Name: Amy Szutowicz
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Fav. Sport: Running
Music: I like upbeat dance music when I'm running.
Reading: The Starch Solution by John McDougall
Watching: I don't watch tons of TV, but my favorite show now is "The Walking Dead."
Fav. Quote: "Better than I was yesterday but not as good as I'll be tomorrow."
Athletic Accomplishments: Numerous running events, 5k's, 10k's, 10-milers, half marathons, full marathon--I've run them all, including a four day endurance challenge consisting of a 5k, 10k, half, and full marathon in four days. I was also featured in a home fitness work out series based on my before and after pictures. In addition to running, I enjoying lifting weights as part of my training.
Athletic Goals: To reach my full potential as an athlete and to participate as a vegan fitness competitor at a national show some day.
Vegan Story: Being vegan has changed my life. I had some serious health problems in the last two years that led to surgery. After researching nutrition, it was eye opening when I found out how I was unknowingly poisoning my body for decades. I was addicted to Diet Coke, sweets, and pizza. Even though I had cleaned up my eating habits and lost a lot of weight prior to going vegan, my nutrition still needed a lot of work because I was eating a "high protein, low carb" diet.
Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned how our "food" is made and the deplorable conditions on factory farms. It is unthinkable the way animals are treated when we shouldn't even be eating meat in the first place.
As a runner and fitness enthusiast, I appreciate nourishing my body with plant based foods. This way of eating has enhanced my athletic performance in ways I could not even imagine.
I became a vegan for "health reasons," but now I know it's about so much more. It's about compassion, in every sense of the word. It's also about showing the world we can be athletes and perform as vegans. I love when people ask where I get my protein from--I use it as an opportunity to educate them. I ask them, do they even KNOW where their food comes from?!?
I eat a highly raw, gluten free, soy free diet, so no meat substitutes and I rarely use protein powder. I get my nutrients from single-ingredient, real food. And, I feel amazing every day.
I recently became certified through NASM as a personal trainer. I used to be picked last in gym class and now, I train almost every day of the week. I'm very aware of what I put in my body because the way I was eating before was making me so sick. Being a vegan has given me energy and, it gave me my life back... and the lives of hundreds of animals, too.