“I stopped drinking, partying, and really focused on my fitness. Working out has always been a kind of therapy for me. Anytime I was in the gym I felt in my element. Then I discovered veganism, and its like everything just clicked!”
Name: Daria Deptula
Occupation: Sales Ambassador for Sazerac Company but currently in the process of getting certified as a Health Coach
Location: Miami, FL
Weight: 127 lb.
Q: Tell us the story of how you got turned on to plant-based fitness.
I’ve always been into health and fitness since I can remember. Working out for me was a part of my life, so I never felt like I was forcing myself to hit the gym, but I always had challenges with the proper diet to complement my lifestyle. It wasn’t that I didn’t eat healthy, I just never felt energized enough without pre-workout, etc.
I heard about the Forks Over Knives documentary on Netflix and watched it one night, then watched it again and again, until all of the information truly sank in and made an impact on me.
Cancer runs in my family. My dad beat colon cancer 15 years ago, and my cousin recently developed breast cancer in her 30s.
The facts were all right on the screen, and once I saw Mac Danzig, the UFC fighter, speak about going plant-based, I was all in!
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out on this path?
My advice would be to do as much research as possible to educate yourself on the benefits of the diet, the proper balanced nutrition, and the ethical side of going vegan. Watch documentaries, YouTube videos, read books (I recommend “The Happy Vegan” by Russell Simmons), and follow social media accounts which support this lifestyle.
Q: Tell us about what Generation Vegan is and your involvement in it.
I was approached by Dani Weiss from Generation Vegan to do a podcast interview for her YouTube channel a while back. She interviews vegan athletes to give people a perspective on plant-based fitness and break all stereotypes associated with veganism.
She is a such an inspiring person herself! We became quick friends during the interview, which was over two hours because we couldn’t stop talking.
(Watch Video Below — Generation Vegan: Daria Deptula)
Q: What does the first 60 minutes of your morning look like?
I wake up at 6 a.m. every day by my five-month old puppy, Mali. She’s my alarm clock and the first thing to have my attention every morning. Then it’s time for my warm water with apple cider vinegar and lemon, and after about 15 minutes or so, I have my breakfast and start getting ready for the gym.
We Recommend: Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Q: What did you eat yesterday?
- Every morning before I have any bite of food, I have a huge glass of warm water with organic lemon and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
- I drink over 64 ounces of water a day.
- For breakfast, I had 1 slice of Ezekiel Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread with Justin’s Maple Almond butter and sliced bananas on top (one of my favs!).
- After I hit the gym, I had a protein shake made with Vega Sport Chocolate Plant-Based Protein powder, a scoop of Super Greens powder, 2 tablespoons of ground chia and flaxseeds, kale, parsley, cilantro, blueberries, a cup of almond milk, and the rest purified water (this all fits in my NutriBullet).
- For lunch, I had a quinoa bowl with black beans, avocado, half of a purple yam, and spinach, sprinkled with nutritional yeast.
- Fuji apple for a snack during the day.
- For dinner, I made a tempeh skillet, with bell peppers, onions, and spinach, and ate the other half of the purple yam, since they’re like candy to me!
Q: Favorite three exercises and why?
- Boxing has been my favorite since I started taking classes about six years ago. It’s become a huge part of my workouts, and now I teach classes at SobeKick Miami about two times a week.
- Sumo squats are my second favorite because I love targeting the glutes, especially living in Miami!
- I’m also a huge fan of pistols. I used to CrossFit for about a year and a half, and incorporate some of those moves I learned into my workouts.
Q: Tell us a story of the mentor who played a key role in building confidence in yourself.
Johnny Rock, the owner of SobeKick Gym, has really helped me see my potential. He saw me as someone who could really motivate others and become a badass fitness instructor. He is one of the most genuine people I have ever met!
I am in the process of getting certified as a health coach and will be focusing on helping others who want to thrive on a vegan diet and in fitness.
Q: What is the biggest personal challenge you have had to overcome in your life?
I moved to Miami seven years ago with no goal in sight. I got sucked into the party life.
My idea of fun was going out four to five nights a week and getting home at the crack of dawn.
The other days, I would be recovering so I could do it all over again. I was all over the place.
There were so many moments when I would say to myself, “OK, it’s time to get your shit together!
No more clubs or drinking or partying!” — only to forget all about it the moment someone asked me to go out.
It wasn’t until I started to really take full responsibility for my actions that I realized how much time I was wasting on party and “fun.”
I’ve always been a bookaholic. I’m fascinated by human psychology, among other topics. I read a book called “The Power of Habit,” which talked about a negative “keystone habit” that triggers other bad habits and decisions in a person’s life. I had an awakening moment and realized that habit for me was drinking.
Something told me to search the bookstore on my iPhone, and I came upon an audiobook called “Control Alcohol: Stop Drinking Now” by Craig Beck. That audiobook changed my life.
“It opened my eyes to the truth about alcohol and the lies we tell ourselves just to continue drinking. The moment my beliefs about alcohol changed is the moment I stopped my vicious cycle.”
Once I refocused and gained back control over my life, everything started to fall into place. My friends and family saw the positive impact this decision had in my life, and have been very supportive.
I stopped drinking, partying, and really focused on my fitness. Working out has always been a kind of therapy for me. Any time I was in the gym, I felt in my element. Then I discovered veganism, and it’s like everything just clicked!
Q: What are some fun facts most people don’t know about you?
I graduated college with a Communications Disorders degree and was a speech therapist for about five years. I also own every Harry Potter and Twilight book.
Q: What three pearls of wisdom would you tell your 13-year-old self?
- Follow your intuition and listen to your inner voice.
- Stop worrying so much about what others think.
- Remember to always be grateful!