Posts tagged ‘Weight loss’

December 29, 2011

New Year Resolutions: Vegan Weight Loss/Muscle Gaining Regimen

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

While it sounds incredibly kitschy, Jessica and I have decided to do the most cliché thing I can think of this time of year: take a New Year resolution that we have every intention of keeping. We are going to lose weight and gain lean muscle, all on a completely vegan diet. Jessica has me hooked on all of the success stories BodyBuilding.com has for women. There are literally dozens of stories coming from women of all ages, sizes and ethnicities, complete with their full diet and exercise programs used to come to these results.

The thing we noticed while looking at all of these stories was that they use tons of supplements and almost no vegetarian/vegan protein options. Jessica being the huge fan of Brendan Brazier that she is, we are fully aware that it is absolutely possible to build lean muscle without consuming animal protein. We haven’t started yet (don’t want to set ourselves up for failure on New Year’s Eve), but I am going to start eating better between now and Monday. We will begin the full plan on January 02nd, so if you want to do it with us, by all means please do. And if you do choose to join in, please send us a quick message or comment, we’d love to hear from you to help keep us motivated.

(These are rough ideas of a plan that we haven’t yet started. These may and probably will be changed as we begin, but we will let you know of any changes made throughout the plan.)

The Diet Plan

Breakfast –

½ cup plain oatmeal

1 cup spinach, banana and strawberry smoothie, with one scoop vegan protein powder

Snack #1 –

½ cup hummus with raw celery

OR

Vegan protein bar

Lunch –

Lean vegan protein, such as tofu, tempeh or beans

Vegetables

Whole grain or seeds, such as quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet

Snack #2 –

1 cup almond milk with scoop of vegan protein powder

OR
Vegan protein bar

Dinner –

Lean vegan protein, such as tofu, tempeh or beans

Vegetables

Whole grain or seeds, such as quinoa, barley, brown rice or millet

OPTIONAL Snack #3 –

If you absolutely need another snack after working out, try an apple, ½ cup oatmeal or a vegan protein bar.

The Workout Plan*

(*this workout plan is taken 100% from Rebecca Bargeloh’s success story on BodyBuilding.com)

Day 1: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 2: Upper Body

Dumbbell Bicep Curl, 3 sets of 15 reps

Side Lateral Rise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Front Dumbbell Raise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 3: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 4: Lower Body

Barbell Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Lunges, 3 sets of 15 reps

Seated Leg Curl, 3 sets of 15 reps

Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 5: 30-45 minutes cardio (130+ heart rate)

Day 6: Full Body

Pushups, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Bench Press, 3 sets of 15 reps

Triceps Pushdown, 3 sets of 15 reps

Side Lateral Raise, 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Deadlift, 3 sets of 15 reps

Dumbbell Lunges, 3 sets of 15 reps

Barbell Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps

Day 7: Active rest day (clean the house, go for a walk on the beach)

August 29, 2011

The Real Fountain of Youth

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

Photo by: Images by John 'K' on Flickr

Water is the giver of life – so why do so many of us deprive ourselves of this resource, especially when there are thousands that live without it for reasons outside their control? Most of you reading this live in places with abundant clean, refreshing water. Instead of reaching for that soda or “power” drink, try fueling your body with water. Not only will your internal organs thank you for it, but your skin will literally glow with satisfaction.

 

At the age of 21 I was hospitalized for four weeks due to kidney troubles. A combination of kidney stones and an inflamed kidney made me writhe in pain, requiring surgery and weeks of medication. After it was over, I visited my urologist for a follow up and he told me my number one problem was simply water intake. They couldn’t find any other answer. Fast forward two years and I am still learning the hard way that water really does have a huge impact on health. While I have never been a soda drinker, I love fruit juice and teas. I thought that I was healthy, but in reality everything I was drinking is a diuretic, making my body lose liquid and slowly dehydrating myself. I would still have sharp kidney pains, especially when running (I was training for my first half marathon). I drank water, but only when tea or juice was unavailable, and sometimes would go days on only tea or juice. I would sometimes feel so sick without knowing why, but I now realize it was the days that I drank the least water.

 

I cannot say I’m perfect now, far from it, but I have been drinking much more water than before. I don’t drink fruit juices at all anymore and have limited my tea intake to one or two glasses every couple of days. Other than that, I’m on 100% fresh water. While thinking of writing this, I decided to do a little research about other benefits of drinking water. And while I haven’t found great resources, it seems to be a general consensus on the internet that water also has a lot to do with clearing acne, weight loss and general overall health. I completely agree, as I have had first hand experience with all of those things. I notice I have less breakouts the more water I drink, it does help me feel fuller and therefore assist in weight loss efforts, and I certainly feel much better overall when drinking more water.

 

I recently went on vacation, and after losing 13 pounds, have fallen off the healthy eating bit a little. Thankfully I haven’t gained more than a couple of pounds, which really could just be natural weight fluctuation, but today I, along with Jessica, have started over our healthy eating plans with another detox jump-start. Just as before, no pills or scary powders involved; just lots of fresh water (11-12 glasses, or 88-96 ounces per day), fresh steamed veggies on days 1-2 and all-natural smoothies on days 3-5. Focusing on fresh, healthy and under-seasoned foods helps my body rejuvenate itself and to curb cravings for refined sugar and fat. Slowly adding in whole grains and healthy protein after the fifth day really makes the difference in the way you look at food. It works, I’ve already done it once and that’s how I lost the first 13 pounds in about five weeks.

 

This is a plan that anyone can follow: vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, flexitarian…it doesn’t matter. All you need is a willingness to let your body rest, focus on yourself and your long-term health. This is no quick-fix plan, as you can see I only lost an average of 2.6 pounds per week, but this is the type of life change that will really make a difference in your body. The moral of the story is: listen to your body and drink LOTS and LOTS of water! Stay away from processed foods, refined sugar and unnecessary fat. Water is essential to life, any other liquid just cannot hold up to it. The fountain of youth is all around you, and in most places it won’t even cost you more than your water bill.

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