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– Hi, my name is Lilian Aguilar,and I would like to share
with you my plant-based story. I grew up in a traditional
Mexican householdeating a lot of the traditional disheswhich are very high in animal products. They’re very high in dairy products. They’re very high in fat overall. My family was not financially stable,my parents had to work a lot. I grew up eating a lot of fast foodjust because it was the
cheapest thing availableand it was the easiest thingfor my parents to provide
for us to a family of nine. So I was eating a lot of
pizza, a lot of fried tacos,a lot of hamburgers, just
anything that my parentswould find easy to feed us. Because of this, I grew
up pretty overweight. I had a lot of acne, I had
both face and body acne. I was constantly getting sick. I had very low energy levels,and due to all this I alsoended up suffering from deep depression. At the age of 14, everything changed. I started volunteering
in an animal shelter,and that’s how I found out
all of the terrible thingsthat happen to animals
in the factory farms,the dairy farm, the fur trade,and how we’re basically exploiting animalsfor our own benefits,and immediately I decided to eliminateall animal products out of my diet. I lost approximately 50 pounds. My acne completely went away. My hair started growing really fast,my nails started growing really fast. My energy levels improved, I
felt so much better overallthat my depression ended
up going away as well. And throughout a few years,I stayed with my dietand I was really healthy. Now at the age of 18, that’s
when I moved out on my own. I started college, and
I started incorporatinga lot of other types
of foods into my diet. I started discovering new vegan foodsthat were not available to me before,a lot of vegan pizza, vegan
ice cream, vegan hamburgers,vegan imitation chicken,
vegan imitation cheese,and my body started changingthe more I started
consuming these products. I started gaining a lot of
weight, my acne came back. My energy levels were going down. I just was not feeling good overall. I started getting sick constantly,and it wasn’t until I was 28 years oldthat I was just not happy with my bodyand I finally decided to make a change. And I decided to become a personal trainerso that I would be able to learnhow to get my body into shape. But even though I was a personal trainer,I was still not seeing
the results that I wanted,and at the age of 29 I
took a nutrition coursewhich happens to be the
Plant-Based Nutrition Certificatethat Cornell University offers. It was then that I decided
to go back to consuminga whole foods plant-based diet,and my body just transformed. I lost all of the weight again. I started feeling so much better. I noticed that my recovery in
the gym was so much better. Overall, my health just improved. I haven’t been sick in over four years,and people started noticing these changes,especially in the gym, and
they would come up to meand make comments like,
oh you should competein a body-building competition. Oh, but you’re vegan. Oh you should compete in this federation,oh but you don’t eat meat. And a lot of people
started making commentssaying that I would not be ale to competein a body-building competition
because I was veganand because I was not eating
the high amounts of proteinthat everybody was consuming. So to prove a point, I decided to competein my very first
body-building competition,the NPC Las Vegas Classic,and I actually ended up placing
top five in that federation,which I think proves an even bigger point,not only that you can build
muscle on a vegan dietbut you can also be competitive as a veganwhole-foods plant-based
and supplement-free. So I’m here to show you
that you can absolutelyreach the body of your dreams. You can build muscle, and
you can reach optimum healthon a whole-foods plant-based
diet without any supplements.

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