Kathleen Roberts of LoveToKnow.com
Interviews Vegan Fitness Advocate Jeff Sekerak
Vegan fitness is often the subject of debate. Typically, those who consume
an omnivorous diet feel that vegan diets do not provide all the necessary
nutrients. They claim that the vegans health is less than optimal.
To prove this belief is flawed, author and vegan fitness expert Jeff Sekerak
recently completed a walk through Death Valley National Park to prove his
superior fitness level on a completely vegan diet.
Kathleen Roberts: Could you explain why you are called the "Super Fit
Jeff Sekerak: I became a vegan about 12 years ago and couldn't help but
notice that there were many vegetarians and vegans at the time who didn't
look to me to be in their top physical condition. I'd always been an athlete of
some type--running, weight lifting, baseball, etcetera.
I prided myself in always staying at my personal best, physically. And I've
always tried to remain "super-fit" no matter what diet I've been on. Now I'm a
raw vegan--really, almost a fruitarian--and in the best shape of my entire life
due to my current exercise protocol. Hence, the "super-fit" vegan title.
Kathleen Roberts: What circumstances made you change your diet?
Jeff Sekerak: I decided to change my diet away from consuming animal
products actually about 15 or 16 years ago, after reading Harvey and Marilyn
Diamond's excellent Fit for Life. That book still stands up to this day in my
opinion. The Diamonds did, I believe, an incredible service to humanity in
outlining the reasons for, and the health benefits of, going with a primarily
After reading that one, I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of
animal-based products I've consumed. The Diamonds make an excellent case
for natural hygiene--or a plant-based diet--as the most beneficial and natural
food for man.
I'd been an English Major at Iowa State University and I really noticed their
strong attention to detail in their work. Many say that just reading a book
rarely causes someone to change, especially in the area of what they eat. But
that just wasn't the case for me. I saw the benefits of eliminating animal
products from my diet right away.
Kathleen Roberts: How difficult was it to make the change?
Jeff Sekerak: For me it was not difficult. I became a vegan immediately. It was
a little tougher later on to eliminate cooked food from my diet.
Kathleen Roberts: Why a Vegan Diet? Why do you feel a vegan diet is
Jeff Sekerak: Plant-based diets supply every nutrient the human body needs.
I'll quote Dr. Douglas Graham who I'm a big fan of: "No essential nutrient
exists in meat, grains, legumes, or dairy that is not also available in fruits,
vegetables, nuts and seeds--and in a form that is easier to digest." (The
Not only Dr. Graham, but also Dr. Lorraine Day, a "terminal" cancer survivor,
Dr. Neal Barnard, head of the Physicians' Committee For Responsible
Medicine--all of them, and too many more traditionally trained doctors to list
here, have noticed that a plant-based diet supplies the human body with all the
nutrients it requires for optimal health without having the side effects that
animal-based products do.
Animal products such as cooked meat lead directly to many forms of
degenerative diseases including cancer, heart disease and constipation.
Constipation is especially bad because cooked animal flesh tends to stall in
the long, winding digestive tract of the human body. In that hot environment it
rots, ferments, attracts parasites, and leads to many totally avoidable
Carnivores all have short, straight digestive tracts designed to move dead prey
quickly through their systems. We, and other natural fruit and plant eaters, do
not. We are not ideally equipped to catch, kill, chew, eat, or digest meat. And it
shows with its side effects in our bodies.
Kathleen Roberts: Describe what your typical food is in a day?
Jeff Sekerak: I typically consume a large meal of fruit for breakfast. The same
for lunch, followed immediately by a large salad with nuts, seeds, or avocados
mixed in for needed fat. Then four to five hours later I'll eat another large meal
of fruit. That's it. Nothing complicated.
Most animals in nature, we should notice, eat only one or two foods. Our
closest cousins in nature are chimpanzees. We share over 99 percent of our
DNA with them. We have the same tooth structure, digestive systems, and
nutrient requirements. Do you know what they eat and thrive on for a lifetime
of superior health?
Fruit, edible leaves, and a tiny percentage of nuts, seeds, bark, and insects.
