strong healthy vegan

Getting Strong On A Vegan Diet!

Is the term strong vegan an oxymoron? There’s a misconception that vegans are weak and lack the body mass of our meat-eating community.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Check out these STRONG vegans:

Kendrick Farris is Team USA’s only male weightlifter at the Rio Olympics lifted a combined 787 pounds.

Vegan Kendrick Farris

HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 26: Kendrick Farris of the United States competes in the men’s 94kg weight class during the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships at the George R. Brown Convention Center on November 26, 2015, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

No one would say Venus Williams is weak, she’s a STRONG Vegan.

Venus Williams Vegan

Mar 26, 2015; Key Biscayne, FL, USA; Venus Williams hits a forehand against Urszula Radwanska (not pictured) on day three of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Williams won 6-3, 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian breaks a world record by carrying 550 kilos 10 meters on the West Jet stage at the Harbourfront Centre in Canada.

Patrik Baboumian is a Vegan

The key to being a STRONG vegan is replacing the nutrients and protein that were derived from eating animal-based products.  Muscle building requires amino acids that are easily found in beans, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.  Strength is vital for wellness.  Here is a sample meal plan.

SAMPLE PLAN (100.2 grams of protein).  This may be more protein than your specific body needs in a day.  This sample plan is designed to give you a framework to use to plan your meals.  Feel free to omit a meal or change up the recipe to suit your needs.

BREAKFAST

Vegan Grain-Free Apple Walnut Pancakes

Nutrition: 339 calories, 25.3 g fat, 370 mg sodium, 17.4 g carbs, 8.5 g sugars, 15.1 g protein

MID-DAY SNACK

Vegan Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

Nutrition: 446 calories, 30 g fat, 227 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 15 g sugars, 22.1 g protein

LUNCH

Black Bean Cheese Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

Nutrition: 308g calories, 7 g fat, 95 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 10 g sugars, 22 g protein

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

Avocado Toast

Nutrition: 332g calories, 23g fat, 95 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 0g sugars, 10 g protein

DINNER

Portabella Marsala, Garlic Farrow and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

Nutrition: 502g calories, 14g fat, 128 mg sodium, 74 g carbs, 5g sugars, 28 g protein

NIGHT SNACK

Dark Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie

Nutrition:  80g calories, 8g fat, 10mg sodium, 9g carbs, 5g sugars, 3g protein

PROTEIN

Your meals should include a combination of beans, sprouted grains, seitan, nuts, and seeds.  Protein powder (hemp, chia, whey, or pea) is a great addition to your smoothie.  Mix it with unsweetened hemp or almond milk.  Manitoba or Garden of Life are good brands but experiment until you find the one you like.

Generally, most people need 0.8-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.  1 gram of protein equals 4 calories. The chart below will help you determine your personal goals and how much protein you need to attain them.

Person, Situation & GoalsIdeal Daily Protein Intake
Average healthy sedentary adult (male or female) that does NOT work out or have any related goals.0.5-0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Average healthy adult (male or female) that IS doing some form of exercise regularly or IS trying to improve their body (lose fat, build muscle, etc.).0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Average healthy adult FEMALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned,” maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength, or improving performance.1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Average healthy adult MALE whose primary goal is building muscle, getting “toned,” maintaining muscle while losing fat, increasing strength, or improving performance.1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

CREATINE

The main sources of creatine are meat and fish.  Creatine improves muscle mass and strength.  It also helps with optimum brain function.  Creatine includes amino acids such as arginine, glycine, and methionine  Plant-based foods that are rich in arginine are peanuts, walnuts, coconuts, soybeans, chickpeas, and oats. Foods rich in glycine are raw seaweed or spirulina, raw watercress, spinach, soy protein isolate, and sesame seeds. Brazil nuts, oats, and sunflower seeds are great sources of methionine. Even though there are plant-based sources of strength-building amino acids vegans will have less stored creatine than the meat-eating community.  There are creatine supplements that you can research.

MINERALS

Zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and calcium are essential in a meat-free diet.  Flax, Chia, Hemp either whole or ground, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate will provide these  Vitamin B12 is found in nutritional yeast.  Get out into the dun for vitamin D (about 15 minutes is sufficient.  Sorghum (molasses), collard greens, tofu, soybeans, kale, tahini, navy beans, chia seeds, almonds, bok choy, and broccoli are great sources of calcium.

IRON

The body absorbs iron better if you pair it with vitamin C-rich foods.  Spinach, spirulina, soybeans, farina or cream of wheat, quinoa, farro, barley, quinoa, dried apricots and figs, beans, sunflower seeds, broccoli, red potatoes, and Swiss chard are all great choices for increasing the iron in your body.

HEALTHY FATS

Olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, flaxseed, hemp seeds are all great sources of omega 3’s which not only assist in obtaining optimum strength but have a wealth of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Eat your vegetables and healthy fats, supplement with creatine and iron, and your vegan physique will be STRONG.

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