I’m a certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. I live in Los Angeles, CA. I began my career in fitness about 7 years ago as a hobby just teaching group exercise classes in my spare time. I’m currently developing an online health platform, called Flux that will offer video-led fitness programs, nutrition information, cooking classes, and meditation classes. Flux is going to feature various trainers and health specialists who promote a holistic lifestyle and will be a community and resource to those looking for sustainable health. Flux is about what the human body can do, not what it looks like, and the goal is to instill confidence in the end user through a shift in focus towards performance and mindfulness. The website launches January 1st with my first video-led package and nutrition ebook, sign up for email updates at www.myflux.life. Catch Meghan on Instagram at @meghanaro.
What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?
My transition into veganism was really more of an elimination of foods that I found did not serve my body. It was a journey towards understanding and listening to my body in terms larger than just counting calories or macros because it’s greater than that. It’s about the energy that you’re feeding yourself. Everything’s connected. You can’t expect to live your most positive life while feeding yourself the body of a tortured animal, that’s so negative. Health motives naturally evolved to include ethical motives because logically if I can live healthily without harming another creature why on earth would I choose to keep causing harm?
How long have you been Vegan?
I’ve been vegan for about 3.5 years now, I was vegetarian for a couple of months prior.
Why is being Vegan important to you?
This is a loaded question. I’m vegan for everything, my health, not wanting to cause harm to other sentient beings, and the environment. The animal agriculture business is just so scummy. Aside from that, it’s an extremely dangerous field to work in. The workers have such a high rate of injury, they get paid poorly, and most of them don’t have any other job choice. There are a lot of illegals working in the animal agriculture business because it’s an undesirable job, who wants to cut open animals every day? They get hurt, they get sick, and the government turns a blind eye because they’re in bed with these large industries. If the workers quit, they stand the chances of getting deported. And in other countries, we’re mowing down forests to grow feed for animal slaughter. We’re stealing resources from communities that need them, people who are starving. It’s fucking up their economy, and their people go hungry just so we can sell dollar menu items. It’s seriously messed up.
Any recommended Vegan books?
I read Eating Animals a couple years ago. It’s a look into the animal agriculture business, standard farming practices, and looks to why people hold onto their traditions surrounding food. It was highly informative, and I recommend that everyone read it.
Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?
I do have a Youtube Channel (Meghan Aro Fitness). I talk about veganism, developing a healthy relationship with food, and I include short workouts videos. I’m always open to suggestions on content. As far as vegan movies? I think Forks Over Knives was my favorite. It was highly informative without being overly graphic.
Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.
I don’t believe there’s only one way to promote veganism. Our activism needs to be so varied that people cannot ignore us. Each of us has a niche where we can make a difference. What DOESN’T work is being disrespectful or rude towards non-vegans? It’s hard because for us this is a highly emotional topic, animals are dying, people are dying, the earth is dying. But you have to approach people understanding their lens. If people feel attacked they’ll shut down and you’ll miss your opportunity to be heard. For me personally, I have the eyes and ears of people who want to feel and look good. They look to me for exercise and health advice so I have to appeal to that. I started off being very indulgent on my IG page. I made meme’s and posts that were a hit with the vegan crowd, but gave off this exclusive vibe instead of inclusive; I have no interest in preaching to the choir. I’ve since focused on being a little bit more PC and informative, and leading by example, and have actually gotten MUCH better feedback as far as people wanting to change. Criticism without offering a solution is just noise.
Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?
LOL! No. Cruelty isn’t appetizing.
What is your favorite Vegan meme?
I don’t really like vegan memes. I think they can come off as aggressive to non-vegans and don’t help us promote real change. When’s the last time your mind was changed because of a sarcastic meme? Probably never. I think it’s much more effective to make “memes” that simply use facts instead of sarcasm. Don’t appeal to emotion, appeal to logic.
What is your favorite Vegan stereotype?
Protein. Everyone wants to know how the personal trainer has muscle but eats plants lol. I always respond politely, and intelligently. I inform them on what foods I eat that include protein. I inform them that I actually only eat 15% or less of my calories from protein, which usually comes as a shock. And I inform them that as long as you’re eating enough calories from real food that it’s literally impossible to be protein deficient.
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
Real Food Daily in Los Angeles. They have THE BEST quesadillas.
What’s your favorite recipe?
My mac and cheese is the bomb. The sauce is an adaptation from Oh She Glows and is lower in fat. Basically, it’s butternut squash puree, raw cashews, lemon juice, Italian spices, Dijon mustard, almond milk, salt, cayenne pepper, and nutritional yeast. For the full recipe make sure to head to www.myflux.life and download my nutrition ebook with lots of other healthy low-fat recipes.
What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?
A lot of people think that we don’t care about other problems in the world. I think that veganism can tend to be a bit white washed. But I think the majority of us are conscious of other injustices in the world such as racism, sexism, poverty, and war. I think it’s important to approach veganism from an intersectional viewpoint. Because at the root of it, everyone is fighting for the same thing: for equality for all life. If we can come together with other minority groups our voices will not be ignored.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
The food is great, the health results are great, the social interactions don’t get easier you just stop caring what people think.
Are you a cruelty-Free vegan?
I don’t believe anyone’s life is beneath my convenience.
What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?
Makeup: Tarte and Kat Von D
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I don’t really have trouble finding vegan products. I live in LA and have an amazon prime membership. 2-day shipping, what a time to be alive.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
I never struggled with food or products. That stuff is a quick google search. The hardest part is dealing with the social aspect. The hardest part is dealing with family. You have to find a way to remain emotionally close with people who baseline disagree with all of your moral standards. My advice is to not waste time or emotions trying to change a family member or close friends who show no interest in changing. Focus your energy on changing people elsewhere and try to avoid vegan conversation with family, it tends to go south.