7-day vegan challenge (high-carb, low-fat, low-protein) - my experience.

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Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been vegan for six years now but only doing any kind of serious strength training for about two-three years so I can't say how it may have affected my progress, positively or negatively.

For me it has always been primarily for personal ethical reasons as opposed to health, however I get incredibly frustrated when trying to find unbiased nutritional advice from either side of the debate as I would really like to know about any nutritional pitfalls my dietary choice may present so that I can work on avoiding or eliminating them where possible.

As a vegan, I find that you'll either be told that your diet is almost entirely nutritionally deficient or, alternatively, that you can eat nothing but bananas and live to be over a hundred and I find both arguments just as tedious and unconstructive... although I do love bananas.

@Deadlifter_
We really are very adaptable, just takes some extra know-how to pull off the veg diet and thrive on it, just as it would take extra know how to thrive on an "all animal" diet.
I fully agree with North Coast Miller on this one: Adaptability and know-how are essential to thriving no matter what your diet. Everything else is all down to personal preference and whatever you're comfortable with.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

To echo @Chrisdavisjr
Adaptability and know-how are essential to thriving no matter what your diet
The insidious thing about diet is that "everything" will work for one month or so. The fact is that defiencies will happen in terms of months, and very smoothly.

A good thing to do is to cross information between lots of different serious sources.

High carb + low fat + low protein effectively work : eating habits of tropical regions are based on this principle. But food has to be healthy and physical activities do not have to be skipped.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Briefly: chanterelle and shiitake mushrooms, nori seaweed and chlorella for plant based B12 sources. By the boatload and often, B12 doesn't hang about in the body for too long, 3 days. Hemp is a complete protein with additional EAAs and B12 supps. See Chris Masterjohn phd for a recent article on b12 sources.
Plus a massive variety of other veg, fruit and nuts. Plus plenty of fat, lots and lots of fat. You need lots of fat to make the vitamins and other goodies bio available, a mistake, apparently, many vegans make. And, as I understand, especially fat phobic athletes. High fat plant based diets with additional b12 support? Worth checking out.
I'm not vegan, my daughter is. I've armed myself with nutritional bombs for some after dinner arguments and parental pestering. Also, genetic testing for mthfr gene is advised too. Some people do well being vegan, others don't. At all. Genetic mutations could be the reason why, perhaps?
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi all,

I've been eating the raw vegan 80-10-10 diet for two years now and I'm doing fine. I'm a bit leaner and thinner than I was when I ate not vegan, but the difference is not huge. I'm not tremendously strict about it though: most days I eat raw fruits and veggies during the day, then for dinner I have some cooked veggies and a salad. Also, if my wife uses some egg or cheese for dinner I don't mind and just eat it.

I haven't seen any deficiencies in the diet so far, but I'm having a complete check in a few weeks, so I'll let you know.

I think this diet has some pros and cons. For the pros, raw foods and veggies are very easy to digest, don't make you sleepy after eating, have lots of fiber and water, is virtually impossible to binge since they take so much space in the stomach, etc. For the cons, I think it's harder to achieve a very lean body, for that I think animal protein and low fat is better. Even though several elite athletes have thrived on vegan diets, I guess if I were fighting for an olympic medal I'd leave veganism for my forties.

To all the non vegans out there: enjoy a good burger for me!
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
B12 doesn't hang about in the body for too long, 3 days.
I had heard quite the contrary: It's my understanding that the body is able to hold on to enough vitamin B12 to last between 3-5 years (http://www.msdmanuals.com/en-gb/home/disorders-of-nutrition/vitamins/vitamin-b-12)

I still supplement daily, however, as I certainly wouldn't want to risk deficiency and would definitely advise anyone on a diet with reduced or no animal-derived foods just to be on the safe side.
 

PeterLuffman

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
To say that you can eat all of the carbs you want and not get fat is ridiculous and shows a massive lack of understanding.

I'm sure someone else has already mentioned that but I haven't read all the responses here.
 

Oscar

Level 6 Valued Member
To say that you can eat all of the carbs you want and not get fat is ridiculous and shows a massive lack of understanding.
It depends on how you eat them. I have eaten more than 2000 calories of carbs in the form of raw fruit per day, every day for 2 years and I didn't get fat. I don't eat a single teaspoon of refined sugar though.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Eating carbs is a topic, but what carbs do you eat is another (fruits ? bread ?, etc...)

Fibers can also be worth considering. Eating enough of them is supposed to enhance sugar and fat regulation.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
understanding that the body is able to hold on to enough vitamin B12 to last between 3-5 years
And perfectly illustrating the confusing, often polarised, information on the subject that you made reference to earlier.
So makes you wonder? Are supplement manufacturers promoting B12? Because the message is, if you forego animal products, you'd better start chugging some B12 asap. Why the need?....if you have adequate storage, that is. Certainly, as you have been vegan for some time,
you have reason to but for newcomers?
As with nutritional science, there are a lot of loose ends.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
As with nutritional science, there are a lot of loose ends.
Amen.

While we're on this topic, I heartily recommend anyone who's interested in nutrition as it pertains to strength training check out the ScienceStrength YouTube channel and blog. It's refreshing to get a scientific perspective from someone who has a PHD, lifts weights in competition and isn't trying to sell you anything (for the most part, anyway; she does offer training packages etc.).
 
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