Client Spotlight – The Vegan Runner with Tess J.

Introducing the witty, funny, one-of-a-kind athlete in my life – Tess Jones.

Tess is a mom of one VERY darling little girl as well as a step-mom and wife. She’s such an inspiration for working moms out there who want to keep a life of their own and be an outstanding parent – ain’t gonna lie, she makes it look kinda easy but she might have something to say about that.

I met Tess in 2017 online, helped her out with a meal plan for her non-competitive time as well as helping her with endurance nutrition. I also had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with her and her little nugget helping prepare meals for her busy life. She’s got health and wellness as a priority in her home which is SO refreshing. You’re amazing Tess.

If you’re in Pittsburgh looking to run throughout this beautiful city check out this running link HERE from Fitt Pittsburgh. Also, if you’re in the hood AND in need of some help with your gear, please head over to Fleet Feet and see Tess for the best of the best service.

Thanks for being an inspiration for vegans, runners and moms, Tess.



How long have you been running?

My Dad has been a runner his whole life and started me when I was 13. I am now 32 and have been running ever since!

When did you discover that running was your “thing”?

I realized I was good at running in high school as I was winning a lot of local 5K races. Once I started training, I realized I could be a solid runner. I went to college and competed on my Division III Cross Country team.

Why did you decide to go vegan?

I have always been mostly plant based as it just made me feel better. I had a lot of stomach issues when I ate dairy and meat so doing a lot of trial and error to find what worked for me was helpful. Eliminating animal products made me feel better overall.

 Do you notice a difference in your abilities running as a vegan?

It honestly took a while for me to adjust. I had an eating disorder in high school and in college, so going vegan really made my family worried that I was restricting again. I initially lost a lot of weight and was really tired all the time. It took me a while to figure out the right combination of Macros and supplements to make sure I was fueling myself properly so that I could keep up the mileage. Once I did, I was able to be a good runner and a vegan athlete.

What is a typical day of training for you?

It really depends if I am in marathon training mode or I am in an off season. I usually run 5 days a week and do 1 day of strength training and one off day. Usually a day of speed work, a day of long distance and then moderate distance the rest of the time.  

What are your favourite pre and post workout foods?

I love a good banana and toast pre-long run. The carbs are great for longer distances. I love a smoothie post-run, it is cold and feels so good and is easy to digest!

When did you decide you needed nutritional coaching for optimizing your training, and why?

Veganism is wonderful, but hard to navigate sometimes. There is so much information out there and I wanted to be sure I was getting enough nutrients. As I said, with having had an Eating Disorder, it is easy for me to go back to my restrictive tendencies. I really had to focus on getting the proper coaching and guidance.

What is the biggest hurdle you feel you face in your day to day life that running helps you to overcome?

I think running is my best therapist! I really can unwind and relax and just be me. I have a 5 month old daughter so having the time and space all to myself is really helpful for my overall health and wellness.

What are some of your favourite places to run and why?

I love running throughout the city; Pittsburgh is a beautiful place to run! So many trails that are just absolutely breathtaking. I love being out with nature!

If you could give three pieces of solid advice to those considering taking on running, what would it be?

Like anything else, start slow and ease in. Don’t try to start off running 8 miles if you have never ran before. Know that it might  not be fun to start, but the benefits are endless and it can truly be a lifetime sport if you do it safely.

Is there anything that you are personally passionate about that you would like to share with FML clients, friends, readers?  

Having a plant diet is doable while being an athlete! You just have to plan, be smart and work hard!

Becoming Little Miss Bikini S2 Ep 6

April 22 2016 Import 4570
A shoot at 5 weeks out with no filter


I’m starting this post at one day prior to the 3 weeks out mark. This prep has been really different for a few reasons:

1 – same workout throughout the 12 weeks

2 – no reload meals

3 – a bit MORE food than usual

4 – change to some of the supps

5 – leading 2 separate groups of women through a challenge at the same time

6 – tanking business, blossoming business

7 – dealing with how I look because my muscles have grown and I feel FAT instead of ready

April 22 2016 Import 4643
Even my suit maker noticed my booty gains in the last 7 months.

8 – more cardio, more fasted cardio, more on the horizon

April 22 2016 Import 4661
Cardio AM – Fasted
April 22 2016 Import 4668
Cardio PM Fasted

9 – counting down to 3 show dates at once

April 22 2016 Import 4485
New federation, category and posing practice.

10 – significant injury impeding squats and lunges

Those are all of the things off the top of my head but they’re all making a huge impact on my day to day coping with re-arranging my life to fit the priorities of building the body.

The thought that has been sticking out for me lately is “how the hell to people with full time 9-5 jobs do this??” I’m self-employed and can fit things in whenever I need to which is obviously a huge boost to my overall success. My suit maker Michelle is prepping now too and we had a laugh at how crazy the lives of those who aren’t self employed must be ~ I commend you for making this work guys…it’s a tough road and being strapped to a job that isn’t flexible with schedule could really impede your progress.

April 22 2016 Import 4560
Moments before a shoot and I spill coffee all over my outfit

I’d love to hear about your struggles in my comments, I’m genuinely curious at how you crush it out to stage time.

Enjoy the video, and keep on trucking.

xx- S