How To Never Catch A Cold Again! (Eat For A Strong Immune System)

“The Doctor Of The Future Will No Longer Treat The Human Frame With Drugs, but will rather cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

Thomas Edison

We are living in an unprecedented time. The human being of today has access to a tremendous amount of information. From a logical standpoint, this seems like a good thing, and to an extent, it is. However, this tremendous amount of information can sometimes be a double edged sword. With all of the great information available, there is also a large amount of misinformation available. Because of that, many people are left feeling confused. For example, even if we only look at scientific studies as guidelines for how to do things. One study will seemingly prove one thing to be true. Then, another study will come out, and prove the opposite. What is the result? Mass confusion! That is where we find ourselves as a species now, in many ways. We are in a state of mass confusion about even the most basic things, such as diet.

Our diets play an incredibly massive role in our health. I can’t stress this enough! If someone hasn’t experienced the boundless energy and mental sharpness that can accompany a diet that is truly (and I stress truly) nourishing, it’s hard for them to understand the difference in how they can feel with a simple diet change. We are taught from a young age that a balanced diet consists of meat, dairy, grains, and of course fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Yet, heart disease is the number one killer in developed countries all around the world. The last time I checked, there are no wild animals dying from heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. These are diseases that we can prevent and often reverse with a few simple lifestyle changes, particularly in our diets. After all, you are what you eat. Many people already know this, yet still continue to make poor dietary choices.

Why is this? I believe there are several reasons, one of which is that they’ve been misinformed. Other reasons include the fact that it can be very challenging to break what are essentially lifelong habits, and the fact that it is so easy to eat foods that aren’t good for you. It seems so harmless to put something in your mouth, chew, and swallow it. For someone to say you’re destroying your health with such a seemingly harmless act seems a bit extreme, but it’s actually true. So, the question is, what changes do we need to make to our diets in order to maximize our health? The good news is that they are fairly simple, and when you see how good you can feel, and the years pass by without you getting so much as a cold, you’ll have no doubt that the changes you’ve made are absolutely worth it. The bad news is, depending on how you eat now, you may have to change the way you eat completely, which could really test your willpower.

So, just what is a healthy diet? You will get a different answer depending on who you ask, but in my opinion there is absolutely nothing that beats a whole food plant based diet. The sheer fact that it is the only diet that has been proven to not only stop, but reverse heart disease puts it in a class of it’s own regarding our health and longevity. I have been plant based, or vegan if you prefer, for just about 5 years as have my children. We haven’t been sick once since, with the exception of when I first went vegan and regularly ate processed crap masquerading as food. This has been a game changer for us, since I used to average around 2 to 4 colds a year, and sometimes the flu. My children would also get sick several times a year with colds, stomach bugs, fevers, and other common illnesses. At 35 years of age, people are often dumbfounded that I am free of all of the typical signs of aging. I say all this not to brag in any way, but to say that I’ve discovered a way of eating that works, and works well. It allows me to stay healthy 365 days a year, year after year.

So, what if there was a way for you to stay healthy 365 days a year, for many years to come? Would you make the necessary lifestyle changes? If the answer is yes, then I wholeheartedly believe by the end of this article you will have all the tools necessary to do so. There are a few guidelines you will need to follow, and while they are simpler than you may think, it takes some discipline and consistency to instill any new habit. They are as follows.

How To Never Get Sick Again

  1. A minimum of 90 percent of your diet should come from plant based whole foods, preferably organic ones. That means no more than 1 meal out of 10 should contain processed ingredients. Processed ingredients include anything that doesn’t grow outside. This includes things like high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, MSG, all long chemical sounding ingredients in general, artificial flavor, artificial color, and all the other strange non food ingredients that are added to our food.
  2. Get plenty of Vitamin C, but get it from whole foods. Synthetic vitamins are not the same as those occurring naturally in plants. There are many great plant based foods that are high in Vitamin C such as kiwis, virtually all citrus, and amla which is a type of berry that you can get in powdered form form for only a few dollars.
  3. Ground yourself daily. Grounding is essentially placing some part of your body in contact with the earth, it could be the ground, a rock, a tree, or anything else that allows direct contact with the earth. The ground is filled with what are called free electrons. When we come in direct contact with the earth, we absorb these free electrons, and they help to neutralize free radicals, which reduces inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can lead to a wide variety of illnesses and premature aging. It also improves heart rate variability which basically means it makes your heart’s job of keeping blood circulating through the body easier. It can even improve sleep. All you have to do to ground is go outside barefoot and stand or walk in the grass or dirt, or even sit up against a tree. Try to do this for at least 20 minutes daily, though anything is better than nothing. If you can’t ground outside regularly for some reason, you can easily purchase grounding bracelets, pillow cases, sheets, and more online. These will keep you grounded while you’re indoors.
  4. Drink plenty of water, preferably spring or distilled water. Water is crucial for all bodily functions, and is one of the simplest ways to flush unwanted toxins from the body. Also, you can squeeze half of an organic lemon into your water for an extra Vitamin C boost, and some added taste as well. How much water each individual needs varies based on several factors, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure your urine (I know, not the most glamorous thing to talk about.) is clear or close to it throughout the day. If it gets darker, simply drink more water.
  5. Get a minimum of 20 minutes of sunshine daily whenever possible. Exposing our skin to direct sunlight causes our bodies to produce Vitamin D, which is actually not a vitamin at all, but a hormone that is critically important for our physical and mental well being. An added benefit is that you can work on your tan. If you live in an area that gets very hot in the summer, avoid sunbathing from 10am-2pm due to the increased risk of sunburn. Remember, everyone can tolerate different amounts of sunlight. If you can handle more and have the time, go for it. If you can’t then take it easy and stick to 20 minutes.
  6. Eat nutritional yeast daily. Just 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains 30 percent of the RDA of zinc. It also contains lots of b vitamins and several other minerals as well, as well as some protein. It has a cheesy flavor and can be added to many simple foods to enhance the flavor. Most brands of nutritional yeast are fortified with Vitamin B-12 and while this can be beneficial for those that aren’t getting adequate B-12 already, I prefer the non fortified kind.
  7. Eat plenty of legumes! You are probably already doing this one, and great job. Legumes are another great source of zinc, in addition to a variety of other nutrients. Any legumes will do, but if you are really into being as healthy as you can be, I recommend that you make chickpeas your first and most frequent choice. This is because other legumes are acidic, whereas chickpeas are alkaline. The idea is that by reducing the acidic foods you ingest, and simultaneously increasing the alkaline foods in your diet, you can drastically reduce inflammation and increase your overall health. I will be writing an article going more in depth on alkaline foods in the future.

In conclusion, these changes are not fancy, nor complicated. Anyone can make them, but you have to decide how important your health is to you. These days, it’s easier than ever to see how valuable it is to be healthy. Our bodies are not meant to get sick, that is why we have an immune system. If we become sick, it’s because our immune systems have been temporarily compromised, usually by certain dietary and lifestyle choices. Once you experience what it feels like to be truly healthy, you’ll never want to give it up. You may want to come back to this article from time to time as a remind, which is why I would advise bookmarking it as a reference point. Health is the foundation of our entire lives, and if we have to develop a bit of discipline to improve our health, it’s well worth it. Let’s let our food be our medicine.

With all my love,

Adonis

How To Lose Weight On A Vegan Diet Fast!

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

The Marines

Some people seem to think that because something is plant based that automatically makes it healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some people also seem to think that it’s easier to get lean on a vegan diet than others. While this does have some merit, ultimately, it’s not the whole truth. Getting lean, or ripped on a vegan diet can absolutely be done, but it requires one to have and apply some basic understanding.

Firstly, let me just say getting ripped is never easy unless you’re naturally very lean. Secondly, it’s not necessarily harder on a plant based diet, but there’s less good information available. At least, for the time being. The problem is that there are so many conflicting sources of information. For example, people saying carb up, the vegan keto people (Don’t get me started with those.), etc. Let me clarify something. I don’t condone extreme diets in any shape or fashion.

That includes any form of starvation, or any other form of eating that drastically restricts one from eating a wide variety of foods. The key word here is foods, because alot of what is being sold as food is anything but food. I’m not saying we should eliminate processed foods from our diets entirely, but they should be looked at as treats, and therefore eaten in moderation.

The vast majority of what we eat should be whole foods if we sincerely desire to get ripped, or simply look and feel our best. However, although it does promote great health and overall well being, eating mostly whole plant based foods isn’t enough to ensure that we’ll be bringing sexy back when we hit the pool in our swimsuits. There are a few more key things to understand. Without further ado, here are the keys to getting shredded on a vegan diet.

Keys To Getting Shredded On A Plant Based Diet

  1. Avoid sugar unless it’s post workout. This is a tough one for most people, but it’s crucial. All sugary foods must be avoided, including junk foods, desserts, and sugary fruits such as dates, bananas, and mangoes. I know you didn’t wanna hear that, but it’s true. Remember though, you can have them post workout. When I say post workout, I mean after lifting weights, not cardio. If you eat sugar after hitting the weights hard, it’ll replenish your glycogen(energy) stores and jump start the recovery process. If you have it after cardio, you’ll just defeat the purpose of the cardio, which is to get leaner. Also, watch what you drink, there are many drinks out there marketed as healthy that are loaded with more sugar than ice cream!
  2. Fat is fat! Regardless of if it comes from junk food or healthy food, there are 9 calories in every gram of fat, while there are only 4 calories in each gram of protein or carbohydrates. This trips so many people up because they forget that regardless of if the fat they are eating comes from a healthy or unhealthy source, the calories still add up quickly! Sure, avocados, nuts, and seeds are healthy for you, but if you want to be lean, you must consume them in moderation. For those that want to be ripped, I recommend that no more than 10 percent of your daily calories come from fat. there is of course, some flexibility here. If you prefer higher fat, just reduce your carbs. remember though, the more fat you consume, the less food you can eat overall.
  3. Water is your best friend. Drink lots and lots of it. Besides being crucial for the survival of every cell in your body, water helps keep us feeling full. The more water you drink during the day, the less hungry you’ll feel. In fact, sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Most people are in a constant state of mild dehydration all day long. So drink up my friend.
  4. Lift weights! This is like the ultimate cheat code for getting ripped. Why? I’m glad you asked. The more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate becomes. Meaning the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn sitting, standing, or doing anything else for that matter. It becomes easier and easier to lose body fat.
  5. Find a form of cardiovascular exercise you love, and do it at least every other day. This can be anything that raises your heart rate, and keeps it up. It can be intense cardio done briefly, such as high intensity interval training performed for 15 minutes, or it can be a form of steady state cardio, done for 45 minutes to an hour. Whatever you prefer and can stick with is ideal. I encourage you to get creative here. If you don’t like running then don’t run. Maybe you prefer dancing, or swimming, or kickboxing. Whatever your cup of tea is, go for it. The most important thing is that you stick with it.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to it folks. A few simple lifestyle changes implemented over the next several months could lead to you being in the best shape of your life. Whatever you do though, take things one step at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. The most important part of making any change is, and always will be consistency.

ADONIS

How Often Should You Work A Muscle?

“The worst thing I could be is the same as everyone else. I’d hate that.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Is There A Magic Pill?

Nowadays, we don’t have to dig very hard to find information. A simple Google search can tell us everything we want to know about a subject. At first glance, that sounds great, and it is, but there are definitely some cons that we often overlook.

We say this in the health and fitness community all the time these days. Some kid who’s been in the gym 6 months will tell a veteran who’s achieved tremendous physical development that he’s doing this or that wrong. Or that he’s over training, etc. Let’s put this into perspective for a second.

Typically, when you start something new, you ask questions. You learn from people with experience who have a tried and true resume, and you apply what you’ve learned. You don’t start working at the hospital fresh out of medical school and tell the doctors how to perform surgery. They know how already!

You learn from the experts, and allow their wisdom to shorten your path to success. These days however, people seem to read arbitrary information, and then spit it out as fact. None of this arbitrary information published by scientists is anecdotal, and no the test subjects in the study don’t count.

Why? It’s simple. They aren’t a 30 year old natural bodybuilding champion that’s been working out for 15 years. They have never reached the kind of physical development where people start to question if it’s even possible naturally.

It’s like this. You can read every book in the world on training, but until you get in the gym and start logging hours of hands on experience, learning what works for you and what doesn’t through trial and error, you have no idea about how to create a great physique.

You have to put some skin in the game! That brings me to the purpose of this article. How often should you train a muscle? There are many answers to this question, so I’ll provide some context, and allow you to make your own informed decision.

So What Should You Do?

The recommended training modality for natural lifters these days is to hit a given muscle group every 24 to 72 hours. This is because after training, muscle protein synthesis is elevated for 72 hours max. Elevated protein synthesis means more muscle mass.

So, is this true? Well let’s take a look at my physique and compare. Here is my physique at 235 lbs training each muscle once every six days. My split at the time looked like this.

Day 1: Chest and triceps

Day 2:Back and biceps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Legs

Day 5: Shoulders

Day 6: Rest. Then repeat that cycle. Oh, and yes this physique is 100% au natural.

Now, here is my physique training at about 225 lbs working each muscle once every 3 days. My split looked like this.

Day 1: Quads and chest

Day 2: Back and Hamstrings

Day 3: Shoulders and arms. Here is what my physique looked like on that program.

Finally, here is what my physique looked like at 240 lbs hitting each muscle every other day. My split at the time was full body every other day. Simple as that.

My diet in each was always similar, although in the last picture, I was definitely not as lean. However, my basic diet has always consisted of two protein shakes and four meals a day. So, as you can see, all of these splits worked to build muscle.

