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jordan

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PostSubject: hey everyone   Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:11 am

Hey guys, I would just like to introduce myself. I am glad that I finally found a "vegan" bodybuilding forum, a place where your not made fun of for eating soy or hemp, or called a wimp because you don't eat a thick steak everyday...

I'm 22 and from Canada. I have really only been a vegetarian for about 2 weeks now. I used to be quite the meat eater, spending about 2/3 my grocery bill on meat alone (not even including dairy!) and the would only have maybe 1 or 2 servings of veggies a day. Becoming vegetarian is more or less a spiritual thing for me. Lately I have gotten into eastern mysticism, and out of nowhere I have began to be more self concious about what I eat and do. It is wrong to use others just to serve your needs, and animals are no different. Not only vegetarianism, but I also support fair trade as much as possible and try to buy organic when my budget allows it (I am still a student... and its hard enough affording proper nutrition).

I started slowly cutting meat out of my diet, eventually limiting me to one meal per day with meat. Then two weeks ago I totally removed meat from my diet. I am a lacto-ovo I guess. I try to cut out as much eggs and dairy as possible... but I just love Greek yogurt and find it hard to get by without eggs (any suggestions?). I plan to eventually get rid of the eggs and dairy, but little steps at a time always works better than one giant step that shocks you.

My staples are quinoa, brown rice, beans, oats, whole wheat flour, tofu and homemade seitan (wheat gluten). I still drink dairy milk but I plan to switch to soy. I also have one giant bowl of vegetable salad with nuts every day, and one giant bowl of fruit salad with nuts everyday. I also try to mix in spinach, carrots and tomatoes in with every dish if possible.

I enjoy doing yoga about 3-5 days a weeks, kickboxing twice a week and weights 4 times per week. I am not really huge, and find my gains a little slow. I think thats mostly due to the fact that I am really active and don't have tons of rest time. Any suggestions to athletes who have little recovery time? Muscle isn't my number one goal, so slow progress is fine by me. Mostly I just want to have enough muscle to not be one of those skinny guys... plus muscle mass improves my kickboxing too.

I look forward to living a healthy vegan life (still a lacto-ovo...... but eventually)
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PostSubject: Re: hey everyone   Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:05 pm

The hardest question is a "What can I replace X with?" in this case eggs. Any food is hard to replace with any other single food. Suppose I said "What can I replace broccoli with?" for example. There are certain anti-cancer nutrients in broccoli, there is a certain fibre & protein content, there are many other really useful nutrients, nothing can honestly 'replace' it. You would need need to eat a variety of things to get everything you can get from broccoli, the same is true of any food. Replacing eggs, if you are after replacing whole eggs you'd first need to replace the protein & fat content. You won't be able to replace the cholesterol from any plant, but cholesterol isn't really an issue, but the calories from the cholesterol might be, so bear that in mind, it also contains choline so you'd need to consider that, vitamin K. So let's take those just to start off with:

Protein OK the obvious is soya has a decent protein content as a side note soya lecithin has a decent amount of choline
Other protein sources nuts & seeds, grains as well, also various protein powders if you want a quick hit, you can also go the for things like spirulina, chlorella or other algaes or some seaweeds are pretty high as well, brewers yeast is ok in protein as well, the list goes on. For fats, nuts & seeds again. If you're eating whole eggs you will have to replace some of the fat with fat from other sources so nuts are awesome for that, other options might be if you make something like scrambled egg, you could make scrambled tofu & cook it with a little coconut oil & top with sesame seeds for example, this will replace both the fat & protein from the eggs., next up we have choline, as I said that is in soya, but also in whole wheat, quinoa, kidney beans, amaranth, even cauliflower & brown rice - it's pretty common really. Next up we have vitamin K, this is pretty simple kale, spinach infact many green leafy veggies are good 'suppliers' of vitamin K. I say 'suppliers' because you get no vitamin K from the plant itself, the actual vitamin K is produced inside you by your intestinal community (all those little friendly bacteria you read so much about). If you have intestinal issues you may not get enough vitamin K, but for normal, healthy people that is easily enough...but if you want to be super-certain you can eat one of the worlds top sources of vitamin K & that is natto, available from any Japanese food store, natto is a fermented soya product that you can mix with rice, potatoes, grain or add to soups, stews etc (AFTER cooking). It does have a unique taste, so expect it to change the taste of your food, some people love it, some hate it, there are dozens of varieties, they all taste different, so try a few. It is gooey & sticky so it's not much to look at, but has more vitamin K that just about anything out there! We also have zinc about 0.5mg per egg, two tablespoons of wheat germ for example has 2.3 (look up plant sources of zinc, there are loads), iron is ok in figs, bran flakes (really high), beans & greens. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also in eggs, one of the highest sources is the simple brussel sprout! They are also in most other greens, they are basically the yellow colour in, many veggies (in eggs they are obviously the yellow in that). That covers the most common ingredients in eggs (hopefully I haven't missed any).

