Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan in 2014!

If you have resolved to adopt a plant-based diet in 2014 this list is for you! First of all, congratulations on the decision to hop on the path to feeling and looking your best, staying healthy and disease-free, and living conscientiously! I have compiled these tips to help you along your way:

1. Take it One Month at a Time.

You have been eating a certain way for a very long time, right? Well completely changing your whole diet overnight and expecting it to last, in most cases, sets yourself up for failure. Instead, create manageable steps month by month. For example, lets say you are a vegetarian, and you know that giving up cheese is going to be your most difficult food to eliminate. So for January, you make the decision to eliminate milk completely from your diet. Then, in February, you have “cheese-less weekdays,” meaning you do not eat cheese Monday through Friday, but allow yourself some over the weekend if you are craving it. Get the idea?

2. Instead of “Giving Up” Animal Products, “Replace” Them!

Choose vegan substitutes for the animal products you are eliminating to keep readily available at home.coconut-milk-ice-cream
If you are a milk drinker, find the non-dairy milk that you like best and stay stocked. Same goes for cheese, yogurt, and ice cream (you still get to splurge every now and then on a vegan diet!). When it comes to meat, my suggestion is that for the first couple months, if you can find substitutes that you like, even if they are not the best for you (most faux meat is processed and less healthy than choosing whole foods such as beans and nuts), allow yourself some leeway to eat them anyway as a stepping stone. Ultimately though, using these products only on occasion is the best way to attain a healthy, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

3. Find support from other vegans.

There are vegans everywhere these days, and we have the technology to connect, so use it! Seek out other healthy vegans in your community, there are often local vegan-related meet-ups you can join. The other option is finding support online through forums (such as the new, Sexy Fit Vegan Forum!) The more support the better!

4. Talk to your friends, coworkers, and family members about your lifestyle changes.

Old habits will stay current habits if you don’t communicate with the people who surround you on a daily basis. Talk to these people and let them know about the changes you are making, and ask them for their support.

5. Take a B-12 Supplement.

Vitamin B-12 is the one nutrient that can be difficult to get on a plant-based diet. There are many products fortified with B-12, but I think it is simply a good habit to take a supplement to ensure you are ingesting enough. A deficiency can be hard to diagnose early enough to prevent permanent damage to your body. But again, it is a simple fix. Take a supplement.

6. Find at least one Protein That You Enjoy and Use It As Your Go-To.

22 Days and Plant Fusion are two I highly recommend that contain both high levels of protein and other ingredients that pack your body with powerful nutrients. All you need is a shaker bottle to create a perfect snack. Getting enough protein to gain lean muscle can be one of the most common worries among people looking to maintain/gain muscle mass and increase strength and performance. A few shakes a day is a simple way to ensure your protein intake stays high.

7. Invest in a Vitamix.

You may look at the price tag on this thing and cringe. I did! And then I received one for my birthday and my life changed forever! Ok, that may be a little dramatic, but it made me a believer in the Vitamix. The smoothies, juices, soups, nut milks, and dips you can make, quickly and easily, makes it well worth the cost. Making a smoothie with super foods like hemp seeds, flax seeds, and dates can come out chunky with a regular blender, but with the Vitamix, you are always ensured an even, smooth shake.

8. Find Time to Plan Ahead.

The first several months, it’s important to realize that it is going to take you more time than usual to figure out your food choices. Find the time so you do not get into an “emergency situation” in which you feel like you’re starving, and have no idea what to eat! We’ve all been there. If you are like me, by the time you get to that point it’s too late for your brain to think clearly and for you to make logical decisions. Avoid this situation by making the time to plan your day’s food intake. You may need to pack a lunch, or keep healthy vegan bars in your car. Always keep good-for-you snacks around. Celery and hummus, carrots and raw almond butter for example.

9. Variety is Key.

Its important to keep in mind that eating a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is the key to a well-balanced plant-based diet. Chances are, by adopting this new lifestyle you will end up eating more different foods than you did before. Research plant-based super foods to add to your meals and shakes, such as hemp and chia seeds. You are exploring new options that you probably never sought out before! Keep an open mind and adopt the attitude of fun exploration rather than limitation.