I was able to increase my strength and muscle size on all of these programs. I definitely have my favorite, but my point is that there is no optimal training frequency. You just have to adjust your training volume to whatever your split is.

I will say that high volume has always worked best for me and everyone I know. I did try lower volume routines, even high intensity training, but I found that I was smaller and weaker than when I did high volume. Also, there is a certain quality that the muscles get from high volume training that you won’t get from any other style of training.

In Conclusion:

All training splits can be effective. Ultimately, you have to figure out what works for you. There is no magic pill, there’s only willing yourself to improve, workout after workout. Week after week, and year after year. So, stop looking for a magic pill, put your head down and work. Eventually, when you look up, you’ll realize how far you’ve come, and that’s what makes this bodybuilding and fitness journey so worth it. Until next time, train hard! I’m out.

Plant Based Amino Acids: A Vegan Bodybuilders Best Friend

There are NO secrets when it comes to building muscle, and all shortcuts certainly come with undesirable consequences. However, if there was one secret, it would certainly be amino acids.

Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. Most people who want to build muscle know that you have to get sufficient protein to do so, but they don’t necessarily know why. When we consume protein, our bodies break it down into amino acids. These amino acids are utilized for many things, not the least of which is repairing and building muscle tissue.

If we don’t consume sufficient protein each day, our bodies could have less than what they need to build our bodies back bigger and stronger. In such case, all our hard work would be in vain. We definitely don’t want that! However, as a vegan we have to be conscious of a few things.

Most of our protein sources have less amino acids than animal based protein sources. Leucine in particular, is lower in most vegan sources of protein in comparison. This can present a problem, as leucine is the primary amino acid responsible for elevating protein synthesis. In other words, more leucine= more muscle.

Okay, so why not just buy some leucine you say? Well, it’s not that simple. Leucine, when taken alone, will cause an imbalance in the amino acids valine and isoleucine. Together, leucine, isoleucine, and valine are called branched chain amino acids, and they must be consumed together.

So, now the question is, how much do I take, and how often do I take it? That is a great question and I won’t keep you in suspense. You want to take 2 to 4 grams of leucine in 2 to 3 times daily, preferably once during or after your workout, with the other servings being spread out throughout the day.

Another good time to take your aminos is upon waking, and before bed is great as well. Remember though, that you can’t just take leucine, so you will want to get some good vegan branched chain amino acids, or vegan sourced essential amino acids.

If you go for essential amino acids though, just make sure they have the branched chain amino acids in them as well. If not, simply get some branched chain aminos to go along with them.

So, what kind of results can you expect from taking your aminos daily? Higher energy levels, improved stamina in the gym, faster recovery, less soreness, increased muscle mass, and more strength are things that you should be noticing within 6 to 8 weeks if not less.

Lastly, another added benefit is that when supplementing with amino acids, you can consume significantly less protein and still build muscle. Let’s say you want to have a dessert for lunch today (which I wouldn’t recommend doing too often, but sometimes you gotta live a little right?) but you’re worried because the dessert only has 5 grams of protein.

You need not worry, your amino acid supplement will come to the rescue. Just take it before or after your meal and presto! You have the equivalent of a high protein meal! Just don’t use this as an excuse to eat junk all the time or you certainly won’t look or feel your best. Everything in moderation as they say.

There you have it guys, everything you need to know about amino acids in a nutshell. I hope you guys will benefit as much as I have from this knowledge. If you do decide to supplement with aminos I would recommend making sure they’re vegan, and also finding a company that charges reasonable prices.

Kaged Muscle Branched Chain Amino Acids is a great brand price and quality wise. True nutrition also has a great essential amino acid supplement. Again, I have no affiliation, but those are two of my favorite brands! Until next time, stay strong!

ADONIS

How To Get Shredded On A Vegan Diet! (Without Losing Muscle)

Adopting a plant based diet is easier than ever these days. Getting shredded on a plant based diet? That’s a whole other story.Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that it’s hard or complicated, most people simply don’t know how.

Sure anyone can get shredded by just simply eating in a caloric deficit. The only problem is that in most cases you would also lose a whole heap of your hard earned muscle, and ain’t nobody got time for that!

In this article I’m going to give you a few simple tips that will allow you to get as shredded as the mailman’s pant leg after a vicious chihuahua attack. All the while losing very little muscle, if any, in the process. Alright, let’s do this!

There are a few golden rules when it comes to getting shredded as a vegan, and they are super simple. They are as follows:

Rules For Getting Shredded On A Vegan Diet

  1. Don’t eat carbs after 8pm. Really, this just means no carbs within 4 hours of bedtime. So, in other words, if you go to bed at 2am, you wouldn’t have carbs after 10pm. This works like a charm. Why? Your body releases insulin when you eat carbs, insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store fat. When you eat carbs during the day, you don’t store them as fat because you burn them off for energy right away. So, what do you eat? A low or no carb protein source such as tempeh or seitan, vegetables, and a fat source such as avocado. A protein shake would also work. Ideally, you’ll be eating small meals every about 3 hours, so your last 2 meals would be virtually carb free. Do this and watch the fat melt away.
  2. Supplement, supplement, supplement! Take protein powder, BCAAs (Branched chain amino acids), EAAs (Essential amino acids), and Glutamine. This will help your body to stay anabolic (in a muscle building state) even while on lower calories. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, and if you don’t get an adequate amount every day, you can forget about building or maintaining muscle. For the average person this may not matter, but for anyone training, it makes a massive difference in your recovery and progress. Protein powder is non negotiable, you need it unless you want to eat all day. BCAA’s are the next most important, and EAAs and glutamine are just the icing on top of the cake. Glutamine helps you to recover faster, and EAAs are great in case you’re not getting enough.
  3. Stick to mostly whole foods. There’s a ton of processed junk out there for vegans, and there’s definitely a time and place for it, but when you are getting shredded is definitely not the time. I suggest hitting your target physique and then adding in a cheat meal once a week and seeing how your body responds. Some people can get away with eating more junk than others, it all depends on your particular metabolism.

That’s it! 3 simple steps to getting shredded as a vegan that if you follow, I guarantee will have you well on your way to getting shredded. Remember, it doesn’t happen over night. You need to stick to any diet for a minimum of 12 weeks before you can accurately gauge it’s effectiveness.

Well, I’ve given you all the tools you need to get more shredded than ever, and to make it simple, as it should be. Put these tips to the test and let me know how much you love the results. Until next time, I love you guys.

THE SECRET TO GETTING GREAT RESULTS IN THE GYM!

Intensity is the price of excellence.” Warren Buffet

The formula for creating a great physique is simple. Training+Nutrition+Sleep=Results. That’s not difficult to grasp right? However, there’s another crucial ingredient. One that’s not talked about as much, but without it, you will never create a great physique, or a great anything, for that matter.

Can you guess what that ingredient is? It’s intensity. Intensity is the difference between a decent physique and a great physique. The official definition of intensity is the quality or state of being intense especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling.

Let’s focus for a moment on the feeling part. Intensity is a feeling. It’s not hard to recognize, you can easily tell when someone is intense. However, when the average person works out, there isn’t a great deal of intensity.

Simply watch the average person workout, then watch a champion athlete workout. There is a night and day difference. Is this because the champion was born superior?

No, of course not. It is simply because the average person trains with vague goals and a vague plan of action to get there. The elite athlete on the other hand knows exactly what they’re training for, and it is something of massive importance to them.

Fitness woman workout with barbell on bench in gym

It’s for this reason that 9 times out of 10, they achieve their goals. In other words, they are able to workout with a high level of intensity because they have given themselves a great reason to do so, but a great reason isn’t good enough.

It’s got to be a great reason for you specifically. Something that pulls at you. Something that gets you emotionally involved. I want you to grab a sheet of paper and a pen, and write out your fitness goals.

Don’t settle for vague goals, be specific. How much weight do you want to lose? How many inches here and there? How much muscle do you want to build? What shape do you want to create? Now, look deeply within yourself.

Why is it important for you to achieve those goals? Maybe it’s to have more energy to play with your children. Maybe it’s to live a longer life. Maybe it’s to overcome a certain health issue, or get off a specific medication. Maybe it’s to build a loving relationship with your body. It could be anything. The only criteria is that it must be deeply important to you.

Now hang that on your bathroom mirror. Read it before you go to the gym each day. Remind yourself why you are training. If you take the time to pinpoint your goals and figure out your why I guarantee, no, I promise you that you’ll notice a newfound motivation to train.

Along with that will be a focus and intensity in the gym, and this clarity of vision, that gives birth to new levels of intensity and motivation, is what will take you, day by day, right to your goals. Now get out there and kick some ass!

ADONIS

The Simple Keys To Building Muscle On A Vegan Diet

“There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.” -Charles Darwin

Of all the stigmas surrounding veganism, one of the most popular beliefs is that you can’t build muscle on a vegan diet. Sure, the film “Game Changers” did a great job dispelling that myth, but when you really get down to it, the questions the average gym rat wants to know the answer to is, Can I build just as much muscle on a plant based diet as a typical bodybuilding diet?

Is it more complicated? Is it gross? Etc. These kinds of questions clearly illuminate the fact that even a basic level of understanding about the vegan diet among the average person is just not where it could be.

That’s why I’ve decided to write this article, to simplify the basic changes you’d have to make when switching over to a plant based diet as an athlete, particularly an athlete concerned with building as much muscle as possible.

However, even if you’re not an athlete, you may still find this article enlightening and perhaps it can help someone you know. With that being said, let’s dive right into it.

Keep Things Simple

Simplicity is genius. The more complicated you make a thing, the harder it is to grasp, and to keep it up becomes nearly impossible. I believe in keeping everything as simple as possible. If it is simple, you can grasp it quickly and keep it up with minimal effort. That is the key to sustainability.

A Few Small Changes And You’ve Got It!

Essentially, the only changes you need to make are your protein sources. Instead of whey protein powder, get a vegan protein powder. Some are higher in salt, so be sure to opt for a low or no sodium option unless you want to risk bloating like a balloon.

Some other good vegan options high in protein are legumes of all kinds, peas, tofu, tempeh, seitan, lean vegan meats, and soy milk. Some vegans will tell you nuts and seeds are a great option, and that’s true, when you’re not looking to be lean and muscular.

Nuts and seeds are very high in fat, and should be consumed in moderation, or you may end up kissing your six pack goodbye! Since many carbohydrate and good fat sources are plant based by default, you typically won’t have to change many of those.

This Tip Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

Get the majority of your protein from a good protein powder! If you get 75% of your daily protein from a plant based powder, you won’t have to stress about your solid meals being super high protein. Just be sure not to overeat, and make adjustments as needed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, it’s really not hard to build muscle as a vegan, it can be as simple or complicated as you make it. So, don’t believe the hype. Give it a try for yourself and you’ll see just how simple it can be.

Eventually, as more and more of us become shining examples, this will become common knowledge. Who knows? It may happen sooner than we think. I love you guys,

ADONIS

How Much Protein Do You Need To Build Muscle? (The Truth)

“Protein is the building block of muscle.” Adonis

Protein, protein, and more protein! It’s a hot topic in the fitness community. The science is certainly there to tell us exactly how much we need. But there are many schools of thought on the topic.

There’s the old school train of thought, the new, and just some absurd ones. So who’s right? The obvious answer would be science, but it may not be that simple. I’ll show you why.

As a bodybuilder for nearly two decades, I’ve heard it all, read it all, and tried it all. One thing I’ve learned in all that time is, just because it’s in a book, or scientific journal, doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone.

There are way too many variables when it comes to building muscle and getting lean to make blanket statements. However, one thing that always remains true is that to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit (aka eat less calories than you burn) and to gain weight you must be in a caloric surplus (aka eat more calories than you burn).

Other than that, many things vary. For instance, some people, such as myself, can build muscle with remaining at eight percent body-fat, while others have to go up to around twelve percent or so. Some people can get lean while eating junk food daily, while others have to restrict calories and perform cardio to get lean.

My point is that we are all lean. With that being said, let’s look at some of the recommendations for protein intake. The RDA or recommended dietary allowance for protein for the average person is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body-weight.

That is the minimum amount required for optimum health. Keep in mind this is for the average person. For athletes, the RDA is much higher. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for athletes, depending on training.

For the person with a large amount of muscle mass looking to build more, even that is low in my experience and that of many people I know. I remember I built muscle to a certain point staying within the recommended range for athletes, but I eventually hit a plateau.

I increased my caloric intake, tried more carbs, more fats, training more frequently, training harder, and more. Keep in mind that I didn’t try all of those things at once. It wasn’t until I took the advice of some guys with more muscle mass than I, that I put on an extra 10 pounds of muscle. As you can see in this picture.

This made a huge difference in my physique, taking it from lean athlete to very densely muscular, and was exactly what I had wanted. So, what exact changes did I make? I went from one gram of protein per pound of body-weight to about 1.25-1.5. That’s over 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram.

I can’t tell you how quickly this benefited my physique, but I can tell you that it was quick. However, if I had listened to the scientific literature I never would’ve discovered that.

I later tried to lower my protein again, and guess what happened? I lost the extra 10 pounds of muscle! Now, I realize this isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t active and training consistently, then your body has no need for added protein, but if you train frequently, and have found yourself building muscle more slowly than you’d like, this could be the missing key for you.

Who knows, maybe you’ll take your physique to that next level that you’ve been looking for. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Until next time, I love you guys always.

ADONIS

Your Inability To Focus Is Killing Your Gains!

