Tia Blanco

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Tia Blanco (born May 5, 1997) is a professional surfer from Puerto Rico who won the first place Gold medal at the International Surfing Association (ISA) Open Women's World Surfing Championship 2015 in Popoyo, Nicaragua, and defended the title by winning the 2016 edition in Playa Jacó, Costa Rica.


  • I used to say the only reason why I didn’t eat meat was to be healthy, but I would be lying if I said that now, knowing the horrible things they do to the animals. Any person who has a heart for animals and knew how they are treated would be vegan.
  • I have been a vegetarian since I was born and I just became vegan about 2 years ago. … I hope to make a difference in the world by sharing my diet and lifestyle. I just want to travel the world, surf incredible places, smile a lot, make others smile, be inspired, and inspire.
  • I went vegan for the animals. I love them all and I don't want to eat my friends. I know it sounds cheesy but it's true. I started promoting it on my social media and I wasn't expecting people from all different areas of the world reaching out to me, saying how much I inspire them … My whole family is vegan and it's really fun to get creative in the kitchen while staying healthy, and just have fun with it. Veganism can be really healthy, but it can also be really unhealthy if you don't do it right. And it's not like I don't have cheat days with vegan junk food or vegan sweets, but it's important to stay on the program. … It was surprising how easy it is to be vegan. I was vegetarian my whole life prior so the transition was relatively easy for me to cut out dairy. When I cut out the dairy I noticed I had more energy. I also lost some fat and gained muscle!
  • Growing up, my diet was pretty easy and simple — I was raised on a vegetarian diet. … When I was 15, I watched the documentary Glass Walls [by PETA] and read The China Study [by T. Colin Campbell], and then it became quite clear to me why I wanted to be vegetarian and why I wanted to adopt a vegan lifestyle. After doing my research, I chose to go vegan and have been dedicated to a vegan diet for four years now. … I feel healthier on a clean, whole foods diet that is very simple — especially during competition. And since a plant-based diet is less calorically dense than other diets, I need to make sure I’m eating enough food so I up my portions a lot. I think of veggies as nutrition and water, not a food where I can get energy so I don’t even count veggies when I’m counting calories and nutrition. For energy, I go to potatoes, whole grains, and starchy veggies. I’m obsessed with carrots and sweet potatoes.
  • I travel all around the world for my surfing, and I’ve always been able to eat vegan. I feel like if you want something you can make it happen. I just don’t make any excuses. I would never not be vegan now that I know all the benefits and now that I know how it feels to be vegan.
    • Interview by Kip Andersen in the documentary-film What the Health (March 2017).

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