My vegan challenge

zucchini noodles with basil

We’ve all heard the message, loud and clear, about how bad meat is. I love vegetables, fruit, and nuts so I decided to be vegan for a week as a way to detox. My goal was to eat 300 grams of carbs each day, which seems like a lot, but it isn’t when you’re not eating meat or processed foods. I was concerned about my low protein intake since I cannot stomach beans even after taking enzymes.

On Monday I had my fruit smoothie with a frozen banana, date, cocoa powder, almond milk, and protein powder. I did 30 minutes of intense cardio and a one-hard weight-lifting lower body workout with my trainer. The rest of the day I ate my veggies, grains and fruit. I felt great even though I was only able to eat 240 grams of carbs! On Tuesday, I didn’t feel as energized and wasn’t able to lift as much and could only stomach 225 grams of carbs since carbohydrates fill me up. Wednesday I felt lazy and knew it was because I wasn’t eating enough calories. With each passing day, I felt more tired and more aggravated. By the time Friday came around I admitted to my fitness trainer that I almost cancelled our session. She was shocked because she knows how much I look forward to lifting and setting a new personal record.

A vegan diet is a healthy way to eat but because I cannot tolerate beans or too many carbs, it doesn’t work for me. I was only eating about 40-50 grams of protein per day (1). The range of protein recommended ranges from 0.4 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight, with people who lift and exercise frequently on the upper end so I really should have been eating twice as much protein, about 83 grams per day. That Friday evening I made a ground turkey stir fry with onions, green bell peppers and tomatoes. I felt like myself again and that felt good.

photo: zucchini noodles with fresh basil

(1) Source: Elizabeth Kovar. 6 Diet and Nutrition Myths Debunked Web. June 6, 2016. June 21, 2016.


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