You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill

In our modern world, there are distractions coming at us from everywhere and at ALL times. Whether it’s our smart phones, computers, televisions, friends, the news, or our mothers, it often seems as if we can’t avoid it.

This is exactly why we need to prioritize focus. You see, focus is like a muscle. If you train it regularly, it will be nearly unbreakable. However, if you don’t train it, your ability to focus will grow weaker and weaker.

There is one quality need to develop focus, and that is self-discipline. The problem is, lack of focus usually also means lack of self-discipline. A person with no self-discipline is like a sailboat without a sail.

They will most likely never get anywhere, and more often than not, it will ultimately have unwanted and unforeseen consequences. Obviously, nobody wants that.

So why do so many people drift through life, only doing what they’re told? Following the already beaten path, with little to no true fulfillment? It’s very simple.

It’s hard to be disciplined. Especially when you don’t have an authority figure standing over your back, threatening you with consequences. Really think about that for a second.

As adults, should we really need someone else to hold us accountable for the things we want to achieve? If you ask me, the answer is a resounding Hell No!

True motivation comes from within, not without! So, ask yourself now if you really want to achieve that goal body. Now, ask yourself why. Why is it necessary for you. Why must you achieve your goal?

Identify why you NEED to achieve it. That reason should move you emotionally when you identify it. It should compel you into action. This is why you will become disciplined, because even though building self-discipline is hard, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as regret.

No-one else can do it for you, and you won’t get fired, or punished, or fail school if you don’t do it. You’ll simply have to live with your unhappiness. Unexpressed desires are energy.

The stronger the desire the stronger the energy. If we don’t express it, it gets stuck inside the body. If you have children, you can easily see what I’m talking about.

Stop them from playing. Make them sit and be quiet. If you do this often enough, they will start to get into trouble. They will act out, and it will often be completely out of character for them.

This is because the energy within them wants to be expressed so badly, that it will come out in literally whatever way it can. YOU are exactly the same way.

If you don’t express the desires within your soul, you will find yourself doing all sorts of things. Smoking, drinking, drugs, sex addiction, video game addiction, a short temper, and struggling with depression.

I’m certainly not a doctor, but it is my experience that depression comes from repression. There’s no need to go through all of these things though, if we just make it a point to develop self-discipline.

There are SO many ways to do this that I won’t go into them. I will however, reveal my favorite way. Meditation. Meditation is very simple, I explained how to do it in my last article which you can read here: https://frommeatheadtomeatless.com/2019/12/19/think-and-grow-fit-part-2-how-to-use-meditation-to-take-your-physique-to-the-next-level/

If you practice diligently, you can develop laser focus with meditation alone. Self-discipline will come majorly into play here. Please be aware though, that with time, it gets easier.

It becomes second nature, the way that you naturally are. At this point, the only thing standing between you and your dream body or any other goal will be a decision to manifest it.

If meditation isn’t your cup of tea, worry not. You can cultivate focus in many other ways, and once you do, you will be shocked at the things you are able to achieve. It will be Much more than just your dream body!

With that being said, I wish you ALL the best, and remember. Successful people fail ALL the time. The difference between them and failures is that they get up, adjust their approach, and try again.

I LOVE YOU GUYS,

ADONIS

Think And Grow Fit Part 2: How To Use Meditation To Take Your Physique To The Next Level

“Meditation is like giving a hug to ourselves, getting in touch with that awesome reality in us. While meditating we feel a deep sense of intimacy with God, a love that is inexplicable.” Paramahamsa Yogananda

What is meditation? Well, it is defined quite simply as a devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. It has a great many benefits such as increased focus, self-discipline, stress reduction, memory, creativity, compassion, and many more. According to a 2011 Harvard study, meditation rebuilds grey matter in the brain in as little as 8 weeks!

So, How can it help you to improve your physique? It’s very simple. The increased focus and self-discipline will result in improved workout quality and better dietary choices.

So, how should you meditate? Well, I find that to get the most out of meditation, much like anything else, you need a simple routine. This should ideally be tailored toward your schedule.

Many people find that meditation first thing in the morning allows them to be more present throughout the day, but some schedules don’t permit that.

Truth be told, you can meditate at any time of day, though it’s easier when you are already in a relaxed state, such as first thing in the morning, or before bed.

Fifteen minutes is ALL you need. Simply find a comfortable place to sit. Somewhere you’ll be uninterrupted, set a timer for 15 minutes, and close your eyes.

Breathe naturally, through the nose. Relax your entire body, starting with your toes, and working your way ALL the way up to the top of your head.

To do this, mentally say to yourself, I’m relaxing my toes. Then, feel them relax. Repeat this with every part of your body. Next, observe your breath.

Watch it go in, and come out. From time to time, your mind will begin to wander. When this happens, bring your attention back to your breath, again and again.

As time goes on, your thoughts will become less and less prevalent, before ultimately ceasing ALL together. This, is the meditative state. You may not reach this state for days, weeks, or months, but it will come sooner or later.

Don’t become discouraged, it’s ALL part of the process. The mental presence required to focus only on the breath is a skill that takes time to develop. Eventually, this skill will give you super-human focus.

Apply this to maintaining absolute focus on each and every rep and it’s easy to see why meditation can help you to take your physique to the next level.

If you find that you enjoy the process, add a second meditation later in the day. I find that first thing in the morning and before bed are good times to meditate, but you’ll have to find what works best for you.

Remember, the things we do outside the gym reflect our results every bit as much as the things we do inside of it. I hope this has inspired you to give meditation a try if you haven’t, or if you have, I hope that it can reinvigorate your practice.

ALL MY LOVE,

ADONIS

Think And Grow Fit Part 1: How To Use Thought To Finally Get Your Dream Body!

                                   “As a man thinketh, so is he.”  James Allen
He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right.” Confucius
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Have you ever wondered why some people that go to the gym every day never change their bodies? While others who only go 4 or 5 times a week look like olympic athletes? Is it genetics? Is it steroids? Is there a fail proof method of achieving the body of your dreams? I Absolutely believe so! That’s why I’m writing this article. To show You just how to do that.

Welcome to the Think And Grow Fit Series! I hope you’re as excited as I am, because this is pretty life changing stuff. I know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard it all before and if it sounds too good to be true then it is. I agree 100 percent, but this is not too good to be true.

It is the result of the findings of many scientists, who have published their work, and countless men and women, who have put these findings into practice and verified them through no shortage of trial and error.

On that note, let’s dive right into this. The mind is the most powerful tool we have in this life. We can use it to literally sculpt our lives, and for ALL of us here at From Meathead to Meatless, our BODIES!

It is so powerful and infinitely complex, it’s full workings will probably never be completely understood. However, there are things which we do know. Wisdom that has been passed down through the ages and repackaged with a different name.

These basic truths about the human mind must be accepted before any of the information in this article can be applied. If you have trouble believing any of them I urge you to do your research. Learn from some of the greatest minds in human history.

Or, simply read and apply the wisdom from this article and reap the benefits. I’m personally a researcher. I want to research any new idea before I apply it to my life. It’s time consuming, but it also allows me to share things like this with you.

Here are the truths:

1. Everything is energy, including our thoughts.

2. We can choose our thoughts by identifying and focusing on what we want.

3. Thoughts affect our bodies and the world around us!

4. This changes Everything!

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s move forward. As previously stated, since everything is energy, thoughts are energy. Thoughts, cause physical reactions in the body, known as feelings. Positive thoughts produce pleasant feelings, while negative thoughts produce unpleasant feelings.

This is important to note because you can use your feelings as a guide. If you’re feeling unpleasant, your thoughts are the culprit, although they may be subconscious, and if you are feeling great, again your thoughts are the culprit.

So, how do you apply this to help you achieve the physique of your dreams? It’s simple really. What we predominately focus on, we create the experience of in our lives. If you’re having trouble accepting this I urge you to Google the “double slit experiment” and Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiments detailing the effects of thought and words on water.

Let’s talk briefly about our bodies. Our bodies are our true home, we can’t move out of them, and we only get one. It is good and wonderful to see the fullest potential of which they are capable!

Now, in order to get your dream body, you want to do a few things. Think about it often, not from a perspective of wanting it, but from a perspective of having it. For example. Visualize yourself with your dream body, feel yourself with it, affirm that you have it and how wonderful it feels.

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When you workout, picture the body-part you’re training as you want it to be. Speak it into existence, especially when you’re already feeling good! Print out pictures of the person that has your dream body and hang them up in your bedroom, on your bathroom mirror, even in your car.

The idea is that you want to be focused on having your dream body as often as possible. Every time you do this, you’re putting a little more energy into that picture in your mind.

This adds up! It’s like drops in a bucket. When the bucket is full, the manifestation occurs. Now, in the meantime, you will start to get ideas. Ideas about what to eat, what not to eat.

What exercise programs you should do. How often you should train. You MUST take action on these ideas or nothing will happen! They are your intuition guiding you.

Over time, you will see your body transforming gradually, so don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t happen over night. If you hold to your vision and always take action on your hunches, you will achieve your goal just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.

If you aren’t good at visualizing, don’t worry. You’ll get better. You could even try some guided visualizations to get you started. There are free ones ALL over the net.

Remember, there are no free lunches and what you put in is exactly what you get out. So, don’t try to rush the process in any way. Simply maintain a calm confidence that your dream body is already YOURS! You simply have to go along the physical path to see it realized in this physical reality.

This is really a simple process, but it works 10 times out of 10 if you follow it. Sure, it may take a long time, but the time is going to pass anyway. Now, I’ve done my part. It’s your turn. Identify and start creating your dream body NOW! With Infinite Love,

Amon 1-14198

How Often Should You Train Abs?

To train abs or not to train abs? That is the question. Whether tis nobler to have abs that a maiden could wash her clothes on, or to have a shapeless, blocky midsection, capable of frightening small children at a glance.

There are several schools of thought when it comes to training the abs. Some people say there’s no need. That to have great abs is simply a matter of proper dieting. Others say that the abs get all the stimulation they need from heavy compound movements such as squats and deadlifts.

The theories are endless. All of them have valid points, so where does that leave you, the reader? Often it leaves you pretty damn confused. Well worry not my good friend, by the end of this article you’ll be confused no more.

Before we dive into training protocols, let’s discuss exactly what we are talking about when we say abs. We are actually talking about are several different muscles that make up the midsection.

They are the rectus abdominis( the muscles that make up the six pack), obliques, serratus, and intercostals which all make up the muscles on the sides of the abdomen and last but certainly not least the tranversus abdominis( the muscle behind the rectus abdominis, which is responsible for core strength and a flat stomach).

When someone is at a relatively low bodyfat level, you can see these muscles. That’s where the belief that diet is ALL that matters comes in. On compound movements all of these muscles are engaged to stabilize the body.

That’s where the belief that compound movements are enough for great abs comes in. Then there’s the silly belief that it’s ALL about genetics. In my 17 years of bodybuilding I’ve come to one conclusion through not only personal experience, but also observation.

It’s this. The people with the best abs all train abs often. Usually a bare minimum of twice a week. Some even train them every day. I personally believe that you shouldn’t condone something unless you’ve tried it yourself.

This way, you can give an honest assessment of how it works from first-hand experience. This is exactly why throughout the years, I’ve tried all of these protocols, to find out for myself, exactly what works and why.

I’ve discovered a few golden nuggets that I’ll share with you now.

1. Abs recover much more quickly than other muscles and can therefore be worked every day.

2. The most effective ab routines are short and intense ones, with very brief rest periods.

3. Weighted ab movements can enlarge the waist over time, giving the torso a blocky look.

4. In order to really etch the fine details into the abs, squeeze at the top of each rep and hold for 1-2 seconds.

Now for the fun part. Let’s put those protocols together to create a basic ab routine. What I’ve found is that while the abs can be trained every day, they respond just as well to every other day training, and it isn’t so monotonous.

That day of rest in between is critical for maintaining your enthusiasm long term. As for the workout duration, you want each ab session to last for about 10 minutes, with very little rest, about 30-60 seconds between sets.

Decrease rest period duration as you are able. Pick two movements targeting different parts of the abs and superset them. Supersetting is performing two movements back to back without rest.

For example, perform hanging leg raises which emphasize the lower abs, and follow them immediately with swiss ball crunches. Due 2 regular crunches, and then one twisting to the left and one twisting to the right. This will emphasize the upper and middle abs, along with the obliques and intercostals. Keep repeating this until failure. Rest 1 minute and repeat the superset 2 more times.

Then pick two more movements and superset them with a minute of rest in between. Do this for 3 sets just like before. Follow this with a plank to failure for the transversus abdominis. Now you’ve trained the entire midsection in 10 minutes.

There is NO need to train the abs any longer. Remember, with the abs, you want to hit it and quit it. Due this every other day, changing up the movements every so often if you desire.

Obviously, if your bodyfat isn’t low enough you won’t be able to see your abs regardless, so remember to eat sensibly. Either way though, your core will be stronger and firmer, which will benefit you in several ways from lessening and preventing back pain, to being stronger in compound movements.

Remember, your core is the center of everything, and as such, it should be kept healthy. That’s it guys, I’m off to train. Don’t forget to hit those abs, I’ll be watching and counting your reps.

All My Love,

ADONIS

How To Identify And Smash Your Physique Goals

“No Wind Blows In Favor Of A Ship Without A Destination.” Montaigne

 

Exercise is a great way to stay young and healthy. It holds a host of benefits for all those willing to stick to it, but one of the most controversial is the fact that it augments one’s physical appearance. That is the MAIN reason many people get into it, quiet as it’s kept.

