John Lewis, better known as the Bad Ass Vegan, is a nationally certified fitness trainer and motivational speaker.
We’re inspired by John’s ability to maintain a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle while developing a strong physique, and sat down to learn more about his lifestyle, work, and current projects:
As a certified fitness trainer and former Division I basketball player, what has been your food journey? How did you ultimately arrive at veganism?
My journey was a smooth transition actually. My change came about once my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Talking to my mother’s doctor I learned that her diet was a huge contributor to her cancer–a diet that was filled with large amounts of animal protein and fried foods. Once I was enlightened with that bit of information I did my own research and found out that his clams were true.
I immediately embraced a plant-based lifestyle and never looked back.
At the time I never thought of it as a big deal, I just thought I was taking control of my life and my health. My athletic performance actually improved and I noticed that I was able to train harder because of my quicker recovery time.
What special projects are you working on at the moment?
Funny you ask that, it seems as though I am always working on a new project. Right now I am in the final stages of completing a new flavor of our Vegan Smart Shake company. This new flavor will be under our new BAV blend. That project should be complete by July 1st. I am also working on my clothing brand, which will include everything from vegan friendly shoes, bags, accessories, etc.
We also see that you’re a new dad, congrats! How has that experience been? Do you feel like this has impacted your lifestyle? In what ways?
Thank you so much, I love the experience but no one can prepare you for the lack of rest that you will have… and that is just for the father. I feel even more sorry for the mothers who have to wake up to feed the child every few hours. However, the lack of rest and sleep is all worth it when you see the baby look at you. It has taught me a lot of patience; for some reason she didn’t come out speaking English, so we have had to learn what each cry, moan, and/or noise means.
As a parent I honestly didn’t know that I would be the one learning throughout this process, but the beauty of the process is that while I am there to teach her, it seems that she is teaching me as well.
Many of our readers are interested in finding a life partner, and struggle with it. What are your thoughts on finding “the one?” Can you offer any advice or thoughts you have?
To me there is no such thing as finding a life partner, that means you are searching.
When you are so focused on searching for another person you forget about the most important person… yourself. We have to remember that in order for us to be in a great relationship we have to be a great person.
One major mistake I see people make is that they focus on trying to find someone that will make them happy. The truth is that no outside source can make you happy. Focus on being the happiest, healthiest person that you can be and that way, whoever you bring into your life will only be able to enhance that health and happiness.
What are some of your goals, career, personal, or otherwise?
My goal is simple…it’s to make the word ‘vegan’ more understandable and not so scary to the masses. That goal actually helps me with my career goals–I will continue to make nutritious vegan meal options so that people feel like they are not only good for people, but also taste great. My personal goals are tied to that as well. I want to live a healthy and happy life, which means I have to continue to workout, eat well, and keep a great positive mind frame. By doing this I hope to be an example and show that others can do so too.
In your option, what is the biggest misconception about veganism?
The biggest misconception would have to be that we are all angry and unhealthy hippies.
While I won’t lie, I have run into some of those people myself…that is not all vegans. We love to workout, we love to have fun, we love to travel, we love fashion, and we love to live life with passion.
Photos by: Stephanie Lynn Photography