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 Post subject: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:26 am 
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Welp, let's get started.

I just my blood test results back last week, and I found out that I have low testosterone (320ng). Being a guy this explains why I feel so craptastic all the time being only 23. Over the past year I have dealt with fatigue issues despite, and lately I'm often in a grumpy mood where I hate everything and don't want to do anything productive. With my testosterone levels in the crapper now, I have to make severe changes to my diet now. I believe the phylates, phytoestrogens, and goitrogenics from my high soy diet over the past 5 years have caused my T levels to drop. I'm dropping soy completely, but now I'm not sure if I can do a vegan diet without soy. I've depended upon it for the past few years, and it's the one thing that has kept me on the vegan diet for so long. I have thought about going down the same route Avi Lehyani has and just eat primarily beans, grains, nuts, and vegetables. I've been eating that diet for the past week, and it's NOT easy.

It's so stale! I can only eat brown rice, black beans, and broccoli so many times a week. Without soy, I'm down to PBJ Sandwiches, beans and pasta, beans and rice, oatmeal, whole grain bagels, and brussel sprouts/broccoli. I've been cheating with the occasional Clif bar, but I'm not having too much fun with the Avi diet here. I don't care at all for meat, but I'm craving milk and cheese pretty badly. I've always ate my beans, rice, and grains, but dammit soy milk was a big part of my diet. I was and I'm a still a big sucker for soy milk; I prefer to drink my protein on days my appetite is not there. It's a super easy way to get my daily protein, and I need it in my cereal and oats. It's also great for cutting which I'm pretty perplexed how to do now. How can a non-soy eating vegan cut and lose fat when all of his protein sources come from high carb foods. How the hell did Avi cut down to low bf levels?

With the diet being so stale that even I'm having trouble with it, I ask myself what's the point of this now? I mean it's possible to stick with this hardcore diet, but why? Our vegan lifestyles have little impact on the meat industry unfortunately. When I went vegan years back, the goal was to help make the boycott of animal products as big as possible to help campaign against animal cruelty. It might be just that I'm struggling without soy, but I don't see how we can promote such a hardcore diet for bodybuilder enthusiasts when most of them would die before they give up their steak. It's a diet that's really hard to follow for a beginner especially when your options for eating out dwindle down to little. With milk in the equation it makes it much more appealing, but I realize that consuming dairy supports animal cruelty. The cows are pumped with unhealthy milk-producing hormones, confined to their small pens on the factory farms, and constantly have to be pregnant to produce the most amount of milk. Also, many of the young calves produced through the multiple pregnancies become veal meat, so it's lose-lose situation as I see it. At least if the population of vegetarians grows over time, then the controversy of animal cruelty will eventually be put more in daily conversation, media attention, and eventually government. Unfortunately, it does not matter if a few tough vegans among the 7 billion people on the planet can conjur the willpower to eat a hardcore plant diet.

Your thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:46 am 
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Have you felt any improvement since dropping soy - do you feel there is evidence that soy is the problem?

Have you tried non-soy milks such as rice or oat?

Regarding veganism being pointless, consider the rise in demand for animal products if all vegans dropped their lifestyle. Those companies would suddenly have more demand, thus they would expand and more animals would suffer. There is a direct impact on those industries because of boycotting.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:40 pm 
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It seems that you are going through a hard time, I guess being vegan is also dealing with difficulties and trying to find out how to overcome them, without harming animals when we can... so keep going and let us know!! :)

Quote:
It's so stale! I can only eat brown rice, black beans, and broccoli so many times a week. Without soy, I'm down to PBJ Sandwiches, beans and pasta, beans and rice, oatmeal, whole grain bagels, and brussel sprouts/broccoli. I've been cheating with the occasional Clif bar, but I'm not having too much fun with the Avi diet here. I don't care at all for meat, but I'm craving milk and cheese pretty badly. I've always ate my beans, rice, and grains, but dammit soy milk was a big part of my diet. I was and I'm a still a big sucker for soy milk; I prefer to drink my protein on days my appetite is not there. It's a super easy way to get my daily protein, and I need it in my cereal and oats. It's also great for cutting which I'm pretty perplexed how to do now. How can a non-soy eating vegan cut and lose fat when all of his protein sources come from high carb foods. How the hell did Avi cut down to low bf levels?


