I don’t plan to write about myself much here on Sexy Fit Vegan, but for my first couple of blogs I’d like to share my personal journey of regaining my health and strength as I transitioned to a vegan diet and lifestyle.
I want to show you that it is possible to not only be healthy but to perform at a high level while eating plants! If there are any specific topics you’d like me to cover in future blog posts, or questions you would like answered, please leave them in the comments below.
In April of 2010 I decided to stop eating meat for ethical reasons. As a supporter of animal welfare I felt eating meat was very hypocritical. Even though I’d felt this way for a while, I was struggling with the myth that is still popular in the fitness industry, that a diet high in animal-based protein sources is necessary for strength and muscle gains.
I started by cutting out meat then eventually fish, eggs, and dairy and transitioned to a fully plant-based diet on December 31, 2012.
I stopped competing in powerlifting and kettlebell sport by 2009 and as I began changing my ideas about nutrition my training focus began to change as well. I stopped lifting as heavy as when I was competing and I began practicing meditation and studying qigong and the internal martial art of Taijiquan as well. I’ve come to believe that there should be no separation between strength and health and that training needs to be holistic in order to accomplish this. This concept I’ve come to refer to as “Abundant Health”.
As I transitioned to a vegetarian, and eventually vegan, diet I placed a big emphasis on raw plant-based foods. Raw fruits and vegetables make up at least 50% of my diet and sometimes 75% or more. The rest of what I eat consists of cooked plant-based food, mostly rice, beans, lentils, potatoes/sweet potatoes, and cooked vegetables. I usually only drink water, coffee, tea and non-dairy milks. I am not one to shy away from dessert or other treats though!
The results of eating this way were amazing. Here is a snapshot of my before and after blood work results, the after physical was done after only about 4 months of following my “high raw plant-based diet”.
- Bodyweight: 230 lbs.
- Blood Pressure: 125/85 – 135/90
- Total Cholesterol: 220 mg/dL
- HDL: 41 mg/dL
- LDL: 130 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: 135-300 mg/dL
- Bodyweight: 178 lbs.
- Blood Pressure: 102/67 – 112/72
- Total Cholesterol: 151 mg/dL
- HDL: 43 mg/dL
- LDL: 95 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: 65 mg/dL
Now that I had dramatically improved my health, body composition and quality of life I started to wonder if I could possibly regain the strength I had lost while maintaining a lighter body-weight and most importantly my health. I will get into that in my next blog!
Until next time, stay strong AND healthy!