So, as you can see higher protein plant sources with some fat source & plenty of greens will easily cover everything an egg has other than cholesterol content (which doesn't matter) & the vitamin B12 (you should be taking a multi-vitamin which will cover the B12 anyway).

Hopefully that makes you feel more comfortable making a move away from eggs. Do bear in mind that things like greens are much more bulky than an egg so you will need to eat more to hit the same calories, generally eating more is a good idea as the diet tends to less calorie-dense, so increased eating is a good move. Also people go as far as they can with these dietary changes, even reducing these foods is better than doing nothing. It does not have to be all or nothing, take your time, adapt to each new change before making the next, it isn't a race.

Oh yea do not stick to spinach every meal, mix up those greens a bit. Try out brocolli, kale (I want a t-shirt with a kind of humanised bunch of kale with muscular arms & legs with the logo "Eat more kale" written on it, that would be cool I reckon!), purslane & other green leafy veggies (if you can find something like a local farmers market it can be priced pretty reasonably as things come into season).

Now onto recovery....ok not much time. I would suggest stuff like massage is a good move - it doesn't have to be a pro, obviously they will be better, but as a student you can't afford a pro, but could possibly find a massage student or a keen amateur. Other things are pre-workout spend 5 minutes foam rolling, then stretch, then do a warm-up that doesn't just get you warm, but works you towards your workout or training to follow, so if you are going to sprint you would do something like a very linear (front & back) style warm-up, that started with walking movements (knee ups, butt kicks, cradle walks, walking bodyweight lunges, step to the rear one leg deadlift movement without weight etc), moving onto skips, bounds & butt kick runs etc basically every warm-up should ideally work you in two ways one it should move you towards the thing you will be doing next, but secondly it should also be a time to address any weaknesses you have, so if you have shoulder mobility issues, wall slides, chest stretch etc could be a good thing to include, if your squat sucks then doing a bodyweight face the wall squat as part of every warm-up might be an idea? I like to include a little of everything I'm bad at every warm-up & other times throw in stuff I'm better at just to keep it working well.

You can do foam rolling outside of training & stretch as well, that can help, as can hot baths, also warming 'chilli style' creams can help sore muscles recover a bit, conversely ice or 'cool creams' can help other issues like overuse or joint issues.

In the food department anti-inflammatory foods could also help you recover. Berries are awesome for that, any berries, any time. Cherries have been studied quite a bit, blueberries as well, but it seems most are pretty good & fruit in general, not so bad.

With kickboxing you might want to focus a little more on free weights doing uni-lateral stuff (on one leg), so one leg deadlifts (working up to to one leg, one arm deadlift, so if you are on your left leg, you hold the weight in your right arm), split squats (working up to rear foot elevated). Working on one leg actually seems to benefit many sports people, especially contact sports & fighters as they learn to strengthen that 'across body' strength (left hip to right shoulder & visa versa), which makes hitting & kicking more powerful once you translate that strength into power through training the sport.

Finally for more on diet check out the article below for a few hints on diet. Hopefully this has been of some help.

Vegan Strength Nutrition 2





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jordan

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PostSubject: Re: hey everyone   Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:13 pm

Thanks for the reply, you are extremely knowledgeable. Are you a nutritionist by chance, or just do your research well? Yea, I think I get most of the nutrients to replace eggs, maybe a little low on the vitamin k though. I have heard kale is good, but I've never tried it. Is it generally eaten raw or cooked? or both?

The one thing thing I miss though is the taste and convinience, but soft tofu is similar.

Is it true you can only get vitamin B12 from meat and algae or are there other foods that have it?
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PostSubject: Re: hey everyone   Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:54 am

I am a clinical nutritionist, so I do spend a fair bit of time researching stuff anyway. Kale is fine steamed, raw or in soups/stews (it depends on the season somewhat as older kale can be tougher & works better steamed, younger kale if fine raw, shredded). If you think you are low in vit K try out natto, but as I said the taste & texture is pretty 'unique' (for most not in a nice way). Some people think of it as 'training nutrient', it isn't nice, but it has to be done, like that hard set of squats you don't feel like today. Once a week will keep those stores topped up to the max, so if you don't like you just have to 'suck it up!' as they say...& strangely enough you do get used to it after a few weeks.