And that is perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, and shut shit down every time you step out the door. A healthy ego, not an out of control one, is an asset, not a liability. That brings me to the purpose of this article. This is for any and everyone who wants to achieve a specific physical aesthetic. With that being said, let’s dive into it.

Let me preface with a small disclaimer. This article is written by a male and primarily intended for other men, however, women can certainly benefit from it.

Look at you! You’re hitting the gym several times a week. You’re being more mindful about what you put into your body. You’re even seeing some results. Congratulations!

But before you celebrate your new found gains and confidence, let’s face facts. After that beginning period of 1-2 years of making decent progress, most people will Inevitably plateau.

Why is this? Don’t get me wrong. It’s perfectly fine to coast if you’ve reached your physique goals, although personally I believe coasting leads to losing ALL your hard earned gains sooner or later. Coasting is what happens when you lose motivation.

And why do you lose motivation? It’s simple. Undefined goals! Think about it. Why would you bust your ass in the gym when you don’t even know exactly what you want to look like? Exactly! You wouldn’t.

Luckily, this is a simple fix. People are obsessed with the way things look. When something is beautiful, we can’t stop staring at it. The body is a thing. And we have the ability to change it. Look at it like an artist. Our genetics are our canvas. What we eat is our paint. And the weights are our paintbrush. With these tools we can create a masterpiece, or a mess.

This brings me to my next point. What do you want to look like? Seriously, if you could have any body you wanted, what would you choose to look like? It’s very important. Find someone, an athlete, a celebrity, that you would love to look like, and put a picture of them up on your wall, or the mirror.

Pro tip: Make sure that they are similar in structure to you. If you are tall, they should be tall. If you have a small waist, they should too, etc. Obviously they won’t look like you due to added muscle mass and lower body fat, but just look at the structure. This will ensure that you can build a very similar physique to them.

Look at this picture in the morning and before bed, and try to imagine looking at yourself in the mirror with that physique. You look great, you feel vibrant and fit.

This will create a deep level of motivation that will make it easier to go to the gym and make responsible eating choices, and will aid you in staying focused throughout your workouts.

Next, create a basic plan to attain your goal physique. Don’t get fanatical. Just remember this, junk food is a treat, not fuel. Whole(REAL) food is fuel. Eat to fuel your body and treat yourself every so often. Try to drink mostly water, or other zero calorie beverages, and eat mostly whole foods.

This will of course vary from person to person, and if you’re naturally as thin as a rail, you may be able to eat junk more often and still get the results you’re looking for. Generally speaking though, it is always wise to eat healthy most of the time.

Now, let’s talk about identifying the type of physique you want. Different physiques are created by different types of training and nutrition. Here are a few basic physiques to help you identify your goal.

Physique 1

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This physique is slim and very lean. To achieve this type of look you would have to eat very clean, ideally knowing and tracking your macros, at least in the beginning. You could lift weights as little as 3 days a week, preferably in a circuit training fashion, and attain this look as long as you were doing some cardio as well to burn extra calories. You would want to keep rep ranges around 10 to 15 to increase the length of your sets and therefore burn more calories. Remember to keep rest periods short to keep your heart rate elevated while you train, no more than 60 seconds rest after each circuit.

 

Physique 2

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This physique has quite a bit more muscle, but isn’t quite as lean. For a physique like this, you would want to train a with relatively heavier weights in the 8-10 rep range. You would also want to get in a good amount of volume each week, and therefore hit the gym more like 4-5 times a week. To accomodate the heavier weight lifted, you would want rest periods between sets at 90-120 seconds. You would also want to eat in a slight caloric surplus, in order to build muscle.

 

Physique 3

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This physique is basically a blend of the first 2. A fair amount of muscle, but also shredded. This is my ideal physique type, but it should be noted that this physique is the hardest to achieve of the 3. It takes several years to build the muscle mass, and absolute dietary discipline to stay so shredded year round. If this is your ideal physique type, prepare to be in the gym 5-7 days a week. You need to lift light, moderate, and relatively heavy and do cardio several days each week to achieve this look. Figuring out your macros is a must! If you want to look like this, you can’t afford to lose focus in the gym, or in the kitchen. Of course you can still have cheat meals every so often, depending on how lean you are. Let me make it clear that these physiques are just a few examples, and there are many more to choose from. The most important thing is just to find a physique that inspires you!

There you have it. A clear cut way to identify and SMASH your physique goals! Remember, be honest with yourself, and also remember that it’s ok for your goals to change with time. Maybe you start off with something more attainable for you now, and set higher goals over time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If you do, you’ll most likely just burn yourself out. So, if all you can commit to is 3 days days in the gym, then do it. Set your goals accordingly. Monitor your progress. It’s incredibly motivating to see your progress on paper, or in pictures. If you know where you’re going, you have a much better chance of getting there. If you have read this far and still feel overwhelmed and confused, you aren’t alone. I would LOVE to work with you. I offer one-on-one coaching, as well as custom training and meal plans. Simply go to my products page to check it out, or you can follow this link: https://wordpress.com/page/frommeatheadtomeatless.com/125 As, always, I love you guys.

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Adonis

 

 

How To Build Muscle On A Raw Vegan Diet

“Veganism which results in a decreased demand for animal products, is much more than a matter of diet, lifestyle, or consumer choice. It is a personal commitment to nonviolence and the abolition of exploitation.” Gary L. Franclone

Veganism has many stigmas, not the least of which being that vegans can’t build muscle. Thanks to the increasing popularity of a growing number of vegan athletes, that stigma is falling by the wayside. However, as many stigmas as there are about veganism, raw veganism is even less understood.

Very few people understand raw veganism and even less have any idea how to build muscle on a raw vegan diet. With this article, it is my intent to show that not only is it possible to build muscle on a raw vegan diet, it’s also fairly simple.

First, let’s talk a little bit about why someone would want to go raw. Plant based foods have a higher amount of energy in them than the dead flesh of animals and are loaded with nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

When we cook our food, we are killing it and destroying some of the nutritional content. We all know this to some degree. That’s why we strive to eat as many raw fruits and veggies as possible. Going raw is just taking that to the next level.

It can be a bit intimidating though, especially when your goal is to build muscle, but allow me to show you why there’s no need to fret. With a bit of know how and a few simple tools, essentially anyone can build muscle as a raw vegan!

Tools You Will Need:

  1. A High Speed Blender. While these can be highly expensive, there are some great options in the 70 to 100 dollar range.
  2. A Dehydrator. You can get these for as low as 30 dollars or so, but if you can, I recommend getting a bigger one. It’s much more convenient.
  3. A Spiralizer. These are super cheap. Around 10 dollars or so.

That’s it. Those are your basic tools. If you can’t get them all at once, simply get each one as you are able. The high speed blender is for making smoothies, raw nut butters, fresh juices, etc.

The dehydrator is for cooking your food at 118 degrees Farenheit or less. When you cook food above 118 degrees you kill the enzymes in it. Having a dehydrator also allows you to make raw versions of many popular foods such as pizza, breads, burgers, and virtually anything else you can think of.

The spiralizer is for making noodles from things like zucchini, sweet potatoes, squash, cucumbers, and more. These three tools may not all be absolutely necessary, but they certainly make life more fun as a raw foodie.

Let’s talk about food. The foods you eat can vary depending on if you’re on a tight budget, or if you have plenty to spend on groceries. If you have an abundance of money(which you should be speaking into existence) you can get creative and try many different things, whereas, if you’re on a budget your staple foods are a bit limited.

Staple Foods For Those On A Budget:

  • Bananas. Being cheap, filling, and nutritionally dense make bananas an obvious choice.
  • Peanut Butter. Besides being delicious, peanut butter is cheap, high in protein, and packed with calories.
  • Beans. Beans are super cheap, high in protein and fiber, and go with virtually anything. Instead of cooking them, sprout them. This dramatically increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
  • Yams or sweet potatoes. Many people don’t know it, but you can actually eat these raw. These are fairly cheap, and they also offer variety as you can spiralize them or put them in the dehydrator and make them as crispy as you want!
  • Nuts and seeds of all kinds. When you are on a budget, go for cheaper ones like peanuts, and if your budget permits, you can go for more decadent choices.
  • Greens. These are some of the healthiest things you can eat, and you should aim for a pound of leafy greens each day. Don’t feel bad if you don’t get that much every day though. Simply aim for a pound and get as close as you can.
  • Any fruits and veggies that go on sale. Sometimes you can catch a great deal and stock up on fruits and veggies that wouldn’t typically fit your budget.
  • Spring water. Often overlooked, water is the most important thing we ingest. Every cell in our body needs to be well hydrated in order to function properly.
  • Other fruits and veggies. This can include any fruits and veggies that fit your budget, and will allow you to have variety. Things like bell peppers of all colors, onions, cucumbers, zucchini and more give you distinct flavors that will take your meals to the next level.
  • Wild Rice. This is the only rice that be eaten raw. Simply rinse it, put it in a mason jar with 3 parts water to 1 part rice, and throw it in your dehydrator.
  • Quinoa. Quinoa, like beans, can be sprouted. It is high in protein and adds great texture to many dishes.
  • Avocado. Avocados are loved by vegans everywhere, and for good reason. They go with virtually anything, taste great, and are loaded with calories and nutrients.

When you need a quick and simple meal, throw 5-10 bananas in your blender with some water or plant based milk and blend. Add any other fruit that you’d like to, such as berries, pineapple, mango, etc. A banana has about 100 calories, so 10 would give you about 1,000 calories.

Have 2 of these shakes a day and you can easily get 2,000 calories. That’s how easy it is to get sufficient calories on a raw food diet. When it comes to solid foods, you have infinite options.

I won’t go into recipes in the interest of saving time, but if you combine some of the foods listed above, you can make some simple and delicious meals.

For instance, a great raw meal for building muscle would be wild rice, sprouted beans of your choice, avocado, onion and bell pepper, seasoned up just right, with a kale salad on the side. YUM!

A great snack would be raw cacao nibs, berries, and nuts. Or chia seed pudding. All of these are Super simple to make and taste delicious. You can get as creative as you’d like, use your imagination.

Please note that some beans are toxic unless cooked. These beans should be avoided if you are raw: Lima beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and red kidney beans. There may be more, be sure to do a quick google search if you are unsure.

It really is as simple as that. I promise anyone can build muscle on a Raw vegan diet, even You! If you have been thinking about giving it a try, I hope this article will encourage you. With all the information available, it really is a wonderful time to be vegan! Until next time, that’s all folks.

All my love,

ADONIS

So You’re Vegan Now, But What Should You Eat?

In the age of information, we have more knowledge available to us than ever before. On one hand, this is can be a great thing, but on the other hand, it can be confusing as hell. There are so many fad diets at the moment, carnivore, paleo, keto, pescatarian, vegetarian, etc. Even when it comes to vegan diets, there are just so many different schools of thought, it can be overwhelming, especially for someone who’s just looking to make the healthiest and most sustainable decision for their health. Is this you? Well, worry not my good friend. That’s exactly why I’ve created this article, to clear up your confusion. For obvious reasons, I will focus on clarifying the confusion around the vegan or plant based diet.

 

First, let’s define what a vegan diet is. In simple terms, it is a diet devoid of any meat or animal products of any kind. Simple enough, right? But you know how we humans do things. We complicate them for no good reason haha.

 

There are several ways of eating a vegan diet, and they vary pretty significantly. Here is a list of the main ones.

 

Types of Vegan Diet:

  1. Typical Vegan- This is definitely the most common. It isn’t very limiting. Essentially, the people following this type of diet eat anything that doesn’t have animal products. This often includes lots of junk foods, alcohol, etc. They are usually vegan for ethical reasons and don’t care much about their health.
  2. Raw Vegan- This diet is much more restricting as one following it only eats vegan food that is raw, or uncooked. Those following this type of diet usually care tremendously about their health, and put great thought into everything that goes into their bodies.
  3.  Fruitarian- This diet is very simple. It consists of eating fruit exclusively. It is the probably the most restrictive of all vegan diets. People who follow this diet are usually very mindful about their health also. I have to add that while I feel fruit is one of the best foods we can eat, I believe eating it exclusively robs one of the nutrients that other food groups provide.
  4. 80-10-10- This diet was created by Dr. Douglas Graham and consists of eating raw vegan with 80 percent of your calories from carbs, 10 percent from protein, and the remaining 10 percent from fat.

 

There are other variations, but those are the most common. All of these diets can work for certain people, but I feel the best way to eat will always be finding a way to eat sensibly, while enjoying some variation of the foods you love.

Deprivation seldom works for long periods of time. We all want to find a sustainable way to eat that we fully enjoy, while having the least impact on the health of our beautiful planet that we possibly can.

For you, the reader looking to give veganism a shot, or in the early stages of your vegan journey I recommend a few simple things to help you enjoy this process more. Subscribe to some vegan food based YouTube channels.

There are so many incredible vegan chefs making delicious vegan versions of everything you can imagine and more! Get a notebook. Write down recipes that look good and try them. Keep your favorites.

Make a list of all the foods you love and then look up vegan recipes of them. These days there are even videos of how to make everything under the sun, so don’t let not being experienced in the kitchen stop you.

Learn to make sauces. The perfect sauce can take 2 minutes to make, and can take a dish from good to fire! Write a couple of simple sauce recipes down to try. Keep the ones you like.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. I like to buy something I’ve never had every time I go to the store. It can be a seasoning, fruit, vegetable, anything! Obviously you’ll run out of things to try eventually, but you’ll find new things that you love.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for new and beginning vegans, and maybe even some experienced ones.  If you have, be sure to give it a like, and comment if you benefitted or have any questions for me. I love interacting with you guys so don’t be bashful. Much love always,

me b&w

Adonis

A Simple And Practical Way To Begin Weight Training

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” John Pierpont Morgan

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So, you’ve decided to begin a weight training program, but you’re not sure where to start. There is so much conflicting information out there, it can be a challenge just figuring out what will work best for you. While there are many factors determining your ideal training program, there are a few basics that essentially apply to all beginners right off the bat. Due to all the complex information available about this subject, my chief aim is to make this as straight-forward and simple as possible. With that being said, let’s get right into it.

