2 weeks a gym vegan

I’ve been a vegan for two weeks now and it feels just as good today as when I started. Here are some notes from my journey so far.

Eat For Performance


Just because something is vegan, doesn’t mean you should eat it. Guess what’s vegan…. Oreos. Guess what else is vegan… Skittles. And guess what else is vegan… Plenty of things that will inhibit your goals if eaten out of moderation. 

Now if you are purely an ethical vegan who isn’t really looking to achieve anything specific physically or athletically, then this blog isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking to be a plant powered machine, you’re going to have to exercise self control, not just bicep curls. 

Eat whole, nutrient rich foods that will power you throughout the day and watch as you put all your pre-workout taking, steroid injecting friends to shame.

Eat pleanty of:

  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Quinoa 
  • Lentils 
  • Greens
  • Sweet potatoes 

Limit your fruit intake daily, it can be easy to over compensate for your sweet tooth by indulging yourself with tons of fruit. Sugar is still sugar and in large quantities it will be counterproductive to your waist line. Limit your fat intake as well, which brings me to the next point.

Peanut butter is great, unless you’re a junkie. 


If you know me personally or follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have a serious problem with moderation and peanut butter. If I open a jar of peanut butter to have a spoon full, the entire jar will be gone by the end of whatever sitcom I’m watching. 

If you have a similar problem, the only viable solution I’ve found is to buy a liquor cabinet, put the PB in there and give the key to a trusted friend. If however, you are a reasonable and somewhat rational adult, peanut butter can be an incredible asset. 

Natural peanut butter is not only high in protein, but is high in mono & polly unsaturated fats which are imperative to the production of testosterone in males. Eat two spoon fulls of natural peanut butter as a late night snack, or to thicken up your afternoon shakes. Lastly, make sure you air on the conservative side with fats in your diet. Vegan diets are already high in carbs, so too many avocados and nut butters can throw in an added overload of fats which will not at all help you on your quest for shredded abs. 

Protein is essential? Whaaaat?

Yeah. You’ve probably never heard this one before. Going into this, protein, or rather lack there of, was my BIGGEST concern. 

Your muscles are literally made of protein, so if you tell people that you only need 5% protein in your diet, you might as well wear a tinfoil hat and tell people the government is tracking your brainwaves, because you’re a flat out idiot.


For those of us that don’t want to snap in half from a strong enough gust of wind, protein supplementation is going to be key. And if you think you’re going to get your necessary intake of protein from broccoli, guess what you are…. An idiot 

I’ve tried about 6 different powders over the last 2 weeks and have settled on the best tasting and cheapest one. 

MRM make an incredible product. Not only does it pack 24 grams of protein into each scoop, but it’s only $24 on Amazon, and doesn’t taste like a scoop of gravel blended with more gravel. The chocolate mocha is my favourite, but the vanilla is great too and is cheaper. 

You are what you eat… Nope, you are how you train. 


Lastly. If you have all the key ingredients, fuel, and knowledge to re-create your perfect plant based self, it’s time to cook it up in an oven. An oven I call, get off your ass. 

If you are what you eat, then we are all about to become vegetables. Just because you don’t eat animals doesn’t mean you can’t look like one. Train hard, train heavy, train like the Persians are about to come pillage your city and sleep with your wife. It’s really simple. Find something heavy, move it around for 45 minutes. Pick up a rock, find a tire, I don’t care.


Have a great long weekend guys ✌🏼️

I’m going to go try pick the lock on the peanut butter cabinet. 

Instagram: @mitchelluther

Snapchat: mitchel_luther

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Seven

Today was one week since becoming a vegan, so I decided to make this a cheat day of sorts. (When I say cheat day, I mean I ate larger amounts of the foods I was already eating, and didn’t worry too much about my macros).

I’m going to write a separate blog post about my day today In the lifestyle category, but in a nut shell, today was for re-energizing and relaxing.

The Sunwarrior protein powder I’ve been using has been killing it for me, and but I’m almost out of it. I’ve been mixing it with an un-sweetened brown rice protein powder, which unfortunately tastes horrible.


I ordered MRM’s plant based powder which is half the price of sunworrior with close to the same quantity. I’ll let you know how it goes. Most of the supplements I’ve tried have been fairly good tasting even on their own, and the nutritional benefits have been impressive to say the least.

