I am an athlete and I like to compete but mostly I like to compete against myself. I don’t think about somebody else. I just focus on what I have to do and do the best I can.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ramona Cadogan. Ramona has a resume that would put most of us to shame. She is a vegan coach and chef, an educator with a degree in Biology and a masters in Education, a personal trainer, a Hula Hooper and last but not least, an Olympic weightlifter. She is also the New York ambassador of Team Green.
I found Ramona to be gracious and warm during the time we chatted and loved her laugh! I was most impressed by the way she puts a strong emphasis on the connection between veganism and her spiritual health. She’s a true inspiration!
Here’s my interview and make sure to check her out at the links at the end:
C: Ramona, thank you for agreeing to chat today!
R: Thank you for connecting with me!
C: Of course! Let me start by telling you what I learned about you from another interview. You said you went vegan for the animals. Was there any one event that made this happen or is it just our current system of factory farming?
R: Just how animals are treated, that’s it. That’s the main reason why.
C: I see after six years of being vegan you went into raw foods?
R: I have been raw vegan from 2006 up until now but I do both raw vegan and cooked vegan food.
C: As a vegan chef, do you have a signature dish?
R: I like all different dishes but raw lasagna, I like that the best. I use all types of vegan dishes.
C: Tell me about your experience training for the Olympics?
R: I am training now for Nationals and we’ll see where that takes me. I enjoy training for the sport and am having fun. I am an athlete and I like to compete but mostly I like to compete against myself. I don’t think about somebody else. I just focus on what I have to do and do the best I can.
C: Do you think your vegan diet gives you an edge over other athletes?
R: I’m doing it for the animals. Other athletes do it for other reasons. I don’t judge people.
C: Do you have any days that you don’t feel like training or need some motivation?
R: I usually train 4-6 days a week sometimes giving myself a couple days off. I have my own motivation. I enjoy the sport for what it is and have a weight coach as well.
C: I read something about you online that said you felt that you had to become vegan for your health as well as spiritual reasons. Can you explain more about the spiritual reasons?
R: Once you eat an animal you take their feelings, their experiences into you. When I used to eat meat, I would feel I was taking in their emotions. It dampens your own spirituality. It’s the same thing as being around someone who has negative energy. It’s hard as a positive person if you’re always around someone who is negative. You get drained from that. It’s the same with the animals.
C: Do you have any role models or anyone who has inspired you professionally or personally?
R: Definitely. I enjoy the weightlifting very, very much and Crossfit. My first coach really inspired me and that was it.
C: I recently became certified as a vegan lifestyle coach through Victoria Moran’s Main St. Vegan Academy and I understand you are a vegan coach too. Tell me about what you do as a vegan coach.
R: I help people transition who eat meat and want to become vegan or vegetarian or vegetarians to (become) vegan. I help people if they’re in transition in their lives and face them where they’re at. I help them gradually become what they want to be. I’m patient with them and I become their positive role model. I don’t judge them.
C: Tell me what else you’d like my readers to know about you.
R: I also have a tutoring business for academics or homeschooling. I work with families who have kids who want a holistic approach to their style of learning whether it’s Montessori or Waldorf; I can help them engage and help them with that aspect. I have a degree in Biology and a Masters in Education from Adelphi University.
Basically I tutor in math and science, Common Core, ACTs, SATs, Spanish all the exams are online or in person. I enjoy the academic business as well as the physical fitness business. I am also working on an e-book coming out on weightlifting and veganism in 2015.
C: If someone were to try to reach you, what’s the best way?
R: If someone is looking for a vegan personal trainer whether they’re an athlete or a stay-at-home mom, I can help them reach their goals for 2015 and beyond.