Very infrequently do they consume any animal products. We are designed to
eat and thrive on a plant-based diet, in my opinion. Specifically fruit and green
leaves. That's what I do daily so I'm not really into complex, time-consuming
Kathleen Roberts: What tips can you offer to people who want to change
diets but find it difficult to give up meats and junk food?
Jeff Sekerak: Find out exactly what happens in slaughter houses. I actually
fished in Alaska for years so I've seen the destruction of life that occurs in
these places. Many people are so disconnected from the foods in front of
them that they do not even know what the ingredients are or how they came
to be on their plate.
For example, if you really crave junk food, take a Twinkie and read off the
ingredients. Plenty of sugar, sure. But did you know there's also a good
percentage of beef fat in those things? Most people are shocked to find out
that many "foods" they've consumed for years are literally filled with life
So I'd say educate yourself a bit about what's actually going into your body
with each meal. This will make you far less likely to eat meat or junk foods.
I'd also say educate yourself about what the human body is ideally suited by
Mother Nature to consume. Start by reading Fit for Life. It gives a good
overall picture of what we're designed for. Read Boutenko's Green for Life.
Those two alone will put you above 90 percent of the U. S. population in terms
of nutritional education and plain common sense.
Kathleen Roberts: Tell me about your fitness walk and why you did it?
Jeff Sekerak: I'd previously done a 10-day, 300-mile, 3000 push up excursion
into Death Valley. I love Death Valley, California because it represents to me
the toughest, most physically demanding terrain in the U.S.
I wanted to return there to reinforce to myself and others just how much the
body can accomplish on even a small amount of nutrient-rich plant food. I
couldn't set aside 10 days this time of year. I'm just too swamped with
commitments. So I decided to increase my mileage in a shorter time frame.
My original goal was 5 days hiking 40 miles a day for a total of 200 miles,
eating fruit only. Ultimately, myself and my photographer decided to go with
the idea of a nice three-day weekend in Death Valley. I did 3 days, hiking 40
miles per day for a total of 120 miles in 3 days. I consumed only raw fruit.
Kathleen Roberts: What is "Extreme Minimalist Fitness?"
Jeff Sekerak: Extreme Minimalist Fitness is a method of body weight
training--essentially a series of calisthenics done one after the other in a
circuit-training style--designed to build strength, flexibility, and endurance
without needing separate workouts for each.
The program also includes the exact dietary regimen I used to transition from
a cooked food diet to the raw vegan diet I consume now. It's called Extreme
Minimalist Fitness because it requires so very little in terms of equipment (as
in, you don't need any), time, or money. But it gets better results than any
other health and fitness plan I've ever seen.
Kathleen Roberts: What are the basics of your program?
Jeff Sekerak: The basic idea of the program is to incorporate short bursts of
growth-hormone releasing exercise into your life, daily. In 15 to 30 minute
workouts at least once per day, initially. When people hear the term
"growth-hormone" they often associate that with big, bulky, unattractive
But that's absolutely not what we do here. With this program you'll shoot for
the look of a lean, well-toned gymnast in his or her twenties. We'll combine
these short workouts with the ideal food to supply your body with every
nutrient it needs, while simultaneously cleansing it of possible years of
built-up toxins. So, body weight workouts and a raw, plant-based diet makes
up the bulk of the program.
Kathleen Roberts: What else would you like readers to know?
Jeff Sekerak: You do not need overblown, complex diets or exercise
machines to get into the best shape of your life. As a matter of fact, those
things only tend to complicate us or bog us down in unneeded details and
gadgets, not to mention wasted time.
Everything you need to live a healthy, disease-free, and physically superb life
is very simple and attainable for anyone. You can forget your gym
membership. You can throw out gobs of unneeded supplements, pills, and
drugs. It doesn't even take food preparation skills.
Body weight training has been around producing incredible results in physical
fitness for thousands of years. And humans are naturally designed for a diet
of raw, plant-based foods. Combine those foods with sensible but
challenging exercise and you'll be absolutely astounded at your results.
Good luck to all. But if you use good common sense and commitment, you
won't need luck.
By: Kathleen Roberts, writer for: LoveToKnow.com
Article: Vegan Fitness
Jeff Sekerak website: