Thinking about eating a more plant-based diet, but don’t know where to start? Curious about plant-centred eating but wondering, “What do vegans actually eat?” Powell River-based vegan fitness and nutrition coach Karina Inkster is in your corner.
For many environmental, health and ethical reasons, a growing number of Canadians are making dietary changes toward plant-based eating, says Karina. Others are open to trying it out, but maybe don’t know where to start, she adds.
“If you need help eating more plant-based meals, I’ve got you covered,” says Karina, who has been vegan for 16 years. “Whatever you need: recipes, food prep tips, a look inside a vegan’s fridge or pantry, even going grocery shopping together, I’m here to help.”
Although teaching vegan nutrition is built into her coaching practice, she is happy to mentor local people interested in going plant-based for no charge.
A coach and published author, Karina works with people around the world to increase their strength and improve their eating. She writes regularly for magazines, and has written two books, one a vegan cookbook called Vegan Vitality, and the other on fitness. Karina hosts the No-BS Vegan podcast, which is available on her website, karinainkster.com, and all major podcasting platforms. She and her expert guests bust myths and provide evidence-based advice on improving health and fitness on a vegan diet.
Karina and her husband Murray are avid musicians who moved to Cranberry from Vancouver in 2018. She says Powell River’s reputation for its vibrant music scene paired with its scenic location were key in their decision to move to a town they had never been to previously. They even agreed to purchase their house while still in Vancouver.
“We’d been talking about moving to the Sunshine Coast for many years,” says Karina. “We had been to the Sunshine Coast before, but just not this far north.”
Compared to Vancouver, more affordable housing prices meant being able to acquire a larger property, including a detached garage that Karina converted into a full gym.
As a certified personal trainer, Karina focuses on the strength training side of fitness. After seven years of in-person coaching, she now works exclusively online so her clients can improve their strength regardless of their location and schedule.
“If you’re looking for an hour in the gym with a coach, that isn’t what I do,” she says. “I give my clients ongoing support; providing them with individualized workout programs and nutrition coaching, analyzing their exercise form, and monitoring their progress. I did my master’s in gerontology, specializing in health and aging, so I’m not into quick fixes. If you’re the kind of person who is looking to build habits that you’ll continue for the rest of your life, then you’re the kind of person I’m looking to coach.”
Karina’s current roster includes clients in Australia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kuwait, India, the UK, Bermuda, Panama and all across North America.
“They are all vegan or wanting to make the transition,” she adds. “It’s amazing to see the vegan movement expanding globally.”
Karina is inviting everyone who is interested in learning more about adopting a vegan lifestyle to visit her website, which includes a number of resources including her podcast, a comprehensive vegan grocery shopping list, a 10-day course called How to Go Vegan, and an e-book for those people looking to drill down into the sports nutrition side of eating plant-based, all for free.
Karina is also involved in planning Powell River’s VegFest 2019. This year’s family-friendly festival is planned for June 1 at Townsite Public Market and will include demonstrations and lots of vegan food to sample, she says.
“It’s all about practising a sustainable, healthy, compassionate lifestyle,” she says.