Over eight months vegan/gluten-free, and my body is feeling really strong! My old lifting records are being broken even as I have leaned down to sub-4-percent body fat. I will hit the stage around 3.6 percent, which will show a lot of muscular detail without sacrificing any fullness. I’m not the thickest guy out there, so I must rely on symmetry and conditioning to place well. I’m at my all-time best with three more pounds of muscle than I had in 2011 at a lower body fat percentage. The Texas Shredder Bodybuilding show is on April 13, and I’m ready to strut my stuff. Tomorrow is my last day of cardio; then I get to take it easy and cruise onto the contest stage at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
The last few days of contest preparation involve dietary salt removal, carbohydrate loading, and a little dehydration. I’m not an extremist in any of these three dietary changes, but a big difference in physique can result when this method is done properly. Every person responds slightly differently to these adjustments, so trial and error with plenty of note-taking is a must to dial everything in. It may take a few shows before an athlete figures out the right formula for his/her body, which may explain why it takes a few attempts to win a competition. This will be around my twelfth body building show; I have placed second in my weight division three times and once won my division, but not the overall trophy.
I am setting my focus this year on getting a win at a show that offers a pro card for the overall champion. I’ll be doing another show in seventeen days that offers this pro card, and have two others this year as well. I have my hands full this year! Here are some pictures that my good friend Teri took of me last weekend when she helped me with posing. She is an awesome coach and a great person.
One of the best things about being vegan is that I can eat tons of food and still lose weight! Below is one of my awesome salads made with all-organic ingredients. I start with a big bowl of mixed greens, then mix in a low-calorie dressing and nutritional yeast. For this salad, I added steamed cauliflower and broccoli with a home-grown tomato, almonds, apples, and pears. Sometimes I’ll add tofu or quinoa and lentils for some extra protein. My main source of protein has been plant-based protein powders. I have been using PlantFusion (AKA NitroFusion) for the entire diet phase as well as for my ultra-marathons the last few months. I love this brand because it is not gritty tasting like the others I have tried (really tastes like the whey I used pre-vegan) and it has an almost identical amino acid profile to whey. I mix it with almond milk, water, coffee, or tea depending on the time of day.
Wish me luck! I will need it with all of the incredible athletes who have been showing up at these events over the last several years. Natural body building has been growing rapidly, and I love being in the mix. I was at the Texas VegFest last Saturday and met some fellow vegan bodybuilders who generously asked me to join them at the Naturally Fit Super Show. Get ready to see some herbivore beef on the stage July 26-27 with Team Plant Built! Check out www.plantbuilt.com and www.nitrofusion.us for more info. If you are interested in information about a plant-based diet, Christy Morgan (AKA the Blissful chef) has a program specifically engineered to meet your needs www.WellnesReboot.com.
Would love to hear from you if you have any tips on vegan nutrition for athletes. Leave it in the comments!