vegetarian

Journal Entry 282 – The End of Elite XT / Less Meat

Life:

I have used the same protein powder as my main source for probably around 5-6 years at this point. The changed the formula again that apparently is “new and improved.” Not even close. They completely changed the texture of the protein and now it basically looks and tastes like the cheap whey protein you can find at Walmart. It tastes way worse, has less protein, more carbs, and the BCAA profile is worse. It has also risen in price to $40 for 4lbs. It used to be $32 for 4.4 lbs and that was back when it actually tasted good. What a shame. ūüė¶

I have recently switched to Cytosport 100% Whey Protein from Costco. Six pounds of protein for $39. That’s $0.50 a serving and about as good as it’s going to get for a high-quality protein powder. It doesn’t mix thick like Elite XT USED to mix, but it still tastes very good. Casein can also give a lot of digestive upset when consumed too frequently, so since this is 100% whey it avoids this.

I have been eating way less meat recently, so I really think it’s important to find a high-quality protein powder. After doing more research into factory farming and its dramatic impact on the planet, I really have found myself eating close to a vegetarian diet with very small amounts of meat. I don’t even think eating meat is a bad thing if you are hunting in the wild for fresh game. But this is far different from factory farming, where animals are seen as food and not animals. Unfortunately, if you buy meat at a grocery store or restaurant, then you are eating factory farming. I still eat some meat, but it is drastically reduced from where it used to be. Not to sound like a hippy, but I wonder how much better the planet would be doing if all livestock farming ended. Almost get to the point where if you want meat, you need to go out and hunt for it.

Workout:

I have decided to change up my workout to something entirely different than what I have done in the past, but still allow me enough to complete my workouts on my lunch break. I really want to increase my volume for size, but I also don’t want to burn out or spend hours in the gym. I have designed a workout where I mainly focus on one move a day and do lots of volume for that one move. I plan to do roughly 10 sets of each move each day for about 8 reps.

An example for Bench Press would be to warmup, then start with a weight I can get for about 8 reps. If this feels heavy, I take off weight and then get 8 reps with the new weight. I continue this pattern until I have done 10 sets. I did this on Saturday and got down to 155lbs on the 10th set. My arms were shaking afterward. I also seem to be able to get away with eating a lot more food training this way.

I also plan on doing at least 100 pushups every day (spread throughout the day) in addition to the one move of the day in the gym.

  • Sunday – Pushups only
  • Monday – Chinups 10 sets
  • Tuesday – Dips of Inc Press 10 sets plus pushups
  • Wednesday – Chinups mixed grips 10 sets plus pushups
  • Thursday – Bench Press 10 sets plus pushups
  • Friday – Chinups or Rows 10 sets plus pushups
  • Saturday – Bench Press 10 sets plus pushups

Diet:

As I have alluded to above, I’m eating much less meat than before. Protein is still adequate, but since I’m eating very quality whey protein, I need way less protein than you would think. The higher the quality the less you need overall. My carbs are pretty high, which is at least double the protein. Fat is always at a moderate level. I have been eating a ton of fruits and vegetables recently and make those the bulk of my diet.

 

 

 

 

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Journal Entry 198 – Strained Hip Flexor, Bro Splits, Different Diets

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On Monday morning, I woke up with a really nasty hip flexor strain. At first I had no idea why, because its not like I was playing a sport and felt it immediately after it happened, but anyway I woke up with some really bad pain. It limited my mobility so much that I could barely lift my left leg or knee up without some pretty bad pain. Considering the split I was doing had two leg days, I knew it wouldn’t be the smartest idea to resume that for the current week.

I think what it was though, was two leg days, walking everyday and 2-3 long steady state runs that did it in. I guess it was just more than my legs and hip flexors were used to doing. I decided to do a pretty basic bro split this week of chest day, back day, rest, shoulders/traps day, arms day and possibly do legs if my hip flexor felt better. As of this morning it feels a lot better than it did, but not good enough for full leg workout. I also can’t do abs because that hurts it pretty bad as well. I did manage to get some walking in this week, even though earlier in the week I had to limp most of the way haha. I noticed if I go for more than 15-20 minutes at a time without a break then the hip flexor starts to get inflamed and hurt pretty bad. Icing it and taking frequent breaks had helped tremendously though.

