Allison Dunham

Allison DDivision you will compete in: CF

Age: 32

Height: 5’7

Weight: 130

City: Santa Cruz, CA

Years as a vegan: vegan since 2009, vegetarian since 2002

Why you became a vegan: I was vegetarian on and off in middle school but it finally stuck once I got to high school. I’ve always loved animals and never understood why people wanted to eat them. I was influenced by many friends in the Syracuse Hardcore scene to go vegetarian and my high school LGBT group, Acceptance Coalition, had many vegan potlucks. I finally went vegan in 2009 after reading the Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn, which boasted about plant based health benefits and how easy it was to be vegan.

History competing: I have never completed

What drives you to compete: I have been lucky enough to be at the Plantbuilt competition in Austin, TX two years in a row to support my partner, Billy. I also got to take pictures of the PB Crossfitters and hype social media. After watching all of the athletes and seeing how supportive the group is of each other, I thought if I joined PlantBuilt, it would be a way to open more doors for vegan conversations and push my athletic performance.

What do you see as the biggest advantages of being a vegan athlete: The first advantage to being a vegan athlete is that fellow crossfitters ask me about being vegan all of the time. It’s a good opportunity to get to spread the good word of veganism and educate others about the benefits. The second advantage is that I feel really good! My immune system is much stronger than before I was vegan and I recover faster.

What types of supplements if any do you use?: I use Vega Sport Protein and Recovery Accelerator, and Orgain Organic Protein. I also take various herbs, like tumeric and garlic.

How would you describe your diet while preparing for a competition: Since going vegan, I learned a lot about food, how to cook and how to use supplements. Being vegan made me more aware of the nutrients that I put into my body, so I try to eat as many whole foods as I can (veggies, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds) but I’m not strict about measuring my food.

Favorite food in your prep diet: Billy’s Protein pancakes are my favorite.

Favorite exercises: I love squats, push press, and jerks.

Strongest skills: Pistols and rowing

How many hours a week do you spend training?: I try to go to Crossfit 4-5 days per week. I also do daily yoga stretches with my students.

Today I am most proud of: I am proud of how far I have come as an athlete. I started off as a really unathletic kid that was on the verge of failing PE. I got into yoga after a chronic back injury, which lead me to teaching yoga and fitness classes. Today I am healthy, strong and an elementary school teacher. The best part of my day is that I get to inspire my students to be physically active and eat healthy foods.

Personal Website or Blog:

instagram: whenthecatsaway
Twitter: allisoncdunham