So many people want to be in this world for the long haul. A recent poll revealed that an overwhelming 69% of Americans aspire to live to 100.
Ella Magers, a revolutionary fitness and wellness authority on a mission to radically change lives across the globe, knows the secret to living longer is entirely up to the individual.
Ella is on a mission to help others align their actions with their values, develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies, and create a joyful and meaningful life with the launch of her new program, 22Reboot, this summer.
We caught up with the founder of Sexy Fit Vegan and had a good old chat with her on all things fitness and nutrition.
Firstly thank you for taking your valuable time to speak with us today.
For our readers who may not have heard of you before, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and maybe for those that do know you, something you’ve never revealed before?
Absolutely! I’m a woman on a mission to revolutionize the health, fitness, and wellness industries and empower people to make conscious and compassionate choices so that they live to their full potential.
I’ve been an animal-lover since I was a little kid. I founded Sexy Fit Vegan in 2013, just when veganism was coming into the limelight. I had the simple intent of inspiring people by sharing my colorful journey through my writing, speaking, coaching, and podcasting.
The Sexy Fit Vegan brand really took off and I began blazing my path as an entrepreneur and public figure. It’s been quite an amazing adventure!
Most recently, I’m thrilled to say that I have partnered with Kathryn Porritt of Icons Incorporated. We have just launched 22Reboot, a revolutionary 22-day holistic health transformation system that teaches people how to disrupt harmful habits and create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle that benefits both themselves and the Planet!
People who have followed me and my work know that I’ve experienced a ton of serious challenges throughout my life. And I must say, it feels incredible to be able to say that at this point in my life, at the age of 42, I am by far the healthiest, happiest, fittest, and most confident version of myself.
I’ve been very open about my personal challenges, so those who know me are aware of my intense journey of healing from the clinical depression, anxiety, disordered eating, a distorted body image, and severe insomnia I experienced most of my life.
Many also may know that, toward the beginning of 2022, I experienced burn-out. It forced me to take a much-needed sabbatical of sorts, and what may be news to them, is that I’ve emerged a completely re-energized, and radically upgraded version of myself after an insanely transformative experience in the jungles of the Amazon.
I realized that it was my addiction to “doing” that caused me to break down and burn out. I knew that if I didn’t teach myself how to stop the constant doing and learn how to “be” my purpose, I was on a path to self-destruction.
In order to reset my entire system on every level, I took the bold move of ridding my body and life of all the external substances I had been using to uplift, energize, distract, and numb me… things that kept me prioritizing my work and mission to make a positive impact on the world over paying attention to what I truly needed to nurture my spirit and soul.
This first meant getting off the anti-depressant medication I’d been on since I was 16 years old when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. It meant stopping caffeine (I had grown to rely on my strong sencha green tea and matcha lattes with oat milk daily). It meant quitting cannabis, which I had been using for years as my sleep aid of choice. I also detoxed from social media and work.
I can tell you that shit got real and raw once I stripped myself of all of these coping mechanisms! It wasn’t pretty, but I had no doubt it was the journey I needed to be on, not only for myself, but for all the people who were struggling in similar ways that I would be able to help once I got to “the other side.”
In short, giving myself the opportunity, time, and space to really feel all my emotions and utilize the mindset and metaphysical tools I had been collecting and teaching for years, in combination with a 12-day Ayahuasca retreat at the Temple of the Way of Light in Peru, endorsed by the renowned author, physician, and addiction expert Gabor Maté MD, was exactly the prescription I needed.
I don’t think “everything happens for a reason.” I DO think that everything that happens creates opportunities for us to up-level our consciousness and make the choices that bring us closer to aligning our outer reality with our most peaceful and powerful inner selves.
That said, I couldn’t be more excited to help people across the globe who are at-risk for, or are experiencing burn-out and health issues, to take charge of their health and well-being both for the benefit of themselves and the Planet.
You have been vegan since the age of 15, what was the deciding factor in your decision?
I discovered my fierce compassion for animals when I was 7 years old and realized that the so-called “food” on my plate was actually the dead bodies of animals. When that light bulb went off, I vowed never to eat meat again. In fact, I knew at that point that it was my life’s purpose to advocate for the rights of animals to be free from human-caused suffering!
And then it was a matter of embodying a state of curiosity about our modern food systems. I did the research and when I came to understand the cruel practices of the animal agricultural industry (aka factory farming) at the age of 15 I became fully vegan (before most people were familiar with the meaning of “vegan”). That was 26 years ago!
Is this then how Sexy Fit Vegan came to fruition later on?
Sexy Fit Vegan came to fruition in 2013 because I saw that veganism was finally starting to be recognized in the mainstream. I knew it was time to marry my life-long passions for fitness, nutrition, holistic health, and compassion for animals with a brand that could truly inspire people all over the world to open their minds to a new way of living.
What would you say to someone who tells you, you can’t maintain strength and endurance as a vegetarian or vegan?
