I still obsessively follow everyone from the first ‘Favorite Influencers’ post. I still love The Happy Pear, Rich Roll, Simnett Nutrition, Dr. Michael Greger and I still love my mom but I thought it was time to share a few more. There are so many inspiring people out there doing amazing things for the planet, the animals and the human race. I could, and probably should do a weekly or bi-monthly ‘Inspiring People’ post. The people I choose to follow on Instagram leave me so motivated to be better but also can put me in a bit of a vegan bubble and that combined with my vegan family, I seriously sometimes forget 99.9% of people are out there eating REAL hamburgers. Anyways, here are a few of the people that have been super inspiring to me lately. I particularly like them because of their mainstream appeal and with the exception of the one MD, I’m pretty sure their social media followings are majority just fans, NOT VEGAN fans.
Here’s the 2.0 list.
Paul De Gelder
Paul de Gelder is a former Australian special ops soldier and Navy clearance diver who, while doing military exercises in Sidney Harbor, was attacked by a shark and lost a part of his arm and leg. I heard him on the Rich Roll Podcast and his story is hugely inspirational. These days he’s a keynote speaker and hosts a show on Shark Week for the Discovery Channel. The thing I draw the most motivation from is the fact that, after all he went through, he now is so focused on saving sharks and the ocean, which is why he’s shifted to a plant-based diet. Also, being formerly special ops, he’s JACKED and only eats PLANTS. His Instagram is awesome, part him in the water with sharks, posing with celebrities doing Shark Week cameos and him CRUSHING workouts with two prosthetic limbs. Freaking inspirationally motivating to the max.
Dr. Garth Davis
Dr. Garth Davis is a plant-based MD who was featured in What The Health and is the author of Proteinaholic, a book that has been on my list for a while (I saw it has been translated to Czech, so maybe I’ll pick it up in both languages and use it to study.) Anyways, he’s got years and years and years of clinical experience, helping patients overcome health challenges through a plant-based diet and lifestyle. He’s all about the underlying science and is always posting the evidence behind his conclusions, as are other plant-based MD’s, but what makes me truly love Dr. Davis is how he gets in the trenches on social media and responds to all the bros out there posting about protein, carnivore diets and spreading falsities about veganism. I know that social media arguments never change anybody’s opinion but most doctors don’t give time to the meatheads and haters so when I see a post from Dr. Garth Davis and his caption starts off with, “So I just saw this guy post....” you KNOW I’m reading on.
Chloe Coscarelli aka Chef Chloe is the beast that shocked the culinary world by winning Cupcake Wars without using ANY eggs, butter, cream or milk. Vegan AF baby. She was also featured on Forbe’s 30 under 30 list but they put just about anybody on there these days (JOKES). She’s written three cookbooks, Chloe’s Kitchen, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts and Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen and she’s currently teamed up with NYC chef/restaurant scene legend Tom Colicchio on a vegan pop-up called You Are SuperNatural, in his restaurant Craft. She’s killing it and expanding the awareness of how good vegan food can be more than anybody. I wish I had an ounce of her talent and a teaspoon of her swag.
Another Aussie and another discovery thanks to The Rich Roll Podcast. Damien Mander was also a special ops sniper and after working in the private military sector for a while, drifted around the world traveling and trying to find himself. Eventually he ended up in Africa and put his life savings into a non-profit he started called the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, training anti-poaching groups and working with local governments to protect endangered species. In the podcast he talks about a powerful moment being in Africa protecting animals, then sitting down to eat dinner and realized he was eating a dead animal. He saw the disconnect between what he was doing and what he was eating, the disconnection between his heart and his plate. Also, his organization started the legendary all-women anti-poaching unit called the Akashinga. He’s a legendary human, doing legendary work for the planet.
If you’d like to donate or get involved click here.
Benny Cristo, as he’s known, is primarily a musician and a new discovery for me, thanks to my girlfriend who, like Benny, is from the Czech Republic. Benny is prolific. He was a European snowboard champion, is a jiu jitsu champion and now a hugely successful recording artist. He was recently on the Plant Proof podcast and I heard a bit about his story about how getting into BJJ and going vegan coincided. The story, as I remember it, was a few years ago he was a jacked power lifter and this much smaller friend at the gym was talking about veganism. Benny said he didn’t want to lose his gains and that it wasn’t for him. The friend then said something like, “well, if we wrestle and I pin you, you have to seriously check out veganism.” Benny, being much bigger and stronger, took the bet and then proceeded to get manhandled by a tiny vegan, leading him to first to jiu jitsu and eventually becoming an outspoken vegan advocate. He’s MASSIVE here in the Czech Republic, has endorsement deals with Puma and his very own vegan panini in a gas station chain because he’s constantly touring around Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He’s super positive, speaks a lot of English on his Instagram, is every Czech woman’s #1 crush and an all-around high-performing-badass-inspirational human.
That’s it for 2.0. Check ‘em out, let us know what you think and let us know who you’ve been grooving on lately!