David Cleary sitting at a desk with his hands together with a plate with vegetables in front of him


David Cleary

David Cleary shares his passion for making veganism easy

His recipes and sense of humour have made him a huge success on social media. In a relaxed chat, we sat down with personal trainer and vegan coach David Cleary to understand what motivates him to create his simple, healthy and quick recipes without sacrificing quality.

V-Land UK (V-L): Thank you for taking the time to give us this interview! Before we talk about the success you’ve had on social media, can you let readers know when you became vegan and why?

David Cleary (DC): I became vegan during Veganuary in 2017 for two reasons: for the animals and my health. I thought it would be perfect if I could bring the two together, and that's what I did. I don't think it's fair what the dairy and meat industries do to animals. Watching a BBC documentary, I saw a pig being slaughtered, and that scene opened my eyes to the plight of farm animals. 

And, of course, on top of that, having a healthier diet has definitely made me happier. I enjoy cooking, so since I became vegan, I've learned a lot in the kitchen, and the best part is, it doesn't cause harm to any animals. However, my background comes from a family raised on Irish farms where dairy production was still present, but it never made me think, "It'll be hard for me to go vegan."

V-L: Does that mean you support the Veganuary movement?

DC: 100%. It gives people a guide on how to start their vegan journey. It makes things much easier for a new vegan.

V-L: You've been growing a lot on social media with food-oriented content, especially protein-related content. Where does this passion for food come from?

DC: I love to eat! Who doesn't? Especially as a big guy, I eat a lot. But in day-to-day life, it becomes difficult to cook complex meals. So my passion on social media is to show my audience that delicious, nutrient-dense food doesn't have to be a recipe that takes an hour or two to cook. In a matter of minutes, we can prepare something tasty and nutritious containing all the vitamins, minerals, and protein that our body needs. And again, eating, besides being one of the most pleasurable things in life, is also a necessity, so why not simplify things and cook with more flavour and fun?

Also, a big guy like me, around 100kg, needs a lot of protein to stay active in the gym and play rugby.

Bowl of spaghetti with tomatoes and chopped green herbs

David Cleary

V-L: What’s an ingredient you can't live without in your recipes or your diet?

DC: Definitely tofu. I can have tofu every day, everywhere (as an ingredient to make other meals). Also, I'm an oat addict! I have oats every day, 2 to 3 times a day, sometimes more.

I always try to have a balance between what I consume and what I publish in my recipes (some protein, carbs, etc). We need to have some calories in our meals to have a balance and burn those calories daily. This is healthy! 

V-L: When did you realise you were becoming an icon for veganism on social media?

DC: I don't know! Things were happening. My passion for wanting to show the world that these days there are no excuses for not being vegan led me to this place. 

Back in the day, many people didn't go vegan because they were afraid of what their diet would be like, but today with so many options for ingredients and flavours, there's no excuse not to try a plant-based diet. I think I have managed to put this passion into my videos in a simple and easy way, showing that healthy eating doesn't have to be complex if you understand how your body and organism work. 

Simply from 700 views, my content now has 40,000 views per video, sometimes. This means that more and more people are trying my recipes and understanding that they don't have to eat meat, eggs, or dairy to live a healthy life.

V-L: Any plans for the future?

DC: Maybe a book and travelling the world giving lectures about "where I get my protein from."

If you like David’s content and want to have a nutrition guide and his recipe books, you can go to his Instagram or click here to purchase his Ultimate Vegan Bundle. If you want to learn more about nutrition, check out our interview with Dr Alan Desmond, who shares how to foster a healthy gut microbiome.

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