I get asked this A LOT.
Or, one or a combination of the following:
“How did you lose all that weight?”
“But where do you get your protein from?”
“Gluten and soy intolerant*** vegetarian… what the fuck do you eat? Grass and seeds?”
“I cut out all carbs. Why haven’t I lost weight and why do I feel like shit and want to stuff white bread down my throat until I throw up and kill myself?”
“Every veg*n I know is skinny, piss weak and sick all the time/Every veg*n I know is fat as fuck and unhealthy”
(*** Seriously, please don’t take me for one of those pretentious fucks with a gluten intolerance who also feels the need to ruin the life of every dinner host, hospitality worker and cooking enthusiast boy/girlfriend they ever cross paths with. It’s a pain in my slowly shrinking and tightening arse and if I could eat gluten or soy without turning into a bloated, nauseated, farty mess I would, trust me on this one.)
When I first became vegetarian, I gained 5 kilos and was so unbelieveably exhausted and sick all the time that I was ready to check myself in to the nearest abbatoir and hook myself up to an IV of pure beef. Fortunately I am an absolute pro at bitching and whingeing via my Facebook account, and was having one such bitchwhinge when an old friend of mine, who is a lifelong vegetarian and personal trainer all badass with his kickboxing and Muay Thai and other violent sports I can’t pronounce or understand came to my rescue. Turns out everything I knew about a) weight loss and b) working out, which were pretty much the popular notions such as “Don’t Eat Carbs”, “Do Cardio Every Day”, “Do Crunches For A Flat Stomach” and “Strength Training Will Make You Look Like A Girl Ronnie Coleman” were complete bullshit.
So, ladies. Listen up:
You need to eat carbs to look good.
I am still struggling with this concept, believe me, and probably eat less carbs than I should, but as my body tightens up and my body fat percentage goes down, I’m actually starting to buy this bizarre idea. Right now I am typing this with one finger as my other hand glamorously stuffs my face with brown rice, as Monday is Leg Day and Leg Day is enough to reduce any tough cunt to the brink of tears, and once you get to that point, carbs are essential for recovery.
You don’t need to do cardio every day.
In fact, I was only just this weekend bitched out well and truly by my trainer for using inense cardio as my daily escapism. He said some stuff that confused me using bio-mumbo-jumbo and long words that I am sure only personal trainers/crazy fitness nerds who are probably still virgins with no life outside the weights room know, which essentially boiled down to “too much cardio will stop you losing your stomach fat”. More on this later. I plan to get to the bottom of this concept, which once again is confusing the fuck out of me and my preconceived notions of fitness.
Crunches and sit ups can fuck right off.
So I’ve heard the phrase “Abs are made in the kitchen” thrown around, and I’m starting to really understand why. Go and get a body fat assessment done to help you get your head around this concept, because fuck only knows it took me getting mine to start to understand. Ready? Okay, sit down.
Your abs are already there. They are just hiding under your fat.
So I have had several people back this claim up. Again, more on this later, because I am also only just coming to the conclusion that I can actually skip “Abs Day” (friday) and go the fuck home and start my weekend of lying about, crying my eyes out watching Disney films and sucking my thumb instead of spending it clinging to a 6kg medicine ball and doing olympic twists until I want to throw up. If you have a proper training plan involving squats, lunges and deadlifts, your abs will get enough of a workout for you to not need to train them in isolation.
Strength training will not make you like like a girl Ronnie Coleman.
Seriously. Ladies, if you thought you could half-assedly do leg extensions and bicep curls once a week with those little pink 2kg dumbells you bought from Big W while checking your Facebook on your iPhone and all of a sudden “Bulk Up”, don’t you think there would be a veritable plethora of INCREDIBLY HOT, RIPPED GUYS for you to be texting your duckface bikini pics to if it were that easy? Bulking up is hard as fuck and requires a shittonne of hard work, DOMS that will make you walk like a duck for days, and ridiculous amounts of supplements that taste like chalky arsehole milkshakes. I know this because I see how unbelievably hard my boyfriend trains in the gym and supps like a motherfucker with aforementioned chalky arsehole shakes in order to bulk up, and I make fun of his duck-walk because it’s unbelievably cute, and then two days later I forget that I too train my legs and end up practically falling down every flight of stairs I attempt, before I duck-walk my ass to the nearest hole to crawl up into and die of embarrassment.
But I digress. I will go into this more in another blog, including my current strength training program that kicks my fucking arse, and why it is making me lose inches off my frame instead of gaining them.
Now all the bullshit is out of the way, on to what I feed my face with. By no means am I professing to be any sort of amazing success story or Queen of Clean Eating, and I am still a while off my goals and will probably get there a lot faster once I learn to stop eating peanut M&M’s by the half-kilo on my cheat days (Sunday for those of you playing at home). This is a basic meal plan that I vary day to day, without meat, gluten or soy. I know many of you are vegan, and I’ve prepared a vegan version as well, so I will post that shortly.
This was prepared for me my by my trainer who I plan to thoroughly grill on the above points I mentioned I would go deeper into, so both you and I have a better understanding of what we should be eating as vegetarians.
The three main things you need to focus on are- protein, carbohydrate choices rich in iron, and B vitamins which will supply you with the energy you need.
Try to incorporate fewer grains and oats, bread and pastas unless you’ve done strenuous activity. This will also increase your sensitivity to the energy boost those carb choices provide, less of a slump!
A first class protein is a little harder to come by without eating dead animals, so your main choices will be from eggs and low-fat dairy.
Omega 3 is essential to your cognitive health as well, making you stay alert and helping prevent any problems in later life with memory or mental health.
Breakfast: (ca30g Protein)
Mixed berries, yoghurt, honey, flaxmeal and protein powder, chuck it in the blender or just wizz with a Bamix. Organic iron supplement if you are like me and are anemic on top of everything else.
Cup of egg whites with one whole egg and half a cup of blueberries makes a quick, easy and awesome omelette that’s more like a blueberry crepe. Ready in 5 minutes. Do not feed this to your carnivorous boyfriend, he will politely pick at it then go home to eat bacon and eggs.
Morning tea: (ca30g protein)
Protein shake and an apple and 2-3 flaxseed oil capsules. Flaxseed oil is high in Omega 3 and will stop you craving fish which I always do if I forget to take them. It’s great for your skin, hair, nails and joints as well. I am a hungry little shit so I usually grab a handful of almonds too.
Lunch (ca20-30g protein)
Bowl of pulse/bean minestrone with spinach, mushrooms and tomato, chick peas, kidney beans and lentils. Side of low-fat cottage cheese/feta and two poached eggs to back up the protein content to 20-30g. It all tastes awesome, but get pissy with soupy aftertaste and will have an apple afterwards before I brush my teeth.
Afternoon tea (ca30g protein)
Yoghurt and almonds with chocolate protein powder + flaxmeal. This is badass. It tastes like a bowl of golden gaytime.
Dinner (ca20-30g protein)
Vegan chilli con carne with chick peas, kidney beans, butter beans, lentils, chilli, semidried tomatoes, spinach and sliced mushrooms. Lots of diced tomatoes, add garlic and leave in a pot for about 10 minutes for awesomeness!
Side of natural yoghurt to counteract the spice and heighten the protein profile.
Try to include as many vegies from the cruciferous group (broccoli, cauliflower etc.) to improve iron levels and bring up your antioxidant profile. Legumes are high in iron, protein (slow release) and fibre, go crazy with them!
Try this for 2 weeks. Lay off the soda and coffee and drink heaps of water and you will feel amazing. Combine this with a sensible, sustainable training plan and start seeing the fat drop off.