Interview by Dina Hicks,
This Dish Is
TDIV: When did you first decide to go vegan and why?
McClain: I went pescatarian in July of 2011, and vegan in October of 2011. My journey was initially for health purposes. When I went pescatarian, I immediately felt lighter and I felt really good. I was not eating much dairy at the time, but I had not completely nixed it from my diet. Then I started reading more books on how food is raised, and my boyfriend and I took on veganism for a 30 day trial...well, it has been longer than 30 days and I do not plan on going back!
TDIV: Were your friends and family supportive, or did you experience any negative energy?
McClain: I have been on my health journey for the last 3 years. My diet has gradually changed since then. So friends and family were not surprised at my change. I am very lucky.
TDIV: What effects has veganism had on your body and mind?
McClain: My body and spirit are body literally lighter. Almost immediately my body started to lean out, my 6 pack started to show, and my recovery time between workouts decreased. My mind became clearer. It seemed like I was able to receive what the universe was sending and very important people seemed to just appear at the exact right time.
TDIV: You are a figure competitor, did you have any issues finding a trainer that could accommodate your lifestyle while helping you achieve your fitness goals or was it a self-assisted journey?
McClain: I trained myself, so that was not a problem. I did get assistance with my diet. To my surprise, there are vegan body building sources out there. And I was fortunate to meet a woman who was local, vegan, and doing the exact same show!
TDIV: On that same subject, what are your favorite exercises and physical activities?
McClain: I workout with my boyfriend every day. I love that we keep our workouts varied. We box, sprint, weight train. It keeps things interesting. A couple of my favorite exercises are deadlifts, pushups, and pullups.
TDIV: What’s in your pantry/refrigerator?
McClain: I have tons of fruit and veggies in my kitchen. I love smoothies and salads. I also have beans and rice and different spices to round out the pantry.
TDIV: Favorite meal to eat and cook?
McClain: I LOVE green smoothies. Obviously I don’t have to cook them, but they are a full meal.
TDIV: What vegan misconception or stereotype gets under your skin the most?
McClain: That we have a very limited diet. And that we are skinny and frail. (I am neither.)
TDIV: Do you use vegan hair/body care products, if so which ones would you recommend to other vegans?
McClain: Trader Joe’s has a vegatarian shaving cream that I like. And I also use natural toothpaste.
TDIV: One of the things that I first got as I became vegan was “You’re the first black vegan I’ve ever met!” Have you had similar experiences?
McClain: I haven’t gotten that reaction, but I was the person saying that…just last year!! I didn’t know this way of life existed until recently. And I certainly didn’t think you could be a bodybuilder and a vegan.
TDIV: As a personal trainer, business owner, and figure competitor, you must have a packed schedule! How do you find time for yourself, and making sure that you’re healthy physically and spiritually?
McClain: My boyfriend and I workout each day before my clients. I also go to yoga each Sunday to keep my body flexible and my mind clear.
TDIV: What is a motivational quote or phrase that you try to “live” by, or that inspires you?
McClain:There is no TRY, only Do or Don’t DO!