- You didn't mention any of the protein powders (rice, pea, hemp, sun warrior, vega,...)?
- What about rice/almond/hemp/quinoa/oat-milks when you are craving?
- Isn't it possible to do more cardio to cut?
- What about all the other variety of beans, chickpeas, lentils... to bring some diversity to your diet?
- Isn't millet, quinoa, buckwheat, spelt, amaranth helpful when bored with brown rice?
- Do you find ways to spice up your food and enjoy it?

- Where are you in bodybuilding, what are your goals?

My priority is not to harm anyone. So if it's hard on me, or my bodybuilding performances, I'll try to get over it and find a way to make it work, despite the limitations, when I can. And I wouldn't count on milk, it's not mine to have anyway! In the very last resort, many chickens need to be rescued. Eating the white of their eggs will not harm them as long as you provide to their needs for as long as they live, but it's such a big engagement and I my point is also to show that we don't need it in general...

Hope you'll find your way!!


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Are you sure it is the soy? I have been veg for over 8 years now and soy products like veggie burgers and soy milk are the staple of my diet. I do however also drink almond and rice milk and eat a variety of foods. Did your doctor tell you to reduce your soy consumption?

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:50 am 
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You can't just jump at anything & say - THIS is the cause. You need to see someone & get some nutritional advice & you also need to see someone to rule out any medical issues. You can eat vegan without soya easily, just as you can eat vegan without gluten, or whatever other issue you might have, it's just learning new things to cook. It could actually open a whole new world for you, as it sounds like you've been relying on stuff like soya milk & probably fake meats etc when there is literally a world of food flavours waiting for you if you want to go out & find them.
First thing, first though, you need the test levels sorted out. My first call would be a medical specialist, rule out any issues that might be causing the low levels, next up I'd go & see someone to check on your current nutrition (if you can't afford someone to do this then you may have to play about a bit yourself), I think Mike Mahler does some stuff on hormone optimisation you might want to check out as he's an ok guy (& vegan). I'm sure your issues can be solved you just need patience & a little bit of work.
Hopefully you'll get it sorted out quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:06 pm 
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This doesn’t make sense to me.
There are 100’s of millions or even billions of peoples worldwide eating large amounts of soy daily (all over Asia and India) as well as eating very low to zero amounts of meat, and they very long healthy lives with no evidence of lower testosterone in general.
Real Estrogen (Milk is loaded with it) is 1000’s of times more effective on the human body than Phytoestrogen is, did you have similar problem with Milk?
There have been studies showing that soy is very beneficial to our health and others showing the opposite, in general I think soy gets a bad rap. I’m sure the studies that show soy in a bad light are funding in some way by the dairy industry… just my opinion.

That being said maybe there is something else causing the low testosterone, if it were me I’d be talking with my Doctor to find out other possible issues than soy.
But… Give it a try, take soy out of your diet for a while and see if the levels rise back up.

As for a non-soy vegan diet being too difficult, I don’t think that’s the case. There are many non-soy products out there, should be easy.
Most soy products are processed anyways, if you stick with whole plant based foods it should be easy.
Here are some:
Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, seeds, Whole Grains, Legumes/Beans.
No need for different types of milks (nut, rice, so on… ) just use water, I mix Vega with water and it works fine.

Kenny


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:01 pm 
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I think that organic milk is never coming from animals treated "humanely", having the throat sliced in a slaughterhouse isn't "humane" as we speak of sentient being. Organic milk is a business where animals are given organic food and where the rules over their exploitation are somewhat different.

Francione has very clear articles about it (it's worth looking further into his blog)
compassionate animal use is nonsense


About soy, "bad light are funding in some way by the dairy industry" is true, but it's not only the dairy industry... look up the Weston a price foundation, you'll have a good laugh: http://www.westonaprice.org/ :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:59 pm 
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When people say soy increases estrogen levels/production or that it gives you 'bitch tits' they are just looking for excuses for the fact that they are carrying some extra fat!!!

That's my take on it anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:25 am 
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kenny.f wrote:
Real Estrogen (Milk is loaded with it) is 1000’s of times more effective on the human body than Phytoestrogen is, did you have similar problem with Milk?

