VFA: Why did you Decide to become a Vegan:
SW: I was Vegetarian for about 16 years, for the environment then for the animals. I never considered it to be for my own health. I was diagnosed and treated for cervical Cancer, then made the drastic change to celebrate overcoming my illness.
VFA: When did you become Interested in Fitness:
SW: I have been a dancer since I was 5 years old. I have always been well aware of fitness and health but never had to “try” because I lived a life where I was active 5-6 days per week, 3-5 hours per day dancing. When I stopped at the semi-pro level I had to turn to other things to stay active – hiking, biking, canoeing, snowboarding, ballroom dancing and eventually, bodybuilding.
With raw vegan chef training, personal training, wellness coaching & a master herbalist certificate under my belt, I decided to take it to the next level: quit my day job in real estate and bring health to the masses.
VFA: What advice would you give to beginners who are Interested in Veganism & Fitness:
SW: It isn’t impossible. You will stay healthy throughout the entire process if you tackle it right and you’ll find an amazing tightly knit community of health conscious folks to support you throughout your journey. Vegans do great things for each other and the planet – it’s the greatest movement you’ll likely be a part of in your lifetime just steer clear of the negative, condemning vegans. Their point is often lost in their aggression and that works against the movement.
VFA: How does your vegan lifestyle & fitness habits look away from Home. How difficult is it for you when you Travel to other cities, States, or Countries:
SW: I travel – A LOT – more than the average person, so at least monthly. I’ve been all over North Amercia, Europe, Central America, India, China, Russia….to name a few. I am a Canadian now living in Pittsburgh PA. The differences between Countries and Continents nutritional preferences are vast. The most amazing thing about being Vegan abroad? Travelling for your tummy. I have ended up in some of the most crazy places seeing some of the most incredible sights because of travelling off the beaten path for ethical food. Save and except for a few small small places on the planet, you can expect to be fed, and fed well in most places.
VFA: What are one of your Accomplishments so far since you started Vegainism & Fitness:
SW: I’ve started a business that flourished – and continues to – about 6.5 years ago. I help people achieve their goals by incorporating plant-based eating into their every day – or as often as they can….I’m an educator for the planet and I love it. I’ve also entered the world of female (bikini) bodybuilding and have gained my pro-card in one of the all natural federations in Canada, top three in all my competitions to date. I continue to strive in the natural leagues – now switching categories to build and become more visible in the mainstream BB movement. I’ll begin competing in the US this spring which is really exciting for me. I’m working on an all new Vegan building product (or two) now as well…stay tuned! It’s never been seen before.
VFA: Was it easy/difficult for you to become vegan:
SW: Not at all! When you’re vegetarian for so long, the transition is easy….moving to the Rockies in Alberta however made it SO hard to eat out…so I’ve been cooking more – and blogging recipes more than ever.
VFA: Are any of your Friends/Family Vegan or thinking of becoming Vegan:
SW: My husband became vegetarian (generally milk & eggless) about 7 months ago. He too bodybuilds & thought at first he couldn’t gain mass at 6’3 200lbs…but hasn’t lost any mass yet.
VFA: How does you’re weekly meal plan look when you’re Competing ? & does it change or stay the same when your taking time off from training:
SW: When I’m not in “off season” training mode the biggest difference for me is the measuring of food. I generally know portion sizes but don’t use a scale etc…also, when competition is on the horizon there are no treats – no drinks, no desserts! I also use more supplements. I’m never not training, I find it’s the difference between cutting and living a normal life.
VFA: What is your Favorite Dish to Prepare:
SW: Good one. Anything comfort foodish. I like rice wrap pizzas and grilled (BBQ) veggies the best. A good Vegan Caesar salad with chickpeas does the trick too.
VFA: What are the Holidays like when your cooking?
SW: Usually, I bring my own food BUT last year I did a 100% Vegan holiday dinner for 11 – all meat eaters – and they didn’t notice a thing missing.
Give us a few of you’re Chef Recipes:
Bodybuilding “in season” recipes:
VFA: How Often do you hear where do you get you’re Protein & what is you’re reaction:
SW: Less often now that I’ve been bodybuilding. When I wasn’t, it was at least a few times per week and a lot from folks who were veg-curious but not sure what to do. A lot from really out of shape folks as well – not sure why. My reaction has always been “ there’s protein in everything” on a short note. Of course, with my training over the years I can add a lot more science to the explanation for those who really are serious about making the change.
VFA: Have you thought about raising you’re kids Vegan or Vegetarian:
SW: My step-daughter converted to vegetarianism a while back – on her own accord – but her mother is forbidding it in her home (crazy right??)…so when she is with us, she tows the line, attends anti-Monsanto rallies and doesn’t support animal cruelty or Earth damaging industrial processes. She’s aware and that’s whats going to help her make the decision to convert fully later in life when she gets the opportunity.
VFA: How did you Hear/Learn bout Vegan Female Athletes? Has it changed, helped, or Inspired you in anyway. & What do you like most bout the Page since You started to follow it
SW: My husband tagged me in a few things and made me aware. When you’re so involved in your own “thing” you don’t always do the research or look for inspiration, so it’s been great. Love seeing likeminded women doing good – it’s a great way to check in & charge your batteries when you’re not sure if you should continue pushing the message.
VFA: Name any Vegan Athlete Male/Female you wish to Meet, Train with, & get to know on a Personal/Business level & why:
SW: Hmmm, so many. Torre Washington, Robert Cheeke, Sam Shorkey -all great folks but there are SO many now!! Even Arnie is cutting meat from his life – the Godfather of bodybuilding – WIN!
VFA: Have you thought about becoming A Raw Vegan or are you Happy being Vegan:
SW: I was raw vegan for a couple of years when I did my chef training. No, I like hot food and certain foods that just don’t work in the diet. I’m more than happy being a “regular” vegan.
VFA: With so much Obesity in the World Today as a Vegan How would you help change it:
SW: Big question. I feel like I’m a Miss American contestant here. I think change to law would help ie: outlawing certain foods in general that are sold to us in supermarkets, fast food restaurants and at schools. Forget cigarettes and alcohol – obesity is costing us and the planet and it’s SO simple to fix. I was an educator in Vancouver, Canada at a community school and had NO idea what kids and parents didn’t know! I brought my services to Calgary, Canada in a more structured school environment on a monthly basis and was even more shocked – start with the kids, the kids take it home and teach their families. People need to know the big big business of food, marketing and global domination – it’s real and it’s killing so many.
VFA: What does the Future hold for Sasha Williams:
SW: Big things. Always big things. More travel, more education and getting excited about bringing new healthy products and services to the public. Moving to America is a big step, a few more trophies along the way wouldn’t hurt either.
VFA: Thank you for your time. Do you wish to do a 2nd Interview in the future:
Social Media Pages:
Fitness Photo for the Interview.