Healthy Living On and Off the Waves With Tia Blanco

Author: Kristen McCloud

Although Tia Blanco is most popularly known for being a professional surfer, she is also trying to pave her own way in the world of wellness. When Tia isn't training hard for surf competitions -- including the International Surfing Association Open and Women's World Surfing Championship -- she's focused on finding her center through yoga and healthy eating. Aside from life as a pro surfer, we also chatted with Tia about her tips for going vegan and her passion for healthy living. Check it out!

At what age did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was 3 years old. Surfing has always been my dad's passion and he passed his love for the sport onto me!

What has been the scariest experience that you’ve had while surfing, what about the best experience?
I have had a shark fin following my board once! It was pretty scary but luckily, since I turned around abruptly, I think the shark got scared and swam away.

What’s your favorite beach to surf at and why?
Tahiti because it is the Land of the Left's!

How do you prep for major surf competitions?
Train hard, surf frequently, and work on my mentality.

You’re also a proud vegan and yogi, how does living a healthy lifestyle help you day to day?
Eating healthy and staying active is invigorating! Though I surf every day, I get my grounding from yoga. I pretty much do both every day even when I have a busy travel schedule.

Eating is easy when I'm at home. I love making new meals for my YouTube page and alternative Insta account, @tiassoulkitchen. I am also very lucky to have the support of VeganSmart and Beyond Meat as sponsors which enables me to get more creative with my meals. When I'm on the road, it's a bit more difficult to be vegan but I typically buy a lot of fresh fruit and veggies wherever I go and stay in a place where I'm able to cook for myself. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to live a healthy life.

“I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to live a healthy life."

Any tips for those who are trying to go vegan but are struggling with it? How was the process in the beginning for you?

I have been vegetarian my whole life so a couple of years ago when I decided to go vegan it wasn’t as difficult as it may have been had I been a meat eater. For people curious about the vegan lifestyle, do your research and get educated! Take steps to ease yourself out of eating meat, then dairy. Find out about the different plant-based proteins and foods you can eat to make sure you are staying healthy and getting the nutrients you need. I would suggest following my IG account for some yummy recipes. Also, watch documentaries like Cowspiracy and Earthlings.

If you could have a surf sesh with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Ariana Grande! I'm obsessed with her!

You’ve lived in both California and Hawaii in pursuit of surfing, do you prefer one over the other?
Not at all! I love both vibes equally. They both hold very special places in my heart.

What’s one of the biggest struggles that you face as a professional surfer, how do you overcome it?
Competing in surfing is kind of fickle at times. I would say the most frustrating part of surfing is when you are competing and you don't get the best waves.

What are three hidden gems in Hawaii?
It's a secret!

What does MISSBISH mean to you?

Who’s your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she’s an inspiration to you.
Ariana Grande again! I love how she radiates confidence and beauty from within.

Photos by: Cam Offer

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