Paola DeocampoPasadena, CA

NCSF Certified Personal Trainer, NCSF Sport Nutrition Specialist, Lagree Fitness Instructor, National Level Bikini Competitor

Filipino-American Vegan Bikini Bodybuilding Competitor, Voice Over Artist, Personal Trainer, Sport Nutrition Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor, Runner, Hiker, Reader, Writer, Traveler.

Recent competition accomplishments include 1st place in Masters Bikini Class B and 5th place Open Bikini Class D at the NPC Iron Games November 2014.

There is something magical about being an ethical vegan athlete that words cannot accurately describe, though I will certainly try. The knowledge that one can do their part in the world by simply leaving animals off of their plate, the thrill of fueling your intense workouts with plants, the ability to have the determination and drive to become stronger and more powerful, and then use it to reveal your compassion for animals, that is pure magic. That is Beauty. That is Love.

Areas of Expertise: Bodybuilding, Bulking, Cleansing, Endurance, Nutrition, Toning, Weight Gain, Weight Loss

Services: Consulting, Meal Planning, Personal Training, Coaching

Credentials: Champion Bodybuilder, Cycling Instructor, Personal Trainer

Availability: In person, Online, Phone

I read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. The chapter about slaughterhouse practices changed me for good. It was suddenly clear that animals are not food. Soon after, I watched Earthlings, Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, Food, Inc., and Vegucated. I also read The China Study and Eating Animals, two very powerful books that I highly recommend to everyone.

Because my perception of animals and food completely changed, the actions I needed to take were easy. It only became difficult when I began looking at balancing my diet for health purposes. Much like any other kind of diet, eating well-balanced meals is necessary for health and fitness. With so many books and documentaries out there, finding balance became easier over the course of a couple of months.

I admire and support PETA and their bold approaches to getting their messages across. I also love The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita, CA. They work with at-risk youth and special needs children through interaction with their animals, most of whom have experienced similar traumas, such as neglect and abuse.

Going vegan is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those around you. The transition may take time, but it will be worth it when you discover that you have more energy, optimism, and all around better health, not to mention the positive influence you will have on friends and family. You will also be drastically reducing the effects of global warming by simply leaving animals off your plate.