Super Important: Go buy yourself a good creatine monohydrate, and BCAA blend. I just went to my nearest Super Supplements and picked up Optimum Nutrition brand of both products. This is going to absolutely ensure you don’t lose muscle mass especially if you’re trying to find a more sustainable source of protein for a good price like I am. (Shown: Michael Monroe and the Suppliments you need) 



Other than all that, I ordered a whole bunch of sample pea protein’s from truenutrition.com. This is a great website for buying supplements in bulk regardless of whether or not you’re a vegan. If I end up liking any of the samples I try from them, I’ll start ordering my powders in bulk this way. Until then I will continue trying different brands and kinds of protein until I find one that’s cheap, and delicious.

Once again, If you have any recommendations on any products, recipes, cosmetics I need to try on this new lifestyle journey, please comment and let me know.

Instagram: @mitchelluther

Snapchat: mitchel_luther

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Six

Today was the first day off i’ve had since becoming a vegan. It was the perfect opportunity to put more time into cooking and experimenting with different recipes. I started the day off with a workout. Tomorrow I have MMA training and wont have time to lift, so I decided to get a full upper body lift in today. This consisted of: Chin-ups, push-ups, bent over rows, incline dumbel flyes, cable torso rotations, bicep curls, russian twists and hanging windshield wipers. I aimed for a solid 50 minutes working out at a fairly high intensity knowing I would probably be eating a lot more food today. Boy was I right.

My post workout shake was just water, Sunwarrior powder, and creatine monohydrate. After that I ate a Vegan Parfait that I accidentally made last night (see previous post) which was close to 1000 calories of delicious and nutritious goodness.


Binge watching F.r.i.e.n.d.s was next on the agenda, so after a lot of episodes of that and a few Parks And Rec episodes to balance it out I decided to make more food. This time cooking up a big pot of red quinoa while baking some sweet potato slices. I seasoned the slices to make them like fries, and after they were baked and the quinoa was cooked I threw them together in a bowl with some organic spicy pinto beans. (If you want to watch the video, follow me on instagram: @mitchelluther).


I made a couple more green smoothies and protein shakes throughout the day to keep my macros in check, but i’m all out of peanut butter and cashew milk so they were pretty bland. For dinner i took some leftover quinoa and another can of beans and mixed it with some kale in a bowl. This was my favorite high protein, super quick, nutritious meal. Keep in mind, I was eating very large portions of all this, and if I had peanut butter to add, I would be almost at bulking calories.

Tomorrow will be a week since I started this, and I will be posting in the lifestyle category of this page. If you want to see what I’ll be getting up to first hand, follow me on snapchat and instagram. Super happy with my results so far, and how i’m feeling over all. I can definitely see this being a lifestyle I could sustain indefinitely.

Instagram: @mitchelluther

Snapchat: @mitchel_luther

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Five

Eat to Perform

I’m five days into this, and contrary to what I initially thought, I love it. What do I love about it? Everything.

Ever since becoming a fitness fanatic, I have always been very intentional about what I eat. Since becoming a vegan however, my intentionality with nutrition has drastically increased. I love that I can pronounce every ingredient on the back of whatever I’m eating, and I love the way I feel.

My energy levels have increased drastically, I am full for longer, and I’m saving time and money.

That last part was the biggest surprise to me. I initially thought I would be spending way more time on meal prep and even more money on groceries, but I was wrong. Without having to cook meat, my meal prep time for a whole day has dropped to about 10 minutes every morning, and since I don’t have to buy copious amounts of chicken and beef, my grocery bill has been cut in half!


One of the biggest concerns for me was going to be how this diet affected my training. I assumed I would have a lot less energy, and that my recovery would take a lot longer. Boy was I wrong.

My energy levels stay consistent all day, and I never feel hungry. Not only that, but my workouts have been a lot more explosive. Like I said yesterday, I’ve been intentionally keeping my workouts at a lower intensity, but I could easily do double what I’m doing with the amount of energy I have.

Recovery has felt great so far, and I’m sleeping better than I have in a long time, although it’s definitely too early to tell whether or not I’m losing or gaining muscle.

Other than that, the lack of dairy has kept me from bloating, and I just feel healthier over all.

I’m going to start looking for cosmetic and body products for the lifestyle section of this page this week, so if you guys have any suggestions for natural hair and body products I need to try, please comment.

The biggest key I’ve learned so far with vegan fitness, is eating to perform. Be intentional about what you’re eating and why. Don’t just eat something because it’s vegan. Make meals for yourself that are going to fuel you to perform at the best of your abilities. This is where you’ll find the biggest benefit in vegan diet and fitness.