10. Continue Your Education.

Continuously learn about why a vegan diet is so great by watching documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, reading articles, reading books, and even visiting factory farms and animal sanctuaries if possible. This way you will keep your motivations fresh in your head instead of letting them fade and slipping back into old habits because of it.

Cheers to the start of the healthiest, sexiest year of your life, 2014!!!

Life of a Fighter Presents “The Sexy Vegan Lifestyle: Ella Magers”


Hi everyone! I want to share with you the feature interview that was posted on the Life of a Fighter website December 6, 2013. In it I discuss what it means to be a Sexy Fit Vegan™ and address how the topic relates to the mixed martial arts community.

LifeOfAFighterScreenshotExcerpts from the article:

As wonderful a concept as a vegan diet may be, is it enough subsistence for our readers and fighters? Magers not only says yes, but declares it’s the true wellness lifestyle. “An MMA fighter should go vegan for the same reason any athlete, or any other person should go vegan,” she says, “Whole plant food is quality fuel for our bodies. It is a choice that can result in improved performance and physical health. As a bonus, going vegan means living conscientiously, compassionately, and showing you care about life as well as the environment our descendants will inherit. In our modern day society, a vegan lifestyle is simply the healthiest, most compassionate, and ecologically sound way to live.”

As for advice for the MMA community Magers says, ” The MMA community and vegan communities have one thing in common; they are both highly stereotyped groups. It’s time to break the mold! Vegans can be sexy, strong, and athletic. MMA fighters can be conscientious, intelligent, and compassionate. Vegans can be MMA athletes and MMA athletes can be vegans. I am both. More and more people are joining me everyday. It’s a win-win-win!” 

Enjoy the rest of the article and join the discussion on the Sexy Fit Vegan™ Forum!

In Health & Happiness, Ella

Thanksgiving on a Plant Based Diet: A Survival Guide

Vegan Thanksgiving

Its holiday time! Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and if you have committed to healthier plant-based eating, you could be getting a bit stressed about now. Maybe you are thinking, “How am I going to tell my mom I won’t be eating her infamous sausage & cheese casserole?” Or “Everyone is going to give me the 3rd degree when I turn down turkey this year!”  It’s for you that I created this survival guide!

1. Plan Ahead

Don’t wait until you show up for Thanksgiving dinner to talk to your family about your food choices! Talk to those planning the gathering as far ahead of time as possible. Be equipped with some ideas and recipes that your would like to suggest and offer to either bring a few plant-based options, or be a part of the cooking vegan-loafprocess. Here are some links to help you:

Create Your Own Vegan Loaf!

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving Dishes

2. Keep a Positive, Upbeat Attitude Throughout the Holiday

Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, have fun exploring new dishes you CAN eat! Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, so focus on how thankful you are for your health, and how making new food choices embodies that. Also share (as in have an actual conversation) with family members how much you appreciate their support in your venture to live a healthier, more conscious and compassionate lifestyle. If you set it up in this way, your family is more than likely going to get behind you on your decision.

3. Bring Top Vegan Swaps to the Table

There are certain holiday foods or drinks you may feel you just can’t live without. Luckily for you, there are great plant-based substitutes for almost every one of these! These swaps may not be whole foods, but they will allow you to stay consistent with your vegan diet, and you can think of them as your special treats and indulge a little while eating clean otherwise. Some of my favorite holiday swaps:

Egg Nog- So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog Vegan Nog

daiya-mozzarellacoconut-milk-ice-creamIce Cream- Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert

Cheese- daiya brand

4. Lead by Example

The most effective way to make a positive impact on others is to let your actions back up your words consistently. You may have recently learned a lot about all the benefits of a plant-based diet (and all the negative consequences of consumption of animal products) and would love for your friends and family to all just jump on board the vegan bandwagon as soon as you tell them about it! Well be prepared… that’s probably not going to happen. However, if you practice what you preach (and by that I mean “talk about” not really “preach”), and those around you see the positive changes in your body and your life, they will automatically want to know how to move in the same direction, and you will be there to help guide them!

