So what's with all this 80s stuff? Meet Vegan Vince

David Scalise: A Journey to Health

I’m lucky to be alive. That is the reality of my life. I was on a path of pure self-destruction. It took 15 years of nearly insurmountable work for me to get healthy since I first embarked on a complete lifestyle change. At my peak weight, I was 268 pounds and unhealthy. I am now down to 150 pounds, losing a total of 118 pounds. I discovered Sunwarrior products during that change and I firmly believe Sunwarrior has the premier, superior protein products available anywhere. They offer extremely versatile products. I deeply hope my story will inspire others to make a transition toward a healthier lifestyle.

Weight loss is not a temporary fix. Yes, I feel and look better, but it requires daily hard work and perseverance to maintain this. We must recognize that a transition to a healthier lifestyle is not something that can be done overnight; it is a permanent, life-long commitment. I want to share that it is possible to change your life for the better, to reverse decaying health conditions, overcome onset obesity, and get your life back. It’s your life after all. Take it back from yourself.

I was raised in an Italian household where Sunday dinners lasted as long as 6 hours. My mother would prepare foods often a day or two in advance to set up the perfect socially acceptable “competitive eating competitions” that followed. That was every week. Holidays were even more intense and encouraged over-eating as we spent even more time at the table. Italians are social people, no doubt, and it was impossible to keep track of calories when an eating affair lasted for several hours to half a day, not that I tried.

The truth is I never really felt good about my eating habits, often feeling sick after over-consuming foods high in caloric content. I was also known to take on “all you can eat” specials on other days in the week. I spent a majority of my days researching where I could find these types of deals and specials. It was even a form of entertainment for my friends and family who encouraged me to “go for it” and outdo myself each time. I, like many of us, was an emotional eater and sought comfort in food for various personal reasons. Unfortunately, a food addiction is just as bad as a drug addiction; both can and will kill you eventually.

When I was 25 I began to experience the real health problems that came with my addiction. I remember standing in front of my mother’s house sweating profusely and gasping for breath after I had done nothing strenuous, just walked a few steps up the driveway. A good friend took me to the doctor and, after a battery of tests, I found out I was borderline diabetic and had high blood pressure. At 25 I was having the problems of a much older man. What made this news even worse was these two health problems had plagued my father throughout his life, eventually taking it at the age of 52. I was on the same path.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are a dangerous combination and often escalate into other tertiary health problems: heart attack, strokes, kidney disease, eye disease, heart failure, and more. There are too many to list them all. After getting the “poor health low-down” from my doctor and staring endlessly at medical results, tests, and charts, I was kept overnight for observation. I couldn’t sleep as my imminent mortality stared back at me from those test results so I had plenty of time to reflect on what my life was going to become if I didn’t change it and change it that instant.

When they released me the next day, I knew change was in order. I started by doing a ton of research on the human body: how we process food, how certain kinds of foods impact our glycemic levels, what forms of foods packed the most nutrients, and anything else I could think about when it came to healthier nutrition. I made the connection that the human body is like a train’s coal engine. Before the electric engines of today, in order to keep the train moving men would keep shoveling coal into the hot furnace, which kept the train moving at a steady pace. As the train needed speed, more coal was shoveled in at a faster pace. The same thing applies to the human body. It very much resembles a coal engine, best suited for high value foods in small increments. It only needs large amounts when we push it harder. I’d been shoveling cartloads of coal into my engine while going as slow as possible. It wasn’t healthy, and my engine was about to melt down.

This is where Sunwarrior protein became beneficial in fueling the body in the right way and at the right time. I, unfortunately, didn’t discover it at the beginning of my journey, but I was happy to find it in the middle of my transformation when I may have needed it most. I’d become a much more fit and active person and my engine craved more high-quality fuel. I also discovered that many elite athletes endorse and use Sunwarrior Protein, such as world renowned kettle bell power lifter Mike Mahler. For those who don’t believe vegans can be strong, look up Mike Mahler and watch a few videos of him tossing around 80 pound kettle bells like they’re a joke!

How can you transform yourself like I have? My advice is simple: eat mainly vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains such as quinoa. When we aren’t pushing the body’s engine to go faster, be stronger, run further, there is no need for additional fuel. Stick to a low caloric intake for that given day or week until you begin needing more as you burn more. There’s a reason average people shouldn’t consume more than 2,000 calories a day.

I am now 40 and I actively compete in several sporting events. I train MMA and pugilism at world renowned MMA and Pancrase champion Bas Rutten's gym in Westlake Village. I am able to outrun my 18 to 20 year old counterparts in military training exercises. There are many television shows currently on that revolve around boot camp style training. This is great for ratings, but fails to paint a true picture of reality for most of us. We don’t have time to dedicate every minute to our health. We work, have families, maybe we have hobbies, and aren’t lucky enough to go meet fitness professionals in a secure environment with no distractions each day. The key is to watch how much fuel you really need before shoveling it in, and get to work; get off the couch to do something active as often as possible. Walk, run, bike, hike, do jumping jacks, anything! Eat healthy foods, only what you need, and up the activity level when you can. It takes commitment and willpower, but it really is that simple. Hopefully I can be an inspiration to others who may feel a sense of hopelessness and urgency. You can do it, just like me. Sunwarrior will help.

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