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Four


Yesterday I said that I’d keep my diet exactly the same for today. I lied. I made a few minor adjustments, and managed to nail my macros perfectly. 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fats. Using the Sunwarrior powder I got yesterday, I was able to increase my protein exponentially without adding carbs. Other than that, I replaced my green breakfast smoothie for a protein, peanut butter, granola concoction which ended up being almost 1000 calories but was ridiculously delicious and kept me sustained all day at work. Even with that, I’m keeping my daily caloric intake under 3000 which is necessary for me to maintain.

I’m going to keep my macros, and calories at this ratio for the next week or so before gauging whether or not it’s necessary to adjust them.

I haven’t posted any of my workouts yet, mainly because I wanted to focus more on the nutrition side of things before elaborating on exercise. I’ve been working out every day since beginning this, but I’m keeping my intensity at a significantly lower rate while I ‘test the waters’ with my diet. The biggest fear here being that if I over train while I’m still getting my nutrition solidified, I could do more harm than good.

I’ll be posting in depth workouts very soon, but here is a basic structure of what my first week looks like while adjusting to this new lifestyle.

Training & Frequency

My workout regime is very similar this week as it has been for a while, just with a lower intensity. All this means is that im trying to keep my workouts shorter, and I’m using less weight. The only reason for this is that I wasn’t 100% sure I’d be meeting my desired nutrient goals for maximum recovery. I’m limiting cardio to once or twice a week for only 30 minutes, and I’m keeping my lifts to a maximum of 45 minutes.

Here is a very very basic breakdown of my conditioning week. All workouts should consist of compound lifts (working out more than one muscle at a time) and performed with 80% of your maximum lifting capacity at most.

12-15 reps

4-5 sets each

 
Day 1: Chest, triceps, shoulders and core. 45 minutes of bench press, push ups, lateral raises, shoulder press, dips, cable pull-downs, russian twists, 60 second plank.

Day 2: Back, biceps and core. 45 minutes of wide grip chin ups (chest to bar, pause at the bottom for honesty), lat pull-downs at 50% max, bent over rows, cable rows, reverse cable flyes, drop set hammer curls, drop set reverse curls, hanging leg lifts.

Day 3: Legs. 20 minutes jogging. 30 minutes of deadlifts, barbel squats, goblet squats with kettle bell, leg extensions, standing calf raises.

Day 4: Rest

I will repeat these workouts until the end of this week where I will increase the intensity back to where it was.

Keep it simple, keep it sweaty.

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Three

SIMPLICITY & CONSISTENCY 

Just like any other diet, I’m realising that the key to consistency right now with this whole vegan thing is simplicity. Today, I ate exactly the same amounts of the same foods, as yesterday and it worked out perfectly. Not only for my personal satisfaction, but also my nutrient goals. (See yesterday’s post for a more detailed breakdown).

Obviously eating the same thing every day indefinitely is going to get old really fast, but luckily for me, I’m used to eating plain chicken breasts and broccoli for weeks on end. Consequently, eating beans, rice, greens, nuts and grains all day is actually really refreshing, delicious and most importantly, sustainable.

Tomorrow I will be replacing my current protein powder (Essential Ten) with Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein. Essential Ten, while tasty, was not only absurdly over-priced, but super high in carbs. Even though most of the carbs were of decent nutritional nature, they were only there to replace essential vitamins and minerals you otherwise wouldn’t be getting unless you were eating plenty of veggies and whole foods…. which, being a vegan, I AM. So now that I’ve eliminated over 20 grams of unnecessary carbs per serving from 4 meals a day, I have a whole universe of room to move around in with my macros.

Tomorrow, I could easily use my new powder to bump my protein macro goal back to 40% rather than the 30% it’s at now, but honestly, I want to see how this 50, 30, 20 ratio plays out by the end of the week. It might also just be an excuse to eat more beans.

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Two

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the day in Portland OR with some friend’s of mine. It was my first day as a Vegan, and what better city to initiate that, than the one that has some of the best vegan spots in the nation. Unfortunately for me, by the time I got back to Seattle, it was almost midnight and I still hadn’t cooked for the next day.

