I’m frequently asked the same question, ‘ where do you get your protein from’, or ‘ what do you eat’?
The information is everywhere! All you need to do is research and spend your time learning. Most of the time I am asked the questions are usually from qualified PT’s wanting advice, which is great! My advice would be to take at least a few months researching and slowly changing your diet to a more plant based diet, as your stomach wont be able to handle a straight diet switch.
Negatives of going Vegan (first week or two)
- Stomach aches
- Stomach cramps
- Stomach gas
- Taste of the food can be vile
Once you get over these body changes, it’s all good, from a health benefit, to tasty and exciting food!
The biggest problem I find with a vegan diet is the same problem as the ‘no sugar’, ‘no fat’, ‘high protein’ and so on. Just because you see these marketing advertisements on food and drink products, it doesn’t mean it is any healthier than the natural version of the food. I always ask myself what they have removed and added to be able to claim what they do. Let’s take ‘high protein’ snacks and bars. Just because it is high in protein, doesn’t mean it is heathy or can be absorbed by the body as well as it’s counterpart.
Let’s take a high protein bar. Just because it has 20g of protein doesn’t mean your body will absorb it and use it to repair your muscles. Where as 12g of protein from eggs could be much more beneficial, as the body can absorb it easier as it has a higher biological value.
Lets get back to Vegan food… McDonalds, Ben and Jerry and all matters of other companies have caught on with the trend and have produced products to fit the Vegan range, but is it worth eating processed Vegan food? You can decide on that.
I personally believe a Vegan diet should be made from as much raw plant based food as possible without all the added junk to help make it taste better and to look better etc. A plant based diet should be prepared and cooked from scratch wherever possible. From a health point of view, I think my diet is the best it has ever been. I may have lost a bit of strength and a bit of muscle, but I am more than happy to trade off a bit of my ego for health. I’m sure I’ll get back to where I was before as a Vegan and I wont use any of the supplements or meat. Although Meat and supplements do make it all that bit easier.
Here’s what I had for breakfast today.
- 40g oats – 147cal
- Half hand or raisins, cashew, walnut mix – 100cal
- Half hand walnuts – 200cal
- Half hand mango – 88cal
- 2 prunes – 71cal
- 2 dates – 50cal
- 25g mixed fruit – 103cal
- Half avocado – 160cal
- Tea spoon super greens – 40cal
- Tea spoon chia seed – 64cal
- Tea spoon linseed – 124cal
- Tea spoon organic cocoa nibbles – 125cal
- Scoop of vegan protein – 130cal
- Hemp milk – 60cal
- 1 Banana – 89cal
- =1552cal approx
What about recovery time?
Just the same as it’s always been to be honest. After a good training session, I usually take the best part of a week to fully recover. It’s between 4-6 days. Legs usually take a week to recover, where my back may take 4 days. Unless I’m fully recovered with my back, I cant train legs properly as I can’t squat. Also if my traps aren’t recovered, I cant train delts right. So, recovery is my main focus. When I still have very tender muscles, it really does injure my strength for the next training session.
I was told in the gym yesterday that you can’t be a bodybuilder if you only train 3 hours a week. They told me I need 6 days a week training. I couldn’t train everyday as I ache, it’s that simple. Train, eat, rest, recover, repeat. Just like the diet, it’s a whole different game being natural. And it’s also less rewarding and more boring being natural. The sport is about being symmetrically big whilst carrying mass and condition. That’s what make it interesting for me to follow.
What about the cost?
It’s not expensive. Certainly not as expensive as buying supplements and meat. I can get most of my fruit and veg for a week at around £20. I will pay more attention to the cost and I’ll update this as I co along. I’ll come back to this…
What about the taste?
I’ll be honest. I enjoy it! Although I get my wife to try some of the food I eat and she can’t stand it. She thinks the Vegan protein is vile, along with all the bars etc. She could adjust, but she simply doesn’t need to or want to.
What about the pump in the gym?
When I had pre workout drinks such as Nox Pump, I really did get a good pump! No I can’t seem to get the last few reps in. I have a good excuse for this at the moment and once we get February out the way, I can hopefully stop grieving and that will help me dig a bit deeper. I don’t have any pre-workouts and I still feel good in the gym and that’s what matters.
What about calories?
I was dieting on 1800 calories a day when I was eating meat and veg, now I am dieting in the excess of 3000 calories. My breakfast most likely contains more calories that what I used to eat in a full day… Actually I’m going to do my homework and figure this out… … … Ok, so I went and did my research and I have had around 1550Kcal for breakfast alone! And yes I am dropping the body fat. I want to eat as much food as possible whilst still dropping the fat. I used to starve myself to drop weight. Let’s see how it plays out… I will adjust my macros as necessary.
I’d love to change my diet around, drop fat and build muscle, can you help me?
Are you a meat eater? Vegetarian? Vegan? Yeah I can help… read through my blog, make notes and if you are still unsure, email me.
Why have I gone down this path?
To gain knowledge and understand different ways the body can work and how nutrition can effect it. To be healthy and fitter. Bodybuilding alone is a very unhealthy sport and I think everyone can agree with that. I think it is very important to add a secondary sport or functional exercises to the standard weight lifting. Walking, jogging, aerobics, yoga, stretching, anything to keep the body and mind healthy too. Granted it’s my opinion, but I think it’s a very important one.
I’m happy doing my own thing and this has been a long time coming.
Right, time to read the February Edition of Flex…