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 Post subject: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Okay - here goes. I've been aching to get back in prime condition for about a year. (Two years ago, I was down to approximately 115lbs, most of it muscle...and really liked how it looked.) Admittedly, the BF was a little *too* low, but I loved the asthetics....which would have been even better with more muscle added on. These days, I'm running around 129 lbs, and it's been bothering me QUITE a bit. The weight lifting's been pretty much on, but the diet's been sketchy. Today's the day I get REALLY serious. I've purchased the creatine, will be lifting in the morning (as has been my habit for quite some time anyway.) But now I'll be cleaning up the diet, concentrating on more protein, and relatively low carb (most of it--hopefully--from veggies.) Honestly, I feel that my body reacts best to that.

I'm also going to try to put in 30 minutes of *light* jogging every weeknight. This might or might not work...two years ago I tore my ACL, and it's never been quite right since. I did a gentle jog tonight as a test run (so to speak), and we'll see if anything swells up in the morning. If so, I'm going to try to fit in elliptical as a substitute, darn it.

But I figured I'd start this training log, which will help to keep me honest. :D Please, wish me luck! (Okay, I admit that one goal is to look REALLY good in this years Halloween costume, based off the Fifth Element...but that'll just be an extra goodie!!)

--Janet (Vegan n NYC)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:11 pm 
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Okay - two days in, and the lifting is going great. I'm wonderfully sore from pullovers, and started jogging 30 min on Sunday...still aching from that, as well - though fortunately the knees seem okay.

Trying to figure out if it makes more sense to just alternate cardio/weight days, and/or if I'll be jogging at home at night, vs going to the gym to use the treadmill. I really don't want to be doing cardio RIGHT before or after weights...both because I want to go all out and refreshed with each, and I have a suspicion that cardio right after weights would harm my muscle gains. Yet, going to the gym twice a day just seems like too much...No life, and all that.

The creatine's pretty tasty - too early to see if that's working. Picked up Creadrive from CVS, and there's not alot of bloat (yet.) So far, so good.

The one thing? I'm finding it really difficult to clean up the diet. Have so far failed to cut out decaff coffee and soda (because of the artificial sweetners), and am still eating some carbs. (Mostly potatoes and oatmeal.) Darn it, they're good...but I really need to cut back if I want to lean out.

It's funny. Back when I was an omnivore, I lots TONS of weight effortlessly on Atkins. Now, it's a struggle. Okay, I'm not overweight, but I'm still carrying more fat than I'd like, and find that it's harder to control the calories on a plant based diet. No, there's no chance that I'll go back (going on two years vegan at this point.) But why does it have to be so much harder??

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:00 pm 
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Congrats on all your hard work!

I don't think you necessarily have to cut out/down on carbs to lose weight. I'm on a fitness/weight loss kick myself and all I have are carbs---just the right kinds. I have slow cooked oatmeal every day, sometimes twice a day, in portion controlled sized. Sometimes I'll mix in mesquite powder to keep me full longer, or some agave nectar if I need to satisfy my sweet tooth. And I have Ezekiel (sp?) bread almost every day. It keeps me full so much longer than other breads.

I know it's annoying, but (at least in my experience) it comes down to calories consumed at the end of the day. Keep a food journal, calculate how many calories are in each meal, and figure out your daily goals. It's been working well for me.

But I'll admit I don't have potatoes... at all. And very little rice and pasta. But even if you must have your potatoes, figure out how many calories are in a particular portion, and simply work it into your calorie budget. That way you won't feel deprived AND you'll get super lean!

Best of luck to you!


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:41 am 
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V. De Vil -

Thanks for the post...! I'm actually pretty familiar with fitday, and I may in fact be going the calorie controlled method relatively soon. Honestly, I've been bouncing around in a very unorganized fashion between trying low carb (something that did work in the past), controlled calories, or raw-ish (the few times I tried it a bit, I couldn't feel full...but the concept is extremely interesting.) (Actually, I can't swear that the success I had on low carb wasn't really simply due to reduced calories. At the time, I wasn't logging cals, so maybe it just worked out that way...)

I will settle down into a diet routine eventually...hopefully soon. It *would* be great to hold onto the oatmeal and oatbran - both favorites of mine. Have never tried Ezekiel bread, but I've been tempted to buy it in the past, and it looks interesting. How's it taste, esp. compared to standard bread? Re: the potatos - they've mostly been in the form of knishes, which are only 175 cal a shot...great for a single snack when you're spacing meals out every 3 hours or so. And the great thing about potatos is that they're so satiating...!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:22 pm 
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The Ez. bread takes a little getting used to, honestly. The consistency is different, but knowing how natural and good for you it is helps that process along. But my boyfriend is a big omni, and he doesn't care for it. He'll opt for something loaded with high fructose corn syrup anytime!

The atkins/low carb thing has definitely worked for a lot of people, but it's not due specifically to the absence of evil carbs, it's that dieters unknowingly cut out over 1000 calories a day by eliminating buns on their burgers and the empty calories of fries and the like. Not exactly a healthy diet.... but all that fat is filling and very satisying. And cutting out that many calories will cause anyone to lose weight!!. If that worked for you, then perhaps the key is making sure all your meals have enough yummy fats.... portion controlled nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil, whole grain breads, oatmeal, oatbran and even potatoes and knishes, as long as you add a 'fat' to these 'whiter' carbs so your insulin doesn't spike and you stay full longer.