This was a perfect opportunity to see how easy or challenging it would be to stay within my nutrition goals, with little to no prep. I posted an in-depth breakdown already today about my macronutrient ratios, calorie goals and other foundations for my dietary decisions. This is a breakdown of what I ate using the little time I had, the little money I had, and the quick grocery shop I did yesterday. So yes, you can be a gym vegan on the go:

Breakfast: Green Smoothy – 698 Calories


  • 2 scoops Essential Ten – Meal Replacement Shake Protein Powder
  • Half cup whole grain oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds


Pre-Workout: Protein Shake – 210 Calories

  • 2 scoops Essential Ten – Meal Replacement Shake Protein Powder

Post Workout (Lunch): Rice, Beans, Greens & Protein – 590 Calories


  • Half cup brown rice
  • Half cup Organic black beans
  • 174 grams steamed broccoli
  • 2 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 scoops Essential Ten – Meal Replacement Shake Protein Powder

 

Afternoon: Sweet Potato, beans, Greens & Protein – 668 Calories 

  • 2 cup sweet potato
  • 2 cup chopped spinach
  • 150 grams steamed broccoli
  • Half cup organic Black Beans
  • 2 scoops Essential Ten – Meal Replacement Shake Protein Powder

 

Dinner: PB Milshake – 685 Calories

  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 scoops Essential Ten – Meal Replacement Shake Protein Powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • 64 grams natural creamy peanut butter

 

Total caloric intake – 2850 calories 

As you can see, I didn’t quite hit my protein goal and I went slightly over with my carbs and fats. This isn’t a big deal especially considering I had about 5 minutes to plan my entire day’s macros before I left the house this morning. Consequently, I just ordered a bunch of different plant based protein powders to test and hopefully boost my daily intake up to at least 1 gram per pound of body weight. 👌🏽

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day One

Today is the official start date of my vegan athlete experiment. Keep in mind, I will be starting out with a lot of the basics here and building this whole thing from the ground up, using what I know in all areas of diet, fitness and everything in between. 

Now obviously this is an entirely different animal than regular fitness nutrition (no pun intended), but if you’re already living a really clean eating lifestyle (which I was) this really won’t be as hard for you as you think. 

Day one I decided to make my rest day for exercise, mainly because I’m traveling to Portland today and wanted to maximise time spent on solidifying my nutrition. 

Grocery shopping basics:

When it comes to long term sustainability for this kind of diet, Costco is going to be your best friend. I don’t know where you’re at financially, but I am 22 and in a band…. Sooooo I’m broke most of the time. 

I’m going to assume not all of you have Costco memberships, so I’ll do a Costco breakdown next week and today focus on something you can do immediately…. Like right now. 

To get my diet started I went to Fred Meyer but you can get most of this stuff at any regular grocery store. 

Without going into the nutritional breakdown or science behind every item, let me just give you my grocery list:

  • Fuji apples
  • Bananas 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Kale
  • Spinach 
  • Ginger paste 
  • Bear Naked Granola 
  • Natural peanut putter 
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Whole oats
  • Frozen berries
  • Unsweetened cashew milk 
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned pinto beans
  • Quinoa 
  • Red quinoa 
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils 
  • Frozen broccoli 
  • Vegan protein powder 

I will give you guys a brand list as well, but right now we are just trying to cover basics. If you can afford organic or whole products, go for it. If you need to stick with minute rice and frozen veggies, then do that. Remember, sustainability is key here. Also, you’re not going to want to buy your protein powder from a grocery store every time or you WILL go broke. I will give you guys a list of websites and brands to checkout, you can also go to a GNC or Super Suppliments for a lot of them. 

That is a really good list of some basics and essentials that you can use to get your vegan diet started. The next most important thing after this is going to be how you eat all of that. Here’s the thing with a vegan diet, you can still eat really poorly and technically be animal product free. So if you intend on maintaining your physique, gaining muscle, losing fat, or whatever your fitness goals are, the way you eat all of this food is KEY. I will cover that separately, but for now, go build your foundational pantry. 

Diary Of An Ex-Carnivore: Day Zero

I don’t know about you, but I have always been an avid eater of meat, and on top of that, I eat a lot… Like a lot a lot. Pre-vegan my diet was 50% protein, and that meant my consumption of meat, dairy and supplements made up most of my calories. As you can probably guess, that’s not necessarily good for you. Initially I was going into the whole vegan thing as a 30 day cleanse of sorts. Something to try and reboot my system and maybe cleanse me of all the chemicals and grease I’ve been devouring in large quantities for the past two years or longer. But then as more people found out what I was planning to do, I was being told “you will lose all your muscle mass.” Or “you won’t be able to maintain your physique.”

Suddenly, I was presented with a challenge. A challenge I intend not only to uphold, but hopefully to learn something. This blog is designed to help someone out there who might be trying to achieve something incredible, without shedding blood. Or maybe even to just look like a meathead, without eating any meat.