Hey Bad Ass Vegan Nation, You know what time of the month it is… That is right, time for the Sexy Bad Ass Vegan of the month. This month I bring to you a multi-talented vegan residing in San Fran! Mr October is not only a trainer but is also a contemporary dancer… sure that helps him stay in shape! His compassion for animals is matched by his love for helping all living creatures live a healthy life. Make sure you check out Sebastian, Mr October.
Name: Sebastian Grubb
Where do you live and where are you from? Born in LA and grew up in Santa Cruz. I live in San Francisco now and love it.
Age? Born in 1984
What do you do for a living/profession? I run a fitness training business and also perform professional contemporary dance. I’ve been a professional dancer since 2008 and trainer since 2006.
What do you like to do for fun? My hobbies have become my profession, so my work is already really fun. Outside of dance and fitness though, I love going to art shows, live music, hiking and camping in beautiful places, and I’ve written a lot of poetry. It’s funny though – all these activities are actually related to my professions too, since they’re about the body or creativity. I suppose I don’t differentiate very much between work and play.
Why did you become vegan? I’m a logic-based person, so when I finally heard the full argument for veganism from the perspectives of environmental impact, disease prevention, animal compassion, politics, and health in general, I could only say, Yes. Taken together, the reasons for following a vegan diet are just so compelling. Much more compelling than the reasoning behind any other way of eating, which usually focuses on just one aspect of food, such as weight loss. With a whole food, vegan diet based around nutrient-dense plants, you get fat loss, environmental protection, a longer lifespan, responsibility to animals, lower risk of cancer and heart disease, and other benefits. There are a lot of details to go into, but that’s the big picture.
How was your transition? I was fortunate to be at a college campus where the cafeterias had great vegan food. This smoothed out the transition while I researched nutrition and learned how to cook. I also have a very supportive family, and I’m really grateful for them. Another thing that made it easy for me was the focus on nutrient density: if you want to be healthy, and you look up nutrient density charts, the decision-making is very simple. I just eat as many vegetables, fruits, and beans as I can. Mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and grains come next. Virtually all other food is less nutrient-dense, whether or not you’re vegan!
What is the funniest misconception(s) that you have heard about vegans? There are many. I guess this one stems more from disbelief, but it’s amusing to hear someone go through the checklist and ask me what I don’t eat: “No chicken? No fish? No milk? No eggs? Butter? Cheese?” In the end, it’s actually too bad, because this is focusing on what the diet is not, as opposed to what it is. That’s one reason I often use the term “plant-based” instead; it’s a positive name, not one that means an absence of something.
What is your Favorite thing(s) about being a vegan? Knowing that I’m living ethically – my beliefs become action everyday. And so I don’t have any moral quandaries in my relationships with animals. It’s all love.
What do you think makes a Sexy Bad Ass Vegan? Someone who is walking their talk, creating a healthy body and vibrant life at the same time. A Sexy Bad Ass Vegan is someone who shines.
What is the best vegan dish that you make in your kitchen?
I prepare really simple food (salad based, steaming, wraps, etc.). My current favorite is a fruit and vegetable smoothie:
2 ripe bananas
1 cup (or more!) frozen berries
soymilk and water as needed
cinnamon, clove, ginger (as much as you can handle)
mixed greens, arugula, or spinach (as much as you can handle)
almond butter or tahini (2-4 servings for me, but match your calorie needs)
unprocessed (“un-dutched”) cocoa powder (as much as you can handle)
-Blend until liquefied. This makes about 4 servings and I usually have it as part of 2 meals, preferably after a workout. The glorious thing about this smoothie is it’s so nutrient-dense! The more spices, berries, and greens you add, the healthier it is. It is brimming with antioxidants and other healthful micronutrients. And, despite the greens, it tastes like a dessert because of the spices and fruit. I love eating food that I know is making me healthier and protecting me from disease in the process!
What is the best Vegan Restaurant you have ever had the pleasure of eating at? Millenium in San Francisco is incredible. It’s so great to have a vegan fine dining experience.
What advice do you have for those that are thinking of transitioning to a vegan lifestyle? I focus on health through superior nutrition when I talk to people about food. Virtually everyone has health concerns, especially as they age, so sharing strategies to increase vegetable and fruit consumption (among other whole plant foods) seems like a universal good. I also encourage people to learn as much as they can about the different aspects/impacts of food choices: environmental, moral, personal health, political. Being vegan means leading a lifestyle that is still considered radical, even though a plant-based diet is what we and our planet desperately need. Because being vegan is being different, you’ll likely find a number of obstacles, your motivation can fluctuate, and you may find yourself not committing completely or falling off the wagon. This is not a problem though, because you can always return, or try strategies like eating 90% vegan if 100% is too hard. In the end, the more plants you eat, the better, so focus on increasing plant intake as a positive way to frame the process.
My own website is www.sebastiangrubb.com, where I have written nutrition articles and posted dance videos. I also recommend checking out Dr. Greger’s comprehensive website www.nutritionfacts.org; he produces daily videos based on specific nutrition studies and I find it both incredibly fascinating and helpful.
-One more thing I want to share:
On October 25th I was the Champion of a fitness competition between different fitness professionals in San Francisco. The trainers were selected because of their focus on functional fitness training; many of them run their own fitness businesses like I do. It was a 7-exercise competition and I ended up coming out way ahead: 270 points versus the 245 of the competitor in 2nd place. This was a strong moment for plant-based athletics and the best day of my 2014!