NATURAL BODIES FEATURES RAW VEGAN ATHLETE “MARY LUCIANO”
I have been inspired by the field of natural health and fitness for as long as I can remember. My path has led me to study natural health, nutrition, fitness and more recently raw and living foods. For the past six years I have been experimenting with a diet concentrated in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seed. With this I was able to overcome my chronic sports injuries and autoimmune disorder.
Most people in the fitness industry find it hard to believe that you can add muscle to your physique without eating meat, poultry, fish and eggs. So for the past three years I have wanted to dispel this myth and in doing so I decided to enter a fitness competition where my diet was not just a vegan diet, but a high RAW VEGAN diet.
In June 2008, I entered my first Fitness Bikini competition and placed 3rd in the Masters Division. In 2009, I decided to give it another try and enter the Figure category. This required that I put on more muscle. Now, I am always up for a challenge when someone tells me that I can’t build muscle on a vegan, let alone a raw diet, or, as my friend and trainer Andre calls it a “hippie” diet. So I set out to beat that challenge once again.
I am proud to say that not only did I gain more muscle, but in November 2009 I placed second at the IDFA (International Drug Free Association) show in Toronto, Ontario, in the Novice Figure, Short Division. However, I didn’t stop there, this year I entered my third competition with the Ontario Physique Association (OPA) and placed 4th in the Women’s Open Division and 3rd in the Women’s Master Division allowing me to compete at the Provincial level.
Depending on the season and where I am in my training regime, my diet consists of 90 to 100 per cent raw foods, with the exception of some steamed vegetables and on occasion tempeh or tofu. My favorite proteins of choice to help with muscle building are, wheatgrass, E3live, Sunwarrior, and Hemp Protein powder as well as some nuts and seeds and leafy greens and sprouts.
I was on my own personal mission to see how far a raw food diet can take me in these competitions. I didn’t expect to come out with any trophies in the end, however I would not have had it any other way and by the way did I mention I am 39 years old. In August 2010, I will be turning 40 and I’ll set my intention for a 1st place win.
Mary’s Raw body
A promoter of natural health, Mary enjoys sharing her knowledge and is commitment to helping individuals make healthier lifestyle choices. She holds a Master of Science in Education and is both a teacher and the Head of the Family Studies department for the York Region District School Board. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer and Spinning Instructor and holds a Fitness and Lifestyle Management Certification. Mary has worked at the Sports Clubs of Canada as a Fitness Director and Consultant. She enjoys educating others about the benefits of raw and living foods, and is a “Living on Live Food” Level 1 Chef.
In the past her fitness accomplishments have been the Toronto Marathon in 1998, the Subaru Adventure Race in 2000 and the Niagara and Barrie Biathlons in 2001. Mary Luciano resides in Toronto, Canada.