I was a little concerned by Wednesday if it was something more serious, because it didnt feel better at all. I mean stepping up into my car felt like overkill for it. But luckily by Thursday and Friday morning the pain was way less. Advil liquid gels also helped reduced the inflammation. Not going to lie, when it comes to headaches and pain, Advil liquid gels give relief and it gives it fast. These things go to work in under 20 minutes for me.

So basically stuck to a very basic and balanced upper body bro split and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. Workouts were done in 30-40 minutes, 3 sets of 8-12 reps on everything and made sure form was really good on each exercise. I had felt pumps in the target muscle that I havent felt in awhile. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough volume or reps to achieve the effect with the upper/lower split. I also made sure to hit at least 8 reps on each exercise. I did not go super heavy on anything this week.

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Summer Feta Cheese Salad with roll

Summer Feta Cheese Salad with roll

Nutrition

I really love nutrition. I can listen to podcasts and read articles about it all day. A hidden gem happened to come my way this week with Jacob Wilson talking about Ketogenic VS high fat diets. He basically compared TRUE keto diets (75% fat 25% protein and 5% carbs (under 30grams)  VS very high fat, but low carb diets with either 104g of carbs or 60 grams of carbs. The protein was sufficient and the same in all of the diets. The results were that the Keto diet lost more fat and held onto all muscle, but the other groups that were not quite ketogenic actually lost muscle mass. Their exercise performance was also much weaker.

Basically this study shows that unless your truly ketogenic (which is very restrictive for a lot of people), than you would do better by eating more carbs to spare protein. Its either you go under 30 grams or you go much higher and try to hit at least 1 gram per pound of carbs.

This was also in a deficit, so it probably doesn’t matter as much in a surplus of calories, but still the moral of the story was that your either ketogenic or your not. Meaning for most people carbs need to be higher than 100 grams and some starches should be eaten at some point in the day as they provide benefits that dietary fat does not.

My goal is to hit somewhat of a zone based diet. I know from the past the lower fat and high carb diets don’t do well with me. For me it led to some blood sugar issues and cravings, because dietary fat was too low per meal and carbs were too high. I ended up becoming hungry and not satisfied after meals, even if the meal was 6-700 calories. Just because 200 grams of carbs are good, doesn’t mean that 400 grams will provide magical benefits. The only thing that will provide is some extra body fat.

My goal is to hit roughly 40/30/30 for carbs, protein, fat. Considering my calories need to stay moderate without adding body fat, having protein at 30% shouldn’t be an issue. If I had to consume 4000 calories a day, than that would be way too much protein.

No matter what macros you use, this is a very good site to track with: Calorie Calculator.

Also watched a bodybuilder I follow on Youtube, has gone Vegan. I must admit his reasons for doing so, were very interesting and got me thinking a bit about most peoples over consumption of meat. I will by no means be going Vegan and never plan to because I think some of the videos that people use are extreme to persuade you, but not all farms and slaughterhouses are that cruel. Also giving up meat isnt a long term solution and reintroducing it into your diet can be a nightmare after a diet like that. Vegans complain that meat makes them sick after they started the diet. But before the diet they could tolerate it just fine. Too me this is unhealthy. A human can digest meat just fine and losing the ability to digest certain foods isnt healthy. A perfectly healthy human should be able to eat whatever they want without issue. Giving up foods will not solve this problem.

But nevertheless is was though provoking and made me consider some of my habits. In my opinion though I really dont eat that much meat.  I mean I will eat 4-5oz of meat for lunch and dinner, but a lot of my protein comes from dairy, which can be obtained from a cow without mistreatment. I mean I could obtain all the protein I need from plant sources, but doing so would lead to some massive bloating due to all the beans I would have to ingest. And yes protein is overrated and you dont need that much, but it has a lot of other benefits that the minimum threshold doesnt seem to accomplish, especially in regards to hunger control.

In my opinion, it comes back to common sense. Vegan is too extreme for most people to follow and ketogenic diets are the same. Both diets are very interesting when you delve into them, but too follow for the rest of your life would involve getting rid of a lot food that I enjoy. Some people try to go middle ground and become some weird version of vegetarianism, but that basically just becomes “I don’t eat animal meat”, but will eat everything else. That is fine, if you don’t want to eat meat, but I don’t see the need for the label. Also pescatarian is basically veganism with the addition of fish, because fish are somewhat different than animals. But the main problem with this is there are a lot of toxins in fish. I mean a lot. Fish is not a safe choice in high amounts. If pollution didnt exist then it would be fine, but trust me pollution exists and its all over the ocean.

