What have you heard about the vegan diet? Here’s a few comments I’ve come across over my time:
“You can’t gain muscle on a vegan diet”
“You can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet”
“There’s not enough to eat on a vegan diet!”
‘The vegan diet is too hard!”
“I knew someone who was vegan once, they’re not anymore”
“Being vegan isn’t sustainable!”
In my 6 years of being a vegan, believe me, I’ve heard it all.
Being a vegan triathlete turned powerlifter is not something you come across everyday. But, contrary to what many people will say, I’m here to show you that it can be done. You can gain strength and/or size on a plant-based diet, without having 2+ protein shakes a day and a diet full of fake meat.
Most people won’t have much of an issue with weight loss while being vegan. Being on a high fibre diet is quite satiating, so most people will naturally consume less calories. However, the challenge will be eating more, to have enough fuel to gain strength or muscle!
In order to achieve this, we need to look at increasing foods that are calorie dense. I often discuss with my clients about easy add-ons that can increase caloric density. For example, we can look at adding nut butters and seeds to porridge and smoothies, or protein powder into pancakes, muffins, oats and smoothies. You can add flax or oats to smoothies and even half an avocado to a main meal. Some may prefer to track what they’re eating for a bit as they get used to this, but once you become familiar with the intake you should be eating this won’t need to be done forever.
The plant-based diet is known to be high in antioxidants (if done correctly), which can lead to improved recovery and reduced inflammation. I’m not advocating for everyone to become plant-based, but even for non-vegans. increasing your intake of plants will give experience a whole myriad of benefits
If you’re interested in trying incorporating more plant-based meals, I’ve listed some super easy, healthy and tasty swaps below:
Milk → soy milk (both have 8g protein per serve)
Pasta → lentil pasta (normal pasta is vegan, but lentil pasta has 25g protein per serve, compared to 15g in normal pasta)
Mince meat/tofu → tofu (18g per serve) Try crumbling tofu to use in a bolognese sauce in pasta, or to make scrambled tofu for breakfast.
As a side note, I’m not a massive eater of mock meat. However, it is an easy way to get protein in, and can help the transition across to veganism for many! Just be wary of the saturated fat and sodium content, as they can often be quite high.
Looking for a place to start with a plant based diet? Try my favourite high protein banana bread recipe (because we can never have too many banana bread recipes!).
3 mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 tbs coconut oil melted
1/3 cup soy milk
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup hemp flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs ground flax
1/2 cup rolled oats
- Turn on oven to 170 degrees
- Mash banana with a fork
- Add water to ground flax to make flax egg
- Add wet ingredients (vanilla, flax egg, soy milk, coconut oil, coconut nectar)
- Add in one by one the coconut sugar, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, hemp flour and plain flour
- Stir through chopped walnuts
- Lightly spray a loaf tin and top with sliced banana and coconut sugar
- Bake for 45-50 mins
This recipe will also be included in my ebook, which will include 40+ easy, affordable and convenient plant-based recipes, suited for people who live a busy lifestyle and prefer to make meals in bulk. To pre-order my ebook use this link: https://buy.stripe.com/14k5lX7wL9BT8WkeUV
I have a 20% discount code TPC20 just for TPC subscribers!
Yours in fitness,
Personal Trainer/Performance Coach
0404 369 298