Paola Deocampo Jackson

Paola Deocampo Jackson - PLANTBUILT.COM

Paola Deocampo Jackson – PLANTBUILT.COM

Name:  Paola Deocampo Jackson

Division you will compete in:  Bikini

Age:  34

Height:  5’5 ½”

Weight/Competition Weight:  118

City:  Pasadena, CA

Years as a vegan:  3 1/2

Why you became a Vegan:  I became a vegan after making a direct connection with where my food was coming from.  Certain life-changing books and documentaries (i.e. Skinny Bitch, Eating Animals, Earthlings) completely shifted my perception of food.  I became vegan because beautiful, intelligent animals have a value far greater than just my next meal. They feel pain and grief just as we do and I can no longer contribute to their suffering.

History Competing:  NPC Los Angeles – July 23, 2011 – 9th place; NPC San Francisco – October 1, 2011 – 2nd place; NPC Ronnie Coleman Classic – March 31, 2012 – NP; NPC Gold Coast Classic – February 9, 2013 – 11th place

What drives you to compete:  I want to help represent the vegan bodybuilding community, dispelling any notion that vegans are weak and malnourished .  I want to be an example and an inspiration for those that want to become healthy and fit, but think that it’s just too hard.  I completely transformed my body and health a lot sooner than I expected through a whole foods plant-based diet and, if a former meat-eating twinkie-loving fast food junkie like me can do it, anyone can!  Also, competing gives me a renewed drive to be my best self.  The process reveals my strengths and weaknesses.  I learn something new about myself each time and come out with a greater understanding of who I am and what I am capable of.

What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete:  Zero cholesterol!  Being a vegan athlete makes it so much easier to lose excess body fat and, since becoming vegan, I have noticeably more energy than ever.

What types of supplements if any do you use?:  I mostly rely on a well-balanced, whole foods plant-based diet.  When I am working hard at the gym, I drink Vega nutritional shakes.

How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition:  I loosely track calories, but focus most on my macros, making sure that I get a good amount of both carbs and protein.  I keep it very simple; oatmeal with protein powder, tempeh and vegetables throughout the day, maybe almond butter on brown rice cakes for dessert.  And I drink a LOT of water.

Favorite food in your prep diet:  Tempeh, Bok Choy, and Edamame!

How would you describe your training for a competition:  I go heavy on the lower body twice a week, since it is the last part of my body to respond to training.  I dedicate one of those days to glutes, only.  I split my upper body routines into “push” days (chest and shoulders) and “pull” days (back and biceps).  I do ab work almost everyday.  I increase cardio at about 6 weeks out from competition to lean out.   I also increase sleep time and naps for recovery.

Favorite exercises:  Straight Leg Deadlifts, Smith Rack Split Squats, Walking Lunges

How many hours a week do you spend training?:  About 10-11 hours during prep

Today I am most proud of: How far I’ve come in my journey to good health and fitness.  I used to eat junk, wallow in self pity, and sit around doing nothing if I wasn’t out partying.  I now know how to live a more balanced life, but best of all, I now live a more compassionate life.

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