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.

The Experiment 

GYM VEGAN
I decided to deactivate all my social media recently to give myself some time to rest/think bla bla bla. Upon doing this, I found myself with an unruly amount of free time to think, read and pursue other ideas.

One such idea was to become a vegan, and before you jump to any conclusions about my motives, hear me out. What started out as an experiment to see if I could maintain my current fitness lifestyle on a plant based diet, ended up becoming more of a challenge to the current stereotype of vegans. While researching how I was going to do this I realised that there really wasn’t much out there in terms of resources for someone like me. A young adult who is perhaps looking to eat a vegan diet but also maintain an athletic lifestyle and great physique on a 22 year old’s salary.

I’m not saying there aren’t resources for people looking to be fit and vegan, but when it comes to young male ‘gym junkies’ who want to stay muscular and fit on a plant based diet while living on minimum wage, you’d be surprised at the lack of easily accessible guidance. Which is why I decided to be that. I will be posting on this blog every day showing you the best way to be a vegan athlete, without losing all your hard earned muscle and cash.