Robin Quiver Fights Off Cancer

Vegan Robin Quivers Fights Cancer

The Comedy Central Roast Of Joan Rivers - ArrivalsRobin, long time sidekick to Howard Stern, is back in the studio after taking a year off to fight endometrial cancer. She attributes the strength she possessed during her stent of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to her vegan diet.

In her book “The Vegucation of Robin,” Quivers wrote “My plant-based diet was helping my body heal. I couldn’t believe the difference I saw. I’d never had such a dramatic shift in my health – not when I was taking medication, not when I was wearing a neck brace, and certainly not when I was eating whatever I wanted. I no longer had to rearrange my entire life around being sick.”

It’s just so great to hear another story about the healing powers of a whole foods, plant based diet. Go Robin!!!

If you are interested in more details, see the articles from the following:
NY Daily News
Dr. Oz
Today Show via YouTube

“Vegan With A Vengeance: No Meat, No Problem”

I’m writing to share with you all that I am honored to have been named Personal Trainer of the Month on, the most popular fitness & bodybuilding website in the world! Their team put together an amazing spread with my full interview and some great pics. I feel like it lets readers into my world and truly get to know me and what I’m all about!  TOM - Ella Magers Training Pic

I also want to announce that I will be launching a forum component to my website within the next two weeks! I am beyond excited about this… I have been coaching people on other vegan and fitness forums, which not only helps the individuals I coach, but everyone who reads the posts and relates to the situation in one way or another. This has been my dream… combining all my passions, connecting with individuals, while reaching thousands… even millions!

Make sure you have signed up for my free newsletter so you will receive a notification when it is launched!

Meat Today… Not Just Unhealthy. Downright Scary.

It unfortunately seems like the meat industry practices haven’t quite hit rock bottom despite the RTR38ZYQ1377808031fact that more and more people are becoming more and more aware of the healthy dangers of meat, as well as the cruelty it entails for the animals. This article from the Washington Post, published September 8th, 2013 details evidence that things seems as though they are going to get worse before they get better. All the more reason for people to put a rush on their transition to a healthy, plant-based diet!

The article, entitled, “USDA pilot program fails to stop contaminated meat” begins:

A meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach, documents and interviews show.

The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines by as much as 20 percent and cuts the number of USDA safety inspectors at each plant in half, replacing them with private inspectors employed by meat companies. The approach has been used for more than a decade by five American hog plants under a pilot program.

But three of these plants were among the 10 worst offenders in the country for health and safety violations, with serious lapses that included failing to remove fecal matter from meat, according to a report this spring by the USDA inspector general. The plant with the worst record by far was one of the five in the pilot program.

Read the USDA inspector general’s report on swine-plant inspection, with key sections annotated by the reporter.

What the USDA watchdog found

IG report

Read the rest of this article here. For me, stories like this are simply a reminder of the urgency to spread the word, and help people find the motivation and knowledge to be healthy, energetic, and fit through a whole foods, plan-based diet so as to be able to enjoy life for years and years to come!





Think you are eating raw almonds? Think again!

vegan almonds

I am not sure what the word for it is… alarming, disturbing, infuriating, disheartening? I guess I feel a bit of all those when it comes to the laws on almonds produced and sold in the United States. Here is a quick run down of the law:

Since September, 2007, all almonds produced in the U.S. are required by the USDA to be Almy.Almondpasteurized before being sold. Pasteurization is a treatment process that uses high temperature heat or a toxic fumigant to “sanitize” the food, after which the food is no longer raw by definition. Despite this fact, the USDA allows for the almonds to be labeled “raw,” totally misleading consumers. For more details, here is one article, among the countless others out there, from the Alliance for Natural Health.

