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

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Accidental Vegan Yogurt Parfait 

I make a lot of accidental recipes when I cook. I tend to just throw things in with other things and maybe blend them or whatever. But every now and then, something delicious is born. Today that was a yogurt parfait:

  • Half cup of whole oats
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
  • 1 scoop of Sunwarrior warrior blend
  • Ice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

You can use cashew milk instead of water. I totally would have if my roommate didn’t drink all mine like a tool.

Blend for 30 seconds and mix in half a cup of Bear Naked vanilla almond granola.

Pour into a mason jar because you’re a regular socially relevant vegan and you saw a cute young adult couple do that once.

Put that bad boy in the fridge for like an hour I don’t know. I left mine over night and in the morning it was insane.

Enjoy 🙂

Instagram: @mitchelluther

Snapchat: mitchel_luther

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. 👌🏽

The Boring Science Of A Narcissist

Re-learning nutrition.

Stacking your macronutrients and nailing your calories can be super simple when you have plenty of eggs, chicken, and dairy in your diet. For those of you that don’t know what macronurients are, they’re basically the three things your body uses for energy in the form of calories: Carbs, Fats, and Protein. So when you’re counting calories, it’s important to watch the ratios at which you’re consuming these. These percentages can be drastically different depending on your goals but it’s important to know what you’re aiming for and why.


Before I committed to being a Vegan, my macros were as follows: 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% fats at about 2500 calories. However, these numbers would change depending on my fitness goals. For example, when I’m bulking my calorie intake is around 3500-4000 a day, I increase my carbs and lower my fats. When I’m doing a hard cut, my calories sit around 2000 and I increase my protein while lowering carbs.

Applying these ratios to a plant-based diet has proven a lot more difficult than I initially anticipated. My first day officially logging this experiment was yesterday, and by the end of my day, I wanted to cry when I saw my macros. I only logged 1700 calories, but at my usual ratio of 50, 30, 20, my carbs were through the roof, my fats were borderline, and my protein was almost non existent. It’s essentially what everyone told me would happen. It wasn’t great, but just like every other diet, eating protocol or gimmick I’ve tried in the past, there’s a way to master it, and I intend to do just that.


First off, until I figure out all the ‘tricks of the trade’, ins and outs and vegan must haves, my macros have to change. Realistically I’m not going to get 50% protein at 2500 calories on a plant based diet without spending a lot of money on supplements. If I try achieve this ratio, I’d have to cut back on all my carbs to even things out. This would mean less food, fewer calories, and a serious deficit resulting in a loss of muscle. That’s called counterproductivity and I’m not about it.

Here’s how my macros ended up today with next to no time to plan or prep last night. This was a good test to see how I would perform being thrown into the deep end.

As you can see here, this is not ideal. But like I mentioned earlier, I will be using this as a foundation and slowly tweaking it every day by adding certain foods or taking out certain foods. If I adjust my macros to a ratio of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fats at 2900 calories, I can realistically sustain myself both physically and financially. This is where I will start. Once I perfect this formula for current weight maintenance, I will begin experimenting with cutting and bulking.

To get started tracking your nutrition and calories, go download My Fitness Pal from the App Store. Please don’t hesitate to comment or message me with any questions.

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.