 

As a beginner in the weight room, the best thing you can do is to keep things very simple. Resist the urge to do fancy exercises and exotic programs simply for this reason, the basics are the most effective things you can do to improve your body composition and your overall health. So, what are the basics? They are compound (multi-joint) movements. Why would you do this? They work more muscles at a time the, then isolation (single-joint) movements.

 

In other words, you’re doing more in less time. This is not only more efficient for building the body, it’s also time efficient. Time efficiency in the gym is super important because when you’re training for too long, aka more than an hour, cortisol aka the stress hormone begins to rise in the body. Cortisol inhibits muscle growth and fat loss, which is a big no no! Also, as a beginner, the body responds to even a small stimulus, and isn’t conditioned to recover from a significant amount of work.

 

It is for these reasons that it makes sense for a beginner to utilize a full body three times a week routine. There should be at least one day of rest between workouts so doing your workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday would be ideal. However, if Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, or any other combination of days work better for you then by all means go for it. The exercises you select for your routine should all be basic compound movements, as I said earlier. Examples of basic, compound movements are: Deadlifts, Squats, Barbell rows, Chin-ups, Leg press, Military Press (esp. When performed while standing) , Clean and Jerks, Snatches, Dips, Etc. You can pick five of these exercises and perform 3 sets of each for eight to ten repetitions. A sample program would look like this:

 

Exercise:                                                   Sets                                                                 Reps

 

Deadlift                                                      3                                                                    10

 

Squat                                                           3                                                                    10

 

Bench Press                                             3                                                                    10

 

Chin-Up                                                      3                                                                    10

 

Military Press                                           3                                                                   10

 

For the chin ups, you can use an assisted chin-up machine if you need to. If your gym doesn’t have one, lat pull-downs would be a great option as well. Rest sixty seconds between each set and control the weight on the eccentric(negative) part of the movement. Repeat three times a week increasing the weight used in each each exercise every week by about five pounds. This will ensure that you are progressing consistently, provided you are eating a balanced diet.

 

That’s all there is to it. Stick with this program for as long as it is effective, which could figuratively be indefinitely, and I promise, you will not only improve your health, but also create phenomenal changes in your body chemistry. Print this article out, write it down, or whatever you have to do, and take it to the gym with you. If you’re unsure of the form on an exercise, look it up on YouTube. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from, or even where you finish, but the distance that you travel. All the best.

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Adonis

 

8 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Be Resistance Training

                        “The groundwork of all happiness is good health.” L. Hunt

Adonis

Nowadays, more people than ever are taking up resistance training and rightfully so. Although in the past it was thought that weight training was harmful to health and decreased speed and mobility. Thankfully, these days we have many scientific studies showing us that just the opposite is true.

Weight training performed in a controlled and safe manner has many benefits for people of all ages, and I will be covering many of them right here in this very article. I’ve compiled them into a list, in no particular order, for your convenience.

Check them out, perhaps it will give you that extra push you need to get into the gym, or perhaps your workouts have grown stale, in which case this may be just the fire you need to get out of a rut. Ok, enough of the chit chat. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

                           8 Benefits of Resistance Training

  1. Anti Aging. If this one doesn’t grab your attention, don’t even bother reading the rest of the list. Training slows down many of the factors that result from the aging process, and let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want to feel good in their body for as long as possible?
  2. It reduces abdominal fat. In 2014, a study published in the research journal obesity, performed by Harvard researchers on 10,500 men over the course of 12 years found that strength training is more effective than cardiovascular training at preventing increases in abdominal fat. In other words, if you want to get leaner, lift weights.
  3. Creates better cardiovascular health. Lifting weights has been shown to decrease visceral fat(abdominal fat), which loves to sit around the organs, including the heart. It also improves blood pressure and facilitates better functioning HDL(good cholesterol). Fun fact. 2015 research published in The Lancet medical journal showed that grip strength (a marker for total-body muscle health) more accurately predicts death from heart disease than blood pressure does.
  4. Controlled blood sugar levels. Strength training improves the muscle’s ability to take in and use glucose, or blood sugar, thereby decreasing blood sugar levels.
  5. It reduces the risk of cancer. Research from the journal Oncogene show that visceral fat cells produce high levels of a cancer-triggering protein called fibroblast growth factor-2, or FGF2. Also, according to research, published in Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology, muscle mass is a strong predictor of cancer treatment outcomes. Muscle wasting is a common complication of cancer treatment and is associated with a higher risk of chemotherapy toxicity, faster tumor progression and lower survival rates.
  6. Improved brain health. Strength training can improve brain power in all people over a lifetime, but the effects are possibly the strongest in older adults who are suffering from cognitive decline. In a study in the Journal of American Geriatrics performed in 2016, when men and women ages 55 through 86 with mild impairment performed weight training twice a week for six months, they improved their scores on cognitive tests significantly. However, when participants spent their workouts stretching, their cognitive test scores declined. The key could be getting the blood flowing, Rebold says, noting that high-intensity strength training increases the flow of blood, oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. In this study, adults lifted 80 percent of their 1RM, or the maximum amount of weight they could lift for one rep. That roughly equates to the amount of weight they could lift for eight reps without breaking form.
  7. Preventing and managing osteoporosis. Strength training greatly increases bone mineral density. Any weight-bearing exercise in which you’re standing with gravity pulling down on your body will lightly stress and strengthen bones and muscles.
  8. Improved brain health.  Strength training can improve your brain power over your lifetime, however, the effects seem to be the strongest in older adults suffering from cognitive decline. In one 2016 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics, when men and women ages 55 through 86 with mild impairment performed weight training twice a week for six months, they significantly improved their scores on cognitive tests. However, when participants performed stretching only workouts, their cognitive test scores declined.

The key may be getting the blood flowing, Rebold says, noting that high-intensity strength training increases the flow of blood, oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. In the study, adults lifted 80 percent of their 1RM, or the maximum amount of weight they could lift for one rep. That roughly equates to the amount of weight they could lift for eight reps without breaking form.

There are a tremendous number of benefits to weight training, these are only a handful, however, I hope some of them are new to you, and perhaps could be the inspiration you need to get in the gym. There’s no need to kill yourself, all you need to experience many of these and more benefits is 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week. In the meantime, I’ll be here, guiding and encouraging you every step of the way. Let’s do this!

Amon 1-14198Adonis

How to Build Bicep Peaks That Will Stop Traffic

Introduction

“I visualized my biceps as mountains. This allowed me to develop my biceps much more than if I had pictured them only as muscles.” Arnold Schwarzeneggar

arnold for fmtm

In bodybuilding, developing every muscle in a symmetrical way is paramount. However, there are a few muscles that are and have always been favored by most. These are considered the show muscles.

They are the muscles that the eyes are first drawn to. Think about it. When you first see a muscular person, where is the first place you look. Nine times out of ten it is at the chest and of course, the biceps. Namely, the bicep peak.

When someone asks us to flex, we automatically know that they are talking about flexing our biceps. A well developed bicep peak takes any physique from great to extraordinary, but many people believe having a great peak is genetic.

This would mean that for those who are not born with a great peak, there is no hope. This is a misconception, and with the right mindset and work ethic, almost anyone can develop a great peak.

I’ve witnessed it first hand on myself, and also on others. You see I didn’t always have a great bicep peak, even once my arms got to 18 and a half inches, my peak still lacked.

It wasn’t until I learned a few key principles that my peaks really began to develop. These principles worked like a charm for me, and they can for you too, but keep in mind that everyone is different and has to find their own ways of training.

Use this only as a guide. My hope is that it will lead you down a path of discovery. Discovering that there is much more to training the biceps than you had previously imagined. Let us get into it.

What Exactly is a Bicep?

Let’s briefly discuss the anatomy of the bicep. The bicep is composed of the bicep brachii, which consists of two heads, the long or outer head, and the short or inner head, and the brachialis, which is an underlying muscle that gives the bicep height and thickness when developed.

The primary function of the biceps is elbow flexion and also supination of the wrist. This is why even though the biceps are trained during virtually all back movements, the optimal movement for training them is and always will be the curl. However, there are dozens of variations of the curl.

Variations of Bicep Curls

The biceps are a relatively small muscle group, and therefore should not be trained with excessive volume. Three sets of three exercises twice a week for a total of eighteen sets a week is plenty.Very advanced lifters can do more at times as long as they are able to recover from it.

A good way to know if your bicep routine is effective is to measure the biceps every six to eight weeks. If they are growing, you’re on the right track, if not, it’s time to reassess your routine and diet.

For every muscle group, a basic compound movement is generally performed first in your routine. In the case of biceps, this movement is the barbell curl.

Although it’s not technically a compound (multi-joint) movement, it allows you to go the heaviest, and train the entire biceps effectively. In general, this is a good movement to start with, but in some cases there are other movements that are ideal for beginning your routine.

One example of this is if you have been training for at least two years and beginning each workout with barbell curls, and your biceps are still a weakness. In this case, for whatever reason, be it technical or structural, your biceps are not being fully stimulated during the barbell curl.

It would be wise then, to start off with a more strict movement to isolate and pre-exhaust the biceps. Some good movements for this are, preacher curls, incline curls, lying cable curls, or even concentration curls.

These movements make it hard to incorporate any muscle besides the biceps. They will give you a great pump, strong contraction, and get your mind in your biceps. This will make it easier to feel barbell curls later.

Keep your reps higher, between 8 and 15 and never going below 6. This is because when you go to heavy when curling other muscles, namely the lower back and front delts tend to take over.

Focus on feeling the biceps, not on lifting the weight. Follow this up with a more basic movement, like barbell or alternating dumbbell curls. You could also do cable curls with a low pulley.

Follow this up with an exercise for peak such as guillotine curls, high pulley cable curls, or dumbbell preacher curls, and you will have a solid routine for growth, so long as you progress over time and eat adequately.

If you start with barbell curls you could do dumbbell hammer curls next, or cable curls with the rope attachment. From there you would finish with a peaking exercise.

Technique

Technique is paramount for maximizing results, and it varies for everyone depending on their unique structure. Figuring out and perfecting the best technique for you takes time, but there are some basic guidelines I’ve found helpful for most.

Here they are. Don’t go too slow. Use a good speed, especially on the positive portion of the reps. Going too slowlywill result in more type 1 muscle fiber recruitment. Type 1 muscle fibers are responsible for a more slim muscular look.

This will result in toned arms but not much of an increase in size in my experience. Utilizing a faster tempo will generally result in more type 2 muscle fibers being stimulated. This will result in a big increase in size over time.

Tips

Now that you have an idea what exercises to perform, and how to set up your routine, let’s discuss a few tips to really maximize your time in the gym.

Tip 1: Keep constant tension on the biceps. Do not rest at the bottom unless you’re doing rest-pause reps at the end of a set. This applies the time under tension principle, which is crucial for bicep growth.

Tip 2: Don’t go too heavy. The biceps are only so strong, and if you pick up more weight than your biceps can handle your lower back and front delts will help.

Tip 3: Relax the wrists and forearms. The forearms assist during all bicep movements, since we are grabbing something. Especially if the biceps are a weak point,aim to fully relax the wrists and forearms and put as much tension as possible on the biceps.

Tip 4: Biceps not responding to regular training? Add techniques to increase your intensity such as, rest-pause, drop-sets, supersets, holding peak contractions, etc. to really wake those guns up.

Tip 5: Train the biceps frequently. Twice a week minimum to keep protein synthesis elevated and growth consistently occurring.

Tip 6: Monitor rest periods. Resting too little or too much will negatively affect gains. Aim for around 60 to 90 seconds depending on how quickly your biceps recover from a given movement.

Tip 7: Squeeze! Every rep squeeze the biceps at the top.

Tip 8: Visualize how you want the biceps to look while you are training them. This may seem esoteric, but I can tell you it works!

Tip 9: Flex your biceps in the mirror often, to build a strong mind muscle connection.

Tip 10: Don’t overtrain the biceps. They don’t need a ton of volume, just to be properly stimulated. If any bicep workout takes longer than 30 minutes then you are resting too long and or not training hard enough.

My biceps are over 18 inches, and my bicep workouts typically only last around 20 minutes. However, this is a hard and focused 20 minutes, and at the end, my biceps are toasted.

Conclusion

There you have it. The biceps are a very simple muscle to train, but to sculpt them to perfection takes a tremendous amount of effort and will. Our minds are truly our strongest muscles and in order to develop the biceps to their full potential we must utilize not only weights, but our mental faculties as well.

There you have it, if you will incorporate just a few of these tips into your biceps training, you are sure to build peaks that would belong on Mount Olympus. Now train hard and eat properly, I’ll be watching you and counting your reps.

me flexin

Adonis

Natural Vegan Bodybuilding 101

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson

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I remember years ago when I decided to go plant-based, but I didn’t believe it was possible to live a bodybuilding lifestyle on such a diet.

So, I set out to prove to myself that it could be done. There wasn’t much info out there specifically addressed to plant-based bodybuilders, so I had to do a lot of experimenting.

It took some time, but eventually, I figured out a recipe for success which has worked for myself and several other bodybuilders I know.