When someone tells me a vegan diet doesn’t support muscle strength I first keep my mouth shut and show them my biceps! I built and have maintained my physique on plants alone. And I’m FAR from alone. Some of the world’s strongest men, like strongman Patrik Baboumian (Guiness Book world-record holder), and most decorated endurance athletes are vegan. Many of these athletes are featured in James Cameron’s awesome documentary, Game Changers, which I encourage everyone to check out!
The environment, sustainability and veganism are at the forefront of big topics at the moment, how would you encourage people to sit up and take more notice of what is going on in the world?”
One simple, tangible thing I encourage people to do is watch a documentary each week. There are SO many great documentaries that shed light on topics of sustainability, the environment, and veganism, such as Eating Our Way to Extinction (narrated by Kate Winslet), Cowspiracy, Game Changers, Seaspiracy, What the Health, and Earthlings, to name a few.
In addition to seeking information externally, it’s important to take the time and energy to look inward in order to make space to expand one’s consciousness. Staying motivated to change hardwired habits can be tough, and getting clear on your “why” can help. I encourage people to ask themselves, “Why is it important to me to pay attention to what’s going on in the world, and make changes in my life accordingly?”
Most people really do want to do their part to make the world a better place. At the same time, the majority of people are moving through the world stuck in subconscious programs that keep them from aligning what they truly care about (their values) with their actions.
Raising one’s consciousness by learning to be fully present and adopting a mindfulness practice is key to accessing happiness and creating the alignment that ultimately makes a positive impact on other people, animals, and our Planet.
What is your daily routine like?
I’m an early riser. My mornings are sacred, as I use them to ensure I first and foremost start the day with present moment awareness and intention, and so I always include a mindfulness practice (meditation, breathwork and/or reading) and some type of yoga and/or mobility routine in my waking hours.
I schedule the rest of the day, including all my work responsibilities, around the physical training that I want to do that day because of the importance I place on caring for my temple. We only get one body, and it’s the vessel that allows us to stay active and experience the physical world!
I incorporate strength training (mostly calisthenics these days), Thai Boxing, mobility training, various forms of yoga, and other activities into my weekly routine. I have found incredible communities for each type of activity, so not only does my training serve as means to strengthen, stretch, and nurture my physical body, it also fulfills me by fostering intimate connections with amazing people with similar values.
I also prioritize my nutrition throughout the day. I’ve mastered an extremely simple, quick and easy whole foods plant-exclusive way of eating, so nourishing my body through food takes up very little time and energy. Some people love to cook… I’m not one of those people!
What’s a typical day’s meal/nutrition plan for you?
I start the day with what I call my “Magical Mud,” which consists of a glass of water and lemon juice, mixed with Ultimate Elixer and Ultimate Shrooms by LiveUltimate, which I call my “health insurance.”
I usually eat about four times per day.
My first meal of the day is typically a chopped legume-based bowl, most often made up of chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, microgreens/sprouts, avocado, olives, and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and Herbamare seasoning (takes 5 minutes to make).
I keep my meals super simple for the most part. Lots of legume-filled salads and bowls.
Sometimes a meal is as simple as a huge bowl of green peas with a spritz of olive oil, some seasoning, and toasted walnut pieces! Other times I’ll make a huge batch of scrambled tofu with spinach, peppers, onions and mushrooms that I work on throughout the week. It’s helpful to have quinoa ready to add to a bowl of veggies, beans, & avocado. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic food to have on hand as well to complete a meal.
I occasionally make satisfying smoothies, but for the most part I prefer to chew my food.
I avoid refined sugars altogether, which is not at all difficult, because once you’ve detoxed from refined sugar, the cravings disappear.. If I want something sweet, I usually eat fruit.
Have you been affected by body confidence and if so how did you overcome it?
When I began working in the fitness industry right out of college I quickly discovered that the industry cared little about true health. It was all about what you looked like on the outside.
I had been an athlete since I was five years old, and at 23 years old, I was a walking billboard for the physique one can build on plants alone. I found that, at that time, inspiring through setting an example was the most effective way to help people open their minds to changing their eating habits.
The pressure I put on myself to stay in phenomenal shape took me down the road of disordered eating and a distorted body image.
I would restrict my food intake 90% of the time, being intentional about every calorie, and the other 10% of the time I gave in to binging… A cycle of self-sabotage that plagues countless people to some degree.
It wasn’t until well after earning my Master’s Degree in Social Work, years of research, and committing to intense inner-work on the mental, emotional/energetic, and spiritual levels, that I was able to finally embrace a healthy relationship with food, my body, and myself.
Do you use any supplements to aid your fitness recovery?
I mostly use supplements to aid in my overall health and wellbeing, including supporting a good night sleep which is the most crucial thing we can do to aid in recovery.
I am skeptical of supplement companies in general. The source and quality of the ingredients is difficult to discern, so it’s only after a ton of research and speaking with the founders personally that I fully stand behind three companies that I have since created partnerships with and have obtained discounts for my audience:
LiveUltimate (25% off your first month & 15% discount after that along with free shipping.)
