The thought of adopting a plant-based diet can be intimidating, especially to the millions of Americans who grew up hearing we need certain animal-derived products for nutrition. But with plant-based options more accessible than ever, and nutritional science endorsing current trends, consuming a vegan or vegetarian diet has never been easier.

Below, 31-year-old Lucie Beatrix shares her experience going plant-based, and how it changed her life for the better. Her journey began while she was working as a model, constantly traveling and subsisting largely on processed, on-the-go foods. Now, thanks in large part to sticking to a predominantly plant-based diet, Beatrix is an internationally competitive athlete who lives to sweat and push her limits.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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