So time and time again I get told "your body will wilt away if you don't get the correct protein", I'm assuming that is animal protein they are talking about. Most people who tell me this are out of shape or supposedly former High School workout nuts that have put on a few pounds since. I think to myself, why would I want to take nutrition advice from somebody who has seen more of the inside of a potato chip bag, than of a gym.
Its not as if I woke up yesterday and said "I'm going to be a Vegan". I have done alot of research before making this decision.Below you will find some of the things I have learned and applied to my own diet.
1. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are very good sources of protein for vegans. Nuts provide plenty of protein, as well as other nutrients like vitamin A and E, phosphorus, potassium, fiber and essential fatty acids.
Examples- Almonds, Walnuts, Sunflower seeds, and Pumpkin Seeds (My personal Favorite)
2. Soybean Products
Soybeans derive between 35 to 38% of thier calories from protein. They are also high in Fiber, calcium, Iron and essential fatty acids.
Examples- Soy Milk, Soy Cheese, Tempah, Tofu and Miso
They are a good source of fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Examples- Wheaties, Wheat Pita Bread and Wheat Germ
4. Beans and Legumes
Beans and Legumes are a great source of fiber and protein, though calorie content varies according to type. Chickpeas contain about 45 calories per 1/2 cup, while the same serving of White Kidney Beans is 125 calories per serving. They are filled with Protein, folate, vitamin A, Iron, Potassium and Zinc.
Examples- Hummus, Black Beans, 3 Bean Casserole and Lentils.
I try not to take in too much protein, because I don't want to be a big over grown douche bag that is normally at Jacksonville Beach. With a steady diet of protein, complex carbs, Iron, Calcium and Omega 3 fatty acids I stay lean and am in the best shape of my life. My performance in the gym has improved immensely since the switch and I have been told my stamina, punching & kicking power has improved as well. So for all you old high school jocks, please put down the potato chips and grease filled cheeseburgers and stop with "You won't get enough protein" crap.Oh, did I make you mad, you should probably kick my ass, if you can catch me........
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Are you going to steal my lunch money? I was shocked at how aggressive people have been about MY decision to go vegan.Not understanding it, sure that makes sense, but to seemingly become angry with me for what I choose to eat seems quite ridiculous.But as usual, I will take these "haters" and use them as fuel for my goals.
This is an all too familiar theme in my life, as I'm sure many of you can relate.There is something about ambition that makes people nervous, especially unambitious people.I myself may have been less than thrilled when I was overweight, to see others who seemed to make a healthy lifestyle look easy.But in truth, it is not easy at all.It takes a level of drive that many cannot relate to.I am driven, I am determined, but I just cant understand why some people are so scared of MY choices.If I do succeed as a vegan, anyone with even a little medical/dietary knowledge would know that I would be much healthier than my meat eating counterparts.Vegans tend to live longer and have less diseases, such as coronary artery disease &,diabetes and the list goes on and on.Why on earth wouldn't people be happy for me?
I guess I will have to be happy for myself. I rely on actual medical science for my dietary information instead of good ol' thinking like "well that's just how we've always done it" look around people, the way we've always done it doesn't work.Everywhere u look there is diseases, encroaching on children at earlier and earlier ages.And I have chosen that this will no longer be my life, I will not allow myself to follow many of my peers down this path.But the purpose of this post is not to harp on all the negativity.If theres one thing I have learned it is that there are people like this in every aspect of our lives-the discouragers-the downers-the haters.Instead I want to share with my friends and family some of the things I have learned thus far.From recipes, to statistics, to just some basic facts.I Hope this will inspire others to open their mind to healthier, and dare I say, different ways of living.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Life always seems to have a way to distract you. I had lost nearly 80 pounds, and all the lack of motivation that accompanied it.I began to dream and plan and make goals, and it felt great.Only problem, was that I had become a family man,Though this brought me great joy and satisfaction, some of my goals were put on hold.I realized I could not lose myself again.I had worked so hard to become healthy, and the best gift I could ever give my family was to stay that way.
I began researching new and different ways to stay healthy.I had been struggling with poor results.I pondered the purpose of working out 2+ hours a day, if I wasn't even gaining any muscle mass.Nearly 2 years since I began this journey, and I really only looked like a thinner version of myself.I began researching other MMA fighters to see what they were doing.I came across an article on Jake Shields. Here is a champion fighter who had been a vegetarian his whole life.He wasn't some scrawny, protein deprived chump, but rather an impressive athlete in one of the most demanding sports in the world.I saw a few movies on his website and decided to take a peek and see what this is all about.
The first movie I watched was food inc.This was a movie I had seen in the past.As an overweight,unhealthy and stubborn guy, I refused to learn anything from what I saw.I took an "that's just the way things are" attitude.Now,however, seeing this movie as a healthy,happy, family man, I realized there was so much I could learn.What if some of this movie was true? And what if I did in fact,have the ability to become healthier by what I learned from it.I was appalled by the hormones and chemicals and medicines pumped into the animals that I was eating everyday.I didn't need to be a scientist or a doctor to realize it can't be good.I decided I had to look even more.
I began watching movie after movie,filled with people saying the same thing.I read online articles, magazines and books.Again and again there were countless experts trying to sound the alarm.Factory farming was slowly, but surely, poisoning us.This went against everything I have always known. Healthy for me Meat,starch,veggie; meat,starch,veggie;meat starch veggie.Could I even change if I wanted to?
It will be no surprise to those of you who know me,I went one hundred and ten percent.It has now been a month and a half, and I feel incredible.I feel leaner,stronger, and cleansed even.I was not sure what to expect when I began,but after a week or two I decided to go all the way Vegan. I was feeling pretty good already and had come across so much information that indicated vegan may even be safer.The conditions in the factories were horrible.Not only were the animals abused,sick, and diseased,but the humans were abused also.The largest slaughterhouses,like Tyson,Smithfield and IDP were well known for recruiting the poorest of the poor, the ones who had no voice if they wanted to provide for their families.This just further cemented my decision that I could no longer be involved with such a crooked system.
So here I am, a vegan.Now that's a phrase I never thought I'd say.It is a decision that has made me proud.Proud of myself for my willingness to learn.Proud of myself for my willingness to change, and proud of myself for putting my health first.