It was a challenge for sure. You have to remember, bodybuilding as we know is very young, less than a century old.

Vegan bodybuilding has been around for even less time, so as you can imagine there isn’t a whole lot of info on the subject. That is why I’ve taken the liberty to put together this article.

It contains virtually everything you need to know to get started as a vegan bodybuilder. If you will apply these simple techniques I promise you will avoid many of the pitfalls I have experienced and progress like never before. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Nutrition

Nutrition is crucial to the success of any bodybuilding program. Train as hard as you like, but without proper nutrition you’ll plateau very quickly.

As a natural vegan bodybuilder our approach is a little different, though not drastically from the typical bodybuilder not only in that we do not consume animal products, but also our primary focus is on maximizing our intake of micro-nutrients.

Micro-nutrients are things such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This is because every cell of our body depends upon these micro-nutrients to function optimally.

A good rule of thumb is to eat the rainbow daily. Meaning eat fruits and veggies that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

This is much easier than it sounds and can be done in one salad. It ensures you are getting a wide variety of micro-nutrients daily and prevents deficiencies.

Remember, health is our primary concern because a healthy body recovers quickly and the more quickly we recover, the faster we can put on muscle.

Typically when bodybuilders bulk they put on excessive weight because they believe it’s necessary, but this could not be further from the truth.

Many bodybuilders have built muscle while in a caloric deficit, and while this is not easy and I don’t recommend it, I only mention it to illustrate that one does not need excessive calories to gain weight.

With that being said getting adequate protein is still important, but we don’t need an excessive amount. .7 to 1 gram per lb of body-weight is still about as high as one needs to go, the only exception being if you’re pre-contest and eating a very low amount of calories.

In this case you may want to go up to 1.5 grams per lb of body-weight to protect muscle tissue but it is not necessary. Remember that if we take in more protein than we need the liver has to convert it into glucose, whereas if we just upped our carbs a bit, they are more readily converted to glucose.

This is easier on the body. This protein should come from a variety of sources such as legumes, lentils, tempeh, edamame, fermented protein powder (easier to digest), and quinoa to name a few.

When cooking lentils or legumes, be sure to soak them for at least a few hours. This will keep you from bloating and becoming gassy.

This is majorly important. It’s not how much you eat, but how much you can digest, that determines your optimal performance and recovery. When you are bloated and gassy, it will show on your physique, and in your performance.

It is a symptom that you are not digesting your food efficiently. Circumvent this by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut (my personal favorite), kimchi, vegan kefirs, etc.

Also when you are eating 5 to 6 meals a day, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar right before meals does wonders. Lastly, bitter greens such as arugula and chard aid in digestion.

Make these digestive aids staples in your diet, particularly if you are often gassy or bloated. Even if you are not though, everyone can benefit from these natural digestive aids that will build gut flora and keep the stomach acid strong.

Carbs when you’re vegan aren’t much different than when you’re omnivorous so I won’t go into specifics there. Keep in mind though that many plant based proteins contain carbs.

Fats aren’t either, just stick to basic whole plant based sources here. For meals, Combine a protein with a carb source and maybe add a little fat. Towards the end of the day meals should be lower in calories.

This will ensure that we always stay relatively lean. Staying lean is important for bodybuilders because it allows us to see the muscles more clearly. This makes bringing up weak points possible and much easier.

Now it’s time to incorporate all of this into your daily life. Multiply your body-weight by 13 to 15 depending on if you’re an inactive or active man and 10 to 12 depending on if you’re an inactive or active woman.

That’s roughly how many calories you need daily to maintain your current body weight. In order to get leaner consume about 500 less calories than what is required for maintenance.

In order to build muscle increase calories by several hundred. Take pictures and keep an eye on the mirror and scale once a week to get an idea of how you’re responding.

If you’re making sufficient progress keep it up, if not, make small adjustments. Never do anything drastic because once you do, the body will adapt and you won’t be able to make much more progress from there.

Small changes are most effective over time, even though they require some patience.

Supplements

Supplements are not mandatory but are very beneficial for any hard training bodybuilder looking to progress. With health being our primary concern, we always want to opt for supplements from whole food sources.

That being said, my personal favorite supplement is an Irish moss, bladderwrack, and burdock mixture. These three plants combined contain all 108 minerals the human body needs to function optimally.

Minerals are some of the most important things we can consume and almost everyone is deficient in some areas so this is a God send.

It’s a one stop shop for all the minerals we need on a daily basis and therefore I highly recommend it. Next on my list of supplements would be a quality plant based protein powder.

Go for a fermented form of protein here, or at the least, one with probiotics. This will ensure they digest properly and don’t give you gas.

This is important because gas means bloating and bloating destroys the beauty of a physique. It expands the waist and blurs definition.

I myself take in slightly more than a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily, however, the recommended minimum amount of protein for bodybuilding is about .7 grams per pound of bodyweight.

I take in more because I train very frequently and my workouts are intense. I also find that I build more muscle with more protein.

There is a limit however, and I don’t believe it’s ever necessary to go beyond 1.5 grams per pound in a day. Next on the list is a high quality amino acid supplement.

This can consist of all essential aminos, or just bcaa’s. It can be in powder or tablet form. The only thing that matters is that it is high quality and therefore readily absorbed and used by the body.

These supplements are, as I see it, staples for a plant based bodybuilder. They are not required, but when training intensely, and trying to recover and build muscle optimally they are greatly beneficial.

There are other great supplements, such as glutamine, beet root powder, creatine, etc. but I don’t believe they are essential. The only prerequisite is that any supplements we use should come from natural sources.

This is why I don’t take creatine, as it is synthesized. I recommend starting with the basic supplements once your eating and training properly for a few months.

The only exception is the Irish moss mixture, which is beneficial to everyone, regardless of whether or not you train.

From there, you can try others if you feel inclined to do so. See how different things work for you, but make sure that before you do, your training and diet are solid and consistent.

This will ensure progress as supplements as their name indicates, are only meant to supplement everything else you’re doing.

 

Stretching

Stretching is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked aspects of bodybuilding. It is critical for maintaining mobility and staying injury free.

It also helps with being able to perform certain exercises properly over a lifetime, and may even improve the look of the physique by improving postural problems and so on.

For these reasons, I recommend a daily stretching routine that incorporates a stretch for every muscle and also stretching the spine. Each stretch should be held for a minimum of 30-60 seconds.

Yoga is a great way to stretch also, and a good yoga routine will usually incorporate stretching the entire body. Ultimately though, it depends on what you enjoy.

You can stretch the entire body in as little as 5-10 minutes a day just as a way to stay healthy and functional, or if you prefer, you can opt for a more extensive program.

You may even switch back and forth. Whichever stretching routine you decide on, make sure to set a time, such as first thing in the morning, or before bed, so that you build stretching into a habit over time.

 

In Conclusion

Of course, there is also training, which I discuss in detail in my article entitled “Advanced Bodybuilding Techniques for Taking Your Physique to The Next Level” right here: https://frommeatheadtomeatless.com/2018/12/31/my-best-tips-and-tricks-for-building-muscle-on-a-plant-based-diet/

Check it out if you want to take your training to the next level and break through any plateaus, or even if you’re just getting started and want to get the most out of your training.

That’s it! Class dismissed, now I hope you’ll apply these lessons in your quest for taking your health and physique to the next level. Catch you next time.

Adonis

The Beauty of Bodybuilding

“Bodybuilding is creating a living masterpiece.” Anonymous

What is the first thing to come to mind when you hear the word bodybuilding? Is it huge, sweaty, and vain men toiling away in gyms? Or perhaps it’s the Mr. Olympia contest.

One thing is for sure. Few things are as misunderstood as bodybuilding. So just what is bodybuilding? Some would say it’s building big muscles. Some would say it’s stepping on stage and competing in a bodybuilding contest.

Some would say it’s building the most aesthetically perfect body possible. Some would say it’s meal prep, hours at the gym, the list goes on. All of those answers are correct to some degree, but there is much more to bodybuilding than just those things and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about.

Bodybuilding is the reconstruction of cells and tissue through specific exercise and nutrition, however there is much more to it than that. Bodybuilding is creating a living sculpture, a masterpiece that is never complete.

This notion is welcome because once you truly fall in love with bodybuilding you never want to be finished. It goes beyond that though. Bodybuilding is knowledge, skill, will power, effort, and discipline.

It is literally putting yourself up against resistance and then using that resistance to make yourself stronger. Done right, bodybuilding builds a strong character. One of confidence, of integrity, and of excellence. Bodybuilding is life!

What does this mean? In life when we want to do a thing we often come up against resistance. We persist for a time but often, after a while, we give up. This is due to many reasons, we lack confidence, discipline, focus, will power, and most importantly grit.

It is grit, the ability to stay the course when facing challenging obstacles, that is the strongest determining factor of not only success, but inner peace, happiness.

You may have heard that happiness is a choice, and to choose happiness every day despite circumstances that would typically leave you feeling the opposite, takes tremendous inner strength.

Bodybuilding builds that inner strength. It strengthens one mentally as well as physically. The idea of bodybuilding as a sport is laughable. Bodybuilding is an art.

There is an aspect to training that is almost spiritual. You get into the flow state, transcending pain. Time seems to stand still, and it’s just you and the weights. You feel your body so deeply.

You can hear it talking to you, telling you how to best perform a movement to bring out a specific area of the body. It tells you when to keep going, and when it is done.

This dialogue between the mind and body grows over time, and is present even when you’re outside the gym. There is an aspect of bodybuilding that is a competitive sport, but that is not what it’s about.

In a sport the results are cut and dry. If I score more points than you I win. Judging bodybuilders is like judging paintings. Sure you would have your own personal favorite, but it is all subjective.

A great bodybuilder builds his or her body to his or her own ideal. This is then shown in an artistic way. It inspires and motivates onlookers, which is one of the most amazing benefits of bodybuilding.

However, to say one persons ideal is better than another, is where the art can get lost. This is why bodybuilding is in the state it is in today, with the top competitors looking grotesque and unhealthy.

Drug abuse is accepted, as the idea is to build a body that will win, rather than to sculpt a masterpiece. An artistically developed physique inspires awe not from sheer size, but because it is reminiscent of the divine.

When displayed artistically, a physique such as this opens the heart, pierces the depths of the soul, and can bring a tear to one’s eye. Building a physique such as this requires every fiber of ones being.

Love, total dedication, and passion bordering on obsession are all mandatory. The ideal physique that you wish to create must become your sole focus. No drugs, no synthetic hormones or supplements should be used as artificial products being put into the body tend to result in an artificial looking body.

The hallmark of a great bodybuilder is his physique. You can see his or her character, strength, and personality through his or her physique. The problem though, is that many people that call themselves bodybuilders are using performance enhancing drugs.

These drugs work tremendously, but create an unnatural look to the body. This takes away from the natural beauty of the physique. Drug use is so rampant currently that people have been brainwashed into thinking that a chemically altered physique is a natural one.

Also, the lay person can’t tell the difference between a natural physique and a chemically altered one and often speculates that anyone with a well developed body is using drugs. This is a consequence of such widespread use of drugs.

These drugs offer a shortcut to developing a physique and so, are very tempting to the youth. However, as with any shortcut, they come with many unwanted side effects ranging from physical, to mental, and emotional.

Performance enhancing drugs or PED’s shortchange the mental development that comes with fully developing the physique. It takes patience, tremendous inner strength, discipline, focus, consistency, imagination, and a strong connection between the mind and body.

This connection is what allows one to develop the physique, including weak points to their will, and is only strengthened by years upon years of proper training. To master displaying that physique takes years of posing practice as well.

Why would anyone put in so much effort? There’s really only one reason to take up a bodybuilding lifestyle, and it’s love. Train only because you love it. There are many other ways of getting and staying fit, and bodybuilding goes far beyond that.

You may enjoy a bodybuilding workout only one or two days a week, or on a daily basis. Regardless though, to whatever extent you incorporate it you will experience the benefits attained by your own will power, and that my friend, is what it’s all about.

Adonis

A Wake Up Call

“Determination is the wake up call to the human will.”  Anthony Robbins

 

 

Hey you. I see YOU. I know you’ve been hurt. I know you weren’t given all the love you deserve. I know you’ve been told it’s too late, or it’s impossible, or that you’re not talented, pretty, smart, strong, or lucky enough. I know it wasn’t your fault.

You were but a victim of circumstance, forced to bear the weight of an imperfect world. You didn’t ask them to put their fearful ideas into you. I get it. You’ve been let down by everyone around you.

Everyone that’s gotten close to you has hurt you in some way, and it’s got you afraid to love, to live, to express yourself, to give the world all that you have to give, but I have news for you.

If you take all those gifts that you have inside with you to the grave, no one will ever know about them. The world will go on yes, but without the unique piece you were supposed to add to the puzzle nothing will change.

Your children will grow up like you did, inheriting fear, low self-esteem, and unworthiness. So how many more dreams have to go to the grave unfulfilled? How many more days will you coast through? How many times will you shove that small voice inside you down?

That voice that’s telling you to get up, get out, to change your path. Your body’s growing older by the day, and time can never be replaced, so what’s it gonna take for you to realize that truthfully there’s NO such thing as playing it safe?

You’re not helping the world by playing small, please understand that we are counting on you to shine bright. We were all born with a purpose, and it’s ALL of our time! Squandering your gifts is a curse, and it’s time to break the chains of self-doubt, pity, and apathy.

You’ve been misinformed. Conditioned to believe that you’re just another person, insignificant and unworthy of greatness. You are a child of the most high, with a body literally made of stardust and that’s fact!