If I had to elect the king diet, it would probably be the Mediterranean diet. Very balanced and doesnt involve extremely high carbs or low fats or vice versa. It has a broad selection of foods and even allows alcohol of up to 2-3 glasses of wine a night. Fish, meat, grains, vegetables, fruits are allowed. The recommended macro split is roughly 40/30/30. The body likes balance, so this would have my vote if I had to pick a best diet and also a diet that I could for the rest of my life. A lot of peoples ethnicity also come from this area at some point, so it makes sense that they are well adapted to a diet such as this.

Some pics from the week:

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Lean meat, veggies and cheese

Lean meat, veggies and cheese

Low calorie coffee protein shake

Low calorie coffee protein shake

Lean meat, whole egg, veggies and crab rangoon

Lean meat, whole egg, veggies and crab rangoon

Lean meat, veggies, potatoes, cheese

Lean meat, veggies, potatoes, cheese

Lean meat, rice, tons of veggies, olive oil

Lean meat, rice, tons of veggies, olive oil

Gluten free pasta, cheese, veggies, meat, imitation crab meat

Gluten free pasta, cheese, veggies, meat, imitation crab meat

Vegetarian Diets, Big Mistake?

I was researching Vegetarian diets after my PT certification recommended them for healthy weight loss. ¬†I knew exactly what vegetarian was, but most people I know that have done these diets stick to them for about 5 days to 2 weeks and then their eating meat like a fiend. ¬†Why is that? – Well I stumbled upon this¬†6 reasons why vegans doctors are wrong about animal protein¬†and the author, John Kiefer, listed very good reasons as to why people can’t stick to these diets for any long period of time.

Here is a summary of what it states:

  • Vegetarian diets cause a deficiency in vitamin B12, which apparently is the equivalent of running a cheese grater through your arteries and greatly increasing stroke risk. Vitamins B12 is found in animal products, which is why these diets get deficient in this vitamin.
  • Vegetarians suffer from amino acid deficiencies. ¬†This is because animal proteins are COMPLETE where as proteins from vegetables and grains are incomplete (lack all the essential amino acids)
  • Fat inflammation. ¬†Meaning way too much omega 6 in relation to omega 3. ¬†Not good and this is due to too much vegetable oil and not enough mono – and saturated fats (which are found in meat)
  • Deficient in many of the essential vitamins and minerals. ¬†Including zinc, calcium and iodine, which are essential for a healthy metabolism. ¬†Say goodbye to your metabolism and thyroid on this diet, because its going down the drain.
  • Higher risk of kidney disease, Alzheimer’s and don’t even protect against cancer
  • Note- This doesn’t mean you can lose weight on these diets as many people do, but why would you want to when these are the drawbacks.
You need more than vegetables to be healthy.

You need more than vegetables to be healthy.

How to fix these problems? – Eat Protein. ¬†Protein is an essential macronutrient and you can see what happens when you don’t get enough – disease and vitamin/mineral deficiencies. ¬†The author states that just a few additions of animal protein would fix all of these problems.

Now I know why people can only stick to these diets for a very short period of time, then binge on meat. ¬†Because they are LACKING a lot of essential nutrients that they should be getting from meat.You probably could get a vegetarian diet to work for you if you added in protein on a daily basis. ¬†For example, protein powder would give you high quality protein without eating meat, but I still wouldn’t recommend it. ¬†Usually when I picture a vegetarian a skinny, frail women who weighs 100lbs pops in my head and thats probably because she is starving to death by missing out on protein. ¬†Also, when you starve your body of essential vitamins you GREATLY accelerate aging. ¬†I’ve seen pictures or “organic, vegetarians” at the age of 50 and they look like their about 80 years old.

Bottom Line: Vegetarian diets aren’t as great or healthy as you may have been led to believe and they can cause great problems if you don’t eat enough protein. ¬†Meat and protein have essential vitamins and nutrients that are essential for the human body, so you would be best not to avoid it. ¬†Vegetarian is just another extreme diet that needs to go away and stop harming people’s health. ¬†Eat your protein!

Sources:

Athlete.io