get TONED and Build MUSCLE on a VEGAN DIET | 5 Tips to a Strong/Lean/Fit Bikini Body
Chris Willitts (creator of V3), is the founder and owner of Vegetarian Bodybuilding.
V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System is a mixture of science and author’s advice,providing users with optimal diet and exercise. This system is designed for vegans and vegetarians only.
A lot of research has been put in this program. Furthermore, a lot of professional bodybuilders and athletes tried and tested the program, praising its progressiveness and efficiency.
The program is about taking control of your own body and health according to your potential and needs. And worry not; you’ll get plenty of proteins with this system. It will boost you with energy, and you’ll feel just a strong as any carnivore would (perhaps even stronger, depending on how much you invest in your exercise). It avoids vitamins deficiency and provides you with a lot of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Instead of saying things like “I think a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders,” the V3 Vegetarian Bodybuilding System claims “I know a plant-based diet is good for athletes and bodybuilders, and I have results to prove it.”
To find out more, visit the website at V3 Bodybuilding – Vegan Bodybuilding Tips