Getting Strong On A Vegan Diet!
Is the term strong vegan an oxymoron? There’s a misconception that vegans are weak and lack the body mass of our meat eating community. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Check out these STRONG vegans: Kendrick Farris is Team USA’s only male weightlifter at the Rio Olympics lifted a combined 787 pounds.
HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 26: Kendrick Farris of the United States competes in the men’s 94kg weight class during the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships at the George R. Brown Convention Center on November 26, 2015, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) No one would say Venus Williams is weak, she’s a STRONG Vegan.
Mar 26, 2015; Key Biscayne, FL, USA; Venus Williams hits a forehand against Urszula Radwanska (not pictured) on day three of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Williams won 6-3, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports Vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian breaks a world record by carrying 550 kilos 10 meters on the West Jet stage at the Harbourfront Centre in Canada.
The key to being a STRONG vegan is replacing the nutrients and protein that was derived from eating animal-based products. Muscle building requires amino acids that are easily found in beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits. Strength is vital for wellness. Here is a sample meal plan. SAMPLE PLAN (100.2 grams of protein). This may be more protein than your specific body needs in a day. This sample plan is designed to give you a framework to use to plan your meals. Feel free to omit a meal or change up the recipe to suit your needs. BREAKFAST Vegan Grain Free Apple Walnut Pancakes Nutrition: 339 calories, 25.3 g fat, 370 mg sodium, 17.4 g carbs, 8.5 g sugars, 15.1 g protein MID-DAY SNACK Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie Nutrition: 446 calories, 30 g fat, 227 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 15 g sugars, 22.1 g protein LUNCH Black Bean Cheese Burger and Sweet Potato Fries Nutrition: 308g calories, 7 g fat, 95 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 10 g sugars, 22 g protein MID-AFTERNOON SNACK Avocado Toast Nutrition: 332g calories, 23g fat, 95 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 0g sugars, 10 g protein DINNER Portabella Marsala, Garlic Farrow and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce Nutrition: 502g calories, 14g fat, 128 mg sodium, 74 g carbs, 5g sugars, 28 g protein NIGHT SNACK Dark Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Nutrition: 80g calories, 8g fat, 10mg sodium, 9g carbs, 5g sugars, 3g protein PROTEIN Your meals should include a combination of beans, sprouted grains, seitan, nuts, and seeds. Protein powder (hemp, chia, whey or pea) are a great addition to your smoothie. Mix it with unsweetened hemp or almond milk. Manitoba or Garden of Life are good brands but experiment until you find the one you like. Generally, most people need 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. 1 gram of protein equals 4 calories. The chart below will help you determine your personal goals and how much protein you need to attain them. CREATINE The main sources of creatine are meat and fish. Creatine improves muscle mass and strength. It also helps with optimum brain function. Creatine includes amino acids such as arginine, glycine, and methionine Plant-based foods that are rich in arginine are peanuts, walnuts, coconuts, soybeans, chickpeas, and oats. Foods rich in glycine are raw seaweed or spirulina, raw watercress, spinach, soy protein isolate, and sesame seeds. Brazil nuts, oats, and sunflower seeds are great sources of methionine. Even though there are plant-based sources of strength building amino acids vegans will have less stored creatine than the meat eating community. There are creatine supplements that you can research. MINERALS Zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium are essential in a meat-free diet. Flax, Chia, Hemp either whole or ground, spinach, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate will provide these Vitamin B12 is found in nutritional yeast. Get out into the dun for vitamin D (about 15 minutes is sufficient. Sorghum (molasses), collard greens, tofu, soy beans, kale, tahini, navy beans, chia seeds, almonds, bok choy, and broccoli are great sources of calcium. IRON The body absorbs iron better if you pair it with vitamin C rich foods. Spinach, spirulina, soybeans, farina or cream of wheat, quinoa, farro, barley, quinoa, dried apricots and figs, beans, sunflower seeds, broccoli, red potatoes and Swiss chard are all great choices for increasing the iron in your body. HEALTHY FATS Olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, flax seed, hemp seeds are all great sources of omega 3’s which not only assist in obtaining optimum strength but have a wealth of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Eat your vegetables and healthy fats, supplement with creatine and iron and your vegan physique will be STRONG.
Sherimane Johnson is a Vegan Chef & Transition Guide with a focus on giving personalised one-to-one coaching to help you achieve your health goals. Whether it’s to lower the dependence on medication, improve cholestrol, reduce high blood pressure or lose body fat, Sherimane's mission is to help you get there. Sherimane specializes in Plant-based Transition, Plant-based Diet and Mindfulness.