Vegetarian. The mere mention of this word is enough to cause many meatheads to break out in a cold sweat.
Heck, the first time I heard that there were people forgoing meat in favor of plant based protein sources I thought it was the beginning of the end.
I mean why would anyone in their right mind do that?
After all, we need to eat meat to grow big, strong muscles don’t we?
Not if you ask Bill Pearl. Bill won the Mr. Universe title without eating an ounce of meat.
Granted Bill wasn’t a vegetarian all of his life but he did achieve the amazing condition you see here without the use of steroids or eating any meat protein.
The Challenge with eating vegetarian
The biggest challenge with living a vegetarian lifestyle is that in order to get your protein you have to eat carbs. This can prove to be problematic for people who are trying to get lean and need to limit their carb intake in order to control insulin and burn fat.
However this just makes things more difficult- not impossible. All you need is a plan to follow (which I am going to give you in just a moment).
Now, I am NOT a vegetarian. However I do like to take periodic “days off” from eating meat and animal protein. One of the main reasons I do this is to cycle my protein sources. As I have gotten older I have noticed that I have developed some food sensitivities and I use nutrient cycling as a way to help prevent more of these occurrences.
What type do you want to be?
Being a vegetarian can mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask. There are:
Semi- vegetarians (people who eat dairy products, eggs, chicken, and fish, but do not consume other animal flesh such as beef, pork etc).
Ovo-lacto vegetarians (people who do not consume meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, but do consume eggs and milk).
Ovo-vegetarians (people who do not consume any animal foods or by products with the exception of eggs).
Lacto- vegetarians (like ovo-vegetarians except they do not consume eggs).
Vegan (the strictest subset of all with no consumption of any animal products or by products whatsoever).
Can being vegetarian help with weight loss?
I have met several vegans and vegetarians who swear that they lost weight by forgoing meat but I have my doubts- in all likelihood the weight loss occurred as a result of a decrease in calories consumed and not due to choosing beans instead of beef.
By going vegetarian these folks removed all processed foods, sugar and caffeine from their diets and ate a diet full of fiber, complex carbs and lean protein.
Of course they lost weight- for many people processed foods make up more than 75% of their total calories!
As mentioned earlier I enjoy eating vegetarian meals on a regular basis however I am careful in my food selections as I like to keep my protein intake relatively high and my carb intake on the medium to low side (less than 40% of total daily calories). This approach is how I am able to stay lean all year round. I snapped a quick pick of my abs this morning to show you my condition:
Breakfast- Apple & oatmeal pancakes
|Apples, raw, with skin||1/3 cup slices|
|Instant oatmeal (dry)||1/2 cup|
|Whole eggs||2 small|
|Whey protein powder||1 1/2 tbsp|
|Ground cinnamon||1/2 tsp|
|Stevia, powder||1/2 tsp|
In a bowl, chop apples into small pieces. Combine all other ingredients and mix together. Warm a frying pan to medium heat. Add ingredients and cook until brown on each side.
Morning Snack- Super Protein Shake
|Ground flaxseed||1/3 tbsp|
|Veggie protein powder||2 1/2 tbsp|
|Spring water||3/4 cup|
In a blender, combine kiwi, banana and water, blend well. Add protein and flaxseed and blend for additional 10 seconds.
Lunch- Sweet potato, tuna and salsa Sheppard’s pie
|Flaxseed oil||½ tbsp|
|Tuna (canned)||½ can|
|Sauce, ready-to-serve, salsa||4 tablespoon|
|Sweet potato, raw, unprepared||1 cup, cubes|
Peel and steam sweet potato until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Once steamed, mash and mix in flaxseed oil then place in bowl, make equal thickness in bowl. Next cover with tuna, make equal thickness and last but not least put salsa on top.
Afternoon Snack- Hummus & Veggies
|Cauliflower, raw||6 floweret|
|Yellow pepper (raw)||2/3 pepper|
Dip cauliflower florets, cheese & pepper into hummus.
Dinner- Grilled Calamari
|Balsamic vinegar||½ tbsp|
|Extra virgin olive oil||1/2 tbsp|
|Calamari (raw)||4 ounces|
|Raw garlic||1 clove|
|Mixed greens||1 cup|
|Red peppers||¼ pepper|
|Brown rice||¼ cup (uncooked)|
|Zucchini (raw)||¼ small|
Cook rice according to package directions. Grill calamari with some oil, then add sliced red pepper and zucchini and grill another 5-7 minutes. Place on mixed salad greens, top with rest of oil, balsamic vinegar, and crushed garlic.
Give this vegetarian meal plan a try and let me know if you have any questions. If you are looking for a plan that is more personalized for your individual body and goal then I encourage you to join my online coaching program at www.ebodi.com where I have hundreds of meal plans and recipes for all types of preferences.
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