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.

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.