In Part 2 of TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF AND EATING IT, I mentioned that I had a decision to make. When I left off I was telling you about the extreme bloating and discomfort I was experiencing due to my quick transition to raw foods. I was also having a hard time adjusting to the flavour and texture of sprouted beans which was making it difficult for me to enjoy my food. I knew I was transitioning rather quickly so I made a deal with myself to lay off the sprouted beans and just soak & boil them going forward but promised I would revisit sprouting 0nce I was better assimilated.
I really had no choice in the above matter as I still needed to be in photo shoot shape but I hate doing things half way. However, I
was currently taking another half way approach in trusting the information on protein consumption as a vegetarian. The Thrive Diet, by Brendan Brazier was and still is my bible to say the least but because of all the years spent as a bodybuilder (fitness model) and eating like a carnivore relying on meat, dairy and whey protein powders, I was not yet convinced that my protein levels would be adequate to preserve my muscle let alone build any. This leads me to the question that I get asked nearly every day and that is, “How do you consume enough protein to increase strength and build mass?”
The answer is actually rather easy. At the moment I am not 100% vegetarian but rather ovo-vegetarian which means I eat eggs and this reassures me that I am still consuming enough protein. However, when I do make the next switch I will replace my morning serving of eggs with one of Brendan’s homemade cereals. I also take advantage of Vega’s Health Optimizer which contains 24-26 grams of protein per serving and I either eat a Vega Vibrance (or Energy bar) or make a homemade bar using the Vega smoothie mix. Food combining was also something I had to learn more about in order to consume high quality complete protein each day. A small challenge that occured at this point was abiding by the guidelines of Nutrient Timing which I am a large supporter of (A great book about Nutrient Timing below). I just made sure that I was consuming all complex carbohydrates such as yams and grains around my workouts and leaving beans, lentils and legumes for later in the day.
*Side note- I was at ease with eating eggs because I felt that I was not stressing the environment as much as before and not causing any animals large amounts of pain. I have since read a few articles about how eggs are supposedly very straining on the animals because of the close quarters the chickens are in. However, the articles did not mention if this was the case with organic chicken farms so I am still undecided with how I feel.
In time, as promised to my self, I would like to eliminate eggs from my nutrition. It has been about two months now since leaving meat behind and I can honestly say that my physique in relation to performance and aesthetically speaking has not lost a beat. In fact, my performance and recovery has noticeably improved and we will see come December 24th if my physique has held up it’s end of the deal.
My goals for the remainder of the year is to do a mock competition training phase and nutrition plan so I can come accustomed to my new plant based lifestyle and learn from my experience. This way I can have a solid game plan going into next years’ fitness model competitions and photo shoots. My specific physique goals are to lower my body fat percentage to 4-5% ( 8-10% at the moment) while maintaining my current weight around the 210-215lbs range and to do this by December 24th 2009.
Side note: I am not alone in this training phase as I am joined by two other fitness models who have laid down the gauntlet and decided to mark these next few months with a little friendly competition. My two colleagues are not plant based or vegetarian eaters but the competition for them is a means of accomplishing their own goals so stay tuned for that.
My current plan strategy
2500-3000 calories per day (20-25% protein, 30-35% fat, 45-55% carbs)
I strength train 4 days a week and on these days I will also include 15-30 minutes of “High Intensity Interval Conditioning.” I also like to have 3 days of light lactic acid flushing sessions that are done in the pool or on an upright bike lasting anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on how I feel.
Nutrition is as follows;
STRENGTH TRAINING DAYS
Freshly squeezed Lime in 1 litre of water
*BCAA’s & Creatine
1 cup egg whites, 1oz rice cheese, Nutritional Yeast, 1 slice Ezekiel Bread w/tbsp apple butter
1 cup green tea
*Digestive enzyme, Fish Oil capsule, Progressive multi vitamin, Vitamin C, True Calm
1 scoop Vega Sport, 3 dates, 1 Tbsp Hemp Protein powder, ½ scoop Rice Protein powder
Vega health Optimizer, frozen banana, cocao nibs, 1 date.
*Creatine, True Calm, Multi Vitamin, Vitamin C
Ezekiel Wrap, 1/2 cup Homemade Hummus (made from sprouted chick peas, hemp seed included, Tahini, flax oil), Carrots, Celery
Homemade Pizza on Ezekiel Wrap with sweet potato & vegetables
1 cup Ezekiel cereal w/4oz Almond Milk, 2 Tbsp Hemp seed, 4 Strawberries
3/4 cup Quinoa and 1/4 cup Pistachios, carrots, celery.
Homemade Bean Chili with ½ cup brown rice
*Digestive Enzyme, Fish Oil capsule, Progressive Multi Vitamin
Homemade protein bar (Vega Smoothie Infusion, Cocoa chips, coconut oil, Hemp seed & spices) or Vega Vibrance bar, 12 almonds or Tbsp Raw Almond butter, fruit, 1/3 Sequel Macca cocao bar
Homemade bean salad (Black beans, corn, flax oil, veggies etc)
2 cups Spinach, mixed veggies, dulse (ewww)
*Digestive enzyme, Multi Vitamin, Fish Oil capsule
1 cup egg whites, 1 oz rice cheese, nutritional yeast, veggies
*Fish Oil capsule, ZMA
NON TRAINING DAYS
My meal plan for non training days is rather similar. The only major difference is that I do not consume the complex carbs at my 5:30 & 11:30am meals. Instead I chose to have 3 whole eggs in addition to the cup of egg whites and eliminate the ezekiel bread and apple butter for breakfast. The 11:30am meal will consist of either hummus and vegetables, or a bean salad.
Obviously I will not have a workout shake (Vega Sport, dates & rice/hemp protein combo) as this day is a day off from the gym but I still look forward to my Vega Health Optimizer shake with the only substitution being blueberries for the single date.
Throughout the rest of the day, everything else stays the same as the majority of my macro nutrients are protein and dietary fat already. If I feel that my body is not responding to the current meal plan and training regiment then I will tweak it in about two weeks and blog about it then to keep everyone in the loop.
Train Mind, Body & Spirit
Nathane L. Jackson cscs & kbts
WBFF Pro & VEGA Ambassador
For more information about Nathane Jackson Fitness’ Online Training Consulting, please visit www.nathanejackson.com