Think a world class athlete would flounder on a vegan diet? Think again…

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Tia Blanco doesn’t do things by halves. She’s riding high in her surfing career, is an ambassador for Reef, an accomplished yogi, and a committed, culinarily creative vegan. Still in her teens, Tia has travelled the world, picking up many a surfing award along the way, showcasing her healthy, colourful lifestyle as rips through the waves from one shoreline to another (her Instagram following stands at 201k, with many also relying on her separate @tiasvegankitchen  account for foodie inspiration). Fantastically fit, successful and as passionate about living well and she is winning trophies, we caught up with Tia to find out how she trains, dispelling a few myths about veganism and sporting prowess in the process...

Get The Gloss: Where did you grow up and what were your aspirations when you were younger?

Tia Blanco: My dad is in the military so I have lived in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and now California. That has enabled me to always be by the ocean and do what I love. I have always aspired to be a professional surfer and now I am living my dream. I have to wake up and pinch myself every day.

GTG: How did you learn to surf? Was it in the family?

TB: My dad got me into surfing when I was just three years old. His whole side of the family are surfers. Now I get to surf with him and my sister. What could be better?

GTG: Your career has gone from strength to strength- what's your personal highlight to date?

TB: Winning the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games Women’s Gold Medal.

GTG: How do you train for competitions? What's your daily routine?

TB: Lots of surfing. I surf every day, no matter what the conditions. If the weather is really good I will surf for most of the day. So basically, surf training, hot yoga and reading positive books.

GTG: How about your diet? How do you eat for optimum stamina and energy?

TB: I eat a very clean plant based, vegan diet. I feel very strong and energized eating the way I do. I do most of my own cooking for myself and often for my family. Since they are all vegan it is very easy to experiment and try new things. I am very careful to make sure I am getting a good balance of proteins, good fats (yay coconut oil!) and vitamins.

GTG: How do you stay healthy when travelling the world? Do you have any tips?

TB: I like to bring a lot of food from home and I try to always book a place with a kitchen so I can cook my own meals. That is the easiest way, especially if I am travelling to a remote location.

GTG: What does your beauty routine look like?

TB: It’s mainly concerned with hydrating my skin and hair! I cleanse and moisturise twice a day, although I do believe all beauty starts within.

GTG: How do you like to chill out? Any indulgences?

TB: Netflix and popcorn cooked in coconut oil.

GTG: What's lighting your fire for 2016? What are you most excited about?

TB: I am really motivated this year to try and progress in surfing as much as possible. It is also a big goal and dream of mine to qualify for the WCT (World Championship Tour).

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