B12 doesn't actually come from meat, it comes from bacteria in the gut of various animals who probably pick up those bacteria from ingested soil. One growing issue is B12 deficiencies in meat eaters that seem to be down to all the antibiotics they feed to animals. The farms give the animals drugs, the bacteria die, hence the farmers are then forced to inject animals with B12 (go to any farm vets & you can find big containers of B12 - I know a lot of bodybuilders who buy from farm vets, very high B12 intakes stimulates appetite, so they inject B12 & can eat like pigs & so grow - it's one of the old tricks of the trade from earlier years of bodybuilding I believe). So, most people eating meat are actually getting any B12 they get from that injection as the animal was supplemented & sometimes there isn't enough as farmers don't 'waste' B12 just to keep the animal topped up, so we see an increase of B12 issues in the general population (& an increase in drug resistant sickness at the same time as people eat meat & dairy containing antibiotics).
As to where you can get B12, I always suggest every athlete take a pill that contains it (whether meat eater, veggie or vegan), for the vegan some say B12 is found in the soil (which is true), but you cannot see which bit of dirt actually has B12 in it, nor how much B12 is in a bit of dirt, so you cannot guarantee you get any eating muddy food, others say algaes, which again is true, but algaes also have things called 'analogues of B12' in them, that look like B12 in the body, but act as a kind of anti-B12, blocking the receptors for B12 & stopping even genuine B12 doing its stuff (so if you have those you need even more B12 to get an effective dose!), so again, not a guarantee as you cannot tell by looking which bit of algae has which type of B12, in what proportions. I do know people who have gone 50+ years with no obvious B12 source, but the risks just out way any benefit. A pill costs pennies & will guarantee health, so why not just take the pill & have the bases covered. The issues for low B12 can be nerve damage, early death due to cardio vascular issues - it's just not worth it, for such a cheap thing to cover, that has zero side effects & no known negative impacts, just take the pill & forget about it.

Yes, it is harder to be a vegan, it is less convenient, it can be annoying missing the taste as well, but overall, if planned with a little thought (you don't have to really over think it) you will generally be healthier & perform better. Also a lot of fighter find they can 'out perform' (that is a word used a lot by vegan fighters) their opponents, even guys who just go vegan for contest prep like [url=Timothy Bradley Jr.]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204520204577247533423440946.html[/url] find an advantage they wouldn't have by doing it, I think for fighter it will become relatively normal to become vegan at least for contest prep in the next decade, as many seem to find an advantage in that diet.

Don't forget as well as tofu to eat you can try out other beans, I rate beans as they have been shown to extend life (yes, studies have linked the amount of beans you eat to your longevity), many of the 'carbs' in beans are actually insoluble & so actually feed your friendly bacteria inside you, they also allow these bacteria to produce short chain fatty acids in the intestine which is reabsorbed in the colon along with excess water & is actually a really vital fat that isn't really found elsewhere in the diet (any diet). They are also fairly high in protein, high in anti-cancer nutrients, high in anti oxidants, high in a whole host of phyto-nutrients ('phyto' means 'plant') & they are cheap! Beans are awesome I even wrote a blog post about beans & old time lifters.

A great idea is to find new flavours, instead of the same old food, find some international cuisine ideas, see how those in the Middle East prepare some vegan meals, or Africa, or Eastern Europe, Japan, or the Far East, they all have their own versions of vegan meals & prepare them in totally unique ways with flavours you may not have tried before. These days you don't even need to buy a cook book (although you can), just google "vegan Mexican food" for example & get a host of ideas, or "Tibetan vegan food" or if you are after particular recipe you can guarantee a vegan version is on the net somewhere, so use it to find what you are after, or even just go 'pot luck' & type in "Exotic vegan vegan food", or something else & find a whole different selection of foods, or if you fancy raw food there are recipes for making many raw vegan meals online or whatever..the list goes on if you just open your mind to the possibilities of trying food from different cultures & styles of living.

So, take it as a bit of a life experiment, now & again go crazy & just try a weird Japanese meal, find a recipe, pop down to your local Japanese food store, buy the necessary stuff & cook up that rice sushi with tempeh & steamed veggies, or play make a sushi with amaranth instead of rice for example (it might work I haven't tried it - I might get some nori sheets in later this week & give it a go Very Happy ), so you could have Mexican/Lebanese meal for example, or an Indian/English (that could be curry & mashed potatoes Very Happy )

Hopefully that's helped you out - sorry I waffled on a bit (it's one of those days & I have to urge to go shop now & make up some weird & wonderful meal!)
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