This.

Why do people care so much about the phytoestrogens in soy but give a damn about the estrogens in milk and other animal products? Doesn't make sense to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:20 pm 
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wispyman wrote:
I believe the phylates, phytoestrogens, and goitrogenics from my high soy diet over the past 5 years have caused my T levels to drop.


How? Seriously, without some tests and experimentation you just don't know. Very low fat diets can drop testosterone too, as well as lack of activity ( lifting weights increases it ). I've seen many ancedotal accounts over the years of vegans who eat a lot of soy, get tested and have normal levels. Your best bet is

- to get tested by an endocrinologist who is open minded to soy
- go off soy for a period of time s/he recommends
- get your testosterone tested again and see if being away from soy makes a difference in your t-levels
- if it doesn't try increasing your dietary fat
- stop whining about how boring a soy free diet is and do something about it. Buy cook books, make
time to make yourself nice things to eat.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:14 pm 
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Beforewisdom is a smarty. I agree with everything he just said.

I am guessing that if you were so dependent on soy, it had something to do with fake meat and convenience foods... which means you were probably dropping some cash on your diet. For relatively easy ways to shake up your protein choices, try buying canned beans and making dips and spreads. Combine all different variations of beans, veggies, and nuts/seeds in a blender with herbs and spices and you'll have some good stuff. Garbanzos, lemon, sesame and garlic = hummus. Black eyed peas, onion, walnuts, veganaise and celery = pretty good mock tuna salad. Peanut butter, ginger, tamari and a little garlic = thai peanut sauce. And it's super quick. Fake meat made out of seitan is tasty. Nutritional yeast has some protein and is pretty good. You could add hemp protein to your oatmeal to spike the protein and change the flavor. Or you can make your own custom protein powder blend at trueprotein.com.

You can do this if you put your mind to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:07 am 
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Ok, update time.

So I went ahead and did a second blood test as my doctor requested it to confirm if I was having T troubles. Turns out it was much higher this time (435 ng), so he no longer can provide treatment as it is in normal levels now. I still wish it was higher. You guys are right in saying I cannot prove that soy reduced my testosterone levels, but I'm not willing to take any chances here. Look at the size and strength of Avi who consumes almost no soy compared to the rest of the vegan bodybuilding community. There are a few vegans with decent physiques, but the moderate consumption of soy is holding us back somewhat I feel (I know Cheeke does eat soy, but what about Derek Tresize?)

I'll try to go for more avocados, nuts, and hummus, but while all these things are great for calories, nutritional fat, and minerals how the hell am I gonna get my 180g (weighing in at 180 lbs) of protein a day eating this stuff? Beans, peanut butter, and grains only go so far. I guess I'll need to start buying protein powder again.

kenny: Asians do not eat as much soy as you think actually. While they have the occasional tofu in their soup, they mostly eat fish, beef, and chicken for their protein sources. I've taught English in Korea for a while, so I can say firsthand Koreans eat a ton of fish and beef rather than tofu. This fact about Asia is actually brought up in a lot of studies about the dangers of soy done by established members of the nutrition and scientific community. Whether some researchers are being bribed or not, phytoestrogens and phylates are in soy. By nature they are anti-nutrients, so they have some kind of effect on us when we digest them.


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:12 am 
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Are you aiming to be as big as Avi? Awesome! Get us some pics to show your progress

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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:31 am 
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Thanks for the update!

I can eat 60g of protein from seitan in one day without trouble.
With some oats, brown rice & quinoa I can target easily 40g more protein.
A 120g of seeds & nuts give 24g protein (for 60g of fat).

So that's 124g of protein there already, a little bean, a little protein powders and I'm sure you can also get 180g without much difficulty. I'm sure you'll find your way! :D


Quote:
Look at the size and strength of Avi who consumes almost no soy compared to the rest of the vegan bodybuilding community.

It's too bad that we don't have a 100 vegan bodybuilders to make a comparison with... getting big is a matter of patience & dedication (a bit like veganism I guess). But it's really cool to be of the first "wave" of vegan bodybuilders: pioneers in here! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Non-soy vegan diet is just too difficult
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:44 am 
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