I've been interested in the 'raw' thing too.... I really wish I was someone who could keep it up. The weight loss and health benefits seem freaking amazing. But the recipes are so long and complicated! Some of them take DAYS to prepare with all the 'sprouting' and 'soaking' you have to do. And you need so many machines. (Dehydrators are like 200 bucks!)

Don't know if this helps, but I keep little baggies of 100 and 200 calorie portions of things in my pantry. Almonds, cashews, and trail mix specifically. If I'm having something a little on the sugary (or empty calorie) side, I'll add a portion of almonds to my meal to balance it out. And I aim for about 250-400 calories a meal (depending on my last meal), eating 3-6 times a day. Makes me feel like I'm always munching! Sort of my own little '3 hour diet'.


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:05 pm 
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The training continues, with a few positives.

I've been rawish for three days, or really more paleo-vegan - focusing on raw fruit, and cooked veggies. (Hence the "ish"...I just don't find raw veggies palatable.) Most importantly, it looks like I'm successfully swapping my usual beverages of choice (Diet Pepsi, Snapple and coffee) for good ole water. It's been a difficult switch, but so far, so good.

I'm also playing with splitting my routine into morning and evening sections (thereby giving me time to recup between cardio and weight lifting, but still get both in.) Up until now, I've been doing the weight lifting in the morning, and cardio after work, but am considering switching that up, too. My theory is this: probably the majority of muscle building happens in the night, while you sleep. (Maybe?) So better to do cardio earlier, rev up the metabolism, then rest after the weights, and let everything rebuild. Just a thought...will see how it goes....

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:32 am 
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More juggling of the routine. The muscle is building steadily - not yet so sure about the weight loss. (I"m staying off the scales for a few days to give it a rest.)

I'm still somewhat unsure of how best to structure the balance between cardio and weights (and weight splits.) Right now, I've got a three day weight split, broken down by:

Day One: Back and Arms
Day Two: Chest and Abs
Day Three: Legs

I've been also experimenting with doing cardio same day, five days a week. Played with the timing - ie: right after the workout, versus actually later in the day (ie: weights morning, cardio after work.) I'm just not sure about the best method. Should cardio and weights necessarily be separately by at least a day? (In other words, will same day cardio affect muscle synthesis?) I definitely don't want to do cardio immediately before weights, as it's too draining. Yet, I'm looking for a little weight loss, so I'm somewhat hesitant to drop the cardio altogether, and would ideally like to get in three sessions minimum a week. (Then there's the fact that work gets really heavy at the end of each quarter, and I won't then have time to work out in the evenings anyway.) (I currently do morning weights, which works really well for me.)

Argh, decisions!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:12 pm 
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So I think I'm starting to figure out a routine that works for my goals, and work schedule. (Goals: building serious muscle, and a little fat loss...about ten pounds...)

I've whittled my exercises down to a few moves that seem to do the most for me. Still on a 2 day split in the mornings before work, with a 5x5 setup:

M, Tu: Pullups, Dumbell Pullovers, Ab Knee Ins, Military Press, Forearm Curls. 30 minutes moderate cardio on elliptical, with maybe some intervals.

Th, F: Adductors, Squats, Stiff Legged Deadlifts, Bench Press and Crunches. 30 minutes moderate cardio on elliptical, with maybe some intervals.

On the weekends, I'll probably run intervals for 30 minutes. (Tried it for the first time tonight just for the heck of it, and wow am I dead!) I have to be careful, due to past knee and ankle injuries, and I've never been good for *endurance*. But it feels great to just run all out for a few moments until I tire, walk and repeat. And my legs got all jelly-like, too! And then there's the sweat...! (I may like this.)

The diet, I'm still waffling on. I've tried bits o raw, but it just isn't sticking. I've always been good about doing 6 small snacks per day, and with the Luna Bars, beans, nuts, Boca Burgers and occasional veggies, hopefully it'll be okay. I've also recently started supplementing with Nitrofusion and Creatine right after the morning workouts, which I hope will show results.

We'll see....!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:47 pm 
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A quick up-date...think I've finally found a good routine and diet to work with.

Re: Diet - I'm going mostly raw/paleo, just to see where it goes. Cashews before the morning workout, just to have some fuel to work with. Over the course of the day, I focus on fresh fruit (most of my work is seated/sedentary, so I'm trying to snack lite.) In the evening, I stirfry/steam veggies to get in some greens. Oh yes, and a multi vitamin each morning.

Routine: a two day split, per the following:

Weight lifting (1 hour):

M, W, F - Pullups, Pullovers, Dumbell Rows, Bench Tricep Dips, Military Press, Forearm Curls

Tu, Th, Sa - Stiff legged deadlifts, body weight squats, leg extensions, leg abductor machine, bench press and crunches.

Followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical (medium intensity, 6 days a week after lifting.)

