At only thirty years of age, he knew there had to be something more. Having overcome depression by creating his own fitness method that uses handstands, German fitness trainer and nutritionist Steve Pilot needed to move on to the next level. So, he embarked on a physical and spiritual journey. He began traveling around the world. At the same time, he changed his diet by becoming vegan.
Steve Pilot is a certified personal trainer and a vegan nutritionist. “People laughed at me when I told them I went vegan,” Steve admits. But now people overwhelm him with questions, asking him how it is possible to be a vegan bodybuilder.
Veganism is not just a diet; it’s a way of life and it helped Pilot achieve his goals in life. What’s more … It brought him to a new place of joy and happiness. Read on as he reveals how you can do it.
His journey began in Thailand and then he traveled to Nepal and India. India made a huge impression on Steve since the variety of food there is tremendous. Spicy food, colorful food, lots of smells. “It’s easy to stay on track because India offers so many dishes suitable for vegans.”
Vegans living in 2022 may consider themselves lucky. Nowadays, markets offer plenty of vegan products, but this was not the case some years ago. The variety of plant-based products was severely limited in years passed.
Opposite to India, Steve found it most difficult to stay on his plant-based diet when he visited Argentina. “Argentina was challenging. People eat a lot of meat there and their diet depends so much on it,” vegan nutritionist, Steve Pilot points out. In spite of that, Steve was able to stay on track due to his immense dedication to be the best version of himself.
It’s true that the majority of humans walking on earth are meat consumers, but statistics suggest that the numbers of vegans throughout the world are constantly rising. In 2010, nearly 30-40 million people worldwide were vegan whilst in 2022 this number has risen to 75-80 million people. One possible explanation for this might be that people in modern society are searching for more healthy eating concepts.
Steve not only loved visiting Greece, Egypt and Lebanon, he truly enjoyed the cuisines of those countries as well. The Mediterranean diet is a light diet which offers lots of vegan alternatives since it includes a great deal of fruits and vegetables. Some of these include olives, cucumbers, berries, strawberries and more.
At one point, Steve went through a devastating breakup with someone he cared deeply for. This caused him so much anguish. He finally returned to Thailand because it had been one of his favorite destinations. He settled down there in Bangkok. He has never regretted that decision and says that Thailand is an amazing country. He tells everyone that Bangkok is an incredible place with such a diversity of people and foods.
“Bangkok really stole my heart,” Steve says. “The people and the culture are remarkable, plus the food is so delicious. As an additional benefit, the cost of living is pretty low here. I’ve loved every moment of my life in Bangkok.”
Something that Steve finds interesting is the number of unintentional vegans throughout all the continents. For religious reasons, some people choose fasting to stay away from meat and animal products for periods of time, specified by their holy books, to purify their bodies and souls. Some religious fasting requires people to go on vegan diets for as long as 40 days and it is a tough challenge for those who are not used to it.
Steve Pilot has tasted so many different vegan dishes on his journey. “In China, I enjoyed dumplings. They’re amazing,” he says. “Also, in Japan, I tried vegan sushi.” He says that everywhere he went on his epic journey, there was something delicious to try.
What many people fear is that they will never feel full on a plant-based diet. They are afraid they will always feel hungry. “Hunger is a matter of calories, not a matter of meat or plants,” Steve explains. He then goes on to explain, “If you feel hungry, psychological reasons might be to blame. But if you feel hungry on a plant-based diet, it is because fruits and vegetables have less calories than animal products and meat. If you need to, eat a little more.”
That’s not all. Steve gives us a little insight about how fast food is related to hunger and what it does to our system. “Fast food makes you feel full for an hour but then you will feel hungry again. It’s designed that way because they want to keep you going back to buy more.”
“North America? North America is easy. You have many options. Mexico is also great. I ate some vegan tacos there. I forgot Colombia. In South America, Colombia has vegan plates to taste,” Pilot mentions.
A common question among people who are considering veganism is the cost of it. Are vegan products more expensive? Well, some products may be more expensive than others but not all. “It’s a myth,” Steve states. “Even if you do spend a little extra for something delicious, it’s better to spend your money on healthy choices than spend it for foods that could cause illness.”
Many of the world’s nutritional models are not completely healthy and that’s why there are so many sick people these days. Heart disease, cancers, immunity problems, blood pressure and more. If we truly are what we eat, then having a balanced healthy diet can keep us on our feet as long as we live. “It’s crazy to think that you save money by not eating vegetables and then when disease hits you, this causes you to empty your bank account,” Steve Pilot notes.
When Steve was asked if a vegan diet is good for teens and kids, he said, “It is suitable for everyone, from kids to middle age to very old people. The only thing you have to monitor is your B12 vitamin. It might be tricky when you are on a vegan diet to keep your B12 at the right level.”
Steve’s own food budget is $10,000 THB per month. Depending on where you live, $10,000 THB per month might actually be a low threshold. But it certainly is not too high.
Finally, what do you have to do to obtain Steve’s impressive physique and become a vegan bodybuilder? “Real food comes first,” Steve answers strongly. “If you want to build muscle or you are a competitive athlete, then you may need to consider getting a protein supplement.”
A healthy diet is the backbone of a healthy lifestyle. Being on a plant-based diet is an excellent option for many people and it also has an ethical viewpoint to it.
You absolutely don’t need to travel the whole world like Steve did to change yourself. Steve’s journey represents a change in perspective combined with particular life choices. What can you do? He gives us some tips. Smile a little bit more! Say good morning to the ones you love. Try replacing your fast food with some healthy snacks.
ABOUT STEVE PILOT
Steve Pilot is a professional certified fitness coach and vegan nutritionist. With over 27 years of fitness experience and a self-tested fitness program, his mission is to positively influence people’s lives by helping them become the best version of themselves through fitness, personal training, sustainable eating habits and living an active lifestyle. This goes beyond just lifting a few weights in the gym. He offers a total transformation of mindset, body and spirit. To find out more about Steve Pilot visit his website WWW.STEVEPILOTCOACHING.COM
Serial Entrepreneur and Founder of Asia Lifestyle Magazine.
Originally from the UK, Asa Marsh has been based in Asia for many years. Well known for guiding his Real Estate and Lifestyle company Easy Living Phuket to win the title of “Top 10 Real Estate Agency – Southeast Asia” in 2018.