Complement (10% of your first order with code “sexyfitvegan”)
Clean Machine (Feel free to use code “ellacma” for 10% off.)
The supplements I use regularly at this point are:
Magnesium (in the evening for sleep support)
Is there advice you always get asked for?
Weight loss continues to be a goal for the majority of people I work with.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but shifting the focus AWAY from losing weight, to learning how to build a healthy RELATIONSHIP with food, your body, and yourself, is the path to not only losing excess body fat, but MAINTAINING a healthy body weight for the rest of your life.
What’s the most annoying thing someone at the gym could do whilst you’re there?
Great question! I actually don’t spend much time at traditional gyms anymore, as I do more calisthenics outdoors to build functional strength (using rings, high bar, parallel bars, and doing bodyweight exercises like handstands, push-up variations, pull-ups and dragon flags).
When I am in a gym though, one of my pet peeves is people dropping weights (unless you’re at a power-lifting, Olympic weight-lifting, or Crossfit gym)… If you can’t place the weight back down, please don’t lift it!
Also, it pains me to see guys who are obsessed with “ego-lifting” and can bench press a ton of weight, but can’t do pull-ups to save their lives. It’s hard to see them throwing their body out of balance, with a huge chest and toothpicks for legs, knowing what’s in store for them as they age.
Who would you say has been your biggest help and inspiration?
There is a very long list of people I credit for supporting, encouraging, and inspiring me along the way.
First and foremost I give thanks to my parents. Although they first thought my refusal to eat meat would just be a phase I’d grow out of, once they realized how strongly I felt, they gave me the space and freedom to explore my passion for the rights of animals from a very young age. They have shown me unconditional love and have believed in me 100% every step of the way, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Do you have any advice for those looking to begin their fitness journey or overcoming body confidence issues?
First off, instead of working out because you hate your body, shift your energy to that of gratitude for your body. Instead of looking in the mirror and concentrating on all your “flaws,” think about all the things you are able to do because of your amazing body.
Start training because you respect and appreciate your body and want to treat it like the temple it is. It’s not easy! It’s a process of reprogramming that takes consistent work over time. Once you establish this new way of thinking about your body however, you no longer need to rely on will power to get yourself to exercise every day, and movement becomes an effortless part of your way of life!
Also, I encourage readers to consider how their life would be different if they let go of what they think you “should” or “have to” do. I decided to lose the phrases, “I’m busy,” “I should,” and “I have to” from my vocabulary a couple of years ago, and the result was so positive I haven’t brought them back!
Busyness is a state of mind that makes us feel tired and overwhelmed. Instead of “I’m busy” I’ll say, “I put a lot on my plate,” which gives me the power to take something off my plate, or change what’s on my plate if I choose to.
“Should” is a word we use when we are comparing ourselves to the standards of society, other people, or even ourselves at a different time. It keeps us from thinking critically about our actions.
“I have to” is a phrase that totally robs you of your power. Everything is a choice. You get to decide your thoughts and the perspective you will take on the situation at hand. Try using, “I choose to” instead and feel the power that it gifts you.
These may seem like subtle shifts. I challenge you, however, to give it a shot and experience for yourself the impact it ultimately makes on every aspect of your life!
Have you got a favourite go to song when you workout and have you got a Spotify playlist dedicated to your workout that you’d like to share with our readers that may inspire them?
Music can be a clutch in helping us enter “the zone” as many people like to say. The music I choose depends on the type of workout I’m doing, the mood I’m in and the mood I WANT to be in to get the most out of my training session.
I’m a 90’s girl at heart… so I invite anyone who like “old school” (90’s and early 2000’s rap and hip-hop) to use my Old School Workout Mix to get pumped up!
I’ve also been on such a powerful spiritual journey the last year that I have times when I need a different type of vibe to get me in a focused trance of sorts… For that, I’d like to share what I call my Trippy Workout Mix.
If you could sit at the dinner table with anyone past or present who and why would you want to be there with you?
Thich Nhat Hanh is the first human that comes to mind. I began listening to his talks when I was a kid and I don’t think there’s a storyteller out there that keeps my attention like he does. Talk about someone who shines his inner light to the world with true authenticity and compassion… Who doesn’t just advocate peace, but who IS peace. I have so much love and respect for him and it’s honestly a difficult pill to swallow that I didn’t meet him or hear him speak in person while he was alive.
What’s next for Ella Magers?
I’m on a mission to radically change lives across the globe!
I couldn’t be more thrilled about the launch of my brand new 22 day health transformation system called 22-Reboot, which takes a holistic approach to teaching people how to disrupt harmful habits and create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle that benefits themselves and the Planet!
I am focused on making sure this life and body-transforming program is accessible to everyone across the world who is ready to uplevel their own energy and health, and to those who want to become the best versions of themselves as well as make a positive impact on this earth!
Where can I readers find out more about you?