I've definitely dropped a little weight - down to 124lbs as of today. I think I'm liking this. :) A little more, and I'll post new pics!!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Well, I haven't posted on this thread for quite some time, due to being in the process of trying different things to see what works.

For training, I'm currently giving HIT a try - 3x a week for all body parts, only 1-2 sets per exercise - broken down into a 2 way split (ie: upper vs. lower), working out six days a week. Was giving 30-45 minutes of cardio a go, but I've never been a fan, and haven't seen any great results from it yet...so starting tomorrow I'm cutting it out for now.

Diet: Have been all over the map - tried raw repeatedly, and couldn't get over the feeling of always being hungry. Calorie counted for awhile, and now am giving low carb vegan a shot. (Honestly, I've NEVER lost weight as efficiently as in my bad-old-days of being an Atkins carnivore. Back then, the weight just FELL off, with no cardio, and no feeling of deprivation.) Not that I'll go back to that, but I have to find something that works AND is vegan.

Despite all the effort, I'm still stuck around 127, which is REALLY killing me. I'll check in to update if the low carb plan works (focusing mostly on veggies and faux meats)...hopefully, it's time for a positive change...!

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:45 am 
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Well, again I've been somewhat off on the diet - a fact which is driving me crazy.

So today is *yet* a new start - a new promise to clean up the nutrition: no coffee, soda or artificial sweetners. Also no empty calories, and carb heavy items such as bread, etc. I've got the Nitrofusion protein powder ready at my desk, and plan to stick to my guns this time. I'm probably hovering around 125 at the moment (though I really do not want to step on the scale), and need to get the BMI down and start seeing the muscle I've been building for oh so many months. So please, send good vibes my way...!

--Janet (VNY)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:02 am 
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VegannNY wrote:
Well, again I've been somewhat off on the diet - a fact which is driving me crazy.

So today is *yet* a new start - a new promise to clean up the nutrition: no coffee, soda or artificial sweetners. Also no empty calories, and carb heavy items such as bread, etc. I've got the Nitrofusion protein powder ready at my desk, and plan to stick to my guns this time. I'm probably hovering around 125 at the moment (though I really do not want to step on the scale), and need to get the BMI down and start seeing the muscle I've been building for oh so many months. So please, send good vibes my way...!

--Janet (VNY)

*good vibes* :D


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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:33 am 
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Thanks...! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:27 am 
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So, yesterday went pretty well! I threw in an extra chest day, just for the heck of it. And I'm up to doing a consistent 1 hour (low intensity) on the elliptical at the end of every weight session. But I'm actually prouder of the diet: we ended up going to a friend's birthday party at a Belgium restaurant. Great place, but slim pickings for a vegan. But despite a set menu, I managed to barter away 2 lbs of steamed mussels for a great (large and tasty) salad. (And after all was said and done, it turned out that another vegan was at the party, too...and she managed to do the same.) Okay, I threw 3 belgian fries into the mix, and a few *sips* of Belgian beer (but then, the whole group were homebrewers, so I had to oblige.) :) Still, pretty good.

I've also decided to start to seriously learn a bit of cooking. (I'm *really* basic/bad in the kitchen, my only experience really being the microwave and scrambling eggs back when I was omni.) But I've found a once-a-month free vegan cooking class in NYC, and actually tried out making my own seitan a few days ago. Not bad, and I'm now thinking of giving a seitan beer bratwurst recipe a try. Mmmm, vegan and lowish carb!! Really, it'd be hysterical if I end up being any good in the kitchen, as it's always been my achilles heel. Well, we'll see. But for now, everything's good, the pecs are sore, and I've got one more day before I have to go back to work! (Extra back day, maybe?) :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vegan N NY - down to serious training
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:13 am 
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God, I don't believe that I started this thread back in Aug... So much time has passed (with limited loss of bodyfat.)

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm *still* hovering around 127 lbs, and really need to cut down the bodyfat. (Again, the target is 115.) The only good point at this stage is that I've definitely been building muscle all this time, so once the padding is gone, it'll look good.

The problem: still waffling with the DARNED diet. Played a bit with raw, and think I've again come to the conclusion that low carb is what my body responds to best. (Back in my Atkins-omni days, I lost a slew of weight quickly and effortlessly, with no pain or problems. Yet, when I tried to watch what I eat as a vegan, I tend to feel hungry a good portion of the time, which is a real deterrent.) But as a commmited ethical vegan, I have to find a way to make this diet work, and accomplish my BB goals. (Have fallen into a 2 day split - chest and back. I'm doing spin classes every morning after weightlifting, and that seems to work my legs quite well by itself.)

The only really high point right now? As a life-long NON-COOK, I've finally caught the culinary bug, and found the PERFECT website: www.vegandad.blogspot. This guy has a million and one tasty ways to make just the kinds of things I like...such as vegan sausage, and Chickn fingers...and lots of stuff that's either naturally low carb or easily adapted. I LOVE this website, and think it'll ultimately be a great resource for this whole nutritional dilemma.

Should be posting a pic or two once things slow down...and hopefully once I lost a pound or two... :?

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