Vegan health & nutrition is my passion so I do research daily to discover and share information like this. Most Americans don’t have the time and energy to spend discovering things like this for themselves. Most people make decisions based on the food labels, assuming that the nutrition facts, regulated by the government, are truthful. This is why I am so up in arms over this topic… its impossible for people to make an informed decision when the information is wrong!

Changing focus, you may be asking, are raw almonds THAT much better for you than roasted ones? After doing the research, I choose, for the most part, to eat organic raw nuts and seeds over roasted ones. This article gives a good run down of the reasons behind my decision. Another good tip is to keep them in the refrigerator instead of the pantry to keep them from going bad (& prevent bacteria growth).

The good news is that it’s  still possible to purchase truly raw, unpasteurized, organic almonds and almond butter. I often purchase mine from Wilderness Poets. They import their almonds from Italy. They also carry a great Nut Milk Making Kit that makes it fairly simple and easy to make your own almond milk.


“How do you get protein if you are vegan???”

protein-cartoonIf you haven’t gotten it already, be prepared to hear the phrase, “How do you get your protein?” a million and one times when you inform someone that you are vegan or mostly vegan. It’s a very reasonable question, and its helpful to have an “elevator pitch” of sorts prepared in response.

So check this out… I’m in the line at Whole Foods, and the lady behind me asks, “Wow, I want to know what you do to have legs like that!” (yes, this type of scenario happens quite frequently!) I reply, “Well thank you! Besides kickboxing & the variety of workouts I do, I am vegan and eat a plant-based diet which keeps me in the best possible shape!”

The lady immediately asks, “But you have great muscle definition… how do you get your protein?” To which I answer, “Its simple! I get plenty of the top quality protein found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, quinoa, and other whole grains. By cutting out animal products that are so harmful to our health (not to mention animals, and environment), I am full of energy and look and feel better than ever!”

Nuts-MuscleThe lady looks intrigued and a bit confused so I say, “Have you ever seen Forks Over Knives?”

“No, what’s that?”

“A must-see documentary with all the health facts on the subject from a scientific standpoint. Its fascinating!, definitely check it out!” And then I hand her my card so she can  find the information on my website, but unless you are coaching people on nutrition, you probably will skip that part 😉

Anyway, its really important to help spread the word about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Its a good deed to say the least, and necessary to spread awareness and actually ultimately saving people’s lives! Depending on where you live, you may find that using the term, “plant-based diet,” engages people more than “vegan.” In many areas of the country, many people don’t even know what vegan means, and if they do, they may attribute it to weirdo, hippie, liberal, granola-head-type people whom turn them off.

If you don’t feel like you are eating a wide enough variety of plant foods to meet your needs, you can always supplement with a vegan protein powder. I recommend pea & rice protein as opposed to soy. The research is somewhat mixed, but I think its best to keep your soy intake moderate, especially for men, I like to save it for dishes with tofu, meat substitutes, and edamame (I go to sushi restaurants often and always get the edamame appetizer.)


I discovered Sun Warrior brand protein many years ago and have always found it to be one of my top picks. I think it has the best texture (not gritty at all) and taste of any proteins I’ve tried. They have their Classic Protein, which is made from brown rice, and a Blended Protein. I much prefer the regular over the blended, but everyone has different options about these things.

Sun Warrior brand products

Sun Warrior Classic Protein, Vanilla/Chocolate

Vega, is another company that makes a great vegan protein. Vegan Sport Performance Blend has a mix of plant protein (soy free), and also tastes good. This protein powder also contains a branched chain amino acid complex, L-Glutamine, and a digestive enzyme blend which are great additions to a shake! This probably accounts for the higher price. Vega, like Sun Warrior, is also a trusted, quality company.


Vega Sport Performance Protein

Both of these powders can be blended or shaken with water or a milk substitute (almond, coconut, rice, hemp, etc.) and can be used alone as a quick protein blast, or added to a shake or smoothie.

Here are two more “Sexy Fit Vegan™ Approved” proteins to give you more options!

Raw Protein Garden of lifePlant Fusion Protein

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