Week 2 – VeGAINuary (11th – 17th January 2021)
I think it’s safe to say lockdown 3 has made me a little bit loopy. All you need to do is watch the first 60 seconds of the video to see for yourself!
Overall a difficult week as the early motivation & hype of the challenge wore off. I got a bit lazy with meals and felt worse for it. This is the make or break time. Do I have the minerals to see it out?
BUT new weights finally arrived to help with the training – I was buzzing (sad isn’t it…?)
Nutrition & Macros from the week:
(apologies for the formatting)
- Protein intake up to 144g per day on average (15% up on last week)
- Calories also intentionally up due to more training
- As with last week Fibre & Vitamins all on/above target (thanks for 7-9 Fruit & Veg a day)
I hit the goal of better snacking and adding in more nuts & seeds which definitely helped up protein intake by 15%.
I must admit the process of weighing, cooking and calculating the correct macros for EVERY MEAL was taking its toll on motivation by mid-week so I tried a few ready-meals.
I’m lucky that the supermarkets have some great options, that are indeed higher in protein, compared with just one year ago.
That said, readymade ‘processed meals, in my opinion, are just as unhealthy as their meat alternatives, often because of the sodium levels, and it affected my energy levels in the afternoons.
Reverting back to wholesome foods for 90% of the week was the plan.
Aside from the aforementioned dip in energy after the ready-meals, overall again I’ve seen a marked IMPROVEMENT in my energy, alertness and motivation to work and train compared to normal.
So far this has to be the biggest myth-buster to come from this experiment in my opinion.
Vegans do have energy! And more of it!
That said, it’s not necessarily switching to a meat-free lifestyle that makes the difference. For me, it’s loading the diet with enough calories AND vitamins from A SHED LOAD of vegetables.
Don’t build a meal around the protein source, whether that be Vegan Wellington or a roast Chicken,
Start the meal with a combination of vegetables & wholesome ‘carbs’ (yes I know vegetables are carbs) e.g. potatoes, grains, seeds, lentils etc and some healthy plant-based fats.
Then if you need additional protein, that’s when to look at the meat or meat-free options.
Write this down people. It’s stoic, sound advice. (Well it isn’t that wise, but a wise man said it soooo…….) ;)
Weights didn’t arrive until Wednesday evening (and even more arrived on Thursday), so again Mon – Weds were light on the progressive overload. That’s not to say I didn’t train but without the stimulus to overload the muscles it’s harder to elicit muscle growth.
The weights DID eventually arrive and throwing around a barbell with 60-80kg felt great. DOMS the next day weren’t worse than usual – again proving a plant-based diet is just as effective.
The swell was great on Friday so managed to get out for a good surf. Was supposed to be a “recovery day” but if you’ve ever surfed in the winter, or even in the UK for that matter, you’ll know it’s anything but a light session. The sea was a mere 10 degrees but the waves were on point and after a few weeks without it, gliding on some North Cornish waves still never fails to be an amazing, cathartic experience.
2 full weeks to go with around 10 sessions of lifting. TIME TO SMASH IT!
Yes, I may not have dumbbells, kettlebells, a pull-up bar or weighted machines. But I have more than most. I’m grateful for that and keen to see what can be achieved on a barbell only training plan.
Things to change for Week 3:
- Try new recipes
- SMASH the gym with 5 heavy sessions
- Take full recovery days
- Up the snack game – still VERY weak
Next week I’ll be going into the specifics of what meals I’m loving and their macros. It’ll be a dream read, I promise.
Until next time.
If you haven't read it yet, check out Week 1 here.
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