You have the highest gift of any being on earth, intellect and imagination. They are meant to be used to their fullest capacity. Make a vow to yourself RIGHT NOW to never be hushed or pushed aside, to never dull your shine again even if it makes people uncomfortable.

Beloved, you were meant to thrive, not struggle to survive. Breathe deep and feel alive. Relax and let go. I love you and I am with you always.

me b&w

Adonis

From Meathead to Meatless: Your guide to being fit, lean, shredded, jacked, muscular, healthy, or anything in between, and saving the world in the process!

Before we get into the specifics of achieving your health and fitness goals, I think it’s important we address a few issues plaguing the human race. This way we can better understand the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices, which I always like to say can not only make us look and feel damn good, It can quite literally save the world.

With disease rates on the rise, and rising health care costs, along with scientific studies showing the connection between unhealthy diet and lifestyle and disease, many people are looking for a healthier way of eating. The leading causes of death in many countries, including the USA, are diseases such as, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and osteoporosis.

The risks for all of these diseases can be significantly decreased by adopting a plant based diet. In other words, millions of lives can be saved by simply changing the way we eat. Now you may think I’m being dramatic, but let’s look at some numbers. As they say, numbers don’t lie. In 2001, chronic diseases accounted for approximately 60 percent of deaths worldwide.

Almost half of these deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease. In the 2011 HBO documentary The Weight of The Nation, it was noted that if you go with the flow in the USA, you will eventually become obese. According to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention, The rate of obesity in adults age 20 and over was 37.9 percent in 2014.

If you add in the percentage of adults of the same age group who are overweight but not obese, that number goes up to 70.7 percent. This number is rising by as much as five percent a year in some areas. Much of this is due to an increasingly high fat diet, and a sedentary lifestyle.  Now with obesity rates going through the roof, many people are looking for healthier ways of eating.

As is being understood more and more, a plant based diet is incredibly beneficial to one’s health, and with this knowledge becoming more widespread, it’s becoming increasingly easy to adopt. For instance, pretty much every grocery store now offers plant based options to beef, chicken, fish, and pork.

It’s all relatively simple to make, and cooks more quickly than it’s meat counter parts due to it not being as dense and not being a breeding ground for bacteria the way dead flesh is. There are many reputable doctors recommending a plant based diet such as, Dr. Neal Bernard, Dr. Michael Greger, and Dr. John McDougall just to name a few.

If you want to learn from someone much more knowledgeable than I am, check out their research. Oh, and let’s not forget the environmental benefits. Check the studies done by Professor of Ecology G. David Tilman and Michael Clark. They highlight how eating meat contributes to the rise in greenhouse gases which is expected to go up 80 percent by 2050.

The study also shows that as cities grow and incomes rise around the world, more and more people are leaving gardens and traditional diets behind in favor of refined sugars, refined fats, oil and resource and land intense agricultural products like beef.

This is unhealthy for people and the planet. Something clearly has to be done, on a personal level, to improve our health and the health of our planet. With that, being said, though this is about being fit and or having a great body on a plant based diet, the most important thing should always be our health.

Through the years, I’ve seen many people with great bodies that just aren’t healthy. In fact, I was one of those people. When I was at my biggest, weighing over 250 pounds, was when I felt the worst.

My aim with this guide is to show you that  you can look great, and achieve your health and fitness, or athletic goals, no matter what they are, while putting your health first and following a whole food plant based diet. Whether you’re male or female, 15 or 100 years old, an athlete or a businessman/woman, a plant based diet can improve your health, and help you reach your goals.

I’m aware that there are a lot people out there who think one can’t build as much muscle or strength on the vegan diet, but that’s just not true. This will be your Bible for achieving and or maintaining your goals. Plus you’ll save some animals and other shit like that along the way.

First, let’s get a few things out in the open. Being vegan, or plant based, or whatever term you prefer you picky bastards, will not automatically make you healthy. It will not automatically make you lose weight. It will not automatically make you a good person.

Most importantly though, it will not make you superior to anyone else. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let me share with you how I came to be not only a bodybuilder, but a bodybuilder who puts health before vanity. If you know any bodybuilders personally you’ll know how rare that is. In order to make sense of it all, I have to take you way back.

All the way to the moment I was born. It all started on August 5th, 1986 I was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and after almost dying from jaundice, and getting a blood transfusion, I managed to pull through. I’ve always been a fighter.

Let’s skip forward a few years to when I began eating solid foods. I ate a pretty typical American diet, but lots of good ole Cajun food as well. If you’re not familiar with Cajun food what the hell are you doing with your life? No but seriously, it’s so good it’s ridiculous.

I’m talking gumbo, crawfish boils, etoufee, boudin, blackened catfish, po boys, and jambalaya just to name a few.  Now just to give you an idea, some of those dishes have four different kinds of meat!  So as you can see I was quite the carnivore.

When I was eleven, my mom went to the doctor to have a purple vein on her eyeball checked out. It turns out it was malignant melanoma. Now if you have no idea what that means, basically it’s a very aggressive form of cancer.

The doctor’s told her they’d have to remove her eye and replace it with a glass one or else she’d be dead within a few months. She wasn’t sure what to do, then one day she met a guy we’ll call Mr. Brown. He claimed to be a Christian and somehow convinced her that God had said if she married him, she’d be healed.

Now before you judge my mother and call her gullible, just remember that when you’ve been given a death sentence, it changes you, and you’ll likely do anything just for the chance of survival. I mean hell, marrying a guy you don’t love beats having a glass eye any day.

Now obviously this guy was full of shit, and my mother was not majestically healed. So anyway, over the next few years, my younger brother, older sister, and I, watched our mother get more and more sick. The tumor grew bigger and bigger, until you couldn’t see her eye anymore, just a massive black mass.

The cancer spread, all over her body, to her liver, stomach, lungs, and brain. She became dissociated from reality. She verbally abused me quite a bit, you see, when cancer spreads to your brain, it can affect your personality. Not to mention being in constant, and chronic pain for years.

My family didn’t offer much help, so it was just my mom, my older sis, my little bro, and I. When my mother got too ill to perform the daily tasks necessary to care for us, my older sister filled that void as best as she could, considering she was still a child at the time.

During this time, I remember walking by my mother’s room, and seeing her holding a wad of tissue under her eye, as it spewed black blood. She’d be crying, and I’d freeze for a few seconds, then I’d walk away. I didn’t know what to do or say. When I was 16, my mother finally passed on at the age of 40.

Witnessing my mother deteriorate for years, suffering immeasurably, planted seeds that would eventually blossom into me being very health conscious. I had begun working out for football at the age of 15 and instantly fell in love with it.  My workouts became the one thing I had total control over and that’s what hooked me.

No matter what happened in life, I could go in the gym and do the workout that I put together and change my body at will. After my mom passed on, I began to get more serious about bodybuilding, setting goals, and achieving them. Learning how to eat to build muscle, and training harder than I ever had. That year I put on 25 pounds of muscle in a summer.

Ah, newbie gains. They come so quickly. By the time I was 17 I had gone from 175 pounds to 216 pounds in two years. I was getting pretty big and decided I wanted to be a pro bodybuilder. So I began learning everything I possibly could about bodybuilding.

I spent hundreds of hours reading muscle magazines, on bodybuilding forums which in hindsight is home to probably some of the most ignorant people I’ve ever come into contact with, but nonetheless I gained a ton of knowledge.

I started eating about three times as much as I had been (I have a very high metabolism) and started using supplements. As a result, over the course of the next year I put on ten more pounds, which put me at 18 years old and 6’4” weighing a shredded 226 pounds.

As you can probably imagine, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I figured I should pay it forward and pass on my knowledge, so I did what any young buff know it all would do, I became a certified personal trainer baby!

Not that I didn’t intend to help people, because I totally did. It’s just that I wasn’t really concerned with health at all, my only concern was making gains! Though we didn’t call it that back then. It amazes me how much the term “gains” has blown up in the past few years, but I’ve digressed.

So back to my clients. I helped them to lose fat and build muscle, even correct muscle imbalances.  I thought I was doing a great job, but after a while, I began to feel like a robot, standing there purely for accountability purposes.

I knew I wanted to help my clients in a deeper way, but I had not the slightest clue about how to do so.  Now let’s skip to a few years later. On January 1, 2010 I had what I can only describe as a spiritual awakening. As cliché as that sounds, it’s the only way I can describe it.

I could go into it now, but for the sake of this book not being as big as an encyclopedia, I’ll save the details for another time. Now you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with my diet, which is a legit concern, and here’s where it all starts to connect.

I began learning as much as I could about spirituality. I hardly slept for months, no drugs were involved fyi. I took up meditation, prayer, a gratitude practice, and with the increased awareness I experienced, deep rooted issues began to surface. I’m talking issues dating all the way back to my childhood.

It seemed like every day I was crying, and I had no idea why. But it felt great. I felt rejuvenated mentally and emotionally. Now that may seem like no big deal to some but keep in mind I hadn’t cried since my childhood.

I later realized I was releasing deeply rooted pain. I began to feel lighter in mind, body, and soul. As a byproduct I began to feel a warm love for myself that I hadn’t felt since I was very young. A peace in my heart and mind.

Then, the damnedest thing happened. There was a bug in my apartment, and I couldn’t kill it. It was as much alive to me as a person. It was like I could feel this little bug’s soul. Some of you reading this know what I’m talking about, while others have no clue.

I feel you both, as I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Anyway, let’s get back to the story. I didn’t know what was happening, but it continued. I suddenly found myself unable to harm any living being. Meanwhile I gave up red meat.

I hadn’t eaten pork in years after learning about what pigs eat I was repulsed. I had never heard of veganism or plant based eating before, but I was familiar with vegetarianism, though it never interested me.

My first time hearing about veganism was through some youtubers such as, FullyrawKristina, and Freelee. My initial thoughts on veganism were that it looked great, and the girls following a vegan diet looked to be glowing and very fit.

They were eating all this beautiful fruit and other healthy but delicious looking stuff, and I just had this deep feeling of “that’s how I’m supposed to eat”. I knew in my gut that I’d go vegan eventually, but having a bodybuilder’s mind set meant that protein was “God” for me.

You see, all the male vegans I was seeing were very slim, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it didn’t coincide with my goals as a bodybuilder. And so I was faced with a dilemma.

I didn’t want to give up meat and lose the muscles that I loved and worked for so long to sculpt, but I wanted to take up this new plant based diet. So I did what any logical bodybuilder would do in that situation, I found a happy median.

I began eating more fruits and veggies, which was a vast increase from my former diet which consisted of basically no fruits or veggies. Not because I didn’t like them, but I had learned through years of trial and error, what to eat specifically for muscle growth and minimal body fat.

Fruits and veggies weren’t necessary for that (in my meathead mind). So I began to eat a serving or two of fruits and veggies a day.  I was never one of those people who hate fruits and veggies so I enjoyed the new additions to my diet.

After a few months of eating this way, and doing a bit more research on vegan eating, I felt like it was time for me to give veganism a try. There was only one problem. Where the fuck was I going to get my protein from?

I really, and I mean really didn’t want to lose my gains. I told myself I’d go vegan down the road, when I could figure out how to keep my gains. I continued this way for years, but every so often I’d be eating meat, and just get grossed out at the idea of ingesting a dead body.

I’m a strong willed guy, so I’d push those feelings back down and continue eating the way I was. One day years later, I looked up vegan bodybuilders on the web, and found 1 or 2 that were decent sized, but still pretty small by my standards.

What changed my opinion was when I found a couple of jacked vegan bodybuilders, such as Nimai Delgado who’s an IFBB pro men’s physique competitor, pic below.

Nimai-Delgado

 

Torre Washington who’s won several amateur competitions, pic below.

torre washington vegan

and Samantha Shorkey, who’s a pro bikini competitor. Pic below.

samantha shorkey

They all looked great, and were even winning competitions. After I had seen them, I knew I could build muscle as a vegan, and that sold me. Plus I watched earthlings.

That was a game changer for me. So there was no turning back now, I threw away my meat, and went to the store to buy, for lack of a better term, vegan shit. I had a list, and stocked up.

I noticed that felt this warm feeling in my heart. You know that feeling when you’re doing something good for the world, or someone? It was a great feeling. Where it gets interesting is that I was determined to figure out a way to keep my muscle mass, and was in completely uncharted territory.

This started my journey of learning to effectively build the maximum amount of muscle while gaining the least possible body fat, and learning to lose body fat while losing the minimal amount of muscle, all while vegan.

I began experimenting with a lower protein, higher carb diet, a higher fat diet, high protein, mostly fruit, etc. You name it, I tried it, as long as it was vegan.

I had every bit of faith that the same amount of muscle that can be built on a meat rich diet could be built on a vegan diet. So I started tried it all, and after some trial and error, I discovered an effective way to build muscle as a vegan.

You can be fit, or even jacked. Now when you consider the fact that I’d already been lifting weights for well over ten years, it becomes even more impressive, as it’s much harder to build muscle when you’ve been training for so long.

That pretty much brings us to today, I’m on a mission to let the world know that you can be strong, fit, jacked, shredded, or any combination of the above as a vegan.

In the following chapters, I’ll show you how to be a successful plant based athlete, whether your goals include getting stronger, building muscle, losing body fat while maintaining muscle, or just being a more fit, vibrant you.

The adjustment period can be challenging at times, but given some time, you’ll be crushing your fitness goals, healthier than ever, and benefitting the planet simultaneously. Sounds like a win-win right? Well let’s get started.

Now, I’d like to touch on why most people lose their gains on a plant based diet, and how to stop that shit dead in it’s tracks.  Many people want to switch to a plant based diet, but don’t because they feel that it’s too hard.

