Archive for ‘Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge’

January 17, 2012

Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge- Jessica Week 2 & 3

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

Last week I traveled to Denver for our yearly sales conference for my “day” job.  I love going because we always go during the winter time and it’s the only time I get to enjoy snow.  The part that I don’t like is that they usually have really bad food and terrible options for vegetarians.

This year, I emailed the event coordinator to see what type of vegan/vegetarian options there would be.  She replied saying that like last year, we would have pasta and veggies and salads.  I proceeded to explain to her that those options were not “healthy” options and that a week without protein could leave all vegetarians feeling a bit tired.

Amazingly, she listened and the Hyatt at the Colorado Convention Center actually provided incredibly healthy and filling vegetarian options (go Hyatt!).  Each meal provided something tasty- quinoa with cranberries and other succulent tastes, vegetable based soups, couscous, mushroom and roasted vegetable sandwiches, fruits, veggie casseroles, the list goes on.

However, as we’re on a vegan bodybuilding challenge, I did falter.  I drank too much alcohol (in Denver 2 glasses is actually 4 because of the altitude), didn’t work out enough (out of the 5 days I was there, I only worked out twice) and ate bread that I had told myself I wouldn’t eat.  I didn’t gorge myself and I should have known better than to start a vegan challenge a week before I went away for work.  But life doesn’t always wrap itself in a neat little package, it’s real and you mess up.

On a lighter note, it’s week 3 and I’m back on track.  I worked out on Sunday for an hour and I’m back in the gym today and eating healthy again.  The transition from vegetarian to vegan isn’t easy but it’s do-able.  I drank an Odwalla for breakfast yesterday, had an apple for a snack, a huge salad for lunch, some peanuts for afternoon snack and then some more kale for dinner along with some seaweed snack chips (I read that type O blood types increase thyroid/metabolism function by eating Seaweed and not necessarily taking Iodine pills).

Each day is a challenge but we’re facing it head on and every day we become stronger and healthier.  I can’t wait till June to see how far we’ve come!!!

January 6, 2012

2012 Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge

by ashley

We are doing a Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge for 2012! See more about our program here:

We will be posting regular updates, recipes and exercise ideas throughout the coming months.

Scroll down to see our most recent updates!

January 6, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Update

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I think this is the first time in my life that I feel empowered to make a drastic change in my eating and exercise habits. Over the past year I’ve accomplished so much, including losing 15 pounds and keeping 11 or so of those off, even during the holidays. I’ve also completed my first half-marathon. I’ve learned about vegetarian and vegan diet habits and have been able to incorporate them into my daily life. My entire outlook on nutrition and exercise has completely been turned upside down.


A few years ago I would starve myself before an event, take diet pills, live off crazy things like lemons and cabbage. All of those things made me lose a few pounds and inches, sure…but the weight would come back on and I would feel worse and worse about myself after. I felt like a failure – I seriously couldn’t understand why I couldn’t handle eating 500 calories or so per day (which sounds ludicrous now). I am so lucky to have learned these things, incorporating more and more into regular habits. I certainly have not been eating perfectly this whole year, however I can say that I have eaten better than ever.


And so, as I embark upon this next step in my journey, I know that I have the right tools to succeed. I may not end up getting the supermodel body of my dreams, however I know for a fact that I will walk away having learned yet another lesson that will improve the rest of my life. My advice to anyone else trying to follow a strict diet and exercise program – don’t make it so strict! Have fun with it, it’s the only way to succeed. I’ve been playing around with new recipes, trying to make my workouts fun by using the Wii, walking with loved ones and going to classes with friends (i.e. JESSICA!). Challenge yourself, listen to your body and most of all – know that what you are doing is for you, not for anyone else.


A quick update on my progress:


Stick to the routine that I originally posted, I tried to make it more difficult this week (thinking I wasn’t going to be challenged enough). DON’T overdo it, you’ll end up dead sore and unable to do anything. I think the cardio every other day and weights on cardio off-days is the key. I was trying to do weights everyday and that didn’t work at all.


Secondly, you WILL be sore starting weight training for the first time – incredibly debilitating pain that will shoot through your arms and legs as you try to do daily activities. As long as you were careful to keep your form during exercises, this is just normal pain and soreness. If it doesn’t go away after two days or so, take a rest day. But don’t give up – the pain is from muscle growth and you only have a short window before you lose your progress. As long as you keep up the weight training, you will start to get less and less sore after each workout.


As always, I’m here if you have any questions about what we’re doing. We aren’t experts by any means, but we’ve been through a lot of these type of programs (especially with nutrition) and know a lot of resources that could help you, plus personal experience.

January 5, 2012

Jessica’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Week 1

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

By now most of you will have read our post on Facebook and Twitter that we’re doing the Bodybuilding program for this month to see if it will make a difference in our weight and health.  Of course, if we see results we will continue.

This week has been up and down but thankfully I have not had any problem sticking to the eating regimen (yet).  The exercise part has been really tough- sore muscles, overwhelming cardio, it’s not a complete picnic but I’m feeling better about myself already.  If you can believe it, I can actually feel my tummy muscles again (and I’ve been working out for only 5 days).

Last night I had a total meltdown in the gym in front of my husband and three other people.  He was trying to get me to do lunges while holding weights and I was so sore that I just couldn’t do it.  I felt like I was disappointing myself, my husband; the evil failure genie was whispering in my ear so I argued with my lovely husband and then just walked out.  I was so embarrassed but just couldn’t do the lunges (and my husband thought he was helping me by telling me it was all mental).

Today I’m going to do what I should have done on Tuesday: Rest.  My head keeps telling me that I should be working out 24-7 but starting a new routine it’s probably better to work your way into it, especially with extremely sore muscles.  Even resting is terrifying, I feel like I’m going to get fat by not working out.  Weight training is so traumatizing!

That’s why I’m so happy that I’ve found all these great resources like and  They help me to remember that change isn’t always the easiest thing but that I’m not alone.  Plus, I have Ashley blazing the trail with me!  I’m so proud of her for doing this vegan for the past few days, it’s hard enough for me as a vegetarian but as a flexitarian, it requires more sacrifice and discipline.

Discipline is the hardest part.  I’ve done a month of Insanity and never saw results (though they do say over and over again that the second month is where you see the changes happen), I’ve even done two half marathons and never lost a pound.

One thing that I think was missing from all of these: weight training.  I finally get it- without building muscle, there is nothing there to “eat” the fat, it’s just heart pumping.  Another difference between me and those people that were really overweight then started training for a marathon: I don’t gorge on foods.  I eat fairly healthy though of course there are things I could change.  I wasn’t gaining weight, I was just stagnant.

I’m not saying that this is going to be the miracle cure: my goal till February 10th is to lose only 5 lbs.  I’m not sure how this is going to work out because I’ll be gaining muscle mass as well but will keep you updated on the progress.  If I didn’t lose a pound but could fit into a size 4 and you could see my muscles without flexing, I would be a happy camper.

Here’s to change!

Find the following resources that we’re using here (and as always, get a doctor’s permission before starting any health regimen):

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