Name: Elana Titanium Priesman
Division you will compete in: Transformation
Weight/Competition Weight: Goal is to hit the 120’s
Years as vegan: Since August 31, 2012
Why you became vegan: I had some serious health issues causing havoc on my body. It was a gamble to when something serious was going to happen that would leave me incapacitated, paralyzed or dead. I struggled getting help from doctors without the use of drugs, so I sought out to find information on my own. I was really lucky to discover the mastermind behind the Engine 2 Diet lived in my hometown and attended a rare potluck dinner at his home. That evening, I was lucky to meet Chad Byers, my personal trainer, and his words and physical appearance made me want to change my life and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Emerging myself into the vegan culture also has heightened my awareness and consciousness to animal rights, animal cruelty and environmental impact.
What drives you to compete: Even though this is technically a competition, what is more important to me than winning, is having the opportunity to be a role model for others. I am being brave to get up on stage in front of not just an audience, but the for the entire world to see as I document my journey through social media. Millions of people want to lose weight, but are doing it on fad diets or programs that encourage meat eating and dairy consumption. I want to show them the proof that health, wellness and a rockin body can be achieved vegan style! No matter what I am winning for the animals and my health, and passing on the best gift that Chad Byers gave to me- life!
What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete: Recovery and endurance! I recently ran my first 10 K without even knowing it! I intended on running a 5K, but kept going. At the end, I was bummed, because I felt like my 5K was slow, and I was in shock when I found out I had ran double the amount!
Favorite food in your diet: High raw fruits and vegetables are awesome for giving my body a colorful array of nutrients!
How would you describe your training for a competition: HIIT cardio and weights
Favorite exercises: deadlifts, chest press and bicep curls
How many hours a week do you spend training?: 6 days a week
Today I am most proud of: Standing up for what I believe in. Being strong enough to stand apart from the crowd.
Transformation story: In the summer of 2012, my health was on the decline. I was playing Russian Roulette with my heart and was also being treated at a diabetes center. I struggled getting answers from doctors and even had one specialist encourage me to go Paleo! I suspected my diet was not optimal after seeing documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, but I still was clueless about what I was doing. I started my own research and discovered the founder of the Engine 2 Diet lived in my hometown. It was perfect timing, as he was hosting a potluck dinner at his home the next week. I attended and convinced myself that I could try the new diet, but not give up all animal products. That was until Chad Byers spoke that night, and turned my world upside down and inside out. I approached him and asked him if he trained people, and as luck had it, he had opened a new training facility around the corner from my house! I decided to be accountable that night, and I got up in front of the two hundred attendees that night, and told everyone my results from recent blood work I had. I won the “contest” on who had the highest cholesterol, and won a dvd on how to make bean burgers by Jeff Novick, RD. I changed my diet to plant based the very next day and started working out with Chad immediately after not going to a gym in a year. One look at Chad told me he knew what he was doing! The following year, Tricia Kelly joined the training staff, and has also played a role in pushing me harder. I have experienced a major health transformation in getting healthy without medications and a dramatic weight loss of 75 lbs. since last summer.
Personal website or blog:
Website:www.plantsformation.com coming soon.