Or believe that it’s more challenging to get enough calories. Or even that they’ll lose their hard earned gains.  Well the good news for you is that that’s all horse shit, or bull shit if you prefer. I’ll also show you why.

First of all, the hardest part of switching to a plant based diet is the beginning, much like any lifestyle change. This is because of the steep learning curve. Fear not however, because it doesn’t last long.

Within a few weeks, you’ll have made enough plant based meals to have a feel for it, and probably even create some of your own.  I remember when I started eating plant based, I knew how to make about four different plant based meals.

This was fine at first, but after a few weeks I was like if I ever eat tofu, falafel, or lentils again it’ll be too damn soon. Now I have a bodybuilders mind set when it comes to eating, meaning that I eat to fuel the body, not satisfy the taste buds, but the truth is, you don’t have to choose one or the other.

It takes some time and effort, but it is most definitely possible.  I believe that it’s much easier to sustain any lifestyle changes, if you can make them enjoyable.

Ok, let’s move on to some good plant based protein sources. But first a quick note about the typical plant based diet. It quite low in protein, especially for anyone looking to build muscle.

It’s because of this, that a lot of people associate vegans with being skinny, but the truth is, you can get just as much protein on a plant based diet, as on a meat based one. However, for most people looking to build muscle, lose fat, or maintain muscle that’s been built through weight training or athletics, the typical vegan diet just isn’t optimal.

It’s typically high in carbs, low in fat, and low to moderate in protein. Now some people will tell you that proteins overrated, and that you don’t need as much as you think you do to build muscle.

For anyone looking to build a good amount of muscle though, that is also, complete horse shit. If you want to be skinny with abs that may work for you, but if you really want to put on some mass, you’re going to need a solid gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

That’s on the more conservative side, and you can get closer to one and a half grams per pound of bodyweight. Here’s what I want you to do. Take your daily protein requirement and divide it by six.

That number is how much protein you need in each meal assuming you eat six times a day. For me that means getting around 40 grams of protein per meal as I usually weigh in the neighborhood of 230 pounds.

Now for most people, six meals is a lot. This is where a plant based protein powder comes in. There are countless options here. A few examples are hemp, pea, and rice protein.

They’re all good for getting your protein intake a bit higher and are super convenient, but they’re not necessary and if you prefer to get all your protein from whole foods, then by all means, do it.

I just love the convenience and not having to chew my food so often. I personally have two protein shakes a day, with a plant based milk and some fruit added in, and possibly peanut butter.

Now some people prefer to eat only whole foods, and while I respect that, it’s not always convenient. Now let’s move on to the plant based sources of protein you Greek Gods and Goddesses will be consuming on a regular basis. Some whole food examples are beans, nuts, seeds, quinoa, and greens, tempeh, tofu, and seitan.

Also, if you enjoy them, meat substitutes are delicious and an excellent source of protein. You can use them just like meat. I personally love the beyond meat products, but there are many great mock meats out there.

Just a few examples include vegan beef, vegan grilled chicken, vegan fried chicken, vegan pork, vegan sausages, vegan hot dogs, vegan turkey, vegan lunch meat, and many, many more. New ones are being created every day.

So as you can see there are vegan many options for replacing your meat and still getting all the protein you need. Most of them are quickly and simply made as well, and have cooking instructions on the package. I suggest trying them all out, and seeing which ones you prefer.

The next reason most people lose their gains on a plant based diet is because they simply don’t get enough calories. If you want to make gains you have to eat a sufficient amount of calories.  A lot of plant based foods are not as calorically dense as non plant based options, but not to worry.

There are many options here. If you find it difficult to eat a sufficient amount of food to build muscle and are getting adequate protein, then you may consider adding some calorically dense plant based foods into your life. Foods such as nuts, nut butters, avocadoes, oils such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and grapeseed oil, and of course, plant based junk food.

Examples are: Ice Cream made with plant milks, dark chocolate, and vegan cookies just to name a very few. All of the above are great options to add once a day or a few times a week for putting on muscle if you have a high metabolism.

If you have an average metabolism I wouldn’t indulge in high calorie foods more than two or three times a week, and if you have a slow metabolism I wouldn’t recommend it more than once a week. Keep in mind those are just guidelines.

Everyone’s body is different, and everyone has different goals. Try different things until you find something that works for you. One person reading this may want to be eight percent body fat, while another may want to be twelve percent.

One person may want to build muscle and another may want to lose body fat. If you’re naturally lean, or not trying to lose body fat you’ll eat differently from someone with a slow metabolism who’s looking to shed body fat. I should mention that if you have heart disease, you should avoid fatty foods such as oils.

Now on to carbohydrate sources for plant based eaters. To simplify things, let’s group carbs into two categories. Carbs with a high glycemic index, also known as simple carbs, and carbs with a low glycemic index, also known as complex carbs.

The main thing to know for all of us looking to create a certain ideal body is that simple carbs spike the insulin. Where as complex carbs have much less effect on insulin levels. When we eat something that spikes our insulin levels, it signals our bodies to store fat.

However, insulin is one of the most anabolic or muscle building hormones in the body.  In order to take advantage of this anabolic effect we need to consume simple carbs post workout along with a protein, preferably an easily digestible one.

This is because when we workout, we deplete our muscle glycogen stores. After a workout, the body is looking to replenish these energy stores, and by purposely spiking your insulin levels, the body will send virtually all of the nutrients you consume straight to your muscles.

If you are serious about making progress, you should always take advantage of this window of opportunity. The rest of the day, you’ll want any carbs you consume to be complex.

Which reminds me, here are a few examples of simple and complex carbs. Simple Carbs: white potatoes, white rice, white bread, pasta, and most sweets as long as they are low in fat as too much fat will slow down their absorption.  Complex Carbs: Yams, Japanese Sweet Potato (My Favorite), Brown or any whole grain rice, quinoa, whole grain bread (I recommend sprouted bread as it’s healthier), and oatmeal to name a few.

An ideal meal for someone looking to build muscle while getting or staying lean would be to pair a complex carb with a plant based protein during the day and pair vegetables with a plant based protein at night.

For those who are naturally lean you would want to add some fat to those night time meals and if you have an insanely high metabolism perhaps a bit of good fats during the day as well. As you can see you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be in great shape as a vegan.

Whether you want to be jacked, lean, or just generally fit, it won’t be any more difficult achieving your goals on a plant based diet than on an omnivorous one.  Also, I think it is very important to get the largest variety of plant based whole foods that you possibly can.

This will ensure that you’re getting a wide variety of micronutrients on a regular basis. Lastly, I’d like to reiterate that for all you guys and gals that are trying to build muscle, you have to get plenty of calories.

This is especially true if you have a high metabolism and I speak from personal experience here. You don’t have to worry about getting fat, assuming you are training hard, and eating healthy about three quarters of the time.

If you have a high metabolism though you couldn’t get fat even if you tried. Again, I’m speaking from personal experience.

Now let’s discuss supplements, which are slightly different for plant based athletes. Studies have shown that most people are deficient in B-12 and for this reason I recommend everyone supplement it daily.

Also, in some cases, iron levels can drop below the normal range. The best thing to do is to have your levels checked every so often to find out if you have any deficiencies.

A high quality multi vitamin formulated for vegans can also be a great option, particularly if you’re unable to get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Now let us talk about protein. Chances are, if you work out, you’ve taken some form of protein at some point. The most common form of protein is whey protein.

Whey protein is very effective for building lean muscle due to its quick absorption and high amino acid content. However, it is a byproduct of the cheese making process and is therefore not plant based.

As plant based eaters, we have quite a few different options if we choose to take a protein powder. Protein powders such as, hemp, brown rice, pea, and soy protein provide fairly effective alternatives to whey protein.

However, one should note that these proteins are not as high in amino acid content as whey protein, and therefore, more must be consumed to get the same effect. Other than multi-vitamins, B-12 and protein, supplements are basically the same whether you are plant based or not and it’s up to you to decide which, if any, to take or not take.

There are many people who still believe following a plant based diet leads to weakness and deficiencies, and that is why as plant based eaters, we should strive to learn as much as possible about our diets so that we can be healthy and never deficient in any micronutrients.

This way we can be healthy, shining examples of the plant based diet and lifestyle. This will create a ripple effect and is already doing so. Former meatheads like myself can attest to this.

This leads us to working out. Now for the average person who just wants to be healthy and slightly toned you probably aren’t counting macronutrients, and just want to feel healthy so that you can handle whatever daily tasks you may be need to perform.

However, for the fitness enthusiasts out there, cross fitters, weightlifters, bodybuilders, athletes of any kind, and people that just love training hard, you may be under the assumption that you can’t train as hard, or be as big, on a plant based diet.

Let me tell you flat out. You absolutely can achieve any and all fitness goals on a plant based diet that you can on an omnivorous diet. There is a learning curve, but it is absolutely possible, and if you’re willing to make some changes, this is a win-win for you and the entire planet.

P.S. I’m in pretty good shape myself. You know, for a vegan:) That’s me below.

me flexin

How To Build Muscle On A Vegan Diet Fast!

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It.”

Peter Ducker

We’ve all seen it. The stereotypical scrawny vegan that certainly may be healthy, but is far from inspiring at a glance. Let’s face it. Humans are visual beings. Appearance is important to us, though many of us haven’t made peace with that fact. With that being said, building muscle isn’t merely a vain pursuit, it benefits one’s health in a myriad of ways. Namely, anti-aging. Resistance(weight) training is probably the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. While building muscle can certainly be challenging, it absolutely does not have to be complicated. The differences between building muscle for someone on a more typical diet and someone on a vegan diet aren’t drastic, but they do exist. In this article, I’ll show you how to build muscle on a vegan diet in as simple a manner as possible.

I remember when I first went vegan 5 years ago. Within a year I went from this:

To this:

I didn’t want to have to show you that, but it’s for your own good. Just kidding. Seriously though, keep in mind that I’ve been working out for 19 years and that didn’t change between the two photos. In all fairness, some people would say that I look great in both pictures, and they’re certainly entitled to their opinions. However, for me, I was light years away from the standards that I have held myself to for over a decade. The only thing that changed was my diet. I had no idea what I was doing. I was bloated, holding more body fat than I wanted to, and my performance was suffering massively. I’ve seen this happen to far too many people. They go vegan and become bloated, or lose muscle. Don’t get me wrong, I love being vegan and I think everyone should at least give it an honest try, but when you go vegan, there is a learning curve. Whereas before you may not have put much thought into what you were eating, now you’ll have to make a some effort. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, but you do need to have a basic idea of how to structure a well balanced diet. Honestly, this doesn’t only apply to vegans, but anyone desiring a better physique.

So, after months of slowly losing muscle and feeling bloated, I finally started to piece things together. It took some time, but eventually I got rid of the bloating, leaned out, and began to feel great, even better before. Can you guess what happened next? That’s right, I started looking better and better. Within 6 months or so, I was as ripped and strong as ever, as you can see here:

How’d I do it? I implemented a few key principles that honestly changed my life. I now feel better than I ever have in my 30s. I’m lean, strong, flexible, and have more energy than a teen on prom night. Okay, maybe not quite that much energy, but I feel amazing. I haven’t been ill in almost 4 years, not even a cold. Now, I’m going to give you all the tools I used to create this transformation so you can do the same. If you’re not currently in the shape you’d love to be in, or you’re just a go getter looking to take your health and fitness to the next level, you’ll definitely want to read on.

I used this success to create some basic rules for being in great shape as a vegan. They’re simple, and can be applied by anyone intelligent enough to read this article. They are as follows:

  1. Stop eating processed vegan meats. Sure, they’re high in protein, but they’re also usually high in sodium and often contain oils that are high in Omega 6 fatty acids. Consuming too many Omega 6 fatty acids causes inflammation in the body, which over time can lead to a whole host of illnesses. Omega 3 fatty acids on the other hand reduce inflammation and are healthy for the brain and heart.
  2. Don’t eat too much salt. I can’t stress this enough. Most people eat far beyond the recommended daily allowance for sodium. This can lead to bloating, which makes you look and feel like crap. It’s also not healthy in the long run, and while I’m not suggesting that anyone tally up their salt intake, doing a little due diligence to check labels can go a long way. Also, Try eating 1 or 2 meals a day with little to no salt. Something I do is eat Japanese sweet potatoes covered in cinnamon, lentils, and sweet peas all mixed together. It tastes great even without salt because of the Japanese sweet potatoes.
  3. Limit your fat intake. Vegans tend to eat nuts, seeds, and avocados more than the average person. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking to be lean, use moderation.
  4. Take fermented protein powders. Seriously, your digestion will thank you for this one. Protein powder certainly isn’t essential, but when you’re trying to consume enough protein to build muscle, it’s very convenient.
  5. Train with maximum intensity. This one applies to anyone, but this wouldn’t be complete without it. I recommend that anyone looking to build muscle naturally train with the highest possible intensity, but very briefly. This means weight training for no more than 30-45 minutes at a time, but making it so challenging that it seems like hours. Apply yourself, focus, and give it your all. Then leave the gym, rest, and recover. Always train safely and with proper form. This will keep you injury free, and therefore making progress.

That’s all there is to it guys and girls. If you are new to weight training and have no idea how to create a routine, you can check out my article on a practical way to begin weight training. It contains a basic workout routine that you can use for 3 to 6 months, and then perhaps create your own routine from there. So, as you can see, it’s fairly simple to build muscle on a vegan diet, but it’s not always easy. Now let’s get out there and represent health and conscious eating in the right way.

Adonis